Page images

19 Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the lower gate unto the forefront of the inner court 'without, an hundred cubits eastward and northward.

20 And the gate of the outward court that looked toward the north, he measured the length thereof, and the breadth thereof. 21 And the little chambers thereof were three on this side and three on that side; and the posts thereof and the 'arches thereof were after the measure of the first gate: the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.

22 And their windows, and their arches, and their palm trees, were after the measure of the gate that looketh toward the east; and they went up unto it by seven steps; and the arches thereof were before them.

23 And the gate of the inner court was over against the gate toward the north, and toward the east; and he measured from gate to gate an hundred cubits.

24¶After that he brought me toward the south, and behold a gate toward the south: and he measured the posts thereof and the arches thereof according to these measures.

25 And there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about, like those windows the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.


26 And there were seven steps to go up to it, and the arches thereof were before them and it had palm trees, one on this side, and another on that side, upon the posts thereof.

[blocks in formation]

| court toward the east: and he measured the gate according to these measures.

33 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were according to these measures: and there were windows therein and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.

34 And the arches thereof were toward the outward court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.

35 ¶ And he brought me to the north gate, and measured it according to these measures: 36 The little chambers thereof, the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, and the windows to it round about: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.

37 And the posts thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.

38 And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering.

39 And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering.

40 And at the side without, "as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables.

41 Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate eight tables, whereupon they slew their sa crifices.

42 And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice.

43 And within were "hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering.

44 ¶ And without the inner gate were the chambers of the singers in the inner court which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one a the side of the east gate having the prospec toward the north.

45 And he said unto me, This chamber whose prospect is toward the south, is for

10 Heb. breadth.

11 Or, at the step.

Or, galleries, or porches. 18 Or, endirons, or, the two hearth-stones.

he priests, the keepers of the "charge of the


46 And the chamber whose prospect is toard the north is for the priests, the keepers the charge of the altar: these are the sons Zadok among the sons of Levi, which me near to the LORD to minister unto him. 47 So he measured the court, an hundred bits long, and an hundred cubits broad, irsquare; and the altar that was before house.


And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side.

49 The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits; and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.

13 Or, ward, or, ordinance · and so erse 46.

HAPS. XL-XLVIII. We have mentioned, in the introductory note, the great and acknowledged difficulty lved in the obscure vision contained in these chapters. For this reason the Hebrews forbade this portion of Scripto be read by persons under thirty years of age; and many Christian expositors have abstained altogether from ment. We do not approve of this, being persuaded that "all Scripture is profitable:" as, however, we should der of giving a satisfactory explanation of all the details, and as the attempt would occupy more room than a regard ur limits would allow us to spare for the subject, we shall confine our attention to a few detached passages which occasion for such remarks as we have been accustomed to give.

ne of the great difficulties in this description is to understand its design. Perhaps none of the numerous conres which have been offered are entirely satisfactory, and we are not disposed to add to the number. A very mon explanation is, that, as the Temple and city were overthrown, and the ecclesiastical and civil polity of the rews destroyed, these chapters were written to instruct them in what they were to do on their return from captivity, in particular to give them such a detailed description as might enable them to build another temple, similar in and dimensions to that of Solomon. It is under this explanation that the writers who have attempted to give us ccount of Solomon's Temple, have freely availed themselves of the present chapters to complete their descriptions. would however be difficult to show that the temple of Zerubbabel answered to this description, or that which, as structed and enriched by Herod, existed in the time of our Saviour, and is described by Josephus and the Rab: and even allowing that the later temple did, in essential matters, correspond to this representation, it is certain the division of the land was not the same after the return from captivity, as is here prescribed, nor the governors civil polity those which are here directed. On these grounds the Jews themselves allow that the directions given in chapters have not hitherto been followed. They believe that many things which they contain cannot be underI till Elias (whom they still expect) shall come and explain them; and that the temple here described, will not be nor the regulations take effect, until the Messiah comes, to whose advent they still look forward. Some Christian rs have been disposed to apply the whole to the condition of the Jews under a future restoration to their own land privileges; while others interpret the whole with a mystical application to the church of Christ. We cannot into these explanations; but the reader will be glad to see the observations of Professor Dathe, as applying to we have stated as the more common explanation, and as meeting the objections to which that explanation is His opinion, which he submits with diffidence to the consideration of others, is, that the passage "does not in a prophecy, nor does it predict any future event; but it describes what ought to have been done, if the whole sh people, consisting of all the tribes, had returned from captivity to their own country. Liberty was granted to nd all had it in their power to return. God now orders, by the mouth of his prophet, what should be the nature 1 character of his worship, and what division of the country should take place between the different tribes. There thing in the whole description which might not have been carried into effect, provided that all of them had red, and taken possession of the land, which God granted to them. In this new possession of the Promised Land, a God offered to his people, the same thing happened as on a former occasion, when they entered into the land, they had so long desired, under their leader, Joshua. The division which then took place was very different that which ought to have been made, according to the will of God; for the sloth and cowardice of the people, ing a protracted war, was the reason why a great part of the country was allowed to remain in possession of the nhabitants; and the same baseness of disposition, or love of present advantage, now detained them where they so that they chose rather to live as exiles among the nations, than to return to their own country, which was now laid waste or occupied by others."

