Ezekiel 46:16
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.
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(16) If the prince give a gift.—Ezekiel 46:15-18 contain provisions in regard to the prince’s alienation of his domain. According to Ezekiel 45:7-8, he was to have a portion of land on each side of the “oblation,” which should be sufficiently ample to prevent any attempts on his part at violence and exaction. For the same purpose, it was necessary that this territory should remain inalienably in his family. He might therefore convey any portion of it to his sons in fee simple, for they would naturally inherit it; but a conveyance to any one else came under the Mosaic law (Leviticus 25), and reverted to him or his heirs in the year of Jubile, here called “the year of liberty.”

Ezekiel 46:16-18. If the prince give a gift, &c. — By these verses we learn, that even gifts, or legacies of lands, could only be granted till the year of jubilee, except to a person’s own heirs; for at that period all such gifts or grants devolved again to the original possessors, or their heirs. It shall be his to the year of liberty — That is, of jubilee, called the year of liberty, because it freed men’s persons from the service of their masters, and their estates from any engagements by which the right of them was transferred from their proper owners. After it shall return to the prince — Or to his heirs, if he be dead. But his inheritance shall be his sons’ for them — Or, his inheritance shall belong to his sons; it shall be theirs so as not to be alienated. The prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance — As Ahab did, 1 Kings 21:16. That my people be not scattered — Lest, being turned out of their own, they be forced to wander up and down the country for a livelihood.

46:1-24 The ordinances of worship for the prince and for the people, are here described, and the gifts the prince may bestow on his sons and servants. Our Lord has directed us to do many duties, but he has also left many things to our choice, that those who delight in his commandments may abound therein to his glory, without entangling their own consciences, or prescribing rules unfit for others; but we must never omit our daily worship, nor neglect to apply the sacrifice of the Lamb of God to our souls, for pardon, peace, and salvation.The prince was robe provided with possessions of his own, in order to prevent exactions from his subjects; further enactments are added to prevent the alienation of the prince's land. Any gifts made to his servants must revert to the prince in the "year of liberty," or jubilee (see the marginal reference note). 16-18. The prince's possession is to be inalienable, and any portion given to a servant is to revert to his sons at the year of jubilee, that he may have no temptation to spoil his people of their inheritance, as formerly (compare Ahab and Naboth, 1Ki 21:1-29). The mention of the year of jubilee implies that there is something literal meant, besides the spiritual sense. The jubilee year was restored after the captivity [Josephus, Antiquities, 14.10,6; 1 Maccabees 6:49]. Perhaps it will be restored under Messiah's coming reign. Compare Isa 61:2, 3, where "the acceptable year of the Lord" is closely connected with the comforting of the mourners in Zion, and "the day of vengeance" on Zion's foes. The mention of the prince's sons is another argument against Messiah being meant by "the prince." A gift, of houses or lands.

The inheritance thereof, the right to those houses or lands, shall descend to children’s children; the fee simple shall be to the posterity of that son to whom it was first given. They shall enjoy it, possess it, as heirs possess an inheritance.

Thus saith the Lord God,.... Having finished the account of the sacrifices of the prince and people, the monthly, weekly, and daily ones; here his gifts are treated of, which are two fold; some given to his sons, others to his servants:

if the prince give a gift to any of his sons; Christ, the Prince, has sons; he that is the Prince, of peace is the everlasting Father; he has children given unto him, whom he preserves; a seed promised him in covenant, which shall always endure; a family he is master of, and cares for; for whose sake he became incarnate, suffered, and died: they are sons by adopting grace, and in their adoption he has a great concern; they are predestinated to it by him; they receive it through him; he gives them power to become the sons of God, and they are manifestatively so through faith in him; they appear to be his sons, or are evidenced as such by their regeneration, which also is of him: it is by his Spirit they are regenerated; it is his grace that is implanted in them; it is he himself that is formed in them, and his image that is stamped upon them; it is owing to his word and Gospel as the means and to his resurrection as the virtual cause of it; it is in his church they are born, yea, of her, to whom he stands in the relation of a husband, and so they are sons brought forth to him by her; and these are princes by birth, have a free and princely spirit, and are brought up and provided for as such: now to these Christ gives gifts; gifts of special grace, all sorts of grace; sanctifying grace, faith, hope, love, repentance, &c.; justifying grace, the gift of righteousness; pardoning grace; adopting grace; all supplies of grace; spiritual strength, peace, joy and comfort; and persevering grace, to hold out to the end: and he also gives glory or eternal life; this is with him, in his hands; he has a power to give and he does give it, to all his sons; all which, being once given, ever continue.

