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Ezekiel 44

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 1 Then he brought me back by the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looks toward the east, and it was shut.

 2 Then the LORD said to me: "This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened and no man shall enter in by it, because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered in by it, therefore it shall remain shut.

 3 Only the prince shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by way of the porch of that gate and go out the same way."

 4 Then he brought me by way of the north gate in front of the temple; and I looked, and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD, and I fell upon my face.

 5 And the LORD said to me, "Son of man, mark well and see with your eyes and hear with your ears all that I say to you concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD and all its laws. And mark well who may enter into the temple, with who may not go into the sanctuary.

 6 And you shall say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: O you house of Israel, let all of your abominations be enough.

 7 You have brought strangers into my sanctuary, uncircumcised in heart and in flesh, to be in my sanctuary to defile it, even my temple, while you offer my bread, the fat and the blood; and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations.

 8 And you have not kept charge of my holy things, but have put strangers in charge in my sanctuary to please yourselves.

 9 Thus says the Lord GOD: No stranger who is among the children of Israel, uncircumcised in heart and in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary.

 10 And the Levites who went far away from me when Israel went astray, who went astray from me after their idols, they shall bear their iniquity.

 11 Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the temple and ministering to the temple. They shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before the people to serve them.

 12 But because they ministered to the people before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity, therefore I have lifted up my hand against them, says the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity.

 13 And they are not to come near me to serve me as priest, nor come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place; but they shall bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed.

 14 But I will put them in charge of the temple, of all its service and all that is to be done in it.

 15 But the priests, the Levites who are the sons of Zadok, who faithfully kept charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister to me, and they shall stand before me to offer to me the fat and the blood, says the Lord GOD.

 16 They shall enter into my sanctuary and they shall come near my table to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge.

 17 When they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall be upon them while they minister at the gates of the inner court and within the temple.

 18 They shall have linen turbans upon their heads and linen trousers upon their loins; they shall not clothe themselves with anything that makes them sweat.

 19 And when they go out into the outer court to the people, they shall take off their garments in which they ministered and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments, so that they do not sanctify the people with their garments.

 20 Neither shall they shave their heads or allow their hair to grow long; they shall only trim their hair.

 21 Neither shall any priest drink wine when they enter into the inner court.

 22 Neither shall they take a widow or one who is divorced for their wife; but they shall take maidens of the descendants of the house of Israel, or a widow of a priest.

 23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

 24 And in a controversy they shall stand as judges, and they shall judge according to my judgments; and they shall keep my laws and my statutes for all my appointed feasts, and they shall keep my sabbaths holy.

 25 They shall not defile themselves by coming near a dead person, except for father or for mother, for son or daughter, for brother or for sister who has had no husband; for these they may defile themselves.

 26 And after he is cleansed he must wait seven days [before returning to serve in the temple].

 27 And on the day that he goes into the sanctuary, to the inner court to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering, says the Lord GOD.

 28 And this shall be an inheritance to them, for I am their inheritance; and you shall give them no possession in Israel, for I am their possession.

 29 They shall eat the grain offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering, and every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs.

 30 And the first of all the first fruits of all things, and every offering of all things of every sort, shall be the priest's. You shall also give the priest the first of your ground meal so that a blessing may rest on your household.

 31 And the priests shall not eat any bird or beast that has died naturally or is torn."


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