Ezekiel 43:1-27 . JEHOVAH'S RETURN TO THE TEMPLE.
Everything was now ready for His reception. As the Shekinah glory was the peculiar distinction of the old temple, so it was to be in the new in a degree as much more transcendent as the proportions of the new exceeded those of the old. The fact that the Shekinah glory was not in the second temple proves that it cannot be that temple which is meant in the prophecy.
2. the way of the east--the way whereby the glory had departed ( Ezekiel 11:22 Ezekiel 11:23 ), and rested on Mount Olivet (compare Zechariah 14:4 ).
his voice . . . like . . . many waters--So English Version rightly, as in Ezekiel 1:24 , "voice of the Almighty"; Revelation 1:15 , 14:2 , prove this. Not as FAIRBAIRN translates, "its noise."
earth his glory--( Revelation 18:1 ).
3. when I came to destroy the city--that is, to pronounce God's word for its destruction. So completely did the prophets identify themselves with Him in whose name they spake.
6. the man--who had been measuring the buildings ( Ezekiel 40:3 ).
7. the place--that is, "behold the place of My throne"--the place on which your thoughts have so much dwelt ( Isaiah 2:1-3 , Jeremiah 3:17 , Zechariah 14:16-20 , Malachi 3:1 ). God from the first claimed to be their King politically as well as religiously: and He had resisted their wish to have a human king, as implying a rejection of Him as the proper Head of the state. Even when He yielded to their wish, it was with a protest against their king ruling except as His vicegerent. When Messiah shall reign at Jerusalem, He shall then first realize the original idea of the theocracy, with its at once divine and human king reigning in righteousness over a people all righteous ( Ezekiel 43:12 , Isaiah 52:1 , 54:13 , 60:21 ).
9. carcasses of their kings--It is supposed that some of their idolatrous kings were buried within the bounds of Solomon's temple [HENDERSON]. Rather, "the carcasses of their idols," here called "kings," as having had lordship over them in past times ( Isaiah 26:13 ); but henceforth Jehovah, alone their rightful lord, shall be their king, and the idols that had been their "king" would appear but as "carcasses." Hence these defunct kings are associated with the "high places" in Ezekiel 43:7 [FAIRBAIRN] Leviticus 26:30 and Jeremiah 16:18 , confirm this. Manasseh had built altars in the courts of the temple to the host of heaven ( 2 Kings 21:5 , 23:6 ).
I will dwell in the midst . . . for ever--( Revelation 21:3 ).
10. show the house . . . that they may be ashamed of their iniquities--When the spirituality of the Christian scheme is shown to men by the Holy Ghost, it makes them "ashamed of their iniquities."
12. whole . . . most holy--This superlative, which had been used exclusively of the holy of holies ( Exodus 26:34 ), was now to characterize the entire building. This all-pervading sanctity was to be "the law of the (whole) house," as distinguished from the Levitical law, which confined the peculiar sanctity to a single apartment of it.
13-27. As to the altar of burnt offering, which was the appointed means of access to God.
15. altar--Hebrew, Harel, that is, "mount of God"; denoting the high security to be imparted by it to the restored Israel. It was a high place, but a high place of God, not of idols.
from the altar--literally, "the lion of God," Ariel (in Isaiah 29:1 , "Ariel" is applied to Jerusalem). MENOCHIUS supposes that on it four animals were carved; the lion perhaps was the uppermost, whence the horns were made to issue. GESENIUS regards the two words as expressing the "hearth" or fireplace of the altar.
16. square in the four squares--square on the four sides of its squares [FAIRBAIRN].
17. settle--ledge [FAIRBAIRN].
stairs--rather, "the ascent," as "steps" up to God's altar were forbidden in Exodus 20:26 .
18-27. The sacrifices here are not mere commemorative, but propitiatory ones. The expressions, "blood" ( Ezekiel 43:18 ), and "for a sin offering ( Ezekiel 43:19 Ezekiel 43:21 Ezekiel 43:22 ), prove this. In the literal sense they can only apply to the second temple. Under the Christian dispensation they would directly oppose the doctrine taught in Hebrews 10:1-18 , namely, that Christ has by one offering for ever atoned for sin. However, it is possible that they might exist with a retrospective reference to Christ's sufferings, as the Levitical sacrifices had a prospective reference to them; not propitiatory in themselves, but memorials to keep up the remembrance of His propitiatory sufferings, which form the foundation of His kingdom, lest they should be lost sight of in the glory of that kingdom [DE BURGH]. The particularity of the directions make it unlikely that they are to be understood in a merely vague spiritual sense.
20. cleanse--literally, "make expiation for."
21. burn it . . . without the sanctuary--( Hebrews 13:11 ).
26. Seven days--referring to the original directions of Moses for seven days' purification services of the altar ( Exodus 29:37 ).
consecrate themselves--literally, "fill their hands," namely, with offerings; referring to the mode of consecrating a priest ( Exodus 29:24 Exodus 29:35 ).