Ezekiel 40 - Outline of Ezekiel (Book Notes menu page)
The LORD revealed His Glory to Ezekiel, at the very beginning of this book, as He called and commissioned His prophet. Ezekiel had faithfully warned of judgment which was about to come upon the nation for their sin. He was uncompromising in uncovering the depth of sin into which God's people had fallen. He watched the Glory of the LORD depart from Jerusalem, and foretold, in detail, the devastation and dispersion of His people, which soon became facts of history. All of this was done so that the people of Israel might "know that I am the Lord GOD."
     Ezekiel went on to proclaim judgment upon Israel's enemies. That judgment has long ago fallen upon the enemies of his day... again, so that they might "know that I am the LORD."
     Still awaiting fulfillment are prophecies relating to the future Day of the LORD, when end time enemies will meet their end, and Israel will be regathered, regenerated and restored as the people of God and as the head of the nations, under their Messiah and King. These things, which are still future as these notes are being written, were the subject of chapters 33-39. That section closed with a preview of the day when Israel will be fully restored, "then shall they know that I am the LORD their God..." (39:25-29).
     The remaining chapters (ch. 40-48) provide a foreview of the Millennial Kingdom, in which the Glory of the LORD will return to dwell among His people.
1. In the five and twentieth year of our captivity,
in the beginning of the year, in the tenth [day] of the month,
in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten,
in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither.
2 In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel,
and set me upon a very high mountain,
{ie., upon} which [was] as the frame of a city on the south.
3 And he brought me thither, and, behold, [there was] a man,
whose appearance [was] like the appearance of brass,
with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.
4 And the man said unto me, Son of man,
behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears,
and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee;
for to the intent that I might shew [them] unto thee [art] thou brought hither:
declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel.
...in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was smitten...
Throughout his book, Ezekiel has referenced the passage of time, from the time of Jehoiachin's captivity, when he also was among the captives (eg., 1:1-3). At that time, Zedekiah had begun his 11 year reign which ended at the fall of Jerusalem.
     At the fifth year of Ezekiel's captivity, he had reached 30 years of age, and would have entered into priestly ministry, if circumstances had been different. Instead, the LORD had called him into service as His prophet to his people. Now, at age 50, Ezekiel was at the age of priestly retirement (eg., Num 4:3). Yet, as at the beginning, the LORD's hand came upon him to commission His prophet with a new message for His people.
     Why does Ezekiel stress that it was on this date, "in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me..."?
What is the significance of this date? There are two possibilities...
  1. Passover - The tenth day of the first month was the very day in which the Passover lamb should have been chosen.
    It would be slain, upon the fourteenth day (Ex 12:1-7). Yet, fourteen years had passed, since the destruction of the Temple. The Passover lamb would not be offered that year... nor, for many years to come. How Ezekiel's priestly heart yearned for the redemption and restoration of which the blood of the lamb spoke! To give hope to His prophet and people, during the long years of Israel's dispersion, the LORD gave him this extended vision of the Millennial Kingdom.
  2. The Day of Atonement - The phrase "in the beginning of the year" is the Hebrew phrase "Rosh Hashanah."
    There is no other biblical occurrence of this phrase. Today, Rosh Hashanah refers to the beginning of the civil new year, which occurs on the first day of the seventh month (of the religious calendar). The first day of the civil new year is the Feast of Trumpets. The Day of Atonement follows, on the tenth day of the month (Lev 23:23-27). The Feast of Tabernacles occurs on the fifteenth day (Lev 23:34). When the Millennial Kingdom is established, Israel will have received their Messiah and the remission of sins through His blood, and He will be dwelling (tabernacling) in their midst.
       It is uncertain which 'beginning of the year' is intended. However, in that future day, the significance of both will blend together, for apart from the sacrifice of the Lamb of God (Joh 1:29), there could be no Kingdom blessings.
...in the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain...
