Daniel 1:2
And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
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(2) Part of the vessels.—Literally, from one point to another. He did not take them all at once, but on different occasions. (On Shinar, see Note, Genesis 10:10.)

His godi.e., Bel-Merodach, who was originally an Accadian deity, the signification of the second part of the name being “he that measures the path of the sun.” The planet Jupiter was worshipped under this name. He was the tutelary god of Babylon, and to his honour Nebuchadnezzar dedicated a temple. For a further description of this deity see Bar 6:14-15.

1:1-7 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, took Jerusalem, and carried whom and what he pleased away. From this first captivity, most think the seventy years are to be dated. It is the interest of princes to employ wise men; and it is their wisdom to find out and train up such. Nebuchadnezzar ordered that these chosen youths should be taught. All their Hebrew names had something of God in them; but to make them forget the God of their fathers, the Guide of their youth, the heathen gave them names that savoured of idolatry. It is painful to reflect how often public education tends to corrupt the principles and morals.And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand - Jehoiakim was taken captive, and it would seem that there was an intention to convey him to Babylon 2 Chronicles 36:6, but that for some cause he was not removed there, but died at Jerusalem 2 Kings 24:5-6, though he was not honorably buried there, Jeremiah 22:19; Jeremiah 36:30. In the second book of Chronicles 2 Chronicles 36:6, it is said that "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and bound Jehoiakim in fetters, to take him to Babylon." Jahn supposes that an error has crept into the text in the book of Chronicles, as there is no evidence that Jehoiakim was taken to Babylon, but it appears from 2 Kings 24:1-2, that Jehoiakim was continued in authority at Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar three years, and then rebelled against him, and that then Nebuchadnezzar sent against him "bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it." There is no necessity of supposing an error in the text in the account in the book of Chronicles. It is probable that Jehoiakim was taken, and that the "intention" was to take him to Babylon, according to the account in Chronicles, but that, from some cause not mentioned, the purpose of the Chaldean monarch was changed, and that he was placed again over Judah, under Nebuchadnezzar, according to the account in the book of Kings, and that he remained in this condition for three years until he rebelled, and that then the bands of Chaldeans, etc., were sent against him. It is probable that at this time, perhaps while the siege was going on, he died, and that the Chaldeans dragged his dead body out of the gates of the city, and left it unburied, as Jeremiah had predicted, Jeremiah 22:19; Jeremiah 36:30.

With part of the vessels of the house of God - 2 Chronicles 36:7. Another portion of the vessels of the temple at Jerusalem was taken away by Nebuchadnezzar, in the time of Jehoiachin, the successor of Jehoiakim, 2 Chronicles 36:10. On the third invasion of Palestine, the same thing was repeated on a more extensive scale, 2 Kings 24:13. At the fourth and final invasion, under Zedekiah, when the temple was destroyed, all its treasures were carried away, 2 Kings 25:6-20. A part of these treasures were brought back under Cyrus, Ezra 1:7; the rest under Darius, Ezra 6:5. Why they were not "all" taken away at first does not appear, but perhaps Nebuchadnezzar did not then intend wholly to overthrow the Hebrew nation, but meant to keep them tributary to him as a people. The temple was not at that time destroyed, but probably he allowed the worship of Jehovah to be celebrated there still, and he would naturally leave such vessels as were absolutely necessary to keep up the services of public worship.

Which he carried into the land of Shinar - The region around Babylon. The exact limits of this country are unknown, but it probably embraced the region known as Mesopotamia - the country between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. The derivation of the name "Shinar" is unknown. It occurs only in Genesis 10:10; Genesis 11:2; Genesis 14:1, Genesis 14:9; Joshua 7:21; Isaiah 11:11; Daniel 1:2; Zechariah 5:11.

To the house of his god - To the temple of Bel, at Babylon. This was a temple of great magnificence, and the worship of Bel was celebrated there with great splendor. For a description of this temple, and of the god which was worshipped there, see the notes at Isaiah 46:1. These vessels were subsequently brought out at the command of Belshazzar, at his celebrated feast, and employed in the conviviality and revelry of that occasion. See Daniel 5:3.

And he brought the vessels into the treasure-house of his god - It would seem rom this that the vessels had been taken to the temple of Bel, or Belus, in Babylon, not to be used in the worship of the idol, but to be laid up among the valuable treasures there. As the temples of the gods were sacred, and were regarded as inviolable, it would be natural to make them the repository of valuable spoils and treasures. Many of the spoils of the Romans were suspended around the walls of the temples of their gods, particularly in the temple of Victory. Compare Eschenberg, "Manual of Class." Literally, pt. iii. Sections 149, 150.

2. Shinar—the old name of Babylonia (Ge 11:2; 14:1; Isa 11:11; Zec 5:11). Nebuchadnezzar took only "part of the vessels," as he did not intend wholly to overthrow the state, but to make it tributary, and to leave such vessels as were absolutely needed for the public worship of Jehovah. Subsequently all were taken away and were restored under Cyrus (Ezr 1:7).

his god—Bel. His temple, as was often the case among the heathen, was made "treasure house" of the king.

In this expedition Nebuchadnezzar carried away some of the vessels of the temple, and some captives, among whom was Daniel and his friends. These vessels he carried into the house of his god; which god was Baal or Bel, and Nebo, Isaiah 46:1; which words they put into the names of their kings and favourites, of which more afterward. These vessels as spoils he put in the house of his god, for his honour, because he thought he had gotten his victory by the help of his idol god, 1 Samuel 31:9,10, as the Philistines did, Judges 16:23,24; whereas the text saith the Lord gave all into his hand, Daniel 1:2. The executioners of God’s wrath upon God’s sinful people have other thoughts than God hath about that, Isaiah 10:5-16. The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand,.... And the city of Jerusalem too, or he could not have took the king, and so the Syriac version renders it,

and the Lord delivered it into his hands, and Jehoiakim, &c.: this was from the Lord, because of his sins, and the sins of his ancestors, and of his people; or otherwise the king of Babylon could not have taken the city, nor him, because of the great power of the Jews, as Jacchiades observes:

with part of the vessels of the house of God; not all of them; for some, as Saadliah says, were hid by Josiah and Jeremiah, which is not to be depended on; however, certain it is that all were not carried away, because we read of some of the vessels of the temple being carried away afterwards, in Jeconiah's time, 2 Kings 24:13, and still there were some left, as the pillars, sea, bases, and other vessels, which were to be carried away, and were carried away by the king of Babylon, in Zedekiah's time, Jeremiah 27:19,

which he carried into the land of Shinar, to the house of his god; which Jarchi understands both of the men that were carried captive, and the vessels that were taken out of the temple; but the latter seem only to be intended, since of men Jehoiakim is only spoken of before; and it does not appear he was ever carried into Babylon; but it is certain the vessels of the temple were carried thither; which is meant by the land of Shinar, where Babylon stood, and where the tower of Babel was built, Genesis 10:2, the same, as Grotius thinks, with the Singara of Pliny (s) and Ptolemy (t). So the Targum of Onkelos, on Genesis 10:10, interprets the land of Shinar the land of Babylon; likewise the Jerusalem Targum on Genesis 10:10, and the Targum of Jonathan on Genesis 11:2, Zechariah 5:11, only on Genesis 10:10, he paraphrases it the land of Pontus. So Hestiaeus (u) an ancient Phoenician writer, calls Shinar Sennaar of Babylonia. It seems to have its name from which signifies to "shake out"; because from hence the men of the flood, as Saadiah says, or the builders of Babel, were shook out by the Lord, and were scattered over the face of the earth. And as the tower of Babel itself, very probably, was built for idolatrous worship, for which reason the Lord was so displeased with the builders of it; so in this same place, or near it, now stood an idol's temple, where the king of Babylon, and the inhabitants thereof, worshipped, here called "the house of his gods" (w), as it may be rendered; for the Babylonians worshipped more gods than one; there were Rach, Shach and Nego, from whom Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, are supposed to have their names given them by the Chaldeans, Daniel 1:7. Rach is thought to be the sun, whose priests were called Rachiophantae, observers of the sun; Shach, to which Sheshach is referred by some, Jeremiah 51:41, for which a feast was kept once a year for five days, when servants had the rule and government of their masters; and Nego either was worshipped for the sun, or some star, so called from its brightness. Venus was also had in veneration with the Babylonians, whom they called Mylitta; in whose temple many acts of uncleanness and filthiness were committed, as Herodotus (x) relates. And, besides these, there were Merodach, Nebo, and Bel; of which see Isaiah 46:1, the latter seems to have been their chief deity, and who was called Jupiter Belus; and with whom were the goddesses Juno and Rhea. And in the city of Babylon stood the temple of Bel, or Jupiter Belus, which was extant in the times of Herodotus, and of which he gives an account (y), and is this:

"the temple of Jupiter Belus had gates of brass; it was four hundred and forty yards on every side, and was foursquare. In the midst of the temple was a solid tower, two hundred and twenty yards in length and breadth; upon which another temple was placed, and so on to eight. The going up them was without, in a winding about each tower; as you went up, in the middle, there was a room, and seats to rest on. In the last tower was a large temple, in which was a large bed splendidly furnished, and a table of gold set by it; but there was no statue there; nor did any man lie there in the night; only one woman, a native of the place, whom the god chose from among them all, as the Chaldean priests of this deity say.''

Diodorus Siculus says (z) it was of an extraordinary height, where the Chaldeans made observations on the stars, and could take an exact view of the rise and setting of them; it was all made of brick and bitumen, at great cost and expense. Here the vessels of the sanctuary were brought by Nebuchadnezzar, to the praise and glory of his idols, as Jarchi and Jacchiades observe; to whom he imputed the victory he had obtained over the Jews. Even these

he brought into the treasure house of his god; very probably this was the chapel Herodotus (a) speaks of, where was a large golden statue of Jupiter sitting, and a large golden table by it, and a golden throne and steps, reckoned by the Chaldeans at eight hundred talents of gold. And Diodorus Siculus (b) relates that there were three golden statues, of Jupiter, Juno, and Rhea. That of Jupiter was as one standing on his feet, and, as it were, walking, was forty feet in length, and weighed a thousand Babylonian talents (computed three millions and a half of our money). That of Rhea was of the same weight, sitting upon a throne of gold, and two lions standing at her knees; and near to them serpents of a prodigious size, made of silver, which weighed thirty talents. That of Juno was a standing statue, weighing eight hundred talents; in her right hand she held the head of a serpent, and in her left a sceptre set with precious stones; and there was a golden table, common to them all, forty feet long, fifteen broad, and of the weight of fifty talents. Moreover, there were two bowls of thirty talents, and as many censers of three hundred talents, and three cups of gold; that which was dedicated to Jupiter weighed a thousand two hundred Babylonian talents, and the other six hundred. Here all the rich things dedicated to their god were laid up, and here the king of Babylon brought the treasures and rich vessels he took out of the temple of Jerusalem; and to this agrees the testimony of Berosus (c), who says, that with the spoils of war Nebuchadnezzar took from the Jews and neighbouring nations, he adorned the temple of Belus. The riches of this temple, according to historians, are supposed to be above one and twenty millions sterling (d), even of those only which Diodorus Siculus gives an account of, as above.

(s) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 24. (t) Geograph. l. 5. c. 18. (u) Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 1. c. 4. sect. 3.((w) "domum deorum suorum", Cocceius, Michaelis. (x) Clio, sive l. 1. c. 199. (y) Ibid. c. 181. (z) Biblioth. 1. 2. p. 98. Ed. Rhodoman. (a) Clio, sive l. 1. c. 183. (b) Biblioth. I. 2. p. 98. (c) Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 1.((d) Vid. Rollin's Ancient History, vol. 2. p. 70. and Universal History, vol. 4. p. 409.

And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of {b} Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

(b) Which was a plain by Babylon, where the temple of their great god was, and is here taken for Babylon.

2. gave into his hand Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and part, &c.] To ‘give into the hand’ as Jdg 3:10; Jeremiah 20:4; Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 22:25, and frequently. The expression is a strong one, and seems to imply that the writer had in view a defeat, and not merely a timely submission.

the house of God] A frequent expression in late writers for the Temple (e.g. 2 Chronicles 3:3; 2 Chronicles 4:19; 2 Chronicles 5:1; 2 Chronicles 5:14; 2 Chronicles 7:5): earlier writers say nearly always ‘the house of Jehovah’ (e.g. 1 Kings 7:40; 1 Kings 7:45; 1 Kings 7:48; 1 Kings 7:51).

which he carried] and he brought them. The pron. (as the text stands: see below, p. 4) refers to the vessels.

Shinar] properly Shin‘ar, a Hebrew name for Babylonia (Genesis 10:10; Genesis 11:2; Genesis 14:1; Genesis 14:7; Joshua 7:21; Isaiah 11:11; Zechariah 5:11), here, no doubt, an old expression revived. The explanation of the name is uncertain, as nothing directly parallel has been found hitherto in the Inscriptions. According to some Assyriologists there are grounds for supposing it to be a dialectic variation of Shumer, the name given in the Inscriptions to South Babylonia[174]; but this explanation is not accepted by all scholars[175].

