Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ezekiel 45

“1  Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length [shall be] the length of five and twenty thousand [reeds], and the breadth [shall be] ten thousand. This [shall be] holy in all the borders thereof round about. 2 Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred [in length], with five hundred [in breadth], square round about; and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof. 3 And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand, and the breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary [and] the most holy [place]. 4 The holy [portion] of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come near to minister unto the LORD: and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary. 5 And the five and twenty thousand of length, and the ten thousand of breadth, shall also the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves, for a possession for twenty chambers. 6 And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy [portion]: it shall be for the whole house of Israel. 7 And a [portion shall be] for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy [portion], and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy [portion], and before the possession of the city, from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward: and the length [shall be] over against one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border. 8 In the land shall be his possession in Israel: and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and [the rest of] the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes.”

“9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD. 10 Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. 11 The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the tenth part of an homer, and the ephah the tenth part of an homer: the measure thereof shall be after the homer. 12 And the shekel [shall be] twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh.”

“13  This [is] the oblation that ye shall offer; the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of wheat, and ye shall give the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of barley: 14 Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil, [ye shall offer] the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, [which is] an homer of ten baths; for ten baths [are] an homer: 15 And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD. 16 All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. 17 And it shall be the prince’s part [to give] burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. 18 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first [month], in the first [day] of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary: 19 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put [it] upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20 And so thou shalt do the seventh [day] of the month for every one that erreth, and for [him that is] simple: so shall ye reconcile the house. 21 In the first [month], in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. 22 And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock [for] a sin offering. 23 And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the LORD, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily [for] a sin offering. 24 And he shall prepare a meat offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil for an ephah. 25 In the seventh [month], in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil.” (Ezekiel 45:1-25 AV)

Chapter 45

The *Lord’s part of the country – Ezekiel 45:1-8

v1 ‘You will divide the country between the *tribes of *Israel. You must also give to the *LORD a part of the country for a *holy area. The length of this part will be 25 000 *cubits, and the width will be 20 000 *cubits. The whole area will be *holy. v2 Inside this area, a section of 500 *cubits square shall be for the *temple. Round this section will be an open space of 50 *cubits. v3 In the *holy area, you will measure a part 25 000 *cubits long and 10 000 *cubits wide. In this area will be the most *holy place of the *temple. v4 This *holy part of the country will be for the priests who serve in the *temple. It will be for those priests who come near to the *LORD to serve him. There will be the *temple and the houses for the priests. v5 An area 25 000 *cubits long and 10 000 *cubits wide will be for the *Levites. They serve in the *temple area. This land will be for the towns in which they will live.
v6 You must give to the city an area 5000 *cubits wide and 25 000 *cubits long. This is to be along the side of the *holy area. The city will be for all the *Israelites.
v7 The prince will have land on both sides of the *holy area and the city. This land will be on the west and east sides of the *holy area and the city area. And the border of this land, from east to west, will be along the border of one of the *tribes. v8 This land will be the only property of the prince in *Israel. My rulers will never be cruel to my people again. But they will let each *tribe in the nation called *Israel have its share of the country.’

Verses 1-6 When the *Israelites first came to the country, each *tribe received a part of it (Joshua chapters 17 to 19). In this future time, they will receive parts of the country again. Chapter 48 describes these parts. In addition to the parts of the *tribes, there will be a part for the *Lord.
The *Lord’s part of the land will be for the priests and the *temple. The size of this area will be 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres) by 6.6 miles (10.6 kilometres). This area will be in two smaller parts. Each part will be 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres) by 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometres).
One of these parts will be for the priests, who must be from the family of Zadok. They will live in this area. And they will serve the *Lord in the *temple. In the centre of this part will be the *temple area. This *temple area will be 875 feet (269.2 metres) square. Round this *temple area, there will be a clear piece of land 875 feet (269.2 metres) wide.
The other part will be for the *Levites. This will be to the north of the part where the Zadok priests (priests from Zadok’s family) live. The *Levites will assist the Zadok priests in the *temple. The *Levites will have their homes and towns in this part.
There will be another area to the south of the part where the Zadok priests live. It will be 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres) long and 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometres) wide. In this area will be the city for the *Israelites. The city will be in the centre of this area. It will be 1½ miles (2.4 kilometres) square. The rest of the area will be agricultural land where the people will produce food.
Verses 7-8 The areas for the *Levites, the Zadok priests and the city form a square of 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres). The land to the east and to the west of this square will belong to the prince. He will own no other property.
In the past, the rulers had been cruel to the people. They had made themselves rich when they took property from the people. God did not want them to do this. And in this future time, the rulers will not do these things. So, the prince will have his own land. And the *tribes will have their shares in the country.

Rulers must be honest – Ezekiel 45:9-12

v9 ‘The *LORD your King says this: You are responsible for too many *sins, you rulers of *Israel. Do not be cruel and do not hurt people. Do what is right and fair. You must not force my people to leave their land. I, the *LORD, have spoken. v10 You must be honest when you weigh things. You must give good weight for both dry and liquid goods. v11 The dry measurement and the liquid measurement will be the same. The *ephah and the *bath should hold the same as a 10th of a *homer. The *homer must be the standard measurement. v12 The *shekel will be worth 20 *gerahs, and a *mina will be worth 60 *shekels.’

