Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) September 17
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Ezekiel 43:1--45:25

Context
The Glory Returns to the Temple

43:1 Then he brought me to the gate that faced toward the east. 43:2 I saw 1  the glory of the God of Israel 2  coming from the east; 3  the sound was like that of rushing water; 4  and the earth radiated 5  his glory. 43:3 It was like the vision I saw when he 6  came to destroy the city, and the vision I saw by the Kebar River. I threw myself face down. 43:4 The glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate that faces east. 43:5 Then a wind 7  lifted me up and brought me to the inner court; I watched 8  the glory of the Lord filling the temple. 9 

43:6 I heard someone speaking to me from the temple, while the man was standing beside me. 43:7 He said to me: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne 10  and the place for the soles of my feet, 11  where I will live among the people of Israel forever. The house of Israel will no longer profane my holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their spiritual prostitution or by the pillars of their kings set up when they die. 12  43:8 When they placed their threshold by my threshold and their doorpost by my doorpost, with only the wall between me and them, they profaned my holy name by the abominable deeds they committed. So I consumed them in my anger. 43:9 Now they must put away their spiritual prostitution and the pillars of their kings far from me, and then I will live among them forever.

43:10 “As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, so that they will be ashamed of their sins and measure the pattern. 43:11 When they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its pattern, its exits and entrances, and its whole design – all its statutes, its entire design, and all its laws; write it all down in their sight, so that they may observe its entire design and all its statutes and do them.

43:12 “This is the law of the temple: The entire area on top of the mountain all around will be most holy. Indeed, this is the law of the temple.

The Altar

43:13 “And these are the measurements of the altar: 13  Its base 14  is 1¾ feet 15  high, 16  and 1¾ feet 17  wide, and its border nine inches 18  on its edge. This is to be the height 19  of the altar. 43:14 From the base of the ground to the lower edge is 3½ feet, 20  and the width 1¾ feet; 21  and from the smaller ledge to the larger edge, 7 feet, 22  and the width 1¾ feet; 43:15 and the altar hearth, 7 feet, and from the altar hearth four horns projecting upward. 43:16 Now the altar hearth 23  is a perfect square, 21 feet 24  long and 21 feet wide. 43:17 The ledge is 24½ feet 25  long and 24½ feet wide on four sides; the border around it is 10½ inches, 26  and its surrounding base 1¾ feet. 27  Its steps face east.”

43:18 Then he said to me: “Son of man, this is what the sovereign Lord says: These are the statutes of the altar: On the day it is built to offer up burnt offerings on it and to sprinkle blood on it, 28  43:19 you will give a young bull for a sin offering to the Levitical priests who are descended from Zadok, who approach me to minister to me, declares the sovereign Lord. 43:20 You will take some of its blood, and place it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the border all around; you will cleanse it and make atonement for it. 29  43:21 You will also take the bull for the sin offering, and it will be burned in the appointed place in the temple, outside the sanctuary.

43:22 “On the second day, you will offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering. They will purify the altar just as they purified it with the bull. 43:23 When you have finished purifying it, you will offer an unblemished young bull and an unblemished ram from the flock. 43:24 You will present them before the Lord, and the priests will scatter salt on them 30  and offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord.

43:25 “For seven days you will provide every day a goat for a sin offering; a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without blemish, will be provided. 43:26 For seven days they will make atonement for the altar and cleanse it, so they will consecrate it. 31  43:27 When the prescribed period is over, 32  on the eighth day and thereafter the priests will offer up on the altar your burnt offerings and your peace offerings; 33  I will accept you, declares the sovereign Lord.”

The Closed Gate

44:1 Then he brought me back by way of the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces east, but it was shut. 44:2 The Lord said to me: “This gate will be shut; it will not be opened, and no one will enter by it. For the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it will remain shut. 44:3 Only the prince may sit in it to eat a sacrificial meal 34  before the Lord; he will enter by way of the porch of the gate and will go out by the same way.”

