|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verses 12-14. - The separate place. Verse 12. - The building that was before the separate place. The word הַגּזְרָה, occurring only in this chapter, and translated "separate place," is derived from a root signifying to "cut off," and here denotes a space behind the temple on the west, which was marked off from the rest of the ground on which the temple with its courts and chambers stood, and devoted most likely to less sacred purposes. Behind Solomon's temple lay a similar space (2 Kings 23:11; 1 Chronicles 26:18), with buildings upon it and a separate way out; and as the name gizrah appears to convey the notion of something that required to be kept apart and removed from the sacred precincts, the opinion of Kliefoth is probably correct that "this space with its buildings was to be used for the reception of all refuse, sweepings, all kinds of rubbish - in brief, of everything that was separated or rejected when the holy service was performed in the temple, and that this was the reason why it received the name of 'the separate place.' The dimensions of this building were
(1) the breadth, seventy cubits;
(2) the length, ninety cubits;
(3) the thickness of the wall, five cubits round about. Vers. 13, 14. - Thus the whole breadth of this erection was seventy plus ten, or eighty cubits; which, with ten cubits of free space on the north and south sides, make a hundred cubits in all. Its whole length was ninety plus ten, or a hundred cubits. The entire area was thus once more a hundred cubits square. At this point, again, a convenient estimate of the whole dimensions of the temple area may be made.
I. The breadth of the area from west to east -
1. The separate place (including walls) 100 cubits
2. The "house" (with free space behind) 100 cubits
3. The inner court 100 cubits
4. The outer court (the two gates with space between them) 200 cubits
Total ... 500 cubits
II. The length of the area from north to south -
1. The outer court (the two northern gates with spaces between them) 200 cubits
2. The "house" (with free space on both sides) 100 cubits
3. The outer court (the two southern gates with distance between them) ... 200 cubits
Total - 500 cubits Vers. 15-26. - The projecting portions of the temple building.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now the building that was before the separate place,.... The "separate place" is the holy of holies, which was separated by a vail under the second temple, and by a wall as in this, and the first from the holy place: "before or over against" which was a building, as it is rendered, Ezekiel 41:15, a new building, not before taken notice of: and it was situated
at the end toward the west: or "sea" (e), the Mediterranean sea, which lay west to the land of Canaan. The meaning is, that this building was to the west of the temple, at which end stood the holy of holies, and this near to that: what building is here meant is not easy to say, there being nothing in the first or second temple which answered to it: it seems to be a new building; and what the mystical sense of it is cannot be easily guessed at. Cocceius thinks, that as the holy of holies signifies the heavenly or more perfect state of the church on earth, this, being over against it, or behind it, as in Ezekiel 41:15, may design heaven itself, the happiness and glory of the saints treasured up and reserved there:
it was seventy cubits broad; Jerom seems to have the same mystical sense in view; since he observes, that after labours and perils, and the floods and shipwrecks of this world for seventy years, we come to enjoy the eternal rest:
and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about; which may answer to the vast gulf fixed between the godly in heaven, and the wicked in hell; so that there is no going the one to the other, Luke 16:26,
and the length thereof ninety cubits; there are no outgoings to this building, as Hafenrefferus (f), a German divine, observes; so that those that are brought into it shall ever remain in it, which is the case of the saints in heaven.
(e) "ad mare, Piscator; obversa mari", Cocceius, Starckius. (f) Apud Starckius in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12-15. Sum of the measures of the temple, and of the buildings behind and on the side of it.
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