Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2003 James Melough
43:1. “Afterward he brought me to the gate, even
the gate that looketh toward the east:”
43:2. “And, behold, the glory of the God of
Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many
waters: and the earth shined with his glory.”
As the glory had departed towards the east, see 11:23 - the direction that
always speaks of sin and departure from God - so was it from the east that it
returned, i.e., it came westward, the direction that always speaks of approach
43:3. “And it was according to the appearance of
the vision which I saw ... when I came to destroy the city....”
“... to destroy the city” is more correctly rendered, “to announce the
destruction of the city.”
43:4. “And the glory of the Lord came into the
house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.”
The comments which follow verse 2 apply here also.
43:5. “So the spirit took me up, and brought me
into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.”
The Spirit here is generally understood to have been the Holy Spirit.
43:6. “And I heard him speaking unto me out of
the house; and the man stood by me.”
While the bronze colored man mentioned in 40:3 stood by Ezekiel, God spoke to
His servant out of the Temple, presumably from the holy of holies.
43:7. “And he said unto me, son of man, the
place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell
in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the
house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their
whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.”
As God took His place in the holy of holies of the millennial temple, He
assured His servant that that dwelling would be “for ever,” the explanation
for this being that the order that will prevail in the Millennium will
continue on the new earth which will follow that halcyon age.
Their whoredoms is a synonym for the temple prostitution which was a part of
their idolatry; and “the carcases of their kings in their high places” is
taken by many to refer to the burial of some of their evil kings in the
precincts of the Temple or in the vicinity of the idolatrous hilltop shrines.
There will be no such defilement of the millennial earth, or of the new earth
to which it will ultimately give place.
“... the carcases of their kings” is also understood by some to refer to their
43:8. “In their setting of their threshold by my
thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they
have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed:
wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.”
This is the declaration of God’s righteous anger against apostate Israel for
their having continued to observe the outward ritual of worshiping Him, while
at the same time worshiping their idols.
43:9. “Now let them put away their whoredom, and
the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of
them for ever.”
Only when Israel truly repents, and receives the Lord Jesus Christ as her
Savior Messiah will God bless her; but that she will not do until the
judgments of the Great Tribulation have chastened her and opened her
spiritually blind eyes.
God’s dwelling “in the midst of them for ever” is explained by the fact that
the believing Israel which will pass from the Great Tribulation into the
Millennium, will ultimately also pass into the new earth which will replace
the millennial earth, and continue for ever.
See verse 7 relative to “ the carcases of their kings.”
43:10. “Thou son of man, shew the house to the
house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them
measure the pattern.”
It is not explained how their seeing the Temple, or their measuring its
dimensions, will make Israel ashamed of their wickedness.
43:11. “And if they be ashamed of all that they
have done, shew them the form of the house and the fashion thereof, and the
goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and
all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws
thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form
thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.”
The reference to their being ashamed very obviously refers to the conversion
of the Tribulation-age remnant, that believing remnant being the new Israel
that will pass out of the Great Tribulation into the Millennium. It will be
to them that all the ordinances relative to millennial worship will be explained.
43:12. “This is the law of the house; Upon the
top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy.
Behold, this is the law of the house.”
The whole top of the mountain, as well as the immediate precincts of the
millennial Temple, will be holy ground.
43:13. “And these are the measures of the altar
after the cubits: The cubit is a cubit and an hand breadth; even the bottom
shall be a cubit, and the breadth a cubit, and the border thereof by the edge
thereof round about shall be a span: and this shall be the higher place of the
“The cubit is a cubit and an hand breadth,” i.e., the unit of measurement was
the long cubit of 21 inches rather than the short cubit of 18 inches. The
altar is generally understood to have been made of stone rising in four tiers
from a base of 1 cubit high by 18 x 18 cubits, a second 2 cubits high by 16 x
16 cubits long and broad, a third 4 cubits high by 14 x 14, on top of which
rested the altar hearth 4 cubits high by 12 x 12 long and broad.
43:14. “And from the bottom upon the ground even
to the lower settle shall be two cubits, and the breadth one cubit; and from
the lesser settle even to the greater settle shall be four cubits, and the
breadth one cubit.”
From the base on the ground to the lower ledge was 2 cubits in height and 1
cubit in breadth, on top of which rested the second ledge 4 cubits high by 14
x 14 cubits
43:15. “So the altar shall be four cubits; and
from the altar and upward shall be four horns.”
The latter part of this verse means that from each corner of the brazen altar
there would be a projection in the form of a brazen horn: not a musical
instrument, but rather the replica of a bull’s horn.
43:16. “And the altar shall be twelve cubits
long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof.”
43:17. “And the settle shall be fourteen cubits
long and fourteen broad in the four squares thereof; and the border about it
shall be half a cubit; and the bottom thereof shall be a cubit about; and his
stairs shall look toward the east.”
The “settle” was the ledge around the top of the altar the stairs of which
were on the east side.
43:18. “And he said unto me, Son of man, thus
saith the Lord God; These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they
shall make it, to offer burnt offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood
The worship of God is to be according to His direction, not according to the
vagaries of man’s imagination.
43:19. “And thou shalt give to the priests the
Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto
me, saith the Lord God, a young bullock for a sin offering.”
The people were to give to the Levitical priests descended from Zadok, a young
bull which was to be presented as a sin offering, this being the symbolic
announcement of the fact that sin must be expiated before worship can be
offered. We cannot worship God until sin has been confessed, repented of, and
43:20. “And thou shalt take of the blood
thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the
settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge
The blood of the sin offering was then to be applied to the altar to purify
it, the need of its purification being related to the fact that the material
of which it was constructed had come from a sin-defiled earth.
43:21. “Thou shalt take the bullock also of the
sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house,
without the sanctuary.”
The bullock’s carcase was to be burned to ashes in a God-appointed place
outside the sanctuary, but within the precincts of the temple area.
43:22. “And on the second day thou shalt offer a
(male) kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall
cleanse the altar, as they did cleanse it with the bullock.”
The slain bullock may speak of the Lord Jesus Christ dying to expiate our sin;
the goat slain on each of the following seven days may speak of Him as the One
Whose death avails also for the expiation of the sins we commit daily as
43:23. “When thou hast made an end of cleansing
it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the
flock without blemish.”
43:24. “And thou shalt offer them before the
Lord, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up
for a burnt offering unto the Lord.”
The burnt offering represents the Lord’s sacrifice of Himself as being first
for the glory of the Father rather than the expiation of man’s sin. Salt
being that which purifies and preserves from decay, applied here to the burnt
offering, speaks of Christ’s inherent sinlessness even when He took our sins
upon Him and died for them at Calvary.
43:25. “Seven days shalt thou prepare every day
a goat for a sin offering: they shall also prepare a young bullock, and a ram
out of the flock, without blemish.”
43:26. “Seven days shall they purge the altar
and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves.”
Since seven is the biblical number of perfection or completeness, these seven
days speak of the perfection and eternal efficacy of Christ’s sin-atoning
work. The consecration of the priests declares the truth that we who are a
royal kingdom of priests are also to consecrate ourselves, i.e., set ourselves
apart for the Lord’s service, for He will not use an unclean vessel.
43:27. “And when these days are expired, it
shall be that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your
burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept
you, saith the Lord God.”
As seven is the biblical number of perfection or completeness, so is eight the
number of a new beginning. The activity of the priests on the eighth day
therefore declares the truth that our lives are to be marked by the daily
offering of ourselves to God for His glory, that presentation being
symbolically represented by the burnt offering; the peace offerings speaking
of the peace which is the concomitance of an obedient life.