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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 42

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Then he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward the north: and he brought me into the chamber that [was] over against the separate place, and which [was] before the building toward the north.

Then he brought me forth into the utter court,scil., Of the temple, at both ends and on either side whereof there were spacious places, in manner of our churchyards, saith one. Sequitur locus valde confusus et multo impeditissimus, saith Castalio. This is a very dark and difficult chapter, the sense whereof I would fain learn of some other, for I know not what to make of it: thus he. Oecolampadius also to like purpose, after R. Solomon, and thus prayeth, Suggerat Dominus conanti quae ad gloriam illius, certe quae non officiant, precor, …, i.e., The Lord help our honest endeavours, that we may do what may be for his glory, and not for the hurt of any reader. That was a holy prayer of his colleague Zuinglius in like case, and may it be ours also, Deum Opt. Max. precor ut vias nostras dirigat, …, I beseech Almighty God to direct our ways, and if at any time, Balaam-like, we shall obstinately resist the truth, let him set his angel against us, who, with the terror of his sword, may so dash this ass (our ignorance, I mean, and presumptuous boldness) against the wall, that we may feel our feet (that is, our carnal sense and reason) crushed and broken; that we no longer dishonour the name of our Lord God. Zuing. Epist., lib. iii.

Verse 2

Before the length of an hundred cubits [was] the north door, and the breadth [was] fifty cubits.

Before the length of an hundred cubits. — The measure mentioned in this chapter, and whatsoever followeth touching the division of the land, the seats of the tribes, the portions allotted to the prince, priests, and Levites, the manner of their sacrifices and oblations, are all new, "The Calling of the Jew," by Finch. varying from that which is in Moses (though for their weakness by those outward things he shadoweth heavenly), to show both the abrogating of the legal ceremonies and the establishing of a spiritual Christian Church, the magnificence whereof is here set forth to the prophet by the Lord Christ, qui mystagogus noster est, who is our God, and will be "our guide even unto death."

Verse 3

Over against the twenty [cubits] which [were] for the inner court, and over against the pavement which [was] for the utter court, [was] gallery against gallery in three [stories].

Which were for the inner court, — viz., Of the temple. This was a figure of the Church invisible, as the outward court, described in this chapter, was of the visible and external.

The pavement which was for the utter court. — Which might signify that those who would enter into heaven must keep themselves unspotted of the world, "undefiled in the way." Psalms 15:1-5 Psalms 24:3-5

Verse 4

And before the chambers [was] a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north.

A way of one cubit. — A narrow way, but such as led them into spacious walks of ten cubits’ breadth inward. "Strait is the gate, and narrow the way, that leadeth unto life eternal"; Matthew 7:14 but they that hit it, hold it, shall once walk arm in arm with angels. Zechariah 3:7 ; see the note there "Through many tribulations we must enter into God’s kingdom"; Acts 14:22 but there God shall set our feet in a large room. as Psalms 31:8 We shall walk at liberty on the everlasting mountains. Let it be remembered that this narrow way is but short, it is but of one cubit, …

Verse 5

Now the upper chambers [were] shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building.

Now the upper chambers were shorter. — As being a kind of cock lofts, and not so fit for habitation.

Verse 6

For they [were] in three [stories], but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore [the building] was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground.

Therefore the building was straitened. — As the rules of architecture direct, and as right reason required, lest the building should shrink under its own burden. Ne structura pondere dissiliret.

Verse 7

And the wall that [was] without over against the chambers, toward the utter court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof [was] fifty cubits.

Here the Rabbis call again for the help of their Elias. See on Ezekiel 40:6 .

Verse 8

For the length of the chambers that [were] in the utter court [was] fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple [were] an hundred cubits.

Here the Rabbis call again for the help of their Elias. See on Ezekiel 40:6 .

Verse 9

And from under these chambers [was] the entry on the east side, as one goeth into them from the utter court.

Here the Rabbis call again for the help of their Elias. See on Ezekiel 40:6 .

Verse 13

Then said he unto me, The north chambers [and] the south chambers, which [are] before the separate place, they [be] holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place [is] holy.

They be holy chambers. — Or, Cells of the sanctuary, belonging to those that serve in the sanctuary. God appointeth his ministers their various stations, together with the bounds of their habitations,

Shall eat the most holy things. — Ministers must eat as well as others; they are not of the chameleon kind - cannot live upon air; and the Lord Christ "hath ordained that," as "they which waited at the altar were partakers of the altar," "so also should they that preach the gospel live of the gospel," 1 Corinthians 9:13-14

And the meat offering and the sin offering,i.e., The priests’ share out of them; for, besides they tithes and glebe, or suburbs, the priests had many rich revenues, and were far better provided for than today’s gospel ministers are, however begrudged that little that is allowed them.

Verse 14

When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy [place] into the utter court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they [are] holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to [those things] which [are] for the people.

Then shall they not go out of the holy place. — Ministers may not leave their station, lay aside their holy calling, entangle themselves with worldly cares and businesses; but hoc agere, make their ministry their business, giving themselves wholly to it. Verbi minister es, hoc age; this was Mr Perkins’s motto. And "say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it." Colossians 4:17

But there they shall lay their garments. — And not go among the people in them, lest they make themselves overly cheap, or the people superstitious, by placing holiness in their seeing or touching those holy vestments.

And shall put on other garments. — Ministers, as in doing their office, they must use all becoming gravity and authority, as the ambassadors of Christ; Oecolamp. so, at other times, they must familiarise themselves with their people, becoming all things to all men, in Paul’s sense, that they may win some.

Verse 15

Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect [is] toward the east, and measured it round about.

Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house. — The inner part of the Church. The Church invisible is first and chiefly to be looked into, rather than the external adjuncts, as multitude, prosperity, clarity, antiquity, …; the substantials rather than the accidentals. The Church of Rome borrows her mark from the market, plenty or cheapness, … Vilissimus pagus, saith Luther. The mean stivilage seems to me to be an ivory palace, if there be but in it a faithful pastor, and a few true believers.

Verse 16

He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.

Five hundred reeds. — Lo, here the large extent of the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints. See Trapp on " Ezekiel 40:1

Verse 17

He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.

He measured the north side, five hundred reeds. — To show that many should come from all coasts and quarters to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11 See Trapp on " Matthew 8:11 "

Verse 18

He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed.

He measured the north side, five hundred reeds. — To show that many should come from all coasts and quarters to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11 See Trapp on " Matthew 8:11 "

Verse 20

He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred [reeds] long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.

He measured it by the four sides. — The Church is fair and firm, for it is quadrangular; so is every true member thereof homo quadratus, square, steadfast and immovable, ανικητος και ακινητος , always abounding in the work of the Lord, … 1 Corinthians 15:58 His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. Psalms 112:1 He quits himself well in all estates, and comes off a gainer. Gold is purged in the fire, shines in the water; as, on the other side, clay is scorched in the fire, dissolved in the water. The new Jerusalem is said to lie square. Revelation 21:16 See Trapp on " Revelation 21:16 "

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 42". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/ezekiel-42.html. 1865-1868.
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