Christian Biblical Reflections.30

(Christian Biblical Reflections.29. Here is submission or part 30 of CBR, pages 320-374 , of the Book of Ezekiel. mjmselim.Dec.2019.)
Here is the Link in my OneDrive to the Adobe, Word 635, & WordPad files of the completed Major Prophets Chapter IV. These files will show the original format of the work, which is not able to be replicated in WordPress. I have also put the two files, pdf & word of volume 1 in the folder. In Ezekiel of have used the colored texts more frequent than in Isaiah or Jeremiah, as very helpful to follow the prophetic word of the Son of Man. I have again gone through the chapter to correct errors. I had circulated a few weeks ago a Chronological Chart of 100 years to answer I question sent to me; that chart I fond later had many errors, and some of a serious kind; they are corrected in this completed work. I encourage those who I sent the chart to replace it with what is in this work.
I tried to complete the work by December 7th, my 50th year in Christ. I expect to finish Daniel & the 12 Minor Prophets (Chapter V, the last chapter of the Old Testament Books) within 3 months. If my health permits in the will & grace of God I would like to finish the entire New Testament within 6 months after chapter 5. I have again altered my style in Ezekiel as a necessity. I have tried to limit any speculative comments or views from this Book.

CBR files in PDF & Word:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgcwUEJ0moRUg_Ua3IHBwOxi9NWARA?e=2b3BsD

Here is the link to my Internet Archive.org library page for those interested:
https://archive.org/details/@mikemjm

 

 

(7) Holy Bible in Authorized Version; with Introductions & Notes. vol. 5 Part II, Jer, Lam, Ezekiel, by Chr., Wordsworth, D.D., Bishop of Lincoln. Old Testament. (1875)gs

Introduction: Book of Prophet Ezekiel: The names of the Hebrew prophets have a sacred significance. Of the four greater prophets, two prophesied at Jerusalem —Isaiah and Jeremiah; and two prophesied in Babylonia —Ezekiel and Daniel. The names of the two who prophesied at Jerusalem, Isaiah and Jeremiah, are compounded with the divine Name JAH or JEHOVAH, the appellation of God as the Lord of the covenanted people, Israel. The names of the other two prophets, Ezekiel and Daniel, who prophesied in the land of Babylon —the great Empire of the world as distinguished from Sion, the Church of God,— are compounded with the sacred Name EL, which designates God in His universal supremacy as Creator and Ruler of all things, and which bears the same relation to ELOHIM, as JAH does to JEHOVAH. This assignment of names to these four great Hebrew seers was providential. As has been already observed, Jeremiah reiterates and authenticates the words of Isaiah; and, as may readily be shown, not only did the prophet Daniel, at Babylon and at Susa, study the Book of Jeremiah and refer to it in his own prophecies, and act upon the revelations made therein, and thus set his own seal upon the writings of Jeremiah, but the prophecies of Ezekiel also are like a responsive echo to those of Jeremiah. Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel were Priests as well as Prophets. Jeremiah is the prophet of the tenderest affections, Ezekiel is the prophet of the most fervid imagination; Jeremiah is more than the Euripides, Ezekiel is more than the AEschylus, of Hebrew prophecy. Ezekiel, at the river Chebar in northern Mesopotamia, bore witness to the divine utterances which came from Jeremiah at Jerusalem. The prophet Jeremiah at Jerusalem was set there by God to be a faithful witness in an evil generation: “I have made thee to be a defenced city, an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, the princes, and the priests, and the people of the land.” And to the prophet Ezekiel, among the Hebrew captives in Babylonia, God said, “Behold, I have made thy face strong against their face, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads; as an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead; fear them not, neither be dismayed.” The two prophets stood like two opposite cliffs hanging over intervening straits —such as Calpe and Abyla, or Sestos and Abydos,— confronting one another, rising above the swell of the ocean, and dashed upon by a stormy sea rolling between them. This phenomenon displays a truth which ought ever to be present to the mind of the student of Hebrew prophecy. All the prophets, in whatever time and in whatever land they lived, prophesied by one and the same Spirit; and, as St. Peter affirms, that Spirit was the Spirit of CHRIST. St. Peter says that the prophets “searched diligently, what the ‘Spirit of Christ’, which was in them, did signify, when it testified beforehand the ‘sufferings of Christ’ and the glory that should follow’.” This apostolic sentence is the clue to all right prophetic interpretation. The Spirit in all the prophets was the Spirit of Christ, and it testified of His sufferings, and of the glory that would follow from them. This truth is displayed in the names, persons, and prophecies of the four greater Hebrew prophets. Isaiah, which means the ‘salvation of Jehovah’, is the first Hebrew prophet who calls the Messiah ‘the servant of the Lord’; and he sets before us more clearly than any other of his predecessors the Passion of Christ. Jeremiah, as we have seen, is the prophet of ‘suffering’, and his prophecies are followed by a national dirge in his Lamentations. He is the type of the ‘Christus patiens’. But Ezekiel is the prophet of the ‘glory’ that would follow the suffering. The prophecies of Ezekiel are introduced with a revelation of glory. He himself a priest, called to his prophetic office at the river Chebar in his ‘thirtieth’ (30th) year (Ezekiel 1:1: Ezekiel began to prophesy on the fifth day of the fourth month of the fifth (5th) year of the captivity at Babylon of King Jehoiachin or Jeconiah (B.C. 595); the fifth (5th) year of his successor, Zedikiah; and about seven years (7) before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, in the thirteenth (13th) year of Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 588) Ezekiel continued to prophesy for at least twenty-two (22) years. See 29:17; 40:1) and designated by God throughout his prophecies as ‘son of man’, (which no Hebrew prophet who prophesied at Jerusalem ever is); and seeing the heavens opened, and beholding visions of God’s glory, is a signal type of the Incarnate God, “the Son of Man,” standing in His thirtieth (30th) year, at the river Jordan, and inaugurated there as Prophet, Priest, and King, when, the Gospel says, “the heavens opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him, and lo! a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’.”
Jeremiah’s prophecies begin and end with a vision of suffering; Ezekiel’s prophecies begin and end with a vision of glory. The last nine chapters of Ezekiel describe the visionary Temple and the ideal Holy Land, in a mysterious transfiguration, and are prophetic representations of the grace and glory of the Catholic Church of Christ, and are like a prelude to the visions of the Apocalypse, and the splendours of the Church glorified in heaven. His brother prophet, Daniel, at Babylon completes this glorious picture, by his descriptions of the Second Coming of Christ, and the general Resurrection, and the Judgment of quick and dead, and the bliss of the saints in glory. And thus these two great Prophets of the Exile and the Captivity of Israel are also the two great prophets of the everlasting peace and heavenly joy of the Church or Christ. The sufferings of Christ as revealed by Isaiah and Jeremiah, the two greatest prophets who prophesied at Jerusalem, and whose names are compounded with the sacred appellation of JAH or Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel, the God of the Hebrew Church, lead on by a beautiful transition to the glories of Christ, which followed those sufferings, and which are revealed in Ezekiel and Daniel, who prophesied in a heathen land, and whose names, —one, that of Ezekiel, referring to the ‘strength’ of ‘God’, and the other, that of Daniel, to the ‘judgment’ of ‘God’, —are compound with EL, the Hebrew designation of God the Creator in His Universal Supremacy, and Who unfolded in their prophecies the gracious assurance that although the material Jerusalem was levelled in the dust, and though the Church of God was in exile and captivity, hanging up its harp on the willows which overhung the waters of Babylon, yet the ‘glory of the Lord’ can never fall away, nay, it gleams forth more brightly from the gloom of sorrow and suffering, it derives fresh life from death; and a new creation from destruction. Although banished from Jerusalem, it is diffused into the heathen world, which has become a temple and city of God, and is a place of preparatory probation for the Church glorified in heaven.
Ezekiel, whose prophetic designation is “son of man,” is the priest and prophet, not of the Temple and City of Jerusalem, but of the spiritual Temple or Universal Humanity. This is his great value: he catholicizes Hebraism. He leads us on to contemplate and adore the Lord God of the Old Testament in all the breadth and depth and height of His divine attributes, as Universal Father and Saviour of all.
Observe how he displays God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience. A short time before the destruction of Jerusalem, Ezekiel, the captive prophet in exile on the banks of the river Chebar, being severed, at a distance of more than 400 miles on the north-east from Jerusalem, was enabled, by the Holy Spirit, to behold and to describe the strange mysteries of impure worship which were celebrated in the secret chambers and dark crypts of the Temple there; his inner eye was illumined by the Spirit of God, and he was enabled to specify by name the men who were standing there with censers in their hand, and raising a thick cloud of incense, through the misty veil of which he descried the vermilion paintings on the wall, of grotesque figures of creeping things and abominable creatures of Egyptian idolatry in the chambers of their imagery; he was enabled to see the women mimicking the ritual of Phoenicia and weeping for the Syrian Thammuz, or Adonis, in the courts of the Lord God of Israel; and he saw the men between the porch and the altar in Sion turning their backs on the Temple of Jehovah, and bowing down their heads in lowly adoration to worship the rising sun. The prophet Ezekiel, dwelling in exile in Babylon, was also enabled to foresee and describe the scene of that last fatal night of Jerusalem besieged by the Chaldaean army, when the last king of Judah, Zedekiah, who had mocked the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah, stole secretly out of his palace with a few attendants, and passed along through the gate between the two walls which were by the king’s garden, with his face muffled up in his mantle, and was caught, as it were, in a net, with his companions, by his Chaldaean enemies in the plain of Jericho.
Not merely was Ezekiel enabled to see these things, and to describe them, but he was commanded to show his faith in his own inspiration by enacting them in the presence of the captives in Babylon. He was commanded to portray the siege of Jerusalem by a picture drawn with chalk on a dark brick of Babylon, and to represent it a blockade by visible actions; and he was commanded to show his faith in his own revelations from God, by removing his own furniture from his own house in Babylonia in the dim twilight, as a token that Zedekiah, the king of Judah, would in like manner go forth in the dusk of the evening from his palace; and he was ordered to declare the meaning of these prophetic actions to those who were with him in Chaldaea, so that, if these symbolical actions had not been realized by that which they were intended to symbolize, Ezekiel would have become a laughing-stock to the captives, and would have been rejected with scorn by the Hebrew Nation, and have never been received by them as an inspired prophet of God. Ezekiel ‘was’ recognized by the Hebrew Church as a prophet of the Lord; he was owned as such by Christ and His Apostles. And therefore these words and acts of Ezekiel preach to us and all the world the great doctrines of the Divine Omnipresence and Omniscience, and of our own personal responsibility. If Ezekiel, at the river Chebar, was enabled by God to reveal the hidden things of the secret chambers of the Temple at Jerusalem, and to specify by name the persons who were there engaged in those unhallowed mysteries, and to see through the thick cloud of the incense which enveloped them; can it be supposed that there is anything in the inmost recesses of our hearts which the eye of Ezekiel’s God does not penetrate and pierce? Can it be imagined that there is any idolatry —carnal, intellectual, or spiritual— which we ourselves practise in the secret crypts and subterranean chambers of the imagery of our own thoughts, which is not clear as noon-day to His view? And can it be imagined that there is anything which He will not bring forth to judgment as He brought forth the men of Jerusalem to be judged by the Man, an impersonation of Christ, whom Ezekiel saw clothed in linen, with a writer’s ink-horn at his side, to note down, in a book, the actions of the princes and people at Jerusalem, and who executed sentence upon them, and who also set His mark —a mark, it was, of the cross— on the forehead of every one who sighed, wept, and mourned over their hateful abominations —in order that they might be spared in the terrible slaughter which destroyed the rest. This prophetic representation of the divine attributes of Omnipresence and Omniscience is combined in Ezekiel with a solemn declaration of the hollowness of all mere formal, ceremonial worship; and of the necessity of a deep sense of man’s individual responsibility, and of the duty of searching self-examination, and of practical repentance, and of spiritual, vital, and personal religion. ……The prophet Ezekiel completed the picture. He beheld the Glory of the LORD, enthroned upon the cherubim, forsaking the Temple of Jerusalem, which was profaned by the sins of Priests, Princes, and People. He saw the Glory of the LORD rising aloft and floating away over the east gate of the Temple, to the Mount of Olives and towards the land of Chaldaea…..
…..Whatever in God’s providential visitation may be in store for the Nation and national Church of Ireland and England-whatever may befall other Nations and other national Churches —Ezekiel, at the river Chebar, provides comfort for the faithful in every age and clime. The destruction of the City and Temple at Jerusalem was like the death of a beloved wife. It was a sadder pang to them than the death of a dear Rachel to the patriarch Jacob at Bethlehem. The expatriation of the citizens of Jerusalem from that home of their hearts, their dispersion as wanderers and captives in a far-off heathendom, was like a national widowhood and a national orphanhood. But yet the Lord God of Israel was the God of all true Israelites in Chaldaea as well as in Judah. He is the God of every land and every age. He is JEHOVAH ELOHIM. And this great truth was brought out more clearly by the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, and by the scattering of her princes, priests, and people into the far-off regions of the East. They learnt thus to realize God’s Omnipresence. They learnt that true religion does not depend on the material fabric of a Temple, however glorious; nor on its religious Ritual, however gorgeous, and even though it be prescribed by God Himself; but that it depends on the presence of God in the hearts of His people. The Glory of the Lord God had been seen by the prophet Ezekiel floating away in the clouds on the winged chariot of the Cherubim from the Temple of Jerusalem. And why? Because that Temple was profaned by the sins of the worshippers in it. And this migration of the God of the Temple was a signal that He had given it up to destruction. But that Glory of the Lord was seen by the prophet in the wilderness of Chaldaea on the banks of the river Chebar, four hundred miles from Jerusalem; and God had said to him, “I will be your Sanctuary.” Thus it was revealed to the world, that though Thrones may totter and fall, though Cities may be thrown prostrate on the ground, though Dynasties, Empires, and Kingdoms pass away like visionary shadows and spectral phantoms, though Nations may be scattered, and national Churches may fall, yet there is the same JEHOVAH —the same Triune God— ever sitting enthroned upon the cherubim, ever riding upon the winged chariot of the fourfold Gospel throughout the world; and though we be exiles and prisoners in Chaldaea with Ezekiel, or with St. John at Patmos, yet with them we may have visions of God. And this blessed assurance is confirmed to us by the Holy Spirit speaking to us by Ezekiel, and revealing to us in the last nine chapters of his sublime prophecy the glories of the Church of Christ Universal, which is our indestructible Sion; and summing up all with those memorable words, “the name of the city from that day shall be JEHOVAH SHAMMAH,” —the LORD is THERE. A great conflict seems to be near at hand. And we know from the sure word of Prophecy that the Church of God will be assailed in the latter days by an Antichristian confederacy of discordant powers combined against her. The thoughtful reader of Ezekiel’s prophecies may calmly contemplate that conflict; and may behold its issue revealed to his eye by the Holy Spirit of God, and may derive holy comfort and courage from that divine revelation……

The Four Living Creatures, or Cherubim [Cherubs]:
5. ‘four living creatures’] These verses, to the end of the chapter, will best be considered continuously in one note. The living creatures are ‘four’; four is a number symbolical of universality (see the note at end of Rev. 11). They are called ‘Cherubim’ below (10:2-9, 14-16, 18-20; 11:22). In the Apocalypse of St. John they are called (zöa), ‘living creatures’. There they are about the Throne of God. In Ezekiel they form the Throne or Chariot, on which He sits and rides above, on (see above, on ‘v.’3 note 2). They lift up their wings and mount up from the earth, and the glory of the Lord is upon them (see 10:17-19; cp. here ‘v.’26). Their feet are straight, vigorously extended —a symbol of strength and of rectitude; and their soles sparkle like the splendour of polished brass. The hand of each is that of a man under their wings. Their wings are joined together; and they turn not when they go, but go straight forward. Each of the four living creatures has a fourfold aspect; the likeness of a ‘man’ and of a ‘lion’ on the right side, and the likeness of an ‘ox’ and of ‘eagle’ on the left. Their faces and their wings are separated from above (the word does not mean ‘streached upward’, as in the text); each has a distinct face and wings; but one pair of the wings of each is joined to the wings of another cherub, to denote unity in flying, and with another pair they cover their bodies in reverence (cp. lsa. 6:2). Whither the SPIRIT willed to go, they go; they are like burning coals of fire, and lamps or torches, Hebr. ‘laphidim’; the same word is used to describe Gideon’s ‘lamps’ or ‘torches’ (Judg. 7:16, 20), and therefore very suggestive (see the note above, at the end of Judges, chap. 7) as describing the flashing forth of Divine Truth by Evangelical preaching. The fire goes up and down among them, like the fire at Pentecost (Acta 2:3), and there is splendour in the fire; and from the fire goes forth lightning; and the living creatures run to and fro like a lightning flash. Each of the living creatures has wheel for each of its four faces. The wheel are like beryl; literally, like the ‘eye of Tarshish’ or ‘Tartessus’; i.e. like the ‘brightness of topaz’ or ‘chrysolite’ found at Tarshish, and called from it; as ‘gold’ is called from ‘Ophir’, and ‘ruby’ is called carchedonius from ‘Carchedon’, or ‘Carthage’ (‘Gesen’. 875; ‘Fuerst’, 1494). Each of the four living creatures, or cherubim, has one likeness; and their wheels are like a wheel within a wheel, set transversely, so as to move in any direction without turning. And the rings, or felloes [rims, spokes,?], of the wheels are full of eyes; when the living creatures go, the wheels go with them; and when the living creatures are lifted up, the wheels are lifted up. Whither the Spirit wills to go, they go, and the wheels go with them; for the Spirit is in the wheels. And above the heads of the living creatures is the likeness of the firmament (Hebr. ‘rakia’, Gen. 1:6; cp. below, 10:1), as the brightness (literally, ‘the eye’) of crystal, terrible, stretched forth over their heads. And under the firmament their wings straight (cp. ‘v’. 7, where their feet are described as ‘straight’) one toward another (literally, ‘each to its sister’); each one has two, covering on this side, and each one has two, covering on that side their bodies. (It seems, therefore, probable, from a comparison of ‘v’. 11, that each cherub had six wings; as the Seraphim have in Isa. 6:2.) And I heard the sound of their wings “as the sound of many waters” ( cp. Rev. 1:15; 14:2; 19:6), as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of a multitude (see Gesen. 227), the voice of an army. When they stand they let down their wings. And there is a voice from above the firmament over their heads, when they stand and let down their wings. And above the firmament over their heads, as sapphire -stone, is the likeness of a Throne; cp. Exod. xxiv. 10, “They saw the God of Israel, and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a ‘sapphire-stone’, and as it were the body of heaven in clearness; and upon the likeness of the Throne is the likeness after the appearance of a Man above upon it. And I saw like the splendour of Chashmal (see on ‘v’. 4), as the appearance of fire within it round about, from the appearance of his loins downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud (cp. Rev. 4:3, “there was a ‘rainbow’ round about the Throne”) in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round. It was the appearance of the likeness of the ‘glory of the Lord’ (cp. Isa. 6:1-3). And I saw it, and I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”
What is the meaning of this Vision?
The prophecies of Ezekiel are distinguished by their ‘universality’. In them the Lord God of Hosts is presented to the view, not as a localized Presence at Jerusalem, but as filling the whole Earth with His Glory. This Vision is a prelude to these prophecies. It represents the Lord God of Israel, the Lord of Glory, enthroned upon the Cherubim, or Living Creatures, and riding upon them, as upon a chariot, into all lands. These four living creatures, which reappear in the Apocalypse in a somewhat modified form, are supposed, with good reason, by ancient Christian Interpreters (such as ‘S. Irenaeus’, ‘S. Athanasius’, ‘S. Jerome’, ‘S. Augustine’, and ‘S. Gregory the Great’, and others), to represent the ‘fourfold Gospel’, on which the Lord, the Triune God, is borne, as on a royal Throne and triumphal Chariot, into the ‘four quarters’ of the world. (The patristic authorities to this effect may be seen below, in the note on Rev. 4:4, pp. 182-184; and in the Editor’s Lectures on the Canon of Scripture, p. 163, and need not be repeated here.)
The Gospels are four, and four only; they are Living Creatures, for they are the living Oracles of the Ever-living God; each has four faces, for each displays the fourfold attributes of Christ. Each reveals Him as Man, as King (symbolized by the Lion), as a Sacrificial Victim (typified by the Ox), and as the Resurrection and the Life, Who mounts on an Eagle’s pinions to heaven, and Who carries us thither, as eaglets, on His wings. See below, on Matt. xxiv. 28. Luke xvii. 37. As is said in the ancient Christian Hymn:
‘”Quatuoi’ describunt isti: Quadriformes actus CHRISTI;
Natus ‘Homo’ declaratur: ‘Vitulus’ sacrificatur,
‘Leo’ Mortem déprédateur: Et ascendit ‘Aquila’.”
Each Gospel has wings, and a man’s hand is under the wings; for in each is human ministry winged by Divine Power. They have straight feet and wings; nothing is distorted in them ; they move wherever the Spirit guides them. One and the same Spirit moves in the Four Gospels, and by them all. They are marvellously joined together, intertwined with coincidences and varieties, wing interwoven with wing, and wheel inwound in wheel; and their wheels are full of eyes, and they sparkle with Divine light; and they cover their bodies in reverent adoration of Him Who rides upon them; and they fly with lightning’s speed, and with a lightning’s flash, and carry the Church upon their wings into every clime, and to the four corners of the Earth (see on Rev. 12:14); and their sound is like that of many waters, and of a mighty host; “their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world.” See on Ps. 19:4.
This Vision was designed to comfort Ezekiel in his captivity, and to encourage him to do his work as a Prophet to Israel and the world. Isaiah, who foretold the captivity of Israel and Judah, was consoled by his vision in the Temple, declaring that “‘all the earth’ is full of the glory of the Lord;” so Ezekiel, who was commissioned to be a Prophet of woe to Judah, and to the city and Temple of Jerusalem, was cheered, and was enabled to cheer others, with the revelation, that, whatever might happen to the walls of Sion and to its Temple, yet the Lord of Hosts, Who sat there between the cherubim, and was there worshipped, was the Almighty God (‘v’. 24); and that the cherubim would become to Him a heavenly chariot, and He would ride upon it as a Mighty Conqueror and King into all lands in the ‘Gospel of Christ, and in all true preachers of it’, and ‘in all faithful believers of it’, who are transfigured into the likeness of Christ, Who is revealed in the Gospels, and partake of His attributes and His glory. There is, therefore, a divine truth in the opinion, that these fourfold Cherubim, or Living Creatures, represent the whole glorified society of Believers who show forth their faith in the Gospel, and live forever in Christ. Cp. ‘Calovius’ and ‘Luther’ quoted by him, pp. 499. 501; and ‘Pfeiffer’, Dubia, p. 407.
The scope of the whole Book of Ezekiel (says ‘Carpzov’, Int. 209, and ‘Villalpandus’, Prooem. p. ix.) is to display CHRlST and His kingdom; therefore, at the beginning of it, Christ is manifested riding on His Evangelic chariot, and about to advance His Gospel throughout the world. In the sequel of the prophecy, the union of Israel and Judah in Christ is represented (chaps. 11; 20; 29; 37), and the remission of sins through Him (chap. 16). He is displayed as the Good Shepherd (chap. 34); and the conversion of the Gentiles is exhibited (chap. 36); and the resurrection of the faithful to life everlasting (chap. 37); and the destruction of the enemies of the Church (chap. 38 sq.); and the glory of the Church triumphant. Lastly, the Holy Spirit in the Apocalypse (4:4-11) blends together the imagery of the Vision of the Prophet Ezekiel at the river Chebar with the imagery of the Vision of the Prophet Isaiah in the Temple at Jerusalem, and teaches us to recognize in both a revelation of the Triune God. The four Living Creatures, or Cherubim, of the former, have six wings, and are full of eyes ‘around’ (literally, as in a ‘wheel’, (kuklothen)), and within; and they rest not day and night, saying, in the words of the Seraphim in Isaiah, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God Almighty.” (Rev. 4:8).

(8) Commentary on Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, & Homiletical, & Special Reference to Ministers & Students. Ezekiel & Daniel. John Peter Lange, D.D., & Number of Eminent European Divines. Translated from German, Edited , & Additions Original & Selected by Philip Schaff, D. D. & American Scholars of Various Evangelical Denominations. Prophet Ezekiel; Theologically & Homiletically Expounded by Fr. Wilhelm Julius Schroder, Late Pastor of Reformed Church at Elberfeld, Prussia. Translated, Enlarged, & Edited by Patrick Fairbairn (p. 241-331 close of Chap. 34), D.D. late Principal of Free Church College, Glasgow, & Rev, William Findlay (p. 1-179), M. A. Larkhall Scotland, aided by Rev. Thomas Cherar (p. 180-240),M.A., & Rev. Sinclair Manson (p. 331-492).(1875) gs.

§ 5. Contents & Division of Book:
1. The work of our prophet, the picture of his prophetic life,—and this is most truly his life-picture,— has furnished us first of all by the contents of his book, according to Umbreit’s description, “as in a prophetic diary carried on by himself.” “Where the work of the prophets was ‘par excellence’ a spiritual one, consisting in the preaching of the word, there the communication and preservation of this word is itself the portraiture of their activity, in very deed their prophetic biography. The latter is the case with Ezekiel” (Havernick). The very first three chapters give us a glimpse ‘as into a programme’. Still more as regards the object of the ‘vision’ in ch. 1, with which the book opens, than as regards the divine commission in ch. 2 and 3, the prophet appears to us at the very beginning as he will be up to the end in the peculiarity of his prophetic work according to the divine appointment. This is ‘not merely’ that he is to be a ‘prophet in the exile’, which is the only thing Calvin makes prominent, but rather that he has to represent ‘the glory of Jehovah in the exile’. ‘This is the key to his prophetic labours in their strictest individuality’. As regards the ‘divine commission’ to the prophet in ch. 2 and 3, what stands opposed ‘on man’s part’ to the carrying out of the same, partly ‘outside’ (ch. 2:3 sqq.), partly ‘in’ himself (ch. 2:8 sqq.), just as what is said with respect to the equipment of Ezekiel on ‘God’s’ part (ch. 3:4 sqq.), is immediately connected with what is very similar in the case of Jeremiah (see the exposition).
Ch. 4 and 5, however, change the scene entirely to the (§ 4) foresaid ‘parallelism of Ezekiel and Jeremiah’, which we found significant as regards the first labours of our prophet: from a ‘fourfold’ (ch. 4:1-8, 4 sqq., 9 sqq-, v. 1 sqq.) ‘symbolical representation’ of the impending fate of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, the accompanying interpretation of the symbols leads to ‘two almost Jeremiah discourses of rebuke’ against Judah, ch. 6 and 7. What was already made prominent in these discourses of rebuke as ‘guilt, the idolatrous apostasy from Jehovah’, is represented with the plastic art of heathen worship and a liturgical vividness —’by the vision of the abominations in the temple’ (ch. 8), in which from the first the “image of jealousy” and the glory of Jehovah (ch. 1) confront each other (ch. 8:3,4). and ‘this latter’ (ch. 9:3 sqq.) causes ‘the judgment’ to be carried out inexorably ‘on the guilty’, especially ‘on the city’ (ch. 10). As the 11th chapter, in which the vision closes, once more, and through a striking case of death, brings into prominence the leaders of the people (the demagogues), so the ‘symbolical transaction’ in ch. 12 singles out the lot of the king at Jerusalem, so that with the “bread” and “water” a termination is reached in the meantime of the misery which is to come upon the hind and its inhabitants. The only thing remaining is, that the prophet should announce the execution of the punishment as being one that is ‘near’, ver. 21 sqq.
The circumstance that his repeated (vers. 21 sqq., 26 sqq.) ‘previous announcement of the nearness’ of the judgment takes the shape in ch. 13 of a ‘discourse against the false prophets and prophetesses’, cannot (according to ch. 12:24) lie outside the context, and the explanation come to with the ‘idolatrous seekers after oracles’ in ch. 14 easily fits into it; the elders of the people who are guilty of such consultation are just sitting before the prophet, and the guilt, essentially similar to their own, of ‘faithless Jerusalem’ (ver. 12 sqq.) justifies to their consciences the righteousness of the punishment in the one case as in the other, just as such justification will also take place through the remnant from Jerusalem (vers. 22,23), who will come to be seen by them. But after ‘Jerusalem’ has been depicted in ch. 15 as ‘a vine tree for the burning’, especially after she has been depicted in detail as ‘a lewd adulteress’ in ch. 16, —idolatry in that case being adultery and lewdness,— and after the ‘riddle with respect to the royal house of David’ in ch. 17 is followed by the thorough ‘statement of the divine righteousness’ In ch. 18, and lastly by ‘the lamentation’ in ch. 19 over the perishing kingdom of Israel, ch. 20 merely contains in addition a ‘survey’ of the objective as well as subjective guidance of the people from of old, for the purpose in ch. 21 of setting forth with the most living distinctness ‘the express announcement of the nearness’ of the judgment (comp. ver. 12), and then ‘alike the punishment and’ (with equal sharpness) ‘the guilt —Jerusalem in particular, and Judah’s and Israel’s in common’— are portrayed in ch. 22 and 23.
In ch. 24 the predicted ‘nearness’ of the judgment is ‘a fact’ of such a kind, that the prophet must for himself write down the day, that the fact of the death of his wife furnishes the mournful illustration, and that the prophet does not now any longer speak, but is silent respecting Jerusalem. But during this silence ‘respecting Israel’ the prophetic word goes forth with loud voice ‘against those without’, (A similar juxtaposition of predictions respecting the heathen is found both in Jeremiah (ch. 46-51, at the close) and in Isaiah (ch. 13-23). Comp. Delitzsch, Comm. on Isaiah, p. 294 sqq. [Clark’s Trans.]. In Isaiah, as in Ezekiel, it is a provisional temporary silence; in Jeremiah, one that is final respecting Israel.) such as Ammon (comp. ch. 21:38 sqq.) and Moab, Edom, the Philistines (ch. 25), then Tyrus and Sidon (ch. 26:26-28), and lastly Egypt (ch. 29-32). There is no passing, as in the case of Paul, from the synagogue to the heathen. Neither is it the joy with Zion’s joy, but the joy in Zion’s suffering, that forms the point of departure. They are therefore predictions of judgment; the downfall of Jerusalem determines the colour and tune of these chapters, which appear like an appendix to what goes before. The judgment begins at the house of God, yet it will not spare the rest of the world. And here the predominating element as regards the carrying out of the judgment and the foreign nations that are named is the connection with Nebuchadnezzar, just as on the other hand the more intimate historical relation to Jerusalem down to the last days of Judah. (As to the chronology, see § 6, and the introductory observations to ch. 25-32)
These predictions rightly form the transition to the predominantly comforting labours of Ezekiel after the destruction of Jerusalem. For the ever repeated closing statement as the judgments are announced, “and ye shall,” or “thou shalt,” or “they shall know that I am the Lord” (comp. ch. 25:5, 7, 11), necessarily contained for the exiles the consolation, that the malicious delight in Judah’s misery (ch. 25:3, 6; 26:2) is not to issue in contempt for Judah’s God also (ch. 25:8; 28:2, 6, 22; 29:3, 9), but that their Judge will rather seat Himself in judgment on their false heathen friends also, especially on Egypt (ch. 29:6, 7, 16). If Jehovah made Himself known in such a way to the heathen, then the judgments over them and their gods, with whom Israel had sinned, to whom they had looked up in trust or in despair, removed at the same time many a stone out of that path which the people had to tread for their salvation. But with their conversion to the only true God —that was the path— the former more negative consolation arising from those judgments on the heathen nations grew into a very positive one for the people of Jehovah. As already, in the previous announcements of Judah’s punishment (comp. ch. 6:9; 11:16 sqq.; 16:60 sqq.; 17:22 sqq.; 20:40 sqq.), ‘prospects of salvation’ are opened up, so the closing note of the prediction of judgment on Sidon (ch. 28:25 sqq.), on Egypt (ch. 29:21), is ‘express’ consolation for the exiles. Now what comes in the shape of ‘consolation’, as being salvation for the people of God, cannot in the end be accomplished without ‘blessing’ for the heathen world, in which and for which Israel is placed from the beginning as a ‘mediator’ of salvation. The judgments on one and another and another of the heathen nations are consummated, of course, in the additional judgment on the heathen world-power antagonistic to the kingdom of God; yet the salvation of the Jews comes to be for the good of the human race. The recovery of the consciousness of her peculiar spiritual calling as a nation must be the highest, the ‘full consolation’ for Israel, to whom alike her own judgment and that on the heathen shaped themselves into a process of purification for her divine world-task.
The ‘silence’ of Ezekiel (ch. 24) had been accordingly, as the predictions with respect to the other nations have informed us, not merely for judgment on Israel, but at the same time ‘a waiting for the promise of God with respect to His people’, and that ‘from among the heathen also’. Comp. ch. 47:1 sqq., 22,23.
As the prophet ‘is now entering again on his labours among the children if his people’, it is thus suitable that in ch. 33 he ‘again’ becomes ‘conscious’ of his ‘prophetic mission’ from God ( Especially when the symbolical representation (ch. 2:8-3:3) of this mission and of the divine charge to the prophet from the outset made the taste of sweetness follow after the lamentation and woe.), when this has to take effect in face of the fact now accomplished and in view of the present situation. The promise of ch. 34 starts therefore from the shepherds of Israel, under whom the sheep have been scattered; in their stead ‘the Lord Jehovah will interest Himself in the flock’, and, when it is again gathered, will make His servant David the ‘one shepherd’ amid blessings which have as their aim mankind generally. And as the bad shepherds furnish the occasion for the restoration of the ‘Head’, so we have for that of the ‘members Edom’ as a nation (ch. 35), in contrast with which ch. 36 celebrates ‘the mountains of Israel’ and ‘the sanctification of the name of Jehovah in His people’ (ver. 23 sqq.), to which prospect so rich in promise a temporary conclusion is furnished in ch. 37 by ‘the vision of the resurrection and quickening of the dead bones’, as well as by ‘the symbolical action with the one stick out of the two sticks’ (ver. 15 sqq.), which is intended to signify ‘the reuniting of Israel with Judah under the One King David’.
The bearing toward ‘what is without’, the ‘world-position’ of the people of God in ‘this’ connection, as following upon their ‘inward’ restoration (which has hitherto been the object of promise), is brought into view by ch. 38 and 39 ‘against Gog of Magog’. In this symbolical and typical representation of the powers hostile to the kingdom of God, the glory of the Lord will be perfected alike in the consuming judgment toward Gog, and in glorifying mercy toward Israel.
The ‘close of the book’ (ch. 40-48) is devoted to the ‘prophetic portrayal of the divine glory in the glory of His kingdom’; the temple and its service (ch. 40-46), the holy land and the holy city ”Jehovah Shammah” (ch. 47 and 48), furnish the types consecrated from of old for the purpose.
2. The statement of the ‘contents’ which we have thus attempted, as it has at the same time shown the profound ‘inner connection’, the ‘carrying out of the all-dominating idea of the glory of Jehovah’, is still further confirmed by ‘the division of the book’. The collection of visions, emblematical actions and facts, of discourses and predictions, of which it is composed, is divided, alike by the downfall of Jerusalem and by the silence of the prophet with respect to his own people, into the ‘two principal parts’: (1) Ch. 1-24: The Prophecy ‘of Judgment’; (2) Ch. 33-48: The Prophecy ‘of the Mercies’ of God toward His people in the world. (By these two principal parts of the book is Josephus (‘Antiq.’ x. 5. 1) perhaps to be explained, who, in speaking of Jeremiah, says further: “But it is not he alone that predicted such things to the people beforehand, but the prophet Ezekiel also, who (prötos peri tautön due biblia grapsas katelipen). By ‘Havernick’ and others the (prötos) is referred to Jeremiah. ‘Umbreit’: “The first large half of his book contains the bitter element of his discourse, the second the sweet element, i.e. the promise of the coming times of redemption; the first begins with the departure of the glory of Jehovah from the old profaned temple, the second closes with the return of the same into the new cleansed sanctuary.” ‘Hitzig’: “The oracles of Ezekiel are put together in an arranged, organic book. Against the sum-total of forty-eight (48) chapters no objection is to be brought: it cannot therefore he regarded as an accident, if at ch. 24, exactly with the half, the series of domestic predictions before the fall of Jerusalem comes to an end. This, which is forthwith (ch. 24:2 eqq.) presupposed as having taken place, forms the middle and downing point of the book. The foreign oracles, words of threatening against seven neighbouring nations, from the commencement and for the most part date from the period after the downfall of Judah, and are occasioned by this very catastrophe; the whole collection was placed suitably at the beginning of the second part, which is in this way just the more sharply contrasted with the first.” ‘Hengstenberg’ (‘Christology’, 2d edit.) likewise distinguishes two principal parts, but in this way: “Predictions before the destruction (ch. 1-32), and after the destruction (ch. 33-48); in the former the tendency being mainly to counteract the foolish illusions, to call to repentance as the only means of salvation; in the latter to combat despair by portraying that salvation before the eyes of the people, etc.” Similarly also ‘Havernick’: “Two great sections, of which the destruction of Jerusalem forms the turning-point (ch. 1-32 and 33-48). In the former period Ezekiel discharges the prophetic office of ‘rebuke’, afterwards the office of comforting and of ‘promise’.” On the other hand, ‘Kliefoth’ looks upon “the collection of predictions against foreign nations as a separate part of the book,” and makes this division: -“The Introduction, ch. 1:1-3:21; the First Part, ch. 3:22-24:27; the Second Part, ch. 25:1-33:20; the Third Part, ch. 33:21- 48:35.” ‘De Wette’: “The ‘first’ part is arranged with perfect accuracy according to the chronology; the foreign oracles in the ‘second’ part, however, are grouped together in accordance with an arrangement by contents. This collection is, as it were, a supplement or episode, inasmuch as at ch. 24:27 a resting-point is given, or because several of these predictions really belong to the period between ch. 24:27 and 33:21, while the others are ranged with them because of the similarity of their contents. With the tidings of the destruction of Jerusalem at ch. 33:21 the prediction advances a step, and the whole of the ‘third’ part belongs to this period after the destruction.” ‘Neteler’ distributes each of the three parts of the book into four sections, and each section into four pieces.) A ‘third transition-section’ is formed by ch. 25-32: ‘announcements of judgment on the seven heathen nations, i.e.’ cities.
The twofold division of the book, as Hitzig makes it, is an example of arithmetical division: 2 into 48 gives 24 chapters to each. As to the details of ‘subdivision’, he looks upon each of the principal parts as forming three unequal sections: I. (1) ch. 1-7; (2) ch. 8-19; (8) ch. 20-24. II. (1) ch. 25-32; (2) ch. 33-39; (3) ch. 40-48. According to Hitzig, the thing aimed at was merely “to incorporate the mass of the oracles.” (!) If this appears to be too little for an “arranged, organic book,” Kliefoth’s principle of division, according to the formula, “And the word of Jehovah came to me thus,” gives the impression of something that is too artificial. Our position must be this: The chronological element cannot be the determining one everywhere, nor even for the most part, as regards the division in detail; for neither are the dates so generally given, nor do they even regulate a separate part, such as ch. 25. sqq. More tenable as a division of our book in respect to details —more tenable even than one furnished by the matter-of-fact, ‘historico’-material element— is that afforded by the ‘inner’ substance, a method by which we shall have to look ‘at the fundamental idea of the glory of Jehovah manifesting itself in judgment and pitying grace’.

‘Subdivision of Principle Parts’:
A. ‘First Principal Part’: Ch. 1-24: ‘Prophecy of Judgment’:
I. ‘Divine Mission of Ezekiel’: ch. 1-3:11.
1. Vision of Glory of Jehovah, ch. 1.
2. Divine Commission to Prophet, ch. 2:1-3:11.
II. ‘First Execution of Divine Commission’: ch. 3:12-7:27.
1. Installation & Instructions, ch. 3:12-27.
2. Four Signs & their Interpretation, ch. 4:1-5:17.
3. Two Discourses of Rebuke, ch. 6 & 7.
III. ‘Subsequent Execution of Divine Commissions’: ch. 8-24.
1. Vision, ch. 8-11.
(1) Abominations in Temple, ch. 8.
(2) Judgment on Guilty, ch. 9.
(3) In particular of Coals of Fire on City, ch. 10.
(4) Leaders of People, ch. 11.
2. Signs, ch. 12:1-20.
(1) Sign of Departure of King, ch. 12:1-16.
(2) Sign of Bread & Water, ch. 12:17-20.
3. Near Execution of Punishment, ch. 12:21-24:27.
(1) Repeated Preliminary Announcement, ch. 12:21-28.
(2) Discourse against False Prophets & Prophetesses, ch. 13.
(3) Testimony against, Idolatrous Seekers after Oracles, ch. 14.
(4) Parable of Vine Tree for Burning, ch. 15.
(5) Story of Lewd Adulteress, ch. 16.
(6) Riddle about Royal House of David, ch. 17.
(7) Laws of Divine Punitive Righteousness, ch. 18.
(8) Lamentation over Kings of Israel, ch. 19.
(9) Survey of Leading of People from of old, ch. 20.
(10) Approaching Judgment, ch. 21.
(11) Conviction of Ripeness for Judgment:
a. as well of Jerusalem in particular, ch. 22.
b. as of Judah & Israel collectively, ch. 23.
(12) Marking down of Event that is taking place, Discourse in Signs, & Virtual Sign (Silence of Ezekiel), ch. 24.
A—B. Ch. 25-32: ‘Transition from Prophecy of Judgment to Prophecy of Mercy by means of Predictions against’:
I. Chapter 25: 1. Ammon. 2. Moab, 3. Edom, 4. The Philistines.
II. 1. Tyrus, ch. 26:1-28:19. 2. Sidon, ch. 28:20-26.
III. Egypt, ch. 29-32.
B. ‘Second Principal Part’: Ch. 33-48: ‘Prophecy of Mercies of God toward His People in World’:
I. Renewal of the Divine Mission of Ezekiel, ch. 33:
1. His office of Watchman in itself, ch. 33:1-20.
2. Same in view of Event that has taken place (re-opening of mouth of Ezekiel), & in face of state of affairs as well as of hearts, ch. 33:21-33.
II. ‘Divine Promises’:
1. Against Shepherds of Israel of, Shepherd Mercy of Jehovah toward His Flock, & of His Servant David, ch. 34.
2. Against Edom with respect to Mountains of Israel in consequence of Self-sanctification of the Name of Jehovah, ch. 35 & 36.
3. (1) In Requickening of Dead Bones, ch. 37:1-14. (2) By means of Symbolical Action with One Stick out of Two Sticks, along with Interpretation, ch. 37:15-28.
4. Against Gog of Magog for Glorification of Jehovah in World, ch. 38 & 39.
5. In Vision of Glory:
(1) Of Temple & its Services, ch. 40-46.
(2) Of the Holy Land & of the Holy City, ch. 47 & 48.

§ 6. Chronological Sketch According to Dates in Book: Day: Month: Year of King Jehoiachin’s Captivity: Chapters:
5thD: 4thM: 5thYC: Ch. 1-7.
5thD: 6thM: 6thYC: Ch. 8-19.
10thD: 5thM: 7thYC: Ch. 20-23.
10thD: 10thM: 9thYC: Ch. 24-25 ?.
12thD: 10thM: 10thYC: Ch. 29:1-16; 30:1, 19 ?.
1stD: 1stM: 11thYC: Ch. 26-28.
7thD: 1stM: 11thYC: Ch. 30:20-26.
1stD: 3rdM: 11thYC: Ch. 31.
5thD: 1OthM: 12thYC: Ch. 33 (ch. 34-39 ?)
1stD: 12thM: 12thYC: Ch. 32:1-16.
15thD: 12thM: 12thYC: Ch. 32:17-32.
10thD: 1stM: 25thYC: Ch. 40-48.
1stD: 1stM: 27thYC: Ch. 29:17-21.

It is clear from this chronological sketch, so far as dates in the book make it possible, that several of the predictions of judgment on the heathen encroach on the second principal part of the book. As the prophecy of the divine mercy begins on the ground of the renewed call to conversion, and with repeated earnest accusation of Israel (ch. 33; 34; 36), so the promises of God for His people are accompanied by the tone of judgment on the hostile world-powers, their judgment and downfall —comp. Ch. 35; 38; 39— as contrast, background, as well as necessary transition to the glorification of the Lord in His kingdom; and so there belong also to this class the predictions, ch. 32:1-16, 17-32; ch. 29:17-21; 30:1-19, which thus occupy in the transition section (A-B) a preparatory place. It is likewise clear from the above table, that many a question will have to be answered just by the detailed exposition of the passages referred to, and perhaps only in accordance with probability.

Appendix: [Only two distinct works on the Prophecies of Ezekiel have of late years been issued from the British press: one by Patrick Fairbairn, D.D., the editor of the present translation, in the Lange series, published by the Messrs. Clark of Edinburgh, first edition in 1851, third edition in 1863; and another by the late Dr. E. Henderson in 1855, Hamilton, Adams, & Co., London the latter work consists only of 219 pages, of which considerably more than the half is occupied by the text. P. F.]

