Bible Book List
Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 12–26
Verses 12–26

Here is, 1. An account of a building that was before the separate place (that is, before the temple), at the end towards the west (Ezek. 41:12), which is here measured, and compared (Ezek. 41:13) with the measure of the house, and appears to be of equal dimensions with it. This stood in a court by itself, which is measured (Ezek. 41:15) and its galleries, or chambers belonging to it, its posts and windows, and the ornaments of them, Ezek. 41:15-17. But what use was to be made of this other building we are not told; perhaps, in this vision, it signified the setting up of a church among the Gentiles not inferior to the Jewish temple, but of quite another nature, and which should soon supersede it. 2. A description of the ornaments of the temple, and the other building. The walls on the inside from top to bottom were adorned with cherubim and palm-trees, placed alternately, as in Solomon’s temple, 1 Kgs. 6:29. Each cherub is here said to have two faces, the face of a man towards the palm tree on one side and the face of a young lion towards the palm-tree on the other side, Ezek. 41:19. These seem to represent the angels, who have more than the wisdom of a man and the courage of a lion; and in both they have an eye to the palms of victory and triumph which are set before them, and which they are sure of in all their conflicts with the powers of darkness. And in the assemblies of the saints angels are in a special manner present, 1 Cor. 11:10. 3. A description of the posts of the doors both of the temple and of the sanctuary; they were squared (Ezek. 41:21), not round like pillars; and the appearance of the one was as the appearance of the other. In the tabernacle, and in Solomon’s temple, the door of the sanctuary, or most holy, was narrower than that of the temple, but here it was fully as broad; for in gospel-times the way into the holiest of all is made more manifest than it was under the Old Testament (Heb. 9:8) and therefore the door is wider. These doors are described, Ezek. 41:23, 24. The temple and the sanctuary had each of them its door, and they were two-leaved, folding doors. 4. We have here the description of the altar of incense, here said to be an altar of wood, Ezek. 41:22. No mention is made of its being over-laid with gold; but surely it was intended to be so, else it would not bear the fire with which the incense was to be burned, unless we will suppose that it served only to put the censers upon. Or else it intimates that the incense to be offered in the gospel-temple shall be purely spiritual, and the fire spiritual, which will not consume an altar of wood. Therefore this altar is called a table. This is the table that is before the Lord. Here, as before, we find the altar turned into a table; for, the great sacrifice being now offered, that which we have to do is to feast upon the sacrifice at the Lord’s table. 5. Here is the adorning of the doors and windows with palm-trees, that they might be of a piece with the walls of the house, Ezek. 41:25, 26. Thus the living temples are adorned, not with gold, or silver, or costly array, but with the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible.