Ezekiel 44
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The East Gate Assigned to the Prince

1And he turned me back, toward the way of the gate of the outer sanctuary, which looked toward the east. And it was closed. 2And the Lord said to me: “This gate will be closed; it will not be opened. And man shall not cross through it. For the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it, and it shall be closed 3to the prince. The prince himself will sit at it, so that he may eat bread before the Lord; he will enter by the way of the vestibule of the gate, and he will depart by the same way.”

4And he led me in, along the way of the north gate, in the sight of the house. And I saw, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. And I fell upon my face. 5And the Lord said to me: “Son of man, set within your heart, and see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I am speaking to you about all the ceremonies of the house of the Lord and about all its laws. And set your heart upon the ways of the temple, along all the exits of the sanctuary.

Reproof of the Levites

6And you shall say to the house of Israel, which provokes me: Thus says the Lord God: Let all your wicked deeds be sufficient for you, O house of Israel. 7For you bring in foreign sons, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, so that they may be in my sanctuary and may defile my house. And you offer my bread, the fat, and the blood, yet you have broken my covenant by all your wicked deeds. 8And you have not observed the precepts of my sanctuary, yet you have stationed observers of my vigil in my sanctuary for yourselves.

9Thus says the Lord God: Any foreigner, any foreign son who is in the midst of the sons of Israel, who is uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall not enter into my sanctuary. 10And as for the Levites, they have withdrawn far away from me, in the errors of the sons of Israel, and they have gone astray from me after their idols, and they have borne their iniquity. 11They will be caretakers in my sanctuary, and doorkeepers at the gates of the house, and ministers to the house. They will slay the holocausts and the victims of the people. And they will stand before them, so that they may minister to them. 12But because they ministered to them in the sight their idols, and they became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, for this reason, I have lifted up my hand against them, says the Lord God, and they will bear their iniquity. 13And they shall not draw near to me, so as to exercise the priesthood for me, and they shall not approach to any of my holy things, which are near the Holy of Holies. Instead, they will bear their shame and their wicked deeds, which they committed. 14And I will make them doorkeepers of the house, for all its ministries and for all that will be done within it.

The Duties of the Priests

15But the priests and the Levites who are the sons of Zadok, who observed the ceremonies of my sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from me, these shall draw near to me, so that they may minister for me. And they shall stand in my sight, so that they may offer to me the fat and the blood, says the Lord God. 16They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall draw near to my table, so that they may minister for me, and so that they may observe my ceremonies. 17And when they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments. Neither shall anything woolen be placed over them, when they minister within the gates of the inner and the outer court. 18They shall have linen bands on their heads, and linen undergarments over their loins, and they shall not be girded so as to sweat. 19And when they go forth to the outer court to the people, they shall strip off their vestments, in which they ministered, and they shall place them in the storeroom of the sanctuary, and they shall clothe themselves with other garments. And they shall not sanctify the people in their vestments. 20Now they shall not shave their heads, and they shall not grow long hair. Instead, they shall trim the hair of their heads. 21And no priest shall drink wine, when he will be entering into the inner court. 22And they shall not take as wife a widow or one who has been divorced. Instead, they shall take virgins from the offspring of the house of Israel. But they may also take a widow, if she is the widow of a priest. 23And they shall teach my people the difference between holy and defiled, and they shall distinguish for them between clean and unclean. 24And when there has been a controversy, they shall stand in my judgments, and they shall judge. They shall observe my laws and my precepts, in all my solemnities, and they shall sanctify my Sabbaths. 25And they shall not enter to a dead person, lest they be defiled, except to father or mother, or son or daughter, or brother, or to a sister who does not have another man. By these, they may become unclean. 26And after he will have been cleansed, they shall number for him seven days. 27And on the day when he enters into the sanctuary, to the inner court, so that he may minister to me in the sanctuary, he shall make an offering because of his offense, says the Lord God.

28And there shall be no inheritance for them. I am their inheritance. And you shall not give them any possession in Israel. For I am their possession. 29They shall eat the victim both for sin and for offenses. And every vowed offering in Israel shall be theirs. 30And the first-fruits of all the firstborn, and all the libations out of all that is offered, shall belong to the priests. And you shall give the first-fruits of your foods to the priest, so that he may return a blessing to your house. 31The priests shall not consume anything which has died on its own, or which was seized by a beast, whether from the fowl or the cattle.”

Catholic Public Domain Version

Section Headings Courtesy Berean Bible

Ezekiel 43
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