Ezekiel 42

Ezekiel 42 has the prophet continuing to describe the new temple with a focus on the buildings for the priests.  He has been inside the temple building, but is now led outside describing what he was shown in the rooms that were between the temple’s outer and inner areas.  There were two large buildings on the north side, wider at ground level than they were on the higher floors.  There was a path between the two buildings.  The building by the temple was twice the length of the other, and no one entered the buildings from the outer area.

There were also buildings on the south side which basically matched those on the north.  Besides serving as chambers for the priests, these buildings served as a limit for where people can go in the temple area.  Ordinary people are not to come close to the inner area, and these buildings prevent those who might think they can approach God themselves directly from making that mistake.  Only priests can enter these areas.  God provides enough rooms for all the people who will serve Him in the temple.

We get some glimpse of the purpose of the rooms.  “The priests who approach the Lord shall eat the most holy offerings”.  The priests would eat some parts of the sacrifices. These sacrifices were holy. So the priests ate them as part of their sacred duties and could not take them out of the temple.  They could not eat it in a public area either, so this was their special area where priests could eat.  It is always necessary to keep holy things separate from the ordinary.  Anything that belongs to God is special and needs to be kept apart.

The last section of this chapter has Ezekiel exiting the temple area via the east gate.  This was done so that he could get an overall view of the temple and discover that the design was perfect.  Each was was exactly the same length.  The entire area was a square.  Ezekiel saw the reason for the wall to “make a separation between the holy and the common”.  This temple design pleased God.  Every detail gave honor to Him.  The design separates the holy from unholy and there is a proper place for sacrifice and worship just as God desires.  This temple design serves the people and priests well while honoring God for who He is!

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