Ezekiel is one of the latter prophets in the Old Testament. He is one generation after Isaiah.
622 BC, he was probably born around that time.
He was 30 when he had his first vision in 592 BC.
He is a Post-Exile Prophet and was part of the 2nd Deportation.
His father was a priest and this was seen as useful by the Babylonians because if you were a priest or son of a priest this meant you could be used for your literacy and being able to write.
Ezekiel is referenced a lot in the NT like Revelation. It is an apocalyptic work. It is not about the end of the world.
It is an apocalypsis and is often showing us the bigger picture in a symbolic way (showing us the past, present, and the future).
You can not take all these symbols literally. These are symbols which are used to communicate something to the people for the most part. The messages of Ezekiel will be for the Exiled people and mostly for Israel. He prophesies all this in the Babylonian Kingdom.
He has 7 sets of visions. Some of these visions are shocking and graphic.
Has first vision at 30 years old. He sees "4 living beings". These are angelic beings. They have a body like a man, 4 faces, 2 wings to fly, 2 wings to cover their private areas, and two to hide their arms and eyes. He also sees the lamp of fire which is the Presence of God and a symbol of God's Presence, like the Burning Bush (1-14).
1:15-28 - In addition, there is a "wheel" with eyes that follows wherever they go. He sees something like the sky and sees a throne and the appearance of one who is like a man on a moving thing. Ezekiel struggles to describe exactly what he sees so he says it is "sort of" like this. "Likeness of the Lord's Glory".
God is atop this dome he sees of the universe. This is God's Throne that he is seeing. Everytime we have seen the Throne it was always stationary, but Ezekiel shows that his throne is on wheels so that he is not stuck in the Temple but rather is mobile and big enough to encompass all of Creation as well, since He is atop the dome.
This imagery shows us quite clearly that God has not abandoned the Jews. They are His people and He still loves them.
The "living creatures" are cherubs or cherubim, a type of angelic being.
Biblically, from the descriptions, they look more like sphinxes or persons with animal heads/features.
These 4 beings are following God, the King, and are carrying Yahweh. They serve Yahweh. They are not gods but Babylon, which worshipped sphinxes would have tried actually worshipping angelic beings similar to them and we know they did from archaeology and knowing their mythos. Ezekiel clearly shows though that they are not gods and serve God.
These angels are used (the 4 angels/messengers) as typology in the Church for the reason that we have 4 Gospels. The beings with 4 faces have 4 different perspectives and St. Iranaeus suggests that this is why they are the "four Gospels". We have only ONE Gospel technically speaking but 4 different perspectives to share it.
God has come to see Ezekiel, his prophet.
Ezekiel falls to his face. The Lord says: Son of Man, Get up!
Son of Man = Son of Adam. It is a term that also can mean to stay humble.
When Jesus refers to himself as Son of Man they understand in his time that he is referring to himself as the Ancient of Days in Daniel who uses this term as well.
Ezekiel cannot get up so the Spirit raises him up off the ground and picks him up literally.
God gives him a scroll because he is being deliberately provoked. He tells Ezekiel that he sending him out in the midst of scorpions and that they have about 5 years to change their ways. The prophecy is a lot of curses.
Eat this scroll. He does and it tastes like honey. He eats the prophecy. It is first to him and then he will bring it to them. He is sending him to Israel, his own foolish people. He shall go to the captives and prophesy.
3:12-21 - He spends 7 days with the captives. "I made you a watchman". He is now responsible for these people. On the Judgment Day, He will be asked about all these people he is held accountable for. He is not to let them do evil. He is to speak out and up against it or he is responsible.
3:22-27 - I will make you my slave he says to Ezekiel. God's slave.
He is supposed to make a representation of Jerusalem and then sleep only on his left side and then change and sleep only on his right side.
This is symbolism. The left side: Israel. The right side: Judah.
There are 380 days which equal 1 year each so 380 years since they existed. 40 days equal 1 year in this prophetic word each, so 40 years since Josiah that they have been wicked.
Ezekiel is told he has to eat poop-baked bread. This is symbolism for how all in Exile will ultimately be eating impure. Ezekiel is disgusted at first and protests so God lets him use cow dung instead. This prediction given is about Jerusalem starving.
Shave your head and shave off your beard. This is so he will become a slave to God. He tells him to keep his hair because he is going to have him use it for a prophesy of judgment. These are messages of death, famine, cannabilism, and etc. He will reference the other nations and Israel often for being like the pagans.
All of Israel will be judged. All shrines to pagans gone. Then they will know that He is Lord. They will know the curses of God.
To Israel: The Day of the Lord has come. All will be judged. This life is given for repentance. Do not waste it. The angels did not get to do this or get this gift Israel has received.
Jerusalem falls in 586 BC. This next vision is for those in the Exile. He sees a vision of the one in "likeness of a man" again. God picks him up and puts him in Jerusalem in this vision where he is shown an Asherah pole - this is Baal's wife. We know from archaeology that they tried making Yahweh have Asherah also as a wife and at one point had built a pole in God's Temple. Ezekiel is told to dig a hole and does.
8:11 - There are 70 elders mentioned. This is an apostate version of the Divine Council. Wrath is coming.
These men are going East. This is bad symbolism going on here. North is also mentioned which means a conquering is to take place. The 6 men are to destroy all in their path but the remnant who are marked for protection. People like Jeremiah who follow God are spared. This is an obvious Pascha allusion given. They are protected like Moses and the faithful from the angel of death.
The same cherubim are seen in this vision. The Lord left with his posse from the Temple.
The Lord's glory never went back to the Temple. They were in NT day and time, painfully aware of this as the Lord didn't return for Ezra-Nehemiah's time, nor what you see when the Maccabeans (1-4 Macc.) rededicate the Temple to God. They were still in Exile. This is also why in the NT the Pharisees are hellbent on being such strict people too with purity trying to get God to come back.
God's reign goes everywhere. He is everywhere. He is seated on the Throne.
The Jews knew the Glory of God wasn't there but still sacrificed anyways in hope that He would return.
11:14-25 - He will raise a remnant up and bring a new covenant. He is transported to Babylon and then tells the exiles what happened.
Baggage for capitivity. When King Neb comes back he will hurt Jerusalem and treat the Exiles worse. They are going to be moved. He speaks about Zedekiah a bit sneaking away like a coward and says this king will never "see" Babylon. He does get his eyes gouged out so this comes true.
12:17-26 - One day there will be no false prophecy. This is happening now. Babylon will take care of that.
This "wall" is a metaphor. King Neb will destroy them and they are falsely claiming they will be fine. Building a bad wall that God will break down.
13:20-23 - They do not prophesy from God. They do it from their own dark hearts. Not demons.
The exiled elders are asking Ezekiel about a word and to give them a word. They do not get a word that is good. They are told that they should return to God and repent.
14:14 - Even if Noah, Job, and Daniel were praying, he would still judge Israel. Here, he mentions Prophet Daniel.
14:21-23 - There will be a remnant.
What can you do with vines? Compares it to how worthless Jerusalem is. To be destroyed.
16:1-4 - He essentially says "your mother is a whore" and that they are not one of his people in all reality. Common practice was that the patriarch of the family had to accept the baby who was born. If they didn't accept it for whatever reason, they threw them outside and away essentially and abandoned them. God is saying that no one wants Israel. She is like an abandoned baby. No one wanted her but God did. God uses imagery here of him adopting this abandoned newborn bastard baby that he made to be like royalty and beautiful though she, Jerusalem, is an adopted daughter here in the image given. In return for all he, a loving father gave to her, she treats him wrongly and acts like a whore with everyone dishonoring him and his house. She is a prostitute. God essentially here is asking "why should I not just disown you"? referring to Judah. He compares them to Sodom and Gomorrah. The sexual depravity came as a result of their wealth and not thanking God for it. They even rape people who enter. They deserve their judgment and obliteration. Says Judah has done worse than them two. This is talking about a society that has unfortunately become so completely wrong and corrupt and it leaves us a good lesson.
