“But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months.” Revelation 11:2
In the end times the temple will be built for the Jewish people, not the Gentile. The out court of the temple was for the Gentiles. This may be the reason that they were not to measure the outer courtyard. This verse adds further light to the situation in that instruction is given not to measure the outer court because it is given to the Gentiles along with the holy city for a period of forty-two months. Here again is the familiar three-and-one-half-year period or half of the seven-year period predicted by Daniel the prophet (Dan. 9:27) in which Israel’s history will be consummated with Christ’s returning at its close. In Jerusalem there is going to be a division. A functioning temple, complete with the Holy Place and areas of worship where only Jewish people will be allowed to go, will be rebuilt. Outside of this area will be a place where the Gentiles/nations (unbelieving people who have no covenant relationship with God) will be allowed to worship.
God loves all people (Jew and Gentile) the same. But He can, and does, have different callings for different peoples. It is also important to note, at this point, that, in the words of Paul, not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel. And not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring (Romans 9v6-7). This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise (Jews and Gentiles who believe in Messiah) are counted as offspring. (Romans 9v8)
When the Romans conquered Jerusalem in AD 70 they destroyed the city so completely that the foundations of the old temple are not easily found. Most have long assumed that the Dome of the Rock shrine stands on the place of the old temple. But new research gives some evidence that the temple may have stood to the north where the Dome of the Rock shrine is today, and that if the temple were to be rebuilt at its old place, the Dome of the Rock shrine would be in its outer courts. If this is the case (and the research is by no means settled), then it would explain why the angel told John to leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.
We need to understand more about the temple so in the next few Bible Studies I will write about the temple.