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Book of Ezekiel
After the Second Coming of CHRIST and judgment of the nations (Mat.25:32-46), Israel along with the nations enter the period known as the Millennium. Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48 gives the most detailed coverage of the Millennium in the entire Bible. During this period the Earth shall be transformed from the fallen judged world of the tribulation period into a paradise. All through Scripture we get brief glimpses of this world to come, and how the very nature of the animal kingdom will be transformed by the Presence of JESUS CHRIST. Paul tells us: Romans 8:21-22 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (KJV) . . . All of creation waits for this day, because ever since Adam and Eve fell, all of Creation fell.
Before you start studying Chapter 41, it would help to go back and re-read Chapter 40, because Chapter 41 is a continuation of Ezekiel's dimensions and description of the Millennium Temple. There are certain words and phrases that are given over and over, and it is helpful to remember that a cubit is not a fixed length that is common today, but is about 21 to 25 inches long. The cherubims and the palm trees are decorations, and are not real. In many areas of this Chapter it is stated, on this side and the other, and other similar phrases to give us the understanding that there are balanced patterns throughout the Temple, and these structures are four squared.
Outline of this chapter:
Verses 41:1-11, Measuring the Temple.
Verses 41:12-21, Measuring the building behind the Temple.
Verse 22, Measuring the altar of wood.
Verses 23-26, Measuring the doors of the Temple and Sanctuary.
Measuring the Temple. In Ezekiel 41:1-4, the measurements continue with the Temple. The exact detail shows the LORD'S intense interest in everything that is involved with His Creation, and His relationship with His people. As Ezekiel approached the Temple, the two posts in front of the entrance were measured, then the doors were measured. After that, the door posts, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies were measured.
This graphical representation of the Temple within the inner court shows the east and north porches in the foreground, the brazen altar in front of the Temple in the inner court, and the two pillars that are measured in these first few verses in Ezekiel 41. Part of the inner chamber and the back chamber within the inner court could be seen on the right side of the graphic. The chamber in the outer court is acceptable on the left side of the graphic between the east porch to the inner chamber and the Temple.
Theme: continuation of the measuring of the Temple.
Measuring the Temple (41:1-11)
Ezekiel 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. (KJV)
Afterward he brought me to the temple . . . He, being the Man whose appearance was like that of brass (40:3), having measured the porch into the Temple, its posts and gate. This seems to be the body of the building, which was the frame of a city (40:2), first shown. For before He had been only measuring the outward and inner courts, and their gates, and what were in them; but now He comes to the House itself, called a Temple. This refers to the Millennial reign of CHRIST, or the glory of the latter days, which will be a Holy Temple to the LORD where He shall dwell in a most gracious manner, and be worshipped in spirit and in truth (Jn.4:23-24); and it shall be here that His glory will be seen. Some think this Man whose appearance was like that of brass (40:3), is an angel, I believe that it is the Lord JESUS.
And measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side . . . these were the posts of the door of the Temple, and stood on each side of it, on the north and south; and this was the thickness, six cubits or a reed each, three yards and a half.
Which was the breadth of the tabernacle . . . these posts, or this front piece, were as wide as the whole tabernacle of Moses was; which had eight boards in the width, each board being a cubit and a half, made twelve cubits, just the breadth of these two posts (Ex.26:16). This shows how far superior the Millennial Temple is to the old Tabernacle . . . how much larger it is and the entrance into it wider. For measurements, see special comments in chapter 40.
Ezekiel 41:2 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. (KJV)
And the breadth of the door was ten cubits . . . the Temple door, great care is taken to detect and give the dimensions of the doors and gates of various places; to put us in mind of CHRIST the Door and Gate into the church, and into fellowship with GOD, the FATHER. This was as broad again as the door of Solomon's Temple; for that was just a fourth part of the wall of it, five cubits (1 Ki.6:2).
And the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side . . . the side walls of the door, both on the north and south, were five cubits each; which, with the ten, the breadth of the door, made twenty; and is just the width of the Temple or Holy Place afterwards given.
And he measured the length thereof forty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits . . . meaning the length of the Temple from east to west, and the width of it from north to south, were of this measure; which exactly answers to the dimensions of Solomon's Temple (1 Ki.6:2).
Ezekiel 41:3 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. (KJV)
Then went he inward . . . went He inward toward the Holy of Holies. It does not say, He brought me in, but that He went in, because the Holy of Holies was not to be entered even by a priest like Ezekiel, but only by the high priest once a year (Ex.30:10; Lev.16:34). So the man enters and announces the measurements.
And measured the post of the door two cubits . . . this was the door into the Most Holy Place; there was one in Solomon's Temple; but in the Second Temple there was none; and two cubits was the thickness of the post, on which this door was shut.
And the door six cubits, and the breadth of the door seven cubits . . . this door was a two leafed one; each leaf was three cubits broad, and the post in the middle on which they shut, one cubit broad, which made seven. Some think that the side walls of the door are meant, as in Ezekiel 41:2, which were each seven cubits; and the width of the door, six cubits, made twenty cubits; which was the width of the Most Holy Place, as answering to the width of the Holy Place, as in the next verse.
Ezekiel 41:4 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. (KJV)
So he measured the length thereof twenty cubits . . . meaning the Most Holy Place, from east to west; which was the measure of it in Solomon's Temple (1 Ki.6:20).
And the breadth twenty cubits before the temple . . . this answers to the width of the Temple or Holy Place; which was also twenty cubits wide: this stood at the west end of it, and was equal in width to it (1 Ki.6:2).
And he said unto me, this is the most holy place . . . He, the Man whose appearance was like that of brass (40:3), said to the prophet, pay attention to this building; for it is the Most Holy Place in the Temple. This was a symbol of the most holy and perfect state of the reformed Israel, and into which nothing that defiles shall enter; as in this Place, the divine Presence (Shekinah) or majesty of GOD dwelt. It shall be here that CHRIST JESUS, the God-Man and Mediator shall dwell. For Shekinah, see special comments in Chapter 19.
*****In verses 3-4, the bonze being passes through the door and enters the Temple without Ezekiel. The Man whose appearance was like that of brass (40:3), measured the door posts, the door, then He measured the inside room. This is the Most Holy Place, where the LORD as KING will reside during His Millennial reign. This is the time when the MESSIAH of Israel, the glorified Lord JESUS CHRIST will be physically present on the Earth, and ruling over the world with a rod of iron (Psalm 2).
Ezekiel 41:5 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. (KJV)
After he measured the wall of the house six cubits . . . or a reed, 3 ½ yards thick: this was the wall of the Holy of Holies, which divided it from the Holy Place, which was not in the second Temple. The wall of the Temple, the whole building, both of the Holy Place, and of the Most Holy, which were connecting. Such a strong wall is the LORD to His people, and especially will be in the latter days, when salvation will be as walls and fortifications against all enemies, to preserve them from all hurt and danger (Isa.26:1). New Jerusalem will also have a wall great and high, and made of a precious stones (Rev.21:12), which shall be for the church saints.
And the breadth of every side chamber four cubits round about the house on every side . . . on every side; on each side of every one of these three gates. The east gate, and buildings about that, did not have such facings. One interprets this of beams: connected to the above wall, where there were chambers all around the Holy Place and the Most Holy on each side, north and south; for there could be none on the east, that being the entrance into the Holy, and the floor of these chambers were four cubits, or two yards and a foot broad; that is, those of the lower story: these were for the priests, where they lodged, and laid up and ate the most holy things, and put their garments in which they ministered (43:13).
Ezekiel 41:6 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. (KJV)
And the side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order. . . there were three stories of them, and thirty chambers in in every story, in all ninety; there were such chambers round about Solomon's Temple, and many stories of them, although their number is not stated (1 Ki.6:5), but Josephus says they were thirty, and one above another, three stories of them, as here.
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 . . . the beams of the floors of those side chambers rested upon the wall of the house which was built for them; but were not inserted into it, as we see in some buildings; but there were projections or buttresses in the wall, or what are called narrowed rests (1 Ki.6:6), the breadth of a cubit, on which they were laid and rested; and so it was in the upper stories, as in the lowest ones; there being a rest of a cubit in the thickness of the wall in each story, as in the following verse. This shows the sturdiness of this spiritual building resting upon such a wall and such supports, as GOD Himself is to it.
Ezekiel 41:7 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. (KJV)
And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers . . . an enlarging, the wall for the side-chambers had for the ground story its full thickness of five cubits (41:9), then it was lessened one cubit, so as to form a ledge where to rest the beams of the floor of the second story, and again was further lessened one cubit for the floor of the third story . . . so there was an enlarging of the second story of the chambers by one cubit, and of the third story by two cubits beyond the width of the chambers on the ground-floor. These chambers, as they rose up in stories one above another, were larger and larger; those in the middle story were larger than those in the lower story by a cubit; so much being taken out of the thickness of the wall, to make the rests for the beams of the floor to rest on, by which so much was gained in extent for the chambers; and those in the upper story, for the same reason, were a cubit broader than those in the middle, and two cubits broader than the lowermost; the floor of the first and lower story was four cubits broad (41:5) the floor of the second five cubits; and the floor of the third or top one six cubits.
For the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house . . . winding stairs went up from one story to another, not on the outside, but inside; properly round about the chambers, which are here called the House. Some say that in the Second Temple these winding stairs went from one side of the Temple to the other, from the northeast to the northwest; by which they went up to the rooves of these chambers and to the upper room over the sanctuary.
Therefore the breadth of the house was still upward; became broader and broader, as it rose up higher and higher.
And so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst . . . from being only four cubits broad in the lowest story, it became five cubits in the middle and then six cubits in the highest. The winding stairs were not visible outside, one could not go to the upper story without going through the middle story.
Ezekiel 41:8 I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits. (KJV)
I saw also the height of the house round about . . . not just of the Temple itself, but also of the three stories of chambers, which went round about it; and particularly the height of the highest story, which yet is not given: it could not be so high as the Temple itself; for then there would have been no room for windows to let in light into it.
The foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits . . . not of the lowest story of them, for that was just four cubits broad (41:5), nor of the middlemost, which was five, but of the top story which was six cubits.
Ezekiel 41:9 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. (KJV)
The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chambers without, was five cubits . . . this is the outward wall of the chambers, north and south, which was five cubits thick, made of stone (41:5).
And that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within . . . this was an empty space, which was before the chambers that stood within it; and was a space to walk in for those that lived in the chambers, or to go in from chamber to chamber; which also was five cubits in width, as appears from the next verse.
Ezekiel 41:10 And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side. (KJV)
And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits . . . between the chambers that on one side joined to the Temple, and were public sources for offerings and tithes, and the other chambers, which were built on the wall of this inner court, which were lodgings for the priests. There was an empty space, twenty cubits broad, and these were around on all sides of the court, with possibly some rails, or a low wall around them enclosing this space. This is not the side chambers already mentioned (41:6).
Round about the house on every side . . . on all sides of the Temple, where the above chambers were, west, north and south.
Ezekiel 41:11 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. (KJV)
And the doors of the side chambers were towards the place that was left . . . these opened to the empty space before them; meaning those on the lower story; the others must open to the winding staircase that led down to it (41:7).
One door toward the north, and another door toward the south . . . this is not to be understood as if each chamber had two doors; but rather of the two doors, which opened at the top of the staircase to the north and south; or of the doors of those chambers, which were on the north, and opened towards it; and of those that were on the south, that opened to that. Some say that each chamber had three doors; one to the chamber on the right; another to the chamber on the left; and a third to the upper chamber: and in the north east corner were five doors; one to the chamber on the right; and one to the upper chamber; a third to the winding stairs; a fourth to the little gate; and the fifth to the Temple. Many suggestions. Quite confusing.
And the breadth of the place that was left was five cubits round about . . . the empty space that was along the side chambers (41:9).
*****In verses 5-11, the Man whose appearance was like that of brass (40:3), continues to measure the Temple area; the wall of the Temple, every side chamber, the windows, the height of the Temple, the thickness of the wall, the distance between the chambers and their doors.
Consider: These doors may indicate the free entrance of men into the churches of Christ in the latter days, whose gates shall be opened to let in the righteous nation; and shall stand open continually, so the Gentiles and their kings may be brought (Isa.26:2), and in the New Jerusalem there are gates, east, west, north and south, a total of 12 of them, and at each of them twelve angels which gates shall not be shut day nor night (Rev.21:12).
Measuring the Building behind the Temple (41:12-21)
In verses 12-21, the Man whose appearance was like that of brass (40:3), measures the building behind the Temple called the separate place. There is no function assigned to this building, which is rather large and decorative with the figures of cherubim and palm trees. The addition of the cherubim is different than in the other occasions where Ezekiel only observed figures of palm trees (40:16, 22, 26, 31 34, 37). On this separate place, the figures represented on the walls of the building interchanged between the palm tree and the cherubim.
Ezekiel 41:12 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. (KJV)
Now the building that was before the separate place . . . the separate place is the Holy of Holies, which was separated by a vail in the Second Temple, and by a wall as in this coming Temple. It will be the first from the Holy Place; over against which was a building (41:15), a new building, not before taken notice of, and it was situated,
At the end toward the west . . . or the Mediterranean Sea, which lay west to the land of Canaan. This building was west of the Temple, at which end stood the Holy of Holies, and this separate place near to it. What building is meant here is hard to say, because there is nothing in the First or Second Temple which answers to it. It seems to be a new building; and what the spiritual sense of it is would just be a guess. Some think that since the Holy of Holies indicates the heavenly or more perfect state of Israel on Earth, this separate place being over against it, or behind it (41:15), may mean the happiness and glory of Israel, treasured up and reserved there.
It was seventy cubits broad . . . the separate place was 70 cubits wide, and seems to have a spiritual sense in mind . . . that after labors and perils, and the floods and shipwrecks of Israel for 70 years, they have come to enjoy the eternal rest.
And the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about . . . this might answer to the great gulf fixed between the godly in Heaven, and the wicked in Hell (Lk.16:26); so that there shall not be a great gulf ever again.
And the length thereof ninety cubits . . . the Temple, with the buildings which surrounded it, was eighty-one cubits long; add ten cubits for the vestibule, or five for the breadth of the separate place, and five for its wall; in all, ninety cubits. Some think that by the separate place, it means the Temple itself, but it seems to me that the separate place is the Holy of Holies.
Ezekiel 41:13 So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long; and the separate place, and the building, with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long; (KJV)
So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long . . . the whole Temple, the parts of which he had measured; and this is the total length, 100 cubits long.
And the separate place, and the building, with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long . . . these are the several parts of the House or Temple: the separate place, the Holy of Holies, the building, the sanctuary or Holy Place; which with the walls of it, made a hundred cubits in length from east to west, so the thickness of the wall of the east porch, six cubits; the passage through the porch, eleven cubits; the wall between the porch and the Temple, six cubits; the Temple or Holy Place, forty cubits; the wall between that and the Most Holy Place, two cubits; the Holiest of all, twenty cubits; the thickness of the west wall, six cubits; the chambers at the end of it, four cubits; and the outer wall of them, five cubits; in all a hundred cubits. This cannot be understood just of the separate place, and the building behind it; since the separate place, or Holiest of all, was twenty cubits, and the building ninety cubits; besides the thickness of each wall, five cubits a piece; in all a hundred and twenty.
*****This is what an another commentator says: the Temple, taken from the wall which encompassed it from the western side to the entrance, was one hundred and one cubits; five for the separate place, nine for the wall and the chambers attached to the temple, sixty for the sanctuary and the holy place, ten for the vestibule, and twelve for the two great walls on the west and east of the Temple; in all, one hundred and one cubits. Confusing. We will just have to wait and see what this Temple will look like.
Ezekiel 41:14 Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits. (KJV)
Also the breadth of the face of the house, and the separate place toward the east . . . of the face; the whole front of the House eastward, the prospect of it being to the east; the whole front of the Temple, which looked to the east: and was measured from north to south, of the separate place . . . is the Holy and Most Holy Place,
An hundred cubits . . . measuring from the north point along by the eastern front to the south point, or corner of the building. Some calculate this; the width of the Temple twenty cubits; the thickness of the outward walls, twelve cubits; the side chambers, eight cubits; the walls of these chambers, five cubits on each side: the breadth of the void space, five cubits on each side; and twenty cubits round about the house; so that the length and breadth of this structure was the same, and made a perfect foursquare, as the city of the New Jerusalem is said to be (Rev.21:16).
Ezekiel 41:15 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; (KJV)
And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place . . . which was ninety cubits (41:12), when measured by itself.
Which was behind it . . . meaning behind the separate place, or Holiest of all, at the back of it, at the west end. Some say, He measured the length of the building in front of the separate place and behind it. He measured the building or the porch which was before the Temple, that is to the north; and the porch opposite to it, that is to the south. The building behind it, with the Jews, is the same as the house of knives, which the priests used in sacrificing.
And the galleries thereof on the one side, and on the other side, an hundred cubits . . . galleries on either side of the eastern side of the building on the separate place was a gallery of ten feet, under which was an approach to the building, by which the waste was to be carried in by openings in the north and south, and then carried out by a western opening. As the above is the length of this building from east to west, this is the width of it from north to south; the width of the building itself was seventy cubits (41:12), and the galleries on the north and south sides of it, and the thickness of the walls, which were five cubits each, made thirty more; in all a hundred cubits; which is equal to the width of the Temple, as in verse 14. These galleries, or balconies, or porches, were supported by pillars.
With the inner temple, and the porches of the court . . . the inner Temple, or Holy of Holies, with all the porches, chambers and their walls, and with all the spaces and attachments to it, which were of the same measure.
