And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the middle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And there was an enlarging.—The description in this verse is difficult to understand, and has called out much variety of opinion. The main facts are clear: that there was an increase in the width of each storey of the side chambers by the distance which the wall receded, as is expressly said in 1Kings 6:6; but whether there was a corresponding recession in the thickness of the outer wall of the chambers is not stated. It is also plain that the side chambers surrounded the house; and that the two upper storeys were reached by a winding staircase (w [Ezekiel 40:44-49]). It is impossible to enter into more detail without a careful discussion of the words in the original, the meaning of some of which is disputed.Ezekiel 41:7-8. And there was an enlarging — Namely, of the side-chambers; so much of breadth added to the chambers as was taken from the thickness of the wall: see the preceding note; and a winding about still upward — Winding stairs, which enlarged as the rooms did, went up between each two chambers from the bottom to the top; and there were two doors at the top of each pair of stairs, one door opening into one chamber, and the other into the opposite one. For the winding about, &c. — The stairs, as they rose in height, enlarged themselves too; round about the house — On all sides of the house, where these chambers were. Therefore the breadth was still upward — It became broader by one cubit in every upper chamber. I saw also the height of the house — Of the chambers which rose to three stories high. The foundations, &c., were a full reed of six great cubits — The lowest chamber had properly a foundation laid on the earth, but the floor of the middle and the highest story must be accounted here a foundation; so from the ground to the ceiling of the first room were six great cubits; from the first to the second, six great cubits; and from the third floor to the roof of the chamber, a like number; to which if we add one cubit for the thickness of each of the three floors, you have twenty-one cubits, or ten yards and a half for height.Ezekiel 41:9 - then it was diminished one cubit, so as to form a ledge whereon to rest the beams of the floor of the second story, and again was further diminished one cubit for the floor of the third story. Thus there was an "enlarging" of the second story of the chambers by one cubit, and of the third story by two cubits beyond the breadth of the chambers on the ground-floor.
A winding about still upward - Winding stairs led "upward" from one story to another.
The winding about of the house - A collective expression for the various winding staircases to the side-chambers which extended on the north, west, and south sides.
And so increased ... - Rather, "and the lowest story was such that one went by the middle story up to the highest." The winding stairs were not visible outside, so that one could not go to the upper story without passing through the middle story.An enlarging, viz. of the side chambers, so much of breadth added to the chamber as was taken from the thickness of the wall; that is, two cubits in the uppermost, and one cubit in the middlemost, more than in the lowest chambers.
A winding about; winding stairs which enlarged as the rooms did, and these run up between each two chambers, from the bottom to the top; so there were two doors at the head of each pair of stairs, one door opening into one chamber, and the other into the opposite chamber: or else you must make the chambers thoroughfares, and suppose passages through all. These stairs, as they rose in height, enlarged themselves too.
Round about, i.e. on all sides of the house where these chambers were, which, as observed, was on three sides of the house.
The breadth of the house; of each chamber.
Increased; grew broader by one cubit in every upper room or chamber; from five in the lowest to six in the middle, and to seven in the highest chamber. Ezekiel 41:5 the floor of the second five cubits; and the floor of the third or uppermost six cubits. The wall of the temple at the bottom was six cubits thick, Ezekiel 41:5, at the middlemost storey five cubits; and at the uppermost four: and all this may denote the enlargement of the church of Christ, as it comes nearer the heavenly state; the present state of the church may be signified by the lower storey, where the chambers are narrowest; the state of the church in the latter day glory, or spiritual reign of Christ, by the middlemost, when it will be enlarged; its converts being very numerous, Isaiah 49:19 and the New Jerusalem church state by the uppermost storey; which city or state will be very large, and next to heaven, or the ultimate glory; see Revelation 21:16. The "winding" that went upwards to the side chambers were winding stairs, which went up from one storey to another, higher and higher; see 1 Kings 6:8. The Misnic doctors say (c), that in the second temple these winding stairs went from one side of the temple to the other, from the north east to the northwest; by which they went up to the roofs of these chambers and to the upper room over the sanctuary. These may signify the various afflictions and tribulations, trials and exercises, in which the Lord leads his people, and by which the churches of Christ pass from one state to another:
for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: not on the outside, but within; properly round about the chambers, which are here called the house:
therefore the breadth of the house was still upward; became broader and broader, as it rose up higher and higher:
and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst; from being only four cubits broad in the lowest storey, it became five cubits in the middlemost, and from thence six cubits in the highest.And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. What the verse means to say is that the side-chambers widened in the second and third stories through the retreating of the wall of the house. The present text being assumed it might read: “and there was a widening of the side-chambers and an encompassing (by them) ever upwards; for the encompassing of the house was (the more) ever upwards, round about the house”—the meaning being that the higher the three story building rose the broader it grew and the closer it encompassed the house, i.e. appeared to encroach upon the house owing to the retreat of the wall. Another sense of the present reading would be got if the word rendered “encompass” could be supposed to be something which the house did, viz. “turn,” turn in, retreat. The sense would remain the same. LXX. omits “encompassing” after “widening” and instead of “for the encompassing” &c. it reads: according to the appendage (projection, i.e. the ledge) out of the wall—giving the same general meaning.
the breadth of the house] The words mean: the house became broader upwards—an impossible sense. Either “house” must be omitted with LXX., or the clause read: and it broadened toward the house (or, inwards) ever upward. Subject is the side building.
and so increased] The words state how the various stories communicated with one another, according to the clear statement, 1 Kings 6:8. Read: and from the lowest one went up to the highest and to the middle story, or possibly with R.V., by the middle story. LXX. perspicuously: that they might go up from the chambers below to the upper chambers, and from the middle chambers to the third story. Syr. is equally distinct.Verse 7. - In the side chambers an enlarging took place as they went up, i.e. the floorage of the second story exceeded that of the first, and the floorage of the third that of the second; though how this was effected can only be conjectured. If the chambers were built against the temple wall, then probably the wall at each story went in, say a cubit or a cubit and a half from the outside, so as to admit the beams; or, if the chambers were built against an outside wall, a similar recession of the wall from the inside may have taken place. In either ease, the (interior) breadth of the house, i.e. of the side chambers, would be upward, and would increase from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst. Plumptre, after Kliefoth, suggests that the increasing size of the chambers in the three stories may have been due to projecting galleries. Ewald, taking "house" as "the temple," supposes that it gradually became bigger. i.e. broader, as it rose, which could be the case only if the side chambers were built against the temple wall, and the increased width of the stories was scoured By projecting galleries or corridors. Greater obscurity attaches to the second clause, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers, which the Authorized Version and some expositors regard as an indication that Ezekiel's temple had a spiral staircase like that in Solomon's temple (see 1 Kings 6:8); and probably some such mode of passing from story to story did exist in Ezekiel's temple; yet the clause, when properly rendered, does not refer to this. The Revised Version reads, "And the side chambers were broader as they encompassed the house higher and higher; for the encompassing of the house went higher and higher round about the house; therefore the breadth of the house continued upward; and so one went up (most likely by a spiral stair) from the lowest chamber to the highest by the middle chamber." Ezekiel 38:10. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, It shall come to pass in that day, that things will come up in thy heart, and thou wilt devise an evil design, Ezekiel 38:11. And say, I will go up into the open country, I will come upon the peaceful ones, who are all dwelling in safety, who dwell without walls, and have not bars and gates, Ezekiel 38:12. To take plunder and to gather spoil, to bring back thy hand against the ruins that are inhabited again, and against a people gathered out of the nations, carrying on trade and commerce, who dwell on the navel of the earth. Ezekiel 38:13. Sabaea and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, and all her young lions, will say to thee, Dost thou come to take plunder? Hast thou gathered thy multitude of people to take spoil? Is it to carry away gold and silver, to take possession and gain, to plunder a great spoil? Ezekiel 38:14. Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Is it not so? On that day, when my people Israel dwelleth in security, thou wilt observe it, Ezekiel 38:15. And come from thy place from the extreme north, thou and many peoples with thee, all riding upon horses, a great crowd and a numerous army, Ezekiel 38:16. And wilt march against my people Israel, to cover the land like a cloud; at the end of the days it will take place; then shall I lead thee against my land, that the nations may know me, when I sanctify myself upon thee before their eyes, O Gog. - In Ezekiel 38:10 דּברים are not words, but things which come into his mind. What things