Ezekiel 46:21
Then he brought me forth into the utter court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court.
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(21) The utter court.—The prophet had just been in those chambers which, although they stood within the area of the outer court, were considered as belonging to the inner. He is now brought into the outer court, properly so called.

In every corner of the court there was a court.—In each of the angles of the outer court a place was set apart for the boiling of the flesh of the peace offerings. These were of considerable size—40 cubits by 30 (Ezekiel 46:22), and appear to have been enclosed by a wall but not covered above. The word translated joined is of very uncertain meaning, but its most probable sense is enclosed. These courts are marked E on Plan II.

Ezekiel 46:21-24. Behold, in every corner of the court there was a court — At every corner, where the side walls met in right angles, there was another little court. There were courts joined of forty cubits long, &c. — These little courts were in the shape of an oblong square, joined with inner walls to the outside walls of the greater court. The marginal reading, made with chimneys, gives a sense which very well agrees with the uses for which the courts were designed. There was a row of buildings round about in them — Namely, on the inside of these courts. Then said he, These are the places, &c. — As there was a place in the inner court for boiling the trespass and sin-offering, Ezekiel 46:19-20; so these boiling-places might be appointed for boiling the peace-offerings, which were esteemed inferior in holiness to those above mentioned, and therefore, perhaps, were dressed by the Levites, or inferior ministers; whereas the former were boiled by the priests in the court properly belonging to them.

46:1-24 The ordinances of worship for the prince and for the people, are here described, and the gifts the prince may bestow on his sons and servants. Our Lord has directed us to do many duties, but he has also left many things to our choice, that those who delight in his commandments may abound therein to his glory, without entangling their own consciences, or prescribing rules unfit for others; but we must never omit our daily worship, nor neglect to apply the sacrifice of the Lamb of God to our souls, for pardon, peace, and salvation.See K. Plan II.19-24. Due regard is to be had for the sanctity of the officiating priests' food, by cooking courts being provided close to their chambers. One set of apartments for cooking was to be at the corners of the inner court, reserved for the flesh of the sin offerings, to be eaten only by the priests whose perquisite it was (Le 6:25; 7:7), before coming forth to mingle again with the people; another set at the corners of the outer court, for cooking the flesh of the peace offerings, of which the people partook along with the priests. All this implies that no longer are the common and unclean to be confounded with the sacred and divine, but that in even the least things, as eating and drinking, the glory of God is to be the aim (1Co 10:31). The utter court; either the court of the people, or more likely the court of the priests or Levites, called here utter court, because it was more outward than the court of the temple.

To pass by the four corners, to go about the whole square of the court.

In every corner, where the side walls did meet in right angles.

A court; a smaller court made up on the outer sides with the walls of the greater square, and on the inside made with two walls, the one forty cubits long, the other thirty cubits broad.

Then he brought me forth into the utter court,.... From the holy chambers of the priests, and from viewing the place where they boiled the sacrifices, and baked the meat offering:

and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; in each of the four corners of the outward court there was another court; signifying that there will be courts or churches in the several parts of the world in the latter day.

Then he brought me forth into the utter court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court.
21–24. The kitchens for cooking the sacrificial meals of the people. These were situated in the four corners of the outer court. In each of the four corners was a small enclosure or court 40 cubits long and 30 broad (Ezekiel 46:21-22); and in these were situated the kitchens, where the “ministers of the house,” the subordinate officials (Ezekiel 44:10-14), boiled the people’s offering for their sacrificial meal (Ezekiel 46:23-24), Fig. 3 M.

Verses 21, 22. - The prophet next observed, as his guide led him round the outer area, that in every corner of the court there was a court - literally, a court in a corner of the court, a court in a corner of the court - and hat these were courts joined of forty cubits long and thirty broad. The word "joined" קְטֻרות) has been variously translated: by Gesenins (see 'Hebrews Lex.,' sub voce), as "vaulted" or "roofed," with which Hitzig seems to agree; by the LXX., whom Bottcher and Ewald follow, μικρά, equal to contracts; by Kliefoth, "uncovered;" by Havernick, "firm," "strongly built;" by Smend," separated;" by Hengstenberg and Schroder, after the Talmudists (fumum exhalantia), "smoking" or "made with chimneys" (Authorized Version margin); but is probably best rendered by the Revised Version, Keil, Currey, after Gesenius ('Thesaurus,' p. 1213), "enclosed," meaning muris cineta et januis elausa. According to the last clause of ver. 22, these four corners were of one measure; or, one measure was to the four cut-away places, i.e. corners, מְהֻקְצָעות being the hoph. participle of קָצַע, "to cut off." This last word is omitted in the LXX. and the Vulgate, Hitzig, and Smend, the puncta extraordinaria showing that the Massorites regarded it as suspicious. Ezekiel 46:21The Sacrificial Kitchens for the Priests and for the People

Ezekiel 46:19. And he brought me up the entrance by the shoulder of the gate to the holy cells for the priests, which looked to the north; and behold there was a place on the outermost side toward the west. Ezekiel 46:20. And he said to me, This is the place where the priests boil the trespass-offering and the sin-offering, where they bake the meat-offering that they may not need to carry it out into the outer court, to sanctify the people. Ezekiel 46:21. And he led me out into the outer court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and behold, in every corner of the court there was again a court. Ezekiel 46:22. In the four corners of the court were closed courts of forty cubits in length and thirty cubits in breadth; all four corner spaces had one measure. Ezekiel 46:23. And a row of stands was round about therein in all four, and boiling hearths were under the rows made round about. Ezekiel 46:24. And he said to me, These are the kitchen-house, where the servants of the house boil the slain-offering of the people. - In the list and description of the subordinate buildings of the temple, the sacrificial kitchens are passed over; and they are therefore referred to here again in a supplementary manner. Ewald has shifted Ezekiel 46:19-24, and placed them after Ezekiel 42:14, which would certainly have been the most suitable place for mentioning the sacrificial kitchens for the priests. But it is evident that they stood here originally, and not there; not only from the fact that in Ezekiel 46:19 the passage to the holy cells (Ezekiel 42:1.) is circumstantially described, which would have been unnecessary if the description of the kitchens had originally followed immediately after Ezekiel 42:14, as Ezekiel was then standing by the cells; but also, and still more clearly, from the words that serve as an introduction to what follows, "he led me back to the door of the house" (Ezekiel 47:1), which are unintelligible unless he had changed his standing-place between Ezekiel 46:18 and Ezekiel 47:1, as is related in Ezekiel 46:19 and Ezekiel 46:21, since Ezekiel had received the sacrificial thorah (Ezekiel 44:5-46:18) in front of the house (Ezekiel 44:4). If Ezekiel 46:19-24 had originally stood elsewhere, so that Ezekiel 47:1 was immediately connected with Ezekiel 46:18, the transition-formula in Ezekiel 47:1 would necessarily have read very differently. - But with this section the right of the preceding one, Ezekiel 46:16-18, which Ewald has arbitrarily interpolated in Ezekiel 45 between Ezekiel 45:8 and Ezekiel 45:9, to hold its present place in the chapter before us as an appendix, is fully vindicated. - The holy cells (Ezekiel 46:19) are those of the northern cell-building (Ezekiel 42:1-10) described in Ezekiel 42:1-14 (see Plate I L). בּמּבוא is the approach or way mentioned in Ezekiel 42:9, which led from the northern inner gate to these cells (see Plate I l); not the place to which Ezekiel was brought (Kliefoth), but the passage along which he was led. The spot to which he was conducted follows in אל (the article before the construct state, as in Ezekiel 43:21, etc.). אל הכּהנים is appended to this in the form of an apposition; and here לשׁכות is to be repeated in thought: to those for the priests. 'הפּנות צ belongs to הלשׁכות. There, i.e., by the cells, was a space set apart at the outermost (hindermost) sides toward the west (Plate I M), for the boiling of the flesh of the trespass-offering and sin-offering, and the baking of the minchah, - that is to say, of those portions of the sacrifices which the priests were to eat in their official capacity (see the comm. on Ezekiel 42:13). For the motive assigned in Ezekiel 46:20 for the provision of special kitchens for this object, see the exposition of Ezekiel 44:19.

In addition to these, kitchens were required for the preparation of the sacrificial meals, which were connected with the offering of the shelamim, and were held by those who presented them. These sacrificial kitchens for the people are treated of in Ezekiel 46:20-24. They were situated in the four corners of the outer court (Plate I N). To show them to the prophet, the angel leads him into the outer court. The holy cells (Ezekiel 46:19) and the sacrificial kitchens for the priests (Ezekiel 46:20) were also situated by the outside wall of the inner court; and for this reason Ezekiel had already been led out of the inner court, where he had received the sacrificial thorah, through the northern gate of the court by the way which led to the holy cells, that he might be shown the sacrificial kitchens. When, therefore, it is stated in Ezekiel 46:21 that "he led me out into the outer court," יוציאני can only be explained on the supposition that the space from the surrounding wall of the inner court to the way which led from the gate porch of that court to the holy cells, and to the passage which continued this way in front of the cells (Plate I l and m), was regarded as an appurtenance of the inner court. In every one of the four corners of the outer court there was a (small) courtyard in the court. The repetition of 'חצר בּמקצע הח has a distributive force. The small courtyards in the four corners of the court were קטרות, i.e., not "uncovered," as this would be unmeaning, since all courts or courtyards were uncovered; nor "contracted" (Bttcher), for קטר has no such meaning; nor "fumum exhalantia," as the Talmudists suppose; nor "bridged over" (Hitzig), which there is also nothing in the language to sustain; but in all probability atria clausa, i.e., muris cincta et janius clausa (Ges. Thes.), from קטר; in Aram. ligavit; in Ethiop. clausit, obseravit januam. The word מהקצעות is marked with puncta extraordinaria by the Masoretes as a suspicious word, and is also omitted in the Septuagint and Vulgate. Bttcher and Hitzig have therefore expunged it as a gloss. But even Hitzig admits that this does not explain how it found its way into the text. The word is a Hophal participle of קצע, in the sense of cornered off, cut off into corners, and is in apposition to the suffix to לארבּעתּם, - literally, one measure wax to all four, the spaces or courtyards cut off in the corners. For this appositional use of the participle, compare 1 Kings 14:6. There is also a difference of opinion as to the meaning of the word טוּר, which only occurs here and in Exodus 28:17. and Ezekiel 39:10, where it signifies "row," and not "enclosure" (Kliefoth). טירות, which follows, is evidently merely the feminine plural, from טוּר, as טירה is also derived from טוּר, in the sense of "to encircle" (see the comm. on Psalm 69:26). Consequently טוּר does not mean a covering or boundary wall, but a row or shelf of brickwork which had several separate shelves, under which the cooking hearths were placed. מבשּׁלות, not kitchens, but cooking hearths; strictly speaking a partic. Piel, things which cause to boil. - בּית המּבשּׁלים - .liob ot e, kitchen house. משׁרתּי הבּית, the temple servants, as distinguished from the servants of Jehovah (Ezekiel 44:15-16), are the Levites (Ezekiel 44:11-12). עשׂוּי is construed as in Ezekiel 40:17 and Ezekiel 41:18-19.

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