Ezekiel 43


וַיֹּולִכֵנִי אֶל־הַשָּׁעַר שַׁעַר אֲשֶׁר פֹּנֶה דֶּרֶךְ הַקָּדִים׃   43:1

Ezek. 43:1   Then he led me to the gate, the gate that looks toward the east.

וְהִנֵּה כְּבֹוד אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּא מִדֶּרֶךְ הַקָּדִים וְקֹולֹו כְּקֹול מַיִם רַבִּים וְהָאָרֶץ הֵאִירָה מִכְּבֹדֹו׃   43:2

Ezek. 43:2   And behold, the glory of the God of Israel entered from the east direction, and His voice was like the sound of much water, while the earth lit up from His glory.

וּכְמַרְאֵה הַמַּרְאֶה אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי כַּמַּרְאֶה אֲשֶׁר־רָאִיתִי בְּבֹאִי לְשַׁחֵת אֶת־הָעִיר וּמַרְאֹות כַּמַּרְאֶה   43:3      אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי אֶל־נְהַר־כְּבָר וָאֶפֹּל אֶל־פָּנָי׃

Ezek. 43:3   And the vision was of the appearance of what I had seen, like the vision that I had seen on my coming in to destroy the city, and the visions were like the vision that I had seen at the river Chebar, and I had to fall to my face.

וּכְבֹוד יְהוָה בָּא אֶל־הַבָּיִת דֶּרֶךְ שַׁעַר אֲשֶׁר פָּנָיו דֶּרֶךְ הַקָּדִים׃   43:4

Ezek. 43:4   And the glory of the Lord came in to the house via the gate whose front was toward the east.

וַתִּשָּׂאֵנִי רוּחַ וַתְּבִיאֵנִי אֶל־הֶחָצֵר הַפְּנִימִי וְהִנֵּה מָלֵא כְבֹוד־יְהוָה הַבָּיִת׃   43:5

Ezek. 43:5   And a spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner courtyard and behold, the house was full of the glory of the Lord.

אֶשְׁמַע מִדַּבֵּר אֵלַי מֵהַבָּיִת וְאִישׁ הָיָה עֹמֵד אֶצְלִי׃   43:6

Ezek. 43:6   And I could hear a speaking to me from the house, and a man was standing beside me.

וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם אֶת־מְקֹום כִּסְאִי וְאֶת־מְקֹום כַּפֹּות רַגְלַי אֲשֶׁר אֶשְׁכָּן־שָׁם בְּתֹוךְ בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל   43:7     לְעֹולָם וְלֹא יְטַמְּאוּ עֹוד בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי הֵמָּה וּמַלְכֵיהֶם בִּזְנוּתָם וּבְפִגְרֵי מַלְכֵיהֶם בָּמֹותָם׃

Ezek. 43:7   And He said to me, “Human, The place of My throne!  And the place of the soles of My ‘feet,’ where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever!  And the house of Israel shall not defile the name of My holiness again, they or their kings, with their harlotry or with the corpses of their kings in their high places,

בְּתִתָּם סִפָּם אֶת־סִפִּי וּמְזוּזָתָם אֵצֶל מְזוּזָתִי וְהַקִּיר בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיהֶם וְטִמְּאוּ אֶת־שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי   43:8               בְּתֹועֲבֹותָם אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ וָאֲכַל אֹתָם בְּאַפִּי׃

Ezek. 43:8   with their setting of their threshold with My threshold, or their door post beside My door post with only a wall between Me and them.  So they defiled the name of My holiness with their abominations that they committed, and I consumed them in My ‘anger.’”

These two verses, 43:7 and 8, also offer support for the contention that these visions are of a future third Temple (see Ezek. 42:20).

עַתָּה יְרַחֲקוּ אֶת־זְנוּתָם וּפִגְרֵי מַלְכֵיהֶם מִמֶּנִּי וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְתֹוכָם לְעֹולָם׃   43:9

Ezek. 43:9   “Now they will put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings from Me, and I shall dwell in their midst for ever.”

אַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם הַגֵּד אֶת־בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַבַּיִת וְיִכָּלְמוּ מֵעֲוֹנֹותֵיהֶם וּמָדְדוּ אֶת־תָּכְנִית׃   43:10

Ezek. 43:10   “You, human, show the house of Israel the house, that they may be ashamed because of their iniquities, and measure the plan.”

It appears from this verse that Ezekiel also had a plan of the Temple -- a picture? -- that he could show to others.

וְאִם־נִכְלְמוּ מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר־עָשׂוּ צוּרַת הַבַּיִת וּתְכוּנָתֹו וּמֹוצָאָיו וּמֹובָאָיו וְכָל־צוּרֹתָוק וְאֵת כָּל־חֻקֹּתָיו   43:11 וְכָל־(צוּרֹתָו) [צוּרֹתָיו] וְכָל־(תֹּורֹתֹו) [תֹּורֹתָיו] הֹודַע אֹותָם וּכְתֹב לְעֵינֵיהֶם וְיִשְׁמְרוּ אֶת־כָּל־צוּרָתֹו       וְאֶת־כָּל־חֻקֹּתָיו וְעָשׂוּ אֹותָם׃

Ezek. 43:11   “And if they are ashamed because of all that they did, make known to them the design of the house and its arrangement and its exits and its entrances and its entire design, and all its ordinances and its entire form, and every instruction of it, and write for their eyes, so they can observe all of its design and all its ordinances and do them.”

This verse is thought to have two errors.  The words in the two sets of parentheses are spelled in the singular and the sages assumed they should be plural.  The word in the first parentheses is translated by me as its design in the phrase its entire design and I believe it can be interpreted as singular just as correctly as plural. The word in the second parentheses is translated by me as instruction of it in the phrase every instruction of it.  I believe it also can be singular.  So I don’t accept these two errors.

זֹאת תֹּורַת הַבָּיִת עַל־רֹאשׁ הָהָר כָּל־גְּבֻלֹו סָבִיב סָבִיב קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים הִנֵּה־זֹאת תֹּורַת הַבָּיִת׃   43:12

Ezek. 43:12   “This is the instruction of the house:  On the top of the mountain all of its region entirely all around shall be holiest of holies.  Behold, this is the instruction of the house.”

וְאֵלֶּה מִדֹּות הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בָּאַמֹּות אַמָּה אַמָּה וָטֹפַח וְחֵיק הָאַמָּה וְאַמָּה־רֹחַב וּגְבוּלָהּ אֶל־שְׂפָתָה   43:13 ּ סָבִיב זֶרֶת הָאֶחָד וְזֶה גַּב הַמִּזְבֵּחַ׃

Ezek. 43:13   “And these are the measures of the altar in cubits -- a cubit is a cubit and a hand breadth -- then the bottom shall be this cubit, and the breadth a cubit, and the border of it shall be at its edge all around a span of one, and this shall be the base of the altar.”

I presume the span is a hand breadth.

וּמֵחֵיק הָאָרֶץ עַד־הָעֲזָרָה הַתַּחְתֹּונָה שְׁתַּיִם אַמֹּות וְרֹחַב אַמָּה אֶחָת וּמֵהֳעֲזָרָה הַקְּטַנָּה   43:14                עַד־הָעֲזָרָה הַגְּדֹולָה אַרְבַּע אַמֹּות וְרֹחַב הָאַמָּה׃

Ezek. 43:14   “And from the bottom, the ground, up to the lower ledge shall be two cubits with a breadth of one cubit, and from the smaller ledge up to the greater ledge shall be four cubits with a breadth of the cubit.”

וְהַהַרְאֵל אַרְבַּע אַמֹּות (וּמֵהָאֲרִאֵיל) [וּמֵהָאֲרִיאֵל] וּלְמַעְלָה הַקְּרָנֹות אַרְבַּע׃   43:15

Ezek. 43:15   “And the altar shall be four cubits, and from the altar edge and upward shall be the four horns.”

The word in the parentheses in this verse appears no where else in the bible but here and in the next verse, and its meaning is unknown.  These words closely resemble the first word in the verse (correctly translated as altar), except that the aleph is there replaced by a heh.  From the context, translators have assumed the strange word means hearth or upper altar.  I’m quite certain it was not intended to mean either of these for the following reasons:  For the definition being hearth, the horns should not project from the hearth; it was where the fire offerings were burned, and the horns projected from the top of the altar, not the hearth (see Exod. 27:2).  For the definition being upper altar, the phrase the upper altar and upward makes no sense.  I’ve guessed that the word might mean altar side or altar edge, the latter being my choice.  And no one knows how it should be spelled.

וְהָאֲרִאֵיל) [וְהָאֲרִיאֵל] שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה אֹרֶךְ בִּשְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה רֹחַב רָבוּעַ אֶל אַרְבַּעַת רְבָעָיו׃   43:16

Ezek. 43:16   “And the altar edge shall be twelve long by twelve broad, square at the four of its sides.”

The remarks on the preceding verse apply here too for the alleged error.

וְהָעֲזָרָה אַרְבַּע עֶשְׂרֵה אֹרֶךְ בְּאַרְבַּע עֶשְׂרֵה רֹחַב אֶל אַרְבַּעַת רְבָעֶיהָ וְהַגְּבוּל סָבִיב אֹותָהּ חֲצִי   43:17 הָאַמָּה וְהַחֵיק־לָהּ אַמָּה סָבִיב וּמַעֲלֹתֵהוּ פְּנֹות קָדִים׃

Ezek. 43:17   “And the ledge shall be fourteen long by fourteen broad at the four of its sides; and the border surrounding it shall be half of the cubit, and the bottom for it shall be a cubit all around, and its steps shall be turned east.”

There’s a problem here.  The altar is not supposed to have steps.  See Exod. 20:23.

וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אֵלֶּה חֻקֹּות הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּיֹום הֵעָשֹׂותֹו לְהַעֲלֹות עָלָיו עֹולָה   43:18 וְלִזְרֹק עָלָיו דָּם׃

Ezek. 43:18   And He said to me, “Human, thus says the Master, the Lord:  These are the ordinances of the altar in the time of its making for offering burnt offerings on it and for sprinkling blood on it.”

וְנָתַתָּה אֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם אֲשֶׁר הֵם מִזֶּרַע צָדֹוק הַקְּרֹבִים אֵלַי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה לְשָׁרְתֵנִי פַּר   43:19         בֶּן־בָּקָר לְחַטָּאת׃

Ezek. 43:19   “And you shall give a young bullock of the herd to the priests, the Levites who are from the seed of Zadok, those coming near to Me, declares the Master, the Lord, to minister to Me, for a sin offering.”

וְלָקַחְתָּ מִדָּמֹו וְנָתַתָּה עַל־אַרְבַּע קַרְנֹתָיו וְאֶל־אַרְבַּע פִּנֹּות הָעֲזָרָה וְאֶל־הַגְּבוּל סָבִיב וְחִטֵּאתָ   43:20        אֹותֹו וְכִפַּרְתָּהוּ׃

Ezek. 43:20   “And you shall take from the blood and put on the four horns of it and at the four corners of the ledge and at the border all around; thus you will purify it and make atonement for it.“

וְלָקַחְתָּ אֵת הַפָּר הַחַטָּאת וּשְׂרָפֹו בְּמִפְקַד הַבַּיִת מִחוּץ לַמִּקְדָּשׁ׃   43:21

Ezek. 43:21   “Then you shall take the bullock of the sin offering and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house outside the sanctuary.”

וּבַיֹּום הַשֵּׁנִי תַּקְרִיב שְׂעִיר־עִזִּים תָּמִים לְחַטָּאת וְחִטְּאוּ אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כַּאֲשֶׁר חִטְּאוּ בַּפָּר׃   43:22

Ezek. 43:22   “Then on the second day you shall present a perfect male goat for a sin offering, and they shall purify the altar as they purified it with the bullock.”

בְּכַלֹּותְךָ מֵחַטֵּא תַּקְרִיב פַּר בֶּן־בָּקָר תָּמִים וְאַיִל מִן־הַצֹּאן תָּמִים׃   43:23

Ezek. 43:23   “On your being done from purifying, you shall present a perfect young bullock of the herd and a perfect ram from the flock.”

וְהִקְרַבְתָּם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וְהִשְׁלִיכוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים עֲלֵיהֶם מֶלַח וְהֶעֱלוּ אֹותָם עֹלָה לַיהוָה׃   43:24

Ezek. 43:24   “And you shall present them before the Lord and the priests shall cast salt on them and offer them, a burnt offering, to the Lord.”

שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תַּעֲשֶׂה שְׂעִיר־חַטָּאת לַיֹּום וּפַר בֶּן־בָּקָר וְאַיִל מִן־הַצֹּאן תְּמִימִים יַעֲשׂוּ׃   43:25

Ezek. 43:25   “Seven days you shall prepare a sin offering of a goat for each day, also they shall prepare a perfect young bullock of the herd and ram from the flock.”

שִׁבְעַת יָמִים יְכַפְּרוּ אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְטִהֲרוּ אֹתֹו וּמִלְאוּ (יָדֹו) [יָדָיו]׃   43:26

Ezek. 43:26   “Seven days they shall make atonement for the altar and purify it.  Thus they shall consecrate its power.”

The error indicated within the parentheses is not an error as far as I am concerned.  How do other translators deal with the last phrase (that includes the so-called error, which I have translated as “Thus they shall consecrate its power”?  Some sample translations of others are the following:  (1) “So they shall consecrate it,” ignoring the last word altogether, (2) “and they shall consecrate themselves,” changing the last word (a noun) to a pronoun, (3) “and they shall fill their hands,” which makes no sense at all, and (4) “and offer upon it,” making the phrase a different one that also makes little sense.  Need I say more?

וִיכַלּוּ אֶת־הַיָּמִים ס וְהָיָה בַיֹּום הַשְּׁמִינִי וָהָלְאָה יַעֲשׂוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֶת־עֹולֹותֵיכֶם   43:27              וְאֶת־שַׁלְמֵיכֶם וְרָצִאתִי אֶתְכֶם נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה׃

Ezek. 43:27   “When they will have completed the days, then it shall be, on the eighth day and beyond, the priests shall make your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar, and I will be pleased with you, declares the Master, the Lord.”

From v. 43:19 to the preceding one, v. 43:26 all the second-person pronouns are singular, apparently referring to Ezekiel.  Suddenly in this last verse, the three second-person pronouns are plural.  I suspect that Ezekiel intended to convey the idea that the Lord was speaking to him up to v. 43:25, and then here He was addressing the congregation to whom Ezekiel would convey this message.  This seems to be a reasonable understanding of Ezekiel’s change to plural second-person pronouns; after all, the initial purification of the altar is done at this point and it can now be used for community sacrifices.


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