Vv 1,2: Beyond the vestibule was the nave, the holy place. It
had a doorway 6 cubits deep and 10 cubits wide. The projecting wall on either
side of this entrance, which also formed part of the wall of the vestibule and
the holy place, projected inward 5 cubits from the side walls of the main temple
structure. The holy place was 40 cubits deep and 20 cubits wide.
HSul says the "the leading indication of a circular form" of
the Millennial Temple is Eze 41:1: "He brought me to the temple (ie, the holy
place), and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side and six cubits
broad on the other side, the breadth of the tabernacle" [AV}.
However, HAW comments: "Here the RV mg refers to Exo 26:25,
where the breadth of the Tabernacle in the wilderness is made up of eight
'boards' of one and one half cubits each. By most students this would be
considered satisfactory, even though it still leaves open the question why there
should be in the entrance to the holy place (as it would seem) a width identical
with the Tabernacle. However our author [HSul] prefers a quite different
approach. He first points out that the word 'tabernacle' is really 'tent'
(true!). And then this: 'Now most tents are, and all tents were originally,
round or ring-shaped' (p 39). Is this really true? The present writer [HAW] has
schoolboy memories of improvised tents vastly different in shape from that of a
right circular cone! And is it not a fact that the vast majority of tents in
lands of the Near East were and are usually constructed on anything but that
pattern? However, p 49 goes on to develop the notion by quoting Isa 40:22: 'He
stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to
dwell in.' The rather vague comment is added [by HSul]: 'The simile gives
indication of the nature of the type from which it is drawn: namely, of a
covered circular enclosed space.' But even if this highly figurative passage
were admissible as evidence (which it surely isn't), is there any reader who
gets the impression that the dome of heaven looks like a hollow cone? Yet here
is all the evidence the book [by HSul] advances for the highly revolutionary
idea it propounds of a conical mountain with a circle of buildings at its base!
The question has to be asked in all seriousness: Is the evidence good enough?"
The other point of evidence for a supposed "circular temple"
is based on Eze 43:12 (see note there).
Vv 3,4: Ezekiel's guide then went into the most holy place and
measured the doorway leading into it from the holy place. This doorway was two
cubits deep and six cubits wide. The projecting wall on either side of this
entrance, which also formed part of the wall of the holy place and the most holy
place, projected inward seven cubits from the side walls of the main temple
structure. The most holy place was 20 cubits square.
The effect of the progressively narrower doorways, from 14
cubits (Eze 40:48) to 10 cubits (v 2) to six cubits (v 3), focused the
worshipper's eyes on the most holy place, the center of worship, and
communicated increasing restriction, controlled access.
Ezekiel's guide seldom spoke to him, but when he did he always
said something important. Here he identified the most holy place (v 4; cf v 22;
Eze 40:4,45; 42:13; 43:18; 46:20,24; 47:8). Evidently Ezekiel, who was a priest,
did not enter the most holy place.
Here, the measures of the Most Holy are given as: "the length,
twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits."
HAW comments: "Without any hint from the text, our author
[HSul] first applies this to the Holy Place instead, then he repeats the
measurement three times (p 43a), but also turns the word 'breadth' into
'height', thus transforming the Most Holy twenty by twenty (exactly the same as
in Solomon's temple) into a three-storied Holy Place with three avenues
twenty-cubits wide in it. Also, on p 48 the statement is renewed that twenty by
twenty are not the dimensions of the Most Holy Place but 'undoubtedly' they are
'the measurements that take us up to the Most Holy.' The reader can look at Eze
41:4 again and judge for himself" (FLET).
"In Ezra 6:3 the details of the decree of Cyrus include the
actual dimensions as given by Ezekiel -- central sanctuary 60 cubits long and 60
cubits high. These are the identical measurements which are to be deduced from
Eze 41:2,4" (FLET).
THIS IS THE MOST HOLY PLACE: There has always dwelt in
the minds of men a feeling that some places are peculiarly sacred.
Unfortunately, there has often been superstition connected with this feeling,
which should be discouraged in others and resisted in ourselves. Certain places
under the Law did have a peculiar sanctity, being chosen by God: there was, in
Tabernacle and Temple, the MOST holy place, usually entered only once a year, by
the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, with the blood of the slain goat.
Still, it is true for us that "every place is hallowed ground"
-- since we may find God everywhere and in everything; and we may worship and
serve Him in every sphere of our lives. This is because, for the Christian, the
"most holy place" has to do with the man who was and is the living Temple --
because in him the fullness of the glory of God dwells: God was manifested in
him far more truly and importantly than He was present in the great cloud
"between the cherubim". Every good and holy thing to be found in any concrete
place of worship became more real, and purer, and more righteous, in the Lord
Jesus Christ: he was -- and is -- true Temple, and true altar, and true
sacrifice, and true priest, and true mercy seat. So we may say of him, whenever
we think of his most holy character and love, "THIS is the most holy
Vv 5-11: The side rooms of the temple.
