Pillars, palm trees and cherubim
In this prophetic vision apparently shown to Ezekiel by the pre-incarnate Christ the details of this temple are described. Suffices to say that just as with Moses’ tabernacle and the building of the ultimate temple namely the church, everything follows a detailed plan decreed by the master builder Christ himself. The measurements, the blocks, the doors, the rooms, the walls and all they are used for follows a detailed plan. What interested me was:
Upon each post were palm trees; that is, on every post, column, or pillar, belonging to the chambers; and very probably on all the other before mentioned, Ezekiel 40:9, these posts or pillars signify either the ministers of the Gospel (see also Gal.2:9); so called for their strength, being mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 5:39 they stood firm), able ministers of the New Testament, capable of retaining and defending the truths of the Gospel, and of bearing reproach and persecution for them, and also the infirmities of weak believers; and for their stability, being steadfast and immovable in the work and cause of Christ for their usefulness, in supporting the cause and interest of the Redeemer, and the minds of weak Christians, as well as the glorious truths of the Gospel; and may with great propriety be those called to make the church the pillar and ground of truth; see Proverbs 9:1, yea, all true believers, and proper members of the churches of Christ, are pillars there, and such as shall never go out, Revelation 3:12, the word used has the signification of strength, as pillars should be strong; and such believers are, not in themselves, but in Christ, in his power and grace, and through his Spirit; whereby they can do all things, perform all duties, exercise all grace, and engage with all enemies. They are like pillars that stand firm and stable; grounded in the love of God; secured in election grace; settled in the everlasting covenant; laid on the sure foundation Christ, and established in the truths of the Gospel; so that they never go out of the heart of God, the hands of Christ, the family of the saints, or church of God. They are as pillars; some more useful to support in an external way the interest of religion, giving liberally to the maintenance of ministers, the relief of the poor, and the defraying of all necessary charges; and others to strive and contend for, and so maintain and preserve, the truths and ordinances of the Gospel; and others to comfort and confirm weak believers. Now on these posts or pillars were “palm trees” painted, two on each, one on one side, and one on the other, as appears from Ezekiel 40:26, which are also an emblem of true believers in Christ; see Psalm 92:12 comparable to them for their uprightness, Jeremiah 10:5 these looking upwards to Christ by faith, and moving heavenwards in their affections and desires, and being upright in heart and life; and for their bearing pressures, and growing the more under them, as the palm tree does. Saints have many weights on them, a body of sin and death, reproaches, afflictions, and persecution; but they bear up under all, and are not left to desert the cause, they are engaged in; yea, grow the more hereby, in numbers and grace, like the children of Israel, Exodus 1:12 the force of the palm tree is in its top or head; if that is taken away it dies: Christ is the believers’ head, from him they have their life, grace, strength, nourishment, and fruitfulness; could they be separated from him, all would be gone. The palm tree grows best in sunny places, is fruitful, an ever green, and lasts long: and such are the people of God; they grow most under the warm beams of divine love, and rays of the sun of righteousness; in the churches of Christ, where the Gospel is preached, and ordinances administered, which make their hearts burn within them; they are fruitful in grace and good works, retain their leaf of profession, and never perish. Once more, the palm tree is a token of joy and victory, and has been used on such occasions, Leviticus 23:40, and may denote the victory and joy upon it, which saints have through Christ, over sin, Satan, the world, and death. This building, which represents the New Jerusalem will like Daniel’s stone smash all other empires and fill the whole of heaven and earth.