“Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days” (Hos. 3:5).
A prince is mentioned 18 times in Ezekiel’s prophecy of the Millennial temple (Eze. 44:3, 45:7, 16, 17, 22; 46:2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18; 48:21, 22).
This prince is not the Messiah. The prophet Daniel speaks of “Messiah the Prince” (Da. 9:25), but when it comes to the Millennial temple described by Ezekiel, there is a clear distinction made between the prince and the Messiah.
The prince eats bread before the LORD (Eze. 44:3), the LORD being the Messiah (Eze. 43:4). Jeremiah calls the Messiah THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jer. 23:6). The prince offers sacrifices “unto the LORD” (Eze. 46:4, 12, 13), again making a clear distinction between the Messiah and the prince.
The prince will offer a sin offering “for himself” (Eze. 45:22), which is not something that the sinless Messiah will do.
This prince is the resurrected David, the father of the Messiah.
Both David and his Son, the Messiah, are spoken of as kings in the Millennial kingdom. David himself will be the prince in the kingdom whereas his son will be King. Compare Ps. 89:18-37; Jer. 30:9; Hos. 3:5. David is a king, but his son is King of kings. David is a shepherd, but his son is the Chief Shepherd.
David will be there! He will be there in his resurrection glory, immortal, without sin. He will be there shining as the brightness of the firmament (Da. 12:2-3).
David is the builder of glorious palaces (2 Sa. 5:11), and the prophetic Psalms speak of the splendid palaces of the Millennial Zion, even ivory palaces (Ps. 45:8; 48:3, 13; 122:7).
In Psalm 108, David prophesies of the Millennial kingdom and says that he will worship God in the midst of the nations. “Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations” (Ps. 108:2-3). This Psalm refers to the time when God will restore Israel and triumph over Israel’s enemies (Ps. 108:7-11). So in this psalm we see David worshiping in Zion in the midst of the people who gather there from among the nations. This is what Ezekiel also describes.
We see the same thing in Psalm 138. David will sing praise to God “before the gods,” referring to the rulers. He will “worship toward God’s holy temple.” This is the Millennial temple. He will sing praise to God before “all the kings of the earth,” and “they shall sing in the ways of the LORD” (Ps. 138:1-5). This has never happened. David prophetically describes real scenes from the Millennial kingdom. The people of the earth will travel to Jerusalem to the Lord’s house and learn of God’s ways (Isa. 2:1-5; Zec. 8:20-23), and they will see David and hear his Psalms and worship God with him.
David, the prince, will enter the east gate of the inner court and will stand by the post of the gate during the worship, then he will retire by the same way (Eze. 46:1, 2, 8). The people will also worship at the door of the east gate during the sabbath and new moon (Eze. 46:3). We don’t know exactly who these worshippers are. The gate’s porch will not accommodate huge numbers of people. People from throughout the world will come to Jerusalem to worship the King (Isa. 2:3; Zec. 14:16). The crowds will probably be ordered and directed by the Levites. During the feasts, the people will move through the temple court in two streams according to predesignated routes, one entering by way of the north gate and exiting by way of the south gate, and the other entering by way of the south gate and exiting by way of the north gate (Eze. 46:9). Compare 1 Co. 14:33, 40.
David, the prince, will accompany the people. It appears that he will lead the worship (Eze. 46:10). He is the sweet Psalmist of Israel (2 Sa. 23:1), and if he wrote sweet psalms in his earthly life, how much more will he write sweet psalms in glory! He is an exuberant worshipper of God (2 Sa. 6:14-15). He is the maker of musical instruments for the worship of God (1 Ch. 23:5).
David, the prince, will offer sacrifices and worship at the east gate of the inner court on the sabbath and when he offers voluntary offerings (Eze. 46:1-15). David prophesied of these sacrifices in Ps. 51:18-19.
David, the prince, will have a portion of land on the east and west sides of Jerusalem (Eze. 45:7).
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