Ezekiel 41:12
Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) The separate place.—This is the space at the west end of the Temple (20 cubits broad) before coming to another building. Nothing is here said of the purposes of this other building; but it is probably “the appointed place” (Ezekiel 43:21) for the burning of the sin-offering, and also of any remains of other sacrifices which required to be consumed by fire, and of any other refuse from the Temple. Its total width of 80 cubits (70 cubits + 2 walls of 5 cubits each) leaves a passage-way of 10 cubits on each side; while its length (90 cubits + two walls of 5 cubits each—100 cubits) Just fills the space from “the separate place” to the wall of the court. (See plan II., G. [Ezekiel 40:44-49]) The sum-total of the exterior measurements is given in Ezekiel 41:13-14.

Ezekiel 41:12-14. Now the building, &c. — This seems to be another building not before mentioned, but now measured by itself. So he measured the house — The whole temple, oracle, sanctuary, and porch, with the walls, which were in length a hundred cubits from east to west, which may be thus computed:

CUBITS.

The thickness of the wall of the east porch

5

The passage through the porch

11

The wall between the porch and the temple

6

The outward sanctuary

40

The partition wall

2

The holy of holies

20

The thickness of the west wall

6

The side-chambers at the west end

5

The outer wall of those chambers

5

Also the breadth of the face of the house — The front of the temple eastward was a hundred cubits.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.The separate place - See F, Plan II. The word occurs only in this chapter. The name, which seems one of discredit, has led to the conjecture that the purpose of this place and its building was to receive the offal of the sacrifices and sweepings of the courts, to be carried thence by a postern gate (compare Ezekiel 43:21). The building itself was, we are told, seventy cubits wide, with walls five cubits thick (eighty cubits in all), leaving ten cubits on each side to make up the 100 cubits from north to south. The length was ninety cubits, which, adding as before the thickness of the walls, gives 100 cubits in length. The whole temple-building was 500 cubits from west to east, and from north to south, 500 cubits. 12-15. Sum of the measures of the temple, and of the buildings behind and on the side of it. This is a new building not yet mentioned, but now measured by itself.

Before, or over against,

the separate place; either the temple, with all the appendant treasury chambers; or the oracle, which was in the west end of the temple, and separate from the rest of the temple; or that twenty cubits’ space which was cut off from the chambers, an& the five cubits’ space before them by a breast wall, as some think.

At the end of either temple, oracle, or foresaid space,

toward the west, was seventy cubits broad: as men are not agreed about the fabric, and its dimensions, here intended to be measured, so they are as little agreed how to compute the measures; every one however makes out his account, whether the thing he measures be the right or mistaken. First, suppose the temple and the west part of it from north to south, thus: Twenty cubits the oracle, each side wall six cubits, breadth of chambers on each side four, the thickness of the out-walls of these chambers on both sides five cubits each, a void space of five cubits compassing the whole, and then the low or breast wall that enclosed this space five cubits thick on each side, making up the third ten, produce the seventy cubits. But they that think of a distinct building on the west end of the temple, do also in their method make out the account.

The wall of the building was five cubits thick: this seems to countenance their opinion who conceive a distinct building meant.

The length thereof ninety cubits: these proportions are easily laid together, which will make up the total, and agree with the temple, thus: Temple and oracle with their walls seventy cubits, porch eleven, and chambers and walls nine cubits. And who will have such a new structure here measured (which is more than was in the first temple fabric) will make all correspond to their hypothesis, and you may more easily object against another’s than demonstrate your own guess. The best is, the error is not great if a man do err here. 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.

Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. The building behind the house on the west, Fig. 3, K

To the west of the house proper, but divided from it by the 20 cubits of the “separate place” (Fig. 3, H), was a large building, 70 cubits broad (E. to W. Fig. 3, rp, sq), and 90 long (N. to S. Fig. 3, rs, pq)—breadth being the smaller and length the larger dimension here. The wall of the building all round was 5 cubits thick. The measurements 70 and 90 are inside. The uses which this building served are not specified, they were probably general.

before the separate place] i.e. the court of 20 cubits broad (Fig. 3, H), which ran round the house. “Before” is opposite to or facing.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. Announcement of the Wrathful Judgment upon Gog, as a Proof of the Holiness of the Lord

Ezekiel 38:17. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Art thou he of whom I spoke in the former days through my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days, that I would bring thee over them? Ezekiel 38:18. And it cometh to pass in that day, in the day when Gog cometh into the land of Israel, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, that my wrath will ascend into my nose. Ezekiel 38:19. And in my jealousy, in the fire of my anger, have I spoken, Truly in that day will a great trembling come over the land of Israel; Ezekiel 38:20. The fishes of the sea, and the birds of heaven, and the beasts of the field, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the ground, and all the men that are upon the ground, will tremble before me; and the mountains will be destroyed, and the rocky heights fall, and every wall will fall to the ground. Ezekiel 38:21. I will call the sword against him to all my holy mountains, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah: the sword of the one will be against the other. Ezekiel 38:22. And I will strive with him by pestilence and by blood, and overflowing rain-torrents and hailstones; fire and brimstone will I rain upon him and all his hosts, and upon the many peoples that are with him; Ezekiel 38:23. And will prove myself great and holy, and will make myself known before the eyes of many nations, that they may know that I am Jehovah. - The announcement of the way in which the Lord will sanctify Himself upon Gog (Ezekiel 38:16) commences with the statement in Ezekiel 38:17, that Gog is he of whom God has already spoken by the earlier prophets. This assertion is clothed in the form of a question: האתּה, not הלא אתּה, which is the interrogative form used for an emphatic assurance; whereas האתּה does not set down the point in question as indisputably certain, but suggests the inquiry for the purpose of giving a definite answer. The affirmative reply to the question asked is contained in the last clause of the verse: "to bring thee upon them;" so that האתּה הוּא really means, thou art truly he. The statement, that Gog is he of whom God had already spoken by the earlier prophets, does not mean that those prophets had actually mentioned Gog, but simply that Gog was the enemy of whose rising up against the people of God the prophets of the former time had prophesied, as well as of his destruction by a wrathful judgment of the Lord. שׁנים (for years, or years long) is an accusative of measure, not asyndeton to baבּיּמים, as the lxx and many of the commentators down to Hvernick have taken it to be. The design of this remark is not to accredit the prophecy by referring to the utterances of earlier prophets, but to show that the attack of the peoples gathered together by Gog, upon the land and people of the Lord, is not an unexpected event, or one at variance with the promise of the restoration of Israel as a kingdom of peace. To what utterances of the older prophets these words refer is a question difficult to answer. Zechariah (Zechariah 12:2-3; Zechariah 14:2-3) is of course not to be thought of, as Zechariah himself did not prophesy till after the captivity, and therefore not till after Ezekiel. But we may recall Joel 4:2 and 11ff.; Isaiah 25:5, Isaiah 25:10., Ezekiel 26:21; Jeremiah 30:23 and 25; and, in fact, all the earlier prophets who prophesied of Jehovah's day of judgment upon all the heathen.

(Note: Aug. Kueper (Jeremias librr. sacrr., interpr. atque vindex, p. 82) has correctly observed concerning this verse, that "it is evident enough that there is no reference here to prophecies concerning Gog and Magog, which have been lost; but those general prophecies, which are met with on every hand directed against the enemies of the church, are here referred to Gog." And before him, J. F. Starck had already said: "In my opinion, we are to understand all those passages in the prophets which treat of the enemies of the church and its persecutions...these afflictions were preludes and shadows of the bloody persecution of Gog.")

Ezekiel 38:18 and Ezekiel 38:19 do not contain words which Jehovah spoke through the ancient prophets, and which Ezekiel now transfers to Gog and the time of his appearing (Hitzig and Kliefoth). The perfect דּבּרתּי in Ezekiel 38:19 by no means warrants such an assumption; for this is purely prophetic, expressing the certainty of the divine determination as a thing clearly proved. Still less can 'נאם אד in Ezekiel 38:18 be taken as a preterite, as Kliefoth supposes; nor can Ezekiel 38:18 and Ezekiel 38:19 be regarded as a thing long predicted, and so be separated from Ezekiel 38:20-23 as a word of God which is now for the first time uttered. For the anthropopathetic expression, "my wrath ascends in my nose," compare Psalm 18:9, "smoke ascends in His nose." The outburst of wrath shows itself in the vehement breath which the wrathful man inhales and exhales through his nose (see the comm. on the Psalm, l.c.). The bursting out of the wrath of God is literally explained in Ezekiel 38:19. In the jealousy of His wrath God has spoken, i.e., determined, to inflict a great trembling upon the land of Israel. בּקנאתי (cf. Ezekiel 5:13) is strengthened by בּאשׁ עברתי (cf. Ezekiel 21:36; Ezekiel 22:21). The trembling which will come upon the land of Israel, so that all creatures in the sea, in the air, and upon the ground, tremble before Jehovah (מפּני), who appears to judgment, will rise in nature into an actual earthquake, which overthrows mountains, hills, and walls. מדרגות are steep heights, which can only be ascended by steps (Sol 2:14). This picture of the trembling of the whole world, with all the creatures, before the Lord who is coming to judgment, both here and in Joel 4:16, Zechariah 14:4-5, rests upon the fact which actually occurred in connection with the revelation of God upon Sinai, when the whole mountain was made to quake (Exodus 19:16.). The inhabitants of the land of Israel tremble at the terrible phenomena attending the revelation of the wrath of God, although the wrathful judgment does not apply to them, but to their enemies, Gog and his hosts. The Lord calls the sword against Gog, that his hosts may wound and slay one another. This feature of the destruction of the enemy by wounds inflicted by itself, which we meet with again in Zechariah 14:13, has its typical exemplar in the defeat of the Midianites in the time of Gideon (Judges 7:22), and also in that of the enemy invading Judah in the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:23). In לכל־הרי the ל is not distributive, but indicates the direction: "to all my mountains." The overthrow of the enemy is intensified by marvellous plagues inflicted by God - pestilence and blood (cf. Ezekiel 28:23), torrents of rain and hailstones (cf. Ezekiel 13:11), and the raining of fire and brimstone upon Gog, as formerly upon Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24). - Thus will Jehovah prove Himself to be the almighty God by judgment upon His enemies, and sanctify Himself before all the nations (Ezekiel 38:23, compare Ezekiel 38:16 and Ezekiel 36:23).

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