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The vision of the House of Prayer for all Nations - exposition by Bro Henry Sulley
The Truth enables us, not only to understand but to contemplate with rapture this exhibition of what God purposes to do in the end of His dealings with the house of Israel. That he has not made the earth in vain - that He means to fill it with His glory at the last - He has declared from the beginning. Here in Ezekiel, we are permitted to see the means of its establishment and the form of its manifestation.
A Kingdom established in the land of promise, with dominion over universal man, and having as its central feature a temple of extent and capacity never equalled in the dreams of man, acting as a pivot and purifier of universal life, diffusing blessing where little else than misery and the shadow of death now prevail. It is a matter in which we are practically interested. We have been called to be heirs of the Kingdom, and this is the Kingdom in manifestation.
Nothing that has ever been on earth can be compared to it. It is a glory that is as certain to come as the desolation which long foretold has prevailed so long that men's hearts are sick and their faith in coming goodness nearly dead.
Let not our faith die.
The grimy and oppressive surroundings of the present dispensation, though they seem so permanent, are as transient as the disturbed dreams of night. The hour will come when they will have disappeared from our view, and when nothing will be visible on the earth but the blessedness in Abraham and his seed-long promised and come at last.
1 In the 25th year of our captivity [Golus], in the beginning of the year [rosh hashanah], in the 10th day of the month, in the 14th year after that the city [ Ir (Yerushalayim)] was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand [Yad] of Yahweh was upon me, and brought me thither [there].
Jerusalem the centre of Jewish authority.
The vision comes when Jerusalem is desolate
By the comparison of chapters i. 2; xxxiii. 21; and 2nd Kings xxiv. and xxv., we find that the captivity of " Jehoiakim, his officers and mighty men," &c, is referred to, and that Jerusalem is the city that was smitten...
These events were the consummation of that retribution which God foretold should come upon the children of Israel consequent upon their breaking the solemn covenant made at Sinai and in the land of Moab... at a time when the kingdom of David was overthrown; when desolation reigned over the once glorious land of Israel; and when the city of Jerusalem was in ruins. Occurring at such a time, it occupies a peculiar position in relation to the history of Israel...
It came just as the fruits of disobedience had burst upon them, and appears to divide their
history into two epochs-one ending with their complete desolation, and the other with their complete restoration.
2 In the visions [marot] of Elohim brought He me into the land of Israel [Eretz Yisroel], and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south [on which was a mivneh (structure) resembling an ir to the negev (south)].
"Yahweh hath chosen Zion: he hath desired it for His " habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; "for I have desired it.- (Ps. cxxxii. 13, 14).
'...the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever. ( 43:7)
A very high mountain
As to the expression " In the visions of God," it may be briefly noted that the same expression occurs in Ezekiel i. 1. To say Ezekiel was taken to the land of Israel " in the visions of Elohim," is to say that he will be taken there really, being, as before stated, a man of Sign.
The chief constructional features of the building, which is the centre of the vision, he is shewn how " The glory of the Elohim of Israel" enters the house...
'...a complete vision of the building was given to Ezekiel in a Jubilee year, there is a Jubilee year yet future, when the building seen by him in vision will have real existence; that it will be finished and opened for public worship on that date.
That such Jubilee will fall on the feast of the Passover, and that by the tenth day of the first month the sacrifices will be in preparation, and all things in readiness for the " glory of Yahweh" to enter the newly erected house.
That the construction of the building will be associated with the national regeneration of Israel, when the Father will " forgive their iniquity, and remember their sins no more," " blotting out as a thick cloud their transgressions" (Jer. xxxi. 34; Is. xliv. 22) ; so that
by the time that the top stone is fixed, and the last pavement laid, their enemies will have been destroyed; and all their bondage, whether literal or spiritual, will end in the great Jubilee then inaugurated.
Seeing the day of Israel's deliverance from Egypt was signalised as a beginning of months and years unto them (Exod. xii. 2), this greater deliverance, which involves not only regeneration to the house of Israel, but blessing to all the Gentiles, will be the starting point of
a new age, in which official records will not date from " the year of our Lord/' or the reign of some Gentile king, or from " Jehoiakin's captivity," but from the day defined in the vision itself, when the offerings of the Israelitish people are once again accepted.
Here again the word " mountain" is used in a wide and comprehensive sense. These testimonies point to the conclusion that Ezekiel was brought to the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem, even though Jerusalem and its suburban territory cannot, from a geographical point of view, be called " a high mountain'
Still Ezekiel affirms that he was set down upon " a very high mountain'. This points to the fact that, although Jerusalem and the cluster of hillocks surrounding it are not now the highest portion in Palestine, they are destined to be so.
Remarkable physical changes have taken place in this portion of the earth in the past, others more remarkable are in store. The prophet Zechariah, speaking of the time when the " Lord shall be King over all the earth/' says :-
" All the land shall be turned as a plain (i.e., as Arabah,) from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem: and it shall he lifted up."-(ch. xiv. 9-10.)
Isaiah and Micah both testify to the same thing : -
(It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills ; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go, and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths."-(Isa. ii. 2-3; Mic. iv. 1-3.)
These prophecies, when fulfilled, must leave Jerusalem and its surrounding territory at a much higher level than at present. In fact, a large tract of country will be affected by these changes. From Geba to Kimmon is a considerable distance. Without being able to speak precisely, Geba is more than seven miles north of Jerusalem, while Kimmon is about forty miles to the southward.
Roughly speaking, then, a district fifty miles square will be lifted up, and with it the bed of the Dead Sea ; thus bringing the waters there of up to the required level for a waterway connection with the Mediterranean. (chap. xlvii. 10.)
Jerusalem, situated on such a table land, would be, in the broad acceptation of the term, the " mountain of the Lord' up to which and unto which all people go. It would be the highest point in the land of Israel, being " exalted above the hills.'
The building seen by Ezekiel would encircle the central prominence of this plateau; for, being set down upon " a very high mountain' he was able to see, at some distance from him, something which looked like " the frame of a city;" and this city-like building was upon the same mountain upon which Ezekiel stood. (Verse 2 marginal rendering.)
From some minor prominence, then, near Jerusalem, this preliminary view would be given to him before being brought to the building itself.
A MAN LIKE UNTO THE APPEARANCE OF BRASS
Upon the children of Israel tempting the Lord in the wilderness, their folly was not expiated till, confessing their sin, they looked upon a brazen serpent which Moses by commandment had made. Now, from what is written concerning the experience of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and from the following testimonies -Numb. xxi. 5-9 ; Psalm lxxviii. 18 ; 1 Cor. x. 9 ; James i. 14; iii. 5-6 ; Gal. v. 17-we may gather that the serpent was a symbolical representation of their sin: its form indicated the character of their transgression, and the metal of which it was composed, the origin of their sin.
As tempters of the Deity, they were fitly symbolised by a serpent. Their flesh, which caused
them to transgress, was appropriately represented by brass, or rather copper, which is the word some modern translators use. Polished copper, glittering in the sunshine, is a fair representation of " fire," and fire represents the burning and consumptive nature of lust.-
(James iii. 5, 6 ; iv. 1, 2).
Now inasmuch as all lust is of the flesh, called " sin's flesh," brass may be taken as representative of sins flesh in the symbol before us. This brazen serpent not only pourtrayed the sin of the children of Israel, but also that of mankind. By it they would be reminded of their federal relation to Adam, the whole figure being a perfect symbol of human character.
Transfixed to the pole in the wilderness, it was a type of the way in which Deity delivers men
from the consequence of sin.-(John iii. 14). The higher significance attaching to the figure, however, does not destroy the symbolical meaning of its copper substance, but rather establishes it.
Ezekiel's Temple 2.3.
Line of Flax
It must be conceded that the man of copper is a figure, so also with the line of flax and the measuring reed. But the things they signify are strictly in harmony with their own particular attributes, and must be interpreted accordingly...
The Hebrew word in its scriptural usage, does not exclude the idea of measure, but it does not convey the modern technical sense of a lineal measuring cord. There is a difference also between a measured line and a measuring line, although the former sometimes becomes the latter. We have a good illustration of the use of the word line in this sense in the first book of Kings, concerning the molten sea it is there chap. vii. 13; stated that " a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about." This is a primitive and natural method of determining the measure of a circular object.
A measured line cut to a certain length is necessary for such a purpose, but is not necessarily a divided instrument of measure. Again, a line, imaginary or real, must be laid down before any great distance can be measured, and such a line, when its length is determined, becomes the measure of the object to which it is related.
