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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Ezekiel 41

 

 

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.

From describing the gates, courts, tables or altars, and courts and porch, he passes on to describe the temple itself.

Which was the breadth of the tabernacle. As in the measurement of the outer porch he had pointed to Solomon's temple, so here, in the edifice itself, he points to the old tabernacle, which, being eight beards in breadth (each one and a half cubit broad), would make in all twelve cubits, as here. Internally it was only ten cubits.


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 - namely, of the holy place (Fairbairn).


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 most holy place.


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.

So he measured the length thereof - of the holy of holies.

The breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple - i:e., before or in front of the most holy place (so "temple" is used in 1 Kings 6:3, "the perch before the temple of the house"). The angel went in and measured it, while Ezekiel stood in front, in the only part of the temple accessible to him. The dimensions of the two apartments are the same as in Solomon's temple, since, being fixed originally by God, they are regarded as finally determined.


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.

The breadth of every side chamber - the singular used collectively for the plural. These chambers were appendages attached to the outside of the temple, on the west, north, and south; for on the east side, the principal entrance, there were no chambers. The narrowness of the chambers was in order that the beams might be supported without needing pillars. The plan is similar to that of the hall at Kouyunjik, a large central hall, called the oracle, with smaller rooms built round it.


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.

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. 1 Kings 6:6 tells us there were rests made in the walls of the temple for supports to the side chambers; but the temple walls did not thereby become part of this side building; they stood separate from it.

The side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which was of the house. "They entered," namely, the beams of the chambers, which were three-storied, and thirty in consecutive order, entered into the wall - i:e., were made to lean on rests projecting from the wall.


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.

The breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest -

i.e., the breadth of the internal space above was greater than that below.

By the midst - through the middle.


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 of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits - the substructure, on which the foundations rested, was a full reed of six cubits.

Great , [ 'atsiylaah (Hebrew #679)] - literally, to the extremity or root, namely, of the hand (Henderson). 'To the joining' or point where the foundation of one chamber ceased and another began (Fairbairn). 'To the wing' (of the house). (Buxtorf.)


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.

That which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within - `there was an unoccupied place within chambers that belonged to the house.' The buildings in this unoccupied place west of the temple, and so much resembling it in size, imply that no place was to be left which was to be held, as of old, not sacred. Manasseh (2 Kings 23:11) had abused these 'suburbs of the temple' to keeping horses sacred to the sun. All excuse for such abominations was henceforth to be taken away, the Lord claiming every space, and filling up this also with sacred erections (Fairbairn).


Verse 10

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

Between the chambers - i:e., of the priests in the court: between these and the side chambers "was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side." While long details are given as to the chambers, etc, no mention is made of the ark of the covenant. Fairbairn thus interprets this: In future there was to be a perfect conformity. to the divine idea, such as there had not been before. The dwellings of His people should all become true sanctuaries of piety. Yahweh Himself, in the full display of the divine Shechinah, shall come in the room of the ark of the covenant (Jeremiah 3:16-17). The interior of the temple stands empty, waiting for His entrance to fill it with His glory (Ezekiel 43:1-12). It is the same temple, but the courts of it have become different, to accommodate a more numerous people. The entire compass of the temple mount has become a holy of holies (Ezekiel 43:12).


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.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verses 12-15

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.

Sum of the measures of the temple, and of the buildings behind and on the side of it

Verse 15. The galleries - terrace buildings. On the west or back of the temple there was a separate place occupied by buildings of the same external dimensions as the temple - i:e., one hundred cubits square in the entire compass (Fairbairn).


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;

The windows were covered. Being the highest windows, they were "covered" from the view below. Or else "covered" with lattice-work.


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 - measurements (were taken). (Fairbairn.)


Verses 18-20

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;

No JFB commentary on these verses.


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 appearance of the one as the appearance of the other - the appearance of "the sanctuary," or holy of holies, was similar to that of "the temple" They differed only in magnitude.


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.

This is the table that is before the Lord - the altar of incense (Ezekiel 44:16); at it, not at the table of showbread, the priests daily ministered. It stood in front of the vail and is therefore said to be "before the Lord." It is called a table, as being that at which the Lord will take delight in His people, as at a feast. Hence, its dimensions are larger than that of old: three cubits high and two broad, instead of two cubits high and one broad. It is not to be confounded with the eight "tables" outside at the north gate, which are to be altars for sacrifice of the burnt offering and sin offering (Ezekiel 40:39).


Verse 23-24

And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


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.

Thick planks - a thick plank-work at the threshold.

Remarks:

(1) The temple here described in detail, as about hereafter to be, corresponds to the former temple as antitype corresponds to type. The dimensions are almost all on a larger scale, to accommodate a more numerous people. Then, too, there is to be no space within the precincts or suburbs of the temple which is not consecrated to the Lord; whereas in the old temple there was a greater latitude as to the suburbs (Ezekiel 41:9; 2 Kings 23:11). Lastly, there is to be no ark of the covenant; for the Lord Yahweh Himself in the full display of the divine glory, shall dwell in His temple as the revealed "messenger of the covenant," the antitype to the former "ark of the covenant" (Malachi 3:1; Jeremiah 3:16-17).

(2) The spiritual lesson to be learned by us from the description here is, that the Church of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, as it shall hereafter be manifested on earth, shall be on a scale of grandeur such as has never yet been witnessed, and its worship shall be on a corresponding scale of glory, beauty, and blessedness. Not until then shall the Lord be worshipped visibly "in the beauty of holiness" (Psalms 29:2) by the whole congregation of the earth, led on by Israel as the leader of the mighty choir; and the grand center of worship shall be the glorious sanctuary of Jerusalem.

(3) None of the defects which attend our present liturgical worship shall alloy the perfection of the public

(4) There was no ark of the covenant in the second temple, reared after the return from Babylon. Instead of it the Lord Jesus, the living antitypical ark of the covenant, embodying in Himself the fulfillment of the law, as the "Messenger of the covenant" visited the temple and thereby caused the unseen spiritual "glory of the latter house to be greater than that of the former" (Haggai 2:9 ). But still there remains yet to be manifested the full and visible glory of the Messenger of the covenant, recognized as such in His own house by Israel and all nations, which He was not recognized as being at His first advent. Then shall the prophecy of Haggai have its full realization. His glory filling the temple at Jerusalem shall cause the glory of the former house-which seemed to the elders among the returning exiles to be so superior that they shed tears at the sad contrast which the latter house presented (Ezra 3:12) - to pale into comparative dimness by reason of the excelling glory. And the ark of the covenant shall be no longer missed or regretted when men shall have Christ Himself in all His antitypical excellence ( Jeremiah 3:16-17). And the divine "messenger of the covenant suddenly coming to His temple" shall ravish His people with surprised "delight" when they shall behold the King in His beauty (Malachi 3:1 ; Isaiah 33:17 ).

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ezekiel 41:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ezekiel-41.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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