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In Ezekiel chapters 44 and 45 today we see the priesthood restored to Israel! It's interesting that the Levites are taken down a notch in how they can serve in the temple and the Zadokites are elevated. Zadok was a priest during the time of David & Solomon and a descendent of Eleazar and ultimately Aaron. Below is a fresco of Zadok by Michelangelo from the year 1611 and is in the Capella Sistina at the Vatican in Rome:
Chapter 44, verse 28 really stood out to me today: "As to property, the priests will not have any, for I alone am their inheritance." I like that! God alone is the priests' inheritance. What is our inheritance? Is it property? Is it things of this earth? Or could our inheritance be God as well? Should God be our inheritance? How is God our inheritance? If the Lord is not our inheritance, what then do we inherit? The wind? It's an age old debate as you'll see in the image above. Where do you stand? Can we inherit eternal life through the grace of God and faith in Jesus? Or do we simply inherit the wind? (Nothingness) What does your heart tell you? Most importantly, what does the Bible tell you?
In Ezekiel chapter 45 verses 1 through 8 today we read about the division of the land for Ezekiel's temple vision. A nice simple image for these verses is below:
Ezekiel chapters 45 & 46 describe some new regulations on how offerings are to be done, when compared to the original Pentateuch regulations - primarily from Numbers chapter 28. Apparently these chapters in Ezekiel have created some reconciliation work for rabbis in the past to figure out the proper regulations. Chapter 45 verses 13 through 15 speak of taxes to the prince that must be brought and will be used as offerings for the people who bring them: ""This is the tax you must give to the prince: one bushel of wheat or barley for every sixty you harvest, one percent of your olive oil, and one sheep for every two hundred in your flocks in Israel. These will be the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings that will make atonement for the people who bring them, says the Sovereign LORD."
Verse 20 in chapter 46 did stand out at me in today's readings: "He explained, "This is where the priests will cook the meat from the guilt offerings and sin offerings and bake the flour from the grain offerings into bread. They will do it here to avoid carrying the sacrifices through the outer courtyard and harming the people by transmitting holiness to them." Per a previous chapter this goes along the lines of the priests needing to take off their clothes in a special room after being in the Temple, to avoid transmitting holiness. This is interesting to me because you would think that transmitting holiness would be a good thing. Apparently not in this case. This does remind me of when Moses was on the mountain receiving the Laws, he had to wear a veil over his face amongst the people when he came down from the mountain because his face was so radiant from being in the presence of God. I read a commentary that said this transmission of holiness, in this case in Ezekiel, was not something for the Israelites to concern themselves with, because this was a vision of a future temple. I read another commentary that made the interesting point that these passages in Ezekiel can help demonstrate the transmission of holiness from Jesus' robe to the woman who suffered from bleeding for 12 years - see Mark 5:22-34. She was healed by reaching out and touching Jesus' robe. Of course Jesus says that it was the woman's faith that healed her - not her touching his robe. It is intriguing to think about the transmission of holiness via garments or sacrifices. I'll need to do more study on the problem of "transmitting holiness" in this case in Ezekiel. If anyone has ideas about this, please post up in the comments section below. Thanks.
Worship God: Today's readings reminded me of the MercyMe song "So Long Self," which has a fun video:
Have you said So Long to your Self? Click here and say Goodbye!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!