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.
Notes on Chapter 46
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.
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, Numbers 15:4-12.
He that entereth in by the way of the north,
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.
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.
Thou shalt prepare it every morning.
The evening offering is entirely omitted, which makes an important difference between this and the old laws. See Exodus 29:31-46.
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.
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 Ezekiel 44:4,5, to this chapter. From that gate, (see plan Q.) See Clarke on Ezekiel 48:35. 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.) See Clarke on Ezekiel 48:35. 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.) See Clarke on Ezekiel 48:35. They did not boil there the flesh of all sorts of victims, there were other kitchens appointed for that, (see PP:) See Clarke on Ezekiel 48:35. 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.
Part of this, and of the sin-offering, and the flour-offering was the portion of the priests. See Numbers 18:9,10.
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."