Ezekiel 45:20
And so you shall do the seventh day of the month for every one that errs, and for him that is simple: so shall you reconcile the house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) so shall ye reconcile the house.—The object of “the sin offering” on the first day of the month is expressly said to be to “cleanse the sanctuary” (Ezekiel 45:18); but here the offering is for “every one that erreth, and for him that is simple,” i.e., for all who have sinned thoughtlessly rather than wilfully. Yet it is added, “so shall ye reconcile the house,” more literally, make an atonement for the house; and the question has therefore been raised whether this offering on the seventh day was still for the purification of the sanctuary or for the sins of the people. The answer to this question must be sought in the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), which these days seem intended to replace. These were very distinctly for the sins of the priests and the people, and at the same time for the tabernacle. The one involved the other, and the holy place required purification because of the sins of “the holy people” among whom it was placed.

45:1-25 In the period here foretold, the worship and the ministers of God will be provided for; the princes will rule with justice, as holding their power under Christ; the people will live in peace, ease, and godliness. These things seem to be represented in language taken from the customs of the times in which the prophet wrote. Christ is our Passover that is sacrificed for us: we celebrate the memorial of that sacrifice, and feast upon it, triumphing in our deliverance out of the Egyptian slavery of sin, and our preservation from the destroying sword of Divine justice, in the Lord's supper, which is our passover feast; as the whole Christian life is, and must be, the feast of the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.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.

Ezekiel 45:18

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.

20. for him that is simple—for sins of ignorance (Le 4:2, 13, 27). The priest must offer the like sacrifice for cleansing the errors of the people, and reconciling them.

The seventh day; about a week before the passover.

For every one that erreth; for all the errors of all the house of Israel, in all that had erred through ignorance.

For him that is simple; that is, of weak intellectuals, half-witted, or a fool, as the word signifies; or, for one that was seduced.

Reconcile the house, i.e. cleanse, as Ezekiel 45:18, which legally or ceremonially was defiled by those errors done in the city or courts of the house, whither these persons might come, for it is not the temple itself, I suppose, that is here meant. And so thou shall do the seventh day of the month,.... Of the first month Nisan; here is another new rule or law, as Kimchi owns, of which no mention is made in the law of Moses:

for everyone that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house; or, "expiate" it (h); make atonement for it; that is, for the house of God, the whole church, all his people; particularly for fallen believers, who have gone astray, either in principle or practice; through ignorance and simplicity, through the prevalence of corruption, the temptations of Satan, and the snares of this world; but are recovered again, and brought to repentance; to whom the doctrines of peace and reconciliation, of free and full pardon by the blood of Christ, and of atonement of all their sins by his sacrifice, are to be preached for the comfort and refreshment of their souls; and they are to be received into the church, having their consciences sprinkled by the blood of Christ; the same things being done on this day as on the first. Jarchi thinks these words are to be transposed thus,

and ye shall reconcile, or "expiate the house from the man that erreth, and the simple one": quite contrary to the design of the text, which directs to the reception, and not the exclusion, of such persons.

(h) "ut expietis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "et expiabitis", Cocceius, Starckius.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. seventh day of the month] The text can hardly be so rendered. Probably: in the seventh month, on the new moon (i.e. the first day). LXX. fully: in the seventh month, on the first day of the month. An atonement was made for the sanctuary, purifying it from the defilements of the people, at the beginning of each half-year. No mention is made of burnt-offerings, but cf. Ezekiel 46:6-7.

every one that erreth] i.e. not for any particular person had in view, but for the people on account of there being among them persons who have erred unwittingly or through simplicity, i.e. natural slowness which may not have apprehended the exact requirements of duty. Ezekiel is speaking of the people in their perfect condition, when, of course, only such mistakes will be committed as are due to inadvertence and the limitations to which the mind of man is subject.

reconcile the house] make atonement for. Cf. Leviticus 16:6; Leviticus 16:18.Verse 20. - The same ceremony should be repeated on the seventh day of the month, not on the first day of the seventh month, as Smend proposes, in accordance with the λήψῃ, and on the ground that "the seventh day of (the same) mouth" would have been in Hebrew בְּשִׁבְעָה לֶחֹדֶשׁ, as in Ezekiel 1:1; Ezekiel 30:20; at the same time admitting that בַּחֹדֶשׁ is sometimes used (Numbers 10:11), though not (except in this verse) by Ezekiel. The sin offerings in question should be made for (or, on account of, מִן, "away from," expressing the reason why anything is done) every one that erreth, and for him that is simple, i.e. for such transgressors as should have gone aside from the straight path through ignorance or foolishness, the "simple" man being here, as in Proverbs 7:7; Proverbs 22:3; Proverbs 27:12, one easily enticed or persuaded to do evil. For such offenders the Law of Moses provided means of expiation (Leviticus 2:2, etc.; Leviticus 5:15; Numbers 15:27); for the presumptuous sinner, who despised the word of the Lord and violated his commandment, only one doom remained, to be cut off from among his people (Numbers 15:30; Deuteronomy 17:12). Summary Account of the Measurement, the Character, and the Significant Ornaments of the Projecting Portions of the Temple Building. - Ezekiel 41:15. And thus he measured the length of the building in the front of the separate place which was at the back thereof, and its galleries on this side and that side, a hundred cubits, and the inner sanctuary, and the porches of the court; Ezekiel 41:16. The thresholds, and the closed windows, and the galleries round about all three - opposite to the thresholds was wainscoting wood round about, and the ground up to the windows; but the windows were covered - Ezekiel 41:17. (The space) above the doors, both to the inner temple and outside, and on all the wall round about, within and without, had its measures. Ezekiel 41:18. And cherubs and palms were made, a palm between every two cherubs; and the cherub had two faces; Ezekiel 41:19. A man's face toward the palm on this side, and a lion's face toward the palm on that side: thus was it made round about the whole house. Ezekiel 41:20. From the floor to above the doors were the cherubs and palms made, and that on the wall of the sanctuary. Ezekiel 41:21. The sanctuary had square door-posts, and the front of the holy of holies had the same form. Ezekiel 41:22. The altar was of wood, three cubits high, and its length two cubits; and it had its corner-pieces and its stand, and its walls were of wood: and he said to me, This is the table which stands before Jehovah. Ezekiel 41:23. And the holy place and the holy of holies had two doors. Ezekiel 41:24. And the doors had two wings, two turning leaves; the one door two, and the other two leaves. Ezekiel 41:25. And there were made upon them, upon the doors of the sanctuary, cherubs and palms, as they were made upon the walls; and a moulding of wood was on the front of the porch outside. Ezekiel 41:26. And there were closed windows and palms on this side and on that, on the side-walls of the porch, and the side-rooms of the house, and the beams. - Ezekiel 41:15 is the commencement of a comprehensive enumeration of particular features in the building, the greater part of which have not been mentioned before; so that וּמדד (for ויּמד) is to be rendered, "and thus he measured." The circumstance that another measurement follows in Ezekiel 41:15, whereas no further numbers are given from Ezekiel 41:15 onwards, does not warrant us in assuming that Ezekiel 41:15 is to be joined on to Ezekiel 41:14, and Ezekiel 41:15 to be taken in connection with Ezekiel 41:16. The absence of the cop. ו before הסּפּים in Ezekiel 41:16 is sufficient to preclude the latter, showing as it does that הסּפּים commences a fresh statement; and the words 'וההיכל וגו in Ezekiel 41:15 are still governed by the verb וּמדד in Ezekiel 41:15. The contents of Ezekiel 41:15 are also decisive against the separation mentioned. If, for instance, we connect Ezekiel 41:15 with Ezekiel 41:14, the first clause contains a pure tautology, as the length of the building has been already measured, and the result is given in Ezekiel 41:13. The tautology does not exist, if the summary statements of the measurement of different portions of the whole temple building commence with Ezekiel 41:15; and in connection with these a supplementary account is given of various details not mentioned before.

