Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 229

Bible text(s)

Ezekiel is Taken to Jerusalem

1It was the tenth day of the new year, which was the 25th year after we had been taken into exile and the fourteenth year after Jerusalem was captured. On that day I felt the powerful presence of the LORD, and he carried me away. 2In a vision God took me to the land of Israel and put me on a high mountain. I saw in front of me a group of buildings that looked like a city. 3He took me closer, and I saw a man who shone like bronze. He was holding a linen tape measure and a measuring rod and was standing by a gateway.

4He said to me, “Watch, mortal man. Listen carefully and pay close attention to everything I show you, because this is why you were brought here. You are to tell the people of Israel everything you see.”

The East Gate

5What I saw was the Temple, and there was a wall round it. The man took his measuring rod, which was three metres long, and measured the wall. It was three metres high and three metres thick. 6Then he went to the gateway that faced east. He went up the steps, and at the top he measured the entrance; it was three metres deep. 7Beyond it there was a passage, which had three guardrooms on each side. Each of the rooms was square, three metres on each side, and the walls between them were 2.5 metres thick. Beyond the guardrooms there was a passage three metres long that led to an entrance room which faced the Temple. 10(These guardrooms on each side of the passage were all the same size, and the walls between them were all of the same thickness.)

11Next, the man measured the width of the passage in the gateway. It was 6.5 metres altogether, and the space between the open gates was five metres. 12In front of each of the guardrooms there was a low wall fifty centimetres high and fifty centimetres thick. (The rooms were three metres square.) 13Then he measured the distance from the back wall of one room to the back wall of the room across the passage from it, and it was 12.5 metres. 14The room at the far end led out to a courtyard. He measured that room and found it was ten metres wide. 15The total length of the gateway from the outside wall of the gate to the far side of the last room was 25 metres. 16There were small openings in the outside walls of all the rooms and also in the inner walls between the rooms. There were palm trees carved on the inner walls that faced the passage.

The Outer Courtyard

17The man took me through the gateway into the courtyard. There were thirty rooms built against the outer wall, and in front of them there was an area paved with stones, 18which extended round the courtyard. This outer courtyard was at a lower level than the inner courtyard.

19There was a gateway at a higher level that led to the inner courtyard. The man measured the distance between the two gateways, and it was fifty metres.

The North Gate

20Then the man measured the gateway on the north side that led into the outer courtyard. 21The three guardrooms on each side of the passage, the walls between them, and the entrance room all had the same measurements as those in the east gateway. The total length of the gateway was 25 metres and the width 12.5 metres. 22The entrance room, the windows, and the carved palm trees were like those in the east gate. Here seven steps led up to the gate, and the entrance room was at the end facing the courtyard. 23Across the courtyard from this north gateway was another gateway leading to the inner courtyard, just as there was on the east side. The man measured the distance between these two gateways, and it was fifty metres.

The South Gate

24Next, the man took me to the south side, and there we saw another gateway. He measured its inner walls and its entrance room, and they were the same as the others. 25There were windows in the rooms of this gateway just as in the others. The total length of the gateway was 25 metres, and the width 12.5 metres. 26Seven steps led up to it, and its entrance room was also at the end facing the courtyard. There were palm trees carved on the inner walls that faced the passage. 27Here, too, there was a gateway leading to the inner courtyard. The man measured the distance to this second gateway, and it was fifty metres.

The Inner Courtyard: the South Gate

28The man took me through the south gateway into the inner courtyard. He measured the gateway, and it was the same size as the gateways in the outer wall. 31Its entrance room faced the other courtyard, and palm trees were carved on the walls along the passage. Eight steps led up to this gate.

The Inner Courtyard: the East Gate

32The man took me through the east gateway into the inner courtyard. He measured the gateway, and it was the same size as the others. 33Its guardrooms, its entrance room, and its inner walls measured the same as those in the other gateways. There were windows all round, and in the entrance room also. The total length was 25 metres and the width 12.5 metres. 34The entrance room faced the outer courtyard. Palm trees were carved on the walls along the passage. Eight steps led up to this gate.

The Inner Courtyard: the North Gate

35Then the man took me to the north gateway. He measured it, and it was the same size as the others. 36Like them, it also had guardrooms, decorated inner walls, an entrance room, and windows all round. Its total length was 25 metres and its width 12.5 metres. 37The entrance room faced the outer courtyard. Palm trees were carved on the walls along the passage. Eight steps led up to this gate.

Buildings near the North Gate

38In the outer courtyard there was an annexe attached to the inner gateway on the north side. It opened into the entrance room that faced the courtyard, and there they washed the carcasses of the animals to be burnt whole as sacrifices. 39In this entrance room there were four tables, two on each side of the room. It was on these tables that they killed the animals to be offered as sacrifices, either to be burnt whole or to be sacrifices for sin or as repayment offerings. 40Outside the room there were four similar tables, two on either side of the entrance of the north gate. 41Altogether there were eight tables on which the animals to be sacrificed were killed: four inside the room and four out in the courtyard. 42The four tables in the annexe, used to prepare the offerings to be burnt whole, were of cut stone. They were fifty centimetres high, and their tops were 75 centimetres square. All the equipment used in killing the sacrificial animals was kept on these tables. 43Ledges 25 millimetres wide ran round the edge of the tables. All the meat to be offered in sacrifice was placed on the tables.