Additional Note on Ch. 1:4-28.
[To gather up now the leading features and symbolic purport of this wonderful vision, we can easily perceive that the groundwork of it was derived from the patterns of divine things in the most holy place in the temple; yet very considerably modified and changed, to adapt it to the present occasion. Here also there is the throne of the divine Majesty, but not wearing the humble and attractive form of the mercy-seat; more like Sinai, with its electric clouds, and pealing sounds, and bursting effusions of living flame. Here, too, are the composite forms about the throne the cherubim with outstretched wings touching each other; but instead of the two cherubic figures of the temple, four, each with four hands, four wings, four faces, looking in so many directions, doubtless with respect to the four quarters of the earth toward which the divine power and glory was going to manifest itself. These four are here further represented as peculiarly living creatures, full of life and motion, and not only with wings for flight, but wheels also of gigantic size beside them, revolving with lightning speed, and all resplendent with the most intense brightness. The general correspondence between what Ezekiel thus saw in the visions of God and what was to be found in the temple, indicated that it was the same God who dwelt between the cherubim in the temple, and who now appeared to His servant on the banks of the (Chebar; while the differences bespoke certain manifestations of the divine character to be now at hand, such as required to be less prominently displayed in His ordinary procedure.
1. That He appeared specially and peculiarly as the God of holiness; this, first of all, was intimated by the presence of the cherubim. For here, as in the temple, the employment of these composite forms pointed back to their original destination in the garden of Eden, to keep the way to the tree of life, from which man had been debarred on account of sin: ideal creatures, as the region of pure and blessed life they occupied, had now become to men an ideal territory. Yet still they were creatures, not of angelic, but of human mould; they bore the predominant likeness of man, with the likenesses superadded of the three highest orders of the inferior creation (the lion, the ox, the eagle). “It is an ideal combination; no such composite creature as the cherub exists in the actual world, and we can think of no reason why the singular combination it presents of animal forms should have been set upon that of man as the trunk or centre of the whole, unless it were to exhibit the higher elements of humanity in some kind of organic connection with certain distinctive properties of the inferior creation. The nature of man is immensely the highest upon earth, and towers loftily above, all the rest, by powers peculiar to itself. And yet we can easily conceive how this very nature of man might be greatly raised and ennobled, by having superadded to its own inherent qualities, those of which the other animal forms here mentioned stand as the appropriate types.” —These composite forms are here called (chaiyoth) for which the Septuagint, and John in the Apocalypse, use the synonymous term (zöa), ‘living ones’. The frequency with which this name is used of the cherubim is remarkable. In Ezekiel and the Apocalypse together it occurs nearly thirty times, and may consequently be regarded as peculiarly expressive of the symbolical meaning of the cherubim. It presents them to our view as exhibiting the property of life in its highest state of power and activity; as forms of creaturely existence, altogether instinct with life. And the idea thus conveyed by the name is further substantiated by one or two traits associated with them in Ezekiel and the Apocalypse. Such, especially, is the very singular multiplicity of eyes attached to them, appearing primarily in the mystic wheels that regulated their movements, and at a later stage (ch. 10:12), in the cherubic forms themselves. For the eye is the symbol of intelligent life, the living spirits most peculiar organ and index; and to represent the cherubim as so strangely replenished with eyes, could only be intended to make them known as wholly inspirited. Hence, in ver. 20, the spirit of the living creatures is said to have been in the wheels; where the eye was, there also was the intelligent, thinking, directive spirit of life. Another and quite similar trait is the quick and restless activity ascribed to them by Ezekiel, who represents them as running and returning with lightning speed, and then by John, when he describes them as resting not day and night. Incessant motion is one of the most obvious symptoms of a plenitude of life. We instinctively associate the property of life even with the inanimate things that exhibit motion such as fountains and running streams, which are called living in contradistinction to stagnant pools that seem comparatively dead. So that creatures which appeared to be all eyes, all motion, are, in plain terms, those in which the powers and properties of life are quite peculiarly displayed; but life, it must be remembered, most nearly and essentially connected with God —life as it is or shall be held by those who dwell in His immediate presence, and form, in a manner, the very ensure and covering of His throne pre-eminently, therefore, holy and spiritual life.” (The ‘Typology of Scripture’, 3d edit. vol. 1. pp. 229-248, where the whole subject of the cherubim is fully Investigated.)
2. But this idea of holy and spiritual life, as connected with the presence and glory of God, was greatly strengthened in the vision by the fervid appearance, as of metallic brightness and flashes of liquid flame, which shone from and around all the parts and figures of the vision. It denoted the intense and holy severity in God’s working, which was either to accomplish in the objects of it the highest good, or to produce the greatest evil. Precisely similar in meaning, though somewhat differing in form, was the representation in Isaiah’s vision (ch. 6), where, instead of the usual name cherubim, that of seraphim is applied to the symbolical attendants of God —the ‘burning ones’, as the word properly signifies— burning forms of holy fire, the emblems of God’s purifying and destroying righteousness. Hence their cry one to another was, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of hosts.” And in token of the twofold working of this holiness, it was by the application of a burning coal to his lips that the prophet, as the representative of the elect portion of the people, was hallowed for God s service, while in the message that follows, the ungodly mass are declared to be for burning (as the word literally is in ver. 13). The same element that refined and purified the one for God s service, was to manifest itself in the destruction of the other. And it is this also that is symbolically taught here by the dazzling light, the glowing embers, and fiery coruscations, with which all was enveloped and emblazoned. It made known God’s purpose to put forth the severer attributes of His character, and to purify His Church by “the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.”
3. Even these fiery appearances, however, in the cherubim and the other objects of the vision, did not sufficiently express what was here meant to be conveyed; and, therefore, to make out the idea more completely, wheels of vast proportions were added to the cherubim. The prophet would thus render palpable to our view the gigantic and terrible energy which was going to characterize the manifestations of the God of Israel. A spirit of awful and resistless might was now to appear in His dealings; not proceeding, however, by a blind impulse, but in all its movements guided by a clear-sighted and unerring sagacity. How striking a representation did such a spirit find for itself in the resolute agency and stern utterances of Ezekiel! In this respect he comes nearest of all the later prophets to Elijah.
4. Finally, above the cherubim of glory and their wonderful wheel-work was seen, first, the crystal firmament, and then, above the firmament, the throne of God, on which He Himself sat in human form, a form, as here displayed, beaming with the splendour of heavenly fire, but, at the same time, bearing the engaging aspect a man, and surrounded with the attractive and pleasing halo of the rainbow. In this shone forth the mingled majesty and kindness of God overawing authority on the one hand and the gracious sympathy and regard on the other which were to distinguish His agency as now to be put forth for the reproof of sin among the covenant-people, and the establishment of truth and righteousness. The terror which the manifestation as fitted to inspire, was terror only to the guilty, while, for the penitent and believing, there was to be the brightest display of covenant love and faithfulness. Especially was this indicated by the crowning appearance of the rainbow, which, from being the token of God’s covenant with Noah, in respect to the future preservation of the earth, was like the hanging out from the throne of the Eternal of a flag of peace, giving assurance to all, that the purpose of Heaven was to preserve rather than to destroy, and to fulfil that which was promised in the covenant. Even if the divine work now to be carried forward in the spiritual world should require, as in the natural world of old, a deluge of wrath for its successful accomplishment, still the faithfulness and love of God would be sure to the children of promise, and would only shine forth the more brightly at last, in consequence of the tribulations which might be needed to prepare the way for the ultimate good.
Such, then, was the form and import of this remarkable vision. There was nothing about it accidental or capricious; all was wisely adjusted and arranged, so as to convey beforehand suitable impressions of that work of God to which Ezekiel was now called to devote himself. It was substantially an exhibition, by means of emblematical appearances and actions, of the same views of the divine character and government, which were to be unfolded in the successive communications made by Ezekiel to the covenant-people. By a significant representation, the Lord gathered into one magnificent vision the substance of what was to occupy the prophetic agency of His servant, as in later times was done by our Lord to the evangelist John, in the opening vision of the Apocalypse. Fairbairn’s Ezekiel, pp. 30-34. W. F.]
(9) Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, with Introductory Notes; by Henry A. Redpath, D.Lit. Sometime Grinfield Lecturer on Septuagint in University of London. Methodist. (1907) gs. (Redpath’s commentary is very instructive; he is a sound interpreter with great linguistic skills & able conservative scholarship.)

Introduction: Ezekiel: Prophet, his Life & Character; Book: Text; Chronology; Style: Illustrations; Book of Ezekiel: & Pentateuch, & Books of Jeremiah, Daniel, Apocalypse, & Book of Common Prayer. Theology of Ezekiel: Idea of God; Man & Man’s Sinfulness; Angels; Day of the Lord; Life After Death; Messianic Ideas. Condition of Jews in Time of Ezekiel; Commentary & Index. Plans of Temple Grounds & Court; Section of Chambers; Side Elevation of Altar of Burnt Offerings.
3. Chronology of Book. Whole of prophecies of this book are arranged in sections each of which begins with date. Ezekiel’s own captivity & deportation is fixed for B.C. 597 (1:1) —His prophecies are dated, as in the following table :
A. B.C. 592 (5th day of the month) 1:2-3:15.
B. B.C. 592 (12th day of the month) 3:16-7.
C. B.C. 591 (5th day of the 6th month) 8-19.
D. B.C. 590 (10th day of the 5th month) 20-23.
E. B.C. 588 (10th day of the 10th month) 24, 25.
F. B.C. 586 (1st day of the month) 26-28.
G1. B.C. 587 (12th day of the 10th month) 29:1-16.
H. B.C. 570 (1st day of the 1st month) 29:17-21.
G2. (really part of (G1) 30:1-19.
I. B.C. 586 (7th day of the 1st month) 30:20-26
J. B.C. 586 (1st day of the 3rd month) 31.
K. B.C. 585 (1st day of the 12th month) 32:1-16.
L. B.C. 585 (15th day of the month) 32:17-33:20.
M. B.C. 585 (5th day of the 10th month) 33:21-39.
N. 3.0. 572 (10th day of the month “in the beginning of the year”) 40-48.
Book of Prophet Ezekiel: (Chapters & Verses):
A: Prophet’s 1st Vision & His Charge, B.C. 592. Chapters 1-3:15.
1: Introduction of Prophet, with his 1st Vision, (1:1-3-28): (1:4-28): In considering this and the other visions of the Prophet, it is well to remember that we have in them an attempt to describe in human language, with all its imperfections, what to the prophet were visions of the Divine. That the language he used conveyed to him the impressions that were formed on his mind by the visions seems quite clear, for the language describing them is harmonious with itself, as we can see by a comparison in detail of the description here with that of chapter 10. But we have not seen the visions, and therefore it is not to be wondered at if the impressions formed upon our minds by the language the prophet uses fail of definite clearness, and only give us vague ideas of the incomprehensible majesty and glory of God. For the most notable attempt of Art to reproduce this vision, we may refer to the picture in the Pitti Palace at Florence, entitled “The Vision of Ezekiel,” “which if not the work of Raphael’s own pencil, is certainly a contemporary copy of the lost original” (Lanciani, ‘The Golden Days of the Renaissance in Rome’, p. 261).
1st Vision. (1:5-14): Four (4) Living Creatures. (1:15-21): Wheels & Movement of Living Creatures. (1:22-28): Firmament & Throne.
2: Prophet’s Call & Mission (Son of Man). (2:1-3:3).
3: Charge given to Prophet (Son of Man). (3:4-11).
4: Presence of God with Prophet, & his transference to Tel-abib. (3:12-15).
B: After Seven (7) Days, Further Charge to Prophet & Further Vision, Symbolic Actions by Prophet with Explanations & Prophecies of Doom, B.C. 592. Chapters 3:16-7.
5. Further Charge to Prophet (Son of Man). (3:16-21).
6. Renewal of Prophet’s (as Son of Man) Vision, & Charge repeated. (3:22-27).
7. 1st of a series (4-5:1-4) of symbolic actions (Son of Man) to illustrate siege of Jerusalem: tile & iron pan. (4:1-3). The whole of this section (4-5:1-4) is intended to pourtray the prophet’s occupation during his time of silence. Though he is shut up in his house and abstains from all prophetic utterance, he is accessible to those who come to see him and to observe his actions. The actions which the prophet is bidden to perform must have gone on within the same period. To our prosaic western minds it seems difficult to imagine that the prophet would do such things as he is bidden to do here. But Oriental habits of thought and action are far different from ours.
When we think of the actions of a Simeon Stylites, or of some of the ascetics even in these days in India, we may well hesitate to say that it was impossible for Ezekiel to do them —even to the constant lying upon one side for so many days. Such actions as those of Ezekiel would appeal naturally to his fellow countrymen. Other prophets had acted in similar ways before. Isaiah, for instance, ‘walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia’ (20:3). Jeremiah wore a girdle without putting it in water, and then hid it in a hole of the rock (13:1-5). Similar actions have appealed to Oriental minds at other times. Agabus the prophet from Judaea taking St. Paul’s girdle and binding his own feet and hands as symbolical of what was to happen to the owner of the girdle is a case in point. It was this appeal to outward actions and surroundings that made our Lord’s teaching so attractive to his hearers. The finding nothing but leaves on the fig-tree and its cursing in consequence is a notable example of this; and it is to satisfy the natural craving of many minds that external symbolism has found so marked a place as it has in many forms of Christian worship. It has been questioned how long the prophet’s silence is supposed to be maintained. It seems quite clear that it terminates at v. 4. The prophet had been told to prepare his message with the words, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD.’ V. 5 begins with these identical words and they are followed by what is to all intents and purposes an explanation of the actions of the time of silence. Others have held that the silence lasted till the news of the fall of Jerusalem reached Ezekiel (33:22), but the passage referred to, taken in conjunction with what goes before (24:26,27), implies rather that the prophet had to pass through various periods of enforced silence.
8. 2nd symbolic action: —the prophet (Son of Man) to lie first on his left side & then on his right side, & to have limited rations for set time. (4:4-17).
9. 3rd symbolic action (of Son of Man) with sharp sword or barbers razor, & prophet’s hair. (5:1-4).
10. 1st of a series of 5 prophecies (Son of Man) consequent upon & interpretative of 3 symbolic actions, as foretelling tripartite destruction of people. (5:5-17).
11. 2nd prophecy of series (Son of Man) : —address to natural characteristics of country— mountains, hills, watercourses, valleys. (6:1-10).
12. 3rd prophecy of series: —denunciation of idolatry as cause of tripartite destruction of people. (6:11-14).
13. 4th prophecy (Son of Man): short announcement of coming end. (7:1-4).
14. 5th prophecy: development of last with all horrors of siege depicted. (7:5-27).
C. Series of Visions & Prophecies Commencing 591 B.C. Chapters 8-19.
15. 1st of series of visions (8-11): —vision of God carries prophet (Son of Man) off in spirit to see various forms of false worship in Jerusalem:— (a) image of jealousy (vv. 3-6); (6) animal worship (vv. 10-12); (c) Tammuz worship (v. 14); (cf) sun-worship (v. 16). It is a question how far, if the Hebrew text is right, these visions fell within the period during which the prophet was to lie, first upon his left side and afterwards upon his right side. If the Greek reckoning is right (see note on 8:1), they would fall outside that period.
16. 2nd vision: one of destruction. (9:1-11).
17. Further stage in vision of destruction of city. It is destroyed by fire taken from Divine presence, which is a 2nd time fully described. (10:1-22).
18. Another stage (Son of Man) in judgements of God. False teachers are condemned, & one of them, Pelatiah, is smitten with death. (11:1-13).
19. Final stage of vision & return of prophet (Son of Man) in spirit to Chaldaea. Judgement must come, & Divine presence must be withdrawn: but in future there is to be time of restoration & spiritual renewal, when God will again be their God. (11:14-25).
20. 1st of two prophecies (of Son of Man), both of which are accompanied by symbolic actions. Transactions done with view to going into exile, symbolic of exile of remaining inhabitants of Jerusalem to Babylonia. (12:1-16).
21. 2nd symbolic action (Son of Man) to indicate times of famine & distress that would ensue upon captivity. (12:17-20).
22. Two popular sayings (Son of Man), one of them being in the form of proverb, are stated & declared to be false. God’s word is declared to be sure & immutable & no farther delay is to be expected. Fulfilment is at hand. (12:21-28).
23. Denunciation (Son of Man) of false prophets & prophetesses in 3 separate pronouncements; 2 referring to prophets, 3rd to prophetesses. (13:1-7; 13:8-16; 13:17-23).
24. Sundry detached utterances (Son of Man). (14:1-15:8): (a) Concerning idolaters & prophet who is deceived. (14:1-11). (b) No human power can deliver land: yet there shall be remnant. (14:12-23). (c) Jerusalem, like vine branches, given to fire. (15:1-8).
25. Long & elaborate description (Son of Man) of history of Jerusalem. (16). Its development from a poor, humble and heathen origin is described as well as the sore straits and impoverished condition it was in, when God selected it for Himself and bound it to Him by a covenant His love then adorned it with all manner of glory and beauty, both in situation and in decoration.
26. Riddle & its interpretation (Son of Man). 2 eagles, cedar, & vine, i.e. Babylon, Egypt, & king & princes of Jerusalem, with their destruction. Restoration of Jerusalem & Davidic house will come in future with universal acceptance of its authority. (17:1-24).
27. Discussion of proverb ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ Sin & personal responsibility of man for it. (18:1-32).
28. Lamentation over royal family of Judah. (19:1-14).
D. Collection of Prophecies Dated 590 B.C. Chapters (20-23):
29. Israel (Son of Man), in past, in present & in future. (20:1-44). (See: ‘Christian Year’ ‘Keble’s’ (18th Sunday after Trinity))Perhaps the best comment that can be made upon the spirit of this chapter as a whole is to be found in The Christian Year (18th Sunday after Trinity):—
In the waste howling wilderness: The Church is wandering still,
Because we would not onward press: When close to Sion’s hill.
Back to the world we faithless turned,: And far along the wild,
With labour lost and sorrow earned,: Our steps have been beguiled.
Fain would our lawless hearts escape,: And with the heathen be,
To worship every monstrous shape: In fancied darkness free.
Vain thought that shall not be at all!: Refuse we or obey,
Our ears have heard the Almighty’s call,: We cannot be as they. —Keulk.
30. Short (1st) separate prophecy (Son of Man) against South. (20:45-49). This prophecy according to ‘the Hebrew notation forms the commencement of chapter 21. It stands independent both of what precedes and of what follows.
31. Another short (2nd) utterance (Son of Man) explanatory of parable of preceding verses. (21:1-7).
32. Another (3rd) prophecy (Son of Man) of invasion, cast in quasipoetic form: ‘The song of the sword of the Lord’ (A. B. Davidson). (21:8-17).
33. Further (4th) prophecy (Son of Man) of sword, more dearly defined as that of sword of king of Babylon; & sequel of deposition of king of Judah for indefinite period. (21:18-27).
34. Prophecy against Ammonites. (21: 28-32). The second lot had fallen to the king for the route to Kabbah. So when Jerusalem is destroyed the destruction of that city and its people is to be taken in hand in its turn.
35. 1st of series of 3 prophecies (Son of Man) against Jerusalem & land of Judah, 1st being directed against city & denunciation against its wickedness. (22:1-16).
36. 2nd utterance (Son of Man) in which judgement of people is announced in parabolic form: they are to be put in melting pot, when siege takes place. (22:17-22).
37. 3rd utterance (Son of Man) in which the terrible corruption which prevailed among various classes of inhabitants —prophets, priests, princes, people— is described. (22:23-31).
38. 2 adulterous sisters (Oholah & Oholibah; Samaria & Jerusalem) & their wickedness, (Son of Man). (23:1-49). (See Chapter 16.) This whole chapter is a very difficult one and must be read in connection with chapter 16. It is one long utterance intended to describe the results of the spiritual fornication of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
E. Further Collection of Prophecies Dated 588 B.C. on very Day of Commencement by Nebuchadrezzar of Final Siege of Jerusalem (2nd Kings 25:1 : cp. Jer. 39:1). Chapters 24 & 25.
39. Parable of caldron & its interpretation (Son of Man). (24:1-14).
40. Death of prophet’s (Son of Man) wife, & lessons to be deduced from it. (24:15-27). The problems of this short section are considerable. The prophet is told of his wife’s approaching death. He speaks to the people: is it to announce the calamity that is coming upon him to them? the narrative leaves that unsolved. Then he is to make no lamentation for the dead. Would this strike him in his day as a pitiless command? We must remember that Ezekiel was a priest and that the law limited very much, and in the case of the high-priest practically prohibited, anything like ceremonial mourning for the dead (see Lev. 21 & cp. Lev. 10: 6). This may have arisen as a protest against ancestor worship or kindred beliefs prevalent in old times and still surviving among Eastern nations. Moreover Ezekiel looked upon himself no doubt as under special divine influences, and was ready to endure all and suffer all, if only he could bring God’s people back to Him.
41. Short prophecies (Son of Man) against Amman, Moab, & Philistines. (25). Although this chapter is, in the present arrangement of the book, which is chronological, assigned to the same period as chapter 24, yet it really forms the first of a series of chapters denouncing God’s judgements upon various heathen nations, which are intended to clear the way for and lead up to the prophecies of the Restoration of the people. Chapter 25 therefore really belongs, strictly speaking, to the following section, 26-32. It is interesting to notice that in this series of prophecies Babylon is not included, though in order to reach the number seven, Zidon has somewhat artificially to be counted separately from Tyre. This may be due partly to the fact that these prophecies were delivered in Babylon, where the Jews for the most part met with a very kindly reception, and partly to the view which the prophet took of them as God’s instruments in carrying out His plans, and therefore “righteous men” (cp. 23: 45). If this prophecy comes under the last chronological heading (24:1), the captivity of ‘v’. 3 cannot be the final captivity under Zedekiah, but perhaps that under Jehoiachin (2nd Kings 24:11-16).
F. Collection of Prophecies Dated at Least more than Year after Last & Dealing with Tyre & Zidon. 586 B.C. Chapters (26-28). (Compare with Apocalypse (Revelation).) In subject matter chapter 25 connects itself with these chapters, though apparently the prophecies in it preceded these by some months. But whilst chapter 25 has to do with peoples these three chapters contain a series of five prophecies dealing with two of the richest cities on the borders of Israel, prosperous from their position on the sea-coast —Tyre and Zidon (cp. 32:30). If the chronological headings are correct, then this section should certainly come later. The number of the month is not stated, so that it is not clear at first sight whether it should precede or follow 30:20-26: 31. But as the date of the final breach in the wall of Jerusalem is fixed (Jer. 39:2) as the ninth day of the fourth month of the eleventh (11th) year of Zedekiah, and the laying waste of Jerusalem took place in the fifth month (Jer. 52:12), and in this prophecy (26:2) Jerusalem is spoken of as ‘broken’ and ‘laid waste’, it is quite clear that the place for these chapters, in chronological order, is after chap. 31. Tyre and Zidon were the subject of prophecy by other prophets (Is. 23; Jer. 25:22; 27:3; Joel 3:4; Am. 1:9,10; Zech. 9:2-4). The language of this chapter, as may be seen in the notes, had considerable influence upon the writer of the Apocalypse.
42. 1st prophecy (Son of Man) against Tyre. (26)
43. Description (Son of Man) of Tyre, its wealth, commerce, & magnificence at time of its siege by Nebuchadrezzar. (27). This chapter should be compared with the description of Babylon in Rev. 18. which evidently looks back to this as its model. Special resemblances will be noted in the commentary. The text is, in some verses of this chapter, rather doubtful, for they are much abbreviated in the Septuagint Ezekiel’s geographical knowledge is very extensive, but he would easily acquire such knowledge in Babylonia. A map of the world is still in existence dating from about the time of Hammurabi, ‘i.e.’ somewhere about the days of Abraham.
44. Judgement (Son of Man) of prince of Tyre. (28:1-10).
45. Lamentation over king of Tyre, as representative of magnificence of Tyre itself. (28:11-19). It should be remembered that in this passage the language is founded upon (a) the account of the Garden of Eden; (b) the descriptions in Exodus of (1) the giving of the law; (2) the breastplate of the high-priest; and (3) the cherubim overshadowing the mercy-seat.
46. Short prophecy against Zidon, followed by intimation of return of Israel to its own land. (28:20-26).
G1,2: Series of Prophecies Against Egypt, Interrupted by Misplaced Insertion of 29:17-21, which ought to come after 28:19, 587 B.C. G1 Chapter 29:1-16. (These prophecies are dated earlier than 26-28 and are attributed to a time seven mouths anterior to the fall of Jerusalem.) These prophecies are dated earlier than 26-28 and are attributed to a time seven mouths anterior to the fall of Jerusalem.
47. Prophecy (Son of Man) against Egypt & its king. (29:1-16).
H: Prophecy of much Later Date (570 B.C.) & Inserted Here Because of its Connection with Fall of Egyptian Kingdom. Chapter 29:17-21. (Prophecies concerning Tyre were uttered by prophet sixteen (16) years before present one (26:1-28:19) & this is sequel to those.)
48. Prophecy (Son of Man) in which is indicated how little profit Nebuchadrezzar had from his long siege of Tyre: but it is announced that Egypt shall fall to him as compensation. (29:17-21).
G2: Further Prophecies Against Egypt Following upon & closely Connected with 29:1-16. As they Proceed, Prophet becomes more Definite, Till at length (p. 10) he Mentions Nebuchadrezzar by Name. Chapter 30:1-19.
49. Utterance (Son of Man) shewing that devastation was to extend far & wide. (30:1-6).
50. Further declaration against Egypt & her helpers. (30:6-9).
51. Further Divine declaration. At this point prophet introduces for 1st time name of instrument used by Jehovah to carry out His punishment of Egypt. It is to be Nebuchadrezzar. (30:10-12).
52. Another declaration of Jehovah, entering into details as to judgements of particular places. (30:13-19).
I: Another Prophecy concerning Egypt, about 3 Months Later than Last Series. Chapter 30:20-26.
53. This prophecy (Son of Man), in point of date, stands alone, & exhibits Nebuchadrezzar as Jehovah’s agent in humiliation of Egypt, & carrying out of Divine punishment. (30:20-26). The year of this prophecy is 586 B.C.
J: Prophecy Against Egypt Uttered Few Weeks Before Final Disaster to Jerusalem. Chapter 31:1-18.
54. This prophecy (Son of Man) though divided by R.V. into paragraphs really forms only one prophecy & describes magnificence of Egypt & its correspondingly deep fall. (31:1-18). Date of this prophecy is 586 B.C.
K: After Considerable Interval Prophet Takes Up His Burden Again Against Egypt. Chapter 32:1-16. The date of this prophecy is 585 B.C. Prophecies against Egypt cover parts of 3 years. In consequence of length of interval separating this prophecy from preceding one; Toy alters the date from 12th year to 11th. The date of this prophecy is 585 B.C. The prophecies against Egypt cover parts of three years. In consequence of the length of the interval separating this prophecy from the preceding one Toy alters the date from the twelfth (12th) year to the eleventh (11th).
55. Desolation & spoiling of Egypt & its king by Nebuchadrezzar is distinctly foretold in this prophecy (Son of Man) which forms one utterance by itself. (32:1-16).
L: Prophecies Classed Under Date 32:17 of Various Character; One, 2nd Lamentation over Egypt, & Two, Defining Responsibility of Prophetic Preacher & Individual Responsibility of Each Man for his Sins. Chapters 32:17-33:20. Date (585 B.C.) is apparently fortnight later than last prophecy, though number of month is not given.
56. Further lamentation (Son of Man) over Egypt, with description of companions which Egyptians will find in Sheol. (32:17-32).
57. At this point, though there is no new chronological statement, entirely different departure is made which culminates in prophecies (Son of Man) of restoration of Israel, & its ideal settlement in idealised Canaan, with which book concludes. Transitional prophecies are two in number, one declaring ministerial responsibility of prophet (33:1-9), other moral responsibility of each individual member of house of Israel (33:10-20). 33:1-9 deals then with prophet’s responsibility.
58. Definite assertion of individual responsibility for sin. This is made in way in which it had never before been made to Jewish people, & therefore marks distinct step forward towards enunciation of evangelical truth in Gospel dispensation. Implicitly the duties of repentance and faith are also inculcated in these verses. (33:10-20).
M. From Moment that News of Final Fall of Jerusalem Reaches Captives, Prophet’s Tongue is Set Loose, & He Begins to Speak of Resuscitation & Resurrection. Kingdom of Jehovah to be Restored & Full Spiritual Power, while Enemies of God’s People, Heathen Nations, are to be Utterly Destroyed. 585 B.C. Chapters 33:21-39. There is a difficulty here about the length of time which is supposed to elapse between the fall of the city and the announcement of that fall. Then fall took place 18 months previously. In consequence some would read here, & probably rightly, 11th for 12th, which is the reading of Syriac version. Years ‘of our captivity’ are dated from Jehoiachin’s captivity (1:2).
59. The news arrives: the prophet is no more dumb: the judgement is to be thorough: and then men will begin to seek to hear the prophet’s words, though at first they may not carry them out. 33:21-33.
60. The Lord through His prophet condemns the rulers and guides of His people, and pronounces judgement upon them. A separation is to take place between the good and the bad, and Jehovah will be the Good Shepherd of His people, while David shall be their ruler. 34:1-31. The break indicated by a new paragraph at P. 20 is not needed.
61. Edom because of its perpetual hostility to Israel is to have severe punishment meted out to it, and thus to realise the power of the Lord. 35:1-15.
62. A further prophecy looking back to the last. As the last was addressed to Mount Seir, so this one, in due symmetry, is addressed to the mountains of Israel. It continues the promise of restoration to God’s people. 36:1-15.
63. A further prophecy of cleansing and restoration for Israel. 36:16-38. The main idea conveyed in this prophecy is that it is clearly necessary that by the restoration of the people Jehovah’s position should be asserted and His omnipotence declared to the world. He who had power to punish had power also to restore to favour and in that power to guide His people for the future. The heathen nations were to be disabused of the idea that Jehovah was not strong enough to guard Israel
64. The vision of the valley of dry bones, and the Divine interpretation of that vision. 37:1-14. The language descriptive of this vision is of a unique and magnificent kind. There is a weirdness about the first part, and a realism about the whole that enthrals us. We seem to see the entire scene enacted, stage by stage, as the loose dry bones of each human frame collect together, and each takes its natural place in the building up of a skeleton. Then in due order sinews, flesh and skin come upon each to cover its framework. But the principle of life is still lacking. So a new development in the scene is required. The prophet is directed to invoke the spirit or breath from all quarters to enter into and take possession of the lifeless forms; the breath from the four winds arrives and immediately an immense host springs into existence, full of life and vigour. It is clearly obvious that the primary signification of this vision, both to the prophet and to those to whom the prophet spoke, had nothing whatever to do with the resurrection of the individual from the dead. We may justly see in it language which expresses for us the idea of that ‘Resurrection of the body,’ or ‘of the flesh’ as it is called in our Baptismal Service, in which our simplest form of Creed calls upon us to declare our belief. But for the prophet and his audience the vision was intended to convey a promise not to the individual, but to the body politic, ‘the whole house of Israel,’ and to speak to them of a renewal, under Divine inspiration, of the national life, and of a restoration to their own land.
65. By a symbolical action is pourtrayed the reunion as well as the restoration of Ephraim and Judah under David as their head, with an everlasting covenant between God and His people. 37:15-28.
66. The world-powers are to be permitted to make a final struggle against God’s people. 38:1-13. The whole idea intended to be conveyed by this chapter and the greater part of the next is of countless hordes of barbarians coming from various quarters and sweeping down upon the lands which they were to invade with relentless force and violence. Other countries were to suffer as well as Israel. But this invasion was to be followed by a judgement of God upon the invaders, involving their entire destruction, which is described as taking place in the land of Israel, and being so universal that seven months would elapse before it would be entirely cleansed from the pollution caused by the multitude of dead which would have against Gog. It describes the utter destruction of his people, and the burial of the hosts of dead which is to go on for seven months. 39:1-16.
69. Gods great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, together with the punishment of His people and their restoration and spiritual regeneration. 39:17-29.
N. Ezekiel De Civitate Dei, 40-48: This forms the last collection of the prophet’s utterances, with the exception of 29:17-21 which is dated fifteen years later. The dating throughout is from Jehoiachin’s captivity. The year intended here is 572 B.C. This section may be looked upon as an appendix to the rest of the book and as giving an idealised description of restored Israel, her country, her city and her Temple. “The Temple is Jehovah’s earthly residence: in the restored community, which Ezekiel imagines to be so transformed as to be truly worthy of Him (36:22-36), He will manifest His presence more fully than He had done before (37:25-28); His re-entry into the Temple, and His abiding presence there, are the two thoughts in which ch. 40-48. culminate (43:1-9; 48:35); to maintain, on the one hand the sanctity of the Temple, and on the other the holiness of the people, is the aim of the entire system of regulations.” (Driver, ‘O. T’. Lit. p. 274). A connection has been constantly traced between these chapters and those parts of the Pentateuch, which are commonly ascribed to a source P. It does not come within the purview of a commentator on this book to discuss the composition of the Pentateuch or the sources from which it is derived. For a discussion of the two questions as to the relation of these chapters to any particular part of the Pentateuch, and as to the relative dates of the two, see Introd. pp. 21 ff. The ideal is, in some respects, imperfectly worked out. No mention is made of a high priest, and the second of the great yearly Jewish feasts, the Feast of Weeks, is ignored. No satisfactory explanation for the omission of these, important as they are from a Jewish point of view, can be given. In the ground-plan at the end of this volume, ‘A’ is the Holy of Holies, ‘B’ the Holy Place, ‘C’ the “separate” place and its building, ‘D’ the position, as conjectured, of the chambers of the Temple.
70. The preface: The prophet is taken in vision to the land of Israel, and given a guide, and bidden to observe and hear all that is shewn and told to him. 40:1-4.
71. The outside wall of the Temple, the gate and lodges are described. 40:5-16.
72. After passing through the miter gateway, the outer court is reached. This is now described with its three gates, guard-rooms, and pavement, and the three gates opposite them leading into the inner court. 40:17-27.
73. The prophet now enters the inner court which is described in its turn with its guard-rooms, arches, gates and jambs. 40:28-37.
74. A description of various chambers, with the arrangements for the offering of sacrifices, the measurement of the court, and a mention of the altar in the court. 40:38-47.
75. Description of the porch of the Temple itself. 40: 48,49.
76. A description of the Temple with its side-chambers, basement, and ‘the building that was before the separate place.’ 41:1-14.
77. Sundry measurements; an account of the decorations of the Temple, of the altar, and of the doors. 41:15-26.
78. A description of the chambers and the uses to which they were to be put. 42:1-14.
79. The external measurements of the whole Temple enclosure. 43:15-20.
80. The Divine Being takes possession of His Temple, and gives directions to His people, upon the fulfilment of which He promises to be with them forever. 43:1-9.
81. The people are to have made known to them the details of the house and all the regulations connected with it and with its rites and ceremonies. 43:10-12.
82. Description of the Altar. 43:13-17.
83. The Dedication of the Altar. 43:18-27.
84. The prince’s entry to the Temple, and a specification as to who else is to have the right of entrance. 44:1-14.
85. The duties of the priests, the sons of Zadok, in detail, and their privileges and emoluments. 44:15-31.
86. Apportionment of the land for the Temple, the priests, the Levites, the city and the prince. 45:1-8.
87. Enactments as to weights & measures & offerings from the people for the prince to make. 45:9-17.
88. Of the two half-yearly fasts and festivals, which are apparently intended, one being still the Passover, to take the place of the Day of Atonement, and the three great feasts of the Torah legislation. 45:18-25.
89. Regulations about the entry of the priest and various festivals. 46:1-15.
90. Regulations as to the inheritance of land. 46:16-18.
91. Provision of places for cooking the sacrifices. 46:19-24.
92. The vision of the waters that came out of the house to make the land productive. 47:1-12:

