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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

Ezekiel 40

Verse 1

(1) In the five and twentieth year.—It is the habit of Ezekiel in giving the year to make no mention of the era from which it was reckoned; but in a few important passages (Ezekiel 1:2; Ezekiel 12:21, and here) it is described as “of our captivity.” This vision was seen “in the beginning of the year.” The Jews always reckoned the month Abib, or Nisan, in which the Passover was celebrated, as the beginning of the year, according to the command given in Exodus 12:1, and the “tenth day” of that month was the day in which the preparations for the Passover began, and hence a most appropriate season for this vision of the Church of the future. Others consider that this was a Jubile year (for which there is no evidence); and since the Jubile began at the great fast of the Atonement, on the tenth day of the seventh month, it is thought that this is the day here intended. At a much later time the Jews sometimes reckoned the years from the Jubile, but there is nothing to show that this custom began so early. In either case the text distinctly says that it was fourteen years after the destruction of Jerusalem; a substantial period had, therefore, elapsed in which this great judgment would have produced its effect upon the minds of the exiles; there was thus now occasion for bringing before them the brighter hopes of the future.

Verse 2

(2) In the visions of God.—This expression presupposes that what follows is an ideal description rather than an account of anything that ever had or ever should have a literal existence. The same expression has been used in the same sense in regard to Ezekiel 1-3, and again Ezekiel 8-11. It always refers, not to an actual image of existing things, but to a symbolic representation of their substance.

Upon a very high mountain.—Comp. Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1. This cannot apply literally to the hill of Moriah, surrounded by greater heights, but is frequently used to mark the spiritual importance of the Temple site. (Comp. Ezekiel 17:22-26.17.23; also Revelation 21:10.)

By which.—The margin is more accurate, upon which. This proposition and the one just before translated upon are different in the original, but upon is the proper sense of this one, while the former has the meaning of unto. The structure which the prophet sees is upon the mountain, and is not the city, but in size and with walls, &c., “as the frame of a city;” in fact, it was the greatly enlarged Temple, as the whole following description snows.

On the south.—The prophet, although transported only in vision, has in mind the usual way of entering Palestine from Chaldæa, viz., at the north. Hence he sees the Temple “on the south.”

Verse 3

(3) A line of flax . . . a measuring reed.—The former for the longer, the latter for the shorter measures, a characteristic definiteness in details.

Verse 5

(5) By the cubit and an hand breadth.—The sense will be more clearly conveyed by reading, “each being a cubit and a hand-breadth,” i.e., each of the six cubits which made up the reed was an ordinary cubit and a hand-breadth more. It is difficult or impossible to fix with precision the length of the cubit of Scripture, more especially as the value of the measure appears to have changed in the course of ages. In 2 Chronicles 3:3 the measurements of Solomon’s Temple are given “by cubits after the first [or ancient] measure.” It appears, therefore, that the cubit in common use at the time of the compilation of that book (after the return from the captivity) was different from the standard Mosaic cubit. Ezekiel evidently intends to use the latter in his Temple measurements, and therefore adds “an hand breadth” to the common cubit. Different writers vary in their estimate of the length of the measure thus obtained from eighteen to twenty-four inches. By considering it twenty inches we shall have a convenient number for use, and cannot be far wrong. The “reed of six cubits” was therefore about ten feet long.

The breadth of the building—i.e., the thickness of the wall surrounding the court. The length of this wall is not given until Ezekiel 40:47. The thickness and height are made equal, evidently for the sake of the symmetry of the measures. (Comp. Revelation 21:16.)

Verses 6-16

Ezekiel 40:6-26.40.16 contain a description of the eastern gate, or rather, gate-building of the Temple, by which one entered from the precincts into the outer court. The other gates were like it, but this is described first, because it had the pre-eminence. It looked straight to the door of the Temple itself; it was by this that the glory of the Lord was afterwards seen to enter His house (Ezekiel 43:1); and in consequence this gate was to be kept shut, except for the prince (Ezekiel 44:2-26.44.3). The accompanying plan may be a help in understanding the description. Notwithstanding the minuteness of detail in the text, a few points remain undetermined; but the plan represents the main features correctly, and gives the most probable view of the parts that are not entirely settled.

Click image for full-size version

(6) The stairs.—These steps to the porch were seven in number (Ezekiel 40:22; Ezekiel 40:26) for the north and south gates, and therefore probably also for this. They were entirely outside of the threshold, and hence are not reckoned in the dimensions of the gate-building. (See plan, A.)

One reed broad.—That is, from east to west (see plan, T). This was just the thickness of the enclosing wall, w (Ezekiel 40:5). The text of this verse becomes clearer by omitting the words in italics which are not in the original; also throughout the description it is better to omit the inserted words was and were, since the various things mentioned are all dependent upon measured.

The other threshold.—This is the threshold at the opposite, or inner end of the gate-building (T′). It is mentioned here to bring out the fact that the two were alike, but is spoken of again in its place in Ezekiel 40:7.

(7) Little chamber.—Rather, guard-chamber, and so throughout this passage. The original word is quite different from that translated “chamber” in Ezekiel 40:17, and is used in 1 Kings 14:28; 2 Chronicles 12:11 in the sense of guard-chamber. These rooms were only ten feet square, but there were three of them (Ezekiel 40:10) on each side of the entrance-way. They were for sentries who were to guard against the entrance of any improper person or thing (see plan, G). These guard-rooms were separated by spaces (s) one cubit narrower than themselves, which probably formed a part of the solid wall, and the ward-rooms were therefore in reality large niches in the wall.

(8) The porch of the gate within.—The same expression as in the previous verse, and indicates a porch or vestibule to the gateway on the inner or Temple side. Its width from east to west was the same as that of the guard-rooms, added to the thickness of the porch-walls, and was probably equal also to the space occupied by the steps leading to the other end of the gateway (P).

(9) Eight cubits.—This is often considered the measurement of the porch from north to south. A more probable suggestion is that this is the same measurement as in Ezekiel 40:8, but is now the external instead of the internal length. In this case the porch must be considered as built independently of the gateway proper, and having short return walls on the east and west of a cubit each. In this way the whole length of the gateway (including the porch and its “posts “), as given in Ezekiel 40:15, exactly agrees with the details. It is accordingly so drawn on the plan.

(10) The posts.—This verse gives the further information about the guard-chambers of Ezekiel 40:7, that they were all alike, and also about the “posts” of Ezekiel 40:9, that they were alike (see plan, c). The supposition, therefore, that there was a colonnade inside the gateway is quite uncalled for. Such an arrangement would have seriously obstructed the passage-way, and is hardly supposable in view of the height of the columns mentioned in Ezekiel 40:14.

(11) The breadth of the entry of the gate.—This is the measurement of the clear space between the sides of the gate, and, according to the length of the cubit adopted, was 16½ feet.

The length of the gate, thirteen cubits.—This is a difficult expression, and has been variously explained. It is now generally understood of that part of the gateway which was roofed over, including the threshold of six cubits, and the first pair of guard-chambers of six cubits more, together with one cubit of the space or wall between these guard-chambers and the next. The reason for extending it over this last cubit was doubtless that the width was otherwise too great (10 cubits + 6 × 2 = 22) to span with the roof without support. It was therefore necessary to carry it one cubit further. In the plan the part supposed to be thus roofed is marked by lines (RR). Whether there was a corresponding roofing at the other end of the gateway does not appear, but that some at least of the guard-chambers were roofed is certain from Ezekiel 40:13.

(12) The space.—The guard-chambers themselves were just six cubits square (Ezekiel 40:7), but in front of each was a space (a) of one cubit projecting into the passage way. This must have been separated by some sort of railing from the passage-way itself, although there is no mention of this. The object of this space was evidently to allow the guard to command a view of the passage-way, as they could not have done if kept behind the line of its walls.

(13) From the roof . . . . to the roof.—This is a measurement across the gateway from north to south. The passage-way was ten cubits, each guard- chamber six, and an allowance of a cubit and a half for the outer wall will exactly make up the sum of “five and twenty cubits” (10 + 2 × (6 + 1½) = 25).

Door against door.—The immediate object of this clause is to mark the direction in which the above measurement was taken; but besides this, it shows that there were doors to the guard-rooms. These doors were presumably in the outer wall to allow the watch. men free passage between the court and their posts of duty. There is no mention of an inner wall between these chambers and the passage-way, and it is more probable that there was none. If any existed its thickness must be deducted from that given above for the outer wall.

