Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell on my face.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The north gate.—The prophet is now carried to the north gate, and since this is described as “before the house” and was in full view of it, it must have been the gate of the inner court, the appointed place for the killing of the sacrifices, and therefore especially fitting for the announcement of the ordinances of the priests. There he saw the “glory of the Lord” filling the house, and was commanded to give the utmost attention to the laws now to be announced.Ezekiel 44:4-8. Then he brought me by the way of the north gate of the house — The east gate being shut. And, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord — As appeared by the light which shone through the windows, for there was no door into the sanctuary on that side. And the Lord said, Son of man, mark well, &c. — See notes on Ezekiel 40:4; and Ezekiel 43:2. Mark well the entering, &c., with every going forth of the sanctuary — The word laws is to be understood in this last sentence, the sense being, that the prophet should admonish the people of the laws relating to the admitting certain persons into the temple, or the courts of it, and to suffer none that were unqualified to attend upon God’s service there. This appears to be the sense from the following verses. And thou shalt say, Let it suffice you of all your abominations — Let the time past be sufficient for you to have provoked me with your abominations. In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, &c. — In that ye have set up idols within the precincts of my temple, and have appointed idolatrous priests to officiate there. When ye offer my bread, the fat, and the blood — At the very time when ye were offering my sacrifices upon the altar. Or the words may imply, that they suffered heathen to offer at God’s altar, expressly contrary to the law, Leviticus 22:27. By bread may be understood the meat-offerings made of flour, which accompanied the other sacrifices, although every thing offered upon the altar is properly called the bread of God. The fat and blood of every sacrifice were peculiarly appropriated to God. And they have broken my covenant — Idolatry was a direct breach of that covenant into which God had entered with the Jews: upon which account it is so often represented under the metaphor of adultery. And ye have not kept the charge of my holy things — You have not observed the laws I gave you for taking care of the things relating to my house and worship, but have appointed such persons to officiate there as best suited with your own inclinations.
The north gate before the house - The north gate of the inner court. God expostulates with His people in the seat of their former idolatries Ezekiel 8:3.Then, when he had been informed of the reason why the east gate was shut, and when he perceived he must not go out thereby.
He; the angel, or Christ in the appearance of man.
The way of the north gate; to the north gate of the inner court, whence he had a prospect of the temple, though no door to it on that side.
Behold; through the windows of the temple he did discern that brightness and lustre which filled the temple.
The glory of the Lord, & c.: see Ezekiel 1:28 43:2.
and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; as he had seen at the eastern gate, Ezekiel 43:2,
and I fell upon my face; as he had done before, under a sense of the greatness and glory of the divine Majesty, and of his own vileness and unworthiness; see Ezekiel 43:3.Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. The prophet is brought by way of the N. gate into the inner court before the house. From his position in front of the house he beholds the glory of the, Lord filling the house, and falls on his face.Verses 4-16. - The relations of the people, Levites, and priests to the sanctuary. Verse 4. - From the outside of the east gate of the outer court the prophet was brought the way of the north gate, but whether of the outer or of the inner is uncertain, and set down before the house. On the ground that the prophet at his new station was in front of the temple, Hitzig, Keil, and others decide for the north gate of the inner court; whereas Kliefoth, looking to the circumstance that the first communications made to the prophet at his new post concerned "the entering in of the house," and "the going forth of the sanctuary," prefers the north gate of the outer court. But at whichever of the gates the prophet was set down he perceived a second time (comp. Ezekiel 43:5) that the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord, and this, perhaps, should cast the balance in favor of the inner court entrance, from which the interior of the "house" could be more easily
The description of these two gate-buildings is very brief, only the principal portions being mentioned, coupled with the remark that they resembled those of the east gate. The following is the description of the north gate. - Ezekiel 40:20. And the gate, whose direction was toward the north, touching the outer court, he measured its length and its breadth, Ezekiel 40:21. And its guard-rooms, three on this side and three on that, and its pillars and its wall-projections. It was according to the measure of the first gate, fifty cubits its length, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. Ezekiel 40:22. And its windows and its wall-projections and its palms were according to the measure of the gate, whose direction was toward the east; and by seven steps they went up, and its wall-projections were in front of it. Ezekiel 40:23. And a gate to the inner court was opposite the gate to the north and to the east; and he measured from gate to gate a hundred cubits. - With the measuring of the breadth of the court the measuring man had reached the north gate, which he also proceeded to measure now. In Ezekiel 40:20 the words והשּׁער to החיצונה are written absolutely; and in Ezekiel 40:21 the verb היה does not belong to the objects previously enumerated, viz., guard-rooms, pillars, etc., but these objects are governed by ויּמד yb denrevog e, and היה points back to the principal subject of the two verses, השּׁער: it (the gate) was according to the measure... (cf. Ezekiel 40:15 and Ezekiel 40:13). For the use of ב in definitions of measurement, "25 בּאמּה" (by the cubit, sc. measured), as in Exodus 27:18, etc., see Gesenius, 120. 4, Anm. 2. The "first gate" is the east gate, the one first measured and described. In Ezekiel 40:23 the number of steps is given which the flight leading into the gateway had; and this of course applies to the flight of steps of the east gate also (Ezekiel 40:6). In Ezekiel 40:22, כּמדּת is not to be regarded as doubtful, as Hitzig supposes, or changed into כּ; for even if the windows of the east gate were not measured, they had at all events a definite measurement, so that it might be affirmed with regard to the windows of the north gate that their dimensions were the same. This also applies to the palm-decorations. With regard to the אלמּים (Ezekiel 40:21), however, it is simply stated that they were measured; but the measurement is not given. לפּניהם (Ezekiel 40:22, end) is not to be altered in an arbitrary and ungrammatical way into לפנימה, as Bttcher proposes. The suffix הם refers to the steps. Before the steps there were the אילמּים of the gate-building. This "before," however, is not equivalent to "outside the flight of steps," as Bttcher imagines; for the measuring man did not go out of the inside of the gate, or go down the steps into the court, but came from the court and ascended the steps, and as he was going up he saw in front (vis--vis) of the steps the אילמּים of the gate, i.e., the wall-projections on both sides of the threshold of the gate. In Ezekiel 40:23 it is observed for the first time that there was a gate to the inner court opposite to the northern and the eastern gate of the outer court already described, so that the gates of the outer and inner court stood vis--vis. The distance between these outer and inner gates is then measured, viz., 100 cubits, in harmony with Ezekiel 40:19.
In Ezekiel 40:24-27 the south gate is described with the same brevity. Ezekiel 40:24. And he led me toward the south, and behold there was a gate toward the south, and he measured its pillars and its wall-projections according to the same measures. Ezekiel 40:25. And there were windows in it and its wall-projections round about like those windows; fifty cubits was the length, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. Ezekiel 40:26. And seven steps were its ascent and its wall-projections in the front of them, and it had palm-work, one upon this side and one upon that on its pillars. Ezekiel 40:27. And there was a gate to the inner court toward the south, and he measured from gate to gate toward the south a hundred cubits. - This gate also was built exactly like the two others. The description simply differs in form, and not in substance, from the description of the gate immediately preceding. כּמּדּות האלּ, "like those measures," is a concise expression for "like the measures of the pillars already described at the north and east gates." For Ezekiel 40:25, compare Ezekiel 40:16 and Ezekiel 40:21; and for Ezekiel 40:26, vid., Ezekiel 40:22. Ezekiel 40:26 is clearly explained from Ezekiel 40:16, as compared with Ezekiel 40:9. And lastly, Ezekiel 40:27 answers to the 23rd verse, and completes the measuring of the breadth of the court, which was also a hundred cubits upon the south side, from the outer gate to the inner gate standing opposite, as was the case according to Ezekiel 40:19 upon the eastern side. Hvernick has given a different explanation of Ezekiel 40:27, and would take the measurement of a hundred cubits as referring to the distance between the gates of the inner court which stood opposite to each other, because in Ezekiel 40:27 we have משּׁער in the text, and not מן השּׁער; so that we should have to render the passage thus, "he measured from a gate to the gate toward the south a hundred cubits," and not "from the gate (already described) of the outer court," but from another gate, which according to the context of the verse must also be a gate of the inner court. But it is precisely the context which speaks decidedly against this explanation. For since, according to Ezekiel 40:18, the measuring man did not take the prophet into the inner court, for the purpose of measuring it before his eyes, till after he had measured from (a) gate to the south gate of the inner court, the distance which he had previously measured and found to be a hundred cubits is not to be sought for within the inner court, and therefore cannot give the distance between the gates of the inner court, which stood opposite to one another, but must be that from the south gate of the outer court to the south gate of the inner. This is the case not only here, but also in Ezekiel 40:23, where the north gate is mentioned. We may see how little importance is to be attached to the omission of the article in משּׁער from the expression משּׁער אל שׁער in Ezekiel 40:23, where neither the one gate nor the other is defined, because the context showed which gates were meant. Hvernick's explanation is therefore untenable, notwithstanding the fact that, according to Ezekiel 40:47, the size of the inner court was a hundred cubits both in breadth and length. - From the distance between the gates of the outer court and the corresponding gates of the inner, as given in Ezekiel 40:27, Ezekiel 40:23, and Ezekiel 40:19, we find that the outer court covered a space of two hundred cubits on every side, - namely, fifty cubits the distance which the outer court building projected into the court, and fifty cubits for the projection of the gate-building of the inner court into the outer court, and a hundred cubits from one gate-porch to the opposite one (50 + 50 + 100 equals 200).
Consequently the full size of the building enclosed by the wall (Ezekiel 40:5), i.e., of the temple with its two courts, may also be calculated, as it has been by many of the expositors. If we proceed, for example, from the outer north gate to the outer south gate upon the ground plan (Plate I), we have, to quote the words of Kliefoth, "first the northern breadth of the outer court (D) with its two hundred cubits; then the inner court, which measured a hundred cubits square according to Ezekiel 40:47 (E), with its hundred cubits; and lastly, the south side of the outer court with two hundred cubits more (D); so that the sanctuary was five hundred cubits broad from north to south. And if we start from the entrance of the east gate of the court (A), we have first of all the eastern breadth of the outer court, viz., two hundred cubits; then the inner court (e) with its hundred cubits; after that the temple-buildings, which also covered a space of a hundred cubits square according to Ezekiel 41:13-14, including the open space around them (G), with another hundred cubits; and lastly, the גּזרה (J), which was situated to the west of the temple-buildings, and also covered a space of a hundred cubits square according to Ezekiel 41:13-14, with another hundred cubits; so that the sanctuary was also five hundred cubits long from east to west, or, in other words, formed a square of five hundred cubits."
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