“East the forefront of habitations holy: Gleamed to Engedi, shone to Eneglaim:
Softly thereout and from thereunder slowly: Wandered the waters, & delayed, & came.
Then the great stream, which having seen he showeth.
Hid from the wise but manifest to him,
Flowed and arose, as when Euphrates floweth,:
Rose from the ankles till a man might swim.
Even with so soft a surge and an increasing,:
Drunk of the sand & thwarted of the clod, Stilled & astir & checked & never ceasing:
–Spreadeth the great wave of the grace of God; Bears to the marishes and bitter places:
–Healing for hurt and for their poisons balm, Isle after isle in infinite embraces:
Floods and enfolds and fringes with the palm.”
(Myers, Saint Paul, p. 22.)

93. The borders of the land which is to be divided by lot. 47:13-23.
94. The portions of seven tribes to the north of the consecrated portion. 48:1-7: It is impossible to delineate on any map of Palestine these ideal sections of territory assigned to each tribe in the ideal land. They could only be represented by horizontal lines drawn across the country, and would not fit in with the natural features of the land. All is plainly ideal.
95. The consecrated portion with its various divisions. 48:8-22.
96. The portion of the remaining tribes to the south of the sacred enclosure. 48:23-29.
97. The gates of the city and its name [The LORD is there (Yehowah-Shammah, Jehushamah)]. 48:30-35.

(10) Prophet Ezekiel, Analytical Exposition. Arno C. Gaebelein; Author of Commentaries on Daniel, Joel, Zechariah, Matthew, Acts, Revelation, etc., Editor of “Our Hope.” 1918.gs

Analysis of Book:
{{ A careful reading of the Book of Ezekiel shows, in the first place, that the Prophet received messages and saw visions before the final destruction of Jerusalem, and after that catastrophe had taken place in fulfillment of his inspired predictions he received other prophecies. The predictions preceding the fall of Jerusalem are the predictions of the judgment to fall upon the city and upon Gentile nations, the enemies of Israel. The predictions Ezekiel received after the city had been destroyed are the predictions of blessing and glory for Israel and Jerusalem in the future. The first part of the book has found a fulfillment in the destruction of the city by Nebuchadnezzar. The second part is awaiting its fulfillment at the close of the times of the Gentiles, when Israel will be regathered, restored and the glory of the Lord returns to another temple, which Ezekiel beheld in a magnificent vision. All will be accomplished when the Lord returns to dwell in the midst of His people, so that the name of the city will be “Jehovah-Shammah” —”the Lord is there” (chapter 48:35). These two main divisions are clearly marked in the book itself. In chapter 43:21, after the Prophet had received a renewed call as watchman. We read: “And it came to pass in the twelfth (12th) year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, “The city is smitten.”” This determines the two parts.
Part I. Predictions before the Destruction of Jerusalem, (Chapters 1-32.).
Part II. Predictions after the Destruction of Jerusalem, (Chapter 33-48).
To show the perfect and orderly arrangement of the whole Book of Ezekiel we shall give a complete analysis. }}

{{ Part I. Predictions before Destruction of Jerusalem. Chapters 1-32.
Section A. Judgment Predictions concerning Jerusalem. Chapters 1-24.
1. Vision of Glory of the Lord & Call of Prophet (1-3:14).
2. Judgment announced. Four signs & their meaning. Two messages. (“The Word of the Lord came unto me,” chapters 6 & 7; chapters 3:15-7:27).
3. Visions in relation to Jerusalem (chapters 8-11).
a. Vision of abomination in Temple. Chapter 8.
b. Vision of man clothed in linen with inkhorn. Chapter 9.
c. Vision of coals of fire. Chapter 10.
d. Vision concerning leaders. Glory departs. Chapter 11.
4. Signs, Messages & Parables (chapters 12-19).
a. Signs given through Prophet. Chapter 12:1-20.
b. Message concerning speedy judgment. Chapter 12:21-28.
c. Message against false prophets & prophetesses. Chapter 13.
d. Message against idolatrous elders. Chapter 14.
e. Parable of Vine given to fire. Chapter 15.
f. Parable of abandoned child & Jerusalem’s harlotry. Chapter 16.
g. Parable & Riddle of two eagles & vine. Chapter 17.
h. Message concerning righteous judgments of God. Chapter 18.
i. Lamentations for Princes of Israel. Chapter 19.
5. Further & Final Predictions concerning Judgment of Jerusalem (chapter 20-24).
a. Jehovah rehearses His mercies bestowed upon Israel. Chapter 20.
b. Impending Judgment announced. Chapter 21.
c. Jerusalem’s sins & whoredoms. Chapter 22-23.
d. Parable of boiling pot. Last word. Chapter 24.
Section B. Predictions of Judgments against Nations. Chapters 25-32.
1. Against Ammon, Moab, Edom & Philistines (chapter 25).
2. Against Tyrus & Zidon (chapters 26-28).
3. Against Egypt (chapters 29-32).

Part II. Predictions after the Destruction of Jerusalem. Chapters 33-48.
Section A. Watchman & Shepherds. Chapters 33-34.
1. Renewed call of Ezekiel as Watchman (chapter 33:1-20) .
2. Ezekiel’s mouth opened after Jerusalem’s fall (chapter 33:21-33).
3. Message against Shepherds of Israel (chapter 34:1-19).
4. True Shepherd & Restoration promised (chapter 34:20-26).
Section B. Judgment announced against Mount Seir & Israel’s final Restoration promised. Chapters 35-36.
1. Message against Seir & Idumea (chapter 35).
2. Message of Comfort for Israel (chapter 36).
Section C. Future Blessings of Israel. Nation regathered. Their enemies overthrown. Millennial Temple. Chapters 37-48.
1. Vision of Dry Bones. Judah and Israel reunited (chapter 37).
2. Last enemies Gog & Magog & their destruction (chapters 38-39) .
3. Millennial Temple & its Worship (chapter 40-47:12).
4. Division of Land (chapter 47:13-48).

Ground Plan of Ezekiel’s Temple: House & Temple & Walls & Court & Chambers: East, West, South, North:
House & Temple: Central: A, B, C, D, E. Priest’s Inner Court: F, G, H, I. People’s Outer Court: K, L, M, N, O.
A. Temple House, 41.
B. Altar of Burnt Offering, 43:13.
C. Inner Court.
D. Gates to lnner Court, 40::28.
E. Separate Place, 46:10.
P. Hinder Building, 41:12.
G. Priest’s Kitchen, 46:19
H. Chambers for Priests, 42:1.
I. Chambers, 44.
K. People’s Kitchen, 46:21-24.
L. Gates into Outer Court, 40:6.
M. Pavement, 40:18.
N. Chambers in Outer Court (80) 40:17.
O. Outer Court. Temple Stream

Millennial Temple & its Worship. Land & its Glory. Chapter 40-48.
I. Description of Temple. Chapters 40-42.
II. Temple Worship. Chapters 43-46.
III. Vision Concerning Land. Chapters 47-48.

I. Description of Temple. Chapters 40-47.
Chapter 40:
1. Introduction. Verses 1-4.
2. Gate toward East. Verses 5-16.
3. Outer Court. Verses 17-27.
4. Inner Court. Verses 28-37.
5. Tables for Offerings & Chambers for Inner Court. Verses 38-47.
6. Porch of House. Verses 48-49.
Chapter 41:
1. Holy Place. Verses 1-2.
2. Most Holy. Verses 3-4.
3. Side Chambers. Verses 5-11.
4. Hinder Buildings & Measurement. Verses 12-14.
5. Description of Interior of Temple. Verses 15-26.
Chapter 42:
1. Priest’s Chambers in Inner Court. Verses 1-14.
2. Final Measurements. Verses 15-20.

II. Temple Worship. Chapters 43-46.
Chapter 43:
1. Return of Glory of the Lord & Filling House.
Verses 1-9.
2. Address to Nation. Verses 10-12.
3. Dimensions of Altar. Verses 13-17.
4. Offerings to be Brought. Verses 18-27.
Chapter 44:
1. Outward Eastern Gate for Prince. Verses 1-3.
2. Charge concerning Strangers & Rebellious Tribes.
Verses 4-14.
3. Charge concerning Priests, Sons of Zadok. Verses 15-27.
4. Inheritance of Priests. Verses 28-31.
Chapter 45:
1. Portions of Priests, Levites, of whole House of Israel & Prince. Verses 1-8.
2. Concerning Prince. Verses 9-17.
3. Feast of Passover & Feast of Tabernacles. Verse 18-25.
Chapter 46:
1. Worship of Prince. Verses 1-8.
2. Further Instruction as to Worship. Verses 9-15.
3. Concerning Prince, his Sons & his Servants. Verses 16-18.
4. Final Description of places in Temple. Verses 19-24.

III. Vision concerning Land. Chapter 47-48.
Chapter 47:
1. Waters of Healing from Temple. Verses 1-12.
2. Borders of Land. Verses 13-21.
3. Concerning Stranger in Land. Verses 22-23.
Chapter 48:
1. Portion of Seven Tribes. Verses 1-7.
2. Oblation for Sanctuary, for City & for Prince. Verses 8-29.
3. Gates of City & its new Name (Jehovah-Shammah). Verses 30-35.

Plan of Division of Land & Tribes of Israel: Central: Sanctuary & Area & Priests & Levites & City of Jerusalem (Yehowah-Shammah):
North: Judah, Reuben, Ephraim, Manasseh, Naphtali, Asher, Dan. South: Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulon, Gad.
Territory belonging to City: Sanctuary & Area, City of Jerusalem, Possession of Prince, Entire Oblation. }}

(10) Temple of Ezekiel: Elucidation of 40th-48th Chapters of Ezekiel, Consistently with Hebrew Original; & a Minute Description of Edifice, on Scientific Principles; Illustrated by a Ground-Plan & Bird’s Eye View; with Appendix, Containing Critical Remarks on Authenticity of Book of Daniel; & Inquiry into Discrepancy between Jewish & Christian Universal Chronology; by Solomon Bennett, R.A. of Berlin; Author of ‘Constancy of Israel’. 1811, 1824.)gs

Solomon’s ‘Temple of Ezekiel’ of 1811 & 1824.
{{ Preface: The part of the book of Ezekiel, which contains the Prophet’s description of the Temple, as seen by him in his Vision, presents greater difficulties, and is less accurately understood, either by the Christian world, or by the Hebrews themselves, than any other portion of the holy Scriptures. If, indeed, we believe the learned among both, by whom the subject has been discussed, and who have pronounced the Vision to be altogether allegorical, we are to consider the time as wasted, and the labor fruitless, which we bestow upon its investigation; for who is able to expound, what is beyond the reach of human comprehension? (ki mi ‘md bsud Yhwh) “Who,” says the prophet, “hath stood in the council of God?” (Jer. 23:18.) Prejudice, which is ever as ready to condemn as it is unable to confute, and which is doubly virulent on subjects of a literary nature, has not failed to assail the present attempt —and the child has been stigmatised before its birth. For this reason it is incumbent on me to notice the premature objections to this comment; and in so doing I hope satisfactorily to refute them. I have met with individuals who were of opinion, that an attempt to explain the text on scientific principles, was heretical, and an attack on Revelation: ‘that it should therefore be explained figuratively, as signifying the temple of Christ, &’. According to this opinion, we should be obliged to reject all the minute details and the accurate admeasurements, recorded by Ezekiel, accounting them merely as mystical symbols. Two objections are urged against the reception of the vision according to its simple meaning. The first, that the temple built by Zerubabel and the Great Synagogue who re-established the commonwealth of Judea, was inferior in ‘splendor’ to that which Ezekiel here describes, and consequently could not be the temple so revealed to him. And the second, on the ground of its ‘instability’ —Jerusalem and this temple having been destroyed by the Romans. For these reasons many of the Rabbinical commentators concluded that the temple of the Prophet must mean a ‘third’ temple, viz. for the time to come; which opinion has been almost universally adopted. The opponents of Judaism have not failed to turn this to their own advantage, and adduce it as a proof that the whole is a mere emblematical representation of the ‘Temple of Christ’. I can only characterise this view of the subject, as an attempt to explain one mystery by another, and a greater one! But we are to recollect that the object of Ezekiel in almost all his prophecies and exhortations to the Jews during the Babylonish captivity, was, to encourage them under their sufferings, and to stimulate their exertions for the re-establishment of the commonwealth; that therefore most of those prophecies had direct reference to such an event, which had been severally foretold by Jeremiah, by Haggai, by Zachariah, and by Malachi; and which duly came to pass. Now where would have been the use of telling the dispersed and captive Jews of a ‘third’ temple, when they were actually suffering under afflictions, from which they could only look forward to a ‘second’ as a signal of their release? what consolation were they to derive from the prospect of an imaginary temple, —a temple as it were ‘in the air’,— when they stood in immediate want of a real and material one? Yet such has become the opinion, and such is the (miscalled) reasoning, of modern scholars. What reasonable being would thus pervert the clear, and simple meaning of the Sacred writings, into mysteries little less absurd than the fictions of romance! We read in Exodus the description of a tabernacle, erected after a plan given by Moses, with all its dimensions, ornaments, vessels, &c.; and which continued until the Israelites settled in Palestine. Shiloh then became the place of residence for the tabernacle, and this place was the metropolis of Israel, during a period of more than 450 years; until King David transferred the seat of government, and with it the tabernacle, to Jerusalem. David gave order to his son Solomon, to erect a temple in Jerusalem, for the performance of divine worship, according to a plan and a model which he had in his possession; and this temple was erected by king Solomon, as described in 1st Kings, ch. 6. This temple also lasted above 400 years, and until the Babylonian captivity. During this period, which extended to 70 years, there were among the Israelites many learned men, —prophets, poets, and teachers; one of the most eminent of whom was the priest and prophet Ezekiel. Among the visions imparted to him was one, of a magnificent temple, which he minutely describes in the chapters I am about to discuss, and which was to be built upon the restoration of the Israelites from their captivity. What then could induce enthusiasts to pervert the plain expressions and meaning of the text, so as to make a mystery of it? and to fabricate temples which had no existence but in their own imaginations? (hythpa’er haggarzen ‘l hchtzb bo ’ythgdl hmsor ‘l mnipo ) “Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it?” (Is. 10:15.) Shall the school-boy, then, instruct his preceptor; or the apprentice teach his master? shall the Christian better understand the Hebrew literature, and know its history from its primitive to its present state, than the Hebrews themselves?………..
I have given due attention to the several draughts of the temple of Ezekiel, proposed by different authors; particularly, those of Calmet, Stackhouse, &c.; but am quite unable to discover upon what authorities they are founded —they are altogether unsupported by the text. Dr. Gill has, in his Exposition of the Bible, taken more pains than any subsequent critic; he has however only aimed at collecting the opinions of the various Hebrew commentators, such as Rab. Solomon Jarchi, David Kimchi, Rab. Lippman, and others, Rabbinical and Christian. But the confusion arising from these multifarious and conflicting opinions, would embarrass the clearest understanding; so that the reader, after a laborious but vain attempt to grapple with them, is compelled to relinquish the attempt; and for want of a positive exposition, and a well-arranged design as a key to it, again relapses into uncertainty or error. In order to facilitate the reading of these chapters, I have taken upon me the task of presenting the reader with such comments on Ezekiel’s vision of the temple as are contained in the works of the most celebrated doctors and commentators among the Hebrews, particularly Rab. Solomon Jarchi, and Rab. Lipmann; and in some places, where they fall short, or are contradictory in their explanations, I have given my own opinion by way of reason and demonstration. To this I have adapted a ‘ground-plan’, accurately constructed upon the measurements, dimensions, and calculations, described in the above-mentioned passages; and a ‘bird’s-eye view’ in its full perspective and elevations. By these helps it is hoped that the reader will find his path cleared of the difficulties by which it has been hitherto impeded. I also think it proper to observe, that though the visions of Ezekiel were in part relating to a time to come, yet we all agree in the opinion that the greater part of them were temporary, and were fulfilled at the restoration from the Babylonish captivity. The temple of Ezekiel, then, was a ‘temporary one’, as well as for the ‘time to come’; for which reason I shall not omit to remark, that the construction of the second temple, which was effected by Zerubabel, his cotemporary prophets, and colleagues, viz. the(Knsth hGdolh, (Great Synagogue, Knesset, Parliament)) “Great Congress” in general, was, in its essential parts, an ‘imitation’ of that of Ezekiel, particularly those parts of it which constituted the separate place, i.e. the holy of holiness; and all the buildings adjoining to this latter place were an imitation of the description given by the prophet, of those correspondent parts of the western side. This I shall notice in the course of the comment, as authenticated by the doctors of the Mishnah (Massecheth Midoth), who have given us a full description of the second temple, and whose authority, being that of eye-witnesses, should be considered as unquestionable, for they were most of them contemporary with the second temple; and it is from this source that all the commentators have derived their assistance. It is also worthy of notice, that the later prophets, viz. Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi; and Zerubabel, and Joshua the high priest, with his colleagues of the priesthood, and also the great synagogue of the Judeans of that period, who were the constructors and promoters of that great undertaking, had some of them known the prophet Ezekiel personally, and most probably had received verbal instructions relating to their future political state, and to the above-mentioned work, exclusively of what he gave in writing…….
We now come to the re-established and ‘reformed’ government of the Judeans. Cyrus, king of Persia, having by permission of divine providence become ruler over all the east, issued a proclamation, purporting, that the Judeans should be set at liberty, and be allowed to re-establish their government, on a reformed system, congenial to patriarchal principles, and the Mosaic code. This decree, in all probability, ordained, that the new republic should be, in some measure, dependent upon, and protected by the court of Persia, which indeed was ‘requisite’ at the time of its first re-establishment. We read in Ezra (chap. 1.) the proclamation of Cyrus, which ran as follows: “Thus said Cyrus, king of Persia. The Lord, God of heaven, hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and hath charged me to build Him a House at Jerusalem, which is in Judah, &c. &c.” Cyrus also restored the gold and silver vessels belonging to the temple, which Nebuchadnosor had carried away to Babylon, and which amounted to 5400 in number (Ezra, chap. 1. v. 11.) As to the number of the Hebrew congregation, who returned to re-establish the Judean government, it does not appear that it amounted to more than 40,360, exclusive of those whom they found inhabitants of Jerusalem, the posterity of those who had not been carried into captivity. The leading men in the early part of the restoration of the Judeans, were, Ezra, and Zerubabel, with their adherents, and Joshua the high priest, with his suite of priests, Levites, &c. But while the restored government was yet in its infancy, and the number of the people comparatively small, their prosperity drew upon them the jealousy of their neighbors, who hired counsellors, and wrote accusations against them (Ezra, chap. 4.). These enemies of the Hebrews succeeded in their designs, and the rebuilding of the temple was interrupted during the time of Artaxerxes, or Ahasuerus, until the second year of Darius, who was the third successor of Cyrus (Ezra, 4:24). From the proclamation of Cyrus, until the second year of the reign of Darius, there elapsed a period of eighteen (18) years. Notwithstanding difficulties, Haggai, and Zechariah the prophet, together with Joshua the high priest, and many other conspicuous characters among the Judeans, still encouraged them to persevere in the re-establishment of Jerusalem, and of the temple. They also endeavored to counteract the designs of their enemies by sending copies of the Treaty made with Cyrus, and documents relating thereto, regarding the rebuilding of the city and temple; and at the same time represented the liberality of Cyrus in defraying the expense of rebuilding the temple from his own treasury, as well as in restoring its gold and silver vessels. These representations had their desired effect, and Darius, having searched the depositories for these documents, and found the ‘roll’, as executed by Cyrus, renewed the treaty, and passed a decree, that no one should venture to disturb the future progress of the work. He granted, that the future expenses of the building, and of the sacrifices, should be defrayed from the royal treasury. The decree concluded as follows:
“Whosoever shall alter this decree, let timber be pulled down from his house, and let him be hanged thereupon, and let his house he made a dunghill, for I Darius made the decree, and let it be executed, &c.” (Ezra 7:11,12) The new ‘Democratic’ Judean government was conducted by the before-mentioned prophets and chief members, under the denomination of the (Knsth hGdolh, (Knesset, Parliament)), Great Congress; who were the later prophets, Ezra, Nehemiah, &c. Zerubabel, &c. Joshua the high priest, &c., consisting of 120 members chosen from among the most learned and pious men among the Jews. This body received the countenance and support of the succeeding Persian monarchs.
Let us now resume the most essential part of our subject, viz. The rebuilding of the Temple. I stated, above, that during the 70 years of the captivity, the civil and religious ordinances of the Hebrews were continued by their prophets, and great men; who, as they doubtless had personal intercourse with each other, transmitted verbally, or in writing, to their successors, all the particulars relating to the present subject, as well as what related to the reorganisation of the civil government. I have already mentioned the great difficulties which the Judeans had to encounter, from the jealousy of their surrounding neighbours, who endeavoured to excite the distrust and enmity of Cyrus’s successors; and in particular of Ahasuerus, during whose reign the famous, or rather notorious, Haman, spoken of in the Book of Esther, endeavoured his utmost to prejudice them in the mind of his sovereign. But all those obstacles were finally surmounted in the second year of the reign of Darius, as before mentioned; and the re-establishment of the Judean government went progressively on, during the reign of the last-mentioned monarch and the succeeding kings of Persia. When we contemplate the conduct of the leading men among the Judeans, and particularly of the prophets, during the term of their captivity, we cannot but be struck with admiration at their zeal, perseverance, and wisdom, and the dignity with which they filled their important stations, until the restoration of their government in its original patriarchal form. The new establishment was under the direction of the Great Congress already mentioned; who, there is every reason to suppose, acted with equal justice, prudence, and piety; and who thought it a duty ‘not to impose on the liberality’ of the Persian monarchs in the restoring of the city, and building of the Temple. So that, notwithstanding the liberal decree of Darius, they resolved to ‘deviate’ in part from the original grandeur of the plan proposed and described by Ezekiel. Another subject of consideration with them, was, that they could not expect much assistance from the bulk of the Hebrew congregation who returned from the captivity. These amounted to little more than 40,000, and were chiefly of the poorer class, such as husbandmen and mechanics, who could do little more than subsist themselves and their families. Therefore, having justly considered all the circumstances, they determined to adopt the plan of Ezekiel in its ‘principal parts’ only, viz. The actual Temple, and the Sanctuary, with its adjoining buildings, which formed the western side of the proposed fabric, as we find testified in Mishnah Midoth. The remaining and less essential parts, such as the halls, porches, courts, &c., they judiciously determined to defer, until a more favourable opportunity; when the increase of the population, and the prosperous state of the commonwealth, should justify the completion of the plan in its full extent, agreeably to the scriptural direction given to Ezekiel. They accordingly contented themselves for the present with a smaller and a simpler building, or with the remnants of the first temple, as we are told from the same authority.
Notwithstanding that, at the period of the restoration of the second Temple, the House of Israel was rich in the possession of men skilled in divinity and jurisprudence, and eminent for heroism, yet it was far from distinguished for pecuniary wealth. As the population increased, and the territory improved, there arose a necessity for many public works, such as, aqueducts; fortresses, to secure them from the annoyance of their jealous neighbours; and arsenals, with magazines of war like stores. These were supplied at considerable expense, consisting principally of body-armour, of which we are told they possessed great abundance. These burdens necessarily increased with their increasing population and prosperity; and extended defensive warfare became necessary in proportion as their growing importance drew upon them the envy and the fears of their neighbours. Abundant proof of this may be seen in the Books of the Maccabees, in Josephus, Philo, and others; from whom we learn, that from the time of the re-establishment of the Second Temple, the Hebrews were engaged in, continual hostilities with the neighbouring Greeks and Arabians; and, finally, in the long and uninterrupted war with the Romans, which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus Vespasian. These reasons will be considered, I hope, as a sufficient explanation, why the Temple was not completed according to original intention; which the Judeans had neither the means, nor the opportunity, of effecting. But although the House of Israel did not experience, during the period of the second Temple, the blessings promised to them by their Prophets, it does not follow that those promises are not yet to be fulfilled: “The hand of God is not shortened that it cannot save;” (Isai. 59:1.) and Samuel says, “God will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake.” (Bas. I. 12:22.) And as it pleased God to establish them when He brought them out of the Egyptian and the Babylonian captivities, and to preserve them during so many calamities, from the earliest until the present time, so it may yet please Him to raise up the House of Israel, as foretold by His prophets: when “God will turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord with one consent,” (Zeph. 3:9.) “And all nations will flow into it, and will say; Come ye, let us go up into the Mountain of God, &c.” Then will there be a general unanimity among all people; and then also, not only will the Temple for God’s service be completed in its proposed magnitude and grandeur, but there shall be no future restrictions or impediments in discharging the duties due to the House of God. Amen.
It remains to observe, that each verse or passage is prefixed to the comment of which it forms the subject; and in those places where the text has been corrupted, and misconceived, or the version is obscure, I have introduced the original Hebrew text, ‘at the same time endeavouring to rectify the errors of former translations by giving the true sense. The dimensions and calculations belonging to the context I have marked in alphabetical order, referring to the ground-plan; by which method the reader may continue to read without interruption. And, finally, to render the elucidation complete, a second plate is added, exhibiting a bird’s-eye view of that perfect and magnificent structure, with an explanatory appendix, and references to the Scripture text. This will be found, in many instances, as essential to the text as the ground-plan itself; and without such aid, the Vision of the prophet Ezekiel will ever remain obscure, even to the most acute and intelligent inquirer. ‘London, February’, 1811. }}
(11) Temple of Ezekiel’s Prophecy; Exhibition of Nature, Character, & Extent of Building Represented in Last Nine Chapters of Ezekiel, & Shortly to be Erected in Land of Israel, “A House of Prayer for All People,” (Isa. 56:7; Mark 11:17) with Plates, Drawn from Specification of the Inspired Testimony, by Henry Sulley; Published by Author. (1887)gs
Sulley’s ‘Temple of Ezekiel’s Prophecy’:
{{ Preface: The last nine chapters of the prophecy of Ezekiel contain a description of a building never yet erected. On this there is a general agreement among critics, notwithstanding that considerable difference of opinion has existed, and does exist, among them, as to the nature, construction, and purpose of the building seen in vision by the prophet. There is, in fact, a babel of voices upon the subject, which has never hitherto been fully understood. It may safely be asserted that for centuries these chapters have been a mystery, alike to both Jew and Gentile. Neither ancient nor modern writers appear to have comprehended the wonderful things contained in them. Many books have been written, and elaborate drawings made to explain the vision. The writer of this treatise has inspected many plans, and has read many expositions of the prophecy that have been put forth by the learned; but he has found nothing satisfactory among them. The problems, architectural and otherwise, that are involved in the vision, are not solved by their suggestions or theories. The writer ended his investigation in that direction some years ago, with the conviction that the true interpretation had not been grasped by any of the manifold students of the subject in past times. Failure is frankly confessed in some cases, and nearly all would, probably, join in the wish expressed by one writer, that “a book may be produced which will put the question at rest”. The causes of failure to understand the vision are not enigmatical to those who know the truth. (Some have ignored the prophetic character of the vision, and have worked on the supposition that it is merely a record of the chief features of Solomon’s Temple, so far as remembered by Ezekiel and his fellow exiles, in order to enable the children of Israel to rebuild the Temple when the time of their promised restoration took place; and that to those features the prophet added fanciful features of his own, or embodied in his description improvements which were considered desirable to introduce whenever the building should be re-erected. It is needless to say, that such an idea not only renders the prophecy unintelligible, but ignores the character of Ezekiel as a prophet; or, at all events, tarnishes his Name in making him publish as a vision that which he himself has merely concocted as an aid to memory. Such a theory casts a doubt upon his inspiration, and dishonours him as a prophet of God; but the vision can be shewn to be prophetic, and this removes one great obstacle raised by such writers in the way of a solution……
It was at the request of some of these, conjoined with supplication to the God of heaven, that He would reveal to us the secret, that the study of the Ezekiel Temple prophecy was commenced by the writer some ten years since. Friends supposed his profession would be some qualification for the work. His studies were pursued with more or less continuous application for seven years, and were largely supplemented by critical assistance of those qualified to interpret the Hebrew tongue, without which one unacquainted with Hebrew could not expect to arrive at a correct understanding of the vision. The work now presented to the reader is the result. This result has been attained by patient investigation and careful construction. It has been a work of analysis first, and synthesis afterwards. The writer has carefully avoided jumping to conclusions. Almost every passage of Scripture having a bearing upon the subject has been examined, criticised, and put to the test. In the process of investigation every care has been used to get at a correct rendering of the original, for there were difficulties in the translation —not insuperable difficulties, nor difficulties involving any great alteration in the translation, but, from the very nature of the case, it was necessary to search for any variety of technical meaning which might underlie the original. The chief difficulty, however, is not the translation, but the absence of any plan to explain the descriptions, Architects, and other trained experts, find a difficulty in understanding even a comprehensive description of any building without a plan, accompanying the written description. How much more difficult to understand Ezekiel’s brief specifications, unaccompanied by any plan, even the most rudimentary; but of course this was the problem to be solved.

The solution has been reached, first, by ascertaining indisputable general facts, and then, having attained a correct understanding of the different elements composing the structure, to proceed to fit them together. Almost innumerable drawings were made during the course of this process, and those which contained some element inconsistent with the general specification of the prophet were eventually cast aside. In this way, one feature of the building after another became visible upon the horizon of thought, and was registered as an accepted fact to be transferred to paper when the whole should be complete. In this process, almost every preconceived notion, plan, or suggestion, came to be thrown aside. In fact, the greatest difficulties in the way of the comprehension of the true plan were ultimately discovered to be these preconceived notions. The reader must therefore follow the writer in this, in order to do justice to the study of the subject. He must put away from his mind all preconceived ideas on the subject; he will then be the better prepared to follow the argument that elucidates the prophecy. He will see that Ezekiel’s specification represents a building unique in construction, and entirely different from anything the world has ever seen; indeed it can hardly be said that other plans have been drawn from the prophet’s specifications —they are mostly guesses, with which the vision is supposed to agree. The plans before the reader of this book are the result of a strict and scientific examination of the vision itself. They are totally different from anything present to the mind of the writer when he began the study. A patient perusal on the part of the reader will probably lead him to join in the opinion expressed by many who have seen the drawings, that they represent the kind of building required by the whole scope of the vision shown to Ezekiel. If a true solution of the prophecy has been attained, we must conclude that it has been given by the Father, through the Son; for, as it is written concerning the building itself, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1 ), so it may be said that the understanding of this vision could only come by His directing hand. Man need not be inspired to be the subject of His direction and control. There are innumerable ways in which thoughts are caused to come into the mind, and a man may analyse and synthesize from youth to old age without getting at the comprehension of a prophecy unless the Father give’ the key. The development of the present exposition appears explicable only upon this principle. In the course of his study, curious incidental circumstances have at certain points led the writer’s mind, directed his thoughts, and called his attention to features which are essential to the understanding of the vision, and yet which a casual attention could not have noticed…….}}

Contents: Analysis & Outline & Comments:

{{ Chapter 1: (Israelitish people — Their future — “He that scattered will gather” — nations (Gentiles) & Israel: blessings to former in restoration of latter — Temple & Tabernacle of past history designed by God, & erected under divine supervision —Analogy— Logical deductions.)
Section I: Relation of the subject to the Israelitish People
Section II: Nations & Israel —Blessing to former, in Restoration of latter.
Section III: Summary — Statement Deductions.

Chapter 2: (Ezekiel 40:1-4) Time of vision, significant fact in connection with subject matter of prophecy— locality of things seen, exactly defined & subversive of previous notions on & subject— Coming physical changes in locality — measuring angel, i.e., “a man like unto the appearance of brass”— line of flax in his hand— measuring reed— opening injunction, its importance to readers of prophecy, & its ultimate significance.)

Section I: Time of Vision: (….Thirdly—The year mentioned by Ezekiel is a year of Jubilee, i.e., a year which arrives in recurring periods of fifty. For proof of this assertion the reader is referred to the opening verses of the first (1st) and fortieth (40th) chapters. In the former, it is stated that Ezekiel saw certain things in the ” thirtieth (30th) year.” The question is, the thirtieth (30th) year of what? A comparison of facts will show that it was the thirtieth (30th) year of a Jewish epoch of fifty (50) years. Thus the thirtieth (30th) year was also the fifth (5th) year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity. Now, as we have seen, the vision of the Temple was given in the five and twentieth (25th) year of the same Jehoiachin’s captivity; so, if we deduct five (5) years from the five and twenty (25), we get twenty (20) which, added to the thirty (30) mentioned by Ezekiel in the first chapter of his prophecy, completes the epoch of fifty (50) years. (*A simple and approximate calculation has been made to show that the year in which Ezekiel saw the vision was a Jubilee year: —Josiah reigned 31 years. He held the Passover in his 18th year —Deduct 18 years. This leaves a period of thirteen (13) years from commencement of Passover to end of his reign. Jehoahaz reigned 3 months. Jehoiachim reigned 11 years. Jehoiachin reigned 3 months. Zedekiah reigned 11 years. This would give what would be the time when the city was smitten: 35 years & 6 months. Ezekiel received the vision after this event 14 years. Total 49 yrs. 6 mnths. Thus accounting for a period of 50 years, allowing a short interval for the removal of one king and the setting up another during the troublesome times of the Babylonish captivity.) Therefore, the vision recorded in the 40th chapter was given in a year which would have been reckoned as a year of Jubilee in the days of Israel’s prosperity. Under the circumstances, however, it was to them a year, amongst others, of sorrow, mourning, and woe.)
Section II: Locality of Things seen: Very High Mountain.
Section III: Man like unto appearance of Brass.
Section IV: Line of Flax.
Section V: Measuring Reed.

Section VI: Opening Injunction. (Taking the last quotation as explanatory of the first, and comparing the one with the other, the salient features of this injunction appear to be— 1. That Ezekiel is styled “Son of Man.” 2. That deep and sincere concentration of mind is essential for the comprehension of the vision. 3. That such comprehension can only come by carefully collating every fact stated, even to the minutest detail, and that such a conspectus must include every “law,” every “ordinance,” every “coming” in, and every “going forth of the sanctuary.” 4. That all Ezekiel saw and heard he was to make known to the House of Israel. The salutation “Son of Man” is significant, in view of the fact that Ezekiel is a man of sign to the House of Israel. It becomes more so when those things addressed to him under that title are noted. The measuring angel is represented as saying to Ezekiel, “Son of man, thus saith the Lord God”:…..From this testimony, it is evident that when the things exhibited in the Ezekiel vision become accomplished facts, Ezekiel will be there, and take a prominent part in the organization of the Temple worship. He thus stands forth as a representative of the ‘resurrected’ class, and therefore is a man of sign to the Spiritual House of Israel, as well as to the natural descendants of Abraham. From this, it would follow, that the injunction given to Ezekiel is also intended for ‘every prospective constituent of the spiritual house’, of which he forms a part. To such, the Spirit saith, “Behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee;” observe also, “all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the House of the Lord, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary.” The writer has taken the injunction as a “‘touch-stone'” with which to test the many attempts that have been made to expound this vision. None have answered the test. The non-observance of the ‘injunction’ by the authors of many absurd drawings probably explains their failure to expound the ‘vision’. Not even the most careful students of the subject seem hitherto to have grasped its meaning. Some have done good service in critical and scholastical emendation of the text, but no one has produced a drawing which can be said even to pretend to find a reasonable place for all the features mentioned in the prophecy. In every case, some important element is missing. One writer, whose attempt to understand the vision is frustrated by his refusal to believe that the Temple is to be a house of sacrifice and prayer unto all people during Messiah’s reign, does not even presume to think his work is conclusive, and says of it, that he “hopes it may lead someone to produce a book upon the subject which ‘will set the matter at rest’.” This, then, is the writer’s aim. Whether that object is accomplished, others must decide.
So far, however, as the writer can see, this exposition does find a reasonable place for everything mentioned by Ezekiel, even if it be not the exact pattern of what Ezekiel saw….)

CHAPTER III: Ezekiel 40, verses 5-43; 41, verses 1-12; 46, verses 19-24.
The wall round about the house, co-extensive with and forming the outside boundary —The gates with their twofold divisions, and their relation to the wall —The chief constructional features of the outer courts —The pavements —The “chambers” flanking the outer wall —The arches roundabout—The “arithmetical” proof —The extent of the outer courts —The gates of the inner courts vis a vis with those in the outside wall —The chambers flanking the inner court —”The galleries” —”The porches of the court” ” —and the “Corner courts.”
Section I. Wall on Outside of House Round About.

Section II. Gates: (A certain celebrated architect said: “The gateways, notwithstanding the minuteness of his (Ezekiel’s) details, are a puzzle not easy to solve.” He also ventured to assert that they were “hardly worth spending much time upon.” One ventures to think, that if the gentleman in question had understood the subject, he would not have spoken in this manner. Study has convinced the writer, and may convince the reader, that the understanding of the construction of the gates is of supreme importance to the understanding of the whole structure. This may be gathered from the fact that the bulk of the fortieth (40th) chapter is occupied in their description. They are, indeed, the ‘key’ of the specification. Entering the building with this key, and carefully remembering the injunction of Ezekiel’s guide, we may unlock the mystery of the vision. These gates, though used for purposes of ingress, are not a mere opening in the wall. Even a cursory glance at the chapter reveals this fact. They are composed of several important parts, which, put together, make a perfect whole, and comprise entrances, posts, columns, chambers, &c. The gates partake more of the character of ‘gate buildings’ than structural entrances, as we conventionally understand “gates.” The Hebrew word translated “gate,” in its primary meaning, does not involve a gate building. It only has this meaning in a derived sense. The word is used several times throughout Ezekiel’s specifications in its primary sense, and therefore it must be remembered that the word “gate” does not necessarily refer to a “gate building” in every case, or even to a gate at all in the sense in which Englishmen understand the term. In our conception of the gates of the Temple described by Ezekiel, we must not be guided by any foreign instances, ancient or modern, but must follow strictly the specifications given.
Conducted by the angel “to the gate which looketh toward the east” (verse 6), Ezekiel sees its several features measured. These are—
1. The entrance thresholds.
2. The chambers of the gate.
6. The pedestals of the gateway.
4. The threshold of the gate “by the porch of the gate within.”
5. “The porch of the gate within.”
G. The porch of the gate within the court.
7. The length and breadth of the gate building.
8. The boundary and the roof of the little chambers.
9. The “palm trees” of the gate.
10. The arches.
11. The lattice work.
These details are not all fully specified in the description of the first gate, but they come out on collating all the items scattered in the description of the other gates. All the gates are alike (see chap. 40, verses 21,24, 28, 32, 35), and that which is affirmed of one applies to all. It is, in fact, a feature of the specification, that important details are, to all appearance, incidentally mentioned, and are also found where they appear to be out of place in the testimony. Such matters, taken in their isolated occurrences, appear to be unconnected with the immediate context; but taken in connection with the vision as a whole, they supply important links. The whole vision is, in fact, the context to each part…….

A. Entrance Thresholds.
B. Chambers of Gate.
C. Pedestals in Gateway.
D. Threshold of Gate by Porch of Gate within.
E. Porch of Gate within.
F. Porch of Gate within Court.
G. Length & breadth of Gate Building.
H. Roof of Chambers of Gate & their “Boundary”.
I. Palm Trees of the Gate.
J. Arches.
K. Lattice-Work.
Summary: (We have now followed Ezekiel’s guide in his delineation of the several features of the gate to the end. We commenced by observing how he ascended the steps and measured its two thresholds on the front (or entering) end of the gateway. We have looked into the little chambers, and have peered through the lattice into the court beyond. We have seen the length and breadth of those enormous entrance doors, whose breadth is twice as great as any ordinary gateway, and whose height exceeds the height of the eaves line of an ordinary two-story dwelling. We have seen the companion doors on the exit side of the gateway, through whose portals the returning visitor will pass in peace. We have looked at those massive pedestals and their sub-bases or foundations standing between the little chambers; and we have glanced upwards to those immense columns, rising like palm trees above the gateway on either side, with leaf-like spreading top, whose majestic arms receive the arches of the gate. Consider this gateway in its length and breadth —one hundred feet long by seventy-four feet broad: (* The chambers on either side measure six cubits, and these, together with the width of the gateway (twenty-five cubits), make up the total English measure of seventy-four feet, taking two feet to equal one cubit.) a building itself, and larger than most public halls in England. Such a gateway, furnished with its latticed or crystal screens, would almost overwhelm the observer with a sense of its magnificence, and would be a noble entrance way to that which lies beyond.)

Section III: Outer Courts:
A. “Pavement” & “Gates”.
B. Cellae flanking Outer Court . (Upon consulting the general ground plan of the sanctuary, the reader will notice four square courts marked off from the rest in each corner. These are the “corner courts” mentioned in the forty-sixth (46th) chapter. They are shown on the plan one hundred and eighty (180) cubits square. The reason for this will be given further on, when dealing with that part of the specification. Now for the arithmetical proof already referred to, indicating that a correct interpretation of the specification has been found:—
Cubits = (2 Feet ‘ ):
Side of Sanctuary: 3000 cubits (6000 ft’); Deduct space occupied by two corner courts, each one = 180 cbts: 2×180 cubits = 360 cubits = 720 ft’; Remainder 2640 cubits = (5280 ft’)
Arches = 25 cbts = (50 ft’) span; Pedestals = 6 cbts = (12 ft’) across, & taking two half sides of 3 cbts each = adding 6 cbts (12 ft’); we get distance from centre to centre of Archway supports = 25 cbts + 6 cbts = 31 cbts total = (50 ft’ + 12 ft’ = 62 ft’)
‘Take this divisor, and divide two thousand six hundred and forty’ cbts (2640 cbts = 5280 ft’ ). Result is remainder of five cbts (5 cbts = 10 ft’). ‘Now, five cubits’ is just the measure required to provide a ‘complete column’ at either end of the Outer Court, for the purpose of carrying the last Arch, which would finish up to each of the Corner Courts.
This fact may be re-stated in the following form:—
Cubits: (Feet): 2 Corner Courts: 180 cbts X 2 = 360 cbts = (720 ft’); 85 Arches, 31 cubits from centre to centre of their supports, = 2635 cbts (85×31=2635 cbts = 5270 ft’); 2 half Columns, in order to form complete column at each end, equal 5 cbts ( 10 ft’); ‘Measure of one side of Sanctuary’ = 3000 cubits (6000 feet). These figures demonstrate the unity of the construction of the Gates and the Cellae, and also “prove” the Plan.)
C. Extent of Outer Court.
D. Inner Court Gates & Cellae flanking Inner Court.
E. Porches of Court & Galleries.
F. Details of Buildings on South, East, & North sides, & Entrances to whole.
G. Fourth Side.

Section IV: Corner Courts.
CHAPTER IV: Ezekiel 40, verses 44-49 ; 41, verses 1-26.
The inner court and its sub-division —The buildings in it —The “inner Temple” and “the Tabernacle,” the difference between the Two —The cella: encircling the central area—Its entrances, porches, posts, and doors —The ribs — The “wall” —The “covered openings” —The place left —The Cherubim , their important position and their spiritual significance —The general dimensions
of the “inner house” —The lattice work —The “Most Holy” and the tent —The way in which a vast area is covered —The fire and the cloud in relation thereunto —The separate place —The altar and its court — Its position in the inner court —Coming changes upon the site—The altar of wood —and “the table before the Lord.”
Section I: Temple Cellae.
A. Porch.
B. Posts of Temple & Entrances.
C. Temple.
D. “Place Left”
E. Arithmetical proof.
F. Cherubim.
G. General Dimensions of “Temple”.
H. “Covered Openings”.
J. Lattice Work.
K. Summary: (The central building is vast and massive to an extent truly wonderful. It is both beautiful and imposing. Architectural skill could not devise a more magnificent facade. Let the reader approach in thought the structure, of which an attempt has been made on Plate ix., page 44, to give a natural perspective. Let him look at its pillars, colonnades, cherubim, and galleries —in total height ‘two hundred feet’. Let him look at those sculptured figures, with faces of varied expression, as he passes round the three mile circuit; and he may faintly realize why the Spirit should invite his backsliding people to inspect the pattern of the house, saying: “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”” (Ezekiel 43:10).)
Section II: Most Holy.
Section III: (Gidzra, Gizrah) or “Separate Place”.
Section IV: Altar & its Court.
A. Altar of Wood.

Chapter V: (The furniture of the Sanctuary —The position and important use of the Lattice-Work — The covering to the House, above, around, and to the sides of the Porches, &c. —The formation of the Sanctuary into a magnificent “booth,” and shelter by growing trees —The production of wine for the celebration of the memorial feasts, shewn to be an element of importance in the house —A correct drawing of the building, proved by the explanation of obscure words. This use of the several buildings composing the Sanctuary —Provision for slaughter of animals —A place for depositing the present and the offering —The extensive arrangement for offering sacrifices —The probable method —A powerful lever of government —Millions able to take part —Provision for holding the feast foretold in Isaiah 25:6 —Sanitary arrangement —Numerous Courts of Justice —A portion of the house set apart for Levites —The eastern side for the Prince —The manifestation of the divine presence in the Most Holy. The provision of water, flowing out on both sides of the house —Ezekiel and the water —The physical and spiritual things involved in those things which he did —Universal baptism a probable law of the Kingdom. Review of the argument.)

Section I: Furniture of the Sanctuary.
Section II. Use of Buildings of which Sanctuary is composed.
A. Provision for Slaughter of Animals.
B. Provision for Depositing “Present,” &c.
C. Simultaneous Offering.
D. Arrangements for feeding Multitude.
E. Sanitary Arrangements.
F. Courts of Justice.
G. Reservation of a part of the House for use of the Levites.
H. Reservation of Eastern side for Prince.
J. Use of Most Holy.
Section III: Provision of Water everywhere.
A. Baptism—Law of Life.

Section IV: Review of Argument: (The last Section brought to a finish the exegetical exhibition of the buildings forming the sanctuary; other matters in the prophecy have been incidentally touched upon, and there are still others which, though not essential to the consideration of the subject, are full of interest. The scope of this work precludes their investigation beyond a chapter devoted to a brief explanation of the “Holy Oblation,” and a few notes which will be found in the Appendices at the end of this volume. At this point it seems convenient to summarise the arguments advanced in support of the exposition now laid before the reader, while at the same time adding a few others in passing. The summary may be classed under two heads: the positive and the negative.)

A. Negative Arguments in support of the Exposition: (1. Nearly all expositors recognize the extraordinary character of the prophecy, and admit that it speaks of a building which has never been erected at any time. 2. The prophecy is by general consent regarded as a mysterious one; and one of which a clear exposition has never yet been published. 3. Many attempts have been made to supply such an exposition. The number of books on the subject, and the diversity of theories advanced, prove the unsatisfactory nature of these attempts; they have been based on the assumption that the building is five hundred cubits square, in face of the express declaration that its outer measurement is “five hundred reeds.” No wonder that every attempt to expound the vision on the basis of such a radical fallacy should be abortive. 4. No plan of the sanctuary hitherto drawn can claim to be in complete agreement with Ezekiel’s specification. Some measures are omitted, some do not “fit”; and, worse than all, some are altered to suit the theory advanced. None of these things can be affirmed of the exposition now submitted.)

B. Positive Arguments: (The accuracy of the general plan advanced in this book has been demonstrated in detail in a manner that cannot be successfully confuted. It is confirmed by these considerations: — 1. The building seen by Ezekiel from a distance appeared “like the frame of a city”; i.e., like an ancient city. [See Frontispiece.] 2. The buildings looked like “the frame of a city,” although its outside “wall” was but one reed high and one reed thick, which shows there must be on this wall a superstructure of greater size. [See exposition.] 3. The outside of the building must be five hundred reeds square (c. 1 mile x 4) if it is to look like a city, and the testimony declares this to be the dimensions. 4. If the building is five hundred reeds square (c. 1 mile x 4) outside, its internal construction must fill an area in harmony with its external breadth. How this is done has been shown in the course of this explanation; no other exposition pretends to shew such a structural occupation of the space enclosed by a five hundred reed (c. 1 mile) wall. 5. All the specifications of the vision are harmonised without contorting the evidence. 6. There is a symmetry and a fitness in the elevation of the building, suitable and proportionate to the extent of the ground plan. 7. Numerous gateways are a necessity in such an extensive building; the evidence of their existence is, therefore, not a surprise. 8. Each gate is perfect in its construction as elaborated from the testimony, and proved to be just such a structure as would be required for such a building. The gates have a common plan; this plan explains difficulties in connection with other parts of the structure, and forms a key with which to unlock other mysteries in the vision. 9. The correctness and unity of construction subsisting between the cellae and the gates is proved by the arithmetical dimensions of various parts of the building, as well as by the verbal testimony. 10. The prescribed use of the outer court buildings is shown to be in harmony with their construction, and the whole series in connection with the “corner courts,” a deftly contrived arrangement for the fulfilment of the promise of the Deity to make a great feast, both literal and spiritual, unto all people, in millennial times. 11. The specified use of the inner court cellae lends strength to the last argument. They are just in that part of the house which intervenes between the outer and the inner court, where the functions of the officials of the house vary. They pass the place where they wash and change their garments when entering upon the inner or outer court service. This unforeseen coincidence (so far as the writer is concerned) between the ordinances of the house and its architectural construction, is a strong corroboration that a correct interpretation has been found. 12. That the Temple should be of such gigantic dimensions appears appropriate when we consider that a large building will be required for the centre of government when the “Lord is King over all the earth.” 13. The construction of the house is not only unique and unapproached by any building ancient or modern, but it is different from any idea which might on any presupposition have been formed of it, and is pre-eminently fitted for the use indicated in all the prophecies of the House or Temple of the age to come. 14. A place is found for every dimension given in Ezekiel; and this in a practical form, and not in a fanciful or strained manner. 15. Not only do the dimensions “fit,” but this exposition gives a satisfactory explanation of certain Hebrew words occurring in the text which heretofore have been considered without a definite meaning. One Hebrew scholar said to the writer: “I do not know how you can arrive at a correct understanding of this prophecy, because there are certain words in it which do not convey to our mind (i.e., to the Hebraist’s mind) any meaning.” This same scholar has since confessed that the writer’s explanation is perfectly satisfactory.
16. The exposition throws light upon specified features hitherto admittedly obscure: such as the palm trees, the lattice-work, the cherubim, &c. 17. Doctrinal significances are shown to be associated with the construction of the house. This argument might be carried further. It might be pointed out that the circle called the “Most Holy” is a symbol of eternity, and therefore a suitable figure for architectural incorporation in the building which is to form the centre of God’s worship in the age to come. The circle fittingly represents: First, the eternal Creator; and secondly, eternal life as the realized privilege of those who have been made immortal up to the time of its construction; and thirdly, of the everlasting life which will be given to the approved at the end of Christ’s reign upon earth. 18. There is, in fact, perfect architectural and doctrinal harmony throughout, which is an argument sufficient in itself to commend the explanation given. 19. The order in which the different parts of the prophecy are given, helps also to shew that a definite plan and method has been followed, although the different details are given apparently in promiscuous disconnection. This is best illustrated by the accompanying explanation of Plate xii., to be found on page 82. 20. The Temple of Ezekiel’s prophecy, as exhibited in this exposition, could not be the invention of the writer, because its several features are evolved from the testimony against his own pre-conceived idea of the subject. The plan of the house never would have been thought of apart from the evidence contained in the prophecy; and if this be not the true exposition, it is singular that out of the study of it should come the plan of a building so perfectly suitable for a house of prayer at a time of universal worship and dominion. 21. Such a building as here described could not be the invention of any human being. Its conception is so vast and bold, and its construction so impracticable from a human point of view, that the theory of human invention is quite out of the question. 22. It is also evident that a dreamer could not evolve such a practical scheme. Whence, then, came the exposition, if it be not an explanation of the testimony? 23. One would think that when Deity sets His hand to build, the thing which He would do must of necessity surpass all human efforts, and dwarf, by its magnificence, all humanly-constructed buildings; and one would also think the design would be unique, and the building unprecedented in its constructional features. All these things can be affirmed of the building shewn in this exposition. 24. By the Ezekiel specifications, as elucidated in this exposition, many passages of Scripture hitherto obscure are made plain; and the connection of these passages with the fulfilment of Ezekiel’s Temple prophecy is evidence of the truth of this exposition, so far as that connection involves the different features of the building.
Some of these passages are here appended. Their connection with the vision of Ezekiel is obvious, and will readily be discerned by the reader. They are classed under appropriate descriptive headings :—(Some 30 passages are given under 15 headings. ))
Exhortation…
Explanation of Plate XII: (This explanation is intended to show the course of Ezekiel’s journey through the house, as indicated by red letters and a red line. Some of the letters are repeated thus, A-A., in order to shew the full extent of the prophet’s movement in those cases where a single sentence implies a broad interpretation, such as the sentence, “He brought me to the east gate,” the meaning of
which, in most cases, is that he caused him to traverse the side of the sanctuary, and pass all the eastern gate openings:—(all the verses (some 30 passages) are given & explained))

Chapter VI: (The Division of the Land —A New Feature — Parallel Cantonments —A portion set apart for the Prince: its Subdivisions and its Extent —The Position of the Sanctuary in relation thereto —The line of Separation between the two Principal Divisions passing through Jerusalem —”The Possession of Twenty Chambers” explained —The Valley of Achor, a Door of Hope — Some Remarkable Coincidences resulting from the True Delineation of the Holy Oblation —The Inheritance of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob —The “Right” and the “Left” Hand position in the Kingdom. The City “Jehovah Shammah” —”Round about Eighteen Thousand (18,000) Measures” —A City of Service, wherein the Hospitality of the People of the Land is extended to all Nations. Coming Physical Changes —Jerusalem to be Elevated —The Holy Oblation to be encircled by a Deep Valley —The “Through Route theory” inadmissible —Conclusive Arguments — Valley of Shittim to be Watered by the Stream which comes from the Sanctuary —A Fresh Water Lake —The Possible Outlet to the Mediterranean, and to “the Former Sea” Southward — Probable Submergence of the Sites of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, and possible Elevation of the site of Sodom out of the Dead Sea —The Borders of the Land Enlarged —Translation of Psalm 82 by Dr. Thomas.)

Holy Oblation & Division of Land.
Section I: Division of Land.
Section II: City “Jehovah Shammah”.
Section III: Coming Physical Changes.

Appendices:
Appendix A:
Restoration of Israel: (….The consensus of the above testimony proves that the children of Israel will be restored to their own land by Christ. In fact, the prophets are discredited altogether, and made false witnesses for God if such a restoration is not to take place. This people, then, who have such a remarkable history, have a momentous future. Their “witnessing” career in the earth is not at an end; and, inasmuch as they have been “for a sign and for a wonder” hitherto, so they will, in the further fulfilment of prophecy, develope into a monument of such magnitude as to call the attention of all the earth unto the name of Him who is the cause of their preservation unto this hour (Isa. 18:3-7). The prophets of the Holy One have declared it, and the very existence of the children of Israel at the present day waits upon the fulfilment of His words which have gone out concerning them.)
Appendix B: Word as to Proposal of some to alter Hebrew —Ezekiel 42:16-20.
Appendix C: Origin of Arch.
Appendix D: “Inventions”.
Appendix E: Time of End.
Appendix F: Suggestion respecting Corner Courts.
Appendix G: “Thy Servants take pleasure in the Stones thereof”.
Appendix H: Some Interesting Features in Construction of House; or, How is Sanctuary to be Constructed? Order in which the Building is in be Erected. Building Material. Building of House Merciful Provision during a Time of Need. Comparison: (In order to assist the reader in realizing the vastness of the Temple structure, the size of some modern erections are here given :—……)

List of Illustrations: Plates (Drawings) & (Pages):

I.—FRONTISPIECE : BIRD’S-EYE VIEW OF THE SANCTUARY. (1)
II.—GENERAL GROUND PLAN. (14)
III.—PLAN OF THE GATE.(18)
IV.—ELEVATION OF THE GATE. (22)
V.— SECTION OF THE GATE. (26)
VI.—PERSPECTIVE DRAWING OF GATE. (30)
VII.—VIEW DOWN OUTER COURT. (36)
VIII.—PLAN OF “THE TEMPLE”. (40)
IX.—EXTERIOR VIEW OF DITTO. (44)
X.—ISOMETRICAL VIEW OF THE ALTAR. (52)
XI.—MAP OF THE HOLY OBLATION. (52)
XII. -THE ITINERARY OF EZEKIEL AND HIS GUIDE. (82)

The Temple of Ezekiel’s Prophecy: Plate II: (Page 14-15)
EXPLANATORY PLAN OF THE SANCTUARY SHEWN UPPER AND LOWER STORIES:
(Plan: Square & Circle & Center: A, a, B, b, C, c, D, d, E, f, g, H, I, k, N, p ) (Top=North, Bottom=South, Left=West, Right=East) (W-E Outside = 1000 cubits (both North & South Sides); W-E Inside = 500 reeds (both North & South Sides); N-S = 500 reeds of 3000 cubits (both West & East Sides); Waters: (South Side) Depth: W-E = Ankles < Knees < Loins < Swimming); Cellae (Cellas): 30 in Circular Form.

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS REFERRED TO IN THIS BOOK: (Christadelphian: # 3-8)

1. Mount Seir. — By Professor Hull.
2. Recovery of Jerusalem: A Narrative of Exploration and Discovery by Sir Charles William Wilson, Sir Charles Warren. Introduction by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley. Edited by Walter Morrison. 1871.
3. The Trial of the most notable lawsuit of ancient or modern times. ‘The Incorporated Scientific Era Protection Society v. Paul Christman and others’, in the Court of Common Reason. Before Lord Penetrating Impartiality and a special Jury. Issue: “Did Christ rise from the dead?” Verbatim report by a shorthand writer. 1882. Robert Roberts. (Christadelphian)
4. Eureka (in 3 vols.) : An exposition of the Apocalypse in harmony with the things of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, and an explanation of all the mysteries of “Revelation,” in their bearing upon the history of the past 1800 years, and the state of things upon the earth for a thousand years to come. By Dr. John Thomas. 1850. (See: Elpis Israel: Being an Exposition of the Kingdom of God; with Reference to the Time of the End, & the Age to Come, By John Thomas, M.D. 1851.) (Christadelphian)
5. Prophecy and the Eastern Question; the light shed by the Scriptures on the current political situation in the East, showing the approaching fall of the Ottoman Empire; war between England and Russia; the settlement of the Jews in Syria under British protectorate; the appearing of Christ, and the setting up of the Kingdom of God. In ten chapters, by Robert Roberts. 1877. (Christadelphian)
6. Coming Events in the East. Four Lectures, delivered at Swansea, on the future of the Holy Land and its People. By Robert Roberts. 1878. (Christadelphian)
7. The Bible Defended from Religious Unbelief: A review of four lectures delivered in St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham. The two first lectures reviewed by H. Sulley, and the last two by J. J. Andrew (author of “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified”).
8. Christendom Astray: Popular Theology (both in Faith & Practice) Shewn to be Unscriptural; & the True Nature of the Ancient Apostolic Faith Exhibited in 18 Lectures; (by the author of ‘The Trial’). Robert Roberts. 1877.1897. (Christadelphian)

(12) An Exegetical Commentary on EZEKIEL by James E. Smith Originally published as part of the Bible Study Textbook Series by College Press, 1979. Revised Edition 2004 ©James E. Smith (No notice or warning of Copyright restrictions given. I’ll attempt to secure direct permission for my selection.)

Preface: ….The commentary follows the chapter divisions of the book. The translation of the text is that of the author, at least up to ch 40. For the tedious ‘‘blueprint” chs 40-48 the American Standard Version of 1901 has been followed with only minor adaptation. Verse by verse comments follow the translation of the individual units of the text….

Introduction: (James E. Smith Florida Christian College January 2002.) Book of Ezekiel: ….G. Structure and Arrangement. The Book of Ezekiel has been carefully constructed. It is to Ezekiel himself that the credit for this arrangement belongs. The fall of Jerusalem was the mid-point in the ministry of the prophet and also in the book. Chapters 1-24 come from the period prior to the fall of Jerusalem; the last twenty-four chapters in the main are post-fall (*Because of the importance of the destruction of the temple, some will divide the book at 33:21.). In terms of subject matter, the book breaks down into three divisions—oracles against Israel (1-24), oracles against foreign nations (25-32); and a second section pertaining to Israel (33-48). (*The structure of Ezekiel is similar to that of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible and Jeremiah in the Greek Bible where the oracles against foreign nations are grouped in the middle of the book.)

