Scripture reading – Ezekiel 43; Ezekiel 44

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Ezekiel was guided by a heavenly messenger who held in his hand a line of twine and a measuring rod (Ezekiel 40:3). In the vision, Ezekiel saw the Temple of the Millennial Kingdom (Ezekiel 40:5-26), which included the courtyards of the Temple grounds (Ezekiel 40:27-47), the outer sanctuary (40:48-41:2), and “The Most Holy Place” (the inner sanctuary, Ezekiel 41:3-5).

He was then taken to the east gate of the Temple (42:15), and as he looked on, the glory of the LORD suddenly filled the Temple as it had the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:31-38) and Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 8:10-13). Tragically, when Israel sinned as a nation and the people broke their covenant with the LORD, He removed His glory from the Temple. There was no mention in the Scriptures of the LORD’s glory filling the Temple of Zerubbabel (built after the Babylonian captivity) or that of Herod the Great (that king enlarged the Temple and the court).


Ezekiel 43


The LORD’s Glory Filled the Temple (Ezekiel 43:1-6)


Ezekiel 43 described the perpetual presence of the LORD’s glory in the Temple of the Millennial Kingdom and that the land of Israel will shine with the radiance of God’s glory (Ezekiel 43:2). In Ezekiel’s vision, when he observed God’s glory filling the Temple, he “fell upon [his] face” in an act of worship and humility (Ezekiel 43:4). The LORD then commanded him to observe and record (“mark well”) “all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary” (Ezekiel 43:5).

The Abiding Presence of the LORD

The Abiding Presence of the LORD (Ezekiel 43:7-12)

Time and space will not allow a verse-by-verse exposition of Ezekiel’s vision; however, there are some truths we dare not overlook. Most importantly, the LORD’s earthly throne will be located in the Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 43:7; Zechariah 6:12-13), and He will dwell in the Temple amid His people (Ezekiel 43:7; Zechariah 2:11; Revelation 7:13-17).

Remember, Ezekiel was preaching to an audience of exiles in Babylon. Some had witnessed the devastating destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. Imagine how their spirits were renewed when they heard the prophecies concerning the Millennial Kingdom and Temple. Their sins brought on them the sorrows they suffered because of God’s judgment, yet He promised He would one day restore them as a nation and reign in their midst.


The Temple Altar and Burnt Offerings (Ezekiel 43:13-27)

There is some debate regarding the sacrifices foretold in the Millennial Kingdom. Ezekiel 43:18-27 stated six regulations regarding the offerings, including the “seed of Zadok” being the lone family of priests who will serve the altar (Ezekiel 43:19). I believe the sacrifices offered during the Millennial Kingdom will be a celebration of Christ’s sacrifice.


Ezekiel 44


The Temple’s East Gate and the Entrance of the LORD (Ezekiel 44:1-3) 

Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple continued with the LORD saying concerning the east gate, “This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut” (Ezekiel 44:2). What a wonderful message for Israel! When the glory of the LORD entered the Millennial Temple, He promised He would not remove His presence again!


The Temple Ordinances and A Reproof of Israel (Ezekiel 44:4-9) 

The heavenly messenger then brought Ezekiel to gaze upon the Temple from the north gate, and “behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord: and [he] fell upon [his] face” (Ezekiel 44:4).

Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple

A Reproof of the Levites and the Promotion of the House of Zadok (Ezekiel 44:10-14)

Notice that the role of the Levites in the Millennial Temple will be limited, for they failed the people, tolerated false teachers, and were “gone away far from” the LORD (Ezekiel 44:6-10). The Levites will serve as gatekeepers, assist with offerings, and minister to the people in worship (Ezekiel 44:11). However, they will be forbidden to approach the LORD or “to do the office of a priest” (Ezekiel 44:12-14).


Restrictions Governing the Role of Priests (Ezekiel 44:15-31)

Eleven restrictions were revealed to Ezekiel, beginning with “the sons of Zadok” being the only priests qualified to take charge of the sanctuary, offer sacrifices, and minister before the LORD’s table (Ezekiel 44:15-16). We are again reminded that the priests’ garments were to be holy and not worn in the Temple’s outer court (Ezekiel 44:17-19). Priests were under guidelines for their hairstyle (Ezekiel 44:20) and were prohibited from drinking wine (44:21). They were not to marry a divorced woman or a widow, except if she was a widow of a priest, Ezekiel 44:22.

Priests were to teach the people to be holy (Ezekiel 44:23), judge in controversies that might arise among them (Ezekiel 44:24), and not to defile themselves by touching a dead body (Ezekiel 44:25-27). While others of Israel would have possessions, the priests were to have no possessions, trusting the LORD to meet their every need (Ezekiel 44:28-30). Lastly, priests were prohibited from eating an animal that was found dead (Ezekiel 44:31).

We are reminded again that the LORD requires those who minister to His people to be holy (set apart).

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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