Ezekiel 45:1-25 . ALLOTMENT OF THE LAND FOR THE SANCTUARY, THE CITY, AND THE PRINCE.
1. offer an oblation--from a Hebrew root to "heave" or "raise"; when anything was offered to God, the offerer raised the hand. The special territorial division for the tribes is given in the forty-seventh and forty-eighth chapters. Only Jehovah's portion is here subdivided into its three parts: (1) that for the sanctuary ( Ezekiel 45:2 Ezekiel 45:3 ); (2) that for the priests ( Ezekiel 45:4 ); (3) that for the Levites ( Ezekiel 45:5 ). Compare Ezekiel 48:8-13 .
five and twenty thousand reeds, &c.--So English Version rightly fills the ellipsis (compare Note, Hence "cubits" are mentioned in Ezekiel 45:2 , not here, implying that there alone cubits are meant. Taking each reed at twelve feet, the area of the whole would be a square of sixty miles on each side. The whole forming a square betokens the settled stability of the community and the harmony of all classes. "An holy portion of the land" ( Ezekiel 45:1 ) comprised the whole length, and only two-fifths of the breadth. The outer territory in its distribution harmonizes with the inner and more sacred arrangements of the sanctuary. No room is to be given for oppression (see Ezekiel 45:8 ), all having ample provision made for their wants and comforts. All will mutually co-operate without constraint or contention.
7. The prince's possession is to consist of two halves, one on the west, the other on the east, of the sacred territory. The prince, as head of the holy community, stands in closest connection with the sanctuary; his possession, therefore, on both sides must adjoin that which was peculiarly the Lord's [FAIRBAIRN].
12. The standard weights were lost when the Chaldeans destroyed the temple. The threefold enumeration of shekels (twenty, twenty-five, fifteen) probably refers to coins of different value, representing respectively so many shekels, the three collectively making up a maneh. By weighing these together against the maneh, a test was afforded whether they severally had their proper weight: sixty shekels in all, containing one coin a fourth of the whole (fifteen shekels), another a third (twenty shekels), another a third and a twelfth (twenty-five shekels) [MENOCHIUS]. The Septuagint reads, "fifty shekels shall be your maneh."
13-15. In these oblations there is a progression as to the relation between the kind and the quantity: of the corn, the sixth of a tenth, that is, a sixtieth part of the quantity specified; of the oil, the tenth of a tenth, that is, an hundredth part; and of the flock, one from every two hundred.
18. The year is to begin with a consecration service, not mentioned under the Levitical law; but an earnest of it is given in the feast of dedication of the second temple, which celebrated its purification by Judas Maccabeus, after its defilement by Antiochus.
21. As a new solemnity, the feast of consecration is to prepare for the passover; so the passover itself is to have different sacrifices from those of the Mosaic law. Instead of one ram and seven lambs for the daily burnt offering, there are to be seven bullocks and seven rams. So also whereas the feast of tabernacles had its own offerings, which diminished as the days of the feast advanced, here the same are appointed as on the passover. Thus it is implied that the letter of the law is to give place to its spirit, those outward rites of Judaism having no intrinsic efficacy, but symbolizing the spiritual truths of Messiah's kingdom, as for instance the perfect holiness which is to characterize it. Compare 1 Corinthians 5:7 1 Corinthians 5:8 , as to our spiritual "passover," wherein, at the Lord's supper, we feed on Christ by faith, accompanied with "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." Literal ordinances, though not slavishly bound to the letter of the law, will set forth the catholic and eternal verities of Messiah's kingdom.