Ezekiel 40:48
And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side.
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Ezekiel 40:48-49. And measured each post of the porch — By the posts are meant the side-posts, or columns, on each side of the door of entrance: see Ezekiel 40:9; these were measured to be five cubits thick, both on the north and south sides. And the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, &c. — “Two doors, of three cubits wide, opening each way, formed the entrance; these, with five on each side, called the posts of the porch, amount to sixteen cubits; and the other four may be supposed to have been the distance from these posts to the outside of the walls of the temple.” — Scott.

40:1-49 The Vision of the Temple. - Here is a vision, beginning at ch. 40, and continued to the end of the book, ch. 48, which is justly looked upon to be one of the most difficult portions in all the book of God. When we despair to be satisfied as to any difficulty we meet with, let us bless God that our salvation does not depend upon it, but that things necessary are plain enough; and let us wait till God shall reveal even this unto us. This chapter describes two outward courts of the temple. Whether the personage here mentioned was the Son of God, or a created angel, is not clear. But Christ is both our Altar and our Sacrifice, to whom we must look with faith in all approaches to God; and he is Salvation in the midst of the earth, Ps 74:12, to be looked unto from all quarters.The Porch of the House. The front of the temple-porch (see G, Plan I) consisted of a central opening with two columns on either side. Two columns with the space between them were called "a post of the gate." "The breadth of the gate" on either side was a side opening, that is, the opening between two columns. The columns having bases of a cubit square, two columns and the "breadth of the gate," which we are told was three cubits, made up the "five cubits" on either side the central entrance, which, like the entrance into the temple itself, was ten cubits. Thus we have twenty cubits for the porch-front.48, 49. These two verses belong to the forty-first chapter, which treats of the temple itself. He brought me, from the measuring the building and court, to the porch of the house, that porch which joined to the temple, and was part of the house.

Each post of the porch; the post or wall on each side of the gate. The thickness or space between the outside of the wall and the inside of the wall was five cubits on each side, north and south, if we suppose the breadth of the porch from north to south, and the length from east to west. The whole breadth was eleven cubits, but the breadth of each leaf of this folding gate was three cubits, and they met, or shut, on an upright post, set in the middle of the gatespace, and this one cubit broad; and then each leaf hanged on posts two cubits thick; which amount to eleven cubits.

And he brought me to the porch of the house,.... Having passed through the inner court, and measured that, he came to the body of the fabric, the principal part of it, the house or temple; to the porch that led into it. Here of right a new chapter should begin, for this and the next verse more properly "belong" to the following chapter. This porch was a large roof, and was a covering both from cold winds and storms, and from the scorching heat of the sun; and was an emblem of Christ, the hiding place from the wind, and the covert from the tempest of divine justice and vengeance, and the wrath of God; and from the heat of a fiery law, of Satan's fiery darts or temptations, and of the persecutions of men: it was also, as is thought, a place for the priests to pray in, before they went into the temple; as Christ is the way in which the priests of the Lord go unto him, and pray before him; in whose name, and for whose righteousness sake, they present their supplications to him.

And measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side; these posts stood, one on the north side of the porch, and the other on the south, and were each five cubits thick:

and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side; this gate signifies Christ, the door, or gate, or way of entrance into the spiritual temple the church, John 10:1 and it had two leaves, that on the north was three cubits broad, and that on the south was of the same measure: this two leaved gate may show, that both Jews and Gentiles, being converted, may enter into the Gospel church; as they will in the latter day, when the Jews shall be called, and the fulness of the Gentiles brought in; here will be an open door set; the gate will be wide enough to let them all in, Revelation 3:8.

And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side.
48. post of the porch] The “post” is as before the front or jamb of the advancing wall on each side of the entrance. This wall was 5 cubits thick. Fig. 2, ab.

breadth of the gate was three cubits] The “gate” here means the two bits of wall (N. to S.) on either side, the fronts of which formed the posts or jambs of the entrance, Fig. 2, bh. The language is brief; LXX. either read or judged that the reading should be: and the breadth of the entrance was fourteen cubits, and the side pieces of the entrance of the porch were three cubits on one side and three cubits, &c. These measures are correct and probably original, for 14 (entrance, Fig. 2, aa, bb) + 6 (3 + 3) = 20 the extent of the porch N. to S. (Ezekiel 40:49).

