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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
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.
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
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 yourselves" [MAURER].
10, 11. Levites . . . shall . . .
bear--namely, the punishment of
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 the office.
17. linen--symbolical of purity. Wool soon induces perspiration in the sultry East and so becomes uncleanly.
20. Neither . . . shave . . . heads--as mourners do
The worshippers of the Egyptian idols Serapis and Isis shaved their
heads; another reason why Jehovah's priests are not to do so.
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; Mal 3:10).