The Sacred Rooms for the Priests
1-2 After the man and I left the temple and walked back to the outer courtyard, he showed me a set of rooms on the north side of the west building. This set of rooms was 50 meters long and 25 meters wide. 3 On one side of them was the 10 meters of open space that ran alongside the temple, and on the other side was the sidewalk that circled the outer courtyard. The rooms were arranged in three levels 4 with doors that opened toward the north, and in front of them was a walkway five meters wide and 50 meters long. 5 The rooms on the top level were narrower than those on the middle level, and the rooms on the middle level were narrower than those on the bottom level. 6 The rooms on the bottom level supported those on the two upper levels, and so these rooms did not have columns like other buildings in the courtyard. 7-8 To the north was a privacy wall 25 meters long, 9-10 and at the east end of this wall was the door leading from the courtyard to these rooms.
There was also a set of rooms on the south side of the west building. 11 These rooms were exactly like those on the north side, and they also had a walkway in front of them. 12 The door to these rooms was at the east end of the wall that stood in front of them.
13 The man then said to me:
These rooms on the north and south sides of the temple are the sacred rooms where the Lord's priests will eat the most holy offerings. These offerings include the grain sacrifices, the sacrifices for sin, and the sacrifices to make things right. 14 When the priests are ready to leave the temple, they must go through these rooms before they return to the outer courtyard. They must leave their sacred clothes in these rooms and put on regular clothes before going anywhere near other people.
The Size of the Temple Area
15 After the man had finished measuring the buildings inside the temple area, he took me back through the east gate and measured the wall around this area. 16 He used his measuring stick to measure the east side of this wall; it was 250 meters long. 17-19 Then he measured the north side, the south side, and the west side of the wall, and they were each 250 meters long, 20 and so the temple area was a perfect square. The wall around this area separated what was sacred from what was ordinary.