[174] As in the common title of the Assyrian kings, ‘King of Shumer and Akkad’ (Akkad being North Babylonia): so Delitzsch, Paradies (1881), p. 198, Assyr. Gramm. (1889), § 49a, Rem.; Schrader, KAT. 2 p. 118 f.; Prince, p. 58.

[175] Cf. Dillmann on Genesis 10:10. Sayce, Patriarchal Palestine, p. 67 f., connects the name with Sangar, a district a little W. of Nineveh.

to the house (i.e. temple) of his god] If any stress is to be laid upon the particular deity intended, it would be Marduk (the Merodach of Jeremiah 50:2), the patron-god of Babylon. According to 2 Chronicles 36:7, the vessels which Nebuchadnezzar brought to Babylon in the reign of Jehoiakim were placed by him in his palace[176]. But see the next note.

[176] See, however, Ezra 1:7; Ezra 5:14, though the gold and silver vessels mentioned here may be those carried away by Nebuchadnezzar with Jehoiachin (Jeremiah 27:16 [see Daniel 1:20, and cf. 2 Kings 24:13], Jeremiah 28:3), or Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:14-15).

and the vessels he brought, &c.] In the Heb. ‘the vessels’ is emphatic by its position, and would naturally imply that something different had been mentioned before. As the verse stands, the clause is almost tautologous with the preceding one: at all events, if the ‘treasure house of his god’ be really a place distinct from the ‘house of his god,’ the correction is attached very awkwardly. Ewald supposed that some words had fallen out, and proposed to read ‘Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with the noblest of the land, and part,’ &c. Certainly the transportation of captives is presupposed in Daniel 1:3; but the insertion of these words does not relieve the awkwardness of Daniel 1:2. It is better, with Marti, to reject the preceding words, ‘(in) the house of his god,’ as a gloss, intended originally to define the position of the ‘treasure house’ of clause b, which has found its way into the text in a wrong place[177]. Still, the author’s Hebrew is often far from elegant, and the anomalous wording of the verse is possibly original.

