Ezekiel – Chapter 48

Divisions of the Land

The land will be divided into 13 parallel portions (one for each tribe plus a sacred district ) that would stretch from the Jordan River of the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The tribes that originated through the handmaids of Jacob’s wives will be placed on the outer extremities. The tribes that originated from Rachel and Leah will be given land in the center of the nation. Judah and Benjamin will occupy the privileged positions next to the land’s special sacred portion.

Verse 1 – “Now these are the names of the tribes: From the northern border along the road to Hethlon at the entrance of Hamath, to Hazar Enan, the border of Damascus northward, in the direction of Hamath, there shall be one portion for Dan from its east to its west side;

Verse 2 – “by the border of Dan, from the est side to the west, one portion for Asher;

Verse 3 – “by the border of Asher, from the east side to the west, one portion for Naphtali;

Verse 4 – “by the border of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, one portion for Manasseh;

Verse 5 – “by the border of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, one portion for Ephraim;

Verse 6 – “by the border of Ephraim, from the east side to the west, one portion for Reuben;

Verse 7 – “by the border of Reuben, from the east side to the west, one portion for Judah;

Verse 8 – “by the border of Judah, from the east side to the west, shall be the district which you shall set apart, twenty-five thousand cubits in width, and in lengths the same as one of the other portions, from the east side to the west, with the sanctuary in the center.

Verse 9 – “The district that you shall set apart for the Lord shall be twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width.

Verse 10 – “To these, namely, to the priests, shall this holy district belong: on the north twenty-five thousand cubits in length, on the west ten thousand in width, on the east ten thousand in width, and on the south twenty-five thousand in length. The sanctuary of the Lord shall be in the center.

Because Ezekiel had written down the division of the land as stated by God, when the captives returned to their land, there should be no in-fighting about who got which land.

Verse 11 – “It shall be for the priests of the sons of Zadok, who are sanctified, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray.

Verse 12 – “And this district of land that is set apart shall be to them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites.

Verse 13 – “Opposite the border of the priests, the Levites shall have an area twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width; its entire length shall be twenty-five thousand and its width ten thousand.

Verse 14 – “And they shall not sell or exchange  any of it; they may not alienate this best part of the land, for it is holy to the Lord.

Verse 15 – “The five thousand cubits in width that remain, along the edge of the twenty-five thousand, shall be for general use by the city, for dwellings and common-land; and the city shall be the center.

The site of Jerusalem, with the surrounding open land, was exactly 50 times that of the temple (42:20).

Verse 16 – “These shall be its measurements: the north side four thousand five hundred cubits, the south side four thousand five hundred, the east side four thousand five hundred, and the west side four thousand five hundred.

Verse 17 – “The common-land of the city shall be: to the north two hundred and fifty cubits, to the south two hundred and fifty, to the east two hundred and fifty, and to the west two hundred and fifty.

Verse 18 – “The rest of the length, alongside the district of the holy portion, shall be ten thousand cubits to the east and ten thousand to the west. It shall be adjacent to the district of the holy portion, and its produce shall be food for the workers of the city.

Verse 19 – “The workers of the city, from all the tribes of Israel, shall cultivate it.

Verse 20 – “The entire district shall be twenty-five thousand cubits by twenty-five thousand cubits, foursquare. You shall set apart the holy district with the property of the city.

Verse 21 – “The rest shall belong to the prince, on one side and on the other of the holy district and of the city’s property, next to the twenty-five thousand cubits of the holy districts as far as the eastern border, and westward next to the twenty-five thousand as far as the western border, adjacent to the tribal portions; it shall belong to the prince. It shall be the holy district, and the sanctuary of the temple shall be the center.

Verse 22 – “Moreover, apart from the possession of the Levites and the possession of the city which are in the midst of what belongs to the prince, the area between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin shall belong to the prince.

