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Being told here that in the 3rd temple which he gives us detailed dimensions and floor plans for that no one of uncircumcised heart or uncircumcised flesh can enter the sanctuary.

How do christians deal with this verse?

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  • 1
    Better to end your question like: How does it reconciles with the theology of Paul, who objected circumcision?
    – Kapandaria
    Oct 24, 2022 at 18:56
  • 1
    If you are looking for a theological answer, it would be better to ask on Christianity.SE.
    – agarza
    Oct 24, 2022 at 19:37

2 Answers 2

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no one of uncircumcised heart or uncircumcised flesh can enter the sanctuary

Note that the Hebrew word translated here as "or" could instead have been translated as "and", and many translations do.

The preceding verses say:

“Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “O house of Israel, let Us have no more of all your abominations. When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it—My house—and when you offered My food, the fat and the blood, then they broke My covenant because of all your abominations. And you have not kept charge of My holy things, but you have set others to keep charge of My sanctuary for you.”
— Ezekiel 44:6–8

The complaint is about "foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh," that were unworthy and unqualified to enter into holy places.

The Hebrew scriptures use "circumcised in heart" to indicate a spiritual acceptance of God's way (as opposed to the required physical acceptance). It indicates an attitude of commitment and understanding.

Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.
— Deuteronomy 10:16

And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
— Deuteronomy 30:6

The Greek scriptures use the same expression in the same way:

but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
— Romans 2:29

True Christians are considered circumcised in the heart, and their commitment is deep and spiritual. They would not be banned (by God) from his sanctuary.

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I am not sure that there is anything in Eze 44:9 to "deal with". It is uncomplicated and non-controversial.

Eze 40-46 describes an ideal temple (never built) that is clearly highly symbolic, ie, non-literal because of several features that make it physically impossible.

  • the glory of the LORD will occupy this temple, Eze 44
  • the dimensions are not physically possible in around Jerusalem as tabulated in Eze 45
  • The waters from under the temple are also highly symbolic

Ezekiel's temple is clearly symbolic of an ideal future time when the LORD and "the Prince" shall rule the land and the world without opposition; ie, when all wickedness has been removed and only people who are "circumcised in heart" exist. Thus, Ezekiel's temple would be open to all people.

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  • You should know we have a miraculous happening that Herod who was not a great guy actually expanded the foundation large enough that now ezekiel's 3rd temple would fit. And a physical temple is open to all people. For example in succot everyone will be invited to jerusalem to bring sacrifices and enjoy being under a huge succah. Remember there is also in ezekiel prophecy of rhe messiah bringing a sin offering on behalf of himself and israel and his children also bring offerings there.
    – Ben Gad
    Oct 25, 2022 at 5:17
  • Also just one bit more i would add the messianic 3rd physical temple if already built woukd be open to all people. Just oast for example was sukkot where all the non jews around the world would of been invited to jerusalem and welcome to bring sacrifices and then sit under a huge succah afterwards.
    – Ben Gad
    Oct 26, 2022 at 12:52

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