Lesson: We as a society do not know when we may be cut off by God from His mercy. We must prepare because we don't the day we die or when Christ returns either. We must individually and corporately strive for repentance every day.
16:51-58 - Sodom and Samaria looks better than Judah right now. She looks worse than them. He points to the resurrection of the dead here. Even the punishment/Exile though is a chance to repent but they must before it is too late for them.
16:59-63 - Because and out of love, God will make a new covenant with them which will change them and they will find repentance then.
Great eagle is shown snipping a cutting vine. It grows weakly. The weak vine instead of growing where it needs to, tries to get another eagle to help it grow. It will pull it up and kill it though ultimately. This vine is Israel. It thinks it is weak and to try and grow in power instead of trusting in the Great Eagle (God) who put them where they are supposed to and need to be, they trust in another eagle (false gods and evil nations) and let a predator mess with them and kill them. Jesus is a grapevine. Not this vine that Ezekiel talks about here.
Israel/Judah will fall and the King Zedekiah will try to flee and fall.
17:22-24 - Restoration language. A new planting. A new covenant.
The son suffers for the father's sins. The saying is that the children pay for the fathers' sins. Regardless of your sin and everyone else's, if you do what is right, God will save you and you will be a remnant, and part of it. You are His and your faith will be what saves you. If not, you will die unrighteously. Everyone pays for their own sins. They can be affected but they will not be judged by God for it. It doesn't matter what their family did or has done or is doing. Behaviors in 586 BC are still destructive today. God does not want or desire death on the evil. He wants repentance. We do not, Israel does not, get credit for Abraham's righteousness nor their father's unrighteousness. This is what they are mad about in this.
Imagery of a lion and imagery of a rod and vine is given. Zedekiah and Jehoikam and the tribe of Judah in captivity.
Some elders come to ask Ezekiel another question. God through Ezekiel gives them a history lesson about how they were all slaves. Then called them and said to be different. References Passover and the firstborn child. They keep failing to keep Sabbath. "I chose you and you Israel fail me". He is going to judge them in Exile and weed them out. Then a remnant will come about. Didn't happen with Ezra, nor in 1-4 Maccabees, etc. The Divine Glory didn't return.
20:39-44 - The Mountain of God is symbolism/figurative language. This comes after the judgement which allows the Gentiles to come in the kingdom.
20:45-48 - Forest fire will happen. It is a sign from God. Likewise, Jerusalem will burn because of God, not King Neb.
21:18-27 - Seige against Israel. King Neb will conquer by divination. God will control what Neb does. Not his gods. It will be Jerusalem is his target. God wanted to forget their sins but they made God remember because they won't repent. Now He has to do it.
21:28-32 - Ammon is judged. Judah is judged.
Jerusalem is so dirty. Guilty of shedding innocent blood. He even goes so far as to say an animal will be judged for killing a righteous person.
22:17-22 - Mixing impure things with the pure things.
22:23-31 - Couldn't find one righteous man. Has to purify and smelt to get what he wants. Hyperbole here.
Oholah = Samaria.
Ohilibah = Jerusalem.
[586 BC and 70 AD were both destroyed in the same day]
Already in Egypt they were prostituting and living wrong. Israel let Assyria in and then Assyria destroyed them. Got raped/Samaria did. Now she is gone.
Samaria's sister sees it and then whores (Jerusalem) even more. It is graphic but this imagery is all to show the evil and what Judah has become. They are gross and whores and sin is gross. It is beneath us being God's children. They will be slaves to Babylon like they were in Egypt. Judah is exiled to Babylon.
We are all exiled from the Kingdom by sin. How do we get back? Through Jesus and repentance. The Exile is ending in the NT.
