Vision of the New Temple


Text: Ezekiel 40-44

 

I.         Once again we have a dated prophecy

            A.        Day 10, Month 1, Year 25 or October 2, 574 BC

            B.        It was on this day that Ezekiel was inspired to speak again

            C.        Ezekiel is taken is spirit to Israel where he saw to the south of the mountain he was on, something like a city (notice the vagueness) - Isaiah 2:2; Revelation 21:10

                        1.         Jerusalem was built to the south of Mount Zion (or Moriah)- Psalm 48:2

            D.        There he sees a man, but shining like polished bronze - Daniel 10:6

                        1.         He was carrying a rod and line, used in measurements

                        2.         Some connect this to Christ - Zechariah 6:12-13; Revelation 1:15

            E.        Ezekiel is commissioned to report everything he sees to Israel

                        1.         Nothing is to be left out. Everything shown is important

                        2.         It would require his full attention

II.        The vision of the temple is generally thought to be figurative.

            A.        The size of the temple and other areas exceed the size of Jerusalem and Israel’s territory.

            B.        The measuring rod was six great cubits (a great cubit equaled a standard cubit plus a span)

                        1.         A standard cubit was about 18 inches, this was a hand’s breath longer (4 inches) making it about 22 inches for a great cubit (or 11 feet total)

                        2.         Others think it is 6 standard cubits, plus a hand’s breath (or 9 feet 4 inches)

                        3.         I’ll use the first definition in this outline

III.       Ezekiel’s tour as the measurements are done

            A.        Outer court

                        1.         The outer wall 66 feet long, 11 feet high, and 11 feet in thickness - Ezekiel 40:5

                        2.         The eastern gate - 11 feet wide - Ezekiel 40:6-16

                        3.         The outer court (the court of the people) - Ezekiel 40:17-19

                                    a.         Lower and Upper pavement

                        4.         North Gate - Ezekiel 40:20-23

                        5.         South Gate - Ezekiel 40:24-27

            B.        Inner court

                        1.         Inner court’s south gate - Ezekiel 40:28-31

                        2.         Inner court’s east gate - Ezekiel 40:32-34

                        3.         Inner court’s north gate - Ezekiel 40:35-37

                                    a.         Vestibule of the north gate contained tables for processing the sacrifices - Ezekiel 40:38-43

                        4.         Chambers for the priests and singers next to the north and south gates - Ezekiel 40:44-46

                        5.         The inner court - Ezekiel 40:47

                                    a.         The altar is located here

            C.        The temple proper

                        1.         The temple vestibule - Ezekiel 40:48-49

                        2.         The sanctuary - Ezekiel 41:1-4

                        3.         The walls - Ezekiel 41:5

                        4.         Side chambers and hall ways - Ezekiel 41:6-11

                                    a.         Three stories, but stair stepped outwards.

            D.        Building to the west of the temple - Ezekiel 41:12-14

            E.        Details of the temple - Ezekiel 41:15-26

            F.        They then when out the north inner court gate to the north outer courtyard (the court of the priests) - Ezekiel 42:1-14

                        1.         The went into one of the outer chambers

                        2.         Here we learn there are three stories of chambers, like the temple’s chambers, but these stair step inwards

                        3.         These are for storing the offerings and for the priests to change clothing.

            G.        The temple’s land - Ezekiel 42:15-20

                        1.         5500 feet in each direction to separate the holy temple from the rest of the world.

IV.      The glory of God returns - Ezekiel 43:1-5

            A.        The appearance of God was like that described earlier - Ezekiel 1, 8

            B.        Recall that God’s glory left by the east gate - Ezekiel 11:23

            C.        Now He is returning by the same way.

            D.        Ezekiel witness the entrance and then was moved to the inner court to witness God’s glory filling the temple.

V.        Conditions of God’s return - Ezekiel 43:6-12

            A.        God speaks to Ezekiel while a man (an angel) stands by him - Ezekiel 43:6

            B.        God will dwell among the children of Israel - Exodus 29:45

            C.        Soles of His feet - I Chronicles 28:2

            D.        The people would no longer worship idols, such as when they placed their idol’s houses in God’s own house.- Ezekiel 43:7-9

            E.        Ezekiel is to describe the glory of God’s temple so the people would be ashamed of their idols’ temples - Ezekiel 43:10-12

            F.        Let them measure the pattern - Ezekiel 43:10

                        1.         They need to compare their lives against the standard of God

                        2.         God’s pattern is to be closely followed - Hebrews 8:5; Acts 7:44

                        3.         Hold fast to the pattern of sound words - II Timothy 1:13

            G.        Let them perform them - Ezekiel 43:11

            H.        The law of God’s temple (house) is that it is most holy - Revelation 21:27

VI.      The Altar

            A.        The measurements - Ezekiel 43:13-17

            B.        The Ordinances - Ezekiel 43:18-27

                        1.         First the priest serving must be purified with sacrifices

                        2.         Then the altar will be purified with seven days of sacrifices

                        3.         Only then will God accept the people’s sacrifices

VII.     Ezekiel is brought back to the east outer sanctuary gate, but finds them shut - Ezekiel 44:1-3

            A.        It was shut because it was the entrance God used for returning to the temple.

            B.        It is reserved for the coming prince

            C.        Echoed in Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 3:7

            D.        Possible echo in John 10:7-9

VIII.    Ezekiel returns to the north gate and sees the glory of God - Ezekiel 44:4-31

            A.        Rules are given as to who may enter or leave the temple

            B.        Ezekiel is sent to inform the rebellious house of Israel - Ezekiel 44:5

                        1.         God will have none of Israel’s past abominations - Ezekiel 44:6-9

                                    a.         They had brought in foreigners - Deuteronomy 23:2; Lamentations 1:10

                                    b.         They had broke the covenant

                                    c.         They hired others to keep the holy things of God - Numbers 18:3-5

                                    d.         Thus God is tightening the law to disallow all uncircumcised from the temple

                                                (1)       John 3:3-5, Colossians 2:11-14 - You can’t enter the kingdom without spiritual circumcision

                        2.         The punishment of the Levites - Ezekiel 44:10-14

                                    a.         Because they went after idols, they will bear a consequence

                                    b.         They will continue to serve in the temple, but not as priests.

                                    c.         They have become ordinary Levites, serving but not entering the Temple or going near the holy things.

                        3.         The sons of Zadok are rewarded - Ezekiel 44:15-16

                                    a.         Some priests has remained faithful - I Chronicles 24:3

                                    b.         Zadok descended from Eleazar who was promised a perpetual priesthood - Numbers 25:12-13

                        4.         Instructions to the priests - Ezekiel 44:17-31

                                    a.         Clothing

                                                (1)       Nothing that causes sweating

                                                (2)       Used exclusively for the temple

                                    b.         Hair - Not shaved, nor long, but well-trimmed

                                    c.         Food - No drinking while on duty - Leviticus 10:9

                                    d.         Marriages - Must be honorable. No widows (unless a wife of a priest) or divorced woman. Must be an Israelite. - Leviticus 21:7, 13-14

                                    e.         Duties

                                                (1)       Teach people to distinguish clean and unclean (right and wrong) - Leviticus 10:10-11

                                                (2)       Judges of the people concerning the law - Deuteronomy 17:8-9

                                    f.         Laws concerning cleanliness

                                    g.         Law concerning inheritance

                                    h.         Laws concerning compensation (food)