Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
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.Ezekiel 46:1-7. Offerings for the Sabbath and new moon
The prince was under obligation, besides providing for the great festivals of unleavened bread or passover and tabernacles (Ezekiel 45:21; Ezekiel 45:25), and for the special new moons in the first and seventh months (Ezekiel 45:18; Ezekiel 45:20), to furnish offerings also for the sabbaths and the ordinary new moons. The east gate of the inner court was kept shut six days of the week (the outer was always shut), but opened on the sabbaths and also on the new moons (Ezekiel 46:1). On these days the prince came by way of the porch and advanced as far as the door-posts of the inner gate, where he worshipped while the priests were offering the burnt and peace-offerings (Ezekiel 46:2). The gate remained open till the evening. While the prince could come as far as the threshold of the inner gate the people stood without before the inner east gate to worship (Ezekiel 46:3).
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.2. porch of that gate without] porch of the gate without. It is difficult to decide whether “without” describes porch or gate. If porch, then the porch of the inner gate is meant, which lay “without,” i.e. towards the outer court (Ezekiel 40:31; Ezekiel 40:34; Ezekiel 40:37). If “without” refers to gate, then the porch of the outer gate is meant. In the latter case the prince would cross the outer court from the porch of the outer gate and enter the inner gate, cf. Ezekiel 44:3. Neither is it certain whether the “posts” and “threshold” are those at the outer end of the inner gate, or those at the end opening into the inner court. The technical “threshold” lay at the inner end, inasmuch as the inner gate was the outer gate reversed (Ezekiel 40:6). It is possible that the prince was allowed to enter the inner gateway and advance to the inner end of it so as to have a full view of the operations of the priests at the altar, without, however, being permitted to set his foot in the inner court. In this case “porch” would be that of the inner gate (as A.V.).
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.
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.4–6. On the sabbath the burnt-offering shall be six lambs and a ram, and the meal-offering an ephah of flour for the ram and what the prince thinks good for the lambs; and the libation a hin of oil.
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.
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.
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.7. For the new moons the burnt-offering shall be a young bullock, and the same meal-offering and libation as for the sabbath.
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.8, 9. The gates by which prince and people shall come in and go out. The prince shall come in by way of the porch of the gate, and shall go out the same way, i.e. probably the porch of the inner east gate, and he shall go back as he entered, without passing into the inner court. The people shall not go out by the gate at which they came in, but by the opposite gate—those entering by the N. gate shall leave by the S. and conversely.
the solemn feasts] appointed seasons.
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.
And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth.10. shall so forth] Go must be read, the prince being subject. Heb. text reads: when they go forth they shall go forth (i.e. prince and people; R.V. to make this plain supplies together). This is a very unnatural reading. Read in either way the words mean that the prince and people come in and go out simultaneously. This would suggest that the worshipping of the prince and people was contemporaneous with the act of the priests in offering, and that when this act was over the people dispersed and the prince departed. The Syr. followed by Corn. reads: but the prince in their midst, by the gate at which he came in shall he go out—finding a repetition of Ezekiel 46:8, giving a freedom to the prince denied to the people (Ezekiel 46:9).
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.11. General regulation in regard to the meal-offering, it shall be the same both at the feasts proper (Ezekiel 45:21; Ezekiel 45:25) and at the solemnities or stated seasons, such as new moons, &c.
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.12. Regulation when the prince presents a free-will offering. The east (inner) gate shall be opened for him on such occasions as on the sabbaths and new moons. Cf. Leviticus 7:16, Ezekiel 33:28; Numbers 15:3; Numbers 29:39; Deuteronomy 12:6; Amos 4:5.
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.13. thou shalt … prepare] LXX. he shall prepare; so Ezekiel 46:14. Cf. Ezekiel 45:17.
13–15. The daily offering
There shall be a daily offering, a lamb for a burnt-offering, with one-sixth of an ephah of flour and the third part of a hin of oil for a meal-offering. This shall be presented every morning. In earlier times the daily offering in practice appears to have been a burnt-offering in the morning and a meal-offering in the evening (2 Kings 16:15, cf. 1 Kings 18:29; 1 Kings 18:36). In Numbers 28:3; Numbers 28:8 the daily offering is a lamb morning and evening, with one-tenth of an ephah of flour and one-fourth of a hin of oil morning and evening for meal-offering; to which is to be added one-fourth of a hin of wine for drink offering. Ezek. nowhere refers to wine in the offerings.
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.14. to temper] Probably as R.V. to moisten, or, besprinkle the fine flour. Song of Solomon 5:2, drops of the night.
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.16–18. Case of the prince alienating any part of his landed property to his sons or servants
If given to his sons the gift shall remain with them as their inheritance (Ezekiel 46:16); if given to any of his servants it shall revert to the prince at the year of liberty (Ezekiel 46:17).
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.17. year of liberty] In Jeremiah 34:14 the year of liberty is that of the freeing of the bondservant in the seventh year; and this year may be meant here. Cf. Isaiah 61:1. Otherwise the year of Jubilee, the fiftieth year, is referred to, when all landed property that had been alienated reverted to its original owner, Leviticus 25:10; Leviticus 27:24.
but his inheritance … them] lit. but (or, only as for) his inheritance, his sons, it shall be theirs, i.e. the portion of his inheritance which the prince may bestow on his sons shall remain theirs, without reverting to the prince (Ezekiel 46:16). LXX., Syr. more clearly; the inheritance of his sons, it shall be theirs.
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.19. through the entry] the entrance way, viz. that mentioned Ezekiel 42:9. Since Ezekiel 44:4 the prophet had been before the house. The holy chambers are those described, Ezekiel 42:1-14.
a place on the two sides] a place in the Innermost part westward; i.e. at the western extremity of the court. In Fig. 3 the kitchens, LL, should probably be extended back to the wall.
to sanctify the people] Cf. Ezekiel 44:19.
19–24. The kitchens for the priests (Ezekiel 46:19-20), and people (Ezekiel 46:21-24)
The kitchens for cooking the sin and trespass offering and baking the meal-offering, the holy things to be consumed by the priests (Ezekiel 44:29), were situated in the inner court at the furthest part of the court westward, to the west of the holy cells (Ezekiel 42:1-14), and on both sides of the erection called the “building” (Ezekiel 41:12-13) which lay behind the house, Fig. 3, L. The inner court on the west reached back to the boundary wall of the outer court, which on that side was the wall of the inner court, and in the two corners, N. and S., the priests’ kitchens were placed. The prophet is brought to those on the N. side; those on the S. were similar.
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.
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.21–24. The kitchens for cooking the sacrificial meals of the people. These were situated in the four corners of the outer court. In each of the four corners was a small enclosure or court 40 cubits long and 30 broad (Ezekiel 46:21-22); and in these were situated the kitchens, where the “ministers of the house,” the subordinate officials (Ezekiel 44:10-14), boiled the people’s offering for their sacrificial meal (Ezekiel 46:23-24), Fig. 3 M.
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.22. courts joined] The term “joined” is obscure, not occurring elsewhere. Possibly: enclosed courts. LXX. appears to have read: small (the words differ in one letter).
these four corners] lit. the four of them had one measure, they being in the corners. The word in the corners, or, cornered, is deleted in the Heb. tradition by points over it, and not rendered in LXX. and Vulg.
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.23. The description is brief. The “row” is probably not a series of separate buildings running round the court, but a continuous course of building, in which at the bottom (“under” the row) were recesses in which were the hearths where the pots were set in which the sacrifices were cooked. The hearth usually consisted of some stones within which the fire was put and upon which the pot was set.
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.24. The “ministers” are the subordinate officials—the Levites.