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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 40

Verses 1-4

Ezekiel 40-48. The Temple.

Ezekiel 40:1-4 . It is worthy of note that the sketch starts with the old familiar phrases “ the hand of Yahweh was upon me” and “ in the visions of God” ( cf. Ezekiel 1:1-3). These phrases point to an ecstatic experience. It is highly improbable, though we need not say inconceivable, that the details of the sketch were flashed upon his inward eye in a trance. Doubtless for years his mind had been dwelling long and lovingly upon it; but there is nothing improbable in assuming that, in some sublime ecstasy, the vision rose before him as a whole, with all its parts compactly built together. It came to him on New Year’ s Day, when his heart would readily fill with hope and with thoughts of new beginnings. He seemed to be transported to the hill on which Jerusalem stood, only it seemed of far more than its natural height, and on it was the structure of the Temple, which itself looked like a city. He was accompanied by a supernatural guide, prepared to take the measurements of the building, and the prophet was instructed to declare to his people what he saw.

Verses 5-16

Ezekiel 40:5-16 . He is first struck by a thick wall encircling the Temple. Steps led up to the eastern gateway which pierced the wall, and on each side of which were three guard-rooms.

Verses 17-27

Ezekiel 40:17-27 . Through this he came into the great outer court, round which ran a pavement, with thirty chambers fronting on the pavement— probably for the use of the people in their celebration of the festal meals. On the northern and southern sides of the court there were gateways and guard-rooms similar to those on the east side.

Verses 28-37

Ezekiel 40:28-37 . From the south gate of the outer court he crosses to another court gateway (reached by a flight of steps) which leads to another court— the south gateway of the inner court, which, like that of the outer court, had also guard-rooms on either side; and on the east and north side of the inner court were gateways precisely similar.

Verses 38-47

Ezekiel 40:38-47 . By the (eastern?) gate (and possibly also the northern and southern) of this inner court was a chamber in which the burnt offering was washed. There were also tables on which the animals were slain and other tables on which the instruments of slaughter were placed. At the south there was a chamber for the Levitical priests who had the general charge of the Temple, and at the north another for the Zadokite priests who had more particularly charge of the altar which stood in the middle of the inner court and in front of the entrance to the Temple proper. (In Ezekiel 40:44 for “ chambers for the singers” read, with LXX, “ two chambers.” )

Verses 48-49

Ezekiel 40:48 to Ezekiel 41:4 . This consisted of three parts: ( a) the porch— with a pillar on either side of it— reached by a flight of steps ( Ezekiel 40:48 f.; in Ezekiel 40:49, for “ eleven” read, with LXX, “ twelve” ); ( b) the nave or large inner room beyond it (the “ holy place” ), whose name, “ temple,” was often applied to the whole structure; ( c) beyond that the mysterious “ most holy” place (half the length of the “ holy place” ), where Yahweh dwells, and only the supernatural guide (but not Ezekiel) is permitted to enter ( Ezekiel 41:3 f .) .

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Ezekiel 40". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.