And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city, over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border, over against the portions for the prince: and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the middle thereof.
Jump to: Barnes • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • JFB • KD • Kelly • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Parker • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • TTB • WES • TSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The residue shall be for the prince.—The length of the oblation from east to west is supposed to leave a strip at either end which is assigned to the prince. This strip is to extend from north to south, the whole width of the oblation. The expression “over against the portions for the prince” is somewhat obscure from its extreme brevity and want of punctuation in our version; it means that the part of the oblation over against the tribe portions shall be for the prince—i.e., he is to have all that is left of the oblation between it and the portions assigned to the tribes. As already said, this was geographically impossible on the estimate of the length of the cubit here adopted. Even if the cubit were reduced to eighteen inches, which is the smallest estimate that can well be made, the side of the oblation would still be 42ī6ō miles long, or more than the distance between the Jordan and the Mediterranean at its northern end. It is quite idle, therefore, to attempt any calculation of the prince’s portion. The description is necessarily ideal, and no hint is given in the vision of how much was intended for the prince. If it be suggested that the prophet may have had in mind measures following the uneven surface of the ground and the sinuosities of the roads. it can only be replied that such a supposition at once destroys all possibility of following his measures, and is singularly opposed to the whole symmetry of his description, as well as inconsistent with the equality of the measure on the four sides.Ezekiel 48:21. The residue shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other, &c. — The prince’s part shall be extended, both on the east and west side of the several allotments belonging to the priests, the Levites, and the city. Over against the five and twenty thousand, &c. — The particle אל פני, translated over against, is rendered before, in the parallel text, Ezekiel 45:7, and thus interpreted makes the sense clearer, the words then importing, that the prince’s portion was to run along eastward and westward, like a frontier before the holy portions; and to extend eastward to Jordan, or the Dead sea, and westward to the great sea, retaining its breadth of twenty-five thousand cubits from north to south.
profane—that is, not strictly sacred as the sacerdotal portions, but applied to secular uses.The residue of the land, which is a great portion, for it is the remainder of twelve and a half taken out of sixty; so that the remainder will be forty-seven and a half.
On the one side; suppose it be the cast side, there will be twenty-three and three quarters.
On the other side; on the west just as much, twenty-three and three quarters.
Of the possession of the city; the residue of that which is on each side, east and west of the five thousand square area.
Over against the five and twenty thousand; which amounts out of the priests’, Levites’, and city portion.
Toward the east border of the land of Canaan; all from the east side of the twenty-five thousand to the utmost bounds eastward, shall be the prince’s portion, and so likewise on the west side westward to the great sea.
Over against the portions for the prince; these twenty-five thousand on both sides lay over against, or run parallel with, the breadth of the prince’s portion, but the length of the prince’s portion on each side did exceed the length of the holy portion and the city land, as twenty-three and three quarters exceeds twelve and a half.
The sanctuary; the holy mount.
Of the house; of the temple of God.
In the midst thereof; of the land assigned to the priests, which lay as described, bounded and guarded with the prince’s portion at east and west ends.
on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city: his portion shall lie on each side of the portion for the sanctuary, the priests and Levites, and for the city and its appurtenances; so that he will be the guardian and preserver of them all; See Gill on Ezekiel 45:7,
over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border; or, "before the face" (x) "of the five and twenty thousand of the oblation", &c.; that is, next to the tribe of Judah, close by that, and just before the holy oblation of five and twenty thousand reeds, both eastward and westward, should be the portion of the prince on one side:
over against the portions for the prince; or, "over against" these shall be that
for the prince (y); parallel with the portions of the several tribes before described shall be that of the prince, which belongs to him:
and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst thereof; that is, the holy oblation of the land for the priests and Levites, and the sanctuary should be between that part of the prince's portion which lay next to Judah, and that which lay next to Benjamin; of which in the next verse.And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city, over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border, over against the portions for the prince: and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst thereof.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21, 22. The domain of the prince. The domain of the Levites, priests and city formed a square of 25,000 cubits in the heart of the country. The portion of the prince shall be the land from the E. of this square to the Jordan, and from the W. of it to the sea. The “five and twenty thousand” here is the breadth N. to S.; the prince’s domain shall be of the same breadth and be “over against” the square on the E. and W.
over against the portions] Or, by the side of the portions, it shall be for the prince; and the holy oblation, and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst thereof. The “portions” here are those of the tribes, which run from the Jordan to the sea; the prince’s domain shall run alongside of them, i.e. Judah’s on the N. and Benjamin’s on the S. And the holy oblation lies between the two halves of the prince’s domain.Verses 21, 22. - The prince's portion should take up the residue of the original oblation, or terumah (see ver. 8), from which had been withdrawn the aforesaid square containing the portions of the Levites, the priests, and the city. This residue should consist of two strips of land, situated one on each side of the holy oblation (here, of the priests and Levites) and of the possession of the city, and running along the whole length of the five and twenty thousand of the oblation (here the three portions composing the square), and extending eastward to the Jordan and westward to the Mediterranean. The last two clauses of ver. 21, which should read, And the holy oblation and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst of it, implies that the two parts of the prince's portion, the eastern and the western, should be equal. Ver. 22 teaches that the whole intermediate territory between the border of Judah (in the north of the terumah) and the border of Benjamin (in the south of the terumah), from the possession of the Levites (the north portion of the terumah) and from (equivalent to "to") the possession of the city (the southern portion of the terumah), should belong to the prince. The mention of the possession of the Levites and the possession of the city as the extreme portions of the terumah, appears to indicate that the priests' portion lay between. Ewald translates as if the prophet meant to say the sanctuary should lie between the possession of the Levites and the possession of the city (in the first place), and between the two parts of the prince's land (in the second place), and yet again between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin (in the third place): but to read thus the text must be changed. Ezekiel 44:4-8). - Ezekiel 44:4. And he brought me by the way of the north gate to the front of the house; and I looked, and behold the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah, and I fell down upon my face. Ezekiel 44:5. And Jehovah said to me, Son of man, direct thy heart and see with thine eyes and hear with thine ears all that I say to thee with regard to all the statutes of the house of Jehovah and all its laws, and direct thy heart to the entering into the house through all the exits of the house, Ezekiel 44:6. And say to the rebellious one, to the family of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Let it be sufficient for you, of all your abominations, O house of Israel, Ezekiel 44:7. In that ye brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to desecrate it, my house, when ye offered my food, fat and blood, and so they broke my covenant to all your abominations, Ezekiel 44:8. And so ye did not keep the charge of my holy things, but made them keepers of my charge for you in my sanctuary. - From the outer gate to which Ezekiel had been taken, simply that he might be instructed concerning the entering thereby, he is once more conducted, after this has been done, by the way of the north gate to the front of the temple house, to receive the further directions there for the performance of the worship of God in the new sanctuary. The question, whether we are to understand by the north gate that of the outer or that of the inner court, cannot be answered with certainty. Hitzig has decided in favour of the latter, Kliefoth in favour of the former. The place to which he is conducted is אל־פּני הבּית, ad faciem domus, before the temple house, so that he had it before his eyes, i.e., was able to see it. As the gateway of the inner court was eight steps, about four cubits, higher than the outer court gate, this was hardly possible if he stood at or within the latter. הבּית, i.e., the temple house, could only be distinctly seen from the inner north gate. And the remark that it is more natural to think of the outer north gate, because the next thing said to the prophet has reference to the question who is to go into and out of the sanctuary, has not much force, as the instructions do not refer to the going in and out alone, but chiefly to the charge of Jehovah, i.e., to the maintenance of divine worship.
At the fresh standing-place the glory of the Lord, which filled the temple, met the sight of the prophet again, so that he fell down and worshipped once more (cf. Ezekiel 43:3, Ezekiel 43:5). This remark is not intended "to indicate that now, after the preliminary observations in Ezekiel 43:13-44:3, the true thorah commences" (Kliefoth), but to show the unapproachable glory and holiness of the new temple. For Ezekiel 44:5, see Ezekiel 40:4; Ezekiel 43:11-12. In Ezekiel 44:6 אל־מרי is placed at the head in a substantive form for the sake of emphasis, and בּית־ישׂראל is appended in the form of an apposition. For the fact itself, see Ezekiel 2:8. רב־לּכם followed by מן, a sufficiency of anything, as in Exodus 9:28; 1 Kings 12:28, is equivalent to "there is enough for you to desist from it." The תּועבות, from which they are to desist, are more precisely defined in Ezekiel 44:6. They consisted in the fact that the Israelites admitted foreigners, heathen, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, into the sanctuary, to desecrate it during the offering of sacrifice. It is not expressly stated, indeed, that they admitted uncircumcised heathen to the offering of sacrifice, but this is implied in what is affirmed. The offering of sacrifice in the temple of Jehovah is not only permitted in the Mosaic law to foreigners living in Israel, but to some extent prescribed (Leviticus 17:10,Leviticus 17:12; Numbers 15:13.). It was only in the paschal meal that no 'בן was allowed to participate (Exodus 12:43). To do this, he must first of all be circumcised (v. 44). Solomon accordingly prays to the Lord in his temple-prayer that He will also hearken to the prayer of the foreigner, who may come from a distant land for the Lord's name sake to worship in His house (1 Kings 8:41.). The reproof in the verse before us is apparently at variance with this. Raschi would therefore understand by בּני־נכר, Israelites who had fallen into heathen idolatry. Rosenmller, on the other hand, is of opinion that the Israelites were blamed because they had accepted victimas et libamina from the heathen, and offered them in the temple, which had been prohibited in Leviticus 25:22. Hvernick understands by the sons of the foreigner, Levites who had become apostates from Jehovah, and were therefore placed by Ezekiel on a par with the idolatrous sons of the foreigner. And lastly, Hitzig imagines that they were foreign traders, who had been admitted within the sacred precincts as sellers of sacrificial animals, incense, and so forth. All these are alike arbitrary and erroneous. The apparent discrepancy vanishes, if we consider the more precise definition of בּני , viz., "uncircumcised in heart and flesh." Their being uncircumcised in heart is placed first, for the purpose of characterizing the foreigners as godless heathen, who ere destitute not only of the uncircumcision of their flesh, but also of that of the heart, i.e., of piety of heart, which Solomon mentions in his prayer as the motive for the coming of distant strangers to the temple. By the admission of such foreigners as these, who had no fear of God at all, into the temple during the sacrificial worship, Israel had defiled the sanctuary. את־בּיתי is in apposition to the suffix to חלּלו. The food of Jehovah (לחמי) is sacrifice, according to Leviticus 3:11; Leviticus 21:6, etc., and is therefore explained by "fat and blood." ויּפרוּ, which the lxx changed in an arbitrary manner into the second person, refers to the "foreigners," the heathen. By their treading the temple in their ungodliness they broke the covenant of the Lord with His people, who allowed this desecration of His sanctuary. אל כּל־תּועבות, in addition to all your abominations. How grievous a sin was involved in this is stated in Ezekiel 44:8. The people of Israel, by their unrighteous admission of godless heathen into the temple, not only failed to show the proper reverence for the holy things of the Lord, but even made these heathen, so to speak, servants of God for themselves in His sanctuary. These last words are not to be understood literally, but spiritually. Allowing them to tread the temple is regarded as equivalent to appointing them to take charge of the worship in the temple. For שׁמר , see Leviticus 18:30; Leviticus 22:9, and the commentary on Leviticus 8:35.
The Lord would guard against such desecration of His sanctuary in the future. To this end the following precepts concerning the worship in the new temple are given. - Ezekiel 44:9. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall come into my sanctuary, of all the foreigners that are in the midst of the sons of Israel; Ezekiel 44:10. But even the Levites, who have gone away from me in the wandering of Israel, which wandered away from me after its idols, they shall bear their guilt. Ezekiel 44:11. They shall be servants in my sanctuary, as guards at the gates of the house and serving in the house; they shall slay the burnt-offering and the slain-offering for the people, and shall stand before it to serve them. Ezekiel 44:12. Because they served them before their idols, and became to the house of Israel a stumbling-block to guilt, therefore I have lifted my hand against them, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, that they should bear their guilt. Ezekiel 44:13. They shall not draw near to me to serve me as priests, and to draw near to all my holy things, to the most holy, but shall bear their disgrace and all their abominations which they have done. Ezekiel 44:14. And so will I make them guards of the charge of the house with regard to all its service, and to all that is performed therein. Ezekiel 44:15. But the priests of the tribe of Levi, the sons of Zadok, who have kept the charge of my sanctuary on the wandering of the sons of Israel from me, they shall draw near to me to serve me, and stand before me, offer to me fat and blood, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 44:16. They shall come into my sanctuary, and they draw near to my table to serve me, and shall keep my charge. - In order that all desecration may be kept at a distance from the new sanctuary, foreigners uncircumcised in heart and flesh are not to be admitted into it; and even of the Levites appointed for the service of the sanctuary according to the Mosaic law, all who took part in the falling away of the people into idolatry are to be excluded from investiture with the priests' office as a punishment for their departure from the Lord, and only to be allowed to perform subordinate duties in connection with the worship of God. On the other hand, the descendants of Zadok, who kept themselves free from all straying into idolatry, are to perform the specifically priestly service at the altar and in the sanctuary, and they alone. The meaning and design of the command, to shut out the foreigners uncircumcised in heart from all access to the sanctuary, are not that the intermediate position and class of foreigners living in Israel should henceforth be abolished (Kliefoth); for this would be at variance with Ezekiel 47:22 and Ezekiel 47:23, according to which the foreigners (גּרים) were to receive a possession of their own in the fresh distribution of the land, which not only presupposes their continuance within the congregation of Israel, but also secures it for the time to come. The meaning is rather this: No heathen uncircumcised in heart, i.e., estranged in life from God, shall have access to the altar in the new sanctuary. The emphasis of the prohibition lies here, as in Ezekiel 44:7, upon their being uncircumcised in heart; and the reason for the exclusion of foreigners consists not so much in the foreskin of the flesh as in the spiritual foreskin, so that not only the uncircumcised heathen, but also Israelites who were circumcised in flesh, were to keep at a distance from the sanctuary if they failed to possess circumcision of heart. The ל before כּל־בּן serves the purpose of comprehension, as in Genesis 9:10; Leviticus 11:42, etc. (compare Ewald, ֗310a). Not only are foreigners who are estranged from God to be prevented from coming into the sanctuary, but even the Levites, who fell into idolatry at the time of the apostasy of the Israelites, are to bear their guilt, i.e., are to be punished for it by exclusion from the rights of the priesthood. This is the connection between the tenth verse and the ninth, indicated by כּי אם, which derives its meaning, truly (imo), yea even, from this connection, as in Isaiah 33:21. הלויּם are not the Levites here as distinguished from the priests (Aaronites), but all the descendants of Levi, including the Aaronites chosen for the priests' office, to whom what is to be said concerning the Levites chiefly applied. The division of the Levites into such as are excluded from the service and office of priests (כּהן, Ezekiel 44:13) on account of their former straying into idolatry, and the sons of Zadok, who kept aloof from that wandering, and therefore are to be the only persons allowed to administer the priests' office for the future, shows very clearly that the threat "they shall bear their guilt" does not apply to the common Levites, but to the Levitical priests. They are to be degraded to the performance of the inferior duties in the temple and at divine worship. The guilt with which they are charged is that they forsook Jehovah when the people strayed into idolatry. Forsaking Jehovah involves both passive and active participation in idolatry (cf. Jeremiah 2:5). This wandering of the Israelites from Jehovah took place during the whole time that the tabernacle and Solomon's temple were in existence, though at different periods and with varying force and extent.
