Ezekiel - Lesson 40B-42

Chapters 40-42

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  • Last week we studied the reason there is a temple in the Kingdom

    • And then we dipped our toes into a study of the temple itself

      • And tonight, we start our tour of the temple in detail

      • But before we do that, let’s remember what we learned last week

      • And I need to prepare you a little for what we do tonight

    • Remember, we’re looking at the period of history between this age and the New Heavens and Earth to be created in the future

      • The Kingdom is a 1,000 period that ends this age

      • For that period, Ezekiel tells Israel that they will have a new and better temple

  • Let’s go back to our main question of last week, why a temple?

    • There were three reasons, generally speaking

      • First, sin always requires a spiritual sacrifice and a physical sacrifice

      • The spiritual sacrifice comes from God in the form of Jesus Christ, Who died spiritually in our place on the cross

      • Our physical sacrifice takes place on earth in the presence of God

    • Our spiritual sacrifice of Christ happened once, in a certain moment of history, and it suffices for all saints of all time

      • Before and after that moment, believers place faith in that historic act done on their behalf

      • Through our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, God credits us with Christ’s righteousness

      • We receive a spiritual covering for our sin which reconciles us to God

    • And in addition to that one-time spiritual sacrifice, the saints have always engaged in physical sacrifice as well

      • Our physical sacrifices happen repeatedly throughout our lifetime for as long as we possess sin

      • The physical sacrifices must be done in the presence of the Lord so that they may be sanctified

      • And their purpose is two-fold

  • First, they reconcile us with the community of God’s people

    • By making sacrifices in the presence of God, we are acknowledging our sin (repentance) 

      • And we are making personal sacrifice to reconcile us with our brothers and sisters before God

      • Remember what Jesus taught in Matthew

Matt. 5:23 “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
Matt. 5:24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
  • Jesus is making the point that the primary purpose in bringing offerings to the temple was to reconcile with God’s people

    • Coming before God’s presence without true repentance defies the purpose in the sacrifice 

    • In a simple sense, I compared it to going to the judge to pay your traffic fine

    • It puts you back in good standing with society and the law for a time

  • But in order for this to be true, we must perform these sacrifices in the presence of God

    • In the same way that you can’t pay your traffic fine to the policeman who tickets you

    • Nor can you give money to your neighbor and consider your fine paid

    • You must go before the judge, admit to your crime and pay your fine there

    • That’s how physical sacrifices work…they bring us back into good standing with the community of God’s people

  • Secondly, physical sacrifices teach us about the spiritual sacrifice of Christ

    • The very idea that blood must be spilled to pay our price for sin is demonstrated in the reality of Christ on the cross, once for all time

    • Our minimal sacrifices of time, or money or property can’t compare to a perfect life given on our behalf

    • And the fact that our sacrifices are repeated routinely remind us that we need a solution for our sin that’s greater than our own efforts can provide

    • So the physical sacrificial system is a daily reminder of the greater spiritual sacrifice of Christ that we can’t see

  • Now, it’s easy to see that process working in the Old Testament times when Israel had the Law and the temple

    • And we’re learning that this process also exists in the Millennial Temple when Israel is again a nation and a temple returns 

      • But where was it during the Church age? Did it exist?

      • How do we perform physical sacrifices in the presence of God?

    • As we learned in Romans 12 last week, God is dwelling among Gentiles in this age, while Israel is under judgment for a time

      • But there are multiple Gentile nations, so the Lord can’t set up His temple in just one Gentile nation

      • That would make it appear as if the Lord had selected one Gentile above the rest

      • But only Israel has the special status among nations

    • So instead, the Lord set up His residence in every believer individually so that the Lord is equally present in every nation 

      • This is a special dispensation for this age, made necessary by Israel’s scattering and the lack of a physical temple on earth

      • And therefore our physical sacrifices must be made in our person, the temple of God, where God dwells

  • Paul explains that these physical sacrifices are acts of self-sacrifice which we perform in the name of Christ to bring Him glory

    • Romans 12-16 is Paul’s explanation of what those sacrifices will look like in various realms of daily life

      • In that sense, we can say that the commands Paul gives in Romans 12-16 constitute a New Testament sacrificial system

      • They are acts of love that restore us in fellowship to our fellow believer and direct us away from sinning in the future

    • And of course, our sacrificial system also teaches us about Christ’s sacrifice

      • Like us, Christ sacrificed His own interests for the needs of the Church

      • His sacrifice ultimately meant giving His life for us, and we boast  about that sacrifice by making our life a living sacrifice for Him

    • So no matter when in history a saint lives, there is always a need for spiritual sacrifice and physical sacrifice for sin

      • And the Kingdom age will be no different

      • Since there will be sin in that time, therefore the citizens who sin in that age will engage in physical sacrifice before the Lord

      • And because Israel has returned to glory and is regathered in her land, the Lord’s presence will now be located there only 

      • He will dwell in a temple in the midst of His people, Israel

      • And therefore, physical sacrifice must once again be made in that place

  • Now we turn again to the description of the temple in the Kingdom, and as I said last week, it’s largely a description of the architecture of that place

    • Since that is very dry and even confusing in written form, it’s best experienced visually

      • So tonight we will take a tour by pictures

      • I will read the text and then we will look at artist conceptions of the space

      • The images accompanying this lesson are available for download from the VBVMI website like all our materials

    • The tour starts outside the temple and moves inwardly one step at a time

      • Chapter 40 is the temple walls, gates and courts

      • Chapter 41 is the temple building itself

      • Chapter  42 is the priests’ quarters

  • So with that background, let’s return to Ezekiel’s tour of the temple structure

Ezek. 40:1 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 city was taken, on that same day the hand of the LORD was upon me and He brought me there.
Ezek. 40:2 In the visions of God He brought me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, and on it to the south there was a structure like a city.
Ezek. 40:3 So He brought me there; and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand; and he was standing in the gateway.
Ezek. 40:4 The man said to me, “Son of man, see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and give attention to all that I am going to show you; for you have been brought here in order to show it to you. Declare to the house of Israel all that you see.”
Ezek. 40:5  And behold, there was a wall on the outside of the temple all around, and in the man’s hand was a measuring rod of six cubits, each of which was a cubit and a handbreadth. So he measured the thickness of the wall, one rod; and the height, one rod.

>> Images 1-4

  • A high mountain dominates the landscape of Israel in that day

    • It will rise up from a plain, as Zech. 14 describes

    • It will be the highest mountain on the earth

    • And Ezekiel is met by a tour guide angel with a measuring rod and string in his hand

    • Which he uses to measure the temple’s outer-most walls

  • The angel measures with a long cubit, almost 2 feet in length

    • We can get a good idea of distance in feet by multiplying cubits by two (or 1 cubit ≈ 45cm)

    • So this is a low wall running around the perimeter of the temple compound

>> Image 5

Ezek. 40:6 Then he went to the gate which faced east, went up its steps and measured the threshold of the gate, one rod in width; and the other threshold was one rod in width.
Ezek. 40:7 The guardroom was one rod long and one rod wide; and there were five cubits between the guardrooms. And the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate facing inward was one rod.
Ezek. 40:8 Then he measured the porch of the gate facing inward, one rod.
Ezek. 40:9 He measured the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and its side pillars, two cubits. And the porch of the gate was faced inward.
Ezek. 40:10 The guardrooms of the gate toward the east numbered three on each side; the three of them had the same measurement. The side pillars also had the same measurement on each side.
Ezek. 40:11 And he measured the width of the gateway, ten cubits, and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.
Ezek. 40:12 There was a barrier wall one cubit wide in front of the guardrooms on each side; and the guardrooms were six cubits square on each side.

>> Images 6-9

  • The angel enters the complex from the east and ascends 7 stairs into a large opening in the next wall called a gate

    • And there he starts to measure the dimensions of this multi-chambered gate

      • Included are guardrooms along both sides, 10x10 in size

      • What does it say that a temple entrance has guardrooms?