rse 16. “Arches.”—The marginal reading, “galleries, or porches," as understood of a covered walk with pillars, is which most interpreters seem to prefer. We are not, upon the whole, disposed to contest this preference; but is one reason adduced in support of it, from which we are obliged to withhold our assent: this is, that the arch is aparatively late invention and could not have been known to the Hebrews. Now as this reason involves the conon that no arches appeared in the public or private constructions of the Hebrews, though they abound in molern ital architecture, a question of some interest is suggested by the occurrence of the word here, which we may be cted to notice briefly, without its being necessary to show that the word is in the present instance properly used. e of the arguments that was employed against the early antiquity of the arch, was its alleged absence from the ancient architecture of the Egyptians. If therefore we can show that this impression is incorrect, and that the ancient Egyptians were acquainted with the principle of the arch and did employ it in their constructions, we ose it will no longer be contended that it was unknown to the Jews, who had so much intercourse with Egypt. ni was decidedly of opinion that he had found Egyptian arches of very remote antiquity, and gives the specimens h we have copied: but his evidence on the subject is less conclusive than that which has since been supplied by Wilkinson, in a work printed by him a few years since at Malta, and containing much curious information not rseded by that contained in his more recent publication, The Topography of Thebes.' He notices a curious imitaof an arch which he found in a fine edifice with an avenue of sphinxes, under the mountain of Qoorneh, on the an side of Thebes. “It is formed of large blocks of stone placed horizontally over each other, the upper one proig over that immediately below it, till the two upper ones meet in the centre, the inner angles being afterwards off so as to form a vault. Though this is not constructed on the principle of the arch, there is every reason to ose that the Egyptians were well acquainted with that mode of building, as they appear to have adopted it from


time immemorial in their tombs and crude brick houses, as I shall have occasion to remark presently."-The promised remark is as follows:-"An opinion, admitted by the generality of the learned world, gains force by want of contradiction, till at length it passes into fact. Such has been the case with the antiquity of the arch, which, to the surprise of every one who has attentively considered ancient remains, has been confined to the era of Augustus. Without stopping to mention one of the time of Psamaticus II., or the probability of its being employed in the houses of the Egyptians from the earliest times, owing to the small quantity of wood growing in this country, and in roofing the chambers of crude brick pyramids, I proceed to facts, which require neither argument to support nor allow prejudice to refute them. I had long felt persuaded that the greater part of the crude brick vaults in the western tombs of Thebes, were at least coeval with the 18th dynasty, but had never been fortunate enough to find proofs to support my conjecture, till chance threw in my way a tomb, vaulted in the usual manner, with an arched doorway of the same materials, stuccoed, and bearing in every part the fresco paintings and name of Amunoph I. Innumerable vaults and arches exist in Thebes, of early date, but unfortunately none with the names of kings remaining on them. The style of the paintings in the crude brick pyramids evince at once that they belong either to the end of the last mentioned or the beginning of the 17th dynasty.'

