Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looks toward the east:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)XLIII.
The new Temple had now been shown to the prophet with all its arrangements and measurements; it remained that the structure should be divinely accepted by the manifestation of the glory of the Lord, as in the case of the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35), and of the former Temple (1Kings 8:10-11; 2Chronicles 5:13-14; 2Chronicles 7:1-3). The description of this and the accompanying message occupy Ezekiel 43:1-12. With Ezekiel 43:13 the account of the ordinances of Divine worship to be celebrated in the Temple begins, and is continued to the close of Ezekiel 46.
(2) From the way of the east.—The prophet had been brought (Ezekiel 43:1) to the east gate, from which he had formerly seen the glory of the Lord depart (Ezekiel 10:18-19; Ezekiel 11:1; Ezekiel 11:23) on account of the pollution of His house. By the same way the glory of the Lord was now to return to the sanctuary prepared for it.Ezekiel 43:1-2. Then he brought me to the gate — The eastern gate of the court of the priests, which was just before the temple. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel — The word behold is an expression of joy and admiration; as if the prophet had said, Behold, a wonderful and joyful sight! The glory of that God who calls himself the God of Israel, which had departed from this place and people, and had absented itself from them for so long a time, is now returning to them, and fixing its residence among them. When the glory of the Lord forsook the temple, it is represented as departing from the eastern gate of it; afterward, as quite forsaking the city, and removing to a mountain on the east side of it; and now that glory is described as returning by the same way it departed: see Ezekiel 10:18; Ezekiel 11:23. This was intended to signify that God would again accept of this place for a temple to be built on it, and dedicated to his worship, and would accept of the service that should be paid him there, and afford the place his peculiar protection. And his voice was like a noise of many waters — Great and terrible: compare Ezekiel 1:24; Revelation 1:15. Either to signify the dreadfulness of God’s judgments, or the efficacy of his commands, who calls things into existence by the power of his word. And the earth shined with his glory — The rays of his glory, like the sunbeams, enlightened the earth: see the margin. This glory of the Lord seems to have been intended as an emblem of the light of the gospel, which is the glory of Christ, and which spread from the eastern part of the world into the western; and which has been, and still is, powerful and mighty in operation, in saving mankind, and enlightening the earth with abundance of knowledge, holiness, and comfort.
Eze 43:1-27. Jehovah's Return to the Temple.
Everything was now ready for His reception. As the Shekinah glory was the peculiar distinction of the old temple, so it was to be in the new in a degree as much more transcendent as the proportions of the new exceeded those of the old. The fact that the Shekinah glory was not in the second temple proves that it cannot be that temple which is meant in the prophecy.The glory of God returneth into the temple, Ezekiel 43:1-6. God promiseth to dwell there, if the people will put away their sins, Ezekiel 43:7-9. In order to incite them to repentance, the prophet showeth them the model and law of the house, Ezekiel 43:10-12. The measures of the altar, Ezekiel 43:13-17. The ordinances thereof Ezekiel 43:18-27.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1–12. The glory of Jehovah enters the house by the E. gate. The sound of his chariot was as the sound of many waters, and his glory lightened the earth (Ezekiel 43:1-4). The prophet hears one speaking to him from the house and saying that the defilements to which the house had been exposed through idolatries and the burial of kings near it shall henceforth cease (Ezekiel 43:6-9). The prophet is commanded to make known the fashion and ordinances of the house to the people (Ezekiel 43:10-12).Verses 1-12. - The consecration of the temple by the entrance into it of the glory of the God of Israel. Verse 1. - Afterward, etc. Having completed the survey of the temple precincts (Ezekiel 42:15-20), the prophet's guide, "the measuring man," conducted him back to the gate that looked towards the east, i.e. to the gate leading into the outer court from the east (see on Ezekiel 40:6), perhaps because this was the principal entrance to the sanctuary, but chiefly because through it the impending theophany was to pass.
Ezekiel 40:1. In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was smitten, on this same day the hand of Jehovah came upon me, and He brought me thither. Ezekiel 40:2. In visions of God He brought me into the land of Israel, and set me down upon a very high mountain; and upon it there was like a city-edifice toward the south. Ezekiel 40:3. And He brought me thither, and behold there was a man, his appearance like the appearance of brass, and a flaxen cord in his hand, and the measuring-rod; and he stood by the gate. Ezekiel 40:4. And the man spake to me: Son of man, see with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thy heart upon all that I show thee; for thou art brought hither to show it thee. Tell all that thou seest to the house of Israel. - The twofold announcement of the time when the prophet was shown the vision of the new temple and the new kingdom of God points back to Ezekiel 1:1 and Ezekiel 33:21, and places this divine revelation concerning the new building of the kingdom of God in a definite relation, not only to the appearance of God by which Ezekiel was called to be a prophet (Ezekiel 1:1, Ezekiel 1:3), but also to the vision in Ezekiel 8-11, in which he was shown the destruction of the ancient, sinful Jerusalem, together with its temple. The twenty-fifth year of the captivity, and the fourteenth year after the city was smitten, i.e., taken and reduced to ashes, are the year 575 before Christ. There is a difference of opinion as to the correct explanation of בּראשׁ השּׁנה, at the beginning of the year; but it is certainly incorrect to take the expression as denoting the beginning of the economical or so-called civil year, the seventh month (Tishri). For, in the first place, the custom of beginning the year with the month Tishri was introduced long after the captivity, and was probably connected with the adoption of the era of the Seleucidae; and, secondly, it is hardly conceivable that Ezekiel should have deviated from the view laid down in the Torah in so important a point as this. The only thing that could render this at all probable would be the assumption proposed by Hitzig, that the year 575 b.c. was a year of jubilee, since the year of jubilee did commence with the day of atonement on the tenth of the seventh month. But the supposition that a jubilee year fell in the twenty-fifth year of the captivity cannot be raised into a probability. We therefore agree with Hvernick and Kliefoth in adhering to the view of the older commentators, that ראשׁ השּׁנה is a contracted repetition of the definition contained in Exodus 12:2, ראשׁ חדשׁים ראשׁון , and signifies the opening month of the year, i.e., the month Abib (Nisan). The tenth day of this month was the day on which the preparations for the Passover, the feast of the elevation of Israel into the people of God, were to commence, and therefore was well adapted for the revelation of the new constitution of the kingdom of God. On that day was Ezekiel transported, in an ecstatic state, to the site of the smitten Jerusalem. For היתה עלי יד יי, compare Ezekiel 37:1 and Ezekiel 1:3. שׁמּה evidently points back to העיר in Ezekiel 40:2: thither, where the city was smitten. מראות , as in Ezekiel 1:1. יניחני אל : he set me down upon (not by) a very high mountain (אל for על, as in many other instances; e.g., Ezekiel 18:6 and Ezekiel 31:12).
