1Thus 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.
Ordinances of worship prescribed for the prince and for the people, 1-15; and the gifts he may bestow on his sons and servants, 16-18. A description of the courts appointed for boiling or baking any part of the holy oblations, 19-24.
2And 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.
4And 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.
4 Verse 4. The burnt-offerings that the prince shall offer] The chief magistrate was always obliged to attend the public worship of God, as well as the priest, to show that the civil and ecclesiastical states were both under the same government of the Lord; and that no one was capable of being prince or priest, who did not acknowledge God in all his ways. It is no wonder that those lands mourn, where neither the established priest nor the civil magistrate either fear or love God. Ungodly priests and profligate magistrates are a curse to any land. In no country have I found both so exemplary for uprightness, as in Britain.
7And 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.
7 Verse 7. According as his hand shall attain unto] According to his ability, to what the providence of God has put in his hand, i.e., his power. This proportion of offerings is different from that prescribed by the Mosaic law, .
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.
9 Verse 9. He that entereth in by the way of the north, &c.] As the north and the south gates were opposite to each other, he that came in at the north must go out at the south; he that came in at the south must go out at the north. No person was to come in at the east gate, because there was no gate at the west; and the people were not permitted to turn round and go out at the same place by which they came in; for this was like turning their backs on God, and the decorum and reverence with which public worship was to be conducted would not admit of this. Besides, returning by the same way must have occasioned a great deal of confusion, where so many people must have jostled each other, in their meetings in different parts of this space.
10And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth.
10 Verse 10. And the prince in the midst of them] Even he shall act in the same way: he must also go straight forward, and never turn his back to go out at the same gate by which he entered. The prince and the people were to begin and end their worship at the same time.
12Now 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.
14And 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.
17But 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.
17 Verse 17. To the year of liberty] That is, to the year of jubilee, called the year of liberty, because there was then a general release. All servants had their liberty, and all alienated estates returned to their former owners.
18Moreover 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.
19 ¶ After he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north: and, behold, there was a place on the two sides westward.
19 Verse 19. He brought me thorough the entry] The prophet had entered by the north gate of the court of the priests, where he had seen, a little before, the glory of the Lord, and where he had received all those directions from , to this chapter. From that gate, (see plan Q.) , he entered the vestibule by a gate which was by the side of the apartments of the priests, which were along this aisle, (see S.) , to the right of the vestibule towards the west. At the extremity of a row of chambers, he remarked, at the west, the place where they boiled the flesh of the sin-offerings, (see T.) . They did not boil there the flesh of all sorts of victims, there were other kitchens appointed for that, (see PP:) , but that only which could not be eaten but in the outer court, and by the priests which were sanctified; such were the parts of the offerings for sins of commission and ignorance, and the offerings of flour with which they were accompanied.
20Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear them not out into the utter court, to sanctify the people.
20 Verse 20. The trespass-offering] Part of this, and of the sin-offering, and the flour-offering was the portion of the priests. See .
23And there was a row of building round about in them, round about them four, and it was made with boiling places under the rows round about.
23 Verse 23. It was made with boiling places] These were uncovered apartments, where they kept fires for dressing those parts of the peace-offerings, which were made in the temple by individuals through a principle of devotion. On these their families and their friends feasted; and portions were sent to the poor, the widows, and the orphans. And thus the spirit of devotion was the means of preserving the spirit of mercy, charity, and benevolence in the land. How true is that word, "Godliness is profitable for all things."