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Book of Ezekiel
In Chapter 44, we have, (1). The taking of the east gate of the Temple to the Prince (1-3). (2). A reproof sent to the house of Israel for their former profanities of GOD'S Temple, with a charge to them to be more strict in the future (4-9). (3). The degrading of those Levites that had formerly been guilty of idolatry and establishing of the priesthood in the family of Zadok, which had kept their integrity (10-16). (4). Various laws and ordinances concerning the priests (17-31).
The subject is still continued from Chapter 43, and proceeding in beauty. There is great honor shown to the Prince, whose entrance through the East gate banned all others from so doing, to let all know of His glory and distinction. After this, various ordinances are fixed in this Chapter, concerning those who minister in holy things.
The East Gate of the Temple Assigned to the Prince (44:1-3)
Ezekiel 44:1 Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. (KJV)
Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary . . . the prophet was brought by his Divine Guide, from the altar of burnt offerings, which was before the House, where He had given him the dimensions of it, and the ordinances concerning it, to the Temple or Holy Place, called the outward sanctuary, in distinction from the inward sanctuary, or Holy of Holies; and to one of the gates of it, which was a gate of the inner court.
And which looketh toward the east . . . the eastern gate, and was the same he had been at before, and therefore is said to be brought back the way of it (43:1).
And it was shut . . . when he was there before, it was open; for he saw the glory of the LORD enter into the house by the way of it; but now it was shut, and for that reason, because he had entered into it; indicating, among other things, that He would never return, or remove from there anymore.
Ezekiel 44:2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. (KJV)
Then said the LORD unto me, This gate shall be shut . . . (43:1-4), it shall be shut . . . either with bars or by exclusion, that none would enter in.
It shall not be opened . . . would not normally be open, but be shut until the right occasion called for it to be opened.
And no man shall enter in by it . . . no man, no common ordinary people, none but the Prince, the One and Only One sent by the Lord GOD, and the attending priests . . . WHY?
Because the LORD the God of Israel hath entered in by it . . . meaning the same One with the glory of the GOD of Israel (43:2).
Therefore it shall be shut . . . no one being able to enter after Him. Many are the opinions of commentators concerning this gate. Catholics falsely interpret it of the Virgin Mary, by whom CHRIST came into this world in Human nature, being born of her, a virgin, who had never known man, and never did after the Birth of Christ; nor were any more children born of her; and that no man might have eternal life except by her. This is a most ridiculous LIE of Satan!
See article on Mary in Special Comments and the end of this Chapter.
Others understand this as the Word of GOD, which is sealed (Dan.12:9), to men learned and unlearned, so is a gate shut. It cannot be opened by a mere natural man, or be understood by the light of nature; none can open it except the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev.5:5); who gives the spiritual knowledge of it to whom He pleases, the perfect knowledge of which is reserved for the latter days. There are some things in it which will be always be shut, and always be secret; as the existence of the Three Persons in the GODHEAD; the FATHER, the SON, the SPIRIT; and the two natures in CHRIST. JESUS, Man and GOD: (Isa.7:14; 9:6; Jn.1:1, 14; Mat.1:16, 20-23; Lk.1:31-35; 2:7, 11; Rom.1:3-4; 9:5; 1 Cor.15:47; Gal.4:4; Phil.2:6-8; 1 Tim.3:16; Heb.2:11, 14-17; 10:5; 1 Jn.4:2-3; 2 Jn.1:7).
Others think that the gate of Heaven, or the way to eternal glory and happiness, is meant; which was shut by the sin of man, and could never be opened again by any mere man; but CHRIST by His Sacrifice opened the way into it; and has entered into it, representing all His people; and only those that belong to Him by faith in Him.
*****The thought may be, that the gate which had been sanctified by such a display of the glory of GOD, should not be used for the entrance of the people. The difference between this and the other gates, that this was shut when the others were open, was intended both to preserve the remembrance of the solemn entrance of the glory of the LORD into the House, which it would remain an evidence of the Truth, and also to put in the minds of people a reverence for GOD’S majestic glory.
Ezekiel 44:3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same. (KJV)
It is for the prince; the prince shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD. . . the prince, the rabbis understood this to mean the MESSIAH, and definitely the same Person must be meant as by David (34:23-24; 37:24). This gives another and a final reason on the subject of the sacrificial worship as being symbolical.
To eat bread before the LORD . . . this is a common Scriptural saying for partaking of the sacrifices (Gen.31:54; Ex.18:12). There is no reason for restricting it to the shew-bread and other unbloody offerings.
He shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same . . . some explain this of CHRIST'S ascension to Heaven, and His descent from there in the same way. CHRIST went up to Heaven in the eastern part of the world, from the mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12), to the east of Jerusalem; and in like manner He shall descend (Zec.14:1-5).
People Reproved for Polluting the Sanctuary (44:4-9)
Ezekiel 44:4 Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face. (KJV)
Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house . . . the north gate of the inward court, where he was brought from the east gate, which was shut. Then, when he had been informed of the reason why the east gate was shut, and when he understood that he must not go out by that way.
And I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD . . . as he had seen at the eastern gate (43:2). The glory of the Lord (1:28; 43:2).
And I fell upon my face; just as he had done before (43:3), under a sense of the greatness and glory of the divine Majesty, and of his own sin and unworthiness.
Ezekiel 44:5 And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. (KJV)
And the LORD said unto me, Son of man . . . the whole of the first part of this verse is found in (40:4), where it is explained. This is still the voice of the LORD speaking out of the House to the prophet (43:6).
Mark well . . . or set your heart be attentive to what is about to be said, as being of great concern and importance.
And behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee . . . heart, eyes and ears, all are to be used in the most attentive manner about the things in the future. The same sayings exciting attention were used at the first of this vision (40:4), about all the ordinances of the House of the LORD, and all the laws for it (43:11).
Mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary . . . pay close attention to the way of entrance into the Temple, and the way of exclusion from it. Pay attention to the laws and rules about these. The prophet is commanded especially to observe these well, because it was in these things GOD'S professing people mainly offended, as appears by what follows. They were not as careful as they should have been in admitting persons among them, or in the exclusion of wrongdoers.
Ezekiel 44:6 And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, (KJV)
And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel . . . rebellious is the character of literal Israel from the beginning (Deut.9:24), and frequently given it in this prophecy (2:6; 3:9) and so well agrees with the declining churches in the latter day, and in our times as well. It represents Israel as rebellious, because of their disregard to the ordinances of GOD'S House, and to the laws and rules of it; and are not only called rebellious, but rebellion itself, which expresses the greatness of their sin, and the worsening of it. Rebellious house of Israel: (Eze. 2:5-6, 8; 3:9, 26; 12:2-3, 9, 12, 25; 17:12; 24:3; 44:6).
Thus saith the Lord GOD, O ye house of Israel, let it suite you of all your abominations . . . let the abominations you have committed, idol worship and superstition, paying attention to the doctrines and commandments of men (Mat.15:9), be sufficient. They should stop and go no further; renounce those things that are so abominable in GOD’S sight; let the time past suffice to have produced them; cease entirely from them (1 Pet.4:3). These abominations are more particularly expressed in what follows.
Ezekiel 44:7 In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations. (KJV)
In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers . . . ye, they, the whole nation of Israel, the people of the land. They turned idolaters, mixed with heathens, forsook the LORD and His law, taking example from their practices, following with their superstitious and idolatry. Strangers . . . foreigners and heathen, who had their idols in the actual courts of the Temple, and there worshipped their idols (8:5, 10, 14, 16).
Uncircumcised in heart . . . who never were pricked in the heart for sin, or felt any shame, pain or remorse because of it; never having the hardness of their heart removed, or the impurity of it discovered by them. They were never filled with shame and loathing because of it; they never cast away their sins, they never renounced their own self-righteousness.
And uncircumcised in flesh . . . carnal, they were men born in the flesh, in a state of nature, have never been taught by the grace of GOD to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to abstain from fleshly lusts and immorality.
To be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house . . . they were either members and partook of the ordinances and privileges of the LORD'S House; or they preside there as priests and ministers of the LORD.
When ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood . . . which, under the law, was the LORD'S. My bread, either the meat-offering (42:13), or first-fruits of corn and dough, and the shew-bread.
The fat, which was taken off the sacrifices and burnt. The meat offering (Lev.2:1-12; 6:14-16), is the bread offering, made of fine flour, typical of CHRIST, the Bread of life (Jn.6:35, 48).
The blood, let out and received into vessels, was sprinkled and poured out by the priests and rulers of GOD’S House. They did not have courage enough to refuse them, but instead had satisfied their sinful curiosity, and showed them all these things.
And they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations . . . turned idolaters, mixed with heathens, forsaken the LORD and His law, taking example from heathen practices, or observing your superstitious and idolatrous inventions.
Ezekiel 44:8 And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. (KJV)
And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things . . . they have not kept and retained the holy doctrines, nor observed the holy ordinances of it, as they were first delivered.
But ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves . . . meaning that those that were in public office did not attend to it; but were idle shepherds, and left the flock and their care to others, to do their work for them; while they busied themselves with laziness and being idle (34:2-6), or that the members and hearers set up preachers for themselves, according to their lusts, agreeable to their own carnal sentiments, without any regard to the will and glory of GOD. Much of this goes on in today’s world.
Ezekiel 44:9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord GOD . . . what follows is the law and rule to be observed, and which will be observed by the Jews in the latter days, even though so little regarded now.
No stranger uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary . . . see (44:7), unregenerate men shall not be admitted members of the Temple, for that is holy, and they are not holy, and not fit to be received, just as swine would not be received into a king's palace. Saints and heathens cannot talk together, because their language is different, neither can they walk together, because they cannot agree in feelings and practice. GOD’S people should be holy that bear the Truths of the LORD, His Name, and His Gospel (Rev.7). Unbelievers are totally blind and ignorant of GOD’S ways, so they are not suitable nor fit to teach others.
Of any stranger that is among the children of Israel . . . although they are among them, and although they are the children of them, and have had a religious education . . . they are total strangers to the grace of GOD, and would not be admitted as members, and much less ministers in the latter days.
Idolaters Declared Incapable of the Priest’s Office (44:10-14)
Ezekiel 44:10 And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity. (KJV)
And the Levites that are gone away far from me . . . these Levites were priests (44:13), they were apostate priests, that for fear or favor have consorted with idolaters. Some priests did some awful things (Lev.10:1-10; 1 Sam.2:22; 2 Chron.28:3; 36:14). They departed from GOD and the law of GOD, as the rule of faith and practice; and set up their own reason as their guide in matters of religion. The Levites that are gone away, many of these stopped attending GOD'S service, and fell into idolatry, first in the general apostasy of the ten tribes, and later under Ahaz and other wicked kings. These should not be permitted to attend the higher offices of the priesthood. God had threatened to punish the sin of idolatry unto the third and fourth generation (Ex.20:5). Idolatry according to the law of the Jews, was one of the crimes which was punished with being deprived of the priesthood.
When Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols . . . this may be a reference to apostasy of literal Israel, under the Old Testament, and from where the language may be borrowed to express this. The Israelites joined themselves to Baalpeor in the time of Phinehas (Deut.4; Num.25), who was zealous and faithful to the LORD.
They shall even bear their iniquity . . . meaning the Levites, priests or ministers shall bear the shame and disgrace when they finally see their errors, and the punishment and chastisement of their sin, in the latter days.
Ezekiel 44:11 Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them. (KJV)
Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary . . . although tainted from their office as priests and ministers of the Word, yet being restored from their sins and wrongs, shall have a place in the Temple of GOD, and there do their work, but in a less honorable and more humble way; as in former times, when ministers had sinned revoltingly, and were degraded from their office, upon repentance they were not restored, but were only admitted to be keepers of the House (44:13-14), also see 2 Ki.23:9.
Having charge at the gates of the house . . . like the Levites who were porters and doorkeepers in the Temple.
And ministering to the house . . . serving as the ones cutting wood and bringing water for use in the sanctuary, or in repairing of it smiths, masons and carpenters.
They shall slay the burnt offering, and the sacrifice for the people . . . but not bringing it to the altar, to offer it there. They only slayed and skinned it for the priests. This not to be understood literally, because there shall be no such sacrifice in the latter days. This is said to mean the low service and inferior posts that such shall be employed in.
And they shall stand before them to minister unto them . . . either before the priests, whose servants they shall be, or before the people, specifying that those priests that sin publicly shall be rebuked before all.
Ezekiel 44:12 Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity. (KJV)
Because they ministered unto them before their idols . . . had performed official duties for idols in the priest's office, and those idols being in the courts of the LORD at the time; or preached unto them false doctrines (Mat.15:9), such as opposed the Word of GOD,
And caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity . . . and because they have led Israel into deep sin, and were a stumbling block of iniquity to them,
Therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD . . . for that reason I have lifted up my hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, that they shall bear their iniquity.
Lifting up the hand is a sign that what the LORD said of them might be believed and expected.
And they shall bear their iniquity . . . which is repeated to confirm the certainty of it (44:10).
Ezekiel 44:13 And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed. (KJV)
And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of priest unto me . . . to bring the sacrifice to the altar, and offer it there; to sprinkle the blood, or burn the fat, or the incense; to intercede for the people, or bless them (Hos.4:6).
Nor to come near to any of my holy things in the most holy place . . . nor do anything either in the Holy or in the Most Holy Place; to offer holy things, or to eat of them. The sense is, that these degraded priests, who had so greatly sinned, and had fallen so offensively, even though restored by repentance; they would no longer preach the Word, nor administer any ordinance.
