This is Episode #255 and today we’ll read Ezekiel chapters 40-42 together. I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #255 and today we’ll read Ezekiel chapters 40-42 together. I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Ezekiel Chapter 40
The New Temple
In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month in the fourteenth year after Jerusalem had been captured, on that very day the Lord’s hand was on me, and he brought me there. In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me down on a very high mountain. On its southern slope was a structure resembling a city. He brought me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. He was standing by the city gate.
He spoke to me: “Son of man, look with your eyes, listen with your ears, and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for you have been brought here so that I might show it to you. Report everything you see to the house of Israel.”
The Wall and Outer Gates
Now there was a wall surrounding the outside of the temple. The measuring rod in the man’s hand was six units of twenty-one inches; each unit was the standard length plus three inches. He measured the thickness of the wall structure; it was 10½ feet, and its height was the same. Then he came to the gate that faced east and climbed its steps. He measured the threshold of the gate; it was 10½ feet deep — one threshold was 10½ feet deep. Each recess was 10½ feet long and 10½ feet deep, and there was a space of 8¾ feet between the recesses. The inner threshold of the gate on the temple side next to the gate’s portico was 10½ feet. Next he measured the gate’s portico; it was 14 feet, and its jambs were 3½ feet. The gate’s portico was on the temple side.
There were three recesses on each side of the east gate, each with the same measurements, and the jambs on either side also had the same measurements. Then he measured the width of the gate’s entrance; it was 17½ feet, while the width of the gate was 22¾ feet. There was a barrier of 21 inches in front of the recesses on both sides, and the recesses on each side were 10½ feet square. Then he measured the gate from the roof of one recess to the roof of the opposite one; the distance was 43¾ feet. The openings of the recesses faced each other. Next, he measured the porch — 105 feet. The distance from the front of the gate at the entrance to the front of the gate’s portico on the inside was 87½ feet.
The recesses and their jambs had beveled windows all around the inside of the gate. The porticoes also had windows all around on the inside. Each jamb was decorated with palm trees.
Then he brought me into the outer court, and there were chambers and a paved surface laid out all around the court. Thirty chambers faced the pavement, which flanked the courtyard’s gates and corresponded to the length of the gates; this was the lower pavement. Then he measured the distance from the front of the lower gate to the exterior front of the inner court; it was 175 feet. This was the east; next the north is described.
He brought me to the south side, and there was also a gate on the south. He measured its jambs and portico; they had the same measurements as the others. Both the gate and its portico had windows all around, like the other windows. It was 87½ feet long and 43¾ feet wide. Its stairway had seven steps, and its portico was ahead of them. It had palm trees on its jambs, one on each side. The inner court had a gate on the south. He measured from gate to gate on the south; it was 175 feet.
The Inner Gates
Then he brought me to the inner court through the south gate. When he measured the south gate, it had the same measurements as the others. Its recesses, jambs, and portico had the same measurements as the others. Both it and its portico had windows all around. It was 87½ feet long and 43¾ feet wide. (There were porticoes all around, 43¾ feet long and 8¾ feet wide.) Its portico faced the outer court, and its jambs were decorated with palm trees. Its stairway had eight steps.
Then he brought me to the inner court on the east side. When he measured the gate, it had the same measurements as the others. Its recesses, jambs, and portico had the same measurements as the others. Both it and its portico had windows all around. It was 87½ feet long and 43¾ feet wide. Its portico faced the outer court, and its jambs were decorated with palm trees on each side. Its stairway had eight steps.
Then he brought me to the north gate. When he measured it, it had the same measurements as the others, as did its recesses, jambs, and portico. It also had windows all around. It was 87½ feet long and 43¾ feet wide. Its portico faced the outer court, and its jambs were decorated with palm trees on each side. Its stairway had eight steps.
Rooms for Preparing Sacrifices
There was a chamber whose door opened into the gate’s portico. The burnt offering was to be washed there. Inside the gate’s portico there were two tables on each side, on which to slaughter the burnt offering, sin offering, and guilt offering. Outside, as one approaches the entrance of the north gate, there were two tables on one side and two more tables on the other side of the gate’s portico. So there were four tables inside the gate and four outside, eight tables in all on which the slaughtering was to be done.
