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Ezekiel 39:25–40:49 (LEB)

25 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob, and I will have compassion on all of the house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 And they will forget their disgrace and all of their infidelity that they displayed against me when they dwelt on their soil in safety with nobody making them afraid. 27 When I restore them from the nations and I gather them from the countries of their enemies, then I will show myself holy through them before the eyes of many nations. 28 And they will know that I am Yahweh their God, because of when I deported them into the nations, and I reassembled them to their soil, and I will not let any of them remain there any longer. 29 And I will not hide my face again from them when I pour out my Spirit over the house of Israel,” declares the Lord Yahweh.

A Vision of the New Temple

40 In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was destroyed, in this day exactly, the hand of Yahweh was on me, and he brought me there in visions from God. He brought me to the land of Israel and put me on a very high mountain, and on it was something like a structure of a city to the south. And he brought me there, and look, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, and a cord of linen was in his hand and a reed for measurement; he was standing in the gate. And the man spoke to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and listen with your ears and apply your heart to all that I am showing you, for you were brought here in order to show you this; tell all that you are seeing to the house of Israel.”

The Eastern Gate

And there was a wall on the outside of the temple all the way around it, and in the hand of the man the reed for measurement was six long cubits, according to the cubit and a handbreadth, and he measured the width of the outer wall as one reed, and the height as one reed. And then he went toward the gate whose face was to the east. And he went up by its steps, and he measured the threshold of the gate, one reed wide. And the alcove was one reed long and one reed wide, and between the alcoves was five cubits, and the threshold of the gate along the side of the portico of the gate on the inside was one reed. And then he measured the portico of the gate on the inside as one reed. And he measured the portico of the gate as eight cubits, and its pilaster was two cubits thick, and he measured the portico of the gate on the inside. 10 And the alcoves of the gate toward the way eastward were three on each side; the same measurements applied to all three of them; and the same measurement applied to the pilaster on each side. 11 And he measured the width of the doorway of the gate as ten cubits and the length of the gateway was thirteen cubits. 12 And a wall was before the alcoves; one cubit on either side was the wall from here. And the alcove was six cubits on each side. 13 And he measured the gate from the top slab of the alcove to its opposite top slab as twenty-five cubits in width, from one entrance to the other one opposite it. 14 And he made the pilasters sixty cubits, and to the pilaster of the courtyard all the way around the gate. 15 And from the front of the gate at the entrance to the front of the portico of the inner gate was fifty cubits. 16 And there were narrow windows for the alcoves and for their pilasters to the inside of the gate all the way around it. And likewise with respect to the porticos and windows were all the way around to the inside, and on a pilaster there were images of palm trees.

The Outer Courtyard

17 And he brought me to the outer courtyard, and there were chambers and a pavement made for the courtyard all around it, and thirty chambers were facing to the pavement. 18 And the pavement flanked the side of the gates and all along the gates; this describes the lower pavement. 19 And he measured the width from the front of the lower gate to the front of the outside of the inner courtyard as a hundred cubits to the east and to the north.

Measurement of the North Gate

20 And as for the gate that had its face toward the north of the outer courtyard, he measured its length and its width. 21 And its alcoves were three on each side, and its pilasters and its porticos had the same measurement as the first gate: its length was fifty cubits, and its width was twenty-five cubits. 22 And its windows and its porticos and its palm tree images were like the measurement of the gate that was facing toward the east; and it had seven steps that go up it, and there were porticos before them. 23 And a gate led to the inner courtyard, opposite the gate to the north and to the east, and he measured from gate to gate as a hundred cubits.

The Gate to the South

24 And then he took me toward the south, and look, a gate toward the south, and he measured its pilasters and its porticos; they had measurements just like the others. 25 And there were for it windows and for its porticos all the way around it like these windows; fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide. 26 And seven steps were going up to it and its porticos before them. And it had palm tree images all along its pilasters. 27 And there was to the way of the south a gate for the inner courtyard, and he measured from gate to the gate on the way of the south, a hundred cubits.

Gates to the Inner Courtyard

28 And he brought me to the inner courtyard through the gate of the south, and he measured the south gate, and it had measurements like the others. 29 And its alcoves and its pilasters and its porticos were just like these measurements. And it had windows for it and for its porticos all the way around, fifty cubits along its length, and twenty-five cubits wide. 30 And there were porticos all the way around its length, twenty-five cubits; and its width was five cubits. 31 And its porticos were to the outer courtyard, and palm tree images were on its pilasters, and eight steps were for its stairs.

32 And he brought me to the inner courtyard by way of the east gate, and he measured the gate as just like the other measurements. 33 And its alcoves and its pilasters and its porticos were also like these measurements, and windows were for it and for its porticos all around; its length was fifty cubits, and it was twenty-five cubits wide. 34 And its porticos were toward the outer courtyard, and palm tree images were on its pilasters one each side, and eight steps served as it stairs.

35 And he brought me to the gate of the north, and he measured it; and he measured the same measurements as these others, 36 its alcoves, its pilasters and porticos, and its windows all the way around, and a length of fifty cubits and twenty-five cubits wide. 37 And its pilasters faced the outer courtyard, and it had palm tree images on its pilasters on each side; and eight steps served as its stairs.

