The Glory Returns to the Temple

1 Then he brought me to the gate that faced toward the east. 2 I saw1 the glory of the God of Israel2 coming from the east;3 the sound was like that of rushing water;4 and the earth radiated5 his glory. 3 It was like the vision I saw when he6 came to destroy the city, and the vision I saw by the Kebar River. I threw myself face down. 4 The glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate that faces east. 5 Then a wind7 lifted me up and brought me to the inner court; I watched8 the glory of the Lord filling the temple.9

6 I heard someone speaking to me from the temple, while the man was standing beside me. 7 He said to me: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne10 and the place for the soles of my feet,11 where I will live among the people of Israel forever. The house of Israel will no longer profane my holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their spiritual prostitution or by the pillars of their kings set up when they die.12 8 When they placed their threshold by my threshold and their doorpost by my doorpost, with only the wall between me and them, they profaned my holy name by the abominable deeds they committed. So I consumed them in my anger. 9 Now they must put away their spiritual prostitution and the pillars of their kings far from me, and then I will live among them forever.

10As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, so that they will be ashamed of their sins and measure the pattern. 11 When they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its pattern, its exits and entrances, and its whole design – all its statutes, its entire design, and all its laws; write it all down in their sight, so that they may observe its entire design and all its statutes and do them.

12This is the law of the temple: The entire area on top of the mountain all around will be most holy. Indeed, this is the law of the temple.

The Altar

13And these are the measurements of the altar:13 Its base14 is 1¾ feet15 high,16 and 1¾ feet17 wide, and its border nine inches18 on its edge. This is to be the height19 of the altar. 14 From the base of the ground to the lower edge is 3½ feet,20 and the width 1¾ feet;21 and from the smaller ledge to the larger edge, 7 feet,22 and the width 1¾ feet; 15 and the altar hearth, 7 feet, and from the altar hearth four horns projecting upward. 16 Now the altar hearth23 is a perfect square, 21 feet24 long and 21 feet wide. 17 The ledge is 24½ feet25 long and 24½ feet wide on four sides; the border around it is 10½ inches,26 and its surrounding base 1¾ feet.27 Its steps face east.”

18 Then he said to me: “Son of man, this is what the sovereign Lord says: These are the statutes of the altar: On the day it is built to offer up burnt offerings on it and to sprinkle blood on it,28 19 you will give a young bull for a sin offering to the Levitical priests who are descended from Zadok, who approach me to minister to me, declares the sovereign Lord. 20 You will take some of its blood, and place it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the border all around; you will cleanse it and make atonement for it.29 21 You will also take the bull for the sin offering, and it will be burned in the appointed place in the temple, outside the sanctuary.

22On the second day, you will offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering. They will purify the altar just as they purified it with the bull. 23 When you have finished purifying it, you will offer an unblemished young bull and an unblemished ram from the flock. 24 You will present them before the Lord, and the priests will scatter salt on them30 and offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord.

25For seven days you will provide every day a goat for a sin offering; a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without blemish, will be provided. 26 For seven days they will make atonement for the altar and cleanse it, so they will consecrate it.31 27 When the prescribed period is over,32 on the eighth day and thereafter the priests will offer up on the altar your burnt offerings and your peace offerings;33 I will accept you, declares the sovereign Lord.”

143:2tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb. 243:2sn This same title appears in 8:4; 9:3; 10:19; and 11:22. 343:2sn Earlier Ezekiel had observed God leaving the temple to the east (11:23). 443:2sn See Ezek 1:24; Rev 1:15; 14:2; 19:6. 543:2tn Heb “shone from.” 643:3tc Heb “I.” The reading is due to the confusion of yod (י, indicating a first person pronoun) and vav (ו, indicating a third person pronoun). A few medieval Hebrew mss, Theodotion’s Greek version, and the Latin Vulgate support a third person pronoun here. 743:5tn See note on “wind” in 2:2. 843:5tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb. 943:5sn In 1 Kgs 8:10-11 we find a similar event with regard to Solomon’s temple. See also Exod 40:34-35. and Isa 6:4. 1043:7sn God’s throne is mentioned in Isa 6:1; Jer 3:17. 1143:7sn See 1 Chr 28:2; Ps 99:5; 132:7; Isa 60:13; Lam 2:1. 1243:7tn Heb “by their corpses in their death.” But the term normally translated “corpses” is better understood here as a reference to funeral pillars or funerary offerings. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:583-85, and L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:257. 1343:13tn Heb “the measurements of the altar by cubits, the cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth.” The measuring units here and in the remainder of this section are the Hebrew “long” cubit, consisting of a cubit (about 18 inches or 45 cm) and a handbreadth (about 3 inches or 7.5 cm), for a total of 21 inches (52.5 cm). Because modern readers are not familiar with the cubit as a unit of measurement, and due to the additional complication of the “long” cubit as opposed to the regular cubit, all measurements have been converted to American standard feet and inches, with the Hebrew measurements and the metric equivalents given in the notes. On the altar see Ezek 40:47. 1443:13tn The Hebrew term normally means “bosom.” Here it refers to a hollow in the ground. 1543:13tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm). 1643:13tn The word “high” is not in the Hebrew text but is supplied in the translation for clarity. 1743:13tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm). 1843:13tn Heb “one span.” A span was three handbreadths, or about nine inches (i.e., 22.5 cm). 1943:13tc Heb “bulge, protuberance, mound.” The translation follows the LXX. 2043:14tn Heb “two cubits” (i.e., 1.05 meters). 2143:14tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm; the phrase occurs again later in this verse). 2243:14tn Heb “four cubits” (i.e., 2.1 meters; the phrase also occurs in the next verse). 2343:16tn The precise Hebrew word used here to refer to an “altar hearth” occurs only here in the OT. 2443:16tn Heb “twelve cubits” (i.e., 6.3 meters; the phrase occurs twice in this verse). 2543:17tn Heb “fourteen”; the word “cubits” is not in the Hebrew text but is understood from the context; the phrase occurs again later in this verse. Fourteen cubits is about 7.35 meters. 2643:17tn Heb “half a cubit” (i.e., 26.25 cm). 2743:17tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm). 2843:18sn For the “sprinkling of blood,” see Lev 1:5, 11; 8:19; 9:12. 2943:20sn Note the similar language in Lev 16:18. 3043:24sn It is likely that salt was used with sacrificial meals (Num 18:19; 2 Chr 13:5). 3143:26tn Heb “fill its hands.” 3243:27tn Heb “and they will complete the days.” 3343:27sn The people also could partake of the food of the peace offering (Lev 3).