Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ezekiel 43

“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. 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. 12 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.”

The *glory of God returns to the *temple – Ezekiel 43:1-12

v1 Then the man led me to the east gate. v2 I saw the *glory of the God of *Israel, which came from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water. And the earth shone from his *glory. v3 I saw this in a *vision. And this *vision was like the *vision that I had seen before. Then the *vision was of the *LORD when he came to destroy the city. This *vision was also like the *vision that I had by the river called Chebar. I fell with my face to the ground. v4 The *glory of the *LORD came into the *temple area through the east gate. v5 Then the Spirit picked me up. He brought me into the inner area. There the *glory of the *LORD filled the *temple.
v6 The man stood by my side. Then I heard a voice, which spoke to me from the *temple. v7 That voice said, ‘*Son of man, this is the place of my *throne. This is where I rest my feet. I will live here among the *Israelites always. The *Israelites will never again cause my *holy name to seem like something unclean. They and their kings will not *worship the kings’ false gods, which have no life. They carried out that evil behaviour on the mountains, like *prostitutes. v8 They caused my *holy name to seem like something unclean. They did this when they put their doors next to my door. They made their entrances next to mine. There was only a small wall between them and me. There they did those things that I hate. This caused my *holy name to seem like something unclean. And so, I killed them because of my anger. v9 Now let them stop their *prostitution. They must destroy their kings’ false gods, which have no life. Then I will come and I will live among them for all time.’
v10 ‘*Son of man, describe the *temple to the *Israelites. Then they will be ashamed of their *sins. Let them think about the plan of the *temple. v11 Maybe they are ashamed of all that they have done. If so, tell them about the design of the *temple. Tell them its design, its entrances and exits. Tell them its shape and the plan of everything in it. Give to them all its rules and regulations. Write these things down in front of them. Then they can be accurate about its design. And then they can follow all its regulations.
v12 This is the law of the *temple. All the area round about the top of the mountain is very *holy. This is the law of the *temple.’

Verses 1-5 The man led Ezekiel to the east gate of the outer area. They looked towards the east. Ezekiel saw the *glory of God come from the east. It was like the *glory that he had seen by the Chebar River. And he had seen that same *glory when God left the old *temple. That *glory had gone through the east gate of that *temple. God’s *glory would not return until this *temple was ready for him.
The *glory of God went through the east gate into the *temple. The Spirit took Ezekiel into the inner court. There he saw that the *glory filled the *temple.
This *prophecy has not yet happened. It is still future. I believe that, one day, there will be this *temple. Then God’s *glory will come and he will fill the *temple.

Verses 6-9 The voice that spoke from the *temple in verse 6 was the *Lord’s voice. He entered the *temple and he was speaking from his *throne. So the words in verses 7 to 26 are the *Lord’s words.
The new *temple will be God’s *throne. It will be God’s house for all time. The *Israelites will serve the real God. They will never *turn to false gods again.
These verses show why God gave this *vision to Ezekiel. He desires to live with his people. He wants them to serve him. They must never *turn to false gods again.
God compares the *worship of false gods to *prostitution. He does this for two reasons. The people were not loyal to God, even as a *prostitute is not loyal to her husband. And *sins of sex were part of the false religions that the *Israelites followed during Ezekiel’s life. God says that this *prostitution must end. The *Israelites must be completely loyal to him.

Verses 10-12 When Ezekiel told the people about the new *temple, they should be ashamed. They knew that God had left the old *temple. Then the *Babylonians had destroyed it. They knew that the reason for this was the *sin of the *Israelites.
The people would think about the plans of the new *temple. And maybe they would *repent of their *sins.

The area of the new *temple will be much larger then the old one. The whole area will be a *holy place. This includes the top of the mountain beyond the *temple area.