Verse 23 – “As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side to the west, Benjamin shall have one portion;

Verse 24 – “by the border of Benjamin, from the east side to the west, Simeon shall have one portion;

Verse 25 – “by the border of Simeon, from the east side to the west, Issachar shall have one portion;

Verse 26 – “by the border of Issachar, from the east side to the west, Zebulun shall have a portion;

Verse 27 – “by the border of Zebulun, from the east side to the west, Gad shall have one portion;

Verse 28 – “by the border of Gad, on the south side, toward the South, the border shall be from Tamar to the waters of Meribah by Kadesh, along the brook to the Great Sea (Mediterranean).

Verse 29 – “This is the land which you shall divide by lot as an inheritance among the tribes of Israel, and these are their portions,” says the Lord God.

Gates of the City

Verse 30 – “These are the exits of the city. On the north side, measuring four thousand five hundred cubits,

Verse 31 – “the gates of the city shall be named after the tribes of Israel, the three gates northward: one gate for Reuben, one gate for Judah, and one gate for Levi;

Verse 32 – “on the east side, four thousand five hundred cubits, three gates: one gate for Joseph, one gate for Benjamin, and one gate for Dan;

Verse 33 – “on the south side, measuring four thousand five hundred cubits, three gates: one gate for Simeon, one gate for Issachar, and one gate for Zebulun;

Verse 34 – “on the west side, four thousand five hundred cubits with their gates: one gate for Gad, one gate for Asher, and one gate for Naphali.

Verse 35 – “All the way around shall be eighteen thousand cubits; and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.”

This city is square as it is in Revelation 21:16 –  And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.

GET READY FOR THE BOOK OF DANIEL!!!

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Ezekiel – Chapter 47

River From the Temple

This river is similar to the river mentioned in Revelation 22:1, 2: (Verse 1) And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the lamb. (Verse 2) In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for healing of the nations.

Verse 1 – Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.

Verse 2 – He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.

Verse 3 – Then, when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.

Verse 4 – Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist.

Verse 5 – Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed.

This can also be applied to the gradual discoveries of the plan of salvation: First the patriarchal ages; then the giving of the law; then in the ministry of John the Baptist; and then in the full manifestation of Christ by the communication of the Holy Ghost.

This vision can also be applied to the growth of a believer in the grace and knowledge of God: First, there is the seed of the kingdom; the blade from that seed; the ear of the blade; and the full corn in that ear.

I also see it as God being the only source of life that flows through His grace to restore, replenish and bless.

Verse 6 – He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.

Verse 7 – When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other.

Verse 8 – Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.

“The sea,” is a term commonly applied to the Dead Sea. It’s too salty and nothing can live in it. However, when this water flows into where nothing lived before, where the grace of God from His temple and altar flows, it heals the corrupt nature of man. God’s power can transform us no matter how lifeless or corrupt we may be.

Verse 9 – “And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the river go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.

Verse 10 – “It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea (the Mediterranean Sea), exceedingly many. (En Gedi and En Eglaim were on the western shore of the Dead Sea.)

The fish shall be according to their kind – all nations, and kindred’s, and people shall be called by the Gospel; it shall be an including system, for its Author tasted death for every man.

Verse 11 – “But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt.

These swamps and marshes – Heretics who do not live by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Those whose foundation is built on counsels of traditions and lying miracles. If Jesus Christ is not the foundation of one’s belief, they are lost.

Verse 12 – “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not whither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

This endless supply of water that flows from God’s Sanctuary, will give an endless supply of nourishment for the trees. See Revelation 22:1-5. Even the leaves, the holy profession of the righteous, is a spiritual medicine.

Boundaries of the Land

Verse 13 – Thus says the Lord God: “These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions.

Joseph getting two portions of land is in keeping with what Jacob told Joseph in Genesis 48:22. “Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.”

Verse 14 – “You shall inherit it equally with one another; for I lifted My hand in an oath to give it to our fathers, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance.

This inheritance was speaking to the tribes of Israel, not to the individual.

Verse 15 – “This shall be the border of the land on the north: from the Great Sea, by the road to Hethlon, as one goes to Zedad,

Verse 16 – “Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim (which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath), to Hazar Hatticon (which is on the border of Hauran).

Verse 17 – “Thus the boundary shall be from the Sea to Hazar Enan, the border of Damascus; and as for the north, northward, it is the border of Hamath. This is the north side

Verse 18 – “On the eat side you shall mark out the border from between Hauran and Damascus, and between Gilead and the land of Israel, along the Jordan, and along the eastern side of the Sea. This is the east side.

Verse 19 – “The south side, toward the South, shall be from Tamar to the waters of Meribah by Kadesh, along the brook to the Great Sea. This is the south side, toward the South.

Verse 20 – “The west side shall be the Great Sea, from the southern boundary until one comes to a point opposite Hamath. This is the west side.

Verse 21 – “Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel.

Verse 22 – “It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who sojourn among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as a native-borne among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.

Not only will the Israelites by descendants have an inheritance but those who join themselves to Israel by allegiance to the true God, shall have a right of inheritance . Here are the blessings which were to occur to the Gentiles through the seed of Abraham (Romans 0:24).

Verse 23 – “And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger sojourns, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God.

Both, Jew and Gentile, made one in and through Jesus Christ!

Ezekiel – Chapter 46

Verse 1 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened.

While the east gate of the outer court was permanently closed, the east gate of the inner court could be opened during special days like the Sabbath and the New Moon festival.

Verse 2 – “The prince shall enter by way of the vestibule of that gateway from outside, and stand by the gateposts. The priest shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace-offering. He shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening.

Verse 3 – “Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the Lord on the Sabbaths and the New Moons.

Verse 4 – “The burnt offering that the prince offers to the Lord on the Sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish;

Verse 5 – “and the grain offering shall be one ephah for a ram, and the grain offering for the lambs, as much as he wants to give, as well as a hin of oil with every ephah.

Verse 6 – “On the day of the New Moon it shall be a young bull without blemish, six lambs, and a ram; they shall be without blemish.

Verse 7 – “He shall prepare a grain offering of an ephah for a bull, an ephah for a ram, as much as he wants to give for the lambs, and a hin of oil with every ephah.

God required a gift from everyone because they all had sin. In all probability, if people gave like they should for the Lord’s work, there would be no need for government welfare.

Verse 8 – “When the prince enters, he shall go in by way of the vestibule of that gateway, and go out the same way.

Verse 9 – “But when the people of the land go before the Lord on the appointed feast days, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall not return by way of the gate through which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate.

Should we not all leave church different from the way we came in? I’m not talking about a door. I’m referring to our mind-sets and our hearts. If one continually goes to the house of God and never changes, then what good did it do to go in the first place?

Verse 10 – “The prince shall then be in their midst. When they go in, he shall go in; and when they go out, he shall go out.

Verse 11 – “At the festivals and the appointed feast days the grain offering shall be an ephah for a bull, an ephah for a ram, as much as he wants to give for the lambs, and a hin of oil with every ephah.

Verse 12 – “Now when the prince makes a voluntary burnt offering or voluntary peace-offering to the Lord, the gate that faces toward the east shall then be opened for him; and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he did on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he goes out the gate shall be shut.

Verse 13 – “You shall daily make a burnt offering to the Lord of a lamb of the first year without blemish; you shall prepare it every morning.

Verse 14 – “And you shall prepare a grain offering with it every morning, a sixth of an ephah, and a third of hin oil to moisten the fine flour. This grain offering is a perpetual ordinance, to be made regularly to the Lord.

The priest got the animal and grain offerings from the people. Same as churches today get the funds to help others through tithing. If no one tithes, then a body can’t function.

Verse 15 – “Thus they shall prepare the lamb, the grain offering, and the oil, as a regular burnt offering every morning.

Verse 16 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “If the prince gives a gift of some of his inheritance to any of his sons, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance.

Verse 17 – “But if he gives a gift of some of his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be his until the year of liberty, after which it shall return to the prince. But his inheritance shall belong to the sons, it shall become theirs.

The land that belonged to the prince was to be carefully regulated. If the prince made a gift from his inheritance to one of his servants, the servant must return the property in the Year of Jubilee.

