Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ezekiel, Chapters 45-48: Have ruler, will measure

Chapter 45

God and Zeke are still measuring things. Now god is giving him the dimensions of a plot of land that is to be given to the clergy. A priests' preserve, if you will. The princes are to have a similarly-sized plot right next door. The princes' task is to remove violence, stop taxing people excessively, behave justly, use honest weights and measures and currency conversions. Then all the offerings and sacrifices are laid out again.

Chapter 46

The prince gets his own door to the temple, because life is fair like that. He also has his own sacrificial quota, but he doesn't actually have to make the sacrifices himself, that will be the priests' job.

As for the plebs, they all have to use the same gate. The prince is also instructed not to confiscate their lands to give to his sons, which apparently some religious folk take to mean that the rich shouldn't be taxed at all, because they are idiots.

Chapter 47

Suddenly, water starts trickling out from underneath the imaginary house. It starts off slowly, but soon becomes a river too wide and too deep to cross. The bronze man explains that the water that makes it into the sea will be purified, but the stuff that hangs around in marshes and pools will gradually turn salty and impure. Magical trees with medicinal leaves will never stop producing fruit.

Next god lays out the borders of Israel and divides the land into 13 portions. The tribe of Joseph gets a double portion. It's troubling because god appears to promise large portions of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan to them. And of course in all the Zionist rhetoric about, 'God promised us Israel in the bible!' verse 22 is conveniently left out. It reads, in part e shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.

Chapter 48

Most bible books have terrible endings, and this one is no exception. The first eight verses outline where the tribes are supposed to live. Then the priests' portion is laid out, followed by the dimensions of the city and farmland. Oh, and the name of the city will be: The LORD is there (v. 35). Snappy, right? And on that dull note, Zeke ends and Daniel begins.

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