      • It says that this is a place that sinners frequent 

    • The backside of the gate leading into the outer court has a porch held up by pillars (v.9)

      • So you enter through a large gate that leads you to an outer courtyard

      • It’s “outer” in the sense that there is a second inner wall around the temple building itself, but it’s inside the first wall and gates

Ezek. 40:13 He measured the gate from the roof of the one guardroom to the roof of the other, a width of twenty-five cubits from one door to the door opposite.
Ezek. 40:14 He made the side pillars sixty cubits high; the gate extended round about to the side pillar of the courtyard.
Ezek. 40:15 From the front of the entrance gate to the front of the inner porch of the gate was fifty cubits.
Ezek. 40:16 There were shuttered windows looking toward the guardrooms, and toward their side pillars within the gate all around, and likewise for the porches. And there were windows all around inside; and on each side pillar were palm tree ornaments.

>> Images 10-12

  • Here we have the full dimensions of the gate

    • It’s 100ft long, 50ft wide and has a 100ft door and a 120ft porch

      • This is a large space  

      • Notice that in the measurements the recurring numbers are 5 and 6 (the 5 found in the .5 cubit walls separating spaces)

      • The number 5 is the number of grace, while the number 6 is the number for sinful man

    • So symbolically, this gate reminds people that this is a place where sin meets grace

      • The spaces of sin (6 cu) where people congregate are divided or broken up by the walls of grace (.5 cu)

      • The symbolic sense is that sin will be broken here

    • Finally, the guardrooms have shuttered or thin gaps to see in all directions

      • And the outside of the gate is part of a covered porch running along the inside perimeter of the wall

      • The posts holding up the porch are decorated with palm trees so that the gates can be easily spotted along the wall

Ezek. 40:17 Then he brought me into the outer court, and behold, there were chambers and a pavement made for the court all around; thirty chambers faced the pavement.
Ezek. 40:18 The pavement (that is, the lower pavement) was by the side of the gates, corresponding to the length of the gates.
Ezek. 40:19 Then he measured the width from the front of the lower gate to the front of the exterior of the inner court, a hundred cubits on the east and on the north.

>> Images 10-12

  • This outer court rings the temple building proper

    • And along the inner side of the outer wall are thirty chambers, which seems to limit them to three of the four walls

      • They may serve as meeting areas like Solomon’s Porch did in the Second Temple

      • The span between the outer wall and the inner wall is about 200ft

    • Then the gates on the north and south walls are also measured

Ezek. 40:20 As for the gate of the outer court which faced the north, he measured its length and its width.
Ezek. 40:21 It had three guardrooms on each side; and its side pillars and its porches had the same measurement as the first gate. Its length was fifty cubits and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek. 40:22 Its windows and its porches and its palm tree ornaments had the same measurements as the gate which faced toward the east; and it was reached by seven steps, and its porch was in front of them.
Ezek. 40:23 The inner court had a gate opposite the gate on the north as well as the gate on the east; and he measured a hundred cubits from gate to gate.
Ezek. 40:24  Then he led me toward the south, and behold, there was a gate toward the south; and he measured its side pillars and its porches according to those same measurements.
Ezek. 40:25 The gate and its porches had windows all around like those other windows; the length was fifty cubits and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek. 40:26 There were seven steps going up to it, and its porches were in front of them; and it had palm tree ornaments on its side pillars, one on each side.
Ezek. 40:27 The inner court had a gate toward the south; and he measured from gate to gate toward the south, a hundred cubits.

>> Image 13

  • These gates are identical to the east gate

  • There is no gate on the west side of the outer wall

  • Now Ezekiel describes the inner complex of the temple

Ezek. 40:28 Then he brought me to the inner court by the south gate; and he measured the south gate according to those same measurements.
Ezek. 40:29 Its guardrooms also, its side pillars and its porches were according to those same measurements. And the gate and its porches had windows all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide.
Ezek. 40:30 There were porches all around, twenty-five cubits long and five cubits wide.
Ezek. 40:31 Its porches were toward the outer court; and palm tree ornaments were on its side pillars, and its stairway had eight steps.
Ezek. 40:32  He brought me into the inner court toward the east. And he measured the gate according to those same measurements.
Ezek. 40:33 Its guardrooms also, its side pillars and its porches were according to those same measurements. And the gate and its porches had windows all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide.
Ezek. 40:34 Its porches were toward the outer court; and palm tree ornaments were on its side pillars, on each side, and its stairway had eight steps.
Ezek. 40:35  Then he brought me to the north gate; and he measured it according to those same measurements,
Ezek. 40:36 with its guardrooms, its side pillars and its porches. And the gate had windows all around; the length was fifty cubits and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek. 40:37 Its side pillars were toward the outer court; and palm tree ornaments were on its side pillars on each side, and its stairway had eight steps.
Ezek. 40:38  A chamber with its doorway was by the side pillars at the gates; there they rinse the burnt offering.
Ezek. 40:39 In the porch of the gate were two tables on each side, on which to slaughter the burnt offering, the sin offering and the guilt offering.
Ezek. 40:40 On the outer side, as one went up to the gateway toward the north, were two tables; and on the other side of the porch of the gate were two tables.
Ezek. 40:41 Four tables were on each side next to the gate; or, eight tables on which they slaughter sacrifices.
Ezek. 40:42 For the burnt offering there were four tables of hewn stone, a cubit and a half long, a cubit and a half wide and one cubit high, on which they lay the instruments with which they slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice.
Ezek. 40:43 The double hooks, one handbreadth in length, were installed in the house all around; and on the tables was the flesh of the offering.
Ezek. 40:44  From the outside to the inner gate were chambers for the singers in the inner court, one of which was at the side of the north gate, with its front toward the south, and one at the side of the south gate facing toward the north.
Ezek. 40:45 He said to me, “This is the chamber which faces toward the south, intended for the priests who keep charge of the temple;
Ezek. 40:46 but the chamber which faces toward the north is for the priests who keep charge of the altar. These are the sons of Zadok, who from the sons of Levi come near to the LORD to minister to Him.”
Ezek. 40:47 He measured the court, a perfect square, a hundred cubits long and a hundred cubits wide; and the altar was in front of the temple.

>> Images 14-17

  • These gates are the same as the outer gates in design and dimensions, though mirrored to the ones on the outer wall and have 8 steps, not 7

    • Again, there were three of these inner gates leading through the inner wall on the north, west and south sides of the wall

      • The only other difference between the inner and outer gates is that the inner gates have 8 steps instead of 7

      • The number 8 means new beginnings, so inside the temple the worshippers will find a new beginning with God

    • Next, we see the rooms used for preparing sacrifices

      • Two chambers by the doorway were used to rinse animals before sacrifice

      • There were four tables on the outside of the inner gates and four on the inside of the inner gates for a total of eight tables

    • These were used for sacrificing the animals

      • There were also four tables to hold the slaughtering implements 

      • Similar dressing tables have been found in ancient temples

  • Next, there were spaces in the inner court for singers and priests who lead in worship during the functions of the temple

    • The priests were descendants of the sons of Zadok

      • He is the faithful priest who stayed loyal to David and later Solomon

      • His sons in the Kingdom will be priests in the temple

      • That’s a reminder that faithfulness now has a reward in the Kingdom in the form of service to Christ

    • Finally, Ezekiel gives us the dimensions of the inner court

      • It’s a square, 200ft on each side with an altar standing in front of the temple building itself

      • Finally, there is a wide porch leading up into the temple

Ezek. 40:48 Then he brought me to the porch of the temple and measured each side pillar of the porch, five cubits on each side; and the width of the gate was three cubits on each side.
Ezek. 40:49 The length of the porch was twenty cubits and the width eleven cubits; and at the stairway by which it was ascended were columns belonging to the side pillars, one on each side.

>> Image 18

  • The tour of the temple begins with a large entrance

    • It’s 40ft long and 22ft across

Ezek. 41:1 Then he brought me to the nave and measured the side pillars; six cubits wide on each side was the width of the side pillar.
Ezek. 41:2 The width of the entrance was ten cubits and the sides of the entrance were five cubits on each side. And he measured the length of the nave, forty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits.
Ezek. 41:3 Then he went inside and measured each side pillar of the doorway, two cubits, and the doorway, six cubits high; and the width of the doorway, seven cubits.
Ezek. 41:4 He measured its length, twenty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits, before the nave; and he said to me, “This is the most holy place.”
Ezek. 41:5  Then he measured the wall of the temple, six cubits; and the width of the side chambers, four cubits, all around about the house on every side.
Ezek. 41:6 The side chambers were in three stories, one above another, and thirty in each story; and the side chambers extended to the wall which stood on their inward side all around, that they might be fastened, and not be fastened into the wall of the temple itself.
Ezek. 41:7 The side chambers surrounding the temple were wider at each successive story. Because the structure surrounding the temple went upward by stages on all sides of the temple, therefore the width of the temple increased as it went higher; and thus one went up from the lowest story to the highest by way of the second story.
Ezek. 41:8 I saw also that the house had a raised platform all around; the foundations of the side chambers were a full rod of six long cubits in height.
Ezek. 41:9 The thickness of the outer wall of the side chambers was five cubits. But the free space between the side chambers belonging to the temple
Ezek. 41:10 and the outer chambers was twenty cubits in width all around the temple on every side.
Ezek. 41:11 The doorways of the side chambers toward the free space consisted of one doorway toward the north and another doorway toward the south; and the width of the free space was five cubits all around.
Ezek. 41:12  The building that was in front of the separate area at the side toward the west was seventy cubits wide; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick all around, and its length was ninety cubits.

>> Images 19-21

  • Ezekiel describes the entrance with its tall door posts which were 12ft square

    • That leads through a 12ft high doorway into a 40x80 ft holy place

      • Then the entrance to the most holy place, or the holy of holies is measured in v.3

      • It’s 40ft square and empty at this point

    • Then in v.5 we go outside to measure the outside of the temple building 

>> Image 22

  • In vs.5-7, we find the outside walls narrowing as you go higher [compare #1 to #2]

  • There are wooden side chambers built around the outside of the temple building in a 3-story structure for a total of 30 per story [#3]

  • As the wall gets narrower, the side chamber gets thicker to keep the outside of the temple structure straight going up [compare #3 to #4]

  • But the chambers sit against the wall without being physically attached by nails or bolts

  • Then in vs.8-11 Ezekiel describes the platform and walls immediately around the temple 

    • In v.8 the foundation was raised 6 cubits off the court level [#5]

    • And the wall surrounding the temple is 10ft thick [#6]

    • That leaves a 10ft walkway according to v.9 [#7]

    • And then in v.10 we find on the outside of that wall a 40ft area called the Separate Place all around the temple [#8]

    • In v.11 we hear of 10ft doors leading into the side chambers [near #7]

>> Image 23

  • In v.12 the separate area leads to a west building behind the temple

    • And on either side north and south are the priests’ chambers

    • The west building is 180x140ft with 10ft walls, so the total dimensions are 200x160ft

    • Add the separate space in front (directly east) of this building, and you have a perfect 200ft square area

  • Then we zoom out for the total dimensions of the temple

Ezek. 41:13 Then he measured the temple, a hundred cubits long; the separate area with the building and its walls were also a hundred cubits long.
Ezek. 41:14 Also the width of the front of the temple and that of the separate areas along the east side totaled a hundred cubits.
Ezek. 41:15  He measured the length of the building along the front of the separate area behind it, with a gallery on each side, a hundred cubits; he also measured the inner nave and the porches of the court.
Ezek. 41:16 The thresholds, the latticed windows and the galleries round about their three stories, opposite the threshold, were paneled with wood all around, and from the ground to the windows (but the windows were covered),
Ezek. 41:17 over the entrance, and to the inner house, and on the outside, and on all the wall all around inside and outside, by measurement.