Verse 18 – “Moreover the prince shall not take any of the people’s inheritance by evicting them from property; he shall provide an inheritance for his sons form his own property, so that none of My people may be scattered from his property.” ‘ ”

This law would prevent the prince from seizing property as they did in previous times.

Verse 19 – Then he brought me through the entrance, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers of the priests which face toward the north; and there a place was situated at their extreme western end.

Verse 20 – And he said to me, “This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, and where they shall bake the grain offering, so that they do not bring them out into the outer court to sanctify the people.”

Verse 21 – Then he brought me out into the outer court and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and in fact, in every corner of the court there was another court.

Verse 22 – In the four corners of the court were enclosed courts, forty cubits long and thirty wide; all four corners were the same size.

Verse 23 – There was a row of building stones all around in them, all around the four of them; and cooking hearths were made under the rows of stones all around.

Verse 24 – And he said to me, “These are the kitchens where the ministers of the temple shall boil the sacrifices of the people.”

Ezekiel – Chapter 45

Verse 1 – “Moreover, when you divide the land by lot into inheritance, you shall set apart a district for the Lord, a holy portion of the land; its length shall be twenty-five thousand cubits, and the width ten thousand. It shall be holy throughout its territory all around.

Verse 2 – “Of this there shall be a square plot for the sanctuary, five hundred by five hundred rods, with fifty cubits around it for an open space.

Verse 3 – “So this is the district you shall measure: twenty-five thousand cubits long and ten thousand wide; in it shall be the sanctuary, the Most Holy Place.

Verse 4 – “It shall be a holy portion of the land, belonging to the priests, the ministers of the sanctuary, who come near to minister to the Lord; it shall be a place for their houses and a holy place for the sanctuary.

Verse 5 – “An area twenty-five thousand cubits long and ten thousand wide shall belong to the Levites, the ministers of the temple; they shall have twenty chambers as a possession.

The centralization of the priests in this new arrangement contrasts with the rest of Old Testament history when priests and Levites were scattered throughout the land.

This is similar to today where churches provide a house for their pastor and his family to live.

Verse 6 – “You shall appoint as the property of the city an area five thousand cubits wide and twenty-five thousand long, adjacent to the district of the holy portion; it shall belong to the whole house of Israel.

Verse 7 – “The prince (or governor) shall have a portion on one side and the other of the holy district and the city’s property; and bordering on the holy district and the city’s property, extending westward on the west side and eastward on the east side, the length shall be side by side with one of the tribal portions, from the west border to the east border.

After the Jews returned to the land, there were neither princes nor kings, but they did have a chief magistrate, or governor. The length of the princes territory was spelled out so that they couldn’t take advantage and take what they weren’t allotted.

Verse 8 – “The land shall be his possession in Israel; and My princes shall no more oppress My people, but they shall give the rest of the land to the house of Israel, according to their tribes.”

Verse 9 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Enough, O princes of Israel! Remove violence and plundering, execute justice and righteousness, and stop dispossession My people,” says the Lord God.

Verse 10 – “You shall have just balances, a just ephah, and a just bath. (bath – a liquid measure)

Verse 11 – “The ephah (to surround; compass) and the bath shall be of the same measure, so that the bath contains one-tenth of a homer (the homer seems to have contained about 75 gallons); their measure shall be according to the homer.

Verse 12 – “The shekel shall be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels, twenty-five shekels, and fifteen shekels shall be your mina.

God commanded that the people be just in all their business dealings. This law warned against cheating with false weights and measures.

Verse 13 – “This is the offering which you shall offer: you shall give one-sixth of an ephah from a homer of wheat, and one-sixth of an ephah from a homer of barley.

Verse 14 – “The ordinance concerning oil, the bath of oil, is one-tenth of a bath from a kor. A kor is a homer or ten baths, for ten baths are a homer.

Verse 15 – “And one lamb shall be given from a flock of two hundred, from the rich pastures of Israel. These shall be for grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings, to make atonement for them,’ says the Lord God.

