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Ezekiel 40:1-37

09.03.2010

Ezekiel 40-48 describes in detail the new temple that God will establish after restoring His people.  It’s interesting in that it’s almost a step-by-step reversal of the sin, destruction, and holy departure described in chapters 8-11.

It’s considered one of the most difficult passages in scripture to interpret.  It again goes back to the issues of prophecy I described yesterday.  The three leading interpretations demonstrate the range of possibilities:

  1. Some take it as literal prophecy of God’s restoration of the temple on earth (perhaps during an eschatological millennium).
  2. Others consider it a metaphor describing the church that God establishes as a replacement for the OT temple.
  3. Still others consider it a prophecy that describes how God will relate to His people in eternity.

I lean toward the third interpretation — at least that’s how I read it on my own the first time through.  I do, however, recognize that prophecies can be fulfilled on multiple levels, and interpretation 2 intrigues me.

Regardless, it illustrates the difficulties we have when we encounter prophecy, particularly that which hasn’t obviously been fulfilled in known history.  Again, the only reaction I’m sure of is humility.

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