Structure of Ezekiel: Oracles Concerning Israel, (Chs 1-24), Prior to the Fall of Jerusalem, Condemnation & Catastrophe; Oracles Concerning Nations, (Chs 25-32), During the Siege of Jerusalem; Oracles Concerning Israel, (Chs 33-48), After the Fall of Jerusalem, Consolation & Comfort.
Whatever interruption of strict chronological sequence that the book displays is best accounted for as the work of Ezekiel himself, not some perplexed editor. The prophet at times desired to group his prophecies by the subjects to which they related rather than by the dates on which they were spoken. The Book of Ezekiel displays a chronological system (K.S. Freedy and D.B. Redford, “The Dates in Ezekiel in Relation to Biblical, Babylonian and Egyptian sources,” JAOS 90 (1970): 462-485.) unparalleled in any prophetic book, save Haggai. Sixteen dates are given in fourteen passages. In two cases (1:1-2; 40:1) a double dating is employed, utilizing two different counting systems. In the following chart, the chronological references are tabulated and converted into the modern calendrical system.
Reference (Chapters & Verses): Year/Month/Day: Conversion:
1:2 : 5/4/5 : Aug 1, 593
8:1 : 6/6/5 : Sep 19, 592
20:1 : 7/5/10 : Aug 14, 591
24:1 : 9/10/10** : Dec 29, 588
29:1 : 10/10/12 : Apr 30, 587
30:20 : 11/1/7 : Jun 21, 587
31:1 : 11/3/1 : Sep 18, 587*
26:1 : 11/ ? /1 : Jan 4, 585
33:21 : 12/10/5 : Mar 4, 585
32:1 : 12/12/1 : Mar 18, 585*
32:17 : 12/ ? /15 : Apr 29, 573
40:1 : 25/1/10 : Apr 29, 573
29:17 : 27/1/1 : Apr 26, 571
(* Since the month is not given in the Hebrew text, the date is conjecture. See discussion at the relevant passage. The conversion column is based on the assumption that Ezekiel used the Spring calendar that was common in Babylon rather than the Autumn calendar that at various times was employed in Palestine. **Ezekiel here is using the dates of Zedekiah for this event as in 25:1.)

The dating in the Book of Ezekiel is based on the years of the deportation of King Jehoiachin. This young king went captive in 597 B.C. Apparently he was still considered by many of that time the legal ruler of Judah vis-à-vis Zedekiah who was looked upon as a mere regent of Nebuchadnezzar. (*Even after his deportation to Babylon, Jehoiachin appears to have possessed land in Palestine. A seal of his steward, dating after 597 B.C., has been found in Palestine, See W.F. Albright, “The Seal of Eliakim and the Latest Pre-Exilic History of Judah, with Some Observations on Ezekiel,” JBL, 51 (1932): 77-106.) Harrison (*Harrison, IOT, 848-49.) follows Brownlee in suggesting that the Book of Ezekiel is “a literary bifid,” i.e., the book reveals a two part arrangement. Harrison puts a great deal of emphasis on the statement of Josephus (Ant. 10:5.1) that Ezekiel left behind two books. These books, originally separate productions of the prophet, have been combined in the present book. Harrison thinks that chs 1-23 constitute Book One and chs 24-48 Book Two. The following chart indicates parallels between the two “books” of Ezekiel.

Book One (Chs. 1-23) : Book Two (Chs 24-48) :
Vengeance of the Lord against His People : Vindication of the Lord through His People
Name Ezekiel appears once (1:3) : Name Ezekiel appears once (24:24) #
Commissioning of the prophet (3:25-27) : Commissioning of the prophet (33:1-9)
Commission followed by dumbness (3:25-27) : Commission followed by release from dumbness (33:21f.)
Divine glory forsakes the temple (chs 8-11) : Divine glory returns to sanctify the land (43:1-5)
(#Such renewed claim to authorship is made by Thucydides in his History (5:26), the probable beginning of the second roll of his work.)

{{ Special Note: Interpretation of Ezekiel 38-39:
In chs 38-39, Ezekiel is predicting an unparalleled invasion by a dreadful foe. Commentators generally concede that these chapters contain an apocalyptic element. In apocalyptic literature, the setting is usually the end of the age. This kind of literature is full of symbols, especially numerical symbols. Great catastrophes befalling God’s people and dramatic rescues by divine agencies characterize this type of writing. Most of the characters are painted much larger-than-life in these word pictures. Deliberate vagueness and purposeful incongruities are further identifying marks of apocalyptic. One can note at least three incongruities in the Gog-Magog chapters: (1) In 38:4 the Lord brings Gog forth, but in 38:10 Gog himself devises the plan of attack; (2) in 38:18-22 Gog is overthrown by earthquake and storm, but in 39:1-2 Gog is still very much active; (3) in 39:4 Gog and company are devoured by birds and animals, while in 39:11-16 the bodies of the fallen host are buried; but again in 39:17-20 the carcasses of the fallen enemy are picked clean by birds and beasts. As in apocalyptic literature in general, ‘‘the final catastrophe is looked at from various angles, without any attempt to trace a logical order in the sequence of events.” (*Cooke in ICC as cited by Blackwood, EPH, 228.) The purpose of apocalyptic writing such as this is the “unveiling” of the future, not in the sense of chronicling every event prior to its occurrence, but in the sense of showing God’s lordship over the future. It serves the function of letting the faithful know that God knows where history is heading, and that He is ultimately in control of the situation. Thus apocalyptic literature guides and strengthens God’s people in dark days of uncertainty.
Having recognized the apocalyptic elements within these two chapters, commentators are still divided as to the fulfillment of the prediction here made. Four major categories of conclusions have been formulated.

A. ‘The Historical Views’: Some commentators hold that the invasion of Gog was an actual event, future from the standpoint of Ezekiel, but ancient history from the present-day vantage point. Gog has been identified with every outstanding general from the time of Ezekiel to the time of Christ and even beyond. Among those suggested are Cambyses king of Persia, Alexander the Great, Antiochus the Great, Antiochus Epiphanes, Antiochus Eupator, and Mithridates king of Pontus. Within this general category of approach, perhaps the strongest case can be made for equating Gog with Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus Epiphanes was a bitter opponent of the Jews in the second century before Christ. The center of his kingdom was in Antioch on the Orontes River. To the east, his territory extended beyond the Tigris. To the north, his reign extended over Meshech and Tubal, districts of Anatolia.
In his excellent commentary on the Book of Revelation, William Hendriksen argues that Ezekiel’s Magog represents Syria, and Gog, Antiochus. He comments as follows on the relationship between the Gog invasion of Ezekiel and that recorded in the Book of Revelation: “. . . The Book of Revelation uses this period of affliction and woe as a symbol of the final attack of Satan and his hordes upon the church.” (*Hendriksen, MTC, 233.) That Ezekiel’s description of the defeat of Gog (Antiochus) is an appropriate type of the final overthrow of the enemies of God can be seen in the following parallels pointed out by
Hendriksen: 1. The last great oppression of the people of God under the Old Testament era was sufficiently severe to typify the final attack of anti-Christian forces upon the church in the New Testament age. 2. The armies of Gog and Magog were very numerous and came from wide-ranging territories. This would be most appropriate to symbolize the world-wide opposition to the church in the days just preceding the second coming. 3. The persecution under Antiochus was very brief, but very severe. The tribulation through which God’s people will pass toward the end of the present dispensation will apparently also be of short duration, but extremely severe (cf. Rev 11:11). 4. Defeat of Gog and Magog was unexpected and complete. It was clearly the work of God. So also will be the sudden overthrow of the eschatological Gog and Magog of the Book of Revelation. Linking the invasion forces of Ezek. 38-39 with the hosts of Antiochus Epiphanes is an interpretation not as easily overturned as some commentators seem to think. It will not do, for example, to argue that the timeframe for the Ezekiel passage is the ‘latter years’ or ‘latter days’ (38:8, 16). These expressions are clearly used in the Book of Daniel to include events that transpired after the Babylonian captivity. (*See Dan 2:28 and 10:4. Similar expressions clearly referring to the closing days of the Old Testament era: ‘time of the end’ (Dan 8:17; 11:35, 40; 12:4, 9); ‘end of years’ (Dan. 11:6).) Especially weak is the argument that the apocalyptic character of these chapters necessitates a prophecy dealing with the end-time. Clearly Daniel uses highly symbolic (apocalyptic?) language to describe certain events in the intertestamental period (Dan 8), as does Zechariah as well (Zech 9:11-17). Furthermore, the ruthless assault of Antiochus against Israel and the divine protection of God’s people in the midst of that assault are major themes in the prophecies of Ezekiel’s contemporary Daniel (Dan 8:9-27; 11:21-35). Why should it then be thought strange that Ezekiel would devote two chapters to describing, in highly idealized language, this same invasion?

B. ‘The Literal Futuristic View’: Some commentators believe that the invasion of Gog and Magog has not yet occurred. Ezekiel is describing the final invasion of the land of Israel by a ruthless coalition following the Millennium. C. I. Scofield popularized this view. He writes: That the primary reference is to the northern, (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree ‘Gog’ is the prince, ‘Magog,’ his land. The reference to Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification. Russia and the northern powers have been the latest persecutors of dispersed Israel, and it is congruous both with divine justice and with the covenants that destruction should fall at the climax of the last mad attempt to exterminate the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem. The whole prophecy belongs to the yet future ‘day of Jehovah’ and to the battle of Armageddon …, but includes also the final revolt of the nations at the close of the kingdom-age . . . .(*SRB, comments on Ezek 38.) A disciple of Scofield, John F. Walvoord, cites two reasons for believing that a Russian invasion of Israel is being prophesied. First, he points out that three times in chs 38-39 the invading armies are said to come from the extreme north (38:6, 15; 39:2). Second, he points to the fact that Gog is said to be “the prince of Rosh.” The nineteenth century lexicographer Wilhelm Gesenius is cited as the authority for equating Russia with Rosh. (*Walvoord, NP, 106-108.) The geographical argument offered by Walvoord is weak. Jeremiah frequently speaks of armies coming from ‘the uttermost parts of the earth’ by which he means no more than Babylonia. (*See Jer 6:22; 25:32; 31:8; 50:41.) In some sense Mount Zion itself is said to be situated in the uttermost part of the north (Ps 48:2). The etymological argument offered by Walvoord linking Russia with Rosh is also weak. For one thing, the precise translation of the Hebrew term ‘rosh’ is uncertain. Several modern versions render the word as an adjective modifying the word ‘prince’. (*KJV, RSV, and NASB margin have ‘chief prince of Meshech’.) Even conceding that Rosh is a proper name (*The Greek Old Testament supports Rosh as a proper name.) here (as in ASV and NASB), that by no means proves that Rosh is to be identified with Russia. For one thing, hard etymological evidence for this identification is lacking. Rosh is here connected with Meshech and Tubal, now generally accepted as being regions in eastern Anatolia.
Gesenius was making an intelligent guess at the identification of Rosh, but he was writing at a time when Assyrian texts mentioning these places were not available. His etymologies are now generally disregarded. Even the dispensational writer Feinberg rejects the Rosh = Russia identification. (*Feinberg, PE, 220.) A cylinder text of the Assyrian king Sargon mentions a land of Râshi on the Elamite border. The same text speaks of Tabalum (Ezekiel’s Tubal) and the land of Mushki (Ezekiel’s Meshech). (*Luckenbill, ARAB, 2:48.) Could this Râshi be Ezekiel’s Rosh? In any case, the evidence seems to point to Rosh as a region of Anatolia far north of Israel, but far south of Russia. Patrick Fairbairn does perhaps the best work in setting forth the arguments against any literal interpretation of Ezek 38-39. He enumerates six arguments that are here summarized: 1. It is impossible to identify Gog and Magog with any historical person or place. 2. It is improbable that such a conglomerate army as is here described would ever form a military coalition. 3. The size of the invading force is disproportionate to that of Israel or any spoil that they might have derived from Israel. 4. The mind cannot imagine a situation in which it would take seven months to bury slain soldiers, much less the utilization of discarded weapons for seven years as fuel. Fairbairn conservatively estimates that the corpses would have to number over three hundred million. How would any living thing survive the pestilential vapors arising from such a mass of corpses? 5. The gross carnality of the scene is inconsistent with messianic times. 6. This prophecy was the same that had been spoken in old times by the prophets (38:17). While no prophecies concerning Gog and Magog are recorded elsewhere, prophecies of a final assault against God’s people and the miraculous overthrow of the invaders is a constant burden of prophecy. (*Fairbairn, EE, 204-205.)

C. ‘Future Idealistic View’: Since there are no clearly identifiable historical events to which the prophecy can be attached, it is possible that this invasion is yet future. The commentators holding to the future idealistic view would distinguish between what is of primary and what is of secondary significance in the two chapters. The primary significance is that the ruthless enemies of God’s people will attack with the avowed intention of utterly destroying them. God will rescue His people by divine agencies. The secondary or “representative” elements in the two chapters are the place names, the weapons used, the chronological statements and the like. The future idealistic school interprets Ezek 38-39 this way: God’s people will face implacable enemies; the leader of the enemy will not necessarily have the name Gog, nor will he fight with bows and arrows. (*Hall, WBC, 470) By his use of the same names, and a short summary of the same description, the Apostle John has shown that he regarded Ezekiel’s vision as typical, and its fulfillment still future. Thus the commentators holding the future idealistic view see in Ezek 38-39 the final climatic struggle between the forces of good and evil. With the help of God, His people will ultimately be victorious in this struggle.

D. ‘Prophetic Parable View’: The parabolic view of Ezek 38-39 is very popular among conservatives as well as liberals. These chapters illustrate a great truth, but refer to no specific event in time and space. Israel can have assurance from these chapters that, once restored, the power of God would protect her from the worst foe. At the same time, the church can gain strength from this passage in that here is a promise of God’s deliverance from the most severe attacks. Gardiner sets forth this view when he states that . . . there are several clear indications that he did not confine his view in this prophecy to any literal event, but intended to set forth under the figure of Gog and his armies all the opposition of the world to the kingdom of God, and to foretell, like his contemporary Daniel, the final and complete triumph of the latter in the distant future. (*Gardiner, OTC, 352.) Blackwood adds these words: If the passage is apocalyptic, the identity of Gog becomes meaningless. He represents every force of evil that is marshaled against God. It is immaterial whether or not Ezekiel had in mind a historical prototype. (*Blackwood, EPH, 227.) From the more liberal camp Allen writes: The chapters should be treated as an elaborate piece of symbolism, an attempt to portray some of the ultimate problems of human life with the help of figures and incidents borrowed from the repertoire of mythology. (*Allen, IB, pp. 272-274.)
Thus according to this view, Ezek 38-39 speaks of concepts, not events, the clash of ideologies rather than armies. Those who seek to identify Gog with some ancient tyrant, and those who seek here specific predictions of some imminent attack upon the Zionist state of Israel are equally wide of the mark. This apocalypse “deals with every threat to faith in every time and every nation.” (*Blackwood, EPH, 228.) In criticism of the parabolic view, three points need to be made. 1. Many of those holding this view fail to take the oracle as a serious teaching of the word of God. However, within these two chapters, there are seven distinct claims to inspiration. This is a divine revelation and not Ezekiel’s speculations. 2. The parabolic view does not unite the interpretation of these chapters with a real return of God’s people to their land. Yet history records the fulfillment of many items in the background and setting of this prophecy. 3. Those holding this view do a rather poor job of correlating the predictions of Ezekiel with the Gog-Magog prophecy of Rev 20:9.

‘Conclusion’: Ezekiel’s prophecies regarding the invasion of Gog are enigmatic and difficult. Honest and capable expositors will continue to have differences of opinion regarding the specific fulfillment of the prediction. Probably Ezekiel is speaking about a specific event that has not yet transpired. That he employs hyperbole, symbolism and apocalyptic imagery is readily admitted. That the passage has an application to any situation in which God’s people are under trial may also be readily admitted. But that which Ezekiel had in mind was an eschatological event —the final showdown between God’s people and their enemies. }}

{{ Ezekiel 40: God’s Future Temple: (*See R.J. McKelvey, ‘The New Temple’ (London: Oxford, 1981).
The Book of Ezekiel ends as it began, with a vision. In chs 1-3 Ezekiel saw a vision illustrating how God had visited His people in exile; these last chapters depict God dwelling in the midst of His people who have been re-established in their own land. Earlier in vision Ezekiel had seen the departure of the divine glory from the profaned temple (8:1-11:25). In these final chapters, God again dwells in the midst of His temple (43:5). Thus chs 40-48 are not a superfluous appendix to the book, but rather the climax of Ezekiel’s prophetic thought. (*Cf. Rimmon Kasher, “Anthropomorphism, Holiness and Cult: A New Look at Ezekiel 40-48,” ZAW 110 (1998): 192-208.)
In the angelic guided tour of the Zion-to-be, the tedious details are not especially significant. The subject of the closing chapters of Ezekiel is the restitution of the kingdom of God. This theme unfolds in a vision in which are displayed in concrete detail a rebuilt temple, reformed priesthood, reorganized services, restored monarchy, reapportioned territory, and a renewed people. Because chs 40-48 form a veritable continental divide in biblical interpretation, it is necessary first to survey the various approaches that have been taken in interpreting these chapters. This introductory section is followed by a description of the new temple envisioned by Ezekiel.

Interpretation of Ezekiel’s Temple:
The problem of the interpretation of Ezek 40-48 is one of the most difficult in biblical hermeneutics. Three main approaches to these chapters have been taken by scholars: (1) the literal prophetic; (2) the literal futuristic; and (3) the symbolic Christian.
A. ‘The Literal Prophetic View’: According to those who hold to the literal prophetic view of the temple, Ezekiel is here giving the blueprints for the temple that God intended for His people to build upon their return to the Holy Land. Philip Mauro is perhaps the most forceful proponent of this view. He argues: God’s plan had always been to give His people the exact pattern of the sanctuary they were to build for His name . . . . And now again a house was about to be built for the Name of the Lord in Jerusalem. Therefore . . . we should expect to find at this period a revelation from heaven of the pattern to be followed in the building of that house. And just here we do find the revelation from God of the complete pattern and appointments of a temple, with directions to the prophet to show the same to the house of Israel. (*Mauro, HI, 119.) It is sometimes argued against this view that too many details are omitted if Ezekiel intended these chapters to be a set of blueprints. This is certainly true, but it is no less true of the tabernacle specifications given to Moses at Sinai. Plumptre, however, points to a more telling indictment of the literal prophetic view of the temple vision. He points out that: there is no trace in the after history of Israel of any attempt to carry Ezekiel’s ideal into execution. No reference is made to it by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who were the chief teachers of the people at the time of the rebuilding of the temple. There is no record of its having been in the thoughts of Zerubbabel, the Prince of Judah, and Joshua the high priest, as they set about that work. No description of the second temple or its ritual in Josephus or the rabbinical writings at all tallies with what we find in these chapters. (*Cited by Whitelaw, PC, xi.) In rebuttal to this line of argument, Mauro points out that: there is no evidence now available as to the plan of the temple built in the days of Ezra. Herod the Great had so transformed it in the days of Christ . . . as to destroy all trace of the original design. That question, however, which we cannot now answer, does not affect the question of the purpose for which the pattern was revealed to Ezekiel. (*Mauro, HI, 121.)

B. ‘The Literal Futuristic View’: Much support in recent years has been given to the Dispensational view, or what might be dubbed the literal futuristic view of Ezekiel’s temple. According to this view, God still has physical Israel very much in His plans. All prophecies pertaining to a glorious future for Israel are to be literally fulfilled in a millennial dispensation that is to follow this present age. Dispensationalists believe that the Jews will one day rebuild the temple in Jerusalem following the specifications given by Ezekiel. The Old Covenant blood sacrifices, festivals and rituals will be restored. The sacrificial offerings will be sacramental, rather than propitiatory, on the order of communion in the church age. Among those holding this position regarding Ezekiel’s temple, the statement of G. L. Archer is typical: Much caution should be exercised in pressing details, but in the broad outline it may be reasonably deduced that in a coming age all the promises conveyed by the angel to Ezekiel will be fulfilled in the glorious earthly kingdom with which the drama of redemption is destined to close. (*Archer, SOTI, 363.) Erich Sauer adds this thought: We stand here really before an inescapable alternative: Either the prophet himself was mistaken in his expectation of a coming temple service, and his prophecy in the sense in which he meant it will never be fulfilled; or God, in the time of the Messiah, will fulfill literally these prophecies of the temple according to their intended literal meaning. There is no other choice possible. (*Sauer, FEE, 181.)
According to Dispensational principles of interpretations, all prophecies pertaining to physical Israel that have not been carnally or materially fulfilled are to be assigned to the millennial age. The Millennium becomes a convenient dumping ground for every prophecy that offers any difficulty. The unhappy result of this procedure is that many prophecies that were fulfilled at the first coming of Christ, or are being fulfilled even now, are relegated to some distant future. This postponement system is popular because it is safe and easy. It is safe because no one can conclusively refute it until the Millennium arrives. It is easy because it requires little spiritual discernment.
The Dispensational view fails to come to grips in any meaningful way with certain basic New Testament principles. The first principle is that the once-for-allness of the sacrifice of Christ nullified all animal sacrifices forever (Heb 10:18). (*For a more recent Dispensational attempt to harmonize animal sacrifices with the sacrifice of Christ, see Jerry Hullinger, “The Problem of Animal Sacrifices in Ezekiel 40-48,” BS 152 (1995): 279-89.) In the light of the argument of Hebrews (7:18-19; 9:6-10; 10:1-9) that the Old Testament sacrificial system was abolished by Christ’s death, it would be impossible to place Ezekiel’s temple in any dispensation subsequent to Calvary, at least if these sacrifices are to be interpreted literally. The Dispensational retort that the animal sacrifices of the millennial temple will be sacramental—a memorial to the sacrifice of Christ —is weak. All five offerings of the Levitical system are mentioned. It is a gratuitous assumption that these sacrifices serve some different function in Ezekiel’s temple than in the Old Testament Levitical system. Still another New Testament principle to which the Dispensationalists fail to do justice is that the heirs of the kingdom are not national Jews (Matt 21:43), but true Jews (Rom 2:28-29), who along with converted Gentiles constitute the new Israel of God (Gal 6:16; 1 Pet 2:9-10). Ezekiel’s temple visions present difficulties of interpretation, as is generally recognized; but whatever they may or may not mean, they certainly afford no support for the doctrine of a political future for the earthly Israel in the period just before and just after “the rapture.” The Dispensational view also fails to come to grips with the reality of God’s present-age temple, the church of Jesus Christ. That temple is real, it is literal; but it is not physical (1 Pet. 2:5; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:13-22).
C. ‘Symbolic Christian View’: Many of the older commentators held that the entire vision of these final chapters was fulfilled symbolically in the gospel age and the Christian church. Much of the symbolism of these chapters has been borrowed by the apostle John in Revelation as he pictures the new Jerusalem, the church in the kingdom of God (Rev 21:9-22:5). As John repaints the picture, he removes all traces of Judaism. Beasley-Murray sets forth this view as follows: The conclusion of Ezekiel’s prophecy, therefore, is to be regarded as a true prediction of the kingdom of God given under the forms with which the prophet was familiar, viz., those of his own (Jewish) dispensation. Their essential truth will be embodied in the new age under forms suitable to the new (Christian) dispensation. How this is to be done is outlined for us in the book of Revelation 21:1-22:5-6. (*Beasley-Murray, NBC, 664.) To this may be added the appropriate comments of Young: It is obvious that the prophet never intended these descriptions to be taken literally. It is clear that he is using figurative or symbolic language. Every attempt to follow out his directions literally leads to difficulty. (*Young, OTI, 264-65) Ezekiel himself may have anticipated that his plans would be carried out to the letter. The real question, however, is not what Ezekiel may have had in his mind, but what the Holy Spirit, who is the ultimate author of this temple vision, intended to convey through these chapters. A literal interpretation of the New Testament teaching regarding Christ’s present-day temple (the church) surely suggests, if not demands, that one view these chapters as preparatory for the establishment of this spiritual, but nonetheless real, worship edifice. The hermeneutical principle involved is this: fullness of promised blessing is here expressed in terms of restorative completeness. The vision, then, must be viewed as strictly symbolical, the symbols employed being the Mosaic ordinances. This is not spiritualization, but realization. In 2 Cor 6:16, Paul is not merely borrowing Old Testament language (Lev 26:12; Exod 29:45; Ezek 37:27); he is proclaiming fulfillment. The material and physical fulfillment of some prophecies does not demand the material and physical fulfillment of all prophecy.
‘Conclusion’: All things considered, the symbolic Christian view of chs 40-48 seems the best alternative. The vision then pertains to the church of Christ upon earth, and perhaps in heaven as well. The prophets of the Old Testament often employed dark speeches and figurative language. They spoke in shadowy forms of the Old Covenant. But they spoke of Christ. Here Ezekiel, in his own unique way is preaching Christ. The temple vision is an elaborate representation of the messianic age. If it be objected that these promises were made to physical Israel, it need only be pointed out that all these promises were conditional (43:9-11). Israel of the flesh did not fulfill the conditions laid down. Hence, these promises (along with all the others) have been forfeited irretrievably. They find their “yea” and their “amen” in Christ (2 Cor 1:20). (*Mauro, HI, 114.) Regardless of the interpretation to which one is inclined, certain great truths are expressed in these chapters: (1) Worship is central in the new age. (2) God dwells in the midst of his people. (3) Blessings flow forth from the presence of God to bring life to the most barren regions of the earth. (4) Responsibilities as well as privileges belong to God’s people in the messianic age.
Why does Ezekiel give such exact details of the plan of the city and the temple? There is no evidence that the measurements of the exalted city contains any spiritual symbolism. Nonetheless, Ezekiel was a preacher, not an architect. In these tedious details, these truths are underscored: 1. The details underscore the reality of the future city and temple. Much religious teaching is unimpressive because it is general and abstract. 2. The details emphasize the definiteness of the future city and temple. The new Jerusalem does not exist in the ephemeral land of clouds. The man with the measuring line helps Israel to understand that the Israel of the future will have a definite shape and a divine design. Man’s ideas are generally hazy; but God’s are definite. 3. The details depict the order that prevails in God’s kingdom. There is a place for everything, and everything is in its place. These chapters stress the principle of 1 Cor 14:40. 4. The details force the conclusion that in God’s kingdom all things are arranged by divine directive. Moses was to make the tabernacle after the pattern shown to him in the mount (Exod 25:40). Ezekiel wrote as a prophet, as a messenger of God. God’s cares for the smallest details of His people’s life and work. We should seek His guidance in these matters. (*These thoughts have been adapted from W.F. Adeney in PC, 2:329.) 5. The details signal the inauguration of a new covenant. At Mount Sinai, God gave Moses similar details for constructing the tabernacle. The old covenant commenced with tedious details of worship and structure. A similar section here, in the midst of discussion of the last days, suggests that God will enter into a new covenant with his people. Ezekiel 40-43 contains the second of three great architectural visions in the Bible. (*The other two architectural visions are (1) Moses’ vision of the tabernacle pattern (Exod 25-30); and (2) John’s vision of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:9-27). Cf. Susan Niditch, “Ezekiel 40-48 in a Visionary Context,” CBQ 48 (1986): 208-224; Bruce Vawter, “Ezekiel and John,” CBQ 26 (1964): 450-58; Stevem Tuell, “Ezekiel 40-42 as Verbal Icon,” CBQ 58 (1996): 649-64. For the exiles, this temple vision fueled hope. It was a celebration of faith. Ezekiel provided the exiles with the raw material that permitted them mentally to visit the temple. }}
(13) Numerical Bible Ezekiel: The Numerical Bible, Being a Revised Translation of the Holy Scriptures With Expository Notes: Arranged, Divided, and Briefly Characterized According to the Principles of Their Numerical Structure, by Frederick W Grant. New York. Loizeaux Brothers, Bible Truth Depot. (1903, 1930) “Ezekiel: The Text of the whole book and the Notes on Chaps. 1 to 37 by the late F. W. Grant. Notes on Chaps. 38 to 48, with a Historical Chart of the Prophets, Plans illustrating the Temple, and the Future Division of the Land, by J. Bloore.”

