Ezekiel 46


This chapter falls into three divisions:


  • The first  vs. 1-15) gives supplementary directions for the prince

 and the people of the land when engaged in solemn acts of worship;


  • the second (vs. 16-18) furnishes the prince with instructions as to

      how he may dispose of his portion or inheritance;


  • the third (vs. 19-24) adds particulars about the sacrificial

      kitchens for the priests and for the people.


                                              (vs. 1-15)


The supplementary directions contained in these verses relate to the worship of

the prince and the people on the sabbaths and the new moons (vs. 1-7) and at

the appointed feasts generally (vs. 5-15).


1 “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.”   Like the preceding sections which introduced distinctly new

enactments in Ezekiel’s Torah (see ch. 44:9; 45:9, 18), this properly opens with a

Thus saith the Lord God, since it refers to the worship that should be celebrated

at the gate of the inner court which looketh toward the east. Ewald, after the

Septuagint - (πύληἐν τῇ αὐλῇ τῇ ἐσωτέρᾳ - hae pulae hae en tae aulae tae

esotera - ), changes the text so as to read the outer court gate, and

understands the statement here made to be a qualification of that contained

in 44:1-3. It is, however, the inner east gate to which the

present clause alludes, and the announcement made concerning it is that,

like the outer east gate, it should be shut on the six working days;

literally, the six days of the business (compare I Samuel 20:19); but that,

unlike the outer east gate, it should be opened on the sabbath (literally, in

the day of the sabbath) and in the day of the new moon, both of which

days had been marked under the Law, and should in future continue to be

marked, by special sacrificial celebrations.


2 “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 reason for the opening of this inner east gate should be that

the prince might enter it as far as its threshold, and stand there worshipping

by the posts of the gate, while his burnt offerings and his peace offerings

were being prepared by the priests, who, rather than the prince, were the

proper ministers for conducting the sacrificial ceremony. The prince should

reach his station at the threshold of the inner gate, by the way of the

porch of that (or, the) gate without; but whether this signified that he

should pass through the eastern gate of the outer court, and so advance

towards the inner east gate, as Ewald, Keil, Kliefoth, and Plumptre assume,

or, as Hengstenberg, Schroder, and Smend suppose, that he should enter

the inner gate by the way of the porch of the gate, i.e. from the outside,

from the outer court into which he had previously entered through either

the north or the south outer gates, cannot be decided. In favor of the

former may be urged the consideration that it seems more natural to apply

מִהוּצ to the outer gate than to the outer court, since no, one could enter

the inner gate except from the outer court, unless he were already in the

inner court; but in favor of the latter is:


  • the stringent character of the language in ch.44:1-3, which

expressly declares that the outer east gate should not be opened, and that

no man should enter in by it, thus scarcely admitting of an exception; and


  • the statement in vs. 9-10 of the present chapter, that in the

appointed feasts” the prince and the people alike should enter the outer

court either by the north or the south gate, since, if any of these “feasts”

fell upon a sabbath, this regulation would not be practicable, if the prince

and the people were required to enter by different doors. The question,

however, in itself is immaterial. The points of importance are that the

prince should worship in the porch of the inner gate, and that, on finishing

his worship, he should retire, and that the gate should not be shut; until the



3 “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 (or, and) to the people of the land should be

accorded permission to worship at this inner gate, only not like the prince,

in its porch, but at its door, yet on the same occasions as he, in the

sabbaths and in the new moons. Kliefoth, who takes “this gate” to

signify the outer gate, through which, according to his interpretation of

v. 2 (see above), the prince should pass so as to reach the inner east gate,

conceives the import of the present verse to be that, while the prince

should be permitted on the sabbaths and new moons to pass through the

eastern gate, the people “should remain standing in front of the outer east

gate, and, looking through it and the opened inner east gate, should pray

before Jehovah.” This, however, is unnatural, even on the hypothesis that

the prince should pass through the outer east gate, and the view of Keil is

greatly preferable, that “this gate” was the inner east gate, and that the

people should reach it (even if the prince did not) by entering the outer

court through the north gate or the south.



The Daily Offering (vs. 1-3)


There is nothing inconsistent in the combination of special solemnities

observed upon certain occasions with the regular daily worship. They are

not contradictory of, but complementary to, each other. If there is an

adaptation between annual festivals and one principle of human nature,

there is an equal adaptation between another tendency of that nature and

the constantly recurring daily sacrifice of prayer and praise. Accordingly, in

this same chapter are found directions as to the yearly feasts and

instructions concerning the daily sacrifice. How just and reasonable is this

latter provision for our religious life is apparent from:



The tokens of God’s goodness and bounty, forbearance and grace, do not

come to us at long intervals. They are incessantly bestowed. He daily

loadeth us with benefits. (Psalm 68:19)  He giveth us day by day our daily

bread. (Matthew 6:11)  The mind that is at once observant and sensitive is,

at the contemplation of renewed, unceasing favors, ready to exclaim,

“Every day will I praise thee, and I will bless thy Name for ever and ever.”

(Psalm 145:2)




sacrifices of the temple included not only thank offerings, but sin and

trespass offerings. The Israelite worshipper appeared before Jehovah as a

penitent supplicating forbearance and pardon. There is no human

worshipper who has not occasion to come into the presence of the God of

holiness with shame and confusion of face. Daily transgressions and

omissions call for daily acts of humiliation and daily entreaties for mercy.

The self-righteous may conceal from themselves this fact, and the

hypocritical may seek to conceal it from God. But those who know

themselves, and are sincere in their devotions, will implore the clemency

and the forgiveness promised by the righteous Sovereign to those who seek





Devotion is primarily the offering of the heart, its love and grateful praise,

to God. But it includes also the seeking of blessings which it is His

prerogative to bestow. There is no day which does not bring with it duties

that can be properly fulfilled only with Divine assistance, trials which can

only be passed through securely and beneficially through the direction

which God’s Holy Spirit alone can vouchsafe. If this is so, how reasonable

is the provision for daily communion with God! Thus only can we be

assured of that grace which will enable us so to pass through the discipline

of earth that it may be the means of meeting us for THE SERVICE AND




The Consecration of Time (vs. 1-3)


God has mercifully imparted to human life a pleasant variety. It might have

been, especially as the result of transgression, a dull monotony. It might

have been day without night; a continuous season, neither summer nor

winter; working days in perpetual succession. But as in nature He has given

to us the delightfu1 spectacle of mountain and valley, land and water; as in

the circumstance and experience of life we have youth, manhood and old

age;  so also we have secular days and sacred. (I Recommend Thomas Cole’s

Voyages of Life @ http://www.explorethomascole.org/tour/items/73/series/

for contemplation.  CY – 2017)



RELIGION. Sun and moon and stars not only serve as luminaries of our

earth, they are appointed as signs. They signify unseen and spiritual

realities. The sun speaks to us of another Fount of light — the Sun of

Righteousness, who illuminates man’s soul.  (Malachi 4:2)  The moon,

with her many phases, serves as an emblem of the Church, receiving her

light and heat from the Sun. Every mountain appeals to us to rise above

the common level of a mortal’s life. Every flower points to spiritual beauty

and usefulness, while it preaches likewise a lesson of man’s brief opportunity.

So when the gate that looked towards the east was opened, it was that the

worshippers might be moved and lifted heavenward, by the sight of the

rising sun. This privilege was repeated on the day when the new moon

appeared. Incarnate as we are in flesh and blood, we need to learn from

every quarter lessons of spiritual moment. God deigns to instruct us by the

service of a thousand, teachers. If our eyes are open wide we may learn

gospel lessons on every side.



SEASONS. He came near to Jacob in a special manner by the vision at

Bethel. He came down on Horeb, and talked with Moses as a man talketh

with his friend. Especially He has ordained the sabbath as a time when He

will commune with men. Even ignorant men have discovered that rest of

body and intellect one day in seven is a benefit to the man and to the

nation. But without doubt God sees a deeper reason for the institution of

the sabbath than do we. Certain it is that in the olden time He regarded the

observance of the sabbath as emphatically the maintenance of men’s

covenant with Him. The violation of the sabbath obtained His withering

frown. And the intrinsic value of the day is as great now, although its

violation be not followed by the summary punishment of God. The sabbath

day is peculiarly a day “in which He may be found.” Having spread the

banquet for human souls, the King comes near to see His guests.




intimate fellowship with God is on our side. On God’s side there is eager

willingness. “We are not straitened in Him.” He is prepared to make His

presence a joyous reality as much as ever He did to saints in the olden time.

We may walk with Him as Enoch did (Genesis 5:24), if we will. We may have

communications with Him as Abraham did, if we will. The hindrance is in

our own will. If only the door of the heart be unbarred, if only our

strongest affections wait on the threshold to give Him welcome, He will

meet with us, and give us all the comforts of His friendship. Other guests

are often entertained, such as vain ambitions, animal inclinations, worldly

cares, evil companionships, and we are ashamed to bring in the heavenly

King. Alas! too often the door is locked on the inside.



exerts an influence either for evil or for good over multitudes. His example

is especially contagious. If he is sincerely pious, he can induce many to

serve the Lord. But even the prince may not bring the sacrifice near to

God. His rank and office are limited by Divine authority. In the service of

the sanctuary he may not be supreme. Even the king must draw nigh to

God through the offices of the priest. The priest likewise renders useful

service to multitudes. He speaks for them to God. He conveys substantial

good from God to them. So every man, in proportion to his faith and piety

and prayerfulness, may win over others to the side of virtue — to the side

of God. Each of us occupies a center, and by a holy character we can draw,

by the magnetic power of love Godward, men and women from a wide

circumference. As “one sinner destroyeth much good” (Ecclesiastes 9:18),

so one saint may save alive a myriad of his fellow-men.



THRESHOLD OF THE TRUE TEMPLE. So encompassed are we with a

material nature, that we can get no further than the margin of the eternal

kingdom. We can see the great realities “only through a glass darkly.”

(I Corinthians 13:12)  Yet we make them more obscure:


Ø      by our spiritual laziness and

Ø      our undue attachment to earthly pursuits.


Above everything, candor and openness of soul are needed to allow the light

of truth to stream in. We can make earthly and carnal all the sensibilities of

our souls by the habitual neglect of God’s presence. (“To be carnally

minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”  Romans 8:6)

But if we wish honestly and earnestly to know God more, and to have friendly

relations with Him, we can. The open door of the heart will be a welcome

to God well understood.



The People’s Worship (v.3)


Although there was an elaborate hierarchical system in the Hebrew

religion, care was taken that the people generally should take an important

part in the service. They were not admitted to the most sacred parts of the

temple enclosure, but they were expected to come up to the temple and

share in its worship.


  • GOD LOOKS FOR THE PEOPLE’S WORSHIP. If this was expected

under the Law, much more is it looked for in the gospel dispensation,

according to which all the Lord’s people are priests, and all are admitted to

the most holy place through the rent veil God has personal dealings with

each soul, and it is right for each soul to come up before him in grateful

adoration. The service in which the people do not take part cannot be said

to be of much use to them. It is true that there is value in intercession, and

we should all plead one for another. Still, we cannot grant to any priest a

power of attorney to execute our religious contracts in our stead.


  • THE PEOPLE CAN ENJOY WORSHIP. When the heart is in it, no

joy on earth can be more rich and full.


                                    “Lord, how delightful ‘tis to see

                                    A whole assembly worship thee!”


The dreariness of Sunday just arises from the fact that so many people who

go to church really take no part in the service. It must be wearisome to sit

as spectator of a feast of which one does not partake. But when once a

living interest is taken in the worship, and the spectator becomes a guest at

the table, the whole character of the scene is changed, and the joy of

worship is experienced. Then it is possible to say, “How amiable are thy

tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the

courts of the Lord;” and “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go

into the house of the Lord.”



be possible to make it all that we would desire in form and external

expression. Indeed, popular worship can never reach the standard of

fastidious aestheticism. In trying to satisfy the refined taste of one or two

cultured persons, we may simply destroy the means of worship for the

majority of a congregation. In that case the service, while it reaches the

perfection of art, loses its spiritual character and degenerates into a mere

musical performance. We should always bear in mind the practical end of

worship, always see that it is in touch with the people and expresses and

helps the devotion of the congregation generally. The church should be the

people’s home of worship, not the shrine of a privileged aristocracy. Christ

was one of the people.



MAY BE MADE POPULAR. There is considerable danger of running into

this opposite extreme in the effort to attract and interest the indifferent.

But then the whole object is defeated. We may get the people and amuse

them for a while, but what is the use of doing so if we sacrifice the great

end of assembling together — the reverent adoration of the holy God?

Fine art may be sacrificed, but spiritual reality must be retained. Religion,

the essence of which is reverence, cannot be helped by mere vulgarity.

The people’s worship must be worship.



    Worship (v. 3)


The prophet, having described by anticipation the sacred city and temple,

having represented the several duties of prince, priest, and people, having

given regulations for sacrifices and festivals, now proceeds to depict the

sacred services for which all this preparation has been undertaken. The

rulers of the nation, the ministers of religion, and the people of the land are

beheld uniting in the solemn function of spiritual worship. This is the

loftiest exercise of the Church, whether upon earth or in heaven. The

worship of the individual soul yields in beauty and in grandeur to that

sacrifice of worship in which multitudes, willingly, gratefully, and joyfully

unite.  (“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about

the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was

ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to

receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor,

and glory, and blessing.”  Revelation 5:11-12)


  • THE OBJECT OF WORSHIP IS GOD ONLY. In this a distinction

existed between Israel and the heathen people around; for whilst these

worshipped gods many and lords many, the chosen people worshipped

Jehovah, and Him alone. In the Church of Christ, whilst many of the great

and holy in former times are remembered with gratitude and veneration,

worship, in the strict and proper sense of the term, is reserved for the

SUPREME and ETERNAL,  who shares his honor with none beside.

His glorious perfections demand the homage and adoration of His intelligent

creatures; and the more His character is studied, the more will it appear

worthy of all the admiration and reverence which can be brought into




The great and the small, the young and the old, the learned and the lay, are

all qualified to present to the Eternal the spiritual tribute which is His due.

For it is in virtue of their humanity, their participation in human nature,

experience, and powers, and not in virtue of any peculiar possession or

acquisition, that they are summoned to unite in the worship of their

CREATOR! The idea of the prophet was one in a high degree expanded and

comprehensive; yet even this fell short of the great reality as apprehended

by the Apocalyptic seer.



true that this spiritual doctrine is especially that of Christianity, of the New

Testament. But the attentive reader of the Psalms and prophecies of the old

covenant is aware that the enlightened Hebrews were superior to a merely

formal and mechanical view of worship. Sacrifices and offerings were

known and felt to be of no avail unless they expressed the deep and sincere

emotions of the inner nature. Thus it must ever be; He who is a Spirit must

be worshipped in spirit and in truth.  (John 4:24)





Ø      There must be acknowledgment of the Divine attributes,

contemplated with reverence.

Ø      There must be humiliation and confession of sin.

Ø      There must be the presentation of the due offering of gratitude


Ø      There must be petitions and intercessions for needed good.




