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The temple and its outbuilding 40:48-41:26
It is interesting to compare this temple with the one that Solomon built (1 Kings 6-7). There are similarities but also significant differences.
Beyond the vestibule was the nave, the holy place. It had a doorway 6 cubits (10 feet) deep and 10 cubits (16 feet 8 inches) wide. The projecting wall on either side of this entrance, which also formed part of the wall of the vestibule and the holy place, projected inward 5 cubits (8 feet 4 inches) from the side walls of the main temple structure. The holy place was 40 cubits (66 feet 8 inches) deep and 20 cubits (33 feet 4 inches) wide.
The holy place and the most holy place 41:1-4
In his vision Ezekiel’s guide then went into the most holy place and measured the doorway leading into it from the holy place. This doorway was two cubits (3 feet 4 inches) deep and six cubits (10 feet) wide. The projecting wall on either side of this entrance, which also formed part of the wall of the holy place and the most holy place, projected inward seven cubits (11 feet 8 inches) from the side walls of the main temple structure. The most holy place was 20 cubits (33 feet 4 inches) square.
The effect of the progressively narrower doorways, from 14 cubits (23 feet 4 inches, Ezekiel 40:48) to 10 cubits (16 feet 8 inches, Ezekiel 41:2) to six cubits (10 feet, Ezekiel 41:3), focused the worshipper’s eyes on the most holy place, the center of worship, and communicated increasing restriction, controlled access.
Ezekiel’s guide seldom spoke to him, but when he did he always said something important. Here he identified the most holy place (Ezekiel 41:4; cf. Ezekiel 41:22; Ezekiel 40:4; Ezekiel 40:45; Ezekiel 42:13; Ezekiel 43:18; Ezekiel 46:20; Ezekiel 46:24; Ezekiel 47:8). Evidently Ezekiel, who was a priest, did not enter the most holy place in this vision.
The wall enclosing the vestibule, holy place, and most holy place was six cubits (10 feet) thick. Rooms five cubits (8 feet 4 inches) deep surrounded this wall on all sides except the east. There were three stories of these rooms, 30 rooms on each level, for a total of 90 rooms. There was another wall on the outside of these rooms that bore their weight so the inner wall of the temple did not carry it. The purpose of these rooms was not revealed, but they may be for worship, fellowship, or storage.
The side rooms of the temple 41:5-11
The rooms on the upper floor were the largest, presumably because not as much space was required for a hallway and stairs. The rooms on the second floor were not as large because more space was needed for the hallway and stairs, and the rooms on the first floor were the smallest for the same reason.
The side rooms stood on the same foundation as the rest of the temple, which was six cubits (10 feet) above the level of the surrounding courtyard.
The exterior wall of the side rooms was five cubits (8 feet 4 inches) thick, and there was 20 cubits (33 feet 4 inches) of open space between these walls and any other structures surrounding the temple proper. Other structures could not intrude on the holy space surrounding the temple.
Ezekiel saw a doorway in this exterior wall on the north and south sides that allowed access into the side rooms. There was a five-cubit-wide (8 feet 4 inches) walkway all around the exterior wall of the temple except on the west side (cf. Ezekiel 41:13). This walkway was on the same level as the top of the foundation of the temple.
The temple outbuilding 41:12
Another large building stood to the west of the temple proper 20 cubits (33 feet 4 inches) from its west wall. It was 70 cubits (116 feet 8 inches) deep and 90 cubits (150 feet) wide with walls five cubits (8 feet 4 inches) thick. Its function is unknown.
Ezekiel’s guide next measured the outside walls of the main temple structure. Each was 100 cubits (166 feet 8 inches) from front to back. The distance from the back of the main temple structure to the back of the building behind the temple, including an open space of 20 cubits (33 feet 4 inches) that separated the two structures, was also 100 cubits (166 feet 8 inches). The inner court in front of the temple proper was also 100 cubits (166 feet 8 inches) square.
The measurements of the buildings and open spaces 41:13-15
The outside width of the building behind the temple proper measured 100 cubits (166 feet 8 inches), including a colonnade on each of its sides. The man also measured the temple’s holy place and the vestibule and porch that faced the inner courtyard.
The whole interior of the temple structure, including the side rooms, was paneled with wood. Solomon’s temple was also paneled with wood but then overlaid with gold. The wood was carved with alternating cherubs and palm trees. Each cherub had two faces, the face of a man and the face of a lion, one looking left and the other right (cf. Ezekiel 1:5-25; Ezekiel 10:9-17). Cherubim (the Hebrew plural of "cherub") elsewhere in Scripture guarded the holiness of God (cf. Genesis 3:22-24; Exodus 25:18-22; Exodus 26:31).
"In these figures aspirations of life and prosperity (palm) and security (cherubim) coalesce. In Israelite thought, the divine resident of this house was the source of both." [Note: Block, The Book . . . 48, p. 558.]
The interior furnishings of the temple 41:16-26
The doorposts between the vestibule and the holy place were square and identical. The altar in the holy place was completely wooden and was three cubits (5 feet) high and two cubits (3 feet 4 inches) square. It stood before the Lord’s presence there. Its function is also obscure, but it may correspond to the altar of incense or the table of showbread in Israel’s earlier tabernacle and temples. If so, it has some connection with prayer and or remembrance.
The doors leading into the holy place and the most holy place were double doors, hinged with two leaves for each door. These doors were also carved with cherubs and palm trees. The floor of the vestibule of the temple was also covered with wood. The vestibule also had latticed windows and representations of palm trees on its side walls. This temple will be very beautiful.
"This building was decorated in a manner befitting its role as the symbolic earthly house of the one who is ’altogether lovely.’" [Note: Stuart, p. 380.]
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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ezekiel 41". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19