- The ordinances of worship for the prince and for the people, are here described, and the gifts the prince may bestow on his sons and servants. Our Lord has directed us to do many duties, but he has also left many things to our choice, that those who delight in his commandments may abound therein to his glory, without entangling their own consciences, or prescribing rules unfit for others; but we must never omit our daily worship, nor neglect to apply the sacrifice of the Lamb of God to our souls, for pardon, peace, and salvation.
Ezekiel 46:1-24 . CONTINUATION OF THE ORDINANCES FOR THE PRINCE AND FOR THE PEOPLE IN THEIR WORSHIP.
2. The prince is to go through the east gate without (open on the Sabbath only, to mark its peculiar sanctity) to the entrance of the gate of the inner court; he is to go no further, but "stand by the post" (compare 1 Kings 8:14 1 Kings 8:22 , Solomon standing before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the congregation; also 2 Kings 11:14 , 23:3 , "by a pillar": the customary place), the court within belonging exclusively to the priests. There, as representative of the people, in a peculiarly near relation to God, he is to present his offerings to Jehovah, while at a greater distance, the people are to stand worshipping at the outer gate of the same entrance. The offerings on Sabbaths are larger than those of the Mosaic law, to imply that the worship of God is to be conducted by the prince and people in a more munificent spirit of self-sacrificing liberality than formerly.
9. The worshippers were on the great feasts to pass from one side to the other, through the temple courts, in order that, in such a throng as should attend the festivals, the ingress and egress should be the more unimpeded, those going out not being in the way of those coming in.
10. prince in the midst--not isolated as at other times, but joining the great throng of worshippers, at their head, after the example of David ( Psalms 42:4 , "I had gone with the multitude . . . to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holy day"); the highest in rank animating the devotions of the rest by his presence and example.
12-15. Not only is he to perform official acts of worship on holy days and feasts, but in "voluntary" offerings daily he is to show his individual zeal, surpassing all his people in liberality, and so setting them a princely example.
16-18. The prince's possession is to be inalienable, and any portion given to a servant is to revert to his sons at the year of jubilee, that he may have no temptation to spoil his people of their inheritance, as formerly (compare Ahab and Naboth, 1 Kings 21:1-29 ). The mention of the year of jubilee implies that there is something literal meant, besides the spiritual sense. The jubilee year was restored after the captivity [JOSEPHUS, Antiquities, 14.10,6; I Maccabees 6:49]. Perhaps it will be restored under Messiah's coming reign. Compare Isaiah 61:2 Isaiah 61:3 , where "the acceptable year of the Lord" is closely connected with the comforting of the mourners in Zion, and "the day of vengeance" on Zion's foes. The mention of the prince's sons is another argument against Messiah being meant by "the prince."
19-24. Due regard is to be had for the sanctity of the officiating priests' food, by cooking courts being provided close to their chambers. One set of apartments for cooking was to be at the corners of the inner court, reserved for the flesh of the sin offerings, to be eaten only by the priests whose perquisite it was ( Leviticus 6:25 , 7:7 ), before coming forth to mingle again with the people; another set at the corners of the outer court, for cooking the flesh of the peace offerings, of which the people partook along with the priests. All this implies that no longer are the common and unclean to be confounded with the sacred and divine, but that in even the least things, as eating and drinking, the glory of God is to be the aim ( 1 Corinthians 10:31 ).
22. courts joined--FAIRBAIRN translates, "roofed" or "vaulted." But these cooking apartments seem to have been uncovered, to let the smoke and smell of the meat the more easily pass away. They were "joined" or "attached" to the walls of the courts at the corners of the latter [MENOCHIUS].
23. boiling places--boilers.
under the rows--At the foot of the rows, that is, in the lowest part of the walls, were the places for boiling made.