The contents of the second clause, namely, what is stated concerning the אתּיקים, belong directly to the latter. The building in front of the separate place, which was measured by the man, is more precisely defined, so far as its situation is concerned, by the words אשׁר על־אחריה. The feminine suffix in אחריה points back to הגּזרה; consequently אשׁר can only refer to הבּנין: "the building...which was at the back of the gizrah." This is not at variance with the situation indicated in אל־פּני הגּזרה, but serves as a more exact definition of this statement, showing that the building which stood at the front of the gizrah occupied the hinder part of it, i.e., extended in length from the front of the gizrah to the back. - The meaning of אתּוּקים or אתּיקים, here (Keri) and in Ezekiel 41:16; Ezekiel 42:3 and Ezekiel 42:5, the only other passages in which it occurs, is involved in obscurity. Even Raschi confesses that he does not know what it means, and the older translators have simply resorted to vague conjectures for their renderings; the lxx here, ἀπόλοιπα, in Ezekiel 42:3 and Ezekiel 42:5 περίστυλον and στοαί; the Vulgate, here, ethecas (the Hebrew word Latinized), in Ezekiel 42 porticus; Targum, in the London Polyglot, Ezekiel 41:15, זיויתהא; Ezekiel 41:16, אתּיקיּא; Ezekiel 42:3, זוי; and Ezekiel 42:5, זיזיּא. There is no root אתק in Hebrew; and the derivation of the word from עתק is not only uncertain, but furnishes us with nothing that can be used for tracing the architectural signification of the word. Even the context in Ezekiel 41:15 and Ezekiel 41:16 of this chapter supplies nothing, for in both verses the meaning of the clauses in which אתיקים stands is a matter of dispute. It is only in Ezekiel 42:3 and Ezekiel 42:5 that we find any clue. According to Ezekiel 42:3, in the three-storied cell-building there was אתּיק אל־פּני on the third storey; and according to Ezekiel 41:5 the cells of the upper storey in this building were shorter than those of the lower and central storey, because אתּיקים took space away from them; and the reason for this, again, was, that the three-storied cells had no pillars. From this we may infer with certainty that the אתּיקים were galleries or passages running along the outer walls of the building, which were not supported by pillars, and therefore necessarily rested upon ledges obtained by the receding of the rooms of the upper storey. This meaning also suits the present chapter. The suffix in אתּוּקיהא (an Aramaic form for אתּיקיה) points back, not to בּנין, but to הבּניה in Ezekiel 41:13; for the words, "and its galleries on this side and on that," i.e., on the north and south sides of the building, are not dependent upon ארך הבּנין, in the sense of "the length of the building, with its galleries on this side and on that," as ואתוקיהא is too widely separated from 'ארך הב for this. ואתוקיהא is rather a second object to מדד: he measured (1) the length of the building; (2) its galleries on this side and that - a hundred cubits; (3) the inner temple, etc. The hundred cubits do not refer to the length of the building, but to the galleries on both sides, which were of the same length as the building, and therefore ran along its entire length, - a fact which it was not superfluous to mention, as they might possibly have been shorter. ההיכל הפּנימי is the temple house, with the buildings against it, within the inner court. In addition to these, there are also mentioned the porches of the court, i.e., at the gate-buildings of the inner and outer courts, as the projecting portions of these buildings. These three works mentioned in Ezekiel 41:15 comprise the whole of the buildings, the measurements of which have been mentioned in the previous description - viz. the building to the west of the temple, in Ezekiel 41:12-14; the inner temple, in Ezekiel 41:1-11; the porches of the courts, to which the temple porch in front of the holy place is to be added, as having been reckoned in the measurement as belonging to the inner court, in Ezekiel 41. - Thus the contents of our verse (Ezekiel 41:15) plainly show that it not only is an indivisible whole, but forms a conclusion in which the foregoing measurements are all summed up, and which serves as an introduction, in accordance with this, to the following summary of various additional features in the temple buildings which are also worthy of mention.

In this summary there are five points noticed: (a) the fact that all parts of the buildings had their measurements (Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17); (b) the significant ornamentation of the inner walls of the sanctuary (Ezekiel 41:18-21); (c) the altar in the holy place (Ezekiel 41:22); (d) the character and decoration of the doors of the sanctuary (Ezekiel 41:23-25); (e) the style of the porch and of the side-buildings against the temple (Ezekiel 41:25, Ezekiel 41:26). - Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17 form one period, enlarged by the parenthetical insertion of explanatory statements, similar to the construction in Ezekiel 41:18 and Ezekiel 41:19. The predicate to the three subjects - the thresholds, the closed windows, and the galleries - is not to be sought for either in סביב or in 'הסּף שׁחיף וגו. The latter construction, adopted by Bttcher and Hvernick, yields the unmeaning assertion that the thresholds lay across in front of the threshold. The former gives the apparently bald thought, that thresholds, windows, and galleries were round about; in which the use of the article, the thresholds, the windows, is exceedingly strange. The predicate to 'הסּפּים וגו is מדּות at the end of Ezekiel 41:17 : the thresholds, etc., had measurements; and the construction is so far anakolouthistic, that the predicate מדּות, strictly speaking, belongs to the things mentioned in Ezekiel 41:17 alone, and the subjects mentioned in Ezekiel 41:16 are to be regarded as absolute nominatives. The words סביב לשׁלשׁתּם belong to the three preceding subjects, as a further definition, the thresholds, windows, and galleries (which were) against these three round about. The suffix to שׁלשׁתּם, "their triad," refers to the three buildings mentioned in Ezekiel 41:15 : the one upon the separate place, the temple building, and the porches of the court; and the appositional סביב is not to be so pressed as to lead to the conclusion that all three buildings, and therefore the porches of the court also, had אתּיקים round about. As the סביב לשׁלשׁתם is affirmed of the thresholds, and the windows, and the galleries, and these three objects are introduced by the article, as well known, i.e., as already mentioned and described in the preceding verses, the more precise definition (resp. limitation) of the apposition, "round about these three," is to be taken from the preceding description of these three buildings, and we are simply to assume the existence of thresholds, windows, and galleries in these buildings in those cases in which they have been mentioned in that description; so that the only place in which there were galleries was the building upon the separate place. But before the intended information is given concerning the thresholds, etc., a remark is introduced, with the words from נגד הסּף to סביב, as to the construction of the thresholds: viz., that opposite to the threshold (הסּף being used in a general sense for every threshold) there was שׁחיף עץ, a thin covering of wood, or wainscoting. נגד does not mean across the front (Bttcher), but "opposite;" and the part opposite to the threshold of a door is, strictly speaking, the lintel. Here, however, the word is probably used in the broader sense for the framework of the door, above and on the two sides, as is shown by סביב סביב which follows. With הארץ a fresh object is introduced. הארץ is a nominative, like הסּפּים, etc.; and the thought of supplying מן gniylppus, "from the ground," has originated in a faulty interpretation of the words. The idea is this: as the thresholds, the windows, etc., so also the ground up to the windows, i.e., the space between the ground and the windows, had measurements. The allusion to the windows is followed by the remark, in the form of a circumstantial clause, that "the windows were covered." מכסּות is apparently only a substantial explanation of אטמות (see the comm. on Ezekiel 40:16).

