Ezekiel 40:3
And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass…

It strikes the reader of this prophetic book as strange that several chapters towards its close should be chiefly occupied with measurements of the temple which Ezekiel saw in his vision. The reed and the line seem at first sight to have little to do with a prophetic vision. Especially does this seem the case when it is perceived to how large an extent these measurements are a repetition of those found in earlier books of the Scriptures. But reflection will show us that measurements such as are here described may suggest thoughts very helpful to the devout, religious mind.

I. MEASUREMENTS ARE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO THE EXPLANATION OF PROPORTION ORDER, AND BEAUTY. It is well known to students of science that mathematical relations are found to exist where an ordinary observer would little expect to find them. When they come to ask whether explanation can be given of such differences as those which obtain between different colors and different sounds, they are led to investigations which show that regular variations in the number of vibrations in a second, whether of the ether or of the atmosphere, account for the differences in question. When they come to ask why the heavenly bodies fulfill their regular movements and preserve their beautiful harmony, they are led to investigations which issue in the discovery that mathematical laws govern - as the phrase is - the movements which excite our wonder and admiration. These are but familiar illustrations of a principle which is recognized throughout the material universe. If we may use such language with reverence, we may say that the cosmos is evidently the work of a great Mathematician, Measurer, and Mechanic. When we turn from the works of nature to works of art, we are confronted by the same principle. If a building, whether a temple or a palace, be erected, it is constructed upon principles which involve numerical relations and measurements. The sculptor measures his proportions in trunk and head and limb; the poet measures the feet in his verse. Wherever we find order and beauty, we have but to look below the surface, and we shall discover numbers and measurements.

II. MEASUREMENTS ARE EVIDENCES OF MIND. There are different grades of intelligence, and this is nowhere more obvious than in the varying degrees in which human workmanship is regulated by mathematical principles. The rudest wigwam is a proof of design and of adaptation, of the possession by the builder of some powers of space-measurement. But a complicated machine, such as a watch or a steam-engine, bears unmistakable evidence of mathematical as well as of manipulative ability. If a temple be constructed, of vast size, of harmonious proportions, of symmetry, containing many parts all bound into an organic unity, it speaks to every beholder of a mind - a mind capable and cultured, a mind patient and comprehensive. To those who believe in the existence of God, the material universe is full of evidences of his unequalled and supreme intellect; the measurements of the scientific observer are sufficient to establish this conviction. The universe is God's temple, and all its lines are laid down, all its parts are coordinated, in such a manner as to evince what, in human language, we may term measurements the most complete and the most exact. To the deeply reflecting mind, the existence of the spiritual temple is even more eloquent concerning the attributes and especially the comprehensive and foreseeing wisdom of the Eternal.

III. MATERIAL MEASUREMENTS ARE PROPERLY SYMBOLICAL OF THE SPIRITUAL. A reflecting reader of these chapters will hardly rest in any conclusions regarding a structure of stone, of timber, of precious metal. Whatever may be his canon of interpretation, whether he adopts the literal or the figurative principle, whether or not he looks for a material temple still to be reared upon the soil of Palestine, - certain it is that for him the material and perishable constructions of human skill and labor are chiefly interesting as the embodiment of thought and the suggestion of eternal realities. The universe is God's temple; the body of Christ was God's temple; the Church is the chosen and sacred temple of the Eternal and Supreme. The thoughts of those who meditate upon these remarkable chapters of Ezekiel will be sadly misdirected if they do not ascend to him who is both the Architect of the sanctuary and the one supreme Deity to whom is directed all the sacrifice and all the worship presented within its hallowed precincts. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.

WEB: He brought me there; and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.

Divine Measurement
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