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Ezekiel 44

The Gate of the Prince

Then He brought me back by the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces the east; and it was shut.
2 Yahweh said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for Yahweh, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut. 3 As for the prince, he shall sit in it as prince to eat bread before Yahweh; he shall enter by way of the porch of the gate and shall go out by the same way.” 4 Then He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the house; and I looked, and behold, the glory of Yahweh filled the house of Yahweh, and I fell on my face. 5 Then Yahweh said to me, “Son of man, set your heart on and see with your eyes and hear with your ears all that I say to you concerning all the statutes of the house of Yahweh and concerning all its laws; and set your heart on the entrance of the house, with all exits of the sanctuary. 6 And you shall say to the rebellious ones, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says Lord Yahweh, “Enough of all your abominations, O house of Israel, 7 when you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to profane it, even My house, when you brought near My food, the fat and the blood. So they made My covenant void—this in addition to all your abominations. 8 And you have not kept the responsibility of My holy things yourselves, but you have set foreigners as keepers of the responsibility given by Me for My sanctuary.” 9 ‘Thus says Lord Yahweh, “No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the sons of Israel, shall enter My sanctuary. 10 But the Levites who went far from Me when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity. 11 Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house; they shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them. 12 Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn against them,” declares Lord Yahweh, “that they shall bear the punishment for their iniquity. 13 And they shall not approach Me to minister as a priest to Me, nor approach any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they will bear their dishonor and their abominations which they have done. 14 Yet I will appoint them as keepers of the responsibility for the house, of all its service and of all that shall be done in it.

The Levitical Responsibilities

15 “But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept the responsibility of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to bring near to Me the fat and the blood,” declares Lord Yahweh.
16 “They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep the responsibility given by Me. 17 And it will be that when they enter at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and wool shall not be on them while they are ministering in the gates of the inner court and in the house. 18 Linen headdresses shall be on their heads, and linen undergarments shall be on their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything which makes them sweat. 19 And when they go out into the outer court, into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in the holy chambers; then they shall put on other garments so that they will not transmit holiness to the people with their garments. 20 Also they shall not shave their heads, yet they shall not let their locks grow long; they shall only trim the hair of their heads. 21 Nor shall any of the priests drink wine when they enter the inner court. 22 And they shall not take a widow or a divorced woman as a wife but shall take virgins from the seed of the house of Israel or a widow who is the widow of a priest. 23 Moreover, they shall instruct My people about the difference between the holy and the profane, and make them know the difference between the unclean and the clean. 24 And in a dispute, they shall take their stand to judge; they shall judge it according to My judgments. They shall also keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed times and keep My sabbaths holy. 25 But they shall not go to a dead person to make themselves unclean; however, for father, for mother, for son, for daughter, for brother, or for a sister who has not had a husband, they may make themselves unclean. 26 And after he is cleansed, seven days shall be counted for him. 27 And on the day that he goes into the sanctuary, into the inner court to minister in the sanctuary, he shall bring near his sin offering,” declares Lord Yahweh. 28 “And it shall be with regard to an inheritance for them, that I am their inheritance; and you shall give them no possession in Israel—I am their possession. 29 They shall eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering; and every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs. 30 And the first of all the first fruits of every kind and every contribution of every kind, from all your contributions, shall be for the priests; you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house. 31 The priests shall not eat any bird or beast that has died of itself or has been torn to pieces.