Who will build the Temple of Ezekiel?


There is compelling biblical evidence that this will be accomplished by the modern Jewish State of Israel. In spite of the current seemingly overwhelming obstacles, a Temple dedicated to God is destined to once again arise in Jerusalem.

The setting for the Book of Ezekiel is of particular interest.

Ezekiel, a member of the priestly family of Buzi (Ezekiel 1:3), was taken to Babylon from Judah in 597 B.C. It was in this period of captivity that Ezekiel received visions from God. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in 586 B.C., and some of Ezekiel’s prophetic messages addressed these events; however, the greater part of his prophecies were for future fulfillment!

The fact that God was sending Ezekiel “‘to the children of Israel’” (Ezekiel 2:3) and that God had made him “a watchman for the house of Israel’” (Ezekiel 33:7) points to a period that far transcends his own lifetime.

The House of Israel, as the tribes exclusive of Judah, Levi and parts of Benjamin were known, had been removed from their land long before Ezekiel lived. 2 Kings, chapter 17, provides the record of this occurrence—culminating, approximately, in 721 B.C.

Yet, Ezekiel’s messages from God were to be proclaimed to Israel and to Judah in spite of the fact that both nations were at that time devastated and scattered as captives among other empires.

Couched in the oftentimes enigmatic context of prophecy, the visions Ezekiel witnessed have very specific application for our time—especially those found beginning in chapter forty of the Book of Ezekiel.

While much of these last eight chapters of Ezekiel very clearly depict the beginning period following Jesus Christ’s return and the establishment of His rule in Jerusalem, great detail is rendered concerning the Temple He will enter. In fact, there is what amounts to an architectural plan one could use to actually build this structure.

Note these specific instructions given to Ezekiel:     

“And the man said to me, ‘Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see’” (Ezekiel 40:4).


“‘Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple and its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its ordinances, all its forms and all its laws. Write it down in their sight, so that they may keep its whole design and all its ordinances, and perform them’” (Ezekiel 43:10-11).

Before the Tabernacle was constructed by the Israelites, Moses was given very exact details by God concerning how it was to be done:

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying… “And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it’” (Exodus 25:1, 8-9; compare verse 40; Numbers 8:4; also noted in Hebrews 8:5).

Before the Temple was constructed, God revealed the plans to King David, who, in turn, gave them to his son, Solomon:

“‘Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.’ Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the articles of service in the house of the LORD… ‘All this,’ said David, ‘the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.’ And David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God–my God–will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD’” (1 Chronicles 28:10-13, 19-20).

Even before this magnificent Temple of God was destroyed by the Babylonian Kingdom, God revealed through the prophet Isaiah that His House would stand again in Jerusalem—He did this, even calling by name the yet unborn Gentile king who would implement this:

“‘… Who says of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ And to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid’”’” (Isaiah 44:28).

In the beginning of the Book of Ezra, we find the fulfillment of this prophecy:

“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem’” (Ezra 1:1-4).

God had also caused Jeremiah to write to the captives in Babylon to assure them that their nation would be restored:

“‘For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place’” (Jeremiah 29:10).

In both the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, we have a record of the remnant of the House of Judah who returned to the land of Israel and who rebuilt the Temple of God and the City of Jerusalem—including its defensive walls. The Gentile rulers neighboring Judah stood in opposition and tried to stop the Jews. Among their many actions, they complained in a letter sent to King Darius, but the king’s answer was in support of the rebuilding:

“Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God ON ITS SITE” (Ezra 6:7).

While the Temple of God was rebuilt on the original location as that of Solomon’s construction, it did not compare in size and grandeur:

“But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off” (Ezra 3:12-13).

God, through the prophet Haggai, responded to those who were so disappointed with the Temple then being constructed:

“In the seventh month, on the twenty-first of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying: ‘Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying: “Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,” says the LORD; “and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,” says the LORD, “and work; for I am with you,” says the LORD of hosts’” (Haggai 2:1-4)

Now the place for the building of Solomon’s Temple had been clearly manifested by God. This happened when David numbered Israel. However, David’s foolish action in numbering the people was a great sin before God:

“So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell. And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was destroying, the LORD looked and relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, ‘It is enough; now restrain your hand.’ And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite” (1 Chronicles 21:14-15).

This account also states that David was instructed to “…go and erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite” (verse 18).

God accepted David’s offerings and in the events of this occurrence the location for the Temple of God was revealed to David:

“Then David said, ‘This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel’” (1 Chronicles 22:1).

Solomon followed his father’s instruction and built the Temple of God where God had revealed that it should be placed:

“Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite” (2 Chronicles 3:1).

Mount Moriah is also linked to Abraham, for it was to this area of what would become part of the City of Jerusalem that Abraham brought his son Isaac to offer in sacrifice:

“Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you’” (Genesis 22:2).

Jerusalem is associated with Melchizedek in an earlier account involving Abram’s rescue of Lot:

“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he gave him a tithe of all” (Genesis 14:18-20).

(Regarding the identity of Melchizedek, please refer to our booklets, “God Is A Family” and “Jesus Christ—a Great Mystery.”)

Psalm 76, verse 2, shows that Salem corresponds to Jerusalem when identifying the place of God’s Temple: “In Judah God is known; His name is great in Israel. In Salem also is His tabernacle, And His dwelling place in Zion.”

We must understand from the foregoing accounts that the place where God’s Temple will be built in the future has historical precedence! Even more importantly, the Word of God shows that He very specifically chose the site that would be His dwelling place, and prophecy indisputably establishes that this will not change!

Before going into the prophecies about a future Temple being built in Jerusalem, let’s examine the Temple of God enlarged through Herod.

“In the 18th year of his reign (20-19 B.C.) Herod obtained the reluctant consent of his subjects to his ambitious scheme for [enlarging and beautifying] the temple [and] its courts. The former was finished in eighteen months by a thousand priests trained for this special purpose, the courts in eight years, but the complete reconstruction occupied more than eighty years, lasting almost till the final breach with Rome, which culminated in the destruction of the sacred edifice by the soldiers of Titus in A.D. 70” (Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition; The Temple of Herod; page 607).

“The Jerusalem temple is the focus of many NT events. The birth of John the Baptist was announced there (Luke 1:11-20). The offering by Joseph and Mary at the circumcision of the baby Jesus was brought there. Simeon and Anna greeted Jesus there (2:22-38). Jesus came there as a boy of 12 (2:42-51) and later taught there during His ministry…” (Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary; Herod’s Temple; page 1567).

A point to be made about the Temple of God that existed during the lifetime of Jesus Christ is that Jesus recognized this structure as God’s or the Father’s House—we have two examples of Jesus forcefully defending the Temple, one in the beginning of His ministry and another instance shortly before His death:

“Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, ‘Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!’” (John 2:13-16).

“So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. Then He taught, saying to them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it a “den of thieves”’” (Mark 11:15-17).

Because of the terrible sins of the nation of Judah, Jesus foretold that Jerusalem would soon be destroyed:

“Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation’” (Luke 19:41-44).

In addition, Jesus revealed that the Temple of God would suffer the same fate in the first century:

“Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!’  And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down’” (Mark 13:1-2).

That destruction came upon the City of Jerusalem along with its Temple in 70 A.D. Judah as a nation ceased to exist at that time. Throughout the centuries several attempts have been made to re-establish the Temple in Jerusalem, but all have failed!

The Dome of the Rock was completed about 691 A.D., and it is considered one of Islam’s most important shrines. It, along with the Al-Aqsa Mosque, now occupies the place that is biblically known as Mount Moriah—the very same location of the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite and the place where the temples built by Solomon and Zerubbabel as well as the additions done by Herod once existed.

Now surrounded by the Jewish State of Israel, the Dome of the Rock is also the place where the future Temple of God prophesied by Ezekiel is appointed to stand!

(To Be Continued)

Lead Writer: Dave Harris

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