Verse 1 – Then he brought me out into the outer court, by the way toward the north; and he brought me into the chamber which was opposite the separating courtyard, and which was opposite the building toward the north.
Verse 2 – Facing the length, which was one hundred cubits (the width was fifty cubits), was the north door.
Verse 3 – Opposite the inner court of twenty cubits, and opposite the pavement of the outer court, was gallery against gallery in the three stories.
Verse 4 – In front of the chambers, toward the inside, was a walk ten cubits wide, at a distance of one cubit; and their doors faced north.
Verse 5 – Now the upper chambers were shorter, because the galleries took away space from them more than from the lower and middle stories of the building.
Verse 6 – For they were in three stories and did not have pillars like the pillars of the courts; therefore the upper level was shortened more than the lower and middle levels from the ground up.
Verse 7 – And a wall which was outside ran parallel to the chambers, at the front of the chambers, toward the outer court; its length was fifty cubits.
Verse 8 – The length of the chambers toward the outer court was fifty cubits, whereas that facing the temple was one hundred cubits.
Verse 9 – At the lower chambers was the entrance on the east side, as one goes into them from the outer court.
The entry from these chambers to the temple-court was by a passage lying to the east fenced off by the wall. This passage is described as lying under the chambers, being on the basement, and also having access by steps to the temple court, which was raised many steps above the outer court.
Verse 10 – There were also chambers in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, opposite the separating courtyard and opposite the building.
Verse 11 – There was a wall in front of them also, and their appearance was like the chambers which were toward the north; they were as long and as wide as the others, and all there exits and entrances were according to plan.
Verse 12 – And corresponding to the doors of the chambers that were facing south, as one enters them, there was a door in front of the walk, the way directly in front of the wall toward the east.
Verse 13 – Then he said to me, “The north chambers and the south chambers, which are opposite the separating courtyard, are the holy chambers where the priests who approach the Lord shall eat the most holy offerings. There they shall lay the most holy offerings – the grain offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering – for the place is holy.
It was customary for the priests to eat a portion of the most holy offering that the Israelites offered to the Lord. The grain offering was usually offered with a burnt offering and often with the fellowship offering as well. The grain offering was a gift to the Lord that honored Him as the source of life and the lands fertility. The New Testament says that just as Old Testament believers offered grain to God, Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life offered His life to God (John 6:32-35).
Verse 14 – “When the priests enter them, they shall not go out of the holy chamber into the holy chamber into the outer court; but there they shall leave their garments in which they minister, for they are holy. They shall put on other garments; then they may approach that which is for the people.”
Approaching a holy God cannot be taken lightly. The holy garments the priests were required to wear may symbolize the importance of having a holy heart when approaching a holy God. Then the priests had to take off these garments and put on other garments before they went back out to the public.
Verse 15 – Now when he had finished measuring the inner temple, he brought me out through the gateway that faces toward the east, and measured it all around.
After the guide was finished inside the temple area, Ezekiel was brought outside to survey the temple.
Verse 16 – He measured the east side with the measuring rod, five hundred rods by the measuring rod all around.
Verse 17 – He measured the north side, five hundred rods by the measuring rod all around.
Verse 18 – He measured the south side, five hundred rods by the measuring rod.
Verse 19 – He came around to the west side and measured five hundred rods by the measuring rod.
Verse 20 – He measured it on the four sides; it had a wall all around, five hundred cubits long and five hundred wide, to separate the holy areas from the common.
Why do you think God wanted all this written down? The Israelites had made such a mess of God’s temple that the place where they were to worship only Him, they had brought in idols, had sacrificed to them, and had stood in God’s face and worshiped the sun. They had made God’s house of worship every detestable thing except what it was intended to be. God wanted the Israelites in captivity to know exactly why His presence left the temple and why it was destroyed. When He delivered them back to their land, He wanted a new temple built to His specifications, and the priests to do what they were appointed to do.
The only reason that we Christians can even approach our holy God is because of His Son’s blood that cleanses us from all unrighteousness. When we approach Him, we are covered because of what Jesus did, not us.