New Defender's Study Bible Notes
40:1 five and twentieth year. The last previous chronological notation had been at Ezekiel 33:21, marking the twelfth year of captivity. The vision of the millennial temple in Ezekiel 40–46 was given thirteen years later. The great futuristic prophecies of Ezekiel 37–39 were presumably given sometime in between, although no specific chronological data are given.
40:2 brought he me. Ezekiel once again is carried back to Israel, but this time also the distant future. The God who created both space and time is able to translate Himself or His creatures to any point of space and time.
40:2 very high mountain. John later was also translated in time and space to “a great and high mountain” (Revelation 21:10), where he viewed the New Jerusalem descending to the new earth. From his “very high mountain,” Ezekiel could see and describe the restored land of Israel and its great temple during the thousand-year kingdom age. The last nine chapters of Ezekiel are devoted to this description.
40:3 a man. This “man,” with an appearance like brass, was surely an angel, indicating again that angels can take on the bodily form of men when God so directs. In fact, this may well have been a theophany, the “man” being the Son of God in pre-incarnate form (note Ezekiel 44:5).
40:3 line of flax. This “line” was flexible for approximate measurement of long distances, whereas the “reed,” or rod, was stiff, for accurate measurement of short distances.
40:5 six cubits. A standard cubit was about eighteen inches in length, and a hand breadth about three inches, making a “long cubit” of about twenty-one inches. The measuring rod was six long cubits, or about 10.5 feet in length. This will be the height and width of the wall surrounding this future temple.
40:6 the gate. This chapter is mainly concerned with the wall, the gates, the outer court with its chambers along the walls, then inner court with its chambers for singers and priests and finally the sacrificial area with its altar. The temple proper is not discussed until Ezekiel 41.
40:41 slew their sacrifices. Ezekiel 40:39-43 indicates provisions for the sacrificial offerings in this future temple. For possible reasons for reinstituting animal sacrifices during the age of Christ’s future kingdom on earth, see footnote on Ezekiel 42:13.
40:47 the altar. There will be a sacrificial altar in the inner courtyard, where the animal sacrifices can be offered, much as in the tabernacle in the wilderness.