It’s a “floor plan,” and even then only the outer areas, basically.
Yes, Ezekiel chapter 40 is essentially that, a plan of the (now) future Millennial Temple.
And it is comprised of a “sea of statistics!” One Preacher says “a multitude of measurements.”
But early this morning I did notice a “trend” in our chapter. Or at least I think I did. And in keeping with Ezekiel’s “style,” this is … a numerical trend!
There are in this Temple (as in all temples, I suppose) “levels” of fellowship, “degrees” of communion to be enjoyed (with God Himself).
From outside the Temple into its first section (the outer court, sort of) … “after the measure of the gate that looketh toward the east (the famed Eastern Gate); and they went up unto it by SEVEN STEPS; and the arches thereof were before them.” Ezekiel 40:22
“Seven steps,” see that?
Next, to go into the Temple even further … getting closer to the very Presence of God, “and the going up to it had EIGHT STEPS.” Ezekiel 40:31
“Eight steps,” one more than earlier, see that?
And then to get into the “interior” of the Temple … the equivalent of the Holy Place and Most Holy Place … “and he brought me by the STEPS whereby they went up to it.” Ezekiel 40:49
One Hebrew scholar says these words (“by the steps”) mean “a flight of stairs!” Implication … more than eight! And the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible in existence in Jesus’ Public Ministry) has it: “ten steps!”
So whether unnumbered or ten or a whole flight of steps … we have an increasing number of increments as one gets closer and closer to God’s Very Residence!
Here’s my point today.
To go into the Temple … seven steps.
To get into its interior … eight steps.
To get to the very Heart of God … ten (or more) steps!
Surely this “hints” at growing holiness, more sincere determination, greater spiritual development, more abasing of self … as one grows nearer and nearer the Lord God Almighty!
(Note: Psalms 120-134 teach the same pattern. Fifteen steps to maturity in Christ! So does 2nd Peter 1:5-11, for that matter. Probably the Beatitudes as well!)
Are WE willing to put forth the effort (climbing the steps) to become more sanctified, purer, closer to the God Who loves us so?
Just a thought this Friday morning in late July!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell