Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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In Ezekiel, why is there so much detail about the measurements of the temple at the end of the book?

Ezekiel was a unique prophet in that he not only used words to relay the prophecies which he received directly from God, but he also provided visuals of the prophecies as he was directed to do by God. A central message underlying a great deal of the holy Book of Ezekiel is mentioned in this passage: "Say to them: 'As I live,' says the Lord God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?' "(Ezekiel 33:11). No one can ever accuse God of being harsh or unkind in the Old Testament. No one needs to be deprived of Him. Here, He offers Himself faithfully and completely, willing to keep every letter of every His promise, and to accept not only His wayward children, but even Gentiles are not excluded. This message is chanted at the end of the Midnight Psalmody and reiterated in the Conclusion of the Agpeya Prayers.

There are very few hints as to what the measurements actually mean, but without a doubt, they produce an imagery of God's vision for His people and their future with Him. The Coptic Church seizes the image of the ever-virginity of St. Mary in Ezekiel 44:1-2: "Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. And the LORD said to me, 'This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.'" Thus, we can see that God is providing us with metaphors and images of His impending plan for Salvation, His delight in anticipation of our repentance, the role of the prophets and the clergy from times past and times to come, the precious sanctuary which keeps the altar upon which the Lord, the Lamb of God, will finally be the acceptable sacrifice, and the long-term future of everlasting life with Him for those who believe, abide in Him, and partake of Him in all the holy sacraments.

The following link provides an overview of all the Major Prophets, each of them wonderful and inspirational in his own right:

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