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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Ezekiel Chapter 40

Ezekiel 40:1

eze 40:1


beginning of the year--the ecclesiastical year, the first month of which was Nisan.

the city . . . thither--Jerusalem, the center to which all the prophet's thoughts tended.

Ezekiel 40:2

eze 40:2

visions of God--divinely sent visions.

very high mountain--Moriah, very high, as compared with the plains of Babylon, still more so as to its moral elevation (Eze 17:22; Eze 20:40).

by which--Ezekiel coming from the north is set down at (as the Hebrew for "upon" may be translated) Mount Moriah, and sees the city-like frame of the temple stretching southward. In Eze 40:3, "God brings him thither," that is, close up to it, so as to inspect it minutely (compare Rev 21:10). In this closing vision, as in the opening one of the book, the divine hand is laid on the prophet, and he is borne away in the visions of God. But the scene there was by the Chebar, Jehovah having forsaken Jerusalem; now it is the mountain of God, Jehovah having returned thither; there, the vision was calculated to inspire terror; here, hope and assurance.

Ezekiel 40:3

eze 40:3

man--The Old Testament manifestations of heavenly beings as men prepared men's minds for the coming incarnation.


line--used for longer measurements (Zac 2:1).

reed--used in measuring houses (Rev 21:15). It marked the straightness of the walls.

Ezekiel 40:5

eze 40:5

Measures were mostly taken from the human body. The greater cubit, the length from the elbow to the end of the middle finger, a little more than two feet: exceeding the ordinary cubit (from the elbow to the wrist) by an hand-breadth, that is, twenty-one inches in all. Compare Eze 43:13, with Eze 40:5. The palm was the full breadth of the hand, three and a half inches.

breadth of the building--that is, the boundary wall. The imperfections in the old temple's boundary wall were to have no place here. The buildings attached to it had been sometimes turned to common uses; for example, Jeremiah was imprisoned in one (Jer 20:2; Jer 29:26). But now all these were to be holy to the Lord. The gates and doorways to the city of God were to be imprinted in their architecture with the idea of the exclusion of everything defiled (Rev 21:27). The east gate was to be especially sacred, as it was through it the glory of God had departed (Eze 11:23), and through it the glory was to return (Eze 43:1-2; Eze 44:2-3).

Ezekiel 40:6

eze 40:6

the stairs--seven in number (Eze 40:26).

threshold--the sill [FAIRBAIRN].

other threshold--FAIRBAIRN considers there is but one threshold, and translates, "even the one threshold, one rod broad." But there is another threshold mentioned in Eze 40:7. The two thresholds here seem to be the upper and the lower.

Ezekiel 40:7

eze 40:7

chamber--These chambers were for the use of the Levites who watched at the temple gates; guard-chambers (Kg2 22:4; Ch1 9:26-27); also used for storing utensils and musical instruments.

Ezekiel 40:9

eze 40:9

posts--projecting column-faced fronts of the sides of the doorway, opposite to one another.

Ezekiel 40:12

eze 40:12

space--rather, "the boundary."

Ezekiel 40:16

eze 40:16

narrow--latticed [HENDERSON]. The ancients had no glass, so they had them latticed, narrow in the interior of the walls, and widening at the exterior. "Made fast," or "firmly fixed in the chambers" [MAURER].

arches--rather, "porches."

Ezekiel 40:17

eze 40:17

pavement--tesselated mosaic (Est 1:6).

chambers--serving as lodgings for the priests on duty in the temple, and as receptacles of the tithes of salt, wine, and oil.

Ezekiel 40:18

eze 40:18

The higher pavement was level with the entrance of the gates, the lower was on either side of the raised pavement thus formed. Whereas Solomon's temple had an outer court open to alterations and even idolatrous innovations (Kg2 23:11-12; Ch1 20:5), in this there was to be no room for human corruptions. Its compass was exactly defined, one hundred cubits; and the fine pavement implied it was to be trodden only by clean feet (compare Isa 35:8).

Ezekiel 40:20

eze 40:20

The different approaches corresponded in plan. In the case of these two other gates, however, no mention is made of a building with thirty chambers such as was found on the east side. Only one was needed, and it was assigned to the east as being the sacred quarter, and that most conveniently situated for the officiating priests.

Ezekiel 40:23

eze 40:23

and toward the east--an elliptical expression for "The gate of the inner court was over against the (outer) gate toward the north (just as the inner gate was over against the outer gate) toward the east."

Ezekiel 40:28

eze 40:28

The inner court and its gates.

according to these measures--namely, the measures of the outer gate. The figure and proportions of the inner answered to the outer.

Ezekiel 40:30

eze 40:30

This verse is omitted in the Septuagint, the Vatican manuscript, and others. The dimensions here of the inner gate do not correspond to the outer, though Eze 40:28 asserts that they do. HAVERNICK, retaining the verse, understands it of another porch looking inwards toward the temple.

arches--the porch [FAIRBAIRN]; the columns on which the arches rest [HENDERSON].

Ezekiel 40:31

eze 40:31

eight steps--The outer porch had only seven (Eze 40:26).

Ezekiel 40:37

eze 40:37

posts--the Septuagint and Vulgate read, "the porch," which answers better to Eze 40:31-34. "The arches" or "porch" [MAURER].

Ezekiel 40:38

eze 40:38

chambers . . . entries--literally, "a chamber and its door."

by the posts--that is, at or close by the posts or columns.

where they washed the burnt offering--This does not apply to all the gates but only to the north gate. For Lev 1:11 directs the sacrifices to be killed north of the altar; and Eze 8:5 calls the north gate, "the gate of the altar." And Eze 40:40 particularly mentions the north gate.

Ezekiel 40:43

eze 40:43

hooks--cooking apparatus for cooking the flesh of the sacrifices that fell to the priests. The hooks were "fastened" in the walls within the apartment, to hang the meat from, so as to roast it. The Hebrew comes from a root "fixed" or "placed."

Ezekiel 40:44

eze 40:44

the chambers of the singers--two in number, as proved by what follows: "and their prospect (that is, the prospect of one) was toward the south, (and) one toward the north." So the Septuagint.

Ezekiel 40:46

eze 40:46

Zadok--lineally descended from Aaron. He had the high priesthood conferred on him by Solomon, who had set aside the family of Ithamar because of the part which Abiathar had taken in the rebellion of Adonijah (Kg1 1:7; Kg1 2:26-27).

Ezekiel 40:47

eze 40:47

court, an hundred cubits . . . foursquare--not to be confounded with the inner court, or court of Israel, which was open to all who had sacrifices to bring, and went round the three sides of the sacred territory, one hundred cubits broad. This court was one hundred cubits square, and had the altar in it, in front of the temple. It was the court of the priests, and hence is connected with those who had charge of the altar and the music. The description here is brief, as the things connected with this portion were from the first divinely regulated.

Ezekiel 40:48

eze 40:48

These two verses belong to the forty-first chapter, which treats of the temple itself.

Ezekiel 40:49

eze 40:49

twenty . . . eleven cubits--in Solomon's temple (Kg1 6:3) "twenty . . . ten cubits." The breadth perhaps was ten and a half; Kg1 6:3 designates the number by the lesser next round number, "ten"; Ezekiel here, by the larger number, "eleven" [MENOCHIUS]. The Septuagint reads "twelve."

he brought me by the steps--They were ten in number [Septuagint].

Next: Ezekiel Chapter 41