Think of the strange public methods that have been employed to broadcast the impending judgment. Here Ezekiel is to lie on one side on a tile 390 days continuously and 40 days on the side eating only the rations given at the start and bread cooked on dung. Jeremiah was breaking ancient pots and such. Wasn't it Isaiah walking naked for three years? Certainly not just anyone could get the message out by doing this, these men must have been fully established as prophets before hand in order to have impact. With the state of things the way they are this well may have the best of all options. It is rarely the convincing intellectual dialog and reasoning we think of that is called for. Knowing that God is perfect in all His ways, it makes me wonder what methods He might have for us today?
The chapter reads much faster than the vision would have played out. Imagine the time involved making these measurements 6 cubits at a time. In order to remember all this detail, Ezekiel must have been writing it down as each transpired.
Having been around friends that are architects and structural engineers, I can sense the amount of thought and design that must have gone into this temple. The attention to scope and field and depth, semblance and symmetry and proportion, utility and aesthetic. I would imagine that Ezekiel is seeing this pristine and uninhabited. I would imagine the architect is seeing this with the flow of people in and out, the reverence and perception that He is attempting to evoke. I have seen the complexity of blue prints and schematics, I cant imagine trying to build this from a written description.
What is the importance of these details to us today? That God has a great many (if not all) details planned out; that He is trying to tell us something needed to be known. Consider that this temple fell and was desecrated just as the first and yet it is not a mistake that God gave it such detail and foresight; it is all part of a much greater plan/dialog. Often physical things and events described in the Bible are shadows/pictures/blue prints of things occurring in the spiritual world put into a language we could more readily understand. I have heard men like Dr. Vernen Mc Gee attempt to show how the Temple, the things of it, the predetermined rituals spell out a spiritual description of salvation and atonement; things like the 'holy of holys' that only the high priest was able to enter after being cleansed once a year. North gates, south gates, having to go in one gate and out another, tables and hooks, borders of pomegranate and palms, etc..., they all have their meaning in a spiritual sense. The thing for now to know is that Jesus is the complete fulfillment of all of these descriptive types. To go back and rediscover what each of these types means is to study what Jesus was able to accomplish and who we are in Him; for us each detail measured out precisely.
It may be that having seen the original temple that Ezekiel's contemporaries would have known how this Temple would have differed from the first. Perhaps they are following along in their mind right and left and forward as Ezekiel's vision goes. Many men today would be able to study comparisons of the two even the third yet to come, but it would be interpretive, their best guess. index:WEBLINKS temple has some videos and maps of the Temples in the bible search - images and bible - video sections.
Further study off site is suggesting that Ezekiel's Temple would be the Third or Millennial Temple. I still don't quite understand. If there is a temple built at Tribulation and it is desecrated that would be the third. This chapter suggests that this will be the final temple, that His feet will never again leave. Is the same temple simply restored in the Millennium or the same design used; is the third essentially the fourth? Is there not a new and final temple in the new Heaven and Earth's new Jerusalem post Millennium? Confused!
The Law and ritual return in this temple as do the sacrifices. If this is in the Millennium or later salvation and the remission of sins have already been achieved once and for all by the blood of Jesus and the order of high priest is now after Melchizedek and not Levi. These offerings then would either be symbolic and memorial or else a covering for sins that the sacrifice of Jesus does not atone for. The former makes greater sense to me.
Only the Levitical order of Zadok is re-installed, the rest bare their own shame. The daily service and requirements seems to be much the same as before the difference being this time that it is all carried out to the tee. This is performed for the children of Israel. There still appears to be strangers and uncircumcised that will not be allowed into this temple. If this is the third or final temple it must suggest a continued segregation of Israelite worship from Gentile.
I find this an extremely challenging section of prophecy. The consequences of interpretation shape deep doctrinal foundations. The reader must study and ponder this deeply and come to their own conclusions; which is a very good thing. We are challenged by scripture every day. We are stirred. We are unsettled. We are encouraged to examine and re-examine. Nothing but Christ at times seem fully settled. This is what makes faith in the Bible real and living and dynamic; the constant challenge. Thereby we grow, we are shaped, we are moved. Some seek the answers that are readily available and figure if it is not readily there it is not there at all. Others however seek deeper into the broad context and the doctrinal consequence to shed light upon that which is not readily answered. Just because I am presently confused over this passage does not mean that the answer is not there, it means that I am being challenged. My curiosity is thus thrilled to explore it much further.
A large parcel of land is sectioned off for the the ministers of the temple as a sanctuary for their homes. The home of particular interest is the home of the prince. Weights and measures are corrected by the princes under the prince to make right the tithes and gifts and commerce. Sacrifices are being made for errors, there remain sin offerings, reconciliation is mentioned twice. New moons and Sabbaths are ordained, there is a monthly cleansing performed for the alter and for the priests. All of this specifically detailed as for the children of Israel.
Concerning the prince, burnt and peace offerings are being prepared for him therefore he is not a priest. He is required to make offerings and sacrifices, he must not be covered by the blood of Christ. He is gifting possessions to sons born to him and servants that work for him as inheritances. Who then could this be? My guess as of now... it is most likely that this prince would be David. That is if this temple is the final temple.
Are we seeing that there will be possessions exchanged and given and inherited in the future? Are we seeing that there will be class distinctions between royalty and servants? We have seen mention previously of money and measurements of commerce.
A few interesting indications of the future life of Israel. Fishing, there will be industry and markets and the need to eat, the brackish water where the healing water meets the sea will be particularly plentiful. Medicine, it will still be needed, there will be a new leaf from a new tree (evergreen) that will be used to produce a new medicine.
The original blood lines will have to be re-established in order to do this. I doubt if this could be done right now with total accuracy. Much of the blood lines have been co-mingled or defiled and the proofs of the lines have been blurred. I would think that authentic right would have to be told to us by the Lord.
We have commented before as to how several cults believe that Israel has been stricken from from the Lord's redemption plan because of their apostasy and that they (the cult followers) are now its spiritual replacement. If so, then explain this chapter. Does there not have to be the original blood lines?
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