Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ezekiel-Chapter 40

Ezek 40.1-49 begins the final nine chapters in Ezekiel and it contains a description of what is called ‘Ezekiel’s Temple.” Unlike many commentators who teach that this Temple is only “spiritual”, we will teach it as a literal Temple that has not been built as yet. This Temple can only be built by Yeshua as the Messiah and it will be where the nations will come to worship him in the Messianic Kingdom. Many biblical scholars think this Temple is spiritual because it flies in the face of their Replacement Theology that says the Torah, the korbanot, the festivals and much more have been “done away with” (which is contrary to what Yeshua said), but not according to Ezekiel. A person with a Torah-based faith in Yeshua will have no problems with this Temple. Believers in Yeshua worshiped in and brought korbanot (sacrifices) to the Second Temple in Jerusalem until its destruction in 70 A.D. They saw no contradiction to doing this and it was consistent with their faith in Yeshua as the Messiah. Paul even brought sacrifices 30 years after Yeshua to prove he was a believer and followed the Torah (Acts 21.15-26, 24.17).

Ezekiel’s vision of this Temple is unique. Many prophecies about the Messianic Kingdom are very general, but these chapters are very detailed concerning the Temple building, the gates, the kohanim (priests), the prince and the Am Ha Eretz (people of the land). We know that the exiles were very disappointed to the point of tears when they saw the Temple building being rebuilt, but when Ezekiel gave this prophecy about the Temple we can on ly imagine how this vision brought them together in respect to the hope of a brighter future with a functioning Temple that was beyond anything that they had ever seen.

On the other hand, this Temple will be different than the others in some ways. There are many things that are not mentioned in Ezekiel’s Temple that were in the previous ones. For example, the appointed festivals not mentioned in Ezekiel are Hag Ha Matzah (unleavened bread), Yom Ha Bikkurim (First Fruits), Shavuot, Rosh Ha Shaannah and Yom Kippur. The court of the Priests, the court of the Israelites (men), court of the women and the court of the Gentiles are not mentioned. The Laver (Kior) and the lots for Yom Kippur are not mentioned. Inside the sanctuary, the Shulchan ha Lechem ha Pannim (table of the bread of the faces), the Menorah, the altar of incense, the veils and the Ark of the Covenant are omitted. The priestly garments are discussed, but not the garments of the High Priest. As for the korbanot (sacrifices) are concerned, the Olah (burnt), Minchah (bread), Shelem (peace) and Chata (sin) offerings are mentioned, but only the morning lamb of the Tamid (continual) is offered. Drink offerings and trespass offerings are mentioned, but the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer), the half-shekel and the Nazarite vow is not mentioned and it is unclear whether they will be a part of this. For more detailed look into a comparison of the previous Temples and Ezekiel’s, we refer you to the site called “Yashanet.com” and their articles on the Temple. This is just a brief overview. Now, we are not saying that the things omitted above will definitely not be there, we are simply saying they are not mentioned.

These chapters will also deal with the division of the land, to whom they are distributed, and to what use they will be used for. These portions will be for the Temple itself, the priests and Levites who will serve in it, another for the city and another for the Israelites in general. Another portion will be set aside for the prince and the civil government. We will be treating these chapters as literal and discuss how all of this fits together in the Messianic Kingdom. There seems to be several major changes that will be discussed also. For example, the Messianic Redemption has come and there is no mention of a high priest or his garments. The laws for the priests will be stricter, and there is no mention of several festivals, including Yom Kippur, as we have mentioned. It seems the “prince” is now a religious leader, whereas before, he was a civil leader. This Temple is to become the throne and footstool for the presence of Yehovah as seen in Ezek 43.7.

v 1…In the twenty-fifth year of our exile (from Yeconiah’s captivity), at the beginning of the year (the religious calendar in Nisan), on the tenth of the month (when preparations of the Passover would have begun if a Temple existed, but Passover was not kept in Babylon; and in the first century it was the day Yeshua rode into Jerusalem as the Passover lamb; a good time for a revelation of the Messianic Temple), in the fourteenth year after the city (Jerusalem) was taken, on that same day (Nisan 10) the hand of the Lord (Yehovah) was upon me and he brought me there (to Israel, Jerusalem, in a vision).

v 2…In the visions of God he brought me into the land of Israel, and set me on a very high mountain (this mountain is not named so we will not speculate); and near it to the south there was a structure like a city (the new Temple with its surrounding wall).

v 3…So he brought me there (from the north), and behold (see and take note), there was a man (a heavenly messenger in human form) whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax (for measurements) and a measuring rod (to measure depth, length and width) in his hand; and he was standing in the gate (that led into the Temple on the north).

v 4…And the man said to me, “Son of man (mortal human being), see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and give attention to all that I am going to show you (take note and pay attention for accuracy); for you have been brought here in order to show (it) to you. Declare to the house of Israel all that you see.”

v 5…And behold (see), there was a wall on the outside of the Temple (complex) all around, and in the man’s hand was a measuring rod of six cubits (there are three cubit measurements in the previous Temples-the 500 x 500 Temple Mount was 20.67 inches; the court of the women was 19.2 inches; and the Azarah or court of the priests was 23.04 inches), each of which (the cubit was five handbreadths or 19.2 inches) was a cubit and a handbreadth (or five plus one, or six handbreadths or 23.04 inches). So he measured the thickness of the wall one rod and the height, one rod (about 11.5 feet).

v 6…Then he went to the gate which faced east, went up its steps (seven of them-40.22), and measured the threshold of the gate, one rod in width (11.5 feet); and the other threshold was one rod in width (11.5 feet).

v 7…And the guard room (cells for the Levites that were stationed at the gate) was one rod long and a rod wide (11.5 x 11.5), and there were five cubits between the guard rooms (cells) and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate facing inward was one rod (an entrance portico).

v 8…Then he measured the porch of the gate inward, one rod.

v 9…And he measured the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and its side pillars two cubits and the porch of the gate faced inward (within the gate).

v 10…And the guardroom of the gate toward the east numbered three on each side; the three of them had the same measurement. The side pillars also had the same measurement on each side (three on each side facing each other for a total of six, alluding to the 6000 years of the Olam Ha Zeh that lead up to the 1000 year Messianic Kingdom, the Day of the Lord. The cells in the gates were offices where business was conducted. One of the things that will begin to emerge is there is not enough information on all of this. We will have different options but nobody can come forward and say, “This is what this means ” or “This is it.” What we do know is the gate and the decorations were inside, towrad the Kodesh ha Kodeshim and Yehovah. The details will be worked out by Yeshua as Messiah so the lack of detail is not a problem).

v 11…And he measured the width of the gateway, ten cubits, and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.

v 12…And there was a barrier (limit, boundary) wall one cubit wide in front of the guardrooms (cells) on each side; and the guardrooms were six cubits square on each side.

v 13…And he measured the gate from the roof of the one guardroom to the roof of the other, a width of twenty-five cubits from one door to the door opposite (Mesorah Publications “Yechezkel” page 614 on 40.13 says, “These roofs covered the actual rooms but did not extend over the dividing walls. Therefore, the distance between the northern most roof of the southern group of cells and the southernmost roof of the northern group was 25 cubits”).

v 14…And he made the side pillars sixty cubits; the gate extended round about to the side pillar of the courtyard.

v 15…And from the front of the entrance gate to the front of the inner porch of the gate was fifty cubits (which is about 95 feet. In the Second Temple there were 13 gates).

v 16…And there were shuttered (narrowing) windows looking towards the guardrooms (narrower on the inside than on the outside. Normally, windows would be wider on the inside to let the outside light in. However, it is not the case here. The outside world needs the spiritual light coming from the Temple), toward their side pillars within the gate all around, and likewise for the porches. And there were windows all around inside; and on each side pillars were palm tree ornaments (each had palm capitols called a “tamar” which were called the “tree of the righteous”-Psa 92.12).

v 17…Then he brought me into the outer court (after bringing Ezekiel to the east gate, and through it, and the porch that went with it, to the inner gate which was westerly and measured that gate, its threshold, porch, pillars and cells, he is now brought to an open area that surrounded the sanctuary), and behold, there were chambers and a pavement, made for the court all around (the sanctuary), thirty chambers faced the pavement (on three sides).

v 18…And the pavement (the lower pavement) by the side of the gates, corresponded to the length of the gates (as opposed to the inner court).

v 19…Then he measured the width from the front of the lower gate (of the lower pavement) to the front of the exterior of the inner court; a hundred cubits on the east and the north (this goes from the wall to the outer wall of the inner court).

v 20…And as for the gate of the outer court which faced the north, he measured its length and its width (as he had done on the east side).

v 21…And it had three guardrooms on each side; and its side pillars and its porches had the same measurement as the first gate. Its length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits (as in the east gate, the measurements were the same).

v 22… And its windows, and its porches, and its palm tree ornaments had the same measurements as the gate which faced toward the east; and it was reached by seven steps, and its porch was in front of them (the steps led to the porch of the gate which was inward).

v 23…And the inner court had a gate opposite the gate on the north as well as the gate on the east; and he measured a hundred cubits from gate to gate (from the north gate of the outer court to the north gate of the inner court).

v 24…Then he led me toward the south, and behold, there was a gate toward the south (having measured the east and north gate); and he measured its side pillars and its porches according to those same measurements.

v 25…And the gate and its porches had windows all around like those other windows; the length was fifty cubits and the width twenty-five cubits (v 13).

v 26…And there were seven steps going up to it, and its porches were in front of them; and it had palm tree ornaments on its side pillars one on each side.

v 27…And the inner court had a gate toward the south; and he measured from gate to gate toward the south, a hundred cubits (as the east and north gates).

v 28…Then he brought me to the inner court by the south gate; and he measured the south gate according to those same measurements (Let’s talk about directions in the Temple. The Jewish population approached the Temple from the south. The east gate was a ceremonial gate, not for people traffic. The Parah Adumah, or Red Heifer, departed through that gate, and there may have been a second gate for the Azazel goat on Yom Kippur-Mishnah Shekalim 5. The north gate was called the Tadi Gate before the time of King Herod, and it was not for everyone either. The pool of Bethesda, or sheep pool, was north of the Temple, and outside the wall was a sheep market. You did not bring the animals in the same gate with the people. The north wall had a lot of unknowns but it was not a people gate. On the west, there was an entrance for the non-Jews, a marketplace, an entrance for the priests and chief priests).

v 29…Its guard rooms also, its side pillars, and its porches were according to those same measurements (as the outward gates previously described). And the gate and its porches had windows all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide.

v 30…And there were porches around, twenty-five cubits long and five cubits wide.

v 31…And its porches were toward the outer court (as you went in); and palm tree ornaments were on its side pillar, and its stairway had eight steps (one more than the steps to the outward gates. Each court will ascend and this alludes to the gradual progress believers make as we get nearer to Yehovah).

v 32…And he brought me into the inner court toward the east (having gone through which was in the south). And he measured the gate according to those same measurements (v 6).

v 33…And its guard rooms also, its side pillars and its porches were according to those same measurements. And the gate and its porches had windows all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide (the same as the south gate of the inner court-v 29).

v 34…And its porches were toward the outer court (v 29); and palm tree ornaments were on its side pillars, on each side, and its stairway had eight steps (Again each court will ascend; this inner court or “azarah” is related to the word “ezra” meaning to comfort. The kedusha of this court is higher than the outer courtyard and you are ascending towrds Yehovah. The halls or porches are in the outer court and inner court, facing each other. If there is a court for the non-Jews it is not mentioned).

v 35…Then he brought me to the north gate (if the inner court-the north gate of the outer court has been already measured in 40.20); and he measured it according to those same measurements,

v 36…with its guard rooms, its side pillars, and its porches. And the gate had windows all around; the length was fifty cubits and the width was twenty-five cubits.

v 37…and its side pillars were toward the outer court; and palm tree ornaments were on its side pillars on each side, and its stairway had eight steps (the cells, posts and all the other things are the same as the other gates).

v 38…And a chamber with its doorway was by the side pillars at the gates; there they rinse the burnt offerings (its legs and inwards-Lev 1.9. Why? See Ezek 45.17. The offerings were never “done away with” as some believe).

v 39…And in the porch of the gate were two tables on each side, on which to slaughter the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering (these will be offered in the Messianic Kingdom).

v 40…And on the outer side, as one went up the gateway (entry) toward the north, were two tables; and on the other side of the porch of the gate were two tables.

v 41…Four tables were on each side next to the gate; or, eight tables on which they slaughter sacrifices.

v 42…And for the burnt offering there were four tables of hewn stone, a cubit and a half long, a cubit and a half wide, and one cubit high, on which they lay the instruments with which they slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice (four more tables in this chamber for total of eight. There were eight marble tables in the slaughtering area called the “Beit ha mit b’chaim” or “house to/of life” in the Second Temple. This chamber had only four and may be one of the differences between the Second Temple and Ezekiel’s. Some believe there were a total of twelve tables, four at each gate-Keil and Delitzch Commentary on Ezekiel 40.42. But animals were slaughtered north of the altar-Lev 1.11).

v 43…And the double hooks (to hang the animal while skinning, etc), one handbreadth in length, were installed in the house all around; and on the tables was the flesh of the offering.

v 44…And from the outside to the inner gate were chambers for the singers (Levitical choir) in the inner court, one of which was at the side of the north gate, with its front toward the south, and one at the side of the east gate, facing toward the north (in the Second Temple, the chamber for the choir was underneath the azarah, but accessed from the outer court, along the wall. It is probable the entrance to the chamber choir in Ezekiel’s Temple will be by the outside of the gate, fulfilling this verse).

v 45…And he said to me (the person in v 4), “This is the chamber which faces toward the south, intended for the priests (only) who keep the charge of the Temple;

v 46…but the chamber which faces toward the north is for the priests who keep the charge of the altar. These are the sons of Zadok, who from the sons of Levi come near to the Lord (Yehovah) to minister to him (These Zadokite kohanim were loyal to Solomon. During the return from Babylon, some priests could not prove they were from Aaron or Zadok in Neh 7.64-65. They had to prove who they were serve in the Temple. The Urim V’ Thummim was not available at the time. A DNA test is not enough in the future because you had to prove you descended from Zadok, who was loyal to Solomon-1 Chr 29.22; Ezek 44.9-16. The Urim V’ Thummim may operate in Ezekiel’s Temple but Yeshua will know who they are anyway, so it will not be needed in reality. This issue will be a major problem in the Temple that is being planned at this time).

v 47…And he measured the court (of the priests), a perfect square, a hundred cubits long and a hundred cubits wide; and the altar was in front of the Temple (called the “Ha Bayit” or house).

v 48…Then he brought me to the porch of the Temple (house; v 48-49 belong to Ezek 41 because it talks about the Temple itself) and measured each side pillar (doorpost) of the porch, five cubits on each side (thick); and the width of the gate was three cubits on each side.

v 49…The length of the porch was twenty cubits (north to south), and the width eleven cubits (east to west); and at the stairway by which it ascended were columns belonging to the side pillars, one on each side (like Boaz meaning “may there be strength” and Yachin meaning “establish” in Solomon’s Temple-Kings 7. Now, in Ezekiel’s Temple the inner court is 100 x 100 cubits. In the Second Temple it was 135 x 187 cubits. All of this will raise questions that nobody but the Messiah can answer. But hopefully we are getting a good idea about all of this. We are only “roughing it out” for now but it should be somewhat clearer).

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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