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Ezekiel 44:1-45:12; 1 Peter 1:1-12; Psalms 119:17-32; Proverbs 28:8-10 (Common English Bible)

Ezekiel 44:1-45:12

The closed gate

44 He brought me back to the outer sanctuary gate that faces east. It was closed. The Lord said to me, This gate remains closed. It shouldn’t be opened. No one should come in through it because the Lord, Israel’s God, has entered through it. It will remain closed. As for the prince, he may sit in it to eat bread in the Lord’s presence. He may come in and go out by way of the gate’s porch.

Foreigners, Levites, Zadokites

Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. I looked, and suddenly the Lord’s glory filled the Lord’s temple, and I fell on my face. Then the Lord said to me: Human one, pay close attention! Use your eyes and ears and listen to all that I say to you concerning the regulations of the Lord’s temple and all its instructions. Pay close attention to the access to the temple through all the sanctuary portals.[a] Speak to the rebels, to the house of Israel, The Lord God proclaims: Enough of your detestable practices, house of Israel! You made my temple unclean because you brought into my sanctuary foreigners who were physically and spiritually uncircumcised. When you offered my food of fat and blood to me, you[b] broke my covenant with all your detestable practices. You didn’t keep charge of my holy things. On the contrary, you appointed them[c] to keep charge in my sanctuary for you.

The Lord God proclaims: Foreigners who are spiritually and physically uncircumcised must not enter my sanctuary; that is, all foreigners among the Israelites. 10 But the Levites, who went far from me when Israel went astray, who went astray from me after their idols, will bear their guilt. 11 They will keep charge in my sanctuary, and they will oversee the temple gates and keep charge of the temple. They will slaughter the entirely burned offerings and the sacrifices for the people, and they will stand before them to minister to them. 12 Because they ministered to them before their idols, they brought about the downfall of the house of Israel. For that reason I made a solemn pledge against them—this is what the Lord God says—and they will bear their guilt. 13 They won’t approach me to officiate for me as priests or approach any of my holy things or the most holy place. Though they will bear their humiliation and the consequences of their detestable practices, 14 I will appoint them to keep charge of the temple, all its work, and all that is done in it.

15 As for the priests of the levitical family of Zadok who did keep charge of my sanctuary when the Israelites strayed away from me, they will draw near to me to serve me. They will stand in my presence to present fat and blood to me. This is what the Lord God says. 16 They will come into my sanctuary, and they will approach my table to minister to me. They will keep my charge. 17 When they come through the gates to the inner courtyard, they will wear linen garments. They won’t wear any wool when they minister at the gates of the inner courtyard or in the temple. 18 They will have linen turbans on their heads and linen undergarments around their waists. They won’t wear anything that makes them sweat. 19 When they go out to the outer courtyard to the people, they will remove the garments in which they were ministering. They will lay them aside in the holy chambers and wear other clothing. They must not transfer holiness to the people through their clothing. 20 They must neither shave their heads nor let their hair grow long, but they will trim the hair on their heads. 21 None of the priests should drink wine when they come into the inner courtyard. 22 They must not marry widows or divorced women, but only Israelite virgins. Priests may, however, marry the widows of other priests. 23 They must teach my people the difference between the holy and the ordinary, and show them the difference between clean and unclean. 24 They must execute judgments according to my case laws in cases of civil conflict. They must observe my instructions and my regulations regarding all my festivals. They must keep my sabbaths holy. 25 In order to avoid uncleanness, they must not approach the dead. They may, however, become unclean for their father or mother, son or daughter, brother or unmarried sister. 26 Once the priest is clean again, he must count off seven days. 27 On the day that he comes into the holy place, the inner courtyard, to minister in the holy place, he will present his purification offering. This is what the Lord God says. 28 As for their inheritance, I am their inheritance. They won’t be given family property in Israel; I am their family property. 29 They will eat the grain offerings, the purification offerings, and the compensation offerings. Every dedicated thing in Israel belongs to them. 30 The best of the early produce of every kind, and every contribution, all of them, belong to the priests. You will give the best of your bread dough to the priest so that a blessing may come to rest on your household. 31 The priests must not eat any bird or animal that dies naturally or is torn apart by prey.

