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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
Ezekiel 41

 

 

Verse 1-2

Ezekiel 41:1-2. Afterward he brought me to the temple — “After having described the courts and the porch, the prophet enters into the temple, properly so called, whereof he gives the dimensions and description.” And he measured the posts — By the posts are meant the door-cases on each side of the entrance. These were six cubits thick on the north and south sides; which was the breadth of the tabernacle — These walls, in their thickness, took up as much space as the whole breadth of Moses’s tabernacle, as appears from Exodus 26:16; Exodus 26:22-23; where the west side of the tabernacle consists of eight boards, each a cubit and a half broad. The breadth of the door was ten cubits, &c. — The entrance itself being ten cubits broad, and the wall on each side five cubits, makes the breadth of the house to be just twenty cubits, as it is expressed in the latter part of the verse, which was the same in Solomon’s temple, 1 Kings 6:2. And the length forty cubits — Namely, the length of the first sanctuary, or holy place, as distinct from the holy of holies, which was twenty cubits in length, Ezekiel 41:4, and made the whole structure sixty cubits long; wherein it agreed with Solomon’s temple.


Verse 3-4

Ezekiel 41:3-4. Then went he inward — From the outward sanctuary he went forward toward the holy of holies, and measured the thickness of the partition wall to be two cubits, the entrance itself six cubits, and breadth of the wall, on each side of the door, seven cubits: see Ezekiel 40:48; where the breadth of the gate is taken in the same sense. The breadth of the wall, thus computed, making up fourteen cubits, and being added to the breadth of the entrance itself, makes up twenty cubits; the breadth of the inner sanctuary, as it is set down in the next verse. So he measured the length thereof — Of the holy of holies twenty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits — It was an exact cube, of the same dimensions in length, breadth, and height: see 1 Kings 6:20; before the temple — Or rather, as the words should be rendered, according to the temple; that is, the breadth of it.


Verse 5-6

Ezekiel 41:5-6. He measured the wall of the house, six cubits — Three yards thick was this wall, from the ground to the first story of the side-chambers. And the breadth of every side-chamber, four cubits — Of the lowest floor; for there were three stories of these, and they differed in their breadth, as the wall of the temple, on which they rested, abated of its thickness; for the middle chambers were broader than the lowest by a cubit, and the highest as much broader than the middle. The side-chambers were three, one over another — They were three stories high; and thirty in order — As in Solomon’s temple, according to Josephus’s description, Antiq., lib. 8. cap. 3, sec. 2, where it appears, that round Solomon’s temple were chambers three stories high, each story consisting of thirty chambers. It is supposed that twelve were placed to the north, twelve to the south, and six to the east. And they entered into the wall — At five cubits height from the ground, the wall which supported these outward chambers, abated of its thickness one cubit, in consequence of which there was a rest, or a ledge, of one cubit’s breadth, on which the ends of each story were fastened: see 1 Kings 6:10. But they had not hold in the wall of the house — They were not fastened into the main wall of the house, but rested on the outside of the wall where it became more narrow.


Verse 7-8

Ezekiel 41:7-8. And there was an enlarging — Namely, of the side-chambers; so much of breadth added to the chambers as was taken from the thickness of the wall: see the preceding note; and a winding about still upward — Winding stairs, which enlarged as the rooms did, went up between each two chambers from the bottom to the top; and there were two doors at the top of each pair of stairs, one door opening into one chamber, and the other into the opposite one. For the winding about, &c. — The stairs, as they rose in height, enlarged themselves too; round about the house — On all sides of the house, where these chambers were. Therefore the breadth was still upward — It became broader by one cubit in every upper chamber. I saw also the height of the house — Of the chambers which rose to three stories high. The foundations, &c., were a full reed of six great cubits — The lowest chamber had properly a foundation laid on the earth, but the floor of the middle and the highest story must be accounted here a foundation; so from the ground to the ceiling of the first room were six great cubits; from the first to the second, six great cubits; and from the third floor to the roof of the chamber, a like number; to which if we add one cubit for the thickness of each of the three floors, you have twenty-one cubits, or ten yards and a half for height.


Verses 9-11

Ezekiel 41:9-11. The thickness of the wall, &c. — This is supposed to be meant of an outward wall enclosing the side-chambers. And that which was left — Or, the space which was left, as Bishop Newcome translates it, judging it to be intended of a space allowed for a walk, or gallery of communication, before the chambers, which space was five cubits broad, Ezekiel 41:11. And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits —

A word being here used for chambers different from that which occurs before, it is supposed that another row of buildings, parallel with the side- chambers, but at twenty yards’ distance from them, is intended, and that there was a passage of twenty cubits between these buildings. The description, however, is very obscure, and the interpretations of commentators, of course, different. The doors of the side-chambers were toward the place that was left — Or, toward the void space. The doors of the lower rooms opened into this void space before the chambers.


