Ezekiel 43-44 and 47 are wonderful, consoling chapters that form part of the conclusion to a carefully constructed book. As in the case of other prophetic books, Ezekiel divides into three parts: (1) prophecies against Israel in Ezekiel’s day (chs. 1-24), (2) prophecies against Israel’s enemies in Ezekiel’s day (chs. 25-32), and (3) prophecies of hope concerning Israel’s future (chs. 33-48).
Beside this, the Book of Ezekiel has wonderful symmetry that balances the oracles against the house of Jacob with the prophecies of Israel’s future. An important part of this symmetry directly relates to Ezekiel 43-44 and 47. Central to the oracles against Israel is a vision of the Temple in Jerusalem that had become corrupt and defiled and was ripe for destruction (chs. 8-11). This is balanced in the prophecies of Israel’s future with a vision of the Temple restored and sanctified (chs. 40-48). Before proceeding with a discussion of Ezekiel 43-44 and 47 which belong to the latter vision, it is appropriate that a description of the former vision be given.
The Early Oracles of Ezekiel
In 598-597 B. C. (600 B.C. Book of Mormon time), Jerusalem, which had been a vassal of Babylon, was besieged by the Babylonians because Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. During the siege, Jehoiakim died. His son, Jehoiachin reigned in his place. Three months later, the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem. Jehoiachin, along with many Jews, was exiled to Babylon. Zedekiah, son of Josiah and Jehoiachin’s uncle, was placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar.
Shortly after this, the prophet Jeremiah was shown a vision of two baskets of figs, one full of good figs and the other full of poor figs (Jer. 24). He was told that the basket of poor figs represented Zedekiah and all the Jews who remained in Jerusalem. Again, the Lord promised that because they continued in wickedness, “they [would] be consumed from off the land” (vs. 10). On the other hand, the basket of good figs represented those who had been exiled to Babylon. It seems that the Lord allowed these Jews to be exiled to protect them from the further wickedness that would bring about Jerusalem’s destruction. This he did in order to prepare a people to return to Jerusalem. Therefore, the Lord promised that he would give the exiled Jews “an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart” (vs. 7).
Ezekiel, a priest who had been among those exiled, was called of God to help the Jews undergo the change of heart that would prepare them for their eventual return. He was made “a watchman unto the house of Israel” to warn them of their wicked ways (Ezek. 3:17). A watchman was a guard or sentry who was to call out the safety of the city from the wall or gate (1 Sam. 14:16; 2 Sam. 18:24; 2 Kings 9:17; Jer. 51:12). It was hoped that if Ezekiel warned “the wicked” of the impending consequences of their wickedness, they would “turn from [their] sin, and do that which is lawful and right” (Ezek. 33:14).
Ezekiel began to receive revelations and visions mid-way between the 597 B. C. exile (see Ezek. 1:2) and the final siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 588-587 B.C. His first revelations warned of Jerusalem’s impending destruction. In 593 B.C., he dramatized the siege and destruction of Jerusalem through a series of symbolic acts (Ezek. 4-5). Then in word, he made clear that Jerusalem’s destruction was sure: “Thus saith the Lord GOD . . . Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.” (Ezek. 6:3-4). The hearts of the people of Jerusalem had turned from serving Jehovah to serving the images of the gods of the nations around them. Only through their destruction, would they know that Jehovah was their god. In language similar to that used of the people living in the days of Noah before the flood (see Gen. 6:13) the Lord said of Judah and Jerusalem: “the end is come upon the four corners of the land [of Judah]. . . for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city [of Jerusalem] is full of violence” (Ezek. 7: 2, 23). The people of Jerusalem had become like the people in the days of Noah and would therefore experience a similar fate.
The Vision of the Corrupted Temple (Ezek. 8-11)
In 592 B.C., Ezekiel was taken in vision to Jerusalem where he witnessed the extent to which wickedness had consumed the hearts of the Jews. He also witnessed that their corruption caused the “glory of the Lord,” or the light of Christ, to withdraw from the city (Ezek. 8-11). The vision commenced with Ezekiel seeing through successive stages “increasingly greater acts of apostasy.” 
At first he was taken to a gate on the northern wall of the city , where he saw an altar with “the image of jealousy” (Ezek. 8:3,5)  . Just as the northern kingdom saw an increase in the number of altars throughout the land before its destruction (Hosea 8:11; 10:1), Ezekiel witnessed the same proliferation among the Jews in Jerusalem. Next, Ezekiel was shown a secret chamber in the wall near a gate leading into the inner court directly surrounding the temple. Within the chamber he saw men practicing secret rites associated with images of “every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.” In an attempt to justify their actions, the men said, “The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth” (Ezek. 8:7-12). Instead of repenting of their actions and pleading that the Lord
Ezekiel was brought within the northern gate of the inner court immediately surrounding the temple. The inner court and the temple were designed to be the central place of Jehovah worship. But Ezekiel witnessed that Jehovah was no longer honored nor worshiped. Immediately upon his entrance into the inner court, his attention was drawn to the sound of several women sitting near where he stood, who were “weeping for Tammuz” (Ezek. 8:13-14), a Mesopotamian fertility deity, whose annual death and resurrection rites were accompanied by mourners weeping upon his death . After gazing upon this scene, the Lord told Ezekiel to focus his attention on the area between the altar and the porch of the temple, an area of great sanctity. Only the temple itself was more sacred.  In this place of holiness, Ezekiel saw twenty-five men “with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped [Heb. shachah, to bow down] the sun toward the east” (Ezek. 8:16). Whether these men were involved in pagan solar worship, such as was found in Egypt or Mesopotamia, or a form a solarized Jehovah worship as some have suggested , what it is clear is that their actions were seen by the Lord as abominable (Ezek.