44:4 Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. As I watched, I noticed 35  the glory of the Lord filling the Lord’s temple, and I threw myself face down. 44:5 The Lord said to me: “Son of man, pay attention, 36  watch closely and listen carefully to 37  everything I tell you concerning all the statutes of the Lord’s house and all its laws. Pay attention to the entrances 38  to the temple with all the exits of the sanctuary. 44:6 Say to the rebellious, 39  to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Enough of all your abominable practices, O house of Israel! 44:7 When you bring foreigners, those uncircumcised in heart and in flesh, into my sanctuary, you desecrate 40  it – even my house – when you offer my food, the fat and the blood. You 41  have broken my covenant by all your abominable practices. 44:8 You have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have assigned foreigners 42  to keep charge of my sanctuary for you. 44:9 This is what the sovereign Lord says: No foreigner, who is uncircumcised in heart and flesh among all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, will enter into my sanctuary. 43 

44:10 “‘But the Levites who went far from me, straying off from me after their idols when Israel went astray, will be responsible for 44  their sin. 44:11 Yet they will be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the temple, and serving the temple. They will slaughter the burnt offerings and the sacrifices for the people, and they will stand before them to minister to them. 44:12 Because they used to minister to them before their idols, and became a sinful obstacle 45  to the house of Israel, consequently I have made a vow 46  concerning them, declares the sovereign Lord, that they will be responsible 47  for their sin. 44:13 They will not come near me to serve me as priest, nor will they come near any of my holy things, the things which are most sacred. They will bear the shame of the abominable deeds they have committed. 44:14 Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the temple, all of its service and all that will be done in it.

The Levitical Priests

44:15 “‘But the Levitical priests, the descendants of Zadok 48  who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me, will approach me to minister to me; they will stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood, declares the sovereign Lord. 44:16 They will enter my sanctuary, and approach my table to minister to me; they will keep my charge.

44:17 “‘When they enter the gates of the inner court, they must wear linen garments; they must not have any wool on them when they minister in the inner gates of the court and in the temple. 44:18 Linen turbans will be on their heads and linen undergarments will be around their waists; they must not bind themselves with anything that causes sweat. 44:19 When they go out to the outer court to the people, they must remove the garments they were ministering in, and place them in the holy chambers; they must put on other garments so that they will not transmit holiness to the people with their garments. 49 

44:20 “‘They must not shave their heads 50  nor let their hair grow long; 51  they must only trim their heads. 44:21 No priest may drink wine when he enters the inner court. 44:22 They must not marry a widow or a divorcee, but they may marry a virgin from the house of Israel 52  or a widow who is a priest’s widow. 44:23 Moreover, they will teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the ceremonially unclean and the clean. 53 

44:24 “‘In a controversy they will act as judges; 54  they will judge according to my ordinances. They will keep my laws and my statutes regarding all my appointed festivals and will observe 55  my Sabbaths.

44:25 “‘They must not come near a dead person or they will be defiled; 56  however, for father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister, they may defile themselves. 44:26 After a priest 57  has become ceremonially clean, they 58  must count off a period of seven days for him. 44:27 On the day he enters the sanctuary, into the inner court to serve in the sanctuary, he must offer his sin offering, declares the sovereign Lord.

44:28 “‘This will be their inheritance: I am their inheritance, and you must give them no property in Israel; I am their property. 59  44:29 They may eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering, and every devoted thing in Israel will be theirs. 44:30 The first of all the first fruits and all contributions of any kind 60  will be for the priests; you will also give to the priest the first portion of your dough, so that a blessing may rest on your house. 44:31 The priests will not eat any bird or animal that has died a natural death or was torn to pieces by a wild animal. 61 

