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The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of Fayette Bible Church in Fayetteville, Georgia

This is the December 6 reading. Select here for a new reading date:


BibleTrack Summary: December 6
<< Ezek 45
Kings & Prophets

For New King James text and comment, click here.

 

Ezekiel 46-48     Listen Podcast

 

The Prince and the feasts (Ezekiel 46)

1 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening.
3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.
4 And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish.
5 And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
6 And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish.
7 And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
8 And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof.
9 But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.
10 And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth.
11 And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
12 Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the LORD, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate.
13 Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning.
14 And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD.
15 Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering.
16 Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons’; it shall be their possession by inheritance.
17 But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons’ for them.
18 Moreover the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession.
19 After he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north: and, behold, there was a place on the two sides westward.
20 Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear them not out into the utter court, to sanctify the people.
21 Then he brought me forth into the utter court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court.
22 In the four corners of the court there were courts joined of forty cubits long and thirty broad: these four corners were of one measure.
23 And there was a row of building round about in them, round about them four, and it was made with boiling places under the rows round about.
24 Then said he unto me, These are the places of them that boil, where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people.

This chapter contains some offering information that will take place during the millennium. Remember, it's a Jewish period on earth - Sabbath keeping, sacrifices - all in memorial. Just as these practices in the Old Testament looked forward to the finished work of Christ, these will be a memorial of that which has already been done. Do you recall all of the offerings specified in the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 1-7, see notes)? Well...they're back!

Here's more evidence demonstrating that the prince here serves under the Messiah and is not the Messiah, Jesus. Look at verses 16 and 18 with regard to the sons of the prince. Jesus, the Messiah, will not have sons. Also take note of the phrase in verse 18, "...the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance by oppression..." No such admonition is necessary for the Messiah, Jesus. Obviously this is a reference to a leader who will serve under the Messiah. (Click here to see the summary on Ezekiel 44:1-14 regarding this issue.) So, let's make certain we are clear here. The "prince" of the millennium is a man and not the Messiah. He may have children and he does take part in making sacrifices.

Take note of the following verses regarding the identity of this prince from Ezekiel 34 (see notes) and Ezekiel 37 (see notes):

Ezekiel 34:23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
Ezekiel 34:24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.
Ezekiel 37:24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
Ezekiel 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

It is a difficult concept, but David is referenced as the prince in the millennium according to Ezekiel's prophecy. Based upon what we know to be the Messiah's part in the millennium, we can only conclude that David serves under the Messiah. Now let's look at it from another perspective for a moment. Did Ezekiel know that David was dead when he wrote this prophecy? Of course he knew; David had been dead for some 400 years or so. Did Ezekiel mean David or a descendant of David? On this one, I can only tell you what he said...David himself. Like all Believers, David will have a resurrected body. As a matter of fact, I'm convinced that he does already. Click here to read the article, "Paradise Relocated" for details on this issue. However, we don't usually assume that resurrected bodies have progenitors as is indicated in verse 16. On this one, I guess we'll all have to just wait to see for ourselves.

It is clear from this chapter that the Sabbath and the observance of the new moon will be part of the worship ritual during the millennium. Here we are given some detail regarding the role of the "prince" in these observances. And here's another mention of sacrifices being made. As explained in the summary of chapter 43, these sacrifices will be reflective of the finished work of Christ on the cross. You will notice in that summary references to other prophets who also spoke of the resumption of sacrifices during that period.

Is that a river coming out of the temple? (Ezekiel 47:1-12)

1 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.
2 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.
3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.
4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.
5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.
6 And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.
7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other.
8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.
9 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.
10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.
11 But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.
12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

Here's the description of a river that originates from the temple and goes all the way east to the Dead Sea (verse 8). The Dead Sea won't be dead anymore; verse 8 goes on to say, "the waters shall be healed." That's because of the water supply that will then flow into it during the millennium, a river just beaming with life (verse 10). Then it'll be known as the "Living Sea" formerly known as the "Dead Sea"... I guess. One more thing...trees...healthy, thriving trees growing on the banks of this river - good for their fruit and even for medicinal purposes. And why is that you ask? Verse 12 says, "because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary."

Joel also mentions this river in Joel 3:18 (see notes), "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim." Zechariah 14:8 (see notes) says this about the river, "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be." Zechariah points out that the river actually runs both east and west out of the temple. Toward the west, it empties into the Mediterranean Sea.

