Properties of the City and the Priest

What do you want on your tombstone? If your life could be boiled down to a phrase what would it be? Anger, Greed, Kind, Love, Selfish, etc.

Greed

In the division of the land Israel is to present to the Lord a portion of the land as a sacred district (vv. 1-6). This rectangle of land will be divided into two equal portions, each about 8.3 miles long and about 3.3 miles wide. The first portion, in which will be located the sanctuary, will be allotted to the priests for their houses as well as a holy place for the sanctuary. The second portion will be allotted to the Levites, who serve in the temple, as their possession for towns to live in. Instead of being scattered throughout Israel as they were earlier (Josh. 21:1-42) the priests and Levites will reside near their place of ministry. This square of land, 8.3 miles in each of its four dimensions, will be located at the present site of Jerusalem (vv. 7-8). The prince will have the land bordering each side of the area formed by the sacred district and the property of the city.

Ezekiel used the reality of God’s promised future blessings as a springboard to exhort the princes in his day to repentance (vv. 9-12). Their basic problem was greed. So Ezekiel exhorted them to use accurate scales, an accurate ephah, and an accurate bath. An ephah was a measure for dry items and a bath was a measure for liquid items. They were each equivalent to approximately five gallons which was a 10th of a homer. A homer was approximately 50 gallons or about 6 bushels. Ezekiel listed specific amounts of produce they were to give the prince (vv. 13-17). The prescribed portion is to be proportionate to each individual’s wealth or lack of it. They are each to give a 60th of their wheat and barley (v. 13), one percent of their olive oil (v. 14), and one sheep from every 200 of their flocks (v. 15). This tithe or tax will be required of all the people for use by the prince in Israel.

The festivals where the offerings will be given will include the New Year feast (vv. 18-20), the Passover/Unleavened Bread feast (vv. 21-24), and the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles (v. 25).The Passover will last seven days, during which the people will eat bread made without yeast. The prince will provide the sacrifices for that period (vv. 22-24). The fact that the prince is to make a sin offering for himself is said by some to show that he is not Christ.

Application

Since greed is one of man’s basic problems I need to constantly be looking for ways I can share what I have to help meet the basic needs of others.

Ezekiel 45:1-25 (English Standard Version)


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