Eze 44:1-31. Ordinances for
the Prince and the Priests.
2. shut … not be opened—(Job 12:14; Isa 22:22; Re 3:7). "Shut" to the people (Ex 19:21, 22), but open to "the prince" (Eze 44:3), he holding the place of God in
political concerns, as the priests do in spiritual. As a mark of
respect to an Eastern monarch, the gate by which he enters is
thenceforth shut to all other persons (compare Ex 19:24).
3. the prince—not King Messiah, as He
never would offer a burnt offering for Himself, as the prince is to do
46:4). The prince must mean
the civil ruler under Messiah. His connection with the east gate (by
which the Lord had returned to His temple) implies, that, as ruling
under God, he is to stand in a place of peculiar nearness to God. He
represents Messiah, who entered heaven, the true sanctuary, by a way
that none other could, namely, by His own holiness; all others must
enter as sinners by faith in His blood, through grace.
eat bread before the Lord—a custom
connected with sacrifices (Ge 31:54; Ex 18:12; 24:11;
4-6. Directions as to the priests. Their acts
of desecration are attributed to "the house of Israel" (Eze 44:6, 7), as the sins of the priesthood
and of the people acted and reacted on one another; "like people, like
priest" (Jer 5:31; Ho 4:9).
7. uncircumcised in heart—Israelites
circumcised outwardly, but wanting the true circumcision of the heart
10:16; Ac 7:51).
uncircumcised in flesh—not having even
the outward badge of the covenant-people.
8. keepers … for yourselves—such
as you yourselves thought fit, not such as I approve of. Or else, "Ye
have not yourselves kept the charge of My holy things, but have
set others as keepers of My charge in My sanctuary for
10, 11. Levites … shall …
bear—namely, the punishment of
their iniquity … Yet they shall be
ministers—So Mark, a Levite, nephew of Barnabas (Ac 4:36), was punished by Paul for losing
an opportunity of bearing the cross of Christ, and yet was afterwards
admitted into his friendship again, and showed his zeal (Ac 13:13; 15:37; Col 4:10; 2Ti 4:11). One may be a believer, and that too in
a distinguished place, and yet lose some special honor—be
acknowledged as pious, yet be excluded from some dignity [Bengel].
charge at the gates—Better to be "a
doorkeeper in the house of God, than to dwell in the tents of
wickedness" (Ps 84:10).
Though standing as a mere doorkeeper, it is in the house of God,
which hath foundations: whereas he who dwells with the wicked,
dwells in but shifting tents.
15. Zadok—The priests of the line of
Ithamar were to be discharged from ministrations in the temple, because
of their corruptions, following in the steps of Eli's sons, against
whom the same denunciation was uttered (1Sa 2:32, 35). Zadok, according to his name (which
means "righteous") and his line, were to succeed (1Ki 2:35; 1Ch
24:3), as they did not take
part in the general apostasy to the same degree, and perhaps [Fairbairn] the prophet, referring to their
original state, speaks of them as they appeared when first chosen to
17. linen—symbolical of purity. Wool
soon induces perspiration in the sultry East and so becomes
19. not sanctify the people with their
garments—namely, those peculiarly priestly vestments in which
they ministered in the sanctuary.
20. Neither … shave …
heads—as mourners do (Le 21:1-5). The worshippers of the Egyptian idols
Serapis and Isis shaved their heads; another reason why Jehovah's
priests are not to do so.
nor suffer … locks to grow
long—as the luxurious, barbarians, and soldiers in warfare
21. Neither … wine—lest the holy
enthusiasm of their devotion should be mistaken for inebriation, as in
Peter's case (Ac 2:13, 15, 18).
28. I am their inheritance—(Nu 18:20; De 10:9; 18:1; Jos 13:14, 32).
30. give … priest the first … that he
may cause the blessing to rest—(Pr 3:9, 10;