|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.
Verse 8 explains that "the house" did not stand upon the level ground, but, like many temple buildings in antiquity (see Schurer, in Riehm's 'Handworterbuch,' art. "Tern. pel Salerno"), upon a height - or, raised basement (Revised Version) - round about, which agrees with the statement in Ezekiel 40:49 that the temple was approached by means of a stair. In consequence of this, the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits; or, of six cubits to the joining (Revised Version); "six cubits to the story" (Ewald); literally, six cubits to the armpit. This can hardly mean six cubits each equal to the distance from the elbow to the wrist, which would be a new definition of the length of the reed; but as Havernick and Kliefoth propose, must be taken as an architectural term indicative of the point where one portion of the building joined on to another. Accordingly, by most interpreters the six cubits are considered to be a statement of the height of the ceiling above the floor in each story, which would give an elevation of eighteen cubits for the three stories; but probably they mark only the height of the temple and side chamber basis above the ground. Kliefoth includes both views, and obtains an altitude of twenty-four cubits from the ground to the temple roof.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I saw also the height of the house round about,.... Not of the temple itself, but of the chambers, and the three stories of them, which went round about it; and particularly the height of the highest storey, which yet is not given: it could not be so high as the temple itself; for then there would have been no room for windows to let in light into it:
the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits; not of the lowest storey of them, for that was but four cubits broad, Ezekiel 41:5, nor of the middlemost, which was five; but of the uppermost, which was six; and these were cubits of the largest size, a hand's breadth larger than the common cubit, and made one full reed, or three yards and a half; see Ezekiel 40:5, these foundations signify the same as the twelve foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem; and which are no other than the one foundation Christ, ministerially laid by his twelve apostles; and who is the only foundation of his church and people, and is a sure one, Revelation 21:14.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. foundations … six … cubits—the substructure, on which the foundations rested, was a full reed of six cubits.
great—literally, "to the extremity" or root, namely, of the hand [Henderson]. "To the joining," or point, where the foundation of one chamber ceased and another began [Fairbairn].
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