Ezekiel 44

The Priesthood Restored

1 Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, 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. 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 presence of the LORD. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.”
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 The LORD said to me, “Son of man, look carefully, listen closely and give attention to everything I tell you concerning all the regulations and instructions regarding the temple of the LORD. Give attention to the entrance to the temple and all the exits of the sanctuary.
6 Say to rebellious Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Enough of your detestable practices, people of Israel!
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 Instead of carrying out your duty in regard to my holy things, you put others in charge of 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 went far from me when Israel went astray and who wandered from me after their idols must bear the consequences of their sin.
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 But because they served them in the presence of their idols and made the people 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 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 And I will appoint them to guard the temple for all the work that is to be done in it.
15 “ ‘But the Levitical priests, who are descendants of Zadok and who guarded 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 alone are to enter my sanctuary; they alone are to come near my table to minister before me and serve me as guards.
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 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 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 the people are not consecrated through contact with their garments.
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 wine when he enters the inner court.
22 They must not marry widows or divorced women; they may marry only virgins of Israelite descent or widows of priests.
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 “ ‘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 festivals, and they are to keep my Sabbaths holy.
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 After he is cleansed, he must wait seven days.
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[a] for himself, declares the Sovereign LORD.
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 will eat the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings; and everything in Israel devoted[b] to the LORD will belong to them.
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 The priests must not eat anything, whether bird or animal, found dead or torn by wild animals.

Ezekiel 44 Commentary

Chapter 44

- This chapter contains ordinances relative to the true priests. The prince evidently means Christ, and the words in ver. ( Ezekiel 44:2 ) , may remind us that no other can enter heaven, the true sanctuary, as Christ did; namely, by virtue of his own excellency, and his personal holiness, righteousness, and strength. He who is the Brightness of Jehovah's glory entered by his own holiness; but that way is shut to the whole human race, and we all must enter as sinners, by faith in his blood, and by the power of his grace.

Cross References 58

  • 1. S Ezekiel 43:1
  • 2. Ezekiel 43:4-5
  • 3. S Exodus 24:9-11
  • 4. Ezekiel 46:2,8
  • 5. S Ezekiel 40:35
  • 6. S Isaiah 6:4; S Ezekiel 10:4; Revelation 15:8
  • 7. Daniel 8:17; Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 3:23
  • 8. S Ezekiel 42:9
  • 9. Ezekiel 40:4; Ezekiel 43:10-11
  • 10. S Ezekiel 3:9
  • 11. S Leviticus 26:41
  • 12. Genesis 17:14; Exodus 12:48; Leviticus 22:25
  • 13. Leviticus 22:2; Numbers 18:7
  • 14. Joel 3:17; Zechariah 14:21
  • 15. Psalms 95:10; 2 Kings 23:8
  • 16. Numbers 18:23
  • 17. 2 Chronicles 29:34
  • 18. Numbers 3:5-37; S Numbers 16:9; S 1 Chronicles 26:12-19
  • 19. S Jeremiah 18:15
  • 20. Psalms 106:26
  • 21. 2 Kings 16:10-16; Jeremiah 14:10
  • 22. S Ezekiel 16:61
  • 23. Numbers 18:3; Hosea 5:1
  • 24. Numbers 18:4; 1 Samuel 2:36; 2 Kings 23:9; S 1 Chronicles 23:28-32
  • 25. S 2 Samuel 8:17; S Ezra 7:2
  • 26. S Exodus 29:13
  • 27. S Jeremiah 33:18; S Ezekiel 40:46; Zechariah 3:7
  • 28. S Ezekiel 41:22
  • 29. Leviticus 3:16-17; Leviticus 17:5-6; Numbers 18:5; S 1 Samuel 2:35; Zechariah 3:7
  • 30. Exodus 39:27-28; Revelation 19:8
  • 31. S Exodus 28:39; S Isaiah 3:20
  • 32. S Exodus 28:42
  • 33. S Leviticus 16:4
  • 34. S Leviticus 6:27; Ezekiel 46:20
  • 35. Exodus 39:27-29; Leviticus 6:10-11; S Ezekiel 42:14
  • 36. Ezekiel 5:1
  • 37. S Leviticus 21:5; Numbers 6:5
  • 38. S Leviticus 10:9
  • 39. Leviticus 21:7
  • 40. S Ezekiel 22:26
  • 41. S Genesis 7:2; Leviticus 13:50; Leviticus 15:31; Jeremiah 15:19; Haggai 2:11-13; Malachi 2:7
  • 42. Deuteronomy 17:8-9; Deuteronomy 19:17; Deuteronomy 21:5; S 1 Chronicles 23:4
  • 43. S Leviticus 23:2
  • 44. 2 Chronicles 19:8
  • 45. Leviticus 21:1-4
  • 46. Numbers 19:14
  • 47. S Numbers 3:28
  • 48. S Leviticus 4:28; Numbers 6:11
  • 49. S Numbers 18:20; Deuteronomy 10:9; Deuteronomy 18:1-2; S Joshua 13:33
  • 50. Leviticus 6:16
  • 51. S Leviticus 27:21
  • 52. Numbers 18:9,14; S Joshua 13:14
  • 53. Numbers 18:12-13; S 2 Chronicles 31:5
  • 54. S Numbers 15:18-21
  • 55. S Leviticus 25:21; Malachi 3:10
  • 56. S 2 Chronicles 31:10; Nehemiah 10:35-37
  • 57. S Leviticus 11:39
  • 58. S Exodus 22:31; S Leviticus 11:40; Leviticus 22:8

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "purification offering" ; also in verse 29
  • [b]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 44

This chapter treats of the eastern gate of the temple being appropriated to the use of the prince, Eze 44:1-3, of the sin of the Lord's people, in admitting strangers and unholy persons into the sanctuary, either to officiate or communicate there, Eze 44:4-9 of the degrading of the Levites, that went astray, assigning them inferior posts and service in the house of God, Eze 44:10-14 and of the establishment of the sons of Zadok in their ministry, who were faithful, Eze 44:15,16, then follow various laws relating to their garments; shaving of their heads; drinking wine; their marriage; performance of their ministerial work; their regard to the dead, and their food and maintenance, Eze 44:17-31.

Ezekiel 44 Commentaries