Ezekiel Chapter 46
Ezekiel 46:1 “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.”
Shutting the gate six days seems to serve the purpose of giving special distinction to the Sabbath and new Moon, when it is open and in use. Israel largely failed and was judged in ancient times in regard to these days. The Sabbath will be reinstated for a restored and regenerated Israel.
Note here that modern day Sabbatarians fail to realize that the Sabbath consisted of far more than just rest from labor, but included specific sacrifices. It is inconsistent to take one part of the Sabbath observance and discard the others.
Ezekiel 46:2 “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.”
It appears that the prince (whoever he is), stands in the gate, and ministers to the people at that gate, while the priest is preparing the sacrifice.
He appears 5 times in this chapter (in verses 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12). In regard to sacrifices, he is to be an example of spiritual integrity to the people (verse 10).
It appears he would come to this gate, because there are people here to talk to. We would probably call what he is doing, preaching. His worship could consist of prayer, as well as preaching. This gate will be opened the entire day of Sabbath. Their Sabbath (is from 6 o’clock in the evening on Friday until 6’oclock Saturday evening). Their day begins in the evening, as was spoken of in Genesis. An evening and a morning make up a day.
Ezekiel 46:3 “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.”
We see now, that many people would be congregated at this gate. This would be a very good place for someone to preach.
Ezekiel 46:4 “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.”
This again, is different to the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law required two yearling lambs. The meat offering had been the makings for bread. Six symbolizes mankind, whether that has anything to do with this, I cannot tell. They did retain, in all these offerings, the fact that the sacrifice should be without blemish. This was because all of the sacrifices, in one way or another symbolizes the great sacrifice Jesus made for all of mankind.
Ezekiel 46:5 “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.”
This again, is the makings for bread.
Ezekiel 46:6 “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.”
This sacrifice is in addition to what we have been reading about. This also, varies slightly from the Mosaic Law.
Israel’s calendar was lunar, so the feasts were reckoned according to the phases of the moon.
Ezekiel 46:7 “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 a hin of oil to an ephah.”
The offering of the amount the “hand” can attain does not mean what a man can pick up in his hand, but means the amount he has earned, and can afford.
Ezekiel 46:8 “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.”
He does not normally use the eastern gate itself, which is for the Lord. Rather, he enters and exits by the gate’s vestibule. However (verse 12), permits his use of the gate for free will offerings.
Ezekiel 46:9 “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.”
The people’s entering and exiting for temple worship are to be done in an orderly flow to prevent congestion, since all will be present.
Ezekiel 46:10 “And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth.”
It appears, this prince will lead them into the area of worship. He sets the example of worship for the people.
Ezekiel 46:11 “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 a hin of oil to an ephah.”
This “ephah” is 3 pecks of flour for each bullock. He matches the amount of bread to the meat.
Ezekiel 46:12 “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 offering is not an offering of obligation, but from the free will of the prince. We notice the gate will be open to him for this offering, as well. After he leaves, after making the offering, the gate shall be shut, until another day of offerings come. This gate will not be open until the evening, but just long enough for him to sacrifice. Immediately after he leaves, it is shut up.
Ezekiel 46:13 “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.”
This symbolizes the eating of the Word of God every day. For a person to live a godly life, they must continually feast upon His Word. This is also, speaking of an offering being made every day, because the priests feed upon the offerings. The strange thing about the offerings from God through Ezekiel here, is that there is no evening sacrifice. This is possibly speaking to the whole of the people and not just to the prince.
The testimony of the Old Testament is that to remove the continual burnt offering meant an abolition of public worship (Dan. 8-11-13; 11:31; 12:11).
Ezekiel 46:14 “And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of a hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD.”
This offering is bread, to go along with the meat of the other offering. The bread was to never cease from the temple.
Ezekiel 46:15 “Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning [for] a continual burnt offering.”
As long as there is a temple, these offerings were not to cease. I personally believe God allowed the temple to be destroyed a few years after the crucifixion of Jesus, to cause them to stop sacrificing. Jesus fulfilled all the sacrifices and the law with his body on the cross.
Ezekiel 46:16 “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.”
This explains inheritance laws governing the prince. A gift to one of his sons is permanent, but a gift to a servant last only to the year of Jubilee, the 50th year and then returns to him (verse 17).
Ezekiel 46:17 “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 land was given by God to each of the families of Israel. It was for them, and for their generations after them. It could not be permanently sold, or given, to anyone. It is the sons’ land by right of inheritance. If it is sold temporarily, it will return to the family to whom it was allotted on the year of “jubilee” (fiftieth year).
All land was sold with that in mind. The Israelites could not sell, or give away their inheritance except to a son, who it would belong to eventually anyway.
The year of liberty means the year of Jubilee.
Ezekiel 46:18 “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 prince might tax them, but he could not take their land. Their land was a perpetual inheritance from God. We see the reason for this is, because God wants them to remain from generation to generation in the Promised Land.
As (in 45:8-9), the prince is not to confiscate other’s property to enlarge his own holdings, as often occurred in Israel’s history when rulers became rich by making others poor.
Ezekiel 46:19 “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.”
“Chamber”: The priest’s kitchen chambers are convenient for managing their parts of the offering and cooking sacrificial means for worshipers, possibly close to the inner East gate. The “ministers of the temple” verse 24), are not the priests, but temple servants.
Ezekiel 46:20 “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 outer court, to sanctify the people.”
It is not the duty of the people to prepare the food from the animals they bring for sacrifice. This states that is the duty of the priests. Some of them are baked, and some of them are boiled. Those sacrifices that had to do with meat were boiled, and the bread which was called the meat offering, was baked in the oven. This was to be kept away from the people.
Ezekiel 46:21 “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.”
These corner courts were in every corner of the outer court.
Ezekiel 46:22 “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.”
These courts in the corner were (60 feet by 45 feet). Each of the corners had an area of this very same size. This is as large as a modern home. It really was a giant kitchen.
Ezekiel 46:23 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.
This is saying that it was broken up into several rooms inside the outer measurements. It seemed as if the boiling went on in separate quarters. Perhaps, the animals being boiled were not to be in the same room.
Ezekiel 46:24 “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.”
Notice, the word ministers is plural. Each priest probably, had his own area to boil in. You might say, each priest had his own kitchen. It appears, the sacrifices were individual, and should not be grouped together.
Ezekiel Chapter 46 Questions
1. The gate to the inner court at the east shall be shut _____ ________ ______.
2. When shall it be open?
3. We are not to confuse this with what?
4. What was their day of worship?
5. Why is the door open?
6. What does the prince do at this gate?
7. Who prepares the burnt offering?
8. How long will the gate be open?
9. What is the burnt offering the prince shall offer?
10. How does this differ from the Mosaic law?
11. Why should all the sacrifices be without blemish?
12. What is peculiar about the meat offering?
13. How can Ezekiel speak of the offerings in a different manner than the law of Moses?
14. What is the amount the “hand” is speaking of?
15. The prince shall enter the east gate, and return at the _______ gate.
16. The people shall enter at the north, or south gate, and leave by what gate?
17. Who leads the people?
18. How much is an “ephah”?
19. What is different about the offering in verse 12?
20. What does the daily burnt offering symbolize?
21. How long were the offerings to last?
22. If a prince gives a gift unto his sons, who does it continue to belong to?
23. If the prince gives a gift to a servant, how long does it belong to the servant?
24. What year is “jubilee”?
25. Can the prince take someone’s land?
26. What is boiled in an offering?
27. What is baked in offerings?
28. How large were the corner courts?
29. Why were there several kitchens?