Study Guide

Book of Ezekiel Temple Construction and the Bronze Man

Temple Construction and the Bronze Man

A huge chunk of Ezekiel is devoted to describing how the Temple, which was destroyed by the Babylonians, needs to be rebuilt. Ezekiel describes how he's beamed up to the Temple site by God and encounters this weird Bronze Guy with a measuring string who guides him around giving really, really detailed descriptions of everything that needs to be measured.

He brought me, in visions of God, to the land of Israel, and set me down upon a very high mountain, on which was a structure like a city to the south. When he brought me there, a man was there, whose appearance shone like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand; and he was standing in the gateway. The man said to me, Mortal, look closely and listen attentively, and set your mind upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you; declare all that you see to the house of Israel. (40:2-4)

These directions are obviously really important to Ezekiel and the other Judeans who will eventually come out of exile. The Temple's the only place where God can be worshipped perfectly, so the directions have to be followed down to the last cubit and calf. God's very particular about these things. The Bronze Guy with the measuring cord is evidently some sort of divine, angelic architect figure—a messenger of God sent to communicate the highly specific way God wants to be worshipped and the dangers of spending too much time in the tanning bed.

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