The inheritance thereof shall be his sons', it shall be their possession by inheritance; that is, it shall ever remain with them, shall never be taken away from them; these are gifts and calling without repentance, irreversible blessings, which are for ever: sanctifying grace is a well of living water, springing up unto eternal life; faith, hope, and love, always abide; Christ's justifying righteousness is an everlasting one; pardon of sin is of all sin, past, present, and to come, and is never made void or called in; once children of God, and always such; and the inheritance of heaven is incorruptible, never fading, and eternal; and all this flows from the unchangeable love of God and Christ to these sons of the prince.

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).

Verses 16-18. - Instructions for the prince as to how he should deal with his property are summarized in three regulations, introduced by the solemn formula of "Thus saith the Lord" (comp. ver. 1; Ezekiel 45:9). Verse 16. - The first regulation. The prince might dispose of a portion of his royal property (see Ezekiel 45:7, 8) by presenting part of it as a gift to any of his sons. In this case what was gifted should belong to his son or sons in perpetuity, should be his or theirs as his or their possession by inheritance; it should never again revert to the prince. Ezekiel 46:16On the Right of the Prince to Dispose of his Landed Property

Ezekiel 46:16. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, If the prince gives a present to one of his sons, it is his inheritance, shall belong to his sons; it is their possession, in an hereditary way. Ezekiel 46:17. But if he gives a present from his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall belong to him till the year of liberty, and then return to the prince; to his sons alone shall his inheritance remain. Ezekiel 46:18. And the prince shall not take from the inheritance of the people, so as to thrust them out of their possession; from his own possession he shall transmit to his sons, that no one of my people be scattered from his possession. - According to Ezekiel 45:7-8, at the future division of the land among the tribes, a possession was to be given to the prince on both sides of the holy heave and of the city domain, that he might not seize upon a possession by force, as the former princes had done. The prince might give away portions of this royal property, but only within such limits that the design with which a regal possession had been granted might not be frustrated. To his sons, as his heirs, he might make gifts therefrom, which would remain their own property; but if he presented to any one of his servants a portion of his hereditary property, it was to revert to the prince in the year of liberty; just as, according to the Mosaic law, the hereditary field of an Israelite, which had been alienated, was to revert to its hereditary owner (Leviticus 27:24, compared with Leviticus 25:10-13). The suffix in נחלתו (Ezekiel 46:16) is not to be taken as referring to the prince, and connected with the preceding words in opposition to the accents, but refers to אישׁ מבּניו. What the prince gives to one of his sons from his landed property shall be his נחלה, i.e., after the manner of an hereditary possession. On the other hand, what the prince presents to one of his servants shall not become hereditary in his case, but shall revert to the prince in the year of liberty, or the year of jubilee. The second half of Ezekiel 46:17 reads verbally thus: "only his inheritance is it; as for his sons, it shall belong to them." - And as the prince was not to break up his regal possession by presents made to servants, so was he (Ezekiel 46:18) also not to put any one out of his possession by force, for the purpose, say, of procuring property for his own sons; but was to give his sons their inheritance from his own property alone. For הונה, compare Ezekiel 45:8, and such passages as 1 Samuel 8:14; 1 Samuel 22:7. We shall return by and by to the question, how this regulation stands related to the view that the prince is the Messiah.

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