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Passage: Ezekiel 40-48

Ezekiel 40-48 – “The Lord Is There”: Israel Perfected and Blessed

Summary

In an extended vision, Ezekiel describes the blessings of God toward Israel after the exile. These blessings are spatial and structural: a restored land, a new temple, restored rituals, and the ultimate blessing of God's own presence forever.

Analysis

The book ends with the fourth extended vision of the prophet. These long chapters detail a highly symbolic presentation of a new temple, new ritual, and a new allocation of land. It would be wrong to give these chapters a literal interpretation, despite all the appearance of concrete details. Their function is given in 43:10: "Describe the temple to the house of Israel, and let them measure the pattern; and let them be ashamed of their iniquities." The meaning of the structure is also given near the end of its description: "This is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet, where I will reside among the people of Israel forever" (43:7). Ezekiel also lays out the boundaries of the land, with allotments for the twelve tribes (even though ten of them no longer existed). Again, the purpose is theological rather than geographical: all Israel will be brought back to the promised land. The book ends with the new name of Jerusalem: "The LORD is there" (48:35).