Ezekiel 45 - Outline of Ezekiel (MENU page)
In the chapter before us, the LORD continues His instructions relative to the ministry of the Millennial Temple. In the first half of this chapter, portions of the land are allocated for the Temple location, and for housing and agricultural provision for the priests, for the other Levites, and for the prince. Additional details concerning these allocations will be given in ch. 47-48, along with allocations of land for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
     The second half of the chapter prescribes periodic offerings which the prince is to sponsor. The instruction concerning offerings continues through ch. 46.
 
- Holy Portions for the Priests and for the Prince (v.1-8)
1. Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance,
ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land:
the length [shall be] the length of five and twenty thousand [reeds],
and the breadth [shall be] ten thousand.
This [shall be] holy in all the borders thereof round about.
2 Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred [in length],
with five hundred [in breadth], square round about;
and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof.
3 And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand,
and the breadth of ten thousand:
and in it shall be the sanctuary [and] the most holy [place].
4 The holy [portion] of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary,
which shall come near to minister unto the LORD:
and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary.
5 And the five and twenty thousand of length, and the ten thousand of breadth,
shall also the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves,
for a possession for twenty chambers.
6 And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad,
and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy [portion]:
it shall be for the whole house of Israel.
7 And a [portion shall be] for the prince
on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy [portion],
and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy [portion],
and before the possession of the city,
from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward:
and the length [shall be] over against one of the portions,
from the west border unto the east border.
8 In the land shall be his possession in Israel:
and my princes shall no more oppress my people;
and [the rest of] the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes.
...when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance...
When Israel settled into the promised land, under the leadership of Joshua following the Exodus, the land was divided by lot to each tribe, and then subdivided by lot to individual families. The general areas that will be allocated to each tribe, in the Millennial Kingdom, are identified in ch. 47-48. In a prescribed order, each tribe will possess an east-west swath of territory, which will run the full width of the land. However, precise boundary lines between tribes, and individual family parcels will be determined by lot, at that time. The first allotment will be the holy portion as prescribed here (in v.1-8).
...ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD...
The word 'oblation' {HB=terumah} most frequently refers to the 'heave offering.' (The root meaning of the word is 'to lift high.') Its first occurrence (in Ex 25:2) refers to the willing 'offering' of materials for constructing the Tabernacle. The word is also used of obligatory gifts (similar to taxes), as in v.13,16. Even the prescribed obligatory gifts are to be given cheerfully, for they are an opportunity to exalt the LORD, by giving back to Him a portion of the bounty which He has provided.
     The portion of land for the LORD, will be located between the allotments for the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (Eze 48:8,22). It will be a square of 25,000 measures per side. The square will be divided into three sections:
  1. for the Sanctuary and the Priests (v.1-4).
  2. for the Levites (v.5).
    Where the KJV reads 'twenty chambers,' the LXX reads 'cities to dwell in.' Perhaps the area will be subdivided into twenty residential communities.
  3. for the City of Jerusalem (v.6).
The remaining portion of land, to the east and west of this square, will be for the prince (v.7,8).
...the length shall be... five and twenty thousand [reeds], and the breadth... ten thousand.
The section, for the priests (in which the Temple will be central), and the adjoining section, for the Levites, both have the same dimensions.
     Note that the word 'reeds' was supplied by the translators (of the KJV), in keeping with the measurements given for the area around the Temple complex in Eze 42:15-20. In ch. 40-42, a reed of six long cubits was used for most of the Temple measurements. Cubits were used for small objects, such as the altar of wood.
     However, here, the only unit of measure (named in the text) is the cubit, and that for a relatively long distance (v.2). Therefore, many translations (eg., the NASB) have supplied the word 'cubits' rather than 'reeds' in v.1.
     If the intended measure is 25,000 reeds of six cubits, the holy portion will be about 50 miles on each side. This would be difficult to fit into the present land of Israel. However, the geographical changes which will occur at the end of the Tribulation, may rearrange the land sufficiently.
     If cubits are the intended unit of measure, the holy portion will be a little more than 8 miles on each side. This is the configuration presented in the accompanying map (see the inset). These dimensions fit the present land area, and also provide adequate area for the large (one mile square) Temple platform described in ch. 42.
...ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long... (v.6)
The southernmost section of the holy portion, which is allocated for the city of Jerusalem, is half the width of the other two sections. The city occupies the middle of this section, with open areas to its east and west as described in Eze 48:18,19.
... a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion...
The portion for the prince consists of two sections, one east and the other west of the square 'holy portion.' These sections are as wide as the holy portion, but the length is not given. Much of this land will probably be used for agriculture, as the prince will supply from his abundance during the regular holy days (v.17).
     The prince will also be allowed to give portions of this land to his sons, as their inheritance. But he will not be allowed to take possession of land belonging to any other individual or tribe (Eze 46:16-18). It is this latter stipulation which is addressed by "my princes shall no more oppress the people" (in v.8). The unjust practices of prior kings and rulers, in confiscating the possessions of others, will have no place in the Millennial Kingdom (eg., 1Kin 21:1-16; Mic 2:1,2; 3:1-4).
 
- Holy Procedures for Justice, Commerce, and Public Revenue, (v.9-16)
9. Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: {cp. Eze 44:6; 1Pet 4:3}
remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice,
take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.
10 Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath.
11 The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure,
that the bath may contain the tenth part of an homer,
and the ephah the tenth part of an homer:
the measure thereof shall be after the homer.
12 And the shekel [shall be] twenty gerahs:
twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh.
Whereas, in prior times, unjust rulers abused the people to advance themselves,
none of their malicious practices will continue in the Millennial Kingdom.
  • The princes will execute righteous judgment and true justice. eg., Psa 72:4
  • They will no longer unjustly expel people from their possessions.
    The word 'exactions' (v.9) refers to 'expulsions' (from a root word meaning 'to drive out'). This corresponds to the oppression of the people by confiscating properties (as discussed at v.8 above).
  • They will use just {ie., right, true} weights and measures. Lev 19:35,36; cf. Mic 6:10,11
    The ephah, bath, homer and cor are measures of volume. The bath and cor are generally used for liquids (eg., oil), while the ephah and homer are generally for dry goods (eg., grain). However, the homer is the standard unit of volume, upon which the others are scaled. The gerah, shekel, and maneh are measures of weight. There will be strict compliance with set standards.
    [Use the 'Glossary' button to look up any of these units of measurement, and find charts of OT Weights and Measures.]
 
13. This [is] the oblation that ye shall offer;
the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of wheat,
and ye shall give the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of barley:
14 Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil,
[ye shall offer] the tenth part of a bath out of the cor,
[which is] an homer of ten baths; for ten baths [are] an homer:
15 And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel;
for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings,
to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD.
16 All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel.
The people will have a responsibility to honor and support their governing prince.
Their obligation is clearly defined, by the Lord GOD, in v.13-16.
Therefore, the prince will not increase the levy.
Likewise, the people will not decrease the defined contribution. (Like the princes, the people will use accurate weights and measures.)
...one lamb... to make reconciliation for them...
The word translated 'make reconciliation' {HB=kaphar, atonement} means to 'cover over.' This word is frequently used in regard to the forgiveness of sin through 'atonement' by the blood of substitutionary sacrifices (eg., Lev 4:20,26). The word 'reconciliation' or 'reconcile' occurs in v.15,17,20, in regard to the sacrifices offered in the Millennial Temple. As in OT times, the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, but rather provided a covering until the one sufficient sacrifice would be offered, so, in the Millennial Kingdom, sacrifices will be symbolically retrospective of Christ's finished work as the propitiation by which sin was truly removed (not merely covered). Rom 3:24-26; Heb 10:4,12-14
 