The very high mountain is the future mount of the LORD's Kingdom in Jerusalem. Dan 2:35,44-45; Isa 2:2,3; Mic 4:1
     The city itself, which was on the southern portion of this mountain, was not the focus of the vision. Rather, Ezekiel would be given a very detailed view of a Temple upon this mountain, the Millennial Temple. (In contrast, following the Millennial Kingdom, the focus of attention will be upon the eternal city which has no temple, the New Jerusalem, where the Glory of God resides with His holy people. That city belongs to the new heaven and new earth. Rev 21:1-5,10-11,22)
...behold, there was a man... like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax... and a measuring reed... he stood in the gate.
This unidentified 'man' is an angel, who will be Ezekiel's guide and instructor (cp. Zech 2:1-5). He was equipped with two instruments: a line {ie., rope} for long measurements and a reed {ie., a stalk or rod} for shorter measurements. Their units of calibration will be defined later.
...son of man... behold... hear... set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee...
Ezekiel was instructed to give careful and intense attention to the things which he was about to be shown. He would be responsible for declaring the LORD's message "to the house of Israel." The house of Israel was previously defined for us, as the twelve tribes which God has purposed to restore and re-unite, as one nation under His King (Eze 37:11,16-17,21-25).
     Therefore, on this point alone, those interpretations, which apply these chapters symbolically to the Church, are missing the 'intent' for which the vision was given.
     Let us pause to consider the above statement, before moving on. We will soon see numerous differences between this Temple and the previous Tabernacle and Temples of Israel. Many of these differences can only be explained by truths which are revealed in the New Testament, because the Millennial Temple will not exist until the return of Christ, who established the New Testament in His own blood, at His first coming. Consider the following...
Features Unique to Ezekiel's Temple
  1. No wall of partition to exclude Gentiles (compare Eph 2:14).
    The Gentiles were previously welcome in the Outer Courts, but excluded from the inner courts on pain of death.
  2. No Court of Women (compare Gal 3:28)
    This Temple has only one Outer Court and one Inner Court.)
  3. No Laver (see Ezekiel 36:24-27, John 15:3)
  4. No Table of Shewbread (see Micah 5:4, John 6:35)
  5. No Lampstand or Menorah (see Isaiah 49:6, John 8:12)
  6. No Golden Altar of Incense (Zechariah 8:20-23, John 14:6; Heb 10:19,20)
  7. No Veil (Isaiah 25:6-8, Matthew 27:51)
  8. No Ark of the Covenant (Jeremiah 3:16, Rom 8:3-4)
  9. Major Changes to the Altar: The sacrificial Altar will be approached from the East. Previous altars were all approached from the South. Now there will be stairs to the altar, not a ramp as previously. The top of the altar is now described by the Hebrew word "ariel" meaning "hearth of God" (Isaiah 29:1) or "lion of God" (Rev. 5:5).
[Adapted from a list by: John W. Schmitt, Messianic Temple Ministries, 1633 SE 38th Portland, OR 97233]
Some teach that the presence of NT truth, in the depiction of this Temple, shows that it represents the Church (1Pet 2:4-6) or the heart and body of each Christian believer (1Cor 3:16,17; 6:19; 2Cor 6:16). However, note how concisely those references state the spiritual reality of Christ dwelling within the believer by His Spirit.
     Now, compare that brevity with the detailed blueprint (complete with dimensions), which stretches over the several chapters before us. The Lord does not waste words. If He had intended the intricate details of this Temple to have symbolic meaning for Christian living, He surely would have explained the symbolism. But He has not done so. Rather, as the text indicates, in Ezekiel's vision, He has presented plans for a future physical Temple building... just as He had previously presented plans for Israel's preceding temples.
Israel's Temples (and their prophetic preparation) -
  1. The Tabernacle - Ex 26:30 -
    This portable Temple was constructed in the wilderness, during Israel's Exodus from Egypt.
    In the book of Exodus, twelve chapters are devoted to the design and construction of the Tabernacle, its furnishings, and the priestly garments. These chapters contain detailed instructions, including defined dimensions, and repeated review at several stages of construction, to ensure compliance with the pattern.
       The Glory of the LORD dwelt in the midst of Israel's camp, within the Holy of Holies, over the Mercy Seat. The features, of the Tabernacle and of the order of worship, indicated that God had provided but one way for sinful man to approach Him. The NT clearly explains the symbolism in the Tabernacle, as foreshadowing the Person and work of Christ, the Lamb of God, who died for our sins (eg., Heb 8:5; Hebrews ch. 9-10). Yet, that symbolic meaning was revealed in a physical building, over a period of many years.
       [See the separate study Christ in the Tabernacle for more. This study is also accessible through the Resource Menu.]
  2. The first Temple -
    was planned by king David, and built by Solomon, in Jerusalem (1Chronicles ch.22).
    The LORD revealed the 'pattern' of this Temple to David, who committed it to Solomon (1Chr 28:11-19). Details of the construction, including many dimensional measurements are given in 1Kings ch. 6-7. The pattern of the building, its worship, and symbolism was similar to that of the Tabernacle.
       The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
  3. The second Temple -
    was built on the site of Solomon's Temple, by the remnant of exiles who returned in the time of Ezra, from Babylon, about 70 years after the destruction of the First Temple.
    Although they had Ezekiel's writings, they apparently recognized that the Temple described in his book was for a future time.
       While they followed the pattern of the previous Temple, the builders were discouraged by the humble appearance of their structure, in comparison to the former building (Ezra 3:12; Hag 2:3). Yet, God promised that the glory of this Temple would be greater than the previous one (Hag 2:9).
       Five hundred years later, Herod the Great enlarged and enhanced the rebuilt building, though it never measured up to the splendor of Solomon's Temple. But, the Glory of the Lord entered this House, in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, at His first coming. [However, the prophecy, of Haggai 2:6-9, also looks beyond the second Temple to the Millennial Temple, which will be built and filled with God's visible Glory, after the LORD shakes the nations.]
       The second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
  4. The third Temple (the Tribulation Temple) - has not yet been built.
    Today, Jewish organizations are making plans to rebuild the Temple, on the Temple platform in Jerusalem, as soon as political circumstances allow. The prophetic measurement of this temple (in Rev 11:1,2) declares the certainty of its construction... and the compromise of the covenant which will allow it.
       Whereas their intent is to prepare this temple for the coming of Israel's Messiah, it will be the false messiah, who will arrange for its construction with his covenant, and who will occupy it during the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Dan 9:26,27, where the false messiah is 'the prince that shall come'; 2The 2:3,4).
  5. The fourth Temple (the Millennial Temple) -
    This temple awaits the establishment of the true Messiah's Millennial Kingdom.
    The certainty of the future restoration of the city of Jerusalem, when the Glory of God will again dwell in the midst of His people, was declared by its prophetic measurement (in Zech 2:1-5).
       The detailed measurements of this Temple, as revealed to Ezekiel, emphasize the certainty of its construction, and also define a new design (or, pattern) which will be appropriate for the era in which it will stand.
       According to the dimensions given, this Temple (with its surrounding buffer zone) is far too large to fit on the present Temple mount platform. However, the land will be leveled by geographical changes at the close of the Tribulation (Isa 40:4,5; Eze 38:18-22; Rev 16:17-21; Zech 14:2-10), and its borders will be re-allocated to accommodate the Temple, and for various other purposes. Eze 45:1-8; 48:8,9
       The Tabernacle and the first and second Temples foreshadowed the Person and work of Christ the Lamb of God. The present absence of a Temple declares that His sacrifice was sufficient (Hos 3:4,5; Heb 10:11-18). The Millennial Temple, which the Messiah will build, will be a memorial to what He has done (Isa 4:2-6). While entrance into His earthly Kingdom (at its inception) will be limited to those who trust in Christ, their children, born during the Kingdom age, will be sinners who "must be born again," if they are to enter the Eternal Kingdom, which follows (Isa 65:18-25; Joh 3:3-6).
       The Millennial Temple will look back to Christ's all sufficient sacrifice, to instruct these new generations concerning their own need for redemption, by the remission of their sin, through the blood of the Passover Lamb (Psa 22:27-31; 1Cor 5:7).
