Ezekiel Chapter 43
Ezekiel 43:1 “Afterward he brought me to the gate, [even] the gate that looketh toward the east:”
This vision continues at the eastern gate. He had just finished viewing the measurements in the temple, and now He brings Ezekiel to the east gate to witness the entering in of the glory of God.
Ezekiel 43:2 “And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice [was] like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.”
In earlier chapters of this prophecy, emphasis was given to the departure of God’s glory from the temple (in chapters 8-11). Thus, the Lord abandoned His people to destruction and dispersion. Here, in the millennial temple, the glory of God returns to dwell.
His glory will be manifest in fullness in the future kingdom, after the Lord’s Second Advent, which is also to be glorious (Matthew 16:27; 25:31).
(Verses 1-12), describe God’s glorious entrance into the sanctuary.
“Came from … the east”: The glory had been in the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35), and the temple (1 Kings 8:10-11), though not in Zerubbabel’s temple. Here, the Lord returns to be Israel’s King. The glory departed to the East from (Israel, 11:23), when God judged them, so the glory returns from the East when He has regathered them, and is restoring that worship.
God is the source of all Light. The light we see in the sun and moon are not the source of Light. They are containers we see light in. This Light, spoken of here, is so bright, it would cause anyone not to see the source.
The “noise of many waters” is the voice of God. It is, many times, spoken of as thunder. This Light led the children of Israel across the wilderness. This Light does away with all darkness.
John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
This presence of light and glory of God entered into the temple that Solomon built. This is a promise of God, His presence will be with them.
Matthew 24:27 “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Ezekiel 43:3 “And [it was] according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, [even] according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions [were] like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.”
The vision appearance of God to Ezekiel is glorious, just as the vision (in chapters 8-11), which pictures His coming, by angels, to judge Jerusalem (9:3-11; 10:4-7).
“Like the vision … by the river Chebar”: God’s appearance is also glorious as in the vision of (1:3-28).
“I fell upon my face”: Just as in the other visions of God’s glory (1:28; 9:8; Rev. 1:12-17). This presence of God has an awe inspiring effect on Ezekiel. He fell on his face before the presence of God.
Ezekiel 43:4 “And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect [is] toward the east.”
We saw, just before the fall of Jerusalem, that the presence of the Lord went out this very same gate. He had judged Jerusalem, and the temple would be destroyed. This same God who judged it then, now comes back full of forgiveness and grace.
Ezekiel 43:5 “So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.”
Ezekiel, in this vision, is shown the glory of the LORD coming into the Most Holy Place and taking up residence.
The future kingdom glory of God will fill His temple (Zech. 2:5), as He filled the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34) and later Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:11; Psalm 29:9).
Ezekiel 43:6 “And I heard [him] speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.”
We read earlier of this voice that accompanied the glory of the Lord. It is loud, sounding like thunder. He is not speaking to the great masses here. He is speaking specifically to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 43:7 “And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, [neither] they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.”
“The place of the soles of my feet”, many times, was speaking of the place of the Arc of the Covenant. This is the throne that God has on the earth. It had always been the desire of the LORD to dwell with the children of Israel. He wanted to be their God, and for them to be His people.
“The place of my throne”: The king of Glory (Psalm 24:7-10), claims the millennial temple as His place to dwell. There will be no more human, un-resurrected people in the kingdom who entered when Christ returned and destroyed all the wicked. They will worship at this actual temple.
They had brought their idols into the temple in the past, but that would be no more. God loves to fellowship with His people. This is a new covenant of love.
Verses 8-9: The future temple will be most holy, protected from
- Harlotry such as the Israelites had engaged in (2 Kings 23:7);
- Defiling tombs of kings that Israel had allowed in the sacred temple area (Ezekiel 21:18-27; this has to do with divination).
Ezekiel 43:8 “In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.”
Even The huge, thick wall could not keep the idols they had in their own quarters from coming to the notice of God. Of course the people here, are the Israelites. They lived physically near where the very presence of God dwelled in the Most Holy Place.
God wanted to be with them all the time. Their unfaithfulness to Him brought the separation.
Ezekiel 43:9 “Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.”
We have seen over and over, the indication that God thought of Israel as His wife. When they worshipped false gods, or had idols, they committed spiritual adultery. They were unfaithful to God. He wants them to be His wife, but He wants them to be faithful to Him. If they will be faithful to Him, He will dwell with them forever.
Kings, in the sense it is used in the verse above, is speaking of idols.
Verses 10-12: Here is the key to the entire vision (of chapters 40-48). These glorious future plans show how much Israel forfeited by their sins. Every detail should produce repentance in Ezekiel’s hearers and readers.
Ezekiel 43:10 “Thou son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.”
These exact measurements of the temple, they were shown by Ezekiel, would show them of the perfection of God. This new temple in Ezekiel’s vision had no silver (redemption), in it. It had no gold (pureness of God), in it either. It did become acceptable to God. His presence in the wheels came back into the Most Holy Place.
Ezekiel 43:11 “And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write [it] in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.”
True repentance is turning from the old sinful way of life, and turning back to God which brings good morals. Christians call it being born again of the spirit, and not of the flesh. One way to tell who belongs to God and who does not, is look at who obeys Him.
This is what the verse above is saying. If they have repented, they will keep His ordinances. It is as if He is telling Ezekiel to show them the house, and see if they want to live up to its perfection.
Ezekiel 43:12 “This [is] the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about [shall be] most holy. Behold, this [is] the law of the house.”
We saw in a previous lesson, that almost a mile square around the house of God was to be holy. No vile thing was to come inside of that area. This whole mountain would be holy, because of the presence of God upon the mountain.
Verses 13-27 “The altar”: The measurements of the altar of burnt offering are given (in verses 13-17), and then the offerings are described (in verses 18-27). These offerings are not efficacious, nor were the Old Testament sacrifices. They were all symbolic of death for sin. They do not take away sin (Heb. 10:4). They were prospective; these will be retrospective.
Ezekiel 43:13 “And these [are] the measures of the altar after the cubits: The cubit [is] a cubit and a hand breadth; even the bottom [shall be] a cubit, and the breadth a cubit, and the border thereof by the edge thereof round about [shall be] a span: and this [shall be] the higher place of the altar.”
This cubit is peculiar in that it is a cubit and a hand breadth (which is 21.648 inches). A span is (10.9 inches). It appears this is (21.648 inches wide with a border on it of 10.9 inches). This must be speaking of the top where the sacrifice is made.
It appears the piece mentioned here is like a square pan that the sacrifice is placed on and it has a lip of (10.9 inches), holding it in place.
Ezekiel 43:14 “And from the bottom [upon] the ground [even] to the lower settle [shall be] two cubits, and the breadth one cubit; and from the lesser settle [even] to the greater settle [shall be] four cubits, and the breadth [one] cubit.”
This seems to be in layers the first area closest to the ground is two cubits tall. If we are using the cubit plus a hand span, this is about (43 inches in depth). If this is a regular cubit it would be (36 inches tall). This would probably be (21.648 inches wide). From the lesser to the greater settle would be either (72 inches or about 86 inches), according to which cubit you use. The breadth is the same as the other.
Ezekiel 43:15 “So the altar [shall be] four cubits; and from the altar and upward [shall be] four horns.”
The 4 horns extending upward from the altar symbolize strength. The 72 (or about 86 inches), is actually the height of the entire altar.
Ezekiel 43:16 “And the altar [shall be] twelve [cubits] long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof.”
If these are the regular 18 inch cubit, the altar is (18 feet long). It will also be (18 feet broad). The lower settle could symbolize the mount of God, and the upper settle could be speaking of the hearth of God. At any rate, this is where the sacrifice is made.
Ezekiel 43:17 “And the settle [shall be] fourteen [cubits] long and fourteen broad in the four squares thereof; and the border about it [shall be] half a cubit; and the bottom thereof [shall be] a cubit about; and his stairs shall look toward the east.”
Again, using the (18 inch cubit), this would be (21 feet by 21 feet square). There is a small border that goes around it. This is so tall, that stairs must be climbed to offer the sacrifice.
Ezekiel 43:18 “And he said unto me, Son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; These [are] the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, to offer burnt offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood thereon.”
These Israelites, who had been in captivity, had lost all contact with the ordinances of the temple and the altar. The sprinkling of blood was an important part of the worship. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. It was the shed blood of Jesus Christ which atoned for our sins.
Ezekiel 43:19 “And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord GOD, a young bullock for a sin offering.”
“Seed of Zadok” (see 40:46 and 44:10).
“A young bullock for a sin offering”: Exact offerings, in language just as definitive as the literal descriptions in Moses’ day, are also just as literal here. They are of a memorial nature; they are not efficacious any more than Old Testament sacrifices were.
As Old Testament sacrifices pointed forward to Christ’s death, so these are tangible expressions, not competing with, but pointing back to the value of Christ’s completely effective sacrifice, once for all (Heb. 9:28; 10:10).
God at that time endorsed Old Testament offerings as tokens of forgiving and cleansing worshipers on the basis and credit of the great Lamb they pointed to, who alone could take away sins (John 1:29).