Ezekiel 41:16 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; (KJV)
The door posts and the narrow windows . . . of the inner temple or Holy of Holies; for this is what is last mentioned, of the door posts of it (41:3), in the Holy of Holies, both in Moses's Tabernacle, and Solomon's Temple, there were no windows; the LORD dwelt in thick darkness (1 Ki.8:12) but in this inner Temple, or the more perfect state of Israel on Earth, there will be much light: these windows are said to be narrow, that is, without, but broad within; that let in much light (40:16), which, although not detected by those outside, yet comfortably enjoyed by those within.
And the galleries round about on their three stories . . . these galleries seem to be the same as the side chambers, which were three stories high, and were on the three sides of the Temple, west, north and south (41:6).
Over against the door, cieled with wood round about . . . with cedar wood, as the Targum: ceiled = covered, overlaid, paneled . . . the doors were ceiled with wood, they were lined with cedar wood; all which doors, door posts, windows and galleries, were separately measured.
And from the ground up to the windows . . . from the bottom of the floor of the Most Holy Place up to the windows, which were above the third story of the side chambers, He also measured.
And the windows were covered . . . the windows of the side chambers, so that they could not easily be seen in the courts below; or they were lattice windows with such small holes as at a distance were scarcely discernible; or were covered with curtains, or being very narrow on the outside, and broad within, looked as if they were covered.
Ezekiel 41:17 To that above the door, even unto the inner house, and without, and by all the wall round about within and without, by measure. (KJV)
To that above the door, even unto the inner house . . . to that above the door, within and without was by measure. This states that all the overlaying was done by careful measurement. There were such windows as before described above the door of the eastern gate, that led into the Holiest of all, and even unto the inner house, or Holy of Holies.
And by all the wall round about within and without . . . both inside the Holy Place, and outside, in the places connecting to it, on all sides, west, north and south. All were ceiled with cedar wood, that it might be easier to be decorated, either with gold, or with decorations mentioned in the following verses. The idea is, all these were measured exactly.
*****Verses 17 and 20 indicate that these decorations were on the separate place and on the outside wall of the Temple. The cherubs where drawn with two faces, one the face of a man facing toward a palm tree, the other face of a lion faced the opposite direction to the palm tree next to it. This portrayal of two faces is different than the beasts which were before the glory of the LORD that was seen by Ezekiel as recorded in Ezekiel Chapter 1. At that time, Ezekiel saw four living creatures, who appearance was like a man, but each had four faces, four wings, and their faces were of a man, lion, ox and an eagle (1:10). It seems there is no reason why the likeness of the cherubim shown had only two faces, and why only that of a man and a lion (1:4-11). We can only guess that these faces may relate to the reign of the Lord JESUS CHRIST who was born of a virgin and the LORD took upon Him flesh, and was fully Man (Jn.1:14). And too, the prophesy concerning the Coming King, given by Jacob to his son Judah before Jacob's death in Egypt, may be represented by the face of the lion (Gen.49:8-12). That prophesy pointed to the future reign of the Lord JESUS CHRIST, the MESSIAH of Israel, who would be born in the line of Judah.
Ezekiel 41:18 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; (KJV)
And it was made with cherubim and palm trees . . . all the wall around the Temple was adorned with cherubim and palm trees, both of the Holy and of the Most Holy Place. Within these the curtains of Moses's Tabernacle, and the vail that divided between the Holy and the Most Holy Place, were decorated, as also were the walls, of the sanctuary in Solomon's Temple (Ex.26:1). That curtain, according to what was commonly believed, was a symbol of angels.
So that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub . . . these were so placed all around, that there was first a cherub next a palm tree, and then a cherub again, etc.
And every cherub had two faces . . . which, according to what follows, were the faces of a man and of a lion. The cherubim Ezekiel saw in his first vision had four faces (1:10), and so these too must be supposed to have, although only two faces were seen; because these were carved or painted on the walls, so that the hindmost faces, those of the ox and eagle, could not be seen.
For the symbolism of the cherubim (1:1). Every cherub had two faces . . . not as in Exodus 26:1; and Exodus 36:8, these cherubim were no doubt like the cherubim over the ark, of which we have no reason to suppose that each had two faces. The symbolic character here admits to the variance.
Ezekiel 41:19 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. (KJV)
So that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side . . . I believe that the cherubim in this verse are the same as the living creatures the prophet saw by the river Chebar, and which he knew to be the cherubim (10:20), and the same with John's four beasts or living creatures (Rev.4:7-8), and he being the last that wrote concerning them, gives the clearest account of them; and by which the best judgment may be formed about them.
Towards the palm tree . . . these cherubim seem to represent the angels who have much more than the wisdom of a man and much more courage than that of a lion; and in both they have an eye to the palms of victory and triumph which are set before them, and which they are sure of in all their conflicts with the powers of darkness.
And the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side . . . I think it most likely that this face of the cherubim means the strength of Israel’s Gospel ministers (Rev.7), that they have from Christ to do their work, who defend the Gospel, withstand opposers, supporting the weak, and bearing their infirmities; having boldness, courage and daring, in preaching the Gospel of Christ with no fear of men.
It was made through all the house round about . . . meaning the cherubim and palm trees were carved or portrayed in the form and order here described throughout the Holy of Holies, as some interpret the House; and indicates that Israel’s Gospel ministers shall have a distinct place, and special honor done them, in the latter days.
Ezekiel 41:20 From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made, and on the wall of the temple. (KJV)
From the ground unto above the door . . . from the floor of the Holy of Holies to above the door of it to the east, where the entrance into it was; or from there to the ceiling,
Were cherubim and palm trees made . . . either in rows one above the other, up to the place mentioned; or possibly they were made so large, that each cherub and palm tree reached from the ground to above the door, or to the ceiling.
And on the wall of the temple . . . meaning they were not only thus placed in the Holiest of all; but also in the Temple, or Holy Place all around on the wall of it.
Ezekiel 41:21 The posts of the temple were squared, and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other. (KJV)
The posts of the temple were squared . . . or were foursquare (Rev.21:16); the two posts on each side the door, the lintel and the threshold, made a square; the posts themselves were not round, as pillars, but flat and square; and the upper part was not arched, as in some buildings, but square. And the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other . . . meaning the front of the Holy of Holies was like that of the Temple; both having the same appearance, though one was larger than another. The posts of the one were squared, the same as the posts of the other. The Targum is, and the face of the house of the propitiatory; and its appearance as the appearance of its glory. Some interpret it, as the appearance of the throne of glory, seen by the prophet at the river Chebar (1:26).
Measuring the Altar of Wood (41:22)
Ezekiel 41:22 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. (KJV)
The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits . . . the altar of wood is the altar for incense, the altar of gold (1 Ki.7:48). This was the altar of incense, and was characteristic of CHRIST in His intercession and mediation. It was made of wood, and that in the Tabernacle of Moses was of shittim wood (Ex.27:1), a kind of cedar; and that in Solomon's Temple was of cedar (Ex.30:1), and may indicate the human nature of CHRIST, in which He mediates and intercedes; which is excellent because cedar is fair, beautiful, strong, durable and incorruptible. This altar, both in the Tabernacle and Temple, was covered with gold; since it must be covered with some hard substance that would stand up to incense being burned on it; and therefore was called the golden altar (Ex.30:3). The altar at which our LORD presides as Mediator and Intercessor is called a golden one (Rev.8:3), which may indicate the deity of CHRIST, that gives virtue to His mediation; or the glorification of His Human Nature in Heaven, in which He ministers; and also the value of His intercession, and the duration of it. No mention is made here of its being over-laid with gold; but surely it is intended to be so, or else it would not stand the fire with which the incense was to be burned.
And the breadth two cubits . . . the width is the same with its length, making it foursquare; and may point to the firmness, unchangeableness and perfection of this part of CHRIST'S Priesthood and His intercession (Heb.7:19), and it may be detected, that the altar here was a cubit longer, and a cubit broader, as well as a cubit higher, than the Mosaic one (Ex.30:2). Some say this altar was not like that of Moses or Solomon, or the children of the captivity made; it was larger than any of them; which shows that the intercession of CHRIST our High Priest is larger and more extensive than that of the priests under the law; for they offered incense only for the people of Israel: but CHRIST, as He is the Propitiation, so too He is the Advocate for Gentiles as well as Jews.
And the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood . . . that is the horns that were at the four corners of it; and the top of it, which was its length and breadth; and the sides of it, called its walls, were all of wood, though covered with gold. The spiritual sense of which has been given; only it may be observed, that the four corners or horns of it may mean the strength of CHRIST'S intercession; and to which men have an option, and lay hold on for their relief, from all parts of the world, east, west, north and south.
And he said unto me, This is the table that is before the LORD . . . meaning either the altar before described is the table before the LORD, which He has spread, and where His people feed in His Presence. The intercession of CHRIST being indeed a feast to the faith to all who accept Him. The table before the LORD which also was typical of CHRIST, the true Bread that comes down from Heaven (Jn.6:32), who is the Food of His people; for quality, the finest of the wheat, for quantity, enough and to spare and for taste, such as gracious souls always desire to have; for extent, continual bread. The bread on this table is set forth by priests and eaten only by them, with David being one exception (1 Sam.21:5-6).
