Thus saith the Lord God
Here begins the account of the times and seasons in which the above sacrifices should be prepared and offered; or that which was signified by them be held forth in the ministry of the word to the faith of God's people: in the first month, in the first day of the month;
the month Nisan, as Kimchi observes, who adds,
``which is the month of redemption, in which Israel were redeemed out of Egypt, and in which they shall be redeemed in time to come:''
this month answers to part of our March and part of April; it was the first month in the year with the Jews for their ecclesiastical affairs; so that the first day of this month was New Year's Day: thou shall take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary
or, "make a sin offering for it" F7
; here the Jews are puzzled; since, according to the law of Moses, in the beginnings of their months, they were to offer a burnt offering of two young bullocks and a ram ( Numbers 28:11
) , whereas here only one bullock, and that a sin offering; wherefore R. Jochanan and R. Judah say, this must be left till Elijah comes to explain it; and as much at a loss are they how to account for it that Ezekiel should do this, whom they suppose to be the person spoken to; and therefore imagine this will be done by him after the resurrection, not being able to see that this shows the abrogation of the law of Moses; and that not the Prophet Ezekiel, but Christ the Prince and Priest, is here addressed; and whose sacrifice is designed by the young bullock without blemish; a type of him both in his strength and purity; and by which his sanctuary, his church and people, have all their sins expiated; and particularly the sins of the year past, this being represented as done on New Year's Day, which the annual atonement prefigured.