It will be observed that this discovery carries the ascertained antiquity of the arch up to 1540 B.C., that is, to the time of the earlier Hebrew judges, and 460 years prior to the commencement of Solomon's Temple. The unascertained antiquity may have been, and probably was, much higher. Not long before the ascertained date, the Hebrews were bondsmen in Egypt, and are supposed by many to have been employed in the construction of those very pyramids of crude brick to which Mr. Wilkinson alludes. As we consider that the above facts suffice to substantiate the more than probability that the arch was known to the Hebrews, we resist the inducements which the subject offers to a more extended investigation.



43. "Hooks."-It is probable that these hooks were attached to posts, and that the victims were suspended from them to be skinned and dressed for sacrifice. Thus we are informed by the Rabbinical writers, that in the slaughterplace of the second temple, to the north of the altar, there were eight pillars of stone boarded with cedar, in each of which were fixed three rows of iron hooks, one above another, and that from the higher hooks were suspended the bullocks, from the next the rams, and from the lowest the lambs, when dressed for sacrifice. A large variety of instruments were employed in the ancient sacrifices. Of knives alone there were several kinds, and some of these have a hooked shape in ancient paintings; and something of this sort might be intended here, unless the above explanation should seem preferable.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

6 And the side chambers were three, 'one over another, and 'thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which was of the house for the side chambers round about, that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the wall of the house.

7 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: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst.

8 I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits.

9 The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chamber without, was five cubits: and that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within.

place that was left was five cubits round about.

12 Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits.

10 And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the

house on every side 11 And the doors of the side chambers were toward the place that was left, one door toward the north, and another door toward the south: and the breadth of the

13 So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long; and the separate place, and the building, with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long;

14 Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits.

15 And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place which was behind it, and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side, an hundred cubits, with the inner temple, and the porches of the court;

16 The door posts, and the narrow windows, and the galleries round about on their three stories, over against the door, 'cieled with wood round about, "and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows were covered;

17 To that above the door, even unto the inner house, and without, and by all the wall round about within and without, by 'measure.

18 And it was made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces;

19 So that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about.

20 From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made, and on the wall of the temple.

21 The posts of the temple were squared, and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other.

22 The altar of wood was three cubits

high, and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof,

and the walls thereof, were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before the LORD.

23 And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors.

1 Or, entrance.
Heb. side chamber over side chamber.
Heb. it was made broader, and went round. 6 Or, several

8 Or, three and thirty times, or, foot. 4 Heb be holden. walks, or, walks with pillars. 7 Heb. cieling of wood.

Or, and the ground unto the window's. 9 Heb. measures. 10 Heb post.

24 And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door.

25 And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees, like as were made upon the walls; and

Verse 8. "A full reed of six great cubits.”—This reed of six great cubits was that with which all the measurements were taken. Compare verse 5 of the preceding chapter, where this reed is called " a measuring reed of six cubits long, by the cubit, and a hand's breadth." It has there been disputed whether the whole reed exceeded six cubits by a hand's breadth, or that each of the six cubits was a hand's breadth more than the common cubit. To us it seems that the present text decides for the latter alternative, which is that also chosen by the Targum, followed by many Jewish and Christian interpreters. The distinction of measures (and also weights, as in our own troy and avoirdupois), great and small, has existed among different nations, ancient and modern, and probably existed also among the Hebrews. That there was such a distinction among the Babylonians, among whom the prophet was a captive, is attested by Herodotus, who so gives the measurement of the walls of Babylon in such a manner as to supply a parallel illustration of some interest. "The width of the wall is fifty royal cubits, and its height two hundred cubits: the royal cubit exceeds the common cubit by three fingers' breadth." (Clio, 178.) It may not be impossible that this "royal cubit" was the very measure called the "great cubit" by the prophet.

[blocks in formation]

there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without.

26 And there were narrow windows and palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch, and upon the side chambers of the house, and thick planks.

8 For the length of the chambers that were in the utter court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits.

9 And from under these chambers was

'the entry on the east side, 'as one goeth into them from the utter court.

10 The chambers were in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, over against the separate place, and over against the building.

11 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.

12 And according to the doors of the chambers that were toward the south was a door in the head of the way, even the way directly before the wall toward the east, as one entereth into them.

[blocks in formation]

▲ Or, did eat of these. "Or, and the building consisted of the lower and the middlemost. 8 Or, from the place. Or, he that brought me. 5 Or, as he came.

« PreviousContinue »