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Where is this & what building does it refer to 'Most Holy Place' - Ezekiel chapters 40-43 relate to this

Ezekiel 41:4 New Living Translation

The inner room of the sanctuary was 35 feet long and 35 feet wide. “This,” he told me, “is the Most Holy Place.”

Ezekiel 41:4 English Standard Version

And he measured the length of the room, twenty cubits, and its breadth, twenty cubits, across the nave. And he said to me, “This is the Most Holy Place.”

Ezekiel 40:2

In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.

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  • The 'oracle' in which the ark was placed, now without the lid (kapporeth / hilasterion) and the stone tables in full view, is an expansion of the holy of holies within the tabernacle of the wilderness. The walls have the handprints of God all over them (the palm leaves are like fingers) and the cherubim are massive, stretching across the whole expanse. It was magnificent, was Solomon's temple. And Ezekiel, yet further, yet more glorious. It is a progressive revelation, completed in the closing chapters of Revelation. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 16:24

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These chapters of Ezekiel describe his vision of the restored Temple of Jerusalem, but this vision takes place in the spiritual realm. As described, this temple was never built. Christian commentators sometimes see it as the temple in the New Jerusalem as described in the Book of Revelation. Jewish commentators and some Christians have characterized it as the "temple that will be built" sometime in the future.

The "Most Holy Place" (Hebrew קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים‎) in 41:4 refers to the inner sanctuary of the Temple of Jerusalem where only the high priest was supposed to enter. It is translated more literally as "Holy of Holies." The "Holy Place" was its outer sanctuary.

Exodus 26:33

Hang the veil from clasps. The ark of the covenant you shall bring inside, behind this veil which divides the holy place from the holy of holies.

It should be noted that the original ark of the covenant was lost during the Babylonian exile and was apparently not replaced when the Second Temple was built. Also, other sites could also referred to as a "holy place," often translated as "sacred place" to distinguish the term from "the Holy Place."

Leviticus 10:13

You must eat it in a sacred place because it is your and your sons’ due from the oblations to the Lord; such is the command I have received.

Here it refers to the courtyard of the Tabernacle. Later the area labeled "outer courtyard" in the diagram below served in the same way.

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The diagram depicts the Second Temple. Ezekiel's vision is not exactly the same, but for purposes of this topic, this should suffice. At the time of Jesus the Temple complex had been greatly enlarged with additional courtyards open to various groups of the public. More information is available at Wikipedia: Holy of Holies.

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The great problem with Ezekiels' vision of a temple is best stated by Matthew Henry:

40:1-49 The Vision of the Temple. - Here is a vision, beginning at ch. 40, and continued to the end of the book, ch. 48, which is justly looked upon to be one of the most difficult portions in all the book of God. When we despair to be satisfied as to any difficulty we meet with, let us bless God that our salvation does not depend upon it, but that things necessary are plain enough; and let us wait till God shall reveal even this unto us.

We are the scant facts that are known, which most amount to what is NOT known or what the temple is not.

  • no such temple has even been built no planned to be built
  • it is not the temple of the New Jerusalem because that city has no temple

But I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

  • Ezekiel's temple and Solomon's temple are a similar size, both being 20 cubits wide; compare Eze 41:4 and 1 Kings 2, 16, etc.
  • the layout of Ezekiel's temple grounds essentially extended over the entire land of Israel, Eze 45 & 47
  • a great river (Eze 47:1-12) with similarities to the "river of the water of life" (Rev 22;1) flows from the temple to water the land.

Again, most have no idea of the purpose of this vision and whay it was given.

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