CHRIST IN THE EARTH AGAIN
. . . Continued . . .
CHAPTER NINE: A New King (A Prince-Priest)
Who is this Prince who receives such prominence in the vision of the Kingdom shown to Ezekiel? Those who prefer categorical answers to their questions will find the direct answer to this question in the information communicated to a contemporary of Ezekiel, forty years after the vision shown to himself.
CHAPTER TEN: Christ and the Jews at His Coming
Ezekiel was shown the Prince-vision in the twenty-fifth year of the captivity (chapter 40:1). He was told to "declare all that he saw to the house of Israel" (verse 4). We must assume that he did as he was told, and that the prophecy, when reduced to writing, would be attentively studied by all in Israel who were of a faithful mind, among whom was Daniel, whom we find as a student of Jeremiah (Dan. 9:2).
Among this class it would naturally be a matter of enquiry -- Who is the Prince so prominent in this vision by Ezekiel? It is no extravagant speculation that this would be among them a moot question. Daniel would desire to know, if he had not already, as is probable, made up his mind in the light of Jer. 30:21. In this connection, the communication made to himself about forty years after the date of Ezekiel's vision, appears as a direct settlement of the question.
He had prayed, "in the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes," about forty years after Ezekiel's "five-and-twentieth year of our captivity," for the taking away of Israel's sins, and the return of God's favour. The answer was the message by Gabriel concerning "the seventy weeks" (of years) which were to end with the crucifixion of Christ, who would "finish the transgression, make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity," etc. "Know, therefore, and understand," were the angel's words, "that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, unto MESSIAH, The Prince, shall be seven weeks," etc. Why should the Messiah be described here as "the Prince" except that the question who the Prince was had been for forty years in agitation among the faithful, ever since the publication of Ezekiel's prophecy? Whatever may have been the reason, here is a divine settlement of the question: Messiah is "The Prince." The Prince is the Messiah.
This conclusion is necessitated by the royal covenant of the kingdom -- the covenant made with David concerning the throne which was supplementary to that made with Abraham concerning the land.
God promised a son to David who should sit on his throne for ever (2 Sam. 7:16; Psa. 89:35-36; Acts 2:29). God fulfilled this promise in raising up Jesus as Paul told the Jewish congregation in the synagogue of Antioch (Acts 13:23). Peter, by the Spirit, declared on the day of Pentecost, that David himself was aware that the promised son would be the Messiah: "David being a prophet, knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to SIT ON HIS THRONE" (Acts 2:29-30).
This being beyond question, we have to realise how entirely the Messiahship was an affair of Kingship in the position originally occupied by David. The Messiah was to be a sufferer; he was to be a priest; he was to be a saviour; he was to be a conqueror. But these were but adjuncts, as we might call them, to the office and function of the Messiahship. The Messiahship itself in its foundation character is rooted in the throne of David. "Of the fruit of thy body will I set on thy throne" (Psa. 132:11). "The Prince of Peace . . . on the throne of David and upon his Kingdom" (Isa. 9:6-7). "The Lord God shall give unto him (Jesus) the throne of his father David" (Luke 1:32). This is the everlasting covenant which David declared to be "all his salvation and all his desire" (2 Sam. 23:5); and the things involved therein are "the sure mercies of David" which God proposes to extend to every perishing, thirsting Son of Adam who will accept them on His terms (Isa. 55:3).
Then we have to notice that it is no ornamental, or sentimental, or honorary, or figurative, or spiritual sense that Christ is to occupy David's throne. He will be a King on that throne in the place where it was formerly established, and for the purpose for which David occupied it. David reigned (2 Sam. 8:15); Christ will reign (Isa. 32:1; Rev. 11:15); David executed justice and judgment (1 Chron. 18:14); Christ will execute justice and judgment in the land (Jer. 33:15). David made war (1 Chron. 17:1-13; 1 Chron. 28:3); Christ will make war (Rev. 19:11-15).
The throne of David was a visible institution. Any theory that puts Jesus in the place of the angel of the covenant or the glory of the Shechinah or the divine presence in the sanctuary would exclude him from the throne of David. These all pertained to David's God, but were none of them David's throne. While Christ is David's Lord and God (as he was to Thomas -- John 20:28), we must not forget that he is also David's son, and will sit on David's throne.
It is one of the peculiar glories of Christ that he blends in himself many things that were never before combined: he is both God and man; the king and his son; the priest and the sacrifice; the Ruler and the servant; Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending: the first and the last. We must by no means exclude him from the occupancy of David's throne. In this position, he will be "ruler in Israel." as testified in Micah 5:2; he will reign in righteousness (Isa. 32:1); he will be visible in his beauty (Isa. 33:17). Kings and priests will come from afar to do him homage (Psa. 45:12; 72:11).
In the first instance, even some who know him not will enquire about the wounds in his hands (Zech. 13:6). Others will claim his recognition on the ground of a previous acquaintance, saying, "We have eaten and drunk in thy presence;" "Thou hast taught in our streets!" (Luke 13:26). His relation to all the affairs of his kingdom will be as real and practical as was his relation to the affairs of his humiliation and sacrifice. He will not be in the background in his day of glory: "Every eye shall see him."
In his hands, the throne of David will be established for ever. Read Psalm 45 for the picture of his kingly glory. "Life, length of days for ever and ever." "There was given unto him a kingdom, glory and dominion. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, all dominions shall serve and obey him" (Dan 7:15).
But there is one feature of his position that did not appertain to David. David was not a priest, though in his typical capacity, he even offered sacrifices, "girt with a linen ephod" (2 Sam. 6:14, 18; 24:18, 25). But of Christ, his son and everlasting successor, it is written, "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent. Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek" (Psa. 110:4; Heb. 7:17). This priesthood of Melchizedek combined both the kingly and sacerdotal elements, and was conferred on Melchizedek in his own right, and not by law of heredity. He was made priest not because of "father or mother," but because of himself -- his own excellence. Christ is a priest after this order and not after the order of Aaron, which was constituted by birth and bounded by a limitation of age. Christ, in being after this order, is therefore a priestly prince or a princely priest, which is a perfect fullness of character. How glorious a head for Israel and mankind -- a man to whom God has not only given all the authoritative and executive power of a temporal prince in matters of law and property, but whom He has also invested with the tender character of an Intercessory Friend in things pertaining to God -- and all this, after a suffering life in which "he loved righteousness and hated iniquity." "Therefore God thy God hath exalted thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
He is the priest-prince of the age to come. His name as prince is of frequent occurrence: "The Prince of the Kings of the earth" (Rev. 1:5). The Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). Messiah, the Prince (Dan. 9:25). The Prince of Life (Acts 3:15). A Prince and a Saviour (Acts 5:31). A Prince (Ezek. 34:24).
"Messiah the Prince" in the day of his glory by reason of his Melchizedek character is "a priest upon his throne." This is expressly testified in Zechariah. "The man whose name is the BRANCH . . . He shall bear the glory; he shall sit upon his throne and shall be A PRIEST upon his throne" (Zech. 6:12-13).
That "the Prince" should be the Son of God is necessitated by the office assigned to him; He is to approach to Yahweh and "make reconciliation for the house of Israel" (Ezek. 45:17). Who could fill this part in the day of Christ but Christ himself? This question is suggested by God Himself in the word by Jeremiah: "I will restore health unto thee: and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith Yahweh, because they called thee an outcast, saying, This is Zion whom no man seeketh after . . . And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them: and I will cause him to draw near and he shall approach unto me: for WHO IS THIS THAT ENGAGED HIS HEART TO APPROACH UNTO ME, saith the Lord" (Jer. 30:17, 21). Here is emphasis placed upon the fact that the governor of Israel under the restored regime should draw near to God in the capacity of a mediator. It is noted as a matter of surprise that a governor "proceeding from the midst of Israel," should be qualified for such an honourable place. It was a way of calling attention beforehand to the fact that such an one must be provided by God Himself. That Jesus is this governor is made certain by Micah's prophecy applied apostolically to Christ: "Out of thee (Bethlehem) shall come a governor that shall rule my people Israel" (Matt. 2:6; Micah 5:2). When we learn that this governor is the Word made flesh -- "the power of the Highest" manifested in the seed of David, -- we see the answer to the question "Who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me?" It is one who is worthy, and who alone is worthy: "My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:17). "Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Heb. 7:26). "My servant whom I uphold; mine elect in whom my soul delighteth. I have put my spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles . . . He shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law" (Isa. 42:1-4).
At present ("a great high priest,") he is "passed into the heavens"; but his own promise and the many-times revealed purpose of God is that he will come again in this sense and manner of his departure (John 14:3, 28; Dan. 7:13; Acts 1:10-11). He remains as and where he is "till the times of the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the prophets" when "God SHALL send him" (Acts 3:19-20). His coming is to "sit on the throne of David, and to be a priest upon his throne" (Isa. 9:6-7 ; Zech. 6:13). Who could be the Prince-Priest but he?
It was foretold that "the Children of Israel should abide many days without a king and without a prince and without a sacrifice." "Afterwards, they should return and seek the Lord their God and David their King" (Hos. 3:4).
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Christ and the New Temple
Their "seeking" is not an entirely enlightened one in the first case. Whether it is David in the personal sense, or David in the dynastic sense, their finding goes beyond their seeking. Like Philip, they find "him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write," in "Jesus of Nazareth" (John 1:45), but without at first knowing it is He, as appears.
David truly they find at last, for David with "all the prophets," of whom he was one, appears "in the Kingdom of God" at the coming of Christ -- the sought and admired of the "many who shall come from the east, and the west, and the north, and the south, and sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob" (Luke 13:28-29). But they find him in unexpected association with one whose hands show wounds, and whose identity up to this point has been concealed from them. We learn this from Zech. 13.
There has been some attempt to divert this prophecy from application to Christ. The attempt cannot succeed with those who know the scriptures with the affectionate intimacy that was the rule with the saints in the apostolic and previous ages. It is the effort of sceptical learning to blot Christ from prophecy as much as they can.
The whole context of Zech. 13, in the light of the gospel of the restoration of Israel's kingdom, is decisive as to its application to Christ and Christ alone. A brief analysis will show this.
In chapter 12, we have Jerusalem in the latter days, "a burdensome stone to all people." "All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces": for there is divine interposition in the stress to which Jerusalem is brought "though all the people of the earth gather together against it." "In that day shall the Lord of Hosts defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem." What day this is, we learn from chapter 14, -- a day that has not yet come: a day when "the Lord shall go forth and fight against those nations," and when "his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives." In that day, says chapter 12, "he that is feeble among them (the inhabitants of Jerusalem) shall be as David and the house of David shall be AS GOD, as the angel of the Lord before them."
The inhabitants of Jerusalem at this time only know that God has delivered them. The form of the instrumentality they have not yet understood. It dawns upon them at the next stage (12:10). "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn." Like the crowd on the day of Pentecost, whom Peter convicted of having slain the Lord's Anointed, they are "pricked in their hearts" and in a mood to cry out, "What shall we do?" Chapter 13:1 answers the question. "In that day, there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." In this fountain they will cleanse themselves in the way that will be appointed. For God has said, "I will bring them into the bond of the covenant." "I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sins no more."
This glorious revolution accomplished in the City, the work extends to the whole land: "I will cause the prophets (that is, the false prophets) and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land (13:2). These prophets are an obstacle. Their number is great in the Holy Land at the present time, of all sorts, names, and complexions: Jewish Rabbis, Mahommedan Doctors, Roman Catholic Priests, Greek Fathers, Monks and Eremites and other ecclesiastics of the current abominations. It is not in human power to suppress the deep-rooted impostures that flourish everywhere in this age, and nowhere more rankly than in the Holy Land, which reeks with their lies and their defilements. The power established by the repulse and extermination of mighty armed hosts at the re-appearance of Christ in the Holy Land will be equal to it, and will effect it with this result, that "It shall come to pass that when any shall yet prophesy (for the power of ecclesiastical habit is strong) then his father and mother that begat him (so awed by the terror of the new power manifested "according to the days of the coming out of the land of Egypt" -- Micah 7:15-16) shall say to him, Thou shalt not live: thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord" (No toleration in those days. "Toleration " is all very well as between man and man: it is a childish chimera in the presence of the Creator's power and authority). The effect of such vigorous measures is thorough. "The prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive." They will acknowledge the fictitious character of the position they now sustain with such unction (and with much snivel and pretence). Their reformed attitude will be that of the man who says "I am no prophet, but ----" a mere cattle-drover in true nature; "man taught me to keep cattle from my youth."
And now comes the verse about the wounds, which the sceptical interpreter contends applies to the supposed cattle-drover: a verse which with such a sense has no meaning; "And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." Of what consequence to a mortal under the sun, could wounds in an imposter's hands be? On the face of it, such an application is devoid of rational significance. If the critic say it can have no other application in the context except such as may be artificially created, his attention has to be called to two things that close his mouth and give to the prophecy a totally different meaning with much of sense, significance, and importance, of which his interpretation is entirely lacking. The first is the absence of an expressed nominative to the verb "shall say." "One" is absent from the original, as the italics in the Common Version intimate to the English reader. The words we have really to deal with are, "and shall say." The question, who shall say, is determinable with reference to the nature of the subject entirely; in which we shall find there is perfect guidance. In verse 5, we have "He shall say:" that is, the false prophet; for he shall say "I am no prophet." But in verse 6, the speaker is not specified; and if we are to supply the hiatus from verse 5, we should be obliged to put in "The false prophet shall say." Shall say to whom? "Shall say unto him." Here is another person introduced with wounds in his hands: "What are these wounds in thine hands?"
The second point is this, that the identity of this hand-wounded personage is settled for us by an immediate appendix which can apply to none but Christ. "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd -- against the man that is MY FELLOW, saith the Lord of Hosts. Smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones." This 7th verse is in the nature of an explanatory parenthesis, thrown into the description of Israel's latter-day deliverance to account for the wounds of the principal actor. The speaker's account of the wounds is, "They are those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."
That he should give such an account in the day of his manifestation to Israel in great power and great glory, is most suitable and telling. That an explanation should be introduced in the prophecy at a time when the wounds were not yet a matter of history, is part of the completeness of the prophecy. Its fulfillment is explicitly before us in the apostolic history, both as regards the shepherd and the little ones. Christ himself makes the application (Matt. 26:31), so that we are not on speculative ground. The smiting of the shepherd is too notorious to require more than the most general reference to the crucifixion, which inflicted hand-wounds that remain with Christ for ever. The turning of God's (supporting) hand to the little ones is illustrated in the miracle-attested labours of the Apostles when Christ had left them.
Verse 7 is a parenthesis. Verse 8 resumes the account of latter day events in the land, including the subjection of the Jewish population of Palestine to a fiery ordeal that purifies and fits them for citizenship in the kingdom which their Messiah has at last arrived to established.
But, it may be asked, why should conforming false prophets or any other class, make the wounds the subject of enquiry? We do not say that the enquirer is a conforming false prophet. The hiatus above referred might be filled in other ways. The absence of a specific nominative shows that the pith of the verse lies in the question and not in the personality of the questioner. It would be sufficiently represented in idiomatic English if we were to read it, "And it shall be said unto him" -- it matters not particularly by whom.
A consideration of the salvation to which it stands related will show to us that it is a perfectly natural question in the circumstances. Deliverance has come to Israel -- miraculous deliverance -- equal to anything that happened in Egypt or to Assyrians under Sennacherib. And Jerusalem knows that the deliverance is the act of their God by the hand of the long-promised one. This promised one the Jews even now look for as destined to be of the house of David, though at the time of his manifestation "no man knoweth whence he is." This was their idea in the days of Jesus (John 7:27). It was one of their difficulties in receiving Jesus that they knew his origin as they supposed; "of Nazareth."
When Christ at his appearing in the first instance delivers them from the Gogian invader, it will seem that their traditional idea has been realized, and their opposition to Jesus vindicated. Messiah, the Son of David, has appeared, and shattered the terrible power of their foe; and no man knows whence he has sprung. He overthrows, expels, and exterminates the invader, and brings the iron rod of suppression on all the superstitions and idolatries that infest the land, and for a time conceals his identity, like Joseph, from his brethren. A suitable moment for the disclosure arrives. He allows himself on some special occasion to be freely seen, and contrives to exhibit the nail-wounds of his hands.
There is no idea of his being Jesus. That idea will have been triumphantly dismissed in view of the total discrepancy between the deeds of this man, and the Jesus of the sects of Christendom who is the only Jesus the Jews know anything about. And this man will have so totally ignored Christendom, and will have been so totally disowned by them as a false Christ, that any idea of his being Jesus of Nazareth will be out of the question with the Jews to the last moment. His handwounds are therefore a matter of curious enquiry merely, to which the enquirers address themselves with all confidence.
"What are those wounds in thine hands? Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." We can enter into the sequel. "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced and mourn as for an only begotten son." What a signal for Jewish humiliation throughout the world! What a confounding of Gentile pretensions! With what an interest the sufferings of Christ invest the glory, as the sale of Joseph into bitter bondage paved the way for his elevation, and for the pathos of his revelation afterwards to the brothers who sold him. All these considerations invest the wound-prophecy of Zechariah with the utmost dignity and significance and pathetic interest, of which the cattle-drover interpretation would totally deprive it.
When we go with Ezekiel to one of "the high mountains of Israel," and overlook the sanctuary of Messiah the Prince's age, outspread at our feet "as the frame of a city on the South," we look upon a structure excelling all previous temples in dimensions and beauty, as shown in the architectural demonstration of Mr. H. Sulley, architect, Nottingham. Looking upon it, we are looking on the very locality that witnessed the Lord's agony and crucifixion  years ago. We are looking on the very hill on which he stood and said with tears in his eyes, "Ye shall not see me henceforth till the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." We are surveying the very scene which heard his parting word, "If I go away, I shall come again."
In Ezekiel's company, we are also witnesses of this promised coming again, the time having arrived for the Jews to accept him after so many ages of rejection.
The glory of Yahweh enters the house by the gate "whose prospect is towards the east." Then from within, Ezekiel is addressed thus: "Son of Man (this is) the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever" (43:1, 7). Afterwards, he is brought back by the way of the same gate and finds it shut, and is informed, "It shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it because Yahweh, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it. It is for the prince: the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate and he shall go out by the way of the same" (44:2, 3).
The apparent distinction between the God of Israel who enters the house and the prince, who alone uses the gate by which the glory enters, has lead some to suppose that the prince is distinct from the entering glory. In a sense he is distinct, the sense namely affirmed by Christ when he says, "The Son of Man will come with his own glory, and the glory of the Father." But in another sense he is one with the entering glory. Their identity is obvious from the very wording of the statement concerning the eastern gate.
This proves that the Prince is no mortal man, but Christ. Man shall not enter that gate because God has entered: the Prince may enter -- shall enter. He will freely and familiarly use the gate by which God has entered. This shows that the Prince is an ingredient of the divine glory that entered. If the Prince were a mortal man, we have a prohibitory regulation stultifying itself -- enacting that no man shall enter, and then providing that a man shall enter.
Jesus, though a man in the days of his flesh, is now, "the Lord, the Spirit" in whom dwells the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9). That he should sit in the gate consecrated by the divine entrance is according to the fitness of things.
Then "this eating bread before the Lord" can only apply to Christ. That it was associated in Israel's mind with the immortal inheritance of the kingdom, is evident from the remark of one of Christ's hearers when he was on the earth: "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God" (Luke 14:15). That Jesus associated the act in the same way is evident from his promise to the disciples, "I appoint unto you a kingdom as my Father hath appointed unto me that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom" (Luke 22:30> The character of this eating could not better be defined than by saying it is "before Yahweh." Jesus calls the kingdom "My Father's Kingdom (Matt. 26:29). All that is done in it is "before" him: in his presence: by his sanction, under his protection: under his auspices, and therefore having a glory and stability that never appertained before to any domestic, social, or political procedure of man.
We may learn something on the subject from a glance at Rome, where the anti-Christ has been enthroned for centuries. The false exhibits the semblance of the true, as all counterfeits do.
In Rome, the falsely so-called, "Eternal City," we have a priest claiming to be the prince of the kings of the earth, and having under him a vast body of priests scattered through the earth as the organs of his authority. We see him claiming a false infallibility, and periodically and falsely posing in the eyes of the populations as the guardian of human interests, as the father of the faithful, and the shepherd of mankind.
We see in Rome a prince-priest claiming to be "higher than the kings of the earth;" and we behold him on fitting occasion surrounded with his cardinals, taking part in the public ceremonies of the Papal religion.
In Jerusalem, the world will yet see "Messiah, the Prince," Yahweh's first-born and higher than all kings and rulers, take part with majestic condescension in the feasts and appointed times in the service of Yahweh, surrounded by his brethren, in their very midst, exalting Yahweh's praise, recounting his mercies, and showing forth the honours of his name. "When the people are gathered together and the kingdoms that serve the Lord" (Psa. 102:22). "The people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the Lord on the Sabbaths and on the new moons . . . And when the Prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof." To himself and all who are members of him, he shall say, "The Lord hath chastened me sore, but He hath not given me over unto death. Open to me the gates of righteousness. I will go in unto them and I will praise the Lord: this gate of the Lord unto which the righteous shall enter. I will praise Thee, for Thou hast heard me and art become my salvation. The stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner. This is Yahweh's doing: it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now I beseech Thee, O Yahweh. I beseech Thee send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord. We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord." (Psa 118:18-26).
Those who think it incompatible with the greatness of Christ that he should perform such a lowly part are unconsciously animated by the false sentiment which, in the first century, led many to deny the reality of his sufferings, and ultimately to deny the reality of his appearing in the flesh. These thinking to honour Christ were wise above that which is written: and those who deny him his place as the Prince make a similar mistake. Their human sentiments would really mar and hide the glory of Christ in the affairs of the Kingdom as the others did in the affairs of his sufferings. "Lord, this shall not be unto Thee" is not a new form of well-meant antagonism to divine wisdom.
Christ, the prince-priest of the age to come, will certainly be great beyond compare, but his greatness will be manifested by those very acts of condescending service which are considered inconsistent with his dignity. In the days of his flesh, he washed his disciples' feet. In the day of his glory, it will be no true humiliation that he worship at the appointed gate and offer his sacrifices, and show himself to the people. "It shall be the Prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings on feasts, and on the new moons, and on the Sabbaths in all solemnities of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel" (Ezek. 45:17). The Prince prepares these only as a king does anything, that is, by the hands of those around him, who act to his direction literally. "The priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate" (46:2).