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Ezekiel 44 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Then the man brought me back to the outside gate complex of the Sanctuary that faces east. But it was shut. 1 Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut.
2 God spoke to me: "This gate is shut and it's to stay shut. No one is to go through it because God, the God of Israel, has gone through it. It stays shut. 2 The LORD said to me, "This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered through it.
3 Only the prince, because he's the prince, may sit there to eat in the presence of God. He is to enter the gate complex through the porch and leave by the same way." 3 The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the LORD. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way."
4 The man led me through the north gate to the front of the Temple. I looked, and - oh! - the bright Glory of God filling the Temple of God! I fell on my face in worship. 4 Then the man brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. I looked and saw the glory of the LORD filling the temple of the LORD, and I fell facedown.
5 God said to me, "Son of man, get a grip on yourself. Use your eyes, use your ears, pay careful attention to everything I tell you about the ordinances of this Temple of God, the way all the laws work, instructions regarding it and all the entrances and exits of the Sanctuary. 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 entrance of the temple and all the exits of the sanctuary.
6 "Tell this bunch of rebels, this family Israel, 'Message of God, the Master: No more of these vile obscenities, Israel, 6 Say to the rebellious house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Enough of your detestable practices, O house of Israel!
7 dragging irreverent and unrepentant outsiders, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, into my Sanctuary, feeding them the sacrificial offerings as if it were the food for a neighborhood picnic. With all your vile obscenities, you've broken trust with me, the solemn covenant I made with you. 7 In addition to all your other detestable practices, you brought foreigners uncircumcised in heart and flesh into my sanctuary, desecrating my temple while you offered me food, fat and blood, and you broke my covenant.
8 You haven't taken care of my holy things. You've hired out the work to foreigners who care nothing for this place, my Sanctuary. 8 Instead of carrying out your duty in regard to my holy things, you put others in charge of my sanctuary.
9 No irreverent and unrepentant aliens, uncircumcised in heart or flesh, not even the ones who live among Israelites, are to enter my Sanctuary.' 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.
10 "The Levites who walked off and left me, along with everyone else - all Israel - who took up with all the no-god idols, will pay for everything they did wrong. 10 " 'The Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray and who wandered from me after their idols must bear the consequences of their sin.
11 From now on they'll do only the menial work in the Sanctuary: guard the gates and help out with the Temple chores - and also kill the sacrificial animals for the people and serve them. 11 They may serve in my sanctuary, having charge of the gates of the temple and serving in it; they may slaughter the burnt offerings and sacrifices for the people and stand before the people and serve them.
12 Because they acted as priests to the no-god idols and made my people Israel stumble and fall, I've taken an oath to punish them. Decree of God, the Master. Yes, they'll pay for what they've done. 12 But because they served them in the presence of their idols and made the house of Israel fall into sin, therefore I have sworn with uplifted hand that they must bear the consequences of their sin, declares the Sovereign LORD.
13 They're fired from the priesthood. No longer will they come into my presence and take care of my holy things. No more access to The Holy Place! They'll have to live with what they've done, carry the shame of their vile and obscene lives. 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 shame of their detestable practices.
14 From now on, their job is to sweep up and run errands. That's it. 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 "But the Levitical priests who descend from Zadok, who faithfully took care of my Sanctuary when everyone else went off and left me, are going to come into my presence and serve me. They are going to carry out the priestly work of offering the solemn sacrifices of worship. Decree of God, the Master. 15 " 'But the priests, who are Levites and descendants of Zadok 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 fat and blood, declares the Sovereign LORD.
16 They're the only ones permitted to enter my Sanctuary. They're the only ones to approach my table and serve me, accompanying me in my work. 16 They alone are to enter my sanctuary; they alone are to come near my table to minister before me and perform my service.
17 "When they enter the gate complex of the inside courtyard, they are to dress in linen. No woolens are to be worn while serving at the gate complex of the inside courtyard or inside the Temple itself. 17 " 'When they enter the gates of the inner court, they are to wear linen clothes; they must not wear any woolen garment while ministering at the gates of the inner court or inside the temple.
18 They're to wear linen turbans on their heads and linen underclothes - nothing that makes them sweat. 18 They are to wear linen turbans on their heads and linen undergarments around their waists. They must not wear anything that makes them perspire.
19 When they go out into the outside courtyard where the people gather, they must first change out of the clothes they have been serving in, leaving them in the sacred rooms where they change to their everyday clothes, so that they don't trivialize their holy work by the way they dress. 19 When they go out into the outer court where the people are, they are to take off the clothes they have been ministering in and are to leave them in the sacred rooms, and put on other clothes, so that they do not consecrate the people by means of their garments.
20 "They are to neither shave their heads nor let their hair become unkempt, but must keep their hair trimmed and neat. 20 " 'They must not shave their heads or let their hair grow long, but they are to keep the hair of their heads trimmed.
21 "No priest is to drink on the job - no wine while in the inside courtyard. 21 No priest is to drink wine when he enters the inner court.
22 "Priests are not to marry widows or divorcees, but only Israelite virgins or widows of priests. 22 They must not marry widows or divorced women; they may marry only virgins of Israelite descent or widows of priests.
23 "Their job is to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, to show them how to discern between unclean and clean. 23 They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.
24 "When there's a difference of opinion, the priests will arbitrate. They'll decide on the basis of my judgments, laws, and statutes. They are in charge of making sure the appointed feasts are honored and my Sabbaths kept holy in the ways I've commanded. 24 " 'In any dispute, the priests are to serve as judges and decide it according to my ordinances. They are to keep my laws and my decrees for all my appointed feasts, and they are to keep my Sabbaths holy.
25 "A priest must not contaminate himself by going near a corpse. But when the dead person is his father or mother, son or daughter, brother or unmarried sister, he can approach the dead. 25 " 'A priest must not defile himself by going near a dead person; however, if the dead person was his father or mother, son or daughter, brother or unmarried sister, then he may defile himself.
26 But after he has been purified, he must wait another seven days. 26 After he is cleansed, he must wait seven days.
27 Then, when he returns to the inside courtyard of the Sanctuary to do his priestly work in the Sanctuary, he must first offer a sin offering for himself. Decree of God, the Master. 27 On the day he goes into the inner court of the sanctuary to minister in the sanctuary, he is to offer a sin offering for himself, declares the Sovereign LORD.
28 "As to priests owning land, I am their inheritance. Don't give any land in Israel to them. I am their 'land,' their inheritance. 28 " 'I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession.
29 They'll take their meals from the grain offerings, the sin offerings, and the guilt offerings. Everything in Israel offered to God in worship is theirs. 29 They will eat the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings; and everything in Israel devoted to the LORD will belong to them.
30 The best of everything grown, plus all special gifts, comes to the priests. All that is given in worship to God goes to them. Serve them first. Serve from your best and your home will be blessed. 30 The best of all the firstfruits and of all your special gifts will belong to the priests. You are to give them the first portion of your ground meal so that a blessing may rest on your household.
31 "Priests are not to eat any meat from bird or animal unfit for ordinary human consumption, such as carcasses found dead on the road or in the field. 31 The priests must not eat anything, bird or animal, found dead or torn by wild animals.