EZEKIEL 41


SUMMARY-STATEMENT AND DEDUCTIONS

1st. That when God in time past selected for himself a people, appointed the form of their government, and ordained their worship, he specially designed and caused to be constructed, first a tent, and then a Temple in connection with His people: the former to be used during their sojourn in the wilderness, and the latter when they were settled in the land of promise in peace.

2nd. That he designed and specified all the details of both structures : He provided the materials for their construction, and endowed those with wisdom who were to fashion the buildings to the pattern given.

3rd. That God has still a purpose with this people, viz., with the Israelitish nation, whom he watches and esteems as " the apple of his eye' He will restore them to the land of their fathers ; regenerate the land ; rebuild the city; re-organise the people as a nation, and make them the foremost people on the face of the earth. He will restore their worship : give them peace, and bestow blessing upon them far exceeding those received in the most palmy days of their existence.

4th. That all the nations of the earth will, concurrently with Israel, participate in the blessings of the age. All will rejoice in the glory of the new order of things, and every inhabitant of the earth, both Jew and Gentile, will obey the " law which goes forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

5th. That the law which goes forth from Zion, among other enactments, will require all the families of the earth to go up, from year to year, to worship the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem. The logical deductions from these premises are as follows:-

a. That as God so minutely and so particularly specified the nature and construction of the Temple and Tabernacle in the day of small things, He would be sure to precisely and carefully specify the constructive character of the Temple of His glory.

b. That inasmuch as the Temple of God's people in the past was ordained for the use of a comparatively small number, and inasmuch as all the peoples of the earth are to worship at Jerusalem, we may expect to find in any prophecy exhibiting the future building, specifications of a vast structure equal to the necessities of the case.

c. Prima facie, then, we may reasonably expect that the hitherto obscure prophecy of Ezekiel does describe such a building ; and that it is a vast structure, with constructional features so minutely and clearly delineated by the prophet as to be capable of being reduced to paper, for the instruction and enlightenment of all whom it may concern.

These conclusions appear so obvious to the writer that he deems it unnecessary, and a waste of time, paper and ink, to discuss the suggestions made by some that Ezekiel only depicts a building 500 cubits square.

The Temple of the future age is to be " a house of prayer for all people."

Let the reader then open his mind to the bearing of the testimonies already laid before him. Let him be prepared to realize the stupendous character of the structure set forth in the Ezekiel measurements, and the abundant provision for universal worship foreshadowed by them.



1 Afterward he brought me to the temple [Heikhal], and measured the posts [jambs], six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, the breadth of the tabernacle [Ohel].

The word translated " tabernacle" is ohel. The revised version gives tent in this passage, and in every place (some 330 times) where the word occurs, with two exceptions. The word is derived from a verb meaning round, or ring shaped. Thus a circular ring of buildings forming the inner Temple surrounding the hill in the centre of the inner court may be said to mark or bound the breadth of the tent, i.e., the posts of a structure encircling a hill form the limit or boundary of that part of the house called the TENT.

Commentators have always been puzzled by the occurrence of the word ohel in this verse; but the difficulty disappears when we discover that the " Temple is one thing, and the " Tent " another, and that the temple posts touch up to and limit the extent of the tent.

The base of the tent would be the space circumscribed by a circle formed by the innermost posts of the Temple buildings. As to how such a large area could be called a tent must be left for detailed explanation when we come to consider other salient features of the " Most Holy". This feature is just mentioned here in order to give an indication of that all important element in the specification which is indicated by the word ohel.

Bro Sulley



on the one side, and on the other side



The most obvious interpretation of the specification is that there are posts of six cubits on each side of the Temple, one on this side and a similar post on the other side, i.e., the Temple itself comprises a building surrounding the central hill, having a double range of posts with intervening spaces filled by the structural arrangements specified further on in the chapter.


Letters M-M and N-N, Plate II. show the structure in block, Letters D-D1 on Plate IX. show posts "on this side and posts on that side " of the Temple structure.

This application of the phrase " on this side and that side " to each side of the Temple buildings is confirmed by the measurements of the porch, which are given in dual form, thus

The length of the porch is twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits ; and by the steps whereby they went up to it: and pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side. (ch 40: 49.)


In this verse after specifying the size of the porch on the inner side of the Temple, Ezekiel adds, " and by the steps whereby they went up to it," as much as to say,


" He measured the porch twenty cubits by eleven cubits, and also the porch where are the steps twenty cubits by eleven cubits"


Moreover, the statement " and by the steps " must refer to the other side of the building, because there is not any approach from the inner circle to the Temple by steps (see sub-Section VI., page 47).


Certain details of the inner house still further confirm this application of the terms of the specification. Ezekiel speaks of a " door " and " a place left " on each side (Chapter XLI. I I ) " one door towards the north and one door towards the south."


