Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
1And he brought me to the temple, and measured the wall-pillars, six cubits broad on this side, and six cubits broad on that, the breadth of the tent [wasthat]. 2And the breadth of the entrance [the door] was ten cubits, and the sides of the entrance five cubits on this side and five cubits on that; and he measured 3its [the temple’s] length, forty cubits, and the breadth, twenty cubits. And he went inward, and measured the wall-pillar of the entrance, two cubits; and the entrance, six cubits; and the breadth of the entrance, seven cubits. 4And he measured its [the interior’s] length, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place. 5And he measured the wall of the house, six cubits; and the breadth of the 6side building, four cubits round and round about the house [all around]. And of the side chambers [there were], chamber on chamber, three, and that thirty times; and they came into [on] the wall, which was to the house at the side chambers round and round, so that they are held fast, and [yet] they are not 7held fast in the wall of the house. And it became broader, and changed [ana in so far it changed] still upwards in the case of the side chambers; for all the changing in the house [went on] still upwards round and round on the house; therefore was the breadth to the house upwards, and so the lower [story] will 8ascend to the upper by the middle. And I saw on the house a height round and round; the foundations of the side chambers were the full rod, six cubits 9according to that to the wrist. The breadth of the wall, which was for the side building without, was five cubits, and [five cubits] the place that was left free [with respect to] the house of the side chambers, which was annexed to the house. 10And between the chambers was a breadth of twenty cubits round 11about the house. And the opening of the side building was towards the free place, one opening towards the north, and one opening towards the south; and the breadth of the place [the space] left free was five cubits round and round. 12And the building which was before the gizrah [off-place] on the side towards the west [literally: towards the sea] had a breadth of seventy cubits; and the wall of the building was five cubits broad round and round, and its length was ninety 13cubits. And he measured the house, a hundred cubits long; and the gizrah, 14and the building, and its walls, a hundred cubits long. And the breadth of the front of the house, and of the gizrah towards the east, a hundred cubits. 15And he measured [so measured he] the length of the building which was in front of the gizrah [namely] on its back part, and [that was] its galleries on this side and on that, a hundred cubits, and the inner temple and the porches of the 16court; The thresholds, and the closed windows, and the galleries round about on all three,—over against the threshold [was] a boarding of wood round and round,—and the ground up to the windows [measured he, or: had measures], 17and the windows [were] covered; Up above the opening and [that] to the inner house and outside, and on the whole wall round and round within and 18without [were] measures. And [there were] made cherubim and palms, [so that] a 19palm was between a cherub and a cherub, and on the cherub two faces. And the face of a man was towards the palm on this side, and the face of a lion towards the palm on that side; it was made on the whole house round and round. 20From the ground to above the opening were the cherubim and the palms made, and [this on the; or: so much of the, etc.; or: this is] the wall of the temple. 21The post of the temple was square, and the front of the sanctuary; the view 22[was] as the view [had the same view]. The altar of wood was three cubits high, and its length two cubits; and it had its corners; and its length and its walls were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before Jehovah. 23, 24And two doors were to the temple and to the sanctuary. And here were two leaves to the doors, two turning leaves, two to the one door, and two 25leaves to the other. And on them, on the doors of the temple, were made cherubim and palms, as they were made on the walls; and a wooden pediment 26was on the front of the porch without. And closed windows and palms were on this side and on that, on the sides of the porch; thus [as respects] the side chambers of the house, thus [as regards] the pediments.
Ezekiel 41:1. Sept.: ... εἰσηγαγεν με εἰς … το αἰλαμ … το πλατος ἐνθεν κ. … το εὐρος του αἰλαμ ἐνθεν. Vulg.: … et sex cubitos inde, latitudinem—
Ezekiel 41:2. … του κυλωνος … κ. ἐπωμιδες τ. πυλωνος—
Ezekiel 41:3. … εἰς τ. αὐλην την ἐσωτεραν … κ. τας ἐπωμιδας του θυρωματος πηχεις ἑπτα ἐνθεν κ. πηχ. ἑπτα ἐνθεν.
Ezekiel 41:4. … το μηκος των θυρωματων πηχ. τεσσαρακοντα κ. εὑρος·—
Ezekiel 41:6. … Κ. τα πλευρα … τριακοντα κ. τρις δις· κ. διαστημα ἐν τ. τοιχω του οἰκου ἐν τ. πλευροις τ. οἰκου κυκλω του εἰναι τοις ἐπιλαμβανομενοις ὁρκν, ὁπως το ταραπαν μη ἁπτωνται των τοιχων—Vulg.: … bis triginta tria, et erant eminentia, quæ ingrederentur per parietem domus in lateribus per circuitum, ut continerent et non attingerent parietem templi.
Ezekiel 41:7. Κ. το εὐρος της ἀνωτερας των πλενρων κατα το προσθεμα ἐκ του οἰκου, προς την ἀνωτεραν κυκλω του οἰκου, ὁτως διαπλατυνηται ἀνωθεν, κ. ἐκ των κατωθεν ἀναβαινωσι ἐπι τα ὑπερωα κ. ἐκ των μεσων ἐπι τα τριωροφα. Vulg.: Et platea erat in rotundum, ascendens sursum per cochleam, et in cœnaculum templi deferebat per gyrum, idcirco latius erat templum in superioribus. Et sic de inferioribus ascendebatur ad superiora in medium.
Ezekiel 41:8. Sept.: Κ. το θραελ τ οἰκου ὐψος κυκλω διαστημα των πλευρων ἰσον τω καλαμω πηχεων ἑξ. Διαστηματα (9) κ. εὐρος τ. τοιχου … κ. τα ἀπολοιτα ἀνα μεσον τ. πλευρθν τ. οἰκου (10) κ. ἀνα μεσον των ἐξεδρων. Vulg.: … fundata latera—(9) et latitudinem per parietem lateris. … Et erat interior domus in lateribus domus.
Ezekiel 41:11. … ἐπι το ἀπολοιπον της θυρας τ. μιας της προς βοῤῥαν, κ. ἡ θυρα … κ. το εὐρος του φωτος … πλατος κυκλωθεν. Vulg.: ad orationem.
Ezekiel 41:12. … το διοριζον κατα προσωπον του ἀπολοιπου ὡς προς … πλατος … του διοριζοντος … εὐρος κυκλωθεν κ. μηκος αὐτου—Vulg.: ædificium quod erat separatum—
Ezekiel 41:13. … κατεναντι του οἰκου … κ. τα ἀπολοιπα κ. τα διοριζοντα—
Ezekiel 41:14. … κατεναντι—
Ezekiel 41:15. κ. τα ἀτολοιπα ἐνθεν … Κ. ὁ ναος κ. αἱ γωνιαι κ. το αἰλαμ το ἐξωτερον πεφατνωμενα. Vulg: … controfaciem … ethecas ex utraque—
Ezekiel 41:16. Κ. αἱ θνριδες δικτνωται, ν̔ποφανσεις κυκλω . . ὡστε διακυπτειν. Κ. ὁ οἰκος κ. τα πλησιον ἐξυλωμενα κυκλω, κ. το ἐδαφος κ. ἐκ του ἐδαφους ἑως τ. θυριδων, κ. αἱ θυριδες ἀναπτυσσομεναι τρισσως εἰς το διακυπτειν.
Ezekiel 41:17. Κ. ἑως πλησιον της ἐσωτερας κ. ἑως της ἐξωτερας—Vulg.: et usque ad domum—
Ezekiel 41:18. ... γεγλυμμενα.
Ezekiel 41:19. ... ἐνθεν κ. ἐνθεν … ἐνθεν κ. ἐνθεν. Διαγεγλυμμενος ὁλος ὁ οἰκος. … (20) ἐκ του ἐδαφους ἐως του φατνωμαψος … διαγεγλυμμενοι. Vulg.: … in pariete templi.
Κ. το ἁγιον (21) κ. ὁ ναος ἀναπτυσσομενα τετραγωνα, … ὁρασις ὡς ὀψς (22) θυσιαστηριου … κ. το εὐρος πηχεων δυὀ κ. κερατα εἰχεν, κ. ἡβασις αὐτου—Vulg.: … aspectus contra aspectum.
Ezekiel 41:25. Sept.: Κ. γλυφη … κ. ἑπι … κατα τ. γλυφην των ἁγιων, κ. σπουδαια ξυλα κατα προσωπον—Vulg.: … quam ob rem et grossiora erant ligna in vestibuli fronte—
Ezekiel 41:26. κ. θυριδες κρυπται. Κ. διεμετρησεν ἐνθεν κ. ἐνθεν, εἰς τα ὀροφωματα του αἰλαμ, κ. τα πλευρα τ. οἰκου ἰζυγωμενα. Vulg.: Super quæ fenestræ … secundum latera domus latitudinemque parietum.
Ezekiel 41:1–4. The Temple
The edifice of the temple proper is now described in continuation of Ezekiel 40:48, 49. We proceed from the temple porch to the “house,” as it is called there; to הַהֵיכָל, as it is named in Ezekiel 41:1. The idea of greatness, height, like יָכֹל, “to be able,” “to have the power of” (HUPF.: “to seize,” be capable), lying at the root of this word, suggests a large and spacious edifice, in short, a palace, such as, doubtless, David had in his mind (2 Sam. 7:2), and in agreement also with the character of Solomon’s temple, as a palace of Jehovah (e.g. 1 Kings 7:12). הַהֵיכָל does not need to be understood in the narrower sense of the holy place, any more than does הָאֹהֶל, which designation, embracing both the holy and the most holy place (without the porch), simply subjoins the Mosaic element to the Solomonic.—The “Elim” (see Ezekiel 40:9) are two wall-pillars, one on each side, six cubits broad, so that by this statement of the breadth of the pillars, the breadth of the whole sanctuary is given as to its bounding points, extending from the extremity of the one to the extremity of the other. For
Ezekiel 41:2—there was still between them a door ten cubits broad, and on each side, literally: “shoulders,” five cubits broad, making thus the inside breadth twenty cubits, the half of the length.—In Ezekiel 41:3 it is said that he went; not: he brought me, etc. For, as Ezekiel 41:4 shows, the place in question was the most holy place, which the mere priest was not permitted to enter. Of the collective door-pillars, one is on the right and one on the left, on the wall between the two divisions of the sanctuary. On account of the following breadth of seven cubits, the six cubits have been taken to be the height of the door, or an additional cubit has been understood as the breadth of the door-posts.
Ezekiel 41:4. The measuring of the length leads into the interior, to its extreme point; hence the breadth is again in front, where the temple appears as a whole, as the palace of holiness.
Ezekiel 41:5–11. The Side Building
In Ezekiel 41:5 the measuring turns to the outside. As the wall and the side building are spoken of, it is now said the house. The wall is the wall that begins with the pillars (Ezekiel 41:1).—The thrice-repeated סָבִיב undoubtedly refers to the three sides, which come into consideration, the two lengthwise and the one at the back.—According to Ezekiel 41:6. the side building was a complex of ninety chambers or rooms in three stories, sacristies for the priests, and for the custody of the manifold sacred objects, clothes, utensils, etc. (הַצֵלָע, in Ezekiel 41:5 collective, like יָצִו֯עַ in 1 Kings 6. From צָלַע, “to turn,” “to bend,” it signifies: turning, bending, and thence: side, rib, etc. The הַצְלָעוֹת in Ezekiel 41:6 are single chambers which compose the צֵלָע as a whole.) Chamber “on” chamber; אֶל here = על, as is evident from what follows, and still more so from Solomon’s temple, through which that becomes clear which otherwise might remain dark. The eye first looks upward, and in this direction there was chamber rising on chamber. (KEIL: on the north and south walls, twelve each; on the shorter west wall, six.)—As to the fastening of their floor-beams, these side chambers came “into the wall (the proper temple wall which ran around them inside);” the immediately following explanation shows that the בְּ implies such a connection with the wall in question that “into” rather implies: “on,” or: “upon”; they were indeed caught and held fast (אָחַז) there, but not in the temple wall itself, for ledges ran round about the temple, upon but not into which the ends of the beams were put. (Comp. 1 Kings 6:6, 10.)
Ezekiel 41:7 speaks impersonally (it), although, according to what precedes and what immediately follows, it is the house that will be thought of under reference to the side building. The widening as it went upwards (לְמַעְלָה לְמַעְלָה) related to the side chambers (לַצְּלָֹעוֹת). Its explanation is already given in Ezekiel 41:6, namely, where the ledges let us suppose a gradual narrowing of the temple wall adapted to the three stories. As now said in Ezekiel 41:7, it was still upwards and round about the house, thus not on the outer wall of the side building, so that this wall rose perpendicular without any ledges. Accordingly, the width of the side building and relatively of the side chambers necessarily increased as the temple wall grew narrower from story to story. This is the מוּסַב־הַבּיִת׳ (from סָבַב, Niph.: וְנָסְבָה); this widening was the changing, which could be said of the temple house (HENGST.: “and altered itself,” “the alteration of the house”), כִּי expressing the וְנָסְבָה with so much the better reason as the מוּסַב was round and round on the house, and therefore (עַל־כֵּן) רֹחַב־לַבַּיִת, that is, this “width” increasing “with the ascent,” this “changing” pertained in fact only to the house, with which the side building of three stories was connected on every possible side. [Keil translates: “and was surrounded,” “the surrounding of the house,” and understands by that very simply the side building; while Kliefoth understands a gallery-like “corridor” running round the house, by which one could get to the chambers of the upper story, and derives the widening above not from the temple wall, but from the corridors of the second and third stories; comp. the convincing refutation in Keil.]—If the most generally accepted translation: “and so one ascends from the lower story to the upper by the middle,” is held to say something not quite clear in itself, one must with Hengstenberg supply from 1 Kings 6:8 the winding stair, for which room was got by the breadth increasing upwards; we do not need with Keil to suppose the stair, on the outside, and to contend against its leading from the lower into the upper, and thence (!) into the middle story; it was self-evidently in the interior of the side building;—or by this translation of the close of the verse one can find the thought expressed that the priests did not step from the temple into the side chambers, but within the widening upwards which the house had through the side buildings. KEIL: “proportionately to the middle story”; the difference of gender decides nothing against הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה as subject to יַעֲלֶה, and וְכֵן indicates that the ascent took place in the way stated of the widening.
What Ezekiel sees
Ezekiel 41:8—was on the house, and hence still relates to the side building, without its being taken as = “house.” [HENGST.: “the height round about,” namely, of the side building, may be given.] What we may take as meant by the height (KEIL: = elevation) is probably told by מיּסְדוֹת (Qeri: מוּסְדוֹת). According to Keil, particip. dual of יָסַד; according to Gesenius, a substantive, signifying: the foundations of the side chambers, the basement of which, accordingly, a full rod high, reached to the house; and this harmonizes with the steps leading to the porch of the temple (Ezekiel 40:49); and so מְלוֹ הַקָּנֶה (only here, elsewhere מְלוֹא ,מְלא̇) will hardly be added, “because the elevation above the ground might easily be supposed less” (HENGST.). On the contrary, the six cubits אַצִילָה has quite the appearance of a closer definition of that which Ezekiel calls the full rod, although whether from the elbow to the wrist, where hand and arm meet, or how, cannot be determined. J. D. Michaelis supposes short cubits. Such a more exact definition of the measure would be the more in place were it different from that of Ezekiel 40:5. [Hengstenberg and Kliefoth understand אַצִיל of each of the three stories: “the foundations one full rod, six cubits its story.” Irrespective of whether אַצִיל can mean that, וְ is wanting.]—In Ezekiel 41:9, besides the five cubits’ breadth of the outer wall of the side building, the same extent (וַאֲשֶׁר) is set apart for מֻּנָּח (particip. Hoph. of נוּחַ, left “over,” “free,” “empty”), that is, for the space not built upon (ver, 11). KLIEF.: par terre round about the first story of the side building, still to be distinguished from the wider unbuilt-on space which surrounded the temple in a width of twenty cubits.—בּית regards the side building connected with the temple in this relation separately as a “house,” while the clause: אֲשֶׁר לַבָּית, still retains the fact that the house after all is the temple.
Ezekiel 41:10. “The cells” are described in Ezekiel 42. The breadth of twenty cubits bounds the three sides of the temple, north, south, and west. The breviloquent expression: between, etc., Hengstenberg takes to mean: between the outer wall of the side building and the cells. KEIL: between the free space and the cells.
Ezekiel 41:11 shows that the side building opened with two doors towards the free space (HENGST.: “between the wall of the side building and the surrounding wall”). The five cubits round and round (in distinction from the two door-sides) are those already indicated in Ezekiel 41:9.
Ezekiel 41:12–14. The Off-place
Ezekiel 41:12. Now the side building which stands in connection with the house has been treated of, and its relation to the outside too shown, a building (as the wall was called in Ezekiel 40:5) comes to be spoken of which is said to be before the gizrah, from which appellation accordingly we have to find its situation and explanation. Since it is not spoken of so incidentally and epenthetically, as Kliefoth supposes, but next to the side building which belongs to the house its measurements also being given, it must be supposed to stand in some relation or another to the temple. And so it is called הַגִּזְרָה, by which is indicated something known, self-intelligible. נָּזַר means: “to separate,” “to cut,” and is here said of a space; and thus the gizrah is an off-place. The goat bears (Lev. 16:22) “upon him all their iniquities,” אֶל־אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה. HENGST.: “The place and the building thereon serve negatively the same purpose which the temple serves positively. If this is to retain its dignity and sanctity, a place must be assigned to which all uncleanness is removed. Already in Deut. 23:13 sq. we find the order for setting apart such a place outside the camp, which corresponded to the temple (?) with its courts; and also the injunction that this place is to be kept clean, which is laid down as a religious duty.” With this has been compared in Solomon’s temple 2 Kings 23:11; 1 Chron. 26:16, 18 (the “refuse-gate”). See Lange on Kings, p. 262 sq. Nothing whatever is told us expressly regarding the purpose for which this place, situated behind the temple at the west, was intended, perhaps just because the name itself was quite enough. Where bloody sacrifices were brought, sacrificial feasts held, places for preparing them stood, and a numerous body of persons kept moving about, an off-place for the great quantity of all kinds of refuse was a self-evident necessity.—פְּאַת׳ means the same thing, whether it be taken as defining more closely אֲשֶׁר׳ or הַגִּזְרָה, for since the building stood with its east front towards the temple, the side towards the west can only denote its position in some other respect; that is, the position of the place generally. Keil’s translation is not clear: “And the building in front of the separate place was on the side towards the west seventy cubits broad.”—By the wall … round and round, the breadth of which is particularly noticed, is to be understood with Kliefoth the wall of the building. Thus “it extended westward to the outer enclosing wall of the court, and had (HENGST.) by a gate built in this its egress into the city.” In Ezekiel 41:13 the length of the gizrah (inclusive of all) is placed parallel to the length of the temple, as in Ezekiel 41:14 the breadth by which the relation, although antithetical, of the gizrah to the temple becomes very clear. Deducting accordingly the 70 + 2 × 5 = 80 cubits (Ezekiel 41:12), there remains of the 100 cubits a free space 20 cubits broad, doubtless 10 on the north and 10 on the south, for approaches to the gizrah building, whose length ran along the whole extent.
Ezekiel 41:15–26. Supplementary
Ezekiel 41:15, summing up in accordance with Ezekiel 41:12: 90 + 2 × 5 = 100, just like Ezekiel 41:13, thus being a recapitulation, intimates by this the character of the notices that still follow, as supplementary additions to the preceding.—The measuring of this length proceeds in such a way that the measurer measured the building situated before the gizrah (according to Ezekiel 41:12) in the direction towards the back part of the place. This is the meaning of the definition: אֲשֶׁר עַל־אַחֲרֶיהָ, the feminine suffix referring to הַגִּזְרָה, the back part being the natural antithesis to אֶל־פְּנֵי; so that אֲשֶׁר may either signify “which,” or it may also be referred to the length, which extended in front over the back part of the gizrah, if it is not with Keil to be referred to הַבִּנְיָן. This definition is intended, namely, to form the transition to supplementary statements as to the not yet mentioned אַתִּוקֶיהָא (Qeri: אַתִּיקֶיהָא). MEIER: אָתַק, from אֵת, allied to אָתָה, “to go through” = עָדָה, whence אַתִּיק, “walk,” as gallery is properly derived from the German wallen=quellen (to issue forth). GESEN.: properly: “landing place,” then a short piazza, from נָתַק, “to break off.” The signification: walks, galleries, for the word—occurring only here and in Ezekiel 42—is certainly demanded by the latter passage. The analogy to the temple retained throughout speaks in favour of this, as does also the fact that the free space of ten cubits on each side (Ezekiel 41:14, see exposition) is in this way satisfactorily disposed of. Keil makes the suffix look back to הַבּנְיָה in Ezekiel 41:13. The repeated statement of the hundred cubits’ length is intended to show that the galleries were as long as the building.—Since now the inner temple, i.e., that which stood in the inner court (KEIL), or because it is so called in distinction from the gizrah building and the courts (HENGST.), and finally the porches of the court, that is, the projections of the gates into the court generally or into the court in question, are mentioned, all that was hitherto measured is summarily repeated; in which manner Ezekiel 41:16 continues, to which Hengst. supplies: “and he measured” (Ezekiel 41:15), while Keil takes them as nominatives absolute, and finds the predicate in מִדּוֹת, Ezekiel 41:17.—הַסִּפִּים, mentioned in Ezekiel 40:6, 7, according to Kliefoth: window sills (?).—The closed windows, see Ezekiel 40:16.—The galleries, see Ezekiel 41:15. The definition: round about on all three (the gizrah, the temple, and the porches of the court, Ezekiel 41:15), is either to be understood with respect to the description given in the foregoing of the parts designated by the article as known, and hence to be understood under limitation, or we must, for example, suppose galleries to the temple also, and likewise to the porches of the court; for which Hengst. cites John 10:23, and Josephus, Arch. 20:9. 7. The recapitulatory character of these verses—meant, as they are, for a supplement—speaks in favour of the first view, that of Keil. But that which is to be supplied is in respect of the thresholds or sills (הַסַּף collectively) over against them; and, taken strictly, it denotes the upper moulding of the door, or the door-case generally, on both sides (סַבִיב סָבִיב). [HENGST.: the ground floor when one looked over the threshold; KEIL: the wooden case of the window openings.] שָׁתַף is: “to make thin,” whence שְׁחִיף, “thin, fine” wood. Hengst. discovers such wooden boarding also in the words: “and also from the ground to the windows,” and places the windows up in the roof, as in the ark (Gen. 6:16), for one reason, because of the adjoining house, which was probably as high as the temple. Kliefoth, on the other hand, places the windows immediately on the ground floor, and makes the earth of the foundation rise up to the windows (!). As what has been just said had respect to the thresholds, so what follows with וְהָאָרֶץי is supplementary to the second thing mentioned, the windows; beginning with this, that even the ground up to them, this distance, was a measured distance (Ezekiel 41:17), which had not yet been said, after which the more intelligible expression: מְכֻסּוֹת (particip. Pual of כָּסָה), illustrates the above-mentioned הָאֲטֻמוֹת. Finally, with respect to the walks which ran along the doors, and the wall rounding off the whole, Ezekiel 41:17 accordingly adds, that each and all was according to measure; the space above the door (collective), even into the inner house,—the temple in its entirety is spoken of as to its principal parts,—and outside, and the whole wall round about within and without were so. [HENGST.: “a house worthy of the God who has wisely arranged all things in His creation (Ps. 104:24), and left nothing to caprice and chance.”]
The expression: made, in Ezekiel 41:18, which is resumed in Ezekiel 41:19, refers to sculpture or carved work; but comp. Lange on Kings, p. 67. On the cherubim, see the same work, p. 66, and in this Commentary on Ezekiel 1:4–14, and Doct. Reflec. 10 on Ezekiel 9.; on the palms, see on Ezekiel 40:16. HENGST.: “There are the carved works in the temple, the destruction of which by the Chaldeans is lamented in Ps. 74:6; and now they are there again.” Comp. as to the significance of the grouping, Lange on Kings, p. 74 sq. Hengst. brings out the reference that the house is dedicated to the Lord of the whole terrestrial creation.—The arrangement was that a cherub and a palm, and again a cherub, always followed in order.—It is further observed, in distinction from chap, 1, that the cherub had two faces, as expositors generally say, because only two could be visible, inasmuch as figures were treated of which could present only one side. On this Bähr observes: “But certainly the wings of the eagle and the feet of the bullock were not wanting.” Two, however, is specially the number of creation (heaven and earth), of the creaturely contrast, which therefore everything made will have in itself, harmonized here by the palm as the third between cherub and cherub into the number of the divine life.
Ezekiel 41:19. The two faces were that of man and of the lion, which most aptly represents the wild animal named by way of eminence חַיָה (ζωον). The cherub turned the one face to the palm on this side, and the other to the palm on that, whereby the union of the two with the palm to form three was made very manifest.
Ezekiel 41:20 illustrates what Ezekiel 41:19 intends by: on the whole house round and round; that it was from the ground or floor to the wall-work above the door, that is, to the roof, and this on the temple within to which the door led, of which, therefore, mention is made.—וְקִיר׳, local accusative or concluding formula.
But with Ezekiel 41:21 comes an additional supplement in relation to the door-post work on the temple, namely, that each pair of door-posts had the significant square form already met with in Solomon’s temple, and first fully carried out in Ezekiel (see Lange on Kings, p. 73). In this way the revelation of Jehovah, the God of the world, in the world, in its cosmic relations, comes into prominence; KLIEF.: the number four is “the signature of the coming universality;” it will extend itself into all the world, and to it they shall enter in from all the world. (According to Klief. מְזוּזַת is not stat, constr., but an unusual form for רְבֻעָה ּמְזוּזָה, an adjective, literally: “post of the square.” Keil remarks on the breviloquence.)—The sanctuary (הַקֹּדֶשׁ) is the most holy place (Ezekiel 41:23). The front, which it presented to the priest prophet treading the holy place, had the view as the view just described, that is, the quadriform view of the door-posts. [HENGST.: “at the front was,” etc., since the new view is compared with a former one which the prophet himself had had (Ezekiel 43:3). KLIEF.: “And the superficies of the whole sanctuary was likewise square.” The Targum and Rashi suppose a reference to the vision by the Chebar.]
Ezekiel 41:22 describes with similar brevity of diction the wooden altar of incense, in distinction from the brazen altar of burnt-offerings. The abrupt עֵץ forms also a contrast to the coating of gold in Solomon’s temple ( “just as there is a deep silence throughout in Ezekiel concerning gold, which plays so great a part in Solomon’s temple,” HENGST.). While observing that, “in the case of the floor also and the walls mention is made only of the wooden boarding,” Hengst. refers to the “troublous times in which temple and city should be built again,” and compares Dan. 9:25; Zech. 4:10 (comp. Doct. Reflec. 8).—The height and length (which, considering its square form, gives at the same time its breadth)—not given in the case of Solomon’s altar—may, however, be here borrowed from it (HENGST.). Keil includes in its corners the four horns found on Solomon’s altar. But in what follows: and its length, etc., he sees in וְאָרְכוֹ a mistake for אַדְנוֹ, “its pedestal;” while Hengst. can find in it only the top of the altar. But why should we not suppose it to say plainly, because it came in the way here, that the altar in all its length and round and round was wood? Ezekiel says nothing of the candlestick, and the table for the shew-bread, and indeed nothing of a furnishing of the most holy place. Keil therefore interprets the explanation: this is the table, etc., from the Pentateuch designation of the offerings “as the bread of God.” HENGST.: “because that which is set upon this altar—the incense denoting the prayers of the saints (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8, 8:3)—is regarded as a spiritual food which the people present to their Heavenly King. The altar appears as the table of the Lord also in Ezekiel 44:16; the offering as food of God in Mal. 1:7. The loaves laid on the table of shew-bread denoted good works;” to which Hengst. compares Matt. 21:18 sq., the fruit of the fig-tree, that is, of the Jewish people, after which Jesus hungered. Compare also Bähr’s (der Salom. Tempel, p. 185 sq.) objections to the view of Hengstenberg and Keil. After all, the express declaration: This is the table that, etc., has in it something surprising, which is rather strengthened than explained by Ezekiel 44:16. Böttcher thinks that “the altar-table was meant to combine in one the old table of shew-bread and the altar of incense” (see Doct. Reflec. 8). For the rest, the expression: before Jehovah, is explained from the place where the altar of incense stood, immediately before the ark of the covenant, which was separated from it by the veil of the most holy place.
In Ezekiel 41:23 supplementary mention is made of two doors (1 Kings 6:32, 33), to be explained, without doubt, by the altar of incense standing at the separating point of the two divisions of the temple, that is, one door belonging to the holy place, and one to the most holy place, both which
Ezekiel 41:24—had two leaves each. These two-leaved doors are, however, still more closely described by the following phrase: two turning leaves, so that each leaf had two parts which could be opened and shut,—a very suitable, arrangement, considering the breadth of these doors. According to Ezekiel 41:25, the ornaments on these temple doors are the same as those mentioned in Ezekiel 41:18 sq.—On the front of the porch (of the temple) without there was a wooden עָב. GESEN.: probably a threshold which formed a kind of pediment as stepping-place to a colonnade or temple. How is that to be conceived of? It was evidently made of wood. A threshold-like approach, a perron?—As the beholder’s look returns again and again to the ample materials presented to it, something additional is always to be observed. Thus Ezekiel 41:26: closed windows and simple palms on the two shoulders, that is, side-walls, right and left. Either not mentioned hitherto, or at least now more exactly.—The brief concluding clause: הַבַּיִת וְהָעֻבִּיס וְצַלְעוֹת, probably simply intimates, that as there were closed windows and palms on the two sides of the porch, so there were windows of the kind on the side chambers, and palms on the wooden pediments. KLIEF.: On the side buildings (?) of the porch and of the side stories were windows and palms, and so also the עֻבִּים. Hengst. thinks that the words: “and the steps” [pediments] (= “and besides, the steps also are to be noticed in the porch,” Ezekiel 41:25), “place the extreme end to the east over against the extreme end to the west of the gizrah, with which the section began in Ezekiel 41:15.”
On Ch. 41
Ezekiel 41:1 sq. “We ought to go forward under God’s guidance in the ways of the Lord from glory to glory, but not to go backward or stand still except in meditation” (STARCK).—“The temple a figure of the Church of Christ; as the former was gloriously built, so also the spiritual form of the Church of Christ is glorious, Ps. 45:14 ” (TÜB. BIB.).—“The Good Spirit leads men to the Church, there to listen devoutly to the word of God; the evil spirit keeps them back from it, 1 John 4:6” (STARKE).—That that can be entitled a palace which is at the same time called a tabernacle, shows how the King had resolved to become a pilgrim, just as He who is enthroned in the sanctuary on high walks with pilgrims, and is at home in the tabernacles of those who are humble and contrite in heart.
Ezekiel 41:4 sq. “The most holy place is set before us as the goal, and we understand thereby a heavenly state on earth, namely, the Church of the New Testament. Accordingly, in Ezekiel 43 the entire circuit of the mountain is called most holy, from which it is evident that no one is truly inside of this temple, or even in its courts, who is devoid of the New Testament perfection,” etc. (COCC.)—Heavenly glory or eternal bliss is no doubt the only complete holy of holies; yet he who has entered the kingdom of grace has come to a glory which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of any man, to praise and glorify God for ever.—“When we meet together, God is present in the temple (Matt. 18); for our heart is the dwelling-place of the Father and the Son in the Holy Ghost” (STARCK).
Ezekiel 41:5 sq. That the chambers are connected denotes the brotherly relation in the sanctuary, Ps. 133; 1 John 3:1 sq.—God provides for His servants covert and shelter in this world.—The chambers are not all of the same size, but they are all connected with the sanctuary; the same is the case with the progress and growth of the members of the body of which Christ is the Head.—The saints of God are also measured round and round; no heavier task is laid upon them, no greater temptation befalls them, than what is their Father’s will.—Indefiniteness in spiritual endeavours is a token of disease, a want of sobriety and obedience of faith.
Ezekiel 41:6. Leaning upon God, upheld by Him, but not mixed up with Him in our affairs.—Of ourselves we cannot stand a single moment.
Ezekiel 41:7. “In God’s house we must go upward by growth in grace, that the mind may be always the more firmly directed heavenward” (BERL. BIB.).—The breadth in the top part.—“Christians ought not to contract, but to expand as they grow older” (STARCK).—Higher grace gives expansion in width and breadth. The narrower points of view with which we ascend gradually disappear.—The broader heart on the height of the Christian life in theory and practice.—Prayer an ascending stair.—But let us not forget that which lies in the middle! In the middle is the means, the way of mediation.
Ezekiel 41:8. The secret of the height depends on the foundation.
Ezekiel 41:12 sq. The history of dogmas is in many respects the off-place in Ezekiel’s temple.
Ezekiel 41:15 sq. God knows and determines the magnitude of the Church on earth.
Ezekiel 41:17. “Enlightenment is from above; only thus do we obtain a conception of heavenly things” (STARKE).—Faith is a window, and, as compared with vision, a narrow one.—“Through His wounds we see into the heart of Christ as through a window” (À LAPIDE).
Ezekiel 41:18 sq. “The ever-flourishing palm is the righteous one who has overcome sin and is in the eternal habitations. And so also we are genuine men, in God’s strength, with the heart of a lion” (HEIM-HOFF.).—The palm a sign of victory, of life, of eternal glory.—The view of the palm which is promised to the victor.—“Teachers ought to be men, especially to humbled consciences, but also to be lions against enemies” (O.).
Ezekiel 41:21. The New Testament presents no other view than the Old.
Ezekiel 41:22. “This altar is at the same time a table, as Christ is to our souls in the Holy Supper” (STARCK).—Wood: the humanity, too, of Jesus was like us in all things except sin.
Ezekiel 41:23 sq. Doors let in and shut out; so also does the Church.—Ornament is here combined with solemnness. We have not here the joyous worldly beauty of Greece, but neither have we the solemnness dark as death, as in Egypt. The world opens its doors half to frivolity and half to despondency.—“The sanctuary of the heart also must be shut, and not with one door only. Our treasure is incomparable, and ought to be preserved with much watchfulness and strong exhortation” (HEIM-HOFF.).—“There is no mention of a veil before the holy of holies, because it was rent at the death of Christ, and must not reappear. This the Lord knew, who showed Ezekiel everything, and Himself rent the veil. Christ is the fulfilment and substitute for everything in the former temple that is wanting in the latter” (RICHTER).—Here on earth, however, are only windows; face to face will be first in heaven.
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.