Rooms for Sacrificial Preparations

38 And a chamber with its doorway was in the pilasters at the gates, and there they rinsed off the burnt offering. 39 And in the portico of the gate were two tables on each side to slaughter the burnt offering on them and the sin offering and the guilt offering. 40 And on the outer side as one goes up to the doorway of the gate to the north were two tables, and on the other side, which is toward the portico of the gate, were two tables. 41 On each side of the gate were four tables, eight tables in all, and on them they slaughtered sacrifices. 42 And four tables were for the burnt offering, and made of dressed stones, one cubit and a half long and one cubit and a half wide and one cubit high was their measurements, and they placed the objects with which they slaughtered the burnt offering on them and the sacrifice. 43 And there were double-pronged hooks, one handbreadth in width, put in place in the house all around, and on the tables was the flesh of the offering.

Rooms for Priests and Other Worship Leaders

44 And on the outside of the inner gate, there were chambers for singers in the inner courtyard, which was to the side of the north gate, and their faces were to the south with respect to one, and on the side of the east gate one facing to the north. 45 And he said to me, “This chamber with its face toward the south is for the priests who are taking care of the responsibility of the temple. 46 And the chamber with its face to the north is for the priests who are taking care of the responsibility of the altar. They are the descendants of Zadok, the ones who approach from among the descendants of Levi to Yahweh to serve him.”

Inner Courtyard and Temple Measurements

47 And he measured the courtyard as to its length, a hundred cubits, and a hundred cubits wide, squared, and the altar is in front of the temple. 48 And he brought me to the portico of the temple, and he measured the pilaster of the portico, five cubits on each side, and the width of the gate was three cubits on each side. 49 The length of the portico was twenty cubits and its width eleven cubits, and with ten steps they went up to it, and the pilasters had pillars, one on each side.

Revelation 19:11–20:6 (LEB)

The Warrior on the White Horse

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and the one seated on it was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice he judges and makes war. 12 Now his eyes were a flame of fire, and on his head were many royal headbands having a name written that no one except he himself knows. 13 And he was dressed in an outer garment dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. 14 And the armies that are in heaven, dressed in clean, white fine linen, were following him on white horses. 15 And out of his mouth came a sharp sword, so that with it he could strike the nations. And he will shepherd them with an iron rod, and he stomps the winepress of the wine of the furious wrath of God, the All-Powerful. 16 And he has a name written on his outer garment and on his thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

17 And I saw one angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly directly overhead,

“Come! Assemble for the great banquet of God,

18 in order that you may eat the flesh of kings,

and the flesh of military tribunes,

and the flesh of the powerful,

and the flesh of horses and those seated on them,

and the flesh of all people,

both free and slave,

and small and great!”

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war with the one who is seated on the horse and with his army. 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs before him, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped his image. The two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. 21 And the rest were killed by the sword of the one who is seated on the horse—the sword that comes out of his mouth—and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

Satan Bound for a Thousand Years

20 And I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he seized the dragon—the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan—and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it above him, in order that he could not deceive the nations again until the thousand years are completed. After these things it is necessary for him to be released for a short time.

And I saw thrones, and they sat down on them, and authority to judge was granted to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and did not receive the mark on their​ forehead and on their hand, and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection. Over this person the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years.

Job 38:25–33 (LEB)

25 “Who has cut open a channel for the torrents

and a way for the thunder bolts,

26 to bring rain on a land where no one lives,

a desert where no humans live,

27 to satisfy desert and wasteland,

and to cause the ground to put forth the rising of grass?

28 Is there a father for the rain,

or who fathered the drops of dew?

29 From whose womb did the ice come forth,

and who fathered the frost of heaven?

30 Like stone the waters become hard,

and the faces of the deep freeze.

31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,

or can you loosen the cords of Orion?

32 Can you lead forth the southern constellations at their appointed time,

or can you lead the Bear with its children?

33 Do you know heaven’s statutes,

or can you establish their rule on the earth?

October 20

“It has been granted to her that she be dressed in bright, clean fine linen” (Rev 19:8), announces a voice from heaven in John’s revelation. The voice describes the bride who waits in anticipation—representing the believers who wait in expectation of being reunited with Christ.

The text contrasts the fine linen of the bride with the purple and scarlet cloth of the harlot, Babylon, who represents all that oppose God’s reign (Rev 18:16). The harlot receives criticism for her infidelity: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.… For all the nations have drunk from the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich from the power of her sensuality” (Rev 18:2–3).

But the cry goes out in and among Babylon: “Come out from her, my people” (Rev 18:4). The bride, who is preparing herself for the wedding celebration of the Lamb (Rev 19:7), responds to the call to remain pure—to avoid the temptations of the age. She is given the opportunity to dress herself in bright, clean fine linen, representing “the righteous deeds of the saints” (Rev 19:8). These deeds do not earn the bride her righteous standing before the Lamb, but they speak of a life that is transformed.

In Revelation, John uses this imagery to entreat the early believers to live righteously while awaiting the hope promised them. Christ has won the victory for us—the final conquering of sin and evil is imminent. We are empowered to live for Him now, to prepare ourselves for the day when we will have our reward: His presence.

How does your expectation of Christ’s coming help you live for Him now?

Rebecca Van Noord is editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine. She has developed content for several Bible reference products, including Lexham Bible Dictionary and Faithlife Study Bible.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord

Publisher: Lexham Press

Publication Date: 2012

This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.