A parable is given. He makes a good stew and skim results. Jerusalem is the burning pot. Under the scum is blood. To get to the meat, he has to heat the pot and at least then the meat will be boiled and the scum and blood will be gone. The blood will be poured out on display for the world to see.
24:15-24 - He will weep because Jerusalem is dead. He doesn't delight in it.
24:25-27 - Survivor will be given a report. Ezekiel will speak to them.
God is waiting with the 2nd Coming because he is giving time to repent. There is a cut off time though.
Ezekiel's wife has died (like Jerusalem) and he is in mourning (like God). Ezekiel himself becomes the symbolic sign of grief and will not speak until Jerusalem falls.
Ammon is judged and will be conquered. This is Lot's descendants. They will be judged and acknowledge Yahweh is Lotd at some point.
Moab, Edom, and Creatans and coastal lands too shall do the same.
The sons of Kettim will take the land now. Nothing is special about the lands as God owns all of it in reality.
Crete is also judged. Traders of the sea and land know what's going on. The Mycanean folk had attacked Egypt once in the 13th century BC (sea-people invasions). They settled on coastal lands and became known as the Phillistines we see in bible. So Phillistines are also Cretans. Paul will call Cretans liars and this is common wordage for anyone of Greco-Roman origin because the Greeks knew that they were the oldest of their history and hated them for it. This is why their old gods of the Greek pantheon suck and the new gods of the Grecian pantheon are so much better. God doesn't say however that he will destroy Crete but it is the coastal lands that will be judged too.
Tyre prophesy. Phoenician Empire. This nation is built on trade and shipping. Our earliest coinages are Phoenician coins. They set up cities/hubs. Their capitals eventually decline and Carthage becomes the capital which Rome will fight and conquer. Baal and Jezebel come from this location. They are on an island that is at their time completely unconquerable. They were also richer than Babylon and King Neb actually used funding from them to make his conquerings. The Tyre King is probably also the high priest-king of his pagan empire. Ezekiel gets a prophecy on this that Tyre will be judged. King Neb will go on to conquer all but Tyre itself. Thier trades suffered as a result. Tyre is also prophesied here to go to Hell (Hades) and will fall and this becomes fulfilled by Alexander the Great.
Talks about the global reach and wealth Tyre has. Carthage is in Africa. All nations knew of their greatness. Judah even often traded with them. Ships are destroyed. They have a huge navy and trade and it is taken down by God's judgment. Baal is used here in the plural because it means lord and there are many Baals. God declares himself the Master over Baals. The sea built them up and now they have been sunk.
To Tyre's King: He declares himself supreme god. Says he is divine. He is one of the Baals. They worship him there. Yahweh however says that "you are no God". He mentions Daniel in 28:3.
He is only who/want/where he is because of God. He is prophesied to tear Tyre down because he is just a mortal man.
28:11-19 - Prophesy and lamentation. Refers to him and compares him to Adam, mentioning the "orchard of God" (garden of Eden). He hangs out with angels and is sinless, on a holy mountain. Reference to Satan who fulfills this list. Pride did him in. He is the embodiment of Satan and will fall. The demons were seen as real and they are real. It was not a fictional god being dealt with. They felt they were communing with fallen angels masquerading as a god. Tyre is a representation of evil, Satan. Demons. Serves Satan.
[We see this done in the NT too with Caesar, who is Jupiter, king and high priest of pagan pantheon. Embodiment of Satan on earth]
28:20-26 - Judgment against Sidon. Will be done. Israel will be restored one day. No ongoing grudge because God has dealt with it.
To Egypt: Egypt because of Babylon will from this time on be weakened as a superpower and never regain its strength. Pharoah is king and called a "dragon". Satan/serpent imagery is clear here as Pharoah thinks he is a god too. God says though that the rivers are His (Nile and Delta River). Egypt is still secure, fat, and even happy, even though they can't go outside their area. In reality, they are a little helpless fish and God will deal with Egypt for messing with Israel and Judah.
