XL In this and the following chapter, under the type of a temple and altar, priests and sacrifices, is fore shewed, the spiritual worship which should be performed in Gospel times, and that perfected at last in the kingdom of glory: yea probably, in an happy and glorious state of the church on this side heaven: in this chapter we have, a general account of the temple and city, ver. 1- 4. A particular account of the east-gate, north-gate and south-gate, ver. 5-31. Of the innercourt, ver. 32-38. Of the tables, ver. 39-43. Of the lodgings for the singers and the priests, ver. 44-47. Of the porch, ver. 48, 49.
Verse 1. Of our captivity - Of those that were carried away into captivity with Jeconiah eleven years before Jerusalem was burnt. And this falls in with the three thousand three hundred and seventy fourth year of the world, about five hundred and seventy four years before Christ's incarnation. The beginning - In the month Nisan. The tenth day - The day that the paschal lamb was to be taken up in order to the feast on the tenth day. Brought me - To Jerusalem, the place where it did stand.
Verse 2. In the visions of God - By this it appears it was not a corporeal transportation of the prophet. The frame - The portrait of a city. On the south - On the south of the mountain, where the prophet was set.
Verse 3. A man - The same no doubt that appeared to the prophet, chap. i, 26, whose name is the branch, and who builds the temple, Zech vi, 12, 13, whose colour was like burnished brass; Rev. i, 15, which speaks glory and strength. A line - A plumb-line, a mason's line to discover the rectitude of the building, or its defects. In the gate - In the north gate, next toward the east.
Verse 5. A wall - This was that outmost wall, that compassed the whole mount Sion, upon whose top the temple stood. The man's hand - Christ, hath, and keeps the reed in his own hand, as the only fit person to take the measures of all. A measuring reed - Or cane, for this measuringrod was of those canes growing in that country, long, and light, which architects made use of. Six cubits long - Each cubit consisting of eighteen inches in our common account. An hand breadth - Added to each six cubits. The breadth - The thickness of the walls, which were one reed, and one hand's breadth, or three yards, and three inches thick. Height - And the height equal, taking the measure from the floor on the inside of the wall.
Verse 6. The east - Either of one of the inner walls, or of the temple itself. Went up - 'Till he was got up, he could not measure the threshold, which was at the top of the stairs, and these were ten, if the measurer be supposed in the gate of the house; or eight, if in the gate of the court of the priests; or seven, if in the court of Israel; and each stair was half a cubit in height, too high for him to take the measure of the threshold, if he did not go up the stairs. The threshold - It is probable he measured the lower threshold first, as next at hand. The other threshold - The upper threshold, or lintel of the gate, which was of equal dimensions with the lower, three yards and three inches broad, or thick.
Verse 7. Chamber - Along the wall of the porch were chambers, three on one side, and three on the other, each one reed square. Five cubits - A space of two yards and one half between each chamber, either filled with some neat posts or pillars, or it may be quite void. Within - The inward and outward threshold, were of the same measures, and curiously arched overhead from side to side, and end to end, which was from east to west.
Verse 8. The porch - The posts which were joined together at the top by an arch, and so made the portico.
Verse 9. The porch - Probably another porch, or another gate distinct from that, ver. 6. The posts - These were half columns, that from the floor to the height of the wall jetted out, as if one half of the column were in the wall, and the other without, and the protuberance of this half column, was one cubit.
Verse 10. Chambers - These chambers were for the priests and Levites to lodge in during their ministration.
Verse 11. Of the entry - It is meant of the whole length of the entry, or walk through the porch, to which they ascended by stairs of a semicircular form.
Verse 13. From the roof - From the extremity of one little chamber on the north side of the gate, to the extremity of the opposite chamber on the south side, and so one cubit and half for the back wall of one chamber, and as much for the back wall of the other chamber, with the length of the chambers, six cubits each, and ten for the breadth of the gate, amounts to twenty five cubits. Door against door - It seems the doors of the chambers were two in each chamber in the east and west parts, and so exactly set, that the doors being all open you had a clear prospect through all the chambers to the temple.
Verse 14. He made - Measured, and thereby shewed what kind of posts they should be. Threescore cubits - Probably this refers to the height of this gate built up two stories above the arch, and the posts in their height are only mentioned, but imply all the rest of the buildingover the east gate. Unto the post - These high columns, on the innerfront of this gate were so disposed, that the last on each side was very near the first post, or pillar of the court on either side of the gate, and so the posts and buildings laid on those posts joined on each side of this gate.
Verse 15. And - This verse seems to sum up all the dimensions; this gate, its porch, and thickness of its walls, and so sum the cubits, six in the thickness of the outer wall, eighteen in the threechambers, twenty in the spaces between the chambers, and six cubits in the thickness in the innerwall of the porch.
Verse 16. Narrow windows - Windows narrowed inward to the middle. Their posts - The upper lintel of each doorover which was a window. To the arches - Windows under the arches between post and post, to give light to the five cubits space between chamber and chamber. Round about - These were on both sides of the porch within the gate, exactly alike.
Verse 17. The outward court - So called in regard of the more inward court, between that where he was, and the temple itself; this court, was the second about the temple. Chambers - Not only lodging rooms for the priests, but also store-houses for tithes and offerings. A pavement - A beautiful floor laid with checker works. The wholefloor of this court was thus paved. Thirty chambers - That is, fifteen on the south side of the gate, and fifteen on the north side, built over the pavement.
Verse 18. The pavement - That mentioned, ver. 17. By the side - That part which lay on each side of the gate, and from thence spread itself toward the chambers, leaving a space of pavement of equal breadth with the porch, or gate in the middle. The length - The length was measured fifty cubits. The inner pavement - The side pavement was laid somewhat lower than this middle pavement, not only for state, but for the more convenient, keeping it clean; so the middle pavement rose with a little convex surface.
Verse 19. The breadth - Of the wholeground between the innerfront of one gate and porch, to the outer front of the next gate more inward to the temple. The lower gate - Called so in respect to the next gate, which was on the higher ground. The forefront - To the outside front of the gate of the priests court, which was next to this gate now measured, that is from the west front of the lower to the east front of the upper gate. The innercourt - This court from the west front of the lower gate, was one hundred cubits in length to the east front of the gate of the innercourt. East-ward and north-ward - And so was the space from the south front of the court to the north front. So the court was exactly square. Divers courts are here spoken of, which may put us in mind, of the diversity of gifts, graces and offices in the church: as also of the several degrees of glory in the courts and mansions of heaven.
Verse 22. Before them - Within the steps or gate.
Verse 23. Toward the east - The east gate of the innercourt was directly over against the east gate of the outer court, and equally distant from each other.
Verse 28. Brought me - From the south-gate of the outer court through the porch, and over the hundred cubit pavement, to the south-gate of the innercourt.
Verse 32. The innercourt - The court of the priests, which was next to the temple.
Verse 43. Within - Within the porch, where these tables stood. Hooks - Hooks on which the slaughtered sacrifice might be hanged, while they prepared it farther. Fastened - To walls no doubt, near these tables.
Verse 45. The keepers - While, according to their courses, they had the charge of the house of God, and attended on the service of it.
Verse 46. The keepers - To preserve the fire perpetually on the altar.
Verse 48. The breadth - The whole breadth was eleven cubits, but the breadth of each leaf of this folding-gate was three cubits, and they met, or shut on an upright post, set in the middle of the gate space, and this was one cubit broad. And each leaf hung on posts two cubits thick, which amount to eleven cubits.