It is written:
“Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.” (Ezekiel 37:25)
Throughout the section of Ezekiel dealing with the new Temple, we are told that repeatedly that it is connected to the “prince” (Ezekiel 44:3; 45:7, 16, 17, 22; 46:2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22). If we can ascertain the identity of this prince, we will be able to understand more clearly what the “temple” of Ezekiel is, and how it is related to the living water.
Who is the prince of this Temple?
The first clue we have about the identity of the prince is that he enters the temple from the East.
Ezekiel 46:12-“Now when the prince makes a voluntary burnt offering or voluntary peace offering to the LORD, the gate that faces toward the east shall then be opened for him; and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he did on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he goes out the gate shall be shut.
Compare this with something else we are told in the prophecy:
Ezekiel 43:2-And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.
The glory of God comes from the East, the same direction the prince faces and the same gate that he uses.
The prince is somehow connected intimately to Jehovah.
Furthermore, we are told that this prince is “David” (Ezekiel 37:25), and the “shepherd” of God’s people (Ezekiel 37:24). The Jewish rabbis remind us that the phrase “David” was a common description applied to the coming Messiah (since He would be the Seed of David). Gill writes:
“”The King Messiah, as Kimchi interprets it; and so Abarbinel (i) and others; being of the seed of David, and of whom David was an eminent type; and who, as Mediator, is the Lord’s servant, and as man appeared in the form of one: this shows that this prophecy looks further than the times of deliverance from the Babylonish captivity.” (John Gill, Commentary On Ezekiel, E-Sword Edition)
Furthermore, God tells us that He is the Good Shepherd Who would seek and find His lost sheep (Ezekiel 34:11). He would seek far and wide for them (Ezekiel 34:12-13). As the Good Shepherd, God Himself would feed His sheep and bandage them as He gave them rest (Ezekiel 34:14-16). He would also divide His sheep from the goats (Ezekiel 34:17). The New Testament applies all of this to one Person: Jesus, the Messiah (John 10:2, 11, 12, 14, 16; Matthew 25:32-46).
Since the “prince” of Ezekiels Temple is Divine and is also “David” and the “Good Shepherd,” and since the Bible clearly identifies Jesus as Divine and this “David” and this “Good Shepherd” as Jesus the Messiah, then it follows that the “prince” of Ezekiel is Jesus the Messiah.
Now, what “temple” did Jesus build, and how is it connected to the living water?
That will be the focus of our next study.