Three weeks ago, in Lessons from Ezekiel’s Temple, Part 10C, we discovered that although we are given very little information about these little chambers in the outer courts, they serve to remind us of many important lessons. They remind us to love everyone and treat them equally, they remind us to continually be about our Father’s business of spreading the gospel and saving lost souls, and finally, they remind us of the importance of humility!
Today’s lesson takes a look at the meaning and importance of the fourth type of rooms found in Ezekiel’s temple: The side rooms of the temple.
“Then he measured the wall of the temple; it was six cubits thick, and each side room around the temple was four cubits wide. The side rooms were on three levels, one above another, thirty on each level. There were ledges all around the wall of the temple to serve as supports for the side rooms, so that the supports were not inserted into the wall of the temple. The side rooms all around the temple were wider at each successive level. The structure surrounding the temple was built in ascending stages, so that the rooms widened as one went upward. A stairway went up from the lowest floor to the top floor through the middle floor.” (Ezek 41:5-7 NIV)
All of the rooms that we have already described in this series are on the outer court walls and the wall separating the outer court from the inner court, but now we hear about another set of rooms, rooms built onto the actual wall of the temple.
We don’t know much about these rooms. We only know that there were about 90 of them, that they were three stories high, and that they got wider as you went upward.
A description of similar side rooms is also given in the building of Solomon’s temple (See 1 Kings 6:5-6), and here we get a hint as to why the rooms were built in this fashion: “He made offset ledges around the outside of the temple so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.” (1 Kings 6:6b) In other words, this construction was used because it was important that nothing be inserted directly into the temple walls.
The exact purpose of these rooms is not directly stated, either in the description of Ezekiel’s temple, or in the description of Solomon’s temple. We know that that the prophet Jeremiah used a “side room” when he invited the people of Recabite family to the temple to tempt them with wine (see Jer. 35:2), and some have suggested that these rooms were used as storehouses for the furniture and property of the temple .
So what do these numerous side rooms, built in such an odd fashion as possible storage rooms, mean to us today?
First of all, Paul warns Timothy against adding anything to the Gospel of Jesus Christ: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim 4:3-5 NIV) The careful construction of the side rooms, so as to not directly insert anything into the temple walls, can serve to remind us that we must stay riveted to the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth!
Secondly, the vast number of these rooms and the fact that they were likely used for storage can serve to reminds us that it is important for there to be plenty of room in our temple hearts for storing the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control (see Gal. 5:22). This also makes us think of store rooms for blessings: “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.'” (Mal 3:10-11 NIV)
Friends, when we give our hearts to Christ, He will fill us to our fullest. There will be no need for anything, and the side rooms of Ezekiel’s temple can serve to remind us of this truth!
Enough to ponder, but do ponder this: The side rooms remind us of two important truths: First of all, we must let nothing but the PURE GOSPEL TRUTH enter into our temple hearts, and secondly, they remind us of the richness of the life that we have in Christ!
Join us next week for another important lesson from Ezekiel’s temple: Lessons from Ezekiel’s Temple, Part 11: The Glory of the Lord!
God bless each of you as you seek to draw closer to Him!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org , with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .
 from Barnes’ Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.
(To access the entire “Lessons From Ezekiel’s Temple” mini-series, please click here.)