Verses 12-14

Ezekiel 41:12-14. Now the building, &c. — This seems to be another building not before mentioned, but now measured by itself. So he measured the house — The whole temple, oracle, sanctuary, and porch, with the walls, which were in length a hundred cubits from east to west, which may be thus computed:

CUBITS.

The thickness of the wall of the east porch

5

The passage through the porch

11

The wall between the porch and the temple

6

The outward sanctuary

40

The partition wall

2

The holy of holies

20

The thickness of the west wall

6

The side-chambers at the west end

5

The outer wall of those chambers

5

Also the breadth of the face of the house — The front of the temple eastward was a hundred cubits.


Verses 15-17

Ezekiel 41:15-17. And he measured the length, &c. — Noldius translates this sentence more clearly thus: And he measured the length of the building which was before the separate place, [and] that which was behind it, or opposite to it; by which he understands the north and south porch, the east and west sides having been measured before, Ezekiel 41:12; Ezekiel 41:14. And the galleries thereof on one side, &c., a hundred cubits, with [or and] the inner temple, and the porches thereof — As the temple, and the area wherein it stood, made a square of a hundred cubits; so the courts and buildings thereto belonging were of the same dimensions. By the galleries are meant the side-chambers, described Ezekiel 41:6-7. Within the inner temple — Called the inner house, Ezekiel 41:17, Ezekiel 42:15, to distinguish it from the courts and buildings which were about it. The door- posts and the narrow windows, &c. — He measured also the thickness of the walls on each side of the porch, and the thickness of the door-cases at the entrance into the temple; as also the narrow windows belonging to the three stories of chambers, which were placed on the outside of the temple. From the ground up to the windows — He measured from the ground up to the windows which were placed above the side-chambers. And the windows were covered — With lattices or curtains, or both. To that above the door — It seems this verse is connected with the preceding, and signifies that the windows were made in exact proportion, both over the porch, and through every part of the temple and the buildings adjoining to it.


Verses 18-20

Ezekiel 41:18-20. And it was made with cherubims and with palm-trees — On the inside of the house the walls were adorned with carved work of cherubim and palm-trees, as Solomon’s temple was, 1 Kings 6:29. The cherubs and palm-trees were placed alternately; and according to the different ways of counting them, you might reckon a palm-tree placed between two cherubs, or a cherubim placed between two palm-trees. So the face of a man was toward a palm-tree, &c. — The cherubim had four faces, or appearances, but only two of these appeared plainly in this carved work; the two other faces, namely, that of an ox and an eagle, being supposed to be hid in the plain or surface of the wall. From the ground unto above the door — Up to the windows, as it is expressed Ezekiel 41:16, or up to the ceiling, as the LXX. explain it.


Verse 21-22

Ezekiel 41:21-22. The posts of the temple were squared, &c. — The lintels, or door-posts, both of the temple and inner sanctuary, were not arched, but square, with a flat beam, or upper lintel, laid upon the top of the side-posts: compare the margin of 1 Kings 6:33. The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits — The LXX. add, by way of explication, και το ευρος πηχων δυο, and the breadth thereof two cubits; that it might be foursquare, as Moses’s altar of incense was, Exodus 30:2. The altar here described is a cubit higher, and double the breadth to that of Moses, which is supposed to be agreeable to the dimensions of the altar made by Solomon, who did not exactly observe the proportions prescribed to Moses, in making the cherubim and the other furniture of the temple; God having given a new model to David of all the parts and ornaments of the temple, 1 Chronicles 28:12; 1 Chronicles 28:19. This altar was made of wood, but overlaid with gold, Exodus 30:3, and therefore is called the golden altar. And the corners thereof, &c., were of wood — The corners are the same with the horns, mentioned Exodus 30:2, being made out of the four posts which supported each corner of the altar. The surface, or top of it, is called the length, and the sides the walls. This is the table that is before the Lord — The words altar and table are used promiscuously; and this table, or altar, is said to be before the Lord, as being in the place of his peculiar presence: compare Exodus 30:8. In the same sense the burnt-offering is said to be made at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord, that is, in the place dedicated to his worship, Exodus 29:42; and the lamp is said to burn before the Lord, chap. Ezekiel 27:21, though the candlestick stood in the outward sanctuary.


Verses 23-25

Ezekiel 41:23-25. And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors — Each of them had a double, or folding-door. And the doors had two leaves apiece The two doors being exceedingly large, that of the outward sanctuary ten cubits broad, and that of the inner six, (see Ezekiel 41:2-3,) and of a height proportionable; each of them had two leaves, that they might be more easily opened, and each leaf had a wicket in it. And there were made on them, &c., cherubims and palm-trees — Namely, on the doors both of the outward and inward sanctuary. And there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without — There was a wainscot work of boards fastened to the end of the great beams, which came out beyond the wall of the porch. These were laid so as to make a frieze-work over the entrance of the eastern porch.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 41:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/ezekiel-41.html. 1857.

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Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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