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Ezekiel 45

 

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
    Vision of the Restored Temple and Land
(40:1-48:35)
Vision of the Future Temple
(40:1-48:35)
 
The Lord's Portion of the Land The Holy District The Distribution of Land The Lord's Portion of the Country The Division of the Country-The Portion for Yahweh
45:1-5 451-5 45:1-5 45:1-5 45:1-6
  Properties of the City and the Prince      
45:6 45:6-8 45:6 45:6  
Portion for the Prince     Land for the Prince The Portion for the Prince
45:7-8   45:7-8 45:7-8 45:7-8
  Laws Governing the Prince   Rules for the Prince  
45:9 45:9-17 45:9 45:9 45:9-12
    Weights and Measures    
45:10-12   45:10-12 45:10  
      45:11  
      45:12 Offerings for Worship
45:13-17   45:13-17 45:13-15 45:13-17
      45:16-17  
  Keeping the Feasts Festival Regulations The Festivals The Feast of the Passover
45:18-20 45:18-20 45:18-20 45:18-20 45:18-24
45:21-25 45:21-25 45:21-25 45:21-24 The Feast of Shelters
      45:25 45:25

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Guide to Good Bible Reading")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 45:1-5
 1"And when you divide by lot the land for inheritance, you shall offer an allotment to the Lord, a holy portion of the land; the length shall be the length of 25,000 cubits, and the width shall be 20,000. It shall be holy within all its boundary round about. 2Out of this there shall be for the holy place a square round about five hundred by five hundred cubits, and fifty cubits for its open space round about. 3From this area you shall measure a length of 25,000 cubits and a width of 10,000 cubits; and in it shall be the sanctuary, the most holy place. 4It shall be the holy portion of the land; it shall be for the priests, the ministers of the sanctuary, who come near to minister to the Lord, and it shall be a place for their houses and a holy place for the sanctuary. 5An area 25,000 cubits in length and 10,000 in width shall be for the Levites, the ministers of the house, and for their possession cities to dwell in."

45:1 "when you divide by lot the land" The verb (BDB 656, KB 709, Hiphil infinitive construct) basically means "to fall," but in the Hiphil refers to casting lots to know the Lord's will on a matter. The concept (i.e., mechanism) originated with the Urim and Thummim of the High Priest (cf. Exod. 28:30; Num. 27:21). This method was to be used to divide the Promised Land (i.e., Canaan) among the twelve tribes (excluding Levi) as described in Num. 26:53-56; 33:54; 34:2,13; 36:2-3 and originally done in Joshua 13-22 (esp. 14:1-2). Ezekiel is drawing a mental image from the past to illustrate a new beginning!

▣ "an allotment to the Lord" The phrase is literally "set apart an offering." This refers to the temple area.

This offering/allotment is described in vv. 1-5.

1. length, 25,000 cubits or rods/reeds (cf. 42:15-20)

2. width, 10,000 cubits (LXX, 20,000) or rods/reeds, which means it includes the priestly and Levitical areas

3. containing a square 500 cubits by 500 cubits or rods/reeds for the holy place

4. square surrounded by an open space of 50 cubits or rods/reeds

5. contains YHWH's sanctuary and priests' housing

6. area for the Levites (25,000 cubits by 10,000 cubits or rods/reeds)

A cubit would be about 21 inches, a rod/reed about 10 feet.

45:5

NASB, NRSV,
LXX"cities"
NKJV, JPSOA"chambers"
TEV, NJB"towns"
Peshitta"houses"
REB"places in which they live"

The MT has "chambers" (לשכת), which is so common in this section of Ezekiel (cf. 40:17 [twice], 38,44,45,46; 41:10; 42:1,4,7 [twice],8,11), but the Septuagint has "cities" (לשבת). The B (beth) and K (kaph) consonants are formed in a similar way and are often confused in handwritten texts.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 45:6
 6"You shall give the city possession of an area 5,000 cubits wide and 25,000 cubits long, alongside the allotment of the holy portion; it shall be for the whole house of Israel."

45:6 "the city" This area (5,000 by 25,000 cubits) is further described in 48:15-18,30-35. It is a holy area for all the house of Israel, similar to the courts of Herod's temple.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 45:7-8
 7"The prince shall have land on either side of the holy allotment and the property of the city, adjacent to the holy allotment and the property of the city, on the west side toward the west and on the east side toward the east, and in length comparable to one of the portions, from the west border to the east border. 8This shall be his land for a possession in Israel; so My princes shall no longer oppress My people, but they shall give the rest of the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes."

45:7-8 "The prince shall have land" The allotment for the royal leader is described in vv. 7-8, which is adjacent to the holy common area for the people.

The purpose of the land is twofold.

1. symbolizes closeness to YHWH

2. symbolizes he is a servant of the people (i.e., outside the common area)

It is also a way of providing status and authority without oppressing the people (cf. v. 9; 22:27; 46:18).

