Ezekiel 41:10
And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side.
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(10) Between the chambers.—There was a space of twenty cubits (I) between the foundation on which the chambers and the Temple stood and the wall of the court on all three sides on which the chambers extended.

41:1-26 After the prophet had observed the courts, he was brought to the temple. If we attend to instructions in the plainer parts of religion, and profit by them, we shall be led further into an acquaintance with the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.See H, Plan I.10. the chambers—that is, of the priests in the court: between these and the side chambers was the wideness, &c. While long details are given as to the chambers, &c., 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. Jehovah Himself, in the full display of the divine Shekinah, shall come in the room of the ark of the covenant (Jer 3:16, 17). The interior of the temple stands empty, waiting for His entrance to fill it with His glory (Eze 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 (Eze 43:12). Between the chambers that on one side joined to the temple, and were public repositories for offerings, and tithes, &c., and those other chambers, which were built on the wall of this inner court, and were lodgings for the priests, there was a void space, or pavement, in the open air, twenty cubits broad, and these round about on all sides of the court, and probably some rails, or balusters, or low wall round too before them enclosing this space.

And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits,.... Not the side chambers before mentioned, as if there was the space of twenty cubits between each chamber; for another word is used; more probably the meaning is, that between the side chambers, or the void space before them of five cubits, and the chambers which were in the court facing them, was such a wideness of twenty cubits:

round about the house on every side; on all sides of the temple, where the above chambers were, west, north, and south.

And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side.
Verse 10. - Ewald and Smend, following the LXX., combine vers.; 9 and 10 thus: "And that which was left between the side chambers of the house and the cells (along the inner court wall) was twenty cubits round about the house on every side." Interpreters who reject this combination of the verses explain ver. 10 as a statement of the distance between the outside wall of the side chambers and the cells of the inner court. Between the two lay the wideness of twenty cubits; i.e. a free space of such breadth on the north, south, and west sides of the house. Ezekiel 41:10The Wall and the Side-Building

Ezekiel 41:5. And he measured the wall of the house six cubits, and the breadth of the side storey four cubits round the house round about. Ezekiel 41:6. And of the side-rooms there were room upon room three, and that thirty times, and they came upon the wall, which the house had by the side-rooms round about, so that they were held, and yet they were not held in the wall of the house. Ezekiel 41:7. And it spread out, and was surrounded upwards more and more to the side-rooms, for the enclosure of the house went upwards more and more round about the house; therefore the house received breadth upwards; and so the lower ascended to the upper after the proportion of the central one. Ezekiel 41:8. And I saw in the house a height round about, with regard to the foundations of the side-rooms a full rod, six cubits to the joint. Ezekiel 41:9. The breadth of the wall, which the side storey had on the outside, was five cubits, and so also what was left free was by the side-chamber building of the house. Ezekiel 41:10. And between the cells was a breadth of twenty cubits round the house round about. Ezekiel 41:11. And the door of the side-chamber building led toward what was left free, one door toward the north and one door toward the south, and the breadth of the space left free was five cubits round about. - From the interior of the sanctuary the measuring man turned to the outer work, and measured, first of all, the wall of the house (Ezekiel 41:5), i.e., the wall commencing with the pillars in the front (Ezekiel 41:1), which surrounded the holy place and the holy of holies on the north, the west, and the south (e). This was six cubits thick, He then measured the breadth of the צלע, i.e., of the building consisting of three storeys of side-rooms, which was erected against the north, west, and south sides of the sanctuary (h). For צלע signifies not only a single side-room, but collectively the whole range of these side-chambers, the entire building against the sides of the temple house, called יצוּע in 1 Kings 6:5-6, with which הצּלע (Ezekiel 41:8) is also used alternately there (see the comm. on 1 Kings 6:5).; - The breadth of the side-building was four cubits in the clear, that is to say, the space from the temple wall to the outer wall of the side-building (f), which was five cubits thick (Ezekiel 41:9), and that uniformly all round the temple. - The further particulars concerning the side-rooms in Ezekiel 41:6 and Ezekiel 41:7 are very obscure, so that they can only be made perfectly intelligible by comparing them with the description of the similar building in Solomon's temple. According to this, Ezekiel 41:6 is to be taken thus: "and as for the side-rooms, there were room upon room (אל for על) three, and (that) thirty times," and understood as signifying that there were three side-rooms standing one above another, and that this occurred thirty times, so that the side-building had three storeys, each containing thirty rooms (chambers), so that there were thirty times three rooms standing one above another (h h h). There is no necessity, therefore, for the transposition of שׁלושׁ וּשׁלשׁים into שׁלשׁים ושׁלושׁ, which Bttcher, Hitzig, and Hvernick have adopted from the lxx, because of their having taken אל in the sense of against, room against room thirty, and that three times, which yields the same thought, no doubt, but not so clearly, inasmuch as it remains indefinite whether the three times thirty rooms were above one another or side by side. Nothing is said about the distribution of the thirty rooms in each storey; but it is very probable that the distribution was uniform, so that on each of the longer sides, i.e., against the northern and southern walls of the temple, there were twelve rooms, and six against the shorter western wall. The northern and southern walls were sixty cubits, plus six cubits the thickness of the wall, plus four cubits the breadth of the side building against the western wall (60 + 6 + 4), in all therefore seventy cubits, or, deducting five cubits for the thickness of the outer wall at the front of the building, sixty-five cubits long; and the western wall was 20 + 2 x 6 (the thickness of the side wall), i.e., thirty-two cubits long. If, therefore, we fix the length of each side-room at 4 1/2 cubits, there remain five cubits against the western wall for the seven party walls required, or five-sevenths of a cubit for each, and against the northern and southern walls eleven cubits for party walls and staircase, and reckoning the party walls at four-sevenths of a cubit in thickness, there are left four cubits and a seventh for the space of the stairs, quite a sufficient space for a winding staircase.

The clauses which follow relate to the connection between these side-rooms and the temple house. באות בּקּיר, they were coming (going) upon the wall. בּוא ב, generally intrare in locu, here, on account of what follows, to tread upon the wall; that is to say, they were built against the wall in such a manner that the beams of the floors of the three storeys rested on the temple wall on the inner side, i.e., were held or borne by it, but not so as to be inserted in the wall and held fast thereby. The only way in which this could be effected was by so constructing the temple wall that it had a ledge at every storey on which the beams of the side-storeys could rest, i.e., by making it recede half a cubit, or become so much thinner on the outer side, so that if the thickness of the wall at the bottom was six cubits, it would be five cubits and a half at the first storey, five cubits at the second, and four and a half at the third. In this way the side-rooms were supported by the temple wall, but not in such a manner that the beams laid hold of the walls of the sanctuary, or were dovetailed into them, which would have done violence to the sanctity of the temple house; and the side storeys appeared as, what they should be, an external building, which did not interfere with the integrity of the sanctuary. That this is the meaning of the words is rendered certain by a comparison with 1 Kings 6:6, where the ledges on the temple wall are expressly mentioned, and the design of these is said to be לבלתּי אחז בּקירות, that the beams might not be fastened in the walls of the house, to which the last words of our verse, ולא־יהיוּ אחוּזים בּקיר הבּית, refer. Kliefoth's rendering of באות בּקּיר, "they went against the wall," is grammatically untenable, as בּוא sa ,elba with ב does not mean to go against anything. אשׁר לבּית לצּלעות, which the (temple) house had toward the side-rooms. סביב סביב, round about, i.e., on all three sides of the temple. The peculiarity of the storeys, arising from this resting upon the temple, is described in Ezekiel 41:7, of which different explanations have been given, but the general meaning of which is that it occasioned a widening of the side-rooms proceeding upwards from storey to storey, as is plainly stated in 1 Kings 6:6. The words ורחבה ונסבה are not to be taken together, as expressing one idea, viz., "it spread round about" (De Wette), but contain two different assertions, which are more precisely defined in what follows by the substantives מוּסב and רחב. Neither קיר nor הצלע is to be taken as the subject; but the verbs are to be regarded as impersonal: "there spread out and surrounded," i.e., a widening and a surrounding took place. The double למעלה has been correctly explained by Bochart, viz., "by continued ascending," i.e., the higher one went the more extension and compass did one find, with regard to, i.e., according to the measure of, the side-rooms or side-storeys. לצּלעות belongs to למעלה, and is added for the purpose of defining more precisely how the widening took place, not gradually, but at each storey; for "these צלעות are the three rooms standing one above another, spoken of in Ezekiel 41:6" (Kliefoth).

This statement is explained, and the reason assigned, in the clause introduced with כּי, the meaning of which depends upon the explanation of the word מוּסב. This word may mean a way round, and a surrounding. The Rabbins, whom Hvernick follows, understand by מוּסב a winding staircase, the לוּלים mentioned in 1 Kings 6:8, which led from the lower storey to the upper ones. This is decidedly wrong; for apart from the question whether this meaning can be grammatically sustained, it is impossible to attach any rational meaning to the words, "a winding staircase of the house was upwards more and more round about the house," since a winding staircase could never run round about a building seventy cubits long and forty cubits broad, but could only ascend at one spot, which would really give it the character of a winding staircase. Bttcher's explanation is equally untenable: "for the winding round of the interior was upwards more and more round and round inwards." For, in the first place, הבּית does not mean the interior, and לבּית does not mean inwards; and secondly, "winding round" is not equivalent to an alteration of form in the shape of the rooms, through which those in the bottom storey were oblongs running lengthwise, those in the central storey squares, and those in the third oblongs running inwards, which Bttcher imagines to have been the case. It would be much easier to adopt the explanation of Kliefoth and others, who take מוּסב in the sense of a way round, and regard it as signifying a passage running round the house in the form of a gallery, by which one could walk all round the house, and so reach the rooms in the upper storeys. This, as Kliefoth still further remarks, was the reason why the surrounding of (circuit round) the house was greater the higher one ascended, and also the reason why it became wider up above in the upper storeys, as the words, "therefore the breadth of the house increased upwards," affirm. In these words Kliefoth finds a distinct assertion "that there is no foundation for the assumption that the widening upwards was occasioned by the receding of the temple walls; but that the widening of the building, which took place above, arose from the passages round that were attached to the second and third storeys, and that these passages ran round the building, and consequently were attached to the outside in the form of galleries." But we are unable to see how this can be distinctly asserted in the words רחב לבּית למעלה. Even if הבּית, in connection with מוּסב, signified the side-building, including the temple house, the only thought contained in the words would be, that the side-building became broader at each storey as you ascended, i.e., that the breadth of the side-building increased with each storey. But even then it would not be stated in what manner the increase in breadth arose; whether in consequence of the receding of the temple wall at each storey, or from the fact that the side-rooms were built so as to project farther out, or that the side-storeys were widened by the addition of a passage in the form of a gallery. And the decision in favour of one or other of these possibilities could only be obtained from the preceding clause, where it is stated that מוּסב הבּית went round about the side-building, and that in favour of the last.

But, in the first place, the assumption that הבּית and לבּית denote the side-building, to the exclusion of the temple house, is extremely harsh, as throughout the whole section הבּית signifies the temple house; and in Ezekiel 41:6 לבּית is used again in this sense. If we understand, however, by מוּסב הבּית a passage or a surrounding all round the temple house, the words by no means imply that there were outer galleries running round the side-rooms. In the second place, it is extremely harsh to take מוּסב in the sense of a passage round, if the preceding נסבה is to signify surrounded. As מוּסב takes up the word נסבד again, and "precisely the same thing is signified by the two verbs רחבה ונסבה as by the substantives רחב and מוּסב afterwards," we cannot render נסבה by surrounded, and מוסב by a passage round. If, therefore, מוּסב signified a passage, a gallery running round the building, this would necessarily be expressed in the verb נסבה, which must be rendered, "there went round," i.e., there was a passage round, more and more upwards, according to the measure of the storeys. But this would imply that the passage round existed in the case of the bottom storey also, and merely increased in breadth in the central and upper storeys. Now a gallery round the bottom storey is shown to be out of the question by the measurements which follow. From this we may see that the supposition that there were galleries on the outside round the second and third storeys is not required by the text, and possibly is irreconcilable with it; and there is not even a necessity to adduce the further argument, that Kliefoth's idea, that the entire building of three storeys was simply upheld by the outer wall, without any support to the beams from the wall of the temple, is most improbable, as such a building would have been very insecure, and useless for the reception of any things of importance. We therefore take נסב and מוּסב in the sense of surrounded and surrounding. In this case, Ezekiel 41:7 simply affirms that the surrounding of the house, i.e., the side-building round about the temple house, became broader toward the top, increasing (more and more) according to the measure of the storeys; for it increased the more in proportion to the height against the temple house, so that the house became broader as you ascended. To this there is appended by means of וכן the last statement of the verse: "and so the lower ascended to the upper after the measure of the central one." This clause is taken by the majority of the commentators to mean: thus they ascended from the lower to the upper after the central one. But many have observed the folly of an arrangement by which they ascended a staircase on the outside from the lower storey to the upper, and went from that into the central one, and have therefore followed the lxx in changing וכן into וּמן and לתּיכונה into בּתּיכונה, "and from the lower (they ascended) to the upper through the central one." But there is no apparent necessity for these alterations of the text, as the reading in the text yields a good sense, if we take התּחתּונה as the subject to יעלה: and thus the lower storey ascended to the upper after the measure of the central one, - a rendering to which no decisive objection can be urged on the ground of the difference of gender (the masc. יעלה). וכן affirms that the ascent took place according to the mode of widening already mentioned.

In the Ezekiel 41:8 we have a further statement concerning the side-rooms, as we may see from the middle clause; but it has also been explained in various ways. Bttcher, for example, renders the first clause thus: "and I saw what the height round about was in an inwardly direction;" but this is both grammatically false and senseless, as לבּית does not mean inwardly, and "in an inwardly direction" yields no conceivable sense. Kliefoth adopts the rendering: "I fixed my eyes upon the height round about to the house;" but this is also untenable, as ראה does not mean to fix the eyes upon, in the sense of measuring with the eyes, and in this case also the article could hardly be omitted in the case of גּבהּ. The words run simply thus: "I saw in the house a height" equals an elevation round about. What this means is shown in the following words: the side-rooms had foundations a full rod, i.e., the foundation of the rooms was a full rod (six cubits) high. מיסדות is not a substantive מיסדות, but a participle Pual מיסּדות; and the Keri is substantially correct, though an unnecessary correction; מלו for מלוא (compare Ezekiel 28:16, מלוּ for מלאוּ). The side-building did not stand on level ground, therefore, but had a foundation six cubits high. This is in harmony with the statement in Ezekiel 40:49, that they ascended by steps to the temple porch, so that the temple house with its front porch was raised above the inner court. As this elevation was a full rod or six cubits, not merely for the side-building, but also for the temple porch, we may assume that there were twelve steps, and not ten after the lxx of Ezekiel 40:49, as half a cubit of Ezekiel's measurement was a considerable height for steps. - The expression which follows, "six cubits אצּילה," is obscure, on account of the various ways in which אצילה may be understood. So much, however, is beyond all doubt, that the words cannot contain merely an explanation of the length of the rod measure: "six cubits (measured) to the wrist," because the length of the rod has already been fixed in Ezekiel 40:5, and therefore a fresh definition would be superfluous, and the one given here would contradict that of Ezekiel 40:5. אצּיל signifies connection or joint, and when applied to a building can hardly mean anything else than the point at which one portion of the building joins on to the other. Hvernick and Kliefoth therefore understand by אצּיל the point at which one storey ends and another begins, the connecting line of the rooms standing one above another; and Hvernick takes the clause to be a more precise definition of מיסדות הץ', understanding by מיסדות the foundations of the rooms, i.e., the floors. Kliefoth, on the other hand, regards the clause as containing fresh information, namely, concerning the height of the storeys, so that according to the statement in this verse the side-building had a foundation of six cubits in height, and each of the storeys had also a height of six cubits, and consequently the whole building was twenty-four cubits high, reckoning from the ground. So much is clear, that מיסדות does not signify the floors of the rooms, so that Hvernick's explanation falls to the ground. And Kliefoth's view is also open to this objection, that if the words gave the height of the storeys, and therefore supplied a second measurement, the copula ו could hardly fail to stand before them. The absence of this copula evidently leads to the conclusion that the "six cubits" אצּילה are merely intended to furnish a further substantial explanation as to the foundation, which was a full rod high, the meaning of which has not yet been satisfactorily cleared up, as all the explanations given elsewhere are still further from the mark.

In Ezekiel 41:9 there follow two further particulars with reference to the side-building. The wall of it without, i.e., on the outside (f), was five cubits thick or broad, and therefore one cubit thinner than the temple wall. The מנּח in the side-building was just the same breadth. In the clause beginning with ואשׁר the measure (five cubits) given in the first clause is to be repeated, so that we may render ו by "and also," and must take the words in the sense of "just as broad." מנּח, the Hophal participle of הנּיח, to let alone, in the case of a building, is that portion of the building space which is not built upon like the rest; and in Ezekiel 41:11, there it is used as a substantive, it signifies the space left open by the sides of the building (Plate I i). The Chaldee rendering is אתר, locus relictus. בּית צלעות is an adverbial or locative accusative: against the house of side-chambers, or all along it; and אשׁר לבּית is an appositional explanation: "which was to the temple," i.e., belonged to it, was built round about it. - Consequently there is no necessity for any alteration of the text, not even for changing בּית into בּין in order to connect together Ezekiel 41:9 and Ezekiel 41:10 as one clause, as Bttcher and Hitzig propose; though all that they gain thereby is the discrepancy that in Ezekiel 41:9 and Ezekiel 41:10 the space left open between the side-rooms against the temple house and between the cells against the wall of the court is said to have been twenty cubits broad, whereas in Ezekiel 41:12 the breadth of this munnâch is set down as five cubits. - There follows next in Ezekiel 41:10 the account of the breadth between the temple-building and the cells against the wall of the inner court, and then in Ezekiel 41:11 we have further particulars concerning the side-building and the space left open. הלשׁכות (Ezekiel 41:10) are the cell buildings, more fully described in Ezekiel 42:1., which stood along the wall dividing the inner court from the outer on the west of the north and south gates of the inner court, and therefore opposite to the temple house (Plate I L L). To the expression, "and between the cells there was a breadth," there has to be supplied the correlative term from the context, namely, the space between the מנּח and the לשׁכות had a breadth of twenty cubits round about the house, i.e., on the north, west, and south sides of the temple house. - The description of this space closes in Ezekiel 41:11 with an account of the entrances to the side-building. It had a door toward the space left open, i.e., leading out into this space, one to the north and one to the south (Plate III i i), and the space left open was five cubits broad round about, i.e., on the north, west, and south sides of the temple-building. מקום , the place of that which remained open, i.e., the space left open.

If, then, in conclusion, we gather together all the measurements of the temple house and its immediate surroundings, we obtain (as is shown in Plate I) a square of a hundred cubits in breadth and a hundred cubits in length, exclusive of the porch. The temple (G) was twenty cubits broad in the inside (Ezekiel 41:2); the wall surrounding the sanctuary was six cubits (Ezekiel 41:5), or (for the two walls) 2 x 6 equals 12 cubits. The side-buildings being four cubits broad in the clear on each side (Ezekiel 41:5), make 2 x 4 equals 8 cubits. The outside walls of these buildings, five cubits on each side (Ezekiel 41:9), make 2 x 5 equals 10 cubits. The מנּח (i), five cubits round about (Ezekiel 41:11), makes 2 x 5 equals 10 cubits. And the space between this and the cells standing by the wall of the court (e-g-h-f), twenty cubits round about (Ezekiel 41:10), makes 2 x 20 equals 40 cubits. The sum total therefore is 20 + 12 + 8 + 10 + 10 + 40 equals 100 cubits, in perfect harmony with the breadth of the inner court given in Ezekiel 40:47. The length was as follows: forty cubits the holy place, and twenty cubits the holy of holies (Ezekiel 41:2 and Ezekiel 41:4); the western wall, six cubits; the side-rooms on the west, four cubits; and their wall, five cubits; the מנּח, on the west, five cubits; and the space to the cells, twenty cubits; in all, 40 + 20 + 6 + 4 + 5 + 5 + 20 equals 100 cubits, as stated in Ezekiel 41:13. The porch and thickness both of the party-wall between the holy place and the most holy, and also of the front (eastern) wall of the holy place, are not taken into calculation here. The porch is not included, because the ground which it covered belonged to the space of the inner court into which it projected. The party-wall is not reckoned, because it was merely a thin wooden partition, and therefore occupied no space worth notice. But it is difficult to say why the front wall of the holy place is not included. As there was no room for it in the square of a hundred cubits, Kliefoth assumes that there was no wall whatever on the western side of the holy place, and supposes that the back wall (i.e., the western wall) of the porch supplied its place. But this is inadmissible, for the simple reason that the porch was certainly not of the same height as the holy place, and according to Ezekiel 40:48 it had only sixteen cubits of external breadth; so that there would not only have been an open space left in the upper portion of the front, but also an open space of two cubits in breadth on either side, if the holy place had had no wall of its own. Moreover, the measurement both of the pillars on both sides of the front of the היכל (Ezekiel 41:1), and of the shoulders on both sides of the door (Ezekiel 41:2), presupposes a wall or partition on the eastern side of the holy place, which cannot be supposed to have been thinner than the side-walls, that is to say, not less than six cubits in thickness. We are shut up, therefore, to the conjecture that the forty cubits' length of the holy place was measured from the door-line, which was ten cubits broad, and that the thickness of the door-shoulders on the two sides is included in these forty cubits, or, what is the same thing, that they were not taken into account in the measurement. The objection raised to this, namely, that the space within the holy place would thereby have lost a considerable portion of its significant length of forty cubits, cannot have much weight, as the door-shoulders, the thickness of which is not reckoned, were only five cubits broad on each side, and for the central portion of the holy place, which was occupied by the door, and was ten cubits broad, the length of forty cubits suffered no perceptible diminution. Just as the pillars of the door of the holy of holies with the party-wall are reckoned in the 40 + 20 cubits' length of the sanctuary, and are not taken into consideration; so may this also have been the case with the thickness of wall of the door-shoulders of the holy place. The measurements of the space occupied by the holy place and holy of holies, which have a symbolical significance, cannot be measured with mathematical scrupulosity.

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