On April 28, during the twenty-fifth year of our captivity—fourteen years after the fall of Jerusalem—the LORD took hold of me.
In a vision from God he took me to the land of Israel and set me down on a very high mountain. From there I could see toward the south what appeared to be a city.
As he brought me nearer, I saw a man whose face shone like bronze standing beside a gateway entrance. He was holding in his hand a linen measuring cord and a measuring rod.
He said to me, “Son of man, watch and listen. Pay close attention to everything I show you. You have been brought here so I can show you many things. Then you will return to the people of Israel and tell them everything you have seen.”
I could see a wall completely surrounding the Temple area. The man took a measuring rod that was 10 feet long and measured the wall, and the wall was 10 feet thick and 10 feet high.
Then he went over to the eastern gateway. He climbed the steps and measured the threshold of the gateway; it was 10 feet front to back.
There were guard alcoves on each side built into the gateway passage. Each of these alcoves was 10 feet square, with a distance between them of 8 feet along the passage wall. The gateway’s inner threshold, which led to the entry room at the inner end of the gateway passage, was 10 feet front to back.
He also measured the entry room of the gateway.
It was 14 feet across, with supporting columns 3 feet thick. This entry room was at the inner end of the gateway structure, facing toward the Temple.
There were three guard alcoves on each side of the gateway passage. Each had the same measurements, and the dividing walls separating them were also identical.
The man measured the gateway entrance, which was 17 feet wide at the opening and 22 feet wide in the gateway passage.
In front of each of the guard alcoves was a 21-inch curb. The alcoves themselves were 10 feet on each side.
Then he measured the entire width of the gateway, measuring the distance between the back walls of facing guard alcoves; this distance was 43 feet.
He measured the dividing walls all along the inside of the gateway up to the entry room of the gateway; this distance was 105 feet.
The full length of the gateway passage was 87 feet from one end to the other.
There were recessed windows that narrowed inward through the walls of the guard alcoves and their dividing walls. There were also windows in the entry room. The surfaces of the dividing walls were decorated with carved palm trees.
Then the man brought me through the gateway into the outer courtyard of the Temple. A stone pavement ran along the walls of the courtyard, and thirty rooms were built against the walls, opening onto the pavement.
This pavement flanked the gates and extended out from the walls into the courtyard the same distance as the gateway entrance. This was the lower pavement.
Then the man measured across the Temple’s outer courtyard between the outer and inner gateways; the distance was 175 feet.
The man measured the gateway on the north just like the one on the east.
Here, too, there were three guard alcoves on each side, with dividing walls and an entry room. All the measurements matched those of the east gateway. The gateway passage was 87 feet long and 43 feet wide between the back walls of facing guard alcoves.
The windows, the entry room, and the palm tree decorations were identical to those in the east gateway. There were seven steps leading up to the gateway entrance, and the entry room was at the inner end of the gateway passage.
Here on the north side, just as on the east, there was another gateway leading to the Temple’s inner courtyard directly opposite this outer gateway. The distance between the two gateways was 175 feet.
Then the man took me around to the south gateway and measured its various parts, and they were exactly the same as in the others.
It had windows along the walls as the others did, and there was an entry room where the gateway passage opened into the outer courtyard. And like the others, the gateway passage was 87 feet long and 43 feet wide between the back walls of facing guard alcoves.
This gateway also had a stairway of seven steps leading up to it, and an entry room at the inner end, and palm tree decorations along the dividing walls.
And here again, directly opposite the outer gateway, was another gateway that led into the inner courtyard. The distance between the two gateways was 175 feet.
Then the man took me to the south gateway leading into the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways.
Its guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room were the same size as those in the others. It also had windows along its walls and in the entry room. And like the others, the gateway passage was 87 feet long and 43 feet wide.
(The entry rooms of the gateways leading into the inner courtyard were 14 feet across and 43 feet wide.)
The entry room to the south gateway faced into the outer courtyard. It had palm tree decorations on its columns, and there were eight steps leading to its entrance.
Then he took me to the east gateway leading to the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways.
Its guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room were the same size as those of the others, and there were windows along the walls and in the entry room. The gateway passage measured 87 feet long and 43 feet wide.
Its entry room faced into the outer courtyard. It had palm tree decorations on its columns, and there were eight steps leading to its entrance.
Then he took me around to the north gateway leading to the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways.
The guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room of this gateway had the same measurements as in the others and the same window arrangements. The gateway passage measured 87 feet long and 43 feet wide.
Its entry room faced into the outer courtyard, and it had palm tree decorations on the columns. There were eight steps leading to its entrance.
A door led from the entry room of one of the inner gateways into a side room, where the meat for sacrifices was washed.
On each side of this entry room were two tables, where the sacrificial animals were slaughtered for the burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings.
Outside the entry room, on each side of the stairs going up to the north entrance, were two more tables.
So there were eight tables in all—four inside and four outside—where the sacrifices were cut up and prepared.
There were also four tables of finished stone for preparation of the burnt offerings, each 31 inches square and 21 inches high. On these tables were placed the butchering knives and other implements for slaughtering the sacrificial animals.
There were hooks, each 3 inches long, fastened all around the foyer walls. The sacrificial meat was laid on the tables.
Inside the inner courtyard were two rooms, one beside the north gateway, facing south, and the other beside the south gateway, facing north.
And the man said to me, “The room beside the north inner gate is for the priests who supervise the Temple maintenance.
The room beside the south inner gate is for the priests in charge of the altar—the descendants of Zadok—for they alone of all the Levites may approach the LORD to minister to him.”
Then the man measured the inner courtyard, and it was a square, 175 feet wide and 175 feet across. The altar stood in the courtyard in front of the Temple.