But they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed . . . meaning the shame of their wicked disgraces, of their abominable principles and practices, which they have held to and maintained; being publicly disgraced and degraded, and so were disgracefully distinguished.
Ezekiel 44:14 But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein. (KJV)
But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house . . . (44:11), to be watchmen or porters in the Temple; to open and shut the doors of it; to sweep out and keep it clean; to repair and mend it, and to do such like works, as it follows,
For all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein . . . in a servile way; which was one of the low jobs, but not as priests or ministers of the Word.
The Sons of Zadok are Accepted (44:15-16)
Ezekiel 44:15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD: (KJV)
But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok . . . the sons of Zadok kept the charge of the Temple when the children of Israel went astray from the LORD, they shall come near to GOD to minister to Him, and they shall stand before Him to offer the fat and the blood, these priests observed the law of GOD and did not fall to idolatry.
That kept the charge of my sanctuary, when the children of Israel went astray from me . . . they kept and held fast the pure doctrines, committed as a sacred trust, without wavering, with courage and valor.
They shall come near to me to minister unto me . . . minister in holy things to His people, which is called ministering unto Him; as to pray to Him for them; and preach to them in His Name, and administer ordinances. All people are at a distance from GOD through sin . . and there is no coming near to GOD except by His only begotten Son JESUS CHRIST (Jn.3:15-18, 36, 14:6; Acts 4:12). Coming near is not local, but spiritual, and includes all acts of worship, and above all prayer and thanksgiving and the sacrifice of praise (Heb.13:15).
And they shall stand before me, to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD . . . which, under the law, were both the fat and the blood was the LORD'S; the one was burnt, and the other sprinkled, on various things, and in various places.
*****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 (1 Sam.2:12-17). Zadok, according to his name, means righteous, and his line, was to succeed (1 Ki.2:35), since they did not take part in the general apostasy. The sons of Zadok kept their integrity in a time of general apostasy, and did not go astray when others did, so GOD determined that they would not come near Him, nor would they come near to His table.
Ezekiel 44:16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge. (KJV)
They shall enter into my sanctuary . . . the sons of Zadok would both officiate and participate, which strangers and uncircumcised persons could not do (44:9).
And they shall come near to my table to minister unto me . . . which some understand means the altar of burnt offering, which was as a table, and the sacrifice on it was the food of the LORD (Lev.3:11), others say the altar of incense (41:22). One interprets it of the table of shewbread. Maybe it means the ordinance of the LORD'S Supper, called the LORD'S table (1 Cor.10:21).
And they shall keep my charge . . . continue to do so; for this they did before (44:15), but now should be confirmed in their office, and never be displaced, as others; for they that honor GOD, He will honor (1 Sam.2:30).
Various Laws and Ordinances Concerning the Priests (44:17-31)
Ezekiel 44:17 And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court . . . the priests before described, when they enter the right way into the Temple, meaning those who are internally renewed, and have an inward work of grace on their hearts. When they enter, they must put on their priestly garments in the chambers that are the appointed for them, where they put off the garments when the service was done, and where they put them on when they approached to the altar (42:14). At the gates of the inner court, where the altar of burnt-offering stood.
They shall be clothed with linen garments . . . with linen garments according to the law (Ex.28:40-43). Linen is the symbol of whiteness and purity (Rev.3:18).
And no wool shall come upon them, while they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within . . . wool soon brings on perspiration in the sultry East and so becomes unclean. No wool shall come upon them because wool is quicker than linen to attract dirt and breed insects, while linen breeds none; in addition, linen is of a vegetable, and wool of an animal substance.
Ezekiel 44:18 They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat. (KJV)
And they shall have linen bonnets upon their heads . . . meaning seriousness and modesty, subjection to GOD, and authority among men under Him; and also purity of doctrine, and clearness of light and knowledge.
And shall have linen breeches upon their loins . . . this expresses purity, self-restraint, self-denial and innocence (Ex.28:42).
They shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat . . . so no wool, which is likely to cause sweat; and is thought to be the reason why it is forbidden in the verse 17. This girdle
could be described in (Ex.28:8, 27-27).
They shall not gird themselves loosely . . . in a careless manner, which is both indecent, and hinders their job.
Ezekiel 44:19 And when they go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments. (KJV)
And when they go forth into the utter court . . . out of the inner court where they minister, when they have done their job. Verse 42:14 explains this verse.
Even into the utter court to the people . . . out of the Temple into the world, where the people are doing their business, whether good men or bad,
They shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers . . . the north and south chambers (42:13-14).
And they shall put on other garments . . . which are their outward common garments, although not sufficient to appear in before GOD, and be acceptable to Him.
And they shall not sanctify the people with their garments . . . the garments of the priesthood were considered holy, and whatever was holy, that which it touched was counted holy also; and so, to keep a difference between the priests and the common people, they were not to wear their holy garments only in the time of service; lest any superstitious notion would be thought among the people.
*****Verses 1-9 concern the clothes of priests. They must wear linen garments when they went in to minister or do any service in the inner court, or in the sanctuary, and nothing that was wool, because it would cause sweat (44:17-18). They must dress themselves in cool linen, that they might go more cheerfully about their work; and they had more need to do so because they were to attend the altars, which had constant fires upon them. And they must dress themselves clean and sweet, and avoid everything that was sweaty and filthy, to indicate the purity of mind with which the service of GOD is to be attended to. Clothes came in with sin (Gen.3:7, 21). The priests were to use as little and as light clothing as possible, and nothing that would cause them to sweat. When they had finished their service they must change their clothes again, and lay up their linen garments in the chambers appointed for that purpose (44:19), as before (42:14). They must not go among the people with their holy garments on, lest they should think they were sanctified by the touch of them. They shall approach those things which were for the people, in their common garments.
Ezekiel 44:20 Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads. (KJV)
Neither shall they shave their heads . . . they were not to shave their heads as mourners do (Lev.21:1-5). The worshippers of the Egyptian idols Serapis and Isis shaved their heads, another reason why the Lord GOD’S priests are not to do so. The LORD'S faithful ministers must be set apart.
Nor suffer their locks to grow long . . . they were not to pride themselves in long hair, as Absalom, giving a bad example by such excess (2 Sam.14:26). They shall only cut their hair, when the hair is grown somewhat, they shall trim, cut the ends of their hair, and keep it in moderate size. Long hair was a sign of a Nazarite’s vow, and GOD would have all holy things and persons kept pure and distinguished from common things, as the Nazarites, that a distinction might be preserved between those who were and were not such; or rather, after the manner of women, their locks hanging down, and flowing about their shoulders, as a token of wantonness, pride and vanity (1 Cor.11:14-15).
They shall only poll their heads . . . they were to keep a happy medium between neither shaving their heads close, nor letting their hair grow long, but keep it in an even moderate length.
Ezekiel 44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court. (KJV)
Neither shall any priest drink wine . . . meaning to excess, so as to be drunk with it (Lev.10:9), should not be addicted to it, and greedy for it (1 Tim.3:3).
When they enter into the inner court . . . when they attended divine service. Since excessive drinking affects the memory, they may forget the law and doctrines of the LORD they are to deliver. Drunkenness in any Christian professor is abominable, especially in a minister of the Word; and when it appears in his ministration, it is absolutely scandalous.
Ezekiel 44:22 Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before. (KJV)
Neither shall they take for their wives a widow . . . GOD allowed priests to marry, only directs that it not be to one of ill fame or divorced (Lev.21:7, 13-14), nor the widow of any deceased common person; but a priest could marry a priest’s widow, although a virgin is instead commended for their choice; and whether widow or virgin, it must not be as they did in Babylon (Ezra 10:18). Nor were they at liberty to marry any of any tribe, but it must be one of their own tribe.
Nor her that is put away . . . they were not to choose a woman who was thrust forth, whose husband has given her a bill of divorce; since she may be suspected of having done some ill thing.
But they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel . . . virgins, and not of the families of unconverted persons, who have been brought up in an ungodly way, but of godly families, and who have had a religious education.
Or a widow that had a priest before . . . for they were familiar with religious exercises, and to the manner of living of such persons. All good men should be careful whom they marry, and especially ministers of the Gospel; who are here supposed to marry and allowed to marry, which is in direct opposition to the Catholic Church.
Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. (KJV)
And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the profane . . . they shall teach because they were to instruct the people (Lev.10:10-11). This was an important part of their work, to read the law, explain it, and settle questions arising about it. They were to be, as ministers ought now to be, apt to teach (1 Tim.3:2), and too in the latter days.
Between the holy and profane . . . whether legally and ceremonially so, or morally and really so, that they might keep the people from pollutions of sin.
And cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean . . . between impure persons, false doctrines, and corrupt ways, and those good which agree to the Holy Word of GOD . . . the sense is, that the priests shall take pains to instruct persons in the knowledge of the things of GOD, and shall do it correctly, faithfully, sincerely and willingly.
Ezekiel 44:24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths. (KJV)
And in controversy they shall stand in judgment . . . in controversy, in disagreement, in doubts about what is lawful and unlawful, in deceptions of right and wrong in all arguments. When controversy arises among the saints concerning civil things, it shall not be carried into a court of the men of the world; but it shall be brought before the priests, and there heard, tried, judged and determined. The priests shall rise up, discuss the point, determine the question, pass the sentence, and not depart from it.
And they shall judge it according to my judgments . . . not according to their judgments, or to their notions, nor the reasoning of their minds, but according to the directions and rules given in the Holy Word of GOD; which is valuable for settling and establishing True doctrine, and the reproof and correction of error, and to instruct people in the paths of righteousness.
And they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies . . . which assemblies are the churches of CHRIST in the latter days, gathered according to Gospel order; where the Jews assemble together for divine worship, and where the LORD grants His Presence; and where His Word is preached, and His ordinances administered, and so called His. These assemblies of Gospel ministers (Rev.7), belong to the Master, and where they preside; it is their business to observe the laws and statutes the LORD has made, and to interpret them to the people, and enforce them and see that they are kept.
And they shall hallow my sabbaths . . . hallow my Sabbaths, such times as are appointed for divine worship; these they shall keep holy themselves, in the exercise both of private and public worship, and shall urge and stir up all with whom they are concerned to do the same. Shall hallow my sabbaths, with holy care observe the Sabbaths, as days of holy work, to be spent in secret, family and public worship of GOD, as He requires.
Ezekiel 44:25 And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves. (KJV)
And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves . . . shall not come into places where dead person are, nor touch them, nor attend their funerals (Lev.21:1), that their work might not be interrupted, or they through grief and sorrow be made unfit for it (Mat.8:22). This, in a spiritual sense, may mean that they should have no conversation or fellowship with men dead in trespasses and sins (Eph.2:1; Col.2:13); and should abstain from all dead works (Jam.2:26; Rev.3:1), because all sinful works are dead ones.
But for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves . . . by coming near them, touching them, attending their funerals, because of their near relation to them, and that natural sympathy and affection that must be in them . . . all sorrow and mourning for dead relations is not forbidden saints, nor ministers of the Word; provided it is in moderation (1 Thes.4:13). A priest must not defile himself by being in the presence of a dead person unless it is his father, mother, child, brother, or an unmarried sister. In such cases it is permitted.
Ezekiel 44:26 And after he is cleansed, they shall reckon unto him seven days. (KJV)
And after he is cleansed . . . from any sin or iniquity that he has been guilty of at such times in mourning for the dead, by a fresh application of the Blood of CHRIST, which cleanses from all sin; by which those who were in this way ceremoniously unclean were cleansed (Heb.9:11-14).
They shall reckon unto him seven days . . . meaning seven days shall be counted from the time of his cleansing, before he enters on public service again: according to the old law, seven days were reckoned from the defilement to the purification; here seven more are numbered after the purification is made; and therefore, as some note, this is a new law or rule, to be observed in latter times.
Ezekiel 44:27 And in the day that he goeth into the sanctuary, unto the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
And in the day that he goeth into the sanctuary . . . into the Temple of GOD, after his cleansing, and when the seven days from then are up.
Unto the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary . . . among the inward court worshippers, to minister in things to them; to preach the Gospel, and administer Gospel ordinances.
He shall offer his sin offering, saith the Lord GOD . . . the day that he goes into the Temple, into the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall present his sin-offering.
Ezekiel 44:28 And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I am their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession. (KJV)
And it shall be unto them for an inheritance . . . either the sin offering, or the priesthood and the privileges belonging to it, or they shall have an inheritance, what shall it be? GOD Himself.
I am their inheritance . . . the Lord GOD is the portion and inheritance of His people, they are heirs of GOD, He is their portion in the land of the living and forever! The Lord GOD in all His perfections is theirs; and although too wonderful for words, they have the use and advantage of all these perfections for eternity . . . His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, grace, mercy, goodness, truth and faithfulness. He is theirs in all His persons; GOD the FATHER is their Covenant GOD and FATHER; the Son of GOD is their Head and Husband, their Saviour and Redeemer, Mediator and Peacemaker, their Prophet, Priest and King . . . His precious Blood, His righteousness, His Sacrifice and His faithfulness is theirs, and all that He is and all that He has is theirs. The HOLY SPIRIT of GOD is their Persuader and Enlightener, their Quickener and Sanctifier; their Comforter, and the SPIRIT of adoption to them, the Seal and Earnest of their future glory! The awesome Triune GOD is theirs, and ours! All GOD’S TRUE children have an inheritance, be they Jews or Gentiles! http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
And ye shall give them no possession in Israel . . . the priests and Levites had none under the law, but were provided for in another way (Num.18:20), the LORD'S people and priests, under the Gospel dispensation, for the most part are the poor of this world, who have no share in the possessions of it. Their good things are not in this world, but in the world to come, and in the Lord GOD Himself. Our Inheritance: (Jn.14:2-3; Acts 20:32; 26:18; Rom.8:16-17; Eph.1:11-14, 18; Tit.3:7; Heb.1:14; 1 Pet.1:4).
I am their possession . . . the LORD is enjoyed by His TRUE children now; for His love is shed abroad in their hearts (Rom.5:5). They have fellowship with the FATHER, and with His Son JESUS CHRIST, and communion of the HOLY GHOST (2 Cor.13:14) and which is much better than all the possessions of this world. See Num.18:20 in Special Comments.
Ezekiel 44:29 They shall eat the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; and every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs. (KJV)
They shall eat the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering . . . all these offerings were typical of CHRIST; the meat offering, or rather bread offering (42:13), it being made of fine flour, was a type of CHRIST, the Bread of life (Jn.6:33, 35, 48, 51), and the sin and trespass offerings pointed at His being made sin and a Sacrifice for it; which the people and priests of the LORD in a spiritual sense eat, feed and live on by faith.
And every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs . . . or, every devoted thing (Lev.27:21, 28), that is dedicated to holy uses, what the people willingly offer to support the interest of religion; indicating that the ministers of the Word shall live upon the free contributions of the people.
Ezekiel 44:30 And the first of all the firstfruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest's: ye shall also give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house. (KJV)
And the first of all the first fruits of all things, and every oblation, of all of every sort of your oblations shall be the priests . . . stating that their offerings or contributions, which would be made out of their substance, should be in proportion to it, and early as well as free (Pro.3:9).
Ye shall also give unto the priest of your dough . . . either of the first they made of the new corn of the year, or a piece of cake of whatever at any time they made; indicating, that the ministers of the Word, that communicate spiritual things to men, should partake of their carnal ones, and have a part and share with them in all good things, in all the enjoyments of life (1 Cor.9:11).
That he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house . . . meaning the priest or minister of the Word, that partakes of the above things, and is comfortably provided for and supported, may pray to the LORD for such who liberally contribute to him; that a blessing may come and abide upon them and their families, and prosperity and success may attend them in their worldly business and employments of life; as well as they and theirs may be blessed with all spiritual blessings, both here and in the hereafter.
Ezekiel 44:31 The priests shall not eat of any thing that is dead of itself, or torn, whether it be fowl or beast. (KJV)
The priests shall not eat of anything that is dead of itself, or torn . . . they shall have no need to eat of such things, being plentifully provided for with better; nor will it become them so to do through greed, not allowing themselves to enjoy what is liberally given them. They shall not be greedy of filthy lucre, (1 Tim.3:3, 8; Tit.1:7; 1 Pet.5:2), nor oppressive. Catholic priests make such great gain of the dead, and so devoured widows houses (Mat.23:14), under a presence of masses for the dead. Whether it be fowl or beast . . . the priests may not eat meat from any bird or animal that dies a natural death or that dies after being killed by another animal . . . the reference is to the law (Lev.17:15), which was common and well known to all Israelites, priests and people.
The Lord JESUS had four brothers (half brothers), James, Joses, Simon, and Judas.
Matthew 13:55-56 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? (KJV)
Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. (KJV)
He had at least three half-sisters also . . . Are not his sisters here with us?
The Holy Word of GOD calls the Lord JESUS Mary's firstborn.
Matthew 1:24-25 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (KJV)
Luke 2:6-7 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (KJV)
Mary is NOT the co-redeemer, she did NOT contribute in any way with Christ in His painful act of redemption.
CHRIST, and CHRIST alone is the Redeemer, He and He ALONE suffered and died for the sin of mankind, including Mary (Lk.1:46-47). NO where in the Bible does it say anything about a co-redeemer!
Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (KJV) . . . NO mention of His mother!
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (KJV) . . . Mary had absolutely NO part in the redemption of souls and absolutely NO part in the forgiveness of our sins!
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (KJV) . . . Since Mary did NOT die on the cross with JESUS, she certainly is NOT co-redeemer! There is only ONE Redeemer, and that is CHRIST JESUS!
Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (KJV) . . . Same as above, since Mary did NOT die on the cross with JESUS, she certainly is NOT co-redeemer! There is only ONE Redeemer, and that is CHRIST JESUS!
1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (KJV) . . . Mary did NOT shed her blood on the cross with her Son, JESUS! It is ONLY His Blood that is precious and perfect in the Eyes of GOD His Father!
Mary is absolutely NOT co-mediator. We should NOT pray to her, for NO where in the Holy Word of GOD does it tell us to do this. Only JESUS is our Mediator, our Advocate!