Ezekiel 40:48 to Ezekiel 41:4. Measurements of the Temple house, in its three parts, porch, holy place and most holy place

48, 49. The porch. Fig. 2, A.

Verses 48, 49. - With these verses the following chapter ought to have commenced, as the seer now advances to a description of the house, or temple proper, as in 1 Kings 6:2, with its three parts - a porch (vers. 48, 49), a holy place (Ezekiel 41:1), and a holy of holies (Ezekiel 41:4). Verse 48. - The porch, or vestibule, according to Keil, appears to have been entered by a folding door of two leaves, each three cubits broad, which were attached to two side pillars five cubits broad, and met in the middle, so that the whole breadth of the porch front was six cubits, or, including the posts, sixteen cubits. The measurements in ver. 49 of the length of the porch (from east to west) twenty cubits, and the breadth (from north to south) eleven cubits, he harmonizes with this view by assuming that the pillars, which were five cubits bread in front, were only half that breadth in the inside, the side wall dividing it in two, so that, although to one entering the opening was only six cubits, the moment one stood in the interior it was 6 cubits + 2 × 2.5 cubits = 11 cubits. Kliefoth, however, rejects this explanation, and understands the three cubits to refer to the portion of the entrance on either side which was closed by a gate, perhaps of lattice-work, leaving for the ingress and egress of priests a passage of five cubits. In this view the whole front of the porch would he 5 cubits of passage + 6 (2 × 3) cubits of lattice-work + 10 (2 × 5) cubits of pillar, equal in all to 21 cubits. Dr. Currey, in the 'Speaker's Commentary,' includes the three cubits of door in the five cubits of post, and, supposing the temple entrance to be ten cubits, makes the whole front to have been twenty cubits. We prefer Kliefoth's opinion. Ezekiel 40:48The Temple-Porch

(see Plate III A). The measuring angel conducts the prophet still farther to the porch of the temple, and measures its breadth and length. - Ezekiel 40:48. And he led me to the porch of the house, and measured the pillar of the porch, five cubits on this side and five cubits on that side; and the breadth of the gate, three cubits on this side and three cubits on that side. Ezekiel 40:49. The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits, and that by the steps by which one went up; and columns were by the pillars, one on this side and one on that side. - הבּית is the temple in the more restricted sense of the word, the temple-house, as in 1 Kings 6:2, etc.; and אלם, the porch before the entrance into the holy place (cf. 1 Kings 6:3). The measurements in Ezekiel 40:48 and Ezekiel 40:49, which are apparently irreconcilable with one another, led the lxx to the adoption of arbitrary interpolations and conjectures in Ezekiel 40:49, in accordance with which Bttcher, Hitzig, and others have made corrections in the text, which have a plausible justification in the many artificial and for the most part mistaken interpretations that have been given of the text. The measures in Ezekiel 40:49 are perfectly plain, namely, the length of the porch twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits; and there is no question that these measurements are to be understood in the clear, that is to say, as referring to the internal space, excluding the side-walls, as in the case of the holy place, the most holy place, and the inner court. The only question is whether the length signifies the dimension from east to west, i.e., the distance which had to be traversed on entering the temple, and therefore the breadth, the extent from north to south; or whether we are to understand by the length the larger dimension, and by the breadth the smaller, in which case the measurement from north to south, which formed the breadth of the house, would be designated the length of the porch, and that from east to west the breadth. Nearly all the commentators have decided in favour of the latter view, because, in the porch of Solomon's temple, the length of twenty cubits was measured according to the breadth of the house. But the fact has been overlooked, that in 1 Kings 6:3 the length given is more precisely defined by the clause, "in front of the breadth of the house." There is no such definition here, and the analogy of the building of Solomon's temple is not sufficient in itself to warrant our regarding the construction of the porch in the temple seen by Ezekiel as being precisely the same; since it was only in the essential portions, the form of which was of symbolical significance (the holy place and the most holy), that this picture of a temple resembled the temple of Solomon, whereas in those which were less essential it differed from that temple in various ways. At the very outset, therefore, the more probable assumption appears to be, that just as in the case of the holy place and the holy of holies, so also in that of the porch, we are to understand by the length, the distance to be traversed (from east to west), and by the breadth, the extension on either side (i.e., from south to north).

