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but “from the face of the gate at the entrance" (the east gate) “ to the face of the porch of the inner" (eastern)“ gate were fifty cubits” (ver. 15) only; a diminution of the distance which occasions the outer court, in its north and south bays, to be wider than it is between the two eastern gates. This may appear singular, from the great uniformity which reigns in almost all the other portions of the structure : but it is to be observed, that any departure from regularity is not of so much consequence here, as the introduction of the thirty chambers on either hand of the same gate necessarily interferes with it. And that the deviation is not accidental, nor without purpose, is apparent, because the dimension of a hundred cubits, which in the case of the northern and southern gates just stretches between them, is in this instance made to include all the width of the outer, and nearly all of the inner gate : “ Then he measured the breadth, from the fore-front of the lower gate unto the fore-front of the inner court from without (marg.), a hundred cubits eastward and northward (xl. 19).
Such is the general aspect of the entrance gates of the two courts, with their adjoining porches, and the ascents thereto; and such are the distances which they respectively have to each other. Those whose prospect is towards the east must of necessity be planned opposite to the temple, which all the measurements relating to it combine to place in the exact centre, between the north and south boundaries of all the courts; and therefore they must also be central between the same points. The reason why, in respect of the four other gates, I have deviated from the position usually assigned to them, in the centre of the inner court, will appear when I come to speak concerning the chambers which are on either side of the three inner gates.
In order to complete the notice of all the arrangements of the outer court, we now turn to consider the four courts of preparation, which occupy its angles. “Then ” (i.e. after informing the prophet of the uses of some of the inner chambers) " he brought me forth into the outer court, and, caused me to pass by the four corners of the court, and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court...... these four corners were of one measure," "forty cubits long and thirty broad” (xlvi. 21, 22). In these verses is included no direction as to the position of the length of these angular courts, whether it should be from east to west, or otherwise; I have therefore arranged them in that manner, from perceiving, first, that if the opposite plan were adopted, the outer "posts" of the thirty chambers, which project thirty-one cubits from the inner line of the wall, would not combine happily with the detached angle of the courts of preparation, which from the same line would extend but thirty cubits : secondly, because, were they placed lengthwise, from north to south, less space would remain for the range of fifteen chambers between them and the eastern gate: and, thirdly, because, by making the length of forty cubits to flow froin east to west, and that of the thirty cubits from north to south, more dignity and consequence is given on the plan to the north and south gates of the outer court. I have divided “the row of building which was round about them four (courts), with boiling places therein” (xlvi. 23), into five chambers in each court; conceiving that, as to “the ministers of the house" (ver. 24) the office of boiling, &c. in these chambers appertains, it was probable that to them the expression in chap. xlv. 5, “ And the five-and-twenty thousand in length by ten thousand in breadth shall the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves, for a possession for twenty chambers,” had reference; as though the Levites' land were in their hands as a vast pasture wherein to nourish and prepare the sacrifices in daily use in these four courts of their ministry.
Of “ the thirty chambers which were upon the upper pavement” I have already slightly spoken, and now come to consider more particularly. First, of the two pavements. “ The pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates was the lower pavement” (xl. 18). Now the length of the gates is beyond a question from north to south ; and, saith the prophet, the pavement which was “over against,” or in a direction correspondent to this length, was lower than that which could not be brought under this definition. I think his meaning is, not only that the space from gate to gate was lower, but that all the correspondent space in the same line, thence to the wall of the court on either hand, was also lower than that which is contained in the two spaces enclosed between the angular courts and the east gate, and which did, as it were, lay back from the line of pavement "over against the length of the gates." This recessed portion of the court, therefore, I conclude it is which the prophet intends to designate as the “upper pavement,” not expressly, but in contradistinction to the “ lower pavement;” and here I have consequently introduced “ the thirty chambers which were upon the pavement” (xl. 17), fifteen on either hand of the gate, the spaces being equal. Their the chambers of the gates-viz., six cubits square—and have made them to communicate with each other and with the chambers of the angular courts. Now, that there were “posts” before these thirty chambers is to be learnt from chap. xl. 14, “He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate" (east): which I understand to mean, that a line stretched along the fifty cubits of the inner porch of the gate, and returned five cubits on either side (to make up
the “threescore cubits”), would at its two points just reach the “posts” which were before the thirty chambers. And from this also I gather another argument to prove the space before defined as the place of these thirty chambers, to be the right one, inasmuch as the measure of “threescore cubits,” reaching to these posts, is not repeated either at the north or south external gates; whereas it must needs be repeated, did the chambers or their "posts" extend at all in that direction.
Now as to the chambers which I have planned on each side of the three inner gates, they are fixed in that position in chap. xlii. 3: “Over against the twenty cubits which were for the inner court” (or "separate place," xli. 12), "was gallery against gallery in three stories,” and “the length thereof was fifty cubits” (ver. 7): this is the north-western range. “For the length of the chambers that were in the outer court was fifty cubits : and, lo! before the temple" (whereas the above “inner court” was on the side of the temple, and “ twenty cubits” wide only,) were a hundred cubits” (ver. 8): this is the north-eastern range.
" And the chambers toward the east were like the
of the chambers which were toward the north, as long as they and as broad as they: and all their goings out were both according to their fashions and according to their doors” (ver. 10, 11): these are the two eastern ranges.
And according to the doors of the chambers that were toward the south, was a door in the head of the way toward the east” (ver. 12): this is the south-eastern range, as is proved by the mention of this“ door toward the east," which could not have place in the south-western range; the description of which is, by their similarity of purpose and place, with their corresponding northwestern range:
“ Then said he unto me, the north chambers and the south chambers which are before the separate place," &c. (ver. 13). The length of fifty cubits being expressly appropriated to the first four of the above ranges of chambers (vers. 7, 8, 11), I have made the others similar to them ; and upon the same grounds have placed “before (all) the chambers a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit” (in height, ver. 4); and thereon have introduced“ pillars ;” (ver. 6) gaining the “walk” thus enclosed by three steps, the requisite number for a height of “one cubit.” This number of steps is also planned before the thirty chambers of the “upper pavement," from the similarity of their description to the above. “The thickness of the wall of the court" serving to contain the “ eastern chambers ” (chap. xlii. 10), I have made it so to do in all the other ranges. Its width í obtain thus: The lower gate 25 cubits; from thence to the porch of the inner gate 50 ; that porch 10; and its gate 25, measure together 110 cubits; i. e. from the “ forefront of the lower gate to the inner face of the inner court wall; and from the same eastern point to the outer face of the court wall are 100 cubits (xl. 19): the difference of these two dimensions, 10 cubits, is therefore evidently the “thickness of the wall” in which “ were the chambers.” Their windows I have planned to overlook the inner courts (xl. 44), and their doors to open externally (xlii. 4, 9), in accordance with these texts. The two most westerly ranges of chambers appearing to be for the uses of the priests (xlii. 13, 14), and the north-eastern range, with that on the right of the east gate, for the occupation of the singers (xl. 44), I have presumed that the two remaining ranges are for the Levites; and, giving them the same size with those around the temple—viz. four cubits by five (xli. 4, 9, 11), all being for ecclesiastical purposes—have made seven in each set of chambers, or thirty-six in all, exclusive of the staircases. This number I have arranged, not from any information in the text itself, but in consequence of the character of their occupants, who are evidently the Priests, Levites, and Singers appointed by David, (1 Chron. xxiv. xxv.), in courses of twelve each, to wait day and night upon the service of the temple. On account of which commonness of service it is, and also for the use of the stairs, that I have laid all their apartments together by a suite of doors. Now it is to be observed, that were the centre of the inner court made that of the northern and southern gates, they would occupy of it the central fifty cubits, leaving on either side but twenty-five for the introduction of the lateral chambers of those gates which are fifty cubits in length: I have therefore withdrawn them so far to the west as to make the central line of the outer court and the court of suburbs to become their centre also; by which means the integrity of these chambers is preserved : and this has been my reason for deviating from the common practice in this particular.
I have now traced the plan, in its correspondence with the text, through the court of the suburbs, the outer court, and all the buildings thereof, viz. the exterior and interior gates, the forty-two chambers which adjoin the latter, the thirty chambers of the upper pavement, and the angular courts of preparation. There are now to be noticed but the inner court, and the temple, and the solitary building which was behind it : and to these I now proceed.
Of the first of them it is written, “ He measured the court one hundred cubits long, and one hundred cubits broad, foursquare, and the altar which was before the house” (x1.47). The description of the latter is given (chap. xliii. 13–17 inclus.) so simply and minutely that it calls for no observation. I have placed it in the centre of the court, “ with his stairs looking toward the east ” (ver. 17). Of entrances into this court there
VOL. 11.-NO. III.
are none, save the gateways on the east, north, and south; the two latter of which are for the use of the priests, and the former exclusively for the approach of the prince (xliv. 3, &c.)
Next, concerning the temple, we have this general information : “He measured the house, one hundred cubits long” (xli.
to make up which length I collect from different verses the following list, beginning on the plan from the eastern end of the temple. References. Description.
Cubits. Chap. xl. 48. 6 The breadth of the gateway
3 48-9. “ The post of the porch
49. “ The breadth of the porch xli. 5. The wall of the house
2. "The boly place in the length thereof” 40
" the breadth" thereof, 7 cubits
5 11 6
9 20 6
Total, 100 Thus do the general and individual dimensions of the temple mutually check each other, and in consonance therewith I have planned it. The width of the house is, throughout, “twenty cubits” (xli. 1, 2, 4, &c.) The only furniture by Ezekiel seen in the sanctuary, is a small table two cubits square (xli. 22): the candlesticks, the table of shew-bread, and other articles heretofore constructed aud attended with so much splendour, are all absent; the “glory of the Lord,” now filling not the "holy of holies merely, but the entire house (xliii. 5), superseding perhaps the necessity of those things which once had place therein to typify some of his manifold and glorious offices. By the “posts of the porch were pillars” (xl. 49), the diameter of which not appearing in the text, I have made it equal to that of those pillars which in Solomon's temple occupied the same site. Into this porch was an ascent by “steps" (xl. 49). Now it is written, that "the height of the house round about, to the top of the foundations, was a full reed of six great cubits” (xli. 8); of which the “seven steps" of the outer and “the eight" of the inner gates will get up five cubits; and therefore, to complete the remaining one to the level of the floor, I have in this porch introduced three steps. “And round about the house were sidechambers, four cubits in breadth (xli. 5), and five cubits in length” (ver. 9, with 11), enclosed by a wall, the thickness whereof was five cubits (ver. 9). “And round about the house, on every side, was the wideness of twenty cubits between the chambers (ver. 10)-. e. between these chambers and those of the priests. “Now, the building that was before the (this) separate place, at the end toward the west, was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round