Ezekiel’s final chapters describe a vision of a Temple of God in great detail. It does not match Solomon’s Temple (not destroyed), the second Temple, or Herod’s renovation of the second Temple. Is this description of a physical temple to be realized, or something symbolic? The existence of a Temple is a primary concern for Jews both historical and contemporary.
We believe that this prophecy of Gog will be fulfilled, but how and when it will happen is a subject of much debate. Ultimately however it will be God’s might that achieves Gog’s defeat rather than our efforts.
Ezekiel has a vision of a battle at the end times, where a horde of barbarian horsemen from many faraway nations seek to invade Israel. While striking one must be careful about speculating about specific political events through this vision.
God shows Ezekiel a vision of a valley of dry bones that symbolize Israel. He promises to raise up these bones and breathe new life into them, resurrecting the nation of Israel and foreshadowing the promise of everlasting life in Christianity.
The Lord promises to clean the Israelites from their idol worship and to return them to a culture of carefully obeying his Law. This is not a new covenant, but a new spirit of faithfulness to the original covenant. Likewise Christians have had their new covenant through Christ, but to realize the promises we must allow God to work through us to carefully carry out His work.
It sometimes appears that God’s promises are not fulfilled. But it is not because God is not faithful, but oftentimes because the people to whom he makes his promises are not faithful themselves and must be punished. However ultimately God will be more faithful than his people for the sake of his name.
The Lord turns to judge Edom, the nation from the line of Esau. Edomites have held a perpetual hatred against the Israelites, and their opportunistic attack against Israel enraged the Lord. Even though the Lord was punishing Israel, He ultimately promised this land to them, and it was not Edom’s to take, nor Edom’s right to indulge their violence and hate.
Ezekiel prophecies against the “Shepherds:” politicians, religious leaders, and teachers who do not care for their flock spiritually or physically and instead only enjoy the privileges of leadership. Christianity has many modern examples among the clergy today.