The holy portion

45 When you distribute the land as an inheritance, you will set aside a holy portion of land for the Lord. It will be 7.1 miles long and 5.68 miles[d] wide. It will be holy throughout the entire area. Out of this portion, an area seven hundred fifty feet by seven hundred fifty feet square will be for the sanctuary. All around it will be an open space seventy-five feet wide. Beginning with this measurement, you will measure out an area 7.1 miles long and 2.84 miles wide. The sanctuary, the most holy place, will lie on it. It is holy, set apart from the land, and it belongs to the priests who draw near to minister in the Lord’s sanctuary. It will be a place for their houses, and a holy place for the sanctuary. The area 7.1 miles long and 2.84 miles wide will be for the Levites who minister in the temple. Twenty chambers are theirs as their property. As the property for the city, you will set aside an area 1.42 miles wide and 7.1 miles long next to the holy portion. It will be for the whole house of Israel. The territory for the prince will be on both sides of the holy portion and the city property, alongside the holy portion and alongside the city property, from their western boundaries westward and from their eastern boundaries eastward. Its length will equal one tribal portion, from the western border to the eastern border. The land will be his property in Israel, and my princes will no longer oppress my people. They will give the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes.

The Lord God proclaims: Enough, princes of Israel! Turn aside from violence and oppression. Establish justice and righteousness. Cease your evictions of my people! This is what the Lord God says: 10 You must use fair scales, a fair ephah,[e] and a fair bath.[f] 11 The ephah and the bath must be the same size. Both should be calibrated to the homer: each will contain one-tenth of a homer. 12 The shekel must weigh twenty gerahs. Twenty shekels, twenty-five shekels, and fifteen shekels will equal one maneh for you.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 44:5 Or exits
  2. Ezekiel 44:7 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT they
  3. Ezekiel 44:8 Heb lacks them.
  4. Ezekiel 45:1 LXX twenty thousand (pechon, standard cubit); MT ten thousand (ammah); see note at Ezek 40:5.
  5. Ezekiel 45:10 One ephah is approximately twenty quarts of grain.
  6. Ezekiel 45:10 One bath is approximately twenty quarts of liquid.
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1 Peter 1:1-12

Greeting

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s chosen strangers in the world of the diaspora, who live in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

God the Father chose you because of what he knew beforehand. He chose you through the Holy Spirit’s work of making you holy and because of the faithful obedience and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

May God’s grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Thanksgiving

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you. Through his faithfulness, you are guarded by God’s power so that you can receive the salvation he is ready to reveal in the last time.

You now rejoice in this hope, even if it’s necessary for you to be distressed for a short time by various trials. This is necessary so that your faith may be found genuine. (Your faith is more valuable than gold, which will be destroyed even though it is itself tested by fire.) Your genuine faith will result in praise, glory, and honor for you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you’ve never seen him, you love him. Even though you don’t see him now, you trust him and so rejoice with a glorious joy that is too much for words. You are receiving the goal of your faith: your salvation.

10 The prophets, who long ago foretold the grace that you’ve received, searched and explored, inquiring carefully about this salvation. 11 They wondered what the Spirit of Christ within them was saying when he bore witness beforehand about the suffering that would happen to Christ and the glory that would follow. They wondered what sort of person or what sort of time they were speaking about. 12 It was revealed to them that in their search they were not serving themselves but you. These things, which even angels long to examine, have now been proclaimed to you by those who brought you the good news. They did this in the power of the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven.

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Psalm 119:17-32

ג gimel

17 Be good to your servant so I can go on living
        and keeping your word.
18 Open my eyes so I can examine
        the wonders of your Instruction!
19 I’m an immigrant in the land.
    Don’t hide your commandments from me!
20 I’m worn out by longing
    every minute for your rules!
21 You rebuke the arrogant, accursed people
    who stray from your commandments.
22 Take all their insults and contempt away from me
    because I’ve kept your laws!
23 Even if rulers gather and scheme against me,
    your servant will contemplate your statutes!
24 Yes, your laws are my joy—
    they are my most trusted advisors!

ד dalet

25 My life is stuck in the dirt.
    Now make me live again according to your promise!
26 I confessed my ways and you answered me.
    Now teach me your statutes!
27 Help me understand what your precepts are about
    so I can contemplate your wondrous works!
28 My spirit sags because of grief.
    Now raise me up according to your promise!
29 Remove all false ways from me;
    show mercy to me by means of your Instruction.
30 I’ve chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I’m set on your rules.
31 I’m holding tight to your laws, Lord.
    Please don’t let me be put to shame.
32 I run the same path as your commandments
    because you give my heart insight.

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Proverbs 28:8-10

Those who become rich through high interest rates
    gather money for those who are generous to the poor.
Those who turn their ears from hearing Instruction—
    even their prayers will be detested.
10 Whoever misleads those who do right onto an evil path
    will fall into their own pit,
    but the blameless will inherit good things.

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Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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