The very high mountain is Mount Zion, which is exalted above the tops of all the mountains (Micah 4:1; Isaiah 2:2) - the mountain upon which, according to what follows, the new temple seen in the vision stood, and which has already been designated as the lofty mountain of Israel in Ezekiel 17:22-23.
(Note: J. H. Michaelis has already explained it correctly, viz.: "The highest mountain, such as Isaiah (Isaiah 2:2) had also predicted that Mount Zion would be, not physically, but in the eminence of gospel dignity and glory; cf. Revelation 21:10.")
Upon this mountain Ezekiel saw something like a city-edifice toward the south (lit.,from the south hither). מבנה is not the building of the new Jerusalem (Hהvernick, Kliefoth, etc.). For even if what was to be seen as a city-edifice really could be one, although no tenable proof can be adduced of this use of כ simil., nothing is said about the city till Ezekiel 45:6 and Ezekiel 48:156 and 30 ff., and even there it is only in combination with the measuring and dividing of the land; so that Hvernick's remark, that "the revelation has reference to the sanctuary and the city; these two principal objects announce themselves at once as such in the form of vision," is neither correct nor conclusive. The revelation has reference to the temple and the whole of the holy land, including the city; and the city itself does not come at all into such prominence as to warrant us in assuming that there is already a reference made to it here in the introduction. If we look at the context, the man with the measure, whom Ezekiel saw at the place to which he was transported, was standing at the gate (Ezekiel 40:3). This gate in the wall round about the building was, according to Ezekiel 40:5, Ezekiel 40:6, a temple gate. Consequently what Ezekiel saw as a city-edifice can only be the building of the new temple, with its surrounding wall and its manifold court buildings. The expressions עליו and מנגב can both be brought into harmony with this. עליו refers to the very high mountain mentioned immediately before, to the summit of which the prophet had been transported, and upon which the temple-edifice is measured before his eyes. But מנגב does not imply, that as Ezekiel looked from the mountain he saw in the distance, toward the south, a magnificent building like a city-edifice; but simply that, looking from his standing-place in a southerly direction, or southwards, he saw this building upon the mountain, - that is to say, as he had been transported from Chaldea, i.e., from the north, into the land of Israel, he really saw it before him towards the south; so that the rendering of מנגב by ἀπέναντι in the Septuagint is substantially correct, though without furnishing any warrant to alter מנגב into מנּגד. In Ezekiel 40:3, ויּביא is repeated from the end of Ezekiel 40:1, for the purpose of attaching the following description of what is seen, in the sense of, "when He brought me thither, behold, there (was) a man." His appearance was like the appearance of brass, i.e., of shining brass (according to the correct gloss of the lxx χαλκοῦ στίλβοντος נחשׁת קלל equals , Ezekiel 1:7). This figure suggests a heavenly being, an angel, and as he is called Jehovah in Ezekiel 44:2, Ezekiel 44:5, the angel of Jehovah. Kliefoth's opinion, that in Ezekiel 44:2, Ezekiel 44:5, it is not the man who is speaking, but that the prophet is there addressed directly by the apparition of God (Ezekiel 43:2 ff.), is proved to be untenable by the simple fact that the speaker (in Ezekiel 44) admonishes the prophet in Ezekiel 40:5 to attend, to see, and to hear, in the same words as the man in Ezekiel 40:4 of the chapter before us. This places the identity of the two beyond the reach of doubt. He had in his hand a flaxen cord for measuring, and the measuring rod - that is to say, two measures, because he had to measure many and various things, smaller and larger spaces, for the former of which he had the measuring rod, for the latter the measuring line. The gate at which this man stood (Ezekiel 40:3) is not more precisely defined, but according to Ezekiel 40:5 it is to be sought for in the wall surrounding the building; and since he went to the east gate first, according to Ezekiel 40:6, it was not the east gate, but probably the north gate, as it was from the north that Ezekiel had come.
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