This is Episode #256 and today we’ll read Ezekiel chapters 43-45 together. And the Glory of the Lord filled the Temple.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #256 and today we’ll read Ezekiel chapters 43-45 together. And the Glory of the Lord filled the Temple.
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 43
Return of the Lord’s Glory
He led me to the gate, the one that faces east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice sounded like the roar of a huge torrent, and the earth shone with his glory. The vision I saw was like the one I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and like the ones I had seen by the Chebar Canal. I fell facedown. The glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate that faced east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
While the man was standing beside me,I heard someone speaking to me from the temple. He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet, where I will dwell among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel and their kings will no longer defile my holy name by their religious prostitution and by the corpses of their kings at their high places. Whenever they placed their threshold next to my threshold and their doorposts beside my doorposts, with only a wall between me and them, they were defiling my holy name by the detestable acts they committed. So I destroyed them in my anger.Now let them remove their prostitution and the corpses of their kings far from me, and I will dwell among them forever.
Reveal the Temple to Them
“As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, so that they may be ashamed of their iniquities. Let them measure its pattern, and they will be ashamed of all that they have done. Reveal the design of the temple to them — its layout with its exits and entrances — its complete design along with all its statutes, design specifications, and laws. Write it down in their sight so that they may observe its complete design and all its statutes and may carry them out. This is the law of the temple: All its surrounding territory on top of the mountain will be especially holy. Yes, this is the law of the temple.
“These are the measurements of the altar in units of length (each unit being the standard length plus three inches):
The gutter is 21 inches deep and 21 inches wide, with a rim of nine inches around its edge. This is the base of the altar. The distance from the gutter on the ground to the lower ledge is 3½ feet, and the width of the ledge is 21 inches. There are 7 feet from the small ledge to the large ledge, whose width is also 21 inches. The altar hearth is 7 feet high, and four horns project upward from the hearth. The hearth is square, 21 feet long by 21 feet wide. The ledge is 24½ feet long by 24½ feet wide, with four equal sides. The rim all around it is 10½ inches, and its gutter is 21 inches all around it. The altar’s steps face east.”
Then he said to me, “Son of man, this is what the Lord God says:
These are the statutes for the altar on the day it is constructed, so that burnt offerings may be sacrificed on it and blood may be splattered on it: You are to give a bull from the herd as a sin offering to the Levitical priests who are from the offspring of Zadok, who approach me in order to serve me.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. “You are to take some of its blood and apply it to the four horns of the altar, the four corners of the ledge, and all around the rim. In this way you will purify the altar and make atonement for it. Then you are to take away the bull for the sin offering, and it must be burned outside the sanctuary in the place appointed for the temple.
Complete the Days of Purification
“On the second day you are to present an unblemished male goat as a sin offering. They will purify the altar just as they did with the bull. When you have finished the purification, you are to present a young, unblemished bull and an unblemished ram from the flock. You are to present them before the Lord; the priests will throw salt on them and sacrifice them as a burnt offering to the Lord. You will offer a goat for a sin offering each day for seven days. A young bull and a ram from the flock, both unblemished, are also to be offered. For seven days the priests are to make atonement for the altar and cleanse it. In this way they will consecrate it and complete the days of purification.
“Then on the eighth day and afterward, the priests will offer your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar, and I will accept you.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
Ezekiel Chapter 44
The Prince’s Privilege
The man then brought me back toward the sanctuary’s outer gate that faced east, and it was closed. The Lord said to me, “This gate will remain closed. It will not be opened, and no one will enter through it, because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it. Therefore it will remain closed. The prince himself will sit in the gate to eat a meal before the Lord. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gate and go out the same way.”
Then the man brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. I looked, and the glory of the Lord filled his temple. And I fell facedown. The Lord said to me, “Son of man, pay attention; look with your eyes and listen with your ears to everything I tell you about all the statutes and laws of the Lord’s temple. Take careful note of the entrance of the temple along with all the exits of the sanctuary.
The Levites’ Duties and Privileges
“Say to the rebellious people, the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Lord God says: I have had enough of all your detestable practices, house of Israel. When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in both heart and flesh, to occupy my sanctuary, you defiled my temple while you offered my food — the fat and the blood. You broke my covenant by all your detestable practices. You have not kept charge of my holy things but have appointed others to keep charge of my sanctuary for you.’
“This is what the Lord God says: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, may enter my sanctuary, not even a foreigner who is among the Israelites. Surely the Levites who wandered away from me when Israel went astray, and who strayed from me after their idols, will bear the consequences of their iniquity. Yet they will occupy my sanctuary, serving as guards at the temple gates and ministering at the temple. They will slaughter the burnt offerings and other sacrifices for the people and will stand before them to serve them.
“Because they ministered to the house of Israel before their idols and became a sinful stumbling block to them, therefore I swore an oath against them” — this is the declaration of the Lord God — “that they would bear the consequences of their iniquity. They must not approach me to serve me as priests or come near any of my holy things or the most holy things. They will bear their disgrace and the consequences of the detestable acts they committed. Yet I will make them responsible for the duties of the temple — for all its work and everything done in it.
The Priests’ Duties and Privileges
“But the Levitical priests descended from Zadok, who kept charge of my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from me, will approach me to serve me. They will stand before me to offer me fat and blood.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
“They are the ones who may enter my sanctuary and approach my table to serve me. They will keep my mandate. When they enter the gates of the inner court they are to wear linen garments; they must not have on them anything made of wool when they minister at the gates of the inner court and within it. They are to wear linen turbans on their heads and linen undergarments around their waists. They are not to put on anything that makes them sweat. Before they go out to the outer court, to the people, they must take off the clothes they have been ministering in, leave them in the holy chambers, and dress in other clothes so that they do not transmit holiness to the people through their clothes.
“They may not shave their heads or let their hair grow long, but are to carefully trim their hair. No priest may drink wine before he enters the inner court. He is not to marry a widow or a divorced woman, but may marry only a virgin from the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and explain to them the difference between the clean and the unclean.
Priests to Officiate as Judges
“In a dispute, they will officiate as judges and decide the case according to my ordinances. They are to observe my laws and statutes regarding all my appointed festivals, and keep my Sabbaths holy. A priest may not come near a dead person so that he becomes defiled. However, he may defile himself for a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, a brother, or an unmarried sister. After he is cleansed, he is to count off seven days for himself. On the day he goes into the sanctuary, into the inner court to minister in the sanctuary, he is to present his sin offering.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
“This will be their inheritance: I am their inheritance. You are to give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession. They will eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering. Everything in Israel that is permanently dedicated to the Lord will belong to them. The best of all the firstfruits of every kind and contribution of every kind from all your gifts will belong to the priests. You are to give your first batch of dough to the priest so that a blessing may rest on your homes. The priests may not eat any bird or animal that died naturally or was mauled by wild beasts.
Ezekiel Chapter 45
The Sacred Portion of the Land
“When you divide the land by lot as an inheritance, set aside a donation to the Lord, a holy portion of the land, 8⅓ miles long and 6⅔ miles wide. This entire region will be holy.
“In this area there will be a square section for the sanctuary, 875 by 875 feet, with 87½ feet of open space all around it. From this holy portion, you will measure off an area 8⅓ miles long and 3⅓ miles wide, in which the sanctuary, the most holy place, will stand. It will be a holy area of the land to be used by the priests who minister in the sanctuary, who approach to serve the Lord. It will be a place for their houses, as well as a holy area for the sanctuary. There will be another area 8⅓ miles long and 3⅓ miles wide for the Levites who minister in the temple; it will be their possession for towns to live in.
Put Away Violence and Oppression
“As the property of the city, set aside an area 1⅔ miles wide and 8⅓ miles long, adjacent to the holy donation of land. It will be for the whole house of Israel. And the prince will have the area on each side of the holy donation of land and the city’s property, adjacent to the holy donation and the city’s property, stretching to the west on the west side and to the east on the east side. Its length will correspond to one of the tribal portions from the western boundary to the eastern boundary. This will be his land as a possession in Israel. My princes will no longer oppress my people but give the rest of the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes.
“This is what the Lord God says: You have gone too far, princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Put an end to your evictions of my people.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. “You are to have honest scales, an honest dry measure, and an honest liquid measure. The dry measure and the liquid measure will be uniform, with the liquid measure containing 5½ gallons and the dry measure holding half a bushel. Their measurement will be a tenth of the standard larger capacity measure. The shekel will weigh twenty gerahs. Your mina will equal sixty shekels.
The People’s Contribution to the Sacrifices
“This is the contribution you are to offer: Three quarts from six bushels of wheat and three quarts from six bushels of barley. The quota of oil in liquid measures will be one percent of every cor. The cor equals ten liquid measures or one standard larger capacity measure, since ten liquid measures equal one standard larger capacity measure. And the quota from the flock is one animal out of every two hundred from the well-watered pastures of Israel. These are for the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and fellowship offerings, to make atonement for the people.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
“All the people of the land must take part in this contribution for the prince in Israel. Then the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings for the festivals, New Moons, and Sabbaths — for all the appointed times of the house of Israel — will be the prince’s responsibility. He will provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and fellowship offerings to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel.
The Prince’s Contribution to the Sacrifices
“This is what the Lord God says: In the first month, on the first day of the month, you are to take a young, unblemished bull and purify the sanctuary. The priest is to take some of the blood from the sin offering and apply it to the temple doorposts, the four corners of the altar’s ledge, and the doorposts of the gate of the inner court. You are to do the same thing on the seventh day of the month for everyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance. In this way you will make atonement for the temple.
“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you are to celebrate the Passover, a festival of seven days during which unleavened bread will be eaten. On that day the prince will provide a bull as a sin offering on behalf of himself and all the people of the land. During the seven days of the festival, he will provide seven bulls and seven rams without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord on each of the seven days, along with a male goat each day for a sin offering. He will also provide a grain offering of half a bushel per bull and half a bushel per ram, along with a gallon of oil for every half bushel.
“At the festival that begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, he will provide the same things for seven days — the same sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, and oil.
Okay, all three of these chapters are still dealing with the details of the new temple. But chapter 43 starts out with something VERY interesting and exciting. So, do you remember the very first chapter of Ezekiel? He’s sitting by this river, and he sees this elaborate vision of what ends up being God’s chariot-throne. But the thing that left Ezekiel confused and more than a little bit terrified was that God was coming to Babylon. He no longer inhabited His Temple in Jerusalem. The sins and rebellion of the Israelites had literally driven Him away. Now, 43 chapters later, this is what Ezekiel experiences in verses 2-5:
I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice sounded like the roar of a huge torrent, and the earth shone with his glory. The vision I saw was like the one I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and like the ones I had seen by the Chebar Canal. I fell facedown. The glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate that faced east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
Now, that, is front page news! Whether you believe this is literal, or whether you contend it is symbolic of God’s presence among His people – physical building or not – it still fills me with hope for the future.
Finally, my curiosity is killing me. Is the prince that Ezekiel is talking about David?
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
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
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