What Does the Bible Say About..? Logo

What Does the Bible Say About..The Length of a Reed?

I have been reading Ezekiel a lot lately, and just got to Chapter 48. The measurements in Ezekiel 48, are all in "reeds." I note in your article (re: New Jerusalem) that you seem to equate furlongs with reeds, but what would a reed be in modern inch/foot/mile measurement? I'd like to get a good visual on the space being formed by the instructions in Ezekiel 48.


In my answer on the New Jerusalem I did once use furlongs, taking the King James Version account. The Greek word was “stadia,” which are about 600 feet long (a furlong is 660 feet). That was not a measurement of a reed, however, which is much shorter.

Ezekiel 40:5 defines the reed used in the Ezekiel passages. It says that one reed was “six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth.” Since a cubit is roughly 18 inches, a cubit and a hand breadth would be 22 inches. Six of such cubits would make the reed exactly 11 feet long. By doing a web search on the words “Ezekiel temple” I found several sites with maps or models of some peoples’ conceptions of the temple.

Since the temple shown to Ezekiel was not the actual temple that was built upon the Jews’ return to Jerusalem, it was possibly a reference to the church on earth, much as the New Jerusalem probably is. Since every indication from scripture is that when Jesus comes again it will be for the final judgement, there is not likely to be another temple built in Jerusalem on the scale of Ezekiel’s temple.