1. Was Ezekiel physically on a mountain?
No, this is in a vision: “(1) In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither. (2) In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south” (Ezekiel 40:1-2).
- When the city was smitten (II Chronicles 36:9-21 and Jeremiah 39:1-18).
- The temple was destroyed (II Kings 25:8-9; cf. Lamentations 2:7).
- Understand what the Lord’s house meant to the faithful in Israel (Psalms 122:1-9; cf. Zechariah 8:21-23).
- The phrase “visions of God” appears three other times in the Scriptures (II Chronicles 26:5, Ezekiel 1:1, and Ezekiel 8:3).
- Visions were often unclear (II Corinthians 12:1-4).
- God appeared to prophets in this manner (Numbers 12:6 and Hosea 12:10).
- In times of apostasy, God did not send visions (Lamentations 2:9).
2. What did the man that appeared to Ezekiel expect him to do with what he was going to see, hear, and set his heart upon?
Declare it to the house of Israel: “(3) And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate. (4) And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 40:3-4).
- A vision of a man appearing as brass is similar, though also different in various ways, to visions others had (Daniel 2:32, Daniel 10:5-6, Revelation 1:12-20, and Revelation 2:18).
- The line of flax in his hand is for measuring (Ezekiel 47:3).
- Zechariah had a vision of a being measuring Jerusalem and that being was identified as an angel (Zechariah 2:1-3).
- Ezekiel, as a prophet of God, was to report to Israel all that he heard, saw, and set his heart upon (Jeremiah 26:1-2, Ezekiel 3:10-21, and Acts 20:26-27) even though they were rebellious (Ezekiel 2:5-8).
- Remember, a true prophet did not interpret what he saw, heard, etc. (II Peter 1:20-21).
3. In what Ezekiel was shown from the outside wall of the temple to the the inner court; was the vision specific regarding measurements?
Yes: “(5) 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: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed. (6) 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. (7) And every little chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad; and between the little chambers were five cubits; and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one reed. (8) He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed. (9) Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts thereof, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was inward. (10) And the little chambers of the gate eastward were three on this side, and three on that side; they three were of one measure: and the posts had one measure on this side and on that side. (11) And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits. (12) The space also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side, and the space was one cubit on that side: and the little chambers were six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side. (13) He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another: the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door against door. (14) He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate. (15) And from the face of the gate of the entrance unto the face of the porch of the inner gate were fifty cubits. (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: and upon each post were palm trees. (17) Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement. (18) And the pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates was the lower pavement. (19) 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. (20) And the gate of the outward court that looked toward the north, he measured the length thereof, and the breadth thereof. (21) And the little chambers thereof were three on this side and three on that side; and the posts thereof and the arches thereof were after the measure of the first gate: the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. (22) And their windows, and their arches, and their palm trees, were after the measure of the gate that looketh toward the east; and they went up unto it by seven steps; and the arches thereof were before them. (23) And the gate of the inner court was over against the gate toward the north, and toward the east; and he measured from gate to gate an hundred cubits. (24) After that he brought me toward the south, and behold a gate toward the south: and he measured the posts thereof and the arches thereof according to these measures. (25) And there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about, like those windows: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. (26) And there were seven steps to go up to it, and the arches thereof were before them: and it had palm trees, one on this side, and another on that side, upon the posts thereof. (27) And there was a gate in the inner court toward the south: and he measured from gate to gate toward the south an hundred cubits. (28) And he brought me to the inner court by the south gate: and he measured the south gate according to these measures; (29) And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, according to these measures: and there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad. (30) And the arches round about were five and twenty cubits long, and five cubits broad. (31) And the arches thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof: and the going up to it had eight steps. (32) And he brought me into the inner court toward the east: and he measured the gate according to these measures. (33) And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were according to these measures: and there were windows therein and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad. (34) And the arches thereof were toward the outward court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps. (35) And he brought me to the north gate, and measured it according to these measures; (36) The little chambers thereof, the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, and the windows to it round about: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. (37) And the posts thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps. (38) And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering. (39) And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering. (40) And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables. (41) 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. (42) And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice. (43) And within were hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering” (Ezekiel 40:5-43).
- The house of the Lord was going to be rebuilt after captivity was over (Isaiah 44:26-28, Jeremiah 29:1-11, and Ezra 1:1-5).
- The Lord wants things done according to His pattern (Exodus 25:9, Exodus 25:40, I Chronicles 28:11-19, and Hebrews 8:5).
- When He instructs something He wants done, He isn’t generic. He doesn’t just say build me a house, He orders when, where, how, etc. (I Chronicles 28:1-21). Solomon followed those instructions (I Kings 6:1-7:51 and II Chronicles 3:1-5:14). This vision shows God is specific as He was in the past.
- In verse 39 we read of the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering (Leviticus 4:1-7:38; cf. Leviticus 1:1-17).
4. Who was given chambers in this vision of the temple?
The singers and the priests: “(44) And without the inner 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. (45) And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house. (46) And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister unto him. (47) So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare; and the altar that was before the house” (Ezekiel 40:44-47).
- Singers (I Chronicles 15:16; 15:27 and II Chronicles 5:12-13).
- Chambers for singers for a reason (I Chronicles 9:33).
- Chambers for the priest where even there were storehouses (Nehemiah 10:37-39).
- Later called holy chambers (Ezekiel 46:19).
- The priests worked morning and night (II Chronicles 13:11).
- The Levites were over the chambers found in the temple (I Chronicles 9:26).
5. Did the Lord give detailed measurements concerning the porch [a vestibule]?
Yes: “(48) 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. (49) 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” (Ezekiel 40:48-49).
- Like we have seen before (I Kings 6:3) according to the pattern (I Chronicles 28:11-12).