Another way in which a line may be used is to mark off a boundary or division. By this means a district may be said to be divided by a line. Now we find the word used in other portions of the scriptures, and in these occurrences the word is often used in the sense of appointment, division, limitation, and rulership, in connection with the affairs of mankind, as illustrated in the following instances :
"I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down."-(2nd Kings, xxi. 13.)
"The Lord hath purposed to destroy the walls of the daughter of Zion; He hath stretched out a line , He hath not withdrawn His hand from destroying."-(Lamentations ii. 8.)
Go,ye swift messengers to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot [Lit. line and line, and treading under foot."]-(Isaiah xviii. 2.)
"Judgment will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet."-(Isaiah xxviii. 17.)
"The cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl and the raven shall dwell in it; and He shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness."
-(Isaiah xxxiv. 11.)
In these testimonies the idea of apportionment is given, such as the prophecy of the measure of the destruction of Jerusalem by that of Samaria. Hence Jeremiah represents the woe of Israel as limited by a stretched out line, and Isaiah by a series of such lines ; while in the day of their recompense, Bozrah is to be encircled with the line of confusion.
The selection by the Spirit of the Hebrew word (pathil) in chap. 40, verse 3, and which is also translated " line," cannot be without significance. It comes from a verb, meaning " to knot" or " spin,".
Looking at the two words used as mutually explanatory of their literal relation in the figure before us, we see that the angel of brass held in his hand a woven flaxen cord. Now the word translated flax is used to define the nature of the linen robes of the Mosaic priests, which were typical of the white robes of the glorified Saints (Rev. xix, 8). These facts are just in harmony with the things already indicated. All human affairs are to be regulated by Jesus and the glorified saints who are with him in the work, because they are "the called, the chosen, and the faithful" (Rev. xvii. 14), and have been wrought (Eev. vii. 14, and 1 Pet. i. 7) into one unbreakable lever of government.-(Ps. cxlix. 2, 5-9 ; ii. 1-12.)
Jesus is the centre of the new system. He will then, as it were, HOLD IN HIS HAND those saints who rule with him, and they will be a line by which affairs of State will be administered in perfection.
Is there a liar or a thief to be detected and punished ? Then the powers of which the Apostles tasted belong to the constituents of the line in full manifestation. (Heb. vi. 5 ; Acts v. 1, 10 ; viii. 18, 22). Is there a nation which refuses to go up to the feast of tabernacles ? These immortal men can compel obedience by withdrawing rain or disseminating disease. (Zech. xiv. 17,19; 2nd Sam. xxiv. 15, 16 ; Heb. ii. 5.) Is there a nation disobedient to the commands of Yahweh ? Then the all-powerful King, by the agency of his sons, stretches out a line over that nationality, even as the eternal Father by angelic agency cast one over Jerusalem and Samaria. (2nd Kings, xxi. 13 ; Ex. xxiii. 22 ; 2nd Kings, vi. 17.)
Is it necessary to have mercy, and build up a people with great blessing ? Then the line can be stretched over the places that are desolate, and reconstruction and upbuilding comes to pass. (Zech. i. 16.) Is it necessary to build the temple of the Lord ? Then the line in the hand of the measuring angel is manipulated by the holder. The immortal beings composing it go forth at their Master's command. They " fly as a cloud," and cause the isles to wait upon the King in Zion.
The sons of strangers are compelled to go and build up the walls of Jerusalem, and Kings are made to minister of their substance (Is. lx. 8, 10). So masons, artificers, and wealth are provided in abundance. THE LINE therefore is used to accomplish all things required to be done in the various operations which pertain to the new order of things.
Their rule (Ps. xix.4) will be preceded by the sounding forth of the word (Rom. x. 18), which is to go forth from Jerusalem (Is. ii. 2), and to transgress the line of the commandment which will be spoken from their mouth, will bring swift and sure punishment; while obedience thereof will bring blessing and peace.
Ezekiel's Temple 2.4.
THE MEASURING REED.
EZEKIEL saw the angel use for the purpose of measure and construction, a reed of six cubits long, each cubit being one cubit and one handbreadth (verses 5, 14).The equivalent of this measure in English numerals is difficult to determine. Evidence at present accessible will equally assign either 21 inches or 24 inches. Fortunately, so far as drawing a plan of the building seen by Ezekiel is concerned, it is not necessary to know the exact size of the reed.
Any unit of measure may be selected and called a " reed." Such a measure divided into six parts will serve the purpose. It would be interesting, however, to know the actual length of the cubit mentioned by Ezekiel. The information would also be practically useful in laying down the geographical limits of the " Holy oblation ; " and in fixing the respective limits of the Tribal allotments. (Chap. xlv. 1-11 ; xlviii. 1-29).
Now, although the reed seen by Ezekiel in the hand of the man of brass is stated to be a " measuring reed and is manifestly the instrument by which the size of the new temple will be determined, yet, in view of the highly symbolical character of the figure in whose hands it is seen, we may be almost certain that a figurative meaning attaches to it. When Jesus was mocked by Herod's soldiers (Matt, xxviii. 27-29), a reed was placed in his hand, as well as a crown upon his head ; the former as a symbol of Rulership, and the latter of Royalty. A reed, therefore, is a fitting symbol of the exalted position which is delegated to the Son of Man in the age to come.
Moreover, besides the temple which is to be built of stone on Mount Zion, there is a spiritual temple, (1 Cor. iii. 16), the individual stones of which have long been in course of preparation. The constituents of the spiritual house (Heb. iii. 6) have already been referred to in an earlier part of this section. Now this spiritual Temple (i.e. Temple of the Spirit) is constructed according to a certain standard of measure. That measure is CHRIST. For so Paul informs us in Eph. chap. iv. 13; iii. 17 ; Col. iii. 10.
A measuring reed therefore is an apt figure of Christ, in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and all fulness dwells. (Col. i. 18,19.) A man of brass, then, holding in his hand a line of flax and a measuring reed, is an appropriate figure of Jesus and his brethren in visible, corporeal, and active manifestation during the building of the temple on Mount Zion. The Son and his House (Heb. iii. 6) - the Bridegroom and his Bride (Rev. xix. 7) - the one NEW MAN making peace - ( Eph. ii. 15,22; iv. 13).
Ezekiel's Temple 2.5.
4 And the man [ish] said unto me, Son of man [Ben Adam], behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart [lev ] upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent [l'ma'an] that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel [Bais Yisroel].
1. That Ezekiel is styled " Son of Man."
2. That deep and sincere concentration of mind is essential for the comprehension of the vision.
3. That such comprehension can only come by carefully collating every fact stated, even to the minutest detail, and that such a conspectus must include every "law/' every "ordinance," every " coming " in, and every " going forth of the sanctuary/'
4. That all Ezekiel saw and heard he was to make known to the House of Israel. The salutation "Son of Man" is significant, in view of the fact that Ezekiel is a man of sign to the House of Israel. It becomes more so when those things addressed to him under that title are noted.
" Son of man, thus saith the Lord God: These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, to offer burnt offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood thereon. And thou shalt give to the priests, . . . which approach unto me to minister unto me, saith the Lord God, a young bullock for a sin offering."-(Chap, xliii.18, 19.)
From this testimony, it is evident that when the things exhibited in the Ezekiel vision become accomplished facts, Ezekiel will be there, and take a prominent part in the organization of the Temple worship. He thus stands forth as a representative of the resurrected class, and therefore is a man of sign to the Spiritual House of Israel, as well as to the natural
descendants of Abraham. From this, it would follow, that the injunction given to Ezekiel is also intended for every prospective constituent of the spiritual house, of which he forms a part.
5 And behold [hinei] a wall [chomah] on the outside of the house round about [Bais [Hamikdash] compound and was surrounding it], and in the man's hand [yad of the ish] a measuring reed [keneh hamiddah] of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building [thickness of the structure], one reed; and the height, one reed.
A WALL ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE ROUND ABOUT.
EZEKIEL is taken from the position where he first obtains a general view of the Temple, and is brought sufficiently near to see it more in detail (verse 3). His ears are now sufficiently attent, and his eyes ready to notice all things done by his guide in their tour of inspection. While standing in the gate, Ezekiel sees the angel measure the " wall on the outside of the house' .
This wall deserves particular attention: it is one reed high and one reed broad, or thick (verse 5), which, taking twenty-four inches as approximately the length of Ezekiel's cubit and handbreadth, would represent a wall twelve feet high and twelve feet thick. How would the measurement be made ? It must have been made where the gate intersects the wall, and while Ezekiel was in a suitable position for seeing the measurement thereof.
