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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Ezekiel 44

Verse 1

Eze 44:1. Eze 43:5 tells of the "man" taking Ezekiel to the inner court, and the present verse shows that lie was brought bac/c towards the outside again where he found the gate shut.

Verse 2

Eze 44:2. Eze 43:4 gives us the reason the east gate was shut; and it is so stated here. The Lord is the One whose right it is to use that gate, and it was to be closed t.o the people in general,

Verse 3

Eze 44:3. This gate was for the special use of the prince which would mean whoever was a leading man or one in a leading position among the people of Israel.

Verse 4

Eze 44:4. Wherever one looked about the holy building he would see evidences of the glory of the Lord. Fell upon my face was an ancient custom when a person wished to manifest great respect for another and humility in himself. We need not suppose that one performed any violent action such as would cause an injury to the body. But the act was done in such a decided manner as to leave no doubt about the genuine humility of the worshiper or any person who wished to give special recognition to another.

Verse 5

Eze 44:5. This verse is virtually the same as chapter 40; 4,

Verse 6

Eze 44:6. Lei it suffice you means for them to realize that they had already committed enough abominations, and they should be content to change their ways.

Verse 7

Eze 44:7, When circumcision is used figuratively or spiritually, it means consecration and devotion to duty unto the Lord. The people of Israel had become so inconsistent In their practices that the Lord regarded them as uncircumcised.

Verse 8

Eze 44:8. According to chapter 40: 45 the priests were the lawful keepers of the holy place. But these men had put others in their place, men who were not qualified either officially or morally for the holy work.

Verse 9

Eze 44:9. Under no condition was a stranger (one outside the nation) to be permitted to participate in the offering of sacrifices. This was not only because they were uncircumeised in the flesh, but also were unfit with regard to their character.

Verse 10

Eze 44:10. The Levites were the ones who had been appointed by the Lord for the services about the altar. However, they had corrupted themselves by going after the worship of Idols and hence became abominable to God. Bear their iniquity means they would suffer the consequences of their unrighteous life.

Verse 11

Eze 44:11. Yet they shall be ministers, etc. It was the Lord's decision that the tribe of Levi should have exclusive charge of the priesthood, and their unfaithfulness did not make it lawful for anyone outside to meddle in the altar services.

Verse 12

Eze 44:12. The outside people had no right to be substituted for the lawful priesthood that was vested in the tribe of Levi; yet the unfaithfulness of that group was destined to bring forth the judgment of the Lord, They mixed the true worship with that of Idols and for that reason God said 7 have lifted up mine hand against them.

Verse 13

Eze 44:13. Just as Ezekiel was writing this verse, the Levites were in Babylon where they were destined to remain for nearly balf a century longer. While in that country they will not be permitted to perform the services of the sanctuary. And even after the return from captivity, the individuals who were stained with Idolatry will not be permitted to came near unto me saith the Lord; that will be reserved for others.

Verse 14

Eze 44:14. However, these demoted persons will be required to perform some service.

Verse 15

Eze 44:15. In all cases of iniquity there have been exceptions although they were generally In the minority. We may note the instance of Lot and his family, Noah and his family, and the ones predicted by Jesus to be in evidence at the day of judgment. Thus it was when the people of Judah went astray as a nation, there were some priests who kept the charge of the sanctuary, and they are now promised the honor of being near the Lord to minister unto Him.

Verse 16

Eze 44:16. The table is the altar described in Eze 41:22.

Verse 17

Eze 44:17. These worthy persons of the sons of Zadok were to be admitted into the sanctuary for tlie purpose of performing the services belonging to the priesthood, The wearing of linen instead of wool would be in accordance with the law of Moses.

Verse 18

Eze 44:18. The 28th chapter of Exodus gives the instructions for making the garments of tile priests. It may be noted that linen was used extensively, while no mention is made of any woolen material for any of the garments.

Verse 19

Eze 44:19. This verse corresponds with verses 13 and 14 in chapter 42.

Verse 20

Eze 44:20. Neither shave , , . nor grow long may seem to be a contradiction but it is not. The first refers to a practice of shaving the hair down to the skin in certain places about the head, It was a heathenish custom and God’s people were forbidden to follow it (Lev 21:1-5). The second part of the citation means they were not to neglect the hair altogether but were to poll it which means to trim it off so that it would not be regarded as long hair. (See 1Co 11:14.)

Verse 21

Eze 44:21. The reason for this law is given in Lev 10:9.

Verse 22

Eze 44:22. This verse likewise is on the same basis as the law of Moses. The restriction against marrying a widow was not applicable in the case of one who had been married to a priest before.

Verse 23

Eze 44:23. Holy and profane differ from each other in that the latter means only the thing is temporal or earthly and not religious. It does not mean necessarily that it is something wrong morally. The sons of Aaron failed to distinguish between fire that was obtained from some ordinary (profane) human source, and that which was on the altar which was holy because it came from God (Lev 9:24).

Verse 24

Eze 44:24. The priests were to render decisions when a controversy arose between the people, but it wa3 to be according to my judgments. They were not to make laws regarding the conduct of the people, for their authority consisted only in making the application of the law of the Lord.

Verse 25

Eze 44:25, The law of Moses regarded a dead person unclean, but this meant especially from a Ceremonial standpoint. There were men outside the priesthood who could take care of the dead and the priests could remain clean and always be ready to perform their own particular office. But for their near relatives an exception was made because the nearness of the relationship would sometimes make it necessary to touch them.

Verse 26

Eze 44:26. When it was necessary for a priest to handle a dead body, he was not permitted to resume his official service until he had been cleansed, which required a period of 7 days including certain ceremonies.

Verse 27

Eze 44:27. The 19th chapter of Leviticus should be studied in connection with the present group of verses, because it gives the law of cleansing under the Mosaic system. When the priest has completed the term of days required for his cleansing, he is to begin his activities by offering a sin offering. (See Lev 4:1-12 for the regulations on this subject.)

Verse 28

Verse 28. Be unto them for an inheritance. The Levites were not given possessions of estates as were the other tribes, because they were to be employed in the services around the house of God. I am their inheritance means that instead of having land from which to obtain a living, they would be cared for by the Lord through the provisions of that service which He required of them. (See 1Co 9:13.)

Verse 29

Eze 44:29, This verse states some of the details of how the priests lived from their service to God. From the sacrifices which the people of Israel brought to the altar the priests took certain portions for their food.

Verse 30

Eze 44:30. Oblations Is another name for offerings which the people were required to bring to the service. Before they could, make use of the products of the soil and herds, they must take the best of the fruit and turn it over to the priests.

Verse 31

Eze 44:31. The priests were restricted according to this verse 1n regard to the eating of certain things. For that reason the people would know better than to bring such articles to the service since these men had to “live of the things of the attar."
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Ezekiel 44". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. 1952.