The Revelation Given to John by Jesus Through the Angel
Revelation 11:1, 2
The second doom started with the sixth trumpet. In chapter 11 John, and we, are given more information about the time of the second doom, and how it affects the un-repentant world (un-saved individuals). Yahweh has appointed us as ambassadors to warn our friends and neighbors to flee to Yeshua from the wrath to come.
John is given a measuring rod[i] and told to measure the Temple[ii], the Alter, and everyone worshiping there. Perhaps he doesn’t tell us what the measurements are because they are recorded in Ezekiel.
In the sixth century before Christ (the advent of Mashiach) Israel was invaded by Babylon and Yahweh used this catastrophe to show his people, through Ezekiel, that he was sovereign over the wreckage and would create a new people.
As the writer to the Hebrews wrote years later, the new plan was perfected through the death of Yeshua Ha Mashiach. The old plan[iii] contained directions for perfection, but the new plan[iv] guarantees perfection through Yeshua.
Yahweh showed Ezekiel the perfect temple and told him to listen carefully and pay close attention so he could tell Israel. Did you know that you are Israel? You have been grafted into the primary root of the tree of Israel[v].
Yahweh told Ezekiel to draw a picture so that we can “see the design and meaning and live by its design and intent[vi]. He said, “this is the law of the temple: As it radiates from the top of the mountain, everything around it becomes holy ground. Yes, this is the law, the meaning, of the temple.” The temple was to be built on a high mountain, in a territory of the priests at a distance from Jerusalem and its property, bordering Judah from east to west.
The wall around the temple complex measured 10[vii]feet thick and 10 feet high.
The East Gate[viii]: Seven steps up to the Outside Threshold which was 10 feet deep. There were alcoves[ix]flanking[x]the gate corridor 10 feet square; each was separated by a wall 7 ½ feet thick. The Inside Threshold that led to the porch facing into the temple courtyard was 10 feet deep. The Inside Porch was 12 feet deep flanked by pillars3 feet thick. The porch opened into the temple courtyard. Inside the East-gate complex there were three alcoves on each side just like the ones that flanked the gate corridor. The outside entrance was 15 feet wide and 19 ½ feet deep. In front of each alcove was an 18 inch wall. The gate complex measured 37 ½ feet from the edge of one alcove roof to the other. The inside walls of the gate complex were 90 feet to the porch leading into the courtyard, and from the entrance to the far end of the porch was 75 feet. The windows faced upwards and the door-jambs were decorated with palm trees[xi]. The out-side courtyard had 30 rooms and the distance to the front of the entrance gateway to the entrance of the inner-court was 150 feet.
There were three alcoves on each side of the north side. The gate-posts and porch were equal to the ones on the east side porch; 87 ½ by 34 ¾ feet. There was a distance between the inner and outer north gate-posts of 175 feet. The south side was the same as the east and north.
The entrance hall of each gate complex leading to the inside courtyard was 43 ¾ by 8 ¾ feet. Each faced the outside courtyard. Palm trees were carved on the door posts and there were eight[xii]steps up to each entrance hall (vestibule). The vestibule had a room with a door where the burnt offerings were cleaned. There were two tables against the outside walls, four[xiii] inside and four outside; eight in all. They were for slaughtering the sacrificial animals. They were 39 ½ inches square and 21 inches high. Meat hooks 3 inches long were fastened to the walls.
At the point where the inside complex opened to the outside courtyard [xiv]where two rooms – one on the north-side faced south, and one on the south-side faced north. The north room – facing south – was for the priests in charge of the temple. The south room – facing north – was for the priests in charge of the alter: all sons of Zadok[xv]. The key to Zadok’s service was loyalty.
The inner courtyard formed a perfect square – 175 feet square – the shape of perfect holiness. The alter was at its geometric center, the place of sacrifice.
The gate-posts of the porch were 8 ¾ feet high on both sides. The entrance was 25 feet wide with walls 4 ½ feet thick. The vestibule (narthex) was 35 feet wide and 21 feet deep. There were ten (the signature of worldly power) steps up to the porch. Columns flanked the gate-posts.
Each door post of the temple was 10 ½ feet thick and the entrance was 17 ½ feet wide with 8 ¾ thick walls. The sanctuary was 75 by 35 feet. The door-posts at the entrance of the sanctuary were 3 ½ feet thick. The entrance was 10 ½ feet wide with 24 ¼ thick walls. The inside sanctuary was 35 feet square at the end of the main sanctuary: The Holy of Holies. The wall of the temple was 10 ½ feet thick. The rooms around the side of the temple were 7 feet wide. There were three floors of rooms, with 30 rooms on each. Free standing supporting beams around the temple the temple wall held up the side rooms. The rooms became wider with each floor. Each floor was assessable through a staircase. The foundation of the side rooms was a 10 ½ foot raised base around the temple. The rooms outside walls were 8 ¾ feet thick. There was a 35 feet wide open strip around the temple with an entrance to the side rooms on the north and on the south. There was 8 ¾ feet of open space all around.
A 122 ½ feet wide house with walls 8 ¾ feet thick faced the temple courtyard. The length of the house and walls was 175 ½ feet. The breadth of the front of the temple and the open area to the east was 175 feet. The house facing the courtyard, at the back of the temple – including the shelters on either side was 175 feet. It was a perfect square.
We are going to skip some of the measurements and come back to them when we study the thousand year reign of Mashiach. Yahweh told Ezekiel to tell the people of Israel (of whom you are a part) about the temple so they will be dismayed by their wayward ways[xvi], “yes, this is the law, the meaning of the temple.” The writer of the letter to the Hebrews reminded us Yahweh had said the priests should so their work exactly as Moses saw it on the Mountain; however, what Yeshua did far surpassed what the priests did since he worked from a far better plan. If the old plan had worked out a second wouldn’t have been needed; but, what the law could not do, because of the weakness of human flesh, Yahweh did by sending his Son in the likeness of human flesh condemned sin in the flesh when he was crucified, buried and conquered death once and for all by emerging triumphant from the grave. The old plan pointed to perfection; the new plan is perfection.[xvii]
The only other thing I want to mention about Ezekiel’s temple measurements right now is that the steps of the alter ascend from the east to the west – from the direction of the rising Son.
To be continued
[i] The Westminster Study Bible, page 472, says to measure is a symbolic action denoting protection from harm. From the Archaeological Study Bible says, “reed refers to a bamboo-like cane that often reached a height of 20 inches (6m) and grew in abundance in the waters along the banks of the Jordan. Straight and light, the reed was a convenient measuring rod (see Ezekiel 40:3 and Zachariah 2:12). From Barkley, page 65: The measuring of the temple is for protection. The narrative has changed from present to past tense. He says this chapter “contains a deliberate summery of the rest of the book. A rod was 6 cubits, about 9 feet. Measuring was used in preparation for (restoration) building and as a preparation for destruction” – here, he says – it is used for the protection of Yahweh’s people. This was a reminder of what happened in 70 A.D. The Temple is the people of Yahweh (I Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:20, 21; I Corinthians 3:16; II Corinthians 6:16).
[ii] Ibid, says the temple of Yahweh is sometimes taken to mean the actual Temple in Jerusalem: and sometimes (and probably in this case because it includes “and they that worship therein”) it is a symbol of the Church and faithful Christians.
[iii] Hebrews 9
[iv] Hebrews 7:20-22; 8:1,2
[v] Romans 11:16-20
[vi] Ezekiel 43:11
[vii] The number of worldly power
[viii] Note in the Archaeological Study Bible, page 620
[ix] An alcove is an arch, vault, doom; a recessed section of a house
[x] On each side of
[xi] Archaeological Study Bible, page 620 note
[xii] The number of new beginnings
[xiii] The Archaeological Study Bible, page 1730, note on verse 38
[xiv] The Westminster Study Bible, page 472, note on verse 2: “The outer court, then, represents the half-hearted or unfaithful, and the holy city the world, which is God’s (Ps 24) but in which the powers of evil hold temporary sway.” From the Archaeological Study Bible: “The outer court was the court of the gentiles, encompassing approximately 25 acres.”
[xv] Ibid, note on Ezekiel 44:15
[xvi] Ezekiel 43:1-12
[xvii] Hebrews 9:23; 10:14; ephesians 2