The man led me north into the outside courtyard and brought me to the rooms that are in front of the open space and the house facing north.
The length of the house on the north was one hundred seventy-five feet, and its width eighty-seven and a half feet.
Across the thirty-five feet that separated the inside courtyard from the paved walkway at the edge of the outside courtyard, the rooms rose level by level for three stories.
In front of the rooms on the inside was a hallway seventeen and a half feet wide and one hundred seventy-five feet long. Its entrances were from the north.
The upper rooms themselves were narrower, their galleries being wider than on the first and second floors of the building.
The rooms on the third floor had no pillars like the pillars in the outside courtyard and were smaller than the rooms on the first and second floors.
There was an outside wall parallel to the rooms and the outside courtyard. It fronted the rooms for eighty-seven and a half feet.
The row of rooms facing the outside courtyard was eighty-seven and a half feet long. The row on the side nearest the Sanctuary was one hundred seventy-five feet long.
The first-floor rooms had their entrance from the east, coming in from the outside courtyard.
On the south side along the length of the courtyard's outside wall and fronting on the Temple courtyard were rooms
with a walkway in front of them. These were just like the rooms on the north - same exits and dimensions - with the main entrance from the east leading to the hallway and the doors to the rooms the same as those on the north side.
The design on the south was a mirror image of that on the north.
Then he said to me, "The north and south rooms adjacent to the open area are holy rooms where the priests who come before God eat the holy offerings. There they place the holy offerings - grain offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings. These are set-apart rooms, holy space.
After the priests have entered the Sanctuary, they must not return to the outside courtyard and mingle among the people until they change the sacred garments in which they minister and put on their regular clothes."
After he had finished measuring what was inside the Temple area, he took me out the east gate and measured it from the outside.
Using his measuring stick, he measured the east side: eight hundred seventy-five feet.
He measured the north side: eight hundred seventy-five feet.
He measured the south side: eight hundred seventy-five feet.
Last of all he went to the west side and measured it: eight hundred seventy-five feet.
He measured the wall on all four sides. Each wall was eight hundred seventy-five feet. The walls separated the holy from the ordinary.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)