1 “When you allot the land as an inheritance, you shall set apart for the Lord a portion of the land as a holy district, 25,000 cubits long and 20,000 cubits broad. It shall be holy throughout its whole extent. 2 Of this a square plot of 500 by 500 cubits shall be for the sanctuary, with fifty cubits for an open space around it. 3 And from this measured district you shall measure off a section 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 broad, in which shall be the sanctuary, the Most Holy Place. 4 It shall be the holy portion of the land. It shall be for the priests, who minister in the sanctuary and approach the Lord to minister to him, and it shall be a place for their houses and a holy place for the sanctuary. 5 Another section, 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits broad, shall be for the Levites who minister at the temple, as their possession for cities to live in.
6 “Alongside the portion set apart as the holy district you shall assign for the property of the city an area 5,000 cubits broad and 25,000 cubits long. It shall belong to the whole house of Israel.
7 “And to the prince shall belong the land on both sides of the holy district and the property of the city, alongside the holy district and the property of the city, on the west and on the east, corresponding in length to one of the tribal portions, and extending from the western to the eastern boundary 8 of the land. It is to be his property in Israel. And my princes shall no more oppress my people, but they shall let the house of Israel have the land according to their tribes.
9 “Thus says the Lord God: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness. Cease your evictions of my people, declares the Lord God.
10 “You shall have just balances, a just ephah, and a just bath. 11 The ephah and the bath shall be of the same measure, the bath containing one tenth of a homer, and the ephah one tenth of a homer; the homer shall be the standard measure. 12 The shekel shall be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels plus twenty-five shekels plus fifteen shekels shall be your mina.
13 “This is the offering that you shall make: one sixth of an ephah from each homer of wheat, and one sixth of an ephah from each homer of barley, 14 and as the fixed portion of oil, measured in baths, one tenth of a bath from each cor (the cor, like the homer, contains ten baths). 15 And one sheep from every flock of two hundred, from the watering places of Israel for grain offering, burnt offering, and peace offerings, to make atonement for them, declares the Lord God. 16 All the people of the land shall be obliged to give this offering to the prince in Israel. 17 It shall be the prince’s duty to furnish the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the new moons, and the Sabbaths, all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel: he shall provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings, to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel.
18 “Thus says the Lord God: In the first month, on the first day of the month, you shall take a bull from the herd without blemish, and purify the sanctuary. 19 The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20 You shall do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who has sinned through error or ignorance; so you shall make atonement for the temple.
21 “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall celebrate the Feast of the Passover, and for seven days unleavened bread shall be eaten. 22 On that day the prince shall provide for himself and all the people of the land a young bull for a sin offering. 23 And on the seven days of the festival he shall provide as a burnt offering to the Lord seven young bulls and seven rams without blemish, on each of the seven days; and a male goat daily for a sin offering. 24 And he shall provide as a grain offering an ephah for each bull, an ephah for each ram, and a hin of oil to each ephah. 25 In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month and for the seven days of the feast, he shall make the same provision for sin offerings, burnt offerings, and grain offerings, and for the oil.” – Ezekiel 45:1-25 ESV
This chapter provides detailed dimensions for Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. Notice how many times God uses the term “holy” to describe this future realm. It was essential that Ezekiel understand that this future Kingdom will be like no other kingdom that has ever existed on earth.
There is a predetemined and precise layout for this Kingdom to come and there will be non-negotiable requirements for all those who inhabit it. Justice and righteousness will reign throughout the land, and God will expect His leaders to set an example.
“Enough, you princes of Israel! Stop your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Quit robbing and cheating my people out of their land. Stop expelling them from their homes, says the Sovereign Lord. Use only honest weights and scales and honest measures, both dry and liquid.” – Ezekiel 45:9-10 NLT
God seems to be going out of His way to ensure that Ezekiel understands that things will be different in this future Kingdom. Jerusalem will be under the reign and rule of the Messiah. He will sit on the throne of David and rule with righteousness and integrity. He will have a prince who rules under him and will be in charge of the city of Jerusalem and the temple grounds. This prince will be holy, righteous, and just. He will be honest and above-board, ethical in his behavior, and just in the administration of his duties – unlike the princes that had ruled in Jerusalem in the years leading up to the nation’s fall to Babylon.
For hundreds of years, the leadership in Judah had been characterized by greed, corruption, immorality, unfaithfulness, dishonesty, and disobedience to the laws of God. Even in Ezekiel’s day, the pattern continued. So God tells them, “I’ve put up with you long enough, princes of Israel! Quit bullying and taking advantage of my people. Do what’s just and right for a change” (Ezekiel 45:9 MSG).
They were guilty of embezzlement, fraud, graft, and all kinds of corruption. They had been taking advantage of the helpless and hopeless. And the corruption of the leadership had infected the people. Amos describes conditions among the people of Israel this way:
How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them. For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time. – Amos 5:10-13 NLT
Corruption is contagious. It spreads like cancer and ends up infecting everyone it touches. Violence, greed, oppression, and injustice go hand-in-hand. A nation with lousy leadership is toxic to its people. And God points out that there is a day coming when Israel’s poor leaders will be replaced with righteous and godly men. No longer will the leaders take advantage of the people. Righteousness will reign. And God’s point to Ezekiel and the leaders of his day seems to be, if that is the way it is to be in God’s Millennial Kingdom, why not pursue righteous leadership now? Why not rule justly, honestly, and righteously in the present if that is the standard for the future?
God’s vision of His future kingdom here on earth provides a glimpse into His heart. It shows us what He desires. It reveals what is important to Him. Holiness, righteousness, honesty, order, compassion, obedience, responsibility, justice – all these things will exist in His future kingdom, but they are just as important to God in the here and now. And while sin and the influence of the enemy make it impossible to practice these things perfectly, we are to pursue them passionately. We are to “do what is just and right” each and every day within those areas over which we have responsibility.
Our lives, as believers, are to be little kingdoms of righteousness in the middle of a very dark world. We of all people should be attempting to live holy and set-apart lives, doing what is just and right, so that the world might get a glimpse of what true justice, love, and mercy look like. What is important to God in the future is important to God now. So let’s make His priorities our priorities.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.