Very little is mentioned in the Bible about the surrounding rooms. However from Jeremiah 36:10 we know that there were rooms in the upper courtyard (i.e. the inner court) at the "entrance of the New Gate of the temple". This seems to indicate that these rooms were part of the walls enclosing the inner court.

Another clue comes from the fact that there were more than 1,300 priests and Levites in the Temple at any given time (see The Service of the Priests and the Levites). On Sabbath, that number doubled to 2,600 since the new course and the old were staying in the Temple together. These surrounding rooms provided more living space in addition to the side chambers around the Temple building.