In his final vision, dated April 28, 573 B.C.E., Ezekiel received the divine plan for the restoration of the temple, the priesthood, and the Holy City, Jerusalem. While the modern reader may have difficulty with the tedious details Ezekiel gives for the restored temple and priesthood, all of this was of utmost importance for him and the returning exiles. For them, the restored temple and cultus was a sign, a means to something much greater, and that was the return of the presence and glory of Yahweh to Jerusalem and to his people. In the vision of chs. 8-11, Ezekiel had to face the fact that the gross sin of Israel would result in God's departure from the temple and the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. We noted the tragic words in 10:18, “The glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple.” This resulted in its destruction. However, the temple would be rebuilt, and God would again dwell in the midst of his people (37:27-28)!
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