The temple detailed in prophecy by Ezekiel chapters 40-48 is very specific in detail. Does anybody have any theological evidence or would like to apply a reasoned assertion that it may ever be fulfilled in the Physical Form detailed?

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    Your title asks if it's an unfulfillable prophecy, your question asks if it's an unfulfilled prophecy. These are entirely different. Which do you mean? – Flimzy Jan 22 '15 at 19:52
  • This question contains too much opinion to be answered well on this site, and it does not fit into one of the Types of questions that are within community guidelines If possible, edit this question so that it better fits into one of those question types. – 3961 Jan 22 '15 at 20:46
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    If you asked for an "overview" of the different Christian views on the subject, I think it would be acceptable. – MR. TOODLE-OO'D Jan 22 '15 at 21:02
  • Perhaps I should have suggested it be moved to the BH site. NicPhillips seems to be looking for a hermeneutical approach. – Dick Harfield Jan 23 '15 at 4:20

Throughout the Book of Ezekiel, the theme often changes dramatically from chapter to chapter, returning in a later chapter to a previous theme, with some of the symbolism being obscure and some of it extremely offensive to modern readers. However, the earlier chapters are essentially a condemnation of Israel and Judah for worshipping other gods. Then, Ezekiel gradually changes to themes of hope and comfort. The Book of Ezekiel is notable for the careful way in which the author regularly tells us the exact date on which he receives his visions. Thus we know that Ezekiel is prophesying after the destruction of Jerusalem and the first temple.

Chapter 37 is notable for the promise that Israel (Ephraim) and Judah will soon be reunited as one nation upon the land, and never again divided into two kingdoms. David (his descendants) shall be their king (37:24-25). The Jews could hold onto these prophecies in their long period of exile, even if they never came true after the Return from the Exile.

Chapter 38 tells of an apocalyptic invasion of the now united and prosperous land of Israel by the legendary Gog of Magog. When Gog invades Israel, the fury of God shall be aroused against him (38:18). Yet this invasion from the north will be instigated by God himself, so that all the nations will know him (38:14-16). Having led the armies of Gog against Israel, God will then ensure their total defeat, such that it will take all the people of the land seven months to bury their carcasses (39:11-12). This is another prophecy that never came true, but it was probably the kind of heroic epic the Jewish exiles wanted to hear.

The book ends, in chapters 40-48 with the promise of a new Israel, a new Jerusalem and a new temple. Measurements are carefully taken so that the new temple will be on the same grand scale as the old one. Chapter 43:7:

"The voice said to me: Son of man, this is where my throne shall be, this is where I will set the soles of my feet; here I will dwell among the Israelites forever. Never again shall they and their kings profane my holy name with their harlotries and with their high places."

Ezekiel's temple was built, just as he prophesied, although perhaps not to his exact plan.

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    What do you mean it was "rebuilt"? There was never a physical structure that matched the floorplan of Ezekiel's temple... ever. If you mean it's allegorical, that could be a lot clearer. If you mean the Second Temple matched Ezekiel's description, then it's not correct. – MR. TOODLE-OO'D Jan 22 '15 at 20:55
  • @Mr.Bultitude Thank you. I concede your expertise on this and have adjusted accordingly. Of course, Ezekiel was not prophesying in the sense we use today, just giving his people hope. – Dick Harfield Jan 23 '15 at 4:17
  • This is another prophecy that never came true, but it was probably the kind of heroic epic the Jewish exiles wanted to hear. It hasn't happened yet, the way you word it makes it sounds like it never will. It will, same battle described in Joel Chapter 2 and Revelation. – prospector Jan 23 '15 at 6:30
  • @DickHarfield "Ezekiel was not prophesying in the sense we use today, just giving his people hope." Can you find a reference to support this? I'm aware of three main views on the prophecy within Christendom: 1) it will be fulfilled symbolically; 2) it has been/is being fulfilled symbolically; 3) it will be fulfilled literally. I've never heard the view you're referring to. – MR. TOODLE-OO'D Jan 23 '15 at 17:26