Ezekiel 40

Vision of the New Temple

In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city
That is, Jerusalem.
was struck down, on this very day,
April 19, 573 b.c.
the hand
Or “power.”
Hand in the OT can refer metaphorically to power, authority, or influence. In Ezekiel God’s hand being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).
of the Lord was on me, and he brought me there.
That is, to the land of Israel (see v. 2).
By means of divine visions
The expression introduces the three major visions of Ezekiel (1:1; 8:3; 40:2).
he brought me to the land of Israel and placed me on a very high mountain,
The reference to a very high mountain is harmonious with Isa 2:2.
and on it was a structure like a city, to the south.
When he brought me there, I saw
The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.
a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring stick in his hand. He was standing in the gateway.
The man said to me, “Son of man, watch closely, listen carefully, and pay attention
Heb “look with your eyes, hear with your ears, and set your mind on.”
to everything I show you, for you have been brought here so that I can show it to you.
Heb “in order to show (it) to you.”
Tell the house of Israel everything you see.”

I saw
The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.
a wall all around the outside of the temple.
Heb “house.”
In the man’s hand was a measuring stick 10¹/₂ feet
Heb “a measuring stick of six cubits, [each] a cubit and a handbreadth.” The measuring units here and in the remainder of this section are the Hebrew “long” cubit, consisting of a cubit (about 18 inches or 45 cm) and a handbreadth (about 3 inches or 7.5 cm), for a total of 21 inches (52.5 cm). Therefore the measuring stick in the man’s hand was 10.5 feet (3.15 meters) long. Because modern readers are not familiar with the cubit as a unit of measurement, and due to the additional complication of the “long” cubit as opposed to the regular cubit, all measurements have been converted to American standard feet and inches, with the Hebrew measurements and the metric equivalents given in the notes.
long. He measured the thickness of the wall
Heb “building.”
as 10¹/₂ feet,
Heb “one rod [or “reed”]” (also a second time in this verse, twice in v. 6, three times in v. 7, and once in v. 8).
and its height as 10¹/₂ feet.
Then he went to the gate facing east. He climbed its steps and measured the threshold of the gate as 10¹/₂ feet deep.
The Hebrew text adds “the one threshold 10¹/₂ feet deep.” This is probably an accidental duplication of what precedes. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:517.
The alcoves were 10¹/₂ feet long and 10¹/₂ feet wide; between the alcoves were 8³/₄ feet.
Heb “five cubits” (i.e., 2.625 meters) according to the “long” cubit. See the note on the first occurrence of the phrase “10¹/₂ feet” in v. 5.
The threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate facing inward was 10¹/₂ feet.
Then he measured the porch of the gate facing inward as 10¹/₂ feet. He measured the porch of the gate as 14 feet,
Heb “eight cubits” (i.e., 4.2 meters).
and its jambs as 3¹/₂ feet;
Heb “two cubits” (i.e., 1.05 meters).
the porch of the gate faced inward.
10 There were three alcoves on each side of the east gate; the three had the same measurement, and the jambs on either side had the same measurement.
The three alcoves are parallel to the city gates found at Megiddo, Hazor, and Gezer.
11 He measured the width of the entrance of the gateway as 17¹/₂ feet,
Heb “ten cubits” (i.e., 5.25 meters).
and the length of the gateway as 22³/₄ feet.
Heb “thirteen cubits” (i.e., 6.825 meters).
12 There was a barrier in front of the alcoves, 1³/₄ feet
Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm).
on either side; the alcoves were 10¹/₂ feet
Heb “six cubits” (i.e., 3.15 meters).
on either side.
13 He measured the gateway from the roof of one alcove to the roof of the other, a width of 43³/₄ feet
Heb “twenty-five cubits” (i.e., 13.125 meters).
from one entrance to the opposite one.
14 He measured
Heb “made.”
the porch
The MT reads “jambs” which does not make sense in context. Supposing a confusion of yod for vav, the text may be emended to read “porch.” See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:518.
at 105 feet
Heb “sixty cubits” (i.e., 31.5 meters).
high;
The word “high” is not in the Hebrew text but is supplied for sense.
the gateway went all around to the jamb of the courtyard.
15 From the front of the entrance gate to the porch of the inner gate was 87¹/₂ feet.
Heb “fifty cubits” (i.e., 26.25 meters).
16 There were closed windows toward the alcoves and toward their jambs within the gate all around, and likewise for the porches. There were windows all around the inside, and on each jamb were decorative palm trees.
Decorative palm trees were also a part of Solomon’s temple (1 Kgs 6:29, 32, 35).


17  Then he brought me to the outer court. I saw
The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.
chambers there, and a pavement made for the court all around; thirty chambers faced the pavement.
18 The pavement was beside the gates, corresponding to the length of the gates; this was the lower pavement. 19 Then he measured the width from before the lower gate to the front of the exterior of the inner court as 175 feet
Heb “one hundred cubits” (i.e., 52.5 meters).
on the east and on the north.

20  He measured the length and width of the gate of the outer court which faces north. 21 Its alcoves, three on each side, and its jambs and porches had the same measurement as the first gate; 87¹/₂ feet
Heb “fifty cubits” (i.e., 26.25 meters).
long and 43³/₄ feet
Heb “twenty-five cubits” (i.e., 13.125 meters).
wide.
22 Its windows, its porches, and its decorative palm trees had the same measurement as the gate which faced east. Seven steps led up to it, and its porch was in front of them. 23 Opposite the gate on the north and the east was a gate of the inner court; he measured the distance from gate to gate at 175 feet.
Heb “one hundred cubits” (i.e., 52.5 meters).


24  Then he led me toward the south. I saw
The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.
a gate on the south. He measured its jambs and its porches; they had the same dimensions as the others.
25 There were windows all around it and its porches, like the windows of the others;
Heb “as these windows.”
87¹/₂ feet
Heb “fifty cubits” (i.e., 26.25 meters).
long and 43³/₄ feet
Heb “twenty-five cubits” (i.e., 13.125 meters).
wide.
26 There were seven steps going up to it; its porches were in front of them. It had decorative palm trees on its jambs, one on either side. 27 The inner court had a gate toward the south; he measured it from gate to gate toward the south as 175 feet.
Heb “one hundred cubits” (i.e., 52.5 meters).


28  Then he brought me to the inner court by the south gate. He measured the south gate; it had the same dimensions as the others. 29 Its alcoves, its jambs, and its porches had the same dimensions as the others, and there were windows all around it and its porches; its length was 87¹/₂ feet
Heb “fifty cubits” (i.e., 26.25 meters).
and its width 43³/₄ feet.
Heb “twenty-five cubits” (i.e., 13.125 meters).
30 There were porches all around, 43³/₄ feet
Heb “twenty-five cubits” (i.e., 13.125 meters).
long and 8³/₄ feet
Heb “five cubits” (i.e., 2.625 meters).
wide.
31 Its porches faced the outer court, and decorative palm trees were on its jambs, and its stairway had eight steps.

32  Then he brought me to the inner court on the east side. He measured the gate; it had the same dimensions as the others. 33 Its alcoves, its jambs, and its porches had the same dimensions as the others, and there were windows all around it and its porches; its length was 87¹/₂ feet
Heb “fifty cubits” (i.e., 26.25 meters).
and its width 43³/₄ feet.
Heb “twenty-five cubits” (i.e., 13.125 meters).
34 Its porches faced the outer court, it had decorative palm trees on its jambs, and its stairway had eight steps.

35  Then he brought me to the north gate, and he measured it; it had the same dimensions as the others – 36 its alcoves, its jambs, and its porches. It had windows all around it; its length was 87¹/₂ feet
Heb “fifty cubits” (i.e., 26.25 meters).
and its width 43³/₄ feet.
Heb “twenty-five cubits” (i.e., 13.125 meters).
37 Its jambs
The LXX reads “porches.”
faced the outer court, and it had decorative palm trees on its jambs, on either side, and its stairway had eight steps.

38  There was a chamber with its door by the porch of the gate;
The MT reads “jambs of the gates” which does not make sense in a context discussing one chamber. The emendation to “porch” is similar to v. 14. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:530.
there they washed the burnt offering.
39 In the porch of the gate were two tables on either side on which to slaughter the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering. 40 On the outside of the porch as one goes up at the entrance of the north gate were two tables, and on the other side of the porch of the gate were two tables. 41 Four tables were on each side of the gate, eight tables on which the sacrifices were to be slaughtered. 42 The four tables for the burnt offering were of carved stone, 32 inches
Heb “one and a half cubits” (i.e., 78.75 cm).
long, 32 inches
Heb “one and a half cubits” (i.e., 78.75 cm).
wide, and 21 inches
Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm).
high. They would put the instruments which they used to slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice on them.
43 There were hooks
This reading is supported by the Aramaic Targum. The LXX, Vulgate, and Syriac read “shelves” or some type of projection.
three inches
Heb “one handbreadth” (7.5 cm).
long, fastened in the house all around, and on the tables was the flesh of the offering.

44  On the outside of the inner gate were chambers for the singers of the inner court, one
“One” is not in the Hebrew text but is supplied for clarity in the translation.
at the side of the north gate facing south, and the other at the side of the south
This reading is supported by the LXX; the MT reads “east.”
gate facing north.
45 He said to me, “This chamber which faces south is for the priests who keep charge of the temple,
Heb “the house.”
46 and the chamber which faces north is for the priests who keep charge of the altar. These are the descendants of Zadok, from the descendants of Levi, who may approach the Lord to minister to him.” 47 He measured the court as a square 175 feet long and 175 feet wide;
Heb “one hundred cubits long and one hundred cubits wide, a square” (i.e., 52.5 meters by 52.5 meters).
the altar was in front of the temple.

48  Then he brought me to the porch of the temple and measured the jambs of the porch as 8³/₄ feet
Heb “five cubits” (i.e., 2.625 meters).
on either side, and the width of the gate was 24¹/₂ feet
The LXX reads “fourteen cubits” (i.e., 7.35 meters). See following note.
and the sides
The translation follows the LXX. The MT reads “the width of the gate was three cubits,” the omission due to haplography.
Or “sidewalls.”
were 5¹/₄ feet
Heb “three cubits” (i.e., 1.575 meters).
on each side.
49 The length of the porch was 35 feet
Heb “twenty cubits” (i.e., 10.5 meters).
and the width 19¹/₄ feet;
Heb “eleven cubits” (i.e., 5.775 meters).
steps
The LXX reads “ten steps.”
led up to it, and there were pillars beside the jambs on either side.

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