Verse 16 – “All the people of the land shall give this offering for the prince in Israel.

The people handed the gift to the prince and then the prince handed it to the priests, whose part it was to sacrifice and offer. He was a sort of mediator of this new covenant.

Verse 17 – “Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feast, the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at the appointed seasons of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace-offering to make atonement for the house of Israel.”

Verse 18 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “In the first month, on the first day of the month, you shall take a young bull without blemish and cleanse in the sanctuary.

Verse 19 – “The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the door posts of the temple, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the gateposts of the gate of the inner court.

Verse 20 – “And so you shall do on the seventh day of the month for everyone who has sinned unintentionally or in ignorance. Thus you shall make atonement for the temple.

Do you see why it was so important for the leaders and priests to know and do God’s ordinances? If they didn’t teach the people the people would be continually sinning against God in ignorance. Once they knew and learned what was right, the sin they committed was no longer unintentional or in ignorance.

Verse 21 – “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall observe the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.

The Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which typically falls in March or April. On the 15th day of Nisan typically begins on the night of a full moon after the northern equinox. Passover is an annual seven-day feast instituted by God so that His people would remember when He brought them out of slavery from Egypt. On the first Passover night, the destroyer passed over the homes that were marked by lamb’s blood.

Verse 22 – “And on that day the prince shall prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering.

The fact that the prince will make a sin offering for himself shows that he was not the promised Messiah, in case you were wondering.

Verse 23 – “On the seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the Lord, seven bulls and seven rams without blemish, daily for seven days, and a kid of the goats for a sin offering.

Verse 24 – “And he shall prepare a grain offering of one ephah for each bull and one ephah for each ram, together with a hin of oil for each ephah.

Verse 25 – “In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, at the feast, he shall do likewise for seven days, according to the sin offering, the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the oil.”

The annual feast celebrated in October is called the Feast of Tabernacles. It commemorates God’s protection of His people as they traveled through the desert from Egypt to the promised land (Leviticus 23:33-43; Deuteronomy 16:13-17).

Ezekiel – Chapter 44

Duties of Temple Priests

Verse 1 – Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut.

Verse 2 – And the Lord said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.

There were several reasons for this east gate to remain shut; one, God Himself came through the east gate and no man could walk where God had entered. Second, no one would ever be able to stand there and worship the sun again because it rises in the east. Today in Jerusalem the gate known as the “Golden Gate” remains sealed.

Verse 3 – “As for the prince, because he is the prince, he may sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway, and go out the same way.”

Verse 4 – Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; and I fell on my face.

Verse 5 – And the Lord said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes and hear with your ears, all that I say to you concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord and all its laws. Mark well who may enter the house and all who go out from the sanctuary.

Ezekiel here is depicted as the new Moses. After the entrance of God into the temple, God revealed statutes and laws to His prophet.

Verse 6 – “Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “O house of Israel, let us have no more of all your abominations.

Verse 7 – “When you brought foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it – My house – and when you offered My food, the fat and the blood, then they broke My covenant because of your abominations.

Verse 8 – “And you have not kept charge of My holy things, but you have set others to keep charge of My sanctuary for you.”

This may refer to the practice of using foreigners as guards in the temple.

Verse 9 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner who is among the children of Israel.

Ezekiel’s vision was for a restored, purified worship, where only those who prepared themselves physically and spiritually could participate.

Verse 10 – “And the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray, who strayed away from Me after idols, they shall bear their iniquity.

Jeroboam, who set up a new worship, got as many of the priests he could to join him in idol worship. These priests “shall bear their iniquity,” means they would not return to their rank or privileges.

Verse 11 – “Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, as gatekeepers of the house and ministers of the house; they shall slay the burnt offerings and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them.

Ministers – Servants employed in the lowest work. Sanctuary, not the temple itself, but about the courts of it. They would be servants to the priests.

Verse 12 – “Because they ministered to them before their idols and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity, therefore I have lifted My hand in an oath against them,” says the Lord God, “that they bear their iniquity.

Verse 13 – “And they shall not come near Me to minister to Me as priests, nor come near any of My holy things, nor into the Most Holy Place; but they shall bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed.

These were the ones that were there before the temple was destroyed, allowed idol worship and abominations to defile the temple. They would no longer be called priests.

Verse 14 – “Nevertheless I will make them keep charge of the temple, for all its work, and for all that has to be done in it.

Verse 15 – “But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer to Me the fat and the blood,” says the Lord God.

Zadok’s descendants are mentioned because they had remained faithful to God, while others had become corrupt. Zadok’s descendants were considered the true priestly line throughout the time between the Old and New Testament.

Verse 16 – “They shall enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near My table to minister to Me, and they shall keep My charge.

Verse 17 – “And it shall be, whenever they enter the gates of the inner court, that they shall put on linen garments; no wool shall come upon them while they minister within the gates of the inner court or within the house.

No wool. Why? Because wool was more apt than linen to contract dirt and breed insects. It also caused them to perspire which was considered defiling.

Verse 18 – “They shall have linen turbans on their heads and linen trousers on their bodies; they shall not clothe themselves with anything that causes sweat.

Verse 19 – “When they go out to the outer court, to the outer court to the people, they shall take off their garments in which they ministered, leave them in the holy chambers, and put on other garments; and in their holy garments they shall not sanctify the people.

Verse 20 – “Nor shall they shave their heads, nor let their hair grow long; but they shall keep their hair well-trimmed.

Verse 21 – “No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court.

Verse 22 – “They shall not take as wife a widow or a divorced woman, but take virgins of the descendants of the house of Israel, or widows of priests.

It’s pretty plain that God did not forbid the priest to marry.

Verse 23 – “And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

Verse 24 – “In controversy they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments. They shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed meetings, and they shall hallow My Sabbaths.

Verse 25 – “They shall not defile themselves by coming near a dead person. Only for father or mother, for son or daughter, for brother or unmarried sister may they defile themselves.

Verse 26 – “After he is cleansed, they shall count seven days for him.

Verse 27 – “And on the day that he goes to the sanctuary to minister in the sanctuary, he must offer his sin offering in the inner court,” says the Lord God.

Verse 28 – “It shall be, in regard to their inheritance, that I am their inheritance. You shall give them no possession in Israel, for I am their possession.

Verse 29 – “They shall eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering; every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs.

Verse 30 – “The best of all firstfruits of any kind, and every sacrifice of any kind from all your sacrifices, shall be the priests; also you shall give the priests the first of your ground meal, to cause a blessing to rest on your house.

Verse 31 – “The priests shall not eat anything, bird or beast, that died naturally or was torn by wild animals.

These laws were originally given to God’s people in the desert. They are recorded in Exodus and Leviticus. They reveal approaching God respectfully, and they give guidelines for the priests to live above reproach. They had a huge responsibility of teaching the people to discern between clean and unclean.

Ezekiel – Chapter 43

The Glory of God Returns to the Temple

Verse 1 – Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east.

Verse 2 – And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.

In chapter 11 of Ezekiel, God’s glory stopped over the Mount of Olives, now He was returning from the same direction.

Verse 3 – It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw – like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.

Verse 4 – And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east.

Verse 5 – The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

Verse 6 – Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me.

Verse 7 – And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places.

Verse 8 – “When they set their threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the abominations which they committed; therefore I have consumed them in My anger.

Verse 9 – “Now let them put their harlotry and the carcasses of their kings far away from Me, and I will dwell in their midst forever.

It appears that they had buried their kings either close to the temple or in it. David was buried in the city of David, which was on Mount Zion, near the temple, so were almost all the kings of Judah; but God required that the place of His temple and its vicinity be kept unpolluted.

Verse 10 – “Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern.

Verse 11 – “And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple and its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its ordinances, all its forms and all its laws. Write it down in their sight, so that they may keep its whole design and all its ordinances, and perform them.

Before God left the old temple, the one that had been destroyed by the Babylonians, the priests had turned it into a place for idol worship and abominations. So, in order for God to return to the one He was giving design for, Israel had to repent. They also had to follow all of Gods laws and statutes.

Verse 12 – “This is the law of the temple: The whole area surrounding the mountaintop shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the temple.

The basic law of the temple was holiness. Leviticus 19:1, says, …’You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.’ 1 Peter 1:15, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.

Verse 13 – “These are the measurements of the altar in cubits; the base one cubit high and one cubit wide, with a rim all around its edge of one span. This is the height of the altar:

Verse 14 – “from the base on the ground to the lower ledge, two cubits; the width of the ledge, one cubit; from the smaller ledge to the larger ledge, four cubits; and the width of the ledge, one cubit.

Verse 15 – “The altar hearth is four cubits high, with four horns extending upward from the hearth.

Verse 16 – “The altar hearth is twelve cubits long, twelve wide, square at its four corners;

Verse 17 – “the ledge, fourteen cubits long and fourteen wide on its four sides, with a rim of half a cubit around it; its base, one cubit all around; and its steps face toward the east.”

Verse 18 – And He said, “Son of man, thus says the Lord God: ‘These are the ordinances for the altar on the day when it is made, for sacrificing burnt offerings on it, and for sprinkling blood on it.

Verse 19 – ‘You shall give a young bull for a sin offering to the priests, the Levites, who are of the seed of Zadok, who approach Me to minister to Me,’ says the Lord God.

It was this Zadok that was put in place of Abiathar, by Solomon, in whose family the priesthood had continued ever since.

Verse 20 – ‘You shall take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim around it; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it.

Verse 21 – ‘Then you shall take the bull of the sin offering, and burn it in the appointed place of the temple, outside the sanctuary.

Some sacrifices were taken outside the sanctuary. This action foreshadows one aspect of Christ’s sacrifice.

Verse 22 – ‘On the second day you shall offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they cleansed with the bull.

Verse 23 – ‘When you have finished cleansing it, you shall offer a young bull without blemish, and a ram from the flock without blemish.

The Lord wanted the people to understand that they were to give their best from the flocks, not what they had done in the past by giving the sick or diseased to be sacrificed.

Verse 24 – ‘When you offer them before the Lord, the priests shall throw salt on them, and they will offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord.

Salt is added to the burnt offering for purification. Mark 9:49 – “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. (50) “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

Have you ever heard of “Salt covenant? This covenant is mentioned three times in the Old Testament. Leviticus 3:13 – ‘And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt… Second occurrence: Numbers 18:19, “All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the Lord I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever, it is a “Covenant of salt forever before the Lord with you and your descendants with you.”

The third occurrence: 2 Chronicles 13:5 – “Should you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a “covenant of salt?”

The covenant of salt is the everlasting relationship between the children of salt, God’s people, and their Elohim Yahweh. When we hear the term salt, the understanding is that the things Yahweh addresses are eternal, enduring, never-changing, and abiding forever.

Verse 25 – ‘Every day for seven days you shall prepare a goat for a sin offering; they shall also prepare a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without blemish.

Verse 26 – ‘Seven days they shall make atonement for the altar and purify it, and so consecrate it.

The consecration of the altar for seven days was performed at the Festival of Tabernacles.

Verse 27 – ‘When these days are over it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priests shall offer your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar; and I will accept you, says the Lord God.”

Are people today concerned about how they enter God’s house? How about the participation in worship to Him? What kind of attitude goes with us when we enter? Here is what I see in the house of God today:  People coming in late, carrying coffee, and maybe a snack. People who come in late disrupt people that are already there worshiping. Then I see that they can’t get off their phones to even give any attention to praising the One who gave them the very breath they breath. And this last one really burns me up: When our pastor gives a prayer of invitation for those who don’t know the Lord, some have the nerve to get up and leave, causing disruptions again. This may sound mean, but my feelings are this, “Stay home if you are not interested in seeing others come to Christ and learning about a Mighty God that the rest of us adore and worship!”

