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Ezekiel 44:1-14

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 1  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 2  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, 3  watch closely and listen carefully to 4  everything I tell you concerning all the statutes of the Lord’s house and all its laws. Pay attention to the entrances 5  to the temple with all the exits of the sanctuary. 44:6 Say to the rebellious, 6  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 7  it – even my house – when you offer my food, the fat and the blood. You 8  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 9  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. 10 

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 11  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 12  to the house of Israel, consequently I have made a vow 13  concerning them, declares the sovereign Lord, that they will be responsible 14  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.

1 tn Heb “to eat bread.”

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

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

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

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

6 tc The LXX reads “house of rebellion.”

7 tn Heb “to desecrate.”

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

9 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.

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

11 tn Heb “will bear.”

12 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).

13 tn Heb “I lifted up my hand.”

14 tn Heb “will bear.”

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