Ezekiel 41:9
The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chamber without, was five cubits: and that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within.
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(9) That which was left.—After stating the thickness of the outer wall of the side chambers at five cubits, the prophet speaks of the remaining space left unoccupied by the building. The clause should be translated, “and so also (i.e., of the same width) was that which was left free against the house of side chambers which belonged to the house,” i.e., to the Temple. The same width is assigned to this space in Ezekiel 41:11.

Ezekiel 41:9-11. The thickness of the wall, &c. — This is supposed to be meant of an outward wall enclosing the side-chambers. And that which was left — Or, the space which was left, as Bishop Newcome translates it, judging it to be intended of a space allowed for a walk, or gallery of communication, before the chambers, which space was five cubits broad, Ezekiel 41:11. And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits —

A word being here used for chambers different from that which occurs before, it is supposed that another row of buildings, parallel with the side- chambers, but at twenty yards’ distance from them, is intended, and that there was a passage of twenty cubits between these buildings. The description, however, is very obscure, and the interpretations of commentators, of course, different. The doors of the side-chambers were toward the place that was left — Or, toward the void space. The doors of the lower rooms opened into this void space before the chambers.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.And that which was left - i. e., the passage (F) between the side-chambers and the temple-wall, was five cubits Ezekiel 41:11.

The place of the side chambers that were within - Within the side-chambers which belong to the house. The seer is giving first the height of the side-chambers Ezekiel 41:8, and then the breadth, from the outside of the wall of these chambers to the temple-wall.

9. that which was left—There was an unoccupied place within chambers that belonged to the house. The buildings in this unoccupied place, west of the temple, and so much resembling it in size, imply that no place was to be left which was to be held, as of old, not sacred. Manasseh (2Ki 23:11) had abused these "suburbs of the temple" to keeping horses sacred to the sun. All excuse for such abominations was henceforth to be taken away, the Lord claiming every space, and filling up this also with sacred erections [Fairbairn]. The outward wall for these chambers was five cubits in thickness, and was made of stone, which added both beauty and strength to the other part of the building, and served as buttresses to the temple wall.

That which was left; that space which was left without this wall, about five cubits broad, and served for a walk before the chambers, or for a passage from one chamber to another.

Within the walk and wall. The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chambers without, was five cubits,.... This is the outward wall of the chambers, north and south, which was five cubits thick, made of stone; See Gill on Ezekiel 41:5,

and that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within; this was a void space, not built upon, which was before the chambers that stood within it; and was a space to walk in for those that dwelt in the chambers, or to go in from chamber to chamber; which also was five cubits in breadth, as appears from the next verse. This may denote the communion of churches, and the members of them one with another.

The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chamber without, was five cubits: and that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within.
9. The outside wall of the side-chambers was 5 cubits; and there was left a part of the raised platform not covered by buildings (Ezekiel 41:11).

that which was left was] This clause is in some disorder; and must be connected with Ezekiel 41:10. The text clearly distinguishes between “that which was left” (munnach), i.e. the outer margin of the raised platform left free of buildings, which was 5 cubits broad (Ezekiel 41:11), Fig. 2, E, and the “separate place” (gizrah), Fig. 3, H, i.e. the court running round the whole house buildings or the raised platform on which they stood, which was 20 cubits broad (Ezekiel 41:10; Ezekiel 41:13-14)—although LXX. renders both by the same word. In Ezekiel 41:9, “that which was left” cannot differ from the same in Ezekiel 41:11, where it is undoubtedly the remainder of the raised platform. Some words have fallen out in Ezekiel 41:9. It is easiest perhaps to supply the words “five cubits” from Syr. and read: and that which was left was 5 cubits; and between (bçth for bçn) the side-chambers of (belonging to) the house, 10 and the cells was a breadth of 20 cubits, &c. All the versions agree as to Ezekiel 41:10, but “between the cells” cannot mean between something else and the cells. The “cells” or chambers here are undoubtedly those on the N. and S. walls of the inner court (Ezekiel 42:1, seq.), which were separated from the house buildings by the court of 20 cubits, Fig. 3, GG´.Verse 9. - The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chambers on the outside, is next mentioned as having been five cubits, i.e. the same as the breadth of the wall of the porch (Ezekiel 40:48), but one cubit thinner than that of the temple (ver. 5). The clause which follows is obscure. By that which was left, the Authorized and Revised Versions understand the place of the side chambers that were within - or, that belonged to the house (Revised Version) - without intending to assert that the whole space left, which was five cubits (ver. 11), was occupied by the side chambers, which were only four cubits broad (ver. 5). Accepting these measurements, Kliefoth and Keil regard the free space as a walk of five cubits broad on the outside of the side chambers. Ewald, and Dr. Currey, in the 'Speaker's Commentary,' place the five cubits between the temple wall and the side chambers. Account of the motive by which Gog was induced to undertake his warlike expedition, and incurred guilt, notwithstanding the fact that he was led by God, and in consequence of which he brought upon himself the judgment of destruction that was about to fall upon him. - 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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