Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ezekiel's New Temple

Alice C. Linsley

The prophet Ezekiel received a vision concerning the New Temple (“The Third Temple”). In this vision the temple is not very similar to Solomon's temple and the question arises as to whether this new temple is completely new or based on an earlier pattern or celestial archetype.  If the latter is the case, Ezekiel may be speaking about the restoration of a pattern known to his distant ancestors.  In this essay we will explore how that is so.

Ezekiel’s Ancestors

Ezekiel is believed to have lived between 625 and at least 572 B.C.  He lived in the southern kingdom of Judah until he was taken to Babylon around the year 599 B.C. He was thirty years old when he received his call, the age when men were first to enter priestly service. In the fashion of the other biblical prophets, he began his prophetic ministry with a theophany (celestial chariot vision) in the year 593. He was a contemporary of the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel. Jeremiah went into exile in Egypt, but Ezekiel, like Daniel before him, was taken to Babylon.

Ezekiel was the son of Buz. His name is Buzi in Akkadian, the Afro-Asiatic language instituted by the Kushite kingdom builder Nimrod (Sargon the Great?). Nimrod controlled the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley where, according to Genesis 10:8-12, he built many of the cities that are mentioned in Ezekiel, including Babylon and Erech.

Buz was one of Abraham’s nephews. The others were Lot, Huz, Buz, Kamuel, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel (Gen. 22:20-22).  Abraham lived between B.C. 2039-1964. So it is evident that Ezekiel’s father was a later Buz than Abraham’s nephew, but clearly a descendant of the Horite priestly lines that intermarried exclusively. One of Job's inquisitors, Elihu, was a descendant of Abraham’s older brother Nahor through his son Buz. 

Buz and Huz formed a three-clan confederation with Uz. Uz was also the name of Job’s homeland. Uz is associated with Dedan. Isaiah 21:13 alludes to the caravans of Dedanites, and Ezekiel 27:20 speaks of Dedan as supplying Tyre with precious things. The rulers of these people controlled the routes of commerce, both caravan routes and river routes.

Uz the Elder’s grandson (by his daughter) was Uz the son of Dishan (I Chron. 1:42). Dishan the Horite was the brother-in-law of Esau the Younger (Jacob’s brother). Uz the Younger was Seir's grandson. Here is a diagram of the Horite Hebrew clan in question (based on Gen. 36):

The Horite Hebrew were the earliest caste of priests from whom the Aaronic, Levitical and Zadokite priesthoods emerged later in Israel’s history. Tzadok צדוק, meaning "righteous" was a descendant of Aaron.  He was the first High Priest to serve in the New Temple built by Solomon. Ezekiel extols the sons of Zadok as staunch opponents of paganism and indicates their right to unique duties and privileges in the future Third Temple (Ezekiel 42:13, 43:19). This is one of numerous references to the number three in the book.  Ezekiel is called “son of man” (literally ben’adam, meaning son of Adam/mortal) 93 times in Ezekiel. Ezekiel 4:5 speaks of how the prophet is to endure punishment for 390 days.

There are also numerous references to the number 25 and multiples of 25. Chapter 40 begins with “In the twenty-fifth year of our exile...”, then almost all of the dimensions listed in these chapters are multiples of 25. In Ezekiel 48:8, we read that the sanctuary of the New Temple will be within Judah and measure 25,000 reeds. To the Levites are granted a space of 25,000 reeds in length (Ez. 48:13).

One wonders if Ezekiel believed the reestablishment of Israel would be a 50th year of jubilee – thus Israel was at the time of captivity in Babylon halfway to the day when the temple would be established according to the pattern described in an earlier chapter.  

The occurrences of the number 25 include:

Ezekiel was age 25 when he went into exile (30 when he received his prophet call).

In Ezekiel 40, the angelic measurements of the New Temple are made using a reed, as was done in ancient Egypt.  It appears to replicate the measurements of the older temples along the Nile.  That suggests another meaning for the number 25.

Heliopolis (called “On” in Genesis) was called “Iunu” which means place of pillars because the temple was constructed with many pillars. The average number of pillars in Hindu temples is 25 and those temples were based on the pattern of Abraham’s ancestors were Kushites.

Another ancient temple of the Sun (an O-piru) is in Lebanon. It was called "Heliopolis" and the Egyptian cry to the Creator whose emblem was the Sun began “Helie!” Here we see the polysemic quality of the ancient Afro-Asiatic biradicals. HL has many different yet related meanings and is the root for honorific titles such as Heli, the father of Joseph, the Virgin Mary's husband (Luke 3:23).

The Heliopolis platform in Egypt was raised 25 ft. above the ground.  This temple was a center of activity in the Bronze Age and many great monuments were aligned to the obelisk there. It was in use during the New Stone Age because Neolithic artifacts have been found there which date to about 9000 B.C. (See the site Baalbek in Lebanon). 

Ezekiel clearly knew about the ancient temple of Heliopolis because he mentions it in Chapter 30:17: “The young men of On and of Pi-beseth will fall by the sword, and the women will go into captivity.” Pi-be’seth was originally a Horite temple, but was known by Herodotus as Bubastis because it was later dedicated to the cat goddess Bast or Bastet.

There were no vowels in the Proto-Semitic languages so the word would be P-b-St, which means the Palace/temple of Seth.  It is a form of Piru-bu-Set, meaning Sun House (temple/palace) of Seth.  Seth was Cain’s bother.  His royal line is listed in Genesis 5.

Ezekiel was a descendant of the first rulers named in the Bible, Cain and Seth (whose lines intermarried exclusively). It appears that his vision of a New Temple is based on a pattern that was known to his ancestors. If this is prophecy concerning a future temple, it is clear that the temple will not be like the one built by Herod. It will be a structure that represents a recapitulation to the older Messianic faith rather than that of the Jews of Jerusalem. 

Related reading: The Ruler Seth; The Ha-piru were Devotees of Horus: The High Places, The Sun Cities of the Ancient World


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