Question of the week: How do you understand Ezekiel’s vision(s) in the last eight chapters of the book of Ezekiel?
My answer: I am sorry to disappoint you, but I do not have the last eight chapters of Ezekiel figured out. I do not even have what I would consider a reasonable hypothesis. It seems to me that Ezekiel here may be referring to three different temples where one or more may be symbolic or figurative. The relative timing of these different temples, if they are literal temples, seems quite mysterious in light of the rest of prophetic Scripture.
I look at Ezekiel 40–48 as I do parts of God’s book of nature. There is much in science that is beyond my knowledge, comprehension, and understanding and no matter how much I learn and comprehend about God’s book of nature, there will always be components that are beyond my understanding, parts that will be mysterious. I see God’s book of Scripture similarly as a revelation that we humans will never be able to completely understand.
This recognition that I never, at least in this life, will fully comprehend God’s two books does not make me depressed. Quite the opposite. It thrills me to recognize that the joy of discovery and solving puzzles in God’s two books will never end.