At the beginning of this chapter Ezekiel watched from the east gate while the Shekinah Glory of God rested upon the House. And then it filled it while Ezekiel stood in the inner court!
This was a momentous event for Ezekiel who had witnessed the Glory's departure from Solomon's Temple by way of the east gate (Ezekiel 10:19; 11:23) at the time of Jerusalem's seige. Remember that this is all a vision! Ezekiel was really still in Babylon. (See 40:1-2)
Does God issue any commands?
- God told Ezekiel that the people of Israel needed to put away all of their idolatry and stop defiling His holy name in order that He could dwell with them.
- God told Ezekiel to tell the people the measurements of the Temple seen in the vision so that they would be ashamed of their sins and would desire to keep the law of the House.
- Ezekiel was to give the pattern of the altar to the Levites, specifically to those descended from Zadok. Evidently this altar was to be built immediately.
- The Levites descended from Zadok were to offer a bullock for a sin offering. Ezekiel was to take the blood of the sacrifice and place upon the four horns and the four corners of the altar to ceremonially cleanse it.
- Ezekiel was to take the sacrificed bullock and burn it in the appointed place of the Temple outside of the sanctuary.
- Ezekiel was to offer a goat kid as a sin offering on the second day. The altar was to be cleansed ceremonially just as it had been with the offering of the bullock. This was to be followed by sacrifices of a young bullock and a ram, both without spot or blemish, as a burnt offering. The goat, bullock, and ram offerings were to continue for 7 days.
- From the eighth day forward the people were to make a burnt offering and a peace offering.
Does God make any promises?
- God promised that a time would come when He would dwell with the children of Israel forever.
- God promised that he would accept Israel if they followed His pattern of offerings.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- I believe that the man who stood beside Ezekiel while the voice spoke from the cloud of God's Glory is Jesus. If this is so, we can identify all 3 members of the Trinity in this passage. The voice talking out of the Shekinah Glory is Jehovah, God the Father. Verse 5 states that the Spirit took Ezekiel into the inner court of the Temple. The only Person of the Godhead missing is God the Son, Jesus, and I think He is the man who brought Ezekiel to the gate and who had been measuring the Temple prior to this time.
- When God told Ezekiel that this was the place where He would set his feet and would dwell forever with Israel He is referencing Jesus, God incarnate, or Emmanuel "God with us." Actually, if the man with Ezekiel was Jesus Christ God's feet already were there, at least in the vision!
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- God told Ezekiel that the place where His throne and the soles of His feet would be was also the place where He would dwell with Israel forever. The people of Israel would never again defile in any way. This is obviously yet to come!
- God gave Ezekiel certain instructions concerning the sacrifice of a bullock as a sin offering that Ezekiel was to do in this Temple seen in his vision. Unless God had Ezekiel do this action in the vision as a means of consecrating the Children of Israel while they were in captivity this action would still be future. That would mean that Ezekiel has yet to perform these duties. This would be in the Millennial reign of Christ. The New Jerusalem, the capital city upon the New Earth, will have no Temple. (See Revelation 21:22)