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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 41

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-4

EZEKIEL - CHAPTER 41

THE TEMPLE AND ITS ORNAMENTS

Verses 1-4:

This chapter continues a description of the temple or house of the Lord under four parts: v. 1-4 describe the interior; v. 5-11 describe the wall and side buildings; v. 12-14 describe the separate place; and v. 13-26 describe the projecting portions of the building.

THE INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLE

Verse 1 states that the temple-measuring man brought Ezekiel to the temple or "temple proper," the holy place, as distinguished from the porch, described in Ezekiel 40:48-49 and from the Holy of Holies, 1 Kings 6:17; 1 Kings 7:50. While Solomon’s temple was pointed to in measuring the outer porch, here the measuring man points to the tabernacle, with eight boards in breadth, each a cubit and a half broad, making twelve cubits as here given. While internally it was but 10 cubits. See Zechariah 6:12; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Revelation 3:12.

Verse 2 describes the door separating the holy of holies with a breadth of ten cubits within the holy place or tabernacle; Each side of the door was five cubits. The length was measured to be forty cubits (60 feet) and the breadth twenty cubits (30 feet), Exodus 26:36; Exodus 36:37. These are internal dimensions.

Verse 3 gives dimensions of the doors that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies as six cubits and the breadth of the door, including the hanging with the hinges as seven cubits. Each of the posts projected half a cubit beyond the hinge of the door that opened inward. The angel-man went in to do the measuring, as Ezekiel stood without the holy place, the only part accessible to him.

Verse 4 restates that the man with the measuring reed entered the holy of Holies and announced that the length of the most holy place was twenty cubits and the breadth of it was twenty cubits, then told Ezekiel, "This is the most holy place," into which only the High priest was to enter, as related 1 Kings 6:20; 2 Chronicles 3:8; Revelation 21:2-3; Revelation 21:16-17.

Verses 5-11

THE WALL AND SIDE BUILDINGS

Verses 5-11:

Verse 5 describes the outer wall of the temple itself as six cubits, or about 9 feet in thickness or diameter, corresponding with the ancient architecture of the colossal buildings of the east. And the side chamber (or whole series of them about the temple) were four cubits or six feet in thickness.

Verse 6 describes three side chambers, one over another, and thirty in order, built in an extended outer wall, belonging to, but separated from the temple, v. 5. This was a three-story building with some 90 small residences for workers about the temple, v. 9; 1 Kings 6:5-6.

Verse 7 explains that there was an enlarging of the ground story to five cubits in thickness of the walls. Then it was diminished one cubit, so as to form a ledge for the beams of the second story, and likewise on the third story, so that the third story was extended two cubits beyond the first. There was also winding stairs by which one ascended within the chambers from the first floor, 1 Kings 6:8.

Verse 8 states that Ezekiel noted the height of the 3 story house. The foundations were certified to be a full reed of six great cubits, about 10 feet for each chamber story, or 30 feet in height, from the foundation to the top of the third story, Isaiah 28:16; Isaiah 40:5.

Verses 9, 11 indicate that no place of "that which was left" unoccupied, west of the temple, was to be held as not sacred. Manasseh had abused this area of the suburbs of the temple by keeping horses there, 2 Kings 23:11. The prevailing idea of the dwellings of God’s people should become sanctuaries of piety, reflecting their obedience and devotion to the Divine order of their worship, for consistent testimony, Matthew 5:13-16. For the Divine Shechinah to come into the room the ark of the covenant repeatedly, the people of God were to live uprightly, inclusive of regular worship, and confession of their sins, Jeremiah 3:16-17; 1 John 1:8-9; Hebrews 10:25. The entire temple area became an holy of holies.

HERE IN THE HARDBOUND COMMENTARY IS A CHART OF THE TEMPLE INCLUDING:

COURT DIMENSIONS

I. The breadth of the court --

1. Breadth of the house 20 cubits

2. Breadth of wall, 6 x 2 cubits = 12 cubits

3. Breadth of chambers, 4 x 2 cubits = 8 cubits

4. Breadth of chamber wall, 5 x 2 cubits = 10 cubits

5. Breadth of corridor, 5 x 2 cubits = 10 cubits

6. Breadth of free space, 20 x 2 cubits = 40 cubits

Total 100 cubits

II. The length of the court--

1. The length of the house 60 cubits

2. The temple wall 6 cubits

3. The chambers 4 cubits

4. The chamber wall 5 cubits

5. The corridor 5 cubits

6. The space towards the west 20 cubits

Total 100 cubits

The "house" was thus one hundred cubits square. The porch of the

house was reckoned as belonging to the inner court (ch. x1.481.