Ezekiel – Chapter 42

Verse 1 – Then he brought me out into the outer court, by the way toward the north; and he brought me into the chamber which was opposite the separating courtyard, and which was opposite the building toward the north.

Verse 2 – Facing the length, which was one hundred cubits (the width was fifty cubits), was the north door.

Verse 3 – Opposite the inner court of twenty cubits, and opposite the pavement of the outer court, was gallery against gallery in the three stories.

Verse 4 – In front of the chambers, toward the inside, was a walk ten cubits wide, at a distance of one cubit; and their doors faced north.

Verse 5 – Now the upper chambers were shorter, because the galleries took away space from them more than from the lower and middle stories of the building.

Verse 6 – For they were in three stories and did not have pillars like the pillars of the courts; therefore the upper level was shortened more than the lower and middle levels from the ground up.

Verse 7 – And a wall which was outside ran parallel to the chambers, at the front of the chambers, toward the outer court; its length was fifty cubits.

Verse 8 – The length of the chambers toward the outer court was fifty cubits, whereas that facing the temple was one hundred cubits.

Verse 9 – At the lower chambers was the entrance on the east side, as one goes into them from the outer court.

The entry from these chambers to the temple-court was by a passage lying to the east fenced off by the wall. This passage is described as lying under the chambers, being on the basement, and also having access by steps to the temple court, which was raised many steps above the outer court.

Verse 10 – There were also chambers in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, opposite the separating courtyard and opposite the building.

Verse 11 – There was a wall in front of them also, and their appearance was like the chambers which were toward the north; they were as long and as wide as the others, and all there exits and entrances were according to plan.

Verse 12 – And corresponding to the doors of the chambers that were facing south, as one enters them, there was a door in front of the walk, the way directly in front of the wall toward the east.

Verse 13 – Then he said to me, “The north chambers and the south chambers, which are opposite the separating courtyard, are the  holy chambers where the priests who approach the Lord shall eat the most holy offerings. There they shall lay the most holy offerings – the grain offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering – for the place is holy.

It was customary for the priests to eat a portion of the most holy offering that the Israelites offered to the Lord. The grain offering was usually offered with a burnt offering and often with the fellowship offering as well. The grain offering was a gift to the Lord that honored Him as the source of life and the lands fertility. The New Testament says that just as Old Testament believers offered grain to God, Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life offered His life to God (John 6:32-35).

Verse 14 – “When the priests enter them, they shall not go out of the holy chamber into the holy chamber into the outer court; but there they shall leave their garments in which they minister, for they are holy. They shall put on other garments; then they may approach that which is for the people.”

Approaching a holy God cannot be taken lightly. The holy garments the priests were required to wear may symbolize the importance of having a holy heart when approaching a holy God. Then the priests had to take off these garments and put on other garments before they went back out to the public.

Verse 15 – Now when he had finished measuring the inner temple, he brought me out through the gateway that faces toward the east, and measured it all around.

After the guide was finished inside the temple area, Ezekiel was brought outside to survey the temple.

Verse 16 – He measured the east side with the measuring rod, five hundred rods by the measuring rod all around.

Verse 17 – He measured the north side, five hundred rods by the measuring rod all around.

Verse 18 – He measured the south side, five hundred rods by the measuring rod.

Verse 19 – He came around to the west side and measured five hundred rods by the measuring rod.

Verse 20 – He measured it on the four sides; it had a wall all around, five hundred cubits long and five hundred wide, to separate the holy areas from the common.

Why do you think God wanted all this written down? The Israelites had made such a mess of God’s temple that the place where they were to worship only Him, they had brought in idols, had sacrificed to them, and had stood in God’s face and worshiped the sun. They had made God’s house of worship every detestable thing except what it was intended to be. God wanted the Israelites in captivity to know exactly why His presence left the temple and why it was destroyed. When He delivered them back to their land, He wanted a new temple built to His specifications, and the priests to do what they were appointed to do.

The only reason that we Christians can even approach our holy God is because of His Son’s blood that cleanses us from all unrighteousness. When we approach Him, we are covered because of what Jesus did, not us.