- Eze. 40:1-49; 41:1-26; 42:1-20; 43:1-27; 44:1-3
Twelve years after Ezekiel's last message from GOD, the LORD appeared to him in a vision and took him to Israel and set him on a high mountain. A man who looked like bronze appeared next to Ezekiel. The man had a measuring stick in his hand. He showed Ezekiel a new temple and went about measuring every aspect of it in thorough detail. GOD told Ezekiel to record the vision and share it with the Israelites. The level of detail of the dimensions of this temple reminds us of the tabernacle and Solomon's temple.
In Ezekiel's vision, there is no mention of the ark of the covenant nor the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place. After completing the measuring of this temple, Ezekiel saw the glory of the LORD coming from the east. His voice sounded like mighty rushing waters and the land appeared very bright. Seeing this, Ezekiel fell facedown. The glory of the LORD entered the temple and the Spirit of the LORD lifted Ezekiel up from the ground and brought him into the inner court.
A voice spoke to Ezekiel from inside the temple, saying:
7 And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places. 8 When they set their threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the abominations which they committed; therefore I have consumed them in My anger. 9 Now let them put their harlotry and the carcasses of their kings far away from Me, and I will dwell in their midst forever.
(Eze. 43:7-9 NKJV)
1 Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. 2 The LORD said to me, “This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered through it. 3 The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the LORD. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.”
(Eze. 44:1-3 NIV)
The exact meaning and purpose for this vision from GOD is difficult to determine. Although at this point it might seem like this is the temple the LORD intends to be built when the people return from captivity that will not be the case. The new temple will be much smaller and less beautiful than Solomon's temple which the Babylonians destroyed according to the will of GOD. Tomorrow we will conclude our reading regarding this vision of Ezekiel.