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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 42

 

 

Verses 1-3

1-3. Toy renders: “Then he took me out to the outer court on the north and thence led me to the chamber building which faced the temple court on the south and the hall building on the north. Its length was a hundred cubits on the north side, and its width fifty cubits. There was a tier of galleries in the third story.” The above rendering is not literal, and omits difficult words and phrases, but doubtless gives the general sense. The LXX. reads “inner” for outer court. The prophet’s position was probably at , chart facing page 209. The “building toward the north” would then be C, with its adjoining pavement B. (For a brilliant suggestion of Professor Peters concerning the mutilated text, see Journal Biblical Literature, 12:47.)


Verses 4-12

4-12. Toy renders: “In front of the chamber was a passageway ten cubits wide and one hundred cubits long. (See O, chart facing page 209.) Their doors were on the north. The upper chambers were smaller than the others, the galleries diminishing their size in comparison with the lower and middle. They were built in three stories and had no pillars like the pillars of the outer halls; hence the upper stories were smaller than the lower and middle. The outer wall bounding the chambers on the side of the outer court in front of the chambers was fifty cubits long — that is, the length of the chamber building on the outer court was fifty cubits — while in front of the temple it was one hundred cubits. Below these chambers was the entrance way on the east, when they were approached from the outer court at the beginning of the outer wall.”


Verse 13-14

13, 14. In these holy chambers the priests were to eat the most holy things, the holiest which have not been burnt in sacrifice (Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 2:10; Leviticus 6:16-18; Leviticus 6:29-30; Leviticus 7:9-11; Leviticus 10:12). There also they must leave their holy vestments (Leviticus 16:23) when they entered the inner court. All this signified the sacredness of the priestly service and the increasing holiness of the temple as they drew nearer to the central abode of Jehovah.


Verses 15-20

15-20. If the present Hebrew text is to be followed, we have here a measurement of an outer wall, encompassing the temple quadrangle, three thousand sacred cubits (three thousand five hundred common cubits) long on every side. However, as this wall is not mentioned elsewhere, many scholars follow the LXX. text, reading “cubit,” instead of “reed.” Such a wall five hundred cubits on each side is spoken of Ezekiel 45:2, and is entirely in accordance with the other measurements as given in detail. Yet if the Hebrew manuscripts originally read “cubit,” how could the word “reed” have been substituted for it? It is easy to see how the LXX. might in this, as in other cases, have changed the unusual statement to that which was more easily understood. No literal temple nine million square cubits in area could have been accommodated on any one of the mountains of Palestine. The reed is elsewhere very seldom used as a measure. (Yet see Ezekiel 45:1; Ezekiel 48:16.) In either case this wall was to mark the boundary between the sacred and the common (compare Ezekiel 43:12; Ezekiel 45:4), and whether the measurement was in cubits or reeds, the symbolism was the same. The perfect cube emblemed the perfect temple — the ideal church in the midst of the ideal nation.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ezekiel 42:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ezekiel-42.html. 1874-1909.

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