Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle.
Eze 41:1-26. The Chambers and Ornaments of the Temple.
1. tabernacle—As in the measurement of the outer porch he had pointed to Solomon's temple, so here in the edifice itself, he points to the old tabernacle, which being eight boards in breadth (each one and a half cubits broad) would make in all twelve cubits, as here. On the interior it was only ten cubits.
And the breadth of the door was ten cubits; and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side: and he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits.
2. length thereof—namely, of the holy place [Fairbairn].
Then went he inward, and measured the post of the door, two cubits; and the door, six cubits; and the breadth of the door, seven cubits.
3. inward—towards the most holy place.
So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place.
4. thereof—of the holy of holies.
before the temple—that is, before, or in front of the most holy place (so "temple" is used in 1Ki 6:3). The angel went in and measured it, while Ezekiel stood in front, in the only part of the temple accessible to him. The dimensions of the two apartments are the same as in Solomon's temple, since being fixed originally by God, they are regarded as finally determined.
After he measured the wall of the house, six cubits; and the breadth of every side chamber, four cubits, round about the house on every side.
5. side chamber—the singular used collectively for the plural. These chambers were appendages attached to the outside of the temple, on the west, north, and south; for on the east side, the principal entrance, there were no chambers. The narrowness of the chambers was in order that the beams could be supported without needing pillars. The plan is similar to that of the hall at Koyunjik, a large central hall, called the oracle, with smaller rooms built round it.
And the side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which was of the house for the side chambers round about, that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the wall of the house.
6. might … hold, but … not hold in … wall of the house—1Ki 6:6 tells us there were rests made in the walls of the temple for supports to the side chambers; but the temple walls did not thereby become part of this side building; they stood separate from it. "They entered," namely, the beams of the chambers, which were three-storied and thirty in consecutive order, entered into the wall, that is, were made to lean on rests projecting from the wall.
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.
7. the breadth … so increased from the lowest … to the highest—that is, the breadth of the interior space above was greater than that below.
I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits.
8. foundations … six … cubits—the substructure, on which the foundations rested, was a full reed of six cubits.
great—literally, "to the extremity" or root, namely, of the hand [Henderson]. "To the joining," or point, where the foundation of one chamber ceased and another began [Fairbairn].
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. 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].
And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side.
10. the chambers—that is, of the priests in the court: between these and the side chambers was the wideness, &c. While long details are given as to the chambers, &c., no mention is made of the ark of the covenant. Fairbairn thus interprets this: In future there was to be a perfect conformity to the divine idea, such as there had not been before. The dwellings of His people should all become true sanctuaries of piety. Jehovah Himself, in the full display of the divine Shekinah, shall come in the room of the ark of the covenant (Jer 3:16, 17). The interior of the temple stands empty, waiting for His entrance to fill it with His glory (Eze 43:1-12). It is the same temple, but the courts of it have become different to accommodate a more numerous people. The entire compass of the temple mount has become a holy of holies (Eze 43:12).
And the doors of the side chambers were toward the place that was left, one door toward the north, and another door toward the south: and the breadth of the place that was left was five cubits round about.
Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits.
12-15. Sum of the measures of the temple, and of the buildings behind and on the side of it.
So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long; and the separate place, and the building, with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long;
Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits.
And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place which was behind it, and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side, an hundred cubits, with the inner temple, and the porches of the court;
15. galleries—terrace buildings. On the west or back of the temple, there was a separate place occupied by buildings of the same external dimensions as the temple, that is, one hundred cubits square in the entire compass [Fairbairn].
The door posts, and the narrow windows, and the galleries round about on their three stories, over against the door, cieled with wood round about, and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows were covered;
16. covered—being the highest windows they were "covered" from the view below. Or else "covered with lattice-work."
To that above the door, even unto the inner house, and without, and by all the wall round about within and without, by measure.
17. by measure—Measurements were taken [Fairbairn].
And it was made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces;
So that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about.
From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made, and on the wall of the temple.
The posts of the temple were squared, and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other.
21. appearance of the one as the appearance of the other—The appearance of the sanctuary or holy of holies was similar to that of the temple. They differed only in magnitude.
The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before the LORD.
22. table … before the Lord—the altar of incense (Eze 44:16). At it, not at the table of showbread, the priests daily ministered. It stood in front of the veil, and is therefore said to be "before the Lord." It is called a table, as being that at which the Lord will take delight in His people, as at a feast. Hence its dimensions are larger than that of old—three cubits high, two broad, instead of two and one.
And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors.
And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door.
And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees, like as were made upon the walls; and there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without.
25. thick planks—a thick-plank work at the threshold.
And there were narrow windows and palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch, and upon the side chambers of the house, and thick planks.