The Gate for the Prince

44 Then he brought me (A)back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, (B)which faces east. And it was shut. And the Lord said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for (C)the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut. Only (D)the prince may sit in it (E)to eat bread before the Lord. He (F)shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way.”

Then he brought me by way of (G)the north gate to the front of the temple, and I looked, and behold, (H)the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. And (I)I fell on my face. And the Lord said to me, (J)“Son of man, mark well, (K)see with your eyes, (L)and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning (M)all the statutes of the temple of the Lord and all its laws. And mark well (N)the entrance to the temple and all the exits from the sanctuary. And say to (O)the rebellious house,[a] to the (P)house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: O house of Israel, (Q)enough of all your abominations, in (R)admitting foreigners, (S)uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, (T)profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You[b] have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations. And (U)you have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have set others to keep my charge for you in my sanctuary.

“Thus says the Lord God: (V)No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary. 10 But (W)the Levites who went far from me, going astray from me after their idols (X)when Israel went astray, (Y)shall bear their punishment.[c] 11 They shall be (Z)ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight (AA)at the gates of the temple and ministering in the temple. They shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and (AB)they shall stand before the people, to minister to them. 12 Because they ministered to them before their idols and became (AC)a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have (AD)sworn concerning them, declares the Lord God, and they shall bear their punishment. 13 They (AE)shall not come near to me, to serve me as priest, nor come near any of my holy things and the things that are most holy, but (AF)they shall bear their shame and the abominations that they have committed. 14 Yet I will appoint them to keep (AG)charge of the temple, (AH)to do all its service and all that is to be done in it.

Rules for Levitical Priests

15 “But (AI)the Levitical priests, (AJ)the sons of Zadok, who kept (AK)the charge of my sanctuary (AL)when the people of Israel went astray from me, shall come near to me (AM)to minister to me. And they shall stand before me to offer me (AN)the fat and the blood, declares the Lord God. 16 They shall enter my sanctuary, and they shall approach (AO)my table, to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge. 17 When they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall wear (AP)linen garments. They shall have nothing of wool on them, while they minister at the gates of the inner court, and within. 18 They shall have linen turbans on their heads, and linen undergarments around their waists. They shall not bind themselves with anything that causes sweat. 19 And when they go out into the outer court to the people, they shall put off the garments in which they have been ministering (AQ)and lay them in the holy chambers. And (AR)they shall put on other garments, (AS)lest they transmit holiness to the people with their garments. 20 (AT)They shall not shave their heads or (AU)let their locks grow long; they shall surely trim the hair of their heads. 21 (AV)No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court. 22 (AW)They shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman, but only virgins of the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. 23 (AX)They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and (AY)show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. 24 (AZ)In a dispute, they shall act as judges, and they shall judge it according to my judgments. They shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my appointed feasts, and (BA)they shall keep my Sabbaths holy. 25 (BB)They shall not defile themselves by going near to a dead person. However, for father or mother, for son or daughter, for brother or unmarried sister they may defile themselves. 26 (BC)After he[d] has become clean, they shall count seven days for him. 27 And on the day that he goes into the Holy Place, (BD)into the inner court, to minister in the Holy Place, (BE)he shall offer his sin offering, declares the Lord God.

28 (BF)“This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and (BG)you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession. 29 (BH)They shall eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering, and (BI)every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs. 30 (BJ)And the first of all the firstfruits of all kinds, and every offering of all kinds from all your offerings, shall belong to the priests. (BK)You shall also give to the priests the first of your dough, (BL)that a blessing may rest on your house. 31 (BM)The priests shall not eat of (BN)anything, whether bird or beast, that has died of itself or is torn by wild animals.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 44:6 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks house
  2. Ezekiel 44:7 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew They
  3. Ezekiel 44:10 Or iniquity; also verse 12
  4. Ezekiel 44:26 That is, a priest

