- Eze. 44:4-23, 24b, 25-27, 31, 24a, 28-30; 45:1-25; 46:1-24; 47:1-23; 48:1-35b
Today we conclude our two-day look at Ezekiel’s vision regarding a new temple. In today’s reading, GOD reminds Ezekiel of various aspects of the Law of Moses which are to be carried out once the captivity period ends, and there are new instructions GOD gives as well. As I mentioned yesterday, it is difficult to understand the meaning of this vision. GOD seems to introduce a new role called a “prince” which carries with it specific responsibilities. For example, GOD says:
9 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Enough, O princes of Israel! Remove violence and plundering, execute justice and righteousness, and stop dispossessing My people,” says the Lord GOD. 10 “You shall have honest scales…
(Eze. 45:9-10 NKJV)
17 Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at all the appointed seasons of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.”
(Eze. 45:17 NKJV)
This vision of a new temple seems to be, at least in part, figurative in nature, which means that GOD is using one thing to represent something else. One reason this seems likely is that there is a river which flows out from under the floor of the temple. The river gets gradually deeper and flows all the way into the Dead Sea. There are swamps, marshes and fruit trees which grow alongside this river. Similar trees are mentioned in the book of Revelation as providing healing for the nations (Rev. 22:2). I personally believe this temple vision is describing the church of Jesus—that is, the New Jerusalem, and in a sense, on an individual level, those faithful Christians whose body would form the temple of the Holy Spirit—things which would come some five centuries later and continue even through today.
GOD tells Ezekiel to divide up the land appropriately to all of the 12 tribes of Israel, with Joseph receiving a double portion (Ephraim and Manasseh). The conclusion of the vision is that the city which contains this temple will be named “THE LORD IS THERE.”
Whatever the true meaning of this vision may be, one thing can be certain—only a true child of GOD who worships Him acceptably may enter this temple.