The borders of Ethiopia have a famine that is to come. A warm winter screws Egypt all up. They will be scattered among the nations too and then after 40 years return but never again be powerful like they once were. The same language used here is used of God with Israel. Egypt is not special for getting to come back in 70 years. He deals with all nations in a similar fashion. The only special thing that Judah has is that they will be who produces the Messiah. God cares about faith and not about biology.
29:17-21 - King Neb attacks Tyre. Zionism is heresy. Egypt gets more mercy than Israel. King Neb doesn't beat Tyre so he seizes on Egypt and depletes them.
29:21 - "a horn". A horn means it is a mature creature. Some nation or person will rise to power for Israel. This horn is Jesus.
Egypt did not like to list their losses. Memphis, Egypt's capital, falls, and she falls in power. Babylon will act as a plague to them. Libyans, Phoenicians, etc. are all affected on this day. Pharoah is judged with Egypt for misleading Judah into allying with them while God sent prophets to tell Judah to repent and not trust Egypt. Babylon's armies are a plague, like locusts. A tool for judgment of the nations. Pharoah's like an idol and his arm falls off figuratively.
To Assyria: 31:9 - Pharoah thinks he is so smart and powerful and compares him to Assyria using imagery of a tree to show how great he once was and how Pharoah will end up. The Tree falls and is thrown down a mountain to Hades. Hades is where Assyria goes and where Egypt/Pharoah is headed because of his pride.
Pharoah will fall and it will be expressed (poetically) by him dying. When Christ died, this same imagery happens. Darkness overtakes Jerusalem and Rome during the Crucifixion. The greatest king had died.
32:17-22 - Pharoah will fal like every other nation has. Mescheck and Tubal (Tubal-Cain) (North and South). They were two cities/kingdoms who fell. They are dead and were dead when Ezekiel was prophesying this already. He is using them as an example.
We forget that everyone was way more interconnected in this time then we think. Ezekiel's messages were sent to all these places and the proclamations were heard and read out loud.
Ezekiel is to be a watchman for Israel. The sword is judgment and the watchman is to warn sothey have heard and chosen to accept/reject the watchman. Jerusalem has fallen and they didn't take the warning. Now the exiles "get it". They are screwed. Ezekiel was right. Refugees are in the land and are scumbags. They trust in false thinking. These are the people who will kill the Governor of Israel for Babylon and then King Neb will punish for this.
Israel/Judah are scattered because of their leaders. Their job as "shephards" was to help/protect them. God will ask for their sheep back and they will have none to give. Bad shephards. God will take care and fix the sheep and their problems. He will raise a shepherd like David (34:22-31). Messiah reference is here. He will raise a garden of peace for them.
Restoration to Eden language here. Has them all at Mt. Zion. A New Jerusalem (34:28). The remnant is saved and the beasts (Gentile nations) no longer eat and devour them.
Christ declares Himself the Good Shepherd. I am the Messiah because I lay my life down for the sheep. The shephards once exploited the sheep. Christ dies for them.
Mt. Seir (Edom). This is an emblem for Edom. Edom is judged. If they had repented, they would not be judged. They will know Yahweh is Lord one way or another.
A time will come when the nations judged will end and that the land will be restored to people of Israel. On a small-scale, in 70 years they do come back to the land. On a larger-scale though, God will "make the land your inheritance". Reference to God giving and creating the people of Israel. He became part of the tribe of Israel. From the beginning, you were Israel if you were with faith. Those are Abraham's real descendants. If Caleb has faith, he is Abraham's child. God will restore Israel because of His Holy Name. They had tainted the Land and so affected all of Creation due to their sins. The animals are at peace with saints. The Image of God restored will restore Creation. The way we live blesses or destroys Creation. It has effects. Israel has polluted the lands and it needs to becleansed. We are responsible for creation. It is so bad they desecrated even Yahweh's Name. They see His people and see what losers they were. Because of that, He will redeem them. To save His Name.
36:25 - Baptism.
36:26 - Pentacost.