The Priesthood Restored

44 Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east,(A) and it was shut. The Lord said to me, “This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it.(B) It is to remain shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it. The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence(C) of the Lord. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.(D)

Then the man brought me by way of the north gate(E) to the front of the temple. I looked and saw the glory of the Lord filling the temple(F) of the Lord, and I fell facedown.(G)

The Lord said to me, “Son of man, look carefully, listen closely and give attention to everything I tell you concerning all the regulations and instructions regarding the temple of the Lord. Give attention to the entrance(H) to the temple and all the exits of the sanctuary.(I) Say to rebellious Israel,(J) ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Enough of your detestable practices, people of Israel! In addition to all your other detestable practices, you brought foreigners uncircumcised in heart(K) and flesh into my sanctuary, desecrating my temple while you offered me food, fat and blood, and you broke my covenant.(L) Instead of carrying out your duty in regard to my holy things, you put others in charge of my sanctuary.(M) This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites.(N)

10 “‘The Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray(O) and who wandered from me after their idols must bear the consequences of their sin.(P) 11 They may serve in my sanctuary, having charge of the gates of the temple and serving in it; they may slaughter the burnt offerings(Q) and sacrifices for the people and stand before the people and serve them.(R) 12 But because they served them in the presence of their idols and made the people of Israel fall(S) into sin, therefore I have sworn with uplifted hand(T) that they must bear the consequences of their sin, declares the Sovereign Lord.(U) 13 They are not to come near to serve me as priests or come near any of my holy things or my most holy offerings; they must bear the shame(V) of their detestable practices.(W) 14 And I will appoint them to guard the temple for all the work that is to be done in it.(X)

15 “‘But the Levitical priests, who are descendants of Zadok(Y) and who guarded my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from me, are to come near to minister before me; they are to stand before me to offer sacrifices of fat(Z) and blood, declares the Sovereign Lord.(AA) 16 They alone are to enter my sanctuary; they alone are to come near my table(AB) to minister before me and serve me as guards.(AC)

17 “‘When they enter the gates of the inner court, they are to wear linen clothes;(AD) they must not wear any woolen garment while ministering at the gates of the inner court or inside the temple. 18 They are to wear linen turbans(AE) on their heads and linen undergarments(AF) around their waists. They must not wear anything that makes them perspire.(AG) 19 When they go out into the outer court where the people are, they are to take off the clothes they have been ministering in and are to leave them in the sacred rooms, and put on other clothes, so that the people are not consecrated(AH) through contact with their garments.(AI)

20 “‘They must not shave(AJ) their heads or let their hair grow long, but they are to keep the hair of their heads trimmed.(AK) 21 No priest is to drink wine when he enters the inner court.(AL) 22 They must not marry widows or divorced women; they may marry only virgins of Israelite descent or widows of priests.(AM) 23 They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common(AN) and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.(AO)

24 “‘In any dispute, the priests are to serve as judges(AP) and decide it according to my ordinances. They are to keep my laws and my decrees for all my appointed festivals,(AQ) and they are to keep my Sabbaths holy.(AR)

25 “‘A priest must not defile himself by going near a dead person; however, if the dead person was his father or mother, son or daughter, brother or unmarried sister, then he may defile himself.(AS) 26 After he is cleansed, he must wait seven days.(AT) 27 On the day he goes into the inner court of the sanctuary(AU) to minister in the sanctuary, he is to offer a sin offering[a](AV) for himself, declares the Sovereign Lord.

28 “‘I am to be the only inheritance(AW) the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession. 29 They will eat(AX) the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings; and everything in Israel devoted[b] to the Lord(AY) will belong to them.(AZ) 30 The best of all the firstfruits(BA) and of all your special gifts will belong to the priests. You are to give them the first portion of your ground meal(BB) so that a blessing(BC) may rest on your household.(BD) 31 The priests must not eat anything, whether bird or animal, found dead(BE) or torn by wild animals.(BF)

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 44:27 Or purification offering; also in verse 29
  2. Ezekiel 44:29 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord.

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