- Holy Procedures for Offerings at the Feasts, (v.17-25)
17 And it shall be the prince's part [to give] burnt offerings,
and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons,
and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel:
he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering,
and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.
18 Thus saith the Lord GOD;
In the first [month], in the first [day] of the month,
thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary:
19 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering,
and put [it] upon the posts of the house,
and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar,
and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court.
20 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.
...it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings... meat {ie., meal} offerings... drink offerings...
As the representative of the Lord, the prince will provide all that is needed for the prescribed sacrifices. In this, there is a perpetual reminder that God provided Himself a Lamb (Gen 22:7,8; Joh 1:29).
...in the feasts {ie., festivals, sacrifices}, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel...
The word 'solemnities' {HB=mo'ed, appointed seasonal gatherings} is translated 'assemblies' in Eze 44:24, and 'feasts' in Lev 23:2,4 (and many other places). In the Millennial Kingdom, the calendar of scheduled feasts will differ substantially from that prescribed in the Mosaic Law. What were the feasts on the OT calendar?
The OT "Feasts of the LORD" are described in Leviticus ch. 23, as follows:
(In the list below, references from Lev. ch. 23 will display in the left window.)
[Each feast anticipated a distinct aspect of God's prophetic plan for Israel.]
  1. Passover (Lev 23:4,5)
    [Christ, our passover, provided redemption for His people, through His blood. 1Cor 5:7; 1Pet 1:18,19]
  2. ** Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:6-8)
    [Christ's finished work cleansed the believer of impurity and thereby opened communion with God. The continuation of unbroken communion is contingent upon holiness of life, which is nourished by feeding on Him who is the Bread of Life. 1Cor 11:23-26; 10:16,17; 5:6-8]
  3. First Fruits (Lev 23:9-14)
    [Christ's resurrection ensures the resurrection of believers at His return. That resurrection will be completed at the start of His Millennial Kingdom. 1Cor 15:22,23; 1The 4:13-18; Rev 20:4-6]
  4. ** Pentecost (the name refers to 'fifty days,' Lev 23:15-22)
    [At the first Pentecost following Christ's ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon His disciples. The Holy Spirit indwells believers, unites them into one body, and empowers their task of evangelism (Acts 2:1-4; 1:8; 1Cor 12:12,13). The first four feasts are close together on the calendar. The long space, of several months until the next feast, corresponds to the long Day of Grace (the church age), during which the Holy Spirit is calling sinners to the Savior. Joh 16:8-11; 2Pet 3:9,10]
  5. Trumpets (Lev 23:23-25)
    [The sound of the trumpet anticipates the regathering of Israel to their land, and also their call to repentance, in the Day of the LORD. Isa 27:12,13; Joel 2:15-32]
  6. Day of Atonement (Lev 23:26-32)
    [The Day of Atonement anticipates Israel's sorrowful repentance of sin, their recognition of the Savior, and their receiving of the remission for sin (the cleansing provided through His blood, at His first coming). Zech 12:10-14; 13:1; cp. Heb 9:13,14; 1Joh 1:7]
  7. ** Tabernacles (Lev 23:33-44)
    [This feast anticipates the Millennial Kingdom, during which the LORD will 'tabernacle' among His people. Zech 14:16-21; Eze 37:24-28; 48:35]
** Three times per year all males were to gather in Jerusalem to observe certain feasts (Deu 16:16).
As we return to the text before us (Ezekiel ch. 45), only three feasts are mentioned.
  1. Reconciliation for the House (v.18-20).
    This consists of one sin offering per day, on the first and seventh day of the first month. This is totally new, because the Mosaic Law had no scheduled events on those dates.
         However, as we saw (in the notes at v.15 above), the word used for 'reconciliation' is usually translated 'atonement.' In the context of the Millennial Kingdom, this 'atonement' {covering for sin, provided by animal sacrifices} is a symbolic reminder of the finished work of redemption which Christ completed upon His cross.
         The OT Day of Atonement, poised near the close of the religious calender, awaited the coming of Christ to take away 'covered' sin. In the Millennial Kingdom, the year will begin with these days of Reconciliation (Atonement), declaring that God reconciled men to Himself, through the death of His Son (Rom 5:10).
         The two sacrifices (on the first and seventh days) have the same purpose (reconciliation of the House), but different emphases. The first renews the holy purpose of 'the House of Israel' (v.17, ie., God's People) and 'the House' (v.19,20c, ie., God's Temple): that they should testify of Him. The second (v.20a,b) assures the worshippers that His salvation is sufficient for those who could not help themselves, for we have all 'erred' {ie., gone astray, Isa 53:6; Rom 3:10-12}, and we are all 'simple' {ie., foolish, easily seduced, helpless, eg., Psa 116:6; Eph 2:8,9}.
  2. Passover (combined with 'Unleavened Bread') (v.21-24)
    (See below.)
  3. Tabernacles (v.25)
 
21 In the first [month], in the fourteenth day of the month,
ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days;
unleavened bread shall be eaten.
22 And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself
and for all the people of the land a bullock [for] a sin offering.
23 And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the LORD,
seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days;
and a kid of the goats daily [for] a sin offering.
24 And he shall prepare a meat
{ie., meal} offering of an ephah for a bullock,
and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil for an ephah.
The Passover will be celebrated on the same date as in the OT. Lev 23:4,5
As in the OT, the Passover will be closely associated with unleavened bread (Lev 23:6-8). Those, who have been cleansed and made holy through the blood of the Lamb, are to continue walking in holiness and communion with Him (free from the 'leaven' of unrighteousness').
     The number of sacrificial animals differs markedly. In the OT, on the day of the Passover, one lamb was offered for the nation, and each family roasted a lamb and partook of its flesh (eg., Luk 22:7). During the week of unleavened bread, there was also a daily sacrifice.
     In the Passover of the Millennial Kingdom, a single bullock will be offered as a sin-offering for the prince and the people, on the first day. Then, "seven bullocks and seven rams... and a kid of the goats" will be offered on each of seven days. The bullocks and rams are a burnt offering, while the single lamb is a sin-offering. The repetition of the number seven, emphasizes the significance of the burnt offering, which was totally consumed upon the altar, ie., that Christ gave Himself wholly, in complete submission to the Father's will. In doing so, He became the one perfect and final offering for sin (Isa 53:10).
     The choice of animals is also significant. In comparison to a lamb, bullocks and rams are powerful creatures. Their combined strength grows greater as their numbers increase. The one lamb, alongside the many strong ones, illustrates the power of the single Lamb of God, who gave Himself for us (Rom 1:16).
25 In the seventh [month], in the fifteenth day of the month,
shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days,
according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering,
and according to the meat
{ie., meal} offering, and according to the oil.
This feast is not named here, but it occurs on the OT date for Tabernacles (Lev 23:34).
Other passages indicate that the feast of Tabernacles will be an important celebration during the Millennial Kingdom, because it will celebrate the Lord's Presence among His people (eg., Zech 14:16).
The same number and type of sacrifices will be offered at Tabernacles as at Passover (cp. v.21-24 with v.25).
As with Passover, so with Tabernacles, the sacrifices will be multiplied by seven, compared to those prescribed in the OT for the feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:36). The religious calendar will begin and end with powerful reminders that, in Christ, God's purposes and promises have been perfectly fulfilled (2Cor 1:20).
Several of the OT Feasts of the LORD are not included on the calendar of the Millennial Kingdom,
because their purposes will have been fulfilled. The omitted feasts include First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, and the Day of Atonement. Review the significance of these feasts (which are shown in italics) on the list, in the notes at v.17-20, above.
 
[The map of Israel in the Millennial Kingdom, was adapted from TBKC.]

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