Ezekiel 44 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
The Prince, the Levites, and the Priests Described
44 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 way[c] 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 temple[f] of Yahweh, and I fell on my face. 5 And Yahweh said, “Son of man,[g] set your heart[h] and look with your eyes and with your ears hear everything[i] I am saying to you concerning all the statutes of the temple[j] of Yahweh and concerning all its laws,[k] and you must listen with your heart concerning the entrance of the temple[l] 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, of[m] all of your detestable things! 7 At[n] 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] so[r] you broke my covenant by all of your detestable things. 8 And you did not observe the responsibility of my sanctuary, but[s] 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 be[z] in my sanctuary, those serving in my sanctuary, as sentries[aa] at the gates of the temple[ab] and as those serving the temple;[ac] they will slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they will stand before them[ad] to serve them, 12 because[ae] they used to serve them before[af] their idols and they were for the house of Israel like a stumbling block of iniquity. Therefore I swore[ag] concerning them,” declares[ah] 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 of[ai] my holy objects, to the most holy objects, [aj] 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 of[ak] the temple, for all of its work[al] and everything [am]which will be done in it.
15 But the Levitical priests, the descendants[an] of Zadok, who cared for the responsibility of my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray[ao] from me, they will approach me to serve me, and they will stand before me[ap] to offer to me fat and blood,” declares[aq] 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[ar] when they come[as] to the gates of the inner courtyards, they shall put on their[at] inner linen garments and not wear wool garments when they serve[au] in the gates of the inner courtyard and inside[av] 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,[aw] 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[ax] 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; employing[ay] 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[az] he[ba] shall not come to be defiled, but only[bb] 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[bc] may they defile themselves. 26 And, after his[bd] 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[be] 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 possessions[bf] 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,[bg] 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 birds[bh] or from the animals,[bi] the priests shall not eat.”