The Latter Major Prophets – Ezekiel 40-43

In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the fall of the city—on that very day the hand of the Lord was on me and he took me there.  In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city.  He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand.  The man said to me, “Son of man, look carefully and listen closely and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the people of Israel everything you see.”
I saw a wall completely surrounding the temple area. The length of the measuring rod in the man’s hand was six long cubits, each of which was a cubit and a handbreadth. He measured the wall; it was one measuring rod thick and one rod high.
Then he went to the east gate.  He climbed its steps and measured the threshold of the gate; it was one rod deep.  The alcoves for the guards were one rod long and one rod wide, and the projecting walls between the alcoves were five cubits thick. And the threshold of the gate next to the portico facing the temple was one rod deep.
Then he measured the portico of the gateway; it was eight cubits deep and its jambs were two cubits thick. The portico of the gateway faced the temple.
Inside the east gate were three alcoves on each side; the three had the same measurements, and the faces of the projecting walls on each side had the same measurements.  Then he measured the width of the entrance of the gateway; it was ten cubits and its length was thirteen cubits.  In front of each alcove was a wall one cubit high, and the alcoves were six cubits square.  Then he measured the gateway from the top of the rear wall of one alcove to the top of the opposite one; the distance was twenty-five cubits from one parapet opening to the opposite one.  He measured along the faces of the projecting walls all around the inside of the gateway—sixty cubits.  The measurement was up to the portico facing the courtyard.  The distance from the entrance of the gateway to the far end of its portico was fifty cubits.  The alcoves and the projecting walls inside the gateway were surmounted by narrow parapet openings all around, as was the portico; the openings all around faced inward. The faces of the projecting walls were decorated with palm trees.
Then he brought me into the outer court.  There I saw some rooms and a pavement that had been constructed all around the court; there were thirty rooms along the pavement.  It abutted the sides of the gateways and was as wide as they were long; this was the lower pavement.  Then he measured the distance from the inside of the lower gateway to the outside of the inner court; it was a hundred cubits on the east side as well as on the north.
Then he measured the length and width of the north gate, leading into the outer court.  Its alcoves—three on each side—its projecting walls and its portico had the same measurements as those of the first gateway. It was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide.  Its openings, its portico and its palm tree decorations had the same measurements as those of the gate facing east. Seven steps led up to it, with its portico opposite them.  There was a gate to the inner court facing the north gate, just as there was on the east.  He measured from one gate to the opposite one; it was a hundred cubits.
Then he led me to the south side and I saw the south gate. He measured its jambs and its portico, and they had the same measurements as the others.  The gateway and its portico had narrow openings all around, like the openings of the others.  It was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide.  Seven steps led up to it, with its portico opposite them; it had palm tree decorations on the faces of the projecting walls on each side.  The inner court also had a gate facing south, and he measured from this gate to the outer gate on the south side; it was a hundred cubits.
Then he brought me into the inner court through the south gate, and he measured the south gate; it had the same measurements as the others.  Its alcoves, its projecting walls and its portico had the same measurements as the others. The gateway and its portico had openings all around. It was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide.  (The porticoes of the gateways around the inner court were twenty-five cubits wide and five cubits deep.)  Its portico faced the outer court; palm trees decorated its jambs, and eight steps led up to it.
Then he brought me to the inner court on the east side, and he measured the gateway; it had the same measurements as the others.  Its alcoves, its projecting walls and its portico had the same measurements as the others. The gateway and its portico had openings all around. It was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide.  Its portico faced the outer court; palm trees decorated the jambs on either side, and eight steps led up to it.
Then he brought me to the north gate and measured it. It had the same measurements as the others, as did its alcoves, its projecting walls and its portico, and it had openings all around. It was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide.  Its portico faced the outer court; palm trees decorated the jambs on either side, and eight steps led up to it.
A room with a doorway was by the portico in each of the inner gateways, where the burnt offerings were washed.  In the portico of the gateway were two tables on each side, on which the burnt offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings were slaughtered.  By the outside wall of the portico of the gateway, near the steps at the entrance of the north gateway were two tables, and on the other side of the steps were two tables.  So there were four tables on one side of the gateway and four on the other—eight tables in all—on which the sacrifices were slaughtered.  There were also four tables of dressed stone for the burnt offerings, each a cubit and a half long, a cubit and a half wide and a cubit high.  On them were placed the utensils for slaughtering the burnt offerings and the other sacrifices.  And double-pronged hooks, each a handbreadth long, were attached to the wall all around. The tables were for the flesh of the offerings.
Outside the inner gate, within the inner court, were two rooms, one at the side of the north gate and facing south, and another at the side of the south gate and facing north.  He said to me, “The room facing south is for the priests who guard the temple, and the room facing north is for the priests who guard the altar.  These are the sons of Zadok, who are the only Levites who may draw near to the Lord to minister before him.”
Then he measured the court: It was square—a hundred cubits long and a hundred cubits wide. And the altar was in front of the temple.
He brought me to the portico of the temple and measured the jambs of the portico; they were five cubits wide on either side. The width of the entrance was fourteen cubits and its projecting walls were three cubits wide on either side. The portico was twenty cubits wide, and twelve cubits from front to back. It was reached by a flight of stairs, and there were pillars on each side of the jambs.

