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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 43

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-27

Chapter 43

Now in chapter 43:

He brought him then to the gate that looks toward the east ( Ezekiel 43:1 ):

This is at the bottom of your diagram.

And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like the noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory ( Ezekiel 43:2 ).

Here you have the return of the glory of God to Israel. Now earlier Ezekiel saw in a vision the glory of God leaving the temple, and gradually as it left the temple, it settled at the gate towards the east and then it ascended and God's glory was removed from Israel. Here we find the glory of God returning to Israel. And again, even as the glory of God departed by the gate to the east, so the glory of God returns by the gate to the east.

"And His voice was like the noise of many waters." In Revelation chapter 1, as John is describing Jesus Christ in His glory, he does declare that His voice was like the noise of many waters. I would assume that this reference here in Ezekiel is a reference to the return of Jesus Christ in glory. "Then shall they see the Son of man coming with clouds and great glory" ( Luke 21:27 ). And He shall set His foot in that day on the Mount of Olives, and it shall split in the middle and a new valley will be formed from east to west when the Mount of Olives is split in the middle.

Now, according to other passages of scripture, when Christ returns, you remember when He ascended, He went with His disciples to the Mount of Olives and when they had gone as far as Bethany, which is just over the top of the Mount of Olives, Jesus ascended up into heaven and the disciples were standing there gazing up into heaven as they watched the cloud catch Him out of their sight. And two men stood by them in shining apparel and said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here gazing into heaven? For this same Jesus shall come again in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven" ( Acts 1:11 ). And so the coming of Jesus Christ as He went in glory up into heaven He'll come again setting His foot upon the Mount of Olives. A great cataclysmic event takes place as the Mount of Olives splits. No doubt creating what we will get to later this new stream that will issue from the southern part here... I mean from the eastern part here down in the bottom part of your page, the new stream that will issue from the temple of God which will flow down to the Dead Sea. And we'll get to that after a while. But this is all a part of this great geological structural change that will take place when the Mount of Olives splits and when the city is shaken and the preparation for the return of Jesus Christ and the establishing of His kingdom.

"And the earth shined with the glory," as Christ returns there in verse Ezekiel 43:2 .

Now as He returns, surrounded of course with the angelic beings, the cherubim. The Bible speaks about His coming with the angels; it also speaks about His coming with the church, coming with clouds and great glory. Clouds symbolically are numbers of people, throngs of people. Paul said, "When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory" ( Colossians 3:4 ). Then shall they see the Son of man coming with the angels to judge the earth. And so the saints that came with Him, Revelation 19 . So Christ coming with a heavenly multitude to establish God's kingdom upon the earth.

And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of their kings in the high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall [and so forth] my holy name they will not defile any more by their abominations which they have committed. Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcasses of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever ( Ezekiel 43:4-9 ).

And so the declaration of God's coming, the coming of the kingdom to dwell in the midst of the people. So Ezekiel is commanded to show these things to the house of Israel,

that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern [and all] ( Ezekiel 43:10 ).

Now he, in verse Ezekiel 43:13 , gives you the measure of the altar. And we have the altar there in the center of the whole building, complex. And this altar is a fairly good size altar. It has four horns on the corners of the altar and they offered the sacrifices in verse Ezekiel 43:19 through the end of the chapter. The priests make the offerings of the sacrifices and all, the various offerings: sin offering, burnt offering, and the peace offerings.

Now, here's where one of the problems arises. And that is, why would sin offerings be made in the Kingdom Age? For we know that the Old Testament sacrifices all pointed to that one sacrifice of Jesus Christ whereby our sins would be purged once and for all. And in Hebrews we are told that Christ has suffered once and for all. That He is the sin offering of which all of the Old Testament offerings were just a shadow, the substance is of Christ. Why, then, will they be offering sacrifices again in the new temple during the Kingdom Age? And many suggestions have been offered for the reason for these sacrifices. Some of them saying, "Well, this is all symbolic. They really aren't offered." I cannot accept that. Many people spiritualize them. I cannot accept that. I think that it speaks very plainly that there will be these offerings offered during the Kingdom Age.

Now, as we look at the Old Testament sacrifices that were made, we realize, number one, that they did not actually put away sins. The Lord said, "And when they make the sacrifice it shall be for a kofar," which Hebrew word is covering. And so the sins will be covered. It doesn't say they would be put away; they would be covered. Now in Hebrews we read that it is impossible that the blood of bulls or goats could put away sin. But all they could do was to speak of the better sacrifice which was to come, that is of Jesus. So the Old Testament sacrifices did not put away sin, but they testified of that sacrifice that would come by which sins would be put away once and for all. I believe that the only explanation that can be given for sacrifices here in the temple in the Kingdom Age is that these sacrifices are memorial sacrifices looking back at what Christ has done. Even as the Old Testament sacrifices looked forward, did not put away sin, but gave anticipation for the sacrifice that would be offered, even now these are offered in memorial as we look back at that sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Now you remember that Jesus took bread and broke it and gave to His disciples and said, "Take, eat, this is My body broken for you." He took also the cup after supper and He said, "Take, drink, this is the blood in the new covenant that is shed for the remission of sins. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you do show the Lord's death until He comes. This do," He said, "in remembrance of Me." And even as we have our communion services and we break the break the bread and we drink the cup in remembrance of what Jesus did in His death for our sins, so when sacrifices are re-instituted in the Kingdom Age, they will not be for the purpose of putting away sin, but they will be memorial offerings by which we will be reminded of that sacrifice by which the sins were put away, and we'll be looking back to the cross and the sacrifice that was made there by Jesus Christ. The sin offerings being made here in the Kingdom Age. And that is to me reading it the way it says, but in seeking to understand it, that is the only understanding that I personally can come to the reason for there being a sin offering sacrifice in those days. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 43". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/ezekiel-43.html. 2014.
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