Since the Temple built after the Babylonian Captivity did not conform to Ezekiel's vision (Chapters 40-42), why is what he wrote not considered a false prophecy? Chaim Clorphene in 'The Third Temple: Who Will Build It?' states: '. . . the sages who built the Second Temple, did not completely follow [Ezekiel]'s prophetic design, for they knew that the Second Temple would eventually be destroyed, and that [Ezekiel] was prophesying about the future, eternal Temple.' Is this the answer, and what are the sources which support it?

  • Well done, thanks, there was a typo in the URL so I fixed and edited slightly
    – mbloch
    Dec 22, 2017 at 9:45
  • @mbloch--Since we (both) have improved the question by the addition of the Clorphene reference, I think it merits at least another upvote. What do you think? Apparently, the system thinks that my questions need improvement, for it has placed me under ban for six (long) months. I can't see why, since I have only four questions in the forum, and none have a negative upvote. I have attempted to improve the three with one upvote. Dec 22, 2017 at 14:25
  • 'negative upvote' should read 'negative downvote'. Dec 22, 2017 at 15:26
  • @CliffordDurousseau you have six deleted questions, most of which you deleted yourself. That's probably contributing to the auto-ban (which moderators cannot control). You should have access to at least three of them (check the "show recent deleted posts" option on your profile page); improving those so they can be undeleted should help. Dec 22, 2017 at 18:08
  • Sorry about the ban - can't help on this question as I had already upvoted ...
    – mbloch
    Dec 23, 2017 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


R Yehuda Shurpin at chabad.org writes, in a nutshell, that Ezekiel's vision applied to a Temple built after full repentance and for an everlasting redemption. However, since the Jews repentance was only partial, the redemption was only partial and the Temple wasn't built to be everlasting, e.g., it lacked critical components such as the Holy Ark.

In commanding Ezekiel to describe the dimensions of the Temple to the Jewish people, G‑d says:

You, son of man, describe the House to the House of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; let them measure its plan. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, let them know the form of the House and its scheme, its exits and its entrances, and all its forms, and all its laws and all its teachings, and write it down in their sight so that they keep the whole form thereof and the laws thereof, and do them.

The Sages in the Midrash explain that when Ezekiel heard this, he turned to G‑d and asked,

What is the point of saying this to the Jewish people if they are in exile and will not build this Temple now? Let me wait until they are redeemed and then I will tell them this prophecy.

G‑d replied: Just because my children are in exile there should be no building of My House?! [...]

As the Rambam already noted in Mishne Torah Bet Habechira 1:4

The building which Solomon built has already been described in I Kings. Similarly, the Temple which will be built in the future which is mentioned in Ezekiel, is not described clearly or completely. The people of the Second commonwealth built their Temple like Solomon's with some of the features described explicitly in Ezekiel.

See here and here for more as well as this answer on MY

  • R. Yehuda Shurpin states in the online article 'Why Haven't the Jews Built the Temple Yet?', 'It is only the third and final Temple that will be built entirely according to the prophecy of Ezekiel.' Are there any sources for this? Oct 13, 2017 at 10:39
  • I think that is how he understands the Rambam's statement "Similarly, the Temple which will be built in the future which is mentioned in Ezekiel, is not described clearly or completely."
    – mbloch
    Oct 13, 2017 at 11:36
  • @mbloch--Doesn't Jeremiah 3:16 say that in the future, 'In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the Lord, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made'? Why then do you say that the lack of the ark of the covenant was a critical component missing in the Second Temple? Dec 22, 2017 at 8:19
  • @CliffordDurousseau because the gemara in Yoma 21b says there was no ark in the second temple. The fact it will not be in the third temple either is no contradiction to this.
    – mbloch
    Dec 22, 2017 at 9:40
  • @mbloch--So why then do you say it was a critical component missing in the Second Temple and thereby disqualified it from being the eternal Temple if the Third Temple will not have it either? (I am aware of the fact that there was no ark in the Second Temple.) Dec 22, 2017 at 9:47

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