these are, we learn from Ezekiel 38:11 and Ezekiel 38:12; but first of all, these things are described as evil thoughts or designs. Gog resolves to fall upon Israel, now living in peace and security, and dwelling in open unfortified places, and to rob and plunder it. ארץ , literally, land of plains, i.e., a land which has no fortified towns, but only places lying quite exposed (see the comm. on Zechariah 2:8); because its inhabitants are living in undisturbed peace and safe repose, and therefore dwell in places that have no walls with gates and bars (cf. Judges 18:7; Jeremiah 49:31). This description of Israel's mode of life also points beyond the times succeeding the Babylonian captivity to the Messianic days, when the Lord will have destroyed the horses and war-chariots and fortresses (Micah 5:9), and Jerusalem will be inhabited as an open country because of the multitude of the men and cattle, and the Lord will be a wall of fire round about her (Zechariah 2:8-9). For Ezekiel 38:12, compare Isaiah 10:6. להשׁיב ידך is not dependent upon אעלה, like the preceding infinitives, but is subordinate to אמרתּ אעלה וגו: "thou sayest, I will go up...to turn thy hand." השׁיב, to bring back, is to be explained from the fact that the heathen had already at an earlier period turned their hand against the towns of Israel, and plundered their possessions and goods. חרבות נושׁבות in this connection are desolate places which are inhabited again, and therefore have been rebuilt (cf. Ezekiel 12:20; Ezekiel 26:19). מקנה and קנין are synonyms; and מקנה does not mean flocks or herds, but gain, possession (cf. Genesis 36:6; Genesis 31:18; Genesis 34:23). One motive of Gog for making the attack was to be found in the possessions of Israel; a second is given in the words: who dwell upon the navel of the earth. This figurative expression is to be explained from Ezekiel 5:5 : "Jerusalem in the midst of the nations." This navel is not a figure denoting the high land, but signifies the land situated in the middle of the earth, and therefore the land most glorious and most richly blessed; so that they who dwell there occupy the most exalted position among the nations. A covetous desire for the possessions of the people of God, and envy at his exalted position in the centre of the world, are therefore the motives by which Gog is impelled to enter upon his predatory expedition against the people living in the depth of peace. This covetousness is so great, that even the rich trading populations of Sabaea, Dedan, and Tarshish (cf. Ezekiel 27:22, Ezekiel 27:20, and Ezekiel 27:12) perceive it, and declare that it is this alone which has determined Gog to undertake his expedition. The words of these peoples (Ezekiel 38:13) are not to be taken as expressing their sympathies (Kliefoth), but serve to give prominence to the obvious thirst for booty which characterizes the multitude led by Gog. כּפיריה, their young lions, are the rapacious rulers of these trading communities, according to Ezekiel 19:3 and Ezekiel 32:2. - Ezekiel 38:14 introduces the announcement of the punishment, which consists of another summary account of the daring enterprise of Gog and his hosts (cf. Ezekiel 38:14, Ezekiel 38:15, and Ezekiel 38:16 with Ezekiel 38:4-9), and a clear statement of the design of God in leading him against His people and land. תּדע (Ezekiel 38:14, close), of which different renderings have been given, does not mean, thou wilt experience, or be aware of, the punishment; but the object is to be taken from the context: thou wilt know, or perceive, sc. that Israel dwells securely, not expecting any hostile invasion. The rendering of the lxx (ἐγερθήσῃ) does not furnish any satisfactory ground for altering תּדע into תער equals תּעור (Ewald, Hitzig). With the words 'והביאותיך וגו (Ezekiel 38:16) the opening thought of the whole picture (Ezekiel 38:4) is resumed and defined with greater precision, for the purpose of attaching to it the declaration of the design of the Lord in bringing Gog, namely, to sanctify Himself upon him before the eyes of the nations (cf. Ezekiel 38:23 and Ezekiel 36:23).
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