1. We start our context of study reading about the measuring of the “most holy place” (Ezekiel 41:1-4). What was “the most holy place”?
- The most holy place, the oracle, or the holy of holies was a place reserved for the priests to come before God with Aaron’s rod and the ark of the covenant placed therein (I Kings 6:16-19, I Kings 7:48-50, I Kings 8:1-11, I Chronicles 6:49, Ezekiel 44:10-14, Ezekiel 45:3, and Hebrews 9:1-10).
- Today (Hebrews 9:22-10:23; cf. Hebrews 4:14-16).
2. As you read through chapter forty-one and the first twelve verses of chapter forty-two, what are some of the details that God spelled out about the chambers, walls, separate place, doors, windows of the temple, and the utter court?
Measurements, images to be put therein, where, what direction these things faced, thickness of walls, etc. Major details: “(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. (2) 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: and he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits. (3) 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. (4) 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. (5) After he measured the wall of the house, six cubits; and the breadth of every side chamber, four cubits, round about the house on every side. (6) And the side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which was of the house for the side chambers round about, that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the wall of the house. (7) And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst. (8) I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits. (9) The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chamber without, was five cubits: and that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within. (10) And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side. (11) 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: and the breadth of the place that was left was five cubits round about. (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. (13) So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long; and the separate place, and the building, with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long; (14) Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits. (15) And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place which was behind it, and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side, an hundred cubits, with the inner temple, and the porches of the court; (16) The door posts, and the narrow windows, and the galleries round about on their three stories, over against the door, cieled with wood round about, and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows were covered; (17) To that above the door, even unto the inner house, and without, and by all the wall round about within and without, by measure. (18) And 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; (19) 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. (20) From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made, and on the wall of the temple. (21) The posts of the temple were squared, and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other. (22) 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. (23) And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors. (24) And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door. (25) And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees, like as were made upon the walls; and there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without. (26) 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. (42:1) Then he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward the north: and he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north. (2) Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door, and the breadth was fifty cubits. (3) Over against the twenty cubits which were for the inner court, and over against the pavement which was for the utter court, was gallery against gallery in three stories. (4) And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north. (5) Now the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building. (6) For they were in three stories, but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground. (7) And the wall that was without over against the chambers, toward the utter court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof was fifty cubits. (8) For the length of the chambers that were in the utter court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits. (9) And from under these chambers was the entry on the east side, as one goeth into them from the utter court. (10) The chambers were in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, over against the separate place, and over against the building. (11) And the way before them was like the appearance of the chambers which were toward the north, as long as they, and as broad as they: and all their goings out were both according to their fashions, and according to their doors. (12) And according to the doors of the chambers that were toward the south was a door in the head of the way, even the way directly before the wall toward the east, as one entereth into them” (Ezekiel 41:1-42:12).
- It originally took Solomon, with a lot of help, seven years to build the house of God in Jerusalem (I Kings 6:38). God was very specific about what He wanted. Then and here in this vision are the measurements He wanted.
- It was reconstructed in the days of Darius the Persian king (Ezra 6:14-15).
- There is mentioning of the “separate place” (Ezekiel 41:12). This language only appears in Ezekiel’s writings.
- Cherubims and palm trees (I Kings 6:29-32).
- The Cherubim face of a man and lion facing certain places was a partial depiction (cf. Ezekiel 10:14).
- The word “utter” means outer. There were various courts in the Lord’s house (I Chronicles 28:12).
3. What were the north chambers and the south chambers, which were before the separate place for?
The were holy chambers for the priest to eat the holy things: “(13) Then said he unto me, The north chambers and the south chambers, which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place is holy. (14) When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter 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” (Ezekiel 42:13-14).
- These rules go back to the tabernacle days before the temple was even constructed (Exodus 28:40-43 and Leviticus 6:14-16; Leviticus 6:26; Leviticus 7:6-8).
- The things offered by the children of Israel to God were given to the priest (Numbers 5:9-10).
- This pattern was used even in explaining the support of those who give their lives to the teaching of the Gospel (I Corinthians 9:1-14).
4. After measuring the inner house, what was the purpose of measuring the gate whose prospect was toward the east?
To make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place: “(15) 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. (16) He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. (17) He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. (18) He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed. (19) He turned about to the west side, and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed. (20) He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place” (Ezekiel 42:15-20).
- They had erred in not separating the holy from the profane (Ezekiel 22:26).
- God is helping them here by giving the separation in this vision of the temple as it was an error to mix holy with unholy things (Leviticus 10:1-10).
5. When Ezekiel was brought to the gate that looketh toward the east, who came in the house?
The glory of the Lord like unto Ezekiel’s previous vision: “(1) Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: (2) 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.
(3) And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. (4) And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east” (Ezekiel 43:1-4).
- Ezekiel has a vision of the glory of God as he had before now (Ezekiel 1:1-28, Ezekiel 3:22-23, and Ezekiel 8:1-4).
- When the city was being destroyed (Ezekiel 9).
- The falling on his face, like in chapter 3, is similar to what the disciples present during the transfiguration of Christ did (Matthew 17:1-8).
- The glory of the Lord filled the house (II Chronicles 5:1-14).
6. When the Spirit took Ezekiel into the inner court in this vision, what was he told to show the house of Israel?
The house of the Lord to cause them to be ashamed: “(5) So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. (6) And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. (7) And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. (8) In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. (9) Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever. (10) Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. (11) And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them” (Ezekiel 43:5-11).
- The Spirit took him up (Ezekiel 3:12, Ezekiel 3:14, Ezekiel 8:3, and Ezekiel 11:24).
- When you read this and think about what Paul said, wow (II Corinthians 12:1-4).
- We are back to this man standing there (Ezekiel 40:3).
- When considering this message of the forever throne, you know the Lord is not speaking of the physical temple (Acts 7:48-49 and Hebrews 1:8-9).
- The undefiled throne certainly was not about the physical temple for their did profane it going forward (John 2:13-17) until it was destroyed (Matthew 23:37-24:34).
- This message is about relationship and is only signified by the physical temple. He wants to “dwell in the midst of them for ever” (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
- All of the details should bring new revelation to those whom had never seen the temple and should be a reminder to those who had. They were to measure the pattern. They should see the majestic house of God for what it was and will again be, but is NOT currently due to their sins (Ezekiel 36:22-38).
- Remember, they had not been ashamed of their deeds to this point (Jeremiah 6:15).
- Think about this: “(12) But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: (13) So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off” (Ezra 3:12-13).
7. Prior to the revelation about the altar, what did the Lord call this law He had been revealing to Ezekiel?
The law of the house: “This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house” (Ezekiel 43:12).
- The law of the house was that the whole mountain and all surrounding areas was to be holy (Isaiah 27:13, Isaiah 56:7, and Ezekiel 20:40).
- This principle was formerly understood as Solomon wouldn’t even allow his wife around the holy places (II Chronicles 8:11).
8. Regarding the altar, did the Lord stop with the measurements or did He also go on to tell what to offer upon the altar?
The measurements, who to offer, and what to offer were given: “(13) And these are the measures of the altar after the cubits: The cubit is a cubit and an hand breadth; even the bottom shall be a cubit, and the breadth 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. (14) And from the bottom upon the ground even to the lower settle shall be two cubits, and the breadth one cubit; and from the lesser settle even to the greater settle shall be four cubits, and the breadth one cubit. (15) So the altar shall be four cubits; and from the altar and upward shall be four horns. (16) And the altar shall be twelve cubits long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof. (17) And the 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. (18) And he said unto me, Son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, to offer burnt offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood thereon. (19) And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord GOD, a young bullock for a sin offering. (20) And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it. (21) Thou shalt take the bullock also of the sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house, without the sanctuary. (22) And on the second day thou shalt offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they did cleanse it with the bullock. (23) When thou hast made an end of cleansing it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish. (24) And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the LORD. (25) Seven days shalt thou prepare every day a goat for a sin offering: they shall also prepare a young bullock, and a ram out of the flock, without blemish. (26) Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves. (27) And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 43:13-27).
- Instructions for the altar (Exodus 27:1-8 and I Kings 7:48) and offerings on it (Ezra 7:17).
- Other altars were built that pleased God (I Kings 8:62-9:5) and did not please Him (I Kings 12:25-33 and Acts 17:22-30).
- Fire was to continually burn on the altar (Leviticus 6:12-14).
- Israel had a history of polluting the altar (Malachi 1:6-8).
- Today, we need no physical altar (John 4:20-24 and Hebrews 13:9-15) nor to offer physical sacrifices (Hebrews 7:1-10:22 and I Peter 2:5).
- The sacrifice they were to offer after captivity (Ezekiel 20:40-41).