Scripture reading – Ezekiel 40

I have suggested in earlier devotionals that Ezekiel, and perhaps Daniel, were among the first captives taken from Judah and to Babylon when king Jehoiachin was removed from his throne. Ezekiel dated the time and year of his visions, with Jehoiachin’s captivity, and therefore I believe his own.

Ezekiel 40 – Israel’s Glorious Future

The vision recorded in Ezekiel 40 comes 25 years after Ezekiel received his first vision (he was 30 years old at the time (1:1), and it was the “fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity” 1:2). We can determine the prophet was 55 years old, and Israel’s captivity would last another 45 years when the vision of the new Temple occurred (Ezekiel 40:1-2).

The Vision and a Heavenly Messenger (40:2-4)

In Ezekiel’s vision, he was taken “into the land of Israel” to a “very high mountain” from which he was able to observe the rebuilding of Jerusalem (40:2). The LORD sent a man whose appearance gives us the opinion he was an angelic messenger, for his appearance was like bronze (40:3a). In the man’s hand was a line of twine and a measuring rod (40:3b). Ezekiel was instructed, “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” (40:4).

The Temple of the Millennial Kingdom (40:5-26)

In his vision, Ezekiel followed his heavenly guide through a gate that entered into the outer court of the Temple. They passed through the East Gate and the wall that secured the outer court of the Temple (40:5). The verses that followed were a schematic of the dimensions of the outer court of the Temple, and described the porches, doorways, windows, and chambers, giving the dimensions by cubits (a cubit believed to be 18 inches).

Inner Courtyard of the Temple in the Millennial Kingdom (40:27-47)

Ezekiel, accompanying his heavenly messenger, observed the man as he directed the prophet to record the measurements of the inner courtyard of the Temple, including the palm trees that adorned the posts, and the steps that led into the Temple (40:27-37).

Within the inner courtyard, Ezekiel observed various “chambers” (rooms), with doorways and porches. He noticed eight tables made of hewn stone for slaying and washing the animals for the burnt offering, sin offering, and the trespass offering (40:38-40). The other four hewn stone tables served as a place “whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burn offering and the sacrifice” (40:41-42). On the walls of those rooms were hooks, where the flesh of the offerings was hanged that all the blood might drain from the flesh (40:43).

Apartments for the Priests (40:44-46)

In the inner courtyard, were rooms dedicated to the Temple singers (40:44). Facing toward the south was another compartment that was used for priests who served as “keepers” or guards of the Temple (40:45). At the south gate, and facing northward was another apartment that was used by the priests in charge of the sacrifices and who served the altar (40:46).

The Temple (40:48-49)

Following his heavenly messenger, Ezekiel was led up the steps to the porch entrance of the Temple (40:48), and the entrance to the outer sanctuary of the Temple (40:49).

Closing thoughts – Ezekiel’s record of his vision of the Temple will continue through chapter 41 and will include the inner sanctuary of the Temple, “The Most Holy Place” (41:4).

I close today’s devotional reflecting on the gates and doors of the Temple, and the analogy the LORD drew of Himself when He taught His disciples: “I am the door of the sheep… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 10:7; 14:6)

The only way of salvation is through Jesus Christ, His sacrificial death for your sins, and resurrection from the dead. There is no other way to enter heaven, and into the presence of God than through Jesus Christ. Is He your Savior?

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith

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