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Book of Ezekiel
Chapter 42 continues with the measuring done by the Man whose appearance was like that of brass (40:3), which I think is the Lord JESUS CHRIST. This chapter continues and concludes the describing and measuring of this Temple, which it is very hard to understand, because of the specific design of it, but more hard to comprehend the spiritual meaning.
There is a description of some chambers in the north part of the outward court (42:1), an account of how the priests made use of them (42:13), the measuring of the area, or whole area of ground, on which the whole building before measured stood, with the wall that surrounded it (42:15).
The Heavenly visitor now took Ezekiel outside the sanctuary and across the Temple yard to buildings on the far side of the Temple yard, north of the building (the Sanctuary and its additions). The building is closely connected with the Temple yard (42:10). This involves referring to the north as connected with the direction of movement rather than as an indication of where the building was. These buildings were completely different from any yet described. The outer court possibly means what he has previously called the inner court, looked on as outer compared with the Temple yard which seems to be called the inner court in verse 3. This is supported by (42:13-14) where they would seem to be for the keeping of the priest’s clothes because they were holy and could not leave the area of the Sanctuary, and maybe for the eating and disposal of the animal sacrifices because they too were holy.
Some argue that the building in mind was in the outer court. They interpret the building towards the north as being the chambers on the outer wall. Much depends on the meaning of over against which could mean next to or opposite or in the general direction of. The rooms in (42:13-14) must be other rooms, maybe in the back building, or in the side chambers mentioned in (41:5-7). Confusing. So many interpretations! Which one is right?
Description of the Chambers Around the Courts,
Their Situation and Structure (42:1-13)]
Ezekiel 42:1 Then he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward the north: and he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north. (KJV)
Then he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward the north . . . He is still the man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass (40:3), who was doing the measuring. After the size of the gates and courts of this building had been shown, and that of the Holy and Most Holy Place, with the decorations of cherubim and palm trees, the prophet is brought by his guide into the outward court, which went around the north part building. The Targum is, by the way of the gate which is open to the way of the north.
And he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place . . . or holy of Holies (41:12), to the north of it, was a chamber or chambers; the singular being put for the plural; where the prophet was brought so he could see. This was a new and different building from all others he had seen before. There were two rows of chambers opposite to each other, and a walk between them; and are afterwards called the north and south chambers (42:13).
And which was before the building toward the north . . . these chambers were over against or to the north of the building. There was nothing in the first or second Temple to answer to these.
Ezekiel 42:2 Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door, and the breadth was fifty cubits. (KJV)
Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door . . . the north door of the House opened to a space that lay between that and the chambers, which was a hundred cubits long.
And the breadth was fifty cubits . . . the length and breadth of these chambers, the whole of them, makes them larger than Solomon's Temple (1 Ki.6:2), which may indicate the largeness of these chambers, and the abundance of spiritual blessings and privileges in this time, of light and knowledge, peace and joy, possessed by the Jews. This measure is oblong, not foursquare, as the city of the New Jerusalem (Rev.21:16).
Ezekiel 42:3 Over against the twenty cubits which were for the inner court, and over against the pavement which was for the utter court, was gallery against gallery in three stories. (KJV)
Over against the twenty cubits which were for the inner court . . . the chambers were in two rows over against each other (next to each other ?), the row that looked to the south, and to the Temple, was twenty cubits broad; and because it led to the Temple, its court is called the inner court.
And over against the pavement which was for the utter court . . . the row that was over against the pavement of the outward court, to the north, was also twenty cubits broad, which make forty; and the walk of ten cubits between them (42:4), account for the width of the fifty cubits:
Was gallery against gallery in three stories . . . each chamber had a post or pillar which divided one from another, and ran up with the chambers three stories high; and as the chambers, so these posts in both rows come back with one another. These may mean the ministers of the Gospel (Rev.7), who are as pillars in the House of GOD (Pro.9:1).
Ezekiel 42:4 And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north. (KJV)
And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits' breadth inward . . . between the two rows of chambers, there was a walk of this width, for those that lodged in the chambers to walk in for their pleasure to speak with one another. Some understand these chambers as places of retirement for private devotion, which fit and prepare for public worship, as these chambers were near and in sight of the Temple.
And their doors toward the north . . . the doors of that row of chambers nearest the Temple opened to the north into the walk of ten cubits. Before the galleries, there was most likely a ledge of one cubit broad, running the whole length from east to west, called a way, though not designed for any to walk on it: such ledges we see in many great houses. Every chamber door opened to the north; and so the entrance into these chambers was through the gallery, which looked to the pavement of the outer court.