Verses 9-12 The leaders of *Israel in Ezekiel’s time did not care about the people. They had robbed the people of their land. They had cheated them in the market place. They used false weights when they sold their goods. They had been cruel and they did not defend the poor people. This kind of behaviour must stop and God will not allow it in the future of *Israel.
God’s people must always be honest and fair. This is for all times and not just for the future.
The standard measurement was the *homer. The dry measurement was the *ephah, which was a 10th of a *homer. The liquid measurement was the *bath, which was also a 10th of a *homer. The *shekel was the standard money value. They must use these standard measurements.

*Sacrifices on behalf of the people – Ezekiel 45:13-20

 Gifts to the prince for *sacrifices – Ezekiel 45:13-17
v13 ‘The gift you should give to me is a 6th of an *ephah from every *homer of wheat. You should also give to me a 6th of an *ephah from every *homer of *barley. v14 The amount of oil that you are to offer is a 10th of a *bath from each 10 baths. (10 baths is equal to one *homer). v15 You should give to me one sheep from each 200 sheep. The sheep are from the fields in *Israel which the rain waters. All of these sheep are to be for the *sacrifices. These *sacrifices are the grain *sacrifice, the *sacrifice by fire, and the peace *sacrifice. These *sacrifices are because of the *sin of the people, so that I may forgive them. That is what the *LORD your King says. v16 All people in the country will give this gift to the prince of *Israel. v17 It will be the duty of the prince to provide for the *sacrifice by fire. He must also provide the grain and drink *sacrifices. All of these *sacrifices are for the special days, the new moons and the *Sabbaths. These days are the special days for the *Israelites. The prince will provide for the *sin, grain, *burnt and peace *sacrifices so that I may forgive the *Israelites.’
Verses 13-17 The *Israelites will bring their gifts to the prince. These gifts will be grain, oil and sheep. From the harvest of grain, out of each *homer they will bring a 6th of an *ephah. From their oil, they will bring a 10th of a *bath from every *homer that they had. From their sheep, they will bring one sheep in every 200 sheep.
From these gifts, the prince will make the *sacrifices on behalf of the people. These *sacrifices are grain *sacrifices, *sacrifices by fire and the drink *sacrifices. He will do this at each of the special days. The special days include the new moon (in other words, the beginning of each month) and the *Sabbath days.
These *sacrifices are to remind the people about what the *Messiah has done. They are acts of *worship to God. God will forgive their *sins because of their belief in *Messiah. His death is the only *sacrifice by which God forgives *sin.
In the New Testament (the second part of the Bible) we read that no animal or grain *sacrifices could take away *sin. Jesus the *Messiah achieved it when he died for us. His death is the perfect *sacrifice for *sin. So it is only by his death that God forgives *sin.

A new *sacrifice to the *Lord – Ezekiel 45:18-20

v18 ‘This is what the *LORD your King says. On the first day of the first month, take a young *bull that has nothing wrong with it. Use it to make the *temple *clean and ready. v19 The priest will take some of the blood from this *sin *sacrifice. He will put some of it by the side of the *temple door. He will put some on the 4 corners of the upper edge of the *altar. And he will put some on the wall at the side of the gate to the inner area. v20 You will do the same thing on the 7th day of the month. This is for anyone who has *sinned because of lack of knowledge. Also, for anyone who has *sinned but did not intend to do so. By this, my *temple will remain *holy.’
Verses 18-20 On the first day of the year, the prince must bring a young *bull to the *temple. The blood is to *clean the *temple from the *sins of the people. The priests will kill this *bull. They will put some of the blood round the *temple doors. And they will put some of the blood on the *horns of the *altar. By means of this ceremony, the *temple remains *clean and *holy.
Also, he will bring a young *bull on the 7th day of the year. The priests will kill this *bull. This is for *sins that the people do not know about.
If people are aware of their *sins, they will remember those *sins by means of the *sin *sacrifices. But sometimes people do not know about their *sins. The blood of these *bulls is because of these *sins. God forgives all these *sins, because of the perfect *sacrifice of Jesus the *Messiah.

*Passover week and the week in shelters – Ezekiel 45:21-25

v21 ‘On the 14th of the first month will be the *Passover. This event will last for 7 days. During the *Passover, you will eat bread without *yeast. v22 On that day, the prince must give to the priests a *bull. It is a *sacrifice because of *sin on behalf of the prince and all the people in the country. v23 During the 7 days, he must give to the priests 7 *bulls. Also, he must give to them 7 male sheep. These animals must have nothing wrong with them. They will be *sacrifices by fire to the *LORD. The prince will offer these *sacrifices on each of the 7 days. Also he must give to the priests a male goat every day as a *sacrifice because of *sin. v24 He shall provide grain for the *sacrifices. He will give to the priests an *ephah of grain for each *bull. He will give to the priests an *ephah of grain for each male sheep. And he will give to the priests a *hin of oil for each *ephah of grain.
v25 From the 15th day of the 7th month, there will be another 7 special days. The prince will make the same provision as for the *Passover. He will provide the animals, the grain and the oil. These things will be for *sacrifices because of *sin, *sacrifices by fire and the grain *sacrifices.’
Verses 21-25 During the *Passover, the *Israelites remember how God brought them out of Egypt (Exodus chapter 12). The *Passover was on the 14th day of the first month. This month is about March to April in our calendar. For 7 days, the people will eat bread without *yeast. During these 7 days, the prince will provide for the *sacrifices.
In the 7th month, there will be the week in shelters. The 7th month is about October in our calendar. During this week, the people remember the time when the *Israelites lived in shelters. For 40 years, the *Israelites were in the desert before they came into their country. As for the *Passover week, the prince will provide for the *sacrifices.
These rules are similar to the rules that God gave to Moses. Every year the *Israelites remembered what God had done. They thanked God for his goodness.