This section opens with a description of the great altar in the center of the inner court, together with the sacrifices by which it is to be cleansed and purified (43:13-27).The alter rested on a square base and was built of three square blocks of stone, each smaller then the one below, leaving a projecting ledge at each level. The uppermost block had four horns and was twelve cubits square. It was reached by steps on the east side. Chapter 44 lays down three ordinances, the first concerning the use of the east gate (verse 1-3), the second concerning the Levites (verses 4-14), and the third concerning the priests (verses 15-31).
- Why had the altar to be cleansed before the offering made on it wear acceptable to God? See 43:27 and cf. Lev.16:18, 19; Col. 1:19-22; Heb. 9:23.
- What lessons are taught in 44:10-16 regarding God’s judgments upon faithful and unfaithful service? Cf. Luke 19:17; 2cor. 5:9, 10; 1 Tim. 1:12.
- 44:7, 8. It had evidently been the custom before the exile to allow foreigners to officiate in the sanctuary and in its ministry, even though it may have been only in menial duties.
- 44:19. They shall not bring their holy garments into contact with the people. Cf. Exod.30:29.
Ezekiel 45 And 46
Not only was the temple different in many respects from that of Solomon, but the whole land was to be divided up in a new way. A broad strip of land, extending right across the country from the Mediterranean to the Jordan and including the temple, was to be set apart for the Lord (45:1-8). How it was to be used is shown in diagram 4. Verses 9-17 lay down regulation as regards weights and measures, and the dues to be paid by the people to the prince. The remainder is chiefly concerned with the feast and offering (45:18-46:15), but at the end are two notes, one about the right of the prince to bestow part of his territory on his sons or servants (46:16-18) and the other about rooms in the temple courts to be used as kitchens for boiling the flesh of the sacrifices (46:19-24).
- How does 45:8-12 Show that the holiness that Jehovah requires is not only religious but moral? What light do these verses throw on God‘s attitude to injustice and oppression, and to commercial dishonesty? Cf. 46:18; Lev. 19:35, 36; prov. 11:1; 1Pet.1:14-16.
- What is said three times in 45:15-20 to be the purpose of the sacrifices? If they had not been offered, could the people have had any assurance in drawing near to God? What in the New Testament is revealed as the true ground of atonement? Cf. Heb. 10:4-10; 1jhon 2:1, 2.
- 45:1. The holy district consisted of the area marked on diagram 4; 25,000 cubits was about eight miles.
- 45:10-12. There was a vast amount of local variation in ancient Israel regarding weights and measures, and this was the cause of much commercial malpractice. Ezekiel is her demanding strict standardization in God’s name.
- 46:19 defines the positions of the priests’ Kitchens, and verses 21-24 define the position of the people’s kitchens. See diagram 1.