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Ezekiel 44:6-16 (New International Version)

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6 Say to the rebellious house1 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 heart2 and flesh into my sanctuary, desecrating my temple while you offered me food, fat and blood, and you broke my covenant.3 8 Instead of carrying out your duty in regard to my holy things, you put others in charge of my sanctuary.4 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.5 10 " 'The Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray6 and who wandered from me after their idols must bear the consequences of their sin.7 11 They may serve in my sanctuary, having charge of the gates of the temple and serving in it; they may slaughter the burnt offerings8 and sacrifices for the people and stand before the people and serve them.9 12 But because they served them in the presence of their idols and made the house of Israel fall10 into sin, therefore I have sworn with uplifted hand11 that they must bear the consequences of their sin, declares the Sovereign LORD.12 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 shame13 of their detestable practices.14 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.15 15 " 'But the priests, who are Levites and descendants of Zadok16 and who faithfully carried out the duties of my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from me, are to come near to minister before me; they are to stand before me to offer sacrifices of fat17 and blood, declares the Sovereign LORD.18 16 They alone are to enter my sanctuary; they alone are to come near my table19 to minister before me and perform my service.20
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