Bro. Sulley's book is one of the basic books on the Truth that we should study thoroughly. It was the product of many years of investigation and labour.
Ezekiel's Temple is a difficult subject. Many in the past had struggled to get a coherent picture from this description, but all had failed. Bro. Sulley presents a consistent exposition. It fills all the required necessities, and it is in full harmony with the truth of the gospel. In fact, it very materially assists in giving body and substance and reality to the gospel of the Kingdom.
There is today, unhappily, a strong movement in other groups to break down and discredit this whole concept. A recent one, just published, applies it all to the days of Nehemiah-a very pitiful attempt. Another with more official backing teaches that the people of the world serve voluntarily and don't have to, if they don't wish to.
More than ever it is important that we study and keep clear and defend the basic scriptural picture, as presented by our pioneer brethren. None of us has any time to waste on nonessential, worldly, passing things, or on mere self-pleasing activities. There is infinitely too much to be learned and to be faithfully defended. The strength of a fellowship depends upon the depth of the intelligent, scriptural understanding of all its members. Life is very, very brief and very soon over. And we have absolutely no time to waste on any present things. If we do not learn that, we are lost.
If we hope for salvation we must make ourselves a prospective part of the Cherubim of Glory, which underlie and give meaning to all Ezekiel's visions. It is of the deepest significance that they rest not day and night from saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts.
Holiness is the essence of the purpose of God. Without holiness, shall no man see the Lord. And it's a lifelong proposition.
The popular conception of holiness is that it is theoretically beautiful and desirable, but too high for humans, and inconsistent with pleasure and enjoyment. Until we learn that holiness is the only happiness-the only true pleasure and enjoyment; until we by diligent scriptural study get out of babyhood and infancy, and mature to the realization that everything not related to God is empty folly, and that anything out of harmony with pure divine holiness is ugly and dirty and repulsive. Until we learn this, we are no fit candidate for the Cherubim of Glory. They rejoice in God; they rejoice in nothing else; they have time for nothing else.
Bro. Sulley's basic picture is very satisfying. He presents a building that is ideal for the purpose intended-a vast open structure of massive but delicate masonry, latticework, and archways, filled in and canopied over by thick, verdant greenery-a vivid contrast to man's increasingly horrible and artificial monstrosities. This building will have all the freedom and healthiness and beauty and freshness of open-aired living, with none of its bareness or disadvantages. Trees purify the air naturally and effortlessly and quietly. This building will host a continuous flow of millions. Greenery everywhere, ventilation everywhere, and pure clear running water everywhere are its primary characteristics.
Bro. Sulley gives the basis outline, but he is quick to point out that this is the most important building of all history, that it is designed directly by God's infinite wisdom, and that, therefore, while man can humbly suggest the general unrevealed details (as bro. Sulley has done, to give us something to visualize), still man cannot possibly begin to picture this building in its full divine beauty, as it actually will be.
Bro. Sulley cautions us that the details and decorations that he gives are merely suggestive and that we must take them as just a faint hint of the real beauty to be revealed. At times, he gives alternate suggestions, and we ourselves can legitimately formulate our own within the basic pattern. But until we have fully studied and mastered bro. Sulley's book, it would be presumption to question or discount individual details. He spent many years, and his pattern holds together. Bro. Sulley, like bro. Thomas, and this I believe was his secret, took scriptural detail very seriously-neither ignoring anything nor conveniently spiritualizing it away.
1 Then he brought me forth into the utter [outer] court, the way toward the north: and he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north.
The general appearance of the outer court...
as represented in this drawing, is as though one were standing upon the roof of the " porches of the court "-equidistant from either end at R, Plate 2 [see v 5].
From such a position " the porches" would be seen to extend on either side the entire length of the court, like a double colonnade, each 20 feet wide and 26 feet high.
Though a large and a vast building in themselves, they are a " mere porch " to the immense structure in front of which they stand. Yet they are a magnificent terrace at their roof-level, and an extensive cloister below.
Above the terrace rise those immense pillars whose towering height may, in some sense, be realised by looking up to a tall factory chimney. Over these rise the arches, springing from pillar to pillar in four-fold depth-the matchless beauty of whose curve produces that indescribable sensation which is sometimes experienced when looking at a bow in the cloud after rain.
These archways, with their terraces, present an architectural display of surpassing beauty. Stretching far away into the distance, on either side of the outer court, column after column, and arch after arch appear ; first to open their vast portals to the gaze of the beholder, and then narrow into mere slits as they recede before him, till lost in the perspective of their vanishing forms.
Further in the distance are the towers whose faint outlines presage no adequate idea of their vast proportions. Then the eye returns, and rests upon those magnificent galleries which, with their innumerable supports, add richness and fulness to the scene. Unadorned and unfurnished with guests, this building is a monument of splendour.
But clothe its perforated work with their appointed coverings, fill its chambers with the assembled hosts of the sons of Adam in a regenerate age, let its courts have thousands streaming over their pavements to receive the sweet consolation of righteousness, amidst the gladsome greeting of friends, and you have a picture of wealth and beauty which words fail to describe.
Bro Sulley 3.3.8.
2 Before the length of an 100 cubits [aprox 200 ft] was the north door, and the breadth was 50 cubits.
3 Over against the 20 [cellae] which [is] for the inner court, and over against the pavement which was for the [outer] court, [is] gallery against gallery in three [storeys]. [the cella is divided into three storeys.]
4 And before the [cellae] a walk [staircase] 10 cubits breadth [ the steps would be twelve inches on the flat and six inches rise. Thus a walk ten cubits wide, the same width as the inner porches of the gate with its posts, raised one cubit high above the court, and extending from gate to gate, may be described in the phrase, a walk of ten cubits inward]. inward [Inward means within the cellae.], [by] a way of 1 cubit; and their doors toward the north.
THE PORCHES OF THE COURT AND THE GALLERIES
Passing into the cella mentioned in the last section, Ezekiel would notice " the porches of the court," which appear to be incidentally mentioned in Ch. XLI., verse 15
Twenty cellae (not cubits as in AV)
The word cubits in the A.V. is not in the original; and for its introduction into the translation, there does not appear to be any justification. " Over against the twenty " may more reasonably be understood in the sense of over against the twenty cellae which divide the outer court from the separate place on the northern and southern sides of the temple (ten cellce on the north and ten cellae on the south). Thus Chapter XLII. verse 13
Then said he unto me, the north cellae and the south cellae which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto Yahweh shall eat the most holy things : there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering ; for the place is holy (verse 13).
This verse defines one of the " laws " of the house, to the observance of which Ezekiel's attention was particularly directed, and shews that the cellae mentioned must be constructed before the separate place as already mentioned.
Remembering that Ezekiel and his guide up to this point had traversed the temple outer courts (Ch. XL. 17-23, 24), and also the separate place and the inner court from south to north (Ch. XL. 28-38, 47 ; XLI.-XLII. 1), his description of what he has seen (verse 13) must
refer to the ten cellae on the north and the ten cellae on the south constructed between the outer courts and the separate place. They are said to belong to, or for the
inner court (verse 3).
The galleries referred to are " before these twenty cellae which are over against the separate place" and which are also " over against the pavement which is for the utter (outer) court." To speak of the galleries as over against a measure would involve an absurdity. Thus the word cellae is substituted for cubits in the third verse.
The word translated "gallery" is attiq.
Commenting on this word, Gesenius says: quoddam columnar urn (some sort of pillars), and Fuerst, a terrace, gallery, stair. The root from which the word is derived, according to the same authority, is atak, a word not to be met with in the Bible, and supposed to mean to remove, to intermit, and spoken of a terrace building.
If these witnesses can be relied upon, then the third verse indicates that the cella flanking the-outer court on each side of it is in three storeys, because the galleries are not only over against the twenty cellae, but also over against the pavement which is for the outer
court. Further on we shall see that there is another galleried building over against the twenty cellae beyond the separate place in the inner court.