[177] The words were not, it seems, in the original LXX. (see Swete, footnote).Verse 2. - And the Lord gave Jehoiakim King of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure-house of his god. The Greek versions of this verse agree with each other and with the Msssoretic text, save that the Septuagint has Κυρίου instead of Θεοῦ in the end of the first clause, and omits οἴκου. The Syriac Version omits the statement that it was "part" of the vessels of the house of God that was taken. It is to be observed that our translators have not printed the word "Lord" in capitals, but in ordinary type, to indicate that the word in the original is not the sacred covenant name usually written in English "Jehovah," but Adonai. That the Lord gave Jehoiakim into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar does not prove that Jerusalem was captured by him. Far from it, the natural deduction is rather that he did not capture the city, although he captured the king. Thus in 2 Kings 17:4 we are told that Shalmaneser shut up Hoshea "and bound him in prison;" in the following verse we are informed that the King of Assyria "besieged Samaria three years." That is to say, after Shalmaneser had captured Hoshea the king, he had still to besiege the city. A similar event occurred earlier in the history of Judah and Israel. When Joash of Israel defeated Amaziah and took him prisoner, he proceeded then to Jerusalem. The city opened its gates to the conqueror, and he carried off all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and of the king's house, and all the vessels of the house of the Lord, and a large number of hostages, and then returned north. Something like this seems to have occurred now. The king was taken by the Babylonians, and the city submitted and ransomed the king by handing over a portion of the vessels of the house of the Lord. The city, however, was not taken by assault. Miqtzath, "part of," occurs also in Nehemiah 7:70 in this sense: we have it three times later in this chapter- vers. 5, 15, and 18; but in these cases it means "end." A word consonantally the same occurs in the sense before us in Judges 18:2, translated "coasts." Gesenius would write the word miqq tzath, and regard mi as representing the partitive preposition min. He would therefore translate, "He took some from the numbtr of the vessels." Kranichfeld objects to Hitzig's assertion that קאת means "a part," and is followed by Keil and Zockler in regarding it, as a short form of the phrase, "from end to end," equivalent to the whole, thus making miqtzath mean "a portion from the whole." The omission from the Syriac of the words which indicate that the vessels taken were only a portion of those in the house of the Lord, shows how natural it was to imagine that the deportation was total, and therefore we may lay the more emphasis on its presence as proving that the temple was not plundered, but these vessels were the ransom paid for the freedom of the king. Several times had the treasures of the house of God been taken away. In the days of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:26) Shishak, acting probably as the ally of Jeroboam, took away all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and of the king's house, "he even took away all." It may be doubted whether Jerusalem was captured (2 Chronicles 12:7); certainly the name of Jerusalem has not been identified in the list of captured towns on the wall of the temple at Karnak. We have referred to the case of Joash and Amaziah. The succession of the phrases," Jehoiakim King of Judah," and "part of the vessels of the house of God," is remarked by Ewald as being abrupt, and he would insert," together with the noblest of the land." There is, however, no trace of any such omission to be found in the versions. It is possible that this chapter may be the work of the early collector and editor, and that he condensed this portion as well as, not unlikely, translated it from Aramaic into Hebrew. Captives certainly were taken as well as booty, as is implied by the rest of the narrative. Which he carried into the land of Shinar to, the house of his god. There is no word in the Hebrew corresponding to" which." The literal rendering is, "And he carried them," etc. It has been the subject of discussion whether we are to maintain that it is asserted here that Jeboiakim, along with the vessels and unmentioned captives, were carried to Babylon. Professor Bevan admits that it is doubtful. Were we dependent merely on grammar, certainly the probability, though not the certainty, would be that the plural suffix was intended to cover Jehoi-skim, but the conclusion forced on us by logic is different. He "carried them (יְבִיאֵם) to the house of his god." This seems to imply that only the vessels are spoken cf. So strongly is this felt by Hitzig ('Das Buch Daniel,' 5) that he would regard the phrase, "the house of his god," as in apposition to "the land of Shinar,' and refers to two passages in Hosea (Hosea 8:1; Hosea 9:15) in which "house" is, he alleges, used for "land." Irrespective of the fact that these two instances occur in highly wrought poetical passages, and that to argue from the sense of a word in poetry to its sense in plain prose is unsafe, there is no great plausibility in his interpretation of these passages. He regards the last clause as contrasted with the earlier: while the captives were brought "into the land of Shinar," the vessels were brought into "the treasure-house of his god" - an argument in which there is plausibility were there not the extreme awkwardness of using בית, "house," first in the extended sense of "country," and then in the restricted sense of "temple." The last clause is rather to be looked upon as rhetorical climax. The land of Shinar is used for Babylonia four times in the Book of Genesis, twice in the portion set apart as Jehovist by Canon Driver; the remaining instances are in ch. 14, both as the kingdom of Amraphel, which Canon Driver relegates to a special source. In the first instance (Genesis 10:10) it is the laud in which Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh were. In the next instance (ch. 11.) it is the place in which the Tower of Babel is built. The name is applied to Babylonia in Isaiah 11. and Zechariah 5:11. One of the titles which the kings of Babylon assumed regularly was "King of Sumir and Accad." From the connection of Shinar and Accad in Genesis 10:20 we may deduce that "Shinar" is the Hebrew equivalent for "Sumir." It is not further removed from its original than is "Florence" from "Firenze," or "Leghorn" from "Livorno," or, to take a French instance, "Londres" from "London." The ingenious derivation of "Shiner" from שני, "two," and אר, "a river," which, however, implies the identification of ע and א, may have occasioned the modification, the more so as it was descriptive of Babylonia; hence the name "Aram-Naharaim," and its translation "Mesopotamia," applied to the tract between the Euphrates and the Tigris, north of Babylonia. In the Greek versions it becomes Σεναάρ. It is omitted by Paulus Tellensis. The treasure-house of his god. The word rendered "god" here is the plural form, which is usually restricted to the true God, otherwise it is usually translated as "gods" To quote a few from many instances, Jephtha uses the word in the plural form of Chemosh (Judges 11:24), Elijah applies it to Baal (1 Kings 18:27), it is used of Nisroch (2 Kings 19:37) In Ezra 1:7 we have this same word translated plural in regard to the place in which Nebuchadnezzar had deposited the vessels of the house of God. In translating the verse before us, the Peshitta renders path-coroh, "his idol" This suits the translation of the LXX. εἰδωλείῳ. Paulus Tellensis renders it in the plural, "idols." The god in whose treasure-house the vessels of the house of God in Jerusalem were placed would necessarily be Merodach, whom