Carvings of the two-headed cherubim with palm trees (Ezek 41:17-41:20)

“On all the walls

All around

In the inner room,

As well as the nave,

There was a pattern.

It was formed

Of cherubim

With palm trees.

There was a palm tree

Between each cherub.

Every cherub had

Two faces.

A human face

Was turned

Toward the palm tree

On the one side.

The face of a young lion

Was turned

Toward the palm tree

On the other side.

They were carved

On the whole temple

All around.

From the floor

To the area

Above the door,

Cherubim

With palm trees

Were carved

On the wall.”

Ezekiel explained what he saw in the holy of holies room. There were patterned carvings of cherubim with palm trees on all the walls around the inner room and the nave. Between each cherub there was a palm tree. Every one of these cherubim had two faces, a human face and the face of a young lion. The two faces of each cherub were turned toward the two palm trees on either side of them. These wooden carvings were all around the Temple walls, from the floor to the area above the door.

Advertisements

The dimensions of eastern inner court (Ezek 40:33-40:34)

“Its recesses,

Its pilasters,

Its vestibule

Were of the same dimensions

As the others.

There were windows

All around within it,

As well as in its vestibule.

Its depth was

Fifty cubits.

Its width was

Twenty-five cubits.

Its vestibule

Faced the outer court.

Palm trees were

On its pilasters.

Its stairway

Had eight steps.”

This description of the eastern inner court is an absolute word for word description of the south inner court. The only exception was the mention of other 25 cubits by 5 cubits vestibules in the eastern inner court description. There was no mention of them here. This vestibule was 50 cubits or 80 feet long and 25 cubits wide or 40 feet wide that faced the outer court, with palm trees on its pilasters. This stairway had 8 steps also.

The southern inner court dimensions (Ezek 40:29-40:31)

“Its recesses,

Its pilasters,

Its vestibule

Were of the same size

As the others.

There were windows

All around within it,

As well as in its vestibule.

Its length was

Fifty cubits.

Its breadth was

Twenty-five cubits.

There were vestibules

All around.

They were

Twenty-five cubits deep,

Five cubits wide.

Its vestibule

Faced the outer court.

Palm trees were

On its pilasters.

Its stairway

Had eight steps.”

The inner court is somewhat similar to the outer court, since they were the same size as the others, with windows all around it. The vestibule was 50 cubits or 80 feet long and 25 cubits wide or 40 feet wide. There also was a vestibule that was 25 cubits or 40 feet deep and only 5 cubits or 8 feet wide. These vestibules faced the outer court with palm trees on its pilasters. This stairway had 8 steps, and not 7 like the others that came from the gates. Apparently, this Temple was built on different level terraces.

Measuring the gate and its surroundings (Ezek 40:12-40:16)

There was a barrier

Before the recesses,

One cubit on either side.

The recesses were

Six cubits on either side.

Then he measured the gate

From the back

Of the one recess

To the back of the other.

It was a width

Of twenty-five cubits,

From wall to wall.

He measured also the vestibule,

Twenty cubits.

The gate was

Next to the pilaster

On every side of the court.

From the front of the gate

At the entrance

To the end

Of the inner vestibule

Of the gate was

Fifty cubits.

The recesses

With their pilasters

Had windows

With shutters

On the inside

Of the gateway

All around.

The vestibules also

Had windows on the inside,

All around.

Palm trees were

On the pilasters.”

These recesses, alcoves, or rooms had a barrier on either side of 1 cubit, less than 2 feet. These open-air rooms were 6 cubits on either side of the gate, or about 10 feet. The gate was big and measured 25 cubits wide or about 40 feet wide, while the vestibule was 20 cubits, about 32 feet wide. From the gate to the inner vestibule was about 50 cubits, or 80 feet. These open-air rooms with columns had windows and shutters all around them. The vestibule also had windows on the inside all around. On top of the column pilasters were palm trees. These alcoves may have been some kind of place for guards.

 

The high priest Simon at the altar (Sir 50:11-50:15)

“When he put on

His glorious robe,

He clothed himself

In perfect splendor.

When he went up

To the holy altar,

He made the court

Of the sanctuary glorious.

When he received the portions

From the hands of the priests,

He stood by the hearth of the altar.

There was a garland

Of brothers around him.

He was

Like a young cedar on Lebanon.

They surrounded him

Like the trunks of palm trees.

All the sons of Aaron

In their splendor

Held the Lord’s offering

In their hands

Before the whole congregation of Israel.

Finishing the service at the altars,

They arranged

The offering to the Most High,

The Almighty.

He held out his hand for the cup.

He poured a drink offering

Of the blood of the grape.

He poured it out

At the foot of the altar.

It was a pleasing odor

To the Most High,

The King of all.”

Sirach explains that the high priest Simon put on his splendid glorious robe. Then he went to the holy altar in the sanctuary. He received the sacrificial gifts from the priests at the foot of the altar. He was like a Lebanon cedar tree among his brother priests who were like palm trees. All the sons of Aaron were there in their splendor as they held the Lord’s offering in their hands before the whole congregation. They arranged the offering to the Most High God, the Almighty one. Simon held out his hand and took the cup. He poured the blood of the grape drink at the foot of the altar, so that it was a pleasing odor to the King of all, the Most High God.

The righteous flourish like trees (Ps 92:12-92:15)

“The righteous flourish

Like the palm tree.

The righteous grow

Like a cedar in Lebanon.

They are planted

In the house of Yahweh.

They flourish

In the courts of our God.

They still produce fruit

In old age.

They are always green.

They are full of sap.

They show that

Yahweh is upright.

He is my rock.

There is no unrighteousness in him.”

This psalm ends with the righteous flourishing. The upstanding people flourish like palm trees or like the cedars in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of Yahweh. They flourish in God’s courtyards. Even in old age, they still produce fruit as they are green and full of sap. The growth of all these plants and trees shows the uprightness of Yahweh since there is no unrighteousness in him. Thus the faithful ones are like giant growing trees.