Ezekiel 44, 45, 46: Priests, Chieftain and People in Hesekiel’s Temple

Who is allowed to enter the Temple Building?

… Pay close attention to the entryway of the temple and all the exits of the sanctuary
– Eze 44:5b

Not everybody is allowed to enter the temple building. The six guards in each gate would only permit those complying with God’s standards to enter the temple.

This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “No foreigner living in Israel who is uncircumcised in heart and in flesh may enter my sanctuary.
– Eze 44:9

Nationality does not matter, but a person needs to have a cleansed body and heart when participating in pure worship.

The Priesthood

Although most of the priests in Ezekiel’s time were the same corrupted as the leaders and common people (see Eze 8:16), some Levitical priests of the line of Zadok stayed just like Ezekiel faithful to pure worship (see Eze 48:11). Jehovah gives them the greatest privilege: to “minister to him” directly (Eze 44:15, 16) in the Inner Courtyard.

Except being themselves clean, Jehovah also requires form those priests to instruct Jehovah’s people about his standards of clean and unclean.

They should instruct my people about the difference between what is holy and what is common; and they will teach them the difference between what is unclean and what is clean.
– Eze 44:23

They are also “judges” (Eze 44:24) to carry out a theocracy and to help God’s people to “live in harmony with Jehovah’s judicial decisions”.

The Chieftain(s)

A ruler or a group of rulers (see Eze 45:8 “chieftains”) having special authority, to provide law and order and act as representatives “in behalf of the house of Israel” (Eze 45:17)

The Chieftain is on the level of the people and leads the people in their worship 

As for the chieftain who is among them [people of the land], he should come in when they come in, and he should go out when they go out.
–  Eze 46:10

The chieftain provides the sacrifices but the priests offer it to Jehovah

The priests will offer his [the chieftains] whole burnt offering and his communion sacrifices, and he will bow down at the threshold of the gate and then go out …
– Eze 46:2

The chieftain is not entering the Inner Courtyard.

It is noteworthy that in the vision the city was separate from the temple, or sanctuary. In addition, “the chieftain” was not a priest, as is indicated by the priests’ rendering up the chieftain’s “whole burnt offering and his communion sacrifices.” (Eze 46:2) So in the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision, the visionary city evidently would not picture the heavenly government of Jesus Christ and his associate kings and priests
– it-1 pp. 433-434 Chieftain

The Chieftain does not symbolize Jesus Christ or his heavenly co-rulers, because Christ is ruler and high-priest at the same time (Heb 6:20). Christ would even enter into the Most Holy (Heb 9:10).

Some donations were regulated others voluntary

“‘Each day you should provide a sound male lamb in its first year as a whole burnt offering to Jehovah. You should do this morning by morning.
– Eze 46:13

If the chieftain provides a whole burnt offering or communion sacrifices as a voluntary offering to Jehovah …
– Eze 46:12

The Chieftain has to make sure justice is practiced in all affairs of life

‘You should use accurate scales, an accurate eʹphah measure and an accurate bath measure.
– Eze 45:10

“Dishonest scales are detestable to Jehovah” (Pr 11:1) and Jehovah repeats this thought in serval bible books. Justice in business affairs is a requirement for a friend of God.

The People

Weekly Worship Routine

The people of the land will also bow down before Jehovah at the entrance of that gate on the Sabbaths and on the new moons.
– Eze 46:3

All inhabitant participate in a weekly worship, new moons, and festivals.

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