Ezekiel 42:5 Now the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building. (KJV)
Now the upper chambers were shorter . . . the chambers were in three stories, as in the following verse, one above another; the middle one was shorter than the lower one and the upper shorter than either . . . this seems to be opposite of the chambers in (41:7). They were not as high from the floor to the ceiling, nor so broad from side to side. The reason follows,
For the galleries were higher than these . . . than the lower middle part of the building. It seems the meaning is, the galleries or balconies in the middle and upper chambers were taken out of them, and so made them lesser than the lower ones, and the upper ones lesser than either. It may be that there might be over the upper chambers a fiat roof, on which, as on a gallery, they might walk from one end to another, and therefore that floor was much lower than the middle or lowest, according to the rule of design, which directs that the upper rooms not take up so much in their height as the lower, that the weight of the timber be not too heavy for the walls.
Ezekiel 42:6 For they were in three stories, but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground. (KJV)
For they were in three stories . . . not only the galleries or posts, but the chambers; they were one over another; there was the lower one, the middle one and top one, which, as before, may mean the difference in the different states, conditions, and characters of those that are in them; some fathers, some young men and others little children (1 Jn.2:14); or it could mean their different offices and relationships.
But had not pillars as the pillars of the courts . . . pillars which supported the porches and galleries in the courts of the Temple, but not pillars as thick and strong as those.
Therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground . . . the upper part of it, or the top chambers, were more limited, and had less room in them, than the middle, and the middle one had less than the lowest one.
Ezekiel 42:7 And the wall that was without over against the chambers, toward the utter court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof was fifty cubits. (KJV)
And the wall that was without over against the chambers . . . this wall separated the chambers from the outward court, as well as being a protection for them, which indicates the grace and power of GOD, which separates His TRUE people from the world, and is the Security of them. This was towards the utter court, on the fore part of the chambers . . . or in front of them, which seems to be to the north of them; since their doors were towards the north (42:4), although one thinks it to be to the west, which would better agrees with what follows.
The length thereof was fifty cubits . . . which answers to the width of the chambers, (42:2), and what is called length here, with respect to the wall, is called the width with respect to the chambers. The wall of divine protection is equal to the length and breadth, and the whole of all the people of GOD.
Ezekiel 42:8 For the length of the chambers that were in the utter court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits. (KJV)
For the length of the chambers that were in the utter court was fifty cubits . . . this was the reason why the wall was of the same length, that it might be the same as the chambers. This measure was from the north to south as some say. The utter court (42:1, 7).
And lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits . . . as the width of the wall and chambers was fifty, so too in length, as they were over against the Temple, they were an hundred cubits, as in (42:2), unless as some say, that the row of chambers towards the north were fifty cubits long, and the row towards the south over against the other was fifty cubits, and so both made a hundred; to which sense one version is: for the length of the chambers that look to the outward court was fifty cubits, and those (that looked to the Temple, or were before it) answered to them, the whole a hundred cubits. Again, confusing to me. So many interpretations.
*****I think this verse gives us a reason why the wall over against the chambers was but fifty cubits, and that is, it has to be the same because it has to hold exact consistency with these buildings, which it confronted.
Ezekiel 42:9 And from under these chambers was the entry on the east side, as one goeth into them from the utter court. (KJV)
And from under these chambers . . . or from the lower part of these chambers, or from the lowest of them. The entry from these chambers to the temple-court was by a passage lying to the east, fenced off by the wall (42:7). This passage is described as lying under the chambers, being in the basement, and also having access by steps to the Temple-court, which was raised many steps above the outer court.
The entry on the east side . . . coming from the east to these chambers, one had to go through this space.
As one goeth into them from the utter court . . . if a man went eastward into those chambers from the outward court he must go through this space, which lay to the east of the lowest chambers. It seems that the sense here is, that from under the north chambers to the south chambers there was an entry on the east side, which led from one to the other.
Ezekiel 42:10 The chambers were in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, over against the separate place, and over against the building. (KJV)
The chambers were in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east . . . as there were chambers in the north part of the outward court, some that looked to the north, and others to the south. The wall (42:7) toward the east; in front of the separate place and of the building, on the east was the wall, which was the boundary wall of the separate place and of the Temple lay the chambers.
Over against the separate place, and over against the building . . . as the other chambers were (42:1).
Ezekiel 42:11 And the way before them was like the appearance 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. (KJV)
And the way before them was like the appearance of the chambers which were toward the north . . . the way before these eastern chambers was exactly like that of the northern chambers; which was either the way of one cubit into them, or the walk of ten cubits before them, or both.
As long as they, and as broad as they . . . this seems to confirm that both the way and the walk are meant, which were the same in those eastern chambers as in the northern; the way being as long, of one cubit, and the walk as broad, of ten cubits.
And all their goings out were both according to their fashions, and according to their doors . . . the form and fashion of the chambers was the same. They were built three stories high, were as long, and as broad, and the upper shorter than the middle and lowest ones. The way of going into them, and coming out of them, were the same; their doors were in the same position.
Ezekiel 42:12 And according to the doors of the chambers that were toward the south was a door in the head of the way, even the way directly before the wall toward the east, as one entereth into them. (KJV)
And according to the doors of the chambers that were toward the south . . . the doors of these eastern chambers were exactly like to the doors of the southern chambers, as well as the northern ones.
Was a door in the head of the way . . . a door to the beginning of the way; the door opened into the way of one cubit, and that led into the walk of ten cubits; and so too a way and walk were before these eastern chambers as there was before the southern and northern ones.
Even the way directly before the wall toward the east, as one entereth into them . . . a way before the wall, a way to the east, which seems to describe such a way from under these eastern chambers as were from under the northern or southern chambers (42:9).
Ezekiel 42:13 Then said he unto me, The north chambers and the south chambers, which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place is holy. (KJV)
Then said he unto me . . . the divine Person that measured and described these chambers, is the same man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass (40:3).
The north chambers, and the south chambers, which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers . . . these are the two rows of chambers before described, which were south and north to each other, although both were in the northern part of the outward court. These chambers were for holy persons to dwell in, and for holy things to be done in, they consist of holy persons, men called with a holy calling, and in them the Holy Word of GOD is preached, and Holy ordinances overseen.
Where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things . . . this seems to be understood not of the ministers of the Gospel, but of all the saints, who are made priests to GOD by CHRIST; and who approach the LORD by Him, in His Name and righteousness, and by the faith in Him, with true hearts, in a spiritual way which is profitable to themselves, and acceptable to GOD, for whom spiritual provisions are made in this House. This to me seems to refer to: John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (KJV) . . . Also (Heb.11:10, 14-16).
Could it be that the Jews Temple compares to the above? I do not know.
There shall they lay the most holy things . . . lay up the Word of GOD in their minds and memories, and remember the love of GOD, His sufferings and His death, and the benefits that come to us from them, especially the ordinance of the Last Supper (1 Cor.11:23-26).
And the meat offering . . . the meat offering (Lev.2:1-12; 6:14-16), is the bread offering, made of fine flour, typical of CHRIST, the Bread of life (Jn.6:35, 48).
And the sin, offering, and the trespass offering . . . both these offerings were typical of CHRIST, made sin for His people; and who, by ONE Sacrifice of Himself . . . NOT continual sacrifices as the Catholic mass . . . has made atonement for it, and an end of it (40:39). The meat-offering: (Lev.2:1-12; 6:14-16). The sin-offering: (Lev.6:26, 29-30). The trespass-offering: (Lev.7:2-3). Only ONCE: (Rom.6:10; Heb.7:27; 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10; 1 Pet.3:18).
Ezekiel 42:14 When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people. (KJV)
When the priests enter therein . . . into these Holy chambers and approach GOD, and eat of the most Holy things, and minister therein to the LORD. Most Holy things to eat were shewbread and special parts of the sacrifices (Neh.10:33).
Then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court . . . they shall not go out in their priestly garments of the Holy Place, the court of the priests, not of the Temple, into the utter court, the court of the people, but give themselves to the Word and prayer.
But there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister, for they are holy . . . these indicate CHRIST'S Robe of Righteousness and garments of salvation, that fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints; and rightly represented by the linen garments of the priests, in which they ministered in their office.
And shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people . . . shall put on other garments when they go out of this court into the outer, they must put on common garments. Shall approach to those things, and so they may as they have occasion, and which are for the people, which common people may do, and which the priests may in their ordinary garments do, and not be guilty, but may not touch while in the garments of their priesthood.
Ezekiel 42:15 Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about. (KJV)
Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house . . . He is still the Man whose appearance was like that of brass (40:3), which I think is the Lord JESUS CHRIST. The inner House is the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, with all the courts and chambers belonging to them, including the whole building within the range of the outermost wall, and all that related to it, the chambers last mentioned, as well as the rest, the sizes of which are given in this and the two previous Chapters.
He brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east . . . not to the east gate of the outward wall, but to the east gate which led into the outward court; the gate he was first brought unto, and which was first measured (40:6), and measured it all around; not the east gate, nor the outward wall that went all round the house; although this was measured, and its sizes given. See Measurements in Special Comments at the end of this Chapter.
Ezekiel 42:16 He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. (KJV)
He measured the east side . . . He began with the east gate: the building was foursquare, and so was the wall about it, and each had four square sides, which were each separately measured; here it is the east side, from the two angles of it, the north and south points.
With the measuring reed . . . which consisted of six cubits, and which cubits were larger than the common kind by a hand's breadth; so that a measuring reed measured three yards and a half: and the whole measure of the east side was,
Five hundred reeds . . . which make one thousand seven hundred and fifty yards.
With the measuring reed round about . . . not around the building, since it only one side, and was measured; but around that side, or from angle to angle, or from one side to the other, having finished one side, He went to another, until He had measured all round; but did not go four times round it, only once. See Measurements in Special Comments at the end of this Chapter.
Ezekiel 42:17 He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. (KJV)
He measured the north side, five hundred reeds . . . from the two angles of that side, east and west; and it was of the same size as the east side, five hundred reeds, or one thousand seven hundred and fifty yards.
With a measuring reed round about . . . He measured with the same reed, from point to point; and having measured this side, He went to another.
Ezekiel 42:18 He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed. (KJV)
He measured the south side, five hundred reeds . . . from the two angles of that side, east and west; and it was the same number of reeds, five hundred reeds, or one thousand seven hundred and fifty yards.
With the measuring reed . . . the same one as before; here, and in the next verse, the phrase round about is not used, but is to be understood; and having been repeated, there was no need to mention it again.
Ezekiel 42:19 He turned about to the west side, and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed. (KJV)
He turned about to the west side . . . and took the dimensions of that, from angle to angle, the south and north points of it.
And measured five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed . . . and it was exactly the same measurement as the other three sides.
Ezekiel 42:20 He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place. (KJV)
He turned about to the west side. . . and He took the dimensions of that, from angle to angle, the south and north points of it.
And measured five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed . . . and it was exactly of the same measurement as the other three sides.
*****Described in this chapter is the priests' chambers, their use, and the measurement of the Holy Mount on which the Temple stood. These chambers were many. Jesus said: John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.(KJV)
The most troublesome part of the description is that of two blocks of cells situated north and south of the Temple building (42:1-14). It seems that they occupied the oblong spaces between the gizra (walk ?) north and south of the Temple and the walls of the inner court.
This chapter describes what is not only new in this vision, but also what was unknown in either of the former Temples. Ezekiel 42:1-14 is occupied with the account of certain chambers for the priests adjoining the inner court, but actually were within the area of the outer court. It is plain from Ezekiel 42:14 that these chambers, although thus situated in the outer court, were considered for priestly purposes as belonging to the inner court. Ezekiel 42:15-20 describe a very large area enclosing the Temple and its courts as an additional safeguard to its holiness.
Land Measures and Lengths:
Length about 3/4 inches
Equivalent 1/4 handbreadth
Length about 9m inches
Equivalent 1/2 cubit or 3 handbreadth
Unit cubit, yards
Length about 18 inches
Equivalent 1/2 pace or 2 spans
Length about 3 feet
Equivalent 1/3 rod or 2 cubits
Length about 6 feet
Equivalent 4 cubits
Unit measuring rod
Length about 9 feet, (10.5 feet in Ezekiel)
Equivalent 3 paces or 6 cubits
Unit stadion, mile
Length about 600 feet
Equivalent 1/8 Roman mile
Unit Sabbath day's journey
Length about 3,000 feet
Equivalent 2,000 cubits
Length about 4,800 feet
Equivalent 8 stadia
Unit day's journey
Length about 20 miles
Thompson Chain Reference
Book of Ezekiel
Eze.Ch.1 . . Eze.Ch.2 . . Eze.Ch.3. . Eze.Ch.4 . . Eze.Ch.5 . . Eze.Ch.6 . . Eze.Ch.7 . . Eze.Ch.8 . . Eze.Ch.9 . . Eze.Ch.10 . . Eze.Ch.11 . . Eze.Ch.12 . . Eze.Ch.13 . . Eze.Ch.14. . Eze.Ch.15 . . Eze.Ch.16 . . Eze.Ch.17 . . Eze.Ch.18 . . Eze.Ch.19 . . Eze.Ch.20 . . Eze.Ch.21 . . Eze.Ch.22 . . Eze.Ch.23 . . Eze.Ch.24 . . Eze.Ch.25 . . Eze.Ch.26 . . Eze.27 . . Eze.28 . . Eze.29 . . Eze.30 . . Eze.31 . . Eze.32 . . Eze.33 . . Eze.34 . . Eze.35 . . Eze.36 . . Eze.37 . . Eze.38 . . Eze.39 . . Eze.40 . . Eze.41 . . Eze.42 . . Eze.43 . . Eze.44 . . Eze.45 . . . Eze.46 . . . Eze.47 . . . Eze.48 . . . Eze. Millennial Temple . . . Eze.Special Comments . . . Eze.What is Shekinah Glory? . . . Home Page