Ezek. 45:1 “‘And on your dividing the land by lot to be an inheritance, you shall contribute an offering to the Lord of a holy portion out of the land of length twenty-five thousand long and of breadth ten thousand; it shall be a holy place within all the border everywhere.’
This verse continues the words Ezekiel is directed to say to the house of Israel more >>
יִהְיֶה מִזֶּה אֶל־הַקֹּדֶשׁ חֲמֵשׁ מֵאֹות בַּחֲמֵשׁ מֵאֹות מְרֻבָּע סָבִיב וַחֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה מִגְרָשׁ לֹו סָבִיב׃ 45:2
Ezek. 45:2 ‘Out of this there shall be, concerning the holy place, five hundred by five hundred, squared all around, and fifty cubits of open land for it all around.’
Ezek. 45:3 ‘And from this measurement you shall measure a length twenty-five thousand and a breadth of ten thousand, and in it shall be the sanctuary, the Holiest of Holy Places.’
The word in the parentheses is missing a heh suffix. The correction is in the brackets.
קֹדֶשׁ מִן־הָאָרֶץ הוּא לַכֹּהֲנִים מְשָׁרְתֵי הַמִּקְדָּשׁ יִהְיֶה הַקְּרֵבִים לְשָׁרֵת אֶת־יְהוָה וְהָיָה לָהֶם מָקֹום 45:4 לְבָתִּים וּמִקְדָּשׁ לַמִּקְדָּשׁ׃
Ezek. 45:4 ‘A holy portion out of the land, it shall be for the priests, the ministers of the sanctuary, who will be coming near to serve the Lord; and it shall be for them a place for houses and a sacred place for the sanctuary.’
Where was the Temple to be situated in this area? Would it be near one edge, the western edge, so that the common people could reach it without going through the priests’ homes? If not, how would the commoners of the house of Israel get to the Temple grounds? Could they travel through the priests’ area? None of these questions can be answered from the description Ezekiel has left us. The sages thought the Temple was in the center of the area.
וַחֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים אֶלֶף אֹרֶךְ וַעֲשֶׂרֶת אֲלָפִים רֹחַב (יִהְיֶה) [וְהָיָה] לַלְוִיִּם מְשָׁרְתֵי הַבַּיִת לָהֶם 45:5
לַאֲחֻזָּה עֶשְׂרִים לְשָׁכֹת׃
Ezek. 45:5 ‘Then twenty-five thousand a length and ten thousand a breadth shall be for the Levites, the ministers of the house, for them for a possession of twenty rooms.’
Well, I’m quite certain the word in the parentheses is not an error. The vav in the correction in the brackets would make the translation unnecessarily different, adding an and where is doesn’t belong.
וַאֲחֻזַּת הָעִיר תִּתְּנוּ חֲמֵשֶׁת אֲלָפִים רֹחַב וְאֹרֶךְ חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים אֶלֶף לְעֻמַּת תְּרוּמַת הַקֹּדֶש 45:6ׁ לְכָל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל יִהְיֶה׃
Ezek. 45:6 ‘And you shall appoint a possession of the city of five thousand a breadth and a length of twenty-five thousand alongside the offering of the holy portion; it shall be for all the house of Israel.’
This portion allocated to the house of Israel was apparently for those among the Jews who lived in Jerusalem. Why did they need this area? Would they not have been able to live in their tribe’s portion? Perhaps their livelihood would require them to be close to the Temple and the priesthood. Possibly among them would be the prince’s servants and workers and other craftsmen.
The three areas allocated so far total 25,000 cubits by 25,000 cubits. This is a large territory, totaling more than 73.3 square miles (about 8.6 miles on a side). Incidentally, if the unit of measurement were the reed, this area would be over 2,640 square miles, a little less than one-third the area of present-day Israel.
וְלַנָּשִׂיא מִזֶּה וּמִזֶּה לִתְרוּמַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְלַאֲחֻזַּת הָעִיר אֶל־פְּנֵי תְרוּמַת־הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְאֶל־פְּנֵי אֲחֻזַּת הָעִיר 45:7 מִפְּאַת־יָם יָמָּה וּמִפְּאַת־קֵדְמָה קָדִימָה וְאֹרֶךְ לְעֻמֹּות אַחַד הַחֲלָקִים מִגְּבוּל יָם אֶל־גְּבוּל קָדִימָה׃
Ezek. 45:7 ‘And for the prince, from one side and the other to the offering of the holy portion and to the possession of the city, at the front of the offering of the holy portion and at the front of the possession of the city, from the side west westward and from the side east eastward and a length the same as one of the portions from the border east to the border east.’
לָאָרֶץ יִהְיֶה־לֹּו לַאֲחֻזָּה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא־יֹונוּ עֹוד נְשִׂיאַי אֶת־עַמִּי וְהָאָרֶץ יִתְּנוּ לְבֵית־יִשְׂרָאֵל 45:8
Ezek. 45:8 ‘It shall be for a land for him for a possession in Israel, and My princes shall not oppress My people any more, and they shall give the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes.’
כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה רַב־לָכֶם נְשִׂיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חָמָס וָשֹׁד הָסִירוּ וּמִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה עֲשׂוּ הָרִימוּ 45:9
גְרֻשֹׁתֵיכֶם מֵעַל עַמִּי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃
Ezek. 45:9 ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord: Let it be enough for you, princes of Israel! Put away cruelty and violence, and do justice and righteousness! Lift up your expropriations from My people, declares the Master, the Lord.’
מֹאזְנֵי־צֶדֶק וְאֵיפַת־צֶדֶק וּבַת־צֶדֶק יְהִי לָכֶם׃ 45:10
Ezek. 45:10 ‘Balances of justice and a just ephah and a just bath shall be yours.’
הָאֵיפָה וְהַבַּת תֹּכֶן אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לָשֵׂאת מַעְשַׂר הַחֹמֶר הַבָּת וַעֲשִׂירִת הַחֹמֶר הָאֵיפָה אֶל־הַחֹמֶר 45:11 יִהְיֶה מַתְכֻּנְתֹּו׃
Ezek. 45:11 ‘The ephah and the bath shall be of one measurement, the bath containing the tenth part of a homer, the tenth part of a homer, the ephah; its measure shall be according to the homer.’
וְהַשֶּׁקֶל עֶשְׂרִים גֵּרָה עֶשְׂרִים שְׁקָלִים חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים שְׁקָלִים עֲשָׂרָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה שֶׁקֶל הַמָּנֶה יִהְיֶה 45:12 לָכֶם׃
Ezek. 45:12 ‘And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels, twenty-five shekels, fifteen shekels the maneh shall be for you.’
It’s virtually impossible to understand what this verse is saying. And there’s quite a bit of disagreement about it. Part of the reason, in fact, maybe all of it, is due to the three-word Hebrew phrase עֲשָׂרָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה שֶׁקֶל, which should be translated as ten and five shekels. One problem with this phrase is that no one knows where the punctuation should be located. And depending on the placement of the punctuation, the verse can convey different meanings. Another problem is that the phrase may or may not be translatable as fifteen shekels. Whenever a number in the teens is encountered in the bible, it’s always written as x and ten, where x is a number smaller than ten. In other words, thirteen would be written as three and ten, fourteen as four and ten, etc. Here the number appears as ten and x, x being five, reversed from all the other times such a number appears. So some say the maneh is fifty shekels (by changing the word for five to the word for fifty and ignoring the part of the verse mentioning the other shekels. Others conclude that the maneh is sixty shekels. I personally believe sixty shekels is correct, because I assume the above phrase should be translated as fifteen shekels (I accept that this is controversial) and most of the numbers in the verse, the twenty, twenty-five and fifteen (totaling 60), are equal to the maneh. The belief of those who support this conclusion is that the three numbers are the denominations used in trade in those days.
זֹאת הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר תָּרִימוּ שִׁשִּׁית הָאֵיפָה מֵחֹמֶר הַחִטִּים וְשִׁשִּׁיתֶם הָאֵיפָה מֵחֹמֶר הַשְּׂעֹרִים׃ 45:13
Ezek. 45:13 ‘This is the offering that you shall contribute: The sixth part of an ephah out of a homer of wheat, and you shall give the sixth part of an ephah out of a homer of barley,
וְחֹק הַשֶּׁמֶן הַבַּת הַשֶּׁמֶן מַעְשַׂר הַבַּת מִן־הַכֹּר עֲשֶׂרֶת הַבַּתִּים חֹמֶר כִּי־עֲשֶׂרֶת הַבַּתִּים חֹמֶר׃ 45:14
Ezek. 45:14 and the prescribed portion of oil, the bath of oil, the tithe of the bath out of the cor, ten baths being a homer (for ten baths are a homer),
The cor is the same as a homer, ten baths. So the tithe of the bath is a hundredth part of a cor.
וְשֶׂה־אַחַת מִן־הַצֹּאן מִן־הַמָּאתַיִם מִמַּשְׁקֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמִנְחָה וּלְעֹולָה וְלִשְׁלָמִים לְכַפֵּר עֲלֵיהֶם נְאֻם 45:15 אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃
Ezek. 45:15 and one lamb from the flock out of two hundred from the watered region of Israel, for a meal offering and for a burnt offering and for peace offerings to make atonement according to them, declares the Master, the Lord.’
I have to ask, were these to be the tithe of the future? Apparently not. They appear to be gifts to the prince so he could provide the appropriate offerings to the Temple, as specified below. According to the next verse, everyone is to make this contribution.
כֹּל הָעָם הָאָרֶץ יִהְיוּ אֶל־הַתְּרוּמָה הַזֹּאת לַנָּשִׂיא בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל׃ 45:16
Ezek. 45:16 ‘All the people of the land shall be present concerning this offering for the prince in Israel.’
