Feb 19, 2024

Ezekiel's Temple

Tova Ganzel's article here seeks to root Ezekiel's temple vision in Babylonian temples and practices. While I am a bit skeptical in the linkage, the whole of the article seems to provide good evidence that Ezekiel's vision expected an actual temple. For example Ganzel notes that Ezekiel describes "in elaborate detail the measurements of its gates and passages: sixty-three verses are devoted to the gates, courts, and the wall surrounding the temple." She later adds, "By focusing on structural and ritual features that would safeguard the sanctity of the temple compound, Ezekiel works to ensure that the Divine Presence will remain there for eternity—a clear response to the Babylonian destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E."

I have long argued that any attempt to get away from the idea of a literal temple has to resort to a number of interpretive gymnastics. While one can debate the need for, the merits of, and the problems with, a literal future temple, the starting place for those discussions should be acknowledging that Ezekiel envisioned a physical temple.

No comments: