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This is the New King James text of the passages.
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Ezekiel 42-43    Listen Podcast

Dimensions of the new temple (Ezekiel 42)

1 Then he brought me out into the outer court, by the way toward the north; and he brought me into the chamber which was opposite the separating courtyard, and which was opposite the building toward the north.
2 Facing the length, which was one hundred cubits (the width was fifty cubits), was the north door.
3 Opposite the inner court of twenty cubits, and opposite the pavement of the outer court, was gallery against gallery in three stories.
4 In front of the chambers, toward the inside, was a walk ten cubits wide, at a distance of one cubit; and their doors faced north.
5 Now the upper chambers were shorter, because the galleries took away space from them more than from the lower and middle stories of the building.
6 For they were in three stories and did not have pillars like the pillars of the courts; therefore the upper level was shortened more than the lower and middle levels from the ground up.
7 And a wall which was outside ran parallel to the chambers, at the front of the chambers, toward the outer court; its length was fifty cubits.
8 The length of the chambers toward the outer court was fifty cubits, whereas that facing the temple was one hundred cubits.
9 At the lower chambers was the entrance on the east side, as one goes into them from the outer court.
10 ¶ Also there were chambers in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, opposite the separating courtyard and opposite the building.
11 There was a walk in front of them also, and their appearance was like the chambers which were toward the north; they were as long and as wide as the others, and all their exits and entrances were according to plan.
12 And corresponding to the doors of the chambers that were facing south, as one enters them, there was a door in front of the walk, the way directly in front of the wall toward the east.
13 ¶ Then he said to me, “The north chambers and the south chambers, which are opposite the separating courtyard, are the holy chambers where the priests who approach the LORD shall eat the most holy offerings. There they shall lay the most holy offerings—the grain offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering—for the place is holy.
14 When the priests enter them, they shall not go out of the holy chamber into the outer court; but there they shall leave their garments in which they minister, for they are holy. They shall put on other garments; then they may approach that which is for the people.”
15 ¶ Now when he had finished measuring the inner temple, he brought me out through the gateway that faces toward the east, and measured it all around.
16 He measured the east side with the measuring rod, five hundred rods by the measuring rod all around.
17 He measured the north side, five hundred rods by the measuring rod all around.
18 He measured the south side, five hundred rods by the measuring rod.
19 He came around to the west side and measured five hundred rods by the measuring rod.
20 He measured it on the four sides; it had a wall all around, five hundred cubits long and five hundred wide, to separate the holy areas from the common.

Here we have another chapter of millennium temple dimensions. These temple grounds take up a lot of space! "How much space?" you might ask. When we look at Ezekiel 42:15-20, we see - unless you're reading from the NIV translation. The editors of the NIV could not believe that the temple grounds were over one mile square, so they changed "rods" to "cubits" in these verses to make it a mere 875 feet on all four sides rather than a little over a mile on all four sides. Incidentally, they made this change based upon their deductive reasoning only; there are no Hebrew manuscripts that support "cubits" replacing "rods." "What reasoning did they use?" you might further ask. Well, one of the contentions for those who go for cubits rather than rods (a rod is approximately 10 feet as defined in Ezekiel 40:5) is that there is not a space flat enough to build a one-mile square temple facility. In reply, I ask this question: When has something like creating a big flat spot ever been a problem for God? Furthermore, we know from the Book of Revelation that major volcanic and earthquake activity take place around Jerusalem during the the last half of the tribulation. The way I see it, that sufficiently serves as God's big earth mover. This I know, if God says the temple grounds are over a mile square, where could I possibly get the authority to discount that as too big of a feat for God? We'll see later in Ezekiel 47 (see notes) the land God gave Israel is reapportioned altogether as compared to Joshua's assignments.

Here's another note about Ezekiel's Temple worth considering. When the exiles returned to Jerusalem under the Persians and rebuilt the temple (535 B.C.), why did they not go ahead and build it to Ezekiel's specifications. They revered the prophecy of Ezekiel. If they believed that these temple grounds described by Ezekiel were only 875 feet square, they could have rebuilt it right then on the existing temple mount. I'm convinced they recognized that the Hebrew manuscripts indicated the existing temple mount was not large enough to house a one square mile temple facility at that time. Logistically, they did not have the real estate to build such a facility, so they stuck with restoring the old facility. One more thing if you're wondering - the Hebrew word for cubit ("ammah") is not even similar to the word for "rod" ("qaneh"). And...Ezekiel's usage of both measuring designations is meticulous in chapters 40-48.

