Our lesson is on the temple ordinances during the millennial reign of Jesus.
Ordinances of the east gate, Ezek 44:1-3
The east gate shall be shut because the Lord had entered by it, v.1-2. The east gate is only for the prince to enter and go out, v.3. He shall eat bread in this gate. David will be the prince, Ezek 37:25.
Ordinances of the house, Ezek 44:4-8
Among the temple ordinances are ordinances for the house. Ezekiel was instructed by the Lord to mark well, behold, and hear all the ordinances of the house, v.5. Israel had polluted the house before with their abominations, v.6. They brought in strangers, when they offered the bread, the fat and the blood, and they broke God’s covenant, v.7. They didn’t keep the charge they had been given but set their own keepers over the holy things, v.8. See 2 Ki 22:15-17; 23:3-14, for example. They will do this sane thing and even worse during the Tribulation when the antichrist enters the temple and sets up the abomination desolation.
Ordinances of the Levites, Ezek 44:9-14
Also among the temple ordinances are ordinances for the Levites. No stranger is to enter the sanctuary whether uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, v.9. The Levites that went away after their idols shall bear their iniquity, v.10. Nevertheless, they shall be ministers in the sanctuary. They’ll have charge of the gates and the house, v.11 & 14. They’ll slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice, and they shall minister unto the people, v.11. The Levites were charged with the service of the tabernacle in Num 3. And in Solomon’s temple they served, as in 2 Chr 5:4-5, 12; 7:6; 8:14.
However, they shall not come near to the Lord or the holy things in the most holy place to do the office of a priest, because they ministered before the idols and caused Israel to fall into iniquity, v.12-13. They shall bear their shame and their abominations that they have committed.
Ordinances of the sons of Zadok, Ezek 44:15-31
Sons of Zadok
The sons of Zadok are not descendants of Eli, 1 Sam 3:11-14. In 2 Chr 13:9-10 these priests didn’t follow Jeroboam. And Zadok, in particular, 1 Ki 1:7-8, remained with David and Solomon when Adonijah attempted to take the throne. They kept the charge of the sanctuary and they will come near to the Lord to minister and to offer the fat and the blood, v.15. They will enter the sanctuary and minister to the Lord, v.16. These priests are an encouragement to Bible believers to stand fast against the tide of apostasy in our generation.
In the inner court, they will be clothed with linen garments and not wool, v.17; Ex 28. They won’t wear anything that causes sweat, v.18. When they return to the utter court, they will put off the linen garments and lay them in the holy chambers. They will wear other garments to keep from sanctifying the people, v.19.
Hair, Wine, and Wives
They shall not shave their heads or grow their hair long. They will poll their heads, v.20, meaning they will cut off the ends of their hair, like a haircut. They are not to drink wine in the inner court, v.21. They are to only marry Jewish maidens or widows of priests, v.22. See Lev 21:13-14.
Teaching, Judgment, and Dead persons
They are to teach the people the difference between the holy and profane, the clean and the unclean, v.23. And they will judge when there is controversy, v.24. They are to keep the laws and hallow the sabbaths. See Lev 10:8-11. They shall not defile themselves by being in the presence of dead people other than immediate family and virgin sisters, v.25.
After being cleansed seven days, the priest may offer and eat his sin offering, v.26-29. The Lord is their inheritance, Num 18:20; they will have no inheritance of land in Israel, Deut 18:1-2. The meat, sin, and trespass offerings are theirs. They will also receive the first fruits of everything, every oblation, and the first of the peoples’ dough, v.30. However, they aren’t allowed to eat anything that dies of itself or is torn, v.31.
Conclusion: You may be wondering why the Jews will be sacrificing in the millennium. We’ll answer that question in our next lesson. To study the prior lesson, see More Temple Descriptions. To study the next lesson, see Holy Portion and Prince’s Ordinances.