He measured it by the four sides
Which were equilateral, parallel to each other, each measuring five hundred reeds; which in all made up two thousand reeds, or seven thousand yards: this shows that no material building can be designed; never was an edifice of such dimensions; this seems rather to describe a city than a temple; and denotes the largeness of the Gospel church state in the latter day, when the Jews will be converted, and the fulness of the Gentiles brought in: it had a wall round about:
the same with that in ( Ezekiel 40:5 ) : five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad;
it was foursquare, as the building was, and exactly answered to that in its dimensions. The Jews say F12 the mountain of the house was five hundred cubits by five hundred; that is, a perfect square of five hundred cubits on every side, two thousand cubits in the whole compass about. Josephus F13 says the whole circuit was half a mile, every side containing the length of a two hundred and twenty yards. Now, says Doctor Lightfoot F14, if any will take up the full circuit of the wall that encompassed the holy ground, according to our English measure, it will amount to half a mile and about one hundred and sixty six yards; and whosoever will likewise measure the square of Ezekiel, ( Ezekiel 42:20 ) , will find it six times as large as this, ( Ezekiel 40:5 ) , the whole amounting to three miles and a half, and about one hundred and forty yards, a compass incomparably larger than Mount Moriah divers times over; and by this very thing is showed that that is spiritually and mystically to be understood; wherefore these measures no doubt did, as Mr. Lee F15 observes, signify the great fulness of the Gentiles, and that compass of the church in Gospel days should be marvellously extended. The use of it was, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place:
the church and the world; the world is profane, and lies in wickedness, and the men of it ought not to be admitted into the church of God, and partake of holy things in it; a difference must be made between the precious and the vile; and greater care will be taken in the latter day of the admission of members into Gospel churches, ( Isaiah 52:1 ) , (See Gill on Ezekiel 40:5).
F12 Misn. Middot, c. 2. sect. 1.
F13 Antiqu. l. 15. c. 11. sect. 3. Ed. Hudson.
F14 Prospect of the Temple, c. 2. p. 1051.
F15 Temple of Solomon portrayed p. 241.