Ezekiel 40

The Temple

 
 1  In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither.
 2  In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.
 3  And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.
 4  And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel. 
.5 ¶ And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man's hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed. (Ezek. 40) The rest of the text is at the bottom of this page.

The date
    The vision was given on the day of atonement which was the seventh day of the tenth month of the sanctuary calendar (Lev. 16:29). The equivalent day in the civil calendar, I understand is the tenth day of the first month. Also in the first verse, we see that the captivity had begun twenty-five years earlier.

The purpose a popular concept
    I have examined a careful presentation of the idea that, since sin remained, Jewish temples have not had the glory and presence of God. It is reasoned that, because Ezekiel describes that glory, the temple he described will be built for worship during the coming millennium. Of course all this includes the theory of the rapture where the Christians are taken from the earth re0107b. It is true that God's glory was lost from the Jewish temple. He left it desolate mt2337f. So we do look forward to God's glory when sin will have been removed but with no temple. John describes it.
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    "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." (Rev. 21:22, 23).
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    The idea includes a misunderstanding of other topics, too. We look at them elsewhere in this commentary ez-home-b. One of the most fundamental is the understanding of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9. The theory assumes that the 70th week is split off from the 69 and comes during the thousand years. That week or 7 years is a special time, but not separated by 2000 years from the rest of the time.
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 24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
 25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
 26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
 27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Dan. 9)
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    In his chapter 9, Daniel was concerned that his people were not ready to leave Babylon. Gabriel explained that they would have a probationary period to be ready for the more important kingdom of the Messiah. It would last 490 years (70 sevens of years). If the 70th week were split off, their probation would be some 2000 years instead of 490. This is contrary to the fundamental purpose and meaning of the text. Although the text in Dan. 9 needs careful study to be understood, the fundamental principle of probation is simple. At the end of the time, Jesus was rejected as the Messiah and the Jews no longer had a special assignment as the "chosen people." This does not mean that individual Jews are beyond salvation. We discuss this elsewhere.
    Also, the thousand years is explained in Revelation 20 and leaves no room for such ideas. A good look at the true meanings of the texts is more important than explaining the false ones, although we sometimes need to look at error to see where it went wrong.
    A number of other texts are given special interpretations. We look at some of the basic concepts that need to be understood as we study Revelation 7 re0704. I urge you to take a close look at this page.

The purpose as shown to Ezekiel
    As with other parts of the book of Ezekiel, the temple here is symbolic. It represents the sanctuary which is itself an explanation of the plan of Salvation through Christ. God is saying, go back and take a look at the plan of salvation. Examine all the details. Our chapter 40 begins with the city which elsewhere represents God's people. See Isa. 62. In the heart of the city was the temple which helped the people know how to live.
    Verse 2 of our chapter above says that the prophet was taken into the land of Israel (in vision). In verse 4 he is told to look and listen because they [the people of Israel] would be shown to him. After descriptions of the temple representing their relationship to God and His plan we read:
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 9  Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.
 10  Thou son of man, shew the house [temple] to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.
 11  And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house. . . . (Ezek. 43)

    Do you see the point above? The house of Israel should have been the house of God. They are asked to measure the pattern [in the plan God had given through the prophets, especially the sanctuary system], to understand that they need to make changes. Never were they told to make a physical structure according to this plan. That they already had. They were just not being careful to "measure" its meaning. On building the temple of David, see the note with Amos 9.

Revelation
    The final chapters of the book of Revelation draw on the temple here described for their meaning. We quote some significant parts and link to their meanings. I suggest you read it 2202ez.

