Ezekiel 44:1-14 (New International Version)

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The Prince, the Levites, the Priests

1 Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east,1 and it was shut. 2 The LORD said to me, "This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it.2 It is to remain shut because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered through it. 3 The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence3 of the LORD. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.4" 4 Then the man brought me by way of the north gate5 to the front of the temple. I looked and saw the glory of the LORD filling the temple6 of the LORD, and I fell facedown.7 5 The LORD said to me, "Son of man, look carefully, listen closely and give attention to everything I tell you concerning all the regulations regarding the temple of the LORD. Give attention to the entrance8 of the temple and all the exits of the sanctuary.9 6 Say to the rebellious house10 of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Enough of your detestable practices, O house of Israel! 7 In addition to all your other detestable practices, you brought foreigners uncircumcised in heart11 and flesh into my sanctuary, desecrating my temple while you offered me food, fat and blood, and you broke my covenant.12 8 Instead of carrying out your duty in regard to my holy things, you put others in charge of my sanctuary.13 9 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites.14 10 " 'The Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray15 and who wandered from me after their idols must bear the consequences of their sin.16 11 They may serve in my sanctuary, having charge of the gates of the temple and serving in it; they may slaughter the burnt offerings17 and sacrifices for the people and stand before the people and serve them.18 12 But because they served them in the presence of their idols and made the house of Israel fall19 into sin, therefore I have sworn with uplifted hand20 that they must bear the consequences of their sin, declares the Sovereign LORD.21 13 They are not to come near to serve me as priests or come near any of my holy things or my most holy offerings; they must bear the shame22 of their detestable practices.23 14 Yet I will put them in charge of the duties of the temple and all the work that is to be done in it.24
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