Ezek. 45:1 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.
Ezek. 45:2 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.
Ezek. 45:3 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.
After reading through this chapter, I know this is going to be slow going. Although the unit of measure is not identified in the first verse, the second verse would indicate that the reference is to cubits. IF that is correct, the area of the holy portion of land would measure approximately 8.3 x 6.6 miles as stated in the NLT. An 875’ square is to be set aside for the temple. The temple area is to be bordered by an area measuring 87.5’ on all sides. Verse 3 seems to be emphasizing that the area for the sanctuary is part of the original designation of 8.3 x 6.6 miles.
This land is to be considered a present or tribute (from the Hebrew for oblation) to the Lord.
Ezek. 45:4 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.
Ezek. 45:5 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.
It would seem that the priests and Levites were to live in the designated holy area in that portion outside that reserved for the temple complex.
Ezek. 45:6 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.
The city of Jerusalem will border the land given to the Lord and will cover an area approximately 1.7 x 8.3 miles.
Ezek. 45:7 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.
Ezek. 45:8 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.
The prince is also to receive a portion of land. It would seem that his portion borders the holy portion on the east and west sides. Each of the princes’ land sections will extend to the borders of the land on the east and west making the entire strip of land that includes that for the prince, the priests and Levites, the temple and the city comparable to the eastern and western borders of the tribal allotments. The CJB for verse 7 was much more easily understood.
The prince is to have the territory on both sides of the holy offering and the city’s holding; it will extend westward to the western border of the land and eastward to its eastern border; and the length [from the far side of one] of its two parts [to the far side of the other] will be the same as the length of one of the [tribal] portions.
Verse 8 is a statement of God’s promise that the prince and his descendants, the princes or rulers of the land, will never again mistreat the people of Israel. Then it goes on to state that the rest of Israel is to be given by allotment to the twelve tribes.
Ezek. 45:9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; 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 GOD.
This is an interesting verse from my perspective. The Lord is addressing a group of rulers yet to come in Israel. It would seem as though He is instructing them based on the actions of their forefathers of old. They are told to “remove violence and spoil.” I don’t think those that He is instructing will have acted in such a manner, but their forefathers certainly did. They are being instructed to rule rightly according to the law. The Hebrew for exaction references “dispossession.” This is evidently also a reference to the actions of the forefathers of these rulers. The rulers of Israel through the millennium will rule with righteousness and selflessness.
Ezek. 45:10 Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath.
Ezek. 45:11 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.
Ezek. 45:12 And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh.
Instructions to the princes continue. They are to have standard weights and measures according to specific guidelines that govern the whole land. The people, and especially their leaders, are not to manipulate these weights and measures to their own benefit, as had their ancestors.
Reminder--Ezekiel is recording these instructions regarding the millennial temple and its function for the benefit of those captive in Babylon at that time. The day was coming when the Lord would provide for them to return to Jerusalem and Israel. Through these instructions the Lord is also instructing those who would assume leadership positions once they returned home. The rebukes that are a part of these instructions applied to their generation.
Ezek. 45:13 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:
Ezek. 45:14 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:
Ezek. 45:15 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.
Ezek. 45:16 All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel.
In this section the Lord is specifying the tribute that the people are to give the prince for his use. Note that this tribute is proportionate. Each person gives tribute according to his wealth. It would seem that the millennial Israel is again going to be a predominantly agricultural society.
This tribute is to be used in the administration of the temple and for offerings on behalf of the nation as a whole.
Ezek. 45:17 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.
It would seem that the prince will represent the nation in giving offerings on behalf of the people. These offerings area identified as:
I believe the first four offerings listed are what were referred to as the “sweet savor” offerings because they were offered at the will of the individual. It would seem that the prince will make these types of offerings on behalf of the nation.
The solemn feasts are identified as unleavened bread, feast of weeks and the feast of tabernacles. It would seem that the feast of weeks is omitted during the millennium.
2Chr. 8:12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the LORD on the altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch,
2Chr. 8:13 Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.
It would seem that the prince is following the precedent set by Solomon when the temple was first built. The NIV Commentary made note that the emphasis seems to be on God’s provision for the people since the offerings are coming from that which belongs to the prince.
Ezek. 45:18 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:
Ezek. 45:19 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.
Ezek. 45:20 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.
The Lord now gives instructions regarding required sacrifices. The first day of the first month of the year is set apart for cleansing the temple. It requires a bull without blemish to be offered as a sin offering and its blood used to anoint the posts of the temple, the four corners of the altar, and the posts of the gate of the inner court. The process is to be repeated on the 7th day of the month as a special sacrifice for those that are “simple.” The translations vary on their interpretation of this word from naēve to ignorant. The Hebrew references one who is “seducible or foolish.” This speaks to me of someone who can be easily deceived, as was Eve.
Ezek. 45:21 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.
Ezek. 45:22 And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering.
Ezek. 45:23 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.
Ezek. 45:24 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.
Ezek. 45:25 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 offering, and according to the oil.
On the 14th day of the month they are to celebrate the Passover followed by the feast of unleavened bread. This feast is to last 7 days, and only unleavened bread can be eaten during that time. On the 14th the prince is to present a bull as a sin offering for himself and the people of Israel. This statement makes it hard for me to accept that the prince is Jesus or King David of old in his glorified body (without a sin nature). Scripture sometimes references sons by their fathers. Maybe this “David” is a descendant of King David that is named for his ancestor and honored as his descendant (like the descendants of Zadok). This would also allow for him having sons.
On each of the 7 days of the feast he is to offer and bull and ram without blemish as burnt offerings to the Lord. On each of the 7 days he is to offer a kid of the goats for a sin offering. He shall also present a grain and oil offering. Though the wording is unclear, it would seem that this is to be done each day as well.
In the 7th month, beginning on the 15th day of the month, this whole process is to be repeated for the Feast of Tabernacles.
It is to be noted that the sacrificial system in the millennial kingdom, though similar in many ways, is different from that established by Moses. I think the continuance of this system in the millennium is significant to helping the people to understand the sacrifice made by the Savior and the provision of God the Father on their behalf. It will be a time of righteousness and peace on earth such as never before. Though sin will still be present, it will be tightly controlled. It will be important to help the people fully appreciate all that God has done on their behalf. These practices will keep before them the wonderful truth of their redemption and their need to remain humble, thankful and obedient.
I like this quote from Paul Jablonowski regarding the millennial temple:
“Therefore, the previous temples in history have been for the purpose of teaching us what it means to be the true "temple of God" not made with hands. Physical temples explain to us in a practical "hands on" manner how we become a holy and pure and undefiled place for God to dwell. The reason previous temples had to be destroyed (like Solomon's, & Herod's) was because of OUR (Mankind's) unfaithfulness to the Covenant that God has made with us, and not because Yahweh's purposes have been changed.
The Millennial Temple will not be any different than previous temples in its eternal purpose. It will serve the same eternal purposes by providing a natural object lesson for the spiritual reality that God will be working out in His true temple "not made with hands." We still have much to learn about what it really means to be God's dwelling place. To be exact, we will have one thousand years worth of discipling and perfecting.”