{{ Preface: “This book was F. W. G.’s last labor, showing as Mr. Ridout has said, no less brilliant work than his previous volumes. He completed the text, but in compiling his Notes laid down his pen at the 38th chapter, at the threshold of the city which he longed to enter. From that point Mr. Bloore has ably taken up the Notes, which point out the great lesson which the temple and the holy city with their precise measurements are intended to impress upon the people of God: “Show the house, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern.” It brings to a focus the continued repetition through the prophecy to each nation of the purpose of God’s dealings with them: “They shall know that I am the Lord……That years have passed since the Notes were written has not lessened their value, but rather added to it, for Ezekiel speaks of eternal and unchanging principles, and time has only brought us nearer to their full display. Since Mr. Grant laid down his pen momentous changes have taken place in the countries that once formed part of the old Roman Empire, and the stage is set for the fulfilment of Ezekiel’s later prophecies, as Mr. Bloore has shown in his Notes on the land. We are living in days when History is rapidly being made, days when events are occurring whose result is foretold in Ezekiel’s prophecy, and which make such books as the present one so interesting to every student of Scripture. People desire to know the future; in the prophets it is unfolded for them, written by the Holy Spirit. We place the pages of Ezekiel beside the History of the World and trace what has been fulfilled of the prophecies. Kingdoms and nations have passed away, leaving such memorials of the glory that has been that remind us most of their ruin, for they belong to man’s day and his glory. Ezekiel directs our attention to this, for God’s judgments fall upon the nations, and the glory of man is humbled to the dust. But another glory has filled the prophet’s vision. His book opens with the description of “the brightness of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah;” he speaks of that glory departing from Israel, yet lingering as though loth to go; but the closing sentence of the book shows, “The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” This is the glory that abides, nevermore to be removed. —E. F.” }}
{{ Scope & Divisions of Ezekiel: “Ezekiel, as the third of the greater prophets, most evidently fills
this place. His prophecy is as much related to Jeremiah on the one side as it is to Daniel on the other. Jeremiah sees the historical breaking of the link between God and His people —”Lo-ammi ” written upon them; while Ezekiel is already among the captives, and enters in detail into the causes of the terrible breach. The prophet’s name, “the Mighty One makes strong” or “firm,” is characteristic of the book, there being a manifest application of it at the outset, where God giving him his charge against a people “hard of brow and stiff of heart,” declares that He has made his face hard against their faces, and his forehead hard against their foreheads. This implies not merely the strengthening necessary for his difficult position, but much more the attitude of Jehovah Himself towards them. The prophet with his message of wrath is indeed Ben-Buzi, “the child of my contempt,” as God would declare with regard to him. They have treated Jehovah with the scorn which He must now needs recompense in judgment……Thus with a people such as Israel have manifested themselves to be, judgment must have its course. Judgment is therefore largely the theme here, though the end is grace…….Judgment has however in Ezekiel a peculiar character. It is not upon the great final judgment (upon which the eyes of the other prophets are so fixed) that Ezekiel dwells; although at the close we do in measure find this; but a nearer one, executed by the hands of men —of Nebuchadnezzar as the main instrument of it —whether upon Israel or upon the surrounding nations. Nebuchadnezzar introduces us, as we know, to a new period, which it is the part of Daniel fully to bring before us, “the times of the Gentiles” —of Gentile supremacy over Israel— and which lasts during the whole time of God’s indignation against her. In Ezekiel we have not this as yet, but the preliminary clearing of the field upon which the new world-empires are ready to display themselves. Thus the judgment is not simply upon Israel, although in the first place there: the nations round come under it, and Nebuchadnezzar for thus executing it is awarded compensation (chap. 29:18-20)…… The divisions of the book are therefore manifest: In the 1st Div. (Chaps, 1-24) Israel’s rebellion is brought into the presence of Jehovah’s unchangeable righteousness. God Himself appears, as it were, to plead His cause against a rebellious people; and Israel is brought into the light of the awful Presence, every detail of her wanderings perfectly exposed. Div. 2 (Chap, 25-32) gives the judgment at the same time upon the surrounding nations, the enemies of the people of God as such, while —Div. 3 (Chaps, 33-48) gives the prophetic history of Israel’s resurrection and restoration.” }}
{{ Notes: Subdivision 1: “…..The opening verses, as an introduction to the whole book, should be of
the deepest significance. As we look at them, at first they may seem but a mere record of dates and places; but we may be sure that underneath we shall find a true Introduction, every word of which bears upon that which is to follow. It is thus only that we can read these scriptures aright when we willingly pass over nothing, assured that everywhere the word of God will vindicate itself as that, and that to make one word from the divine mouth idle, is the insult of unbelief to Him who speaks in it. There is a studied emphasis here, manifestly put upon that which we might overlook. This 30th year, this 4th month, this 5th day of the month, are manifestly specifications full of purpose. The 30th year is, no doubt, as it is generally considered, the year of the prophet. It was the period at which the priest entered upon his office; it was the year in which it pleased Christ, Himself the true Priest, to begin His public ministry. This 30th year has in it as one of its factors that number 5 which we shall find accompanying us remarkably through the book: We have thus the 5th day, the 5th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity. “Five is the number of man in relation to God. It is the number, therefore, which speaks of responsibility under His government, and that is most suited in the book of Ezekiel. Yet we must not forget that there is another side to it, and that the weak with the strong, the 4 + 1, we have found many times to speak of Immanuel. The New Testament is thus a 5th Pentateuch, and of what does it speak? Certainly the burden of its message is not responsibility, but the blessed way in which the weakness of humanity and the strength of Deity have come together in the Person revealed.” }}

Ezekiel: (Chapters 1-48):
Division 1 (Chaps, 1-24): Israel’s rebellion brought into the presence of Jehovah’s unchangeable righteousness.

Subdivision 1 (Chaps, 1-7): The charge given to the prophet.
Section 1 (Chap, 1): Jehovah the Almighty Whom all creation, all events, harmoniously obey.

Subdivision 2 (Chap, 8-19): Conviction of the sin for which the glory leaves the city.
Section 1 (Chaps, 8-11): The shepherd’s rod becomes a rod of iron.
Section 2 (Chaps. 12-15): The judgments in detail.
Section 3 (Chap. 16): Jerusalem’s profanation of her marriage covenant, yet final restoration.
Section 4 (Chap. 17): The mercy to an abased kingdom; yet its failure.
Section 5 (Chap, 18): The righteous ways of God.
Section 6 (Chap. 19): The victories of the Gentiles over the line of David, so that under them Israel
never obtains her hope.

Subdivision 3 (Chaps, 20-24): The full exposure of the people’s sin, the heart laid bare.
Section 1 (Chap. 20:1-44). Rebellion from the beginning hitherto, though still God’s purpose as to
them abides.
Section 2 (Chaps, 20:45-21:32). The sword upon the righteous & the wicked.
Section 3 (Chap. 22). The corruption in Jerusalem manifest.
Section 4 (Chap, 23). Yielding themselves to the world.
Section 5 (Chap. 24). The judgment reached.

Division 2: (Chaps, 25-32): The judgment upon the Gentile enemies.
Section 1 (Chap. 25:1-11). Ammon-Moab, one in descent, in sin, & retribution. Their land given to the sons of the East.
Section 2 (Chap. 25:12-14). Edom the unbrotherly enemy; the Lord’s vengeance for his vengeance.
Section 3 (Chap. 25:15-17). The Philistines under ban.
Section 4 (Chaps, 26-28). Tyre & Sidon, the world of mammon under the abasing hand of God.
Section 5 (Chaps, 29-32). Egypt: the abasement of creature-pride for ever before God.

Division 3 (Chaps, 33-48): Resurrection & Restoration.

Subdivision 1 (Chaps, 33-37): Jehovah acting from & for Himself.
Section 1 (Chaps. 33,34) The opening of the prophet’s mouth.
Section 2 (Chap, 35) The enemy answered.
Section 3 (Chaps, 36,37). Restoration and reorganization.

Subdivision 2 (chaps, 38,39): Salvation fully realized through Jehovah’s Judgment of Israel’s last enemy
Section I. (chap, 38:1-7) The leaders in this final conflict.
Section 2. (chap, 38:8-13) The evil designs of the enemy
Section 3 (chap, 38:14-23) The revelation of Jehovah to the nations in the judgment of Gog. (See Note below.)
Section 4. (chap, 39:1-7) Creature impotence: the overthrow of the proud foe.
Section 5. (chap, 39:8-16) Almighty strength: the glory brought to Israel through its exercise.
Section 6. (chap, 39:17-21) The mighty a prey.
Section 7. (chap, 39:22-29) The perfect completion of God’s ways with His people

(Subdivision 3. (chaps. 40-48). The Glory dwelling in the Restored Land. The principal subjects are:
The new Temple buildings, the entry of Jehovah into the House, the great altar, and the service of consecration (chaps. 40-43). The ordinances regarding the personnel of the Sanctuary —priests and Levites (chap. 44). The ordinances regarding the provision for the priests, Levites, and Prince, with his special responsibility to provide for the ritual in the Temple (chaps. 45: 1-17). The ordinances regarding special and daily services in the Temple —the feasts, sabbaths, new moons, and offerings of the Prince (chaps. 45: 18-46: 24). The river issuing from the Temple (chap. 47: 1-12). The boundaries of the holy land, and the privileges granted to strangers who sojourn among the tribes (chap. 47: 13-23). The divisions of the land (chap. 48))

Subdivisions 3. (Chaps, 40-48): The Glory dwelling in the Restored Land.
Section 1 (Chaps, 40,41). The “Sanctuary, the holy of holies,”* where the glory will dwell.
1. (40: 1-4) The occasion of the vision. (1-3) The time, place, and communicator. (4) The eyes, ears, and heart to be engaged. The testimony to be given.
2. (40: 5-47) The Gates and Courts: the precincts of the House.
1. (5-27) The first court: the place of genera] assemblage. (5) The wall. (6-16) The Eastern Gate.
(17-19) Chambers, Pavement, and measurement of Court. (20-23) The Northern Gate. (24-27) The Southern Gate.
2. (28-46). The inner court: and its gateways: the place of separation for priestly service. (28-31) The Southern Gate. (32-34) The Eastern Gate. (35-37) The Northern Gate. (38-43) Chambers for washing the burnt-offering. Four tables for slaying the burnt, sin, and trespass offerings. Eight tables for the sacrifices. Four tables for the instruments. Double hooks for sacrificial purposes. (44-46) Chambers for the priests, keepers of the charge of the House, and keepers of the charge of the
altar.
3. (47) The Altar: the divine centre.
3. (40:48—41:4). The House itself into which the visible glory shall enter.
1. (40: 48,49) The porch.
2. (41: 1,2) The holy place.
3. (41:3,4) The most holy.
4. (41:5-11). The chambers around the House: the encompassment of divine fulness realized through accomplished creative sovereignty (3x10x3, 90 chambers in all). (5-7) Their construction and relation to the house. (8) The elevation of 6 cubits. (9-11) Adjacent spaces and way of entrance to chambers.
5. (41:12-14) The separate place: God in government maintaining holiness, according to the fulness of the divine measure (10×10). (12) The building to the west. (13, 14) The two squares of 100 cubits each occupied by the two previously described buildings. (a)—The house, 100 cubits long. (b)—The separate place (20 cubits), and the building(80 cubits), total, 100 cubits,
(c)—The breadth of the house, 60 cubits, with the separate place, 20 cubits on each side, making the total breadth at the east end of these two squares 100 cubits.
6. (41:15-26) Interior details: symbolic of Messianic triumph.
1. (15-21) General character: all established by measure in glory and righteousness.
2. (22) The altar of wood: fellowship.
3. (23-26) The doors: the manner of entrance. The doors: the manner of entrance. Porch entrance, 14 cubits=7×2. Temple entrance, 10 ” =5×2. Entrance to the Holy of Holies, …. 6 ” =3×2.

Section 2. (chap. 42). The arrangements provided to preserve the service of the Sanctuary in separation from defilement.
1. (1-12) The chambers before the separate place.
2. (13-14) The purposes served by these chambers.
3. (15-20) The established separation of the whole sacred enclosure.

Section 3. (chap. 43). The glory of Jehovah filling the House.
1. (1-12) The place of the throne, glorious in majesty and holiness.
1. (1-6) The glory itself.
2. (7-11) The place of the throne —the seat of government.
3. (12) The mount of holiness.
2. (13-17) The altar —the place of sacrifice.
3. (18-27) The offerings at the sanctification of the altar & the priests —the place of worship.
(Note, The people and their riders are reproved and corrected, 7-11).

Section 4. (chap. 44). Regulations concerning those who minister in the Sanctuary.
1. (1-3) The supremacy of Jehovah: regulations regarding the Eastern gate, & the Prince’s privilege to use it.
2. (4-14) The judgment & holiness which become His House: regulations regarding service in keeping the gates, & slaying the sacrifices; those who shall not be permitted to serve, & the Levites who are to minister in these ways, with the reason for their exclusion from the priesthood.
3. (15-31) The priests: the features of their place and portion as sanctified unto Jehovah. They minister at the altar, are to be only sons of Zadok; their garments, their marriage, their service as teachers and judges, their preservation from defilement, their maintenance, are subjects of regulation.
(Note, The people, Levites & priests are reproved & corrected, 6-13).
1. Regulations regarding their place & service in the Sanctuary.
i. Their sacred charge (ver. 15a).
ii. Their holy service in this charge (vers. 15b, 16).
iii. Their holy garments (vers. 17-19).
2. Regulations regarding their habits & relationships.
i. Their hair —moderation, no extremes (ver. 20).
ii. Their abstinence —sobriety (ver. 21).
iii. Their marriage —purity (ver. 22).
3. Regulations regarding their service toward the people.
i. Their work of teaching (ver. 23).
ii. Their work of judgment (ver. 24a).
iii. Their responsibility to observe & care for the order of divine worship (ver. 24b).
4. Regulations regarding their separation from defilement.
i. As to the dead (vers. 25-27).
ii. As to inheritance (ver. 28).
iii. As to their food (vers. 29-31).

Section 5 (chaps. 45,46). Divine government exercised in the apportionment of the land, & the establishment of ordinances for worship & service.
1. (45:1-8) The division of the land in which the Lord’s claim is given first place. The portion for the priests.. .25,000 x 10,000
The portion for the Levites. .25,000 x 10,000 \ 25,000 x 25,000.
The portion for the City 25,000 x 5,000.
The portion for the Prince…
2. (45: 9-12) Justness in practical dealings required by Him whose ways are full of mercy & truth. Regulations as to weight, measure, & coinage.
3. (45:13-46:15). The materials for, & the order of, worship.
1. (13-17) The gifts of the people: these are rendered to the Prince whose charge is to provide for the sacrifices.
2. (18-25) The yearly feasts.
(a) The offerings to cleanse & atone for the House.
(b) The Passover & feast of unleavened bread,
(c) The feast of tabernacles.
3. (46:1-7) The sabbaths & new moons.
4. (8-10) The manner of entrance and exit.
5. (11) The regulation as to the meal-offering.
6. (12) The Prince’s free-will offering.
7. (13-15) The daily burnt-offering.
4. (46:16-18) Warning against oppression.
5. (19-24) Guarding the holy things.
(Note, Princes are reproved and corrected, 45: 8-12 and 46: 16-18).
(Note the prominence of the Prince throughout this section).

Section 6. (chap. 47:1-12). The victory over curse. The waters of continual refreshment & blessing flowing forth from the Temple.

Section 7. (chaps. 47: 13—48: 35). The perfect land, for “the Lord is there.”
1. (47: 13-21) The boundaries of the land.
2. (22,23) Care for the stranger.
3. (48: 1-7) The tribes north of the sacred oblation.
4. (8-22) The sacred oblation: the universal centre of glory, government, & worship.
5. (23-29) The tribes south of the sacred oblation.
6. (30-35) The gates of the city.
7. (35) The name of the city: Jehovah Shammah: Jehovah is there.

{{ (Note to Section 3, chap. 38:14-23: “This gathering of armies to besiege Jerusalem cannot be those of the western or revived Roman empire to which Rev. 19 refers, for that power is allied to and would support the Willful King against whom the King of the North comes in his whirlwind campaign. The nations then of which Zechariah and Joel speak are those to the north and east of the “pleasant land.” They are the enemies of the Willful King and the Western confederacy which supports him —the false Messiah in the Land. Keeping this in mind, and remembering that God is working at this time to bring all these forces together for judgment at the Lord’s appearing, a thought suggests itself as to what tidings reached the King of the North when in the vicinity of Egypt. May they not be the news of the gathering hosts of the Western powers coming into Palestine to effect the cutting off of his return to the north, thus severing his communications from the rear, purposing then to strike one final blow which will decide the question of world-supremacy once for all in favor of the Beasts of Rev. 13, which are the instruments of Satanic power and policy? Putting together with this the prophecy of Rev. 16, we learn that this mighty host will gather at Har-Mageddon, identified as the plain of Esdraelon, which lies across the path of travel through Palestine between the north and the south.*Tidings of such movements may well explain Dan. 11:44, and the northern leader commences his return, likewise determined to strike the blow which will place in his hand the coveted world-supremacy. ) (*At the seaward end of this notable plain is situated the Bay of Acre, the line of which stretches from Haifa to Acre, or Acco. Perhaps it is of more than passing interest to note that the American Zion Commonwealth has purchased 15,000 acres of land right along the shore and back, covering a very fertile section; and that the Commonwealth is undertaking a great development of this vast sea frontage, making a new channel to the sea for the River Kishon, and preparing to establish important industries with garden cities lying back from the sea, around what will be soon the greatest port of the Mediterranean, as a high British official has declared. The Palestinian Government is to spend millions to make a genuine harbor at Haifa. It is just such extensive developments which would be needful for the assembling of the vast forces of the Roman empire upon this great plain, for it is natural to suppose that they will be gathered from many parts of the ten-kingdom confederacy, and transported under naval convoy to the shores of Palestine. Already 5 00 miles of railroad connect this bay and its harbor facilities with different parts of the Land, including Jerusalem and reaching as far south as Beer-sheba. At Haifa, where at the close of the world-war (1918) there were only 3,000 inhabitants, ten years after (1928) there were 13,000. For centuries this town has been at a standstill, but now it pulsates with life, and under the urge of industrial enterprise the mountains are being cut through and the sea front developed to meet the demands of the projects in view.) }}

{{ References to Outline Plan:
1.-Outer Wall around Court ( ch. 40: 5). 2.-Outer Court, its details ( ch. 40:6-27).
3.-East Gate of Outer Court (ch. 40:6-16).
4.-Cells and Pavement around the Outer Court arranged on three sides in groups of five on each side of the Gate Buildings (ch. 40:17-19).
5.-North Gate of Outer Court (ch. 40:20-23).
6.-South Gate of Outer Court (ch. 40:24-27).
7.-South Gate of Inner Court (ch. 40:28-31).
8.-East Gate of Inner Court (ch. 40:32-34).
9.-North Gate of Inner Court ( ch. 40:35-37).
10.-Cell for washing the Burnt Offering near North Gate (text does not definitely fix the location) (ch. 40:38).
11.-Sacrificial Tables connected with the North Gate. These are placed in the Porch of the Gate & adjacent to its ascent (ch. 40:39-43).
12.-Cells for the priests who are keepers of the charge of the House & the Altar (text does not definitely fix the location except that they are said to be outside the Inner Gate, in the Inner Court (ch. 40:44-46).
13.-The Altar (ch. 40:47). For its dimensions: see ch. 43:13-17.
14.-Porch of the House (ch. 40:48,49).
15.-The Temple itself, Holy & Most Holy Places, the side Chambers & the separate place (ch. 41:1-11).
16.-The Building to the west of the House, & summary of the principal measurements ( ch. 41:12-15) .
17.-The Cell Building on the northside of the separate place (ch. 42:1-9).
18.-The Cell Building on the southside of the separate place* (ch. 42:10-14). (•Note: The text describing these two buildings are difficult to interpret, and in certain features obscure. The general location is clear, and this is indicated on the plan; but the actual arrangement of the several parts presents a problem to which a really satisfactory solution is hard to find.)
19.-Cooking Places for the Priests located at the west of the Cell Buildings devoted to their use: see 17 & 18 (ch. 46:19,20).
20.-Cooking Places for the Sacrifices of the People (ch. 46:21-24). }}

About mjmselim

Male, 68 in Oct., born in Jamaica, USA since 1961, citizen in 2002; cobbler for 40 plus years, retired, Christian since 1969; married to same wife since 1979; 6 daughters and 2 sons, with 8 grandkids. Slowly adapting to the digital world of computers and internet; hobby in digital editing.
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