Preterism and Ezekiel’s Temple (Ezekiel 40-48)

PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY Forums Forum Preterism and Ezekiel’s Temple (Ezekiel 40-48)

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    It is well known that Ezekiel’s Temple (Ezekiel 40-48) is somewhat different from the post-exilic Temple (Herod’s Temple). If it could be conclusively shown that a prophecy in the Bible was not fulfilled this would of course conclusively refute preterism. However, the fact that this Temple was never built does NOT refute preterism because in Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple God tells the Jews to build this Temple but at no point in His instruction EVER says that this Temple WOULD be built. Rather, the Temple instructions of Ezekiel’s Temple were God’s command to His people, but it was up to the Jews to do it. In fact, the Temple’s customs and designs are even called “the law”: “This is the law of the house: its entire area on the top of the mountain all around shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.” (Ez 43:12.) Like the rest of God’s Law, the Jews did not faithfully abide by all of them. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Jews failed to follow this commandment as well.

    In order for this Temple to be built, the Jewish people had to put away their harlotry: “Now let them put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings far from Me; and I will dwell among them [in the Temple] forever.” (Ezekiel 43:9) Of course, the Jews did not forever put away their harlotry as implied in Revelation 17 (see Revelation 17: A Preterist Commentary). Likewise the Jews had to be ashamed of all that they had done in order for the design to be made known: “If they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the house, its structure, its exits, its entrances, all its designs, all its statutes, and all its laws.” Were the Jews ashamed of what they had done?

    The fact that the construction of Ezekiel’s Temple was contingent upon the faithfulness of the Jews makes Ezekiel 40-48 distinct from Biblical predictions in that if this Temple were never constructed it would still say nothing about the viability of realized eschatology. The fact that the Temple’s design was part of God’s Law (Ez 43:12) means that its failure be built does not refute Preterism in the same way that the Jews’ violation of every other commandment of God’s Law does not refute Preterism.

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