This chapter describes the portion of territory reserved for the priests, in the middle of which is to be the temple with its courts and precincts, for the Levites, for the city, and for the prince.
Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about.By lot - Not by casting lots, but by "allotment," the several portions being assigned by rule Joshua 13:6.
Oblation - The oblation (properly "heaveoffering") was regarded as the Lord's portion Leviticus 27:30. This "oblation" is given here as part of the provision made for the priests, and was probably in lieu of tithes Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:21, just as the prince had his definite portion of land instead of being supported by the contributions of the people. The priests and Levites had, in addition, the sacrifices (Ezekiel 44:28, note). This provision for them, out of proportion in any actual arrangement, is no doubt intended to symbolize the reverence and honor due to God, and expressed by liberality to His services and His ministers. The Septuagint read "the breadth twenty thousand;" and those who adopt this, read Ezekiel 45:3 "and from this" whole measure is to be deducted the priests' special portion 25,000 from east to west, and 10,000 from north to south. Others, retaining the reading of the text, suppose the term oblation here to denote the portion assigned to the priests alone (as in Ezekiel 48:9), and "of this measure" Ezekiel 45:3 to mean not "deducted from this measure," but "computed by this measure." The King James Version rightly supplies "reeds," since the precincts Ezekiel 42:20 were 500 "reeds" square. 25,000 reeds equals about 42 12 statute miles, 36 12 geographic miles.
Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, with five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof.The "sanctuary" here probably means the whole temple precincts.
Suburbs - literally, as margin. To mark out more distinctly the sacred precincts, a vacant space of fifty cubits was left on all sides.
And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand, and the breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary and the most holy place.
The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come near to minister unto the LORD: and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary.
And the five and twenty thousand of length, and the ten thousand of breadth, shall also the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves, for a possession for twenty chambers.For a possession for twenty chambers - literally, "For a possession twenty chambers," possibly twenty out of the thirty chambers in the outer court Ezekiel 40:17, and assigned for their use during residence in the sanctuary. The Septuagint reads "for cities to dwell in" (compare Numbers 35:2) which some adopt here.
And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel.This portion is to belong to the whole people, not to be subject to the encroachments made by the later kings of Judah Jeremiah 22:13. The Levites' portion 10,000 reeds, the priests' portion 10,000 reeds, and the city portion 5,000 reeds. make in all 25,000 reeds from north to south. The measure of each of these portions from east to west has been defined to be 25,000 reeds (Ezekiel 45:1 note), and thus we have a square of 25,000 in all.
And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy portion, and before the possession of the city, from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward: and the length shall be over against one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border.On either side of the 25,000 reeds a strip of land, running westward to the sea, eastward to the Jordan, formed the possession of the prince (see Ezekiel 46:18 note). For the other tribes the limits from west to east are the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan Ezekiel 48:8.
And the length shall be over against - Or, "and" in length "over against."
In the land shall be his possession in Israel: and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.The princes are exhorted to execute judgment, and abstain from "exaction" (literally "ejection") such as that of Naboth by Ahab 1 Kings 21:19.
Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath.A general exhortation to honesty, expressed by true weights and measures (marginal references). This fitly introduces the strict regulation of quantities in the prescribed offerings.
The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the tenth part of an homer, and the ephah the tenth part of an homer: the measure thereof shall be after the homer.The ephah was in use for dry measure, the bath for liquid. The homer seems to have contained about 75 gallons (see Exodus 29:40, note; Leviticus 19:36, note).
After the homer - i. e., according to the standard of the homer.
And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh.The shekel - See the marginal reference.
The "maneh" shall be of true weight, but it would seem that in Ezekiel's time there were "manehs" of different value.
This is the oblation that ye shall offer; the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of wheat, and ye shall give the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of barley:The offerings. to be made by the people through the prince for the service of the sanctuary. In the Mosaic Law the offerings for the sacrifices of the ordinary festivals were left to the free will of the people. Here they are reduced to regular order and the amounts ordained. In later days there were often shortcomings in these respects Malachi 3:8. This is obviated, and regularity ensured in the new order of things. No mention is made of wine for the drink-offering, or of bullocks for the burnt-offering, so that the enumeration is not complete.
Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil, ye shall offer the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is an homer of ten baths; for ten baths are an homer:Cor - Translated "measure" in 1 Kings 5:11, ... Here it is a synonym of "homer."
And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD.
All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel.
And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.The people's gifts were to be placed in the hands of the prince, so as to form a common stock, out of which the prince was to provide what was necessary for each sacrifice. Compare 1 Kings 8:62; Ezra 7:17. The prince handed the gifts to the priests, whose part it was to sacrifice and offer. But the prominent part assigned to the prince in "making reconciliation for the sins of the people" seems to typify the union of the kingly and priestly offices in the person of the Mediator of the New covenant.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary:This order of certain solemn services does not follow exactly the order of Moses, of Solomon, or of Ezra. The deviation can scarcely have been accidental, and furnishes a fresh indication that the whole vision is symbolic, representative of the times when, after the oblation of the one Sacrifice, reconciliation and sanctification were effected for man through the presence of God dwelling in the midst of the people.
In the first day - If this is only a special Passover for the dedication, the prolongation of the festival may be compared with that under Solomon 2 Chronicles 7:8. But it is more probably a general ordinance, and, in this case, we have an addition to the Mosaic ritual (compare Leviticus 23:5). Here the "first day" is marked by the rites of expiation, which are repeated on the seventh day Ezekiel 45:20, for the purpose of including those who transgressed from ignorance rather than willfulness.
And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court.
And so thou shalt do the seventh day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house.
In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.
And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering.
And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the LORD, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering.Comparing this with the daily sacrifices of the Paschal week Numbers 28:19-24, and those of the daily sacrifices of the week of the Feast of tabernacles (see Numbers 29:12...), it will be seen that here the covenant number seven is preserved throughout to indicate a perfect, in lieu of an imperfect, covenant with God.
And he shall prepare a meat offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil for an ephah.
In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil.The Feast of tabernacles (compare the marginal references). Some think that the other great festival, the Feast of Weeks, is intended.