Read Ezekiel 40 -- 42
A few years after the vision of dry bones, Ezekiel received another vision: In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity . . . in the fourteenth year after . . . the city (Jerusalem) was smitten (destroyed), on that very day the hand of the Lord was upon me. . . . In the visions of God He brought me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain. . . . And, behold, there was a man. . . . And the man said unto me, son of man, behold with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I will show you. . . . Behold a wall all around the outside of the House (Temple area) (Ezekiel 40:1-5). This new vision looked far into the future, where Ezekiel beheld a glorious Temple, far more magnificent than the Temple built by Solomon.
The measurements of the grounds and the many details concerning the building and its unusual architectural design are recorded; but no instruction was given to Ezekiel regarding who would build it or when it would be built. In striking contrast, God gave Moses detailed instructions for building the Tabernacle and even the names of the craftsmen who were to build it in the wilderness (Exodus 25:9; 31:1-11). David also gave detailed instructions to Solomon concerning the Temple that Solomon later built.
No direction was given to Zerubbabel or in the messages of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra, Nehemiah, or any other inspired writer, or anyone since that time, to build this Temple.
No Jewish Temple has existed in Jerusalem since AD 70, when the Romans destroyed Herod's Temple. Almost 2000 years have passed, with no recovery of the Brazen Altar, Laver, Golden Candlestick, Table for Showbread, or Golden Altar. The Ark of the Covenant, representing the presence of God, disappeared when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem. Jeremiah made the last reference to The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 3:16).
The ceremonial worship with the altar and the priests offering sacrifices for the sins of the people all foreshadowed Jesus Christ, His atonement for our sins, and our relationship with Him through His sacrifice on the cross. Through Nebuchadnezzar, God removed the opportunity for the Jews to offer any of the sacrifices. These laws were imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an High Priest . . . by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made . . . of this building . . . but by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:10-12; compare John 4:21-24; Galatians 3:23-25; Colossians 2:17).
Christ Revealed: Through the accuracy of the instructions for the Temple (Ezekiel 40). Just as our Lord took great care in giving details for the Temple, He has given directions for us -- His people -- who are temples of God and the indwelling Presence of Christ (I Cor. 6:19-20; II Cor. 6:16-17).
Word Studies: 40:17 were upon means faced; 40:23 over against means opposite; 41:24 turning leaves means hinged panels; 42:20 profane means common.
Government Officials: Sen. Sam Brownback (KS) and Rep. Henry Waxman (CA) · Pray for the American Center for Law and Justice · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Philip K. Toms · Country: Zimbabwe (11 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and Shona · Limited religious freedom · 43% Protestant; 38% animism, mediums, and spirit-possession cults; 16% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Realize that you are insufficient (Ephesians 6:10-11).
Optional Reading: Revelation 17
Memory Verse for the Week: II Thessalonians 1:8,10