BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
THE INNER COURTYARD AND TEMPLE
(Rooms for the priests)
In Ezekiel 41 the plans for the post-exilic inner courtyard and Temple continues (from 40:47-49). There Ezekiel had stood in the inner courtyard and looked toward the Temple building itself. Afterwards, the angelic being brought Ezekiel into the Holy Place, the large main room of the Temple, where he measured the columns that framed the doorway. However, in verse 3 we notice that when the angelic being went into the “inner room”, the holiest of the Holy Place to measure it, he went in alone, leaving Ezekiel in the outer room. In Jewish tradition, and according to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 16), only one priest could enter the “Most Holy Place”, and then, only once a year to offer sacrifices for sin.
After measuring the 35 feet square inner room of the Holy Place, the angelic being measured the Temple wall finding it to be 10 ½ feet thick. There was a row of storage rooms for “tithe offerings” along the outside wall, each room 7 feet wide. These rooms were built in three levels, one above the other, with 30 rooms on each level, and each level being wider than the one below it. This corresponded to the narrowing of the Temple wall as it rose up higher, and probably symbolized GOD’s restricting man’s access into HIS presence until JESUS came to render us direct access to the FATHER. There was also a stairway that led from the bottom level to the top level.
In verses 12-15 we see the size of the “Temple proper”, its courtyards, and a large building situated to the west of the Temple. In verses 16-20 we see that the Holy Place, the Most Holy Place, and the foyer were all paneled with wood. All the walls were decorated with carvings of cherubim, each with two faces, and with palm tree carvings between each of the cherubim. These decorations symbolized GOD’s protection and peace (the cherubim), and GOD’s fruitfulness, and blessings (the palm trees).
These decorations are also in sharp contrast to the “witchcraft carvings” of the snakes, lizards, and detestable things that were found on the walls of “the secret room of the priests” in the old pre-exilic, defiled Temple, that GOD destroyed in Jerusalem with Nebuchadnezzar’s army in 586 B.C. (Ezekiel 8:9-10).
In Ezekiel 42, taking up at verse 1, the angelic being leads Ezekiel out of the Temple Courtyard by way of the North Gateway. Upon entering the north courtyard they came to a group of rooms that were situated against the north wall of the inner courtyard. The group of structures measured 175 feet long and 87 ½ feet wide.
One block of rooms overlooked the inner courtyard, and another block of rooms faced the outer courtyard. The two blocks of rooms were separated by a 17 ½ feet walkway that extended the entire 175 feet length of the complex, and all of the doors to the rooms faced north (the direction of GOD). There were three levels of these rooms, and each of the rooms on the upper levels were narrower than the rooms beneath them, allowing for a walkway in front of them for access. There was also two identical blocks of rooms on the south side of the inner courtyard between the Temple and the outer courtyard.
The angelic being told Ezekiel that these rooms are holy, and are there for the priests who offer up sacrifices to the LORD to eat the most holy offerings, and, to store up the grain offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings from the people (v.13). When the priests left the Holy Place, they were not allowed to go directly to the outer courtyard, or the common part of the Temple until they had, first, removed the “holy garments” that were worn during ministering. They had to put on other clothing before entering any part of the building complex that was open to the public (v.14). The total size of the area was 875 feet on both the north, and the south side, (a total of 765,625 square feet of space) with a wall continuing all the way around, separating the Holy Place from the common section of the Temple (Vs.15-20).
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website