Verses 1–11

We are still attending a prophet that is under the guidance of an angel, and therefore attend with reverence, though we are often at a loss to know both what this is and what it is to us. Observe here, 1. After the prophet had observed the courts he was at length brought to the temple, Ezek. 41:1. If we diligently attend to the instructions given us in the plainer parts of religion, and profit by them, we shall be led further into an acquaintance with the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Those that are willing to dwell in God’s courts shall at length be brought into his temple. Ezekiel was himself a priest, but by the iniquity and calamity of the times was cut short of his birthright privilege of ministering in the temple; but God makes up the loss to him by introducing him into this prophetical, evangelical, celestial temple, and employing him to transmit a description of it to the church, in which he was dignified above all the rest of his order. 2. When our Lord Jesus spoke of the destroying of this temple, which his hearers understood of this second temple of Jerusalem, he spoke of the temple of his body (John 2:19, 21); and with good reason might he speak so ambiguously when Ezekiel’s vision had a joint respect to them both together, including also his mystical body the church, which is called the house of God (1 Tim. 3:15), and all the members of that body, which are living temples, in which the Spirit dwells. 3. The very posts of this temple, the door-posts, were as far one from the other, and consequently the door was as wide, as the whole breadth of the tabernacle of Moses (Ezek. 41:1), namely, twelve cubits, Exod. 26:16, 22, 25. In comparison with what had been under the law we may say, Wide is the gate which leads into the church, the ceremonial law, that wall of partition which had so much straitened the gate, being taken down. 4. The most holy place was an exact square, twenty cubits each way, Ezek. 41:4. For the new Jerusalem is exactly square (Rev. 21:16), denoting its stability; for we look for a city that cannot be moved. 5. The upper stories were larger than the lower, Ezek. 41:7. The walls of the temple were six cubits thick at the bottom, five in the middle story, and four in the highest, which gave room to enlarge the chambers the higher they went; but care was taken that the timber might have fast hold (though God builds high, he builds firmly), yet so as not to weaken one part for the strengthening of another; they had hold, but not in the wall of the house. By this spreading gradually, the side-chambers that were on the height of the house (in the uppermost story of all) were six cubits, whereas the lowest were but four; they gained a cubit every story. The higher we build up ourselves in our most holy faith the more should our hearts, those living temples, be enlarged.