Then he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward the north: and he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north.Utter court - Outward court, so Ezekiel 42:3.
Into the chamber ... before the building - to the chambers (See L, Plan II)... over against etc. "The building" is the temple-building, for this row of chambers was built against eighty cubits of the wall bounding "the separate place" and twenty cubits of the wall of the temple-court.
Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door, and the breadth was fifty cubits.He brought me "before" a row of chambers 100 cubits long, east and west. "The door" of which lay on the north side of the chambers. The priests entered from the outer court (O); the breadth of this block of chambers was fifty cubits, north and south Ezekiel 42:8.
Over against the twenty cubits which were for the inner court, and over against the pavement which was for the utter court, was gallery against gallery in three stories.These "chambers" (compare Ezekiel 46:19) did not reach to the western wall; between it and them lay a court for cooking (M), probably forty cubits by thirty; such court with its approaches filled up the corner of fifty cubits square, as in the case of the kitchen-courts for the people. In these chambers were dining-rooms for the priests (see Ezekiel 42:13), and baths, for no priest could enter upon his daily ministry without having first bathed. "The chambers" extended beyond "the separate place" to the wall of the temple-court, on the other side of which wall was the twenty cubits space. The "pavement" (H) was no doubt continued along the temple-wall, so that these priests' chambers, like the thirty chambers, stood upon "a pavement," and were, on the east side, "over against this pavement."
Translate Ezekiel 42:1-3, "Then he brought me forth into the outward court, the way toward the north, and he brought me to the chambers which were over against the separate place, and which were over against the building, toward the north along the front of the length of an hundred cubits, with the door by the north, and the breadth fifty cubits over against the twenty cubits which were in the inner court, and over against the pavement which was in the outward court, gallery upon gallery in three stories."
And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north.Or, In the front "of the chambers" was a gangway "of ten cubits" breadth (leading) "inward," a path "of one cubit, and their doors toward the north." The "gangway" had stairs to the upper stories, while along the north front of the building there was a kerb of one cubit, as before the guard-chambers Ezekiel 40:12, on which kerb the north doors (leading to the basement) opened. Others follow the Septuagint "And opposite the chambers a walk 10 cubits in width to 100 cubits in length."
Now the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building.Render: "And the upper chambers were" shortened, for galleries took off from them, from "the lower" and from "the middle-most, chambers, of the building." The building rose in terraces, as was usual in Babylonian architecture, and so each of the two upper stories receded from the one below it.
For they were in three stories, but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground.The front of the higher stories was not supported on pillars, but there was a narrowing from "the lowest" (chambers) "and" from "the middlemost" (chambers) "from the ground."
And the wall that was without over against the chambers, toward the utter court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof was fifty cubits.The "wall" here must be one from north to south, fencing off from the outer court the passage along the east side of the chambers, and therefore fifty cubits long.
For the length of the chambers that were in the utter court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits.The length - From north to south.
Before the temple - This describes their position in a general way; more precisely they lay over against partly the "separate place" and partly the "temple-court" Ezekiel 42:1.
And from under these chambers was the entry on the east side, as one goeth into them from the utter court.The entry from these chambers to the temple-court was by a passage lying to the east fenced off by the "wall" Ezekiel 42:7. 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.
The chambers were in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, over against the separate place, and over against the building.Render it: Breadth-wise (was) the wall Ezekiel 42:7 toward the east; in front of the separate place and of the building (were) the chambers: i. e., on the east was "the wall" ("geder"); along the boundary wall of "the separate place" and of the "building" (the temple) lay the "chambers."
And the way before them was like the appearance of the chambers which were toward the north, as long as they, and as broad as they: and all their goings out were both according to their fashions, and according to their doors.Translate: And along the front of them - like (literally as the appearance of) the chambers which were toward the north, as long as they and as broad as they, and (like) all their goings out, and like their fashions, and like their doors, even so were the doors of the chambers which were toward the south; (with) a door at the head of the way, the way of the wall adjoined eastward as one entereth into them (the chambers).
And according to the doors of the chambers that were toward the south was a door in the head of the way, even the way directly before the wall toward the east, as one entereth into them.
Then said he unto me, The north chambers and the south chambers, which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place is holy.In Leviticus 10:13 it was prescribed that the priests should eat of the sacrifices in the "holy place." This was originally before the altar in the inner court - now separate chambers are assigned, and these become "the holy place" for this purpose. Of the "trespass-offering" and "meat-offering" what was not consumed was eaten Leviticus 7:6, but the "sin-offering" was burned without the camp Ezekiel 43:21. Probably the carcass was brought from the altar to the chamber before being carried out.
When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people.Compare Leviticus 16:23.
Those things which are for the people - namely, the outer court.
Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about.The Precincts. The temple and its courts were surrounded by an area of exact dimensions 3,000 cubits (1,500 yards) square. See Plan IV.
The inner house - The temple and its courts, all that lay within the "wall on the outside of the house Ezekiel 40:5; the gate" is the eastern gate of the outer court.
Measured it round about - The precincts, into which he had brought the seer through the eastern gate of the outer court.
He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.
He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.
He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed.
He turned about to the west side, and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed.
He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.The "sanctuary" proper is probably here the most holy place as distinguished from the rest of the temple Ezekiel 41:23; Ezekiel 45:3; but the term was capable of extension first to the whole temple, then to all the ground that was separated to "holy" as distinguished from "profane," i. e., common uses.
In the vision the courts rose on successive platforms, the outer court being raised seven steps above the precincts, the inner court eight steps above the outer, and the temple itself ten steps above the court of sacrifice.