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Ezekiel 40 - 48: Tour of Ezekiel’s Temple

Recorded December 30, 2007

The pictures in this chapter were taken from a video tour of a computer-generated model of the future Messianic Kingdom temple. The video tour is available from http://bible.ag. You can also download the computer model and the software to view it from Google SketchUp Warehouse, and walk through it yourself.

Timing and Importance

My topic today is a survey of the last 9 chapters of Ezekiel, chapters 40 through 48. I wanted to prepare a Bible survey of these chapters, because this is one of the best passages I know of to validate, that as I presented to you in the survey of Matthew the last time I was here, the kingdom Yeshua offered to Israel is a physical kingdom like the one Israel was expecting because of the prophets, and Christ will set it up here on earth at his second coming.

These chapters are about the Messianic Kingdom, and especially about the kingdom temple. God took Ezekiel into the future through a vision and showed him the actual buildings of the kingdom. It’s as if he took a video camera with him, and sent back a DVD of the Messianic Kingdom. But before we travel with Ezekiel into the future, let’s consider the timing of the kingdom and the temple, and the importance of studying them.

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See Picture #1. Timeline to the Kingdom and Temple Described in Ezekiel 40-48.

As Picture #1 shows, we are currently in the bottom left part labeled “Current Period.” A “7-Year Tribulation Period” is probably going to begin very soon. Before that time there will be a “Resurrection and Catching Away of Church Believers” who will wait out the tribulation in heaven and then “Return With Christ” at the end of the tribulation period.

Revelation 19:11-16 says, “Behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him,” that’s Yeshua, Jesus, “and the armies which were in heaven followed him,” that’s us, “clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the [Gentile] nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.” He will smite the Gentile nations when he returns to defend Israel (see my references to Zechariah 12-14 in my Matthew and Romans 9-11 surveys) at the end of the "7-Year Tribulation Period," and he will rule the nations with a rod of iron during the “1000-Year Messianic Kingdom.” “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS,” because during the kingdom, there will be multiple nations, each with their own king, but Yeshua, ruling from Jerusalem, will be king over all kings.

Then, after the kingdom, there will be a “New Heaven” and “New Earth,” as shown on the right side of the diagram. Revelation 21:1-3, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, ... and ... new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.” If new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven, it has to come to the earth, because there is only heaven and earth. “And I heard ... behold, the tabernacle of God is with men ....” God is going to come down and make his tabernacle with men; men are not going up to spend eternity in tabernacles in heaven. “And he will dwell with them.” We are not going to dwell with him in heaven. He is going to dwell with us on the new earth forever. The place Jesus prepares for us in heaven (Jn14:2-3), may not come down to earth until after the kingdom in the New Jerusalem, but we will be on earth during the kingdom also (Mt19:28).

So get the idea out of your mind that you are going to be in heaven for eternity. We are in heaven for only a very brief time. Even the people who died a thousand years ago in the Lord, and their spirits are in heaven, their bodies are still with us here on earth. And after the resurrection it is a very brief layover in heaven before returning to earth with Christ and entering the Messianic Kingdom. So we could use a lot less songs about walking around heaven with Jesus, and a lot more songs about what it is going to be like in the kingdom.

Since we are going to be spending so much time in the kingdom, we should learn about it; and the new earth is going to have a lot of similarities to the kingdom, although there are some differences. I know God wants us to learn about the kingdom, because he has told us so much about it in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the minor prophets, the psalms, and so forth. And the benefit of learning about the kingdom, is that it will help you persevere through trials, and help you labor more fervently.

God could have given us just an overview of the kingdom in these last 9 chapters of Ezekiel, but instead they focus a lot on one building, the temple, so that if we know this one building that will be at the center of the kingdom in a very detailed way, the entire kingdom will all be very real and solid to us, so that our sure hope of entering the kingdom in the future will help us in our trials and labors today.

Ezekiel 40:1-2. The Mountain

When Ezekiel first arrived in the future at the land of Israel, he saw a very high mountain. Now, there is no high mountain in Israel today, but there will be geological changes before the Messianic Kingdom. Isaiah 2:2 says, “It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house,” meaning the mountain that will have the Lord’s house, the temple, on it, “shall be established in the top of the mountains.” That means it is going to be the highest mountain in the world. Ezekiel 20:40 says, “For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me.”

Zechariah 14:1-10 talks about the geological changes that will be necessary. “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh.” ‘Day of the Lord’ is another name for the seven year tribulation period; and it is also called ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’ (Jer30:7). Verse 2, “I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle ... then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations.” The Messiah, Yeshua, returns with us and smites the armies of the Gentile nations, as we saw in Revelation 19.

“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.” That is also where Yeshua, Jesus, left the earth from (Acts1:9-12). “And the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley,” running east and west, “and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south ... and the LORD my God shall come,” in the person of Messiah at the end of the tribulation period, “and all the saints,” that’s us, returning with Christ.

“All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it [probably Jerusalem, not the plain] shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place.” So all the mountains around Jerusalem, and to the south of it in the land of Israel, will be lowered, and leveled into a plain, but Jerusalem will raised up higher than it is now, and other mountains around the world will be lowered, not to a plain, but until their peaks are lower than Jerusalem’s mountain.

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Ezekiel 40:3-12. The Outer East Gate

See Picture #2. An angel with a measuring rod and a flax cord standing by the border wall outside the outer east gate.

After seeing the mountain, the next thing Ezekiel saw as he got close to the temple compound was an angel standing by a wall. Ezekiel 40:3-5, “He brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass.” That means he was an angel. He looked like a man, but he was shining brightly. Most angels don’t have wings, or they wouldn’t look like men. Only cherubim and seraphim have wings.

He had, “a line of flax in his hand,” which was for measuring long distances, “and a measuring reed,” which was for measuring short distances. “And he stood in the gate, ... and behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man’s hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth.” There were three kinds of cubits in Israel during that time, a short, medium, and a long cubit. The short cubit was about 15”, the medium cubit was a short cubit plus one handbreadth, or about 18”, and the long cubit was a medium cubit plus one handbreadth, or about 21”. If the medium cubit was the most commonly-used cubit, then the measuring stick the angel had was probably of long cubits, which was the medium cubit “and an hand breadth,” Ez40:5. So to get a general idea how long things are as we go through this tour, just multiply the cubits by 2; each long cubit equals almost two feet.

Ezekiel 40:5, “So he measured the breadth of the building, one reed,” see the 6-cubit rod lying on the ground, “and the height one reed,” see the vertical 6-cubit rod against the front of the wall. ‘Building’ in verse 5 means something built, including a wall. It doesn’t have to have a room and a roof.

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See Picture #3. The threshold of the outer east gate. We are outside the temple compound, approaching it from the east, and facing west. There are 7 stairs leading up to the gate, though they are not all visible at the bottom of the picture.

The angel moves from the low border wall to the outer east gate of the temple compound. “Then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs thereof, and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad; and the other threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad,” Ez40:6. Although 40:3 said that “he stood in the gate,” he must have been standing at the low wall just outside the gate that we just looked at, because only now the angel “came” to the gate “and went up the stairs.” Notice there are stairs, but no porch, here on the outside of the gate.

I interpreted “the other threshold” to mean ‘the other side of the threshold’ (like in Ez:40:48), as you see from the measuring rods in the picture.

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See Picture #4. 6x6 cubit guardrooms with 5 cubit spaces between them inside the outer east gate.

Inside the gate, the angel measures some small rooms. Ezekiel 40:7, “Every little chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad.” So the inside dimensions of each chamber are six cubits long and six cubits broad, as shown by the crossed measuring rods in the picture. These are probably guard rooms, because when you have a lot of people in an area, you need to keep things orderly.

“And between the little chambers were five cubits.” The five cubit spaces between the chambers are probably so you can exit the gate onto the pavement along the sides of the gate without necessarily going all the way through the gate. As you can see from the rod in the picture, if you include the half cubit walls on each side of the space between the guardrooms, the total is 6 cubits; but not counting the thickness of the walls, the side passageways are 5 cubits wide.

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See Picture #5. The inner threshold, porch, and one of the two posts on the temple compound side of the outer east gate. We are inside the temple compound and facing southeast.

Proceeding on through the outer east gate, in Ezekiel 40:7-9, the angel measures the porch and threshold “within,” meaning towards the inside of the temple compound. “The threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one reed. He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed. Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts thereof, two cubits.” The picture shows a two cubit post. You add on one reed, six cubits, for the porch; so the total breadth of the porch is eight cubits.

“And the porch of the gate was inward.” The gate has only one porch, and it is on the inside end of the gateway, the part that is towards the center of the temple compound. Remember that when we first approached the gate, there was no porch at the outside doorway.

Just a word of warning here so you don’t get confused later: although this porch is on the inside end of the gate, when you step down from this porch, you are in the ‘outer’ court, because there is another courtyard at the very center of the temple compound called the ‘inner’ court. So remember that the outer courtyard is still inside the temple compound. We had to come through this outer gate to get into the outer courtyard.

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See Picture #6. Looking down on the six 6x6 cubit guardrooms inside the outer east gate.

So the angel has taken us all the way through the outer eastern gate, but he is not done with it yet. Ezekiel 40:10, “And the little chambers of the gate eastward [the east gate] were three on this side, and three on that side.” Three at the top of the picture, and three at the bottom.

Next the angel measures the passageway through the gate where the people walk, in Ezekiel 40:11, “And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.” The width of the passageway is 10 cubits, as you see from the measuring rods at the right of the picture over the top of the inner threshold, which converts to almost 20 feet, sufficiently wide for two directions of foot traffic. And the “length” of the gate, apparently meaning height here, because the height is the longer measurement of the rectangular doorway, is 13 cubits, as you can see from the two 6-cubit rods on the left side of the door, with another cubit to go at the bottom.

Then Ezekiel talks about the ‘barriers,’ as shown in the picture in front of the guard chambers, which can also be interpreted to mean ‘spaces’. “The space also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side, and the space was one cubit on that side,” Ez40:12. And whether the Hebrew word means ‘barriers’ or ‘spaces,’ the purpose would be to separate the guardrooms a bit from the traffic flow so the guards can do their work.

Problems with Non-Literal Interpretations

I want to pause, now, to consider some principles of Biblical interpretation. I believe that the literal method is the correct method of interpretation, and that it is incorrect to use a symbolical method of interpretation. I want to present five problems with the non-literal, symbolical, or spiritualizing, method of interpretation; and I will use some quotes from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary and a quote from Dr. Peter Pett, whose writings I found on the internet, to illustrate these problems.

Difficulty: The first problem is difficulty. Matthew Henry says, “Here is a vision beginning at chapter 40 which is justly looked upon to be one of the most difficult portions in all the book of God.” Yes, Matthew Henry and all interpreters who use the symbolic approach have great difficulty with chapters 40 through 48 of Ezekiel. It causes them a lot of pain, because it is very difficult to give symbolic meaning to all these cubits.

Now if you use the literal method, the interpretation is quite easy. The 6x6 room, as shown in the picture above, represents a 6x6 room. And this should be easier than, say, Romans or Ephesians, but not for people who approach this passage symbolically. Their problem is that they are using the wrong approach, and they are using the wrong approach because their doctrinal biases don’t allow them to believe that God could have a temple in store for Israel in the future.

Inconsistency: The second problem is inconsistency. Matthew Henry says, “The chambers, as they were each of them foursquare, denoting their stability.” So, he says that because the chamber is 6x6, it is less likely to fall over, and therefore it denotes the stability of the Church. Well, he is being inconsistent, because right next to each 6x6 room, we have a 5x6 area, called the “space between the chambers,” as shown above, and he doesn’t say those non-square areas denote the instability of the Church, for good reason.

Inefficiency: Matthew Henry’s interpretation is also inefficient, because if the first 6x6 chamber means the church is stable, then the second one means the church is stable, the third one means the church is stable, the fourth one means the church is stable, the fifth one means the church is stable, and the sixth one means the church is stable. And there are five more gates we have yet to go through, each with six 6x6 rooms. And every other square area of the temple compound means the same thing. So it is very inefficient, because God could have said it in a much simpler way. Ezekiel could have just written, “I saw the temple, and it was foursquare,” and then we would know the Church is stable. Or God could have just said, “The Church is stable.” But the scribes through all the years have copied this, and people have been memorizing these chapters, and all these cubits would really be unnecessary here if it was just teaching that the Church is stable.

Uncertainty: The fourth problem is uncertainty. Matthew Henry says, “The chambers were very many.” I’m not sure 6 is very many, or even counting the other 5 gates, I’m not sure 36 is very many. But Matthew Henry says, “For in our Father’s house there are many mansions.” I hope there’s more than 36. Then he says, “Some make these chambers to represent the particular congregations of believers which are parts of the great temple, the universal Church.” So some non-literal interpreters think that these chambers represent separate congregations on earth. I hope there’s more than 36 of these, too.

But Matthew Henry has a problem. His problem is that he likes his own interpretation, about the rooms in heaven, but he also really likes this other interpretation about particular congregations of believers on earth, and he can’t decide which is right. And that is the problem with symbolic interpretation; nobody knows who is right. We can come up with another hundred possible meanings for what these chambers might represent, and no one would ever know which interpretation was right.

You can basically make a passage mean anything you want it to mean if you use symbolic interpretation. And if something can mean anything, then it really means nothing. Now, the Bible does use symbolism sometimes, but it explains the symbolism it uses. It doesn’t make us resort to guesswork.

Partiality: The fifth problem is partiality. Dr. Peter Pett says, “Five cubits,” and he is referring to those five cubits in the spaces between the guard rooms. “Five is the number of covenant. It is, thus, prominent in this heavenly temple. There were five fingers to the hand with which covenants were confirmed.” So Peter is very into covenants, and so this five cubit length attracted his attention. But that is the problem with symbolic interpretation. No person who uses the symbolic method is capable of giving meaning to all the cubits in the temple compound, so they only give meaning to some that catch their fancy. But a person who uses a literal method of interpretation has no problem using all the cubits, because if you leave any out, the building has gaps.

And Peter is convinced that 5 is the number of covenant. I’m not convinced of that, but I am convinced that the Bible teaches that 6 is the number of man. And Peter failed to point out that there are six 6x6 chambers in each gateway. In picture #6, there are three 6 cubit long areas on one side of the gateway passage, 6, 6, 6, which we know is the number of Antichrist; and there are three 6 cubit long areas on the other side of the passage. So with the Antichrist on both sides of all the entrances to the temple, does that mean the temple is a trap? Obviously, I’m being sarcastic, but these are the kinds of inconsistencies and problems we get into if we don’t interpret the Word of God literally.

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Ezekiel 40:13-16. The Outer East Gate Continued

See Picture #7. Diagram of the outer east gate.

Next the angel provides the overall dimensions of the outer east gate. Ezekiel 40:13-15, “He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another,” and he may have actually measured the floor to get that measurement, “the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door against door,” meaning door ‘facing’ door. We saw that the doors of the guard chambers faced each other. And for the height, “He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate,” meaning the post is 60 cubits tall and it is the same height as the posts of the pavement on the sides of the gate. Now for the length. “From the face of the gate of the entrance, unto the face of the porch of the inner gate, were fifty cubits.” So from the outside entrance, which had no porch, to the front of the porch facing into the temple compound, were 50 cubits.

For the width, as shown in letter A in the picture, the passageway is 10 cubits, and 7.5 on each side makes 25. The 7.5 is made up of 6 for the inside of the guard chamber, plus .5 cubits for the width of the outside walls, and 1 cubit for the space or barrier in front of the guard chambers.

For the length of the gate, as shown in letter B, starting at the right side of the picture, there are 6 cubits for the outer threshold, 6 for each of the three guard rooms, 6 for each of two spaces between the guard rooms if you include the thickness of the .5 cubit wall on each side (.5+5+.5), 6 cubits for the inner threshold, a 6 cubit porch, and a 2 cubit post. So there are eight 6’s, equals 48, plus 2 for the post, equals 50 cubits. So the dominant numbers for the gate are 6 and 5.

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See Picture #8. Narrow windows all around inside the outer east gate.

