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When analyzing biblical Temples of YHVH in context to the Tanakh & Gospels, Yerushalem (יְרֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם) has already experienced the construction of 3 Temples built to honor YHVH (prior to 70 AD) :

#1. The-Temple of the-King Shlomoh (הַמֶּ֚לֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה֙) in [1 Kings 6];

#2. The-Temple (הַֽהֵיכָ֔ל) of Ezra (עֶזְרָא֙) in [Ezra 4] / Nechemiah (נְחֶמְיָ֖ה) in [Nehemiah 6] ;

#3. The Temple (ναοῦ) of the Body (σώματος) of Yeshua (Jesus) Ha-Mashiach (the-Messiah) in [John 2:21].

Yet in Ezekiel 44:1-3 [MT], the prophet Yechezeqel (יְחֶזְקֵ֨אל) describes a 4th Temple which YHVH the God of Yisrael (יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל) will enter through the East Gate while The-Prince (הַנָּשִׂ֗יא) eats bread in front of Him.

Ezekiel 44:1-3 [MT]

  • "And he brought me back by way of the Outer Sanctuary Gate that faces eastward, and it was closed." (וַיָּ֣שֶׁב אֹתִ֗י דֶּ֣רֶךְ שַׁ֚עַר הַמִּקְדָּשׁ֙ הַֽחִיצ֔וֹן הַפֹּנֶ֖ה קָדִ֑ים וְה֖וּא סָגֽוּר).

  • "And YHVH said to me; This gate shall be closed, it shall not be opened, and no man shall come through it, for YHVH God of Israel comes through it, and it shall be closed." (וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלַ֜י יְהֹוָ֗ה הַשַּׁ֣עַר הַזֶּה֩ סָג֨וּר יִהְיֶ֜ה לֹ֣א יִפָּתֵ֗חַ וְאִישׁ֙ לֹֽא־יָ֣בֹא ב֔וֹ כִּ֛י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בָּ֣א ב֑וֹ וְהָיָ֖ה סָגֽוּר).

  • "The Prince - He the Prince - shall sit therein to eat bread before YHVH by the way of the hall of the gate he shall come, and by the same way he shall leave." (אֶת-הַנָּשִׂיא, נָשִׂיא הוּא יֵשֶׁב-בּוֹ לאכול- (לֶאֱכָל-) לֶחֶם--לִפְנֵי יְהוָה; מִדֶּרֶךְ אוּלָם הַשַּׁעַר יָבוֹא, וּמִדַּרְכּוֹ יֵצֵא. ).

[Reference : https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16142/jewish/Chapter-44.htm]

What would the purpose of this 4th Temple be on Earth? - Perhaps the 4th Temple relates to the New Eden, described in Revelation 22 [NIV] : "The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him."

[Reference: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2022&version=NIV]

Based on biblical references to 4 Temples in the Tanakh & Gospels - Must Ezekiel 44:1-3 be fulfilled prior to the new Eden of Revelation 22?

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  • Where does the expression "New Eden" come from? Revelation 21 talks about a new Jerusalem; is that what you meant to say? If so, Revelation 21:22 says "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.". Oct 22, 2023 at 16:18

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The third and final temple was built by Jesus as a spiritual house composed of living stones (people):

[1Pe 2:5 NLT] (5) And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What's more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.

The book of Revelation is about the judgment and destruction of earthly Jerusalem, the earthly temple, the Sinai covenant, the sacrificial system and the special relationship that the Jews had with God based on national and ethnic identity, and the arrival of the new Jerusalem, the heavenly temple, the new covenant, the new priesthood and the Israel of God.

God is through with earthly temples which were a shadow of the heavenly temple.

As evidence I point to this excellent analysis that shows that Ezekiel’s temple is the temple that the elders wept over:

Ezekiel’s Temple 4

The spiritual temple is Christ and his body.

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    Ruminator, Thank you for sharing your resources to help make sense of Ezekiel's 4th Temple. Sep 3, 2020 at 19:59
  • Yeah, it was a thrill when I came across that!
    – Ruminator
    Sep 3, 2020 at 20:02
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The Eastern Gate is the only gate from the east leading directly into what used to be the Jewish temple complex.

The gate is part of the city wall rebuilt from 1537 to 1541 by Sultan Suleiman I of the Ottoman Empire. It is believed this is the site of the Gate Beautiful mentioned in Acts 3:2. When Jerome translated the Greek New Testament into Latin (386 A.D.), he translated the Greek word "oraia" (beautiful), into the Latin "aurea" (golden). Thus the Eastern Gate came to us as The Golden Gate instead of The Gate Beautiful.

The Eastern Gate also known as the Golden Gate and believed by some to be the Gate Beautiful mentioned in Acts 3:2

In 1969 archaeologist James Fleming was investigating the Eastern wall of the Temple Mount. As he went about with his research, the ground gave way and he dropped into a hole about eight feet deep where he found an older gate directly under the present Golden Gate.

According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will enter the city through the Eastern Gate. https://www.beinharimtours.com/the-golden-gate/

The gate was bricked over and sealed on the orders of Suleiman I in 1541. Suleiman may have sealed the gate to better defend the city or because he wanted to prevent the fulfillment of the Jewish prophesy of the Messiah’s return through the Eastern Gate. Or maybe he wanted to prevent a Jewish insurrection following a false Messiah who would enter the city through the gate (to bolster his credentials).

Prior to Suleiman I, the gate had been closed in 810 (also by the Muslims), then reopened in 1102 by the Crusaders, and then walled up again by Saladin (the first sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty) after defeating the Crusaders in 1187 and gaining control of Palestine and the city of Jerusalem. This would have been the prior to construction of today's blocked gate, because the gate and wall visible today was built by Suleiman I (the Magnificent).

In Ezekiel, written about 550 BCE, we read:

1 Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. 2 Then said the Lord unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. 3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same. (Ezekiel 44:1-3)

Two things should be noticed:

    1. It says the gate shall be sealed because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it. It shall be sealed after the Lord has gone through it; and
    1. The Lord shall enter in and go out by the same way.

In Mark's Gospel, on supposedly Palm Sunday, our Lord entered Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives to go to the temple. He would have gone through the Gate Beautiful, the Eastern Gate. In Mark's Gospel we read:

And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve (Mark 11:11).

Bethany is to the east on the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:1). It is difficult to escape the conclusion that our Lord by, on the same day, "entering in" by "the gate of the outward sanctuary that looks towards the east" and going out "by way of the same", was intentionally fulfilling the prophecy of Ezekiel 44:1-3 in addition to deliberately fulfilling Zechariah 9:9,

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

By approaching on a colt, and entering by the Eastern Gate, and later leaving by the same gate, he was proclaiming who he was loud and clear: the time for hiding his Messiahship from his enemies the Jewish leaders was ended: now he would allow them to be provoked to destroy him.

Whatever the motives of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1541, the bricking up of the gate is confirmation from Almighty God that the Lord, the God of Israel, has already passed through the gate in agreement with Ezekiel 44:2, "This gate shall be shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has passed through it".

What we are looking at in the photo above, I believe, is the fulfilment of prophecy, and confirmation Jesus of Nazareth is Christ the Lord, the God of Israel.

For further reading: https://theculturetrip.com/middle-east/israel/articles/the-story-behind-jerusalems-sealed-golden-gate/

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  • That is astonishing info. about the gate being blocked up (long) after Jesus had gone in and then out of it. But given the dropping of an archaeologist "into a hole about eight feet deep where he found an older gate directly under the present Golden Gate", would it not have to be that older gate, hidden from view till 1969, that would needed to have been blocked up? Was it also blocked?
    – Anne
    Apr 29, 2023 at 17:04
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    @Anne - I've added a bit.... when I first posted I didn't want to write too much. Today's Gate is in same location, giving access on the same road from the Mount of Olives into the city to the temple complex. So whether you see it as the same gate is up to each one of us. Apr 30, 2023 at 12:28
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First, I haven't seen anything in the answers above that interpret Ezekiel 40 ff. in a straightforward Grammatical, Historical way; that is, reading Ezekiel as its author (both the Prophet and the Holy Spirit) intended. Instead, those answering have jumped right into assuming they can spiritualize all of its words simply because they want to. Where there is no clear indication in Scripture (from a Prophet, Messiah Jesus or one of the Apostles) specifically about Ezekiel 44, it must be seen just as it was written; an event that will still take place in the future.

The CONTEXT makes it quite clear that Ezekiel was being shown the closed gate shortly after seeing "the Glory of the LORD" enter the Temple and remain with Israel forever! ["...where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever. And the house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name (Ezekiel 43:7 ESV)."] It is very obvious that the Glory of LORD has not been in "the midst of the people of Israel forever"; that it must be a future event. (Well, unless of course, you completely spiritualize all references to Israel as being "the Church"; splitting Ezekiel in two, between the history of Israel before Christ and after.) And so must be the closing of that Temple gate... not a gate in the city wall; nor even a gate underneath it, both of which had been open long after Jesus left this earth, and closed and re-opened many times in the past (Christians during the time of the Crusaders unblocked the gate a number of times for processionals).

I'll summarize with this: You cannot have it both ways! You cannot claim that it is okay to spiritualize the Temple in these passages, and yet see a real physical gate(s) as a fulfillment of the same passage! You have no Biblical basis for doing so; only your own feelings... and those of unbelieving Jews and Muslims as well, due to all the traditions among them too.

Some references from an historical-grammatical interpretive viewpoint:

(1) Charles Lee Feinberg, The Prophecy of Ezekiel, The Glory of the Lord (Chicago: Moody Press, 1969), p. 257.
(2) John B. Taylor, M.A., Ezekiel: An Introduction and Commentary (London: Tyndale Press, 1969; a Tyndale Old Testament Commentary), p. 270.
(3,4) Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel in the The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, Frank E. Gabelein, General Ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986), p. 974. The same viewpoint was also expressed earlier by Alexander in the Everyman’s Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1976), pp. 149-150.
(5) Charles H. Dyer, “Ezekiel” in John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty. OLD TESTAMENT (Victor Books: Wheaton, IL, 1985. Third Printing, 1986), p. 1303.
(6) H.A. Ironside, Ezekiel the Prophet (Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., 1949), pp. 307-308.

Dan, TheStarman

PS Edit: The Allegorical (spiritualizing) method of interpretation can also be used to prove that any physical gate in Jerusalem has nothing to do with this passage in Ezekiel: Assuming that the Church has taken the place of Israel as God's People and that the Temple spoken of in Ezekiel 44 is either the Church or the Body of Christ; for which Jesus declared himself to be the door (or gateway of Salvation; "I am the door"; John 10:9 and Mt. 7:13,14 "the narrow gate") into the Church as a saved member. Then it only follows that the gate here in Ezekiel 44 is metaphorically the Lord Jesus himself, and He has closed off salvation to Israel (as a nation; not individual Jews) through sacrifices in a Temple by human priests! (Many verses in Hebrews could be cited for that.) Therefore, the gate here cannot be the "Golden Gate" or any other physical gate. Doesn't that make much more sense? And there is nothing in Scripture anyone can use to disprove this Allegorical interpretation, since it has just as much Biblical evidence as any of the other subjective interpretations presented here.

Of course, I do not actually believe any of that is relevant concerning this passage. I used that illustration to help point out that it is necessary to first seek a clear interpretation for any passage of Scripture, before appealing to allegory, metaphor, spiritualization or any similar form of interpretation that the context of the Text itself does not lead us into. Why? Because failure to do so only results in a multiplicity of subjective beliefs.

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