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Quote of the Week

Whenever we read apocalyptic or prophetic literature we must be aware of the fact that the biblical authors are framing things in a nationalistic (or literal) manner so that the original recipients would understand and be able to relate to God’s promises.  Furthermore, time or physical measurements in such literature are there to make a theological point, rather than a one-for-one correspondence.  Iain Duguid has captured these ideas perfectly in the following statement concerning Ezekiel’s end-time temple.

Like the account of Genesis 1-11, this cosmogony revolves around the idea of separation and order, but this is significantly a new Eden without a fall.  This is a paradise with walls, to prevent new humankind from being driven from the presence of God (as in Gen. 3), or from driving God from their midst (as in Ezek. 8-11).  Though the form may be unfamiliar to us, it is neither the nostalgic musings of a frustrated priest nor the precise notations of an inspired architect.  It is a literary piece describing in symbols drawn from temple categories, the brave new world of the future as a challenge and encouragement to God’s people in Ezekiel’s day and for us in the present (43:10-12).  (Duguid, Ezekiel, 479).

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