Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ezekiel-Chapter 43

Ezek 43.1-27 tells us about the return of the glory (kivod) of God to the Temple. The beginning of Ezekiel talks about the departure of the glory, leaving the Temple like an empty shell (Ezek.10.19, 11.1, 11.23). But it had not left the people. This chapter has portions (v 1-5) that are the haftorah reading for Shavuot because it deals with the Lord returning to the Temple to consecrate it after it has been described. This concept can be seen in Acts 2 which has an eschatological fulfillment. Yeshua spoke of the Ruach Ha Kodesh coming and it happened on Shavuot according to Acts 2, but it was prophesied on Sukkot in John 7.39. Shavuot and Sukkot are agricultural festivals that are linked together with the first tithe (maaser rishon) and the second tithe (maaser sheni). We will see that v 1-5 is linked to Acts 2.1-4. Then it gives us a description of the altar and the consecration of it.

v 1…Then he led me to the gate (main entrance), the gate facing east (of the outer court).

v 2…And behold, the glory (kivod meaning radiance) of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east (to make the Temple his dwelling place). And his voice (kol) was like the sound of many waters (associated with other manifestations of Yehovah-Ezek 1.21; Rev 1.1514.2), and the earth shone with his glory.

v 3…And like the appearance of the vision which I saw (another maaseh merkavah, or “work of the chariot/throne” vision here like in Ezek 1) when he came to destroy the city, and the visions were like the visions which I saw by the river Chebar (3.23), and I fell on my face (overcome by the manifestation).

v 4…And the glory of the Lord (Yehovah) came into the house (Temple-Acts 2.2) by way of the east gate facing towards the east (of the outer court).

v 5…And the Spirit (Ruach) lifted me up (he was on his face) and brought me into the inner court (azarah) and behold (see and take note), the glory of the Lord filled the house (the Heichal, or holy place, and the Kodesh ha Kodeshim or holy of holies).

v 6…Then I heard one speaking to me from the house (this is Yehovah), while a man (Hebrew “Ish” meaning an important person) was standing beside me (who he saw in 40.3 as a mediator between Yehovah and Ezekiel. In v 5-6 we have the appearance of the Godhead in three persons, the Spirit, Yehovah and Yeshua as the mediator).

v 7…And he (Yehovah) said to me, “Son of man (mortal human being), the place (“ha makom” and an idiom for God and the Temple) of my throne (kiseh) and the place of the soles of my feet (where he walks), where I will dwell (“shkan” as in Mishkan or Shekinah) among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile my holy name, neither they nor their kings by their idolatry and by the corpses of their kings when they die (their houses were near the Temple and some were buried on palace grounds).

v 8…By setting their threshold by my threshold (In Ezekiel’s Temple, the portion assigned to the king will be far away from the Temple grounds), and their door posts beside my door post, with the wall between me and them. And they have defiled my holy name by their abominations which they have committed. So I have consumed them in my anger.

v 9…Now let them put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings far from me; and I will dwell among them forever.

v 10…As for you, son of man, describe the Temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities (because the first Temple was destroyed because of them, and it has only been about 14 years since it was destroyed-40.1); and let them measure the plan (the floor plan calculated).

v 11…And if they are ashamed of all that they have done (as a precondition), make known to them the design of the house, its structure, its exits, its entrances, all its designs, all its statutes, and all its laws. And write it in their sight so that they may observe its whole design and all its statutes and do them (if they are not ashamed, there is no point in continuing. The Temple was always to be an experience and looked at. It is like walking into a manifestation of the living God. Everything you saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted should teach us about Yehovah. It is like studying anatomy with all the various changes, organs and developments to understand how everything works. We must study it from the beginning to the end. In the same way, we can’t study the Temple without the Mishkan, and you can’t study the Mishkan without seeing the future Temple. It was to teach us, meeting the needs and limitations of the people. It was like a spiritual “university” and a living, breathing manifestation of the kedusha of Yehovah. That is why it is called the “Beit Ha Mikdash” or “House of Kedusha”).

v 12…This is the law (“torah” meaning instruction, guidance and teaching) of the house; its entire area on top of the mountain all around shall be lost holy (preserved from all idolatry and profane and common activities). Behold, this is the law (torah or instruction) of the house.

v 13…And these are the measurements of the altar (the “mitzbe’ach” of burnt offering or outer altar) by cubits, the cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth (cubit is called an “amah” and a handbreadth is a tefach. A standard “amah” is five handbreadths or tefachim. But, here it is an amah plus one tefach, or six tefachim); the base shall be a cubit and the width a cubit, and its border on its edge round about one span (half cubit all around), and this shall be the height (elevation) of the base of the altar (on a projection out beyond),

v 14…and from the base on the ground to the lower edge (azarah) two cubits, and the width one cubit; and from the smaller ledge (azarah) to the larger ledge shall be four cubits, and the width one cubit (this was for the priests to walk around on).

v 15…And the altar hearth (Hebrew “har el” or “mountain of God” was the foundation or basis of the hearth) shall be four cubits; and from the altar hearth (Hebrew “ariel” or “lion or heart of God” meaning to burn-Isa 29.1-2, and the site of the fire on top of the altar; the surface) shall extend upwards four horns.

v 16…Now the altar hearth (ariel) shall be twelve cubits long (length east to west) by twelve cubits wide (length north to south), square in its four sides.

v 17…And the length (azarah) shall be fourteen (cubits) wide in its four sides, the border around it shall be a half a cubit, and its base shall be a cubit round about; and its steps (ascent) shall face the east (the pagans faced the east on their altars; previously the ascension to the altar was on the south. There will be no pagan altars in the Messianic Kingdom so the priests can now face the holy of holies. Steps were forbidden on the altar in Exo 20.23. The Hebrew for the English “steps” in NASB here is “uma’alotayhu” meaning an ascent, a going up or incline referring to a ramp because steps are forbidden).”

v 18…And he said to me, “Son of man (mortal human being), thus says the Lord God (Adonai Yehovah), ‘These are the statutes (decrees) for the altar on the day it was built, to offer burnt offerings (korban olah) on it and to sprinkle the blood on it (the purpose is to consecrate this altar for seven days so that it is eligible for use-v 25-26).

v 19…And you (Ezekiel) shall give to the Levitical (from Levi) priests (from Aaron) who are from the offspring of Zadok (who in Solomon’s day was put in charge over Abiathar as high priest) who drew near (Hebrew root is “karav”) to me to minister to me,’ declares the Lord God, ‘a young bull for a sin offering (this verse was seen as a reference to the resurrection of the dead, and Ezekiel will be there to do this because he is a descendant of Zadok).

v 20…And you (Ezekiel) shall take some of its blood, and put it on its four horns, and on the four corners of the ledge (azarah), and on the border round about; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it (Ezekiel was a priest but he had never served in the Temple, so now he will get his opportunity, possibly in a function of the high priest).

v 21…You shall also take the bull for the sin offering; and he (one of the sons of Zadok) shall burn it in the appointed place of the house, outside the sanctuary (there was a place on the mount of Olives called the Miphkad altar. There was a hole 9 to 12 feet deep where the ashes of the sin offering were taken, whose blood was used in the Temple. It was cremated there).

v 22…And on the second day you shall offer a male goat (substituted for the bull) without blemish for a sin offering; and they (the other Zadokite priests) shall cleanse the altar, as they cleansed it with the bull.

v 23…When you have finished cleansing it, you shall present a young bull without blemish and a ram without blemish from the flock (in addition to the goat, a bull and ram were brought).

v 24…And you (Ezekiel) shall present them before the Lord and the priests (the other priests) shall throw (cast) salt (Lev 2.13 and used on all korbanot) on them, and they shall offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord.

v 25…For seven days (Exo 29.37); you shall prepare daily a goat for a sin offering; also a young bull and a ram from the flock, without blemish, shall be prepared.

v 26…For seven days they shall make atonement for the altar and purify it, so shall they consecrate it (fill their hands).

v 27…And when they have completed the days (seven), it shall be that on the eighth day and onward, the priests shall offer your burnt offerings on the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you,’ declares the Lord God.”

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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