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Recently I was asked why the tribe of Dan was not mentioned in Revelation chapter 7. During the course of my research I came across a suggestion that there was a link between Ezekiel’s vision of Jerusalem and the 12 tribes of Israel and the number of the 144,000 sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel in Revelation 7:5-8. Please bear with me while I explain what my question is about.

After reading Ezekiel 40:1-5 I concluded that Ezekiel’s vision was about the earthly temple in Jerusalem that would be built after God’s people were released from Babylonian captivity:

Ezekiel 48:1-29 then lists the tribes of Israel and the land to be allocated to them. Dan’s portion was in the north and on the Mediterranean coast. Then land is allocated to Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, Judah and a special portion to be dedicated to the LORD and the Levites and the Zadokites. Finally, we have Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, and Gad.

My NIV Study Bible comments that since Levi was included in this list, Joseph (verse 32) represented Ephraim and Manasseh in order to keep the number at 12. Ezekiel 48:35 concludes thus:

And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.

We know that at the death of Jesus the heavy curtain in the temple was torn in two and the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE (Luke 23:44-46). We also know from Revelation chapter 21 that there is to be a New Jerusalem that will come down from heaven and God will dwell with His people once again.

My question is NOT about the omission of the tribe of Dan in Revelation chapter 7.

My question is whether there is any basis to think that the vision given to Ezekiel about Jerusalem and the 12 tribes of Israel who would be given land after their captivity ended is a prophecy about the New Jerusalem and the 12 tribes of Israel described in Revelation chapters 7 and 21.

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There are several things to note about these two passages that make them distinct rather than linked.

Ezekiel 48

  • Following the Babylonian captivity, the remnants of only two tribes returned, Judah and very small number from Benjamin plus some levites and priests from Levi. The other 10 tribes had been captured and lost 200 years earlier under Assyria
  • After the Babylonian captivity Judah never occupied the territory predicted in Eze 48 and still does not
  • The temple described in Eze was never built - Solomon's temple (or a very shabby copy thereof) was rebuilt by Zerubbabel on the temple mount. It was later beautified by Herod.
  • The land allocation of the tribes as described in Eze 48ff was never implemented

Therefore, whatever Eze 48 points to, it was not the temple following the Babylonian captivity.

Revelation 7

The list of tribes in Rev 7 is odd for several reasons:

  • The tribe of Dan is missing (it is included in Eze 48)
  • The tribe of Ephraim is missing (it is included in Eze 48)
  • The tribe of "Joseph" is included (it is missing in Eze 48)
  • The tribe of Levi is included (it is missing in Eze 48)

Thus, the list of tribes is quite different as the order of listing them. Thus, I struggle to see any connection between the two lists at all!

Further differences

The main difference between the two passages is the purpose;

  • Eze 48 describes a new temple (never built) and the arrangement of the tribal land allocation around it (never implemented)
  • Rev 7 describes a great sealing process (see Eph 1:13, 4:30 & Holy Spirit) of the 12000 from each tribe and never mentions the temple nor land allocation.

Again, I fail to see any connection between Eze 48 and Rev 7.

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Which Biblical Temple does Revelation 21-22 reference?

  1. The Temple of The-King Shlomoh (הַמֶּ֚לֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה֙) in [1 Kings 6] ? - No, since this 1st Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE.

  2. The-Temple (הַֽהֵיכָ֔ל) of Ezra (עֶזְרָא֙) in [Ezra 4] / Nechemiah (נְחֶמְיָ֖ה) in [Nehemiah 6] ? - No, since this 2nd Temple was destroyed in 70 CE.

  3. The resurrected "Temple" (ναοῦ) or Body (σώματος) of Yeshua | Ἰησοῦς (Jesus) in [John 2:21] ? - No, since this "Temple" is only the restored body of Yeshua himself.

4. The-Temple (הַֽהֵיכָ֑ל) in [Ezekiel 42-46] which YHVH the God of Yisrael (יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל) will enter through the East Gate while The-Prince (הַנָּשִׂ֗יא) eats bread and meat in front of Him? - Yes, since [Ezekiel 44-46] matches [Revelation 21-22] description of a Temple where יְהֹוָ֗ה YHVH and הַנָּשִׂ֗יא The-Prince dwell together.

Ezekiel | יְחֶזְקֵ֨אל Yechezqel 44:1-3

"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. ).

Ezekiel | יְחֶזְקֵ֨אל Yechezqel 46:1-4

[1] Thus said the Lord YHVH: The gate of the inner court which faces east shall be closed on the six working days; it shall be opened on the sabbath day and it shall be opened on the day of the new moon. ( כֹּֽה־אָמַר֮ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִה֒ שַׁ֜עַר הֶחָצֵ֤ר הַפְּנִימִית֙ הַפֹּנֶ֣ה קָדִ֔ים יִהְיֶ֣ה סָג֔וּר שֵׁ֖שֶׁת יְמֵ֣י הַֽמַּעֲשֶׂ֑ה וּבְי֤וֹם הַשַּׁבָּת֙ יִפָּתֵ֔חַ וּבְי֥וֹם הַחֹ֖דֶשׁ יִפָּתֵֽחַ )

[2] The Prince shall enter by way of the vestibule outside the gate, and shall attend at the gatepost while the priests sacrifice his burnt offering and his offering of well-being; he shall then bow low at the threshold of the gate and depart. The gate, however, shall not be closed until evening. ( וּבָ֣א הַנָּשִׂ֡יא דֶּרֶךְ֩ אוּלָ֨ם הַשַּׁ֜עַר מִח֗וּץ וְעָמַד֙ עַל־מְזוּזַ֣ת הַשַּׁ֔עַר וְעָשׂ֣וּ הַכֹּהֲנִ֗ים אֶת־עֽוֹלָתוֹ֙ וְאֶת־שְׁלָמָ֔יו וְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוָ֛ה עַל־מִפְתַּ֥ן הַשַּׁ֖עַר וְיָצָ֑א וְהַשַּׁ֥עַר לֹֽא־יִסָּגֵ֖ר עַד־הָעָֽרֶב )

[3] The common people shall worship before YHVH on sabbaths and new moons at the entrance of the same gate. ( וְהִשְׁתַּחֲו֣וּ עַם־הָאָ֗רֶץ פֶּ֚תַח הַשַּׁ֣עַר הַה֔וּא בַּשַּׁבָּת֖וֹת וּבֶחֳדָשִׁ֑ים לִפְנֵ֖י יְהוָֽה )

[4] The burnt offering which The Prince presents to YHVH on the sabbath day shall consist of six lambs without blemish and one ram without blemish ( וְהָ֣עֹלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־יַקְרִ֥ב הַנָּשִׂ֖יא לַֽיהוָ֑ה בְּי֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֗ת שִׁשָּׁ֧ה כְבָשִׂ֛ים תְּמִימִ֖ם וְאַ֥יִל תָּמִֽים )

Who is הַנָּשִׂ֗יא The-Prince?

The High Priest is a [prince], and because of his importance he will be permitted to eat the meat and bread of hallowed status in that gate, which is opened for him at the time of his eating.
[ https://www.sefaria.org/Ezekiel.44.3?with=Rashi&lang=bi ]

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