|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.
Verse 4. - Before the chambers a walk. Whether this walk ran along the longer, i.e. northern, or in front of the eastern side of the chambers, and how it stood related to the way, which is likewise mentioned in connection with the chambers, are litigated questions. The LXX. identifies the two, and understands a way in front of the chambers of ten cubits broad and a hundred cubits long. Ewald and Keil so far agree with the LXX. as to change the one cubit way into a hundred-cubit way; but whereas Ewald thinks of a passage ten cubits broad and a hundred cubits long, running from west to east between two sets of chambers, Keil speaks of a walk of ten cubits broad and a hundred cubits long in front of the cells, extending into a way of equal breadth and length, leading westward into the inner court. Havernick's, Hengstenberg's, and Kliefoth's idea, favored by Schroder, and probably the best, is that of a walk of ten cubits in front of the cells, and a way of one cubit leading into them from the walk. Dr. Currey reverses this, and makes a walk of ten cubits leading inward, and a way, or kerb, of one cubit in front. Plumptre agrees that the passage leading into the chambers was ten cubits broad, but regards the one cubit as denoting the thickness of the wall separating the walk from the interior of the chambers.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits' breadth inward,.... That is, within side, or between the two rows of chambers, there was a walk of this breadth, for those that lodged in the chambers to walk in for their pleasure and profit, and to converse with one another. Such who by these "chambers" understand places of retirement for private devotion, or the duties of the closet, which fit and prepare for public worship, as these chambers were near and in sight of the temple, so by this walk then Christian conference and conversation is intended; and shows, that the whole of religious time is not to be spent between the church and the chamber; but some part of it should be allotted for spiritual discourse, about gracious experiences, the truths of the Gospel, and the duties of religion; but as chambers design churches, this walk denotes the outward walk and conversation of the saints; which should be according to the rule of God's word, as becomes the Gospel, and worthy of the calling wherewith they are called. Starckius applies this to the decalogue or ten commandments, which is a broad way, Psalm 119:32 and the moral law, as in the hands of Christ, is a rule of walk and conversation to believers under the Gospel: and besides, there "was a way of one cubit"; which led into the chambers, and out of them into the broad walk: this is a narrow way, as Christ is said to be, Matthew 7:14 and whoever profess faith in him, and in this way enter into a Gospel church state, and into the kingdom of heaven, must be attended with much affliction and persecution, and pass through many tribulations; and there being both a broad walk and a narrow way, and these lying near one another, and a passage from the one to the other, may denote that the churches and people of God are sometimes in prosperity, and sometimes in adversity; one while they walk at liberty, as in a large place; and at other times in great straits and difficulties:
and their doors toward the north; that is, the doors of that row of chambers nearest the temple; these opened to the north into the walk of ten cubits; though one would think that the row opposite to them, their doors must be to the south, into the broad walk between them; unless this is to be understood of the doors that opened into the way of one cubit, and were to the north in both rows; but then the way of one cubit could not in both lead into the broad walk.
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