Ezekiel 40

A picture of the Temple

1 The LORD touched me on the tenth (10th) day of the year. It was our twenty-fifth (25th) year in a foreign country. He took me to our city (Jerusalem). Enemies had taken the city fourteen (14) years earlier. 2 He showed me a picture of the country of Israel. I was standing on a very high mountain. Some buildings that looked like a city were there on its south side. 3 The LORD took me there. And I saw a man that looked like bronze. He was standing in the gate. The man had a thin rope and a stick in his hand to measure the ground and walls. 4 The man spoke to me. ‘Son of man’, he said, ‘Look and listen carefully to me. Remember everything that I show to you. That is why God has brought you here. Tell Israel's people everything that you see.’

The east gate to the yard

5 I saw a wall all the way round the place where the temple was. The stick in the man's hand was three (3) metres long. He measured the wall with this stick. It was three (3) metres wide and three (3) metres high.

6 Then he went to the gate on the east side. He climbed its steps and he measured the size of the entrance. It was three (3) metres deep. 7 Beyond this was a passage with three (3) rooms on each side. They were rooms for the guards. Each of these rooms was three (3) metres long and 3 (three) metres wide. The walls between the rooms were two and a half metres thick. Beyond them was a passage that was three (3) metres long. This went to a room towards the temple. 8-9 This room was four (4) metres wide. It was the nearest part of the gate to the temple. Its walls were one metre wide at the far end. 10 The rooms on each side of the passage were all the same size. So were all the walls between them.

11 Then the man measured across the passage through the gate. It was six and a half (6½) metres wide. The space between the two open gates was five (5) metres. 12 A wall half a metre high and half a metre wide was in front of each of the rooms. (The rooms were three (3) metres square.) 13 He measured the space between the back wall of one room and the back wall of the room opposite. It was twelve and a half (12½) metres long. 14 The room at the other end opened into a yard. That room measured ten (10) metres wide. 15 The gate measured twenty-five (25) metres from the outside wall to the other room's end. 16 All the rooms had windows in their outside walls. And they had windows on the walls between the rooms. Men had cut shapes of palm trees inside the passage walls.

40:16The plan of these gates was similar to the gates in Solomon's temple.

The yard outside the temple

17 The man took me through the gate into the yard. They had built thirty (30) rooms against the outside wall. Flat stones covered the space in front of them. 18 This space went all round the yard. The outside yard was lower down than the inside yard.

19 There was a gate to the inside yard. The man measured fifty (50) metres between the two gates.

The north gate

20 Then the man measured the gate on the north side of the outside yard. 21 He measured the entrance room. Then he measured the three rooms on each side of the passage and the walls between them. They measured the same as those in the east gate. The whole gate was twenty-five (25) metres long and it was twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 22 The entrance room, the windows and the palm trees were the same as those in the east gate. Seven (7) steps went up to the gate. And there was a room at the end by the yard. 23 From this gate across the yard was the gate to the inside yard. It was the same as on the east side. The man measured fifty (50) metres between the two gates.

The south gate

24 Next, the man took me to the south side, and we saw another gate there. The man measured its walls and the entrance room and they measured the same as the other walls. 25 The rooms in this gate had windows that were the same as those in the other gates. The whole gate was twenty-five (25) metres long and twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 26 Seven (7) steps went up to it. The way in was also at the end by the yard. They had cut the shapes of palm trees on the inside walls of the passage. 27 Here too, was a gate into the inside yard. The man measured fifty (50) metres between the two gates.

The south gate of the inside yard

28 The man took me through the south gate into the inside yard. He measured the gate. It was the same size as the gates in the outside wall. 29-30 The guards' rooms, entrance and inside walls were the same as those of the other gates. And its rooms had windows. It was twenty-five (25) metres long and twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 31 Its entrance room opened towards the outside yard. Men had cut shapes of palm trees. They were along the walls inside the passage.

The east gate of the inside yard

32 The man took me through the east gate into the inside yard. He measured the gate. He found that it was the same size as the other gates. 33 The guards' rooms, entrance and inside walls all measured the same as those in the other gates. They had made windows all round and in the entrance room. The whole gate was twenty-five (25) metres long and twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 34 The entrance room's door opened towards the outside yard. They had cut shapes of palm trees along the walls. They were inside the passage. Eight (8) steps went up to this gate.

The north gate of the inside yard

35 The man took me to the north gate. He measured it. He found that it was the same size as the other gates. 36 Like them, it had rooms for the guards and pictures on the inside walls. It had an entrance room with windows all round. It was twenty-five (25) metres long and twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 37 The entrance room's door opened towards the outside yard. Men had cut palm tree shapes on the walls of the passage. Eight (8) steps went up to this gate.

Buildings near the north gate

38 They had put a small building in the outside yard. It was next to the north side of the inside gate. Its door opened from the entrance room by the yard. There the priests washed the dead bodies of animals that they burnt whole as sacrifices. 39 In the entrance room they had put four (4) tables, two on each side of the room. They killed the animals for sacrifice on these tables. They burnt some of these animals whole. But they burnt other animals for sin offerings. They killed other animals as sacrifices when people had done wrong things.

40 They had put four (4) more tables outside the room by the north gate's entrance. They put two on each side of the north gate. 41 I counted eight (8) tables on which they killed animals for sacrifices. Four (4) tables were in the room and four (4) were in the yard. 42 Someone had made the tables in the room out of stone. They put the animals on them. There they would kill the animals that they burnt whole. These tables were fifty (50) centimetres high and their tops were seventy-five (75) centimetres square. They kept all the things that they used to kill the animals on these tables. 43 They had raised the edges all round each table by seven and a half (7½) centimetres. They put all the meat that they would sacrifice on these tables.

44 Then the man brought me into the inside yard. Two rooms had doors to the inside yard. One was by the north gate and its door opened towards the south. The other room was by the south gate and its door opened towards the north. 45 The man told me that one room was for the priests. That room's door opened to the south. 46 The other room's door opened to the north. The priests who worked for God at the altar used that room. All the priests belong to Zadok's family. They are the only people that the LORD lets near to work for him in his temple. All Zadok's family come from Levi's tribe.

40:46These priests had to be of the family of Zadok. In chapter 44, Ezekiel explains why God chose Zadok.

The inside yard and the temple building

47 The man measured the inside yard. It was square, fifty (50) metres long and fifty (50) metres wide. The temple was on the west side of the yard. An altar was there in front of the temple. 48 Then he took me into the entrance room of the temple. He measured the entrance. It was two and a half metres long and seven (7) metres wide. The walls were one and a half metres thick on each side. 49 Steps went up to the entrance room. This room was ten (10) metres wide and six (6) metres long. Two pillars were there, one on each side of the entrance.