The Lord’s Portion of the Land

45:1 “‘When you allot the land as an inheritance, you will offer an allotment 62  to the Lord, a holy portion from the land; the length will be eight and a quarter miles 63  and the width three and one-third miles. 64  This entire area will be holy. 65  45:2 Of this area a square 875 feet 66  by 875 feet will be designated for the sanctuary, with 87½ feet 67  set aside for its open space round about. 45:3 From this measured area you will measure a length of eight and a quarter miles 68  and a width of three and one-third miles; 69  in it will be the sanctuary, the most holy place. 45:4 It will be a holy portion of the land; it will be for the priests, the ministers of the sanctuary who approach the Lord to minister to him. It will be a place for their houses and a holy place for the sanctuary. 70  45:5 An area eight and a quarter miles 71  in length and three and one-third miles 72  in width will be for the Levites, who minister at the temple, as the place for the cities 73  in which they will live.

45:6 “‘Alongside the portion set apart as the holy allotment, you will allot for the city an area one and two-thirds miles 74  wide and eight and a quarter miles 75  long; it will be for the whole house of Israel.

45:7 “‘For the prince there will be land on both sides of the holy allotment and the allotted city, alongside the holy allotment and the allotted city, on the west side and on the east side; it will be comparable in length to one of the portions, from the west border to the east border 45:8 of the land. This will be his property in Israel. My princes will no longer oppress my people, but the land will be allotted to the house of Israel according to their tribes.

45:9 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Enough, you princes of Israel! Put away violence and destruction, and do what is just and right. Put an end to your evictions of my people, 76  declares the sovereign Lord. 45:10 You must use just balances, 77  a just dry measure (an ephah), 78  and a just liquid measure (a bath). 79  45:11 The dry and liquid measures will be the same, the bath will contain a tenth of a homer, 80  and the ephah a tenth of a homer; the homer will be the standard measure. 45:12 The shekel will be twenty gerahs. Sixty shekels 81  will be a mina for you.

45:13 “‘This is the offering you must offer: a sixth of an ephah from a homer of wheat; a sixth of an ephah from a homer of barley, 45:14 and as the prescribed portion of olive oil, one tenth of a bath from each kor (which is ten baths or a homer, for ten baths make a homer); 45:15 and one sheep from each flock of two hundred, from the watered places of Israel, for a grain offering, burnt offering, and peace offering, to make atonement for them, declares the sovereign Lord. 45:16 All the people of the land will contribute 82  to this offering for the prince of Israel. 45:17 It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, the grain offering, and the drink offering at festivals, on the new moons and Sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel; he will provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.

45:18 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: In the first month, on the first day of the month, you must take an unblemished young bull and purify the sanctuary. 45:19 The priest will take some of the blood of the sin offering and place it on the doorpost of the temple, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the doorpost of the gate of the inner court. 45:20 This is what you must do on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins inadvertently or through ignorance; so you will make atonement for the temple.

45:21 “‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you will celebrate the Passover, and for seven days bread made without yeast will be eaten. 45:22 On that day the prince will provide for himself and for all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering. 45:23 And during the seven days of the feast he will provide as a burnt offering to the Lord seven bulls and seven rams, all without blemish, on each of the seven days, and a male goat daily for a sin offering. 45:24 He will provide as a grain offering an ephah for each bull, an ephah for each ram, and a gallon 83  of olive oil for each ephah of grain. 84  45:25 In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, at the feast, 85  he will make the same provisions for the sin offering, burnt offering, and grain offering, and for the olive oil, for the seven days.

1 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

2 sn This same title appears in 8:4; 9:3; 10:19; and 11:22.

3 sn Earlier Ezekiel had observed God leaving the temple to the east (11:23).

4 sn See Ezek 1:24; Rev 1:15; 14:2; 19:6.

5 tn Heb “shone from.”

6 tc Heb “I.” The reading is due to the confusion of yod (י, indicating a first person pronoun) and vav (ו, indicating a third person pronoun). A few medieval Hebrew mss, Theodotion’s Greek version, and the Latin Vulgate support a third person pronoun here.

7 tn See note on “wind” in 2:2.

8 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

9 sn In 1 Kgs 8:10-11 we find a similar event with regard to Solomon’s temple. See also Exod 40:34-35. and Isa 6:4.

10 sn God’s throne is mentioned in Isa 6:1; Jer 3:17.

11 sn See 1 Chr 28:2; Ps 99:5; 132:7; Isa 60:13; Lam 2:1.

12 tn Heb “by their corpses in their death.” But the term normally translated “corpses” is better understood here as a reference to funeral pillars or funerary offerings. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:583-85, and L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:257.

13 tn Heb “the measurements of the altar by cubits, the cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth.” The measuring units here and in the remainder of this section are the Hebrew “long” cubit, consisting of a cubit (about 18 inches or 45 cm) and a handbreadth (about 3 inches or 7.5 cm), for a total of 21 inches (52.5 cm). Because modern readers are not familiar with the cubit as a unit of measurement, and due to the additional complication of the “long” cubit as opposed to the regular cubit, all measurements have been converted to American standard feet and inches, with the Hebrew measurements and the metric equivalents given in the notes. On the altar see Ezek 40:47.

14 tn The Hebrew term normally means “bosom.” Here it refers to a hollow in the ground.

15 tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm).

16 tn The word “high” is not in the Hebrew text but is supplied in the translation for clarity.

17 tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm).

18 tn Heb “one span.” A span was three handbreadths, or about nine inches (i.e., 22.5 cm).

19 tc Heb “bulge, protuberance, mound.” The translation follows the LXX.

20 tn Heb “two cubits” (i.e., 1.05 meters).

21 tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm; the phrase occurs again later in this verse).

22 tn Heb “four cubits” (i.e., 2.1 meters; the phrase also occurs in the next verse).

23 tn The precise Hebrew word used here to refer to an “altar hearth” occurs only here in the OT.

24 tn Heb “twelve cubits” (i.e., 6.3 meters; the phrase occurs twice in this verse).

25 tn Heb “fourteen”; the word “cubits” is not in the Hebrew text but is understood from the context; the phrase occurs again later in this verse. Fourteen cubits is about 7.35 meters.

26 tn Heb “half a cubit” (i.e., 26.25 cm).

27 tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm).

28 sn For the “sprinkling of blood,” see Lev 1:5, 11; 8:19; 9:12.

29 sn Note the similar language in Lev 16:18.

30 sn It is likely that salt was used with sacrificial meals (Num 18:19; 2 Chr 13:5).

31 tn Heb “fill its hands.”

32 tn Heb “and they will complete the days.”

33 sn The people also could partake of the food of the peace offering (Lev 3).

34 tn Heb “to eat bread.”

35 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

36 tn Heb “set your heart” (so also in the latter part of the verse).

37 tn Heb “Set your mind, look with your eyes, and with your ears hear.”

38 tc The Syriac, Vulgate, and Targum read the plural. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:618.

39 tc The LXX reads “house of rebellion.”

40 tn Heb “to desecrate.”

41 tc The Greek, Syriac, and Latin versions read “you.” The Masoretic text reads “they.”

42 tc Instead of an energic nun (ן), the text may have read a third masculine plural suffix ם (mem), “them,” which was confused with ן (nun) in the old script. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:621.

tn This word is not in the Hebrew text but is supplied from the context.

43 sn Tobiah, an Ammonite (Neh 13:8), was dismissed from the temple.

44 tn Heb “will bear.”

45 tn Heb “a stumbling block of iniquity.” This is a unique phrase of the prophet Ezekiel (cf. also Ezek 7:19; 14:3, 4, 7; 18:30).

46 tn Heb “I lifted up my hand.”

47 tn Heb “will bear.”

48 sn Zadok was a descendant of Aaron through Eleazar (1 Chr 6:50-53), who served as a priest during David’s reign (2 Sam 8:17).

