The Messianic Temple in Ezekiel


We all know about the Old and New Covenants, and how the Old Covenant was abrogated in Christ according to the book of Hebrews. The question is, if the Old Covenant was abrogated, then why do we have a messianic temple in Ezekiel that has animal sacrifices being offered?


Would you mind citing the relevant passages please? :smiley:

Christi pax.


Traditionally the Jews were in two minds about whether Ezekiel and in particular the temple of 40-48 was Scripture. Some of the practices in the Ezekiel prescription contradicted the Levitical Mosaic prescription. It was therefore something that was recommended not being read until one was at least 30 years of age.

Robert R. Wilson writes: “In Jewish tradition the interpretation of Ezekiel has been particularly difficult because some of the legal material contained in chaps. 40-48 contradicts the laws of the Torah. The Babylonian Talmud reports that this fact caused some rabbis to advocate withdrawing the book from circulation, a fate that was avoided only through the extraordinary efforts of Hananiah son of Hezekiah, who successfully reconciled the contradictions (b. Sabb. 13b; b. Hag. 13a; b. Menah 45a). Equally troublesome to the rabbis was the vision of God’s glory described in Ezekiel 1, a passage that they feared might lead to dangerous mystical speculations or even destroy the interpreter who probed too deeply into its mysteries. According to the Talmud, Hananiah son of Hezekiah was again able to persuade his colleagues not to withdraw Ezekiel, although Jerome reports that some rabbis prohibited the reading of the beginning and end of the book by anyone under the age of thirty (b. Hag. 13a).” (Harper’s Bible Commentary, p. 652)


The temple in Ezekiel are in Chapters 40-48. I found a link that explains all about the temple and the chapters.

The link is:


Yes. That link provides the take on everything being future and a literal interpretation. It causes a lot of difficulties one of many being as is implied by the OP.

There are other interpretations however where Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38 and 39 are regarding Haman and Esther let us destroy all memory of them. And the temple is a graphical presentation of Jesus Christ on the cross overlaid with High Priestly robes. The sacrifices perpetual are the re-presentation of the propitiatory sacrifice and I saw a lamb as it had been slain. In other words, every Mass.



…could you site the passage/s that states that it is the Messianic Temple?

Maran atha!



By far the most common interpretation in the Catholic Church is that Ezekiel’s temple is a symbol of the Church and the heavenly sanctuary. In the liturgy, passages from those chapters are often used for feasts related to the Church. It has often been noted that close study of the description yields an architecturally impossible structure. Not just difficult to build, but actually logically impossible. Which is a strong signal that the elements are meant to be interpreted figuratively.

The New Testament makes these connections, pointing toward the heavenly sanctuary and the Church’s liturgy as a participation in that. Compare the opening verses of Revelation 22 with the opening verses of Ezekiel 47.


Sure. If you read Ezekiel 40-48 you’ll see that it’s clearly talking about a temple that God himself dwells in. It’s a very idyllic setting. Just read the very last verse of Ezekiel :slight_smile:


Really? My NIV Study Bible has a diagram of the temple, and it looks quite buildable. Can you provide any sources for your claim?


Hi, Achilles!

…I was hoping for a more manageable portion… but… consider that much of prophecy deals with various stages… some of the Revelations deal directly within the lifetime of the prophet; some deals within a direct future; and then there’s Messianic portion.

Consider David’s prophecy about the piercing of the Messiah and his bones not being broken… we know from Scriptural accounts that David did not physically suffered such afflictions–the Revelation was clearly funneled/directed towards the Suffering Servant…

In light of this, consider what is being conveyed in Ezekiel (40-48)… how can it be reconciled with the New Jerusalem’s Temple in Apocalypse [Revelation] 21?

Maran atha!



I would suggest that Ezekiel’s temple and the temple in Revelation are two separate things.



…ever heard of the expression: “type?”

Maran atha!



It is a means of describing something beyond what we can comprehend using concrete visualization.

Question to the OP. What is the room in the west measuring 90 by 70 purpose? And if Jesus Christ can rebuild a temple in 3 days then what are we to understand of the temple? Do we view it as a physical building? Or did Jesus Christ mean something else. We know what the Jews at the time understood. Should we be doing the same Jewish interpretation 2000 years after it was revealed to us?


I’ll look into the room in the west. As far as Christ rebuilding the temple in 3 days, I assume you know that he was talking about his resurrection and the temple of his body, not a physical earthly temple.


Yes. God does not dwell in a temple made with hands. So should that give us a model of God’s proposed Temple? Not a physical earthly temple, as you rightly say. Instead we get an image which we can comprehend of something we cannot comprehend? Or at least was hidden and shrouded in suggestion, which was only realized with the appearance of the Messiah? Which was only made manifest by His appearing to fulfill all things. And that graphic image of a temple which mankind had received was merely a means of expressing a greater wonder.


Sorry, I just saw your response. I tried to do a quick search but can’t find anything. That was something I remember reading a few places back when I did a study of Eschatology in my Protestant days. I remember one Premillenialist author defending against that charge by saying that Jesus would miraculously make it possible during the millennial kingdom. Alas, I can’t begin to remember where I read that. It was 20 years ago at least. And, of course, it’s possible I’m misremembering, but it seems like a clear memory to me. It’s also possible that it was an argument that circulated among fringy fundamentalist types and was never taken seriously by anyone else. I was reading some rather quirky Dispensationalist stuff at the time, as part of my study.

The rest of what I said is certainly true, though, as far as the predominant Catholic interpretation being that Ezekiel’s temple is a spiritual representation of the Church. Premillenialist Protestants of course have a much more literal view of it, seeing it as a physical temple that will be rebuilt after the Second Coming. And, of course, there is the view that the Antichrist will build a temple on the Temple Mount, but I don’t think that is typically seen as Ezekiel’s temple.


Like Emperor Hadrian’s Temple of Jupiter built on the temple mount in 137 CE?


I don’t know what you mean by that. Among Protestant Dispensationalists, there’s a view that the Antichrist will enter a treaty with Israel involving the construction of a Jewish temple. You run into that a lot with Protestant commentaries and study Bibles. And in popular literature like the Left Behind series. That’s what I was referring to. It’s certainly not a popular view within Catholic circles.


Are this the same protestants that want a Jewish temple to be built on the Temple mount ?


Check out this website from The Temple Institute.

They’re located in Jerusalem and their goal is the building of the 3rd Temple.
They’ve already made most, if not all, of the instruments to be used in
the temple, they’ve made the priestly garments, and they’re currently selecting and training priests for service.

from their site:

AT THIS SITE, you may view photographs of the actual sacred Temple vessels that have been produced by the Temple Institute. Each vessel has been created by accomplished craftsmen. These vessels and priestly garments are being fashioned today according to the exact Biblical requirements, specifically for use in the future Holy Temple. They await the day when they will be called into the Divine service of the Holy Temple.

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