Ezekiel 40-41 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Ezekiel Sees the Future Temple in Jerusalem
40 1-2 Twenty-five years after King Jehoiachin and the rest of us had been led away as prisoners to Babylonia, and fourteen years after the Babylonians had captured Jerusalem, the Lord’s power took control of me on the tenth day of the first month.[a] The Lord showed me some visions in which I was carried to the top of a high mountain in Jerusalem. I looked to the south and saw what looked like a city full of buildings. 3 In my vision the Lord took me closer, and I saw a man who was sparkling like polished bronze. He was standing near one of the gates and was holding a tape measure in one hand and a measuring stick in the other. 4 The man said, “Ezekiel, son of man, pay close attention to everything I’m going to show you—that’s why you’ve been brought here. Listen carefully, because you must tell the people of Israel what you see.”
The East Gate
5 The first thing I saw was an outer wall that completely surrounded the temple area. The man took his measuring stick, which was ten feet long, and measured the wall; it was ten feet high and ten feet thick. 6-7 Then he went to the east gate, where he walked up steps that led to a long passageway. On each side of this passageway were three guardrooms, which were ten feet square, and they were separated by walls over eight feet thick. The man measured the distance between the opening of the gate and the first guardroom, and it was ten feet, the thickness of the outer wall.
At the far end of this passageway, I saw an entrance room that faced the courtyard of the temple itself. There was also a distance of ten feet between the last guardroom and the entrance room 8-9 at the end of the passageway. The man measured this room: It was thirteen feet from the doorway to the opposite wall, and the distance from the doorway to the wall on either side was three feet. 10 The three guardrooms on each side of the passageway were the same size, and the walls that separated them were the same thickness.
11 Next, the man measured the width of the passageway, and it was twenty-two feet, but the two doors of the gate were only sixteen feet wide.[b] 12 In front of the guardrooms, which were ten feet square, was a railing about twenty inches high and twenty inches thick. 13 The man measured the distance from the back wall[c] of one of these rooms to the same spot in the room directly across the passageway, and it was forty-two feet. 14 He measured the entrance room at the far end of the passageway, and it was thirty-four feet wide.[d] 15 Finally, he measured the total length of the passageway, from the outer wall to the entrance room, and it was eighty-five feet. 16 The three walls in the guardrooms had small windows in them, just like the ones in the entrance room.[e] The walls along the passageway were decorated with carvings of palm trees.
The Outer Courtyard
17 The man then led me through the passageway and into the outer courtyard of the temple, where I saw thirty rooms built around the outside of the courtyard.[f] These side rooms were built against the outer wall, and in front of them was a sidewalk that circled the courtyard. 18 This was known as the lower sidewalk, and it was eighty-five feet wide.
19 I saw the gates that led to the inner courtyard of the temple and noticed that they were higher than those leading to the outer courtyard. The man measured the distance between the outer and inner gates, and it was one hundred seventy feet.[g]
The North Gate
20 Next, the man measured the north gate that led to the outer courtyard. 21 This gate also had three guardrooms on each side of a passageway. The measurements of these rooms, the walls between them, and the entrance room at the far end of the passageway were exactly the same as those of the east gate. The north gate was also eighty-five feet long and forty-two feet wide, 22 and the windows, the entrance room, and the carvings of palm trees were just like those in the east gate. The entrance room also faced the courtyard of the temple and had seven steps leading up to it. 23 Directly across the outer courtyard was a gate that led to the inner courtyard, just as there was for the east gate. The man measured the distance between the outer and inner gate, and it was one hundred seventy feet.
The South Gate
24 The man then took me to the south gate. He measured the walls and the entrance room of this gate, and the measurements were exactly the same as those of the other two gates. 25 There were windows in the guardrooms of this gate and in the entrance room, just like the others, and this gate was also eighty-five feet long and forty-two feet wide. 26 Seven steps led up to the gate; the entrance room was at the far end of the passageway and faced the courtyard of the temple. Carvings of palm trees decorated the walls along the passageway. 27 And directly across the outer courtyard was a gate on the south side of the inner courtyard. The man measured the distance between the outer and inner gate, and it was also one hundred seventy feet.
The Gates Leading to the Inner Courtyard
28 We then went into the inner courtyard, through the gate on the south side of the temple. The man measured the gate, and it was the same size as the gates in the outer wall. 29-30 In fact, everything along the passageway was also the same size, including the guardrooms, the walls separating them, the entrance room at the far end, and the windows. This gate, like the others, was eighty-five feet long and forty-two feet wide. 31 The entrance room of this gate faced the outer courtyard, and carvings of palm trees decorated the walls of the passageway. Eight steps led up to this gate.
32 Next, we went through the east gate to the inner courtyard. The man measured this gate, and it was the same size as the others. 33 The guardrooms, the walls separating them, and its entrance room had the same measurements as the other gates. The guardrooms and the entrance room had windows, and the gate was eighty-five feet long and forty-two feet wide. 34 The entrance room faced the outer courtyard, and the walls in the passageway were decorated with carvings of palm trees. Eight steps also led up to this gate.
35 Then the man took me to the north gate. He measured it, and it was the same size as the others, 36 including the guardrooms, the walls separating them, and the entrance room. There were also windows in this gate. It was eighty-five feet long and forty-two feet wide, 37 and like the other inner gates, its entrance room faced the outer courtyard, and its walls were decorated with carvings of palm trees. Eight steps also led up to this gate.
The Rooms for Sacrificing Animals
38-39 Inside the entrance room of the north gate, I saw four tables, two on each side of the room, where the animals to be sacrificed were killed. Just outside[h] this room was a small building used for washing the animals before they were offered as sacrifices to please the Lord[i] or sacrifices for sin[j] or sacrifices to make things right.[k] 40 Four more tables were in the outer courtyard, two on each side of the steps leading into the entrance room. 41 So there was a total of eight tables, four inside and four outside, where the animals were killed, 42-43 and where the meat was placed until it was sacrificed on the altar.[l]
Next to the tables in the entrance room were four stone tables twenty inches high and thirty inches square; the equipment used for killing the animals was kept on top of these tables. All around the walls of this room was a three inch shelf.[m]
The Rooms Belonging to the Priests
44 The man then took me to the inner courtyard, where I saw two buildings, one beside the inner gate on the north and the other beside the inner gate on the south.[n] 45 He said, “The building beside the north gate belongs to the priests who serve in the temple, 46 and the building beside the south gate belongs to those who serve at the altar. All of them are descendants of Zadok and are the only Levites allowed to serve as the Lord’s priests.”
The Inner Courtyard and the Temple
47 Now the man measured the inner courtyard; it was one hundred seventy feet square. I also saw an altar in front of the temple.
48 We walked to the porch of the temple, and the man measured the doorway of the porch: It was twenty-four feet long,[o] eight feet wide, and the distance from the doorway to the wall on either side was five feet. 49 The porch itself was thirty-four feet by twenty[p] feet, with steps[q] leading up to it. There was a column on each side of these steps.
41 Next we went into the main room of the temple. The man measured the doorway of this room: It was ten feet wide,[r] 2 seventeen feet long, and the distance from the doorway to the wall on either side was eight feet. The main room itself was sixty-eight feet by thirty-four feet.
3-4 Then the man walked to the far end of the temple’s main room and said, “Beyond this doorway is the most holy place.” He first measured the doorway: It was three feet wide, ten feet long, and the distance from the doorway to the wall on either side was twelve feet. Then he measured the most holy place, and it was thirty-four feet square.
The Storage Rooms of the Temple
5 The man measured the wall of the temple, and it was ten feet thick. Storage rooms seven feet wide were built against the outside of the wall. 6 There were three levels of rooms, with thirty rooms on each level, and they rested on ledges that were attached to the temple walls, so that nothing was built into the walls. 7 The walls of the temple were thicker at the bottom than at the top, which meant that the storage rooms on the top level were wider than those on the bottom level.[s] Steps led from the bottom level, through the middle level, and into the top level.
8 The temple rested on a stone base ten feet high, which also served as the foundation for the storage rooms. 9 The outside walls of the storage rooms were eight feet thick; there was nothing between these walls 10 and the nearest buildings thirty-four feet away. 11 One door led into the storage rooms on the north side of the temple, and another door led to those on the south side. The stone base extended eight feet beyond the outside wall of the storage rooms.
The West Building and the Measurements of the Temple
12 I noticed another building: It faced the west end of the temple and was one hundred seventeen feet wide, one hundred fifty feet long, and had walls over eight feet thick.
13 The man measured the length of the temple, and it was one hundred seventy feet. He then measured from the back wall of the temple, across the open space behind the temple, to the back wall of the west building; it was one hundred seventy feet. 14 The distance across the front of the temple, including the open space on either side, was also one hundred seventy feet.
15 Finally, the man measured the length of the west building, including the side rooms on each end, and it was also one hundred seventy feet.
The Inside of the Temple
The inside walls of the temple’s porch and main room[t] 16 were paneled with wood all the way from the floor to the windows, while the doorways, the small windows, and the three side rooms were trimmed in wood.[u] 17 The paneling stopped just above the doorway. These walls were decorated[v] 18-20 with carvings of winged creatures and had a carving of a palm tree between the creatures. Each winged creature had two faces: A human face looking at the palm tree on one side, and a lion’s face looking at the palm tree on the other side. These designs were carved into the paneling all the way around the two rooms.
21 The doorframe to the temple’s main room was in the shape of a rectangle.
The Wooden Altar
In front of the doorway to the most holy place was something that looked like 22 a wooden altar. It was five feet high and four feet square,[w] and its corners, its base,[x] and its sides were made of wood. The man said, “This is a reminder that the Lord is constantly watching over his temple.”
The Doors in the Temple
23 Both the doorway to the main room of the temple and the doorway to the most holy place had two doors, 24 and each door had two sections that could fold open. 25 The doors to the main room were decorated with carvings of winged creatures and palm trees just like those on the walls, and there was a wooden covering over the porch just outside these doors. 26 The walls on each side of this porch had small windows and were also decorated with carvings of palm trees.
2 Peter 3 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Lord Will Return
3 My dear friends, this is the second letter I have written to encourage you to do some honest thinking. I don’t want you to forget 2 what God’s prophets said would happen. You must never forget what the holy prophets taught in the past. And you must remember what the apostles told you our Lord and Savior has commanded us to do.
3 But first you must realize that in the last days some people won’t think about anything except their own selfish desires. They will make fun of you 4 and say, “Didn’t your Lord promise to come back? Yet the first leaders have already died, and the world hasn’t changed a bit.”
5 They will say this because they want to forget that long ago the heavens and the earth were made at God’s command. The earth came out of water and was made from water. 6 Later it was destroyed by the waters of a mighty flood. 7 But God has commanded the present heavens and earth to remain until the day of judgment. Then they will be set on fire, and ungodly people will be destroyed.
8 Dear friends, don’t forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day. 9 The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.
10 The day of the Lord’s return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe.[a] Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are.[b]
11 Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live. 12 You should look forward to the day when God judges everyone, and you should try to make it come soon.[c] On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and everything else will melt in the heat. 13 But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. We are really looking forward to that!
14 My friends, while you are waiting, you should make certain that the Lord finds you pure, spotless, and living at peace. 15 Don’t forget that the Lord is patient because he wants people to be saved. This is also what our dear friend Paul said when he wrote you with the wisdom that God had given him. 16 Paul talks about these same things in all his letters, but part of what he says is hard to understand. Some ignorant and unsteady people even destroy themselves by twisting what he said. They do the same thing with other Scriptures too.
17 My dear friends, you have been warned ahead of time! So don’t let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance. 18 Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen.[d]
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