“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 43:1-27 AV)

The *altar for *sacrifices – Ezekiel 43:13-27

v13 ‘This is the size of the *altar in long *cubits. These long *cubits are a *cubit plus the width of a hand. Its ditch will be one *cubit deep and one *cubit wide. It will have a lip on its edge of half a *cubit. So, this will be the height of the base of the *altar. v14 From the ground up to a lower lip will be two *cubits high and one *cubit wide. From the smaller lip to the larger lip will be 4 *cubits high and one *cubit wide. v15 The place where the priest burns the *sacrifice on the *altar will be 4 *cubits high. Above this, there will a *horn at each of the 4 corners of the *altar. v16 The top of the *altar will be 12 *cubits long and 12 *cubits wide. It will be square. v17 The upper edge of the *altar will be 14 *cubits long and 14 *cubits wide. There will be a lip all round of half a *cubit. And there will be a ditch of one *cubit all round. The steps to the *altar will be on the east side.’
v18 Then he said this to me. ‘*Son of man, this is what the *LORD your King says. These are the rules for the *altar on its first day of use. The *altar will be the place where the priests burn the *sacrifices. They will throw some of the blood against the *altar. v19 You must give to the priests a young *bull as a *sacrifice because of *sin. These priests belong to the family of their *ancestor Zadok who was a *descendant of Levi. They shall come near to me in order to serve me, says the *LORD your King. v20 You must take some of its blood and put it on the 4 *horns of the *altar. You must put some blood on the 4 corners of the upper lip and all round the edge. This is how you will make the *altar *clean and ready. Then God will accept it. v21 Then you must take the *bull and burn it as a *sacrifice because of *sin. You must burn it in the proper place. This is in the *temple area outside the *holy place.
v22 On the second day, bring a male goat that has nothing wrong with it. It will be a *sacrifice because of *sin. The priests will make the *altar *clean and ready as they did with the young *bull. v23 When the *altar is *clean and ready, *sacrifice a young *bull and a male sheep. These animals must have nothing wrong with them. v24 You must *sacrifice them in front of the *LORD. The priests must throw salt on them. Then the priests must burn them as *burnt *sacrifices to the *LORD.
v25 You must bring a goat every day for 7 days as a *sacrifice because of *sin. You must bring a young *bull and a male sheep. There must be nothing wrong with these animals. v26 For 7 days, the priests must make the *altar *clean and ready. Then they will give to God the *altar. v27 After these 7 days, on the 8th day and afterwards, this is what the priests must do. They must bring to the *altar your *burnt *sacrifices. They must also bring your *sacrifices for peace and they must put them on the *altar. Then I will accept you, says the *LORD your King.’

Verses 13-17 The *altar was in front of the main *temple building. It was in the inner area. Ezekiel describes the *altar from the bottom to the top. Round the base of the *altar, there was a ditch. This ditch was 2 feet (0.6 metres) deep and 2 feet (0.6 metres) wide. The edge of the ditch had a lip of nearly a foot (about 0.25 metres).
Above the base, the *altar was in three sections. The first section was 3½ feet (1.1 metres) high. The *altar was square. This section was 28 feet (8.6 metres) long on each side. The second section was 7 feet (2.2 metres) high. It was 24½ feet (7.5 metres) long on each side. It had a lip on the top of nearly a foot (about 0.25 metres) wide. The third section was 7 feet (2.2 metres) high. It was 21 feet (6.5 metres) long on each side. On this section, there were *horns on each corner.
There were steps up to the top of the *altar from the east side.

Verses 18-27 After they had built the *altar, the priests had to make it ready for use. This process took 7 days. On the first day, the priests must kill a young *bull as a *sacrifice because of *sin. They must take some of the blood of the *bull. They must put it on the 4 *horns and all round the top edge of the *altar.
Then, on each of the other days, the priests must *sacrifice a goat. This goat must be a male and it must be perfect. Then, on each of the days, they must *sacrifice a young *bull and a male sheep. They must put salt on these animals and burn them.
After the 7 days, the *altar will be ready for daily use. When people decide to offer *sacrifices, they will bring their animals to the priests. The priests will *sacrifice the animals on the *altar on behalf of the people.