Vv 5,6: The wall enclosing the vestibule, holy place, and most
holy place was six cubits thick. Rooms five cubits deep surrounded this wall on
all sides except the east. There were three stories of these rooms, 30 rooms on
each level. There was another wall on the outside of these rooms that bore their
weight so the inner wall of the temple did not carry it. The purpose of these
rooms was not revealed, but they may be for worship, fellowship, or
SIDE ROOM: HAW comments: "The word for 'side-chamber'
(Eze 41:5,6) is replaced by 'rib' [in HSul's book], although in Solomon's Temple
(which should be a fairly good guide) it clearly means 'side-chamber' (1Ki 6:5)"
The rooms on the upper floor were the largest presumably
because not as much space was required for a hallway and stairs. The rooms on
the second floor were not as large because more space was needed for the hallway
and stairs, and the rooms on the first floor were the smallest for the same
"And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward
to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round
about the house" (KJV). HAW comments: "On p 42 [of HSul's book] the 'winding
about' which is fairly obviously a spiral staircase to connect one floor of
chambers with the next above, becomes a groined vaulting which has no 'winding'
-- and this many centuries before groined vaulting was invented!"
The side rooms stood on the same foundation as the rest of the
temple, which was six cubits above the level of the surrounding
Vv 9,10: The exterior wall of the side rooms was five cubits
thick, and there was 20 cubits of open space between these walls and any other
structures surrounding the temple proper.
Ezekiel saw a doorway in this exterior wall on the north and
south sides that allowed access into the side rooms. There was a five-cubit-wide
walkway all around the exterior wall of the temple except on the west side (cf v
13). This walkway was on the same level as the top of the foundation of the
The temple outbuilding: Another large building stood to the
west of the temple proper 20 cubits from its west wall. It was 70 cubits deep
and 90 cubits wide with walls five cubits thick. Its function is
Vv 13-15: The measurements of the buildings and open spaces
Vv 13,14: Ezekiel's guide next measured the outside walls of
the main temple structure. It was 100 cubits (166 feet) from front to back. The
distance from the back of the main temple structure to the back of the building
behind the temple, including an open space of 20 cubits that separated the two
structures, was also 100 cubits. The inner court in front of the temple proper
was also 100 cubits square.
The "temple courtyard" (called the "separate place" in KJV) is
100 cubits (c 166 feet long and wide). HAW comments: "The 'separate place' is a
part of the Temple which has, admittedly, given rise to some uncertainty. Yet it
would at least appear to be clear from Eze 41:13,14 that, wherever it might be
sited, its dimensions are a hundred cubits each way. Yet in this volume [that of
HSul] it is identified with the space between the outer SQUARE and the inner
CIRCLE (?) of buildings. Could this, by any stretch of imagination, be described
as 'an hundred cubits long. Also the breadth... of the separate place toward the
east, an hundred cubits'?" (FLET).
The outside width of the building behind the temple proper
measured 100 cubits, including a colonnade on each of its sides. The man also
measured the temple's holy place and the vestibule and porch that faced the
Vv 16-26: The interior furnishings of the temple.
Vv 16-20: The whole interior of the temple structure,
including the side rooms, was paneled with wood. The wood was carved with
alternating cherubs and palm trees. Each cherub had two faces, the face of a man
and the face of a lion, one looking left and the other right (cf Eze 1:5-25;
10:9-17). Cherubim (the Hebrew plural of "cherub") elsewhere in Scripture
guarded the holiness of God (cf Gen 3:22-24; Exo 25:18-22; 26:31).
CHERUBIM AND PALM TREES: These echo Solomon's temple:
1Ki 6:23,29,32,35; 7:36. The only other place where Cherubim and trees are found
together is Gen 3:24. Both Solomon's and Ezekiel's temples are drawing on this
imagery from Genesis. The Cherubim and trees are to remind the worshippers that
the only way to approach God is through the method of worship which He has
ordained. Thus, and only thus, will access to the tree of life be available (Eze
Vv 21,22: The doorposts between the vestibule and the holy
place were square and identical. The altar in the holy place was completely
wooden and was three cubits high and two cubits square. It stood before the
Lord's presence there. Its function is also obscure, but it may correspond to
the altar of incense or the table of showbread in Israel's earlier tabernacle
and temples. If so, it has some connection with prayer or remembrance.
Vv 23-26: The doors leading into the holy place and the most
holy place were double doors, hinged with two leaves for each door. These doors
were also carved with cherubs and palm trees. The floor of the vestibule of the
temple was also covered with wood. The vestibule also had latticed windows and
representations of palm trees on its side walls. The temple will be beautiful.
"This building was decorated in a manner befitting its role as
the symbolic earthly house of the one who is 'altogether lovely' " (Stuart,
cited in Const).