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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 46

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary


Ezekiel 46:0


Vision of the Restored Temple and Land(Ezekiel 40:1-35)Vision of the Future Temple(Ezekiel 40:1-35)
The Prince's OfferingsThe Manner of WorshipRegulations Regarding the PrinceThe Prince and the FestivalsMiscellaneous Regulations
Ezekiel 46:1-10Ezekiel 46:1-8Ezekiel 46:1-8Ezekiel 46:1-8Ezekiel 46:1-7
Ezekiel 46:8-10
Ezekiel 46:9-11Ezekiel 46:9-10Ezekiel 46:9-11
Ezekiel 46:11-12 Ezekiel 46:11-12 Ezekiel 46:11-15
Ezekiel 46:12-15 Ezekiel 46:12
The Daily Offering
Ezekiel 46:13-15 Ezekiel 46:13-15Ezekiel 46:13-15
The Prince and Inheritance Laws The Prince and the Land
Ezekiel 46:16-18Ezekiel 46:16-18Ezekiel 46:16-18Ezekiel 46:16-18Ezekiel 46:16-18
The Boiling PlaceHow the Offerings Were Prepared The Temple Kitchens
Ezekiel 46:19-20Ezekiel 46:19-24Ezekiel 46:19-20Ezekiel 46:19-20Ezekiel 46:19-24
Ezekiel 46:21-24 Ezekiel 46:21-24Ezekiel 46:21-24

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3, p. xvi). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

Verses 1-10

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 46:1-10 1'Thus says the Lord God, “The gate of the inner court facing east shall be shut the six working days; but it shall be opened on the sabbath day and opened on the day of the new moon. 2The prince shall enter by way of the porch of the gate from outside and stand by the post of the gate. Then the priests shall provide his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate and then go out; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3The people of the land shall also worship at the doorway of that gate before the Lord on the sabbaths and on the new moons. 4The burnt offering which the prince shall offer to the Lord on the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish; 5and the grain offering shall be an ephah with the ram, and the grain offering with the lambs as much as he is able to give, and a hin of oil with an ephah. 6On the day of the new moon he shall offer a young bull without blemish, also six lambs and a ram, which shall be without blemish. 7And he shall provide a grain offering, an ephah with the bull and an ephah with the ram, and with the lambs as much as he is able, and a hin of oil with an ephah. 8When the prince enters, he shall go in by way of the porch of the gate and go out by the same way. 9But when the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed feasts, he who enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate. And he who enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. No one shall return by way of the gate by which he entered but shall go straight out. 10When they go in, the prince shall go in among them; and when they go out, he shall go out.”

Ezekiel 46:1 “the gate of the inner court facing east” Remember the outer eastern gate was permanently sealed (cf. Ezekiel 44:2) because this is the gate by which YHWH left the temple (cf. Ezekiel 10:0) and returned (cf. Ezekiel 43:0).

“the new moon” This monthly feast is first mentioned in Numbers 10:10 and explained in Numbers 28:11-15. It is referred to in Psalms 81:3-5 and Ezekiel 45:18; Ezekiel 46:3, Ezekiel 46:6. Since the tabernacle was set up on the first day of the month (cf. Exodus 40:2, Exodus 40:17), it is possible that it is connected to this event.

The Jews used a lunar calendar. See Special Topic: Ancient Near Eastern Calendars.

Ezekiel 46:2 “his burnt offerings and his peace offerings” Also note, verse Ezekiel 46:12 lists several other offerings. See Special Topic: Sacrificial Systems of the Ancient Near East.

“he shall worship” This is an unusual form of a common religious concept of “worship” or “bow down.” The unusual form is called a Hishtaphel, which comes from this word. The first three consonants (תשה) are common in other Semitic languages, but this is the only example in biblical Hebrew (Kittel, Hoffer and Wright, Biblical Hebrew, p. 182).

The basic stem seems to be חוה (KB 295 II), which in Ugaritic means “to prostrate oneself in worship” or שחו, “to bow down” (BDB 1005). It occurs three times in this paragraph (cf. Ezekiel 46:2, Ezekiel 46:3, Ezekiel 46:9).

The prince has a special place at the gateway of the inner court where he can see the sacrificing being made, but cannot enter the sacred precincts of the priests. See Special Topic: Worship.

“the gate shall not be shut” This is a metaphor of access and availability. YHWH would receive the prince and the people in regular worship.

“the prince” This future Davidic leader (“prince,” BDB 672) is mentioned several times in Ezekiel.

1. YHWH will establish him as shepherd over a united covenant people, Ezekiel 34:20-24

2. YHWH will restore the covenant people to their land and restore their Davidic prince. He will make an everlasting covenant of peace with an obedient Israel, Ezekiel 37:24-28

3. he will eat/worship before YHWH in the new temple, Ezekiel 44:2-3; Ezekiel 46:1-12

4. he shall receive a large special land allotment (i.e., great wealth) on both sides of the temple area to keep him from oppressing the people, Ezekiel 45:7-8; Ezekiel 48:21-22

5. the people will give offerings to the prince so that he can provide sacrifices on special days, Ezekiel 45:13-25

6. regulations about inheritance gifts given by the prince, Ezekiel 46:16-18

Ezekiel 46:4-7 The prince shall offer

1. the sabbath

a. six lambs

b. one ram

c. one ephah of grain (with ram)

d. as much as able of grain (with the lambs)

e. a hin of oil

2. new moon

a. a young bull

b. six lambs

c. a ram

d. one ephah of grain (with bull)

e. one ephah of grain (with ram)

f. as much as able of grain (with lambs)

g. a hin of oil

Ezekiel 46:4 “without blemish” This term (BDB 1071) denotes an animal that is healthy and without obvious defect. In other words, it is a prime example (typical) of its breed in color, shape, and size (i.e., Exodus 12:5; Leviticus 3:1).

Ezekiel 46:5 “ephah. . .hin” See Special Topic: ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES (METROLOGY).

Ezekiel 46:7

NASB“as much as he is able” NKJV, TEV“as much as he wants to give” NRSV“as much as he wishes” NJB“what he pleases” LXX“according as his hand can furnish” Peshitta, JPSOA, REB“as much as he can afford”

The literal phrase is “as much as his hand can reach.” The amount of sacrifices depended on two things.

1. the free-will offerings of the people

2. the wealth and/or ability and/or desire of the monarch

Ezekiel 46:10 The prince has a special place to observe the sacrifices on the “special” days (i.e., appointed feasts), but on other days he was not allowed even this special place, but must enter and exit with other covenant people.

Verses 11-12

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 46:11-12 11”At the festivals and the appointed feasts the grain offering shall be an ephah with a bull and an ephah with a ram, and with the lambs as much as one is able to give, and a hin of oil with an ephah. 12”When the prince provides a freewill offering, a burnt offering, or peace offerings as a freewill offering to the Lord, the gate facing east shall be opened for him. And he shall provide his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he does on the sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and the gate shall be shut after he goes out.”

Verses 13-15

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 46:13-15 13”And you shall provide a lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering to the Lord daily; morning by morning you shall provide it. 14Also you shall provide a grain offering with it morning by morning, a sixth of an ephah and a third of a hin of oil to moisten the fine flour, a grain offering to the Lord continually by a perpetual ordinance. 15Thus they shall provide the lamb, the grain offering and the oil, morning by morning, for a continual burnt offering.”

Ezekiel 46:13


The MT has “you,” but ancient translations understood it as a reference to “the prince” (same in Ezekiel 46:14).

“morning by morning” This refers to the “continual” (i.e., post-exilic designation), which was a lamb offered every morning and evening at the temple (cf. Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:3-4; 2 Kings 16:15).

Ezekiel 46:14 “a perpetual ordinance” See Special Topic: Forever ('olam). The Hebrew term “forever” (מלוע, BDB 761) is used in several senses as the Special Topic shows and must be interpreted in each context.

Verses 16-18

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 46:16-18 16'Thus says the Lord God, “If the prince gives a gift out of his inheritance to any of his sons, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. 17But if he gives a gift from his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be his until the year of liberty; then it shall return to the prince. His inheritance shall be only his sons'; it shall belong to them. 18The prince shall not take from the people's inheritance, thrusting them out of their possession; he shall give his sons inheritance from his own possession so that My people will not be scattered, anyone from his possession.”'“

Ezekiel 46:17 “the year of liberty” This refers to the “year of Jubilee” (cf. Leviticus 25:8-17, esp. Ezekiel 46:10), in which the land returns to its original tribal owners because the land was a gift from YHWH (cf. Joshua 13-23).

Ezekiel 46:18 This verse links to Ezekiel 45:8, where the prince is given a large section of land to keep him from taking common land from the people.

This shows that “the prince” was understood as a person still affected by Genesis 3:0. This would not fit a NT understanding of “Messiah” (this is also true of Ezekiel 46:1 vs. 42:18-19). Oppression was often associated with the kingship (cf. Ezekiel 18:7, Ezekiel 18:12, Ezekiel 18:16).

Verses 19-20

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 46:19-20 19Then he brought me through the entrance, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers for the priests, which faced north; and behold, there was a place at the extreme rear toward the west. 20He said to me, “This is the place where the priests shall boil the guilt offering and the sin offering and where they shall bake the grain offering, in order that they may not bring them out into the outer court to transmit holiness to the people.”

Verses 21-24

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Ezekiel 46:21-24 21Then he brought me out into the outer court and led me across to the four corners of the court; and behold, in every corner of the court there was a small court. 22In the four corners of the court there were enclosed courts, forty cubits long and thirty wide; these four in the corners were the same size. 23There was a row of masonry round about in them, around the four of them, and boiling places were made under the rows round about. 24Then he said to me, “These are the boiling places where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifices of the people.”

Ezekiel 46:22 “corners. . .enclosed” Both of these words are uncertain.

1. “corners” - the verb (BDB 893) is found only here in the OT. Many OT scholars assume it is a Hophal participle. The noun is found in Ezek. 26:24; Ezekiel 36:29; Ezekiel 46:21(twice). It could refer to a corner post. Many of Ezekiel's architectural terms are rare and uncertain.

2. “enclosed” - BDB 883 (קטר) could also mean “vaulted” or “covered” (NEB, REB). JPSOA has “uncovered,” following the Mishnah (Middoth 2.5). The Septuagint assumes a different stem (קטנות), “smaller,” and is followed by Peshitta, NRSV, TEV, and NJB or possibly “the same size” (NEB, JPSOA footnote. REB).

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 46". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/ezekiel-46.html. 2021.
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