Long after Jerusalem was destroyed, Ezekiel receives a vision of a restored city with the temple built on Mount Zion as it was before. In the vision, he is taken on a grand tour by an angelic guide. This guide has a cord and a reed, surveyor’s tools to measure the temple. The angel instructs Ezekiel to pay attention to all he sees and hears during this vision, to meditate on them, and to tell them to the house of Israel.
Why would Israel need to hear about this? If they wanted to recreate Solomon’s temple, they have the bill of materials and something like blueprints in 1 Kings. But at this time they were still exiled in Babylon, and it would be another 50-ish years before Cyrus would let them return and rebuild the city. Hearing how large and well-appointed the temple would some day be would give them hope for the future and a trust in the Lord to see it through.
At six long cubits long, the angel’s measuring reed is very close to ten modern feet long. He measures the platform on which the temple complex sits, containing the outer court, the inner court, and the temple proper. The stairways up the platform and the vestibule of the gateway are measured, along with three guard rooms on either side of the vestibule. The court and its decorations are described, and the north and south gates identical to the east gate. Palm tree decorations, like the pomegranates on Solomon’s temple before, evoke images of natural beauty. They remind the worshippers of the Garden of Eden where God first lived with Man.
Your love of beauty brings us delight, and we are grateful you share it with us.