Ezekiel: “They shall know that I am God”

The Future *Temple and *Sacrifices

An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48

www.easyenglish.info

Ian Mackervoy

This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.

Words in boxes are from the Bible.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

 

Part Four – Ezekiel 40:1-48:35

The Future *Temple and *Sacrifices

About chapters 40 to 48

The purpose of these 9 chapters is to give hope to the *Israelites. They were in *exile in Babylon. But the *Lord spoke to them about the future of *Israel. The *Israelites will live in the land that God promised to Abraham (Genesis 15:18). Then the *Lord will take away their *sin. They will be his special people. They will be loyal to him and he will be their God.

There will be a new *temple in Jerusalem. The *glory of the *Lord God will fill that *temple. There will be *sacrifices for *worship in that *temple. There will be priests who serve in the *temple. The people will live in the whole land that God promised to Abraham. Each of the 12 *tribes will have a share of that land. There will be shares of the land for the prince, the priests and the city of Jerusalem.

The description of the *temple should make the *exiles ashamed of their *sins (43:10-11). They should appreciate that the *Lord loves them still. He wants to live with them. This should cause them to *turn again to the *Lord their God.

This is a difficult section of the Bible to understand. There are different ways in which some people understand it. Many genuine Christians have opinions about this passage, which are different from my opinions. So, I have tried to explain the reasons for my beliefs. There are 4 main ideas, which I discuss below.

1. History or future

Some people have tried to argue that this *temple has already existed in the past. They say that this *temple was one of the three earlier *temples. Those three *temples were Solomon’s, Zerrubabel’s and Herod’s. But the size and design of the new *temple are quite different to these three *temples. There has never been a *temple that was like the one in this section (chapters 40-42). A river will flow from the *temple (47:1-12). No river has flowed from the previous *temples. Therefore, I believe that the new *temple must be for a future time.

The style of *worship is similar to that in the *Old Testament (chapters 43-46). But it is not the same. There has never been *worship quite like this in the past. Therefore, this style of *worship must be for a future time.

The 12 *tribes will have equal shares of the land (chapters 45, 47 and 48). This has not happened in the past and it cannot happen today. The geography of the region will have to change before this can happen. Therefore, this division of the land must be in the future.

2. *Allegory or actual

Some people do not believe that there will be a new *temple. They cannot see why there should be any *sacrifices after the death of Jesus. But Ezekiel mentions *sacrifices in the *temple. So, these people believe that this passage is either picture language, or an *allegory. But they interpret it in different ways.

Some people say that these are *allegories of Christian *worship. But the *Lord gave this *vision to Ezekiel for the benefit of the *Israelites. There is nothing in these chapters to make it refer to the church.

Some people think that it shows the *temple in heaven (Hebrews 9:23-24). And other people think that Ezekiel saw an ideal *temple, not a real one. If they are right, then the purpose of the *vision was to teach the *Israelites about *worship. But I do not agree because there are so many details in Ezekiel’s *vision, for example, the measurements. Moreover, Ezekiel’s *temple was on the earth. For example, Ezekiel 44:25 mentions dead bodies. But nobody dies in heaven.

3. The idea that this *prophecy failed

Some people say that this *prophecy has failed. In their opinion, it was for the *Israelites who returned from *exile. If they had obeyed all of God’s law then the things in this *vision would have happened. But Ezekiel does not say that the *vision depended on the actions of people. The word of God does not fail. If the *prophecy is from God then it will happen. So I believe that there will be a new *temple. There will be animal *sacrifices and there will be priests. The 12 *tribes will have equal shares of the land that belongs to *Israel.

4. The *millennium or the *eternal state

Some people say that this *vision shows the *eternal state. The ‘*eternal state’ means the new heaven and the new earth. But this *vision cannot be of the *eternal state. In the new earth, there is no *temple (Revelation 21:22). Then the river will flow from the *throne (Revelation 22:1). In Ezekiel’s *vision, the river flows from the *temple.

I believe that the most likely time for this *prophecy is the *millennium. The *millennium is the 1000 years when the *Lord Jesus will rule on the earth (Revelation 20:1-6). This is before this earth ends and before the start of the new earth (Revelation 21:1).

The *Lord Jesus Christ made the one complete and perfect *sacrifice for *sin. He died once for all time because of our *sin. There is now no need for other *sacrifices. There is now no need for the human priests. But in this *prophecy, there are *sacrifices for *sin and there are human priests.

The *temple, the *sacrifices and the priests are for the *Israelites. During the *millennium, people from other nations will *worship with them in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:16). Ezekiel’s *vision shows perfect practice in *Israelite *worship. In the *Old Testament, the *sacrifices refer forward to the *Messiah. In the *millennium, the *sacrifices refer back to the death of the *Messiah. The *sacrifices never could take away *sins. In the *millennium, the *sacrifices will not take away *sins. The *sacrifices will remind people about the one *sacrifice of Jesus the *Messiah. That was the only *sacrifice that dealt with *sin.

In a similar way, Christians break bread and drink wine. The bread and the wine represent (are signs of) the body and blood of Christ (who is the *Messiah). This act is referring back to the death of Christ. So, the animals in the *sacrifices represent the work of the *Messiah. That work is complete. He died for us all and he rose again from death.

This section follows the messages in the rest of the book. Earlier, Ezekiel showed how the *glory of God would leave the *temple. He told how the *Babylonians would destroy Jerusalem (Chapters 4-24). He then *prophesied how God would punish the nations (25:1-33:20). Then he gave 6 messages of hope to the *exiles (33:21-39:29).

In those 6 messages, Ezekiel informed them that God will bring them back to their land. God will be like a good *shepherd to them. And God will forgive all their *sins. He will make a new agreement with them. Then they will live in their land and they will be safe. Enemies will attack God’s people. But God will *destroy those enemies (chapters 38-39). After all those events, Ezekiel describes the return of God’s *glory to his *temple.

God's *glory is a most important part of Ezekiel's *prophecy. The return of God's *glory to the new *temple is a very important moment in the book (43:1-12). *Israel will return to the *Lord and he will make them *clean from all their *sins. By them, the nations will see that God is *holy (36:23). When God's *glory returns, it will remain among the *Israelites (43:6-7).

Plan of the new *temple – Ezekiel 40:1-43:27

Chapter 40

The man with a measuring stick– Ezekiel 40:1-4

v1 This is what happened at the beginning of the 25th year during our *exile. And it was in the 14th year after the defeat of the city. On the 10th day of the month, I felt the power of the *LORD upon me. He took me there. v2 In a *vision, God brought me to the country called *Israel. He put me on a very high mountain. On the south of the mountain, there were some buildings. They seemed to be a city. v3 God took me there. And I saw a man who was standing in the gate. He looked as if he were *bronze. In his hands, he had a string and a measuring stick. v4 The man spoke to me. ‘*Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears. Pay attention to all that I will show you. God brought you here for that purpose. Tell the *Israelites all that you see.’

Verses 1-4 Ezekiel received this *vision in 573 *BC. The *Jews had a political year and a year for their religion. The political year started about our September or October. The year for religion started about our March or April. Since Ezekiel was a priest, he probably used the year for religion. If that was so, he received this *vision on the 10th day of the first month of the year for religion. The preparation for the *Passover would begin on that day.

In the *vision, God took Ezekiel to a high mountain in *Israel. From this mountain, he looked to the south. There he could see a city. Then God took Ezekiel to that city.

At the entrance to the city, Ezekiel met a man. This man was really an *angel. His task was to guide Ezekiel and to measure the *temple. Also, he would interpret what they saw. He had a stick for the shorter measurements and he had a string for the longer ones. He would take Ezekiel round the area. He would give the details of the *temple buildings to Ezekiel.

The east gate of the *temple – Ezekiel 40:5-16

·  First, Ezekiel saw that the *temple had three outer gates. He describes the east gate first, but all three gates were similar. The gates were not simple doors. When people passed through a gate, they would be in a hall. Inside that hall, there were small rooms for the *temple guards. The halls did not lead directly to the *temple. Instead, they lead into a large outer area. There were also three inner gates. Those gates led from the outer area into an inner area. And the *temple stood in that inner area.

v5 I saw a wall that went all round the *temple area. The stick that the man had was 6 long *cubits. But each *cubit was a *cubit plus the width of a hand. The man measured the wall. It was one stick high and one stick wide. v6 Then the man went to the east gate. He went up the steps and he measured the width of the gate. It was one stick wide.

v7 The rooms for the guards were one stick long and one stick wide. The walls, that came out between the rooms for the guards, were 5 *cubits thick. The width of the room next to the entrance that led to the *temple was one stick.

v8 Then the man measured the entrance by the gate. v9 It was 8 *cubits wide. The walls at the side of the doors were two *cubits thick. The entrance of the gate led to the *temple.

v10 On each side of the east gate were three rooms. They were the same size and the walls between them were the same size. v11 The man measured the width of the entrance to the gate. It was 10 *cubits. The width of the gate was 13 *cubits. v12 In front of each room was a wall one *cubit high. The rooms were square and each side was 6 *cubits. v13 Then he measured the gate from the roof of one room to the roof of another room. There was a width of 25 *cubits from wall to wall. v14 He measured the hall beyond the gate. It was 60 *cubits. Round the hall was an open area. v15 He measured the total length from the entrance gate to the entrance of the hall. This was 50 *cubits. v16 The rooms and the walls at the side of the doors had small windows on both sides. The windows were narrower on the side toward the gate. On the walls at the sides of the doors were pictures of palm trees.

Verses 5 The stick that the man had was 6 *cubits long. But these *cubits were longer than the normal *cubit. The normal *cubit was the distance from the end of a man’s middle finger to his *elbow. This was about 18 inches. The width of a hand is about 3 inches. So, the length of the stick was about 10½ feet (3.2 metres). This longer *cubit is the *holy or royal *cubit. In Babylon, where Ezekiel was, they used the royal *cubit. The use of the royal *cubit here shows that the *temple of God is a very important building.

The wall that went round the *temple was 10½ feet (3.2 metres) high and 10½ feet (3.2 metres) wide.

Verses 6-16 The man took Ezekiel to the east gate of the *temple. He explained the design of the gate and the measurements of each part.

There were 7 steps up to the entrance of the gate. The entrance of the east gate was 10½ feet (3.2 metres). Beyond the first gate, there was an entrance hall. The inside of the hall was 87½ feet (26.9 metres) long and 44 feet (13.5 metres) wide. The outside length of the hall was 105 feet (32.3 metres). Inside this hall, there was a space of 10½ feet (3.2 metres) long and 17½ feet (5.4 metres) wide. Then there were three rooms on each side. They were for the *temple guards so that they could control the entrance to the *temple area. These rooms were square. They were each 10½ feet (3.2 metres) wide and 10½ feet (3.2 metres) wide. The walls between these rooms were 9 feet (2.7 metres) thick. These rooms had windows in the outer wall. At the entrance to these rooms, there were walls two feet (0.6 metres) high.

Beyond the 6 rooms was another space of 10½ feet (3.2 metres) long and 17½ feet (5.4 metres) wide. Then there was another room 14 feet (4.3 metres) long and the full width of the entrance hall. This room had windows each side in the outer walls. The door that led from this room to the *temple was 3½ feet (1.1 metres) thick.

There were gates in the *temple’s outer walls. These were to the north and to the south. Each of these gates was the same as the east gate.

The plan of these gates was similar to the gates in Solomon’s *temple.

The outer area of the *temple – Ezekiel 40:17-19

v17 Then the man brought me into the outer area. There I saw rooms and a path of stones all round the area. There were 30 rooms along that path. v18 The path went past the gates. It was as thick as the gates were wide. This was the lower path. v19 Then the man measured from the outer wall to the inner wall. The outer area between these two walls was 100 *cubits. This was the same for both the east side and the north side.

Verses 17-19 The man took Ezekiel through the entrance hall. They were now in the outer area of the *temple. Along the outer wall, there were 30 rooms. To get to the rooms there was a path. The rooms with the path were the same depth as the entrance halls at the three gates.

Round the inner area of the *temple, there was a wall. From the outer wall to this wall was 175 feet (53.8 metres).

The north and south gates – Ezekiel 40:20-27

v20 The man measured the length and width of the north gate, that leads to the outer area. v21 This gate had three rooms on each side. The inner walls and the entrance were the same size as the first gate. It was 50 *cubits long and 25 *cubits wide. v22 The windows, entrance, and pictures of palm trees measured the same as the east gate. There were 7 steps up to the gate. The entrance was at the inner end. v23 There was a gate to the inner area across from the north gate. It was the same as that at the east gate. The man measured it. It was 100 *cubits from the inner gate to the outer gate.

v24 Then the man led me south where I saw the south gate. He measured its inner walls and its entrance. They were the same size as the other gates. v25 The gate and its entrance had windows all about like the other gates. It was 50 *cubits long and 25 *cubits wide. v26 There were 7 steps up to this gate. Its entrance was at the inner end. And it had pictures of palm trees on its inner walls. v27 The inner area had a gate on its south side. The man measured from gate to gate on the south side. It was 100 *cubits.

Verses 20-27 The north and the south gates were the same as the east gate.

The gates to the inner area of the *temple – Ezekiel 40:28-37

·  As Ezekiel came closer to the *temple building, he had to pass through another gate. There were three gates that separated the outer area from the inner area. The priests offered their *sacrifices at the *altar which was in the inner area. And the inner area surrounded the *temple building.

v28 Then the man brought me through the south gate into the inner area. He measured the south gate. It was the same size as the other gates. v29 Its rooms, its walls and its entrance were the same size as the other gates. There were windows all round the gate and its entrance room. It was 50 *cubits long and 25 *cubits wide. v30 Rooms surrounded it, which were 25 *cubits long and 5 *cubits wide. v31 These rooms opened toward the outer area. There were pictures of palm trees on the sides of the doors. There were 8 steps up to the doors.

v32 Then the man brought me to the inner area on the east side. He measured the gate. It was the same size as the other gates. v33 Its rooms, its walls and its entrance were the same size as the other gates. There were windows all round the gate and its entrance room. It was 50 *cubits long and 25 *cubits wide. v34 Its rooms opened toward the outer area. There were pictures of palm trees on the sides of the doors. There were 8 steps up to the doors.

v35 Then the man brought me to the north gate. He measured it. It was the same size as the other gates. v36 Its rooms, inner walls, and entrance room were the same as at the other gates. There were windows all round the gate. The entrance was 50 *cubits long and 25 *cubits wide. v37 Its rooms opened toward the outer area. There were pictures of palm trees on the sides of the doors. There were 8 steps up to the doors.

Verses 28-37 The way into the inner area of the *temple was through three gates. These gates were on the south side, the east side and the north side. These gates and their entrance halls were the same as the gates to the outer area. But these gates were different in two small particulars. In the outer entrance hall there was a room beyond the 6 rooms. In the inner entrance hall, this room was before the 6 rooms. There were 7 steps up to the outer gates but there were 8 steps up to the inner gates.

Rooms for the priests – Ezekiel 40:38-46

v38 By each of the inner gates there was a room. In this room, the priests washed animals for the *burnt *sacrifices. The door to this room was near the entrance room. v39 There were two tables on each side of the gates. On these tables, the priests killed the animals for the *sacrifices. These animals were for the *burnt *sacrifices and the *sacrifices because of *sin and blame. v40 On each side of the entrance to the north gate, there were two more tables. v41 So there were 4 tables on one side of the gate and 4 on the other side. On these 8 tables, the priests killed the animals for the *sacrifices. v42 Also there were 4 stone tables for the *burnt *sacrifices. On these tables, the priests would put the tools that they used to kill the animals for the *sacrifices. (That is, for the *burnt *sacrifices and the other *sacrifices). These tables were a *cubit and a half long, a *cubit and half wide, and a *cubit high. v43 There were nails in the walls. These nails were in pairs and the length of a nail was the width of a hand. The stone tables were for the bodies of the animals for the *sacrifices.

v44 There were two rooms in the inner area. One was by the north gate toward the south. The other was by the south gate toward the north. v45 The man said to me, ‘The room toward the south is for the priests. It is for those priests who serve in the *temple. v46 The room toward the north is for the priests who serve at the *altar. These priests belong to the family of their *ancestor Zadok. Zadok belonged to the *tribe called Levi. Only these priests can come near to the *LORD to serve him at the *altar.’

v47 The man measured the inner area. It was a square, 100 *cubits long and 100 *cubits wide. The *altar was in front of the *temple.

Verses 38-43 Outside each of the inner gates, there was a room. Here the priests would wash the animals. Also, outside the east and the south gates there were two tables. On these tables, the priests killed the animals for the *sacrifices because of *sin and blame. Outside the north gate, there were 8 tables. On these 8 tables, the priests would kill the animals for the *sacrifices.

There were another 4 small stone tables. The priests’ would keep their tools on these tables. And they would cut up the dead bodies of the animals on these tables.

At the time of the *Old Testament, the people killed animals so that God could forgive their *sins. These *sacrifices referred forward to the death of Jesus. His death is the one *sacrifice for *sin.

The blood of animals could not and cannot take away *sin. These *sacrifices in the future *temple will remind the *Israelites of the one perfect *sacrifice, that is, the death of Jesus.

Verses 44-46 These two rooms were in the inner area. One was by the north gate and the other one was by the south gate. The one by the south gate (toward the north) was for the priests who served in the *temple. The room by the north gate (toward the south) was for the priests who served at the *altar.

These priests had to be of the family of Zadok. In chapter 44, Ezekiel explains why God chose Zadok.

Verse 47 The inner area was a square of 175 feet (53.8 metres) long and 175 feet (53.8 metres) wide.

The entrance to the *temple building – Ezekiel 40:47-49

v48 The man brought me to the entrance of the *temple. He measured each wall at the side of the entrance. Each one was 5 *cubits thick. The entrance was 14 *cubits wide. The walls at the side of the door were each three *cubits wide. v49 The entrance hall was 20 *cubits wide and 11 *cubits long. There were 10 steps up to the entrance. There were two columns, one on each side of the entrance.

Verses 48-49 In the inner area, there were the gates to the north, the south and the east. At the west end of the square was the entrance to the *temple building.

In the centre of the inner area was the *altar of *sacrifice. Ezekiel describes this *altar in chapter 43.

The way into the *temple was 24½ feet (7.5 metres) wide. The walls at the side of this entrance were 9 feet (2.8 metres) thick. The walls at the sides of the door were 5½ feet (1.6 metres) thick. Inside the door was an entrance hall. This was 35 feet (10.7 metres) across and 19½ feet (7 metres) long.

There were 10 steps up from the inner area to the gate of the *temple building.

Chapter 41

The *temple building – Ezekiel 41:1-26

The *holy place – Ezekiel 41:1-2

v1 Then the man brought me into the *holy place in the *temple. He measured the columns at the sides. They were each 6 *cubits wide. v2 The entrance was 10 *cubits wide. The walls on each side of the entrance were 5 *cubits wide. The man measured the *holy place. It was 40 *cubits long and 20 *cubits wide.

Verses 1-2 As Ezekiel was a priest, he could enter the *holy place.

The *holy place was a room 35 feet (10.8 metres) wide and 70 feet (21.5 metres) long. The entrance to the room was 17½ feet (5.4 metres) wide. There were walls on each side of the entrance and they were 9 feet (2.8 metres) each. These walls or columns at the side of the door were 10½ feet (3.2 metres) thick.

The most *holy place – Ezekiel 41:3-4

v3 Then the man went inside and he measured the columns by the next door. Each column was two *cubits wide. The entrance was 6 *cubits wide and the walls at the side of the entrance were 7 *cubits wide. v4 Then he measured the room at the end of the *holy place. It was 20 *cubits long and 20 *cubits wide. The man said to me, ‘This is the most *holy place.’

Verses 3-4

As Ezekiel was a priest, he could enter the *holy place. At the end of the *holy place was the door into the most *holy place. This door was 10½ feet (3.2 metres) wide. There were columns each side of the door that were 3½ feet (1.1 metres) thick. The walls with the columns at the sides of the entrance were 12½ feet (3.8 metres) long.

The most *holy place was a room 35 feet (10.8 metres) wide and 35 feet (10.8 metres) long.

The man (who was in fact an *angel) did not take Ezekiel into the most *holy place. Ezekiel was a priest but only the chief priest could go into this room.

The side rooms – Ezekiel 41:5-11

v5 Then the man measured the wall of the *temple. It was 6 *cubits thick. There were side rooms 4 *cubits wide round about the *temple. v6 The side rooms were on three floors, one above another. There were 30 rooms on each floor. The *temple's outer wall on each floor was thinner than on the floor below. So, the rooms could rest on the step in the wall but they did not join to the wall. v7 The side rooms round about the *temple were wider on each higher floor. The rooms were widest on the top floor. Stairs went up from the lowest floor to the middle floor. Then stairs went from the middle floor to the highest floor.

v8 I saw that the *temple had a high base. This was also the base of the side rooms. The height of this base was the length of the stick, that is, 6 *cubits. v9 The outer wall of the side rooms was 5 *cubits thick. There was an open area between the side rooms of the *temple and the priests’ rooms. v10 This open area was 20 *cubits wide and it went all round the *temple. v11 The doors of the side rooms opened onto the base. One door was toward the north, and another door was toward the south. The width round the base was 5 *cubits.

Verses 5-11 The walls of the *temple building were 10½ feet (3.2 metres) thick. Outside these walls, there were 90 small rooms. Each of these rooms was 7 feet (2.2 metres) wide. They were on three floors. There were 30 on each floor. There were 12 rooms on each side and 6 rooms at the end of the *temple building. These rooms had an outer wall 9 feet (2.8 metres) thick. The base of the *temple and of the side rooms was 10½ feet (3.2 metres) high.

The entrances to these rooms were from the inner area. There were entrances on the north and south sides of the *temple. There were stairs to the upper floors. There were rooms for the priests in the outer area. Between the side rooms and the priests' rooms, there was a space of 35 feet (10.8 metres).

This arrangement of rooms was similar to that in Solomon’s *temple (1 Kings 6:8-10).

Measurements of the *temple areas – Ezekiel 41:12-15a

(Note: verse 15a means the first half of verse 15.)

v12 The building in front of the *temple area on the west side was 70 *cubits wide. Its walls were 5 *cubits thick and it was 90 *cubits long.

v13 Then the man measured the *temple and it was 100 *cubits long. The inner area of the *temple, with the building and its walls, was in all 100 *cubits long. v14 The open area of the *temple on the east was 100 *cubits wide. This included the front of the *temple.

v15a He measured the building on the west side in front of the open area. With its walls on either side, it was 100 *cubits long.

Verse 12 Beyond the *temple to the west, there was a building. It was 122½ feet (37.7 metres) wide and 157½ feet (48.5 metres) long. The walls of this building were 9 feet (2.8 metres) thick. We do not know the purpose for this building.

Verses 13-15a The *temple building was 175 feet (53.8 metres) long. The inner area of the *temple was also 175 feet (53.8 metres) long. The inner area and the *temple building were 175 feet (53.8 metres) wide. The building, with its walls, beyond the *temple was also 175 feet (53.8 metres) long.

Inside the *temple – Ezekiel 41:15b-26

(Note: verse 15b means the second half of verse 15.)

v15b He then turned to the *holy place, the most *holy place and the entrance hall by the open area. v16 Wood covered the walls of these three rooms. All three rooms had windows in the walls. By the door, the *temple had wood on the walls. The wood covered all the walls from the floor to the windows. (There were covers over the windows.) v17 There were wood covers that covered the space above the doors. Wood covered both the inside and the outside of the *holy place. On all the walls of the *holy place and the most *holy place were patterns in the wood. v18 The patterns were of *cherubim and palm trees. There was a palm tree between *cherub and *cherub. Each *cherub had two faces. v19 One was the face of a man, which looked at the palm tree on one side. The other face was of a lion. This face looked at the palm tree on the other side. This pattern was all round the *temple. v20 On the wall and above the door, there were *cherubim and palm trees. 

v21 The entrance for the door to the *holy place was square. So was the entrance to the most *holy place. v22 There was a wooden *altar three *cubits high and two *cubits square. Its corners, its base and its sides were of wood. The man told me about it. ‘This is the table that is in front of the *LORD.’ v23 Both the *holy place and the most *holy place had double doors. v24 Each of the doors had two pieces that would swing open. v25 On the doors of the *holy place, there were patterns of palm trees and *cherubim. These palm trees and *cherubim were like the ones that were on the walls. And there was a wooden roof over the entrance to the *temple. v26 There were windows and patterns of palm trees on both walls at the sides of the entrance. A roof covered the side rooms of the *temple and over the stairs.

Verses 15b-20 The *temple building had three rooms. These rooms were the entrance hall, the *holy place and the most *holy place. Wood covered the walls of all three rooms. There were windows in these rooms. There were covers for the windows.

There were patterns on all the walls. The patterns were of *cherubim and palm trees. Each *cherub had two faces. The faces were those of a man and of a lion.

Verses 21-26 In the *holy place, there was a wooden *altar. It was 5½ feet (1.6 metres) high and 3½ feet (1.1 metres) square. The man (that is, the *angel) called it, ‘the table that is in front of the *LORD’. But we are not sure about its purpose, because there were two similar objects in the original *temple. One of these was the *altar of *incense. Here, the priests would burn *incense to the *Lord. And the other object was a table like this. Each *Sabbath the priests would put 12 new loaves of bread on the table and they would remove the old bread (see Leviticus 24:5-8).

The doors to the *holy place had patterns of *cherubim and palm trees. Over each part of the *temple, there was a wooden roof.

Chapter 42

Buildings for the priests – Ezekiel 42:1-14

v1 Then the man led me north into the outer area. He brought me to the rooms across from the *temple and its area. v2 This building on the north side was 100 *cubits long and 50 *cubits wide. v3 The building was in a space of 20 *cubits from the inner area. This was opposite the path of the outer area. The rooms were on three floors, each room was further back than the one below it. v4 There was a path on the north side of the rooms. This path was 10 *cubits wide and 100 *cubits long. Doors led into the rooms from this path. v5 The top rooms were narrower, because the passages took more space from them. The rooms on the first and second floors of the building were wider. v6 The rooms on the third floor did not have columns like the columns of the open areas. So, these rooms were smaller than those on the first and second floors. v7 There was a wall outside parallel to the rooms and to the outer area. It extended in front of the rooms for 50 *cubits. v8 The row of rooms along the outer area was 50 *cubits long. The row on the side nearest the *temple was 100 *cubits long. v9 The lower rooms had an entrance on the east side. The way into them was from the outer area.

v10 There were rooms on the south side along the length of the wall of the outer area. These rooms were next to the *temple area and across from the outer wall. v11 These rooms had a path in front of them. They were like the rooms on the north with the same length and width and the same doors. v12 The doors of the south rooms were like the doors of the north rooms. There was an entrance at the beginning of the path. This was next to the wall, so people could enter at the east end.

v13 The man said to me, ‘The north and south rooms across from the *temple area are *holy rooms. The priests who go near the *LORD will eat the most *holy *sacrifices there. There they shall put the most *holy *sacrifices. These *sacrifices are the grain, the *sin and the blame *sacrifices. These rooms are *holy. v14 The priests who enter the *holy place must leave their special clothes there. The special clothes are *holy. They must change their clothes before they go into the outer area. Then they may go to the part of the *temple area that is for the people.’

Verses 1-12 There were two buildings in the outer area. They were just outside the inner area. One building was on the north side and the other building was on the south side. Ezekiel describes the one on the north side. All these rooms had doors to the north. The building on the south side was like the one on the north side. The rooms in the south building had doors to the south.

The building was 175 feet long (53.8 metres) long, east to west. It was 87½ feet (26.9 metres) wide, north to south. There were three floors with many rooms on each one. The lower two floors had columns.

The entrance to the building was from the outer area on the east side.

Verses 13-14 These two buildings were *holy places. In them, the priests could eat some of the *holy gifts. Also, they would store the oil and grain for the *sacrifices in these buildings. In these rooms, the priests would change their clothes. They had to wear special clothes to serve in the *temple. They would keep those clothes in these rooms.

The size of the *temple area – Ezekiel 42:15-20

v15 When the man had measured the *temple area, he led me out by the east gate. He measured all round the area there. v16 He measured the east side with the stick. It was 500 *cubits long. v17 He measured the north side with the stick. It was 500 *cubits long. v18 He measured the south side with the stick. It was 500 *cubits long. v19 Then he turned to the west side and he measured it with the stick. It was 500 *cubits long. v20 So, he measured the area on all four sides. It had a wall all round it. The wall was 500 *cubits long and 500 *cubits wide. The wall separated the *holy area from the ordinary land.

Verses 15-20 The man took Ezekiel out of the entire *temple area. They went out by the east gate. There was a wall round the whole area. The area was a square. The man measured the wall. The area was 875 feet (269.2 metres) long and 875 feet (269.2 metres) wide.

Chapter 43

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.

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.

My opinion is that these *sacrifices will happen in the future, during the *millennium. But these *sacrifices cannot replace the *Lord Jesus Christ’s *sacrifice. He died once for all time because of our *sin. His *sacrifice was perfect and complete. And God forgives our *sin because of Christ’s *sacrifice. So the *sacrifices in this *temple cannot take away *sin. Instead, these *sacrifices must refer back to Christ’s death. And they remind people about the *sacrifice of Christ. So, they are like the communion service (in other words, the ceremony when Christians break bread together).

Priests and *sacrifices – Ezekiel 44:1 to 46:24

Chapter 44

The East Gate – Ezekiel 44:1-3

v1 Then the man brought me back to the outer gate east of the *temple. But the gate was closed. v2 The *LORD said to me, ‘This gate must remain closed. Nobody may open it or enter by it. The *LORD, the God of *Israel, has entered by it so it must remain closed. v3 Only the prince may enter this gate. He will sit there and he will eat in front of the *LORD. The prince will enter through the hall of this gate. And he will go out the same way.’

Verses 1-3 The East Gate was a special gate. The *Lord had entered the *temple by this gate. Only the prince could go into this gate. There he could eat bread in front of the *Lord.

The prince will be the leader of the people. He will not be Christ because the prince needs to make a *sacrifice because of his own *sins (45:22). Christ does not need such a *sacrifice because he has no *sin. Unlike Christ, the prince has natural children (46:16). He will not be a priest but Christ will be the chief priest. Christ will be the king. So, this man will lead the people as Christ orders him.

The prince will be from the family of David. He will be a man who will be like David. The prince will love the *Lord as David did. And he will serve the *Lord as David did. God promised David that his family would rule his people (see 2 Samuel 7:16).

The priests who work in the *temple – Ezekiel 44:4-16

v4 Then the man brought me through the outer north gate to the front of the *temple. As I looked, I saw the *LORD’s *glory. It filled the *temple of the *LORD. And I fell down with my face to the ground.

v5 The *LORD said to me, ‘*Son of man, concentrate your mind. Look carefully. Listen well. Listen to all that I say to you. I will tell you all about the rules and regulations of the *LORD’s *temple. Look carefully at the entrance to the *temple and all the exits from the *temple area. v6 Then speak to those people who refuse to obey me. Say to the *Israelites: This is what the *LORD your King says to you. *Israelites, you must not do all those evil things that I hate. v7 You brought foreigners into my *holy place where they should not be. They have not received *circumcision in either their hearts or their bodies. They do not *worship me. You have ruined the honour of my *temple. You made *sacrifices of food, fat and blood to me. But you have not obeyed me. v8 You did not take care of my *holy things. But you gave foreigners control over my *temple. v9 This is what the *LORD your King says. Foreigners, who have not received *circumcision in their hearts and bodies, must not enter my *temple. Not even those foreigners who live among the *Israelites can enter.

v10 Some *Levites went far away from me when *Israel *turned from me. They followed their false gods. I will punish these *Levites because of their *sin. v11 These *Levites will be servants in my *holy place. They will guard the gates of the *temple. They will serve in the *temple area. They will kill the animals for the *burnt *sacrifices. They will make *sacrifices on behalf of the people. They will stand in front of the people to serve them. v12 But these *Levites helped the people to *worship their false gods. They caused the *Israelites to *sin. So, I have lifted up my hand as I made this judgement against them. I, the *LORD your King, will cause them to suffer the punishment because of their *sin. v13 They will not come near me to serve as priests. They will not come near any of my *holy things. They will not come near my most *holy *sacrifices. They will be ashamed of the things that they did. I hate those things. v14 But, I will appoint them so that they will be responsible for the duties in the *temple. They will take care of all the work that they must do in it.

v15 But some priests who are *Levites by Zadok their *ancestor were loyal to me. These *Levites did their duty to me in my *temple when the *Israelites *turned away from me. They will come near to serve me. They will stand in front of me to offer the fat and blood of the animals. They will make the *sacrifices to me, says the *LORD your King. v16 They are the only ones who may enter my *holy place. Only they may come near my table to serve me. They will take care of the things that I give to them to do.’

Verses 4-5 The *Lord’s *glory filled the *temple. The effect on Ezekiel was very powerful. The *glory was so great that it caused him to fall down with his face to the ground. Then the *Lord spoke to him. Ezekiel would see and hear the rules for the new *temple. God would tell to Ezekiel the rules for the priests. Ezekiel must tell these rules to the people.

Verses 6-9 Foreigners and strangers could bring their gifts to the *Lord. But they could not act as priests in the *temple. Neither could they be servants in the *temple. The priests and *temple servants had to be from the family of Levi.

In the old *temple, foreigners did come in. The priests of *Israel let them come in. The priests even let foreigners serve in the *temple. This was against the law that God gave to Moses. In the end, the *Israelites were even *worshipping foreign gods in the *temple (Ezekiel chapter 8). Such things must never happen in the *temple that Ezekiel saw.

God told Abraham to *circumcise all the males in his family. Afterwards, *circumcision was the sign of the special promise that God had made to *Israel. Every boy had to receive *circumcision when he was 8 days old. No male could be an *Israelite without *circumcision. All the foreigners who joined *Israel had to receive *circumcision. In this act, they had to obey God. But this is only a physical sign. It is even more important to obey God from the heart. Ezekiel calls this the *circumcision of the heart. Those who would enter the *temple to *worship God must receive *circumcision of heart and body. Christians do not need *circumcision in the body. But they must have the heart attitude that obeys God.

Verses 10-14 As a group, the *Levites had *turned away from God. They had served false gods. In this, they led the *Israelites to *sin. So, the *Lord will punish them. And they will be ashamed of what they did. In future, the families of these *Levites will not be priests. They will not serve at the *altar. They will not go into the *holy place.

The *Levites will guard the *temple gates. There will be strict rules about the people who may come into the *temple. And the *Levites will make sure that the people obey those rules.

The *Levites will be the servants in the *temple. They will be responsible for all the work in the *temple. Also, the *Levites will kill the animals that the people bring to them for *sacrifices.

Verses 15-16 When all the *Israelites *turned from God, some priests remained loyal to God. The *ancestor of these priests was Zadok. Zadok was a priest at the time of David. He remained loyal to David when David’s sons, Absalom and Adonijah, tried to oppose their father (2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Samuel 15:24-29; 1 Kings 1:8). David’s son Solomon appointed Zadok to be the chief priest (1 Kings 2:35).

Because they were loyal, the *Lord will reward the Zadok priests in the new *temple. Only they will be able to serve the *Lord in the *holy place. They will make the *sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. The *Lord will not allow other people to come into the *holy place.

Rules for the priests from Zadok’s family – Ezekiel 44:17-31

v17 ‘When the priests enter the gates of the inner area, they must wear special clothes. The material of the clothes must be the material called linen. They must not wear any wool. So, they may serve me at the gates of the inner area, or inside the *temple. v18 They must wear special hats on their heads. These hats must also be of the material called linen. And the clothes that they wear round their bodies must also be linen. They must not wear anything that will make them damp. v19 When they go out from the inner area, they must remove the special clothes. They must leave these clothes in the *holy rooms and they must put on other clothes. Then they may go out to the people in the outer area. Their special clothes are *holy, and the people must not touch those clothes.

v20 The priests must not shave their heads or let their hair grow long. They must only cut their hair to keep it at a proper length. v21 None of the priests may drink wine when he enters the inner area. v22 The priests must not marry widows. And the priests must not marry women who have received a divorce from their husbands. Priests may marry only women who have not had sex. And these women must be from the *Israelites. But they may marry the widow of a priest. v23 They must teach my people the difference between *holy things, and things that are not *holy. They must help my people to know what is not *clean. And they must show them what is *clean.

v24 When there are legal arguments, the priests shall be the judges. They must decide these arguments by the rules that I have taught. They must obey my laws and my rules for all my special meals. They must keep my *Sabbath days *holy.

v25 Priests must not go near a dead person. If they do, they will not be *clean. If the dead person belonged to the priest’s close family, the priest may go near. The priest may do this for his father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or for his unmarried sister. The priest will not be *clean but he may do this. v26 After a priest has become *clean again, he must wait for 7 days. v27 Then he may go into the inner area to serve in the *temple. But he must make a *sacrifice because of his *sin’, says the *LORD your King.

v28 ‘The priests will have no land to own in *Israel. They will have me instead of property. I will be their possession. v29 They will eat the grain, *sin and blame *sacrifices. Everything that *Israel gives to me, the *LORD, will be theirs. v30 The best fruits of all the first harvests will belong to the priests. And all the special gifts that you give to me will belong to the priests. You will also give to the priests the first part of the flour from your mill. If you do this, God will show his kindness to your family. v31 The priests must not eat any bird or animal that they find dead already. They must not eat anything that wild animals have killed.’

Verses 17-19 God is *holy. Before the priests approach God in the inner area, they must put on special clothes. The material of these clothes must not make the priests hot. They could not be of wool because it would cause them to sweat. (That is, to be damp from the warmth.) So, the material must be linen. Linen is a good quality cloth.

As soon as the priests go out from the inner area, they must change their clothes. These clothes are *holy. The priests must wear them in the inner area only. They must take off these clothes in special *holy rooms (42:13-14). Then other people cannot touch these clothes by accident. People who are not priests must not even touch these clothes.

Verses 20-22 There are several extra rules for the Zadok priests (that is, the priests from Zadok’s family). They must not shave their heads. The priests of false gods often shaved their heads. They gave their hair as a gift to the gods. This may be one of the reasons for this rule.

They must not have long hair. Long hair could mean that a person was sad at the death of someone. The Zadok priests will not be sad. They will serve the *Lord with joy.

These rules about hair are to show that the Zadok priests are *holy to the *Lord.

When the Zadok priest serves in the *temple, he must have complete control of himself. Therefore, while he is on duty he must not drink wine.

He can marry. But his bride must be a woman who has not had sex with a man. But he can marry the widow of another priest. He must not marry any other widow. He must not marry a woman who has left her husband.

These rules are like the rules for the chief priest in the old *temple. But here the rules apply to all the priests from Zadok’s family. This passage does not mention a chief priest because the *Messiah will be the chief priest.

Verses 23-24 These rules show what it means to be *holy. The priests must teach the people to be *holy. They themselves must be *holy. And by their own lives, they must show the people how to live. They must help people to know what is right.

The priests will be the experts in God’s laws. They will be the judges of any problems among the people. They will decide what is right. The *Lord will teach them his laws. And they must use those laws when they make decisions.

They must obey God’s laws themselves. They must obey all the rules about special meals. And they must obey the rules for the *Sabbaths.

Verses 25-27 A priest should not go near to a dead person. He could not go into the *temple’s inner area if he had been near a dead person. He would not be *clean. He could not serve the *Lord as a priest.

He could go near if the dead person belonged to his family. Family here means his parents, his children, his brothers and his sisters. But if his sister is married, she is not part of his family. He must not go near to her body when she dies.

If he did go near a dead relative, he would not be *clean. So, he must get himself *clean. (There are rules about this in Numbers 19:11-13.) When he is *clean again, he must wait 7 days. At the end of the 7 days, he must make a *sacrifice. To go near a dead person is like *sin because by it the priest is not *clean. After he is *clean then he may serve the *Lord in the inner area.

Verses 28-31 The priests will own no property in *Israel. They will depend on the *Lord for all that they need. Their food will come from the *sacrifices that the people give to the *Lord. But they must not eat the meat from birds or animals that they find dead already. And they must not eat anything that wild animals have killed. All that the people give to the *Lord will belong to the priests.

The people must give to the *Lord the first part of their harvests. That part under the old rules would be a 10th of the harvest. Then the *Lord will show his kindness to their families.

Chapter 45

The *Lord’s part of the country – Ezekiel 45:1-8

v1 ‘You will divide the country between the *tribes of *Israel. You must also give to the *LORD a part of the country for a *holy area. The length of this part will be 25 000 *cubits, and the width will be 20 000 *cubits. The whole area will be *holy. v2 Inside this area, a section of 500 *cubits square shall be for the *temple. Round this section will be an open space of 50 *cubits. v3 In the *holy area, you will measure a part 25 000 *cubits long and 10 000 *cubits wide. In this area will be the most *holy place of the *temple. v4 This *holy part of the country will be for the priests who serve in the *temple. It will be for those priests who come near to the *LORD to serve him. There will be the *temple and the houses for the priests. v5 An area 25 000 *cubits long and 10 000 *cubits wide will be for the *Levites. They serve in the *temple area. This land will be for the towns in which they will live.

v6 You must give to the city an area 5000 *cubits wide and 25 000 *cubits long. This is to be along the side of the *holy area. The city will be for all the *Israelites.

v7 The prince will have land on both sides of the *holy area and the city. This land will be on the west and east sides of the *holy area and the city area. And the border of this land, from east to west, will be along the border of one of the *tribes. v8 This land will be the only property of the prince in *Israel. My rulers will never be cruel to my people again. But they will let each *tribe in the nation called *Israel have its share of the country.’

Verses 1-6 When the *Israelites first came to the country, each *tribe received a part of it (Joshua chapters 17 to 19). In this future time, they will receive parts of the country again. Chapter 48 describes these parts. In addition to the parts of the *tribes, there will be a part for the *Lord.

The *Lord’s part of the land will be for the priests and the *temple. The size of this area will be 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres) by 6.6 miles (10.6 kilometres). This area will be in two smaller parts. Each part will be 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres) by 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometres).

One of these parts will be for the priests, who must be from the family of Zadok. They will live in this area. And they will serve the *Lord in the *temple. In the centre of this part will be the *temple area. This *temple area will be 875 feet (269.2 metres) square. Round this *temple area, there will be a clear piece of land 875 feet (269.2 metres) wide.

The other part will be for the *Levites. This will be to the north of the part where the Zadok priests (priests from Zadok’s family) live. The *Levites will assist the Zadok priests in the *temple. The *Levites will have their homes and towns in this part.

There will be another area to the south of the part where the Zadok priests live. It will be 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres) long and 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometres) wide. In this area will be the city for the *Israelites. The city will be in the centre of this area. It will be 1½ miles (2.4 kilometres) square. The rest of the area will be agricultural land where the people will produce food.

Verses 7-8 The areas for the *Levites, the Zadok priests and the city form a square of 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres). The land to the east and to the west of this square will belong to the prince. He will own no other property.

In the past, the rulers had been cruel to the people. They had made themselves rich when they took property from the people. God did not want them to do this. And in this future time, the rulers will not do these things. So, the prince will have his own land. And the *tribes will have their shares in the country.

Rulers must be honest – Ezekiel 45:9-12

v9 ‘The *LORD your King says this: You are responsible for too many *sins, you rulers of *Israel. Do not be cruel and do not hurt people. Do what is right and fair. You must not force my people to leave their land. I, the *LORD, have spoken. v10 You must be honest when you weigh things. You must give good weight for both dry and liquid goods. v11 The dry measurement and the liquid measurement will be the same. The *ephah and the *bath should hold the same as a 10th of a *homer. The *homer must be the standard measurement. v12 The *shekel will be worth 20 *gerahs, and a *mina will be worth 60 *shekels.’

Verses 9-12 The leaders of *Israel in Ezekiel’s time did not care about the people. They had robbed the people of their land. They had cheated them in the market place. They used false weights when they sold their goods. They had been cruel and they did not defend the poor people. This kind of behaviour must stop and God will not allow it in the future of *Israel.

God’s people must always be honest and fair. This is for all times and not just for the future.

The standard measurement was the *homer. The dry measurement was the *ephah, which was a 10th of a *homer. The liquid measurement was the *bath, which was also a 10th of a *homer. The *shekel was the standard money value. They must use these standard measurements.

*Sacrifices on behalf of the people – Ezekiel 45:13-20

Gifts to the prince for *sacrifices – Ezekiel 45:13-17

v13 ‘The gift you should give to me is a 6th of an *ephah from every *homer of wheat. You should also give to me a 6th of an *ephah from every *homer of *barley. v14 The amount of oil that you are to offer is a 10th of a *bath from each 10 baths. (10 baths is equal to one *homer). v15 You should give to me one sheep from each 200 sheep. The sheep are from the fields in *Israel which the rain waters. All of these sheep are to be for the *sacrifices. These *sacrifices are the grain *sacrifice, the *sacrifice by fire, and the peace *sacrifice. These *sacrifices are because of the *sin of the people, so that I may forgive them. That is what the *LORD your King says. v16 All people in the country will give this gift to the prince of *Israel. v17 It will be the duty of the prince to provide for the *sacrifice by fire. He must also provide the grain and drink *sacrifices. All of these *sacrifices are for the special days, the new moons and the *Sabbaths. These days are the special days for the *Israelites. The prince will provide for the *sin, grain, *burnt and peace *sacrifices so that I may forgive the *Israelites.’

Verses 13-17 The *Israelites will bring their gifts to the prince. These gifts will be grain, oil and sheep. From the harvest of grain, out of each *homer they will bring a 6th of an *ephah. From their oil, they will bring a 10th of a *bath from every *homer that they had. From their sheep, they will bring one sheep in every 200 sheep.

From these gifts, the prince will make the *sacrifices on behalf of the people. These *sacrifices are grain *sacrifices, *sacrifices by fire and the drink *sacrifices. He will do this at each of the special days. The special days include the new moon (in other words, the beginning of each month) and the *Sabbath days.

These *sacrifices are to remind the people about what the *Messiah has done. They are acts of *worship to God. God will forgive their *sins because of their belief in *Messiah. His death is the only *sacrifice by which God forgives *sin.

In the New Testament (the second part of the Bible) we read that no animal or grain *sacrifices could take away *sin. Jesus the *Messiah achieved it when he died for us. His death is the perfect *sacrifice for *sin. So it is only by his death that God forgives *sin.

A new *sacrifice to the *Lord – Ezekiel 45:18-20

v18 ‘This is what the *LORD your King says. On the first day of the first month, take a young *bull that has nothing wrong with it. Use it to make the *temple *clean and ready. v19 The priest will take some of the blood from this *sin *sacrifice. He will put some of it by the side of the *temple door. He will put some on the 4 corners of the upper edge of the *altar. And he will put some on the wall at the side of the gate to the inner area. v20 You will do the same thing on the 7th day of the month. This is for anyone who has *sinned because of lack of knowledge. Also, for anyone who has *sinned but did not intend to do so. By this, my *temple will remain *holy.’

Verses 18-20 On the first day of the year, the prince must bring a young *bull to the *temple. The blood is to *clean the *temple from the *sins of the people. The priests will kill this *bull. They will put some of the blood round the *temple doors. And they will put some of the blood on the *horns of the *altar. By means of this ceremony, the *temple remains *clean and *holy.

Also, he will bring a young *bull on the 7th day of the year. The priests will kill this *bull. This is for *sins that the people do not know about.

If people are aware of their *sins, they will remember those *sins by means of the *sin *sacrifices. But sometimes people do not know about their *sins. The blood of these *bulls is because of these *sins. God forgives all these *sins, because of the perfect *sacrifice of Jesus the *Messiah.

*Passover week and the week in shelters – Ezekiel 45:21-25

v21 ‘On the 14th of the first month will be the *Passover. This event will last for 7 days. During the *Passover, you will eat bread without *yeast. v22 On that day, the prince must give to the priests a *bull. It is a *sacrifice because of *sin on behalf of the prince and all the people in the country. v23 During the 7 days, he must give to the priests 7 *bulls. Also, he must give to them 7 male sheep. These animals must have nothing wrong with them. They will be *sacrifices by fire to the *LORD. The prince will offer these *sacrifices on each of the 7 days. Also he must give to the priests a male goat every day as a *sacrifice because of *sin. v24 He shall provide grain for the *sacrifices. He will give to the priests an *ephah of grain for each *bull. He will give to the priests an *ephah of grain for each male sheep. And he will give to the priests a *hin of oil for each *ephah of grain.

v25 From the 15th day of the 7th month, there will be another 7 special days. The prince will make the same provision as for the *Passover. He will provide the animals, the grain and the oil. These things will be for *sacrifices because of *sin, *sacrifices by fire and the grain *sacrifices.’

Verses 21-25 During the *Passover, the *Israelites remember how God brought them out of Egypt (Exodus chapter 12). The *Passover was on the 14th day of the first month. This month is about March to April in our calendar. For 7 days, the people will eat bread without *yeast. During these 7 days, the prince will provide for the *sacrifices.

In the 7th month, there will be the week in shelters. The 7th month is about October in our calendar. During this week, the people remember the time when the *Israelites lived in shelters. For 40 years, the *Israelites were in the desert before they came into their country. As for the *Passover week, the prince will provide for the *sacrifices.

These rules are similar to the rules that God gave to Moses. Every year the *Israelites remembered what God had done. They thanked God for his goodness. The rules which we read here are for a future time after the return of the *Messiah. All the *sacrifices are to remind the people about what the *Messiah has done.

Chapter 46

The rules for gifts and *sacrifices – Ezekiel 46:1-15

v1 ‘This is what the *LORD your King says. You will keep the east gate to the inner area closed for 6 days each week. But you shall open it on the *Sabbath and on the day of the new moon. v2 The prince will enter from outside through the entrance of the gate. He will stand by the gate. The priests will make his *sacrifice by fire and his *sacrifice of peace. He will *worship at the entrance of the gate. Then he will go out but the gate will be open until the evening. v3 The people from the country will *worship at the entrance of that gate. They will *worship the *LORD there on the *Sabbaths and on the day of the new moon. v4 The prince will offer a *sacrifice by fire to the *LORD on the *Sabbath day. This *sacrifice will be 6 young male sheep and one male sheep. There must be nothing wrong with any of them. v5 He must give to the priests an *ephah of grain with the male sheep. He may give to them as much grain as he wants with the young sheep. With each *ephah of grain, he must give to them a *hin of oil. v6 On the day of the new moon, he must bring *sacrifices. He will bring a young *bull, 6 young sheep and a male sheep. There must be nothing wrong with any of these animals. v7 He must give to the priests an *ephah of grain with the *bull. He must give to them an *ephah of grain with the male sheep. He may give to them as much grain as he wants with the young sheep. With each *ephah of grain, he must give to the priests a *hin of oil. v8 When the prince enters, he must go in through the hall of the gate. He must go out the same way.

v9 The people from the country will come to *worship the *LORD on the special days. Those people who enter by the north gate will leave by the south gate. Those people who enter by the south gate will leave by the north gate. None of them shall leave by the gate that they entered. They must leave by the opposite gate. v10 The prince will enter with the people when they enter. When they leave, he will leave with them.

v11 On the special days, they will offer these *sacrifices. They will bring a *bull with an *ephah of grain. They will bring a male sheep with an *ephah of grain. And they will bring the young sheep with as much grain as they want to bring. With each *ephah of grain, they will bring a *hin of oil. v12 The prince may give a *sacrifice as a special gift to the *LORD. It may be a *sacrifice by fire or a *sacrifice for peace. When he gives it to the *LORD, the inner east gate will be open for him. He must make these *sacrifices as he does on the *Sabbath day. Then he will go out. The gate must not remain open after he goes out.

v13 Every day you will give to the *LORD a year-old sheep that has nothing wrong with it. This will be a *sacrifice by fire to the *LORD. You must do this every morning. v14 You must also give to the *LORD grain with the young sheep each morning. For this, you will give a 6th of an *ephah of grain and a third of a *hin of oil. The oil will make the flour damp. You must obey this rule from now and always. v15 So you must always give to him the young sheep, together with the grain and the oil. Every morning you will give them to the *LORD as a *sacrifice by fire.’

Verses 1-8 The *Lord gave the *Sabbath to the *Israelites. They have to obey the rules of the *Sabbath for all time. They are to work for 6 days but they must rest on the 7th day. On that day, they must *worship the *Lord. The *Israelites during Ezekiel’s life refused to obey the *Sabbath day rules. In the future time, the *Israelites will obey the new rules for the *Sabbath and the new moon. The new moon is the beginning of each month by the *Israelites’ calendar. So the first day in each month is also a special day to *worship the *Lord.

The priests will open the east gate to the inner court only on the special days. These days will be the *Sabbath day and the day of the new moon. The prince will lead the people in their *worship. He will enter this gate. He will bring his *sacrifices to the priests. And he will *worship at the entrance to the gate. He must not go into the inner area. The people will *worship at this gate but they will not go in.

Verses 9-12 On these special days, the *Israelites will come to *worship. They will come into the *temple area by the north and south gates. They must not go out by the same gate as they entered. This is a practical arrangement. Large crowds will come to *worship. The people will leave without difficulty if they leave by the opposite gate.

The people must bring their *sacrifices to the priests. The prince will enter with the people. He will give his *sacrifices to the priests at the inner east gate. They will open that gate just to receive his *sacrifices. They will close the gate as soon as the prince leaves.

Verse 13-15 In addition to the special days, there will be daily *sacrifices. Each morning the prince will bring these *sacrifices to the priests.

The property of the prince – Ezekiel 46:16-18

v16 ‘This is what the *LORD your King says. If the prince gives some of his land to any of his sons, that land will belong to the son. On the death of the son, the land will belong to his children. It is their land and it belongs to their family. v17 The prince may give some of his land to a servant. That land will belong to the servant only until the year of freedom. Then the land will belong to the prince again. So, the prince’s land will continue to belong to his family. And it will become his sons’ land. v18 The prince must not take any land from the people. He must not force any of them to leave their land. He may only give his own land to his sons. He must not separate any of my people from their own land.’

Verses 16-18 The prince will own his land. He can give it away if he wants to. However, the land must still belong to his family. If the prince gave land to another person, it would be only until the year of freedom. Then the land would come back into the possession of the family.

Each 50th year will be a year of freedom. Then the prince or his family will again own the land that he gave to another person. This rule of the year of freedom affects all *Israelites.

The prince cannot buy or receive land from another *Israelite.

The priests’ kitchens – Ezekiel 46:19-24

v19 The man led me through the entrance at the side of the gate to the rooms of the priests. These *holy rooms are toward the north. He showed me a place at the west end. v20 The man said to me, ‘Here the priests prepare the *sacrifices. Here they will boil the meat for the blame *sacrifice and for the *sacrifice because of *sin. Here they also bake the grain for the *sacrifices. They will not need to bring these *holy *sacrifices into the outer area. The *sacrifices are *holy and the people must not touch them.’

v21 Then the man brought me into the outer area. He led me to its four corners. In each corner of the outer area was a smaller area. v22 These small areas were in the 4 corners of the outer area. Each small area was the same size. They were 40 *cubits long and 30 *cubits wide. v23 And there was a stone wall round the inside of each of the 4 small areas. There were places in which to cook. They were at the base of the walls. v24 The man said to me, ‘These places are the kitchens. Here those who work in the *temple will cook the *sacrifices. These kitchens are for the *sacrifices that the people offer.’

Verses 19-24 The man took Ezekiel out of the inner area. He took him to the priests’ rooms on the north side of the *temple. In these rooms, the priests will change their clothes. In them, they will eat the *holy *sacrifices. At the west end of these rooms will be the kitchens. Here the priests will prepare some types of *sacrifices. These *sacrifices are particularly *holy. That is why the priests must cook them in a separate kitchen. People who are not priests cannot enter this area. Only priests may eat these *sacrifices.

There will be another four kitchens. They will be in the four corners of the outer area. Each of these kitchens will be 70 feet (21.5 metres) by 52½ feet (16.2 metres). Here the *temple servants will cook the *sacrifices that the people bring to them. They will cook the peace *sacrifices here. The people who bring peace *sacrifices may eat part of these *sacrifices. Another part of these *sacrifices must burn on the *altar. And the last part belongs to the priests.

*Israel’s new country – Ezekiel 47:1 to 48:29

Chapter 47

The *temple river – Ezekiel 47:1-12

v1 The man brought me back to the entrance of the *temple. And I saw that water was coming out from under the doorway. It flowed toward the east. (The front of the *temple was toward the east.) The water flowed down from the south side of the *temple and south of the *altar. v2 He then brought me out through the north gate. He led me round the outside to the outer east gate. The water came out on the south side of the gate.

v3 The man went toward the east with a line in his hand. With the line he measured 1000 *cubits. Then he led me through the stream. The water came up to my ankles. v4 He went another 1000 *cubits and he led me through the water. Now the water came up to my knees. He measured the next 1000 *cubits and he led me through the water. It was now up to my stomach. v5 He measured the next 1000 *cubits. But now the water was a river that was too deep for me to cross. The water had risen, and it was deep enough to swim. Nobody could walk across this river. v6 The man said to me, ‘*Son of man, look carefully at this.’

Then he led me back to the edge of the river. v7 As I went back, I saw many trees on both sides of the river. v8 The man said to me, ‘This water flows toward the east. It goes down into the Arabah and it enters the sea. As a result, the waters of the sea become fresh. v9 Wherever the river goes, there will be many living things. Wherever the river goes, there will be many fish. Wherever this water goes, the salty water will become fresh. So wherever the river flows, everything will live. v10 Men who fish will stand along the shore of the sea. They will spread their nets from En Gedi to En Eglaim. It will be a sea that has many kinds of fish, like the Great Sea. v11 But the muddy areas and the land that is always wet will not become fresh. They will remain there to provide salt. v12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both sides of the river. Their leaves will not dry up and die. The trees will have fresh fruit every month. This is because of the water that flows to them. This water comes from the *temple. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves to cure the people.’

Verses 1-12 Ezekiel saw water as it flowed from the *temple. It flowed toward the east. It came from the south side of the *temple and the *altar of *sacrifice, in the inner area. The water went through the outer area. Then it went along the south side of the outer east gate.

The man took Ezekiel to explore this river. At a third of a mile (538 metres) from the *temple, the depth of the water was up to the height of Ezekiel’s ankles. After another third of a mile (538 metres), it was up to his knees. At about a mile (1.6 kilometres), the water was up to Ezekiel’s stomach. At 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometres) from the *temple, the river was very deep. To cross it he would have to swim. The increase of the size of the river could not be natural. It could only be by the power of the *Lord.

The river flowed to the south and east. It flowed into the valley of the Jordan River and into the Dead Sea. Today nothing can live in the Dead Sea because of the salt. But when this river flows into the Dead Sea, it will bring pure water. Where now no fish can live then there will be many fish. Men who catch fish will spread their nets along the coast of the sea. They will catch all kinds of fish.

Where the river flows, it will bring life. Trees will grow along both sides of the river. These trees will have all kinds of fruit. Their leaves will not die. There will be fruit every month. The fruit will be good for food. And the leaves will be good medicine to cure people.

The muddy areas will remain to provide salt.

This is not the same river as in Revelation 22:1-5. That river flows from the *throne of God and of the Lamb. (A lamb is a young sheep. But in the Book of Revelation, the word ‘lamb’ is a word picture for Jesus, the *Messiah.) In the new earth, there will be no *temple (Revelation 21:22). But here in the Book of Ezekiel, the river flows from the *temple.

The country called *Israel – Ezekiel 47:13-23

v13 The *LORD your King says, ‘The country will have these borders. Divide the country into 12 parts for the *tribes of *Israel. One part shall be for each *tribe but two parts shall be for Joseph. v14 You will divide the country so that each part is the same size. I promised to give this country to your *ancestors. So, this country will be for you as family property.

v15 The country will have these borders. On the north side, the border will start at the Great Sea. It will go by way of Hethlon, toward Lebo Hamath and on to the town called Zedad. v16 It will continue through Berothah and Sibraim. These towns are on the border between Damascus and Hamath. This border will end at the town called Hazer Hatticon on the border of the country called Hauran. v17 So the border will go from the Great Sea east to the town called Hazar Enan. Here the land that belongs to Damascus and Hamath will be on the north side. This will be the northern border of the country. v18 On the east, the border goes south from a point between Hauran and Damascus. It will go along the Jordan between Gilead and the country called *Israel. It will continue to the town called Tamar on the east sea. This will be the east side of the country. v19 On the south side, the border will go east from Tamar all the way to the waters called Meribah Kadesh. Then it will go along the river of Egypt to the Great Sea. This will be the southern border of the country. v20 On the west side, the Great Sea will be the border up to a place across from Lebo Hamath. This will be the western border of your country.

v21 You will divide this country between the *tribes of *Israel. v22 You will divide the land and you will give it to your families to possess it. Those foreign families who have lived among you must have a share of the land. You must accept these foreigners the same as people born in *Israel. They must share the land with the *tribes of *Israel. v23 You will include the foreigners with the *tribes in which they live.’ This is what the *LORD your King says.

Verses 13-14 In this future period, each of the 12 *tribes of *Israel will receive a share of the country. All these shares will be the same size. The *tribe called Levi will not have a share. Their part will be in the *holy area. But the family of Joseph will be as two *tribes. Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. The 12 *tribes will include these two families. They will each receive a share.

In the *Old Testament, the *tribes selected their shares of the country. The *tribes called Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh took the country east of the Jordan River. But in this future time all the *tribes will be to the west of the Jordan River. They will not select their shares. God has fixed the share for each *tribe.

God has promised to give this country to the *Israelites (Genesis 15:18-21). They must make sure that each *tribe keeps its share of the country.

Verses 15-20 These verses mention the names of places on *Israel’s borders. These borders are similar to the ones that God gave to ancient *Israel (Numbers 34:3-12). But the names in these verses are the names of places when Ezekiel was alive. After many centuries, places often have new names. So, we do not know many of these places now.

The western border will be the Mediterranean Sea. The border to the east will be the Jordan River. The north border probably goes to the east from the mouth of the Litani River. The southern border reaches the ‘river of Egypt’. The ‘river of Egypt’ does not mean the river Nile. It means Wadi el Arish, which is at the border of *Israel and Egypt.

Verses 21-23 Foreigners who live in *Israel will also receive a share of the land. They will be as members of the *tribe among whom they live.

Chapter 48

The share of the country for 7 *tribes to the north – Ezekiel 48:1-7

v1 ‘Here is a list of the names of the *tribes.

The northern border is from the sea through Hethlon to Lebo Hamath. Then the border goes all the way to Hazar Enan. North of here is Damascus. The end of the border is next to Hamath.

Here Dan will have one share of land. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v2 South of Dan, Asher will have one share of land. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v3 South of Asher, Naphtali will have one share of land. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v4 South of Naphtali, Manasseh will have one share of land. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v5 South of Manasseh, Ephraim will have one share of land. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v6 South of Ephraim, Reuben will have one share of land. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v7 South of Reuben, Judah will have one share of land. It will go from the east side to the west side.’

Verses 1-7 To the north of the *holy area will be the shares of 7 of the *tribes. The shares are all the same size. Each share goes from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

The *holy area – Ezekiel 48:8-12

v8 ‘South of Judah will be the *holy area of land which you are to give to the *LORD. It will be 25 000 *cubits wide, and its length from east to west will be equal to one share of land for the *tribes. The *temple will be in the centre of it.

v9 The share that you will give to the *LORD will be 25 000 *cubits long and 10 000 *cubits wide. v10 This will be the *holy area for the priests. It will be 25 000 *cubits long on the north side. It will be 10 000 *cubits wide on the west side. It will be 10 000 *cubits wide on the east side. And it will be 25 000 *cubits long on the south side. The *temple of the *LORD will be in the centre of it. v11 This land is for the *holy priests who serve the *LORD. Their *ancestor is Zadok. These priests remained loyal to me. They did my work. They did not *turn away from me when the *Israelites and the *Levites *turned away from me. v12 They will have a special share in the *holy area of the land. It will be a very *holy share. It will be next to the land that belongs to the *Levites.’

Verses 8-12 To the south of Judah’s share there will be the *holy area of land. The total length of this area from east to west will be the same as the *tribe’s shares.

In this total area, there will be a square of 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres). From the north of this square 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometres) width is for the *Levites. The next 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometres) width is for the *Lord. The last 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometres) is for the city.

The *Lord’s share will be for the Zadok priests. They will live there. But in the centre of it will be the *temple area.

An area for the *Levites – Ezekiel 48:13-14

v13 ‘Next to the priests, the *Levites will have a share of land. It will be 25 000 *cubits long and 10 000 *cubits wide. The whole length shall be 25 000 *cubits and the width 10 000 *cubits. v14 They must not sell or trade any of this land. It is the best land. Nobody else can own a part of this land. It is *holy and it belongs to the *LORD.’

Verses 13-14 The share for the *Levites is to the north of the *holy area. They will not be able to sell any of this land. It must remain the property of the *Levites. The *Lord will be the actual owner of the land.

The extent of the city – Ezekiel 48:14-20

v15 ‘The rest of the area will be 5000 *cubits wide and 25 000 *cubits long. It will not be *holy but it will belong to the city. There will be houses and open areas with the city in the centre. v16 The city will be square. Each side will be 4500 *cubits long. v17 The city shall have open land. To the north of the city, it will be 250 *cubits. To the south of the city, it will be 250 *cubits. To the east of the city, it will be 250 *cubits. And to the west of the city, it will be 250 *cubits. v18 Along the long side of the *holy area there will be 10 000 *cubits on the east side. And there will be 10 000 *cubits on the west side. This land will be for agriculture. It will produce food for the workers in the city. v19 The workers from the city who farm it will come from all the *tribes of *Israel. v20 This whole area will be square, 25 000 *cubits on each side. You shall give to the *LORD the *holy share and the city land.’

Verses 14-20 South of the *holy area will be the 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometres) for the city. The city will be in a square of 1½miles (2.4 kilometres). This will be in the centre of this whole area. All round the city there will open ground 437½ feet (135 metres) wide. So, the city and its open ground make a square of 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometres). Beyond this square on each side, there will be land 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometres) by 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometres).

This land by the sides of the city area will be for farms. People from the *tribes will live in the city. Some of them will work here to provide food for the city.

The share of land for the prince – Ezekiel 48:21-22

v21 ‘Some land will remain on both sides of the *holy part and the city. This land will belong to the prince. That land will be from the east of the *holy area to the east border. And it will be from the west of the *holy area to the west border. Both of these areas will be as long as the lands of the *tribes. They belong to the prince. The *holy area will have the *temple in the middle of it. v22 The *Levites’ land and the city land will be in the middle of the prince’s land. The lands of the prince will be between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin.’

Verses 21-22 The land on both sides of the *holy area (this includes the city area) will belong to the prince. He is the leader, under *Messiah, of the *Israelites. He is from the family of David. And like David, he loves and serves the *Lord with all his heart. His lands will be 8.3 miles (13.4 kilometres) from north to south.

The share of the country for 5 *tribes to the south – Ezekiel 48:23-29

v23 ‘Here is what the rest of the *tribes will receive. Benjamin will have one share. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v24 South of Benjamin's land, Simeon will have one share. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v25 South of Simeon's land, Issachar will have one share. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v26 South of Issachar's land, Zebulun will have one share. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v27 South of Zebulun's land, Gad will have one share. It will go from the east side to the west side.

v28 The southern border of Gad's land will be towards the Negev. The border will go from Tamar to the waters called Meribah Kadesh. Then it will go along the river of Egypt to the Great Sea.

v29 This is the land that you will give to the *tribes of *Israel to be their shares.’ So says the *LORD your King.

Verses 23-29 To the south of the *holy area will be the shares of the other 5 *tribes. The shares are all the same size. Each share goes from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

Judah and Benjamin are next to the *holy area. This may be because these two *tribes were more loyal to the *temple than the other *tribes were.

The 12 *tribes come from the sons of Jacob. He had 8 sons by his two wives. Their shares will be next to the *holy area. To the north, there will be the shares for Judah, Reuben, and Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh). To the south, there will be the shares for Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar and Zebulun.

Also, Jacob had sons from the maids of his wives. Their shares will be furthest from the *holy area. To the north, there will be Naphtali, Asher and Dan. To the far south, there will be the share of Gad.

Because of their cruelty, Jacob *prophesied against Simeon and Levi. They did not receive shares in the time of Joshua. They lived among the other *tribes. But in the future Simeon’s *tribe will have a share. It will be equal to the shares of the other *tribes. And Levi’s *tribe will have their place in the *holy area.

So all the *tribes will be there. They will all have their proper place in the country. No *tribe will have more land than another *tribe. This may not be possible or practical by the present geography of *Israel. But many things in this world will change when Jesus the *Messiah returns. He will rule the world. And all his judgements will be fair and good.

The City with 12 gates – Ezekiel 48:30-35

v30 ‘These exits will be the exits of the city. The north side will be 4500 *cubits long. v31 There will be three gates on the north side. Each gate will have the name of a *tribe of *Israel. The gates on the north side will be the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah and the gate of Levi.

v32 The east side will be 4500 *cubits long. Here there will be three gates. They will be the gate of Joseph, the gate of Benjamin and the gate of Dan.

v33 The south side will be 4500 *cubits long. Here there will be three gates. They will be the gate of Simeon, the gate of Issachar and the gate of Zebulun.

v34 The west side will be 4500 *cubits long. Here there will be three gates. They will be the gate of Gad, the gate of Asher and the gate of Naphtali.

v35 The city shall be 18 000 *cubits round about. From that time, the name of the city will be “The *LORD is there.” ’

Verses 30-35 There will be three gates on each side of the city. The names of the gates will be the names of the *tribes.

The gates to the north will be Reuben, Judah and Levi. The gates to the east will be Joseph, Benjamin and Dan. Joseph was the father of Ephraim and Manasseh. So, Joseph’s name replaces their names here. The gates to the south will be Simeon, Issachar and Zebulun. The gates to the west will be Gad, Asher and Naphtali.

The gates to the north and the south have the names of Leah’s sons. She was one of Jacob’s wives. The gates to the east have the names of Rachel’s two sons and Dan. Rachel was the other wife of Jacob. Dan was the son of Rachel’s maid. The gates to the west have the names of Leah’s maid’s sons.

This city is for all the *Israelites. That is why the names of all the *tribes are on the gates.

For many centuries, the capital city of *Israel has been Jerusalem. That name means ‘the city of peace’. But the city has not often been peaceful. There have been many wars there. Only Jesus the *Messiah can bring about true peace that will last. And when he does, people from all the *tribes will live together peacefully in the capital city. And that city will have a new name, because the *Lord will be present with his people.

So, Ezekiel ends his *prophecy with the name of the city. Its name will be ‘the *Lord is there.’ The whole city, not just the *temple, has the *Lord’s name. This shows that there will be a new relationship between the *Lord and his people *Israel.

Word List

AD ~ years after Christ was born.

allegory ~ the words are not about actual things but are word pictures of a truth.

altar ~ the special table where people burn animals or offer other gifts to God or to false gods.

Ammonites ~ a person from the nation called Ammon or anything that has a relationship with Ammon.

Amorite ~ a person from one of the ancient *tribes that lived in the country called Canaan.

ancestors ~ people in history from whom your family has come.

angel ~ God’s special servants in heaven. God made angels to serve him and to take his messages.

Assyrians ~ a person from the nation called Assyria or anything that has a relationship with Assyria.

Babylonian ~ a person from the nation called Babylon or anything that has a relationship with Babylon.

barley ~ a type of grain crop.

bath ~ equal to 6 gallons.

BC ~ years before Christ was born.

beryl ~ a precious stone.

break ~ not to perform a promise; not to obey a law.

bronze ~ A brown metal. It glows when in a fire. It polishes well and it reflects the light. It is very strong.

bulls ~ the male farm animals which mate with cows.

burnt (*sacrifice) ~ a *sacrifice that the priests burned completely, as a gift to God.

cedar ~ a kind of tree.

Chaldeans ~ another name for the *Babylonians.

Cherethites ~ another name for the *Philistines.

cherub ~ a special *angel who was in the most holy place in the *temple.

cherubim ~ the group of *cherubs.

circumcise ~ to cut off skin from the end of a male’s private parts.

circumcision ~ the act or result when someone *circumcises a man.

clean ~ acceptable to God.

creatures ~ Things that are alive. In this Book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel saw 4 special creatures. Those 4 creatures are called the *cherubim.

crocodile ~ a very large animal that lives in and by water.

cubit ~ a length of about half a metre.

descendant ~ a later member of a family.

destroy ~ to carry out the most severe punishment possible; to cause someone to suffer; to kill everyone in a nation.

disaster ~ when something very bad happens.

doves ~ a type of bird.

drunk ~ a description of a person who has drunk too much alcohol.

dung ~ toilet matter (dirt) that we and animals pass from our bodies.

eagle ~ a very large and quick bird.

earthquake ~ When the earth shakes, that is an earthquake.

ebony ~ a very hard wood.

Edomite ~ a person from the nation called Edom or anything that has a relationship with Edom.

Egyptian ~ a person from the nation called Egypt or anything that has a relationship with Egypt.

elbow ~ where the lower part of a person’s arm joins to the upper arm.

ephah ~ equal to 22 litres.

eternal life ~ the life with God that will never end.

eternal state ~ the new heaven and the new earth that will never end.

exile ~ When people have to live in a foreign country they are in exile. Such a person is called an exile.

fall ~ when enemies destroy a city or a country; when a person dies suddenly.

gerah ~ equal to one 20th of an ounce.

glory ~ great honour and beauty.

grapes ~ fruit of a *vine (a climbing plant). You can make grapes into wine.

Hebrew ~ the language of *Israel.

hin ~ equal to one gallon.

Hittite ~ a person from one of the ancient *tribes that lived in the country called Canaan.

holy ~ a holy object is special; it is only for religion. God himself and his name are also called ‘holy’. This means that God and his name are perfect, in fact, even more than perfect.

homer ~ equal to 220 litres.

horns ~ hard bones on an animal’s head; a thing like a stick, with a point, that grows on the heads of cows and some sheep. On the corners of the *altar are things like horns, which are called the ‘horns of the *altar’.

incense ~ something that gives a sweet smell when it burns. The priests burned it when they praised God in the *temple.

Israel ~ Israel is the nation whose *ancestors were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The country in which they live is called Israel. Israel became the name of the northern nation when it separated from Judah. However, Ezekiel sometimes uses the word ‘Israel’ to refer to Judah.

Israelites ~ the people whose *ancestors are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

ivory ~ the white bony material from the face of an elephant.

Jews ~ another name for the *Israelites.

keep ~ to perform a promise or to obey a law.

kingdom ~ the place or territory where a king rules.

lead ~ a kind of metal.

Levites ~ members of the *tribe whose *ancestor is Levi, son of Jacob.

look-out ~ a person whose duty is to warn of danger.

Lord ~ a title for God, to show that he is over all people and things.

LORD ~ ‘LORD’ is the special name that God gave to himself. It probably means ‘always God’. This name has a relationship with the special promises that God gave to his people.

Messiah ~ The *Jews expect a king to come who will save them. That king, called the Messiah, will rule both them and all people.

millennium ~ the rule of Christ on the earth for 1000 years (Revelation chapter 20).

Moabite ~ a person from the nation called Moab or anything that has a relationship with that nation.

mina ~ equal to one and a quarter pounds in weight.

mules ~ animals like horses.

oak ~ a kind of tree.

Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible; the *holy things that the writers wrote before Jesus’ birth.

ox ~ a large and strong animal that farmers used.

Passover ~ the time of the year when the *Jews remember how God brought them out of Egypt.

Philistine ~ a person from the nation called Philistia or anything that has a relationship with that nation.

pour out (anger) ~ to act because of anger.

prophecy ~ a message from God; a gift of the Holy Spirit.

prophesy ~ to speak a *prophecy.

prophet ~ person who speaks for God. He can sometimes say what will happen in the future. However, false prophets are people who merely pretend to speak God’s words.

prostitute ~ a woman who receives payment when she offers her body for sex. There are also male prostitutes.

prostitution ~ what a *prostitute does.

repent ~ to change the mind; to *turn away from *sin and *turn to God.

ruined ~ the state of buildings and whole cities when armies destroy everything completely.

Sabbath ~ The Sabbath was the 7th day of the week. God told the *Israelites to keep it as a special day.

sacrifice ~ The priests killed a special animal and they burned it on an *altar. That animal was called a sacrifice. They offered a sacrifice when they asked God to forgive *sins. When Jesus died, he was the perfect sacrifice for our *sins. Animals or people whom God or other people kill for a purpose are also sacrifices (see Ezekiel 39:17). And people also made sacrifices to false gods.

sapphire ~ a precious stone.

satisfied ~ content; a description of a person who has had enough of something.

scorpion ~ a large insect that stings with its tail.

scroll ~ a book in the form of a long piece of material which one rolls up.

shekel ~ equal to 0.4 ounces (11 grams) in weight.

shepherd ~ someone who takes care of sheep.

shields ~ Soldiers carried these in their hands for protection in battle. They used them like covers, so that swords or other *weapons could not hit the body.

sin ~ Sin means the wrong things that we do. To sin is to do wrong, bad or evil deeds and not to obey God. People are called sinners because of their sins.

son of man ~ Ezekiel. ‘Son of man’ was the title that God used for Ezekiel. It emphasised that Ezekiel was a mere man. Ezekiel would have to depend on God’s Spirit to make him strong. Only then could Ezekiel do what God told him to do.

spears ~ long sticks with sharp ends that soldiers used as *weapons of war.

spices ~ a vegetable substance with a sweet flavour or a strong smell. People use spices in food or as *incense.

stubborn ~ to have an attitude that will not change.

sulphur ~ Sulphur is a chemical. A fire that burns with sulphur is extremely hot. And sulphur burns with an awful smell.

temple ~ a special building for the *worship of God or other gods. The *Jews had one in Jerusalem for the *worship of the real God.

thorn bush ~ a thorn is a sharp bit on a bush.

throne ~ the special chair for the king.

tribe ~ The *Israelites were divided into the 12 families of the sons of Jacob. These families are the 12 tribes of *Israel.

trumpet ~ a musical instrument. A trumpet makes a loud sound when a person blows into it.

turn ~ to change your behaviour, your friends, or your God; or, to carry out actions in order to oppose someone.

turquoise ~ a precious stone.

umbilical cord ~ that which joins a baby to its mother; someone must cut it after the birth.

unclean ~ unfit for sacred purposes. Unclean food is food that the *Jews should not eat because of their religion. When the *temple was unclean, it was not right for the *worship of God.

vine ~ a plant on which *grapes grow.

vision ~ something that God shows to a person but not with the physical sight. Visions are often in the form of dreams.

weapon ~ a tool of war. People use weapons for attack or defence when they fight. For example, swords, *spears or (today) guns.

willow ~ a kind of tree.

wolves ~ wild animals that are similar to large dogs.

worship ~ an act to give honour to God (or to a false god). When people praise and thank God.

yeast ~ When one bakes bread, yeast causes it to rise.

Book List

Ralph H Alexander in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

Leslie C Allen in the Word Biblical Commentary

Charles Lee Feinberg – The Prophecy of Ezekiel

H L Ellison – Ezekiel the Man and his Message

Bibles: NIV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NCV, ASV, CEV, GNB, GW, KJV, LITV, MKJV.

 

© 2008, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

August 2008

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.info