"'Message from God, the Master: The gate of the inside courtyard on the east is to be shut on the six working days, but open on the Sabbath. It is also to be open on the New Moon.
The prince will enter through the entrance area of the gate complex and stand at the gateposts as the priests present his burnt offerings and peace offerings while he worships there on the porch. He will then leave, but the gate won't be shut until evening.
On Sabbaths and New Moons, the people are to worship before God at the outside entrance to that gate complex.
"'The prince supplies for God the burnt offering for the Sabbath - six unblemished lambs and an unblemished ram.
The grain offering to go with the ram is about five and a half gallons plus a gallon of oil, and a handful of grain for each lamb.
"'At the New Moon he is to supply a bull calf, six lambs, and a ram, all without blemish.
He will also supply five and a half gallons of grain offering and a gallon of oil for both ram and bull, and a handful of grain offering for each lamb.
"'When the prince enters, he will go through the entrance vestibule of the gate complex and leave the same way.
"'But when the people of the land come to worship God at the commanded feasts, those who enter through the north gate will exit from the south gate, and those who enter though the south gate will exit from the north gate. You don't exit the gate through which you enter, but through the opposite gate.
The prince is to be there, mingling with them, going in and out with them.
"'At the festivals and the commanded feasts, the appropriate grain offering is five and a half gallons, with a gallon of oil for the bull and ram and a handful of grain for each lamb.
"'When the prince brings a freewill offering to God, whether a burnt offering or a peace offering, the east gate is to be opened for him. He offers his burnt or peace offering the same as he does on the Sabbath. Then he leaves, and after he is out, the gate is shut.
"'Every morning you are to bring a yearling lamb unblemished for a burnt offering to God.
Also, every morning bring a grain offering of about a gallon of grain with a quart or so of oil to moisten it. Presenting this grain offering to God is standard procedure.
The lamb, the grain offering, and the oil for the burnt offering are a regular daily ritual.
"'A Message from God, the Master: If the prince deeds a gift from his inheritance to one of his sons, it stays in the family.
But if he deeds a gift from his inheritance to a servant, the servant keeps it only until the year of liberation (the Jubilee year). After that, it comes back to the prince. His inheritance is only for his sons. It stays in the family.
The prince must not take the inheritance from any of the people, dispossessing them of their land. He can give his sons only what he himself owns. None of my people are to be run off their land.'"
Then the man brought me through the north gate into the holy chambers assigned to the priests and showed me a back room to the west.
He said, "This is the kitchen where the priests will cook the guilt offering and sin offering and bake the grain offering so that they won't have to do it in the outside courtyard and endanger the unprepared people out there with The Holy."
He proceeded to take me to the outside courtyard and around to each of its four corners. In each corner I observed another court.
In each of the four corners of the outside courtyard were smaller courts sixty by forty-five feet, each the same size.
On the inside walls of the courts was a stone shelf, and beneath the shelves, hearths for cooking.
He said, "These are the kitchens where those who serve in the Temple will cook the sacrifices of the people."
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)