Ezekiel Chapter Forty-two
In this chapter are described the priests' chambers, their use, and the dimensions of the holy mount on which the temple stood. These chambers were many. Jesus said, In my Father's house are many mansions: in his house on earth there are many; multitudes, by faith, are lodging in his sanctuary, and yet there is room. These chambers, though private, were near the temple. Our religious services in our chambers, must prepare for public devotions, and further us in improving them, as our opportunities are.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Ezekiel》
 Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door, and the breadth was fifty cubits.
The length — The temple of one hundred cubits long, and of fifty broad, was on the south prospect of these chambers.
 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.
Against gallery — That is, a gallery on the south part toward the inner court, and a gallery toward the pavement north-ward, and between the backs of these galleries were chambers.
 And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north.
A way — Before the galleries probably, was a ledge of one cubit broad, running the whole length from east to west, called here a way, though not designed for any to walk on it.
 Now the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building.
Shorter — At first view it should seem to refer to the length, but indeed it refers to the height of the chambers, of which the lowest chamber was highest, the second lower pitched than the first, yet of greater height than the uppermost between the floor and ceiling.
 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.
As the pillars — So thick and strong as those were.
 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.
The wall — A wall at a distance from them, perhaps some wall that might keep up a terrace-walk.
 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.
The way — The walk.
Was like — Exactly uniform with the fabrick on the north-side.
All their goings — Every window and door.
Were — Framed in the same manner. In all things exactly alike.
 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.
Shall they lay — In some of these chambers the holy things that might be eat, were laid up as in a store-house; and those which were not for present use, were reserved, 'till they were to be used.
 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.
Which are — Which common people may meddle with.
 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.
Five hundred broad — Each reed was above three yards and an half, so that it was about eight miles round. Thus large were the suburbs of this mystical temple, signifying the great extent of the church in gospel times. It is in part fulfilled already, by the accession of the Gentiles to the church: and will be throughly accomplished, when the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, and all Israel shall be saved.
A separation — To distinguish, and accordingly to exclude, or admit persons, for all might not go in.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Ezekiel》
42 Chapter 42
And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth inward.
Provision made in the temple for social intercourse
Before these chambers
there were walks of five yards broad, in which those who had lodged in these
chambers might meet for conversation, might walk and talk together for their
mutual edification, might communicate their knowledge and experiences. For we
are not to spend all our time between the church and the chamber, though a
great deal of time may be spent to very good purpose in both. But man is made
for society, and Christians for communion of saints, and the duties of that communion
we must make conscience of. It is promised to Joshua, who was high priest in
the second temple, that God will “give him places to walk in among those that
stand by” (Zechariah 3:7). (M. Henry.)
The glory of the Lord filled the house.
The glory without the cloud
Though God may forsake His people for a small moment, He will return with everlasting loving kindness. God’s glory filled the house, as it had filled the tabernacle which Moses set up and thee temple of Solomon. Now we do not find that ever the Shekinah did in that manner take possession of the second temple, and therefore this was to have its accomplishment in that glory of the Divine grace which shines so brightly in the Gospel Church, and fills it. Here is no mention of a cloud filling the house as formerly, for we now with open face behold the glory of the Lord, in the face of Christ, and not as of old through the cloud of types. (M. Henry.)
In the uplifted life we are brought into closer fellowshi
p with God:--The Spirit took Ezekiel up and brought him into the inner court, I want you to observe that while the prophet was in the inner court he saw the glory of God and heard God speaking to him. That inner court represents to us the innermost fellowship with God.
I. In the inner court he saw the glory of God. You stand outside some great cathedral, looking at the large stained-glass window that is said to be of such immense value and noted for its exquisite loveliness. You have heard of its beautiful design, of its rich colouring and delicate shadings. But you are disappointed. All you can see is a dim, dull easement, blotched here and there. But that is because you have been judging it from the standpoint of the exterior of the building. In that position you can see no glory. Get into the interior,--into the inner court, and your opinion will suddenly change. The scientist, if an unbeliever, cannot see the glory of God in Nature as can the man who has been brought into the inner court of fellowship with God. The man in the outer court may see a great deal of beauty in natural phenomena, and a wonderful design in “the operations and effects of natural laws”; but there are beauties in Nature to the believer that far surpass those. Jonathan Edwards, speaking of his own experience of having enjoyed a wonderful sense of God’s pardoning mercy, said, “The wisdom, purity, and love of God seemed to appear in everything: in the sun, moon, and stars; in the clouds and blue sky; in the grass, flowers, and trees; in the water and all nature, which greatly fixed my mind. I beheld the sweet glory of God in all these things, and in the meantime sang with a low voice my contemplations of the Creator and Redeemer.” As with Nature, so with Revelation. The Bible has been called a glorious temple. “When He the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth.” There our Lord indicates the faculty of spiritual perception and interpretation. How little of the glory of God we have seen! How seldom, as by a mystic hand, are we led beyond the vestibule into the inner sanctuary of the Most High! There was a time when God, maintaining strict reserve, dwelt in a peculiar way in the Holy of Holies of the ancient Temple. On the mercy seat was the Shekinah--the great symbol of His presence and unapproachable glory--which burned and glowed perpetually in bright and vivid splendour. Before this was hung the closely woven veil. There was no admission save for the High Priest, and he might pass within but once a year. But now we have “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say His flesh.” The High Priest of old could not look at the glory without seeing the blood that was sprinkled on the mercy seat. “The same blood, the same atonement by which we draw near to God, is the same by which we must remain in communion with God.” “And,” says the prophet Ezekiel, “the man stood by me.” Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is the glory of God. “God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit is the light of God that we may see Him.
II. While Ezekiel was in the inner court, God spake to him. Few live in the higher condition of perpetual fellowship with the Father and the Son; but it is in that higher condition that the noblest faculties of the soul are brought into use, Habakkuk said, “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me” (2:1). He would get above the crush and clamour of worldly things. As he who stands upon some eminence of cliff is not disturbed by the murmuring wavelets channelling the sands beneath, so the “lifted up” spirit, liberated from a narrow, mundane view, is unaffected by the carking cares which annoy and the anxieties which absorb the many,--the frettings which disturb serenity and scare away peace. We want to live above the corroding, cloying, flippant, superficial pleasures of time. We must get into a calm atmosphere,--the “sphere of silence,”--the unbroken solitudes of “the heavenlies,” if we are to hear His voice. Professor Smythe was engaged for some weeks in making astronomical observations on the Rock of Teneriffe. When he and his party descended from the height, they were surprised to find that a storm had been raging of which they had heard and seen nothing. (A. W. Welch.)
──《The Biblical Illustrator》