And there were narrow windows to the little chamber
The walls being sloped both within and without, that the light let in might be spread the more: as those "little chambers" signify the several congregated churches of Christ in the Gospel dispensation; (See Gill on Ezekiel 40:7), so these windows design the word and ordinances therein administered, which are the means of letting light into them; see ( Song of Solomon 2:9 ) ( Isaiah 44:12 ) ( 60:8 ) , in attending on these, the light of God's countenance is enjoyed, which lies in the discoveries of his love; in the manifestations of himself; in his gracious presence, and in communion with him; than which nothing is more desirable or delightful: through these ordinances Christ the sun of righteousness shines in upon his people; he looks in at these windows, and shows himself through these lattices; he is seen through the glass of the Gospel; he is held forth in the ordinance of the supper; and by means thereof the souls of God's people are enlightened, comforted, and warmed: also in this way are communicated the illuminations of the Spirit, both at first conversion, and in after discoveries of the things freely given of God; of the doctrines of the Gospel; of the blessings of grace, and of the glories of heaven. The Gospel itself is a great and glorious light; and the ministers of it are the light of the world, and of the churches; and by the light being diffused through these little chambers, the churches, those who are in them see to walk on in Christ, as they have received him, and becoming his Gospel, and their profession of it; and also see to work, not for life, justification, and salvation, but to evidence their faith, and adorn their profession; to glorify God by their shining lights, and to cause others to glorify him; and by the whole, the light of joy, peace, and comfort, is transmitted to all the inhabitants of Zion. These windows are said to be "narrow", or "shut", or "closed" F3; that is, comparatively, not absolutely, for then they would be of no use. The ordinances of the Gospel dispensation are no doubt clearer, and the light of it larger, than of the legal dispensation, but this light has been darkened by the Papacy; and though it increased at the Reformation, yet before the latter day glory will break forth it will be as a twilight, neither clear nor dark, day nor night, ( Zechariah 14:6 Zechariah 14:7 ) and though the light that then will break out will be exceeding great, as the light of the sun, and that as the light of seven days, ( Isaiah 30:26 ) , yet in comparison of the light of the New Jerusalem state, when there will be no need of the sun or moon, but the Lord will be the everlasting light of his people; and in comparison of the ultimate glory, when the saints shall see face to face; the light even of this dispensation will be like what is let in at narrow windows; see ( Revelation 21:23 Revelation 21:24 Revelation 21:25 ) ( 1 Corinthians 13:12 ) . And to their posts within the gate round about;
that is, to the posts of the doors that led into these chambers, over the lintel of them, were windows to let in light to those that were entering them, as well as were in them; and so there were to all the chambers round about the porch on one side and the other, between the two gates: and likewise to the arches;
or "porches" F4; to these doors, to which there were windows giving light to those that passed through: and the windows were round about inward;
in all the chambers within the grand porch, on the north and south: and upon each post were palm trees;
that is, on every post, column, or pillar, belonging to the chambers; and very probably on all the other before mentioned, ( Ezekiel 40:9 Ezekiel 40:10 Ezekiel 40:14 ) , these posts or pillars signify either the ministers of the Gospel; so called for their strength, being mighty in the Scriptures, able ministers of the New Testament, capable of retaining and defending the truths of the Gospel, and of bearing reproach and persecution for them, and also the infirmities of weak believers; and for their stability, being steadfast and immovable in the work and cause of Christ, and not to be taken off from it either by the frowns or flatteries of men; and for their usefulness, in supporting the cause and interest of the Redeemer, and the minds of weak Christians, as well as the glorious truths of the Gospel; and may with great propriety be called the pillar and ground of truth; see ( Proverbs 9:1 ) ( 1 Timothy 3:15 ) , yea, all true believers, and proper members of the churches of Christ, are pillars there, and such as shall never go out, ( Revelation 3:12 ) , the word F5 used has the signification of strength, as pillars should be strong; and such believers are, not in themselves, but in Christ, in his power and grace, and through his Spirit; whereby they can do all things, perform all duties, exercise all grace, and engage with all enemies. They are like pillars that stand firm and stable; grounded in the love of God; secured in election grace; settled in the everlasting covenant; laid on the sure foundation Christ, and established in the truths of the Gospel; so that they never go out of the heart of God, the hands of Christ, the family of the saints, or church of God. They are as pillars; some more useful to support in an external way the interest of religion, giving liberally to the maintenance of ministers, the relief of the poor, and the defraying of all necessary charges; and others to strive and contend for, and so maintain and preserve, the truths and ordinances of the Gospel; and others to comfort and confirm weak believers. Now on these posts or pillars were "palm trees" painted, two on each, one on one side, and one on the other, as appears from ( Ezekiel 40:26 ) , which are also an emblem of true believers in Christ; see ( Psalms 92:12 ) ( Song of Solomon 7:7 Song of Solomon 7:8 ) comparable to them for their uprightness, ( Jeremiah 10:5 ) these looking upwards to Christ by faith, and moving heavenwards in their affections and desires, and being upright in heart and life; and for their bearing pressures, and growing the more under them, as the palm tree does. Saints have many weights on them, a body of sin and death, reproaches, afflictions, and persecution; but they bear up under all, and are not left to desert the cause, they are engaged in; yea, grow the more hereby, in numbers and grace, like the children of Israel, ( Exodus 1:12 ) the force of the palm tree is in its top or head; if that is taken away it dies: Christ is the believers' head, from him they have their life, grace, strength, nourishment, and fruitfulness; could they be separated from him, all would be gone. The palm tree grows best in sunny places, is fruitful, an ever green, and lasts long: and such are the people of God; they grow most under the warm beams of divine love, and rays of the sun of righteousness; in the churches of Christ, where the Gospel is preached, and ordinances administered, which make their hearts burn within them; they are fruitful in grace and good works, retain their leaf of profession, and never perish. Once more, the palm tree is a token of joy and victory, and has been used on such occasions, ( Leviticus 23:40 ) ( John 12:12 John 12:13 ) ( Revelation 7:9 ) , and may denote the victory and joy upon it, which saints have through Christ, over sin, Satan, the world, and death.
F3 (twmja) "clausae", Montanus, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F4 (twmlal) "in vestibulis", Vatablus, Montanus, Piscator; "porticibus", Cocceius, Starckius.
F5 (lya) "fortitudo, hinc" (la) "fortis".