In Ezek 43-5-7 we have an interesting concept being presented. First, we have the Godhead presented in these verses. The Spirit lifted Ezekiel (v 5), then there was a voice speaking to him from the house (v 6=Father from the Temple) and there was a man standing next to him (v 6=Son). Then in v 7 the voice from the Temple begins to mspeak, and in the Hebrew the “aleph-tav” is in the sentence alluding to the Lord, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. This voice is speaking from the throne (v 7=”kiseh”) and this is why there is a Temple. The top of Mount Moriah is shaped like a “footstool” according to topographical maps and that is why it is called the “place of my footstool.” The means that the Lord reigns from his throne in heaven and the earth is his footstool on the Temple Mount.
In Ezek 43.8-9 we have an allusion back to the first Temple period. The palace of the king was on the Temple Mount, south of the inner courts, in the outer courts. A wall separated the kings house from the Temple by what was called the Soreg. This became a 2 cubit high wall (approximately 4 foot high) that went around the inner courts in the second Temple. Now, with this back-round lets go to Ezek 43.10-12. Worshippers entered the Temple from the south in both Temples. The king’s palace was in the outer courts, so the worshippers entered into his courts first. Now, you can’t say certain things at airports, theaters or even the White House, where the President lives. You have to be careful about what you say and how you act. Solomon was directed to put his palace where it was by the Lord (1 Chr 28.11-12). As a result, the kings “threshold” was against the Lord’s “threshold” (Ezek 43.8), with a wall between.
Not all the kings were righteous. When this prophecy to Ezekiel was given, it has only been 14 years since the destruction of the Temple (Ezek 40.1) and the last kings of Judah were not righteous kings. So, they will feel ashamed (v 10) of what they did because it was not that long ago. Studying the Temple should draw us to repentance and you examine yourself, like these survivors did when they heard about this Temple. They knew why everything was destroyed. They knew about the evil kings they had, the idolatry and the deaf ears to the prophets who had been warning them for years about what was going to happen if they did not listen.
There is a trap in the Scriptures and that is speaking before you really know what you are talking about. There is a lot of information to learn about the Temple. It will literally take more than a lifetime to even scratch the surface. There are the laws of the Temple, like what psalms are sung for certain days, certain times. The “avodah” or services need to be understood because certain services were done for certain days and not others. All of this was according to the pattern (tavnit) shown to David and then given to Solomon. The term “measure the pattern” means to learn (43.10). We4 also have the exits and the entrances mentioned in 43.11 and that is the gates, or “sha’arim” in Hebrew. These gates are very thick and they were more like gate-houses. Ezekiel’s Temple has gates 50 cubits long, or approximately 100 feet long.
The term “aliyah” means to “go up” because when you entered the Temple each court was higher in elevation as you go. This teaches us to be “elevated” in spirit. The term for “courtyard” in Hebrew is “azarah” and it comes from the word “ezrechah” which means “to be comforted. Ezra’s name came from this. As you entered from the east and moved west, you came to fifteen steeps to the azarah. If you came from the south it was 14 steps, this is due to the elevation on the mountain. The Temple will teach us about the concept of “kedushah” and with kedushah it means “set apart, designated for the service of God by formal, legal restrictions and limitations.” In the corners of the azarah, there are 100 cubit long (approximately 200 feet long) buildings and they had gates you entered into to get to the azarah. There is a law that says that any gate of a building that opens to the azarah, that building had the kedushah of azarah. If that building opened up to the Chel on the other end, then the first half of that building had the kedushah of the Chel, and the half closest to the azarah had the kedushah of the azarah. The teaching is, as you decide to walk in the ways of the Lord, you are entering a gate. As you move through you enter a certain level of keduahah and even though you have not entered into the commandments fully, or learned everything, you have the kedushah of the inner court. In other words, even though you have not learned everything about the commandments, you have entered the gate.
Everything done in the Temple had a reason spiritually. The tractate Midot in the Mishnah means “measurements” and we should “measure” and know the Temple and “write it down” (Ezek 43.11). This is the “teaching” or Torah of the house (43.12). We know that the Temple and all the services was given by God to David (1 Chr 28.11-19). In a commentary on Ezekiel 43.10-11 by Artscroll it says that a 3-d model of the Temple should be made. Hatikva Ministries now has a book available called “Measure the Pattern” that begins to fulfill these passages. It is a book that shows you what the Temple may look like and is up to date as far as archeology and the latest studies about the Temple.
The Temple was very organized and everything related to the services. Everybody wants to know about the Holy of Holies, but there are so many other buildings associated with the Temple that show you bow this building really functioned. Everything was choreographed and organized, just like the human body. The first function of the day was in the northwest corner building called the Beit ha Moked. That is where the priests stayed. There were no toilets there and there were tunnels that went under the Temple (read Midot and Tamid of the Mishnah). The priests would get up very early and use the facilities and go through a tevilah (immersion). There was a fire there and the toilets were called “thrones” with a door for privacy. Once done with his tevilah, they would go back to the Beit ha Moked an wait for a “knock on the door.” He was the official called the “memunay” who would see what priests were ready for the casting of lots, which assigned what people to what duties in the Temple. If you had not immersed, or were still down immersing or using the facilities, you were not eligible for the services of that day. Yeshua told several stories about the master who “knocks” and to be ready. This illustration was taken directly out of the Temple.
In conclusion, look at Ezek 43.12, and what does that tell you? It says that the top of the mountain is “most holy” because it is the 500 cubit x 500 cubit square that is really the “Temple Mount.” This verse rules out any proposed Temple site that is not on the top of the mountain, like Ernest Martin and Bob Cornuke, who propose a Temple site near the Gihon Spring because it is not at the top of the mountain, but lower.
Next, we are going to look at the altar of burnt offerings, called the “Mizbeach.” We will see that the altar will be a microcosm of the Temple.
Sources used in this study include:
Hatikva Ministries, Jerusalem Temple Study
The Temple Institute