|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
42:1-20 In this chapter are described the priests' chambers, their use, and the dimensions of the holy mount on which the temple stood. These chambers were many. Jesus said, In my Father's house are many mansions: in his house on earth there are many; multitudes, by faith, are lodging in his sanctuary, and yet there is room. These chambers, though private, were near the temple. Our religious services in our chambers, must prepare for public devotions, and further us in improving them, as our opportunities are.
Verses 1-14. - The priests' chambers. Verse 1. - The survey of the house having been completed, the seer was conducted by his guide into the outer court (see on Ezekiel 40:17), by the way toward the north, i.e. by the inner north gate (see Ezekiel 40:23) and from the outer court into the chamber that was over against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north. That this chamber, or these chambers (לִשְׁכָּה being a collective noun, though in vers. 4 and 5 it occurs in the plural), were not the same cells as those mentioned in Ezekiel 40:17, 44, as Havernick supposes, is apparent from their situation and use. Those in Ezekiel 40:44 were in the inner, while these were in the outer; and if the cells spoken of in Ezekiel 40:17 were in the outer court, they were also on the pavement by the outer wall, while the chambers now alluded to were "over against," or in front of, the gizrah, or separate place (see on Ezekiel 41:12), and "over against," or in front of, "the building toward the north." This building Kiel, Hengstenberg, Schroder, and Plumptre hold to have been the erection on the gizrah; Ewald, Kliefoth, Smend, and Currey believe it to have meant the temple. The question as to which view is correct is immaterial, since the row of chambers extended in front of parts of both buildings. Ewald, as usual, follows the LXX., and translates, "brought me to the fifteen (another Greek text has five) cells;" but of this the Hebrew contains nothing.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward the north,.... After the dimensions of the gates and courts of this building had been shown, and that of itself, the holy and most holy place, with the ornaments thereof; the prophet is brought by his guide into the outward court, which encompassed the building to the north part of it; probably he came out of the north gate of the house into it. So the Targum renders it,
"by the way of the gate which is open to the way of the north:''
and he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place; or holy of holies; see Ezekiel 41:12, over against or before this, to the north of it, were a chamber or chambers; the singular being put for the plural; whither the prophet was brought to take a view of, being a new and distinct building from all others he had seen before; unto one of them, or to the place of them, as Jarchi, where they stood: there were two rows of them opposite to each other, and a walk between them; they are afterwards called the north and south chambers, Ezekiel 42:13,
and which was before the building toward the north; this chamber or chambers were over against or before the whole fabric, to the north of it. The Jews here confess their ignorance, there being nothing in the first or second temple answerable to these. Lipman (s) expressly says these chambers were not in the second temple; perhaps they may design the Protestant reformed churches in the northern parts of the world; the religion of Protestants is by the Papists called the northern heresy: and if our northern churches are here pointed at and described, it is a great honour that is done them, to have a particular apartment allotted them in this wonderful building; compare Psalm 48:2.
(s) Tzurath Beth Hamikdash, sect. 71.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Eze 42:1-20. Chambers of the Priests: Measurements of the Temple.
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