|@October 6, 2023||ESV (2016)||ESV Prophets Plan 2023|
- The Holy District
- The Portion for the Prince
The chapter opens with instruction given to Ezekiel on the land when it is allotted for the inheritance. He is to set apart “a holy district” and provided measurements of this district. The allotments of the land were aligned with the east-west orientation of the temple. This differed from the divisions after the conquest in Joshua’s time. These divisions did not follow any pattern. God designated a section for the priests (Ezek. 45:3-4) and for the Levites (Ezek. 45:5). Another section was to assigned “for the property of the city” and belong to the whole house of Israel (Ezek. 45:6).
In Ezek. 45:7-12, God gives the allotments for the prince. This would be the land to the east and west of the square, as far as the boundaries of the land. The princes were to “Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness” (Ezek. 45:9). They were to have “just balances” and use “standard measure” (Ezek. 45:10-12).
Using the measurements provided, Ezek. 45:13-17 describes how the offerings are to be made. Ezekiel outlines the exact responsibilities of both the people and the prince. The people are obliged to give the offerings to the prince (Ezek. 45:16) who was to then furnish these offerings for feasts, new moons and Sabbaths (Ezek. 45:17).
The remaining verses (Ezek. 45:18-25) are of the timing of the sacrifices and religious observances. These recall the procedures given in Lev. 23:1-44 and Num. 28-29. However, the sacred times specified by Ezekiel are not precisely aligned with earlier texts, likely reflecting the new priorities of the restored temple.
The Lord allotted a portion of the land as a holy district, supplying measurements and assignees. The princes were first told to put away violence and oppression and execute justice in how they managed the land allotments. They were then given the measurements for the offerings and how they were to be carried out.
The progression of directives seemed most relevant for reflection in this chapter. Before any worthy sacrifices could be made, violence and oppression first had to be put away. In God’s economy, sin and righteousness cannot occupy the same space. This relates also to the order of repentance and faith as followers of Christ. We cannot establish a fruitful relationship with our holy Savior while still willfully clinging to sin. Turning toward Him automatically requires a turning from sin. It is a complete about-face. And not only are we to turn but also walk toward the Lord in this new direction, continuously meeting sin as revealed by the Spirit with prayer and confession. It is an ongoing battle to, as John Owen famously said, “Be killing sin or sin be killing you.”
Scripture Journal Notes
Commentaries & Resources Used
- ESV Study Bible. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008)
- Faithlife Study Bible (Lexham Press, 2016)
- Believer’s Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
- CSB Study Bible Notes (Holman Bible Publishers, 2017)
- Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Guardian Press, 1976)
- The Bible: A Reader’s Guide (Sterling Publishing, 2011)
- The Infographic Bible (Zondervan, 2018)
- ESV Digital Scripture Journal (Crossway, 2019)