And every little chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad,
&c.] The length and breadth were equal, three yards and a half long and broad; a perfect square. There were several of these little chambers or apartments in this building, at each of the gates, and in other places after mentioned; of these chambers which were in the gates of the courts; as there were also others, according to Kimchi, on the wall of the mountain of the house; Lipman F24 says there is no mention made of them in the building of the second temple: these design not the hearts of particular believers, where Christ has a place, takes up his residence, and takes his rest; nor the many mansions in Christ's Father's house in heaven, where the saints shall dwell with him to all eternity; but each of the congregated churches of Christ. The fabric described in this and the following chapters intends the Gospel church state in general; and these little chambers the several particular churches which will be set up in all parts of the world, east, west, north, and south. These may be called "chambers", partly for their secrecy, ( 2 Kings 6:12 ) ( Ecclesiastes 10:20 ) here the Lord's hidden ones are, who, though well known to him, are unknown to the world; here the secrets of God's heart, of his love, grace, and covenant, are made known to his people; here Christ, whose name is secret, and the mysteries of his grace, are revealed to babes, while they are hid from the wise and prudent; and besides, the affairs of Christ's churches should be kept secret, and not published to the world: and partly for safety; see ( 1 Kings 20:30 ) ( 22:25 ) ( 2 Kings 11:2 ) ( Isaiah 26:20 ) , church fellowship, the word and ordinances, being the means of strengthening faith, and preserving from apostasy; salvation is as walls and bulwarks to them; and the roof of them, which is Christ, see ( Ezekiel 40:13 ) , secures from all inclemencies, from the wind, storms, and tempests of divine wrath; he having bore it, and delivered from it; and from the scorching heat of persecution, and from all afflictions, as well as from the temptations of Satan, so as to be hurt and destroyed by either of them: likewise they may be called chambers, because quiet resting places, as well as secret, safe, and sure ones, ( Isaiah 32:18 ) , these are the resting places of God, who has desired them, and dwells in them; and of Jesus Christ, where his rest is glorious, and where he gives spiritual rest to his people; and especially these will be such to the saints in the latter day, and great shall be the abundance of it: as also because of that communion and fellowship herein enjoyed, both among themselves, and with Father, Son, and Spirit; see ( Song of Solomon 1:4 ) , to which may be added, that here souls are begotten and born again to Christ; these are the chambers in which they are conceived and brought forth, ( Song of Solomon 3:4 ) , and these may be said to be "little" chambers, in comparison of the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which includes all the elect of God, and redeemed of the Lamb, a number which no man can number; as that is called little in comparison of the whole world, that lies in wickedness; and besides, those that dwell in these chambers are little and contemptible in the eyes of the world, as they are low and mean in their own eyes; even each less than the least of all saints: now these little chambers or churches are represented of an equal measure, denoting that they will be exactly according to the pattern of God's word; will have the same officers, the same doctrines and ordinances, and the same laws and rules; and will be of equal authority, not having one more power than another, or one over another; but entirely independent of each other: and being foursquare, as the New Jerusalem is said to be, ( Revelation 21:16 ) , may denote the perfection of them; that they will now be brought entirely to answer the rule of the word; and also the firmness and stability of them: and between the little chambers were five cubits;
not a wall five cubits thick, as the Targum; and so Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it F25; but a space of five cubits, or of two yards and a half, one foot and three inches; so that these chambers were not contiguous; but a space was left between, which made them more airy; and by which means they had more of the benefit of the light, and heat of the sun, and afforded commodious places to walk in; all which shows the churches of Christ to be separate, distinct, and independent communities; and yet may have a communication with each other; as well as they all share the advantage of the light and heat of Christ the sun of righteousness rising on them: and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one
or three yards and a half; this gate within was that which lay westward, and was nearer the temple; between which and the outer gate before mentioned was a porch, on both sides of which were little chambers; and the threshold or thresholds (one being put for both) were of the same dimensions with those of the thresholds of the other; and so point to the same things.
F24 Tzarath Beth Hamikdash, sect. 4. fol. 2. 1.
F25 So Lipman. Tzurath Beth Hamikdash, sect. 4. fol. 2. 1.