Bearing the guilt is more minutely defined in Ezekiel 44:11-13. The Levitical priests who have forsaken the Lord are to lose the dignity and rights of the priesthood; they are not, indeed, to be entirely deprived of the prerogative conferred upon the tribe of Levi by virtue of its election to the service of the sanctuary in the place of the first-born of the whole nation, but henceforth they are merely to be employed in the performance of the lower duties, as guards at the gates of the temple, and as servants of the people at the sacrificial worship, when they are to slaughter the animals for the people, which every one who offered sacrifice was also able to do for himself. Because they have already served the people before their idols, i.e., have helped them in their idolatry, they shall also serve the people in time to come in the worship of God, though not as priests, but simply in non-priestly occupations. The words 'המּה יעמדוּ are taken from Numbers 16:9, and the suffixes in לפּניהם and לשׁרתּם refer to עם. מכשׁול עון .עם ot ref, as in Ezekiel 7:19; Ezekiel 14:3; Ezekiel 18:30. נשׂא יד, not to raise the arm to smite, but to lift up the hand to swear, as in Ezekiel 20:5-6, etc. לגשׁת על כּל־קדשׁי, to draw near to all my holy things. קדשׁים are not the rooms in the sanctuary, but those portions of the sacrifices which were sacred to the Lord. They are not to touch these, i.e., neither to sprinkle blood nor to burn the portions of fat upon the altar, or perform anything connected therewith. This explanation is required by the apposition אל־קדשׁי הקּדשׁים, which (in the plural) does not mean the most holy place at the hinder part of the temple, but the most holy sacrificial gifts (cf. Ezekiel 42:13). נשׂא , as in Ezekiel 16:52. In Ezekiel 44:14 it is once more stated in a comprehensive manner in what the bearing of the guilt and shame was to consist: God would make them keepers of the temple with regard to the inferior acts of service. The general expression שׁמר משׁמרת הבּית, which signifies the temple service universally, receives its restriction to the inferior acts of service from 'לכל עבדתו וגו, which is used in Numbers 3:26; Numbers 4:23, Numbers 4:30,Numbers 4:32, Numbers 4:39, Numbers 4:47, for the heavy duties performed by the Merarites and Gershonites, in distinction from the עבדה of the Kohathites, which consisted in שׁמר משׁמרת הקּדשׁ (Numbers 3:28) and עשׂות מלאכה (Numbers 4:3). The priestly service at the altar and in the sanctuary, on the other hand, was to be performed by the sons of Zadok alone, because when the people went astray they kept the charge of the sanctuary, i.e., performed the duties of the priestly office with fidelity. Zadok was the son of Ahitub, of the line of Eleazar (1 Chronicles 5:34; 1 Chronicles 6:37-38), who remained faithful to King David at the rebellion of Absalom (2 Samuel 15:24.), and also anointed Solomon as king in opposition to Adonijah the pretender (1 Kings 1:32.); whereas the high priest Abiathar, of the line of Ithamar, took part with Adonijah (1 Kings 1:7, 1 Kings 1:25), and was deposed from his office by Solomon in consequence, so that now the high-priesthood was in the sole possession of Zadok and his descendants (1 Kings 2:26-27, and 1 Kings 2:35). From this attitude of Zadok toward David, the prince given by the Lord to His people, it may be seen at once that he not only kept aloof from the wandering of the people, but offered a decided opposition thereto, and attended to his office in a manner that was well-pleasing to God. As he received the high-priesthood from Solomon in the place of Abiathar for this fidelity of his, so shall his descendants only be invested with the priestly office in the new temple. For the correct explanation of the words in these verses, however, we must pay particular regard to the clause, "who have kept the charge of my sanctuary." This implies, for example, that lineal descent from Zadok alone was not sufficient, but that fidelity in the service of the Lord must also be added as an indispensable requisite. In Ezekiel 44:15 and Ezekiel 44:16 the priestly service is described according to its principal functions at the altar of burnt-offering, and in the holy place at the altar of incense. שׁלחני is the altar of incense (see Ezekiel 41:22).
LinksEzekiel 48:21 Interlinear
Ezekiel 48:21 Parallel Texts
Ezekiel 48:21 NIV
Ezekiel 48:21 NLT
Ezekiel 48:21 ESV
Ezekiel 48:21 NASB
Ezekiel 48:21 KJV
Ezekiel 48:21 Bible Apps
Ezekiel 48:21 Parallel
Ezekiel 48:21 Biblia Paralela
Ezekiel 48:21 Chinese Bible
Ezekiel 48:21 French Bible
Ezekiel 48:21 German Bible