36:27-37 - New Covenant. New people who he will make them holy and have a new Spirit in them (Holy Spirit; Acts).
37:1-14 - Can these dry bones live? He is seeing the current plains of Jerusalem. They are long-dead people. Say to the bones as if they can hear you, to live. They come to life, the 4 winds blow into these corpses and they live. An assembly is here, an ekklesia, aka a really big church. I will open your tombs and you will be gathered. this is not just some metaphor being talked about. Israel is brought back to life by the Word of the Lord. Hear the Word of the Lord. The Word had the power of Life and death. He spoke it into existance. The Word = Christ.
Christ is the Word of the Lord Incarnate and has the power of life and death. He can bring eternal life even out of death. "The hour is coming when those in the tomb will hear the Lord and live" (John 5:28).
37:15-28 - North and Southern Kingdoms are both gone but will be rejoined and back together. He uses two rods as the imagery. One ruler will rule these people. A servant/Messiah of David's lineage (Jesus). For all eternity in this new covenant of peace. A "sanctuary" will be placed. This is Jesus (37:28). Gentiles and etc. will know He is the Lord who sanctifies them, the sanctuary being with them in the center for all eternity. An image of the Divine Council at the end of the time being there too. Christ's flesh is eternally the Tabernacle and this is also found in Revelation.
Again, this is apocalyptic. It is a reveal to 1) get people to repent, 2) the big picture and God's perspective on everything.
God sends the prophets to usually show us the bigger pictures. The dark powers are already defeated. When you know this is coming, you can endure. Keep this in mind!
Gog is in the land of Magog which has 3 places: Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Earlier he mentioned Rosh and Meshech who had been destroyed and judged already. Gog is in Amos as a locust king (Amos 7:1). Joel 2:20 army of locusts from the north as a plague om Israel. Ezekiel refers to King Neb earlier as a plague of locusts.
Gog isn't one particular person. It represents one used by God for judgment. He can represent anyone. King Neb, Alexander the Great, etc....
A King who seeks to dominate; an archetype. In Ezekiel's time, this would be King Neb. Remember the bigger picture. It represents all empires and tyrants; enemies of God. These cities were already destroyed so that makes this clear that is Satanic forces represented here. It is a type, pattern, archetype.
So Gog and Magog represent all enemies of God. It is not some coded message about one specific person or nation here. The message here is that people like this who are evil come and go, usually and they all fall to God.
These demonic forces shall be defeated and wiped out. Cursed too because in this they are unburied. A great dishonor. Israel takes all that Gog had seized for themselves.
39:13 - "land cleansed after 7 months" (symbolism of completion).
Babylon gave many people opportunities and rights whereas Rome didn't.
What is the purpose of these visions: Babylon may look great but in the end, Gog will not inherit the earth. God and His faithful people will ultimately do this. The meek, not these powerful entities who work for Satan, will inherit. Gog is not Babylon but we havea Gog we deal with.
The Cemetary of Gog. Many nations build monuments to their greatness. They fail. They fall. Every nation will be buried. God will reign supreme. God's people will be resurrected from dry bones. Gog won't. It will be buried. All nations will worship the Lord. We see this in Rev 20-22 go on too. Jesus has already won. We have been in the End Times since the Resurrection. God judged in the Cross. He has already defeated the enemies. Now the devil has a limited time before it is all over for him and his followers. It's a mop up basically.
39:18-29 - Israel will drink the blood of the enemies? This new people are eating animals and humans? It is imagery of them being offered as a sacrifice. A sacrifice always involves a feast. Communion. God is saying fellowship has been broken for a long time so there must be a very big sacrifice. So he is going to offer all the evil and sacrifices and feast.
"He who knew no sin, became sin for us (itself)". Christ destroys sin. He hangs cursed on a tree outside the city of Jerusalem. He died and took the sin with him to Hades and left it there. Through the Cross, He judged all the wickedness in the world. Christ is this sacrifice.
Last Supper makes sense with all this in context. The feast is the celebration. The Eucharist.
