Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Ezekiel 41:1-26. The chambers and ornaments of the Temple.
tabernacle — As in the measurement of the outer porch he had pointed to Solomon‘s temple, so here in the edifice itself, he points to the old tabernacle, which being eight boards in breadth (each one and a half cubits broad) would make in all twelve cubits, as here. On the interior it was only ten cubits.
thereof — of the holy of holies.
before the temple — that is, before, or in front of the most holy place (so “temple” is used in 1 Kings 6:3). The angel went in and measured it, while Ezekiel stood in front, in the only part of the temple accessible to him. The dimensions of the two apartments are the same as in Solomon‘s temple, since being fixed originally by God, they are regarded as finally determined.
side chamber — the singular used collectively for the plural. These chambers were appendages attached to the outside of the temple, on the west, north, and south; for on the east side, the principal entrance, there were no chambers. The narrowness of the chambers was in order that the beams could be supported without needing pillars. The plan is similar to that of the hall at Koyunjik, a large central hall, called the oracle, with smaller rooms built round it.
hold, but not hold in wall of the house — 1 Kings 6:6 tells us there were rests made in the walls of the temple for supports to the side chambers; but the temple walls did not thereby become part of this side building; they stood separate from it. “They entered,” namely, the beams of the chambers, which were three-storied and thirty in consecutive order, entered into the wall, that is, were made to lean on rests projecting from the wall.
the breadth so increased from the lowest to the highest — that is, the breadth of the interior space above was greater than that below.
foundations six cubits — the substructure, on which the foundations rested, was a full reed of six cubits.
great — literally, “to the extremity” or root, namely, of the hand [Henderson]. “To the joining,” or point, where the foundation of one chamber ceased and another began [Fairbairn].
that which was left — There was an unoccupied place within chambers that belonged to the house. The buildings in this unoccupied place, west of the temple, and so much resembling it in size, imply that no place was to be left which was to be held, as of old, not sacred. Manasseh (2 Kings 23:11) had abused these “suburbs of the temple” to keeping horses sacred to the sun. All excuse for such abominations was henceforth to be taken away, the Lord claiming every space, and filling up this also with sacred erections [Fairbairn].
the chambers — that is, of the priests in the court: between these and the side chambers was the wideness, etc. While long details are given as to the chambers, etc., no mention is made of the ark of the covenant. Fairbairn thus interprets this: In future there was to be a perfect conformity to the divine idea, such as there had not been before. The dwellings of His people should all become true sanctuaries of piety. Jehovah Himself, in the full display of the divine Shekinah, shall come in the room of the ark of the covenant (Jeremiah 3:16, Jeremiah 3:17). The interior of the temple stands empty, waiting for His entrance to fill it with His glory (Ezekiel 43:1-12). It is the same temple, but the courts of it have become different to accommodate a more numerous people. The entire compass of the temple mount has become a holy of holies (Ezekiel 43:12).
galleries — terrace buildings. On the west or back of the temple, there was a separate place occupied by buildings of the same external dimensions as the temple, that is, one hundred cubits square in the entire compass [Fairbairn].
covered — being the highest windows they were “covered” from the view below. Or else “covered with lattice-work.”
appearance of the one as the appearance of the other — The appearance of the sanctuary or holy of holies was similar to that of the temple. They differed only in magnitude.
before the Lord — the altar of incense (Ezekiel 44:16). At it, not at the table of showbread, the priests daily ministered. It stood in front of the veil, and is therefore said to be “before the Lord.” It is called a table, as being that at which the Lord will take delight in His people, as at a feast. Hence its dimensions are larger than that of old - three cubits high, two broad, instead of two and one.
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