New International Version

Ezekiel 44

The Priesthood Restored

1Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. 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. 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.”

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.

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. Say to rebellious Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Enough of your detestable practices, people of Israel! 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. Instead of carrying out your duty in regard to my holy things, you put others in charge of my sanctuary. 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.

Notas al pie

  1. Ezekiel 44:27 Or purification offering; also in verse 29
  2. Ezekiel 44:29 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord.

New International Reader's Version

Ezekiel 44

The Priesthood Will Be Established Again

1Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the temple. It was the one that faced east. It was shut. The Lord said to me, “This gate must remain shut. It must not be opened. No one can enter through it. It must remain shut because I have entered through it. I am the God of Israel. The prince is the only one who can sit in the gateway. There he can eat in front of me. He must enter through the porch of the gateway. And he must go out the same way.”

Then the man brought me through the north gate. He took me to the front of the temple. I looked up and saw the glory of the Lord. It filled his temple. I fell with my face toward the ground.

The Lord said to me, “Son of man, pay attention. Look carefully. Listen closely to everything I tell you. I’m telling you about all the rules and instructions concerning my temple. Pay attention to the entrance to the temple and to all its exits. Speak to the people of Israel. They refuse to obey me. Tell them, ‘Here is what the Lord and King says. “People of Israel, I have had enough of your evil practices. I hate them. You brought outsiders into my temple. They were not circumcised. Their hearts were stubborn. You made my temple ‘unclean.’ But you offered me food, fat and blood anyway. When you did all these things, you broke the covenant I made with you. I hated all the evil things you did. You did not do what I told you to. You did not take care of my holy things. Instead, you put other people in charge of my temple.” ’ ” The Lord and King says, “No outsider whose heart is stubborn can enter my temple. They have not been circumcised. Even if they live among the people of Israel they can’t enter my temple.

10 “Some Levites wandered far away from me when Israel went astray. They worshiped the statues of their gods. So they will be punished because they have sinned. 11 They might serve in my temple. They might be in charge of its gates. They might kill the burnt offerings and sacrifices for the people. And they might stand in front of the people and serve them in other ways. 12 But these Levites served the people of Israel. They served while the Israelites were worshiping the statues of their gods. They made the people fall into sin. So I raised my hand and made a promise. I warned them that I would punish them because of their sin,” announces the Lord and King. 13 “They must not approach me to serve me as priests. They must not come near any of my holy things. They must stay away from my very holy offerings. They did many things they should have been ashamed of. I hated those things. 14 But I will still appoint them to guard the temple. They will guard it for all the work that has to be done there.

15 “But the priests must approach me to serve me. They are Levites from Zadok’s family line. They guarded my temple when the people of Israel turned away from me. These priests must serve me by offering sacrifices of fat and blood,” announces the Lord and King. 16 “They are the only ones who can enter my temple. Only they can come near to serve me as guards.

17 “They will enter the gates of the inner courtyard. When they do, they must wear linen clothes. They will serve at the gates of the inner courtyard or inside the temple. When they do, they must not wear any clothes made out of wool. 18 They must have linen turbans on their heads. They must wear linen underwear around their waists. They must not wear anything that makes them sweat. 19 They will go into the outer courtyard where the people are. When they do, they must take off the clothes they have been serving in. They must leave them in the sacred rooms. And they must put other clothes on. Then the people will not be made holy if they happen to touch the priests’ clothes.

20 “The priests must not shave their heads. They must not let their hair grow long. They must keep it cut short. 21 No priest may drink wine when he enters the inner courtyard. 22 They must not get married to widows or divorced women. They may only marry Israelite virgins or the widows of priests. 23 The priests must teach my people the difference between what is holy and what is not. They must show them how to tell the difference between what is ‘clean’ and what is not.

24 “When people do not agree, the priests must serve as judges between them. They must make their decisions based on my laws. They must obey my laws and rules for all my appointed feasts. And they must keep my Sabbath days holy.

25 “A priest must not make himself ‘unclean’ by going near a dead person. But suppose the dead person was his father or mother. Or suppose it was his son or daughter or brother or unmarried sister. Then the priest may make himself ‘unclean.’ 26 After he is pure and ‘clean’ again, he must wait seven days. 27 Then he may go to the inner courtyard to serve in the temple. But when he does, he must sacrifice a sin offering for himself,” announces the Lord and King.

28 “The priests will not receive any part of the land of Israel. I myself will be their only share. 29 They will eat the grain offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings. Everything in Israel that is set apart to me in a special way will belong to them. 30 The best of every first share of the people’s crops will belong to the priests. So will all their special gifts. The people must give the priests the first share of their ground meal. Then I will bless my people’s families. 31 The priests must not eat any bird or animal that is found dead. They must not eat anything that wild animals have torn apart.