|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
43:1-27 After Ezekiel had surveyed the temple of God, he had a vision of the glory of God. When Christ crucified, and the things freely given to us of God, through Him, are shown to us by the Holy Ghost, they make us ashamed for our sins. This frame of mind prepares us for fuller discoveries of the mysteries of redeeming love; and the whole of the Scriptures should be opened and applied, that men may see their sins, and repent of them. We are not now to offer any atoning sacrifices, for by one offering Christ has perfected for ever those that are sanctified, Heb 10:14; but the sprinkling of his blood is needful in all our approaches to God the Father. Our best services can be accepted only as sprinkled with the blood which cleanses from all sin.
Verse 26. - They shall purge the altar. Smend thinks it strange that only the purification of the altar should be mentioned here, while that of the sanctuary is referred to later (Ezekiel 45:18), and finds in this an explanation (at least, perhaps) of the fact that in Exodus 29:36 only the consecration of the Mosaic altar - not of the Mosaic tabernacle - is reported. He conceives it likely that the author of Exodus 29:36 copied Ezekiel, but does not explain why Ezekiel may not have copied the author of Exodus 29:36. And they shall consecrate themselves; more correctly, they - i.e. the priests - shall consecrate it; literally, fill its hand. The phrase, מִלֵּאיָד, "to fill one's hand," sc. with gifts, occurs with reference to Jehovah (Exodus 32:29; 1 Chronicles 29:5; 2 Chronicles 29:31). It is also employed in the sense of filling the hand of another, as e.g. of a priest, with sacrificial gifts, when he is instituted into his sacred office (Exodus 28:41; Exodus 29:9; Leviticus 21:10; comp, Leviticus 8:27). Here the hand to be filled is that of the altar, which is personified for the purpose (compare the use of the terms "bosom" and "lip" in connection with the altar). The meaning is that the altar, at its consecration, should have a plentiful supply of gifts, to symbolize that the offering of such gifts was the work for which it was set apart, and that it should never be without them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Seven days shall they purge the altar, and purify it,.... Which denotes the perfect purity and sanctification of it; which how to be applied to Christ; see Gill on Ezekiel 43:20;
and they shall consecrate themselves: the priests shall consecrate themselves, or devote themselves to the service of the altar; so Gospel ministers to the ministry of a crucified Christ: or they themselves should consecrate the altar by the above rites: or rather it may be literally rendered,
and they shall fill its hands, or "their own hands" (b); that is, either they shall fill the sides of the altar with sacrifices, as much as it could hold; or the hands of the priests with parts of the sacrifice, or with gifts, as a token of their being inaugurated into, and invested with, the priestly office: so Gospel ministers should have their hands full of, or be filled with, the gifts and graces of the Spirit, and with the knowledge of Christ, his person, offices, grace, righteousness, and sacrifice, that they may minister unto others.
(b) There is a double reading of the words; the Cetib or textual reading is "its hand"; the Keri or marginal reading is "their own hands".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. Seven days—referring to the original directions of Moses for seven days' purification services of the altar (Ex 29:37).
consecrate themselves—literally, "fill their hands," namely, with offerings; referring to the mode of consecrating a priest (Ex 29:24, 35).
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