It is written:
“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.” (Ezekiel 47:1)
The living water of Zechariah had specific reference to the Christian Age (the time from the death of Christ till the Second Coming).
The “living water” of Ezekiel is tied to a third temple that he describes. In Ezekiel’s day, the temple of Solomon was destroyed (586 B.C.). Therefore, we need to understand and learn what this temple is that the Prophet describes. Could he be referencing the temple that was rebuilt in the time of Haggai and Zechariah?
Or is the Prophet seeing something else altogether?
First, it is clear from the dimensions of the Temple that Ezekiel describes that he cannot be refereeing to any kind of earthly temple. Why is this the case? Notice:
“Another problem is the location of the temple. A study of chapters 45 and 48 seem to place the new temple well above the present city of Jerusalem. It is to be in the center of a section which is 25,000 reeds square or slightly more than 47 miles on each side. The totality of this sacred area appears to be above or north of the city of Jerusalem both ancient and modern….The most acute problem, however, is whether or not the sacred area of some 47 statute miles each way can be placed between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River which constitute the western and eastern boundaries of the Israel Ezekiel depicts….And since I am bound by the word, I must accept the larger dimensions, even though the land area is inadequate. The simplest method of resolving the problem is to hold that Ezekiel’s description was not intended to be taken literally, and that the impossible dimensions is proof of the idealistic nature of the chapters involved. In order that the reader may get the proper perspective of this matter, an effort will be made to describe distances involved. The northern extremity of the square area with sides of 47 miles would run east and west from about the ancient city of Dor or the lower end of the Mt. Carmel range. However, the distance from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan is only about 40 miles at this point. This would require several miles of territory on the east side of the Jordan to complete the distance Ezekiel’s figures demand. But the Jordan is given as the eastern limits of Israel’s territory in Ezekiel’s prophecy, hence we have no basis for extending the line beyond the Jordan. Then in addition to the square itself, areas east of the square and also west of the square are given for the prince or ruler. On the west a triangular portion would be formed by a line running due south from Dor, because the coast line gradually veers to the west. But on the east, any portion for the prince would extend still further beyond the Jordan which is the eastern boundary established by Ezekiel. Thus the division of land which Ezekiel describes is larger than the land area it is supposed to fit into. This is a very forceful argument for the figurative or idealistic interpretation. Surely Ezekiel is giving a clue that this should not be taken literally.” (Everett I. Carver, When Jesus Comes Again, 2986-3014 (Kindle Edition): Prestonsburg, KY; Reformation Publishers).
The Temple described by Ezekiel clearly is not a reference to any physical structure on Earth. (The dimensions here discussed make me think of “new heavens and a new earth”).
Since the Temple of Ezekiel is not a physical temple, what is it?
And what is its’ connection to living water?