Nebuchadnezzar worshipped, almost to the exclusion of any other. The treasure-house of his god. Temples had not many precious gifts bestowed upon them by their worshippers which were not taken by needy monarchs; nevertheless, the treasures of kingdoms were often deposited in a temple, to be under the protection of its god. The temple of Bel-Merodach in Babylon was a structure of great magnificence. Herodotus (1:181) gives a description, which is in the main confirmed by Strabe (16:5): "In the midst of the sacred area is a strong tower built a stadium in length and breadth; upon this tower is another raised, and another upon it, till there are eight towers. There is a winding ascent made about all the towers. In the middle of the ascent there is a resting-place, where are seats on which those ascending may sit and rest. In the last tower is a spacious shrine, and in it a huge couch beautifully bespread, and by its side is placed a table of gold. No statue has been set up here, nor does any mortal pass the night here." There are still remains of a structure which suits to some extent the description here given, but investigators are divided whether to regard Birs Nimroud or Babil as most properly representing this famous temple of Bel-Merodach. In the "Standard Inscription" Nebuchadnezzar appears to refer to this temple, which he calls E-temen-ana-ki," the house of heaven and earth." He says, among other matters concerning it, that he "stored up inside it silver and gold and precious stones, and placed there the treasure-house of his kingdom." This amply explains why the vessels of the house of God were taken to the temple of Bel-Merodach. The fact is mentioned that the vessels of the house of God were carried to Babylon, and, as a climax, "and he placed them in the treasure-house of his god." We know what befell the statue of Dagon when the ark of God was placed in its presence, and the Jew, remembering this, relates awestruck the fact that these sacred vessels were placed in the temple of Bel. If no such disaster befell Bel-Merodach as befell Dagon, yet still the handwriting on the wall which appeared when these vessels were used to add to the splendour of the royal banquet, and which told the doom of the Chaldean monarchy, may be looked upon as the sequel to this act of what would necessarily appear to a Jew supreme sacrilege. Requisites for the Administration of the Priests' Office, and the Obligations and Privileges of that Office. - Ezekiel 44:17. And it shall come to pass, when they go to the gates of the inner court, they shall put on linen clothes, and no wool shall lie upon them, when they serve in the gates of the inner court and serve toward the house. Ezekiel 44:18. Linen turbans shall be upon their head, and linen drawers upon their hips; they shall not gird themselves in sweat. Ezekiel 44:19. And when they go out into the outer court, into the outer court to the people, they shall take off their clothes in which they have ministered, and put them in the holy cells, and put on other clothes, that they may not sanctify the people with their clothes. Ezekiel 44:20. And they shall not shave their head bald, nor let their hair grow freely; they shall cut the hair of their head. Ezekiel 44:21. And they shall not drink wine, no priest, when they go into the inner court. Ezekiel 44:22. And a window and a divorced woman they shall not take as wives, but virgins of the seed of the house of Israel, and the widow who has become the widow of a priest they may take. Ezekiel 44:23. And they shall teach my people, make known to them the difference between holy and common, and between unclean and clean. Ezekiel 44:24. And they shall stand to judge concerning disputes; and they shall observe my laws and my statutes at all my feasts, and sanctify my Sabbaths. Ezekiel 44:25. And one shall not go to any corpse of a man to defile himself; only for father and mother, for son and daughter, for brother, for sister who had no husband, may they defile themselves. Ezekiel 44:26. And after his purification shall they reckon seven days more to him; Ezekiel 44:27. And on the day when he comes to the holy place, into the inner court, to serve in the holy place, he shall offer his sin-offering, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - Ezekiel 44:28. And so shall it be with their inheritance, that I am their inheritance, ye shall not give them a possession in Israel: I am their possession. Ezekiel 44:29. The meat-offering, and the sin-offering, and the trespass-offering, these shall they eat, and everything banned in Israel shall belong to them. Ezekiel 44:30. And the firstlings of all the first-fruits of everything, and every heave-offering of everything, of all your heave-offerings, shall belong to the priests; and the firstlings of all your ground meal shall ye give to the priest, that a blessing may come down upon thy house. Ezekiel 44:31. No carrion nor anything torn in pieces of fowl and of beast shall the priests eat. - To the directions, who are to perform the service in the new temple, there are appended corresponding instructions concerning the bodily condition in which this service is to be performed, as the bodily condition shadows forth the state of the soul, or the spiritual constitution of the servants of God. The dress prescribed in Exodus 28 for the priests to wear during the holy service had this signification. The same rule is here presupposed as still in force; and it is simply renewed and partially emphasized by the enumeration of some of the leading points. At the service at the altar and in the holy place the priests are to wear linen clothes, and, after the performance of the service, they are to take them off again when they go into the outer court (Ezekiel 44:17-19). In the Mosaic law, שׁשׁ, white byssus, or בּד, white linen, is mentioned as the material used for the priests' clothing (Exodus 28:39, Exodus 28:42); here the material is more distinctly designated as פּשׁתּים, flax linen; and צמר, animal wool, is expressly forbidden, the motive being assigned for this regulation, namely, that the priest is not to cause himself to sweat by wearing woollen clothing. Sweat produces uncleanness; and the priest, by keeping his body clean, is to show even outwardly that he is clean and blameless. With regard to the putting on and off of the official clothes, the new thorah accords with the Mosaic. For we cannot agree with Kliefoth, who detects a deviation in the fact that, according to Exodus 28:43, the priests were to wear the official clothes only when they entered the tabernacle and when approaching the altar, and, according to Leviticus 6:4; Leviticus 16:23, were to take them off when the service was ended; whereas, according to Ezekiel 44:17 of the chapter before us, they were to put them on as soon as they entered the inner court, and were never to come before the people in the official costume. If, according to the Mosaic law, the priests were to go before the altar of burnt-offering in the court in their holy official dress, and not otherwise, they must have put on this dress on entering the court; for they could not wait till they were in front of the altar before they changed their clothes. For the expression צאת אל העם does not imply that, according to Ezekiel, they were never to appear in the presence of the people in their official costume, as it does not mean "come before the people," but "go out to the people," or "walk among the people;" nor is this involved in the words 'ולא יקדּשׁוּ , they shall not sanctify the people in their clothes (by their clothes). The latter by no means affirms that they are to sanctify the people by intercourse with them, but are not to do this in official costume; the meaning is simply that they are not to move among the people in the outer court while wearing their official clothes, that they may not sanctify them by their holy clothes.

