Ezek 40-42 Ezekiel has a vision of the restored Temple of the LORD in the newly-rebuilt Jerusalem.
Despite the rebuilding of the Temple by the exiles who returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel and Joshua in 525BC, many Jews today believe this prophetic vision has not yet been fulfilled.
The southeast corner of the Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Ezekiel’s Vision of the New Jerusalem
In Ezekiel’s vision of the newly restored Jerusalem, the Temple is surrounded by a wall. Gateways on the east, north and south sides lead to the outer courtyards of the Temple. Further gateways and steps on the eastern, northern and southern sides of the outer courtyard lead up to the inner courtyard.
The three-storey Temple building is situated on the western side of the inner courtyard, with an altar in front of it. Steps lead up to the entrance porch, past the annexe to the Holy Place and on to the Most Holy Place itself. The Temple rooms are panelled with wood, carved with palm trees and winged cherubim. Buildings providing accommodation for the priests are situated to the north and south of the main Temple building.
Model of the Second Temple at the Holy Land Hotel, Jerusalem
There are few records of the Temple as it was completed in 516BC by the exiles who returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel and Joshua in 525BC, and this Second Temple was considerably extended and modified by Herod the Great in 23BC. However, the broad pattern laid out in Ezekiel’s vision can be clearly recognised in the detailed descriptions of the Temple recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus shortly after its destruction by the Romans in 70AD (see the feature on The Second Temple)