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Ezekiel 42-44 1 John 1 (Easy-to-Read Version)

Ezekiel 42-44

The Priests’ Room

42 Then the man led me through the north gate out into the outer courtyard. He led me to a building with many rooms that was west of the restricted area and the building on the north side. This building was 100 cubits[a] long and 50 cubits[b] wide. People entered it from the courtyard on the north side. The building was three stories tall and had balconies. The 20-cubit[c] inner courtyard was between the building and the Temple. On the other side, the rooms faced the pavement of the outer courtyard. There was a path 10 cubits[d] wide and 100 cubits long running along the south side of the building, even though the entrance was on the north side. 5-6 Since this building was three stories tall and did not have columns like those columns of the outer courtyards, the top rooms were farther back than the rooms on the middle and bottom floors. The top floor was narrower than the middle floor, which was narrower than the bottom floor because the balconies used this space. There was a wall outside that was parallel to the rooms and ran along the outer courtyard. It ran in front of the rooms for 50 cubits. The row of rooms that ran along the outer courtyard was 50 cubits long, although the total length of the building, as on the Temple side, was 100 cubits long. The entrance was below these rooms at the east end of the building so that people could enter from the outer courtyard. 10 The entrance was at the start of the wall beside the courtyard.

There were rooms on the south side, by the restricted area and the other building. These rooms had a 11 path in front of them. They were like the rooms on the north side. They had the same length and width and the same kind of doors. 12 The entrance to the lower rooms was at the east end of the building so that people could enter from the open end of the path by the wall.

13 The man said to me, “The north rooms and south rooms across from the restricted area are holy. These rooms are for the priests who offer the sacrifices to the Lord. That is where the priests will put the most holy offerings and eat them. That is because that place is holy. The most holy offerings are the grain offerings, the sin offerings, and the guilt offerings. 14 The priests who enter the holy area must leave their serving clothes in that holy place before they go out into the outer courtyard, because these clothes are holy. If a priest wants to go to the part of the Temple where the other people are, he must go to those rooms and put on other clothes.”

The Outer Courtyard

15 The man had finished measuring inside the Temple area. Then he brought me out through the east gate and measured all around that area. 16 He measured the east side with the ruler. It was 500 cubits[e] long. 17 He measured the north side. It was 500 cubits long. 18 He measured the south side. It was 500 cubits long. 19 He went around to the west side and measured it. It was 500 cubits long. 20 He measured the four walls that went all the way around the Temple. The wall was 500 cubits long and 500 cubits wide. It separated the holy area from the area that is not holy.

The Lord Will Live Among His People

43 The man led me to the east gate. There the Glory of the God of Israel came from the east. God’s voice was loud like the sound of the sea. The ground was bright with the light from the Glory of God. The vision that I saw was like the vision I saw by the Kebar Canal. I bowed with my face to the ground. The Glory of the Lord came into the Temple through the east gate.

Then the Spirit[f] picked me up and brought me into the inner courtyard. The Glory of the Lord filled the Temple. I heard someone speaking to me from inside the Temple. The man was still standing beside me. The voice from the Temple said to me, “Son of man,[g] this is the place with my throne and footstool. I will live in this place among the people of Israel forever. The family of Israel will not ruin my holy name again. The kings and their people will not bring shame to my name by committing sexual sins[h] or by burying the dead bodies of their kings in this place. They will not bring shame to my name by putting their threshold next to my threshold, and their doorposts next to my doorposts. In the past, only a wall separated them from me. So they brought shame to my name every time they sinned and did those terrible things. That is why I became angry and destroyed them. Now let them take their sexual sins and the dead bodies of their kings far away from me. Then I will live among them forever.

10 “Now, son of man, tell the family of Israel about the Temple. Then, when they learn about the plans for the Temple, they will be ashamed of their sins. 11 And they will be ashamed of all the bad things they have done. Let them know the design of the Temple. Let them know how it should be built, where the entrances and exits are, and all the designs on it. Teach them about all its rules and all its laws. Write these things for everyone to see so that they can obey all the laws and rules for the Temple. 12 This is the law of the Temple: The whole area surrounding it on the top of the mountain is most holy. This is the law of the Temple.

The Altar

13 “These are the measurements of the altar in cubits using the long measurement[i]: There was a gutter all the way around the base of the altar. It was 1 cubit[j] deep, and each side was 1 cubit wide. There was a rim around the edge 1 span[k] high. This is how tall the altar was: 14 From the ground to the lower ledge, the base measured 2 cubits.[l] It was 1 cubit wide. It measured 4 cubits[m] from the smaller ledge to the larger ledge. It was 2 cubits wide. 15 The place for the fire on the altar was 4 cubits high. The four corners were shaped like horns. 16 The place for the fire on the altar was 12 cubits[n] long by 12 cubits wide. It was perfectly square. 17 The ledge was also square, 14 cubits[o] long by 14 cubits wide. The border around it was 1/2 cubit[p] wide. (The gutter around the base was 1 cubit wide.) The steps going up to the altar were on the east side.”

18 Then the man said to me, “Son of man, this is what the Lord God says: ‘These are the rules for the altar: At the time you build the altar, use these rules to offer burnt offerings and to sprinkle blood on it. 19 You will give a young bull as a sin offering to the men from Zadok’s family. These men are the priests from the tribe of Levi. They are the men who serve me by bringing the offerings to me.’” This is what the Lord God said. 20 “You will take some of the bull’s blood and put it on the altar’s four horns, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim around it. In this way you will make the altar pure. 21 Then take the bull for the sin offering and burn it in the proper place in the Temple area, outside the Temple building.

22 “On the second day you will offer a male goat that has nothing wrong with it. It will be for a sin offering. The priests will make the altar pure the same way they made it pure with the bull. 23 When you have finished making the altar pure, you will offer a young bull that has nothing wrong with it and a ram from the flock that has nothing wrong with it. 24 Then you will offer them before the Lord. The priests will sprinkle salt on them. Then they will offer the bull and ram up as a burnt offering to the Lord. 25 You will prepare a goat every day for seven days for a sin offering. Also, you will prepare a young bull and a ram from the flock. These animals must have nothing wrong with them. 26 For seven days, the priests will make the altar pure and ready for use in worshiping God. 27 On the eighth day, and every day after that, the priests must offer your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar. Then I will accept you.” This is what the Lord God said.

The Outer Gate

44 Then the man brought me back to the east gate of the Temple area. We were outside the gate and the gate was shut. The Lord said to me, “This gate will stay shut. It will not be opened. No one will enter through it, because the Lord of Israel has entered through it. So it must stay shut. Only the ruler of the people may sit at this gate when he eats a meal with the Lord. He must enter through the porch of the gateway and go out the same way.”

The Holiness of the Temple

Then the man led me through the north gate to the front of the Temple. I looked and saw the Glory of the Lord filling the Lord’s Temple. I bowed with my face touching the ground. The Lord said to me, “Son of man,[q] look very carefully! Use your eyes and ears. Look at these things, and listen very carefully to everything that I tell you about all the rules and laws about the Lord’s Temple. Look carefully at the entrances to the Temple and at all the exits from the holy place. Then give this message to all the people of Israel who refused to obey me. Tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God said: Family of Israel, I have had enough of the terrible things you have done! You brought foreigners into my Temple who are not circumcised and have not given themselves to me.[r] In this way you made my Temple unclean. You broke our agreement and did terrible things, and then you gave me the offerings of bread, the fat, and the blood. But this only made my Temple unclean. You did not take care of my holy things. No, you let foreigners have responsibility of my holy place!’”

This is what the Lord God says: “A foreigner who is not truly circumcised must not come into my Temple—not even a foreigner living permanently among the people of Israel. He must be circumcised, and he must give himself completely to me before he can come into my Temple. 10 In the past, the Levites left me when Israel turned away from me. Israel left me to follow their idols. The Levites will be punished for their sin. 11 The Levites were chosen to serve in my holy place. They guarded the gates of the Temple. They served in the Temple. They killed the animals for the sacrifices and burnt offerings for the people. They were chosen to help the people and to serve them. 12 But the Levites helped the people sin against me! They helped the people worship their idols! So I am making this promise against them: ‘They will be punished for their sin.’” This is what the Lord God said.

13 “So the Levites will not bring offerings to me like the priests. They will not come near any of my holy things or the things that are most holy. They must carry their shame because of the terrible things that they did. 14 But I will let them take care of the Temple. They will work in the Temple and do the things that must be done in it.

15 “The priests are all from the tribe of Levi. But only priests from Zadok’s family took care of my holy place when the people of Israel turned away from me. So only Zadok’s descendants will bring offerings to me. They will stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood from the animals they sacrifice.” This is what the Lord God said! 16 “They will enter my holy place and come near my table to serve me. They will take care of the things I gave them. 17 When they enter the gates of the inner courtyard, they will wear linen clothes. They will not wear wool while they serve at the gates of the inner courtyard and in the Temple. 18 They will wear linen turbans on their heads, and they will wear linen underwear. They will not wear anything that makes them sweat. 19 Before they go out into the outer courtyard to the people, they will take off the clothes they wear while serving me. They will put these clothes away in the holy rooms. Then they will put on other clothes. In this way they will not let people touch those holy clothes.

20 “These priests will not shave their heads or let their hair grow long.[s] The priests may only trim the hair of their heads. 21 None of the priests may drink wine when they go into the inner courtyard. 22 The priests must not marry a widow or a divorced woman. No, they must only marry a virgin from the family of Israel or a woman whose dead husband was a priest.

23 “Also, the priests must teach my people the difference between things that are holy and things that are not holy. They must help my people know what is clean and what is unclean. 24 The priests will be the judges in court. They will follow my laws when they judge people. They will obey my laws and my rules at all my special feasts. They will respect my special days of rest and keep them holy. 25 They will not go near a dead person to make themselves unclean. But they may make themselves unclean if the dead person is their father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or a sister who is not married. 26 After the priest has been made clean, he must wait seven days. 27 Then he can go back into the holy place. But on the day he goes into the inner courtyard to serve in the holy place, he must offer a sin offering for himself.” This is what the Lord God said.

28 “About the land that will belong to the Levites: I am their property. You will not give the Levites any land in Israel. I am their share in Israel. 29 They will have the right to eat the grain offerings, the sin offerings, and the guilt offerings. Also, anything in Israel that is a special gift to God[t] will belong to them. 30 And the first part of the harvest from every kind of crop will be for the priests. You will also give the priests the first part of your flour. This will bring blessings to your house. 31 The priests must not eat any bird or animal that has died a natural death or has been torn to pieces by a wild animal.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 42:2 100 cubits 170' 5/8" (51.83 m).
  2. Ezekiel 42:2 50 cubits 85' 5/16" (25.92 m).
  3. Ezekiel 42:3 20-cubit 34' 1/8" (10.37 m).
  4. Ezekiel 42:4 10 cubits 17' 1/16" (5.18 m).
  5. Ezekiel 42:16 500 cubits 850' 3 1/16" (259.16 m).
  6. Ezekiel 43:5 Spirit Or “spirit” or “wind.”
  7. Ezekiel 43:7 Son of man This was usually just a way of saying “a person” or “a human being.” Here, it is a way of addressing Ezekiel. Also in verses 10, 18.
  8. Ezekiel 43:7 sexual sins This might also mean “turning away from God and being unfaithful to him.”
  9. Ezekiel 43:13 long measurement Literally, “a cubit and a handbreadth.” This cubit equals 20 5/8" (51.83 cm).
  10. Ezekiel 43:13 1 cubit 20 3/8" (51.83 cm).
  11. Ezekiel 43:13 1 span The distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger, about 9" (23 cm).
  12. Ezekiel 43:14 2 cubits 3' 4 13/16" (104 cm). Also in verse 17.
  13. Ezekiel 43:14 4 cubits 6' 9 5/8" (2.1 m).
  14. Ezekiel 43:16 12 cubits 20' 4 7/8" (6.22 m).
  15. Ezekiel 43:17 14 cubits 23' 9 11/16" (7.26 m).
  16. Ezekiel 43:17 1/2 cubit 10 3/16" (25.92 cm).
  17. Ezekiel 44:5 Son of man This was usually just a way of saying “a person” or “a human being.” Here, it is a way of addressing Ezekiel.
  18. Ezekiel 44:7 not circumcised … to me Literally, “not circumcised in their heart or in their body.” See “circumcise, circumcision” in the Word List. Also in verse 9.
  19. Ezekiel 44:20 These priests … grow long This would show that they are sad, and the priests must be happy about serving the Lord.
  20. Ezekiel 44:29 special gift to God Anything offered to God that could not be bought back. See Lev. 27:28-29.
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1 John 1

We want to tell you about the Word[a] that gives life—the one who existed before the world began. This is the one we have heard and have seen with our own eyes. We saw what he did, and our hands touched him. Yes, the one who is life was shown to us. We saw him, and so we can tell others about him. We now tell you about him. He is the eternal life that was with God the Father and was shown to us. We are telling you about what we have seen and heard because we want you to have fellowship[b] with us. The fellowship we share together is with God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. We write these things to you so that you can be full of joy with us.

God Forgives Our Sins

We heard the true teaching from God. Now we tell it to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness. So if we say that we share in life with God, but we continue living in darkness, we are liars, who don’t follow the truth. We should live in the light, where God is. If we live in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood sacrifice of Jesus, God’s Son, washes away every sin and makes us clean.

If we say that we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God will forgive us. We can trust God to do this. He always does what is right. He will make us clean from all the wrong things we have done. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we are saying that God is a liar and that we don’t accept his true teaching.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 John 1:1 Word The Greek word is “ logos,” meaning any kind of communication. Here, it means Christ—the way God told people about himself.
  2. 1 John 1:3 fellowship Associating with people and sharing things together with them. Believers in Christ share love, joy, sorrow, faith, and other things with each other and with God. Also in verse 7.
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Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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