This sanctification cannot be understood in any other way than as analogous to the rule laid down in the law, that touching most holy sacrificial flesh would sanctify (Leviticus 6:11, Leviticus 6:20), which Ezekiel repeats in Ezekiel 46:20, and which does not stand in anything like an isolated position in the law, but is also affirmed in Exodus 29:37 and Exodus 30:29 of the altar of burnt-offering and the vessels of the sanctuary. The same thing which applied to these vessels - namely, that their holiness passed from them to any one who touched them - is here predicated of the holy dresses of the priests; and the moving of the priests among the people in their holy clothes is forbidden, because such holiness, acquired by contact with holy objects, imposed upon the person to whom it had passed the obligation to guard against all defilement (Leviticus 21:1-8), which the people could not avoid in the ordinary relations of life, and thus a weakening or abolition of the distinction between things holy and common would inevitably have ensued. לשׁכות הקּדשׁ are the holy cell-buildings described in Ezekiel 42:1-14. - To the clothing there is simply appended in Ezekiel 44:20 the direction concerning the hair of the head, the natural covering of the head, in relation to which excess on either side is prohibited, either shaving the head bald or wearing the hair uncut. Both of these were forbidden to the priests in the law: shaving in Leviticus 21:5, and letting the hair grow freely in Leviticus 10:6; and the latter was simply imposed upon the Nazarites for the period of their vow (Numbers 6:5). כּסם only occurs here; but its meaning, to cut the hair, is obvious from the context. - Ezekiel 44:21. The prohibition of the drinking of wine when performing service agrees with Leviticus 10:9; on the other hand, the instructions concerning the choice of wives are sharpened in Ezekiel 44:22, as that which only applied to the high priest in the law is here extended to all the priests. In fact, Ezekiel throughout makes no distinction between the high priest and the common priests. In Leviticus 21:14, marrying a widow is only forbidden to the high priest, who was to marry a virgin of his own people, whereas no such restriction is laid down for the ordinary priests. Here, on the other hand, marrying a widow is forbidden to all the priests, marriage with the widow of a priest being the only one allowed. מכּהן belongs to תּהיה, who has become the widow of a priest.