The tangible expressions of worship, which the Israelites for so long failed to offer validly (Isaiah 1:11-15), will at last be offered acceptably, then with full understanding about the Lamb of God to whom they point. The bread and the cup, which believers today find meaningful, do not compete with Christ’s cross but are tangible memorials of its glory. So will these sacrifices be.
The individual brought the sacrificial animal to the priest to be sacrificed. Zadok is mentioned because they all remember him and his ancestry. This is saying, leave the ministry in the temple to the family God had chosen out to do it.
Ezekiel 43:20 “And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put [it] on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it.”
This spreading of the blood on the horns is a cleansing for the altar. “Horns” signify strength.
Ezekiel 43:21 “Thou shalt take the bullock also of the sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house, without the sanctuary.”
This is the same thing as the sin offering being burned completely up without the camp. This symbolizes the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus being outside the city wall. He was our sin offering, if we are Christians.
Ezekiel 43:22 “And on the second day thou shalt offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they did cleanse [it] with the bullock.”
All of the preparations would be the same for this offering, as for the bullock. The he-goat was an offering for a ruler who sinned. The earthly priests and High Priest in the temple had to sacrifice for their own sins, as well as for the people’s sin. Jesus, our High Priest was without sin. His crucifixion was not for His own sin, but for ours.
Ezekiel 43:23 “When thou hast made an end of cleansing [it], thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish.”
There must next, be a burnt offering dedicated to God. All of these offerings are following the laws in Leviticus. See our lessons on Leviticus for greater detail about the meaning of the offerings. Notice, all these offerings must be without blemish. This burning, as we said earlier, is for purging or cleansing.
Ezekiel 43:24 “And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up [for] a burnt offering unto the LORD.”
As the sin offering is a part of future millennial worship (verse 19), so there are other offerings also (Lev. 1-7). The burnt offering, denoting full consecration to God is one; the peace offering expressing gratitude for peace with God in covenant bonds is another (verse 27).
“Salt” is a preservative. It symbolizes the saving of the relationship with God. The priests actually do the fundamental work of sacrifice for the people.
Ezekiel 43:25 “Seven days shalt thou prepare every day a goat [for] a sin offering: they shall also prepare a young bullock, and a ram out of the flock, without blemish.”
These seven days speak of spiritual completeness. The eighth day would speak of a new beginning, old sins gone, and starting all over again in right standing with God.
“Without blemish”: Commemorative of Christ’s unblemished perfection.
Ezekiel 43:26 “Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves.”
These seven days symbolizes a separation from the world to the duties God would have them do. It is a time of preparation. When this time is over, the altar will be purified. More than that, they will be purged of their sins, and dedicated to the work God has for them to do.
Ezekiel 43:27 “And when these days are expired, it shall be, [that] upon the eighth day, and [so] forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD.”
The most beautiful statement here is that God will accept them. When they were living in spiritual adultery, just before their capture by Babylon, God had refused their offerings. They offered, but He refused. Now, they have been restored to fellowship with God.
When they have come to this eighth day of new beginnings, God will accept their offerings again. He will be their God. He has forgiven them, and allowed them to begin again.
Ezekiel Chapter 43 Questions
1. This vision of Ezekiel’s brought __________ to the Israelites.
2. What gate did He take Ezekiel to in verse 1?
3. Describe the presence of God in verse 2.
4. ________ is the source of all Light.
5. What are the sun and moon?
6. What is the “noise of many waters”?
7. What had Ezekiel seen at Chebar?
8. What effect does this presence of God have on Ezekiel?
9. Why did the glory of God come in by the eastern gate?
10. In the inner court, what did Ezekiel see?
11. What does the voice of the LORD sound like?
12. “The place of the soles of my feet” sometimes means the place of the ________ ___ ____ ______.
13. Why had God been so angry with them?
14. God thought of Israel as His _________.
15. What would these exact measurements of the temple show the people of God?
16. What were two things missing from this temple in Ezekiel’s vision?
17. What is true repentance?
18. What do Christians call it?
19. Why would the whole mountain be holy?
20. What is different about the cubit in verse 13?
21. How big is a span?
22. What do the four horns symbolize?
23. Why are stairs mentioned in verse 17?
24. In verse 19, the young bullock was for a _______ offering.
25. Why is Zadok mentioned in verse 19?
26. Why was the blood used on the horns?
27. Why was the bullock burned outside the sanctuary?
28. Why did they sacrifice a He-goat?
29. “Salt” is a ____________.
30. How many days should they purge the altar and purify it?
31. What day shall the priests begin the making of burnt offerings on the altar?
32. What is the most beautiful statement in verse 27?