In Ezekiel 41:17 two further objects are mentioned as having measurements; not, however, in the logical position of subjects, but with prepositions על and אל: upon that which was above the opening of the door...and (what was) on all the walls, i.e., the space above the doors and on all the walls. To this periphrasis of the subject, through על and אל, there is attached the predicate מדּות, which belongs to all the subjects of Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17, in the sense of, "on all the walls there were measures." The meaning is, that all the parts of the building which have been named had their definite measurements, were carefully measured off. In order to express this thought in as general and comprehensive a manner as possible, the ideas contained in the subjects in Ezekiel 41:17 are expanded by means of appositions: that of the space above, over the entrance door, by ולחוּץ 'ועד הבּית הף (both ו-ו equals et-et) into the inner temple, i.e., both the inside of the temple throughout, and also to the outside. The idea of the whole wall is expressed by "round about, in the inside and on the outside." - Thus everything in Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17 is clear, and in accordance with fact; and there is no necessity either for the critical scissors of Ewald and Hitzig, who cut out all that they do not understand as glosses, or for the mal-emendation of Bttcher, who changes מדּות into מקלעות (1 Kings 6:18), and thus finds it good to ornament the temple with sculptures, even on the outsides of all the walls.

Ezekiel 41:18-21 treat of the ornamenting of the inside of the sanctuary, i.e., of the holy place and the holy of holies. Ezekiel 41:18 and Ezekiel 41:19 form, like Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17, a period extended by parentheses. The predicate עשׂוּי, standing at the beginning of Ezekiel 41:18, is resumed in Ezekiel 41:19, and completed by ס' 'אל־כּל־הבּית ס. That the cherubim and palms were executed in sculpture or carving, is evident from the resemblance to Solomon's temple. They were so distributed that a cherub was followed by a palm, and this by a cherub again, so that the palm stood between the two cherubim, and the cherub turned one of its two faces to the palm on this side, and the other to the palm upon that side. In sculpture only two faces could be shown, and consequently these cherubic figures had only two faces, and not four, like those in the vision. This sculpture was placed round about the whole house, and that, as is added in Ezekiel 41:20 by way of explanation, from the ground even to up above the door, namely, on the inner wall of the sanctuary (ההיכל). כּל־הבּית is hereby limited to the היכל, the holy place and the holy of holies. וקיר is a local accusative. To this there is appended the further notice in Ezekiel 41:21, that the sanctuary had door-posts in a square form. The loose arrangement of the words, "the sanctuary post work of square form," is a concise form of expression after the manner of brief topographical notices. מזוּזה invariably signifies, wherever it occurs, the door-posts, i.e., the projecting framework of the entrances. רבוּע, "foured," does not mean four-cornered merely, but really square (Exodus 27:1 and Exodus 28:16). Consequently the words, "the door-posts of the holy place were of a square shape," might be understood as signifying not merely that the door-posts were beams cut square, but, as Kliefoth supposes, that the post work surrounding the door was made of a square form, that is to say, was of the same height as breadth, which would be quite in keeping with the predominance of the square shape, with its symbolical significance, in this picture of a temple. But the statement in the second half of the verse can hardly be reconciled with this; for whatever diversity there may be in the interpretation of this verse in particular points, it is certain that it does contain the general assertion that the doorway of the holy of holies was also shaped in the same way. But the door of the holy of holies, instead of being square, was (according to Ezekiel 41:3) six cubits high and seven cubits broad. הקּודשׁ, as distinguished from ההיכל, is the holy of holies, which Ezekiel 41:23 places beyond all doubt (for this use of הקּדשׁ, see Leviticus 16:2-3, Leviticus 16:16). פּני־הקּדשׁ, the face of the holy of holies, the front which met the eye of a person entering the holy place. המּראה כּמּראה is the predicate, which is attached as loosely as in the first hemistich. The front of the holy of holies had the appearance like the appearance (just described), i.e., like the appearance of the היכל; in fact, it had also a doorway with four-cornered posts. J. F. Starch has already given this explanation of the words: Eadem facies et aspectus erat utriusque portae templi et adyti, utraque quadrata et quadratis postibus conspicua erat. The proposal of Ewald, on the other hand, to connect כּמּראה with the following word המּזבּח, "in front of the holy of holies there was something to be seen like the shape of the altar" (lxx, Syr.), has the article in המּראה against it (Bttcher).

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