(Note: The Rabbins (Targ. Talm. and Masor. according to their accentuation) have endeavoured to obliterate this distinction, by applying the first hemistich to the high priest alone, and explaining the second thus: "The widow, who is really a widow, the priest may take," interpreting מכּהן by quidam sacerdotum, or aliqui ex ordine sacerdotali, or ceteri sacerdotes. But this is contrary to the usage of the language, as מכּהן cannot possibly be understood in a partitive sense in this passage, where the priests generally are spoken of, and the plural יקּחוּ follows.)

In Ezekiel 44:23 and Ezekiel 44:24 the general official duties of the priests are mentioned, viz., to teach the people, and to instruct them concerning the difference between the holy and the unholy, the clean and the unclean, as in Leviticus 10:10 (cf. Deuteronomy 33:10 and Ezekiel 22:26); also to administer justice in questions in dispute according to the rights of God-a duty which had already been committed to the priests in its highest form in Deuteronomy 17:8., Deuteronomy 19:17, and Deuteronomy 21:5. על ריב, concerning, in the case of, matters in dispute. עמד , to stand to judge, i.e., to appear or act as judge (compare העמיד שׁפטים, to appoint or institute judges, in 2 Chronicles 19:5). The Keri למשׁפּט is a needless emendation after 2 Chronicles 19:8. The Chetib ושׁפטהוּ, on the other hand, is a copyist's error for ישׁפטהוּ. Lastly, at all the feasts they are to observe the laws and statutes of Jehovah, that is to say, to perform all the priestly duties binding upon them at the feasts, and to sanctify the Sabbaths, not merely by offering the Sabbath sacrifices, but also by maintaining the Sabbath rest (cf. Leviticus 23:3). - In Ezekiel 44:25-27 there follow regulations concerning defilement from the dead, and its removal. Ezekiel 44:25 is a simple repetition of Leviticus 21:1-3. But the instructions concerning the purification from defilement from the dead are sharpened, inasmuch as not only is the purification prescribed by the law (Numbers 19:1.), and which lasted seven days, required (this is meant by טהרתו), but a further period of seven days is appointed after these, at the expiration of which the presentation of a sin-offering is demanded before the service in the sanctuary can be resumed. By this demand for a heightened purification, the approach to a corpse permitted to the priests, which was prohibited to the high priest in the Mosaic law, even in the case of father and mother (Leviticus 21:11), is tolerably equalized.

For these duties and obligations of service the priests are to receive corresponding emoluments. These are treated of in Ezekiel 44:28-31. They are not, indeed, to receive any share of the land as their property in time to come any more than in former times; but in the place of this Jehovah will be their property and possession, and give them the necessary room for their dwellings from His own property in the land (Ezekiel 45:4), and let them draw their maintenance from His altar (Ezekiel 44:29 and Ezekiel 44:30). The promise that Jehovah will be the נחלה and אחזּה of the priests is a simple repetition of the regulation in the law (Numbers 18:20; Deuteronomy 18:1; Deuteronomy 10:9). So far as the construction in Ezekiel 44:28 is concerned, the words אני נחלתם are really the subject to 'והיתה להם לן, which we are obliged to render obliquely, "the inheritance for them shall be, I am their inheritance." For the proposal of Hitzig to take the words from אני נחלתם to the close of the verse as a parenthesis, and to regard 'המּנחה וגו in Ezekiel 44:29 as the subject to 'והיתה, is untenable, not only on account of the great harshness which such a parenthesis would involve, but principally because these portions of the sacrifices and heave-offerings which belonged to the priest were not a נחלה, and are never designated as נחלה, inheritance, i.e., property in land. Ezekiel 44:28 treats of the property in land, which God assigned to the Levites and priests under the Mosaic economy, by appointing them towns to dwell in, with meadows for the feeding of their cattle, within the territory of the other tribes, but would assign to them in future from the heave-offering set apart from the land for the sanctuary (Ezekiel 45:4). It is not till Ezekiel 44:29 and Ezekiel 44:30 that the means of support for the priests are spoken of. They are to be supported from the sacrifices and the tithes and first-fruits which Israel has to pay to Jehovah as the lord of the land, and which He transfers to His servants the priests. For the priests' share of the meat-offering, sin-offering, and trespass-offering, see Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 6:9, Leviticus 6:11, Leviticus 6:19; Leviticus 7:6-7; for that which is put under the ban, Leviticus 27:21; for the first-fruits, Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:26; Deuteronomy 18:4; Numbers 18:13; for the תּרוּמות, Numbers 15:19; Numbers 18:19; for the ראשׁית עריסות, Numbers 15:20-21. In 'להניח, "to cause a blessing to rest upon thy house," the individual Israelite is addressed. For the fact itself, see Malachi 3:10. - To the enumeration of the means of support there is appended in Ezekiel 44:31 an emphatic repetition of the command in Leviticus 22:8, not to eat of any dead thing (i.e., anything that has died a natural death), or anything torn to pieces, either of birds or beasts, on account of its defiling (Leviticus 17:15).

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