Ezekiel Chapter 42
Ezekiel 42:1 “Then he brought me forth into the outer 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.”
This chamber was not included in the earlier study, because this one is at the outer court, and the others were near the Holy Place. It appears, in the vision that Ezekiel has entered inside one of the chambers. We decided before that the chambers were for the use of the priests.
Ezekiel 42:2 “Before the length of a hundred cubits [was] the north door, and the breadth [was] fifty cubits.”
This is not inside the chamber, but at the north gate. This area was 150 feet long by 75 feet wide.
Ezekiel 42:3 “Over against the twenty [cubits] which [were] for the inner court, and over against the pavement which [was] for the outer court, [was] gallery against gallery in three [stories].”
Priestly rooms are described (in verses 3-12), situated along the South, North and West walls of the sanctuary and Most Holy Place, in 3 stories. Priests eat the holy offerings and dress there.
This gallery did not connect to the inner court, but was between the inner and outer court. “Gallery” means a ledge, or an offset in a building.
Ezekiel 42:4 And before the chambers [was] a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north.
The walk in front of the chambers seems to have been 15 feet wide. Each door could have been set in 1-1/2 foot for privacy. This is like a motel with a walk in front of it.
Ezekiel 42:5 “Now the upper chambers [were] shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building.”
The second floor was set in a little from the first, and the third floor was set in a little from the second, to make them stronger.
Ezekiel 42:6 “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.”
We see the reason for them being set in for strength. There were no supporting pillars and they had to draw their strength from the wall.
Ezekiel 42:7 “And the wall that [was] without over against the chambers, toward the outer court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof [was] fifty cubits.”
This side of the chambers all together was 75 feet.
Ezekiel 42:8 “For the length of the chambers that [were] in the outer court [was] fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple [were] a hundred cubits.”
The length of the chambers, next to the outer court, was 75 feet, and the length of the chambers, nearer the temple was 150 feet.
Ezekiel 42:9 “And from under these chambers [was] the entry on the east side, as one goeth into them from the outer court.”
The way to enter these chambers seemed to be underneath, and then go up stairs to them.
Ezekiel 42:10 “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.”
These chambers were on the outer wall of the court. It appears, they were the size of the thickness of the wall.
Ezekiel 42:11 “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.”
All of the chambers were the same size. There was the 1-1/2 foot offset for these chambers, as well as the others we have read about. The walkway was in the front of them.
Ezekiel 42:12 “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.”
It appears, the walkways led to the entrance. These were the same as the others spoken of.
Ezekiel 42:13 “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.”
This is speaking of the chambers that are on the other side of this place of separation. Those close by the Holy Place, are for those priests, who share with the altar the food sacrificed there. It appears these were places, where the priests were separated out, while they were working in the temple.
The place (spoken of in verse 13), is near the Holy Place, and is included in the near surroundings of the Holy Place. It would be thought of as being part of the Holy Place, because many of the items used in the ministry will be laid there.
Ezekiel 42:14 “When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy [place] into the outer 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.”
These little chambers, we have read about that were near the place they ministered, were not to be treated like a home. They went there to put on their garments of ministry, and to prepare for their work in the temple. They left their holy garments here, when they went back away from the temple. The chambers in the outer court were more like living quarters.
The angel measured the height and thickness of the outside wall, then the outer court; next the inner court with the chambers and finally, the extent of all the temple buildings outside. Measurements of the outer wall, 500 rods each way, were approximately on mile on each of the 4 sides. Much too large for Mt. Moriah, this scheme will require changes in the topography of Jerusalem (as Zechariah predicted in 14:9-11).
Ezekiel 42:15 “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.
This gate is on the outer wall. This would be the eastern gate.
Ezekiel 42:16 “He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.”
A reed is just under 10 feet so this is almost a mile. This would be between 4500 and 5000 feet, according to how long a reed is. He measured the east wall first.
Ezekiel 42:17 “He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.”
The north is the same as the east.
Ezekiel 42:18 “He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed.”
The south side is the same measurement as the east, or the north.
Ezekiel 42:19 “He turned about to the west side, [and] measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed.”
Again, the west side is the same as the north, south and east. We see a square of 4500 to 5000 feet each way. This is an area, so large that the top of Mount Moriah would not be big enough to hold it. The area is bigger than the flat top of the mountain. Just using the 4500 foot measurement this area would have 20,250,000 square feet, or 2,250,000 square yards in it. This is a very large area.
Ezekiel 42:20 “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.”
This is an area set aside, that was to be used for God’s purposes. There was no profane thing to come within this wall of separation. A mile square is a section of land. 640 acres is a section. You can get an idea how large this is from that.
Ezekiel Chapter 42 Questions
1. The chambers were for the use of the ___________.
2. The measurements near the north door were what?
3. What does “gallery” mean?
4. How wide was the walk in front of the chambers?
5. Why was the second floor set in a little from the first floor?
6. Why did they need to strengthen them?
7. Where was the entrance to these chambers located?
8. The chambers were in the _____________ of the wall of the court.
9. Did the chambers vary in size?
10. Verse 13 calls the north chambers, and the south chambers ______.
11. Why must they be holy?
12. The chambers, that were near the place of ministry were used for what?
13. The chambers in the outer court were more like ___________ ________.
14. What was the length of each side of the large area outside the immediate temple area in reeds?
15. How many feet was this each way?
16. Using the lesser number of feet for one side, how many square feet would this area contain?
17. Why was this large area here?
18. A mile square is a ___________.
19. The flattened area of Mount __________ would not be large enough to place this large area.