       The Glory of the Lord will be present, in the Millennial Temple, in the Person of Christ, the Branch of the LORD, who is both Priest and King (Zech 6:12,13).
The certainty of the Eternal Kingdom and the New Jerusalem (in which there is no Temple) are also indicated by prophetic measurements (Rev 21:15-17). The design and dimensions of the New Jerusalem are very different from those of the Millennial Temple. We will now join Ezekiel, as he is given a detailed tour of the Millennial Temple.
- The Wall and the East Gate (v.5-16)
5. And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about,
and in the man's hand a measuring reed of six cubits [long] by the cubit and an hand breadth:
so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed.
6 Then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs thereof,
and measured the threshold of the gate, [which was] one reed broad;
and the other threshold [of the gate, which was] one reed broad.
7 And [every] little chamber [was] one reed long, and one reed broad;
and between the little chambers [were] five cubits;
and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within [was] one reed.
8 He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed.
9 Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits;
and the posts thereof, two cubits; and the porch of the gate [was] inward.
10 And the little chambers of the gate eastward [were] three on this side,
and three on that side; they three [were] of one measure:
and the posts had one measure on this side and on that side.
11 And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits;
[and] the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.
12 The space also before the little chambers [was] one cubit [on this side],
and the space [was] one cubit on that side:
and the little chambers [were] six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side.
13 He measured then the gate from the roof of [one] little chamber to the roof of another:
the breadth [was] five and twenty cubits, door against door.
14 He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate.
15 And from the face of the gate of the entrance unto the face of the porch of the inner gate [were] fifty cubits.
16 And [there were] narrow windows to the little chambers,
and to their posts within the gate round about, and likewise to the arches:
and windows [were] round about inward:
and upon [each] post [were] palm trees.
...a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth...
The Egyptians and the Babylonians both had two standardized units for measuring length, a short cubit (about 18 inches) and a long or great cubit (about 21 inches). While these were precise measures, rough estimations were often referenced to the length from the tip of a man's fingers to his elbow (a short cubit), plus a handbreadth (for a long cubit). For our purposes, we will assume that one long cubit is equivalent to 1.75 feet. Thus, the man's reed was 10.5 feet long.
...he measured the breadth of the building {ie., of the wall}, one reed; and the height, one reed.
The wall was one reed (ie., 6 cubits, or, 10.5 feet) thick and one reed tall.
(Most of the other measurements will be indicated on the associated diagrams, where practical.)
...then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs thereof...
The angel begins Ezekiel's tour of the Temple, at the outer entrance of the eastern gate.
Most of the gate measurements are shown on the diagram entitled "Plan of the Temple Gates."
...he measured the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another: the breadth was five and twenty cubits...
On the diagram, this measurement is shown as the outside width of the gate structure.
...he made also posts of threescore cubits...
The word 'posts' refers to structurally strong members. These may be pillars or columns which support the roof over the gate housing. In v.9, the width (or, diameter, if the posts are cylindrical) of the 'posts' is given as 2 cubits. Here, their height of 60 cubits is equivalent to 105 feet. (The accompanying sketch, of the oblique view of the Temple, does not show the height of the gate structures to scale. All gates should be identical in all dimensions. All gate housings should be taller than they are long.)
     However, the text does not clearly state the number of posts, or their function. While there may be posts surrounding the gate structure and supporting a roof, it is possible that the posts are only at the porch end of each gate, perhaps as ornamental pillars, or perhaps supporting the 'arches' over the porch.
...and upon each post were palm trees.
The posts (of every gate) are ornamented with depictions of palm trees. The symbolic lesson will confront all who pass through these gates. At the first coming of the King, the people cut down palm branches, and shouted 'Hosanna' (Mat 21:5-11). But knowing neither who He was, nor their desperate need, they rejected Him, and became like dead branches, cut off (Rom 11:17-24). When He returns to earth the second time, Israel will be grafted back into the living root, when they recognize Him and turn to Him in true repentance and faith (Mat 23:37-39).
