Ezekiel 42:4

4 Between the two blocks of rooms ran a walkway 17 feet wide. It extended the entire 175 feet of the complex, and all the doors faced north.

Ezekiel 42:4 Meaning and Commentary

Ezekiel 42:4

And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits' breadth
That is, within side, or between the two rows of chambers, there was a walk of this breadth, for those that lodged in the chambers to walk in for their pleasure and profit, and to converse with one another. Such who by these "chambers" understand places of retirement for private devotion, or the duties of the closet, which fit and prepare for public worship, as these chambers were near and in sight of the temple, so by this walk then Christian conference and conversation is intended; and shows, that the whole of religious time is not to be spent between the church and the chamber; but some part of it should be allotted for spiritual discourse, about gracious experiences, the truths of the Gospel, and the duties of religion; but as chambers design churches, this walk denotes the outward walk and conversation of the saints; which should be according to the rule of God's word, as becomes the Gospel, and worthy of the calling wherewith they are called. Starckius applies this to the decalogue or ten commandments, which is a broad way, ( Psalms 119:32 Psalms 119:96 ) and the moral law, as in the hands of Christ, is a rule of walk and conversation to believers under the Gospel: and besides, there "was a way of one cubit"; which led into the chambers, and out of them into the broad walk: this is a narrow way, as Christ is said to be, ( Matthew 7:14 ) and whoever profess faith in him, and in this way enter into a Gospel church state, and into the kingdom of heaven, must be attended with much affliction and persecution, and pass through many tribulations; and there being both a broad walk and a narrow way, and these lying near one another, and a passage from the one to the other, may denote that the churches and people of God are sometimes in prosperity, and sometimes in adversity; one while they walk at liberty, as in a large place; and at other times in great straits and difficulties: and their doors toward the north;
that is, the doors of that row of chambers nearest the temple; these opened to the north into the walk of ten cubits; though one would think that the row opposite to them, their doors must be to the south, into the broad walk between them; unless this is to be understood of the doors that opened into the way of one cubit, and were to the north in both rows; but then the way of one cubit could not in both lead into the broad walk.

Ezekiel 42:4 In-Context

2 This structure, whose entrance opened toward the north, was 175 feet long and 87 feet wide.
3 One block of rooms overlooked the 35-foot width of the inner courtyard. Another block of rooms looked out onto the pavement of the outer courtyard. The two blocks were built three levels high and stood across from each other.
4 Between the two blocks of rooms ran a walkway 17 feet wide. It extended the entire 175 feet of the complex, and all the doors faced north.
5 Each of the two upper levels of rooms was narrower than the one beneath it because the upper levels had to allow space for walkways in front of them.
6 Since there were three levels and they did not have supporting columns as in the courtyards, each of the upper levels was set back from the level beneath it.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew 10 cubits [5.3 meters].
  • [b]. As in Greek and Syriac versions, which read Its length was 100 cubits [53 meters]; Hebrew reads and a passage 1 cubit [21 inches or 53 centimeters] wide.