The glory of the Lord fills the temple (Ezekiel 43:1-12)

1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east.
2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.
3 It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw—like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.
4 And the glory of the LORD came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east.
5 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
6 ¶ Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me.
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.
10 ¶ “Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern.
11 And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple and its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its ordinances, all its forms and all its laws. Write it down in their sight, so that they may keep its whole design and all its ordinances, and perform them.
12 This is the law of the temple: The whole area surrounding the mountaintop is most holy. Behold, this is the law of the temple.

Ezekiel has the vision of the glory of the Lord filling the new millennial temple. There's the description in verse 2, "And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory." Ezekiel identifies this glory of the Lord here in verse 3 as that which he saw in Ezekiel 1 (see notes) when he received the vision alongside the Chebar River. Incidentally, when the tabernacle was dedicated in Exodus 40 (see notes) and Solomon's temple in I Kings 8/II Chronicles 5 (see notes), the Shekinah Glory filled each of these dwelling places of God.

Then there's the altar (Ezekiel 43:13-27)

13 ¶ “These are the measurements of the altar in cubits (the cubit is one cubit and a handbreadth): the base one cubit high and one cubit wide, with a rim all around its edge of one span. This is the height of the altar:
14 from the base on the ground to the lower ledge, two cubits; the width of the ledge, one cubit; from the smaller ledge to the larger ledge, four cubits; and the width of the ledge, one cubit.
15 The altar hearth is four cubits high, with four horns extending upward from the hearth.
16 The altar hearth is twelve cubits long, twelve wide, square at its four corners;
17 the ledge, fourteen cubits long and fourteen wide on its four sides, with a rim of half a cubit around it; its base, one cubit all around; and its steps face toward the east.”
18 ¶ And He said to me, “Son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: ‘These are the ordinances for the altar on the day when it is made, for sacrificing burnt offerings on it, and for sprinkling blood on it.
19 You shall give a young bull for a sin offering to the priests, the Levites, who are of the seed of Zadok, who approach Me to minister to Me,’ says the Lord GOD.
20 You shall take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim around it; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it.
21 Then you shall also take the bull of the sin offering, and burn it in the appointed place of the temple, outside the sanctuary.
22 On the second day you shall offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they cleansed it with the bull.
23 When you have finished cleansing it, you shall offer a young bull without blemish, and a ram from the flock without blemish.
24 When you offer them before the LORD, the priests shall throw salt on them, and they will offer them up as a burnt offering to the LORD.
25 Every day for seven days you shall prepare a goat for a sin offering; they shall also prepare a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without blemish.
26 Seven days they shall make atonement for the altar and purify it, and so consecrate it.
27 When these days are over it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priests shall offer your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar; and I will accept you,’ says the Lord GOD.”

Ezekiel goes into some detail giving a description of the altar in the millennial temple and the cleansing sacrifices that will be necessary - just like in the old days with the tabernacle and Solomon's temple. Notice that the Zadok priests are pressed back into action for this. (Click here to see the summary on I Chronicles 6 regarding the significance of Zadok.) Now you might wonder, "Why the sacrifices at all?" They will serve as a memorial of the way things were. We know that sacrifices never eliminated sins; only Christ is capable of doing that. The Old Testament sacrifices previewed Christ's sacrificial death. The millennial sacrifices are, likewise, memorials of Christ's sacrificial death.

Notice other passages where sacrifices are to be offered during the millennium:

As we said, these sacrifices will be offered as memorials and not as sin coverings. It is interesting, though, that the blood never loses its significance during the millennium.

This altar will be very large - about thirty feet or so square at the base and approximately 20 feet high. Compared to the original altar that was 7.5 feet square and 4.5 feet high, this is huge by comparison. I should once again remind you that this is the millennial temple; when the New Heaven and New Earth are created in Revelation 21:1 (see notes), there will be no temple in the New Jerusalem, the new center of all worship. Revelation 21:22 says, "But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple."