Matthew Poole's Commentary
Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.Ordinances for the prince in his worship, Ezekiel 46:1-8, and for the people, Ezekiel 46:9-15. An order for the prince’s inheritance, Ezekiel 46:16-18. The courts for boiling and baking, Ezekiel 46:19-24.
It was the east gate of the court next to the temple, or which did lead into the inmost court, where the altar of burnt-offering stood. Shall be shut: this explains that of Ezekiel 44:2. The six working days; or every day that is a working day. On the sabbath; on that holy rest the prospect into the temple and to the altar shall be free. It shall be opened; the priests should open it. The new moon: this one festival is named, but all the rest are included: this gate was to be shut only on working days, therefore to be open on all holy days, which were days of holy service to God. to be open on all holy days, which were days of holy service to God.
And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening.The prince must come in at the gate which is between the court of the Jews and the court of the priests, which is here called the
gate without, or the outer gate of that court, and so go up to the gate within, which leads into the inmost court, and rose by ten, or twelve, or fifteen stairs, say some. While this solemn service was acting to make atonement for the prince, or to offer sacrifices of peace.offerings for himself, he is directed
to stand before the Lord; in other cases he might sit: the greatest should revere that God whose mercy they need and seek.
By the post; one of the inward posts, where he might best see the sacrifice offered up, but may not go into the court; none might go in but such as were, by God’s appointment, to minister before him.
The priests shall prepare: Ezekiel 46:22-24, it is said the prince shall prepare; here the priests must prepare; but these places speak of different preparations: the prince prepared by buying, or bringing of his own the best for sacrifice; the priest prepared by receiving, bringing the sacrifice to the altar, slaying and disposing of all things according to the rule. The householder prepares, so doth his cook prepare the feast, so that each prepares what is proper to him; and so it is here, the prince prepares, but doth not sacrifice, the priest prepares, but doth not buy, or bring the sacrifices.
He shall worship; he shall bow (as the Hebrew) himself: it is a praying posture, Exodus 12:27, in which duty the prince, as all others, are to attend on God, while the expiatory sacrifice is offering, while their reconciliation is to be made; and in which posture the prince is to be all the while the priest is offering, 2 Chronicles 29:29.
At the threshold: here he took his standing in the beginning of the service, here he is when it is finished; at the inner threshold of the gate, where his eye might see enough; if his understanding were enlightened with knowledge of these mysteries, he need not approach nearer to God than his faith could now carry him while at the threshold.
Then he shall go forth; not stay to gaze or talk; but as he came to worship, so having worshipped he must return. Until the evening; till all the sacrifices were offered, and the offerers reconciled; now each offerer was to bring his offering to this gate, and there give it to the priest, and there lay his hands oil the head of the sacrifice, Leviticus 1:3,4.
Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.Likewise, Heb. And, i.e. as the prince had done, bringing, standing, worshipping at the threshold of the gate, and departing when the sacrifice was finished, so must the people when they brought their sacrifices; but one manner, one gate, one sacrifice; but one Saviour.
Before the Lord; with due sense of God’s holy and glorious presence.
In the sabbaths; both weekly and other holy days, which are called sabbaths on good ground.
The new moons; which were solemn feasts to the Jews in their generation; but these days privileged them only to come thus near who brought their particular offerings, for I suppose the people might not approach at pleasure to see the stated morning and evening oblation sacrificed, this would crowd the gate; but at this time they kept in their own court.
And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish.The burnt-offering; this is different from that Ezekiel 42:13, as appears both from the kind of sacrifice and the occasion of it, or the time of each.
In the sabbath day; or weekly, sabbath by sabbath; this was three times as much as was required, Numbers 28:9.
Six lambs of the first year, and males, Ezekiel 46:13, and as the Hebrew implies.
Without blemish; unblemished sacrifices were ever required, and so this, Leviticus 1:3 Numbers 6:14.
A ram; when it was more than a year old, the Jews accounted it a ram.
And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.An ephah, three bushels of meal, for each ram.
As he shall be able to give; rather, as he shall see good, as much as he thinks fit in decency or in bounty.
An hin; one gallon and a pint, for an hin did contain twelve logs, and each log contained three quarters of a pint, or thereabouts.
To an ephah; which was three times eight gallons, for each ephah contained three bushels: see Ezekiel 46:11. So then one gallon and one pint of oil was required as proportion to three bushels of meal in the meat-offering.
And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish.In these verses nothing new occurs but the appointing a bullock with its meat-offering for the new moon sacrifice, of which also on another occasion already, Ezekiel 46:1.
A young bullock: see Ezekiel 45:22.
Without blemish: see Ezekiel 45:4.
Six lambs: see Ezekiel 46:4.
And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah.See Ezekiel 46:5, and Ezekiel 45:24.
And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof.Shall enter into the gate of the court next the temple to offer his sacrifice.
Go in by the way of the porch; go to the threshold, the inward threshold of the east gate, that opens into the court of the temple.
Go forth by the way thereof; none of the people might do so, only the prince and the priests might go out the same way they came in.
But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.All except the prince, when they come to worship, must observe to go out at that door that is over against the door at which they came in.
Come before the Lord, present themselves and their sacrifices, in the solemn feasts, the three great annual feasts, the new moons, and the weekly sabbaths.
He that entereth in, & c.: the east gate they might not enter at, as already is observed, and whatever reason might be given besides, this passage in this verse gives one, they could not go right forward to go out, at a west gate; for the temple and the entrance into it stood in a straight line from every one of the east gates from the outmost court, so that if any should go straight forward, they would go into the temple and oracle, which was not to be. There were but two gates the people might enter at, the south or north.
He shall not return, & c.: none might turn their back on the temple, nor do that which looked like a going away from God, which may give us somewhat the meaning of Jeremiah 2:27 32:33, their turning the back on God.
And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth.The prince and people must meet together at the same time, and when it is the time for offering the morning or evening sacrifice, be ready to present their prayers to the Lord. And when they offer any particular oblations, on account whereof they go any whit nearer than at other times, both prince and people shall do it at the same time.
And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.See Ezekiel 46:5,7.
Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the LORD, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate.In Ezekiel 46:2,4-7, orders were given about those offerings which were required, which the prince must offer; in this, direction is given about those that are free-will offerings, which in all points must be prepared as the other were on the sabbath day, which see in the forementioned verses.
One shall shut the gate; one of the priests’ porters; as the gate was opened for this service only on such a day, so, the service performed, some priests’ porter shall shut it, for it must not stand open on ordinary days. days.
Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning.Daily prepare: see Ezekiel 46:2.
A lamb: see Ezekiel 46:4.
And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD.A meat-offering: see Ezekiel 46:7.
The sixth part of an ephah; half a bushel of fine meal.
The third part of an hin; an hin held nine pints.
Continually; morning by morning.
A perpetual ordinance, to continue till the Messiah comes, who will set up a more spiritual worship.
Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering.This verse is a ratifying of all prescribed in Ezekiel 46:13,14. These three verses direct the daily sacrifice; and because they mention only the morning sacrifice and one lamb, some think that here less is required than in Numbers 28:3,4; but they forget that there is a parity of reason for the evening sacrifice, and that this is included. They were to do in the evening oblation as they did in the morning.
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.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.
But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them.Of his inheritance; of any part or parcel of the crown land, or the prince’s inheritance.
To one of his servants; whether such servant be, strictly taken, a servant or bondman or in more large sense any of his servants in the court, and in office about it.
The year of liberty; the year of jubilee, as Leviticus 25:10,13,28.
To the prince; or his heirs, if the prince be dead.
His inheritance: this may be understood either of the prince or the servant. Either thus, though the land by gift go back to the prince or his heirs from the servant, yet what lands this servant had of his own inheritance shall descend to the heirs of that servant, and be theirs: or else thus, whatever lands of the prince are given to servants, by gift, shall at the year of jubilee revert to the sons of the prince, who shall repossess them, forasmuch as they are lands of inheritance, and of right belong to the heir.
For them; and for theirs after them.
Moreover the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession.Shall not take; seize and escheat as forfeited, (like as Ahab dealt with Naboth, or David with Mephibosheth,) to give to others, or keep for himself.
By oppression; whether fraudulent or violent oppression, whether under colour of justice or against all rules of law.
To thrust them out, that he may put in his own creatures or children.
He shall give his sons, provide for his own, ont of that is his own.
That my people be not scattered; that they may keep together in their own land.
After he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north: and, behold, there was a place on the two sides westward.We left the prophet, Ezekiel 44:4, at the north gate, and on the inside of it; now we find him going through a private way by the side of that gate to the holy chambers appointed for the priests.
The holy chambers: see Ezekiel 40:45,46 42:13,14.
On the two sides westward; rather, on their sides westward, that is, on the west side of these chambers which looked toward the north. The Seventy read it thus, Behold, there was a place enclosed.
Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear them not out into the utter court, to sanctify the people.Where the priests shall boil the trespass-offering; those that were brought sacrifices for sin were in part for the sacrificing priest, and he was to eat thereof; but it was to be dressed in the verge of holy ground, and so kitchens, boilers, ovens, and other utensils were prepared to do it, and these kitchens are here described,
That they bear them not; the priests, or the attending Levites.
Into the utter court, where the people were, and many times in great numbers, that this holy flesh must needs be very near many of them, if it were carried out.
To sanctify the people: see Ezekiel 44:19.
Then he brought me forth into the utter court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court.The utter court; either the court of the people, or more likely the court of the priests or Levites, called here utter court, because it was more outward than the court of the temple.
To pass by the four corners, to go about the whole square of the court.
In every corner, where the side walls did meet in right angles.
A court; a smaller court made up on the outer sides with the walls of the greater square, and on the inside made with two walls, the one forty cubits long, the other thirty cubits broad.
In the four corners of the court there were courts joined of forty cubits long and thirty broad: these four corners were of one measure.They were then an oblong quadrangle, and all of equal capacity for length and breadth.
And there was a row of building round about in them, round about them four, and it was made with boiling places under the rows round about.A row of building; a range of building on the inside of the walls of the lesser courts, or four ranges answerable to the four sides.
Round about in them; added, lest any should think the buildings were on the outside of the walls of these courts.
Four; four courts in the four corners.
Boiling places; places of stone raised on purpose, and framed for the more convenient boiling of that part of the sacrifice which was allowed to the priest, or to the people, to eat before the Lord, and feast with.
Under the rows: these rows of building were so framed, that the caldrons and pots were placed under them; it is likely they might be like cloisters, over which was a roof to cover both the priest or Levite cooks, and the meats they dress, and they were either open as a cloister, or had windows, out of which the smoke of the fire or steam of the meat passed.
Then said he unto me, These are the places of them that boil, where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people.Them that boil; appointed to do the cook’s work.
The ministers; either Levites, or else degraded priests, of which see Ezekiel 44:9-14.
The house; the temple of God.
Shall boil the sacrifices which they bring, particularly their peace-offerings, of which the people were to have a portion, and to eat it before the Lord, which is the reason some think these courts and kitchens were in the corners of the courts of the people. But I think, as the people bringing a sacrifice were admitted into the court that was the court of the priests, and to the very gates of the court of the temple, where they gave the sacrifice to the priest, and saw him prepare and offer it for them, so they might be admitted to feast on so solemn occasion in the courts or chambers, whither ordinarily they might not come; I cannot therefore determine these kitchen courts to have been in the court of the people, it is more likely they were in the priests’ courts.