Now since there are doors on each side of the Temple, there must also be a porch on each side.


Bro Sulley



...The word " porch " is to be understood in its plural sense, specifying a continuous series of porches in juxtaposition and surrounding the house on every side, i.e., on both sides of the Temple all round the circle.

A A --Posts in the porches, supporting cherubim

BB and B1 B1-Posts of the porches "on this side" and "on that side".

CC - Gate.

DD and Dl. Dl- Posts of the Temple,

E E - Door of the Temple six cubits,

E1 E1- Door of the Temple seven cubits

FF and F1F1 Posts of the door.

GG - Opening between the posts of the Temple.

H H --Temple or Great Hall,

gg ~Ribs of the Temple,

I I - Foundations for the ribs.

J J -Outside wall to the ribs.

K - Wall of the House.

P - Porch of the House on the inner side.

L L- Place left.


2 And the breadth of the door [ width of the Petach (Entrance)] was 10 cubits [20ft]; and the sides [ketefot (shoulders, sidewalls)]of the door were 5 cubits [10ft] on the one side, and 5 cubits [10ft] on the other side: and he measured the length [height] thereof, 40 cubits [80ft]: and the breadth, 20 cubits [40ft].

A porch must be roofed over and have containing structures of some kind. We have seen that the length of the porch is stated to be twenty cubits (Chapter XL. 48).

This measure coincides with the breadth of " the sides " to the porch.

...Since the length of the porch measured inwards from its outside face is twenty cubits, and the breadth of the sides (measured outward) is also twenty cubits, the length of the sides must be their altitude or height.

These " sides," whatever be their construction, appear to be the flanks of each porch, forming a division between one porch and the next all round the house. These containing

structures rising on either side of the entrances, five cubits or ten feet thick at their foundations; twenty cubits or forty feet wide and forty cubits or eighty feet high, would form an imposing buttress to the inner Temple buildings.

These buttresses seem not to be solid wings, because other features are specified for the

porch, viz., pillars and arabesques. Thus we read :

There are pillars by (or upon) the posts, one on this side, and another on that side. (Chap. XL. verse 49.) And there are 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. (Chap. XLI. 26.)

We met with the term " narrow windows " (hallonot atumot) in the first chapter, a constructional feature indicating some sort of arabesque or pierced work (see pp. 24-27, ante).

All these features, viz., pillars, palm trees, and arabesques, form part of the structure of the porches. Since the size of these pillars and arabesque work is not elsewhere given, they must be of suitable size so as to fit upon the foundation formed by the lower part of the sides, and the arabesques must be at least one cubit thick, probably much more than a cubit.

The " pillars " may be placed at either end of the foundation, i.e., one on the outside face and one on the inside face of the porch, and the space between filled with arabesques of considerable thickness. These ornamental sides, or buttresses, forming the wings of the porches, all round the house will give scope for exhibiting much beauty, variety and excellence in design beyond anything hitherto produced.

Bro Sulley



...the way into the Temple must be between these posts...

This measurement must not be confounded with the dimensions of the sides of the entrance mentioned in the same verse, which are shown to coincide with the sides

of the porch. The way in which this verse is punctuated is liable to confuse the sense. A comma should take the place of the full stop, and the capital A altered to suit makes all the difference to its meaning.

The sentence commencing with the words " The sides," etc., contains the statement that the measurer went inward after giving the dimensions of the sides. This statement indicates that he must have returned to the porch, in order to give the measure of its sides, before moving inward to give the size of the temple doors and their posts.

Moreover, verse 26 shows that the sides appertain to the porch, and not to the posts of the temple.

An interesting confirmation of this explanation appears when the dimension of the porch entrances and the Temple entrances are compared. This shows that the intercolumniation of the " sides " of the porches and the Temple posts are approximately the same ; that is

to say, we have the same distance from centre to centre of the posts of the Temple and from centre to centre of the flanks or sides of the porches :

Cubits.

1. Two half posts " TEMPLE " .. .. 6

Width of opening .. .. .. .. 10

Total .. 16

a. Two half posts "PORCH" 5

Width of porch 11

Total .. .. .. .. 16 cubits.

Thus the posts of the Temple and the pillars of the porch range with each other, and a line drawn through the axis of the one would pass through the centre of the other.

Bro Sulley




The temple visitors shown below entering and exiting the inner temple porches give scale - a magnificent structure wonderful and humbling to man, who in turn willingly and thankfully ascribes glory to Yahweh's name. 



11 And the doors of the side chambers were toward the place that was left [ left open in the precincts of the Temple ] [a space approx 10 ft between the porch and the Temple all round the house], one door toward the north, and another door toward the south: and the breadth of the place that was left was 5 cubits [10ft] round about.

THE PLACE LEFT [plate 9 L].

After receiving the measure of the porch (Chapter XL.verse 49) and before the posts of the Temple are measured, Ezekiel is conducted to the Temple :

He brought me to the Temple. (Chap. XLI. I.)

This statement indicates that although the porch is an adjunct of the Temple there is a space between it and the Temple. In the accompanying plan (Plate IX.) a space divides the porches from the inner Temple, called " the place left." The place left is mentioned three times in Chapter XLI. at verses 9, 10 and 11. The position of " the place left " is defined by verse 11 thus :

The doors of the " side chambers " are toward the place that is left, one door toward the north, and another door toward the south : and the breadth of the place left is five cubits round about.

Since the porches give access to the doors of the Temple, and to the entrances of its " side chambers," and these doors are toward " the place left," the place left must be between the porches and the posts of the Temple.

The measure of the place left is five cubits round about, i.e., all round the house. The expression " the place left " is peculiar, and may imply that a space of five cubits is left open in the precincts of the Temple and must be included in order to make up the full measure of the house.

This implication will become more apparent when the measurements of the Temple are considered later.

Bro Sulley



15 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;

Such covered walks may be described as THE PORCHES OF THE COURT (Chap. XLI. verse 15).

These deductions are summarised thus :

1. Each of the buildings which flank the two sides of the outer court is divided into "upper" and "lower" sections (verse 5).

2. The lower section of each cella is at least one storey high-probably two. (See verses 3 and 5.)

3. The upper section of the cella may contain a gallery in three tiers, and each platform receding from the one below. These " galleries " would face each other on either side of the outer court.

4. Before the cellae on each side of the outer court is a walk ten cubits inward, or broad-a way of one cubit, viz., a walk ten feet wide, and raised one cubit above the level of the court. This platform would extend the entire length of the court from end to end in front of thecellae, except where divided by the gates.

It should be noted that the " walk " is exactly the same width as the porch of the gate inside the court. This walk would be a continuation of the porches of the gate, and with them would form a continuous covered way on either side of the court.

This continuous portico would also form part of the lower cella, otherwise that cella could not be fifty cubits wide. (See Plate III.; letters ρ·ρ.ρ indicate the position of the walk, or the porches of the court; and letters N.O on Plate V. and letter Q Plate VII. indicate the position of the walk or terrace in front of the galleries.)

As we have seen, the outer court gates are shown " over against " each other, or vis-a-vis as we say, so are the cellae. The following figures show that this arrangement " fits " into the general plan, thus :

The gates measure fifty cubits from the entrance to the face of the porch within the outer court (ch. XL. 15) .. .. 50 cubits.

The porch and its posts equal ten cubits (verse 9) . . . . . . .. .. 10 "

Deducting this ten cubit measure we ascertain the length or width of the main building. . 40

Add width of outer court . . . . . . 100 "

Add width of inner range of buildings, the same as for the outer range . . .. 40 ,,

Total .. 180 cubits.

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY CUBITS IS THE WIDTH OF THE CORNER COURTS. (See Section IV., pp. 37-39).



21 The posts of the temple were squared, and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other.

The fourth or western side of the sanctuary appears to be sufficiently specified in Chap. XLI. verse 21 :

The post of the Temple (is) square. The face of the sanctuary, the appearance of the one as the appearance ofthe other.

The latter part of this verse does not appear to be connected with the first part, although punctuated in the A.v. to give that appearance. To say the sanctuary looked like a square post would be meaningless and absurd !

To say the four sides of the sanctuary are alike gives a brief and sufficient description of the fourth or western side in a sentence. This appears to be the simple and obvious meaning of the description :

The face of the sanctuary ; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other.

It must be remembered that " sanctuary " is one of those general terms used to describe the whole of the building seen by Ezekiel (see Chapters XLII. 20 ; XLIV. 5 ; XLV. 4, etc.).

The western side, then, appears to be like the others-with its cellae, its courts, its arches and its gates ; and fitly completes the square with its four angle towers. This western side is shown on Plate 2. G.G.

Bro Sulley 3.3.9.



26 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.

it is remarkable that well nigh 2 500 years have elapsed since this vision was given ; and yet none-no, not one-of the numerous students of the prophecy appear to have presented a clear exposition of it. The writer believes that this vision has been wrapped in mystery

till " the time of the end " (Dan. xi. 40) and that now the time for the explanation of its mystery has come.

For in the time of the end, THE vision shall speak (Hab. 11.3). In presenting for consideration what may appear at first sight an impossible interpretation because of its vastness, he does so with a confidence springing from the feeling that as the promises concerning the Israelitish race and the return of Jesus the Christ are more generally

understood, this vision and its peculiar features will be more carefully studied, with the result that surprise will give way before the testimony, and conviction succeed doubt.

And if any difficulty in the vision be not now satisfactorily explained, sufficient will have been said to make the general bearing of the prophecy clear, and to lead up to a perfect understanding of it.

Bro Sulley 3.3.9.