And he said to me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house.
What would a temple be with no priesthood to minister at its altars, to present the offerings of its worshippers? The priests give meaning and interest to the temple, not only to the scenery of its services, but to its great purpose and aim. The mention in this passage of the priests who dwelt and ministered within the temple precincts suggests reflections of a more general character regarding the office and those who were called to undertake it.
I. HUMANITY IS CONSTITUTED FOR CONSCIOUS AND HAPPY RELATIONS OF INTIMATE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
II. HUMANITY IS BY SIN RENDERED MORALLY UNFIT FOR SUCH FELLOWSHIP.
III. PRIESTHOOD IS APPOINTED BY GOD HIMSELF AS THE MEDIUM BY WHICH SUCH FELLOWSHIP MAY BE RESTORED AND MAINTAINED.
IV. THE EXERCISE OF THE PRIESTLY OFFICE IS A PERPETUAL EXPRESSION OF MAN'S DEPENDENCE FOR EVERY BLESSING UPON GOD.
V. THE OFFICE OF THE PRIESTHOOD IS ESPECIALLY DESIGNED TO RESTORE THE INTERRUPTED HARMONY OF MORAL RELATIONS BETWEEN MAN AND GOD.
VI. AND TO PRESENT TO GOD FROM MAN THE TRIBUTE AND OFFERING EVER DUE.
VII. THE HEBREW PRIESTHOOD WAS INTENDED TO PREFIGURE AND TO PREPARE FOR THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE SON OF GOD.
APPLICATION. The priesthood, as exercised among the Jews, has for us an interest more than historic. It foreshadowed facts and principles which could only reach their perfect fulfillment and realization in the mediation of Christ. The Jewish priesthood ought not to be regarded as merely typical; it expressed Divine and eternal truths. At the same time, the sacerdotal office of the Lord Jesus cannot he placed upon the same level as the ministry of the temple at Jerusalem. That which was fully exhibited in him was but faintly outlined in his predecessors. Christ's was the real offering, the true sacrifice. And this is made perfectly plain by the provision that he should have no successor in the work of atonement. Yet it must not be forgotten that there is a function of priesthood which is perpetual in the Church - the function of obedience and of praise. In this all true Christians - ministers and worshippers alike - take part. This unceasing offering and sacrifice ascends from the heart-altars of the faithful throughout the spiritual temple of the living God. And this comes up with acceptance through him who is the High Priest of our profession, by whom all offerings that his people present to Heaven are laid upon the upper altar, and are well pleasing to the King and Savior of all. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house.