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Text Comments
.6 Then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs thereof, and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad; and the other threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad. 
 7 And every little chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad; and between the little chambers were five cubits; and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one reed.
 8 He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed.
 9 Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts thereof, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was inward.
 10 And the little chambers of the gate eastward were three on this side, and three on that side; they three were of one measure: and the posts had one measure on this side and on that side.
 11 And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.
 12 The space also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side, and the space was one cubit on that side: and the little chambers were six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side. 
.13 He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another: the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door against door.
 14 He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate.
 15 And from the face of the gate of the entrance unto the face of the porch of the inner gate were fifty cubits.
 16 And there were narrow windows to the little chambers, and to their posts within the gate round about, and likewise to the arches: and windows were round about inward: and upon each post were palm trees.


16 - Narrow windows See on 1ki0604. Perhaps similar to those of the castle illustrated.
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From Family Bible Notes
The general plan of this temple with its courts is as follows: 

    First, there is an outer court, lying four-square, and of great extent, v17; 42:16-20; with rows of chambers round about, thirty in number, v17.  This court has three outer gates, one on the east side, one on the north, and one on the south, from each of which a passag-way leads inward with three little chambers on each side of it, v:6-26
    Secondly, there is an inner court, in front of the temple, with various chambers on its sides.  This has also three gates and passage-ways, opposite to and corresponding with those of the outer court.  The altar of burnt-offering stands in this inner court, and in the north passage-way are eight tables with implements for sacrificing. The ascent from the outer to the inner court is by eight steps.  From the inner court a way leads to the temple through a porch twenty cubits by eleven, v27-49
    Thirdly, the temple consists of two divisions: the holy place, forty cubits long by twenty wide; and the most holy, twenty cubits square, Eze 41:1-4.
Fourthly, around the temple without, on all sides except the front, are rows of side-chambers, three stories in height, Eze 41:5-11
    Fifthly, in the rear of the temple, westward, is a structure ninety cubits by seventy, with a "separate place" apparently between it and the temple, Eze 41:12
    The brevity of this commentary does not allow a detailed account of the various structures and apartments described by Ezekiel, respecting some of which there is much obscurity and difficulty.

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.17 Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement.
 18 And the pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates was the lower pavement.
 19 Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the lower gate unto the forefront of the inner court without, an hundred cubits eastward and northward. 
 20 And the gate of the outward court that looked toward the north, he measured the length thereof, and the breadth thereof. 
 21 And the little chambers thereof were three on this side and three on that side; and the posts thereof and the arches thereof were after the measure of the first gate: the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. 
 22 And their windows, and their arches, and their palm trees, were after the measure of the gate that looketh toward the east; and they went up unto it by seven steps; and the arches thereof were before them.
 23 And the gate of the inner court was over against the gate toward the north, and toward the east; and he measured from gate to gate an hundred cubits.
 24 After that he brought me toward the south, and behold a gate toward the south: and he measured the posts thereof and the arches thereof according to these measures.
 25 And there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about, like those windows: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.
 26 And there were seven steps to go up to it, and the arches thereof were before them: and it had palm trees, one on this side, and another on that side, upon the posts thereof.
.27 ¶ And there was a gate in the inner court toward the south: and he measured from gate to gate toward the south an hundred cubits.
 28 And he brought me to the inner court by the south gate: and he measured the south gate according to these measures;
 29 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, according to these measures: and there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.
 30 And the arches round about were five and twenty cubits long, and five cubits broad. 
 31 And the arches thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof: and the going up to it had eight steps.
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 32 And he brought me into the inner court toward the east: and he measured the gate according to these measures.
 33 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were according to these measures: and there were windows therein and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.
 34 And the arches thereof were toward the outward court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.
 35 And he brought me to the north gate, and measured it according to these measures;
 36 The little chambers thereof, the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, and the windows to it round about: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.
 37 And the posts thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.
 38 And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering.
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 39 ¶ And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering.
 40 And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables. 
 41 Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices.
 42 And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice.
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 43 And within were hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering. 
 44 And without the inner gate were the chambers of the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one at the side of the east gate having the prospect toward the north.
 45 And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house. 
 46 And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister unto him.
 47 So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare; and the altar that was before the house.
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 48 And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side.
 49 The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits; and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.
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