If, then, we understand the measurements in Ezekiel 40:49 in this way, the measures given in Ezekiel 40:48 may also be explained without any alterations in the text. The measuring of the pillar of the porch on either side, and of the gate on this side and that (Ezekiel 40:48), is sufficient of itself to lead to the conclusion that the front turned toward a person entering is the breadth from south to north. This breadth presented to the eye a pillar on this side and one on that - two pillars, therefore, each five cubits broad (c c), and a breadth of gate of three cubits on this side and three on that, six cubits in all (b), that is to say, a total breadth (k-k) of 5 + 3 + 3 + 5 equals 16 cubits. The only thing that can surprise one here is the manner in which the breadth of the gate is defined: three cubits on this side and that, instead of simply six cubits. But the only reason in all probability is, that the pillars on either side are mentioned just before, and the gate of six cubits' breadth consisted of two halves, which had their hinges fastened to the adjoining pillars, so that each half was measured by itself from the pillar to which it was attached. The breadth of front mentioned, viz., sixteen cubits, agrees very well with the breadth of the porch inside, i.e., eleven cubits (m-m), for it allows a thickness of two cubits and a half for each side wall (a), and this was sufficient for the walls of a porch. The pillars, which were five cubits broad on the outer face, were therefore only half that breadth (2 1/2 cubits) in the inner side within the porch, the other two cubits and a half forming the side wall. All the particulars given in Ezekiel 40:48 may be explained in this way without any artifice, and yield a result the proportions of which are in harmony with those of the entire building. For the porch, with an external breadth of sixteen cubits, was half as broad as the house, which had a breadth of twenty cubits in the clear, and side walls of six cubits in thickness (Ezekiel 41:5), so that when measured on the outside it was 6 + 20 + 6 equals 32 cubits broad. The breadth of the interior also is apparently perfectly appropriate, as the porch was not intended either for the reception of vessels or for the abode of individuals, but was a simple erection in front of the entrance into the holy place, the door of which (d) was ten cubits broad (Ezekiel 41:2), that is to say, half a cubit narrower on either side than the porch-way leading to it. And lastly, the length of the porch was also in good proportion to the holy place, which followed the porch; the porch being twenty cubits long, and the holy place forty cubits. If we add to this the front wall, with a thickness of two cubits and a half, corresponding to that of the side walls, we obtain an external length of twenty-two cubits and a half for the porch. In front were the steps by which one went up to the porch (l). It is generally supposed that there were ten steps, the אשׁר after בּמּעלות being changed into עשׂר (ten) after the example of the lxx. But however this alteration may commend itself when the facts of the case are considered, ten steps in front of the porch answering very well to the eight steps before the gateway of the inner court, and to the seven steps in front of the gateway of the outer court, it is not absolutely necessary, and in all probability is merely a conjecture of the Seventy, who did not know what to do with אשׁר, and possibly it is not even correct (see at Ezekiel 41:8). The words וּבמּעלות אשׁר can be attached without difficulty to the preceding account of the breadth: "the breadth was eleven cubits, and that at the steps by which they went up to it," i.e., when measured on the side on which the flight of steps stood. If the words are taken in this way, they serve to remove all doubt as to the side which is designated as the breadth, with special reference to the fact that the porch of Solomon's temple was constructed in a different manner. The number of steps, therefore, is not given, as was also the case with the east gate of the outer court (Ezekiel 40:6), because it was of no essential importance in relation to the entire building. The last statement, "and there were columns by the pillars on this side and on that," is free from difficulty, although there is also a difference of opinion among the commentators as to the position of these columns. האילים points back to אל אלם (Ezekiel 40:48). The preposition אל does not imply that the columns stood close to the pillars, and had the form of half-columns, but simply that they stood near the pillars (see Plate III K), like the columns Jachin and Boaz in Solomon's temple, to which they correspond.

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