Ezekiel: Chapter 45
Ezekiel 45:1-25 is basically a continuation of Ezekiel 44:1-31, in that more of the activities and the allocation of the land under and around the temple are revealed.
|1-5||Setting aside a holy allotment of land|
|6||Land set aside for the city|
|7-8||The land for the prince|
|9-12||The princes charged with righteousness|
|13-17||Offerings to be offered|
|25||Feast of Tabernacles|
In Ezekiel 45:1, the Lord is commanding that an inheritance of land is to be set aside and is to be holy. There appears to be some discrepancy among the translations, whether this is to be measured in reeds (KJV) or cubits (NIV). Likewise, there is a difference in the breadth, where the KJV has it as 10,000 and the NIV is 20,000 (this is likely the correct measure).
In Ezekiel 45:2, there are measured 500 cubits square for the outside dimensions of the sanctuary as recorded earlier, Ezekiel 42:16-20. There will also be 50 cubits around the sanctuary for open land as a buffer from the sanctuary.
In Ezekiel 45:3-5, based on the original dimensions in Ezekiel 45:1 concerning the sacred area, the area set aside for the Lord will be divided along its width in three sections (north to south. In the northern half of the area is the sanctuary (there is some disagreement whether the sanctuary is in the northern or southern half of this division). This site shows the sanctuary in the northern half of the area, without being dogmatic about the location. It is due to the order that the information is presented, where the most holy section is mentioned first, then the area for the Levites, followed by the portion for the city to the south. The most holy place is also the sacred portion of land for the priests, of the family of Zadok. As mentioned earlier in this site on Ezekiel 44, it is the family of Zadok who draw near to minister before the Lord. They will build their houses and raise their families in the parcel set aside that contains the sanctuary. Recall that the Lord is their inheritance, Ezekiel 44:28. The remainder of the original land, the southern half, is given to the Levites. This parcel of land is their inheritance, and is where they will live and raise their families. Unlike the priests, this is their possession.
In Ezekiel 45:6, the city is given it’s allotment of the holy portion. It is 5,000 cubits by 25,000 cubits and is to adjoin the sacred portion. It belongs to the whole house of Israel. During the millennial reign of Christ, all will be holy to the Lord, Zechariah 14:21.
In Ezekiel 45:7-8, the prince is to be given the land from either side of that already set aside for the temple and city. The land set aside for the Lord’s use, and the city serves as a separation of the prince's land into two parts. The part west of the holy portion to the Mediterranean Sea serves as one half of the prince's portion. The part east of the holy portion to the Dead Sea is the second half of the prince's portion. Because of this division, it begs the questions whether one half will be dedicated to the prince who is still in a natural physical body, as prince of the children of Israel also in their natural physical state. The second may be that portion set aside for King David in his eternal resurrected body to be the prince over the other resurrected Old Testament saints.
King David is identified as a prince among the children of Israel during the millennial reign of Christ, Ezekiel 34:23-24. There is an interesting intersection with the prince and what Jesus said concerning the twelve apostles, who were told that they would judge the 12 tribes of Israel, Matthew 19:28-30. It is an interesting exercise to contemplate the life that will be in this world, and the social orders during the millennial reign of Christ, with the existence of the two categories of peoples; those with their resurrected bodies, and those still in their physical state. It may be that David is the prince over the resurrected Old Testament saints, and another prince may be representative of those in their physical state. At least the prince in his natural physical body will have children to pass an inheritance to, and he will offer sin sacrifices for himself. There is nothing stated as to how all of this will organized by the Lord.
In Ezekiel 45:8, the princes are charged by the Lord to no longer oppress God’s people. Early in Israel’s history, the people of Israel asked for a king, and the Lord granted their request, but the Lord warned them that when the day came that they complained against having a king, the Lord would not hear them, 1Samuel 7:4-22. As evidenced in the books of 1Chronicles and 2Chronicles, Israel had a number of both good and bad kings, and when the northern tribes broke away from Judah, the northern tribes never had a good king. However, during the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, the princes will be held to a very high and strict set of laws on their behavior toward the people, and they are to allow Israel to possess the land according to their tribes.
