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Ezekiel 44 (Lexham English Bible)

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The Prince, the Levites, and the Priests Described

1 And he brought me back [by] the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary that [is] facing east, and it was shut. 2 And Yahweh said to me, "This gate will be shut. It shall not be opened, and {no one}a will go through it, for Yahweh, the God of Israel, has entered it, and it will be shut. 3 The prince, he may sit in it to eat food {before}b Yahweh; he will come from the wayc of the portico of the gate and by means of its way he will [also] go out." 4 Then he brought me [by] the way of the gate of the north to the front of the temple,d and I looked,e and look! The glory of Yahweh filled the templef of Yahweh, and I fell on my face. 5 And Yahweh said, "Son of man,g set your hearth and look with your eyes and with your ears hear {everything}i I [am] saying [to] you concerning all the statutes of the templej of Yahweh and concerning all its laws,k and you must listen [with] your heart concerning the entrance of the templel with all of [the] exits of the sanctuary. 6 And you must say to [the] rebellious, to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord Yahweh: "Enough for you, house of Israel, ofm all of your detestable things! 7 Atn your bringing {foreigners}o [who are] uncircumcised of heart and uncircumcised of flesh to be in my sanctuary to profane it, my temple,p {as you offered my food, fat, and blood},q sor you broke my covenant by all of your detestable things. 8 And you did not observe the responsibility of my sanctuary, buts you appointed [them]t as the keepers of my responsibility in my sanctuary for you." 9 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: "Every {foreigner}u uncircumcised of heart and uncircumcised of flesh shall not come into my sanctuary--[not] any of [the] {foreigners}v who [are] in the midst of the {Israelites}.w 10 {But}x the Levites who removed themselves from me {at the going astray of Israel},y who went astray from me [and went] after their idols, as a result they will bear their guilt. 11 Then they will bez in my sanctuary, [those] serving [in] my sanctuary, [as] sentriesaa at the gates of the templebb and [as] [those] serving the temple;cc they will slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they will stand {before them}dd to serve them, 12 {because}ee they used to serve them {before}ff their idols and they were for the house of Israel [like] a stumbling block of iniquity. Therefore {I swore}gg concerning them," {declares}hh the Lord Yahweh, "[that] they will bear their iniquity. 13 And they shall not approach me to serve as [a] priest for me and to come near to all ofii my holy objects, {to the most holy objects}, jj and they will bear their disgrace and [the results of] their detestable things they have done. 14 And I will appoint them [as] the keepers of the responsibility ofkk the temple, for all of its workll and {everything} mmwhich will be done in it. 15 But the Levitical priests, the descendantsnn of Zadok, who cared for the responsibility of my sanctuary {when the Israelites went astray}oo from me, they will approach me to serve me, and they will stand {before me}pp to offer to me fat and blood," {declares}qq the Lord Yahweh. 16 "They shall come to my sanctuary, and they shall approach my table to serve me, and they will observe my requirement. 17 {And then}rr {when they come}ss to the gates of the inner courtyards, they shall put on theirtt inner linen garments and not wear wool [garments] {when they serve}uu in the gates of the inner courtyard and {inside}vv the temple. 18 Linen turbans shall be on their head and linen undergarments shall be on their waists; they shall not gird themselves with [material causing] perspiration. 19 When they go out to the outer courtyard to the people, they must take off their garment in which they [were] serving, and they must place them {in the holy chambers},ww and they must put on other [garments], so that they will not make the people holy with their garments. 20 And their head they shall not shave, or long hair they shall not let grow; short they shall clip their heads. 21 And no priest shall drink wine when they come into the inner courtyard. 22 And a widow or divorced [woman] they shall not take for themselves as wives, {but only}xx a virgin from the offspring of the house of Israel, or the widow who is a widow for a priest they may take. 23 And they will teach my people [the difference] between what is holy and what is unholy, and [the difference] between unclean and clean they must show them. 24 And at a legal dispute they themselves shall stand to judge; employingyy my judgments they shall judge it, and [with respect to] my laws and my statutes. All my festivals they shall keep and my Sabbaths they shall consecrate. 25 And {near a dead person}zz he52 shall not come to be defiled, {but only}53 for a father and for a mother and for a son and for a daughter, for a brother and for a sister {who was not married}54 may they defile themselves. 26 And, after his55 cleansing, they shall count for him seven days, 27 and [then] on the day of his coming into the sanctuary to the inner courtyard to serve in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering," {declares}56 the Lord Yahweh. 28 And [thus] it will be to them as [regards] inheritance, [that] I [am] their inheritance, and [so] you shall not give to them property in Israel; I [am] their property. 29 The grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering, they themselves may eat them, and [also] all [the] consecrated possessions57 in Israel will be theirs. 30 And [also] what is first of all of [the] firstfruits of everything, and of all of [the] contribution of everything from all of your contributions, to the priest {it belongs},58 and what is first of your dough you shall give to the priest, so that a blessing may rest on your house. 31 Any dead body or mangled carcass from the birds59 or from the animals,60 the priests shall not eat."
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