The Prince of Ezekiel 46

Folks, this one just floored me when I read the passage. Normally, I have a theme and pull together Scriptures related to that theme in the study. This one however – wow! It’s all there!
But it takes some intense focus, and a really (long) detailed study of a key word before we can unravel this mystery fully. It’s mighty long, and for that I apologize – I try to keep things brief – but I think it’s well worth it in this instance.

Pull up a chair and get ready to see something really special!

The passage: Ezekiel 46: 1-18Ezekiel 46: 1-18
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

46 1 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons. 4 And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish. 5 And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. as he...: Heb. the gift of his hand 6 And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish. 7 And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 8 And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof. 9 But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it. 10 And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth. 11 And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 12 Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the LORD, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate. 13 Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning. of the...: Heb. a son of his year every...: Heb. morning by morning 14 And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD. 15 Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering. 16 Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons'; it shall be their possession by inheritance. 17 But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them. 18 Moreover the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession.  

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1 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “The gate of the inner court facing east is to be shut on the six working days, but on the Sabbath day and on the day of the New Moon it is to be opened.
2 The Prince is to enter from the outside through the portico of the gateway and stand by the gatepost. The priests are to sacrifice his burnt offering and his fellowship offerings. He is to worship at the threshold of the gateway and then go out, but the gate will not be shut until evening.
3 On the Sabbaths and New Moons the people of the land are to worship in the presence of the LORD at the entrance to that gateway.
4 The burnt offering the Prince brings to the LORD on the Sabbath day is to be six male lambs and a ram, all without defect.
5 The grain offering given with the ram is to be an ephah, and the grain offering with the lambs is to be as much as he pleases, along with a hin of oil for each ephah.
6 On the day of the New Moon he is to offer a young bull, six lambs and a ram, all without defect.
7 He is to provide as a grain offering one ephah with the bull, one ephah with the ram, and with the lambs as much as he wants to give, along with a hin of oil with each ephah.
8 When the Prince enters, he is to go in through the portico of the gateway, and he is to come out the same way.
9 When the people of the land come before the LORD at the appointed feasts, whoever enters by the north gate to worship is to go out the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate is to go out the north gate. No one is to return through the gate by which he entered, but each is to go out the opposite gate.
10 The Prince is to be among them, going in when they go in and going out when they go out.
11 At the festivals and the appointed feasts, the grain offering is to be an ephah with a bull, an ephah with a ram, and with the lambs as much as one pleases, along with a hin of oil for each ephah.
12 When the Prince provides a freewill offering to the LORD — whether a burnt offering or fellowship offerings — the gate facing east is to be opened for him. He shall offer his burnt offering or his fellowship offerings as he does on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he has gone out, the gate will be shut.
13 Every day you are to provide a year-old lamb without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD;  morning by morning you shall provide it.
14 You are also to provide with it morning by morning a grain offering, consisting of a sixth of an ephah with a third of a hin of oil to moisten the flour. The presenting of this grain offering to the LORD is a lasting ordinance.
15 So the lamb and the grain offering and the oil shall be provided morning by morning for a regular burnt offering.
16 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: If the Prince makes a gift from his inheritance to one of his sons, it will also belong to his descendants; it is to be their property by inheritance.
17 If, however, he makes a gift from his inheritance to one of his servants, the servant may keep it until the year of freedom; then it will revert to the prince. His inheritance belongs to his sons only; it is theirs.
18 The Prince must not take any of the inheritance of the people, driving them off their property. He is to give his sons their inheritance out of his own property, so that none of my people will be separated from his property.”

First, let’s talk about Israel’s princes.

I pulled out Strong’s Concordance (a dictionary for the Bible) and looked up “prince”, to find every reference made to Israel’s Prince. See, I recall plenty of references and passages regarding Israel’s Kings, and Judges, and Prophets, but I didn’t ever hear about any Princes.

In Numbers, I see that the leaders of the Twelve Tribes were referred to as “princes,” but I don’t see this designation coming from God – nor do I see one Prince in charge of the nation or the Temple, such as is seen in the Ezekiel passage.

In 2 Samuel, Abner is referred to as a prince, but again not one of Israel. The first occurrence we see of a Prince ruling Israel in its entirety by order and with consent of God comes when Solomon was king.

Israel was united for the first time – and, as it turned out, the last. The country would be split into two parts – Judah in the south and Israel in the north. Not until after 3,000 years had passed would a single nation called Israel possess that land again.

So who’s the Prince??

We see more mentions of princes but still not over the whole of Israel or with God’s consent – until we get to Isaiah:

“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6Isaiah 9:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  

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Hmm! What to make of this? We know this is a prophecy. We know the “us” refers to Israel. And the Prince in this passage is God. Let’s see what else we find…

The next reference to Israel’s Prince comes in Ezekiel 34:24Ezekiel 34:24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.  

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“I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be Prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.” (Ezekiel 34:24Ezekiel 34:24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.  

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Now David was long dead by this point, so what we have here is another prophecy – one of the Messiah! (Even ancient targums of the Jewish scholars read this passage in such a fashion.)

In chapter 40, Ezekiel is given a vision by God of the new Temple that lasts throughout the remainder of the book. We’re introduced to the Prince in chapter 44:

“The Prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the Presence of the LORD. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.” (Ezekiel 44:3Ezekiel 44:3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

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.  

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This is a stunning development!! Consider that the only man allowed to enter the Holy of Holies since the time of Moses and Aaron was the High Priest – and only then on the Day of Atonement! He certainly wouldn’t be having a nosh and kicking back chatting with the Lord. The High Priest was to come in with the blood of the sacrifice and sprinkle it over the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant. So to have this Prince from Ezekiel coming in, sitting (!!) in the doorway and eating while God Himself is present, this is something altogether new and different! Who is this Prince??

Someone special indeed!! We see in Ezekiel 45:7-8Ezekiel 45:7-8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy portion, and before the possession of the city, from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward: and the length shall be over against one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border. 8 In the land shall be his possession in Israel: and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes.  

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that he has land in Israel given to him! The Levites and sons of Aaron received no inheritance of the land when they came into Canaan. (Their cities were given by lot from the other tribes – check Joshua 21.) The Levites’ service to the Lord in His Temple was to be their inheritance. Even in this chapter, the Levites are only given land to live in by the Temple – not land to farm or earn a keep from. Yet this Prince receives special land – all the land surrounding the Temple (and the Levites’ living areas) up to the point where a tribal inheritance begins. He gets the whole city!

Onto Ezekiel 45:16-17Ezekiel 45:16-17
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

16 All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. shall...: Heb. shall be for for: or, with 17 And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. peace...: or, thank offerings  

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, we see again the Prince is serving in the role of High Priest “to make atonement for the House of Israel.” Unheard of! The last time that happened, King Saul tried to make sacrifice for the nation because he was too impatient to wait for the prophet of the Lord to arrive and do it properly. (1 Samuel 13:91 Samuel 13:9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

9 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.  

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)  It was to be Saul’s downfall – God did not want the King acting as the Priest.

In Ezekiel 45:22Ezekiel 45:22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering.  

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, the Prince provides a sin offering for himself and the whole of Israel on the first day of the Passover.

Then we get to chapter 46 – which I’ll be at in a moment, I promise. I just want to be sure we’re clear on who this Prince of Israel is.

In Daniel 8:11Daniel 8:11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. to: or, against by him: or, from him  

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(the next Princely reference for Israel), we see that a power of the world stage sets itself up against the “Prince of the host” and “takes away the daily sacrifice to him” and “brings low” the “place of his (the Prince’s) sanctuary.” Doesn’t take a cryptologist to figure out that the Prince here is the Lord. We see it again in Daniel 8:25Daniel 8:25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. peace: or, prosperity  

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.

And just in case we had any remaining doubts on the identity of the Prince of Israel, we get to Daniel 9:25Daniel 9:25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. be built...: Heb. return and be built wall: or, breach, or, ditch troublous: Heb. strait of  

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“”Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’, and sixty-two ‘sevens.’…” (Dan. 9:25Dan. 9:25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. be built...: Heb. return and be built wall: or, breach, or, ditch troublous: Heb. strait of  

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Are we all clear on this? The Prince of Israel is the Messiah – and the High Priest – and God Himself.

So – let’s get to Ezekiel 46!

1 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “The gate of the inner court facing east is to be shut on the six working days, but on the Sabbath day and on the day of the New Moon it is to be opened.”

The Golden Gate, the one facing East and providing entry to the sanctuary, is only to be opened on the Lord’s day of rest. Did you know that there’s a Jewish tradition that the Messiah will enter Jerusalem using this very gate?
Saladin, the Muslim caliph who ruled Jerusalem in the Middle Ages, was so frightened of this that he had the gate sealed up with brick and mortar! And it has remained in that condition ever since.

2-3 “The Prince is to enter from the outside through the portico of the gateway and stand by the gatepost. The priests are to sacrifice his burnt offering and his fellowship offerings. He is to worship at the threshold of the gateway and then go out, but the gate will not be shut until evening. On the Sabbaths and New Moons the people of the land are to worship in the presence of the LORD at the entrance to that gateway.”

The Prince must enter the sanctuary from the outside and wait at the door. The door is opened, for him, and then it is left open until the day is complete. Only after it has been opened will the sacrifices – which he brings – be offered to the Lord. He makes offerings for sin (burnt offerings) and for fellowship. After the sacrifices are made, he leaves.

Notice that the people are to worship the Lord in the presence of the Prince who has opened the way for them!

4-7 “The burnt offering the Prince brings to the LORD on the Sabbath day is to be six male lambs and a ram, all without defect. The grain offering given with the ram is to be an ephah, and the grain offering with the lambs is to be as much as he pleases, along with a hin of oil for each ephah. On the day of the New Moon he is to offer a young bull, six lambs and a ram, all without defect. He is to provide as a grain offering one ephah with the bull, one ephah with the ram, and with the lambs as much as he wants to give, along with a hin of oil with each ephah.”

The Prince brings the necessary requirements for the sacrifice on behalf of the people. The people bring nothing, but merely worship at the gate.

8 “When the Prince enters, he is to go in through the portico of the gateway, and he is to come out the same way.”

” ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into Heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into Heaven.’ ” (Acts 1:11Acts 1:11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.  

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9 “When the people of the land come before the LORD at the appointed feasts, whoever enters by the north gate to worship is to go out the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate is to go out the north gate. No one is to return through the gate by which he entered, but each is to go out the opposite gate.”

We the people do not go out the same way we came in. If the people have had sacrifice made for them, they have a new way out. Going back to the old way is forbidden!

10 “The Prince is to be among them, going in when they go in and going out when they go out.”

How easy is this? Birth and death? The Prince is to be among us, from start to finish.

11 “At the festivals and the appointed feasts, the grain offering is to be an ephah with a bull, an ephah with a ram, and with the lambs as much as one pleases, along with a hin of oil for each ephah.”

Again, at the proper times, the Prince brings the required offerings and makes the sacrifice. (Later note – there may be more to find here. There’s no filler in Scripture, and – for all I know – an ephah may be ridiculously large amount when compared to a regular grain offering.)

12 “When the Prince provides a freewill offering to the LORD — whether a burnt offering or fellowship offerings — the gate facing east is to be opened for him. He shall offer his burnt offering or his fellowship offerings as he does on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he has gone out, the gate will be shut.”

Lots here in this verse!

First – note that the offering the Prince makes is a free-will offering! The offering itself is a burnt (for sin) or fellowship offering (for a right relationship), but it is from the Prince’s free will. And when the offering is made, no other sacrifice is needed – the Gate is shut!

13-15 “Every day you are to provide a year-old lamb without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD; morning by morning you shall provide it. You are also to provide with it morning by morning a grain offering,
consisting of a sixth of an ephah with a third of a hin of oil to moisten the flour. The presenting of this grain offering to the LORD is a lasting ordinance. So the lamb and the grain offering and the oil shall be provided morning by morning for a regular burnt offering.”

Whoa! Looks like we have to bring something too! No mention of the prince here! But it’s a lasting ordinance!

What must we bring? A lamb with out defect for a burnt sin offering, first thing every morning. And an offering from what we have (flour from grain, mixed with oil) as a thanksgiving offering for His provenance.

The parallel should be clear.

16 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘If the Prince makes a gift from his inheritance to one of his sons, it will also belong to his descendants; it is to be their property by inheritance.’ “

The parallel?

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.

And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” (Romans 8:15-17Romans 8:15-17
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  

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17 “If, however, he makes a gift from his inheritance to one of his servants, the servant may keep it until the year of freedom; then it will revert to the prince. His inheritance belongs to his sons only; it is theirs.”

The Year of Freedom (aka Jubilee) was once every 50 years, when slaves went free and all debts were cancelled.

But notice that while servants enjoy the benefits of the Prince’s inheritance, they do not receive it – only the sons of the Prince do!

And, finally….

18 “The Prince must not take any of the inheritance of the people, driving them off their property. He is to give his sons their inheritance out of his own property, so that none of my people will be separated from his property.”

What the Prince gives, he gives from what he has and has been given. It is his to give as he chooses.

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28-30John 10:28-30
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.  

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What a great portrayal of the work of the Messiah all the way back in Ezekiel! The Third Temple he spoke of hasn’t yet appeared, but the Prince he tells us about certainly has! And we can see more and more how Jesus did exactly what He was called to do.

Praise the Lord!