Ezekiel 40:16, “And there were narrow windows to the little chambers, and to their posts within the gate round about, and likewise to the arches: and windows were round about inward.” The “arches” are the five cubit wide spaces through the sides of the gate. The purpose of the windows is probably to allow the guards to see out, and see everything that is going on, and let some natural light in; and yet the windows are narrow enough so that no one can get through and interfere with the guards’ work.

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See Picture #9. The porch of the outer east gate with its palm tree ornaments and some of the 30 chambers on the lower pavement.

“And upon each post were palm trees,” Ez40:16. The palm tree ornaments are on each gate porch to give a visual indication as to where the doors are, so you can tell at a glance where the gates of the building are.

Ezekiel 40:17-27. The Outer Court

“Then brought he me into the outward [outer] court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement. And the pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates was the lower pavement,” Ez40:17-18. Picture #9 shows some of the thirty chambers on the lower pavement. The lower pavement is 50 cubits wide, because it goes alongside the gate, which is 50 cubits long. It is called the lower pavement because there are only seven steps up to it, whereas we will see later that there is an upper pavement, that has eight steps up to it, and so that pavement is higher. However, my model shows even the ‘lower pavement’ of the outer court to be higher than the ‘outer court’ proper shown in the bottom right of the picture.

It may be that the outer court should be on the same level as the lower pavement. Ezekiel 40 seems to mention only one set of steps for each gate. I made the lower pavement higher than the outer court in the model to distinguish it from the outer court. But perhaps the roof over the pavement or something else could distinguish it from the outer court. But if the outer court was level with the lower pavement, then the outer gates’ porches might not seem like porches.

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See Picture #10. The 100 cubit wide outer court showing the palm tree ornaments on the porches of the outer and inner gates facing each other.

“Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the lower gate unto the forefront of the inner court without, an hundred cubits eastward and northward,” Ez40:19. The outer east gate is called the “lower gate” here, possibly because the outer gates are 1 step lower than the inner gates. The “inner court without” means the outside of the inner court including the inner gates. So from #1 to #5, and from #6 to #2, in picture #10, is 100 cubits. So the inner court is 100 cubits wide all the way around.

There are a total of 6 gates in the temple compound; 3 outer gates and 3 inner gates. The picture shows the order in which the angel showed them to Ezekiel. We entered through the outer east gate (#1). Then the angel showed Ezekiel the outer north gate (#2), the outer south gate (#3), the inner south gate (#4), the inner east gate (#5), and then the inner north gate (#6).

Notice how the 3 outer gates have their porches and palm tree ornaments facing towards the center of the temple compound, while the inner court gates have their porches and palm tree ornaments facing away from the center of the temple compound, so the porches all face each other across the outer court.

The outer north gate was “after the measure of the first gate,” Ez40:21; meaning it had the same measurements as the outer east one that we looked at in detail, 50 by 25 cubits, and “seven steps,” Ez40:22. And the outer south gate is also “according to these measures,” Ez40:24, 50 by 25.

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Ezekiel 40:28-49. The Inner Court

See Picture #11. The tables on the outer court side of the inner north gate.

The inner south is also “according to these measures,” Ez40:28, of the outer gates, but it has eight steps up to its porch from the outer court. Then the angel took Ezekiel through the inner south gate and into the inner court. He measured the inner east gate from the inner court side, “according to these measures,” Ez40:32.

The inner north gate has the same measurements also, but then the angel takes Ezekiel from the inner court, through the inner north gate to the outer court side and “four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices,” Ez40:41.

Why sacrifices during the Messianic Kingdom? Because sacrifices never took away sin. Only Jesus, who took our place, and suffered the wrath of God for us, could do that. God, being a just God, cannot justify the unrighteous apart from that. Today, in the Lord’s Supper, the bread and wine remind us of what the Lord did for us on the cross. We have the Lord’s Supper “until he comes,” 1Cor11:26. He said, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom,” Mt26:29. After he returns, Israel’s offering of these animal sacrifices will be the method of remembering what the Lord did for us. And this will last until the new heaven and new earth, because during the Messianic Kingdom there will still be those that don’t know the Lord, and there will be a final rebellion and final judgment at the end of the Messianic Kingdom, so there will need to be this reminder and warning of the tragedy of sin and death.

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See Picture #12. Chambers of the singers in the inner court, one on the north with its door facing south (top left corner of picture) and one on the south with its door facing north (top right corner of picture).

Ezekiel 40:44-46, “And without the inner gate,” possibly meaning through the arches in the side of the gate, “were the chambers of the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one at the side of the east gate having the prospect toward the north.”

In my model, the north chambers are (37.5 cubits clockwise) to the side of the north gate, and the south chambers are (37.5 cubits clockwise) to the side of the east gate.

Notice there are no porches on the inside of the inner gates. The inner gates, with their porches facing outward, are reversed, mirror images, of the outer gates, except for the steps.

I should have made the ‘inner court’ area in the model the same color as the ‘outer court’ area, rather than the same color as the 50 cubit wide ‘upper pavement’ alongside the inner gates, to avoid confusion.

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See Picture #13. The 100 x 100 cubit inner court with the altar at the center and the temple at the top of the picture.

Ezekiel 40:47, “So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare,” 100 x 100 (and we know what Matthew Henry would say foursquare symbolizes), “and the altar that was before the house,” meaning before the temple. Up to this point, we have been looking at the temple compound, not the temple; but in this picture we see the door to the temple itself, called “the house” in this verse.

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See Picture #14. Diagram of the entire temple compound.

From east to west, starting at A in the picture, and leaving out the 50 cubit border, there are 50 cubits for the outer east gate and the lower pavement on both sides, 100 for the outer court, and 50 for the inner east gate and the upper pavement on both sides, which subtotals 200. Then 100 for the inner court, and 200 for the temple area (100 for the temple and 100 for the west building and separate place which we will look at later). So 200 + 100 + 200 = 500.

From north to south, starting at B in the picture, and leaving out the 50 cubit border, there are 50 cubits for the outer north gate and the lower pavement on both sides, 100 for the outer court, and 50 for the inner north gate and the upper pavement on both sides, which subtotals 200. Then there are 100 for the inner court. And then 50 for the inner south gate and the upper pavement on both sides, 100 for the outer court, and 50 for the outer south gate and lower pavement on both sides, which subtotals 200. So 200 + 100 + 200 = 500. So the dominant numbers are 50 and 100.

We started our tour at the wall at the outside of the eastern border, and then entered the outer court through the east outer gate. We looked at the outer court and the inner court. Now we are going to look at the temple, the separate place, and the west building.

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Ezekiel 41. The Temple

See Picture #15. The temple porch.

Ezekiel 40:48-49, “And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side. The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits, and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.” Verse 48 should start a new chapter, because Ezekiel begins talking about the temple in that verse.

In the picture, you can see from the measuring rods, that the rectangular posts on each side of the porch are 5 cubits by 3 cubits. The length of the porch is 20 cubits across the front of the temple. ‘Length’ is always the long measurement for any particular area under consideration, no matter which direction it faces. And the breadth, the shorter measurement of the porch, is 11 cubits deep. And there is one large, special pillar beside the porch on each side.

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See Picture #16. Inside the holy place, looking back out towards the temple porch.

Ezekiel 41:1, “Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle.”

The posts of the doorway are 6 cubits square, as confirmed by Ez41:21, “the posts of the temple were squared.” We see only 5 cubits of them on each side in the picture, because they extend 1 cubit into the 6 cubit wide temple walls, “which was the breadth of the tabernacle,” Ez41:1.

“And the breadth of the door was ten cubits; and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side,” Ez41:2. The doorway is 10 cubits wide, as you can see from the measuring rods. And we see only 5 cubits of the 6 cubit wide door posts on each side of the doorway, for the reason explained above.

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See Picture #17. Looking down on the 20 x 40 cubit holy place in the temple.

“And he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits,” Ez41:2b. The whole room of the holy place is two 20 x 20 cubit square areas; in other words, 40 cubits by 20 cubits.

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See Picture #18. In the holy place of the temple, looking towards the door to the most holy place.

“Then went he inward, and measured the post of the door, two cubits; and the door, six cubits; and the breadth of the door, seven cubits,” Ez41:3. The angel measured the entrance to the most holy place. The wood door posts are 2 cubits wide; you can see a little of their wood behind the folding doors. The temple wall on each side of them is an additional 5 cubits, so 7 cubits on each side of the 6 cubit wide doorway.

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See Picture #19. The most holy place.

“So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place,” Ez41:4. Inside the most holy place, the length is 20 cubits and the breadth 20 cubits.

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See Picture #20. The southeast front corner of the temple: 1) 6-cubit temple wall, 2) narrower 5-cubit temple wall, 3) 4-cubit side chambers, 4) wider 5-cubit side chambers, 5) 6-cubit foundation of the temple, 6) side chambers’ 6-cubit outer wall 7) side chambers’ 5-cubit walkway, 8) 20-cubit separate place, 9) southern door to side chambers.

Next, we go around the outside of the temple. Ezekiel 41:5-7, “He measured the wall of the house, six cubits,” on the bottom level, but the temple wall gets narrower on the higher levels, as you can see if you compare #1 to #2 in the picture. (One cubit of the front of the temple wall is made up of part of the 6x6 cubit square wood temple post, as we discussed earlier and as you can see in the shadow of the pillar.)

“And the breadth of every side chamber, four cubits, round about the house on every side,” on the bottom level, but the side chambers get wider on the higher levels, as you can see if you compare #3 to #4 in the picture.

“And the side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order,” three stories tall, thirty rooms per story as you go around the temple. “And they entered into the wall which was of the house,” as you see in #4, “... that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the wall of the house.” Starting at the bottom, each story of the chambers was wider, and the temple wall likewise narrower, so the chambers could sit securely against the temple without being attached by nails or anything.

Ezekiel 41:8-11, “I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits.” You can see the six cubit foundation by the vertical rod leaning against the stairs near #5 in the picture. So temple sits higher than everything else in the temple compound. “The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chamber without, was five cubits,” meaning the outside wall going around the side chambers, labeled #6, is five cubits thick. “And that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within.” ‘That which was left’ is the 5 cubit wide walkway, labeled #7, that provides access to the side chambers.

“And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side,” marked with #8. We’ll see this 20 cubit area, called the Separate Place, around the temple better in a minute.

“And the doors of the side chambers were toward the place that was left, one door toward the north, and another door toward the south,” we see the doorway to the south at #9 for access to the chambers’ walkway, “and the breadth of the place that was left,” #7 again, “was five cubits round about.”

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See Picture #21. The west building is to the left, the temple to the right, and the 20 cubit separate place in between. You can also see the low side chambers’ wall and some of the 5-cubit walkway around the sides and back of the temple. The buildings that border the separate place at the top and bottom of the picture are 3-tiered priests’ chambers.

Ezekiel 41:12, “Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits.” The west building is 70 by 90 in its internal dimensions. It’s got a five cubit thick wall all around which makes it 100 long and 80 wide in its external dimensions. When you add the 20 cubits of the ‘separate place’ in front of it to its external width, the total area is 100 by 100 cubits square.

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See Picture #22. Diagram of the temple, the separate place, and the west building.

Next the angel measured the overall dimensions of the temple area, including the separate place and the west building. First going east to west, Ezekiel 41:13, “So he measured the house [the temple], an hundred cubits long, and the separate place, and the building [the west building], with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long.” Starting at A in picture 22, we see the temple is 100 cubits long comprised of five 20’s. The porch plus the dividing wall between the holy place and the most holy place equals 20 cubits (3+8+6+3), the holy place is 40 cubits long (or two 20’s), the most holy place is 20 cubits, and the temple wall and side chambers on the west are 20 cubits (6+4+5+5=20). And then the separate place plus the west building is 100 cubits (20+5+70+5).

“Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits,” Ez41:14. Next he measures 100 cubits north to south across the front of the temple. Starting at B in the picture, the separate place on the north is 20; the side chambers and temple wall, 20 (5+5+4+6); the holy place, 20; the temple wall and side chambers, 20 (6+4+5+5); and the separate place on the south is 20.

And finally, the separate place is 100 cubits long against all three buildings on the west, north, and south, as shown by the three letter C’s in the picture. On the west, “he measured the length of the building [the west building] over against the separate place which was behind it.” On the north and south along the 3-tiered priests’ galleries, “and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side.” All three measurements each measured “an hundred cubits,” as also did “the inner temple and the porches of the court,” Ez41:15, as we saw in verse 13. So the dominant numbers for the temple area are 20 and 100.

To me, this careful measuring, first east to west, then north to south, and finally this additional check around the perimeter of the separate place, is another evidence of the inspiration of the scriptures. It would have been very difficult for Ezekiel to have thought all this up by himself, and have it fit together, especially without 3D drawing software.

Now the angel takes us back into the temple for some additional details. The walls were covered with cherubs and palm tree decorations. Ezekiel 41:18-25, “It was made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces; so that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about. From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made, and on the wall of the temple.” You can see these decorations in picture #18. I didn’t have any pictures of two-faced cherubs to use in the model, so the ones on the walls in the pictures have only the lion face. (Some cherubs, like those in Ezekiel 1, have 4 faces. Satan is a fallen cherub. Some speculate he may be of the two-faced variety.)

“The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before the LORD.” You can also see the altar in picture #18 (though it’s hard to see because I made it the same color as the floor and door posts).

“And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors.” I’m assuming that means two doors each; two at the outside of the temple and two for the most holy place. “And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door.” So you can see the two folding doors for the sanctuary, or most holy place, in picture #18; and you can see one of the two folding doors of the temple in picture #15. “And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees, like as were made upon the walls.”

Ezekiel 41:25-26, “And there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without, and there were narrow windows and palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch, and upon the side chambers of the house, and thick planks.” You can also see the thick planks and narrow windows of the temple porch in picture #15. It seems they should have palm trees on them, but not cherubs.

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Ezekiel 42. 3-Tiered Priests’ Chambers & Overall Dimensions

See Picture #23. A 50-cubit 3-tiered building and a 100-cubit 3-tiered building of priests’ chambers facing each other with a walkway between them. These in the picture are the northern ones on the west side of the inner north gate between the outer court and the separate place of the temple.

Ezekiel 42:7-8, “The wall that was without over against the chambers, toward the utter [outer] court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof was fifty cubits. For the length of the chambers that were in the utter [outer] court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits.” In picture 23, we are looking at two buildings on the upper pavement on the west side of the inner north gate. The two buildings are not the same length. The one “toward the utter [outer] court” is only 50 cubits long, while the one along the separate place “before the temple” is 100 cubits long.

Ezekiel 42:13-14, “Then said he unto me, The north chambers and the south chambers,” there is a mirror image of them on the west side of the inner south gate also, “which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things ... When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter [outer] court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people.” So we have some locker rooms for the priests here. They have to leave their holy clothes in the inner court area, and put on other clothes, before going out to the people in the outer court.

Perhaps the 50-cubit long building by the outer court, in picture #23, should be slid to the left (east), in my model, since the purpose of these buildings is to separate the priests from the people, rather than to provide space for interaction between the priests and the people.

After the angel measures the 3-tiered priest’s chambers on the upper pavement, he takes Ezekiel outside the outer eastern gate, the one by which he had first entered the temple compound. This is Ezekiel’s first time out of the temple compound since he started the tour. And the reason the angel now takes him outside, is that he had finished measuring the inside. There are still a few details that will be measured, in relation to sacrifices, but he is done measuring all the temple compound buildings. “Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about,” Ez42:15.

What does Ezekiel mean by saying the angel measured “it round about?” If he means the gate and the wall the gate goes through, the wall of the temple compound, then we know from adding the internal measurements, as we did in pictures #14 and #22, that the wall of the temple compound is 500 cubits square. But while some versions, like the NIV, which follow the Greek Septuagint translation, use the word “cubits” in the following verses; the KJV and ASV, follow the Masoretic Hebrew text, and use the word “rods” in the following verses.

“He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds [unit of measure omitted, Septuagint], with the measuring reed round about. He measured the north side, five hundred reeds [cubits, Septuagint] ... the south side, five hundred reeds [unit of measure omitted, Septuagint] ... the west side ... five hundred reeds [cubits, Septuagint] ... it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds [unit of measure added by translators] long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place,” Ez42:16-20. Five hundred reeds would be 3,000 cubits, since the angel’s measuring reed is six cubits long (Ez40:5). So if the angel is measuring a 3,000 cubit wall, he must be measuring another wall out around the temple compound, rather than measuring the outside of the temple compound itself.

However, if the angel is not providing the overall dimensions of the temple compound here, then it is not provided anywhere; and the normal pattern in the book is to give the detailed dimensions, and then provide the overall dimensions.

For example, in Ezekiel 40:6-12, we learned the detailed measurements of the parts of the outer east gate: outer threshold, 6; guardrooms and spaces between, 6+5+6+5+6; inner threshold, 6; porch, 6; and porch pillars, 2; equals 48 cubits long. Then in verse 13, we learned the overall length of 50 cubits, and could thereby determine that the 4 walls of the guardrooms along the spaces are each 1/2 cubit thick to total 50 cubits.

And in Ezekiel 40:48 - 41:12, we learned the detailed measurements of the temple: porch, 11; door posts, and front temple wall, 6; holy place, 40; most holy place, 20; back temple wall, 6; side chambers, 4; walkway, 5; wall around side chambers, 5; equals 97 cubits. Then in verse 13, we learned the overall length of the temple is 100 cubits, and could thereby determine that the wall between the holy place and the most holy place is 3 cubits thick.

Also, although we haven’t covered it yet, Ezekiel gives the detailed dimensions of the parts of the holy district in 48:9-19, and then gives the overall dimensions in 48:20. So, it would make sense, after having given us all the details of the interior of the temple compound, that he would then also confirm the overall measurement to be 500 cubits all around.

It is commonly agreed, that there is at least one scribal error in the Hebrew in this passage. In the Hebrew, verse 16 says, “He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five cubit reeds.” It looks like a scribe accidentally wrote the word “emot,” meaning “cubit,” in place of “meot,” meaning “hundred.” It’s probably a scribal error, and not an indication that the angel now started to use a 5-cubit rod instead of a 6-cubit rod, because then we would have no length provided for the east side, even though the north, south, and west sides were said to be 500 reeds.

Perhaps a scribe copied the word “reeds” from the marginal notes of a manuscript, into the Hebrew text, in verses 16 through 19. If the word “reeds” was not in the original, verse 16 would read, “He measured the east side with the measuring reed; five hundred with the measuring reed round about.” Then the interpretation would be that the angel measured 500 cubits, but with the emphasis that he used the long-cubit reed, and not, as might be supposed since the measurement is long, the flax line, which could possibly be in regular-length cubits.

It would seem most straightforward and simple, to assume that when the angel finished measuring the interior of the temple compound, and exited it via the outer east gate, and measured “it all around,” vs. 15, that he measured the outside of the temple compound, especially since the measurement came out to 500 x 500, which is the overall size of the temple compound, and especially since that overall measurement is provided nowhere else in the book.

However, while it might be understandable that a scribe could write “emot” for “meot,” it is not as likely a scribe would have added the word “reeds” four times in verses 16 to 19. Nevertheless, there are additional difficulties with the idea of a 500 reed wall, as we will see later.

The Hebrew text is to be preferred over the Septuagint translation whenever possible, because God not only inspired the words of the scriptures, but also preserved them to every generation. “The words of the LORD are pure words, ... O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever,” Ps12:6-7. The Holy Spirit didn’t just inspire and preserve, the ‘ideas’ of scripture, but the very words. “Not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but [in the words] which the Holy Ghost teacheth,” 1Cor2:13.

That’s also why it’s not possible that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew, as some of our beloved Messianic Jewish brethren suggest. It just seems that way, because the writers were Jewish, and thought in Aramaic, but they wrote in Greek. The New Testament couldn’t have been written in Hebrew, because there are no Hebrew New Testament manuscripts, except for some late medieval works of the Gospel of Matthew, that may have been translated from Greek to Hebrew for the benefit of Jewish people, as our Messianic Jewish brethren do today.

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Ezekiel 43-46. Sacrificial System

We talked about the purpose of animal sacrifices in the Messianic Kingdom when we looked at the tables by the outer court at the inner north gate: they are reminders of what Yeshua did for us, and object lessons to those born during the kingdom.

See Picture #24. Inside the temple, looking from the holy place through the door into the most holy place, after the shekinah glory has entered it.

Ezekiel 43:1-4, “Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. ... And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.” The shekinah glory will enter the temple compound via the outer east gate, and go into the most holy place in the temple to dwell with Israel.

Ezekiel 43:5-6, “So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me,” so it wasn’t the angel talking, “and he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet,” Messiah’s feet, “where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever.” God, the Holy Spirit, carried Ezekiel into the inner court so he could get there fast enough to hear this message from God in the shekinah glory.

Who is speaking from the shekinah glory? Ezekiel had described the shekinah glory earlier in his book in chapter one. He saw a whirlwind, a cloud, fire enfolding itself, brightness, and four living creatures. Each living creature had four faces and four wings; the face of a man, lion, ox and eagle. The firmament was over their heads, and very high above them was a throne with the likeness of the appearance of a man upon it.

Ezekiel 1:26-27, “Above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, ... and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it, ... from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.” This must have been the Angel of Jehovah, the pre-incarnate Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus, because no man, including Ezekiel, has seen the Father (Jn1:18), and an angel wouldn’t be on the throne above the four cherubs.

So Yeshua may be spending some of his time in the kingdom sitting on the throne in the most holy place, with the cherubs around him as they presently are in heaven. Revelation 4:6-8, “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” But we won’t be able to go into the inner court of the temple, so perhaps Yeshua will spend most of his time in Jerusalem, away from the four cherubs, as he was during his 33 years on earth at his first coming.

There will be no ark of the covenant in the most holy place. You don’t need the ark of the covenant when the Lord himself is present. Jeremiah 3:16-17, “It shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem.”

The shekinah glory will also be visible over the mountain of the Lord day and night. “And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain,” Is4:5-6.

The top of the mountain will be well lit at night by the shekinah glory. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light,” Zech14:6-7.

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See Picture #25. The large brass altar before the temple at the center of the inner court.

Ezekiel 43:13-17, “And these are the measures of the altar ... the bottom shall be a cubit [high], and the breadth [of the bottom ledge] a cubit, and the border thereof by the edge thereof round about shall be a span: and this shall be the higher place of the altar. And from the bottom upon the ground even to the lower settle shall be two cubits [high], and the breadth [of the ledge] one cubit; and from the lesser [lower] settle even to the greater settle shall be four cubits [high], and the breadth [of the ledge] one cubit. So the altar shall be four cubits [high]; and from the altar and upward shall be four horns. And the altar shall be twelve cubits long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof. And the [lower] settle shall be fourteen cubits long and fourteen broad in the four squares thereof; and the border about it shall be half a cubit; and the bottom thereof shall be a cubit about; and his stairs shall look toward the east.”

The stairs in the model should go all the way to the top of the altar, as a ramp reportedly did in the previous temples. This would be necessary because wood and large pieces of animals need to be carried to the top of the altar, which is very large for all the different work that needs to be performed there, and which cannot all be performed from the 2 foot wide topmost ledge.

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See Picture #26. Prince David entering the outer east gate from the porch on the outer court side. The gate is sealed up on the outside because the shekinah glory entered the temple compound through that gate. The light on the steps is shining from the shekinah glory in the temple through the east inner gate behind him.

Ezekiel 44:1-3, “Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.” The outside of the outer east gate will be sealed after the shekinah glory enters through it. This gate does not yet exist. People confuse it with the sealed eastern gate in Jerusalem today, and say it will be unsealed for Messiah to enter by. That is the opposite of what scripture teaches here, that a future gate will be sealed after the Messiah enters through it, with the shekinah glory.

“It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.” The prince gets to use this sealed gate to sit and eat in. He will have a nice view of the inner east gate and the temple from here, and be out of the sun. He has to enter and leave the gate through the porch because the outside doorway is sealed.

The prince is Prince David. He will be a king to Israel, but a prince to Yeshua, the King of Kings. Jeremiah 30:9, “They shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them,” along with all the other people whose bodies are resurrected before the kingdom is established.

Serving under David, in either the federal or tribal governments, will be the resurrected and glorified twelve apostles, including Paul in place of Judas. “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel,” Mt19:28.

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See picture #27. The Holy Section of the Land.

For the Priests: 25,000 x 10,000. “Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand ... The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests, ... a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary,” Ez45:1-3. There is a 25,000 by 10,000 area, shown at the top of picture #27, for the priests’ houses and the temple compound. Notice that the word “reeds,” in verse 45, is in italics, meaning it was added by the King James translators to help us. But in picture #27, I put all the measurements in cubits, rather than reeds.

Except for the four verses in Ezekiel 42:16-19, which we looked at already, every other measurement in the book, in which the unit of measure is explicitly stated, that is greater than one reed long, is given in cubits. The following five verses say something is exactly one reed long: 40:5; 40:6; 40:7; 40:8; and 41:8. And the following three verses say something is more than one reed long, but the word “reed” is in italics to show it was added by the translators: 42:20; 45:1; and 48:8.

The reason the translators added the word “reeds” in verse 1, is because the next verse talks about the 500 x 500 temple compound area, and in 42:16-19, the outer-most portion of the temple area, according to the Hebrew text, is a 500 reed (3,000 cubit) wall around and further out from the temple compound.

Temple Compound: 500 x 500 something. Either 600 cubits square including the border, or 500 reeds + 50 cubits square including the border. “Of this [in the priests’ portion] there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, with five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof,” Ez45:2. The small black square labeled “The Temple + Border” within the priests’ rectangle in picture #27.

Notice the word “cubits” is specifically mentioned for the “suburbs,” or ‘border,’ of the sanctuary. If the unit of measurement in this chapter is cubits, the 50 cubit border goes around the temple compound, making the total temple area 600 x 600 cubits (50 more on each side of the 500 cubits). If the unit of measurement in this chapter is reeds, the 50 cubit border goes around the 500 reed wall, making the total temple area 500 reeds plus 50 cubits.

This is another reason why it is more natural, to assume the measurements in this chapter are in cubits. Most of the measurements we have seen so far, have been in fairly round numbers, not something like 500 reeds + 50 cubits. Also, a 50 cubit border around a 500 cubit area (10%) is more in perspective, than a 50 cubit border around a 3,000 cubit (500 reed) area (0.01667%). In chapter 48, we’ll see that the city is a 4,500 x 4,500 area with a 250 border around it (5.56%) so the total area comes out to a nice round 5,000 (4,500 + 250 on each side).

Also, if the angel’s purpose in chapter 42:15-20, had been to measure the adjacent land around the temple, why wouldn’t he have told us about the 50 cubit border at that time along with the measurement of the outlying 3,000 cubit wall. But if his purpose was only to give us the overall dimensions of the temple compound, after having given us the detailed internal measurements of its parts, it is understandable that he did not mention the 50 cubit border at that time, but waited until he was dealing with the placement of the temple within the land.

For the Levites: 25,000 x 10,000. “And the five and twenty thousand of length, and the ten thousand of breadth shall also the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves,” Ez45:5. The bottom white rectangular area on the mountain in picture #27. Ezekiel is not listing the portions in geographical order, but rather in order of importance. Priests and sanctuary first, then Levites, and next the city.

For the City: 5000 x 25,000. “And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel,” Ez45:6. The central 5,000 by 25,000 area in picture #27.

For Prince David: “And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, ... from the west border unto the east border,” Ez45:7. The land shown on the far right and left of picture #27, is for the resurrected Prince David and his descendants.

This land might also pay the expenses of his federal government (versus the tribal governments). “Moreover the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession ... that my people be not scattered every man from his possession,” Ez46:17-18.

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See Picture #28. Prince David standing on the porch of the inner east gate. The light is from the shekinah glory in the temple. We are looking west into the inner court and the temple.

Ezekiel 46:1-3,”The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.” Most of the time, the inner east gate will be closed. But on Sabbaths and new moons, it will be open. Then the prince can go up on the porch, and watch as the priests offer his sacrifices. But that means he can’t go into the inner court, even though he is in his resurrected and glorified body, and so we won’t be able to either.

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See Picture #29. People who entered the outer court of the temple compound by the outer south gate, walking past the inner east gate, to exit by the outer north gate.

Ezekiel 46:8-12, “When the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in.” People will enter the temple compound by the north gate and go out by the south, or they will go in by the south and out by the north. Do you remember why no one will enter or exit by the outer east gate?

Ezekiel 46:8 only talks about “the people of the land,” meaning the Jewish people and probably the Gentiles who dwell among them in Israel. But Zechariah says that the Gentiles outside the land will go to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16-17, “It shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.” So I don’t expect to be living in the land of Israel during the Messianic Kingdom. I expect to be laboring in one of the Gentile nations, but I expect to come up for the feast of tabernacles with other people from my nation whenever it’s my turn.

Isaiah 66:20-21 may indicate some Gentiles may serve as priests and ‘Levites’ in the temple. “And they [saved Gentiles] shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations ... to my holy mountain Jerusalem, and I will also take of them for priests and for Levites.” More likely, “take of them” refers to taking priests and Levites from among the Jewish people brought back by the Gentiles. Would Gibeonites and Nethinim (temple servants) be referred to as ‘Levites?’ If God does take any Gentiles as priests and ‘Levites’, they will at least need to be born again spiritually, and circumcised physically, according to Ezekiel 44:9.

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel,” Ez44:9. This probably indicates that no unsaved men, even descendants of Zadok, will be able to serve as priests and Levites in the temple. It probably does not indicate exclusion of anyone from the temple compound. It would be more feasible to verify circumcision of heart and flesh as a prerequisite to priesthood than to temple compound access.

Zechariah concludes and summarizes his book by saying, “Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts,” Zech14:21. There will certainly be some people of Canaanite descent in the kingdom, who enter by resurrection, and who enter in unglorified bodies at the end of the tribulation period and their descendants born during the kingdom, and they will probably have entrance to the temple compound, though perhaps none any longer as temple servants. Probably this verse means that, whereas most priests and Levites in the temple throughout history have been unbelievers, and to God this was equivalent to Canaanites like the Gibeonites serving in the temple, in the kingdom the priests and Levites will be both descendants of Levi and, more importantly, regenerate of heart.

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See Picture #30. Looking down on the priests’ boiling places at the extreme west end of the northern upper pavement by the west building and the 3-tiered priest’s chambers.

Ezekiel 46:19-20, “After he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate,” through a side arch of the inner north gate, “into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north, and, behold, there was a place on the two sides westward,” the west ends of the upper pavement on both the north and south of the temple. “Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear them not out into the utter [outer] court, to sanctify the people.” The priests have their own places to boil and bake sacrifices, separate from the people, so they don’t take any holiness out to the people; just as we saw how in Ezekiel 42:13-14, they had to change their clothes before going out to the people.

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See Picture #31. The northwest boiling place for the peoples’ sacrifices. There are 4 mini-courts like this one; one in each corner of the outer court.

Ezekiel 46:21-24, “Then he brought me forth into the utter [outer] court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court ... forty cubits long and thirty broad .... And there was a row of building round about in them, ... and it was made with boiling places under the rows round about. Then said he unto me, These are the places of them that boil, where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people.” Four 40x30 cubit mini-courts, one in each corner of the outer court, for the priests to come out and boil the peoples’ sacrifices, because the people cannot enter into the inner court, where the priests offer other sacrifices.

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Ezekiel 47-48. The River and the Land

See Picture #32. The river that starts on the south side of the temple entrance.

Ezekiel 47:1, “Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house,” the temple, “and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.” Picture #32 shows a trickle of water flowing from south side of the threshold of the temple. “The right side of the house” is the south side, since the temple faces east.

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See Picture #33. The river flowing out the south side of the outer east gate.

Ezekiel 47:2, “Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about [around] the way without [outside] unto the utter [outer] gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.” “The right side” of the gate is the south side, since the gate faces east. Why did the angel take Ezekiel out the north gate and around when he wanted to show him something outside the outer east gate? Why didn’t he just take him through the outer east gate? Well, remember, the outside of the outer east gate has been sealed. So in Picture #33, we are outside the outer east gate where we started this tour, and we see the waters from the temple coming from the south side.

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See Picture #34. The river flowing east from the temple compound and getting deeper and wider.

Ezekiel 47:3-5, “And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in.” The waters get deeper and deeper as they flow east. The angel is using the flax string to measure each 1000 cubit stretch. The angel gets to stay on dry ground, while Ezekiel has to go through the water.

This passage is another reason why the word “reeds” in Ezekiel 42:16-19 seems incongruous. If the angel brought the flax line to measure long distances, like these 1,000 cubit stretches, why would he use the reed to measure 500 reeds, or 3,000 cubits, in Ezekiel 42? But if the word “reeds” was not in the original in 42:16-19, then the 500 cubit outside wall of the temple compound in Ezekiel 42 was the longest distance the angel measured with the reed, and we could assume all longer distances were measured with the flax line, which would probably be in common medium cubits.

Ezekiel 47:7-8, “Now when I had returned, ... then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.” The river from the temple goes down to the Dead Sea, and heals their salty waters.

Ezekiel 47:9-11, “And it shall come to pass, that every thing ... whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live ... And ... fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim, ... their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea [the Mediterranean], exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.” There’s no fish in the Dead Sea today, but there will be great fishing there soon.

Ezekiel 47:12, “And by the river upon the bank ... shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” The trees that are watered by the river from the temple will have leaves that provide healing, so no one will remain sick.

Not only will the waters go east and down to the Dead Sea, but half will go towards the Mediterranean Sea. Zechariah 14:8, “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer [dryer season] and in winter [wetter season] shall it be.”

In the east, the river can go down the great valley through the split in the Mount of Olives we talked about earlier to the Dead Sea. In the west, the waters from the temple, which may be at the highest point on the mountain, may first water the rest of the mountain via irrigation channels and so forth, before being gathered at the western base of the mountain to flow on to the Mediterranean. “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities, there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby,” Is33:20,21. See picture #36. “I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: ... in that day ... a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim,” Joel3:17-18.

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See Picture #35. Portions of land for the tribes of Israel going straight across from east to west. I have not tried to present accurate boundaries, but rather to show the general arrangement of the tribal portions. For example, the Golan Heights will probably be within the borders of Israel, though the picture doesn’t show it that way.

Northern Boundaries. Ezekiel 48:1, “Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath.” Hamath is present day Hama in Syria. The northern border of Israel during the Messianic Kingdom will extend to about the present northern border of Lebanon. Present day Lebanon will be part of millennial Israel.

Seven Northern Tribes. Ezekiel 48:2-7, “These are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan. And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher. And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali. And by ... Naphtali, ... a portion for Manasseh. And by ... Manasseh, ... a portion for Ephraim. And by ... Ephraim, ... a portion for Reuben. And by ... Reuben, ... a portion for Judah.” Each tribe’s portion will extend completely across from the western boundaries, like the Jordan River, to the Mediterranean Sea.

Today most Jewish people don’t know which tribe they are descended from, the exception being some descendants of priests and Levites who have family names like Cohen, the Hebrew word for priest, or Levi. But now we have genetic tests, and anyway the Lord knows the genealogy of everyone. Jewish tradition says that when Elijah returns before the Messianic Kingdom is set up, he will provide Jewish people with their tribal identities.

So although physical things like genealogies have no relevance in the church age or for spiritual salvation; in the future, genealogies will be important again, at least in determining how physically close to the shekinah glory a person will be able to live.

Some Gentiles, possibly proselytes, will dwell among the tribes in the land, “in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance,” Ez47:23. And some Gentiles in their natural bodies during the kingdom will become servants to Israelites so they can live in the land. “Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers ... For your shame, ye shall have double [blessing, joy, inheritance, etc.],” Is60:1-61:7.

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See picture #36. Division of the land on and beside the mountain of the Lord.

Now we have a repeat of the description of the holy portion of the land that we saw in chapter 45, but with some added details.

Levi (Including the Priests), Prince David, and the Temple Compound. Ezekiel 48:8, “And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side unto the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it.” Just like each tribe’s portion is a strip of land going all the way from the east to the west border, the land offering is a 25,000 broad strip, that goes all the way from the east border to the west border.

Here in chapter 48, we have, like in 45:1-8, a long passage with many dimensions, with no unit of measure provided. Once again, the KJV translators have tried to help us out by adding the word “reeds” in verse 8, near the mention of the sanctuary, which was said to be measured in reeds in 42:16-19.

It is interesting that the Lord could easily have provided us one mention of the word “reeds” in 45:1-8, and one mention here in chapter 48, just as the translators have done. Instead, if 42:16-19 is not a gloss, we have to refer back to those four verses to know what these units of measures are. What could be the Lord’s purpose in making the interpretation so indirect? Did he want to leave open the possibility of a ‘cubit’ interpretation for those who might stumble in faith at the huge sizes of a ‘reed’ interpretation?

On the other hand, if 42:16-19 is a gloss, and the gloss had not been made, there would be no mystery in the text, and the interpretation would be straightforward, because the unit of measure throughout this entire vision has been cubits. As mentioned earlier, apart from 42:16-19, only verses 40:5; 40:6; 40:7; 40:8; and 41:8 measured anything in reeds, and all five measurements were exactly one reed long.

Ezekiel 48:9-11, “The oblation that ye shall offer unto the LORD shall be of five and twenty thousand in length, and of ten thousand in breadth ... and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the midst thereof. It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray.” The 25,000 by 10,000 cubit portion for the priests, is specifically for the sons of Zadok. It includes the temple compound. I did not show the temple compound centered in the middle of the priests’ portion, because the Hebrew word translated “in the midst thereof” in the KJV, simply means “in it.”

Ezekiel 48:12-14, “And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites. And over against the border of the priests the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth ... And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD.”

When Ezekiel was delineating the tribal portions, he kept using the Hebrew word “al,” meaning “on” or “against,” to show that each portion was right next to and up against the previous one. “By [‘al’] the border of Dan ... a portion for Asher, ... by [‘al’] the border of Asher ... a portion for Naphtali, ... by [‘al’] the border of Naphtali ... a portion for Manasseh, [etc.] ... by [‘al’] the border of Judah ... shall be the offering, ... it shall be for the priests,” Ez48:2-8. If Ezekiel went on using ‘al,’ “by the border of the priests, a portion for Levi; by the border of the Levites, a portion for the city, by the border of the city, a portion for Benjamin,” we would know the order of the sub-portions within the holy portion.

But the sub-portions within the holy portion of the land are described in order of importance, not in geographical order. The portion of the Levites does not lie next to the portion of the priests, because Ezekiel changes from the Hebrew word ‘al,’ meaning ‘against,’ to the Hebrew word ‘el,’ meaning ‘to’ or ‘towards,’ and also to the Hebrew word ‘umah,’ meaning ‘corresponding to’ or ‘parallel to,’ but not necessarily up against, as in 2 Samuel 16:13, “As David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side over against [‘umah’] him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.”

He says, “A thing most holy [the priests’ portion] by [“towards”; ‘el,’ not ‘al’] the border of the Levites. And over against [“corresponding to,” ‘umah’] the border of the priests, the Levites,” Ez48:12-13. This shows that the Levites portion is probably not right next to the priests’ portion; the city is probably in between.

Ezekiel 48:15-17, “And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof. And these shall be the measures thereof; the north side ... and the south side ... and on the east side ... and the west side four thousand and five hundred. And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north ... and toward the south ... and toward the east ... and toward the west two hundred and fifty.” The city will be 4,500 x 4,500, with a 250 cubit border all around, for a total size of 5,000 x 5000 cubits square.

Ezekiel 48:18-19, “And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: ... and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city. And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.” On both sides of the city, there is a 5,000 by 10,000 cubit area left over, to be used for growing food for the city. The city will be inhabited with people from all the tribes, even though each tribe has its own portion elsewhere.

Ezekiel 48:20, “All the oblation [‘offering’ of the land] shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand: ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with [‘including’] the [profane] possession of the city.” The total of the priests’ portion with the temple, the Levites’ portion, and Jerusalem’s portion, is 25,000 by 25,000 square.

Ezekiel 48:21, “And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the [25,000 x 25,000] holy oblation, and of the possession of the city; over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border.” On each side of the 25,000 by 25,000 square area, running to the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and to the Jordan River and the Dead Sea (or shall we call it the Living Sea by this time) on the east, shall be a 25,000 cubit wide portion for David, and his descendants, and his government expenses.

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See picture #37. The Plain and the Holy Portion in Cubits.

Zechariah says the plain that the mountain of the Lord will sit upon will extend from Geba (see picture #37), Jaba today, about 6 miles northeast of Jerusalem; to Rimmon (see picture #37), probably En-Rimmon, about 36 miles southeast of Jerusalem, near Beersheba.

“All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. She shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses,” NKJV Zech14:10. All the Judean Mountains, which you can see within the dashed oval in the center of picture #37, will be leveled; but the Samarian Hills, the area within the dashed oval to the right of picture #37, will remain. Jerusalem will be lifted up “in her place”; probably with the same geographical features that are there now, only higher.

How much higher? The current elevation of Jerusalem is about 2,500 feet. Altitude sickness, in our present time at least, begins around 8,000 feet. The highest alpine tree line in the world is at about 17,000 feet, so that’s not an issue. So probably, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be less than 8,000 feet high. But in addition to Jerusalem being raised, other mountains in the earth will be lowered, so the mountain at Jerusalem will be the highest, and yet still have a pleasant environment.

In picture #37, the temple, the very tiny black square at the northeast corner of the city square, is located on the temple mount; and the northeast corner of the city, the small square in the middle of the mountain, is at the location of the original city of Jerusalem (the city of David).

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See picture #38. The Plain and the Holy Portion in Reeds.

Although I used a lot of space describing why it seems a scribe may have added the word “reeds” four times to the Hebrew of Ezekiel 42:16-19; it may very well be that “reeds” is the correct reading, so I have presented picture #38 as a possible representation of the holy portion of the land in reeds. However, I used a reed of 6 medium cubits, rather than 6 long cubits, in preparing picture #38.

Again, the temple, the very tiny black square at the northeast corner of the city, is located on the temple mount; and the city’s northeast corner is at the location of the original city of Jerusalem (the city of David).

If the measurements are in reeds, the land boundaries for the priests, Levites, the city, and the prince would probably have to extend beyond the mountain of the Lord, because otherwise the mountain would have to extend over the Dead Sea. Now, I have no problem believing the God who made the earth can make major changes to the land of Israel before the Messianic Kingdom is set up. But when God describes the borders of messianic Israel as being from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, it doesn’t sound like he is talking about a repositioned Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. “From the land of Israel by Jordan, ... this is the east side. ... The west side also shall be the great sea.” Ez47:18-20.

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See picture #39. Jerusalem in Cubits.

Picture #39 shows Jerusalem “raised up and inhabited in her place,” Zech14:10, with her existing geography intact, and the large valley through the mount of Olives, with the east river flowing down it, as a way up to the city on the mountain of the Lord’s house.

The measurements are in cubits, because if the measurements were in reeds, a 250 reed border around the city where there can be no houses would cover all of what is shown as “The City” in picture #39, and more. In that case, the inhabited part of the city couldn’t include the original Jerusalem, the city of David, or any of the landmarks mentioned in Zechariah 14:10, “from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. The people shall dwell in it. ... Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited,” Zech14:10-11.

It is hard to tell where those old gates and landmarks were. They may be south of the temple mount, because what we call the “Old City” today, was actually the “New City” before, part of it even being called “Bezetha,” meaning “New City”. Picture #39 shows where the “So-called ‘Old’ City” is today, and also where the “So-called Mt. Zion” is today. But the real Mt. Zion, and the original location of Jerusalem, and an area called the “Ophel,” is marked as “Zion & City of David” and “Levi Gate” in the picture. The city was located there because it had access to the Gihon Spring from tunnels within its fortifications, which made the city very difficult to capture by siege.

Or, alternatively, if the landmarks Zechariah 14:10-11 talks about were north of the temple mount, then perhaps the verses refer to priests dwelling in those places in the future.

God made many promises regarding Zion and Jerusalem, and it sounds like he is referring to the same Zion and Jerusalem that we know of, not ones in new locations. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy ... I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, ... and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem ... The LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem,” Zech1:14-17.

Picture #39 tries to place the altar of the future temple compound, in the same location as the altar of the first and second temples. As far as I can see from 2 Samuel 24, it is the altar’s location that is important to be the same, rather than the location of the holy of holies being the same, even though the future altar has steps to the east, and the previous altars had ramps to the south.

David built the altar on the threshing floor where the plague stopped at Jerusalem, and it was the location of the altar that determined the location of the most holy place. Also, it is the altar, rather than the most holy place, that is at the exact center of the future temple. The message of these chapters in Ezekiel, and the meaning of the Messianic Kingdom and the mountain of the Lord’s house, is not only that God is holy, but that God who is holy will dwell with men, and that is only made possible by the altar, or more specifically, by what it symbolizes, the substitutionary death of Yeshua.

There are various theories as to where the 1st and 2nd temples stood on the temple mount. I used a southern placement, with the assumption that the Antonia Fortress was located where the Dome of the Rock is now, as you can see in picture #39.

Southern Tribes. Ezekiel 48:22-27, “As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion. And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion. And by ... Simeon, ... Issachar a portion. And by ... Issachar, ... Zebulun a portion. And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion.”

Southern Border. Ezekiel 48:28, “And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, and to the river toward the great sea. This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance.” The southern border will extend to the Brook of Egypt, the Wadi el-Arish.

Ezekiel 48:30-34, “And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; Reuben, ... Judah, ... Levi. And at the east side ... Joseph ... Benjamin ... Dan. And at the south side ... Simeon ... Issachar ... Zebulun. At the west side ... Gad ... Asher ... Naphtali.” Jerusalem will have three gates on each side, named after the twelve tribes. The name of Levi, which is often left out when naming the 12 tribes, will be included; and Ephraim and Manasseh, which are often named separately when naming the 12 tribes, will be represented as “Joseph.” In picture #39, I showed four of these gates, starting with the Reuben Gate in the northwest, and going clockwise to the Joseph gate.

Ezekiel 48:35, “And the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.” Jerusalem will be given a new name “from that day” than it has during our day. It will be called “Jehovah Shammah,” meaning “Jehovah Is There.” ‘There’, not ‘here’, since most of the world’s population will be referring to it while living outside the land.

Jehovah Shammah is what this is all about. The place will be special, because the Lord will be there, and God has allowed us to see some of it in advance, and we will be going there various times during the Messianic Kingdom.

Application

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” Jn3:3. You definitely want to see the kingdom of God. And you won’t see it unless you are born again.

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that,” whosoever looks to him in faith, “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” Jn3:14-16.

“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life,” Jn3:36; not he that goes to church, or he that is good, because “there is none that doeth good, no, not one,” Rm3:12; Ps53:3. “All have sinned and come short of glory of God,” Rm3:23. But he that simply “believes on the Son,” and takes God at his Word that Jesus’ sacrifice and death for our sake as our substitute was sufficient, has everlasting life.

Call upon the Lord (Rm10:13), and tell him that you accept his sacrifice, that you put your faith in him and in what he did for you, and that you take him at his word to give you everlasting life.

For those who already know the Lord, knowing about the kingdom will help us to be willing to suffer. Paul said, “What advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?” 1Cor15:32. But he was able to fight with beasts at Ephesus because he knew that any damage to his body was temporary. It would be raised again and be in the kingdom. He knew he will see these buildings and the other things that the Bible prophesies about the kingdom.

And knowing about the kingdom helps us to labor confidently. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,” 1Cor15:58. We have a sure and certain destination.

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See Picture #40. The third room from the northeast corner of the temple compound on the lower pavement.

For those who are interested in meeting, let’s meet, if our schedules permit, at the third room from the northeast corner of the temple compound, on the lower pavement, on 3/3/3 AK (After Kingdom); the third year, third month, and third day after the start of the kingdom. I don’t know if we will be allowed to meet at that location, but if not, and you are interested in meeting with us, try to meet as close to there as possible, perhaps just outside the outer north gate. Remember, 3/3/3 AK. You can’t get there unless you use John 3:3. You have to be born again to enter the kingdom.

So that is our presentation of the temple. I pray that it will be used for your benefit to know the Lord and to be more fruitful in his service.