The feast of Passover (Ezek 45:21-45:22)

“In the first month,

On the fourteenth day

Of the month,

You shall celebrate

The festival

Of the Passover.

For seven days

Unleavened bread

Shall be eaten.

On that day

The prince shall provide

For himself,

As well as for all the people

Of the land,

A young bull

For a sin offering.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, reiterated the time of Passover celebration, the 14th day of the 1st month. During 7 days, they would eat only unleavened bread, the traditional Passover celebration food. On the day of Passover itself, the prince would offer a young bull for a sin offering for himself and all the people of the land.

The food habits of the priests (Ezek 44:29-44:31)

“They shall eat

The grain offering,

The sin offering,

The guilt offering.

Every devoted thing

In Israel

Shall be theirs.

The first of all

The first fruits

Of all kinds

Shall belong

To the priests.

Every offering

Of all kinds,

From all your offerings,

Shall belong

To the priests.

You shall also give

To the priests

The first of your dough.

Thus,

A blessing may rest

On your house.

The priests shall not eat

Of anything,

Whether bird

Or animal,

That died of itself

Or was torn by animals.”

The Zadok Levitical priests had strict dietary habits that were very favorable to them. They were to eat all the various offerings that the people of Israel presented, the grain offerings, the sin offerings, the guilt offerings, or any devoted thing in Israel. They would also get the first fruits of all kinds, including the cooked dough. All these food items belonged to the priests. Giving them to the priests meant that your house would have a blessing. However, these priests were not allowed to eat any bird or animal that had died by itself or was mangled by another animal.

The closed special eastern outer gate (Ezek 44:1-44:3)

“Then Yahweh

Brought me back

To the outer gate

Of the sanctuary,

That faced east.

It was shut.

Yahweh said to me.

‘This gate shall

Remain shut.

It shall not be opened.

No one shall enter

By it.

Yahweh,

The God of Israel,

Has entered

By it.

Therefore,

It shall remain shut.

Only the prince,

Because he is a prince,

May sit in it

To eat food

Before Yahweh.

He shall enter

By way

Of the vestibule

Of the gate.

He shall go out

By the same way.’”

Yahweh brought Ezekiel back to the closed outer eastern gate. He told Ezekiel that this gate was to remain closed and never opened, because Yahweh, the God of Israel, had come through that gate. Thus, no one else was going to be allowed to use this eastern gate. The only exception was that of a prince, who, being a prince, could sit and eat food in the vestibule of that gate. However, he was not to enter or leave through that gate, because that was Yahweh’s special gate.

The holy chambers (Ezek 42:13-42:13)

“Then he said to me.

‘The north chambers

As well as the south chambers,

Opposite the vacant area,

Are the holy chambers.

There the priests,

Who approach Yahweh,

Shall eat

The most holy offerings.

There they shall deposit

The most holy offerings,

The cereal offering,

The sin offering,

The guilt offering.

This place is holy.’”

Once again, the bronze man appeared on the scene to explain to Ezekiel the purpose for these rooms or chambers on the north and the south side. These rooms or chambers were for the priests to eat the various offerings that took place in the Debir, the Holy of holies, the place of Yahweh. There in these chambers, the priests would put the holy offerings, that is the cereal offerings, the sin offerings, and the guilt offerings. Thus, these rooms became holy.

The great feast (Ezek 39:17-39:17)

“As for you!

Son of man!

Thus says Yahweh God!

Speak to the birds

Of every sort!

Speak to all

The wild animals!

‘Assemble!

Come!

Gather from all around

To the sacrificial feast

That I am preparing

For you.

This will be

A great sacrificial feast

On the mountains

Of Israel.

You shall eat

Flesh.

You shall drink

Blood.’”

Once again, Yahweh called Ezekiel, the son of man, to speak to the various birds and the wild animals. They were all to gather at a sacrificial feast that Yahweh was preparing on the mountains of Israel, where they would eat flesh and drink blood. Yahweh seemed to imply that the birds and the animals would sacrifice themselves for Yahweh.

 

Yahweh returns them to the good pastures of Israel (Ezek 34:13-34:15)

“‘I will bring them

Out from the various people.

I will gather them

From the various countries.

I will bring them

Into their own land.

I will feed them

On the mountains

Of Israel.

They will be

By the water fountains,

In all the inhabited places

Of the country.

I will feed them

With good pasture.

The mountain heights

Of Israel

Shall be their pasture.

They shall lie down there

In good grazing land.

They shall feed

On rich pasture

On the mountains

Of Israel.

I myself

Will be the shepherd

Of my sheep.

I will make them

Lie down.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Somewhat reminiscent of Psalm 23 about the good shepherd, Yahweh, their God, said that he was going to bring all his lost sheep together from the various countries where they had been. They were going to go back to their own land. Yahweh was going to feed them on the mountains of Israel with flowing water in all the inhabited places of their country. He was going to feed them from the good pastures in the mountain heights of Israel. There they would lie down in this good grazing land. They would eat from the rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. Yahweh was going to be their shepherd, the good shepherd of his sheep. He was going to make them lie down in great green pastures.

The sea dragon in the wilderness (Ezek 29:5-29:7)

“I will fling you

Into the wilderness.

You!

With all the fish

Of your channels!

You shall fall

In the open field!

You will not be gathered.

You will not be buried.

I have given you

As food

To the animals

Of the earth,

To the birds

Of the air.

Then all the inhabitants

Of Egypt

Shall know

That I am Yahweh.

Because they were

A staff of the reed

To the house of Israel.

When they grasped you

With the hand,

You broke down.

You tore

All their shoulders.

When they leaned

On you,

You broke down.

You made

All their legs

Unsteady.”

Yahweh was going to fling this sea dragon of Pharaoh, with all his fish in the Nile River channels, into the wilderness. They would then fall into an open field, where they would not be gathered or buried. The animals of the earth and the birds of the air would then eat them as food as they lay in the open fields. Then all the inhabitants of Egypt would know that Yahweh was God. They were like a reed to the house of Israel. When they grasped this dragon and his fish with their hands, they broke down. They tore all their shoulders when they leaned on these fish. Their legs became unsteady.