November 15, 2021 – Monday
Ezekiel 40:42 NIV
42 There were also four tables of dressed stone for the burnt offerings, each a cubit and a half long, a cubit and a half wide and a cubit high. On them were placed the utensils for slaughtering the burnt offerings and the other sacrifices.
These had to be dressed stones when you consider their dimensions as they were four identical. Each was a square shape, approximately 2 feet and 8 inches (a cubit and a half) long and wide and 21 inches (a cubit) high. Because they are described as dressed stones we know the were cut and shaped to this size.
For reference, these measurements came to Ezekiel in a vision from God for the temple that was to be restored as told in verses 2-3: In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. The man said to me, “Son of man, look carefully and listen closely and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the people of Israel everything you see.”
Also, we learn these tables were near the tables (eight in all) where burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings were slaughtered, v39-41. Oddly enough the dimensions of these eight tables are not given. Only the table where the tools for the slaughtering were to be placed have the dimensions provided. Because of their small size they could not be used the animal sacrifices. By implication, the other eight tables were likely made of wood and would always be stained while the dressed stone tables would always be clean or able to be cleaned and unstained.
Take a look at what the temple would look like (fully described in chapters 40-42) in 3 dimensions by going here.
But would the temple be built and would it be rebuilt per Ezekiel’s vision? Two answers here. First, Most who expect a literal fulfillment of Ezekiel’s temple expect it to be erected in the millennial kingdom, a 1,000-year reign of Christ upon the earth. And second, In the figurative view of Ezekiel’s temple, the prophet’s vision simply reiterates that God will once again dwell with His people in a perfect relationship. Me? I will go with the first where The sacrificial system described in Ezekiel cannot be for the forgiveness of sins, for Christ has accomplished that once and for all. In this interpretive approach, the sacrifices are seen as memorials of Christ’s death or as rites for the ceremonial cleansing of the temple, but not as a means to forgive sins.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I look forward to seeing Ezekiel’s vision of Your temple being built whichever version is correct. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek