The Millennial Temple: the Prince of Feasts – Part 7

David the Prince of FeastsThe prince over Israel is a key millennial figure. His largely feast-centered duties are detailed in Ezekiel 45:9-46:18.  In Israel’s past she was often ruled by unjust princes that would expropriate property from the people and manipulate the currency (45:9-12).  God will no longer allow this with the installment of David as His prince in the Millennium (cf. Ezek. 34:23-24; 37:24-25).  In some respects, the prince is akin to a high priest.  In reality, he is merely a servant of the great high priest, Jesus, the Son of God (Heb. 4:14).  The people shall contribute wheat, barley, oil and sheep to the prince so that he may make atonement for them (45:13-16).  This is a ritualistic cleansing atonement and not that which is provided only by the blood of Jesus.  It is the prince’s role to provide the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the drink offerings at all the appointed feasts, including the new moons and the Sabbaths (45:17).  It is also David’s responsibility to cleanse the temple on the first day of each new year.  Blood from an unblemished young bull must be smeared on the door posts and corners of the house, on the four corners of the altar’s ledge and on the posts of the gate (45:18-19).  This is repeated on the seventh day of the first month for all who sin, keeping the house clean and separate from the world (45:20).

The prince will oversee Passover on the 14th of Nisan (the first month).  The Passover still lasts seven days and therefore includes the feasts of Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits (45:21; cf. Lev. 23:5-10).  On the first day of Passover the prince will provide for himself and all of the people in the land a bull as a sin offering (45:22).  On each of the seven days he will provide seven perfect bulls and seven perfect goats as a burnt offering and a male goat for a sin offering (45:23).  A grain offering is required, consisting of one bushel mixed with twelve pints of oil, accompanied by a bull and a ram (45:24).

Passover’s observance during the Millennium is quite significant and helpful in understanding these future animal sacrifices.  Passover was a shadow of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the propitiation effected by His blood, so that God could pass over former sins (Rom. 3:23-25).  For Jesus was the true Passover lamb (1 Cor. 5:7; cf. John 1:29; 1 Pet. 1:19).  Passover being celebrated even after Jesus returns means that the shadows that once looked forward to His works will become reflections that look back.  The millennial Passover requires sacrifices.  This indicates that millennial sacrifices overall are for the purpose of pointing back to the shed blood of Jesus as a reminder of His death on the cross for the sins of the world.  Regular impactful reminders of what Jesus has done will be on full display.  Jesus’ victory on the cross will forever be recognized as the focal point of all space and time.

The Feast of Tabernacles is observed on the 15th through the 21st of Tishri (the seventh month).  Prince David will provide offerings according to the same pattern as he did for Passover on each of the seven days of Tabernacles (45:25).  The majority of the appointed times of Leviticus 23 are identified as being celebrated in the Millennium.  However, none are more emphasized and more explicitly associated with the Millennium than the Feast of Tabernacles.  It is mentioned on its own here and almost synonymously with the earthly reign of the Messiah in Zechariah 14:16-19.  Saints coming out of the great tribulation to enter the Millennium will be holding palms (Rev. 7:9-14), as if to prepare for Tabernacles (cf. Lev. 23:40; Neh. 8:15).  This is in keeping with the idea of the Millennium being the true or archetype Feast of Tabernacles.  The Lord Jesus will dwell or tabernacle among His people (e.g. Is. 24:21-23; Zech. 14:9; Rev. 20:4-6), something that the feast has always been a shadow of.

Israel will observe the Sabbath and the new moon, and it is on those occasions that the east gate of the inner court will be opened (46:1).  The gate is to otherwise remain shut with only one exception.  The prince may make a burnt or peace offering whenever he likes just as he would on the Sabbath.  When he does, the east gate to the inner court will open for him, just as it usually does on the Sabbath (46:12).  The prince will enter through his porch door to observe the priests as they provide his burnt and peace offerings (46:2).  He shall stand in the doorway as he leads the people gathered at the door before LORD in worship (46:3).  The prince’s offerings for the Sabbath day consist of six unblemished lambs with as much grain as he can give, a single unblemished ram with a bushel of grain and a bushel with twelve pints of oil (46:4-5, 11).  For the new moon he will offer the same sacrifices with an additional unblemished young bull and a bushel of grain (46:6-7, 11).

When the people approach the LORD during the feasts, they must exit through the gate opposite the one they entered.  If a man enters through the north gate then he must leave through the south gate and vice versa (46:9).  This results in an easily organized flow of worshippers and allows them to experience more of the temple.  The prince will enter and exit when the people do, though he will still make use of his personal entryway (46:8, 10).  Every morning the prince will rise to lead the people in worship.  He will provide a year old unblemished lamb, about six pints of flour and four pints of oil as a burnt offering (46:13-15).

Prince David may make gifts of inheritance to any of his sons.  These gifts will remain theirs because they were given by their father (46:16).  The prince may also give gifts to his servants, though they are obliged to return them on the Jubilee year (46:17).  The gifts spoken of refer to land and perhaps items of major importance.  This keeps David’s priceless property in the family.  The prince will not steal from other families, but will only give from what he rightly owns.  No longer will the families of Israel be cheated from their land and scattered as they were under the unjust princes of the past (46:18; cf. 45:9).

The reference to David’s sons is the only passage we have as to their place in the Millennium.  Any of the saved among David’s more than twenty sons[1] will be resurrected with their father and serve in his house.  This includes the more obvious sons such as Solomon, and on a more touching note, his older brother.  Before Solomon, David had a son with Bathsheba who was born sickly.  David grieved over his dying son, fasting and laying all night on the bare ground until his son died on the seventh day (2 Sam. 12:15-18) .  When his son passed, David proclaimed that he would one day go to be with him (2 Sam. 12:23).  David and his son were reunited in paradise, and they will serve together in the Millennium (cf. Ps. 16:10-11).

[1] David sired nineteen sons through his wives (1 Ch. 3:1-9).  There was also the first son born from Bathsheba who died in infancy (2 Sam. 12:15-18).  There was an unspecified number of sons born from various concubines.  Jerimoth was another named son (2 Ch. 11:18), who may be included in the first list under a different name or was born through a concubine.  Tamar was David’s only named daughter (1 Ch. 3:9).

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