Then he brought me 1back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, 2which faces east. And it was shut.
And the LORD said to me, "This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for 3the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut.
Only 4the prince may sit in it 5to eat bread before the LORD. He 6shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way."
Then he brought me by way of 7the north gate to the front of the temple, and I looked, and behold, 8the glory of the LORD filled the temple of the LORD. And 9I fell on my face.
And the LORD said to me, 10"Son of man, mark well, 11see with your eyes, 12and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning 13all the statutes of the temple of the LORD and all its laws. And mark well 14the entrance to the temple and all the exits from the sanctuary.
And say to 15the rebellious house, to the 16house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: O house of Israel, 17enough of all your abominations,
in 18admitting foreigners, 19uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, 20profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations.
And 21you have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have set others to keep my charge for you in my sanctuary.
"Thus says the Lord GOD: 22No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary.
But 23the Levites who went far from me, going astray from me after their idols 24when Israel went astray, 25shall bear their punishment.
They shall be 26ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight 27at the gates of the temple and ministering in the temple. They shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and 28they shall stand before the people, to minister to them.
Because they ministered to them before their idols and became 29a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have 30sworn concerning them, declares the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their punishment.
They 31shall not come near to me, to serve me as priest, nor come near any of my holy things and the things that are most holy, but 32they shall bear their shame and the abominations that they have committed.
Yet I will appoint them to keep 33charge of the temple, 34to do all its service and all that is to be done in it.
"But 35the Levitical priests, 36the sons of Zadok, who kept 37the charge of my sanctuary 38when the people of Israel went astray from me, shall come near to me 39to minister to me. And they shall stand before me to offer me 40the fat and the blood, declares the Lord GOD.
They shall enter my sanctuary, and they shall approach 41my table, to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge.
When they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall wear 42linen garments. They shall have nothing of wool on them, while they minister at the gates of the inner court, and within.
They shall have linen turbans on their heads, and linen undergarments around their waists. They shall not bind themselves with anything that causes sweat.
And when they go out into the outer court to the people, they shall put off the garments in which they have been ministering 43and lay them in the holy chambers. And 44they shall put on other garments, 45lest they transmit holiness to the people with their garments.
46They shall not shave their heads or 47let their locks grow long; they shall surely trim the hair of their heads.
48No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court.
49They shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman, but only virgins of the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest.
50They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and 51show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.
52In a dispute, they shall act as judges, and they shall judge it according to my judgments. They shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my appointed feasts, and 53they shall keep my Sabbaths holy.
54They shall not defile themselves by going near to a dead person. However, for father or mother, for son or daughter, for brother or unmarried sister they may defile themselves.
55After he has become clean, they shall count seven days for him.
And on the day that he goes into the Holy Place, 56into the inner court, to minister in the Holy Place, 57he shall offer his sin offering, declares the Lord GOD.
58"This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and 59you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession.
60They shall eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering, and 61every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs.
62And the first of all the firstfruits of all kinds, and every offering of all kinds from all your offerings, shall belong to the priests. 63You shall also give to the priests the first of your dough, 64that a blessing may rest on your house.
65The priests shall not eat of 66anything, whether bird or beast, that has died of itself or is torn by wild animals.