>> Image 24

  • Based on the dimensions given in vs.13-17, you arrive at Image 24

    • Looking at the temple (A) from the entrance to the west of the building you find 5 20s for a total of 200ft (100cu)

      • That separate space plus the west building is another 200ft

      • In v.14 he measured north to south from B for a total of 5 more 20s

      • Then in v.15 he measures the length of the separate spaces at 100cu each

      • And the outside of all these structures is paneled in wood from the ground to the windows

    • Then we go back inside the temple to see the details of the construction

Ezek. 41:18 It was carved with cherubim and palm trees; and a palm tree was between cherub and cherub, and every cherub had two faces,
Ezek. 41:19 a man’s face toward the palm tree on one side and a young lion’s face toward the palm tree on the other side; they were carved on all the house all around.
Ezek. 41:20 From the ground to above the entrance cherubim and palm trees were carved, as well as on the wall of the nave.
Ezek. 41:21 The doorposts of the nave were square; as for the front of the sanctuary, the appearance of one doorpost was like that of the other.
Ezek. 41:22 The altar was of wood, three cubits high and its length two cubits; its corners, its base and its sides were of wood. And he said to me, “This is the table that is before the LORD.”
Ezek. 41:23 The nave and the sanctuary each had a double door.
Ezek. 41:24 Each of the doors had two leaves, two swinging leaves; two leaves for one door and two leaves for the other.
Ezek. 41:25 Also there were carved on them, on the doors of the nave, cherubim and palm trees like those carved on the walls; and there was a threshold of wood on the front of the porch outside.
Ezek. 41:26 There were latticed windows and palm trees on one side and on the other, on the sides of the porch; thus were the side chambers of the house and the thresholds.

>> Image 25

  • We don’t know exactly what this looks like, of course, but includes palms, lions and cherubim

    • The cherubim are described as 2-faced, not the four faces of earlier

      • They have the faces of man and lion, but not ox or eagle

      • The palm tree is a symbol of Israel and symbol of life rising up out of barren places

      • The cherub is a guardian of God’s glory

      • The interposing of 2-faced cherubim and palm trees offers opportunity for speculation, but the specific meaning isn’t clear

    • In the center of the entrance is a small wooded altar (v.22)

      • The doors into the Holy of Holies consists of two swinging leaves each

      • And there were more carvings on the doors

      • The same kind of doors were on the opening of the temple itself

  • Then in Chapter 42, we visit the priests’ chambers

Ezek. 42:1 Then he brought me out into the outer court, the way toward the north; and he brought me to the chamber which was opposite the separate area and opposite the building toward the north.
Ezek. 42:2 Along the length, which was a hundred cubits, was the north door; the width was fifty cubits.
Ezek. 42:3 Opposite the twenty cubits which belonged to the inner court, and opposite the pavement which belonged to the outer court, was gallery corresponding to gallery in three stories.
Ezek. 42:4 Before the chambers was an inner walk ten cubits wide, a way of one hundred cubits; and their openings were on the north.
Ezek. 42:5 Now the upper chambers were smaller because the galleries took more space away from them than from the lower and middle ones in the building.
Ezek. 42:6 For they were in three stories and had no pillars like the pillars of the courts; therefore the upper chambers were set back from the ground upward, more than the lower and middle ones.
Ezek. 42:7 As for the outer wall by the side of the chambers, toward the outer court facing the chambers, its length was fifty cubits.
Ezek. 42:8 For the length of the chambers which were in the outer court was fifty cubits; and behold, the length of those facing the temple was a hundred cubits.
Ezek. 42:9 Below these chambers was the entrance on the east side, as one enters them from the outer court.
Ezek. 42:10 In the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, facing the separate area and facing the building, there were chambers.
Ezek. 42:11 The way in front of them was like the appearance of the chambers which were on the north, according to their length so was their width, and all their exits were both according to their arrangements and openings.
Ezek. 42:12 Corresponding to the openings of the chambers which were toward the south was an opening at the head of the way, the way in front of the wall toward the east, as one enters them.
Ezek. 42:13 Then he said to me, “The north chambers and the south chambers, which are opposite the separate area, they are the holy chambers where the priests who are near to the LORD shall eat the most holy things. There they shall lay the most holy things, the grain offering, the sin offering and the guilt offering; for the place is holy.
Ezek. 42:14 “When the priests enter, then they shall not go out into the outer court from the sanctuary without laying there their garments in which they minister, for they are holy. They shall put on other garments; then they shall approach that which is for the people.”

>> Images 26-27

  • The priests’ chambers sit on the north and south sides of the temple building connected by the separate area

    • Ezekiel is standing in one of these open areas, the one on the north side

      • It had a three story gallery that was tiered

      • The gallery was two sections facing one another

      • One section is half the length of the other so that they are offset by 50cu (100ft) in length

    • In vs.9-12 Ezekiel describes the entrance that leads from the outer court westward into the gallery between the tiered galleries

      • This allowed the priests to enter the galleries without going into the temple court proper

    • In v.13 Ezekiel confirms the galleries on the south were the same 

      • And in v.14 he gives us a clue about how these galleries are used

      • The priests must change here and cannot leave into the outer court with their priestly garments

  • Now Ezekiel exits the temple compound to measure the outside perimeter 

Ezek. 42:15 Now when he had finished measuring the inner house, he brought me out by the way of the gate which faced toward the east and measured it all around.
Ezek. 42:16 He measured on the east side with the measuring reed five hundred reeds by the measuring reed.
Ezek. 42:17 He measured on the north side five hundred reeds by the measuring reed.
Ezek. 42:18 On the south side he measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed.
Ezek. 42:19 He turned to the west side and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed.
Ezek. 42:20 He measured it on the four sides; it had a wall all around, the length five hundred and the width five hundred, to divide between the holy and the profane.

>> Images 28-29

  • From a simple reading of this passage, it seems that Ezekiel finished measuring the inside of the temple and then went out the east gate

    • Then he preceded to measure the perimeter of the temple compound

      • Based on the internal measurements, that should result in a 500cu square measure, or 1,000ft sq, or 3/4 mile circumference 

      • But the test says something else at this point

    • Ezekiel says the measurement was five hundred reeds, not cubits

      • The reed was 6cu long, so in effect this measurement says 3,000cu, which is 6,000ft or over a mile in each direction

      • If that’s intended, then it must be measuring some unmentioned outer barrier or open land surrounding the temple

    • Notice in v.20 Ezekiel says this area is a barrier between the holy and profane

      • That could refer to a “no man’s land” that separates the rest of the earth from the temple compound

      • If so, then the mountain top on which this temple sits is well over a mile square 

  • What do we learn from these details?

    • First, the precision of these measurements and the exactness of all relationships is almost impossible to invent without drafting tools

      • It’s hard to believe that Ezekiel could invent these things as fantasy and remain so exact in every detail

      • It also suggests the reality of this building, removing any suggestion that it’s a metaphor or symbolic

      • It’s clearly a literal description of a real structure but unlike one that has ever existed in Israel

    • Secondly, if we had patience to study every dimension and its relationship to every other, we would probably see an incredible layering of meaning

      • Many have poured over the original tabernacle looking over these details and have seen much symbolism

      • But a similar level of study of Ezekiel’s temple is uncommon

      • And so there are probably many more discoveries waiting in the details of this building, especially with so many measurement numbers to consider

    • Thirdly, the size of this temple reflects the need for some many millions of people to stream to this place from all over the world

      • This temple will save all humanity, not just the Jewish people

      • This reinforces the truth that Israel is the center of the world and all worship and government will center on this nation

    • Finally, the reality of an operating temple of this scale, priests, guards and the like remind us of how prevalent sin will be in that world

      • We will be above it all, ruling, but we will still see it all around

      • Because of Christ’s perfect rule, the effects of sin will be greatly mitigated and controlled

      • But it will still be in the world, which will make Christ’s perfect rule all the more amazing to see operating

  • Next time, we study the return of the glory of the Lord and the sacrificial system