For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 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 to God.


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 idols.


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 altar.”


“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 thereon.”


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 forsaken.


43:20.  “And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it.”


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 believers.


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.

[Ezekiel 44]


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough