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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 41

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, [which was] the breadth of the tabernacle.

Afterward. — This chapter is no less dark and difficult than was the former, which made Jerome ready to desist and give over commenting, but that he thought it better to say something than nothing, and was brought to know and say that the greatest part of those things he knew were but the least part of that he knew not. What I do understand is good, so I think is that I understand not, said Socrates once of a certain dark author. We may be sure it is so here, and must mirari potius quam rimari; waiting for more light, and praying to that purpose. as Ephesians 1:17-18

He brought me to the temple. — Who had hitherto been held in the porch. There was a new church to be now erected by the preaching of the gospel; and this, the measuring of the house, Ezekiel 40:1-49 of the temple, Ezekiel 41:1-26 of the courts, Ezekiel 42:1-20 and of all the parts, noteth.

And measured the posts. — Or, Fronts, or frontispiece, as the Vulgate hath it.

Which was the breadth of the tabernacle. — Made of old by Moses.

Verse 2

And the breadth of the door [was] ten cubits; and the sides of the door [were] five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side: and he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits.

And he measured the length thereof,i.e., Not of the door, as Jerome would have it; but of the temple, the body and basilic thereof, called "the first sanctuary" Hebrews 9:2

Forty cubits. — This noteth, say some, the longsuffering and patience of the saints, like as the breadth, twenty cubits, doth their charity.

Verse 3

Then went he inward, and measured the post of the door, two cubits; and the door, six cubits; and the breadth of the door, seven cubits.

Then went he inward. — Toward the Holy of holies.

And the door. — Which in the second temple was but a veil, and rent at Christ’s passion.

Verse 4

So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This [is] the most holy [place].

And the breadth thereof twenty cubits. — So it was a just square, intimating the stability of the kingdom of heaven, a kingdom that cannot be shaken, Hebrews 12:28

This is the most holy place. — The Holy of holies, the Oracle, the house of the soul, wherein the only firm hope of Israel resteth - so the Jews called it - the Adytum, or inaccessible place, whither none might come but the high priest only, and that but once a year. Pompey and Heliodorus, for presuming to press into it, were heavily plagued.

Verse 5

After he measured the wall of the house, six cubits; and the breadth of [every] side chamber, four cubits, round about the house on every side.

He measured the wall. — With the counterforts added to it for strength and ornament; these are commonly called pilasters or pillars.

Six cubits,scil., In breadth.

Verse 6

And the side chambers [were] three, one over another, and thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which [was] of the house for the side chambers round about, that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the wall of the house.

And the side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order,i.e., Three stories, Substractiones. - Polan. Coatae. - Vatab. and thirty in each story. Resemblably, there is a threefold rank or order of the members of the Church; there are lowermost, middlemost, and uppermost. These, as they have their several offices and gifts accordingly, so they must keep to their own stations, do their own business, live in love, and wait till called unto a higher room.

Verse 7

And [there was] an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house [was still] upward, and so increased [from] the lowest [chamber] to the highest by the midst.

And there was an enlarging and a winding about still upward. — This might inmind God’s people of heavenly mindedness, whereby their hearts will be enlarged when got once above the world, as birds sing sweetly when got aloft into the air.

Went still upward. — Let there be continual ascensions in our hearts: Sursum corda.

Verse 8

I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers [were] a full reed of six great cubits.

The foundations.Plus rei quam ostentationis habebant, Oecolamp. The good soul rather seeks to be good, than seems to be so.

Verse 9

The thickness of the wall, which [was] for the side chamber without, [was] five cubits: and [that] which [was] left [was] the place of the side chambers that [were] within.

And that which was left.Area pura, Piscat. the void place.

Verse 10

And between the chambers [was] the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side.

And between the chambers. — Vulgate, The treasuries. In the Church much more room is taken up by such as are void of the treasure of God’s grace than by better men, "rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom of Christ."

Verse 11

And the doors of the side chambers [were] toward [the place that was] left, one door toward the north, and another door toward the south: and the breadth of the place that was left [was] five cubits round about.

Toward the place that was left. — Which served the faithful, saith Jerome, for an oratory, whither they went to pray.

Verse 12

Now the building that [was] before the separate place at the end toward the west [was] seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building [was] five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits.

The separate place. — The temple, or at least some part of it.

Verse 13

So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long; and the separate place, and the building, with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long;

An hundred cubits. — The temple of Ephesus was 245 feet long, and 220 feet broad. Howbeit for spiritual employment, mystical signification, none ever came near this edifice.

Verse 14

Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits.

Also the breadth … an hundred cubits. — Whereas Solomon’s temple was only twenty cubits wide.

Verse 15

And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place which [was] behind it, and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side, an hundred cubits, with the inner temple, and the porches of the court;

An hundred cubits. — See on Ezekiel 41:13 .

With the inner temple and the porches thereof.Summa et infima iuxta curat, nihil aspernatur. Oecolamp.

Verse 16

The door posts, and the narrow windows, and the galleries round about on their three stories, over against the door, cieled with wood round about, and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows [were] covered;

And the narrow windows … and the windows were covered. — Here Jerome cries out, "Oh the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" Here be windows, but narrow and covered, which shows that we see not yet, nor can see, into heavenly things but obscurely and obliquely. How little a thing doth man understand of God. Job 26:14 The holy place was without windows, only there burned lights perpetually; but in the most holy place there was no light at all.

Verse 17

To that above the door, even unto the inner house, and without, and by all the wall round about within and without, by measure.

By measure. — Heb., Measure. See on Ezekiel 40:47 .

Verse 18

And [it was] made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree [was] between a cherub and a cherub; and [every] cherub had two faces;

And it was made with cherubims and palm trees. — Viz., Upon the partition walls. This was to teach Christians, who are the temples of God, (1.) To live like angels for holiness; (2.) To suffer, as palm trees, any pressures or pains for his sake with invincible patience. Pressa sub ingenti ceu pondere palma virescit. - Plin., lib. xiii. cap. 4. Sub cruce sic florent dedita corda Deo. By their piety in their lives, and patience at their death, the primitive Christians won much upon their persecutors.

Verse 19

So that the face of a man [was] toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: [it was] made through all the house round about.

So that the face of a man. — See Ezekiel 1:10 .

And the face of a young lion towards the palm tree. — The palm tree, as it grew best in Judea, so it is probable that from the temple at Jerusalem it came at first, that the heathens put the palm for a sign of victory, and that the picture of Victory among them had in the one hand a palm, and in the other an olive branch. Wisdom (the praise of a man) and courage (the property of a lion), zeal and discretion, as they make a good mixture, so they conquer and carry it.

Verse 20

From the ground unto above the door [were] cherubims and palm trees made, and [on] the wall of the temple.

And on the wall of the temple. — Yet this is no warrant for the use of pictures in our churches, whether for worship, as Papists, or for ornaments only, as Lutherans. At a consultation held not many years since at Hamburg by Lutheran ministers, concerning the cause and cure of Germany’s calamities, they concluded it was because their images were not adorned enough, which, therefore, they would procure done. Mr Burroughs on Hos., vol. i. p. 465. A sad business!

Verse 21

The posts of the temple [were] squared, [and] the face of the sanctuary; the appearance [of the one] as the appearance [of the other].

The posts of the temple,i.e., Of the doors of the temple, were not round or arched, but square; as are at this day the doors of the Pantheon in Rome, saith Vilalpandus, built of old in honour of all gods, and now consecrated by the Pope to the honour of all saints with like superstition.

Verse 22

The altar of wood [was] three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, [were] of wood: and he said unto me, This [is] the table that [is] before the LORD.

The altar,scil., That for incense, whereof see Exodus 30:6-7 , but here of a much larger size. See on Ezekiel 40:1 . This altar of wood and square was a type of Christ (not of the cross, as Vilalpandus doateth), in whom our prayers come before God as incense, and he is the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 2:2 Exodus 30:1 Psalms 141:1-10 : 2 Kings 5:8 The size of this altar above that of old, showeth that the saints under the gospel would make much more improvement of the Lord Jesus in prayer, and make use of his mediation and intercession by faith in their heavenly sublimated supplications, than the saints of old were ordinarily wont to do. Cobbet, Of Prayer, p. 235.

This is the table. — One and the same Christ is all in all to his people - an altar to sanctify them and their offerings; a table also to feed and feast them with the most precious provisions. See Psalms 23:5-6 ; Psalms 36:9 ; Psalms 65:5 Proverbs 9:1-2 Isaiah 25:6-8 .

Verse 23

And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors.

Had two doors. — Understand hereby the means of grace, and ministers dispensing the same, whereby souls are brought home to Christ.

Verse 24

And the doors had two leaves [apiece], two turning leaves; two [leaves] for the one door, and two leaves for the other [door].

Two leaves. — There are variety of ordinances.

Verse 25

And [there were] made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees, like as [were] made upon the walls; and [there were] thick planks upon the face of the porch without.

Cherubims and palm trees. — Let ministers resemble angels, and they shall be victorious, and well rewarded. The palm is a symbol of constance, and of a crown.

Verse 26

And [there were] narrow windows and palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch, and [upon] the side chambers of the house, and thick planks.

And thick planks,i.e., The heads or ends of thick beams or joists, supporting the rafters. We see what use there is of architecture, among other arts, in expounding Scripture. Vilalpandus saith he bestowed two and twenty years’ study upon this fabric of the temple here described.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 41". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/ezekiel-41.html. 1865-1868.
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