Ezekiel 41:15
And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place which was behind it, and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side, an hundred cubits, with the inner temple, and the porches of the court;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) And he measured.—The rest of the chapter consists of an enumeration of various details, for the most part not before mentioned, and this is introduced by a summary of the measurements already made. This clause is therefore to be understood as equivalent to “So he measured,” or, “And he had measured.” The dimensions of each of the principal parts is then repeated: the building to the west of the Temple, the Temple itself, and the porches of the court. The only new point introduced is “the galleries thereof.” It seems certain that this must refer to the building beyond “the separate place;” but the word for galleries occurs only here and in Ezekiel 41:16, and Ezekiel 42:3; Ezekiel 42:5, and its derivation is quite unknown. The translation, galleries, is probably correct; and as there was a space of 10 cubits on each side of the building in question, there may very well have been galleries covering and protecting its entrances, although they are not located with sufficient definiteness to be drawn on the plan.

Ezekiel 41:15-17. And he measured the length, &c. — Noldius translates this sentence more clearly thus: And he measured the length of the building which was before the separate place, [and] that which was behind it, or opposite to it; by which he understands the north and south porch, the east and west sides having been measured before, Ezekiel 41:12; Ezekiel 41:14. And the galleries thereof on one side, &c., a hundred cubits, with [or and] the inner temple, and the porches thereof — As the temple, and the area wherein it stood, made a square of a hundred cubits; so the courts and buildings thereto belonging were of the same dimensions. By the galleries are meant the side-chambers, described Ezekiel 41:6-7. Within the inner temple — Called the inner house, Ezekiel 41:17, Ezekiel 42:15, to distinguish it from the courts and buildings which were about it. The door- posts and the narrow windows, &c. — He measured also the thickness of the walls on each side of the porch, and the thickness of the door-cases at the entrance into the temple; as also the narrow windows belonging to the three stories of chambers, which were placed on the outside of the temple. From the ground up to the windows — He measured from the ground up to the windows which were placed above the side-chambers. And the windows were covered — With lattices or curtains, or both. To that above the door — It seems this verse is connected with the preceding, and signifies that the windows were made in exact proportion, both over the porch, and through every part of the temple and the buildings adjoining to it.

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 description of certain details is introduced by a summary statement of what had been already done.

Galleries - On either side of the eastern front of the building on the separate place was a gallery of ten feet, under which was an approach to the building, by which the refuse was to be carried in by openings in the north and south, and then carried out by a western postern.

15. galleries—terrace buildings. On the west or back of the temple, there was a separate place occupied by buildings of the same external dimensions as the temple, that is, one hundred cubits square in the entire compass [Fairbairn]. The building, possibly that of Ezekiel 41:12,13, or else the buildings of this court next to the temple, or else the west buildings behind the oracle, or the buildings of the utter court, of which in Ezekiel 42:1,3,7,8.

The separate place: see Ezekiel 41:12.

Which was behind it; the buildings that were behind on the west side of that supposed range, of buildings, or else behind the temple.

Galleries; either chambers, or porches, or balconies, places supported by pilasters, made for beauty and delight.

With the inner temple; according to the measures of the temple, and its appendant buildings.

And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place,.... Which was ninety cubits, as appears from Ezekiel 41:12, when measured by itself:

which was behind it; that is, behind the separate place, or holiest of all, at the back of it, at the west end. Noldius (g) renders the words, "he measured the length of the building before the separate place, and behind it"; or its back part, as the Syriac, and interprets it thus; that he measured the building or the porch which was before the temple, that is to the north; and the porch opposite to it, that is to the south: this "building" behind it, with the Jews (h), is the same with Bethchaliphoth (i), or the house of knives, which the priests used in sacrificing:

and the galleries thereof on the one side, and on the other side, an hundred cubits; as the above is the length of this building from east to west, this is the breadth of it from north to south; the breadth of the building itself was seventy cubits, Ezekiel 41:12, and the galleries on the north and south sides of it, and the thickness of the walls, which were five cubits each, made thirty more; in all a hundred cubits; which is equal to the breadth of the temple, as in the preceding verse: these galleries, or balconies, or porticos, supported by pilasters, design places for the saints to walk in, converse, and commune with one another; and where Christ the King of saints is held forth, and seen in his beauty and glory; see Zechariah 3:7,

with the inner temple, and the porches of the court; or, "and the inner temple" (k), &c. that is, and he also measured the inner temple or holy of holies, with all the porches, chambers, and their walls, and with all the spaces and appendages to it, which were of the same measure; see Ezekiel 41:15.

(g) Concord. Ebr. Part. p. 104. No. 521. (h) Lipman. Tzurath Beth Hamikdash, sect. 50. (i) Misn. Middot, c. 4. sect. 7. (k) "et templum interius", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Starckius.

And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place which was behind it, and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side, an hundred cubits, with the inner temple, and the porches of the court;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. The “length” here is reckoned from N. to S.

which was behind it] Rather: behind which it was. The building, while lying “over against” the “separate place,” was behind it, i.e. to the W. of it. If this construction be not adopted the meaning is, which (building) was behind it (the separate place)—an independent clause. The length of the building as it lay along the “separate place” N. to S. was 100 cubits, i.e. 90 (interior, Ezekiel 41:12) + 5 + 5 (side walls, Ezekiel 41:12) = 100, Fig. 3, rs. The term rendered “galleries” is of uncertain meaning. It occurs only Ezekiel 41:15-16 and Ezekiel 42:3; Ezekiel 42:5. If the reading be right here it can mean nothing else but walls, or something equivalent to walls and occupying the same space, according to Ezekiel 41:12. Syriac uses a term by which it also renders the “walls” of the altar, Ezekiel 41:22.—The verse should end at the word cubits.

15 b seq. Description of the inside of the house, with its ornamentation

The details of measurement were exhausted in Ezekiel 41:15 a. The prophet proceeds now to describe the interior of the house in two particular points: (1) the woodwork with which the house in its walls, &c., was covered, 15b–16 a; and (2) the ornamentation of this woodwork, 16 b seq. The text is in some disorder, and the unknown term rendered “galleries” causes perplexity, though two general statements are plainly made, viz. that the whole interior of the house was covered with wood, and that this woodwork from floor to roof was ornamented in the holy place and in the holiest with cherubs and palms (in the porch perhaps with palms only). With no more changes than are absolutely necessary Ezekiel 41:15 b–16 a might read: “and the temple (i.e. holy place), and the inner house (holiest), and the porch of the court (more probably, and its outer porch), 16 and the thresholds, and the closed windows and the galleries round about the three of them, opposite the threshold (i.e. towards the interior) were veneered with wood (or, were polished wood) round about.” This would state generally that the whole interior was wainscotted. But the jump from “thresholds” (A.V. door-posts) to “closed windows” in Ezekiel 41:16 is unnatural. It is probable that “thresholds” should be read with LXX. cieled (or, wainscotted). It is certainly probable that the roofing is described; the word read by LXX. (saphan) is always used of the roof-work in the description of Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 6:7., unless Ezekiel 7:7 be an exception, a clause wanting in LXX.); and LXX. understood it so here (Ezekiel 41:20). Further the mention of the closed windows, which must have been toward the roof, in immediate connexion, is in favour of the roof-work. What the “galleries” were is obscure. LXX. either did not read the word or rendered it “narrow openings” (slit windows). A.V. “on their three stories” should be to the three of them (the holy place, holiest and porch, Ezekiel 41:15). Pointed thus the reading is: and the temple and the inner house (holiest) and the porch of the court (or, and its outer porch) were covered with a roof-work, and they three had their closed windows and their galleries round about.

Verse 15. - With this verse begins a summary of measurements of which some have been already given, while others are new. Starting from the gizrah, or separate place, this summary mentions that the "man" measured

(1) the whole length of the erection;

(2) the length of its "galleries" on the north and south sides; and

(3) the inner temple with the porches of the court.

The length of the separate place is not stated, that having been already done (ver. 13). The length of the galleries is specified as a hundred cubits, which shows they extended along the whole side of the building. As for the nature of these "galleries," or אַתִּקִים, nothing can be ascertained from the derivation of the word. The LXX. renders it in this verse by ἀπόλοιπα ("things left over"), in Ezekiel 42:3 and 5 by περίσυλα and στοαί: the Vulgate has here ethecas, the Hebrew Latinized, and in Ezekiel 42. portions. The ethekim were most likely passages or perches running along both (north and south) sides of the building, and supported either by pillars or ledges in the wall. The inner temple, which was measured, was the "house" which stood between the gizrah and the inner court; the porches of the court were the gate buildings in the inner and outer courts. Of all these the dimensions have already been reported, and are not again rehearsed. Ezekiel 41:15Summary Account of the Measurement, the Character, and the Significant Ornaments of the Projecting Portions of the Temple Building. - Ezekiel 41:15. And thus he measured the length of the building in the front of the separate place which was at the back thereof, and its galleries on this side and that side, a hundred cubits, and the inner sanctuary, and the porches of the court; Ezekiel 41:16. The thresholds, and the closed windows, and the galleries round about all three - opposite to the thresholds was wainscoting wood round about, and the ground up to the windows; but the windows were covered - Ezekiel 41:17. (The space) above the doors, both to the inner temple and outside, and on all the wall round about, within and without, had its measures. Ezekiel 41:18. And cherubs and palms were made, a palm between every two cherubs; and the cherub had two faces; Ezekiel 41:19. A man's face toward the palm on this side, and a lion's face toward the palm on that side: thus was it made round about the whole house. Ezekiel 41:20. From the floor to above the doors were the cherubs and palms made, and that on the wall of the sanctuary. Ezekiel 41:21. The sanctuary had square door-posts, and the front of the holy of holies had the same form. Ezekiel 41:22. The altar was of wood, three cubits high, and its length two cubits; and it had its corner-pieces and its stand, and its walls were of wood: and he said to me, This is the table which stands before Jehovah. Ezekiel 41:23. And the holy place and the holy of holies had two doors. Ezekiel 41:24. And the doors had two wings, two turning leaves; the one door two, and the other two leaves. Ezekiel 41:25. And there were made upon them, upon the doors of the sanctuary, cherubs and palms, as they were made upon the walls; and a moulding of wood was on the front of the porch outside. Ezekiel 41:26. And there were closed windows and palms on this side and on that, on the side-walls of the porch, and the side-rooms of the house, and the beams. - Ezekiel 41:15 is the commencement of a comprehensive enumeration of particular features in the building, the greater part of which have not been mentioned before; so that וּמדד (for ויּמד) is to be rendered, "and thus he measured." The circumstance that another measurement follows in Ezekiel 41:15, whereas no further numbers are given from Ezekiel 41:15 onwards, does not warrant us in assuming that Ezekiel 41:15 is to be joined on to Ezekiel 41:14, and Ezekiel 41:15 to be taken in connection with Ezekiel 41:16. The absence of the cop. ו before הסּפּים in Ezekiel 41:16 is sufficient to preclude the latter, showing as it does that הסּפּים commences a fresh statement; and the words 'וההיכל וגו in Ezekiel 41:15 are still governed by the verb וּמדד in Ezekiel 41:15. The contents of Ezekiel 41:15 are also decisive against the separation mentioned. If, for instance, we connect Ezekiel 41:15 with Ezekiel 41:14, the first clause contains a pure tautology, as the length of the building has been already measured, and the result is given in Ezekiel 41:13. The tautology does not exist, if the summary statements of the measurement of different portions of the whole temple building commence with Ezekiel 41:15; and in connection with these a supplementary account is given of various details not mentioned before.

The contents of the second clause, namely, what is stated concerning the אתּיקים, belong directly to the latter. The building in front of the separate place, which was measured by the man, is more precisely defined, so far as its situation is concerned, by the words אשׁר על־אחריה. The feminine suffix in אחריה points back to הגּזרה; consequently אשׁר can only refer to הבּנין: "the building...which was at the back of the gizrah." This is not at variance with the situation indicated in אל־פּני הגּזרה, but serves as a more exact definition of this statement, showing that the building which stood at the front of the gizrah occupied the hinder part of it, i.e., extended in length from the front of the gizrah to the back. - The meaning of אתּוּקים or אתּיקים, here (Keri) and in Ezekiel 41:16; Ezekiel 42:3 and Ezekiel 42:5, the only other passages in which it occurs, is involved in obscurity. Even Raschi confesses that he does not know what it means, and the older translators have simply resorted to vague conjectures for their renderings; the lxx here, ἀπόλοιπα, in Ezekiel 42:3 and Ezekiel 42:5 περίστυλον and στοαί; the Vulgate, here, ethecas (the Hebrew word Latinized), in Ezekiel 42 porticus; Targum, in the London Polyglot, Ezekiel 41:15, זיויתהא; Ezekiel 41:16, אתּיקיּא; Ezekiel 42:3, זוי; and Ezekiel 42:5, זיזיּא. There is no root אתק in Hebrew; and the derivation of the word from עתק is not only uncertain, but furnishes us with nothing that can be used for tracing the architectural signification of the word. Even the context in Ezekiel 41:15 and Ezekiel 41:16 of this chapter supplies nothing, for in both verses the meaning of the clauses in which אתיקים stands is a matter of dispute. It is only in Ezekiel 42:3 and Ezekiel 42:5 that we find any clue. According to Ezekiel 42:3, in the three-storied cell-building there was אתּיק אל־פּני on the third storey; and according to Ezekiel 41:5 the cells of the upper storey in this building were shorter than those of the lower and central storey, because אתּיקים took space away from them; and the reason for this, again, was, that the three-storied cells had no pillars. From this we may infer with certainty that the אתּיקים were galleries or passages running along the outer walls of the building, which were not supported by pillars, and therefore necessarily rested upon ledges obtained by the receding of the rooms of the upper storey. This meaning also suits the present chapter. The suffix in אתּוּקיהא (an Aramaic form for אתּיקיה) points back, not to בּנין, but to הבּניה in Ezekiel 41:13; for the words, "and its galleries on this side and on that," i.e., on the north and south sides of the building, are not dependent upon ארך הבּנין, in the sense of "the length of the building, with its galleries on this side and on that," as ואתוקיהא is too widely separated from 'ארך הב for this. ואתוקיהא is rather a second object to מדד: he measured (1) the length of the building; (2) its galleries on this side and that - a hundred cubits; (3) the inner temple, etc. The hundred cubits do not refer to the length of the building, but to the galleries on both sides, which were of the same length as the building, and therefore ran along its entire length, - a fact which it was not superfluous to mention, as they might possibly have been shorter. ההיכל הפּנימי is the temple house, with the buildings against it, within the inner court. In addition to these, there are also mentioned the porches of the court, i.e., at the gate-buildings of the inner and outer courts, as the projecting portions of these buildings. These three works mentioned in Ezekiel 41:15 comprise the whole of the buildings, the measurements of which have been mentioned in the previous description - viz. the building to the west of the temple, in Ezekiel 41:12-14; the inner temple, in Ezekiel 41:1-11; the porches of the courts, to which the temple porch in front of the holy place is to be added, as having been reckoned in the measurement as belonging to the inner court, in Ezekiel 41. - Thus the contents of our verse (Ezekiel 41:15) plainly show that it not only is an indivisible whole, but forms a conclusion in which the foregoing measurements are all summed up, and which serves as an introduction, in accordance with this, to the following summary of various additional features in the temple buildings which are also worthy of mention.

In this summary there are five points noticed: (a) the fact that all parts of the buildings had their measurements (Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17); (b) the significant ornamentation of the inner walls of the sanctuary (Ezekiel 41:18-21); (c) the altar in the holy place (Ezekiel 41:22); (d) the character and decoration of the doors of the sanctuary (Ezekiel 41:23-25); (e) the style of the porch and of the side-buildings against the temple (Ezekiel 41:25, Ezekiel 41:26). - Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17 form one period, enlarged by the parenthetical insertion of explanatory statements, similar to the construction in Ezekiel 41:18 and Ezekiel 41:19. The predicate to the three subjects - the thresholds, the closed windows, and the galleries - is not to be sought for either in סביב or in 'הסּף שׁחיף וגו. The latter construction, adopted by Bttcher and Hvernick, yields the unmeaning assertion that the thresholds lay across in front of the threshold. The former gives the apparently bald thought, that thresholds, windows, and galleries were round about; in which the use of the article, the thresholds, the windows, is exceedingly strange. The predicate to 'הסּפּים וגו is מדּות at the end of Ezekiel 41:17 : the thresholds, etc., had measurements; and the construction is so far anakolouthistic, that the predicate מדּות, strictly speaking, belongs to the things mentioned in Ezekiel 41:17 alone, and the subjects mentioned in Ezekiel 41:16 are to be regarded as absolute nominatives. The words סביב לשׁלשׁתּם belong to the three preceding subjects, as a further definition, the thresholds, windows, and galleries (which were) against these three round about. The suffix to שׁלשׁתּם, "their triad," refers to the three buildings mentioned in Ezekiel 41:15 : the one upon the separate place, the temple building, and the porches of the court; and the appositional סביב is not to be so pressed as to lead to the conclusion that all three buildings, and therefore the porches of the court also, had אתּיקים round about. As the סביב לשׁלשׁתם is affirmed of the thresholds, and the windows, and the galleries, and these three objects are introduced by the article, as well known, i.e., as already mentioned and described in the preceding verses, the more precise definition (resp. limitation) of the apposition, "round about these three," is to be taken from the preceding description of these three buildings, and we are simply to assume the existence of thresholds, windows, and galleries in these buildings in those cases in which they have been mentioned in that description; so that the only place in which there were galleries was the building upon the separate place. But before the intended information is given concerning the thresholds, etc., a remark is introduced, with the words from נגד הסּף to סביב, as to the construction of the thresholds: viz., that opposite to the threshold (הסּף being used in a general sense for every threshold) there was שׁחיף עץ, a thin covering of wood, or wainscoting. נגד does not mean across the front (Bttcher), but "opposite;" and the part opposite to the threshold of a door is, strictly speaking, the lintel. Here, however, the word is probably used in the broader sense for the framework of the door, above and on the two sides, as is shown by סביב סביב which follows. With הארץ a fresh object is introduced. הארץ is a nominative, like הסּפּים, etc.; and the thought of supplying מן gniylppus, "from the ground," has originated in a faulty interpretation of the words. The idea is this: as the thresholds, the windows, etc., so also the ground up to the windows, i.e., the space between the ground and the windows, had measurements. The allusion to the windows is followed by the remark, in the form of a circumstantial clause, that "the windows were covered." מכסּות is apparently only a substantial explanation of אטמות (see the comm. on Ezekiel 40:16).

In Ezekiel 41:17 two further objects are mentioned as having measurements; not, however, in the logical position of subjects, but with prepositions על and אל: upon that which was above the opening of the door...and (what was) on all the walls, i.e., the space above the doors and on all the walls. To this periphrasis of the subject, through על and אל, there is attached the predicate מדּות, which belongs to all the subjects of Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17, in the sense of, "on all the walls there were measures." The meaning is, that all the parts of the building which have been named had their definite measurements, were carefully measured off. In order to express this thought in as general and comprehensive a manner as possible, the ideas contained in the subjects in Ezekiel 41:17 are expanded by means of appositions: that of the space above, over the entrance door, by ולחוּץ 'ועד הבּית הף (both ו-ו equals et-et) into the inner temple, i.e., both the inside of the temple throughout, and also to the outside. The idea of the whole wall is expressed by "round about, in the inside and on the outside." - Thus everything in Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17 is clear, and in accordance with fact; and there is no necessity either for the critical scissors of Ewald and Hitzig, who cut out all that they do not understand as glosses, or for the mal-emendation of Bttcher, who changes מדּות into מקלעות (1 Kings 6:18), and thus finds it good to ornament the temple with sculptures, even on the outsides of all the walls.

Ezekiel 41:18-21 treat of the ornamenting of the inside of the sanctuary, i.e., of the holy place and the holy of holies. Ezekiel 41:18 and Ezekiel 41:19 form, like Ezekiel 41:16 and Ezekiel 41:17, a period extended by parentheses. The predicate עשׂוּי, standing at the beginning of Ezekiel 41:18, is resumed in Ezekiel 41:19, and completed by ס' 'אל־כּל־הבּית ס. That the cherubim and palms were executed in sculpture or carving, is evident from the resemblance to Solomon's temple. They were so distributed that a cherub was followed by a palm, and this by a cherub again, so that the palm stood between the two cherubim, and the cherub turned one of its two faces to the palm on this side, and the other to the palm upon that side. In sculpture only two faces could be shown, and consequently these cherubic figures had only two faces, and not four, like those in the vision. This sculpture was placed round about the whole house, and that, as is added in Ezekiel 41:20 by way of explanation, from the ground even to up above the door, namely, on the inner wall of the sanctuary (ההיכל). כּל־הבּית is hereby limited to the היכל, the holy place and the holy of holies. וקיר is a local accusative. To this there is appended the further notice in Ezekiel 41:21, that the sanctuary had door-posts in a square form. The loose arrangement of the words, "the sanctuary post work of square form," is a concise form of expression after the manner of brief topographical notices. מזוּזה invariably signifies, wherever it occurs, the door-posts, i.e., the projecting framework of the entrances. רבוּע, "foured," does not mean four-cornered merely, but really square (Exodus 27:1 and Exodus 28:16). Consequently the words, "the door-posts of the holy place were of a square shape," might be understood as signifying not merely that the door-posts were beams cut square, but, as Kliefoth supposes, that the post work surrounding the door was made of a square form, that is to say, was of the same height as breadth, which would be quite in keeping with the predominance of the square shape, with its symbolical significance, in this picture of a temple. But the statement in the second half of the verse can hardly be reconciled with this; for whatever diversity there may be in the interpretation of this verse in particular points, it is certain that it does contain the general assertion that the doorway of the holy of holies was also shaped in the same way. But the door of the holy of holies, instead of being square, was (according to Ezekiel 41:3) six cubits high and seven cubits broad. הקּודשׁ, as distinguished from ההיכל, is the holy of holies, which Ezekiel 41:23 places beyond all doubt (for this use of הקּדשׁ, see Leviticus 16:2-3, Leviticus 16:16). פּני־הקּדשׁ, the face of the holy of holies, the front which met the eye of a person entering the holy place. המּראה כּמּראה is the predicate, which is attached as loosely as in the first hemistich. The front of the holy of holies had the appearance like the appearance (just described), i.e., like the appearance of the היכל; in fact, it had also a doorway with four-cornered posts. J. F. Starch has already given this explanation of the words: Eadem facies et aspectus erat utriusque portae templi et adyti, utraque quadrata et quadratis postibus conspicua erat. The proposal of Ewald, on the other hand, to connect כּמּראה with the following word המּזבּח, "in front of the holy of holies there was something to be seen like the shape of the altar" (lxx, Syr.), has the article in המּראה against it (Bttcher).

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