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to the historic, plain-sense promises made to the patriarchs upon which Israel’s national

identity and destiny are based. Since Israel has a historically determinable purpose and

goal according to the Abrahamic, and Davidic covenants, the interpretation of the pro-

phet’s symbols must correspond to and inform that depiction of reality. For example, the

nature and purpose of a future temple is entirely dependent upon the viability of Israel’s

perpetual existence as a nation. Thus, apocalyptic is controlled and understood in terms

of Scripture’s plain statements about God’s intentions for His covenant nation throughout

the course of time.

The Eschatological Temple and its Animal Sacrifices. Many modern commen-

tators have objected to the concept of a restored temple cultus, complete with animal

sacrifices, since Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus Christ, by His own death, put an end to

the sacrificial system (cf. Heb 9:24–28). However, it must be countered that even those

sacrifices had no efficacy in and of themselves when it came to the guilt of sin. They

were all anticipatory of the sinless sacrifice of the human Lamb of God whom Yahweh

would provide in due time. Since Ezekiel can in no way be construed as indicating that

the whole Mosaic system will be re-instituted, it is best to understand the offerings of

chapters 42—46 as memorial sacrifices, much in the same manner that the elements of

the Lord’s Supper point to Christ’s final and effective payment for sin. But why return to

the bloody rituals of Old Testament Judaism? One reason is that Israel has yet to fulfill its

covenant mandate as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exod 19:5–6). This mosaic

sacrificial system was Israel’s prescribed method of manifesting the holiness of God and

they still need to give an adequate demonstration of that. Secondly, it must be remem-

bered that sin and death will still be operative in the millennial kingdom (which is the

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