Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
The prophet beholds in vision people, priest, and prince uniting in most solemn worship before the throne of God. The character of the rites here described is symbolic.
And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening.
In the time of Solomon, priest, king, and people each took his due part in the temple-service. Of the later kings some forsook Yahweh for false gods, some encroached upon the prerogative of the priest. Now all should be set right. The prince occupies a position analogous to that of Solomon 2 Chronicles 6:12-13, standing in front of the porch of the eastern gate of the inner court, and at the head of his people to lead their worship, while the priests are sacrificing before him.
Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.
At the door of this gate - In Herod's Temple the place for worshipping "before the Lord" was the court of Israel, west of the court of Women, separated from the inner court by a low parapet. In Ezekiel's the worshippers were admitted into the inner court itself. The upper pavement (E. Plan II) on either side of the eastern gate provided room for such worshippers.
And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish.
The offerings prescribed here Ezekiel 46:4-15 are generally in excess of those enjoined by the Law, to note not only the greater devotion and magnificence under the new state of things, but also the willingness (compare Deuteronomy 16:17) of king and people ready to give of their substance to the utmost of their means.
And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
As he shall be able to give - Rather, "as he shall be willing to give." So also in Ezekiel 46:7.
And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish.
Compare with Numbers 28. The enumeration of the offerings both for the Sabbath and new moon is here less complete than there; e. g., the drink offerings are passed by, and in the case of the new moon festival no mention is made of the blowing of trumpets (compare Numbers 10:10).
And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof.
That gate - The eastern gate of the inner court. See Ezekiel 46:2.
But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.
The whole body of the people gathered together in the outer court, and from thence bodies went in turn into the inner court to worship, and then again out into the outer court.
And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth.
And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the LORD, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate.
Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning.
Compare with marginal references. The evening sacrifice is here omitted, because the seer is selecting a few only of the sacrifices of the Law, with a particular object in view.
And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD.
Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons'; it shall be their possession by inheritance.
The prince was robe provided with possessions of his own, in order to prevent exactions from his subjects; further enactments are added to prevent the alienation of the prince's land. Any gifts made to his servants must revert to the prince in the "year of liberty," or jubilee (see the marginal reference note).
But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them.
Moreover the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession.
After he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north: and, behold, there was a place on the two sides westward.
The careful provision here made to keep separate the offerings of priests and people was to prevent collision, just as the enactments Ezekiel 46:16-18 were intended to secure their respective rights to prince and people.
At the side of the gate - The entrance to the inner court at the same side as the northern gate Ezekiel 42:9.
Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear them not out into the utter court, to sanctify the people.
See M Plan II.
Boil - It was unique to the Paschal lamb, that it was to be eaten roasted. The flesh of the other sacrifices was to be "sodden" or boiled (see Leviticus 6:28; 1 Samuel 2:13; 2 Chronicles 24:14 margin). The "meat-offering" (flour and honey) was baked Leviticus 2:4.
Then he brought me forth into the utter court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court.
See K. Plan II.
In the four corners of the court there were courts joined of forty cubits long and thirty broad: these four corners were of one measure.
courts joined - enclosed courts, and entered by doors in the walls, which shut them out from the great court. The marginal rendering, "made with chimnies," is based upon another interpretation of the word.
These four corners - Or, "these four corner-courts were of one measure."
And there was a row of building round about in them, round about them four, and it was made with boiling places under the rows round about.
Then said he unto me, These are the places of them that boil, where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people.