|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 14. - He made also posts. In using the verb "made" the prophet either went back in thought to the time when the man who then explained the building had fashioned it (Hengstenberg); or he employed the term in the sense of constituit, i.e. fixed or estimated, "inasmuch as such a height could not be measured from the bottom to the top with the measuring-red" (Keil). The "posts," the אֵילִים of ver. 9, were sixty cubits high, and corresponded to the towers in modern churches. To the objection sometimes urged against what is called the "exaggerated" height of these columns, Kliefoth replies, "If it had been considered that our church towers have grown up out of gate-pillars, that one can see, not merely in Egyptian obelisks and Turkish minarets, but also in our own hollow factory chimneys, how upon a base of two cubits, square pillars of sixty cubits high can be erected, and that finally the talk is of a colossal building seen in vision, no critical difficulties would have been discovered in this statement as to height." The last clause, even unto the post of the court round about the gate, should read, and the court reached unto the post (אַיִל being used collectively), the gate being round about (Revised Version); or, the court round about the gate reached to the pillars (Keil); or, at the pillar the court was round about the gate (Kliefoth). The sense is, that the court lay round about the inner egress from the gate. The Authorized Version, with which Dr. Currey, in the 'Speaker's Commentary,' agrees, thinks of an inner hall between the porch of the gate and the two most western guard-chambers, round the sides of which the sixty-cubit columns stood. Ewald, following the corrupt text of the LXX., translates, "And the threshold of the outer vestibule twenty cubits, the gate court abutting on the chambers round about."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He made also posts of threescore cubits,.... Jerom thinks, that between the outward wall which surrounded this building, and the building itself, these posts or pillars were placed for ornament, which took up the space of sixty cubits; but rather these design the posts or columns of the gate, which supported the arch over it, on which were rooms or stories, and these were sixty cubits high; for of their height is this measure to be understood. So the Targum,
"and he made posts, sixty cubits was their height;''
in the Targum, in the Polyglot Bible by Montanus, it is,
"and he made sixty posts, their height a cubit:''
and to this agree Jarchi and Kimchi; these were thirty five yards high, the height of the temple ordered to be built by Cyrus, Ezra 6:3. The man that measured is said to "make" these posts, he being the builder as well as the measurer of this edifice; and might be said to make these as, by measuring, he pointed out the size and proportion of them: these posts may design the true members of Gospel churches, such who are pillars in the house of God; of which see more on Ezekiel 40:16, compare the phrase of "making" these posts or pillars with Revelation 3:12,
even unto the post of the court round about the gate; that is, there was the same measure to every post or pillar in every court, at every gate round about; at the southern and northern gates, as at this eastern one; they were all exactly of the same measure as the posts in this; so Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it.
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