There were also four tables of cut stone for the burnt offering, each 31½ inches long, 31½ inches wide, and 21 inches high. The utensils used to slaughter the burnt offerings and other sacrifices were placed on them. There were three-inch hooks fastened all around the inside of the room, and the flesh of the offering was to be laid on the tables.
Rooms for Singers and Priests
Outside the inner gate, within the inner court, there were chambers for the singers: one beside the north gate, facing south, and another beside the south gate, facing north. Then the man said to me, “This chamber that faces south is for the priests who keep charge of the temple. The chamber that faces north is for the priests who keep charge of the altar. These are the sons of Zadok, the ones from the sons of Levi who may approach the Lord to serve him.” Next he measured the court. It was square, 175 feet long and 175 feet wide. The altar was in front of the temple.
Then he brought me to the portico of the temple and measured the jambs of the portico; they were 8¾ feet thick on each side. The width of the gate was 24½ feet, and the side walls of the gate were 5¼ feet wide on each side. The portico was 35 feet across and 21 feet deep, and 10 steps led up to it. There were pillars by the jambs, one on each side.
Ezekiel Chapter 41
Inside the Temple
Next he brought me into the great hall and measured the jambs; on each side the width of the jamb was 10½ feet. The width of the entrance was 17½ feet, and the side walls of the entrance were 8¾ feet wide on each side. He also measured the length of the great hall, 70 feet, and the width, 35 feet. He went inside the next room and measured the jambs at the entrance; they were 3½ feet wide. The entrance was 10½ feet wide, and the width of the entrance’s side walls on each side was 12¼ feet. He then measured the length of the room adjacent to the great hall, 35 feet, and the width, 35 feet. And he said to me, “This is the most holy place.”
Outside the Temple
Then he measured the wall of the temple; it was 10½ feet thick. The width of the side rooms all around the temple was 7 feet. The side rooms were arranged one above another in three stories of thirty rooms each. There were ledges on the wall of the temple all around to serve as supports for the side rooms, so that the supports would not be in the temple wall itself. The side rooms surrounding the temple widened at each successive story, for the structure surrounding the temple went up by stages. This was the reason for the temple’s broadness as it rose. And so, one would go up from the lowest story to the highest by means of the middle one.
I saw that the temple had a raised platform surrounding it; this foundation for the side rooms was 10½ feet high. The thickness of the outer wall of the side rooms was 8¾ feet. The free space between the side rooms of the temple and the outer chambers was 35 feet wide all around the temple. The side rooms opened into the free space, one entrance toward the north and another to the south. The area of free space was 8¾ feet wide all around.
The Temple Facing the Yard
Now the building that faced the temple yard toward the west was 122½ feet wide. The wall of the building was 8¾ feet thick on all sides, and the building’s length was 157½ feet.
Then the man measured the temple; it was 175 feet long. In addition, the temple yard and the building, including its walls, were 175 feet long. The width of the front of the temple along with the temple yard to the east was 175 feet. Next he measured the length of the building facing the temple yard to the west, with its galleries on each side; it was 175 feet.
Interior Wooden Structures
The interior of the great hall and the porticoes of the court — the thresholds, the beveled windows, and the balconies all around with their three levels opposite the threshold — were overlaid with wood on all sides. They were paneled from the ground to the windows (but the windows were covered), reaching to the top of the entrance, and as far as the inner temple and on the outside. On every wall all around, on the inside and outside, was a pattern carved with cherubim and palm trees. There was a palm tree between each pair of cherubim. Each cherub had two faces: a human face turned toward the palm tree on one side, and a lion’s face turned toward it on the other.
They were carved throughout the temple on all sides. Cherubim and palm trees were carved from the ground to the top of the entrance and on the wall of the great hall.
The doorposts of the great hall were square, and the front of the sanctuary had the same appearance. The altar was made of wood, 5¼ feet high and 3½ feet long. It had corners, and its length and sides were of wood. The man told me, “This is the table that stands before the Lord.”
The great hall and the sanctuary each had a double door, and each of the doors had two swinging panels. There were two panels for one door and two for the other. Cherubim and palm trees were carved on the doors of the great hall like those carved on the walls. There was a wooden canopy outside, in front of the portico. There were beveled windows and palm trees on both sides, on the side walls of the portico, the side rooms of the temple, and the canopies.
Ezekiel Chapter 42
The Priests’ Chambers
Then the man led me out by way of the north gate into the outer court. He brought me to the group of chambers opposite the temple yard and opposite the building to the north. Along the length of the chambers, which was 175 feet, there was an entrance on the north; the width was 87½ feet. Opposite the 35 foot space belonging to the inner court and opposite the paved surface belonging to the outer court, the structure rose gallery by gallery in three tiers. In front of the chambers was a walkway toward the inside, 17½ feet wide and 175 feet long, and their entrances were on the north.
The upper chambers were narrower because the galleries took away more space from them than from the lower and middle stories of the building. For they were arranged in three stories and had no pillars like the pillars of the courts; therefore the upper chambers were set back from the ground more than the lower and middle stories. A wall on the outside ran in front of the chambers, parallel to them, toward the outer court; it was 87½ feet long. For the chambers on the outer court were 87½ feet long, while those facing the great hall were 175 feet long. At the base of these chambers there was an entryway on the east side as one enters them from the outer court.
Grain Offerings, Sin Offerings, and Guilt Offerings
In the thickness of the wall of the court toward the south, there were chambers facing the temple yard and the western building, with a passageway in front of them, just like the chambers that faced north. Their length and width, as well as all their exits, measurements, and entrances, were identical. The entrance at the beginning of the passageway, the way in front of the corresponding wall as one enters on the east side, was similar to the entrances of the chambers that were on the south side.
Then the man said to me, “The northern and southern chambers that face the courtyard are the holy chambers where the priests who approach the Lord will eat the most holy offerings. There they will deposit the most holy offerings — the grain offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings — for the place is holy. Once the priests have entered, they are not to go out from the holy area to the outer court until they have removed the clothes they minister in, for these are holy. They are to put on other clothes before they approach the public area.”
Outside Dimensions of the Temple Complex
When he finished measuring inside the temple complex, he led me out by way of the gate that faced east and measured all around the complex.
He measured the east side with a measuring rod;
it was 875 feet by the measuring rod.
He measured the north side;
it was 875 feet by the measuring rod.
He measured the south side;
it was 875 feet by the measuring rod.
Then he turned to the west side
and measured 875 feet by the measuring rod.
He measured the temple complex on all four sides. It had a wall all around it, 875 feet long and 875 feet wide, to separate the holy from the common.
Okey-dokey. I feel like I’m back in Exodus. The measurements and pomegranates and palm trees and cherubim look like a demolition derby inside my head. During these passages – and others like them – I need to be listening to His Word while I’m looking at an artist’s rendering or watching an interpretive video. I just can’t make sense of these if I don’t…even after reading them so many times. Just in case your head is swimming too, I have found a few of these videos and have included them in the Show Notes and links in the Transcript in case you’re listening on Lifting Her Voice.com.
We may be head-banging over the tedium of all these details, but one thing is for certain. God wanted the Israelites – and us – to know that there will be a new Temple, He will inhabit it, and it has to be perfect. It has to be bigger and brighter and more beautiful than any of the others…even Solomon’s.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
- Ezekiel’s Vision
- The Third Temple – Introduction
- Ezekiel 40 – The Temple Vision
- Ezekiel 41 – Temple Design
- Ezekiel 42 & 43 – The Temple Vision Continued
- Awesome Video of Solomon’s Temple
- These will help! Overview videos of all books of the Bible
Bible Study Resources
- CSB Study Bible – Hardcover or Kindle!
- Beth Moore Daniel – Great for Church or Small Group Study
- The Bible Project’s Bible Basics – Free!
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- The Bible Hub – Free!
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- The Bible Project– Free!
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- Wear your faith! Christian Strong
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- Title of song used in the podcast is 3 Joys & the Truth, by Daniel O’Connor.
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