Ezekiel's Temple

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Sketch of the Temple by Pieter de Witte (also known as Peter Candid); pen and wash bistre or ink on paper, 321 × 234 mm. Weimar, Germany

Ezekiel's Temple is an unbuilt temple structure described in the biblical Book of Ezekiel.


Third temple floor sketch based on Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michal's commentary to the Hebrew text of Ezekiel
Gateways of Ezekiel's Temple, as described in the Book of Ezekiel, drawn by the Dutch architect Bartelmeüs Reinders (1893–1979)

Features of the temple are described in detail in the book of Ezekiel,[1] in the form of a vision given to the prophet. Physical characteristics of the multi-level wood-panelled structure such as gateways, outer and inner courts, side chambers and vestibules, archways, doors, windows, sanctuary and altar are described. Some furnishings are described. Details of decoration are given, for example cherubim and palm trees carved on the doors and walls. The purposes of the side chambers are given, for example, for robing of the priests, for consumption of the flesh of sacrifices by the priests, and for singers. Dimensions are given based on the cubit.


The fact that details of the temple are given in the context of a prophetic vision, gives rise to analysis and debate regarding the meaning, significance and purpose of the temple.

Jewish Commentary[edit]

Maimonides qualified these chapters of Ezekiel as complex for the common reader and even for the seasoned scholar. Bible commentators who have ventured into explaining the design detail directly from the Hebrew Bible text include Rashi, David Kimhi, Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller, and Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michal which all produced slightly varying sketches of the temple envisioned by Ezekiel.

Christian Commentary[edit]

Some Christian interpretations of Ezekiel's temple are: it is the temple that Zerubbabel should have built; a literal temple to be rebuilt during the millennial reign of Christ, a temple which is symbolic of the worship of God by the Christian church today, or a symbol of the future and eternal reign of God.[2]


  1. ^ Ezekiel 40:1-42:20
  2. ^ The One Year Bible Companion, Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House, 1992, p. 19 

Further reading[edit]

  • Henning, Emil Ezekiel's Temple. Xulon Press, 2013. ISBN 1626975132
  • Theo. G. Soares. “Ezekiel's Temple.” The Biblical World, vol. 14, no. 2, 1899, pp. 93–103. JSTOR, [1]
  • Duguid, Iain M., "The NIV Application Commentary - Ezekiel", p481, Zondervan, 1999
  • McConville, J. Gordon, "Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Prophets", pp. 101-2, IVP Academic, 2002