וְעַל־הַנָּשִׂיא יִהְיֶה הָעֹולֹות וְהַמִּנְחָה וְהַנֵּסֶךְ בַּחַגִּים וּבֶחֳדָשִׁים וּבַשַּׁבָּתֹות בְּכָל־מֹועֲדֵי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל 45:17 הוּא־יַעֲשֶׂה אֶת־הַחַטָּאת וְאֶת־הַמִּנְחָה וְאֶת־הָעֹולָה וְאֶת־הַשְּׁלָמִים לְכַפֵּר בְּעַד בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
Ezek. 45:17 ‘And the burnt offerings and the meal offering and the drink offering on the festivals and on the new moons and on the Sabbaths, in all the appointed seasons of the house of Israel, shall be on the prince. And he shall provide the sin offering and the meal offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel.’
From this verse, I gather that the people’s contributions will be for the various prescribed events of the Jewish year. The ordinary tithe might still be required for daily offerings.
כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה בָּרִאשֹׁון בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ תִּקַּח פַּר־בֶּן־בָּקָר תָּמִים וְחִטֵּאתָ אֶת־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ׃ 45:18
Ezek. 45:18 ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord: In the first, on the month's first day, you shall take a perfect young bullock, and cleanse the sanctuary of sin.’
This is the first month, the month of Passover. Oddly, the second-person pronoun in this verse is singular and there is no obvious antecedent. It’s unlikely that it’s a priest or Ezekiel, although the priest is a remote possibility (as implied by the next verse). It could be the prince, who has been referred to in the third person in the preceding verses. Typical of Ezekiel!
וְלָקַח הַכֹּהֵן מִדַּם הַחַטָּאת וְנָתַן אֶל־מְזוּזַת הַבַּיִת וְאֶל־אַרְבַּע פִּנֹּות הָעֲזָרָה לַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְעַל־מְזוּזַת 45:19 שַׁעַר הֶחָצֵר הַפְּנִימִית׃
Ezek. 45:19 ‘And the priest shall take from the blood of the sin offering and put against the door post of the house, and against the four corners of the altar's ledge, and on the door post of the gate of the inner courtyard.’
וְכֵן תַּעֲשֶׂה בְּשִׁבְעָה בַחֹדֶשׁ מֵאִישׁ שֹׁגֶה וּמִפֶּתִי וְכִפַּרְתֶּם אֶת־הַבָּיִת׃ 45:20
Ezek. 45:20 ‘And you shall do thus on the seventh day in the month on account of everyone straying and the simple-minded; so you shall purge the house.’
Another second-person singular pronoun!
בָּרִאשֹׁון בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יֹום לַחֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם הַפָּסַח חָג שְׁבֻעֹות יָמִים מַצֹּות יֵאָכֵל׃ 45:21
Ezek. 45:21 ‘In the first, on the month's fourteenth day the Passover shall be for you, a festival of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.’
Will Passover be the fourteenth day of the month or the fifteenth day? As I see this, the fourteenth day is meant to prepare for the offerings of the Passover festival, which begins on the fifteenth day, as specified by the Torah. Once more, we find a second-person pronoun with no obvious antecedent, but this one is plural and thus probably refers to the people.
וְעָשָׂה הַנָּשִׂיא בַּיֹּום הַהוּא בַּעֲדֹו וּבְעַד כָּל־עַם הָאָרֶץ פַּר חַטָּאת׃ 45:22
Ezek. 45:22 ‘And on that day the prince shall prepare on his behalf and on behalf of all the people of the land a bullock, a sin offering.’
וְשִׁבְעַת יְמֵי־הֶחָג יַעֲשֶׂה עֹולָה לַיהוָה שִׁבְעַת פָּרִים וְשִׁבְעַת אֵילִים תְּמִיםִם לַיֹּום שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים 45:23 וְחַטָּאת שְׂעִיר עִזִּים לַיֹּום׃
Ezek. 45:23 ‘And seven of the days of the festival he shall prepare a burnt offering to the Lord of seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish for each day of the seven days, and a sin offering of a male goat for each day.’
וּמִנְחָה אֵיפָה לַפָּר וְאֵיפָה לָאַיִל יַעֲשֶׂה וְשֶׁמֶן הִין לָאֵיפָה׃ 45:24
Ezek. 45:24 ‘And he shall prepare a meal offering of an ephah for each bullock, an ephah for each ram, and a hin of oil for each ephah.’
בַּשְּׁבִיעִי בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר יֹום לַחֹדֶשׁ בֶּחָג יַעֲשֶׂה כָאֵלֶּה שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים כַּחַטָּאת כָּעֹלָה וְכַמִּנְחָה 45:25 וְכַשָּׁמֶן׃
Ezek. 45:25 ‘In the seventh, on the month's fifteenth day, he shall do the same the seven days in the festival, like the sin offering, like the burnt offering, and like the meal offering, and like the oil.’”
This is the feast of tabernacles, the Sukkoth festival.