49 sn For a similar concept of the transmitting of holiness, see Exod 19:12-14; Lev 10:1-2; 2 Sam 6:7. Similar laws concerning the priest are found in Lev 10 and 21.

50 sn The shaving of the head was associated with mourning (Ezek 7:18).

51 sn Letting the hair grow was associated with the taking of a vow (Num 6:5; Acts 21:23-26).

52 tn Heb “from the offspring of the house of Israel.”

53 sn This task was a fundamental role of the priest (Lev 10:10).

54 sn For a historical illustration of the priest carrying out this function, see 2 Chr 19:9-11.

55 tn Heb “sanctify, set apart.”

56 sn This law was part of the legal code for priests (Lev 21:1-3).

57 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the priest) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

58 tc One medieval Hebrew ms, the LXX, and the Syriac along with Lev 15:13, 28 read the verb as singular.

59 sn See Num 18:20; Deut 10:9; 18:2; Josh 13:33; 18:7.

60 tn Heb has in addition “from your contributions,” a repetition unnecessary in English.

61 tn The words “by a wild animal” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation as a clarification of the circumstances.

sn For this law, see Lev 7:24; 17:15.

62 tn Heb “a contribution.”

63 tn Heb “twenty-five thousand cubits” (i.e., 13.125 kilometers). The measuring units here are the Hebrew “long” cubit, consisting of a cubit (about 18 inches or 45 cm) and a handbreadth (about 3 inches or 7.5 cm), for a total of 21 inches (52.5 cm). Because modern readers are not familiar with the cubit as a unit of measurement, and due to the additional complication of the “long” cubit as opposed to the regular cubit, all measurements have been converted to American standard miles (one mile = 5,280 feet), with the Hebrew measurements and the metric equivalents given in the notes.

64 tc The LXX reads “twenty thousand cubits.”

tn Heb “ten thousand cubits” (i.e., 5.25 kilometers).

65 tn Heb “holy it is in all its territory round about.”

66 tn Heb “five hundred cubits” (i.e., 262.5 meters); the phrase occurs twice in this verse.

67 tn Heb “fifty cubits” (i.e., 26.25 meters).

68 tn Heb “twenty-five thousand cubits” (i.e., 13.125 kilometers).

69 tn Heb “ten thousand cubits” (i.e., 5.25 kilometers).

70 tc The LXX apparently understood “open land” instead of “sanctuary.”

71 tn Heb “twenty-five thousand cubits” (i.e., 13.125 kilometers).

72 tn Heb “ten thousand cubits” (i.e., 5.25 kilometers).

73 tc The translation follows the LXX here. The MT reads “twenty.” See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:246.

74 tn Heb “five thousand cubits” (i.e., 2.625 kilometers).

75 tn Heb “twenty-five thousand cubits” (i.e., 13.125 kilometers).

76 sn Evictions of the less fortunate by the powerful are described in 1 Kgs 21:1-16; Jer 22:1-5, 13-17; Ezek 22:25.

77 sn Previous legislation regarding this practice may be found in Lev 19:35-36; Deut 25:13-16; Mic 6:10-12.

78 tn Heb “ephah,” which was 1/2 bushel.

79 tn Heb “bath,” a liquid measure, was 5 1/2 gallons.

80 sn The homer was about 5 bushels as a dry measure and 55 gallons as a liquid measure.

81 tn Heb “twenty shekels, twenty-five shekels, fifteen shekels.”

82 tn Heb “will be.”

83 tn Heb “a hin of oil.” A hin was about 1/16 of a bath. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:266, and O. R. Sellers, “Weights,” IDB 4:835 g.

84 tn Heb “ephah.” The words “of grain” are supplied in the translation as a clarification.

85 sn That is, the Feast of Temporary Shelters, traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles (Exod 23:16; 34:22; Deut 16:16).



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