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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 40



Verses 1-20

The New Temple

Ezekiel, transported in vision to Palestine, is set down on the N. side of the Temple mountain, and sees the Temple buildings extending to the S. like a city. A supernatural figure, like those in Ezekiel 9, appears, and measures the various parts of the Temple in Ezekiel's presence (Ezekiel 40:1-4).

(a) The Outer Court and its Gateways (Ezekiel 40:5-27)

The Outer Eastern Gateway (Ezekiel 40:5-16), Fig. 3, E. For the following details see Fig. 1. The outer boundary of the Temple was a wall 6 cubits thick and 6 cubits high (Ezekiel 40:5). Steps led up to the E. gateway, which had a threshold (a) 6 cubits broad (Ezekiel 40:6, ef), and 10 cubits wide (Ezekiel 40:11, ee, ff). Within the threshold were three guardrooms (b) on either side (Ezekiel 40:7, Ezekiel 40:10), each 6 cubits square, and separated by wall-spaces (posts) of 5 cubits (gh, ik). The inner threshold (c) had the same dimensions as the outer one (Ezekiel 40:6-7). Beyond it was a porch (d) 8 cubits wide (mn), the jambs (posts) of the doorway being 2 cubits broad (no, Ezekiel 40:9). The whole length of the gateway (eo) was 50 cubits (Ezekiel 40:15), and its breadth 25 cubits (Ezekiel 40:13). The guardrooms and the porch were lit by windows, and there were also windows in the wall-spaces (posts) between the guardrooms. These spaces, too, were decorated with palm trees (Ezekiel 40:16).

5. Cubit] Yarious sizes of cubit, from 18 in. to nearly 24 in. were employed in ancient measurements. Ezekiel's cubit was one of the larger forms—an ordinary cubit and a handbreadth.

6. The other threshold] is that mentioned in Ezekiel 40:7 (c).

7. Within] RV 'toward the house,' or Temple proper.

8. Should be omitted. It contradicts Ezekiel 40:9, and is evidently a copyist's repetition.

9. Inward] RV 'toward the house.'

11. The length of the gate, thirteen cubits] an obscure statement, not reconcilable with the other measurements. If 'breadth' instead of 'length' were meant 13 + 6 + 6 would make 25, but this would allow no space for the outer walls of the guardrooms.