Ezek. 42:1 Then he brought me forth into the utter 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.
Ezekiel is now taken into the outer court area on the north side of the temple complex. This appears to be focusing on the chambers in the outer court that were used to house the priests that take care of the altar.
Ezek. 42:2 Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door, and the breadth was fifty cubits.
Ezek. 42:3 Over against the twenty cubits which were for the inner court, and over against the pavement which was for the utter court, was gallery against gallery in three stories.
These chambers appear to be three stories high.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
The entry to this structure was from the north and measured 10 cubits x 1 cubit. The structure seems to narrow as it gets higher. The galleries seem to be referencing the hallways (per Webster).
Ezek. 42:7 And the wall that was without over against the chambers, toward the utter court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof was fifty cubits.
Ezek. 42:8 For the length of the chambers that were in the utter court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits.
Ezek. 42:9 And from under these chambers was the entry on the east side, as one goeth into them from the utter court.
The measurement for the building is 100 cubmits by 50 cubits. There appears to be another entry for this building from the east.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
As would be expected to maintain symmetry, the building on the south side mirrored the building on the north side. This building of chambers was for the use of the priests who take care of the “house,” the temple proper, the sons of Zadok.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 42:14 When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter 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 chambers are to provide a holy environment for the priests to partake of the “most holy things,” the meat offerings, sin offerings, and trespass offerings.
After eating, the priests were to changes clothes before leaving the building. They are to leave the clothes that they wear when eating their portion of the offerings in the chamber building.
I am reminded that the millennium is a time during which man will still have a sinful nature. God is very clear about maintaining a clear distinction between what is holy and what is not. The purpose for this temple is different than that of the previous temples. The activities at the previous temples all pointed toward the ministry of Jesus Christ. The activities of the millennial temple will be reminders of what Christ has done and emphasizing the importance of righteousness in one’s life—righteousness that can only be obtained through the provision of the Savior.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 42:16 He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.
Ezek. 42:17 He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.
Ezek. 42:18 He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed.
Ezek. 42:19 He turned about to the west side, and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed.
Ezek. 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.
Ezekiel is now taken through the east gate outside the walls that form the perimeter of the temple complex. The measurements are: 500 reeds on the east x 500 reeds on the north x 500 reeds on the south x 500 reeds on the west—a square. Reminder: A reed is over 6 cubits long.
Ezek. 40:5 And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man’s hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth….
This is a huge complex—according to the NIV commentary about 1.5 miles square. This is a reminder of the changes in topography that will exist in Israel during the kingdom age.
Point is made that these walls provide a separation from the outside world which will not yet be purified; sin will still be present.