GALLERY. Three terraced passageways or balconies running around the chambers in the temple of Ezekiel’s vision (Ezek.41.15-Ezek.41.16; Ezek.42.3, Ezek.42.5-Ezek.42.6). The upper two stories were shorter because of the absence of supporting pillars.
, etymology and meaning uncertain; suggested are gallery, porch, balcony portico, colonnade
). A long, narrow balcony(?).
The Heb. word occurs in Ezekiel 41:15f.; 42:3, 5 as a part of the description of the Temple that Ezekiel saw in a vision. These “galleries,” with other features, distinguished the Temple of Ezekiel’s vision from that of Solomon. Some have compared the structure of this building, apparently with terraces or recessed upper stories, with the design of the Babylonian ziggurat or stage-tower temple.
KJV also has “galleries” Song of Solomon, but this should prob. be corrected to read, “tresses, locks of hair” (cf. RSV). A different Heb. word is involved (רַ֫הַט, H8110, the meaning of which is also uncertain).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(1) (’attuq, Kethibh; ’attik, used only in Eze 41:16; 42:3,1; etymology and meaning uncertain; among the more probable suggestions are "pillar," "column," "walk with pillars," "colonnades," "passageway," "porches," "galleries" of "terraces." Cornhill suggests the substitution of kiroth, "walls," to suit the context; others, e.g. Rothstein, would omit it as a dittography or other corruption): A long narrow balcony formed either by pillars or by the receding upper stories of a building. Both kinds are described in Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple restored. They surround the three stories of side chambers around the Temple proper, and also the "building before the separate place which was at the back thereof," and the three-story structure containing rows of chambers in the outer court opposite the side-chambers of the Temple. Those around the Temple proper were apparently supported by pillars, and hence, they did not take away from the width of the 2nd-story and 3rd-story rooms (compare 41:7). On the other hand, the galleries of the outer buildings which were not supported by pillars and therefore not on top of each other, but in terraces, did take away from the upper stories more than from the lowest and middlemost: the upper chambers were shortened or "straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground."
The lower porches of the outer court were cut off from the view of those of the inner court by a low wall, but in the 3rd story, gallery looked out to gallery across the twenty cubits which belonged to the inner court and the pavement which belonged to the outer court." These "galleries," or ’attiqim, are one of the few features that distinguish the temple of Ezekiel’s vision from Solomon’s temple. The idea and perhaps the word seem to have been borrowed from the more elaborate architecture of the countries of the Exile, which must have impressed the Jews of Ezekiel’s time very strongly. The building Ezekiel would place in the outer court with its terraces is a perfect Babylonian ziggurat or stage-tower temple (compare Encyclopedia Brit, 11th edition, II, 374, c-d).
(2) (rahaT, probably "lock of hair," So 7:5; rahiT Qere, rachiT, Kethibh, probably "rafters," So 7:11; both words and also the similar word (rehaTim, Ge 30:38; Ex 2:16), translated "troughs," are probably connected with the Aramaic rehaT "to flow," "to run"): Although the King James Version uses "galleries" in So 7:5 and 1:17 margin, the context in each place clearly points to another meaning. In the former of these passages, "the king is held captive in the tresses thereof," there follows a description of the head. In the latter passage the word in question is in parallelism with qoroth batenu, "the beams of our house," and "rafters" the King James Version, or possibly "boards," is suggested.