Ezekiel 44
The Prince, the Levites, and the Priests Described
1And he brought me back by the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary that is facing east, and it was shut. 2And Yahweh said to me, “This gate will be shut. It shall not be opened, and no one#Literally “and a man not” will go through it, for Yahweh, the God of Israel, has entered it, and it will be shut. 3The prince, he may sit in it to eat food before#Literally “to the face of” Yahweh; he will come from the way#Or “direction” of the portico of the gate and by means of its way he will also go out.”
4Then he brought me by the way of the gate of the north to the front of the temple,#Or “house” and I looked,#Or “saw” and look! The glory of Yahweh filled the temple#Or “house” of Yahweh, and I fell on my face. 5And Yahweh said, “Son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” set your heart#Or “pay close attention” or “listen closely” and look with your eyes and with your ears hear everything#Literally “all of which/what” I am saying to you concerning all the statutes of the temple#Or “house” of Yahweh and concerning all its laws,#According to the reading tradition (Qere); cf. BHS and you must listen with your heart concerning the entrance of the temple#Or “house” with all of the exits of the sanctuary. 6And you must say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Enough for you, house of Israel, of#Or “from” all of your detestable things! 7At#Or “in” your bringing foreigners#Literally “children/people of a foreign land” who are uncircumcised of heart and uncircumcised of flesh to be in my sanctuary to profane it, my temple,#Or “house” as you offered my food, fat, and blood,#Literally “in/at your offering my food and fat and blood” so#Or “and” you broke my covenant by all of your detestable things. 8And you did not observe the responsibility of my sanctuary, but#Or “and” you appointed them#That is, foreigners as the keepers of my responsibility in my sanctuary for you.”
9Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Every foreigner#Literally “child of a foreign land” uncircumcised of heart and uncircumcised of flesh shall not come into my sanctuary—not any of the foreigners#Literally “child of a foreign land” who are in the midst of the Israelites.#Literally “sons/children of Israel” 10But#Literally “For if” the Levites who removed themselves from me at the going astray of Israel,#Or “when Israel went astray” who went astray from me and went after their idols, as a result they will bear their guilt. 11Then they will be#Or “may be” in my sanctuary, those serving in my sanctuary, as sentries#Or “guards” at the gates of the temple#Or “house” and as those serving the temple;#Or “house” they will slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they will stand before them#Literally “to the face of them” to serve them, 12because#Literally “because that” they used to serve them before#Literally “to the face of” their idols and they were for the house of Israel like a stumbling block of iniquity. Therefore I swore#Literally “I raised my hand” concerning them,” declares#Literally “declaration of” the Lord Yahweh, “that they will bear their iniquity. 13And they shall not approach me to serve as a priest for me and to come near to all of#Or “any of” my holy objects, to the most holy objects, #Literally “to the holy objects of the holy objects” and they will bear their disgrace and the results of their detestable things they have done. 14And I will appoint them as the keepers of the responsibility of#Or “toward” the temple, for all of its work#Or “tasks” and everything #Literally “all”which will be done in it.
15But the Levitical priests, the descendants#Or “sons” of Zadok, who cared for the responsibility of my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray#Literally “at going astray the children of Israel” from me, they will approach me to serve me, and they will stand before me#Literally “to the face of me” to offer to me fat and blood,” declares#Literally “declaration of” the Lord Yahweh. 16“They shall come to my sanctuary, and they shall approach my table to serve me, and they will observe my requirement. 17And then#Literally “and it will happen” when they come#Literally “at their coming” to the gates of the inner courtyards, they shall put on their#Hebrew “the” inner linen garments and not wear wool garments when they serve#Literally “at their serving” in the gates of the inner courtyard and inside#Literally “and toward” the temple. 18Linen turbans shall be on their head and linen undergarments shall be on their waists; they shall not gird themselves with material causing perspiration. 19When they go out to the outer courtyard to the people, they must take off their garment in which they were serving, and they must place them in the holy chambers,#Literally “in the chambers of the holiness” and they must put on other garments, so that they will not make the people holy with their garments. 20And their head they shall not shave, or long hair they shall not let grow; short they shall clip their heads. 21And no priest shall drink wine when they come into the inner courtyard. 22And a widow or divorced woman they shall not take for themselves as wives, but only#Literally “but if” a virgin from the offspring of the house of Israel, or the widow who is a widow for a priest they may take.
23And they will teach my people the difference between what is holy and what is unholy, and the difference between unclean and clean they must show them. 24And at a legal dispute they themselves shall stand to judge; employing#Or “with” my judgments they shall judge it, and with respect to my laws and my statutes. All my festivals they shall keep and my Sabbaths they shall consecrate. 25And near a dead person#Literally “and to a dead person of a man” he#That is, the priest shall not come to be defiled, but only#Literally “but if” for a father and for a mother and for a son and for a daughter, for a brother and for a sister who was not married#Literally “who not she was for a man” may they defile themselves. 26And, after his#That is, the priest cleansing, they shall count for him seven days, 27and then on the day of his coming into the sanctuary to the inner courtyard to serve in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering,” declares#Literally “declaration of” the Lord Yahweh.
28And thus it will be to them as regards inheritance, that I am their inheritance, and so you shall not give to them property in Israel; I am their property. 29The grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering, they themselves may eat them, and also all the consecrated possessions#Hebrew “possession” in Israel will be theirs. 30And also what is first of all of the firstfruits of everything, and of all of the contribution of everything from all of your contributions, to the priest it belongs,#Literally “it shall be” and what is first of your dough you shall give to the priest, so that a blessing may rest on your house. 31Any dead body or mangled carcass from the birds#Hebrew “bird” or from the animals,#Hebrew “animal” the priests shall not eat.”
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