The Cross is the sacrifice. The Eucharist is the Feast and Celebration.
Temple vision is here. It is not a prediction of an actual temple. Not Ezra's. Not Maccabeans. Not Herod's Temple.
Sees a city and a man with a measuring rod.
572 BC - Jerusalem has been gone a while.
A big symetrical cube is shown and seen in Revelation as well. It is a standard Temple of beauty becaues it was hard to do this in stonemasonry at the time. Getting things to match was damn near impossible to do like this back then without absolute mastery.
There are a lot of symbolisms that are done with this Temple that you can read St. Gregory the Theologian talks about if interested.
3 Gates: North, East, and South. No West. Cube within cube. Perfection. If they are coming back from Exile, they are coming from the east and death is south. The enemies from north are now with God. The Exiled are now being Restored; East. God has conquered Death; the South (Hades). The Sea is West. Chaos. There is no West because there will be NO MORE CHAOS. All is His. Enemies of God are now made His people, death is conquered, the Exiled are Restored to Him, no more chaos. In Revelation, this is why there is no more sea. No West Gate means no more chaos.
40:38-49 - Outside, inner, and altar. There is a place where the priests live. Zadok, Levites are promised to serve. Ezra has no episode where the glory of the Lord returned. Netiher did Maccabees or Herod's Temple. In the NT, they see this and have a Temple but it looks nothing like Ezekiel's Temple and doesn't have the glory of God. The Pharisees would argue about the Temple being legit even though they'd use it for sacrifices. The Saducees and High Priest would at the time claim to be Zadokites but were illegitimate and pretenders.
Hebrews names Jesus as the True High Priest of the Order of Melchizedek. Levi is of the Old Covenant so what is this prophecy about and how is it to be fulfilled?
All of these areas have gone up on one level further and the priests are all able to enter the Holy of Holies whereas originally only the ordained priests could. This assumes that these priests have seen some change take place or that something is different with God. God does not change as we know so it has to be the people have changed.
There is supposed to be side rooms and natural lighting. Along the walls are decorations of palm trees and cherubs. Babylonian sphinxes/cherubs are seen in this imagery. God is the true god and these are angelic beings that serve God in the imagery.
Palm trees represent Eden in this imagery, an oasis, a river is also in 4 directions and combines... the image is a Cross.
Lion mentioned here is Judah. The head of it is human. The King could not enter this temple because that is not his role but the Messiah for some reason can do so. This connects this Messiah as perhaps God, king, and a priest. We know Jesus fulfills this and that this is the case. It should be noted that this Temple has a lot of icons.
41:21-26 - Table. A picture of an altar is shown. Wooden doors and a table... Last Supper is reflected here.
All of the Jews and Gentiles will come to this Temple. There's rooms because if the Gentiles are coming to Jerusalem, they will need a place to stay; a sign too of welcomeness.
These Gentiles mentioned are with Jews so they are no longer unclean. There is a place for Jewish people too.
These measurements are perfectly symmetrical.
He sees the Lord return His glory to the Temple. He originally saw the Lord leave. He has come back and comes from the East, which means He was with them in Babylon and still their God in the Exile.
The NT people knew and were very aware that the glory of the Lord had never returned to the Temple.
The Pharisees, since God wasn't there, felt that they needed to be strict so they could get God to return and focused entirely on purity and forgot to love and care for their people. They would actually try to get rid of sinners so God would return. Completely missing the point which Jesus would point out and call out later.
There have been 3 temples built: Solomon's, Ezra's, Herod's.
The Lord speaks to Ezekiel telling him (a man) this is My Throne. "No one can see God and live"... This god is a man. Jesus. He lived with them but was separated by sin. This wall will be gone (Galatians - Christ broke the wall of separation in his own flesh - refer to Ezekiel is made here).
43:18-27 - Lots of blood and sacrifice involved. Sin-offerings? On the 8th Day, God will accept them. For 7 days, they are offering. Reference to the 7 Creation Days. God is working in Creation. 7th Day of Rest, no more wandering. The Rest is coming. God is still working because we are not at that 7th Day. On the Cross though Christ says "it is finished". He rests on the Sabbath. 8th Day.
To prepare this altar for the real sacrifice which is worship, they need to go for 7 days and the 8th day will be Rest/Sabbath. This real sacrifice will be Christ.
After God comes through the East Gate, it is shut. The Virgin Mary is the way which God returned to His people. This Temple is not built by human hands. Mary remains virgin. Christ is the real sacrifice.
Christ says "Destroy this Temple and I will rebuild it in 3 days" because He is the Temple. The Temple is the Messiah through the person of Jesus Christ.
He tells the people about this in order to contrast holiness to their current way of living. So far, we have not seen any lay people in this vision, only priests. The Sadducees kept claiming to be legitimate and of Zadok but we know that was a lie. All who are faithful will stay faithful and all who screwed up are also serving in this vision and forgiven.
It is showing us in this vision that this Old Covenant will end and a new one will be happening. The inheritance of the Lord isn't the land for the New Covenant People. It is God Himself who will be in their midst.
Dispensationalists often say the Jews will sacrifice to Jesus for 7 days but this is blasphemous. Why would the ultimate sacrifice done through Jesus, Himself, need sacrifices that are meaningless? It's bad reasoning.
The Old Covenant focus was on Laws and sacrifices to rectify the situation when they broke the Law. The center of worship in the New Covenant is Christ who offers the sacrifice and now thanksgiving is the center (Eucharist/communion).
45:8 - "princes of Israel". In this New Covenant, there are princes. The King's sons. God is the King. Therefore, God will also be the Messiah and God Incarnate / David's house. The "prince" is Jesus, God the Son.
This next part here is that there will be no more oppression and the scales of justice will be balanced. Measurements are perfect. No more getting cheated by rulers. Deals will be fair. In all things, remember that Ezekiel is telling this to his contemporaries too, revealing it to them.
This prince offers the sacrifice on behalf of his people. In the Old Covenant, a prince would not be allowed to do this. In the New Covenant, he can do this because it is a new covenant and it is Christ doing it as High Priest-King. All of this points to the Eucharist in the New Covenant. It is the sin offering. Christ Himself.
45:18-25 - Pascha. The prince offers sacrifice, the people give thanks. The apostles were celebrating Christ as Pascha, not for the Exodus. Ezekiel only mentions a New Pascha in the New Covenant here. It is the only spot.
Last time someone tried to build a temple, disasters and eventually death of Julian the Apostate occurred.
Christ offers Himself. He is the Temple. He is the Sacrifice. We offer bread (the grain offering that is mentioned).
"The land of the earth". God's people permanently get the earth which has been redeeemed and restored as well.
Servants under the Old Covenant got a piece of land temporarily but God's people in the New Covenant and servants of Christ will inherit the earth forever.
46:19-24 - The Eucharist is a sacrifice. Sacrifice and a meal in the OT and NT are not separate.
3 parts are here. 1) you kill animal, 2) sacrifice to God, 3) the remaining parts of the sacrifice are given to us as we feed and feast.
Christ continously offers Himself. We feast on Him. He is still a meal and we still feast with Christ and eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6). We can eat together with God for the rift is gone.
River of Life flows from the Temple. Juxtaposed to the river of blood from sacrifices. Water that gives life. A river of blood (judgment) is now a river of Life. This water heals the sea and other waters which personify chaos and destruction. It transforms the destruction/chaos into life and order. We Orthodox Christians, when we bless anything or baptize, are transforming chaos into life.
God blesses and sanctifies all for what it is supposed to be.
This inheritance of Land is symbolism for the whole world and all of Creation which all the Gentiles will also inherit. They inherit too like the natural-born of Israel; the faithful.
[Ch. 48] The Temple is in the center of all; This is symbolism of Jesus the Christ who is the Temple.