(14) He made also posts of threescore cubits.—The word “made” instead of measure correctly represents the original, and the change is for the obvious reason that columns of the height mentioned could not be directly measured by the reed. Made is therefore used in the sense of determined or fixed, although we are not told by what method of calculation.

The height of these columns, sixty cubits, though only half that given in 2 Chronicles 3:4 as the height of the porch of Solomon’s Temple, is sufficient to remind us of the Egyptian custom of placing obelisks before the doors of their temples. The height is also very great in proportion to the size of the columns, which were but two cubits square (Ezekiel 40:9). Probably the columns were engaged with the wall as far as the height of the porch, as the original word for “posts” seems to indicate, and as the dimensions of the gateway suggest. Thus buttressed the size would be sufficient for stability. It is to be remembered, however, that as in the case of the wheels in Ezekiel 1:16-26.1.17, we are here studying only a vision, not an actual structure.

Even unto the post of the court round about the gate.—This is scarcely intelligible, and even the original is obscure: lit., “And unto the post the court the gate round about;” and the proper translation seems to be, “the court (extended) to the column and (was) round about the gate.” The object is to show that the court reached quite to the gate-building and encircled it on three sides, so that the gate structure projected inwards from the line of the wall and terminated in the columns, beyond which, and on each side of the gate, the outer court of the Temple began.

(15) Fifty cubits.—The length of the gate-building was just twice its breadth, and was made up as follows: outer threshold, 6 cubits; three guard-rooms, each 6 cubits = 18; two “spaces” between these, each 5 cubits = 10; inner threshold, 6 cubits; porch, 8 cubits; columns, 2 cubits (6 + 18 + 10 + 6 + 8 + 2 = 50).

(16) Narrow windows.—This is an abbreviated form of the expression used in 1 Kings 6:4 of the windows in Solomon’s Temple. Narrow should be closed, as in the margin; the windows had over them lattice-work which could not be opened. ‘It is difficult to understand the situation of these windows on account of the uncertainty in the meaning of the words translated “their posts” and “the arches.” The former, from its use in 1 Kings 6:31, and also in Ezekiel 41:3, of the “side posts” of the door into the Holy of Holies, must mean the jambs or parts of the wall to which the doors were attached; and the latter indicates some projection of the wall which is most probably to be explained of the “spaces” between the guard-chambers and at the sides of the inner threshold. The meaning of the whole verse will then be, that within the gateway windows were seen on both sides, both at the side of the doors leading from the court to the guard-chambers, and also in the parts of the wall projecting between the guard-chambers. On the plan these are marked (w).

Upon each post were palm trees.—The palm had been largely used in the carving of Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6:29; 1 Kings 6:32; 1 Kings 6:35).

Verse 17

The prophet is now taken across the outer court, which he describes on the way (Ezekiel 40:17-26.40.19), to the north gate (Ezekiel 40:20), and then to the south gate (Ezekiel 40:24).

(17) Outward court.—The Temple of Ezekiel has two courts, an outer and an inner; but there is no appropriation of these courts to the special use of any classes. It may be assumed that the inner court, from its size and arrangements, was for the priests engaged in the sacrifices, and the outer for the people generally.

A pavement.—Comp. 2 Chronicles 7:3; Esther 1:6. The word is generally understood to mean a tesselated or mosaic pavement.

Thirty chambers.—The size and location of these chambers is not given. In accordance with the general symmetry of the arrangements, it may be assumed that there were ten on each of the three sides not occupied by the Temple buildings, and that five were on each side of the gate. They are conjecturally indicated on Plan II. (page 124 [Ezekiel 40:44-26.40.49]) by DD. They are drawn as if joined together; but this is not certain. Such chambers for the use of officiating priests and Levites, and for the storage of the tithes, are mentioned both in connection with Solomon’s Temple and with that of the restoration (see Jeremiah 35:4; Jeremiah 36:10; 1 Chronicles 9:26; Nehemiah 10:38-16.10.39).

Verse 18

(18) Over against the length of the gates.—The width of the pavement was the same as the projection of the gateways into the court, i.e., 44 cubits (50 cubits, less the thickness of the wall).

Lower pavement.—In contradistinction to the pavement of the inner court, which was upon a higher level.

Verse 19

(19) An hundred cubits eastward.—As the prophet is taken through the outer court its width is measured from the eastern gate, which he had already examined, and from the northern gate, to which he is next taken (Ezekiel 40:20). Afterwards (Ezekiel 40:27) the same measurement is made to the southern gate, and these all agree as 100 cubits each. The starting-point of the measurement is clearly defined as “from the forefront of the lower gate,” i.e., from the western or innermost extremity of the outer gate-building; but the final point, as given in this verse, “the forefront of the inner court,” leaves the question open, whether this was to the wall of the inner court itself, or only to the outer extremity of its gate. This doubt is removed in Ezekiel 40:23; Ezekiel 40:27, which expressly say that the measurement was “from gate to gate,” i.e., between the nearest points of the gate-buildings.

Ezekiel 40:20-26.40.23 describe the north gate, which was exactly like the east, already described. In Ezekiel 40:22 is the first mention of the number of steps leading up to the gates (see also Ezekiel 40:26), and in Ezekiel 40:23 the first mention of the gates of the inner court (see also Ezekiel 40:27).

Ezekiel 40:24-26.40.27 describe the south gate, exactly like the other two and with the same dimensions. The space between the outer and inner gates has now been measured on the east (Ezekiel 40:19), on the north (Ezekiel 40:23), and on the south (Ezekiel 40:27), each being 100 cubits.

Verse 28

(28) Brought me to the inner court.—The preposition should be translated into, being the same with that in Ezekiel 40:32. The prophet having entered the inner court by the south gate, this is first described (Ezekiel 40:28-26.40.31). This and the other gates of this court are essentially the same, and require the same changes of translation as in the case of the outer gates. The same plan will serve for both, remembering that it must be reversed, the porches of one set of gates facing the porches of the other set; of course the steps led to the porches of the inner gates instead of to the opposite end. The few points of difference between them will be noted as they occur.

Verse 30

(30) The arches round about.—This word, as already noted under Ezekiel 40:16, should be projections of the walls, if it has been correctly pointed by the Masorets; but it is exceedingly difficult to understand what is meant by the dimensions given, twenty-five cubits long and five cubits broad. This statement occurs nowhere else in the description of the gates, and the verse is omitted in the Greek translation, and either considered spurious or else passed over in silence by many commentators. One explanation given is that the twenty-five cubits is the sum-total of all the “projections of the walls” into the interior of the gateway. thus there were two “spaces” (S on the plan [Ezekiel 40:44-26.40.49]), each of five cubits; two thresholds (TT′ [Ezekiel 40:44-26.40.49]), each of six cubits; and two walls of the porch, each of one cubit, or in all (5 × 2+6 × 2 + 2) twenty-four cubits, the remaining cubit being made up by mouldings at the angles of these several projections. But it is fatal to this explanation that in no other case is any measurement thus made up by adding together the details of parts which do not adjoin. The same explanation requires the breadth of five cubits to be the transverse measurement of these projecting parts, which certainly could not apply to the first threshold, and would require a very awkward or even impossible narrowing of the gateway where the “spaces” are placed. The true solution of the difficulty seems to be in a slight change in the vowels of the Masoretic punctuation, which will transform the word into “porch.” That porches were connected with the inner gates also is plain from Ezekiel 40:39, yet they are nowhere mentioned in the description unless here. Being a somewhat independent part of the gate, the measures are taken in a different direction from that of the gate itself. The “length” is the long way of the porch, just as long as the gateway is wide, twenty-five cubits; and the breadth is the measurement between the walls, five cubits, thus allowing a half-cubit for the thickness of each wall, and one cubit less clear space than in the outer gates.

Verse 31

(31) Utter = Outer, and so in Ezekiel 40:37; Ezekiel 42:1; Ezekiel 42:3; Ezekiel 42:7; Ezekiel 42:14; Ezekiel 44:19; Ezekiel 46:20-26.46.21. In old English utter and outer appear to have been often interchanged.

Eight steps.—All the gates of the inner court (see Ezekiel 40:34; Ezekiel 40:37) had one more step than those of the outer, the inner court being raised so much more above the outer than the outer was above the precincts. The two sets together made up fifteen steps, the same number as led up in the later Temple from the court of the women to the court of Israel, and on which, according to Jewish tradition, the Levites stood to chant the fifteen Psalms (Psalms 120-134) called “Songs of Degrees.”

Ezekiel 40:32-26.40.34 describe the east gate, and Ezekiel 40:35-26.40.37 the north gate, both exactly like the one already described.

Verse 38

(38) And the chambers and the entries thereof.—These words in the original are in the singular, and have no article. The word for chamber is an entirely different one from that used in the former part of the chapter (Ezekiel 40:10; Ezekiel 40:12-26.40.13). The verse should be translated, “And a cell with its door by the posts of the gates; there they washed the burnt offering.” All the arrangements for sacrificing are here described in connection with the north gate, although in Ezekiel 46:2 it is said that at certain festivals the prince shall enter by the east gate, and there worship while the priests prepare his offerings. In the law it was required (Leviticus 1:11; Leviticus 6:25; Leviticus 7:2) that all sacrifices should be slain in the court at the north side of the altar. Here the slaying is done at the north gate, but within the outer court. The reason appears to be that in the law each offerer was to slay his own victim, but here (Ezekiel 44:11) the sacrifice is to be slain by the Levites, and it was therefore desirable that it should be done in the presence of the offerer and the people, i.e., in the outer court. There was also a further reason in the convenience of disposing of the flesh of the victims. Only the whole burnt offerings and the fat and the kidneys of the others required to be taken to the altar in the inner court; while all the flesh of the sin offerings and the priests’ portion of the peace offerings was to be carried to the priests’ cooking place (F, Plan II.) to which a walk led from this point. The rest of the flesh of the peace offerings was taken to the people’s cooking places (E) in the corners of the outer court.

Verse 39

(39) In the porch.—The preposition admits the sense of either in or by, but as the porch was very small for two tables on either side, and as a thoroughfare would be an inconvenient place for the slaughter of the victims, it is better to take the sense of by. The four tables were arranged, two on either side, near the porch.

Verse 40

(40) At the side without.—If there could be any doubt that this means in the outer court, it would be removed by the explanation “as one goeth up,” lit., at this ascent. These tables were of stone (Ezekiel 40:42), and they stood, two on each side, just in advance of the steps, for the purpose (Ezekiel 40:42) of slaying the sacrifices upon them.

Verse 41

(41) Four tables.—The eight tables of this verse are evidently meant to be distinguished from those of Ezekiel 40:40; Ezekiel 40:42, and make twelve tables in all. They stood four on each side of the gate, somewhat nearer, therefore, than the others to the wall of the inner court. They were used for the same sacrificial purpose, except that the others only are mentioned (Ezekiel 40:42) as places “whereupon they laid” the sacrificial instruments.

Verse 43

(43) Hooks.—This is a word of doubtful meaning, found elsewhere only in Psalms 68:13, where it is translated pots. It certainly designates something “within” the porch, and therefore could not have been anything attached to the tables which were “without.” Our translators, following the ancient Chaldee paraphrast, have probably given the true sense, hooks, upon which the flesh of the victims was hung after it had been prepared upon the tables.

Verses 44-49

(44) Without the inner gate.—Without must here be understood in a different sense from the without of Ezekiel 40:40, because this is expressly said to be “in the inner court;” it means, therefore, only outside the gateway.

Chambers of the singers.—The description of the chambers in Ezekiel 40:44-26.40.46 is not very clear, and has caused very great difference of opinion, and even a disposition to modify the text. But the text as it stands is supported by the ancient versions, Greek, Chaldee, and Syriac, as well as by the Masoretic punctuation. There seem to have been three or more chambers altogether, two at least at the side of the north gate opening to the south, i.e., towards the altar, and one at the east gate opening toward the north. The purpose of the chamber at the east gate is perfectly clear; it was “for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar,” i.e., for those priests who were on duty at the time in connection with the sacrifices. It is not mentioned on which side of the gate it was placed, nor how large it was, but it is drawn on the plan on the north (Plan II., O). The chambers at the north gate (N), however, are called (Ezekiel 40:44) “chambers of the singers,” and yet in Ezekiel 40:45 one of them is said to be for the priests “in charge of the house.” The difficulty arises simply from the very common use of the plural in connection with only one of several persons or things, the other being separately specified. To make it entirely clear, we should say, “the chambers, one for the singers, and one for the priests.” The singers were particular families of the Levites (1 Chronicles 6:31-13.6.37; 1 Chronicles 9:33; 1 Chronicles 25:0; 1 Chronicles 25:0; 2 Chronicles 5:12), and were not of the priestly order. The general arrangement appears to have been as follows: the offerer brings his victim into the outer court (C) near to the north gate leading into the inner court; there the Levites slay it (at x) and prepare it for the altar upon the tables provided, and then hang its flesh upon the hooks within the porch of the gate; the priests “in charge of the house” in the chamber near the inner end of the gate (N) now notify the singers in the other chamber and also the priests on duty at the altar in the chamber at the east gate (O), that both may enter upon their functions.

Click image for full-size version

A, Altar.
B B B, Outer gate.
B′ B′ B′ Inner gates.
C C, Outer court.
C′, Inner court.
D D, Chambers in outer court.
E E, People’s cooking-places.
F F, Priests’ cooking-places.
G, Building in separate place.
H H, Priests’ chambers.
I, Space in separate place.
J, Chambers adjoining Temple.
K K, Walk.
L L, Screen walls.

M M, Wall of outer court.
N, Chambers in inner court for priests and singers.
O, Chamber for officiating priests.
P P, Pavement.
R R, Wall of inner court.
S S, Steps.
T, Temple.
T′, Holy of Holies.
V V, Columns.
W W, Winding staircases.
X X, Places for killing sacrifices.
Y Y, Platform around chambers.
Z, Porch of Temple.

(46) The sons of Zadok.—By the law all sons of Aaron were entitled to become priests, but in Ezekiel the offering of sacrifice appears to be confined to the sons of Zadok (comp. Ezekiel 43:19; Ezekiel 44:15; Ezekiel 48:11). The reason for this is obscure. According to 1 Samuel 2:30-9.2.36 the high-priesthood was to be transferred from the house of Eli, and this was accomplished by Solomon in deposing Abiathar and putting Zadok into his place (1 Kings 2:26-11.2.27); but there must have been many other priests descended from Ithamar and Eleazar besides the families of Eli and Zadok, and it is hardly possible that all these could have perished in the slaughter of the eighty-five priests by Saul at Nob (1 Samuel 22:17-9.22.19). But the body of the priests must have been thereby much reduced, and it is very possible that in the subsequent disorders of the times so few were left who, outside of the family of Zadok, had not fallen into idolatry, that all who were allowed to officiate at the altar came to be called by his name.

(47) He measured the court.—This is the inner court (C′), in front of the Temple building itself, and was just 100 cubits square. In this stood the brazen altar (A), the measurements of which are given in Ezekiel 43:13-26.43.17.

(48) The porch of the house.Ezekiel 40:48-26.40.49 describe the porch of the Temple itself (Z) and may be considered as belonging more properly to the next chapter; still, as this porch projected into the inner court, they are not inappropriate here. The first point to be determined in regard to the construction of this porch is the direction in which its length is measured. The porch in front of Solomon’s Temple equalled in length the interior breadth of the house (1 Kings 6:3; 2 Chronicles 3:4), the thickness of the walls and the chambers at the sides projecting beyond the ends of the porch. The same thing is true here, even if the length should be measured from north to south; the exterior front of the house (independently of the side chambers) was thirty-two cubits, each of the side walls being six cubits thick (Ezekiel 41:5). But writers who adopt this supposition find it necessary to alter the text in order to harmonise the measurements of both verses. It is better to understand the measurements as taken the other way, like those of all the gates of both the outer and inner court. The exterior width of the porch will then be sixteen cubits or just half the exterior width of the house; and the projection into the court will be twenty cubits added to the thickness of the exterior wall and diminished by the thickness of the wall of the house, i.e., 16½ cubits (20 + 2½ – 6), the exterior being thus almost exactly square.

Each post of the porch.—The front wall, on which the gates were hung, was five cubits on each side, and each leaf of the gate was three cubits, giving sixteen cubits (5 × 2 + 3 × 2) for the whole exterior breadth of the porch.

(49) The breadth eleven cubits.—This interior measure subtracted from the exterior gives 2½ cubits for each wall—a fair proportion between the thickness of the wall and the size of the porch.

The steps.—The number is not stated, but is given in the Greek as ten. It shows that the house itself stood upon a still higher elevation than the inner court.

Pillars by the posts.—On either side of the steps, and near the front wall of the porch, was a pillar corresponding to those in front of the porches of the gates. They answered to the pillars Jachin and Boaz of Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 7:15-11.7.22), and appear to have been placed there for the same general purposes as the obelisks in front of the Egyptian temples.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 40". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.