If Ezekiel were standing in the gate, he would have an end view of the wall. This, in fact, is the only way the thickness of the wall could be seen, unless Ezekiel was elevated in order to see the breadth of the wall, and it is not so stated.
Now, the angel " stood in the gate" with a measuring reed in his hand-verse 3- and it is stated in verse 5, that " a wall is on the outside of the house," and that the angel "measured the breadth of the building." These two verses taken together make it certain that the gate went through the wall, and that on each side of the gate, the thickness of the wall would be visible.
Ezekiel saw this wall "on the outside of the house round about;" i.e. to say, he saw the outside wall of the house. No other wall enclosing the house is mentioned in the description. Therefore, if this be not the enclosing wall, the house would be open to access on every side, and there would be no need for gates.
Of these gates particulars are given, and those particulars necessitate that this wall and the gates are co-related. It cannot be that a structure which is to be freely used for worship should be surrounded by a wall twelve feet high without any means of access. On the other hand, it would be anomalous that there should be gates of majestic proportions without an excluding wall.
...Now, the wall mentioned by Ezekiel must have some connection with the house itself, and form an integral part of the building; and if it be not connected with it in the way already indicated, what is its use ?
...The evidence is clear that the house was measured inside and out. Its inner circumferences first, and its outside limit last. This outside limit is marked by the wall, which would strikingly impress Ezekiel by its vast extent and its extraordinary proportion, and which, in
the natural order of things, would be the first to be measured, just as the testimony narrates.
The wall, as we have already seen, is stated to be five hundred reeds on each of the four sides (chap. xlii. 15-20).
What this means is not at first realised. The exact length of the reed is not certain, but it is somewhere between ten feet six inches and twelve feet; if the former, five hundred reeds would be nearly a mile. If twelve feet, the length of five hundred reeds would be considerably over one mile.
6 Then came he unto the gate [sha'ar (gateway)] which looketh toward the east [faceth eastward], and went up the stairs [ma'alot] thereof, and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad; and the other threshold [saf ] of the gate [sha'ar], which was one reed broad [rod deep].
These gates, though used for purposes of ingress, are not a mere opening in the wall. Even a cursory glance at the chapter reveals this fact. They are composed of several important parts, which, put together, make a perfect whole, and comprise entrances, posts, columns,
-chambers, &c. The gates partake more of the character οι gate buildings than structural entrances, as we conventionally understand 'gates'.
The Hebrew word translated "gate," in its primary meaning, does not involve a gate building. It only has this meaning in a derived sense. The word is used several times throughout Ezekiel's specifications in its primary sense, and therefore it must be remembered that the word "gate" does not necessarily refer to a " gate building" in every case, or even to a gate at all in the sense in which Englishmen understand the term. In our conception of the
gates of the Temple described by Ezekiel, we must not be guided by any foreign instances, ancient or modern, but must follow strictly the specifications given.
Conducted by the angel " to the gate which looketh toward the east" (verse 6), Ezekiel sees its several features measured. These are-
1. The entrance thresholds.
2. The chambers of the gate.
3. The pedestals of the gateway.
4. The threshold of the gate "by the porch of the gate within."
5. " The porch of the gate within."
6. The porch of the gate within the court.
7. The length and breadth of the gate building.
8. The boundary and the roof of the little chambers.
9. The " palm trees" of the gate.
10. The arches.
11. The lattice work.
These details are not all fully specified in the description of the first gate, but they come out on collating all the items scattered in the description of the other gates. All the gates are alike (see chap, xl., verses 21, 24, 28, 52, 35), and that which is affirmed of one applies to all.
THE ENTRANCE THRESHOLDS
...FROM verse 6, we learn that the man with the line in his hand measured "the threshold of the gate " immediately he ascended the steps thereof, i.e., he measured that space which lies between the sides of a door opening in the thickness of a wall, and which we sometimes call the door-way, or entrance step.*-
This threshold measured one reed broad ; it is, therefore, the same width as the wall, as most thresholds are. This threshold lies facing those who enter the gate, and upon it they must tread, unless they stumble upon it as they go up the steps, and fall with their hands upon
the threshold, as the Ephraimite's concubine did before the door of the house where her lord sojourned (Judges xix.27).