This "prince" is an administrator fulfilling Isa. 9:6-7 and Micah 5:2-5. However, the "princes" (cf. vv. 8,9) are governmental leaders who must be admonished to live and act appropriately. Ezekiel takes seriously the corruption of the leadership which occurred regularly in the past. This very point shows that this does not directly refer to an "ideal Messianic" period, but future Israeli history. The results of the fall potentially continue and must be guarded against.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 45:9
 9Thus says the Lord God, "Enough, you princes of Israel; put away violence and destruction, and practice justice and righteousness. Stop your expropriations from My people," declares the Lord God.

45:9-10 These verses list what the governmental leaders should and should not do.

1. put away violence (BDB 329) and oppression (BDB 994) – BDB 693, KB 747, Hiphil imperative plural

2. practice justice (BDB 1048) and righteousness (BDB 842) – BDB 793, KB 889, Qal imperative (terms often paired, cf. 18:5,19,21,27; 33:14,16,19)

3. stop your expropriations (BDB 177, literally, "lift your evictions") – BDB 926, KB 1202, Hiphil imperative

4. have just balances, ephah and baths – BDB 224, KB 243, Qal jussive

 

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 45:10-12
 10"You shall have just balances, a just ephah and a just bath. 11The ephah and the bath shall be the same quantity, so that the bath will contain a tenth of a homer and the ephah a tenth of a homer; their standard shall be according to the homer. 12The shekel shall be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels, twenty-five shekels, and fifteen shekels shall be your maneh."

45:11-12,14 See SPECIAL TOPIC: ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES (METROLOGY) at 4:11.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 45:13-17
 13"This is the offering that you shall offer: a sixth of an ephah from a homer of wheat; a sixth of an ephah from a homer of barley; 14and the prescribed portion of oil (namely, the bath of oil), a tenth of a bath from each kor (which is ten baths or a homer, for ten baths are a homer); 15and one sheep from each flock of two hundred from the watering places of Israel — for a grain offering, for a burnt offering and for peace offerings, to make atonement for them," declares the Lord God. 16All the people of the land shall give to this offering for the prince in Israel. 17It shall be the prince's part to provide the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the drink offerings, at the feasts, on the new moons and on the sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel; he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel."

45:13-16 These verses describe what an Israelite worshiper should provide (either in kind or as a tax).

1. a sixth of an ephah (dry measure) from a homer of wheat

2. a sixth of an ephah from a homer of barley (cf. Num. 5:15)

3. a bath (liquid measure) of oil

4. one sheep

which will make up

1. a grain offering

2. a burnt offering

3. a peace offering

 

45:17 The prince (i.e., government) shall provide the offerings.

1. the burnt offering

2. the grain offering

3. the drink offering

for the feasts of

1. new moons

2. sabbaths

3. appointed feasts

to make atonement (cf. v. 15)

1. the sin offering

2. the grain offering

3. the burnt offering

4. the peace offering (often used to inaugurate a temple, cf. Lev. 9:4,18,22; I Kgs. 8:63-64; II Chr. 30:22; 31:2; Ezek. 43:27)

 

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 45:18-20
 18'Thus says the Lord God, "In the first month, on the first of the month, you shall take a young bull without blemish and cleanse the sanctuary. 19The priest shall take some of the blood from the sin offering and put it on the door posts of the house, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar and on the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20Thus you shall do on the seventh day of the month for everyone who goes astray or is naive; so you shall make atonement for the house."

45:18-25 The lists of feasts (the year begins in the spring).

  Verse(s) Month Day Parallel Texts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
18-19
20
21-24
21-24
25
1st month
1st month
1st month
1st month
7th month
1st day
9th day
14th day
15th-21st days
15th-21st days
Num. 28:11-15
Leviticus 16
Lev. 23:5; Num. 28:16-25
Lev. 23:6
Lev. 23:33-37; Numbers 29; Deut. 16:13-15

Even though #2 has elements of the Day of Atonement, probably vv. 18-20 reflect the New Year Feast, while vv. 21-24 reflect Passover/Unleavened Bread and v. 25 reflects the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles.

The last of this chapter and the next is the section that disagrees so much with the Mosaic regulation. The question is why. Ezekiel was a priest. He knew the law of Moses. I think that the differences and exaggerated land dimensions are a way to denote its symbolic nature (it is similar to John listing the tribes incorrectly in Revelation 7). Only literalists demand a future temple!

SPECIAL TOPIC: FEASTS OF ISRAEL

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 45:21-25
 21"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. 22On that day the prince shall provide for himself and all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering. 23During the seven days of the feast he shall provide as a burnt offering to the Lord seven bulls and seven rams without blemish on every day of the seven days, and a male goat daily for a sin offering. 24He shall provide as a grain offering an ephah with a bull, an ephah with a ram and a hin of oil with an ephah. 25In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, at the feast, he shall provide like this, seven days for the sin offering, the burnt offering, the grain offering and the oil."

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