Notes on Ezekiel 45

Ezekiel 45  •  9 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Next follows the characteristic of the new age, the oblation set apart to Jehovah.
“And when ye shall cause the land to fall by lot for inheritance, ye shall heave an heave-offering unto Jehovah, a holy portion of the land. The length [shall be] the length of five and twenty thousand, and the breadth ten thousand; it shall be holy in all the border round about. Of this shall be for the sanctuary five hundred by five hundred, square round about; and fifty cubits an open place for it round about.” 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. The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come near to minister unto Jehovah: and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary. 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” (vss. 1-5). Jehovah thus claims His right as the acknowledged possessor of the land, but uses them for His people's sanctuary and those who carry on the worship there, whether priests or Levites. It is a fresh arrangement for the millennial age; nothing equivalent was known in the past.
“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. 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. 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” (vss. 6-8). Thus Israel have their portion in the possession of the city; the prince has his, and the tribes theirs, in the land generally; Jehovah binds up the entire system of His people, civil and religious, with His own name. Thenceforward selfish oppression will be as unknown as corruption in worship. But it is not less clearly the earth and the earthly people. Heavenly things have no place here. What a blank must be in the thoughts of such believers as leave no room for such a change in the earth to the praise of Jehovah's name!
This leads to a pointed moral exhortation, addressed to those of the prince's house. “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from My people, saith the Lord Jehovah. Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. 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. And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh” (vss. 9-12). God deigns to regulate all things for His people on earth; there is nothing beneath His notice.
Next, the religious dues are laid down with precision. “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: 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: 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 Jehovah. All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. 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” (vss. 13-17). The relative places of the people and the prince were thus defined; there was no confusion, but their interests were common, and could not be severed.
Then we come to the times and seasons, as they were henceforth to be observed by Israel. At once we notice a new order for cleansing the sanctuary. “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary: and the priests 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. 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” (vss. 18-20). It is not now a testimony at the beginning of their months, any more than an atonement in the seventh month. The year opens on its first day with an offering which sets forth Christ in His full unblemished devotedness, yet suffering for sin; and this again on the seventh day, for every one that errs and for the simple, that none such should be debarred from the enjoyment of God and his privileges.
But there are the feasts, as well as the reconciliation of the house. God re-enacts the passover. It is the great unchanging institution for His people, begun in Egypt, observed in the wilderness, celebrated in the land, after long indifference recovered by Hezekiah, and again by Josiah; and now anew we see that in the kingdom Israel are still to keep the feast of seven days with unleavened bread. “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. And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin-offering. And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt-offering to Jehovah, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin-offering. And he shall prepare a meat-offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil for an ephah” (vss. 21-24). It is not here thousands of oxen and sheep offered willingly out of a free heart; but the prince and all the people, on the fourteenth day of the first month, are identified as they never were before in a single bullock for a sin-offering, while every day of the seven, the prince prepares a complete burnt-offering, with its sign of perfect consecration to Jehovah, and its daily sin offering, and not without the appropriate meat-offering.
Most strikingly however the feast of weeks appears nowhere. There are those who conceive of the millennial day as peculiarly the era for the gift of the Spirit, and who might naturally expect this to be then by far the most prominent of all feasts. But it absolutely drops out of the list. This is solemnly instructive. The gift of the Spirit has been, and is, the characteristic of this day of grace when we have to walk in faith and patience, rather than of the day when the kingdom comes in power. It is not that the Holy Spirit will not then be poured out on all flesh, for the prophets are explicit that so it is to be in that day. But now He is come down, not only in the way of power and blessing, but baptizing all that believe, whether Jew or Gentile, into one body, the body of Christ, the glorified Head of the church on high. It will not be so in the future day. Israel and the nations will be blessed, and they will rejoice together, but no such union is predicted as one body. They are to be each on their own ground, forming distinct circles, however blessed, around their Lord and God, whose earthly throne will be Jerusalem in that day. There will be far greater breadth then, but no such height and depth as the sovereign grace of God gives in this day for the praise of His earth-rejected Christ now exalted in heaven. Hence, as it appears to me, most fittingly, Pentecost is not found for the day of earth's blessedness, having found its highest and richest fulfillment in the church of God united to Christ in heavenly places.
But the feast of tabernacles will surely be then. This, accordingly, is here appointed afresh, and in the usual time. “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-offering, and according to the oil” (v. 25). The sense of Christ's work is fully maintained, as in the passover; but the feast which is most fully expressed then is clearly the great ingathering to rejoice before Jehovah, after the harvest and vintage (Compare Rev. 14), when they look back on pilgrim days past forever. It is not a witness now as in the two loaves, but the blessing of Israel when the glory shines on Zion.