This threshold would be level with the floor, of the gateway; otherwise it would be called a step. Nevertheless, it would count as a step, unless there were a platform in front of it level with it. Without such a platform, or ledge, the threshold would form one step of the seven giving access to the house (verses 6 and 26).
Then it is stated that "he measured the other threshold one reed broad" (verse 6). Here are two
thresholds measured by the angel as soon as he reaches the top of the steps. A third threshold is also mentioned in the next verse; " by the porch of the gate within" (verse 7).
...There being two thresholds, there would be two doors to each gate. But why two doors ? Just this : one for exit, and one for entrance ; that such an arrangement is intended, we may gather from the following testimony: " The Temple and the Sanctuary had two doors. And the doors had two leaves; two turning leaves; two for the one door, and two for the other."-(Chap. xli. 23, 24.)
Now, the outside limit of the sanctuary is that portion of the house first measured (see chap. xl. verse 5 ; and xlii. verses 15-20). To the four sides of this sanctuary are gates, and the sanctuary itself is a mile square. When, therefore, it is stated that the sanctuary had two
doors, it is clear we are not to suppose there are only two doors giving access to this immense area ; in fact, more than two gates are specified, therefore the statement " that the sanctuary had two doors " must be understood in the sense of two doors to each particular gate of the sanctuary.
... The arrangement already suggested enables us to understand the two things in harmony, that is, we have two thresholds, two entrances, and two doors in each gateway, side by side.
...The necessity for two doorways in each gate of the Temple appears greater, when we consider a certain law of the house, mentioned in chap. xlvi. verse 9:
"He that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate ; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate; he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it."
Compliance with this law will secure orderly fraternal intercourse, when confusion might otherwise reign. It is an arrangement, in fact, for passing to the right and to the left, and to carry this out in the most effectual manner through the gates, each gateway is divided into two parts ; hence " two thresholds" are specified at the entrance of the gates.
7 And every little chamber [ta (Recess)] was 1 reed long, and 1 reed broad; and between the little chambers [ta'im (rooms)]were 5 cubits; and the threshold [saf ] of the gate [sha'ar] by the porch [ulam] of the gate [sha'ar] within [on the inside] was 1 reed.
...most of the italicised words in the C. V. help to mystify the vision, and should, as far as possible, be omitted in the reading. With the adoption of the present tense, the
meaning of the prophecy would be made more easy; and the more readily should we perceive that Ezekiel describes a building, not which was, but which is to be, and which, to the mind of the Spirit, does exist, and therefore, in a description by the Spirit, is fitly described in the present tense.
...supposing the measurer to pass up one side of the gate building, and down the other. From the entrance threshold, he would pass the " little chambers," (verse 7) say on the left-hand side ; he would note their respective dimensions, and the size of each post between them.
Next he would come to " the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within." He would
measure this porch (verse 8). Next he would come to the porch or gate within the court, and measure it. Passing down the right hand side of the gate building, on his return journey, he
would, by occular demonstration, enable Ezekiel to say:
" the little chambers of the eastern gate are three on this side, and three on that side" (verse 10).
These chambers are one reed long, and one reed broad, i.e., six cubits square. They are also six cubits high, as we gather from the twelfth verse, which states that the " chambers are six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side." This is a third measure of the little chambers, and a third measure can only be applied vertically. That is to say the little chambers are six cubits high on one side of the gate, and six cubits high on the other side of the gate.
8 He measured also the porch of the gate within [ulam of the sha'ar on the inside], 1 reed.
9 Then measured he the porch of the gate [ulam of the sha'ar], 8 cubits; and the posts thereof, 2 cubits; and the [ulam of the sha'ar] was inward [on the inside].
10 And the little chambers of the gate [ta'im of the sha'ar] eastward were three [shloshah] on this side, and [shloshah] on that side; they three were of one measure [the same measurement]: and the posts had one measure [the same measurement] 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 25 cubits, door against door.
The description could not well be clearer. The measurement is taken from the roof of one to the roof of the other, across the gateway. A passage-way, therefore, of twenty-five cubits, separates the chambers which are on either side of the gate.
This roof of the chambers would be flat, as most eastern roofs are. Its thickness is not stated, unless the space " mentioned in verse 12 be its thickness.