Complete Jewish Bible
44 Then he brought me back by way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east; and it was shut. 2 Adonai said to me, “This gate will remain shut; it will not be opened, and no one will go through it; because Adonai, the God of Isra’el, has gone through it. Therefore, it is to be kept shut. 3 Only the prince, since he is a prince, is to sit there to eat his meal before Adonai; he is to enter through the vestibule of the gate and leave the same way.”
4 Then he brought me through the north gate to the front of the house. I looked, saw Adonai’s glory filling the house of Adonai, and fell on my face. 5 Adonai said to me, “Human being, pay attention; see with your eyes and hear with your ears everything I tell you about all the regulations of Adonai’s house and about all its Torah; pay attention to who can enter the house and who must be excluded from the sanctuary. 6 You are to tell the rebels, the house of Isra’el, that this is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘House of Isra’el, enough of all your disgusting practices! 7 You brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in both heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary and profane it — yes, my house — when you offered my food, the fat and the blood; thus in addition to all your disgusting practices, they broke my covenant. 8 Instead of taking care of my holy things yourselves, you have put these people in charge of my sanctuary.’ 9 Here is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘No foreigner, uncircumcised in both heart and flesh, is to enter my sanctuary — no foreigner living among the people of Isra’el.
10 “‘Rather, the L’vi’im, who went far away from me when Isra’el went astray, going astray after their idols — they will bear the consequences of their guilt, 11 but they are to serve in my sanctuary. They will have charge of the gates of the house and of serving in the house; they will slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people; and they will attend and serve them. 12 Because they served them in the presence of their idols and became an occasion of sin for the house of Isra’el, I am raising my hand against them,’ says Adonai Elohim, ‘and they will bear the consequences of their guilt. 13 They will not approach me to serve me in the office of cohen or approach any of the holy things or the especially holy things; but they will bear their shame for the disgusting practices they committed. 14 Yet I will put them in charge of the house and all its maintenance and everything to be done in it.
15 “‘However, the cohanim, who are L’vi’im and descendants of Tzadok, who took care of my sanctuary when the people of Isra’el went astray from me — they are the ones who will approach me and serve me; it is they who will attend me and offer me the fat and the blood,’ says Adonai Elohim. 16 ‘They will enter my sanctuary, approach my table to minister to me and perform my service.
17 “‘Once they enter the gates of the inner courtyard, they are to wear linen clothing; they are not to wear any wool while serving at the gates of the inner courtyard or inside it. 18 They are to wear linen turbans on their heads and linen underclothes on their bodies, and they are not to wear anything that makes them sweat. 19 Before going out to the people in the outer courtyard, they are to remove the clothes in which they minister, lay them in the holy rooms, and put on other clothes; so that they won’t transmit holiness to the people by means of their clothing. 20 They are not to shave their heads or let their hair grow long, but must keep their hair carefully trimmed. 21 No cohen is to drink wine when he enters the inner courtyard. 22 They may not marry a widow or a divorcee but must marry virgins descended from the house of Isra’el or a widow whose deceased husband was a cohen.
23 “‘They are to teach my people the difference between holy and common and enable them to distinguish between clean and unclean. 24 They are to be judges in controversies, and they are to render decisions in keeping with my rulings. At all my designated festivals they are to keep my laws and regulations, and they are to keep my shabbats holy. 25 They are not to come to any dead person, because this would make them unclean; however, for father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister who has had no husband they may make themselves unclean. 26 After a cohen has been purified, he is to wait seven days. 27 Then, on the day he enters the sanctuary, when he goes into the inner courtyard to minister in the sanctuary, he is to offer his sin offering,’ says Adonai Elohim.
28 “‘Their inheritance is to be this: I myself am their inheritance. You are not to grant them any possession in Isra’el — I myself am their possession. 29 They are to eat the grain offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings; and everything in Isra’el devoted [to God] will be theirs. 30 The first of all the firstfruits of everything, and every voluntary contribution of everything, from all your offerings, will be for the cohanim. You are also to give the cohen the first of your dough, so that a blessing will rest on your house. 31 The cohanim are not to eat anything, bird or animal, that dies naturally or is torn to death.