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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Location of Ezekiel's Visionary Temple – How to Avoid WWIII

I am currently editing Jacob Milgrom's commentary on Ezekiel 38–48 (to be entitled Ezekiel's Hope). It is, as one would expect from such a great scholar, superb.

Anyway, what had never dawned on me (among other things) was the location of Jerusalem in the visionary temple sequence (40–48). Ezekiel avoids speaking directly of "Jerusalem" in the vision but it is most likely that "the city" that he refers to is Jerusalem. But, if that is right, then Ezekiel's temple is not situated on the site of the earlier temple but about 17,500 cubits away — outside Jerusalem. (I have forgotten how far that would be in modern measurements but it's far enough).

It dawned on me that, if this is right, all those people who ponder about Ezekiel's temple being rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem are looking in the wrong place.

There is a plus-point to this: Any actual attempt to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem would be a sure move towards violence on a global scale. But some — a few Jewish people and a lot of (dispensationalist) Christian people — are keen for it to go ahead.

So here's my plan: we mass-market Milgrom's commentary to these people and persuade them that they should make plans to see the new temple away from the Temple Mount. That way, if they ever do go ahead, we won't have World War III on our hands.

7 comments:

Ken Smith said...

If it's a long cubit (21"), that would be about 5.8 miles, certainly outside the old city, but quite plausibly still within the boundaries of the modern city. I haven't studied this section of Ezekiel in depth, so I'm not sure where this location 17,500 feet from the city is supposed to be located, but if it's to the east, it would probably still be within territory claimed by the Palestinians. Not necessarily a perfect solution, in other words, but still an interesting idea.

Robin Parry said...

Ken

Not a perfect solution at all. I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek.

But it'd be better than the Temple Mount.

Robin

Jon Hughes said...

Great post, Robin. As well as dishing out copies of the commentary to well-meaning dispensationalists, perhaps we could also recommend that they also read the letter to the Hebrews carefully - and realise that we don't need sin offerings and animal sacrifices in a re-built temple *after* Christ's 'once for all' sacrifice on the cross.

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Tom Nicholson said...

Hi Robin,

Maybe the contents are under an embargo until publication, but are you able to spill the beans on this author's take on Ezek 47 verses 1 - 12 ??????

This passage has the river of life and the healing trees of life flowing all the way from the City eastwards to the Dead Sea. And Revelation ch 21 - 22 uses this for its "healing of the nations" -- the nations formerly the enemies of Christ.

Just wondering if this author confirms my own bias about this !

Robin Parry said...

Tom

you are right but Milgrom was a Jewish scholar of the Hebrew Bible (sadly, he died not long back) so he's not really interested in later uses of the biblical texts in question. His concern is to get his head around what Ezekiel was talking about. So Rev does not come into it.

Robin

Tom Nicholson said...

Thanks Robin,

it was worth a try!

Also, sounds like it's worth reading Milgrom on Ez. 47:1 -12 anyway. I'll look out for it.

Tom.