  • Ezekiel 40:1-49

Ezekiel 41:1-26 – Click the link HERE to read this at Biblegateway.com

Ezekiel 42:1-20 – Click the link HERE to read this at Biblegateway.com

Ezekiel 43:1-27 – Click the link HERE to read this at Biblegateway.com

Noted Biblical Scholars, Teachers, and Preachers Comments

Ezekiel 40-48 ‘The Millennial Reign’: “Ezekiel 40-48 represent the climax of Ezekiel’s prophecy and must be interpreted in light of its purpose to produce in Israel a confident trust in the sovereignty of their God to bring about the restoration promised in chapters 33-39. A regathered, redeemed, restored, and reunited Israel (chapters 33-37:23) is established in the millennial kingdom under a New Covenant (37:24-28) and forever delivered from any further threat of aggression or loss of its promised rest in the land (chapters 38-39). The time of this fulfillment must be the millennial kingdom, since these chapters elaborate on concepts previously presented which have their fulfillment in the eschatological age. Even though Ezekiel 40-48 lacks some of eschatological language associated with an eschatological context (‘on that day,’ ‘in the latter days’), these phrases have already been used in chapters 34—37 and in the immediately preceding chapters (38-39). Moreover, the literary linkage of chapters 40-48 with other prophetic texts that concern the same theme establishes an eschatological setting.  And finally, a literal fulfillment as described by Ezekiel-with immensely enlarged boundaries for the land, Jerusalem, and the temple (Ezekiel 44:1-31; 47:1-23; 48:1-35), the return of the glory of God (Ezekiel 43:1-12), and the unprecedented change from the laws of the past (for example, Ezekiel 43:17)-would require that the time of fulfillment be eschatological.”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation (quoted Greek without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 40-48 ‘following the great battle …’: “Following the great battle at the end of the Tribulation time, this section provides explicit details about Christ’s millennial reign which follows, giving more detail about the one-thousand-year kingdom than all other OT prophecies combined. It is the ‘holy of holies’ among millennial forecasts. As has been done with the previous thirty-nine chapters, this concluding portion will also be approached in a literal, historical manner which best serves the interpreter in all Scripture. In many ways these chapters are the most important in the book since they form the crowning reality, the climax of Ezekiel’s prophecy and Israel’s restoration. The section includes: (1) the new temple (40:1—43:12); (2) the new worship (43:13—46:24); and (3) the new apportionment of the land (47:1—48:35).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 40-42 ‘introduction’: “Anticipation! Expectation! Yearning! Eagerness! The next eight chapters in Ezekiel should create an overwhelming sense of these feelings! The promises that we are about to study have incredibly deep meaning for the nation of Israel, and I trust that the Lord will show us what they are to mean to us as well. …
“The ‘holy of holies’ among millennial forecasts! [from John MacArthur above]  The vision shown by the Lord in Ezekiel 40-48 is incredible. But I‘m afraid that many come to these chapters and get bogged down in the details. We come without a Jewish background, without an appreciation for worship in the temple, without an understanding of the significance of the divisions of the Promised Land.
“In spite of our cultural handicaps, let’s study these magnificent chapters with the perspective that if the Lord loves the nation of Israel, then so should we. His plans for their future are important enough to be recorded in His eternal word. Rejoice with those who rejoice!
“You are about to encounter many specific measurements given in cubits and handbreadths, and you will see that a rod was used for measuring rather than the yardstick that we use today. You do not have to calculate measurements as you read these passages! But here is some information that may be helpful. A cubit was about 18 inches, or the distance from the fingertips to the elbow. A handbreadth was about three inches, or the width of the hand across its widest part. The length of the rod was determined based on cubits and handbreadth: the rod used in these verses was about 10.5 feet.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 40:2 ‘In the vision of God He took me.’: “Ezekiel 40-48 narrates another vision, as before in 1:1-3:27; 8-11; 37:1—14. The characterization of the prophecy as a vision in no way detracts from its literal reality, any more than Ezekiel’s visions of Jerusalem’s sins, idolatry, and destruction did. into the land of Israel. The vision pertains to Israel, as did chapters 1-24; 33; 34-39. a very high mountain. The mountain is not named; however, it is most likely Mt. Zion (cf. 17:22; 20:40; Is. 2:2; Mic. 4:1), lifted up from its surroundings by a great earthquake (Zech. 14:4, 5, 10).  like the structure. . . a city. God will be explaining details relating to Israel’s spiritual future (vv. 2, 4), so this must be the temple in particular and Jerusalem in general. This new and glorious temple will stand in contrast to the desecration and destruction of Solomon’s temple (chs. 8-11).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 40:3 ‘a man’: “An angel conducted a tour of all the details seen by the prophet, appearing in the form of a man (e.g., Gen. 18; Ezek. 9), appearing like bright, gleaming bronze. He could be understood as the Angel of the Lord since he is called ‘LORD’ (44:2, 5; see note on Ex. 3:2). His ‘line of flax’ was for larger measurements, the ‘rod’ for shorter ones (cf. Rev. 11:1; 21:5). In each case, God measured what belonged to Him.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 40:4 ‘son of man’: “Ezekiel was one of the greatest of the prophets. His visions remind us of John‘s——both for their brightness, splendor, and number—and yet this eminent prophet was, nevertheless, called “son of man.” He is continually called by that name. The title is used over and over again throughout the book of his prophecies to remind him that even the seer—the prophet, the inspired, the man who was indulged with vision on vision—was still only a man. The best of men are men at  the best. Those eyes that are strengthened to behold the cherubim and to gaze on the stupendous wheels of providence are still only the eyes of a son of man.
“The title was used to teach him humility and also to remind him of the condescension of God toward him and to fill him with awe and wonder that he should be chosen from the rest of mankind, though no more than they, to see such wondrous sights withheld from other eyes. To us this wears a promising aspect, for if God can reveal himself to one ‘son of man,’ why not to another? And if God can speak, as he did speak so wonderfully through Ezekiel, one son of man, why not through you? Why not through me? For we, too, are sons of men. We have no worthiness or fitness, and neither does Ezekiel claim any. He is reminded of his descent—he is still one of the sons of men. We may be of good comfort, we who think God can never use us – we who are poor in spirit and wish to serve him—but deeply feel our own insignificance.
“Remember that God is able to do for us exceedingly abundantly above what we ask or even think (Eph 3:20). He can yet reveal his Son in us and himself to us and by us, after such methods as we have never dreamed of. And perhaps the painful experience through which we are passing even now may be preparing us to stand on yet loftier mounts and to behold visions of God that in happier days we will tell to the house of Israel and by which multitudes will be blessed through us.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from his sermon notes

Ezekiel 40 ‘overview’: “Then, beginning in chapter 40, Ezekiel describes the restoration of the temple of the Lord’s millennial kingdom. In this vision the prophet is shown the temple in precise detail: The Shekinah glory of God returns to the Holy of Holies and is established there once more.”

  • Ray C. Stedman, Adventuring through the Bible

Ezekiel 40 ‘Challenge’: “Occasionally one’s heart is cheered by the discovery of some insatiable saint who is willing to sacrifice everything for the sheer joy of experiencing God in increasing intimacy. To such we offer this word of exhortation: Pray on, fight on, sing on. Do not underrate anything God may have done for you heretofore. Thank God for everything up to this point, but do not stop here. Press on into the deep things of God. Insist upon tasting the profounder mysteries of redemption. Keep your feet on the ground, but let your heart soar as high as it will. Refuse to be average or to surrender to the chill of your spiritual environment. If you thus ‘follow after,’ heaven will surely be opened to you and you will, with Ezekiel, see visions of God.”

  • A. W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous

Ezekiel 41:1 ‘into the sanctuary’: “Precise descriptions continue for the temple proper, its sanctuary or holy place (here called ‘tabernacle’), and side chambers for priests’ quarters (vv. 5-11). This chapter can be studied in the light of 1 Kings 6 and 7 to note differences from Solomon’s temple.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 42:15-20 ‘out through the gateway’: “The angel measured the height and thickness of the outside wall (40:5); then, the outer court (40:6-27); next, the inner court with the chambers (40:28—42:14); and finally, the extent of all the temple buildings outside.  Measurements of the outer wall, five hundred rods each way, were approximately one mile on each of the four sides. Much too large for Mt. Moriah, this scheme will require changes in the topography of Jerusalem, as Zechariah predicted (14:9-11).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 40-42 ‘summary’: “I want you to understand that the intricacy of the details given here are critical to the interpretation of these chapters. Ezekiel recorded a clear description of features, locations, heights and widths. This is a description of a literal temple. Even though the particulars are difficult for us to envision, we must realize that they are part of the inspired Word of God. The day will come when these descriptions will no longer be seen through the eyes of faith, but will be seen through our very own eyes. We will be able to tour the temple grounds ourselves!
“Remember that Ezekiel had been in training to be a priest. He would have been intimately acquainted with the temple.  He had lived in Israel and had probably spent time in the magnificent temple built by Solomon.  After being exiled, the Lord took him back to the temple in a vision, and he was shown the horrible idolatry committed by the people and the priests. We studied this in [Ezekiel 10].  Before that vision ended, Ezekiel saw something shocking.
“Since that time, the nation of Israel has been waiting for the return of the Lord. The disciple John tells us that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’  John 1:14  The Lord returned to Israel in the flesh, but the nation of Israel as a whole did not recognize Him. They are still waiting for His return. Until the Lord returns to dwell in the future glorious temple that He has planned, He dwells in each believer in Jesus Christ.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 43:1-9 ‘introduction’: “On the Fourth of July, my family often attends our state symphony ’s concert and fireworks show. As the patriotic salute crescendos, I anticipate the grand finale in the song and in the sky.  Incredible bursts of color and light, crashing cymbals and pounding drums lead me to think – this is it! But the show continues. Multiple booms from the fireworks and an even greater crescendo in the music lead me again to think — this is it. And the show still continues! The grand finale is always spectacular and always a surprise!
“The Lord ’s plans for the end times are much more spectacular than a Fourth of July fireworks display, of course. But, there are many extravagant events that lead me to think – this is it! This is the greatest thing that will happen! But the extraordinary must be the ordinary in the end!  The grand finale never is! … We will look at just one of the extraordinary anticipated events of the end times.
ls this the grand finale? It seems like it could be! Jesus Christ returns to the earth, stands on the Mount of Olives, the earth shakes and splits, and the Temple Mount becomes the high mountain in which all nations will come to worship the Lord. Jesus Christ in all of His glory enters through the East Gate of the Temple and takes His place as Shepherd-King and Great High Priest among His people.
“But this is not the grand finale! lt’s the prelude to the long-awaited Kingdom of Heaven on earth. When Jesus returns and the Israelites look on Him whom they have pierced, when they mourn, repent, and worship Him, the Millennial Kingdom – Christ’s one thousand year reign on earth – is just beginning.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 43:2 ‘The glory of the God of Israel’: “In earlier chapters of this prophecy, emphasis was given to the departure of God’s glory from the temple (see chs. 8-11). Thus, the Lord abandoned His people to destruction and dispersion. Here, in the millennial temple, the glory of God returns to dwell. His glory will be manifest in fullness in the future kingdom, after the Lord’s Second Advent, which is also to be glorious (Matt. 16:27; 25:31). Verses 1-12 describe God’s glorious entrance into the sanctuary. came from . . . the east. The glory had been in the tabernacle (Ex. 40:34, 35) and the temple (1 Kin. 8:10, 11), though not in Zerubbabel’s temple. Here, the Lord returns to be Israel’s King. The glory departed to the east from Israel (11:23) when God judged them, so the glory returns from the east when He has regathered them and is restoring their worship.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 43:1-9 ‘summary’: “The pattern of worship which was given to Moses in the wilderness was only a shadow of heavenly things. Each of the furnishings symbolized Christ and our relationship with Him in some way. Although much will change regarding the Israelites’ worship of the Lord, they will still practice one aspect of that which was prescribed in levitical law.
“The Lord is waiting and anticipating their whole-hearted worship.  He is administrating the events of history to bring them to Himself.  How has the Lord administrated, managed or directed the events of your life to bring you to Himself?
“The Lord wants whole-hearted worship from you now. Are you holding anything back? How are you worshipping Him today?”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 43:10-27 ‘introduction’: “We are in the midst of contemplating the future. It’s often hard to understand our present day and why the Lord allows things to be the way they are, so it shouldn’t surprise us that we find it hard to fully comprehend the Lord’s plans for the future. The previous [chapter] should have highlighted the truth from Scripture that the Millennial Temple will have an altar on which sacrifices and offerings will be made to the Lord. This truth is one that many have used as an argument against these chapters (Ezekiel 40- 48) as being literal, actual, future reality. You may have already wondered.  ‘Why will there be animal sacrifices and offerings in the Temple since Jesus was the one perfect offering for all time?  I hope [this part of Ezekiel 43] will give you an answer to that question!”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 43:10-11 ‘just a messenger’: “That Ezekiel is to make known to the people all the data about this new temple suggests that he is another Moses (vv. 10-11). God is the Designer; Moses and Ezekiel are the transmitters of data.”

  • Walter A. Elwell, editor, Baker Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 43:12 ‘’: “I believe the house of which Ezekiel speaks is typical of the church of the living God. In it I see not so much the visible church as that spiritual, mystical church of Jesus Christ which is the one place of his abode. It is found in a state of grace on earth and in full glory in heaven. Below it is the holy church militant; above it is the holy church triumphant.  The church is the only thing on earth that can properly be called the house of God, for he dwells not in temples made with hands. The finest architecture could never constitute a proper shrine for deity.  Look to the blue heavens, gaze on the spangled vault of night, and view the ever-flashing, wide and open sea, and tell me if any handiwork of man can rival the temple of nature.
What sweet familiarities are enjoyed in the church!  What holy intimacies between the great Father and his children!  How tenderly does he reveal himself so that the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. His saints are a people near to him. They have access to him at all times, for they dwell in his house and are his own dearly beloved children.
“The church is God’s house, and, therefore, he provides for it even as a man cares for his own house and spends his strength for it, exercises his wisdom on its behalf, and is always thoughtful over it. God lays himself out for his people.  For this his Son has both died and risen again. For this the Lord arranges the purposes of heaven. For this he works among the children of men.  The Lord’s portion is his people. He will see to it that his spiritual house is not allowed to decay. The Lord links his own name with the church as a man does with his house.  It is the house of the Lord, and he is the Lord of the house.  It is the greatest honor that can happen to any man to be a member of the household of God.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from his sermon notes

Ezekiel 43:13-27 ‘the altar’: “The measurements of the altar of burnt offering are given in verses 13-17, then the offerings are described (vv. 18-27). These offerings are not efficacious, nor were the OT sacrifices. They were all symbolic of death for sin. They do not take away sin (cf. Heb. 10:4). They were prospective; these will be retrospective.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 43:10-27 ‘summary’: “… the Lord knew that His people could not do it.  You know they couldn’t do it.  But they didn’t know the couldn’t do it.  They learned that the hard way.  Yet the Lord promised the solution before they fully encountered the problem.
“That’s the truth that never grows old.  Anytime you start to think, ‘I can do it …’ please remember that Christ alone is your strength.  He is your life.  Without Him you can do nothing. (John 13:5).
“In Ezekiel 43:1-12, the Lord sets the stage for the instructions that He is about to give Ezekiel regarding the altar of sacrifice.  The measurements and details for consecrating the altar are given in the rest of the chapter.
“We have been studying the Lord’s reasons for sacrifices to be a part of the Israelites’ worship.  In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul gives us a full explanation of the Lord‘s plans and purposes regarding His chosen people. Although the nation at present rejects the gospel and rejects their true Messiah, Jesus Christ, the day will come when ‘all Israel will be saved.’ (Romans 11:26)  After explaining that the Lord will demonstrate His mercy on His people, Paul exuberantly praises the Lord for the depth of the riches both of His wisdom and knowledge. He rejoices that His judgments are unsearchable and His ways are past finding out.
“’For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to Him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Whom he glory forever. Amen.’ Romans 11:34-36
“Immediately following his teaching on the Lord’s relationship with His people Israel, just after Paul’s great praise to the Lord, Paul says to the Roman believers.  ‘Therefore… Because of what Paul has explained in the previous chapters, he says: therefore…[Romans 12:1-2].
“… Even though Jesus Christ made the perfect sacrifice for us, we are still commanded to make sacrifices to the Lord today! One of the ways that we can express the fullness of our love for the Lord is by laying our own lives down on His altar. It’s the way Jesus showed His love for us.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

My Thoughts

As an engineer, both educated as a chemical engineer and military engineer, I could follow the line of many in drawing the temple from the description, but why since so many have done so?  I agree with the scholars that this must be a real temple, not just a symbol in description only.  There is simply too much detail.  I have imagined things that I knew that I would never have the money to build, but never in that much detail.  I found one article that had the sizes of the tabernacle, Solomon’s temple, Herod’s temple, and then Ezekiel’s temple (for lack of a better term).  The temple that Ezekiel described could fit maybe five Herod temples inside, speaking of the temple and courtyard.  Herod’s temple could hold a few Solomon temples and Solomon’s temple was comparable to the size of a football field, American football or soccer.  As MacArthur says above, an earthquake will be needed to level the temple mount in order to build such a humongous structure.

Going through all the dimensions would be time consuming and mind-boggling.

Let us focus on Ezekiel 43.  Just as everything was consecrated in the time of the tabernacle and Solomon’s temple, everything will be consecrated with this new temple.  And with the Israelites having a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone, they will worship in Truth, as Rev. MacArthur states, in retrospection, remembering the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross.

I find it bizarre that a sacrifice is even necessary, since Jesus paid the price for all, but the Israelites had the chance to worship properly the first time and they failed, miserably.  The Millennial Reign of Jesus, presiding over the Israelites for 1,000 years, each Israelite with a new heart, desiring to worship in the proper way, will be a shining light to the entire world.  And as the scholars state, other nations will come and worship in the proper manner as well.  All in retrospect, worshipping Jesus who paid the price for our sin.

Some Serendipitous Reflections

“1. What physical place best draws you into worship? Is place or setting irrelevant to you?  How much are the senses of sight and hearing involved? Smell? Taste? Touch?
“2. How much of your church’s annual budget do you think is devoted to: (a) Building programs? (b) Mortgage payments? (c) Landscaping and maintenance? (d) Church music? (e) Pastor’s salary and housing? (f) Staff salaries? (g) Overseas missions? (h) The local poor? ls a copy of this year’s budget readily available to the small group for inspection? What do you think the economic priorities should be?
“3. What percentage of your annual family budget goes to housing, furniture, kitchen gadgets, home improvements? Do you count owning a home as an important life goal? Why or why not?
“4. Imagine you are a temple. The outer court is your public life with casual friends, the inner court your private heart. Who are the ‘faithful few’ who see that inner court? What ‘sacrifice’ did they make to gain entrance? When do you feel you can ‘open the gates’ in safety?
“1. Today there is no Temple in Jerusalem. Does that mean God has abandoned Israel?
“2. Do we need holy places? What symbolizes the presence of God to you? How can you be more aware of his nearness in your life?
“3. How would you design the ideal place for you to worship? Where would it be? What would have to be present?
“4. Imagine you are a temple, in the ‘most holy place,’ are the thoughts, feelings or parts of your life you would never dream of revealing to another person. Do you have a right to privacy or should we be open about everything? Under what conditions might you open your ‘inner sanctuary’? ls it possible to hide things from yourself?
“1. During the exile, Judaism was forced to develop new institutions, such as rabbis, synagogues, formal prayers, etc., as temporary substitutes for the temple, sacrifices, priests, etc.  Many of the new institutions survive today within Judaism. In what ways have these institutions influenced Christianity (remember that Jesus and many of the early believers were rabbis)? Why bother reading about Jewish temple regulations?
“2. Priests acted as channels between God and Israel. Do any of the following ‘channel’ God’s love to you: (a) The Bible? (b) Other believers? (c) A preacher? (d) The Lord’s Supper? (e) Nature? What else has been your ‘priest’? When were you a priest for someone else? What happened?
“3. In your life, do you have holy places? Times? People? Objects? What makes something holy?
“1. How do you experience the ‘glory of the Lord?’
“2. When did God seem far away?  Did you feel you deserved the distance? Has God made a ‘come-back’ or are you still feeling distant?
“3. Think of someone you were once close to but no longer have a relationship with.  How would you renew it if you had the power?”

  • Lyman Coleman, et al, The NIV Serendipity Bible for Study Groups

There is one set of questions per chapter.  And many of these questions, when answered, could be articles in and of themselves.

If you like these Thursday morning Bible studies, but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Thursday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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