     Without doubt, there is symbolic significance in every detail of this Temple. We might inquire as to the significance of the number of gates, steps, chambers, and their specified dimensions. These things will be fully understood by the worshippers in that day. But where the Lord has not yet chosen to explain the symbolism, we must avoid undue speculation. However, the Lord has clearly revealed that this Temple is not the New Jerusalem, for that city has twelve gates (three on each outer wall) and twelve foundations, with clearly stated significance (Rev 21:12-16). We will soon see that this Temple has six identical gates, three on the outer wall, and three on an inner wall between the outer and inner courts.
- The Outer Court and its Chambers (v.17-19)
17 Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, [there were] chambers,
and a pavement made for the court round about:
thirty chambers [were] upon the pavement.
18 And the pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates [was] the lower pavement.
19 Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the lower gate
unto the forefront of the inner court without,
an hundred cubits eastward and northward.
The word used for 'chambers' {sometimes translated 'parlours'} refers to much larger rooms than the 'little chambers' in the gates. These chambers are arranged along the inside of the outer wall, on either side of the gates. (See the diagram of the Millennial Temple floor plan.)
- The North and South Gates of the Outer Court (v.20-27)
20 And the gate of the outward court that looked toward the north,
he measured the length thereof, and the breadth thereof.
21 And the little chambers thereof [were] three on this side and three on that side;
and the posts thereof and the arches thereof were after the measure of the first gate:
the length thereof [was] fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.
22 And their windows, and their arches, and their palm trees,
[were] after the measure of the gate that looketh toward the east;
and they went up unto it by seven steps; and the arches thereof [were] before them.
23 And the gate of the inner court [was] over against the gate toward the north, and toward the east;
and he measured from gate to gate an hundred cubits.
24 After that he brought me toward the south, and behold a gate toward the south:
and he measured the posts thereof and the arches thereof according to these measures.
25 And [there were] windows in it and in the arches thereof round about, like those windows:
the length [was] fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.
26 And [there were] seven steps to go up to it, and the arches thereof [were] before them:
and it had palm trees, one on this side, and another on that side, upon the posts thereof.
27. And [there was] a gate in the inner court toward the south:
and he measured from gate to gate toward the south an hundred cubits.
These gates are identical in size and design to the East Gate.
(See the diagram "Plan of the Temple Gates.")
The distance between the inside of each outer gate, to the face of each inner court gate is 100 cubits (175 feet).
The 875 foot (500 cubit) distance between the outside of the outer walls (as shown on the diagram), includes the length of four gates (2 inner and 2 outer), the distance from the inside of the outer gates to the face of the inner court gates (both north and south), and the width of the inner court.
- The South and East Gates of the Inner Court (v.28-34)
28 And he brought me to the inner court by the south gate:
and he measured the south gate according to these measures;
29 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof,
and the arches thereof, according to these measures:
and [there were] windows in it and in the arches thereof round about:
[it was] fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.
30 And the arches round about [were] five and twenty cubits long, and five cubits broad.
31 And the arches thereof [were] toward the utter
{ie., outer} court;
and palm trees [were] upon the posts thereof:
and the going up to it [had] eight steps.
32 And he brought me into the inner court toward the east:
and he measured the gate according to these measures.
33 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof,
[were] according to these measures:
and [there were] windows therein and in the arches thereof round about:
[it was] fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.
34 And the arches thereof [were] toward the outward court;
and palm trees [were] upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side:
and the going up to it [had] eight steps.
These gates are identical to the gates of the outer court, except that they are approached by eight steps rather than seven.
However, notice that the inner gates are oriented opposite to the outer gates. The arches, which cover the porch of each gate, all face toward the outer court (v.31,34). Thus, the porch of each gate is toward the outer court, as shown in the floorplan diagram, above.
- The North Gate of the Inner Court, and the places for slaughter (v.35-43)
35 And he brought me to the north gate, and measured [it] according to these measures;
36 The little chambers thereof, the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, and the windows to it round about:
the length [was] fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.
37 And the posts thereof [were] toward the utter court;
and palm trees [were] upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side:
and the going up to it [had] eight steps.
38 And the chambers and the entries thereof [were] by the posts of the gates,
where they washed the burnt offering.
39. And in the porch of the gate [were] two tables on this side, and two tables on that side,
to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering.
40 And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, [were] two tables;
and on the other side, which [was] at the porch of the gate, [were] two tables.
41 Four tables [were] on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate;
eight tables, whereupon they slew [their sacrifices].
42 And the four tables [were] of hewn stone for the burnt offering,
of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high:
whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice.
43 And within [were] hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about:
and upon the tables [was] the flesh of the offering.
This gate is identical to all the others, and like the other gates of the inner court, it is approached by eight steps.
There are additional features associated with this gate, notably the eight tables (four in the outer court and four in the inner court, near the gate entrances) upon which sacrificial animals will be slain. In the Tabernacle in the wilderness, sacrifices were slain north of the altar (Lev 1:11). Also, 'within' one or more designated chambers, there will be hooks for hanging the flesh of slain animals, while awaiting offering on the altar, and/or for temporary storage of the priests' portions.
     Although NT believers may question the need for animal sacrifice, this will be an important element of service in this Temple. This will be discussed further in subsequent chapters.
- The Chambers for Singers, Priests, and sons of Zadok, around the Inner Court (v.44-46)
44 And without the inner gate [were] the chambers of the singers in the inner court,
which [was] at the side of the north gate; and their prospect [was] toward the south:
one at the side of the east gate [having] the prospect toward the north.
45 And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect [is] toward the south,
[is] for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house.
46 And the chamber whose prospect [is] toward the north
[is] for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar:
these [are] the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi,
which come near to the LORD to minister unto him.
Also, near the north gate, three larger chambers {or, parlours} are designated for official participants in the Temple service.
The dimensions of these chambers are not specified.
Chambers are designated for...
  • The singers (v.44)- From the time of David, musicians were a part of Temple worship. 1Chr 6:31,32; Psa 100:2
  • The priests, who have charge of the House (these are from the tribe of Levi, v.45).
    Their function is to keep the charge {ie., guard, watch} of the house (cp. Lev 8:35; Num 18:5a). ie., They will ensure orderly conduct of visitors, efficient operation of Temple functions, and proper observance of ordinances. They will probably also make use of the little chambers in the gates, since their duties will include watching the gates (Eze 44:11,14).
  • The sons of Zadok, who will keep the charge of the altar (v.46; Lev 6:12,13; Num 18:5b).
    Their duties will involve the offering of sacrifices. The sons of Zadok, are a specific family within the tribe of Levi. They will be rewarded with the honor of this service, because of their faithfulness in times of apostasy (Eze 44:15; 48:11).
- The Inner Court and the Porch and Pillars of the House (v.20-27)
47 So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long,
and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare;
and the altar [that was] before the house.
48 And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured [each] post of the porch,
five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side:
and the breadth of the gate [was] three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side.
49 The length of the porch [was] twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits;
and [he brought me] by the steps whereby they went up to it:
and [there were] pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.
...and the altar... before the house.
The altar of sacrifice is at the very center of the Temple complex, and in the center of the inner court, immediately before the House (ie., the actual Temple building). The central location of the altar serves to focus on the historic sacrifice of the Lamb of God. In the Church Age, believer's regularly participate in the Lord's Supper, in obedience to His command: "This do in remembrance of me" (1Cor 11:24-26). In the Millennial Kingdom (which He will establish when He comes), the service in this Temple will continually call to remembrance His finished work upon the cross.
Regarding the measurements...
See the diagram of the Temple Floor Plan for the measurement of the court.
See the diagram of the Temple Proper (in the notes on ch. 41) for the measurements relative to 'the House.' (The last two verses of this chapter, are duplicated in the notes on ch. 41.)
[The diagrams of the Gates and Temple Floor Plan, above, were adapted from TBKC.]
[The original source is unknown for the oblique view of the Temple. This diagram has been edited.]

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