Measuring the Doors of the Temple and Sanctuary (41:23-26)
During the Millennial reign of CHRIST, He will be in His Temple. It is also there where the saints of GOD will be spending much of their time with their Lord CHRIST JESUS. This shall be the center of the world's activities at that time. All of the furniture in the Tabernacle and the Temple symbolized and pointed toward the future work of JESUS CHRIST on the cross. In (41:22), an altar of wood is described and measured. This is the table that is before the LORD.
There are important and major differences between the Millennial Temple to the Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple. (1). There is NO curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. That curtain of separation was torn at the death of CHRIST on the Cross (Mat.27:50-51. Heb.10:19-22). (2). There is NO ark of the covenant with the mercy seat above it since the LORD is with His people Israel and the Sacrifice is complete. Jeremiah prophesied about this, that during the Millennial reign of CHRIST, the ark of the covenant of the LORD will not come to mind, be remembered, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again. Instead, Jerusalem will be called The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will be gathered to it (Jer.3:15-18). (3). There is NO table of show bread in the Millennial Temple since CHRIST is the Bread of Life (Jn.6:32-33, 35, 48-58). (4). There is NO lampstand because the LORD is the Light of the world (Jn.8:12). (5). There is no vessel for washing since the precious Blood of CHRIST (1 Pet.1:18-19) cleanses and made peace for the believer with GOD Col.1:20). (6). During the Millennium, there will be no need for the missing furniture since their roles as types of CHRIST are no longer needed as revealed above. (7). Even more important is that there is no more high priest needed because CHRIST is our High Priest, now and then (Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5-6, 10; 6:20; 7:1, 3, 11, 15, 17, 20-21, 26; 8:1, 3; 9:11).
The Doors of the Temple and Sanctuary
The final measurements are of the doors to the Temple and the Sanctuary are described (41:23-26). Again, as mentioned above, there is NO more curtain to separate the rooms inside the Temple, but doors are present. Ezekiel sees that the doors are open, and he can see inside. Also as mentioned above, the inside is decorated with the alternating images of the palm trees and cherubim on the doors, although around the windows only the image of palm trees were inscribed.
Ezekiel 41:23 And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors. (KJV)
And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors . . . or the House of pacifying and soothing, as the Targum. The temple and the sanctuary, this speaks of the Most Holy place . . . it seems this is not two doors apiece, but each having one door, which made two . . . the door of the Temple was ten cubits wide, and the door of the Most Holy Place six cubits (41:2), showing the door is wider, for more enter into it.
Ezekiel 41:24 And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door. (KJV)
And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves . . . (40:48), each of these doors had two leaves, which met in a middle post, and might be opened either singly or together, as the occasion required (40:48).
Two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door . . . two leaves for the door of the Temple, and two for the door of the Most Holy place. Each leaf of both doors could be folded two ways, in or out, as there were two leaves in a door, so that the door might be opened wider or narrower, as was needed.
Ezekiel 41:25 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. (KJV)
And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple . . . both on the Holy, and the Most Holy Place,
Cherubim and palm trees, like as were made on the walls . . . the doors of both places had the same decorations as the walls of each (41:18-20), and so it was in Solomon's Temple (1 Ki.6:32), a cherub and a palm tree on each leaf of the doors.
And there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without . . . on the outward front of the porch were some thick paneling boards, which projected as a cover to the entrance into it.
The thick piece of wood in the front of the porch without . . . which, as some think, was a large wooden bar, which shut and held in the folding leaves of the door; and on these thick planks, also were cherubim and palm trees.
Ezekiel 41:26 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. (KJV)
And there were narrow windows . . . (41:16).
And palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch . . . upon the posts that were on each side the porch, north and south (41:16).
And upon the side chambers of the house, and thick planks . . . there were palm trees upon the side chambers, which were in number thirty (41:6), and upon the planks also (41:26); every part of this material inside and outside were adorned.
*****There is so much difference in both the terms and in the rules of architecture concerning one age and another, one place and another, that it should not to be a stumbling-block to us, that there is so much in these descriptions that are dark and hard to understand, about the meaning of which even the most learned cannot agreed. To one not skilled in mathematics the mathematical description of a modern structure would be scarcely understandable; and yet to a common carpenter or mason among the Jews at that time we may suppose that all this, in the literal sense of it, was easy enough.
My personal comment on the last two Chapters: to me, all the measurements are very confusing, but as I see it, this Millennial Temple will be absolutely magnificent.
Who shall enter the Millennium?
According to Scripture, two groups of people will be alive during the Millennium reign of CHRIST; resurrected and non-resurrected people.
The people who survive the Great Tribulation and enter the Millennium Kingdom, cross over into it without resurrected bodies. So, these people will be able to get married and have children; they will also be able to repopulate the Earth. This is clear in both the Old and New Testaments. We know there will be nations in the Millennium. Who is it that will populate these nations? People born during the 1000-years will repopulate the Earth after GOD renews it from the destruction of the Great Tribulation. According to Jesus, most people on the Earth will die during this 7 year Tribulation period (Dan.9:27), especially the last 3 ½ years which is called the Great Tribulation.
Matthew 24:21-22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (KJV)
It will also be during this period, that Israel will receive the blessings of obedience that is promised.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. (KJV)
Israel will be chief among all the nations as the MESSIAH, the GOD of Israel, and will rule from Jerusalem, the capital of the Earth (Isa.2:3; Zec.14:4-21; Rev.3:12). The Throne of the LORD (Jer.3:17), will be the 4th Temple, established on the Temple Mount. The population of the Earth will explode during the Millennium, as the very nature of the Earth changes and death becomes rare. Later in Ezekiel the location of the tribes of Israel are identified in relation to Jerusalem. In addition, Zechariah describes that people will still have the choice to worship God or not worship during the Millennium: Zechariah 14:16-17 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. (KJV)
People who are born in the Millennium must still come to salvation through faith, as it is now. At the end of the Millennium, Satan is freed to test the nations, specifically those born in the Millennium. And too, as in the past, those ‘few’ (Mat.7:14) who are saved, will reject Satan, and those who are lost will follow Satan and listen to his lies, totally rebelling against GOD who will judge them. These nations will include the descendants of the Gog and Magog league. Satan and his lies will test the nations who will have lived in peace and prosperity during the 1000 year reign of Christ on the Earth. Revelation 20:7-9 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (KJV)
Those who are Resurrected
What happens to the people who trusted JESUS and were killed during the Tribulation? This is very clear in both the Old and New Testaments . . . the saved who have died during the Tribulation and before the Return of CHRIST shall rule and reign with CHRIST JESUS in the Millennium. During this period these faithful ones shall be rewarded for their faith in Him. Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (KJV) . . . Those who die ‘in Christ’ during the Millennium, shall be resurrected to reign with Christ. The Scriptures clearly indicate that a great multitude of both Jews and Gentiles will trust in the LORD after the church is raptured (1 Thes.4:13-18). The children of GOD living on Earth at the time will be translated (raptured) when CHRIST comes for His church. Instantly a testimony will be raised up to the Name of CHRIST through new converts among Jews and Gentiles. Although these are never called by the term church, they are always called saints, meaning those set apart as holy and saved through the Sacrifice of CHRIST.
Old Testament Saints
In the Old Testament Job and Daniel both looked forward to the Resurrection. Job proclaims he will see God in his flesh, with his own eyes, after his body is destroyed. Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (KJV)
Daniel is told he will awake from the dust of the earth to his inheritance at the end of days.
Daniel 12:2-3 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (KJV)
Daniel 12:13But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (KJV)
The Church Age Saints
In the Gospels, Jesus explains about the role of those who are saved and then die, and how they will have a role in His Kingdom. He specifically describes the role of the disciples during this period, how they will rule over the 12-tribes of Israel in the resurrection. His Promise is by extension to ALL those who follow Him. Matthew 19:28-30 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. (KJV) . . . This Promise of blessings is made to His servants all through the Gospels, especially in the Parable of the Talents (Mat.25:14-30) and the Parable of the Pounds (Luke 19:12-28). In the parable of the pounds the servants are given charge over the cities of the kingdom, while in the parable of the talents they are made rulers over many things. The point is that the Master goes to claim a kingdom in a far and distant country and then He returns to reward his faithful servants.
If the rapture occurs before the tribulation, what happens to those who die during the tribulation? What if they are saved after the rapture? The Book of Revelation promises those who die for the LORD shall rule and reign with the LORD. When JESUS returns, those who were killed during the Tribulation, both Jews and Gentiles, will also receive resurrected bodies. Thrones indicate positions of authority, will be assigned to those killed for their faith in Christ.
Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (KJV)
Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (KJV)
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (KJV)
Book of Ezekiel
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