Reading through the Bible together
Details of the Temple and its buildings and services continue. Chapter 42 deals specifically with two issues. First, chambers of the priests (verses 1 to 14) and then the dimensions of the exterior walls (verses 15-20) are given. Priests were crucial to the temple services and in Leviticus were given strict regulations about the way they perform their duties and how to maintain holiness. Holiness meant separateness from common things – both behavior and dress.
In Ezekiel the call to holiness on the part of the priests is repeated. It is interesting that the main example Ezekiel gives concerns the priest’s garments. Before leaving the holy area priests are to shed their priestly garments and put on their everyday clothes before going out into the common area. While we would not urge that all the details of priestly behavior should be followed today, we can take away from this that respect, reverence, and a sense of the holy should not be lost. God is very special and desires to be honored in all we do, even our dress. Believers in Christ are all priests and need to be holy as well (I Peter 2:5,9).
Dimensions of the exterior walls, which form a square with 500 cubits or 1000 feet on each side (a cubit being 18 inches plus a hand’s breath for the Temple making 24 inches), which speaks to size, symmetry, and balance. The Temple with its large complex is impressive in its appearance and design and is fit for a great God, the God of the universe who is soon to manifest His presence there.
This gives us a glimpse of the orderliness of our God and His attention to detail. Everything God does, He does right. What an example for us.
Walla Walla University