Rooms for the Priests 42 1Then the man led me out of the Temple courtyard by way of the north gateway. We entered the outer courtyard and came to a group of rooms against the north wall of the inner courtyard. 2This structure, whose entrance opened toward the north, was 175 feet long and 87½ feet wide.[I] 3One block of rooms overlooked the 35-foot[J] width of the inner courtyard. Another block of rooms looked out onto the pavement of the outer courtyard. The two blocks were built three levels high and stood across from each other. 4Between the two blocks of rooms ran a walkway 17½ feet[K] wide. It extended the entire 175 feet[L] of the complex, and all the doors faced north. 5Each of the two upper levels of rooms was narrower than the one beneath it because the upper levels had to allow space for walkways in front of them. 6Since there were three levels and they did not have supporting columns as in the courtyards, each of the upper levels was set back from the level beneath it. 7There was an outer wall that separated the rooms from the outer courtyard; it was 87½ feet[M] long. 8This wall added length to the outer block of rooms, which extended for only 87½ feet, while the inner block–the rooms toward the Temple–extended for 175 feet. 9There was an eastern entrance from the outer courtyard to these rooms. 10On the south[N] side of the Temple there were two blocks of rooms just south of the inner courtyard between the Temple and the outer courtyard. These rooms were arranged just like the rooms on the north. 11There was a walkway between the two blocks of rooms just like the complex on the north side of the Temple. This complex of rooms was the same length and width as the other one, and it had the same entrances and doors. The dimensions of each were identical. 12So there was an entrance in the wall facing the doors of the inner block of rooms, and another on the east at the end of the interior walkway. 13Then the man told me, “These rooms that overlook the Temple from the north and south are holy. Here the priests who offer sacrifices to the Lord will eat the most holy offerings. And because these rooms are holy, they will be used to store the sacred offerings–the grain offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings. 14When the priests leave the sanctuary, they must not go directly to the outer courtyard. They must first take off the clothes they wore while ministering, because these clothes are holy. They must put on other clothes before entering the parts of the building complex open to the public.” 15When the man had finished measuring the inside of the Temple area, he led me out through the east gateway to measure the entire perimeter. 16He measured the east side with his measuring rod, and it was 875 feet long.[O] 17Then he measured the north side, and it was also 875 feet. 18The south side was also 875 feet, 19and the west side was also 875 feet. 20So the area was 875 feet on each side with a wall all around it to separate what was holy from what was common.
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