Verses 12-14

THE SEPARATE PLACE

Verses 12-14:

Verse 12 tells of "the building that was before the separate place," behind the temple to the west. This space with its buildings, was to be for the disposition of all refuse, rubbish, trash, that was separate or unused, when the holy service was performed in the temple. This is why it was known as "the separate place." Dimensions of this outer building to the west were: 1) the breadth 70 cubits; 2) the length 90 cubits; and 3) the thickness of the walls around it 5 cubits.

HERE IN THE HARDBOUND COMMENTARY IS A CHART OF THE “SEPARATE PLACE”

Verses 13, 14 - Thus the whole breadth of this erection was seventy plus ten, or eight cubits; which, with ten cubits of free space on the north and south sides, make a hundred cubits in all. Its whole length was ninety plus ten, or a hundred cubits. The entire area was thus once more a hundred cubits square. At this point, again, a convenient estimate of the whole dimensions of the temple area may be made.

I. The breadth of the area from west to east-

1. The separate place (including walls) 100 cubits

2. The "house" (with free space behind) 100 cubits

3. The inner court 100 cubits

4. The outer court (the two gates with

space between them 200 cubits

Total 500 cubits

II. The length of the area from north to south-

1. The outer court (the two northern

gates with spaces between them 200 cubits

2. The "house" (with free spaces on both

sides) 100 cubits

3. The outer court (the two southern gates

with distance between them) 200

Total 500 cubits

Verses 15-26

THE PROJECTION PORTIONS OF THE TEMPLE

Verses 15-26:

Verses 15-17 give dimensions of the galleries or terrace buildings. Their windows were covered from the view below, perhaps with lattice work. Actually verses 12-17 give a summary of measurements and details of buildings already mentioned within and about the temple area. The buildings measured had been: 1) The gates of the courts; 2) The temple; and 3) The building on the separate place. Accuracy of the measurements, according to Hebrew concepts, was a necessary ingredient of perfection. So the exact pattern was to be observed; nothing was done or to be done by caprice or at random; See Exodus 25:9-10; Numbers 8:4; Joshua 22:28; 1 Chronicles 28:11-12; 1 Chronicles 28:18-19; Ezekiel 43:10; Hebrews 8:5.

Verse 18 indicates that the artistic wainscoting about the buildings, both within and without, were adorned with artistic carvings of cherubims and palm trees; A tree and a cherub stood alternately. Each cherub had two of its four faces exhibited, since the four could not be represented on a flat surface, Ezekiel 1:10; Ezekiel 10:14. This is similar to that art of Solomon’s temple, 1 Kings 6:29; Exodus 25:22; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 22:11.

Verse 19 states that the face of a man was toward a palm tree on one side and the face of a lion toward the other side. The cherubim was a symbol of Divine life, and that of a palm, of life in general. These cherubims indicate that the building was dedicated to the God of all creation, not to a national god, of limited powers, Psalms 115:4-9.

Verses 20, 21 state that from the ground, to above the door, were cherubim and palm trees made, and on the wall of the temple. It is further asserted that the face of the posts of the temple were squared, just as the face of the sanctuary. This means that the entrance to the sanctuary of the Holy of Holies was similar to that of the temple, differing only in their magnitude; The cherubic figures were also on the curtains of the tabernacle, Exodus 26:1; Exodus 36:8.

Verses 22-24 disclose that the altar of wood, the table before the Lord, meaning the altar of incense, was 3 cubits high and two cubits long, was made of wood, Ezekiel 44:16. Here the priests ministered daily, not at the table of shew bread. It stood before the veil and is said to be before the Lord, Ezekiel 44:16; Exodus 30:1; 1 Kings 7:48; Exodus 30:8. Both the temple and the sanctuary had two doors, with two leaves each, 1 Kings 6:31-35.

Verse 25 asserts that there were thick planks on the porch faces without, on which were also carved cherubim and palm trees, as on the doors of the temple.

Verse 26 concludes that there were narrow windows with palm trees on each side, of both the porch and the chambers of the house, but no cherubims, making this area subordinate to that of the temple proper, 1 Kings 6:4.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 41". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-41.html. 1985.
 
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