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.
The prophet is shown anther aspect of what it means when God dwells in the midst of his redeemed and reconciled people.
- Notice particularly where the river comes from. What can those who seek reform; whether it be social, political, or moral, learn from the relation given here to Ezekiel? Cf. Ps. 46:4; Is.33:21; Rev.22:1, 2.
- What is symbolized by the increasing depth and extent of the waters? How long is it since you first came to Christ, and became a temple for his indwelling? Are the living water flowing from your life in increasing measure? If not, what is wrong? Cf. john 7:37-39.
- The river of life sought out the most desolate and seemingly irrecoverable region in all the land, and healing. Recall how this was also Christ’s method. Cf. Mark 2:16, 17; Luke 15:1, 2; 19; 10; 23:43. What have these things to say to us?
- Verse 1. The waters flowed from the sanctuary across the inner court, south of the altar, and appeared on the right-hand side of the outer east gate.
- Verse 8. ‘The Sea’: i.e., the Dead Sea, in which nothing can live.
- Verse 12. Cf. Ps. 1:3; Jer. 17:8; Rev.22:2.
Finally the prophet is shown in this vision the boundaries of the land (47:13-21) and the portions of the tribes (48:1-29). The land was to be divided into parallel zones, running from the west coast to the Jordan.
- What gospel principle is foreshadowed in 47:22, 23? Cf Eph. 2:11-13, 19; Col. 3:11.
- How many tribes had their portion north of the broad zone assigned to the Lord in 45:1 (See diagram 4, P. 404) and how many south of it? Which tribes had portions immediately adjacent to the central zone containing the sanctuary? What do you think was the reason for this privilege?
What does the new name of the city reveal about God’s purpose in relation to his people? Looking back on the vision as a whole, write down the main lessons that it teaches, and consider how these stand out still more clearly in the light of the revelation given us in Christ.