The posts of the temple were squared, and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The posts of the temple.—Posts is a different word from that hitherto used, and always means the framework in which the doors were hung. Temple is, as before, the Holy Place, in distinction from the sanctuary, or Holy of Holies. The door-frames of both were square and just alike.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.Ezekiel 40:9 note). These "posts" are rather pilasters forming part of the inner walls.
The appearance ... other - i. e., the appearance in this vision was the same as in the actual temple (compare Ezekiel 43:3); (or, according to others, the front of the sanctuary resembled, the front of the holy place).
The face, the form of the door, or gate of the temple, was square, i.e. not arched, as the gates of our churches ordinarily are, but with a flat beam, or upper lintel, laid on the top of the posts, and so either made an equilateral square, or an oblong square.
The appearance of the one as the appearance of the other; as was the form of the gate of the temple in its larger, so was the form of the gate of the oracle in its lesser dimensions.
and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other; that is, the front of the holy of holies was like that of the temple; they both had the same appearance, though one was larger than another. The posts of the one were squared, even as the posts of the other; showing that the same is the way of entrance into the Gospel church and into the New Jerusalem church state, and even into the heavenly glory, which is Christ; and, whether in the less or more perfect state of the church on earth, there are the same precious faith, and love, and communion, though different degrees. The Targum is,
"and the face of the house of the propitiatory; and its appearance as the appearance of its glory;''
which Jarchi interprets, as the appearance of the throne of glory, seen by the prophet at the river Chebar, Ezekiel 1:26.The posts of the temple were squared, and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. the posts … squared] The text is very uncertain, the versions deviating from Heb. and from one another. The word “temple” (Ezekiel 41:20) being omitted the words read: and the wall, 21 of the temple was square door-posts—a construction scarcely possible to express the idea that the wall had square door-posts. Syriac read: and the wall of the temple was four-square—omitting “door-posts.” LXX.: and the holy place (holiest) and the temple opened (spread out) four-square—reading “holy place” for wall, and “opened” for door-posts. It is probable that something is said of the holiest, because the next clause refers to an article that stood in front of it. It is also probable that the “door” referred to Ezekiel 41:20 is that from the holy place into the holiest. But the witnesses leave us uncertain whether something be said about the wall or about the door-posts. If of the first the reading may be: and the wall of the holiest was four-square (Hitz., Corn.). Reference, however, might be to the door-posts. In Solomon’s temple those of the holy place appear to have been four-cornered, and those of the holiest five-cornered (1 Kings 6:31; 1 Kings 6:33).
face of the sanctuary … the other] This has no probability. The clause is rather to be connected with Ezekiel 41:22. Perhaps: and in front of the sanctuary (the holiest) was the appearance as the appearance 22 of an altar of wood, three cubits the height thereof, &c. So LXX. and partly Syr. In the holy place in front of the holiest there stood an object having the appearance of an altar of wood. The present text might read: “and (as for) the front of the sanctuary, the appearance was as the appearance,” i.e. it had the appearance which is well known and does not need further description—a form of speech common enough in Shemitic, but quite improbable here.Verse 21. - The posts of the temple were squared; literally, as for the temple the doorposts were squared, or "the sanctuary post work of square form" (Keil). The remaining clauses ought to read as in the Revised Version, "As for the face of the sanctuary, the appearance thereof was as the appearance of the temple," the sanctuary being the holy of holies as distinguished from the holy place or the house as a whole, The precise force of the last words, the appearance as the appearance, is supposed by Kliefoth and Keil to be that the sanctuary door, like that of the temple, had square pests; by Ewald, that it appeared to be what it really was; by Plumptre, that the appearance was like that he (Ezekiel) had formerly described: by Currey, that the appearance in this vision was the same as in the other visions, and as in the actual temple (comp. Ezekiel 43:2). Something can be said for each of these attempts to elucidate a dark phrase. Smend and Hitzig, follow the LXX. in connecting the last clause of ver. 21 with ver. 22 in this fashion, "And in front of the holy place was an appearance like the sight of a wooden altar."
Ezekiel 39:1-8. General announcement of his destruction. - Ezekiel 39:1. And thou, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will deal with thee, Gog, thou prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Ezekiel 39:2. I will mislead thee, and conduct thee, and cause thee to come up from the uttermost north, and bring thee to the mountains of Israel; Ezekiel 39:3. And will smite thy bow from thy left hand, and cause thine arrows to fall from thy right hand. Ezekiel 39:4. Upon the mountains of Israel wilt thou fall, thou and all thy hosts, and the peoples which are with thee: I give thee for food to the birds of prey of every plumage, and to the beasts of the field. Ezekiel 39:5. Upon the open field shalt thou fall, for I have spoken it, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 39:6. And I will send fire in Magog, and among those who dwell in security upon the islands, that they may know that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 39:7. I will make known my holy name in the midst of my people Israel, and will not let my holy name be profaned any more, that the nations may know that I am Jehovah, holy in Israel. Ezekiel 39:8. Behold, it comes and happens, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah; this is the day of which I spoke. - The further description of the judgment with which Gog and his hosts are threatened in Ezekiel 38:21-23, commences with a repetition of the command to the prophet to prophesy against Gog (Ezekiel 39:1, cf. Ezekiel 38:2-3). The principal contents of Ezekiel 38:4-15 are then briefly summed up in Ezekiel 39:2. שׁבבתּיך, as in Ezekiel 38:4, is strengthened by שׁשּׁתיך, שׁשׁא, ἁπαχ λεγ.., is not connected with שׁשׁ in the sense of "I leave a sixth part of thee remaining," or afflict thee with six punishments; but in the Ethiopic it signifies to proceed, or to climb, and here, accordingly, it is used in the sense of leading on (lxx καθοδηγήσω σε, or, according to another reading, κατάξω; Vulg. educam). For Ezekiel 39:2, compare Ezekiel 38:15 and Ezekiel 38:8. In the land of Israel, God will strike his weapons out of his hands, i.e., make him incapable of fighting (for the fact itself, compare the similar figures in Psalm 37:15; Psalm 46:10), and give him up with all his army as a prey to death. עיט, a beast of prey, is more precisely defined by צפּור, and still further strengthened by the genitive כּל־כּנף: birds of prey of every kind. The judgment will not be confined to the destruction of the army of Gog, which has invaded the land of Israel, but (Ezekiel 39:6) will also extend to the land of Gog, and to all the heathen nations that are dwelling in security. אשׁ, fire, primarily the fire of war; then, in a further sense, a figure denoting destruction inflicted directly by God, as in Ezekiel 38:22, which is therefore represented in Revelation 20:9 as fire falling from heaven. Magog is the population of the land of Magog (Ezekiel 38:2). With this the inhabitants of the distant coastlands of the west (the איּים) are associated, as representatives of the remotest heathen nations. Ezekiel 39:7, Ezekiel 39:8. By this judgment the Lord will make known His holy name in Israel, and show the heathen that He will not let it be blasphemed by them any more. For the fact itself, compare Ezekiel 36:20. For Ezekiel 39:8, compare Ezekiel 21:12, and for היּום, see Ezekiel 38:18-19.
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