Ezekiel 40:3
So He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze. He was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand.
Divine MeasurementW. Clarkson Ezekiel 40:3
MeasurementJ.R. Thomson Ezekiel 40:3
Vision of the New TempleJ.D. Davies Ezekiel 40:1-4
The Measuring ReedW. W. Battershall, D. D.Ezekiel 40:2-3

It strikes the reader of this prophetic book as strange that several chapters towards its close should be chiefly occupied with measurements of the temple which Ezekiel saw in his vision. The reed and the line seem at first sight to have little to do with a prophetic vision. Especially does this seem the case when it is perceived to how large an extent these measurements are a repetition of those found in earlier books of the Scriptures. But reflection will show us that measurements such as are here described may suggest thoughts very helpful to the devout, religious mind.

I. MEASUREMENTS ARE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO THE EXPLANATION OF PROPORTION ORDER, AND BEAUTY. It is well known to students of science that mathematical relations are found to exist where an ordinary observer would little expect to find them. When they come to ask whether explanation can be given of such differences as those which obtain between different colors and different sounds, they are led to investigations which show that regular variations in the number of vibrations in a second, whether of the ether or of the atmosphere, account for the differences in question. When they come to ask why the heavenly bodies fulfill their regular movements and preserve their beautiful harmony, they are led to investigations which issue in the discovery that mathematical laws govern - as the phrase is - the movements which excite our wonder and admiration. These are but familiar illustrations of a principle which is recognized throughout the material universe. If we may use such language with reverence, we may say that the cosmos is evidently the work of a great Mathematician, Measurer, and Mechanic. When we turn from the works of nature to works of art, we are confronted by the same principle. If a building, whether a temple or a palace, be erected, it is constructed upon principles which involve numerical relations and measurements. The sculptor measures his proportions in trunk and head and limb; the poet measures the feet in his verse. Wherever we find order and beauty, we have but to look below the surface, and we shall discover numbers and measurements.

II. MEASUREMENTS ARE EVIDENCES OF MIND. There are different grades of intelligence, and this is nowhere more obvious than in the varying degrees in which human workmanship is regulated by mathematical principles. The rudest wigwam is a proof of design and of adaptation, of the possession by the builder of some powers of space-measurement. But a complicated machine, such as a watch or a steam-engine, bears unmistakable evidence of mathematical as well as of manipulative ability. If a temple be constructed, of vast size, of harmonious proportions, of symmetry, containing many parts all bound into an organic unity, it speaks to every beholder of a mind - a mind capable and cultured, a mind patient and comprehensive. To those who believe in the existence of God, the material universe is full of evidences of his unequalled and supreme intellect; the measurements of the scientific observer are sufficient to establish this conviction. The universe is God's temple, and all its lines are laid down, all its parts are coordinated, in such a manner as to evince what, in human language, we may term measurements the most complete and the most exact. To the deeply reflecting mind, the existence of the spiritual temple is even more eloquent concerning the attributes and especially the comprehensive and foreseeing wisdom of the Eternal.

III. MATERIAL MEASUREMENTS ARE PROPERLY SYMBOLICAL OF THE SPIRITUAL. A reflecting reader of these chapters will hardly rest in any conclusions regarding a structure of stone, of timber, of precious metal. Whatever may be his canon of interpretation, whether he adopts the literal or the figurative principle, whether or not he looks for a material temple still to be reared upon the soil of Palestine, - certain it is that for him the material and perishable constructions of human skill and labor are chiefly interesting as the embodiment of thought and the suggestion of eternal realities. The universe is God's temple; the body of Christ was God's temple; the Church is the chosen and sacred temple of the Eternal and Supreme. The thoughts of those who meditate upon these remarkable chapters of Ezekiel will be sadly misdirected if they do not ascend to him who is both the Architect of the sanctuary and the one supreme Deity to whom is directed all the sacrifice and all the worship presented within its hallowed precincts. - T.

A measuring reed.
It is a complex and mysterious thing, — this human life which it is appointed us to live. At first glance it seems as if it were simply the outflowing of ourselves from day to day, very much as water flows from a jar, without effort or design or law of movement, Take the history of a day, or the larger history of a life from the cradle to the grave; what subtle breaths of desire, of affection and repulsion determine its movements! What accidents, casual contacts, unexpected pressures of circumstance carve its outlines! Day by day the tapestry is woven. We cannot stop the play of the loom. But what a wilderness of aimless lines comes out in the fabric! What a blur of unfinished patterns, overlying each other! What a tangle of broken threads! But a deeper glance reveals to us the persistent and inexorable action of law in the shaping of our life. Indeed it is easy to formulate a theory of life in which it seems as if it were all law, nothing but law, law that crushed all freedom and spontaneity out of life. This happens when you try to reduce life to a department of physics. You find everywhere law; only the law lies not so much in the life as in the things that press upon it and give it direction. The water that flows from a jar falls and sparkles and runs on the ground with no choice of its own. Every drop is the slave of law. So it seems when we look upon life and treat it as a chapter of mechanics; as if it were simply the product of the forces that beat upon it, as if the measure of the forces gave the measure of the life, as if the colours and shapes it takes in its outflow were all determined by the angle of the sunbeam that strikes it, and the lay of the ground where it falls. It is evident that this conception of life is inadequate and false. It is all the more dangerous, because it falls in with a current fashion of thought and contains a half-truth. We read so much nowadays of force and law, that it is natural to speak of the energy of life under these terms; only, if we take our conceptions of force and law entirely from the physical world, we reduce all the intricate and mysterious movement of life to the irresponsible throbbings of a machine. The life which each of us is living is neither a formless, accidental jumble of thoughts, words and deeds, which link themselves together without any compelling force or law of combination; nor is it the fixed and inevitable result of forces that lie outside the domain of the will, and that beat resistlessly upon our life for good or evil. There is both freedom and law in our life; freedom working within law, along the lines of law. Every human life is a structure like that temple in the prophet's dream. It is built up stone by stone. And every stone has a meaning. It falls into its place in obedience to a law. The design of the structure determines the position of the stone. The building grows according to the law of the design. But what determines the design? Here is where the element of choice comes in. We can choose one design or another. But the design once chosen determines the character of the building. It gives the law of measurement to every stone and door post and pinnacle. It is like a man with a measuring reed standing in the gate. Now there are certain things which, you will agree with me, fall entirely within our choice, which have such power and influence in the shaping of character that they become the measuring reeds of life. They give the design on the lines of which the structure of the life is built. One of these things is a man's estimate of himself. What a man holds himself to be, he tries to be, and in the long run becomes. If he count himself a cur, his life will be a kennel, whatever money he may lavish on it and however richly he may decorate it. If he recognise and hold himself true to a royalty of soul, his life will be a palace. Though it have the dimensions of a hut, and the roof cover but a single room, that room will be a throne chamber. Have you never noticed how Christ, in His effort to lift men to higher levels of life, kept in sight this law? Never was such dignity dreamed for human nature as He gave to it. He called men God's children. And all, that He might win them to a life that had the purity and beauty of God in it, a life that should be worthy of the sons of God. Christ recognised the law: man is the measure of his life. His estimate of his own worth gives the quality of his daily deed and word. The law runs from the sublime heights to which Christ carried it, to the beaten paths where men pass to and fro on the business of the world. If you hold yourself copper, your life will be copper. If you count yourself gold and diamond, your life will be gold and diamond. You must first estimate yourself as something cheap and mean, before you can sell yourself to a cheap and mean sin. But there is another measuring reed of life. As he goes on with the years, every man makes not only an estimate of himself, but also a philosophy of life. If we choose to explain life as a selfish, brutal struggle for existence, as a dull, lingering misery to be borne simply with patience or defiance, as a hunt for pleasurable sensations, as a plot for the mastery of our fellows, as a school for the education of character, as an opportunity of lighting up this earth with something of the life that pulses in the heart of God; in every case, life rises up and answers: "Yes, that is my explanation of myself. I can furnish proofs of your theory. You have translated the cipher on my heart. Take me, read me, treat me as you choose; I will supply you with plenty of facts to substantiate your philosophy of me." Life echoes back our own answer. She comes to us and sits down by us and goes to and fro over our threshold, in the very feature, step, and accent of our theory. The smallest details of life take tone and colour from our creed. Our life makes a constant effort to adjust itself to our theory. How can it be otherwise? Our theory is a measuring reed, with which we stand in the gate, and which we apply to every stone and beam that go into the structure of our life. Is it any wonder that the whole structure is simply a sort of flower, which has blossomed on the stalk of our measuring reed?

(W. W. Battershall, D. D.)

Ezekiel, Levi, Levites, Zadok
Appearance, Behold, Brass, Bringeth, Bronze, Cord, Doorway, Flax, Flax-cord, Gate, Gateway, Line, Linen, Measuring, Measuring-reed, Reed, Rod, Standing, Stationed, Stood, Thither, Thread
1. The time, manner, and end of the vision of the city and temple
6. The description of the east gate of the outer court
20. of the north gate
24. of the south gate
27. of the south gate of the inner court
32. of the east gate
35. and of the north gate
39. Eight tables
44. The chambers
48. The porch of the house

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ezekiel 40:3

     4312   bronze
     5392   linen
     5618   measures, linear

Ezekiel 40:1-4

     1431   prophecy, OT methods

Ezekiel 40:1-49

     5207   architecture

Ezekiel 40:2-3

     1466   vision

Ezekiel 40:2-4

     7470   temple, significance

The Parts of the City. Sion. The Upper City: which was on the North Part.
There is one who asserts Jerusalem to stand on seven hills; but whether upon a reason more light, or more obscure, is not easy to say. "The whale showed Jonah (saith he) the Temple of the Lord, as it is said, 'I went down to the bottom of the mountains': whence we learn that Jerusalem was seated upon seven mountains." One may sooner almost prove the thing itself, than approve of his argument. Let him enjoy his argument to himself; we must fetch the situation elsewhere. "The city itself (saith Josephus)
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness.
^A Matt. IV. 1-11; ^B Mark I. 12, 13; ^C Luke IV. 1-13. ^c 1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, ^b 12 And straightway the Spirit driveth him forth ^c and ^a 1 Then [Just after his baptism, with the glow of the descended Spirit still upon him, and the commending voice of the Father still ringing in his ears, Jesus is rushed into the suffering of temptation. Thus abrupt and violent are the changes of life. The spiritually exalted may expect these sharp contrasts. After being
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Millennium in Relation to Israel.
"And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land" (Gen. 15:17, 18). Here the two great periods of Israel's history was made known to Abram in figure. The vision of the smoking furnace and the burning lamp intimated that the history of Abraham's descendants was to be a checkered one. It was a prophecy in
Arthur W. Pink—The Redeemer's Return

The Holy City; Or, the New Jerusalem:
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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