September 17, 2021
"On his way out, he measured the thickness of the wall of the house at ten-and-a-half feet (at ground level), and the width of all the side-rooms surrounding the house..."
“On his way out, he measured the thickness of the wall of the house at ten-and-a-half feet (at ground level), and the width of all the side-rooms surrounding the house, seven feet (at ground level). There were three floors of side-rooms, thirty on each floor, and the wall around the house was terraced so that the side rooms rested on the terraces and were not supported on the vertical parts of the wall.” Ezekiel 41:5-6
The Temple was used for storing all kinds of treasures, including money (offerings), cups, bowls, silverware, candlesticks, and incense burners. These needed storage areas, and so, as in Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6:5-10), Ezekiel’s Temple provides for chambers (side rooms) on all three sides of the Temple. Some of the features are worth noting:
1) Its Perfection: It is no coincidence that the temple area and its courtyards measured a hundred cubits square. The dimensions of the entire temple area, including the outer courtyard, are said to have been five hundred cubits square. Everything about God’s plan for the future worship of His people is perfection. The meticulous care over the design of this structure, given in a way that Ezekiel’s listeners would readily appreciate, was meant to convey how carefully He plans every detail.
2) Its Purpose: The entire function of this elaborate building was to facilitate the worship of God. As such, it provided a place where God was to come and take up residence. It had been David’s longing to provide a place for God to dwell that would prove to be a house of prayer for his sons and the whole of Israel. Isaiah expanded on this intent to include people of all nations. (Isaiah 56:6-7)
3) Its Beauty: The interior of the Temple was wood-paneled, and many surfaces were adorned with intricate carvings of cherubim – no doubt reminding the onlooker of divine things. Also, Ezekiel saw images of palm trees – perhaps, reminding them of an oasis, something appreciated in the hot Middle Eastern desert climate. Maybe, the trees were symbols of Eden: In chapter 47, Ezekiel describes the Sanctuary as containing the river and trees of life.
4) Its Symbolism: The main temple worship event consisted of the sacrifice of “burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings.” Every detail of its architecture was intended to reinforce that this building was designed to take away sin and present the sinner with a way to approach the “Holy One of Israel.” The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that both the Sanctuary and the Temple were meant to be “copies” of Heavenly realities. Ezekiel is describing the glorious future of the people of God in terms that the Jews of Ezekiel’s day (and any future generation who reads God’s Word) would understand.