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Ezekiel 40

The Vision of the Temple.

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The Vision of the Temple

1 In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither.

2 In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.

3 And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.

4 And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel.

5 And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man’s hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed.

6 Then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs thereof, and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad; and the other threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad.

7 And every little chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad; and between the little chambers were five cubits; and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one reed.

8 He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed.

9 Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts thereof, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was inward.

10 And the little chambers of the gate eastward were three on this side, and three on that side; they three were of one measure: and the posts had one measure on this side and on that side.

11 And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.

12 The space also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side, and the space was one cubit on that side: and the little chambers were six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side.

13 He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another: the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door against door.

14 He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate.

15 And from the face of the gate of the entrance unto the face of the porch of the inner gate were fifty cubits.

16 And there were narrow windows to the little chambers, and to their posts within the gate round about, and likewise to the arches: and windows were round about inward: and upon each post were palm trees.

17 Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement.

18 And the pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates was the lower pavement.

19 Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the lower gate unto the forefront of the inner court without, an hundred cubits eastward and northward.

20 And the gate of the outward court that looked toward the north, he measured the length thereof, and the breadth thereof.

21 And the little chambers thereof were three on this side and three on that side; and the posts thereof and the arches thereof were after the measure of the first gate: the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.

22 And their windows, and their arches, and their palm trees, were after the measure of the gate that looketh toward the east; and they went up unto it by seven steps; and the arches thereof were before them.

23 And the gate of the inner court was over against the gate toward the north, and toward the east; and he measured from gate to gate an hundred cubits.

24 After that he brought me toward the south, and behold a gate toward the south: and he measured the posts thereof and the arches thereof according to these measures.

25 And there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about, like those windows: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.

26 And there were seven steps to go up to it, and the arches thereof were before them: and it had palm trees, one on this side, and another on that side, upon the posts thereof.

27 And there was a gate in the inner court toward the south: and he measured from gate to gate toward the south an hundred cubits.

28 And he brought me to the inner court by the south gate: and he measured the south gate according to these measures;

29 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, according to these measures: and there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.

30 And the arches round about were five and twenty cubits long, and five cubits broad.

31 And the arches thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof: and the going up to it had eight steps.

32 And he brought me into the inner court toward the east: and he measured the gate according to these measures.

33 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were according to these measures: and there were windows therein and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.

34 And the arches thereof were toward the outward court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.

35 And he brought me to the north gate, and measured it according to these measures;

36 The little chambers thereof, the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, and the windows to it round about: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.

37 And the posts thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.

38 And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering.

39 And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering.

40 And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables.

41 Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices.

42 And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice.

43 And within were hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering.

44 And without the inner gate were the chambers of the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one at the side of the east gate having the prospect toward the north.

45 And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house.

46 And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister unto him.

47 So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare; and the altar that was before the house.

48 And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side.

49 The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits, and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Month; April 30, A. 3430. Usher. C. — In explaining this last most obscure vision: I. The Jews say it was verified after the captivity. But thus the temple would be four miles round, and the city thirty-six, which never was the case. II. Hence more modern Jews assert it will be fulfilled by the Messias. III. Rejecting these errors, Lyran, &c. suppose that the promise was conditional, and that the sins of the Jews prevented the city and temple from being so large; and that the mystical temple of the Church is also insinuated, into which both Jews and Gentiles shall enter. IV. Though this opinion be probable, it seems better to follow S. Jerom, S. Greg. &c. who cannot apply al to the Old Testament, nor think that such a huge temple and city were indeed promised, but explain some parts of the captives at their return, as a figure of those redeemed by Christ, and brought into his Church, which is adorned with all graces. Yet the greatest part must be understood of the Church triumphant. W. — S. Jerom confesses his ignorance of this subject; and those who have come after him, though they imitate not his modesty, add little to dissipate the mist with which this vision is surrounded. Some have adhered too close to Josephus, while Villalpand has here discovered all the magnificence of Greek and Roman architecture, and has represented the temple six times as large as it really was. It seems that the prophet has described the same temple of Solomon which he had seen, that the dimensions might be preserved, and the hopes of the people kept up; (C.) and that they might comprehend what a loss they actually sustained on account of their sins, (H.) and might strive to come up to this pattern (D.) as “near as they should be able,” the wealth of the people being much less than Solomon’s. Grot. — These arguments do not, however, shew that the buildings were to resemble each other. They vary in many particulars; and the prophet would specify what was to be really executed. He says nothing of the ornamental part, and little of the height, which are the most expensive. Houbigant. Pref. — If some things appear to be too grand for the temple of Solomon, and of Zorobabel, we must reflect that the prophet passes from the figure to the Church of Christ, which is not unusual. M. — Alcasar and Bossuet explain it wholly of the Church, so that the letter requires few notes. D.

Ver. 2. Mountain; Moria, in spirit. On the eastern side, the road to the city was level. Walls were added after the captivity, on the other sides. Jos. Bel. vi. 6. — City, the temple was so large. — South, to one coming from the north, though the temple lay on that side of the town. Ps. xlvii. 2. C. — Sept. read mongod, “over-against,” instead of mongob, “south,” which has perplexed many. Houbig. — Ezechiel was placed on Sion, which was not very high, but here it denotes the Church. Jerusalem was in ruins. W.

Ver. 3. Brass: shining. H. — This angel waited for the prophet at the northern gate, but introduced him by that looking towards the east. v. 16. — Line. It seems never to have been used. C.

Ver. 5. Breadth. Heb. Chal. Sept. “of six cubits, in a cubit and a palm;” imitating that the sacred cubit contained six palms, while the common one had only five, (C. xliii. 13. W.) being half a yard; (Arbuthnot) or the Hebrew cubit was a hand’s breadth larger than the Babylonian, or about 21½ inches, (C.) which may be styled (M.) the sacred cubit. Arb. H. — Reed. This outer wall (C. M.) was to prevent any from falling down the precipice. It was about four yards nine inches in height and thickness, being so solid in order that the ground might not give way. Josephus describes prodigious walls, (H.) reaching to the bottom of the mountain, three hundred cubits on the south and west; but then the temple was much enlarged. C.

Ver. 6. And. In this verse occurs the first of thirty-four words where the j is allowed by the keri to be omitted in this one chapter, always when it is the sign of the plural number before a suffixed v, and of course by voluntary assimilation. But Camb. MS. 1. has the j regularly in the thirty-two of these words. Kennicott. — Steps. The ground was not quite level, which caused the buildings to rise one above another more elegantly. There were four great gates.

Ver. 7. Chamber, for the porters, (C.) three on each side of the porch. v. 10. H.

Ver. 11. Thirteen, or twenty-six feet high.

Ver. 14. Cubits high, or else the elevation is nowhere specified. C.

Ver. 16. Slanting, or “lattice.” Sept. “dark.” See 3 K. vii. 4. H. — They were larger within, to afford light, as in Solomon’s temple, and in castles. Interpreters disagree in their sentiments: but all allow that God here insinuated that he would reward people in the Old Testament with temporal, and those in the New with spiritual blessings; first with grace in this life, and with glory in the next. W. — Yet we must not suppose that the saints of old were deprived of eternal goods. H. — About. The other gates had the like ornaments. C.

Ver. 17. There were chambers. Gazophylacia, so called, because the priests and Levites kept in them the stores and vessels that belonged to the temple. Ch. — They went all round the courts. The women were in the second story. Villalpand and Capel, who are deemed the most accurate, suppose that there were no chambers below, but an open gallery. There seem, however, to have been chambers also. C. viii. 7. C.

Ver. 18. Lower. So that there was a step up to the threshold. H. — Marble was used in all places exposed to the weather. Jos. Bel. vi. 14.

Ver. 26. Seven. There were eight to the inner court, (v. 31.) shewing that more perfection is now required, and a greater reward given. S. Greg. W.

Ver. 30. Five cubits. The parallel passages would intimate “fifty.” C. Villalp. — But the texts all read five, and Maldonat understands the four vacant spaces between the chambers. v. 7. M.

Ver. 38. Gates. Heb. is very obscure. The holocausts were slain on the north side of the altar. Lev. i. 11.

Ver. 43. Borders, to prevent any thing falling. Chal. &c. have “hooks.”

Ver. 44. North. The singers occupied two wings.

Ver. 45. Watch over the sacred ornaments, perfumes, lamps of the sanctuary, &c. Num. iii. 28.

Ver. 46. Altar. Not on actual service, (C. xli. 13.) but to prepare the victims.

Ver. 48. That side. Sept. add, “and the opening (euros, width) of the gate was 14 cubits, and the breadth (projections, epomides) of the,” &c. (H.) or the wall on each side of the door was three cubits, so that the porch was 20 cubits broad. C.

Ver. 49. Eleven. 3 K. vi. says ten. The exact breadth was ten and a half, (Vill. T.) or what the pavement covered is there specified according to some. Sept. Rom. has “twelve.” But the edition of Basil reads more correctly, ten. C. — Yet both ten and eleven may be right, if this temple be different. H. — Eight. Heb. seems corrupt, a being substituted for á. “They mounted by ten steps,” as the Sept. read. Aquila has eleven; Sym. eight. — Pillars of brass. 3 K. vii. 15. C. — As they are not measured, they were like Solomon’s. W.