|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 47. - He measured the court... and the altar. The dimensions of the former, the open space in front of the temple, alone are given - a hundred cubits long and a hundred cubits broad; those of the latter, which stood before the "house," and occupied the center of the square, are afterwards recorded (Ezekiel 43:13). The distance from north to south of the inner court being a hundred cubits, if to these be added twice two hundred cubits, the space between the outer court wall and that of the inner court, the result will give five hundred cubits as the breadth of the outer court, from north gate to south gate. Then as the length of the inner court was a hundred cubits, if to these be added first the hundred cubits lying before the inner court towards the east, secondly, the hundred cubits covered by the temple (Ezekiel 41:13, 14), and thirdly, the one hundred cubits which extended behind the temple (Ezekiel 41:13, 14), the total will amount to five hundred cubits for the length of the outer court from east to west. The outer court, therefore, like the inner, was a square.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So he measured the court,.... The inward court, where the prophet and his guide now were; and the gates leading to which he had been measuring, with the chambers, arches, and tables belonging thereunto:
an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare; the floor, or area of this court, which was a hundred cubits in length and breadth; so that it was a perfect square, equilateral, east, west, north, and south, and above fifty yards each way; such a court as never was in any temple whatever: hence Kimchi observes, there was no such court in the second temple; no, nor in the first neither: in the second temple, the length of the court of Israel, according to Abarbinel, was a hundred and thirty five cubits, and the breadth eleven, but this was a hundred by a hundred; these things, says Lipman (u), are wonderful in my eyes: this denotes the large increase of the church, and of spiritual worshippers, in the latter day; and the foursquare of it signifies the order, perfection, and stability of it; see Revelation 21:16,
and the altar that was before the house; the altar of burnt offering, which stood before the house or temple, in the midst of the inward court; so that it might be seen by all in the inward court and chambers; and even by all in the outward court, through the several gates, which directly opened and led to it. This was typical of Christ, the altar, we Christians have a right to eat of; which sanctifies every gift offered upon it, and which every worshipper should by faith look unto for the expiation of their sins. The dimensions of this altar were now taken, and are given in Ezekiel 43:13.
(u) Tzurath Beth Hamikdash, sect. 27.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
47. court, an hundred cubits … foursquare—not to be confounded with the inner court, or court of Israel, which was open to all who had sacrifices to bring, and went round the three sides of the sacred territory, one hundred cubits broad. This court was one hundred cubits square, and had the altar in it, in front of the temple. It was the court of the priests, and hence is connected with those who had charge of the altar and the music. The description here is brief, as the things connected with this portion were from the first divinely regulated.
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