Bible Commentary

Ezekiel 44

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Ezekiel 44)

Verse 2

[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.

Shall not be opened — Shall not ordinarily stand open.

No man — None of the common people.

The Lord — That glory which was the visible sign of his presence.

Verse 3

[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.

He — The king might sit before the Lord, others might not.

Bread — That part of the sacrifice, which was allowed to the offerer.

Verse 4

[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.

He — Christ in the appearance of a man.

Verse 5

[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.

The entering — The persons who may, and who may not enter.

The sanctuary — Taken here for the courts, rather than the house itself.

Verse 6

[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,

Let it suffice — Let the time you have spent on your sins suffice.

Verse 7

[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.

Bread — Either the meal-offering or first-fruits of corn and dough, and the shew-bread.

They — The whole nation of the Jews.

Verse 8

[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.

Have not kept — You have not observed the laws I gave you for the keeping of my holy things, house, sacrifices, and worship.

Have set — You have substituted others in your rooms.

Verse 10

[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.

Are gone away — By their idolatry.

Verse 11

[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.

Ministers — Servants employed in the lowest work.

Sanctuary — Not the temple itself, but about the courts of it.

Having charge — They shall be porters to open and shut, and sweep, and go on errands.

To minister — To wait on the priests.

Verse 12

[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.

Iniquity — The punishment of it.

Verse 13

[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.

Shall bear their shame — They shall be dealt with according to their abominations, and bear the punishment thereof.

Verse 15

[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:

That kept the charge — Were constant, zealous, and faithful in their priestly office.

Verse 16

[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.

Into my sanctuary — Both to the altar, to the temple, and the high-priest into the holy of holies.

Come near — To set the shew-bread on, and to take it off.

To minister — To offer sacrifice at the altar, and incense in the house. God will put marks of honour upon those who are faithful to him in trying times, and will, employ those in his service, who have kept close to it, when others drew back.

Verse 17

[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.

And within — In the temple.

Verse 19

[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.

Shall not sanctify — By the law, common things, touching holy things, became consecrated, and no more fit for common use.

Verse 20

[20] Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads.

To grow long — Priding themselves in it, as Absalom.

Shall only poll — When the hair is grown, they shall cut the ends of their hair, and keep it in moderate size.

Verse 21

[21] Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court.

Drink wine — Or any other strong liquor, when they go either to trim the lamps or set the shew-bread in order, or to offer incense in the temple, or when they go to the altar to offer a sacrifice, which stood in the inner court.

Verse 24

[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.

Shall judge — Shall determine the controversy.

Assemblies — Publick congregations.

Verse 26

[26] And after he is cleansed, they shall reckon unto him seven days.

Cleansed — After for seven days he hath kept from the dead.

They — The priests, who are about the house of God, shall appoint seven days more to this defiled person for his cleansing before he is admitted into the sanctuary.

Verse 28

[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.

It — The sin-offering: but under this one, all other offerings are couched.

For an inheritance — Instead of lands and cities.

Verse 30

[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.

And the first — So soon as the first-fruits are ripe in the field, your vineyards, and olive yards.

Every oblation — Whether free-will offering, or prescribed.

The first of your dough — 'Tis conceived this was of every mass of dough they made, and of the first of the dough, which every year they first made of the new corn, as by the custom of the Jews at this day appears.

That he — The priest may bless, and pray for thee.

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