CHRIST JESUS alone is the ONLY Mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV) . . . Mary has nothing to do with our accessing Heaven!
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (KJV) . . . NO other name, that includes the name of Mary! As above, Mary has nothing to do with our accessing Heaven!
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (KJV) . . . It is only through JESUS that we have access, by His SPIRIT, to GOD the Father. Mary has absolutely NOTHING to do with it!
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (KJV) . . . There is only ONE Mediator between GOD and man, and that is CHRIST JESUS! Mary is absolutely NOT co-mediator! That is NOT found anywhere in the Holy Word of GOD!
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (KJV) . . . The Word of GOD, in NO place, tells us that Mary is co-advocate, and that we should go to her in prayer. When we pray, we should pray to GOD the FATHER in JESUS’ Name (Jn.14:13-14; 16:23-24), or to GOD’S only Begotten Son, Jesus! Mary is NOT co-mediator!
My comment: I believe that Mary was indeed the most blessed and sanctified woman in the entire Bible. She had to be extra special to be chosen by GOD for such an assignment. But, I truly believe that she looks with disgust and hatred on what the Catholic Church does to her image. She is a humble servant of the LORD, and she wants NO part of what they make her to be.
Numbers 18:20, Concerning Priests
Thou shalt have: The main part of what was offered to GOD was the portion of the priests; who had no inheritance of land in Israel. The Rabbis say, 24 gifts were given to the priests; all of which are expressed in the law.
(1). The flesh of the sin-offering (Lev. 6:25-26).
(2). The flesh of the trespass-offering (Lev.7:1, 6).
(3). The peace-offering of the congregation (Lev.23:19-20).
(4). The remainder of the sheaf (Lev.23:10).
(5). The remnants of the meat-offerings (Lev.6:16).
(6). The two loaves (Lev.23:17).
(7). The shew-bread (Lev.24:9).
(8). The log of oil offered by the leper (Lev.14:10).
(9). The breast and shoulder of the peace-offerings (Lev.7:31-34).
(10). The heave-offering of confession (Lev.7:12-14).
(11). The heave-offering of the Nazarite's ram (Lev.6:17-20).
(12). The firstling (Lev.18:15).
(13). The first-fruits (Lev.18:13).
(14). The heave-offering of first-fruits (Lev.12:1-8).
(15). The tithe (Lev.28).
(16). The cake (Lev.15:20).
(17). The first of the fleece (Deut.18:4).
(18). The field of possession (Lev.35).
(19). The gifts of slain beasts (Deut.18:3).
(20). The redemption of the first-born (Deut.18:15).
(21). The lamb for a firstling ass (Ex.4:20).
(22). That taken by violence from a stranger (Lev.5:8).
(23). All devoted (dedicated) things (Lev.27:21, 28; Num.18:14).
(24). The skins, etc. (Lev.7:8).
They had no inheritance: Num.18:23-24; 26:62; Deut.10:9; 12:12; 14:27, 29; Josh.14:3).
GOD was/is their part: (Deut.18:1-2; Josh.13:14, 33; 14:3; 18:7; Ps.16:5; 73:26; 142:5; Lam.3:24; Eze.44:28; 1 Cor.3:21-23; Rev.21:3).
Book of Ezekiel
Eze.Ch.1 . . Eze.Ch.2 . . Eze.Ch.3. . Eze.Ch.4 . . Eze.Ch.5 . . . Eze.Ch.6 . . Eze.Ch.7 . . Eze.Ch.8 . . Eze.Ch.9 . . Eze.Ch.10 . . Eze.Ch.11 . . Eze.Ch.12 . . Eze.Ch.13 . . Eze.Ch.14. . Eze.Ch.15 . . Eze.Ch.16 . . Eze.Ch.17 . . Eze.Ch.18 . . Eze.Ch.19 . . Eze.Ch.20 . . Eze.Ch.21 . . Eze.Ch.22 . . Eze.Ch.23 . . Eze.Ch.24 . . Eze.Ch.25 . . Eze.Ch.26 . . Eze.27 . . Eze.28 . . Eze.29 . . Eze.30 . . Eze.31 . . Eze.32 . . Eze.33 . . Eze.34 . . Eze.35 . . Eze.36 . . Eze.37 . . Eze.38 . . Eze.39 . . Eze.40 . . Eze.41 . . Eze.42 . . Eze.43 . . Eze.44 . . Eze.45 . . . Eze.46 . . . Eze.47 . . . Eze.48 . . . Eze. Millennial Temple . . . Eze.Special Comments . . . Eze.What is Shekinah Glory? . . . Home Page