44Then he brought me into the inner courtyard. There were two rooms opening on the inner courtyard, one facing south beside the north gateway and the other facing north beside the south gateway. 45The man told me that the room which faced south was for the priests who served in the Temple, 46and the room which faced north was for the priests who served at the altar. All the priests are descended from Zadok; they are the only members of the tribe of Levi who are permitted to go into the LORD's presence to serve him.

The Inner Courtyard and the Temple Building

47The man measured the inner courtyard, and it was fifty metres square. The Temple was on the west side, and in front of it was an altar. 48Then he took me into the entrance room of the Temple. He measured the entrance: it was 2.5 metres deep and seven metres wide, with walls 1.5 metres thick on either side. 49Steps led up to the entrance room, which was ten metres wide and six metres deep. There were two columns, one on each side of the entrance.

1Next, the man took me into the central room, the Holy Place. He measured the passage leading into it: it was three metres deep 2and five metres wide, with walls 2.5 metres thick on either side. He measured the room itself: it was twenty metres long, and ten metres wide.

3Then he went to the innermost room. He measured the passage leading into it: it was one metre deep and three metres wide, with walls on either side 3.5 metres thick. 4He measured the room itself, and it was ten metres square. This room was beyond the central room. Then he said to me, “This is the Most Holy Place.”

The Rooms Built against the Temple Walls

5The man measured the thickness of the inner wall of the temple building, and it was three metres. Against this wall, all round the Temple, was a series of small rooms two metres wide. 6These rooms were in three storeys, with thirty rooms on each floor. The Temple's outer wall on each floor was thinner than on the floor below, so that the rooms could rest on the wall without being anchored into it. 7And so the temple walls, when seen from the outside, seemed to have the same thickness all the way to the top. Against the Temple's outer wall, on the outside of the rooms, two wide stairways were built, so that it was possible to go from the lower storey to the middle and the upper storeys. 8-11The outside wall of these rooms was 2.5 metres thick; there was one door into the rooms on the north side of the Temple, and one into those on the south side. I saw that there was a terrace 2.5 metres wide all round the Temple; it was three metres above the ground and it was level with the foundation of the rooms by the temple walls. Between the terrace and the buildings used by the priests there was an open space ten metres across, along the sides of the Temple.

The Building on the West

12At the far end of the open space on the west side of the Temple there was a building 45 metres long and 35 metres wide; its walls were 2.5 metres thick all round.

The Total Measurements of the Temple Building

13The man measured the outside of the Temple, and it was fifty metres long. And from the back of the Temple, across the open space to the far side of the building to the west, the distance was also fifty metres. 14The distance across the front of the Temple, including the open space on either side, was also fifty metres. 15He measured the length of the building to the west, including its corridors on both sides, and it was also fifty metres.

Details of the Temple Building

The entrance room of the Temple, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place 16were all panelled with wood from the floor to the windows. These windows could be covered. 17The inside walls of the Temple, up as high as above the doors, were completely covered with carvings 18of palm trees and winged creatures. Palm trees alternated with creatures, one following the other, all the way round the room. Each creature had two faces: 19a human face that was turned towards the palm tree on one side, and a lion's face that was turned towards the tree on the other side. It was like this all round the wall, 20from the floor to above the doors. 21The doorposts of the Holy Place were square.

The Wooden Altar

In front of the entrance of the Most Holy Place there was something that looked like 22a wooden altar. It was 1.5 metres high and one metre wide. Its cornerposts, its base, and its sides were all made of wood. The man said to me, “This is the table which stands in the presence of the LORD.”

The Doors

23There was a door at the end of the passage leading to the Holy Place and one also at the end of the passage leading to the Most Holy Place. 24They were double doors that swung open in the middle. 25There were palm trees and winged creatures carved on the doors of the Holy Place, just as there were on the walls. And there was a wooden covering over the outside of the doorway of the entrance room. 26At the sides of this room there were windows, and the walls were decorated with palm trees.

Two Buildings near the Temple

1Then the man took me into the outer courtyard and led me to a building on the north side of the Temple, not far from the building at the west end of the Temple. 2This building was fifty metres long and 25 metres wide. 3On one side it faced the space ten metres wide which was alongside the Temple, and on the other side it faced the pavement of the outer court. It was built on three levels, each one set further back than the one below it. 4Along the north side of this building was a passage five metres wide and fifty metres long, with entrances on that side. 5The rooms at the upper level of the building were narrower than those at the middle and lower levels because they were set further back. 6The rooms at all three levels were on terraces and were not supported by columns like the other buildings in the courtyard.

11In front of the rooms there was a passage just like the one on the north side. It had the same measurements, the same design, and the same kind of entrances. 12There was a door under the rooms on the south side of the building, at the east end where the wall began.

13The man said to me, “Both these buildings are holy. In them the priests who enter the LORD's presence eat the holiest offerings. Because the rooms are holy, the priests will place the holiest offerings there: the grain offerings and the sacrifices offered for sin or as repayment offerings. 14When priests have been in the Temple and want to go to the outer courtyard, they must leave in these rooms the holy clothing they wore while serving the LORD. They must put on other clothes before going out to the area where the people gather.”

The Measurements of the Temple Area

15When the man had finished measuring inside the temple area, he took me out through the east gate and then measured the outside of the area. 16He took the measuring rod and measured the east side, and it was 250 metres. 20so that the wall enclosed a square 250 metres on each side. The wall served to separate what was holy from what was not.

Ezekiel 40:1-42:20GNBOpen in Bible reader
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