In Ezekiel 45:9-12, the princes are told to stop all of their detestable practices, as was revealed in Ezekiel 22:6-16. They are to give up their violence and oppression. Instead, they are to do what is just and right and not dispossess God’s people. They are to use accurate scales and measures, which the Lord provided to Ezekiel: specific measures and monetary value to the coinage that will be used.
The Lord provided a harsh judgment on Jerusalem for the unrighteous rulers who were identified as rebels, companions of thieves, for loving bribes and chasing after gifts. In particular the Lord point out that they did not defend the cause of the fatherless nor the widow'case. After purging this from the city during the tribulation period, He will restore righteous judges and counselors in the city and Jerusalem will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City, Isaiah 1:21-28.
In Ezekiel 45:13-17 are interesting passages that reflect the relationship of the nation of Israel to the Lord. The Lord interacts with us individually, and each of us must give an account or our lives before the Lord, Matthew 12:34-37. The Lord also interacts on the national level, as seen in these verses.
The prince is to offer a special gift before the Lord on regular occasions, and on those days that he desires to present himself before the Lord, inside the eastern gate where he enters and exits through the portico, Ezekiel 44:1-3. He presents grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. He does this to make an atonement for the people, for the house of Israel. All the people of the land participate in this by giving gifts to the prince, who in turn presents these gifts before the Lord. The prince is bound by the Lord to provide these sacrifices unto the Lord for the people on specific days and events, the festivals, the New Moons, and on the Sabbath days.
Rather than reconciling between sacrificial practices in Ezekiel 45:18-20, with all that is contained in the law concerning the sacrificial system, the material in this section will be examined as presented. The purpose of the sacrificial system in the Old Testament economy was to look forward to the final and complete work of Jesus Christ, Hebrews 9:6-15 and Hebrews 10:3. The reasons for the order of sacrifices the Lord has revealed to Ezekiel are to look back on the work of Jesus Christ, as nothing can add to His sacrifice, Romans 5:1-11.
In Ezekiel 45:18, on the first day of the first month in Israel’s religious calendar, the priests are to take a young bull without defect and purify the sanctuary. The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on several places in the temple; the door posts of the temple, the four corners of the upper ledge on the altar, and on the gates posts of the inner court. This is to be repeated on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance. This gives pause to us today, to let the light of Christ reveal the things of our heart, 2Timothy 1:10.
Even though Satan is bound in the bottomless pit for a 1000 years, man’s heart is still sinful, Jeremiah 17:9-10. In this era of great blessings from the Lord, those living during the millennial reign of Christ will need these constant reminders of their need for Christ’s transforming work in their lives, Romans 12:1-2, and 2Corinthians 3:17-18.
In Ezekiel 45:21-24, is a very important feast to the nation of Israel, which God instituted through Moses the night that He visited the 10th plague on Egypt. The Lord destroyed the first born of every household if their door frames were not painted with the blood of the lambs. Inside these homes they ate the lambs and waited for the passing over of the judgment, Exodus 12:1-14. The Passover is to last seven days, and during that time they are not to eat bread with yeast.
During the millennium, the prince has responsibility of leading the people in preparing a bullock for a sin offering. The prince is to provide a sin offering for himself and for the people of the land everyday, during the feast. He is to provide seven bulls and seven rams without defect as a burnt offering. He is also to present a male goat for a sin offering and provide a grain and oil offering (not mixed) of a specific measure for each bull, and another for each ram.
Ezekiel 45:25 describes one of the three feasts during each year in Israel’s religious calendar, when all the men must appear before the Lord, Exodus 23:14-17, and Deuteronomy 16:16-17.
- The feast of Unleavened Bread
- The feast of Harvest with the first fruits of the crops sown in the field
- The feast of Tabernacles, or ingathering of the crops from the fields
- The men are not to appear empty handed, but bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord had blessed them
This is also the time when representatives from all the world’s nations who warred against Jerusalem during Armageddon are to appear and worship the Lord, Zechariah 14:16-19. It is also recorded in the book of Micah that the desire of many nations is o go to the mountain of the Lord to learn His ways and walk in His paths, Micah 4:1-3.