There appears also to be some doubt as to the correct rendering of the numeral three. The word is rendered by Keil, " i n the third (storey)." This would imply that the cella is divided into three storeys.
The expression " a way of one cubit " (verse 4) is peculiar. It corresponds with an architect's specification of a staircase which may have " twelve inch treads and six inch go" i.e., the steps would be twelve inches on the flat and six inches rise.
Thus a walk ten cubits wide, the same width as the inner porches of the gate with its posts, raised one cubit high above the court, and extending from gate to gate, may be described in the phrase, a walk of ten cubits inward by a way of one cubit. Inward means within the cellae. (See Plate III. p.ρ Plate V. N.O.)
5 Now the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building.
The word gallery taken in connection with the fifth verse implies that the upper storeys are shorter than the lower ; thus if the main structure is set back ten cubits and a similar walk is constructed over the porches in front of the upper cellae the building would present the appearance of gallery against gallery in three (storeys).
The one set on the northern side of the north outer court is over against the twenty cellae just described, and these, as we have seen, standing between the inner and outer court, are over against the pavement which is for the outer court. (See R.R. Plate II.).
6 For they were in three stories, but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground.
We have seen what a markedly different feature is the groined rib-work of the inner Temple from the pillared halls of the outer court.
" They had not pillars like the pillars of the courts," ix., the outer courts. By carefully noting this difference in construction we may be able to determine in what way to apply the specification given in verses 3 to 6, Chap. XLII.
The reader is again invited to return to the position from which Ezekiel describes the galleries. We are supposed to stand in the cellae constructed between the separate place and the outer court at R. (Plate II.)
Looking northward are seen the galleries of the outer court buildings, facing us in front, or " over against " the building in which we are standing. Behind us to the south is the circular range of the inner Temple, also " over against " the building in which we are standing.
There appear to be three-storied galleries in each set of buildings, but the three storied buildings of the inner Temple have not pillars like those in the outer courts They are constructed with rib-work to supporting galleries which may recede as they rise three stories in height, or may be carried up as shown in Transverse Section, Plate X., so that
" The uppermost are shorter than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground."
Those of the outer court appear to be in three stories above the porches of the court, and are shorter than the lower story which includes the porches, but they do not appear to recede in stages above the level of the porch roof.
In support of this suggested interpretation of the text it may be noted that the constructional features and measurements of the inner Temple buildings are such as
to indicate a three-fold structure above its foundation story and the constructional character of the outer court cellae a three-storied building in the upper part above
the porches, each floor of the galleries extending to " the pillars of the courts," or to the full extent of the upper cellce flanking the outside wall of the sanctuary, each set of buildings therefore being four stories in height.
The approach to the upper stories of the inner Temple may be by a continuation of the steps specified to the, porches mentioned in Chapter XL., verse 49, rising upward to above the level of the lintel of the doorways into the Temple. From this level a sloping way may be
constructed in the upper part of " the place left " in a three-fold series, winding upwards round about the house to each of its three stories.
It is not to be expected that every detail respecting this building was revealed to or recorded by Ezekiel. Just sufficient information is available in order to give a clear outline of the general construction of the building. We have an example of this kind of limitation in the description of the tabernacle in the wilderness. Sufficient information is given to enable us to know its chief constructional features, and to understand its typical aspect, but certain details are lacking without which it is impossible to reproduce an exact copy of the original.
Had a complete description been placed on record we might have had dozens of "holy tents " devoted to a perverted purpose, and for a similar reason perhaps the veil is drawn on certain details in the Ezekiel description of the Temple of the Age to Come, but enough is revealed to create joy in the heart of one who has been inducted into the name of Jesus Christ.
7 And the wall that was without over against the chambers, toward the utter court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof was 50 cubits.
And the fence (a) that is without, parallel (b) to (or by the side of-R.V.) the cellae in the way (c) of the outer court before (d) the cellae the length thereof is 50 cubits (verse 7].
a. Fence instead of " wall." The word translated " wall " in this passage is gader not choma. The latter is chiefly used to describe a massive structure such as a town or city wall, whereas the former applies to anything affecting an enclosure, and may apply to a fence of openwork.
b. Parallel to is better than " over against ". Furst thus translates and he states that the
noun ammat is formed from the verb ammam, and means to unite, to bind together, to join in one, etc. The use of the noun in the Old Testament appears to involve the idea of a closeness of contact to that to which it is related, rather than that of being "opposite to," or "over against."
Thus Exod. xxv. 27, and context, shows that the rings through which the staves were threaded were on the feet (or legs) and in close contact UNDER (over against) the border. So in Exod. XXVIII. 27, the two rings of gold were fastened on the ephod over against it, that is, so that they would touch the rings upon the lower part of the breastplate to which they were fastened with " a lace of blue'
The word is also translated " answerable to " in Exod. 38: 18, where the movable hanging part of the curtain which enclosed the court is specified as answerable to the fixed part, involving the same idea, i.e., " of correspondence with " and in " close contact with."
All these occurrences indicate a close parallel relationship which the word " over against " does not imply. The " fence," therefore, in Ezekiel, may be taken to be parallel to, or as
rendered in the R.V. by the side of the cellae.
c. " The way of " has been substituted for " toward," derek is so translated in Chapter XLII. 11, 12, and in numerous passages throughout the Old Testament, and there does not appear any reason why the word should not be so translated here.
d. The rendering before, instead of " the forepart," is on similar grounds. The original conveys the idea " in the presence of." See also Gen. xxv. 18. " He died in the presence of all his brethren."
Those features which appertain to the buildings flanking the outer court are summarized thus :
The fence mentioned in verse 7 is said to be " without the cellae, parallel to it, before it," and " in the way of the outer court." To be in the way of the outer court cannot mean in the court itself, for such a fence would prevent access to the cellae from that court.
Since there is no way from the inner to the outer court except through the inner court gates already described, and since Ezekiel after describing the buildings of the inner sanctuary (see Chapter XLI.) was brought from the inner to the outer court,
"by the way towards the north" (Chapter XLII. 1)
he must have been conducted in a northerly direction through the inner court gates, i.e., " by the way towards the north." Thus the " fence " may be said to be " in the way."
Now it will be remembered that the pedestals of the gateway connected by arabesques before mentioned (see pp. 24-26) form a recessed division between the gateway entrances and the cellae. This structure can be fittingly described as " a fence" having "chambers" in its breadth (verse 10).
Such a fence may be said to be " in the way of the outer court." It would be outside the cella, and although parallel with it, and before it, would not form part of it. Its length would be fifty cubits. (See m-m, Plate III. and D-D-D Plate V.).
If this be the interpretation, the last-mentioned item of the specification also fixes the direction of the measurement of the fence. That is to say, the measure of fifty cubits would be inward from the outer wall of the cellae. A line passing through the fence would be parallel to, and of the same extent as a line passing through the centre of the cellae.
8 For the length of the chambers [cellae] that were in the outer court is 50 cubits: and, lo, before the Temple is 100 cubits.
Before the Temple - THE "gizra" OR SEPARATE PLACE
PROBABLY that feature of the house called " the separate place" is more misunderstood than any other in the prophecy. All sorts of suggestions have been made regarding it. Some have thought it square, some have drawn it oblong, and all have felt a difficulty respecting it.
The word gizra is derived from the root gazar to cut, to divide. A space or area cut off from another space may be called a "separate place," but the term here is misleading, because it gives the idea of a place set apart for some special use of which there is not a tittle of evidence in the prophecy.
On the contrary, it is quite certain that all frequenters of the sanctuary will pass through that part of the house called the " separate place" because of its relation to the gates of the house. Thus we read :
When the people of the land shall come before the Lord in the solemn feasts, 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 in 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. (Chap. XLVI. 9.)
We have seen that the inner court extends from the buildings and the pavement flanking the outer court on the one side of the sanctuary to a similar set on the other side. We have seen that the inner court gates in these buildings give access to " the separate place."
Now the observance of the above cited law requires those who enter the Temple on the north side to pass over the pavement of the outer court and through the inner court gates, because they must not return by the same gate, but go out of the Temple over against it, i.e by the south gate.
Consequently as they pass into the inner court they enter the "separate place." Since they cannot go into the Most Holy, which is surrounded by a " wall," they must pass round its circumference either to the east or west, and thence through the gates on the south side, and vice versa.
We have seen that a central area is surrounded by a wall to form the Most Holy ; therefore the remaining portion cf the inner court, or the part which is not included in the Most Holy is the gizra, or the part of the inner court cut off from the Most Holy.
The specified measurements of the separate place complete the necessary elements for setting out the buildings. When describing the Inner Temple on the western side the separate place is stated to be one hundred cubits (Chap. XLI. v. 13.) The " separate place " on the eastern side is also an hundred cubits thus :
The breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits, (v. 14.)
The measurement of the separate place on the northern side appears to be parenthetically given when describing the buildings which flank the outer court on that side, in the words :
Lo, before the temple an hundred cubits. (Chap. XLII. vv. 1, 8.)
Nothing further in the way of description, or in the way of dimension is required for setting out the separate place and the circular range of buildings within the inner court. The distance from the buildings on each side of the inner court to the circular range is given for three sides of the square, namely, on the north, east and west.
Consequently the measure of the separate place on the south side must also be one hundred cubits. This is a simple arithmetical and geometrical problem. Any architect can now draw the circle in the centre of the square from the dimensions given. Moreover, since walls are not specified for the "separate place " it must be an open area, comprising four triangular spaces, one in each corner of the inner court, cut off from the Most Holy in the centre.
Bro Henry Sulley
9 And from under these chambers [cellae] was the entry [entrance] on the east, as one goeth into them from the outer court.
e. The word Petah, frequently translated " door" in these chapters,s more ppropriately rendered " entrance " or " entrance opening." The usual technical meaning of the word door is a something which closes an entrance or opening, whereas petah applies to the opening itself, rather than that of the contrivance for closing it. The word is translated entrance in 1 Kings xxii. 10, and in other parts. See Gen. 18: 1, 2, 10 ; xix. 6; Exod. xxxv. 15, etc.
...Ezekiel is here speaking of the northern cella flanking the outer court (see R-R Plate II.), and must mean that the entrance from the lower to the upper cella is on the east side thereof, i.e., at the east end of that part of the building which he entered from the outer court, and from this position he is describing the way of entrance into the upper storey. This verse has also been translated
...A translation more in harmony with the context. According to the marginal rendering of the A.V., Ezekiel was taken (he brought me) into the northern upper cella from underneath as he came (i.e., as the angel came ) into them on the east side thereof from the outer court.
Thus Ezekiel entering the cella from the outer court on the north would turn to his lejt hand or to the east and enter the lifts which it is suggested are fitted into the lift wells, or "chambers." These "chambers," as already noted may be accessible only from the 'outer courts.
...Ezekiel is here speaking of the northern cella flanking the outer court (see R-R Plate II.), and must mean that the entrance from the lower to the upper cella is on the east side thereof, i.e., at the east end of that part of the building which he entered from the outer court, and from this position he is describing the way of entrance into the upper storey. This verse has also been translatedBro Sulley
10 The chambers were in the thickness of the wall [In the breadth (f) of the fence (a)] of the court toward the east, over against the separate place, and over against the building[s are (also) chambers, or cellae .
f. " Breadth " is substituted for " thickness " because Rohab is translated in that sense 92 times out of its 97 occurrences in the Scriptures, and because it is easier to conceive of cellae or chambers being " in the breadth " of a fence than in the " thickness " of a wall.
These verses [10,11] are a good illustration of the way in which important details are mentioned in a general description of the north, south and east sides. They also serve to shew the uniform construction of the buildings related to the outer courts.
Each new feature mentioned in the specification of one side must apply to each of the other two sides, thus we read :
The way before them is like the appearance of the cellae toward the north : as the length of them, so the breadth of them: and all their goings out both according to their fashions, and according to their entrances.
Having described the buildings flanking the northern outer court in which Ezekiel and his guide are standing, the prophet now affirms that there are chambers, or cellae, on the eastern side of the Temple, in all respects like the buildings on the north.
Therefore, cellae must be constructed from gate to gate of the inner court, measuring fifty cubits wide from the western boundary of the eastern outer court to the separate place, exactly like those on the north.
The way to reach the upper cella from the eastern outer court would be by turning to the left hand, that is, to the south, upon entering each cella, in order to reach the lift chambers constructed in the breadth of the fence between the cellae and the gatebuilding.
In considering these details it should be remembered that in a correct delineation of the building an appropriate place must be found for all the features mentioned by Ezekiel. This must always be a supreme test.
The tenth verse may also be descriptive of another means of entrance, and another fence to the cellae which flank the outer court on three sides of the Temple, for whatever feature exists in the eastern inner court cella must also exist in those of the north and the south.
A wall or fence of some kind must divide the separate place from the cellae which Ezekiel describes, otherwise gates would not be required to give access to the separate place.
The fact that the inner court gates are exactly like the outer court gates also points to this conclusion, namely, that a fence or wall the same width as the threshold of the gate will divide each cella from the separate place. Built into this wall, or fence, there may be a contrivance for elevating the people from one storey to the other.
The outside wall of the sanctuary, described as a building (Chapter XL. verse 5), may also be furnished with a similar contrivance. That part of the wall extending between the pillars of the archway supports may not of necessity be a solid wall, and may be constructed so as to contain a travelling way or conveyer.
12 And according to the doors of the chambers [entrances of the cellae] that are toward the south was a door [is an entrance] in the head of the way, even the way directly before the wall [fence] toward the east, as one entereth [ goeth] into them.
Ezekiel here describes another item in the way of approach to the upper cellae by saying that they have an entrance in the head of the way directly before the fence, which may be understood as applying to a way of ascent at the inner end of each cella.
The word (Rosh) translated head, however, may also be understood in a wider sense than the end portion of a way. It may be rendered " in the top of the way," the word being frequently so translated.
Thus the description may indicate an opening overhead in the fence, or some means of ascent from one storey to another at the inner end of each cella. As to the means of ascent from one storey to the other, one thing appears quite certain, " the way up " is not by staircases, for none are specified.
This need not be a matter of surprise considering the height and extent of the buildings. One can easily surmise that staircases would be an inconvenient mode of ascent. At the same time it may be appropriate to suggest that the modern convenience lifts, or even travelling conveyers are contemplated in this specification. 1 It would not be the only instance where latter-day inventions have been foreshadowed in the Bible. 2
The word hageenah [obscurely] translated "directly" in the twelfth verse does not occur anywhere else in the Bible. Gesenius and Furst render it " suitable," " convenient " or " bending to." But as to the exact meaning of the word no one has ventured to dogmatise. This term may have reference to modern elevators, or travelling conveyers, already referred to, or the term may refer to some future invention.
Considering the constructional character of the gate-buildings, it is not difficult to conceive of a simple contrivance bending over from one side to the other, by which any number of people could be conveniently conveyed to and from the upper storeys of the buildings of the outer court. In Chap, XLVII., Ezekiel speaks of " water " gushing out from under the threshold of the gates. From this it may be surmised that hydraulic lifts may be installed in the Temple. They could be constructed so as to act automatically.
13 Then said he unto me, The north [cellae] and the south [cellae], which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto Yahweh shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place is holy.
Ezekiel completes his description of the buildings of the inner court, which one entered from the outer court, by specifying their use (verse 13), a feature already mentioned, and which will be referred to later. While their superficies [ External appearance or aspect.] are included in the inner court, they are an important element in the architectural scheme of the outer court buildings.
