The door posts, and the narrow windows, and the galleries round about on their three stories, over against the door, paneled with wood round about, and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows were covered;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The door posts.—This is the same word as in Ezekiel 40:6-7, &c., and means thresholds. The various particulars mentioned—the thresholds, the windows, and the galleries—are all to be taken in connection with the “he measured” of Ezekiel 41:15, and are details of the three buildings there spoken of, yet they did not all of them necessarily belong to each building.
Narrow windows.—Rather, closed windows. (See Note on Ezekiel 40:16.)
On their three stories.—“Stories” is not in the original, and introduces a wrong idea. He measured the three buildings (Ezekiel 41:15), and various details about their three (constructions) (Ezekiel 41:16).
Over against the door, cieled with wood round about.—This is really a parenthesis, although scarcely intelligible as it stands. Translate, Opposite the thresholds (was) a ceiling of wood round about. The part strictly opposite the threshold was the lintel; but the expression is here broad enough to include also the sides of the doorway. The doorways in the various buildings were all ceiled with wood, and it is afterwards said that this was carved.
And from the ground.—After the parenthesic, the construction dependent upon “he measured” is resumed. As everything else was measured, so also the space between the ground and the windows; then, again, it is mentioned parenthetically that the windows were covered, viz., as in Ezekiel 40:16, by lattices fastened so as not to be opened.
Over against the door - The rows of the side-chambers extended to the front of the temple, so that they were "over against" the opening, but did not extend so far as the porch.
Cieled - Overlaid. Pillars, galleries, narrow windows were overlaid with wood 1 Kings 6:15-16.
The door posts: see Ezekiel 40:48,49. It is likely he means the door posts of every gate, or porch in every court.
Windows: see Ezekiel 40:16.
Galleries: see Ezekiel 41:5,15.
Three stories; see Ezekiel 40:6,7; or parts, or buildings; temple, separate place, and on the court walls.
The door; the singular for the plural number; the doors, which were
ceiled with wood, were measured; this ceiling was with choicest wood.
From the ground up to the windows; the height of these windows were taken too.
Were covered; had lids or curtains to cover them, and lattices too, say some. Ezekiel 41:3, in the holy of holies, both in Moses's tabernacle, and Solomon's temple, were no windows; Jehovah dwelt in thick darkness, 1 Kings 8:12, but in this inner temple, or the more perfect state of the church on earth, there will be much light: these windows are said to be "narrow", that is, without, but broad within; and let in a great deal of light, which, though not discerned by those without, yet comfortably enjoyed by those within; and will be so great, that there will be no need of the sun or moon; Christ the Lamb will be the light of this state; and the nations of the saved and their kings will walk in the light of it, Revelation 21:23,
and the galleries round about on their three stories; these seem to be the same with the side chambers, which were three storey high, and were on the three sides of the house, west, north, and south; see Ezekiel 41:6,
over against the door, cieled with wood round about: with cedar wood, as the Targum: or, "answerable were the doors cieled with wood" (l); door, for doors; that is, the doors of these side chambers, which answered to one another, were lined with cedar wood; all which doors, door posts, windows, and galleries, were severally measured:
and from the ground up to the windows; from the bottom of the floor of the most holy place up to the windows, which were above the third storey of the side chambers, he measured also:
and the windows were covered; either by the jetting out of the side chambers, so that they could not well be seen in the courts below; or they were lattice windows with such small holes as at a distance were scarcely discernible; or were covered with curtains within; or being very narrow on the outside, though broad within, looked as if they were covered; denoting how impenetrable the glories of this state are to those that are without, Revelation 22:15.The door posts, and the narrow windows, and the galleries round about on their three stories, over against the door, cieled with wood round about, and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows were covered;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16. over against the door] the threshold. It looks as if some words had fallen out of the text here. LXX. reads: and the house and the adjoining parts were wainscotted with wood round about (and the floor). The present Heb. text, even if read, and over against the threshold was a wainscotting of wood, is too short to give the necessary sense—“over against the threshold” would be rather obscure as an expression for the whole interior of the house. The words “over against the threshold” can hardly be regarded as a definition of the locality of the “galleries,” as if these were borders or gangs (dado) going round the foot of the walls (Sm.).
Ezekiel 41:16 b seq. The ornamentation of the interior. Here also there is some obscurity: and from the floor unto the windows (and the windows were covered), 17 and unto above the door, and unto the inner house and without, and on all the walls round about in the inner (house) and the outer [were measures and], 18 there were made cherubs and palm-trees, so that, &c. The words in parenthesis “and the windows,” &c., may not be original. The phrase “and without” hardly refers to the porch, rather to the outer house or holy place; because it does not appear that cherubs were carved on the wall of the porch. The word “measures” is wanting in LXX. If genuine the term “measures” might possibly imply that the wall was panelled into compartments, and that in each of these was carved a cherub and palm. The term is used once of garments (Psalm 133:2) from the meaning to spread out or cover, but could hardly be used of a casing or wainscotting of wood. Boettcher suggested “carvings,” a sense which would add nothing to the general meaning. Ezekiel 41:20 is rather in favour of the omission of the word.
Ezekiel 41:18-19. Only the two chief faces of the cherub were represented, that of a man and of a lion.Verses 16, 17 introduce several new details.
(1) That the door-posts (rather, thresholds), and the narrow (or, closed) windows, and the galleries round about on their three stories, were covered with a wainscoting of wood from the ground up to the windows.
(2) That the windows, whether openings on the first floor (Kliefoth) or skylights in the roof (Hengstenberg), were "covered," which may signify, as Ewald and Plumptre think, that they were not left open, but protected by a lattice-work of bars or planks; or, as Currey suggests, that they were wainscoted as well as the space from the ground to the windows.
(3) That nothing was constructed by caprice or at random, but that all about the building proceeded by exact measurement.
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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