Reading through the Bible together

Monday, August 11, 2014

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Chapter 45 continues the detailed description of the restored Temple and city area in three ways. First, it describes a special block of land that is to contain the Temple, land for the priests and Levites, and property for the prince. The area is a special area that does not contain the regular tribal allotments. Part of the reason for this special block of land is to furnish enough land for the prince so he is not tempted to oppress fellow Israelites by taking their land. Since the Temple was in this special area as well, this block was the political and religious center and core of the nation.

Second, this chapter outlines the specific tasks for the prince. First, he is carefully to maintain fair weights and measures throughout the nation so the common people are not oppressed by those who would use false weights and cheat them. This is a key part of righteousness and justice and we would do well to learn this principle in our own society. The other major task of the prince was to provide the regular sacrifices of the Temple. The other sacrifices are to come from the people of the land who are to give a certain percentage of their produce and animals for this purpose.

The third and last section of this chapter deals with the feast of Tabernacles and the Passover.  Ezekiel expects that the people practice all of the feasts in the restored nation of Israel. He specifically mentions these two feasts because the animal sacrifices which are additional in these two feasts, come from the prince.  Are there not lessons here for those in leadership positions?

Jon Dybdahl
Walla Walla University
United States