These twenty cellae, ten on the north and ten on the south, were considered in some detail in V3. Verse 13 specifies the purpose of these cellae, describing their use by the mortal Levite priests as dining halls to eat the most holy things. They lay the sacrifices upon tables, which are nearby in the inner gate porches (ch. 40: 39), to complete the slaughter process.
Bro Stan Snow
The question now remains, Why are Sons of Zadok [Ch 44] spoken of as " the priests, the Levites " ?
The question is capable of only two answers. First, that section of the Melchisedec priesthood who will have been redeemed from among the Levites, may be selected for service at the altar in the Temple, while the rest of the Sons of Zadok exercise their ministerial office elsewhere ; but since the priesthood is one, and the members of the body of Jesus— the Chief—are one with Him (1st Cor. xn. 12-22 ; Ep. v. 23), another explanation may be given.
In the seventh chapter of the Apocalypse they are figuratively represented as twelve tribes of Israel in correspondence with the statement that
" He is not a Jew which is one outwardly ; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh ; but he is a Jew which is one inwardly " (Rom. 11. 28, 29), and in harmony with
the preparation of a people upon the principle of " the righteousness of faith " (ibid. 111. 21, 22).
The Spirit thus representing the redeemed as another Israelitish nation of kings and priests, who are created not after the law of a carnal commandment but by the righteousness of faith (Heb. vn. 16 ; Rom. iv. 13).
A comparison of the tribes of Israel enumerated in the Apocalypse (Chap. vii. 4-8) with the heads of the natural descendants of Jacob as given in Chronicles shows important differences, sufficient to indicate that they are not the same people.
The one represents Israel after the flesh, and the other, Israel after the spirit. Those mentioned in the Apocalypse are the seed of Abraham and Jacob not by natural descent, but because of belief and obedience. This community comes into existence in consequence of the preaching of the gospel. The mental reception of the word of the gospel being fitly
represented as sealing in the forehead. (Chap. vii. 3-8).
Now in the Apocalyptic enumeration of these twelve tribes the tribe of Levi is mentioned,which thus becomes representative of those who exercise the functions of priesthood, so interestingly voiced in the Song of the redeemed (Chap. v. 9).
Since they are all one in Christ Jesus, and the Head of the order of Melchisedec is the Head of the "Sons of Zadok," they also are one with the immortalized Levites and may be described as " the Levites, the Sons of Zadok."
The high calling of the immortal Levitical order of priests and the pre-eminence of their service in the Temple, must be kept in view when considering the ministrations of the two classes of priests in the central portion of the house.
They both serve in the circular range of buildings surrounding the Most Holy, but the one class is inferior to the other.
The distinction between the two classes in their official relation is also indicated by the use of different words in Ezek. XLII. and XLIV. In the former the priests are said to be " near unto Yahweh," but in the latter it is stated that the sons of Zadok only shall
" come near unto me to offer the fat and the blood."
The mortal priests are near or nigh to that which represents the Father. They are close, or near, because they stand between the people and the higher priests in that they do the servile work of the sanctuary. The superior class alone possesses the privilege of "drawing near" unto the Lord to do the office of a priest, in the sense of going up to " the altar " in the centre, for they only who have clean hands and a pure heart will be allowed this privilege (Psalm xxiv. 4.)
How can it be said that the natural " sons of Zadok " possess this attribute ? Nevertheless, they are " near to Him " in the sense of ministering in His sanctuary, but they have not equal rank with the distinguished Sons of Zadok, neither are they permitted to pass beyond the boundary of the MOST HOLY.
The function of the two classes also differs in this particular, that while they both do service in the cellae which encircle the inner court, the inferior class do not at all times enter upon that service, but are required to deal directly with the people, in the preparation of their sacrifices, and in the preparation of the feasts.
They also may receive the " meal offering" (Chap. XLIV. 11-14). Both classes of priests are near to Yahweh in their official relations, but one class is expressly excluded from a particular part of the service. Thus we read of the tribe of Levi restored :
They shall not come near unto Me to do the office of a priest unto Me, nor to come near to any of My Holy things, in the Most Holy. (Chap. XLIV. 13.)
The Temple of Ezekiel's Prophecy 5.2.3.
14 When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people.
14 When the Kohanim enter therein, then shall they not go out of the Kodesh into the khatzer hakhitzonah, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are kodesh; and shall put on begadim acherim (other garments); then shall they approach the precinct of the people.
Just as it is impossible for the throne of David to become vacant for the lack of a son or descendant of David (Jer. XXXIII. 14-17) so it is impossible for the tribe of Levi to be lost during the long ages of dispersion which have come upon the children of Israel. Thus we read :
David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Isiael: Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to burn oblations, and to do sacrifice continually. (Jer. XXXIII. 17-18.)
In the Temple service, therefore, some provision must be found for the Levitical priesthood.
Since we have already seen that the range of cellae extending between the outer and the inner court on the north and south sides thereof are holy chambers, where "priests eat the most holy things'', the inference is that these buildings must also be the buildings which
are reserved for the restored tribe of Levi.
Bro Henry Sulley
20 He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.
THE GENERAL DIMENSIONS OF " THE TEMPLE.''
The inner Temple and its porches comprise the circular band surrounding the central area as the felloes or outer frame of a wheel. Its outer circumference would be nearly three miles.
The area occupied by the Temple exclusive of the inner porches, which really belong to the Most Holy, would be approximately 74 acres, and the Most Holy, inclusive of the inner porches, 355 acres.
The buildings forming the circle band sui rounding the Most Holy measure 130 cubits in total width. The length of the " wall for the ribs " added to the porches gives this total, thus:
Wall for the ribs 90
Outside porch 20
Inside do. 20
But the width of the house, or inner Temple, is stated to be one hundred cubits, thus :
He measured the house (baith), the length one hundred cubits ; and the separate place, and the buildings and its walls, the length one hundred cubits. (Verse 13.)
This measure of one hundred cubits for the house, or place in which are the ribs and their supports, extends ten cubits (five cubits on either side) beyond the length of the wall for the ribs, and must include not only the " place left," but also the innermost columns rising above the porches. These columns are therefore shewn to form part of the " Temple."
The lower portion, or the " sides," of the porch supporting these columns, or pillars, will form part of the entrance of the porch. The columns above the porches will probably be connected with the Temple building by arches springing over "the place left " in the form of flying buttresses. The relation of each part to the whole is illustrated by the following figures. (See also Plate IX.).
The length of the wall that divides the circle into cross sections .. .. .. 90
Two outside pillars of porch, each 5 cubits 10
Total width of Temple buildings exclusive of porches 100 cubits.
This wall dividing the inner house into sections is just long enough to close the spaces left on either side of the house, and to prevent access from them into the twenty cubit openings between each section of the cella, but is not long enough to interfere with the continuity of a double colonnade flanking either side of the house.
The width of these buildings may also be stated in this way:
A palm tree of the circle band (inner and outer) each five cubits 10
A space on each side (inner and outer), called the place left, each five cubits 10
A post on each side called the posts oj the Temple, each six cubits 12
Two central ribs, each four cubits 8
And three internal breadths or measures of twenty cubits each 60
Total 100 cubits.
This is not distinctly specified, but we have a hint upon this feature of the case at the close of chapter forty two, and in the forty-fifth chapter. Speaking of the wall and the suburbs which surround the house, we read :
There shall be for the sanctuary five hundred reeds square round about, and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof. (Chap. XLV. 2.)
From this we learn that the wall on the outside of the house not only encloses it, but also forms a division between the sanctuary and a " profane place". This profane place must be the " suburbs " mentioned in chapter forty-five.
Those acquainted with agriculture will know how suitable the four miles of slope here specified would be for receiving putrescent refuse. It could be done without polluting the rivers" or unnecessary waste.
We are not told what the detailed arrangements are to be, but we may be sure they will be eminently suitable.
Incidentally it may be mentioned that a comparison of the two verses quoted above also unquestionably shows that the sanctuary, or Temple buildings are five hundred reeds square.
The Temple of Ezekiel's Prophecy 5.2.9.