CIRCUMSTANCES. It is narrow bigotry to insist upon one form of

spiritual service or of uttered adoration and prayer. There are occasions

upon which worship may be spontaneous and ejaculatory; and other

occasions upon which it may be elaborate, artistic, and protracted. The

worship of the individual who is momentarily touched by what is beautiful

in nature, or impressive in the Word of God, is as acceptable as the liturgy

of a cathedral service, or as the fervent service of praise in which

expression may be given to a nation’s gratitude for signal favors.



CONTINUOUS. The text speaks of the “new moons” and the sabbaths

as opportunities for solemn and public services of devotion. Yet we read a

little later of the daily offering. The truth is that there is no season when

worship is unsuitable on the part of man or unacceptable to God. Yet

there is wisdom in the appointment both of regular and of special seasons

and occasions of worship. None can worship God too much, or too

reverently, or too fervently.


“From every place beneath the skies

Let the Creator’s praise arise!

Let the Redeemer’s Name be sung

In every land, by every tongue!”


4 “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.  5 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.”  These two verses describe the sacrifices the prince should

offer unto the Lord on the sabbaths.


  • A burnt offering of six lambs and a ram, all without blemish. The

Mosaic Law, or so-called priests’ code, demanded two yearling lambs

(Numbers 28:9).


  • A meat offering, consisting of an ephah of fine flour for a ram, and for

the lambs as he shall be able to give; literally, a gift of his hand — not a

handful, but, as v. 7 explains, what his hand can attain unto (compare

Leviticus 14:31; 25:26), i.e. as much as he can, with a hin of oil to an

ephah, for which again the Law required two-tenths of an ephah of fine

flour mingled with oil ( Numbers 28:9).


6 “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.  7 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.”  Verses 6-7 specify the

corresponding sacrifices for the new moons.


  • A burnt offering of a young bullock without blemish, six lambs, and a

ram, with which may be compared the two bullocks, one ram, and seven

lambs of the Mosaic Torah (Numbers 28:11-15).


  • A meat (or, meal) offering of an ephah for the bullock, an ephah for

the ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto

(compare v 5; and the similar expressions in Leviticus 5:7, 11; 12:8),

with a hin of oil to an ephah. This also is less than that which had been

demanded by the Law, viz. three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mingled

with oil for each bullock, two-tenths for the ram and one-tenth for every

lamb (Numbers 28:11-15). The Torah of Ezekiel omits the sin offering

of a he-goat, which had a place in the Torah of Moses.


8 “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.”  This

begins an ordinance relative to the mode of conducting worship at

the appointed festivals (v. 9; compare ch. 36:38; 45:17; Leviticus 23:2;

Hosea 12:9), by indicating first how the prince should enter and depart from

the temple. According to Kliefoth and Keil, the prince’s entrance and departure

should be by the way of the porch of the outer, according to Hengstenberg,

Smend, and Currey, of the inner, east gate (see on v. 2).


9 “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.”

But when the people of the land shall come before the Lord.

As the preceding verse referred to the prince’s entrance into and departure

from the inner gate, this was intended to regulate the movements of the

prince’s subjects when they should enter the outer court at any of the festal

seasons — not the high festivals alone, such as the Passover and the Feast

of Tabernacles, which are usually denominated חַגּים, but the ordinary

appointed feasts (מוְעֲדִים), including, besides the high festivals, the

sabbaths and the new moons and such other religions celebrations as were

or should be prescribed in the new Torah. In order to prevent confusion,

and that all might be conducted with propriety (compare I Corinthians

14:40), no one should depart by the gate through which he had entered,

but by the opposite, i.e. he who had entered by the north gate should retire

through the south gate, and vice versa. Hengstenberg thinks the reason for

this regulation “cannot be sought in the endeavor to avoid a throng,” since

in that case it must have been ordained that all should go in by the same

gate and go out by the opposite one;” it must, he holds, have been “a

theological one,” viz. “to signify that each should go out of the sanctuary

another man than he came in.”



The Soul’s Growth in Goodness (v. 9)


The wisdom of God has been clearly evinced in the spiritual training of the

human family. The forbidden fruit was the wisest test that God could

impose on Adam. The simple sacrifice of a lamb was the fittest training of

men’s souls during the patriarchal age. And as the race developed from

infancy into youth, and from youth to manhood, God’s methods for

unfolding and maturing the spiritual nature have been singularly

appropriate. The highest good man can obtain is the development of his

spirit — the expansion of his highest powers. To this end all religious

worship is designed to contribute.


  • MAN’S SPIRITUAL LIFE BEGINS AT ZERO. In all God’s works we

see development from a simple germ to highest perfection. For high

reasons God does not produce perfected natures at a single stroke. Even

this unconscious earth passed through long stages of preparation before it

was fit for human habitation. The rose does not reach perfection except by

patient culture. Everything about us is in transition, and is moving onward

in a course of development. Art is not yet perfected. Our bodily nature

begins with a microscopic germ, and slowly develops towards maturity. If

anything is plainly revealed in Scripture, it is this — that the life of the soul

begins at the lowest point and is intended to reach the highest. We do not

begin our earthly career with robust faith in the unseen God, nor yet with a

sensitive conscience, nor yet with strong aspirations after moral excellence.

All this is the result of research and self-discipline and prayer. Clearly there

is an intimate analogy between all the varieties of life known to us. With

respect to the grain there is first the seed, then the blade, then stalk, then

ear, then full corn in the ear. (Mark 4:28)  With respect to the body there is

babyhood, infancy, youth, manhood, maturity. And the life of the soul begins

with a thought, a feeling, a wish, a prayer. It begins in the understanding, passes

into the conscience, touches the emotions, moves the desires, constrains the will,

molds the life. It begins in feebleness and develops into world-controlling

power. Probably the main reason for this is that the spiritual

life, to have any beauty or excellence, must be the spontaneous desire and

endeavor of the man himself. If, by the constitution of his nature, a man

must be holy and benevolent, there would be no merit in holiness, no worth

in benevolence. Therefore scope is given to a man, greater or lesser, to

foster the young germ of spiritual life, and to develop it unto the noblest

perfection. This is our supreme business during OUR MORTAL CAREER!



PUBLIC WORSHIP. The temple in the olden time, and Christian

sanctuaries now, are designed by God for this end.  (The greatest temple

is the soul where God doeth “dwell with us!”  Matthew 1:23 - CY – 2017)


Ø      Instruction is provided. In the former ages this was furnished in the

form of rite and emblem; now, almost entirely, by oral utterance. There

is conveyed information respecting God:


o       His nature,

o       His kingdom,

o       His will,

o       His doings and,


information respecting man:


o       his nature,

o       his fall,

o       his redemption,

o       his possible elevation to purity, and

o       his destinies in a future state.


Ø      Access to God is allowed.


o       Self-inspection is encouraged.

o       Interior sin, in inclination and desire, is detected.

o       The eye is turned inward upon the soul. 

o       The best sensibilities of the heart are strengthened and expanded.

o       A vision of holiness is obtained.

o       New aspirations begin to bud.

o       The sacred influence of God is felt upon the soul.

o       True prayer is stimulated.


Ø      Right habits are confirmed. Every man is more or less influenced by his

fellow-man, so contact with holy men produces salutary impressions upon

every sensitive mind. The forceful presentation of truth upon the moral

nature tends to elevate it. Convictions of religious duty are inwrought.

Regard for God’s revelation and for God’s will is deepened. Resolution to

follow a right course is often formed. The energies of the soul are braced

up for high endeavor. Familiarity with God and with eternal things is

increased. As a plant grows and buds under the influence of the vernal sun,

so a man’s soul unfolds amid the surroundings of public worship.


Ø      A Divine influence is present.



BY EVERY VISIT TO THE SANCTUARY. This is the main truth taught

in this verse. Men were not allowed, in the second temple, to retrace their

steps. They might not depart by the same path as that by which they

approached the altar. Without doubt this was ordained in order to leave an

impressive lesson on their minds. The law yet remains. It is written on

man’s spiritual constitution. It is written in the very structure of the temple.

No man leaves God’s house precisely the same man as he went in. He is

either worse or better for his visit. If he has yielded in any measure to the

claims of God, he is the better. If he has resisted them afresh, HE IS THE



Ø      Let us contemplate the foolish man.


o        If he enter by the gate of self-righteousness he will in all probability

leave by the gate of insensibility. His soul will be hardened under the

process. The sun that melts wax hardens clay.


o        If he enter by the gate of unbelief he will leave by the gate of despair.

Foregone conclusions fasten like a bandage upon the eyes. THE ROOT


is without hope.  (“....without Christ......having no hope, and

without God in the world:” – Ephesians 2:11)


o        If he enter by the gate of formal custom he will leave by the gate of

bondage. His carnal fetters will have been more firmly riveted by the



Ø      Let us contemplate the wise manthe beneficial visit.


o       He who enters by the gate of inquiry leaves by the gate of


o       He who enters by the gate of penitence leaves by the gate of


o       He who enters by the gate of prayer leaves by the gate of


o       He who enters by the gate of consecration leaves by the gate

of immortal hope.


10 “And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in;

and when they go forth, shall go forth.”  The regulation seems to teach

that in such observances at least the prince should stand on a level with the

people, and both enter and retire by the same door as they.




Distinction and Equality in the Kingdom of God (vs. 2-3,10)


We have here a distinction drawn between one citizen and all the rest. The

prince was to enter by the way of the porch of the east gate and stand by

the post of the gate, “at the porch of the inner court,” while the people

were to stand at a distance, at the outer gate (vs. 2-3); yet on other

occasions the prince and the people together were to enter in and to go

forth together without regard to social distinction (v. 10). We are thus

invited to consider that, in the coming kingdom, of which this whole vision

was prophetic, there were to be both distinction and equality. And we have



  • DISTINCTION WITHIN THE KINGDOM. In the gospel of Jesus

Christ there are:


Ø      Higher posts in the Church to be occupied by a few; there have been (or

are) apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, deacons, etc.; and

there is a sense in which these have a priority of position over the ordinary

members of the Church.


Ø      Higher order of service to be rendered by some. While every citizen of

the kingdom of God has to serve by living the truth, by illustrating its

essential principles in daily action in every sphere, it is given to some to

commend the saving truth by powerful and persuasive utterances, or by

unanswerable and imperishable literature; and yet again it is given to others

to contribute still nobler service by suffering, or even dying, “for the sake

of the Lord Jesus” and in confirmation of the truth (see Acts 5:41;

Philippians 1:29; Revelation 7:13-14).


Ø      Longer period of service granted to some than given to others.


o        There are those who are called and blessed from childhood to old age,

who serve Christ and His cause through all the stages of human life,

with the gathered wisdom of long and varied experience.

o        There are those who have not heard the Divine summons until the

greater part of life is over, and these can only bring their wasted and

rapidly declining faculties to the altar of holy service. Yet is there





Ø      All must enter at the same gate. To one and all alike, however favored


by which to enter (John 10:7).

Ø      All must advance by the same spiritual courseby means of

watchfulness and prayer and holy usefulness, by learning of God, by

gaining from God, by working for God.

Ø      All must give account of the  Christian life, and the use they have made

of their the opportunity (Luke 19:12-26; II Corinthians 5:10).

Ø      All will be judged on principles of perfect equity (Matthew 25:20-23;

Luke 12:48; II Corinthians 8:12).



The Prince in the Midst of Them (v. 10)


The center of the glory of restored Israel was to be found in her prince. No

prince appeared, however, who was able to accomplish the expectations of

prophecy until the advent of Jesus Christ. He isthe Prince in the midst

of His people.”




Ø      He is one of them. The Jew’s Prince was a Jew, not a foreigner. Christ is

the Firstborn among many brethren.” He is a true Man, the Son of

man.  He has been over the Christian course, and has Himself lived the

pattern Christian life.


Ø      He is their Head. Christ stoops to save, but He rises again to rule. Even

during His earthly humiliation He plainly took the lead among His

disciples.  Now He is seated on His throne in heaven, reigning over

His Church.



ministry He dwelt among men. Unlike John the Baptist, who retired to the

solitude of the wilderness and to whom people had to come by leaving

their homes, Jesus went about through the towns and villages of Israel,

eating and drinking with all sorts and conditions of men. Although He is no

longer visible, we have His assurance that He will be always with His true

disciples (Matthew 28:20). Christ does not simply visit His people in

moments of great need; He is always with them. He does not select some

choice followers for His companionship, to the neglect of the great body

of His people, like a prince who enjoys himself with his courtiers and

takes little or no notice of the bulk of the nation. Jesus is in the midst

of His people, right in the center of the population of the kingdom of




people go in, i.e. to the temple, the Prince shall go in. The Prince must

worship with His people. Prince and peasant must bow together before

their common Lord. Every purely human prince needs to confess his sins as

a penitent and to utter the publican’s prayer, “God be merciful to me a

sinner!” Christ the sinless cannot take part in our confession except by

sympathy. But He is with us throughout our worship. Christian worship at

its highest is communion with Christ. In that most sacred act of worship,

the Lord’s Supper, we seek especially for the living presence of Christ. For

surely every Protestant must admit that there is a real Presence — not in

the bread or wine — but in the hearts of Christ’s worshipping people.



the people go forth their Prince is to accompany them. It would be sad if

Christ only met His people in their worship. He is more needed in work, in

temptation, in trouble. Christ is with us in the world as well as in the

Church. He does not confine His sympathy to ecclesiastical circles. But

when we have some hard task to accomplish or some severe trial to face

His presence may be especially looked for. The good leader will be in the

thick of the fight, cheering his soldiers just where the battle is hottest. Our

Captain of salvation accompanies us in the holy war against sin. If courage

fails, this should be our cheering thought — the Prince is in the midst of



11 “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.”  This

specifies the meat (or, meal) offering which should be presented

in the feasts (חַגּים), or high festivals, as the Passover and Feast of

Tabernacles, and in the solemnities (מועֲדִים), or appointed feasts

generally, viz. an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to

the lambs as he is able to give (comp. vs. 5, 7), with a hin of oil to an

ephah. This is the same meat offering as was appointed for the new moons

(see v. 7), but slightly different in quantity from, though the same in

principle as, that stipulated for the seven days of the Passover (ch. 45:24).




Feasts and Solemnities (v. 11)


In all religions there are instituted festivals and public functions, which

serve to manifest and to sustain the religious life of the community. This

was especially the case with Judaism, which prescribed many stated

solemnities. Even the Christian religion has its appointed sacraments, and,

in addition to these, which were instituted by the Divine Founder, the

Church has at various periods set apart times and seasons for certain public

observances, participation in which has been found conducive to religious

earnestness and vitality, as well as to ecclesiastical prosperity.




MIND. It is not in human nature to proceed in one undeviating and

monotonous course. Life is best lived when the regular and stated order of

things is varied by occasional diversities. As in ordinary existence, so in the

religious life, it is well that there should be variety, and that men should be

invited to special engagements of a spiritual nature, whether of humiliation

or of rejoicing, whether commemorative or anticipatory. Men do not cease

to be men because they are Christians, and Christianity is not only

compatible with, it is promoted by, special sacred festivals, fasts, and other





OCCASIONAL AND SPECIAL. The Jews had, in the course of their

national history, experienced wonderful interventions of Divine mercy upon

their behalf. And it is evident that the solemnities, which formed so

beautiful a feature of the Jewish religion, were for the most part designed

to celebrate the great things which God had done for His chosen people.

The treatment of the nation by God had not been of a uniform and regular

character; and it was natural that there should be a correspondence

between the national history and the national religion, between what

Jehovah had effected on behalf of His chosen people, and what that people

did in acknowledgment of the Divine mercy. Similarly with our Christmas,

Easter, and Whitsuntide; we celebrate the special mercy of God in the

advent, the death, and the resurrection of our Savior, and in the fulfillment

of “the promise of the Father”  (Acts 1:4), in the outpouring of the

Holy Spirit.





reference to the Jewish Passover, we are expressly assured that one

purpose of its observance was to train the rising generation in the reverent

memory of the signal favors of God. When the son of the household asked,

“What mean ye by this service?” the answer was given that it

commemorated the loving-kindness and faithfulness of the God of the

Hebrews, who had delivered his chosen people from destruction and

assured to them His lasting protection. How much more powerfully was

such a lesson taught by such ordinances than by words! The youthful mind

is especially impressed by sacred solemnities, and by their observance

provision is made that the attention of successive generations shall be

directed to the glorious truth that GOD HAS VISITED and REDEEMED




12 “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.”  This determines the procedure in case of the prince resolving to offer

privately, on his own account, a voluntary burnt offering or peace

offering; better, a free-will offering (נְדָבָה), a sacrifice prompted by the

heart of the offerer, as opposed to one legally enjoined (Exodus 35:29;

Leviticus 22:23), which might be either a burnt or a peace offering. In

this case the east inner gate should be opened to him as on the sabbath

days (see v. 1), but, differently from what occurred on the sabbath, it

should not remain open till the evening (v. 2), but should be shut

immediately the prince’s offering was done.




     The Optional and the Obligatory in the Kingdom of God (vs. 4-12)


1. Here are minute and positive prescriptions, requiring exact conformity

and allowing no deviation. The burnt offering was to be six lambs and one

ram — no more and no less (v. 4). In the day of the new moon — at that

particular time — the offering was to include a young bullock (v. 6).

They who entered in by the north gate were to go out by the south gate,

and vice versa (v. 9). These (and other) instructions were in full and

careful detail, and there was to be no departure from them.


2. On the other hand, the prince might, at certain hours and on occasion,

bring an offering that was purely “voluntary;” one that was “voluntarily”

presented unto the Lord (v. 12). Room was left for spontaneity, even in

the midst of these very specific requirements. In the kingdom of Jesus

Christ we have these two orders of service — the obligatory and the

optional, the plainly and positively enjoined, and the voluntary; and that

Christian life is not complete which is lacking in either.


  • THE OBLIGATORY. Of those things pertaining to our Christian life

which are indispensable there are:


Ø      At its entrance:


o        humility (or penitence); and

o        faith, that living faith in Jesus Christ which includes the acceptance




Ø      Throughout its course:


o        worship, or the approach of the human spirit to the Divine in prayer,

in thanksgiving, in consecration;

o        obedience, or the conformity of conduct to those precepts which

are an essential part of Christian morals;

o        love, including not only the “love of the brethren,” or a special

attachment to those who are the friends and followers of

Jesus Christ, but also a genuine pity for those who are far from

Him and need to be brought nigh, and a practical determination

 to seek and to win these erring souls.


  • THE OPTIONAL. There is room for the voluntary as well as for the

necessary in our Christian life.


Ø      In the particulars of our worship. We have one main principle binding

upon all men everywhere (“God is a Spirit and they that worship Him

must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.”  John 4:24), but it is left to

our individual choice — to our own judgment and conscience — at

what times, in what forms, within what buildings, with what kind of

human ministry, we shall draw nigh to God in true and pure devotion.


Ø      In the minutiae of obedience. What shall be the rules and the regulations

we shall lay down for the observance of the great principles of purity, of

temperance, of equity, of veracity, of reverential speech, of courtesy., —

these are not to be found in any Christian directory; they are to be

decided upon m the sanctuary of every consecrated spirit and of

every cultivated conscience.


Ø      In the measure and methods of loving service. What proportion of our

income, what amount of our time, what order of personal effort, we

shall devote to the cause of Christ and in the interest of our fellow-men,

this rests with every individual Christian man to decide. These must

be, in some sense and degree, “voluntary offerings.”




A Free-Will Offering (v. 12)


There were certain sacrifices and offerings which the pious Jew was bound

to present. To omit compliance with certain regulations upon these

observances would have been disloyalty. But there were other offerings

which were optional, which were left to the feelings and to the

circumstances of the worshipper. They were only brought when there was

an especially lively sense of the Lord’s goodness, and an especial desire to

express consecration and devotion. Gifts prompted by gratitude and love

are the only gifts which are of value in the sight of Him who searcheth and

looketh upon the hearers.



MAN. Man’s nature is distinguished by the glorious prerogative of liberty.

There is for him no moral excellence or beauty in constraint. The heart is

free, and it is the only gift which in God’s sight is precious (“My son, give

me thine heart.” – Proverbs 23:26); all other gifts have value so far only

as they are the expression of the love and loyalty of the spiritual nature.

Whatever is dedicated to God of the worshipper’s freewill is a human

and a worthy offering, such as a being with man’s prerogative of liberty

may justly offer.



religions sometimes extort from devotees, by the motive of terror, gifts and

offerings services and sacrifices which would otherwise be withheld. They

must be fictitious’ deities that are represented as gratified with such

offerings as these. But the character of God is such as assures us of His

willingness to receive what is freely and cheerfully presented. Not that he

can be enriched by anything that His creatures can present.

They acknowledge — ““All things come of thee, and of thine own have

we given thee.” (But all is precious to Him that reveals a loyal, loving,

and grateful heart.


13 “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.

14 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.  15 Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and

the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering.”

These verses supply closing instructions for the daily sacrifice. The daily

burnt offering should be a lamb of the first year; literally, a son of his

year; whereas the Law of Moses required a lamb twice a day (Exodus

29:38-42; Numbers 28:1-8). The daily meat (or, meal) offering to

accompany this should be the sixth part of an ephah, instead of a tenth as 

under Moses, and the third part of a hin of oil, instead of a fourth as (from

prescribed by the earlier legislation, to temper with לָרֹס (from רָסַס - a

word peculiar to Ezekiel), to moisten or mix with — the fine flour. These

sacrifices should be offered every morning; literally, morning by morning;

but not every evening as in the Mosaic Law. This difference was not

accidental, but intentional, though why in the new order of things the

evening sacrifice should have been omitted does not appear. Currey thinks

Ezekiel did not intend to enumerate all the sacrifices of the Law, but only a

few of them, and that, though not mentioned, the evening sacrifice may

have been designed to be retained. The presentation of these sacrifices was

not to be the special duty of the prince, but should devolve upon the

community as a whole, who are now addressed as “thou” (vs. 13-14)

and “they” (v. 15), and who should act in its fulfillment through their priests.



The Morning Sacrifice (v. 13)



especially worship is fitting. It is sad to begin the day without prayer. But

the fresh morning devotion has a preciousness of its own.  (The Psalmist

was on target when he cried “O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee,

my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land,

where no water is” – Psalm 63:1 – CY – 2009)


Ø      Then we awake from sleep. It is happy indeed to wake to some good

thought of God. He has preserved us through the long hours of

darkness. New strength has come by refreshing rest, and this is

God’s gift. Therefore grateful thoughts should rise with morning



Ø      Then we commence a new day. Has the fig tree been fruitless hitherto?

Yet in his long-suffering patience the Master has not cut it down. Here is

another opportunity for fruit-bearing. Shall this new one be wasted as

were so many of bygone days?


“Lo! here hath been dawning

                                         Another blue day:

                                    Think, wilt thou let it

                                        Slip useless away?


                                    Out of eternity

                                       This new day is born;

                                    Into eternity

                                       At night will return.


                                    “Behold it aforetime

                                       No eye ever did;                   (How Profound!)

                                    So soon it forever

                                       From all eyes is hid.”





may think we have dedicated our lives to God. Yet we need to renew the

dedicationto dedicate our days as well as our years. Every day brings

its fresh duties, and these need the grace of Christ, that they may be rightly

discharged. Every day also brings its new temptations. We cannot live

today in the grace of yesterday. The manna fell daily to feed the Israelites

in the wilderness, and it would not bear keeping for the morrow. Christ

teaches us to pray for daily bread: “Give us this day our daily bread.”



SACRIFICE. The Israelites dedicated each day with morning burnt

offerings. Although we have outgrown the necessity of using these

symbolical offerings, we can never outgrow the requirement of sacrifice. It

is well to begin the day in the spirit of sacrifice. First there should be the

desire to slay all sin and renounce all bad habits. Then comes the positive

self-denial and cross-bearing for the sake of Christ. Is there any new

sacrifice of love that may be offered on the new day? Throughout the day

this thought should pervade the mind of the Christian: “I am a servant of

Christ. It is my part today to study my Master’s will, and live for His




see any great event. But it will be a day spent for God, in lowly service,

perhaps, yet in holy living. Such a day is one sure stepping-stone towards





The Essence of Religion (vs. 13-15)


Inasmuch as true religion is a daily help and solace to men, it was needful

to impress this upon the minds of the Jews by a daily sacrifice. In order to

obtain the highest good from God, we must dedicate our whole self to

God. It is in giving that we receive. Our interests and God’s interests are

not distinct; they are identical. Yet this is a difficult lesson for men to learn.

They persist in judging that time taken from secular pursuits is time

misspent; that money removed from material fructification is property

waste. Surely God does not need our poor gifts. And if He accepts them, it

is in order that they may be made channels of blessing to the worshipper.

The essence of religion is hearty self-sacrifice.



The burnt offering was wholly consumed. Outward and formal acts of

worship do not constitute acceptable religion. The ceremony may only be

the show and not the substance, the shell without the kernel, the body

without the soul, the channel without a living stream of love. If love be the

central germ of piety, then love constrains the dedication to God of all I am

all I have. Such dedication is only reasonable. (Paul said, “I beseech you

therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable

service.”  - Romans 12:1)  I cannot lay my finger on any organ of my body,

or on any virtue in my soul, or on any item of my substance, which does

not belong to God by right; hence in complete consecration I only fulfill

my obligation; I give no more than is due. God has given to His children

all He has — He has not withheld His Son; Paul again says, “He that

spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall

He not with Him also freely give us all things.”  (Romans 8:32)  therefore

the obligation is intensified. No lesser repayment of the debt would be

complete. Self-dedication is God-like. As when a man carries his gold to

the royal mint that it may become current coin for exchange, he receives it

back with the image and superscription of the sovereign upon it; so, when

we give ourselves wholly to God, we get a nobler self; God’s image is

super-added. We’re most our own when most completely His.



The burnt offering was to be repeated “every morning.” The surrender of

self to God is not an isolated act done once for all. It means the continuous

habitude of the soul. As we open our shutters every morning or withdraw

our blinds in order to let in the light, so every morning we need to open all

the doorways of the soul afresh to give access to God. The tempter is ever

at hand to induce us to forget God; our fleshly nature asserts itself —

thrusts itself in between us and God; therefore there is daily need to renew

our sacred vows. As the fields are refreshed every summer morning by

another baptism of dew, so may our souls be refreshed by new communion

with God. Each day God wisely requires fresh service; we cannot withhold

it. Each day will bring new cares, new toils, new opportunities for making

God known; therefore we require new strength. Each day God has some

new blessing to convey: we should be ever ready to receive it. Self-

devotement should be repeated with THE DAWN OF EVERY DAY!

As new as God’s gifts to us should be our dedication to Him.



lamb was required to be “without blemish.” This was a daily and emphatic

reminder that God expected, for His society and His service, a perfect

character. Better still, this was a tacit promise that God would, by his

gracious expedients, make us perfect. (“The Lord will perfect that which

concerneth me.”  (Psalm 138:8)  We aspire after perfection. We are

ashamed of our imperfections. And we give ourselves up to God, that, by

His creative Spirit, He may mold us unto perfection. This is our confident

hope that perfect trust may lead to perfect holiness. By daily consecration

of every thought and feeling and purpose, we shall step by step attain the

likeness of our Savior. This is God’s purpose, and it cannot be frustrated.



The daily offering consisted of a “lamb.” Why this particular sacrifice was

commanded can have but one explanation; viz. that our earliest years

should be consecrated to God. While religion in its final end is sublime, in

its essential principle it is simple enough. It is love — love to the worthiest

Being, and a child has capacity to love. God takes especial interest in

children. When Jesus took into His arms young infants and blessed them, He

said substantially, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father!” Inasmuch

as God regards things which are not as yet as though they were, He smiles

with Fatherly complacency on faith in embryo — on the tiny buds of

character not yet unfolded. (What about the unborn aborted child?  “They .....

burn their sons with fire......which I commanded not, nor spake it,

neither came it into my mind.”  Jeremiah 19:5 – CY – 2017)  The first

breath of prayer ascends to heaven more fragrant than temple incense.



“Thou shalt prepare.” As considerable pains were required to prepare the

burnt offering, so thought and self-inspection are required for acts of piety.

To gain advantage and enjoyment from worship, we must bring to the

exercise concentration of mind, tender feeling, intelligent expectation,

steadfast trust. The farmer has to plough and pulverize his soil before he

casts in his seed, and, unless our hearts have their furrows open, the seed of

truth will disappear as soon as sown. The eye must be trained in order to

gain vision; the hand must be trained in order to dexterous industry; so too

the soul must be trained in order to enjoy high communion with God.

Desultory (lacking a plan, purpose or enthusiasm) talk is not prayer; for

prayer is the outgoing of the whole man Godward.


Vs. 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” (compare v. 1; ch. 45:9).


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.”  The first regulation. The prince might dispose of

a portion of his royal property (see ch.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.


17 “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.”

The second regulation. Should the prince, however, bestow a

portion of his inheritance on one of his servants, what was thus bestowed

should not belong to that servant in perpetuity, but should be regarded

simply as a temporary loan which should be his till the year of liberty,

הֲדְּרור שְׁנַת, i.e. the year of free flowing general — compare Exodus

30:23, מָראּדּרור, pure myrrh (Authorized Version) or flowing myrrh

(Revised Version) — hence the year of release; after which it should return

to the prince. Smend thinks Ezekiel could hardly have had in view the year

of jubilee (Leviticus 25:10; 27:24), else he would not have employed

the term “liberty,” which Jeremiah (Jeremiah 34:8, 15, 17) uses to

denote the freedom regained by Hebrew bondmen in the seventh year

(Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12). But:


  • the seventh year was only a year of the release of bondmen, not of the

reversion of property, and to this rather than to that Ezekiel refers.


  • The year of jubilee might properly be called the “year of liberty,” since

in it both slaves were emancipated and property was liberated. And


  • Ezekiel’s phraseology is not framed (nor is Jeremiah’s) in imitation of

either Exodus or Deuteronomy, the latter of which in particular speaks of

the year of release” (שְׁםנת הַשְּׂמִטָּה), but adheres closely to the style of

Leviticus, which, in fact, it presupposes. שְׁנַת הַדְּרור can only signify the

year of the release, i.e. the well-known year of emancipation. The last

clause should be rendered, as in the Revised Version, “As for his

inheritance (generally), it shall be for his sons,” or, as Keil translates, “Only

his inheritance it is,” i.e. the prince’s; “as for his sons, it shall be for them.”




The Son and the Servant (vs. 16-17)


The Jewish Law made careful provision to prevent the alienation of land

from the families to which it originally belonged. The son might inherit

permanently; but the servant could only receive a gift of land for a time,

which would cease at the year of jubilee. Here was a marked distinction

between the privileges of sonship and those of service. Now St. Paul draws

attention to this distinction from another point of view, when contrasting,

the gospel with the Law. There is a religion of worship, and one of service.



This is the case with the spiritual experience of Christianity.


Ø      The Christian is a son.


o       He is begotten by God.

o       He is adopted by God.

o       He owns Christ for his Brother.

o       He is admitted into God’s presence as a child at home.

o       He has the liberty of a son and his privileges.


“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” (Psalm 25:14)

God makes His counsels known to true Christians.


Ø      The sons inheritance is permanent.


o        For life, the grace of God given to the true Christian child will not

desert him in after-years if he still looks for it and follows its guidance.

God does not treat His people as the favorites of a day, whom a prince

pampers while the whim is on him, and then capriciously flings aside;

His favor is enduring like His eternal love.


o        After death. The Christian inheritance is but tasted on earth; the better

                        part of it awaits us beyond the grave. It is like the inheritance of Israel, a

small part of which was on the coast of the Jordan, while that river had

to be crossed before the main portion could be reached. “Godliness is

profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is,

and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). We do not resign our

Christian inheritance when we lie down to die; on the contrary, then

we prepare to enter into the Promised Land in all its length and breadth.




Ø      The promises of the Mosaic religion were for this world, as Bishop

            Warburton proved with redundancy of argument, in his famous book on

            the ‘ Divine Legation of Moses’ Therefore the Jew stood below the

            Christian in regard to his prospects of future good. But there are far lower

            lives of servitude than that of the pious Jew.


Ø      Christ spoke of the slavery of sin (John 8:34). Now, this degraded

            servitude has its rewards. Sin gives gifts to its slaves. But they are not

            enduring possessions.


Ø      The bondage of worldliness holds many men. This thraldom promises

great rewards. Riches and pleasures come in its train. The chains are

forged of gold, and at first the weight of them is not felt. But the rewards

      of sin and worldliness are of brief duration. Their fruits may be sweet at

first, but the after-taste of them is unendurably bitter. Even if no

disappointment is met on earth, the worldly inheritance must be

resigned at death. The slave of sin and the world can carry none

of his treasures with him to the unseen future.


18 “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.”

The third regulation. The prince in all cases should endow his

sons (or others) out of his own, and not out of his subjects’ possessions, of

which they have been violently robbed. A good rule for other princes

besides this, and for owners of property in general. 



Earthly Sovereignty not Absolute (vs. 16-18)


Great temptations surround kings, inducing them to tyranny. Their own

will is enveloped within military force. Obsequious (obedient to a servile

degree) flatterers pander to royal power. For self-interest, soldiers usually

take sides with the prince.  Hence a first lesson for princes to learn is that

right is superior to might.  The voice of justice is the voice of God.



earthly king holds absolute sway over his subjects. In truth, the mightiest

monarch is only a vassal-king. He rules in the place of God. He has to

listen to the summons, “Thus saith the Lord.” He is appointed to

administer the laws of God. He is amenable to a superior authority, and

must render an account of his rule at the judgment-bar of heaven. To no

king has God transferred the right of absolute rule. The term of a tyrant’s

rule is entirely at the disposal of God. At any moment the King of kings

can terminate a prince’s rule, and require a report of his doings. (As

Belshazzar – Daniel 5:25-28 – CY - 2017)  At the very height of a

boastful tyranny he has often suffered an humiliating fall. A prince is

simply a superior servant.



not absolute master of his subjects, neither is he absolute master of his

possessions. Even a king has no freehold in his property. It is held under

lease. He has only a life-enjoyment in it. Death dissolves all earthly

covenants. If he has sons, they are his heirs. By the indisputable law of God

they have a right in reversion. As the prince had full enjoyment of his

estates during his mortal life, so his sons shall have undiminished

enjoyment of the estates during their life. By no principle of law or justice

can a prince claim to extract from the ancestral estates more than a life-

enjoyment, nor encumber his estates for successors. He must learn to

identify himself with his children, to treat them as part and parcel of

himself. Checks on selfishness God everywhere imposes. In the household

of God sonship carries with it complete heirship.



Obligations among men are mutual. Kingship has duties as well as rights. If

subjects are under obligation to serve and support their ‘prince, so too

princes are under obligation to protect the lives and property of their

subjects. Rightly understood, the prosperity of the people is identical with

the prosperity of the king. The throne cannot be strong if the people are

impoverished. The king and his people are united by a common bond of

interest. The invasion of his subjects’ rights is suicide to his authority —

suicide to kingship. “No man liveth unto himself.” (Romans 14:7) 

A selfish and avaricious policy is moral madness. No other principle is so

favorable to prosperity and joy as wise benevolence.



man is more dependent upon the service of others, no man so dependent,

as a prince. His time and strength are as limited as any other man’s, yet the

demands of duty are enormous. For his personal needs he requires

servants; for his family wants he requires servants; and for every

department of public government he requires servants. In proportion to the

value of the services, remuneration must be made. If the prince be

accounted mean or parsimonious, he will lose dignity, reputation, and

influence. (Even Sitting Bull was known among his people for his

generosity.  CY – 2017)  Yet his generous impulses must never be allowed

to violate principles of justice. He must never encroach on others’ possessions

to discharge a personal debt. Yet, alas! this has often been done! Kings stand

among the greatest criminals. Secret service to the king has been paid in

stolen coin. Yet restitution must some day be made, for God is always on

the side of righteousness. And to every prince he says, “Be just before you

are generous.”



A Warning to the Great (v. 18)


  • THE GREAT ARE RESPONSIBLE TO GOD. The prince is the leader

and supreme ruler of Israel. His rank and privilege lift him into the most

exalted position. Yet he is responsible to God, and his duty is definitely

marked out for him. Even the most “irresponsible” ruler of a despotic state

cannot escape from responsibility in the sight of Heaven. Prince as well as

peasant will have to give account of himself before the judgment-seat of

God. Moreover, God directs and controls the movements of the most

powerful earthly magnates. He who said to the sea, “Hitherto shalt thou

come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed”

(Job 38:11), “put His hooks” in the proud ruler of Egypt (Ezekiel 29:4)



who enjoy the largest scope and who own the widest possessions must

come to the confines of their territory. The biggest park has its fence.

Now, a common temptation is to despise the best things within a man’s

right, in envy for what lies beyond them. Thus, with all the wealth of the

royal demesne, Ahab is sick with covetousness for Naboth’s vineyard

(1 Kings 21:4). The possession of considerable power aggravates the

temptation of the great to go beyond their rights. It is difficult for the

despot to avoid degenerating into a tyrant.



PEOPLE. The danger of power passing over to tyranny is the besetting

temptation of persons in influential positions. This danger alone raises a

question as to the wisdom of entrusting overmuch power even to the best

men. In the abstract, an irresistible paternal government might seem to be

likely to secure the greatest good of a nation. But for this to be satisfactory

we must not only endue the ruler with supreme wisdom, we must also

eliminate from his character every atom of selfishness.



OTHER PEOPLE. They have unique privileges, but these are bestowed in

the form of a solemn trust. God is no respecter of persons. He cares for all

His children. He is the people’s God, and the Friend of the poor. They who

can find no earthly protector may look to Heaven for deliverance, for He

who heard the cry of the Hebrews when they groaned under the oppression

of the Egyptian bondage, and saved them from Pharaoh and his host, is still

mighty to help the needy.




so-called privileged classes, the multitude might well turn aside from

religion in despair. But since God has ever been on the side of the

oppressed, and has ever cared for the people, it is foolish to distrust him,

and ungrateful to disregard his goodness. Whatever else the great may

seize upon, they cannot take away the poor man’s religion. Here is a prize

of permanent possession. It would be well if all knew and loved the God

who cares for all.



Losing and Keeping the Inheritance (v. 18)


The subject of this commandment is “the inalienable nature of the prince’s

possession, and the sacred regard he must pay to the peoples’” its object

was to legislate so that “no temptation might exist to spoil the people of

their proper inheritances, as had been too often done in the days that were

past.” By the words of the text we are brought in contact with:



legislation contemplated keeping the land in the occupancy of the same

tribe and of the same family from generation to generation. It was not in

the power of the occupier to sell it or to will it away from the family; and

although it might be mortgaged, it reverted to the original possessor (or his

family) at the year of jubilee. (Every 50 years)  The ideal was that of all the

families of the nation being interested and engaged in the happy, honorable,

and fruitfulemployment of agriculture. In this case there would be no super-

abounding wealth on the one hand, and no degrading poverty on the other

hand; while every Israelite would have the deepest interest in preserving the

integrity of his country’s freedom, and would be contributing to its wealth.

Such an ideal as this is hopelessly impossible in such a time as this, but in a

primitive and pastoral age it was one calculated to secure the largest

possible measure of:


Ø      individual happiness,

Ø      domestic comfort, and

Ø      national prosperity.



Such a provision must have been attended with great difficulties in the way

of realization. Dissipation on the one hand and avarice on the other would

almost inevitably lead to loss and to appropriation. And there is no doubt

they did. As time went by the land became lost to the families to whom it

was originally apportioned (Joshua 19:51). And when the time came

for the great and sad deportation to other lands, the entire arrangement

was broken up; finally the Jews were “scattered, every man from his

possession;” and, dispersed among the Gentiles, they became the least

pastoral or agricultural, and the most trading and financing, of any people

on the earth. Where, then, does this prediction find:


  • A PLACE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST? It will find it, in

substance, in:


Ø      Provision for the material well-being of the people of the land. As the

result of Christian principle acting at both ends of the body politic,

elevating the character and therefore the condition of those at the

bottom, and leading those at the top to devote their resources and

employ their (legislative and other) opportunities in the interest of the

people, there will gradually ensue a wide distribution of comfort and

prosperity. Abject poverty and superfluous possession will give place

to universal competence, education, morality, piety — in fact,

NATIONAL WELL-BEING!  Many forces will have to contribute

to this result, and it may be a long time coming, but it must be the

issue of a true and practical Christianity. There are other “inheritances”

beside that of land and wealth which need to be preserved, and which

a Christian family or a Christian Church should devoutly determine to

 maintain. There must be:


o       The perpetuation of the fair heritage of an honorable name,

a reputation for family goodness or wisdom that has come

down many generations.


o       The preservation of the precious deposit of SACRED TRUTH!


V. 19-24. The sacrificial kitchens for the priests and for the people.

This passage has been transferred by Ewald to Ezekiel 42, and inserted

after v. 14; but the Exposition will show it must have originally stood

where it is.


19 “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.”

After (or, and) he i.e. the measuring man, who had hitherto

acted as the prophet’s conductor — brought me through the entry,

which was at the side of the gate. This was the inner north gate, from

which the prophet had been conducted to the front of the house in order to

receive the sacrificial Torah (ch. 44:4), and to which, when this

was finished, he had been seemingly led back. From this gate, then, he was

taken by his guide along the entry or passage (ch. 42:9), which ran

towards and extended in front of the holy chambers of (or, for) the

priests, which looked toward the north, and which had already been

described (ch. 42:1-14). Arrived at the western corner of the

chambers, he perceived a place on the two sides — or, on the hinder part

(Revised Version) — westward. The translation in the Authorized Version

was obviously suggested by the dual form יַדְכָּתַיִם, which properly

signifies “on both sides” but when applied to the tabernacle (Exodus

26:23) or temple (I Kings 6:16), always describes the back part or rear.

That a similar “place” existed on the south side is more than probable;

though Smend thinks there was not a “place” on the south. The Septuagint

omits the words after “place,” and supplies κεχωρισμένοςkechorismenos

separated.  Keil finds in the description here given of the passage towards the

holy chambers a proof that this section could not have stood originally after

ch. 42:14, as in that case no such description would have been

needed. Nor would the language in ch. 47:1, “and he brought me

back,” have been required or appropriate had the prophet not in the mean

while changed his place, which he does to visit the holy chambers.


20 “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.”  The “place” was designed as a kitchen where the priests

should boil the trespass and the sin offerings and bake the meat (or, meal)

offering, i.e. cook the portions of the sacrifices they should eat in their official

capacity (see ch. 42:13). The Law of Moses (Leviticus 8:31) required the flesh

to be boiled (and probably also the flour to be baked) at the tabernacle door.

The last clause, that they, i.e. the priests, bear them,

i.e. the offerings, not out into the utter (or, outer) court, to sanctify the

people, is by most interpreters understood in the sense of ch. 44:19 (which see).

To this, however, Kliefoth objects that the conception of deriving ceremonial

sanctity from contact with such offerings is completely strange to the

Old Testament (see Haggai 2:12), andaccordingly he connects the words.

to sanctify the people,” with the “baking” and “boiling” of the preceding



21 “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.  22 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.” The prophet next observed, as his guide led him round

the outer area, that in every corner of the court there was a court

literally, a court in a corner of the court, a court in a corner of the court

and that these were courts joined of forty cubits long and thirty

broad. The word “joined” קְטֻרות) has been variously translated: by

Gesenins (see ‘Hebrews Lex.,’ sub voce), as “vaulted” or “roofed,” with

which Hitzig seems to agree; by the Septuagint, whom Bottcher and Ewald

follow, μικρά - mikra - equal to contracts; by Kliefoth, “uncovered;” by

Havernick, “firm,” “strongly built;” by Smend, “separated;” by

Hengstenberg and Schroder, after the Talmudists (fumum exhalantia),

smoking” or “made with chimneys” (Authorized Version margin); but is

probably best rendered by the Revised Version, Keil, Currey, after

Gesenius (‘Thesaurus,’ p. 1213), “enclosed,” meaning muris cineta et

januis elausa. According to the last clause of v. 22, these four corners

were of one measure; or, one measure was to the four cut-away places,

i.e. corners, מְהֻקְצָעות being the hoph. participle of קָצַע, “to cut off.”

This last word is omitted in the Septuagint and the Vulgate, Hitzig, and Smend,

the puncta extraordinaria showing that the Massorites regarded it as suspicious.


23 “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.”

And there was a row of building round about in them; but whether טור meant

a “wall,” “fence,” or “enclosure,” as Gesenius, Havernick, and Ewald translate,

or “row,” “series,” “a shelf of brickwork which had several separate shelves

under which the cooking-hearths were placed,” as Keil explains, the obvious

intention was to describe the range of boiling places which were built along

the inside walls of these corner courts, as the next verse states.


24 “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.”  These are the places (literally, houses) of them that boil

hence kitchens — where the ministers of the house (or, temple) — e.g.

the Levites (see ch. 44:11-12) — shall boil the sacrifice of the

people; i.e. the portions of the people’s offerings which fall to be

consumed by the priests.



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