Only one verse today, Ezekiel 40:5, so short a lesson?
For more than one reason, Yes.
This first section of the Ezekiel 40-48 “span” is loaded with numbers. And we MUST establish the criteria for these statistics. Architects and builders and even readers (of floor plans) must be aware of the dimensions of the structure they’re contemplating.
So today Ezekiel merely informs us: “And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man’s hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed.” Ezekiel 40:5
The “house” is the Jewish Temple, but one not yet built.
Not Solomon’s Temple.
Not Zerubbabel’s Temple.
Not Herod’s Temple.
These first three are history.
Not even the Tribulation Temple.
But here in Ezekiel 40 … it is the Millennial Temple!
Of course, future.
But the “reed” (in Hebrew “qaneh” means a “stalk, branch, cane,” and once even “bone”) by which all these Millennial dimensions are calculated is not the standard Old Testament length!
It here is said to be: “a cubit and an hand breadth.”
The “common” Old Testament “cubit” is normally 18 inches, thereabouts. It was the distance between a man’s elbow and his fingertips. But in this glorious (and huge) Temple all lengths and breadths are measured by the normal 18 inch criteria PLUS an additional “hand breadth.” That would be about 3 more inches!
So our “cubit” in this section of Ezekiel is 21 inches long!
And our measuring “reed” is “six cubits” long, or 21 inches times the six cubits … just over 10 feet in length! (Thus, about 126 inches was the “reed,” around 10 1/2 feet.)
Now, we can begin!
Without this information (statically speaking) we would have been lost in a sea of numbers.
By the way, in the book of Revelation we also encounter a bevy of numbers as John describes yet another city, New Jerusalem.
God obviously wants us to know the size, the grandeur of His future dwelling place!
Get this too, another set of dimensions with which we should be familiar, on which our minds should dwell:
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in LOVE, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the BREADTH, and LENGTH, and DEPTH, and HEIGHT; and to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19, amazing!
How deep is God’s Love?
— Dr. Mike Bagwell