It would appear that the water from this river adds longevity and health to life itself. Although this is not the same as the river found in Revelation 22, the similarity is worth noting. Revelation 22 speaks of the New Jerusalem, after the millennium, when there is no temple. But notice what is said in Revelation 22:1-2 (see notes), "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." So, it does seem as though this millennium river serves the same purpose as that which shall be located in the New Jerusalem...healing.

Land distribution (Ezekiel 47:13-23)

13 Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions.
14 And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another: concerning the which I lifted up mine hand to give it unto your fathers: and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance.
15 And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side, from the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad;
16 Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazarhatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran.
17 And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side.
18 And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And this is the east side.
19 And the south side southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward.
20 The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side.
21 So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel.
22 And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.
23 And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD.

The Division of the Land During the MillenniumYou will notice that the land distribution is not the same as that in Joshua. Click here to see the map of the Tribes of Israel after the lottery in Joshua 19. According to this passage, the boundaries described extend from the vicinity of Damascus on the north, just below the Dead Sea on the south, the Mediterranean Sea on the west and the Jordan River on the east. The tribes will have land allocations that go from the east to the west all the way across the land. According to verse 48:1, Israel's millennium occupation will extend all the way up into Syria, 170 miles or so north of the Sea of Galilee. Notice the map to the right to see the general land assignments as specified in this passage. You will notice between the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin is located a tribal-sized area for the prince, temple, priests and other Levites.

Verse 47:23 tells us that Gentiles in the millennium will receive a portion of land alongside Jews. While the tribal allocations are specified, the land within the tribal allotments will be divided by lot, just as it was in Joshua 19 (verse 47:22).

You will notice another commendation for Zadok in verse 11. Only his descendants are charged with the priesthood. The other Levites will do temple maintenance. This isn't actually unique to the millennium; the prophetic decree was originally issued back in I Samuel 2:27-36 (see notes) when Eli's boy's were killed by God. We don't see its implementation until Solomon becomes king in I Kings 2:27, 35 (see notes). That's when the priesthood was actually narrowed to only the descendants of Zadok, eliminating the descendants of Abiathar from that point forward. Technically, however, Abiathar's ancestors were to have already been eliminated from serving as priests all the way back to Numbers 25:11-13 (see notes) where it was decreed that priests from that time forward would come only from the line of Aaron's grandson, Phinehas. Not even Eli in I Samuel was a descendant of Phinehas; that prophecy took a long time before fulfillment, but it was fulfilled.

Land distribution to the Tribes of Israel (Ezekiel 48:1-29)

1 Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan.
2 And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher.
3 And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali.
4 And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh.
5 And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim.
6 And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben.
7 And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah.
8 And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side unto the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it.
9 The oblation that ye shall offer unto the LORD shall be of five and twenty thousand in length, and of ten thousand in breadth.
10 And for them, even for the priests, shall be this holy oblation; toward the north five and twenty thousand in length, and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the east ten thousand in breadth, and toward the south five and twenty thousand in length: and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the midst thereof.
11 It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray.
12 And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites.
13 And over against the border of the priests the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth: all the length shall be five and twenty thousand, and the breadth ten thousand.
14 And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD.
15 And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof.
16 And these shall be the measures thereof; the north side four thousand and five hundred, and the south side four thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four thousand and five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred.
17 And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty, and toward the south two hundred and fifty, and toward the east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty.
18 And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city.
19 And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.
20 All the oblation shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand: ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city.
21 And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city, over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border, over against the portions for the prince: and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst thereof.
22 Moreover from the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of the city, being in the midst of that which is the prince’s, between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the prince.
23 As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion.
24 And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion.
25 And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion.
26 And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion.
27 And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion.
28 And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, and to the river toward the great sea.
29 This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their portions, saith the Lord GOD.

There's just not much to add to this passage. Here we see slices of the land allocated to the Tribes of Israel...from one coast to the other.

Then there's the city (Ezekiel 48:30-35)

30 And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures.
31 And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi.
32 And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan.
33 And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun.
34 At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali.
35 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

Not much detail is given here. It doesn't say that this city is Jerusalem - could be. The notable aspect of the description is the name given to this city - "The Lord is There." The city will have 12 gates, 3 on each side. These gates will bear the names of the twelve tribes of Israel as specified in verses 31-34. It certainly sounds like Jerusalem.

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For commentary on another passage, click here.


Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner