The Prince's Privilege

1 The man then brought me back toward the sanctuary's outer gate that faced east, and it was closed.

References for Ezekiel 44:1

      2 The Lord said to me: "This gate will remain closed. It will not be opened, and no one will enter through it, because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it.a Therefore it will remain closed.

      References for Ezekiel 44:2

        • a 44:2 - Ezk 43:2-4
          3 The prince himself will sit in the gateway to eat a meal before the Lord. He must enter by way of the portico of the gate and go out the same way."
          4 Then the man brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. I looked, and the glory of the Lord filled His temple.b And I fell facedown.c

          References for Ezekiel 44:4

            • b 44:4 - Ezk 43:2; Isa 6:3
            • c 44:4 - Ezk 1:28; 43:3
              5 The Lord said to me: "Son of man, pay attention; look with your eyes and listen with your ears to everything I tell you about all the statutes and laws of the Lord's temple.d Take careful note of the entrance of the temple along with all the exits of the sanctuary.e

              References for Ezekiel 44:5

                  The Levites' Duties and Privileges

                  6 "Say to the rebellious people,f the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: [I have had] enoughg of all your abominations, house of Israel.

                  References for Ezekiel 44:6

                    • f 44:6 - Ezk 2:5-7; 3:9
                    • g 44:6 - Ezk 45:9
                      7 When you brought in foreigners,h uncircumcised in both heart and flesh, to occupy My sanctuary, you defiled My temple while you offered My food-the fat and the blood. Youi broke My covenant with all your abominations.

                      References for Ezekiel 44:7

                        • h 44:7 - Isa 56:3,6
                        • i 44:7 - LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads They
                          8 You have not kept charge of My holy things but have appointed [others] to keep charge of My sanctuary for you.
                          9 "This is what the Lord God says: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, may enter My sanctuary, not even a foreigner who is among the Israelites.j

                          References for Ezekiel 44:9

                            • j 44:9 - Isa 56:3,6-7
                              10 Surely the Levites who wandered away from Me when Israel went astray, and who strayed from Me after their idols, will bear the consequences of their sin.k

                              References for Ezekiel 44:10

                                  11 Yet they will occupy My sanctuary, serving as guards at the temple gates and ministering at the temple. They will slaughter the burnt offerings and [other] sacrifices for the people and will stand before them to serve them.
                                  12 Because they ministered to the house of Israel before their idols and became a sinful stumbling block to them, therefore I swore an oathl against them"-[this is] the declaration of the Lord God -"that they would bear the consequences of their sin.

                                  References for Ezekiel 44:12

                                    • l 44:12 - Lit I lifted My hand
                                      13 They must not approach Me to serve Me as priests or come near any of My holy things or the most holy things. They will bear their disgrace and the consequences of the abominations they committed.
                                      14 Yet I will make them responsible for the duties of the temple-for all its work and everything done in it.m

                                      References for Ezekiel 44:14

                                          The Priests' Duties and Privileges

                                          15 "But the Levitical priests descended from Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from Me, will approach Me to serve Me. They will stand before Me to offer Me fat and blood."n [This is] the declaration of the Lord God .

                                          References for Ezekiel 44:15

                                            • n 44:15 - Nm 18:7-8; 1 Ch 24:1-3
                                              16 "They are the ones who may enter My sanctuary and draw near to My table to serve Me. They will keep My mandate.
                                              17 When they enter the gates of the inner court they must wear linen garments; they must not have on them anything made of wool when they minister at the gates of the inner court and within [it].
                                              18 They must wear linen turbans on their heads and linen undergarments around their waists.o They are not to put on [anything that makes them] sweat.

                                              References for Ezekiel 44:18

                                                  19 Before they go out to the outer court,p to the people, they must take off the clothes they have been ministering in, leave them in the holy chambers, and dress in other clothesq so that they do not transmit holiness to the people through their clothes.

                                                  References for Ezekiel 44:19

                                                    • p 44:19 - Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss read court, to the outer court
                                                    • q 44:19 - Ezk 42:14
                                                      20 "They may not shave their headsr or let their hair grow long,s but must carefully trim their hair.

                                                      References for Ezekiel 44:20

                                                          21 No priest may drink wine before he enters the inner court.t

                                                          References for Ezekiel 44:21

                                                              22 He is not to marry a widow or a divorced woman, but must marry a virgin from the offspring of the house of Israel,u or a widow who is the widow of a priest.

                                                              References for Ezekiel 44:22

                                                                  23 They must teach My people the difference between the holy and the common, and explain to them the difference between the clean and the unclean.v

                                                                  References for Ezekiel 44:23

                                                                    • v 44:23 - Ezk 22:26; Lv 10:10
                                                                      24 "In a dispute, they will officiate as judges and decide the case according to My ordinances.w They must observe My laws and statutes regarding all My appointed festivals, and keep My Sabbaths holy.x

                                                                      References for Ezekiel 44:24

                                                                          25 A priest may not come [near] a dead person so that he becomes defiled. However, he may defile himself for a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, a brother, or an unmarried sister.
                                                                          26 After he is cleansed, he is to count off seven days for himself.y

                                                                          References for Ezekiel 44:26

                                                                            • y 44:26 - Lv 21:1-3; Nm 19:11-19
                                                                              27 On the day he goes into the sanctuary, into the inner court to minister in the sanctuary, he must present his sin offering." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God .
                                                                              28 "This will be their inheritance: I am their inheritance.z You are to give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession.

                                                                              References for Ezekiel 44:28

                                                                                • z 44:28 - Nm 18:20; Dt 18:2; Jos 13:33
                                                                                  29 They will eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the restitution offering. Everything in Israel that is permanently dedicated [to the Lord] will belong to them.{

                                                                                  References for Ezekiel 44:29

                                                                                    • { 44:29 - Nm 18:9,14; Jos 13:14
                                                                                      30 The best of all the firstfruits of every kind and contribution of every kind from all your gifts will belong to the priests.| You are to give your first batch of dough to the priest} so that a blessing may rest on your homes.

                                                                                      References for Ezekiel 44:30

                                                                                        • | 44:30 - Nm 18:8-13
                                                                                        • } 44:30 - Nm 15:20-21; Neh 10:37
                                                                                          31 The priests may not eat any bird or animal that died naturally or was mauled by wild beasts.~

                                                                                          References for Ezekiel 44:31