The trees on the bank of the river (Ezek 47:6-47:7)

“He said to me.

‘Son of man!

Have you seen this?’

Then he led me back

Along the bank

Of the river.

As I went back,

I saw

On the bank

Of the river

A great many trees

On the one side

As well as on the other side.”

The bronze man spoke like Yahweh in calling Ezekiel the son of man. He asked if Ezekiel had seen all this mile-long flowing water from the Temple. Then he brought Ezekiel to the bank of the river, where Ezekiel saw a lot of trees on both sides of the river.

The ordinances of the Temple (Ezek 44:5-44:5)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Son of man!

Mark well!

Look closely!

Hear attentively

To all that I shall tell you

Concerning all the ordinances

Of the temple

Of Yahweh

With all its laws!

Mark well

Those who may be admitted

To the temple!

Mark well

Those who are to be excluded

From the sanctuary!’”

Yahweh then proceeded to outline all the ordinances about the Temple to Ezekiel, the son of man. Ezekiel was to be observant, pay attention, and listen to what Yahweh had to say. Yahweh was going to enumerate all the laws about the Temple of Yahweh. Ezekiel was to take special notice about who would be admitted into the Temple. Certain people were to be excluded from the sanctuary.

Ezekiel was to describe this new Temple to the Israelites (Ezek 43:10-43:10)

“‘You!

Son of man,

Describe

The temple

To the house of Israel!

Let them

Measure the pattern!

Let them

Be ashamed

Of their iniquities!’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to describe this new Temple to the Israelites, the house of Israel. They should measure the patterns that he would lay out for them. They should also be ashamed of their iniquities. Clearly, Ezekiel was laying down the basics for the new Temple, just like Moses with his Mosaic laws.

The bronze man (Ezek 40:3-40:4)

“When he brought me there,

A man was there.

His appearance shone

Like bronze.

He had a linen cord

With a measuring reed

In his hand.

He was standing

In the gateway.

The man said to me.

‘Son of man!

Look closely!

Listen attentively!

Set your mind

Upon all

That I shall show you.

You were brought here

In order

That I might show it

To you.

Declare all

That you see

To the house of Israel!’”

Who was this bronze man? He was not a comic book superhero, but a man that appeared to be bronze. Was he a deeply tanned man? Was he an angel of God? Was he God himself? Many have interpreted him as an angel or messenger as in other later Second Temple literature. Genesis, chapter 18, has similar appearances of men who were either angels of God or God himself. Anyway, this bronze man greeted Ezekiel at the gateway. He had in his hand a linen cord to measure short distances and a measuring reed to measure long distances. Then this man also called Ezekiel the son of man, just like Yahweh had. This bronze man told him to look closely and listen attentively. He was to keep his mind focused on what this guy was going to show him. After Ezekiel had seen this, he was then to tell the house of Israel about it. For the next few chapters, this bronze man will be the guide who measured the Temple for Ezekiel.

The great feast (Ezek 39:17-39:17)

“As for you!

Son of man!

Thus says Yahweh God!

Speak to the birds

Of every sort!

Speak to all

The wild animals!

‘Assemble!

Come!

Gather from all around

To the sacrificial feast

That I am preparing

For you.

This will be

A great sacrificial feast

On the mountains

Of Israel.

You shall eat

Flesh.

You shall drink

Blood.’”

Once again, Yahweh called Ezekiel, the son of man, to speak to the various birds and the wild animals. They were all to gather at a sacrificial feast that Yahweh was preparing on the mountains of Israel, where they would eat flesh and drink blood. Yahweh seemed to imply that the birds and the animals would sacrifice themselves for Yahweh.

 

Against Gog (Ezek 39:1-39:2)

“You!

Son of man!

Prophesy against Gog!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am against you!

O Gog!

Chief prince

Of Meshech

With Tubal!

I will turn you around!

I will drive you forward!

I will bring you up

From the remotest parts

Of the north!

I will lead you

Against the mountains

Of Israel!’”

As if one chapter were not enough, Ezekiel has another chapter about Gog.   Yahweh God, as usual, came to the prophet Ezekiel, the son of man. This time, he wanted Ezekiel to prophesy against Gog, who is now called the prince of Meshech and Tubal and not from Magog. Like in the last chapter, Gog was clearly an enemy of Yahweh. Yet Yahweh used him for his own purposes. Yahweh was going to turn Gog around and drive him forward from the remotest parts of the northern area. In fact, Yahweh was going to lead Gog against the mountains of Israel. The only possible historical basis for this Gog, might be the supposedly chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, two 7th century BCE kingdoms in Asia Minor of Turkey.