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Bible Commentaries

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books

Ezekiel 46

 

 

Verses 1-23

Chapter Forty-six

Regulations For Special Offerings

As we come to this chapter that deals with the sanctuary itself and the offerings which the prophet saw in vision as re-established, we note the special place given to the day of the new moon and the Sabbath.

“Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath day it shall be opened, and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened. And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of the 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. And the people of the land shall worship at the door of that gate before Jehovah on the sabbaths and on the new moons. And the burnt-offering that the prince shall offer unto Jehovah shall be on the sabbath day six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish; and the meal-offering shall be an ephah for the ram, and the meal-offering for the lambs as he is able to give, and a bin of oil to an ephah. And on 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: and he shall prepare a meal-offering, an ephah for the bullock, and an ephah for the ram, and for the lambs according as he is able, and a hin of oil to an ephah. And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of the gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof”-vers. 1-8.

The fact that so much stress is laid upon the special observance of the Sabbath day shows the very distinctive Jewish character of the entire vision. It is not a picture of Christianity, except in the sense that the temple of old and also the temple seen in vision typify, in measure at least, God’s present temple composed of all those who have been builded by the Spirit into the house of God. For us the Sabbath is found in our blessed Lord Himself who is the fulfilment of that typical day as well as of all else in the Old Testament economy. But it is very evident from this and other scriptures that when the church period has come to an end and God will take up Israel again, the Sabbath of the law will once more be observed, and so we have it set before us here as an appointed day when special offerings are to be presented before God. We need have no difficulty here in regard to the possible literalness of these offerings, but as we have seen already they all speak of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the presentation of them before God on the Sabbath day would indicate the deep appreciation which the people of God in the coming kingdom age will have of the Person and work of Him who is our Saviour now, and will be recognized as their Saviour then. It is noticeable that there was to be no undue compulsion in regard to the offerings; they are to be presented voluntarily before the Lord, each one as he is able to give.

The day of the new moon is specially emphasized because it indicates from month to month a new beginning, even as the Sabbath sets forth a weekly ending; and each return of the moon speaks anew of the goodness of God to His people in watching over them through another month and pledging His grace for the month to come.

“But when the people of the land shall come before Jehovah in the appointed feasts, he that entereth by the way of the north gate to worship shall go forth 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 straight before him. And the prince, when they go in, shall go in in the midst of them; and when they go forth, they shall go forth together. And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meal-offering shall be an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs as he is able to give, and a bin of oil to an ephah. And when the prince shall prepare a freewill-offering, a burnt-offering or peace-offerings as a freewill-offering unto Jehovah, one shall open for him the gate that looketh toward the east; and he shall prepare his burnt-offering and his peace-offerings, as he doth on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate”-vers. 9-12.

We are impressed as we read these words of the happy relationship that will exist between the prince and the people. While special recognition is given to the prince because of his office, yet all stand on one common ground before God and in His sanctuary; there is no room for worldly honors or human pride. All stand together upon redemption ground, the only basis of acceptance with God; and of this the sacrifices and offerings all speak.

There may be something suggestive here too in the instruction given as to entering in at one gate and passing on through the court and leaving by another portal. May not this speak to everyone of us, reminding us that we shall never pass over the same route again? We cannot retrace our steps as we go through this scene. It should be our happy privilege to go on with God from glory to glory as led by His Spirit.

There may be very much here that a more spiritual mind would enter into, but I hesitate to try to apply types beyond their clear, evident meaning.

“And thou shalt prepare a lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt-offering unto Jehovah daily: morning by morning shalt thou prepare it. And thou shalt prepare a meal-offering with it morning by morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of a hin of oil, to moisten the fine flour; a meal-offering unto Jehovah continually by a perpetual ordinance. Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meal-offering, and the oil, morning by morning, for a continual burnt-offering”-vers. 13-15.

Of old in the tabernacle service and also in that connected with the temple of Solomon, the burnt offering was present before God both morning and evening. Here we are told, “Thou shalt prepare a lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt-offering unto Jehovah daily: morning by morning shalt thou prepare it.” There is no mention of the evening offering besides, because everything here is connected with the glorious day when the Lord Himself will be the light of His people and the morning of gladness will not be succeeded by an evening of sorrow or distress. How precious it is even now for those of us who know the Lord, to wait upon Him morning by morning, presenting a continual burnt offering before God as we meditate upon the preciousness and the effective work of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is of this indeed that the burnt offering really speaks. With it the meal offering was connected, and that, as we know, speaks of the perfection of Christ’s Person rather than emphasizing the work which He accomplished on the cross. It is the incarnate Christ-God and Man in one Person- that is represented by the meal offering of fine flour mingled with oil, never to be separated again.

“Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, it is his inheritance, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. But if he give of his inheritance a gift to one of his servants, it shall be his to the year of liberty; then it shall return to the prince; but as for his inheritance, it shall be for his sons. Moreover the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance, to thrust them out of their possession; he shall give inheritance to his sons out of his own possession, that My people be not scattered every man from his possession”-vers. 16-18.

In the coming great day of Israel’s restoration they will enter fully into the meaning of the year of Jubilee, the year of liberty. All down through the centuries, had these Jubilees been properly observed, they would have been a constant reminder that God has in view both for Israel and the world something far better than they have ever known. A time is coming when liberty will be proclaimed to the captives, and the house of Israel shall return to their own possessions and enter fully into the enjoyment of them, never to be separated from them any more. The ancient law of the Jubilee, it seems, will prevail in millennial days: thus the family of Israel will not forfeit their lands, and the strangers will be permitted to enjoy, at least for a season, a portion with them; but God said of the land of Palestine, “The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is Mine” (Leviticus 25:23). He has given it by covenant to Abraham’s literal seed so that no future arrangement will be permitted that will alienate it from them, however much others may be permitted to enjoy it with Israel.

“Then he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers for the priests, which looked toward the north: and, behold, there was a place on the hinder part westward. And he said unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass-offering and the sin-offering, and where they shall bake the meal-offering; that they bring them not forth into the outer court, to sanctify the people. Then he brought me forth into the outer 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. In the four corners of the court there were courts inclosed, forty cubits long and thirty broad: these four in the corners were of one measure. And there was a wall round about in them, round about the four, and boiling-places were made under the walls round about. Then said he unto me, These are the boiling-houses, where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people”-vers. 19-24.

Ezekiel saw in the vision adequate provision made for the nourishment of the priests. In the book of Exodus (29:33) we read, “They shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made.” The priests dwelling in the courts of the Lord’s house, feasting upon the burnt offerings and the meal offerings, speak to us of God’s family today who are privileged to feed their souls on what God has revealed concerning His Son and the work of the cross. And so in that coming day the priests of Jehovah will enter in a way they have never done in the past into the meaning of all these sacrifices; and in the quiet precincts of the chambers of the priests, shut away from the observance of the multitude, they will prepare their food and enjoy it in the presence of the Lord. How good it would be if we only knew more of this today-dwelling quietly in the secret place where the eye of God alone is upon us as we meditate upon what Scripture reveals concerning the Deity and Humanity of our Lord Jesus, His eternal fellowship, and His perfection as Man here on earth, His obedience unto death, and the effect of His work both as to the glorifying of the Father and the salvation of those who put their trust in Him! Here is rich food indeed on which we do well to nourish our souls that we may become strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

 


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Bibliography Information
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Ezekiel 46:4". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/isn/ezekiel-46.html. 1914.

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