Ezekiel 43:20
And you shall take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and on the border round about: thus shall you cleanse and purge it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Take of the blood thereof.—Comp. Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 8:15; Hebrews 9:18; Hebrews 9:22. Nothing is here said of the pouring the rest of the blood at the foot of the altar, as required in the law, and nothing of the burning of the fat upon the altar, because the prophet throughout supposes the ritual of the sacrifices to be well known, and only mentions a few particulars to indicate the whole, and also a few others now introduced, peculiar to the new ceremonial.

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.The seed of Zadok - See Ezekiel 40:46 note. 20. cleanse—literally, "make expiation for." Thou shalt take; appoint it to be taken.

Of the blood thereof; of the slain bullock.

Put it, not all, but some of the blood, on the horns of the altar, as Leviticus 4:30 prescribeth, and as Moses did, Leviticus 8:15.

Of the settle, on which the altar stood, which was two cubits high, and set upon one of a cubit high from the ground.

Upon the border: see Ezekiel 43:17.

Cleanse and purge it; make it legally clean, that it may be fit for so sacred a use as this of sacrificing was. And thou shalt take of the blood thereof,.... Ezekiel being a priest. This must be understood in a visionary way; for, as Kimchi observes, Ezekiel did not live to come up out of the captivity, but died, and was buried in the land of Babylon, and so did not actually do this: though it is a mere dream of the same writer, that this is to be understood of the resurrection of the dead, when he supposes Ezekiel will be high priest, though Aaron be present; or however be the second, or deputy to him.

And put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about; that is, on the four horns of the altar, and on the four corners of the settle which went round it, for the priests to walk on, and do their business; either the uppermost, or as others the lowermost, and as some both; and also on the border or ledge that enclosed the settle. The prophet's doing this, putting the blood on these several things, represents the nature of the Gospel ministry, and the business of it; which is to hold forth the blood of Christ, and the blessings of grace through it, as redemption, peace, pardon, righteousness, and life.

Thus shall thou cleanse and purge it; the altar; thus Christ, though without sin, and needed no cleansing and purging for himself, yet was sanctified by his own blood; that he might sanctify his people, and perfect by his sacrifice them that were sanctified, John 17:19.

And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. Blood was to be put on the four horns of the altar hearth, on the four corners of the (upper) settle, and on the border; see on Ezekiel 43:17. To “cleanse” is to purify from sin, to “un-sin,” if such a word could be formed; and to “purge” is usually rendered “to make atonement for.”Verse 20. - And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it. The application of the victim's blood to and upon the altar formed an integral part of every expiatory offering; but "whereas in all the other kinds of sacrifice the blood was poured indifferently round about the altar of the fore court, in the sin offering it was not to be sprinkled, lest the intention should be overlooked, but smeared with the finger upon the horns of the altar ('And the priest shall put of the blood upon the horns,' Leviticus 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34) (Kurtz, 'Sacrificial Worship of the Old Testament,' § 107). In the present instance the blood was to be carefully put upon the four horns of the altar - the only part to be smeared with blood in the Mosaic consecration (Exodus 29:12) - the four corners of the settle, or azarah, but whether the greater or lesser is left undecided, though in all probability it was the under, if not both, and the border round about, that mentioned in ver. 17; and the effect of this smearing with blood should be to cleanse and purge, or, make atonement for, the altar; not for the people, as Havernick interprets, saying, "without an atoned-for altar, no atoned-for people (ohne entsuhnten Altar, kein entsuhntes Volk)," but for the altar, either, as Kliefoth suggests, because, being made out of a part of the sinful earth and world, it required to be sanctified, or because, as Plumptre prefers, the sins of the people having been, as it were, transferred to it, it stood in need of cleansing.
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