God gave Ezekiel more instructions for any future prince that ruled Israel as well as further directions for the sacrifices. Ezekiel was also shown more of the rooms in the Temple.
Does God issue any commands?
- The gate of the inner court facing east shall be closed on the six working days but opened on the sabbath and new moon.
- The priests shall prepare the prince's burnt offering and his peace offerings as the Prince stands by the post of the gate. Then the prince shall worship at the threshold of the gate. After that He will go out but the gate will not be shut until the evening. Someone is to be appointed to shut the gate. (That brings to mind David's saying in Psalm 84:10 about being a doorkeeper for the LORD.)
- The people will also worship the LORD there in the sabbaths and new moons.
- The prince will offer to the LORD 6 lambs and a ram, and a meat offering on each sabbath. On the day of each new moon He will offer a young bullock, six lambs, and a ram, also a meat offering.
- The prince will enter and exit through the East Gate but the people will enter through the North Gate and exit through the South Gate and vice versa.
- During feasts and solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah per bullock and an ephah per ram, and an hin of oil per the lambs.
- A lamb of the first year shall be prepared as a burnt offering and also a meat offering will be prepared each morning.
- If the prince had sons he could give them land which would then become theirs by right of inheritance. And if the prince gave servants land it would return to the prince's possession during the year of liberty (Jubilee). The prince was not allowed to take the inheritance of another by force. (Remember Ahab and Naboth's vineyard?)
Does God make any promises?
- The Prince shall enter by the porch by the East Gate.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- Jesus is the true Prince of Israel. He will enter the Temple through the East Gate and will worship His Father.
- The sacrifices mentioned are all pictures of the atoning work of Jesus.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- Many of the instructions given by God appear to be in theory only as they pertained to the coming temple of Zerubbabel and that of Herod. No prince of the line of David ever ruled Israel during those times so no prince ever gave a gift of inheritance to a son or a gift to his servants that would then be returned to the prince in the year of liberty (a Jubilee year) but this should not be of concern. ("If" is a very important word in verses 16-17.) It is no different than when God gave His exact standards, or commandments, to Moses for the people to follow as their covenant with Him knowing full well that they would not be able to keep them. These are the standards and we cannot keep them. If Israel had not broken the covenant the nation would not have gone into captivity and the ruling family of David would have reigned continuously and followed the standards set down for the ruling prince. However, since all that did happen, the Son of David (Jesus) had to be made the sacrifice and those who worship Him are then His sons and servants. I believe that this passage deals with the future Temple during the 1000 year reign of Christ upon the earth.