Ezekiel 40
Contemporary English Version

Ezekiel Sees the Future Temple in Jerusalem

1-2 Twenty-five years after King Jehoiachin and the rest of us had been led away as prisoners to Babylonia, and 14 years after the Babylonians had captured Jerusalem, the Lord's power took control of me on the tenth day of the first month.+ The Lord showed me some visions in which I was carried to the top of a high mountain in Jerusalem. I looked to the south and saw what looked like a city full of buildings. 3 In my vision the Lord took me closer, and I saw a man who was sparkling like polished bronze. He was standing near one of the gates and was holding a tape measure in one hand and a measuring stick in the other. 4The man said, “Ezekiel, son of man, pay close attention to everything I'm going to show you—that's why you've been brought here. Listen carefully, because you must tell the people of Israel what you see.”

The East Gate

5 The first thing I saw was an outer wall that completely surrounded the temple area. The man took his measuring stick, which was three meters long, and measured the wall; it was three meters high and three meters thick. 6-7Then he went to the east gate, where he walked up steps that led to a long passageway. On each side of this passageway were three guardrooms, which were three meters square, and they were separated by walls two and a half meters thick. The man measured the distance between the opening of the gate and the first guardroom, and it was three meters, the thickness of the outer wall.

At the far end of this passageway, I saw an entrance room that faced the courtyard of the temple itself. There was also a distance of three meters between the last guardroom and the entrance room 8-9at the end of the passageway. The man measured this room: It was four meters from the doorway to the opposite wall, and the distance from the doorway to the wall on either side was one meter. 10The three guardrooms on each side of the passageway were the same size, and the walls that separated them were the same thickness.

11Next, the man measured the width of the passageway, and it was six and a half meters, but the two doors of the gate were only five meters wide.+ 12In front of the guardrooms, which were three meters square, was a railing about 50 centimeters high and 50 centimeters thick. 13The man measured the distance from the back wall+ of one of these rooms to the same spot in the room directly across the passageway, and it was twelve and a half meters. 14He measured the entrance room at the far end of the passageway, and it was ten meters wide.+ 15Finally, he measured the total length of the passageway, from the outer wall to the entrance room, and it was 25 meters. 16The three walls in the guardrooms had small windows in them, just like the ones in the entrance room.+ The walls along the passageway were decorated with carvings of palm trees.

The Outer Courtyard

17The man then led me through the passageway and into the outer courtyard of the temple, where I saw 30 rooms built around the outside of the courtyard.+ These side rooms were built against the outer wall, and in front of them was a sidewalk that circled the courtyard. 18This was known as the lower sidewalk, and it was 25 meters wide.

19I saw the gates that led to the inner courtyard of the temple and noticed that they were higher than those leading to the outer courtyard. The man measured the distance between the outer and inner gates, and it was 50 meters.+

The North Gate

20Next, the man measured the north gate that led to the outer courtyard. 21This gate also had three guardrooms on each side of a passageway. The measurements of these rooms, the walls between them, and the entrance room at the far end of the passageway were exactly the same as those of the east gate. The north gate was also 25 meters long and 12.5 meters wide, 22and the windows, the entrance room, and the carvings of palm trees were just like those in the east gate. The entrance room also faced the courtyard of the temple and had seven steps leading up to it. 23Directly across the outer courtyard was a gate that led to the inner courtyard, just as there was for the east gate. The man measured the distance between the outer and inner gate, and it was 50 meters.

The South Gate

24The man then took me to the south gate. He measured the walls and the entrance room of this gate, and the measurements were exactly the same as those of the other two gates. 25There were windows in the guardrooms of this gate and in the entrance room, just like the others, and this gate was also 25 meters long and 12.5 meters wide. 26Seven steps led up to the gate; the entrance room was at the far end of the passageway and faced the courtyard of the temple. Carvings of palm trees decorated the walls along the passageway. 27And directly across the outer courtyard was a gate on the south side of the inner courtyard. The man measured the distance between the outer and inner gate, and it was also 50 meters.

The Gates Leading to the Inner Courtyard

28We then went into the inner courtyard, through the gate on the south side of the temple. The man measured the gate, and it was the same size as the gates in the outer wall. 29-30In fact, everything along the passageway was also the same size, including the guardrooms, the walls separating them, the entrance room at the far end, and the windows. This gate, like the others, was 25 meters long and 12.5 meters wide. 31The entrance room of this gate faced the outer courtyard, and carvings of palm trees decorated the walls of the passageway. Eight steps led up to this gate.

32Next, we went through the east gate to the inner courtyard. The man measured this gate, and it was the same size as the others. 33The guardrooms, the walls separating them, and its entrance room had the same measurements as the other gates. The guardrooms and the entrance room had windows, and the gate was 25 meters long and 12.5 meters wide. 34The entrance room faced the outer courtyard, and the walls in the passageway were decorated with carvings of palm trees. Eight steps also led up to this gate.

35Then the man took me to the north gate. He measured it, and it was the same size as the others, 36including the guardrooms, the walls separating them, and the entrance room. There were also windows in this gate. It was 25 meters long and 12.5 meters wide, 37and like the other inner gates, its entrance room faced the outer courtyard, and its walls were decorated with carvings of palm trees. Eight steps also led up to this gate.

The Rooms for Sacrificing Animals

38-39Inside the entrance room of the north gate, I saw four tables, two on each side of the room, where the animals to be sacrificed were killed. Just outside+ this room was a small building used for washing the animals before they were offered as sacrifices to please the Lord+ or sacrifices for sin+ or sacrifices to make things right.+ 40Four more tables were in the outer courtyard, two on each side of the steps leading into the entrance room. 41So there was a total of eight tables, four inside and four outside, where the animals were killed, 42-43and where the meat was placed until it was sacrificed on the altar.+

Next to the tables in the entrance room were four stone tables 50 centimeters high and 75 centimeters square; the equipment used for killing the animals was kept on top of these tables. All around the walls of this room was a 75-millimeter shelf.+

The Rooms Belonging to the Priests

44The man then took me to the inner courtyard, where I saw two buildings, one beside the inner gate on the north and the other beside the inner gate on the south.+ 45He said, “The building beside the north gate belongs to the priests who serve in the temple, 46and the building beside the south gate belongs to those who serve at the altar. All of them are descendants of Zadok and are the only Levites allowed to serve as the Lord's priests.”

The Inner Courtyard and the Temple

47Now the man measured the inner courtyard; it was 50 meters square. I also saw an altar in front of the temple.

48We walked to the porch of the temple, and the man measured the doorway of the porch: It was seven meters long,+ two and a half meters wide, and the distance from the doorway to the wall on either side was one and a half meters. 49The porch itself was ten meters by six+ meters, with steps+ leading up to it. There was a column on each side of these steps.




Footnotes:

40.1,2 Twenty-five years … first month: Probably March of 573 b.c.
40.11 the width of the passageway … six and a half meters … the two doors of the gate … five meters wide: The doors themselves probably were hung on stone sockets, which could explain the two meters difference in width between the passageway and the doors.
40.13 back wall: One ancient translation; Hebrew “roof.”
40.14 wide: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.
40.16 just like the ones in the entrance room: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
40.17 30 rooms built around the outside of the courtyard: These were probably used by worshipers as places to meet and share sacrificial meals (see, for example, Jeremiah 35.2).
40.19 meters: The Hebrew text adds “the east and the north.”
40.38,39 Just outside: Or “Inside.”
40.38,39 sacrifices to please the Lord: These sacrifices have traditionally been called “whole burnt offerings” because the whole animal was burned on the altar. A main purpose of such sacrifices was to please the Lord with the smell of the sacrifice, and so in the CEV they are often called “sacrifices to please the Lord.”
40.38,39 sacrifices for sin: See Leviticus 4.1,2; 6.24-30.
40.38,39 sacrifices to make things right: See Leviticus 5.14-19; 7.1-10.
40.42,43 where the meat … altar: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
40.42,43 was a 75-millimeter shelf: Or “were 75-millimeter pegs.”
40.44 south: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 44.
40.48 seven meters long: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text of this verse.
40.49 six: One ancient translation; Hebrew “five and a half.”
40.49 steps: Hebrew; one ancient translation “ten steps.”


Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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