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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Ezekiel 44:1-31

44  And he brought me back toward the eastward-looking outer gate of the sanctuary, and it was closed. 2  And Jehovah said to me “This gate shall be closed; it shall never be opened, and no man shall go in by it, because Israel’s God Jehovah went in by it and it is to be closed. 3*  The prince, he shall sit in it to eat a meal before Jehovah; he shall go in by way of the gate porch and go out the same way.” 4  And he brought me in by way of the north gate to the front of the house, and I saw that the glory of Jehovah filled Jehovah’s house; and I threw myself down on my face. 5*  And Jehovah said to me “Man, fix your mind and use your eyes and listen with your ears to all that I am speaking with you as to all the usages of Jehovah’s house and all its rulings, and fix your mind on the way to come to the house by all the exits from the precinct, 6*  and say to the house of Israel ‘Says the Lord Jehovah, No more of all your abominable doings, house of Israel, 7  in that you have brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and in flesh, to be in my sanctuary and to profane it when you offer my food, fat and blood; and you have broken my covenant over and above all your abominable doings, 8*  and not kept the charge of my sacred things, but installed them for keepers of my charge in my sanctuary. 9  Therefore the Lord Jehovah says, No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and in flesh shall come into my sacred precinct, not any foreigner that there is in the midst of the sons of Israel; 10*  but the Levites who slipped far away from me when Israel was going astray, as they went astray from me to follow their fetishes, they shall bear their guilt 11  and shall be in my sanctuary as servitors, guards at the gates of the house and servitors of the house; they shall slaughter the burnt-offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to officiate for them, 12  since they did officiate for them before their fetishes and became to the house of Israel a snag tripping them up into guilt; therefore I have taken a pledge against them, quoth the Lord Jehovah, that they shall bear their guilt 13*  and shall not approach me to act as priests to me and to approach all my sacred things and the holiest of the holy, but bear their humiliation for their straying that they did. 14  And I will put them in charge of the house for all its work, everything that is to be done about it. 15  “‘But the Levite priests, the sons of Sadok, who did keep the charge of my sacred things when the sons of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near me to officiate for me and shall stand before me to present fat and blood to me, quoth the Lord Jehovah. 16  They shall come into my sanctuary, and they shall come near my table to officiate for me, and shall have charge about me. 17  And when they come into the gates of the inner court they shall wear linen garments, and no wool shall go on them while they officiate in the gates of the inner court and further in. 18  They shall have linen headdresses on their heads and linen drawers on their loins; they shall not put round them a belt of sweat. 19  And when they go out to the outer court to the people, they shall strip off their garments that they officiate in and lay them in the sacred vestries and put on other garments, so as not to consecrate the people by their garments. 20  And they shall not shave their heads nor wear their hair long; they shall shear their heads. 21  And no priest shall drink wine when they are going into the inner court. 22*  And they shall not marry a widow or divorced woman, but maidens of the stock of the house of Israel; a widow who is a priest’s widow they may marry. 23  And they shall give my people rulings for distinction between sacred and secular and for diagnosis between unclean and clean; 24  and over controversies they shall stand to give judgment, and they shall judge by my laws. And at all my dates they shall observe my rulings and usages, and they shall hallow my sabbaths. 25  And they shall never go in to a dead human being so as to be defiled, except that for father and mother and son and daughter and brother and unmarried sister they may defile themselves, 26  but after one’s cleansing he shall have seven days counted for him, 27  and on the day of his going into the sacred part, into the inner court, to officiate in the sacred part, he shall present his sin-offering, quoth the Lord Jehovah. 28  And as for estate for them, I am their estate, and you shall not give them a property in Israel; I am their property. 29  The grain-offerings and the sin-offerings and the expiation-offerings are for them to eat, and every deodand in Israel belongs to them; 30*  and the first of all earliest cuttings of everything, and every contribution of anything among all your contributions, shall belong to the priests, and the first of your cooked cereals you shall give to the priest, to have a blessing rest on your houses. 31  Any meat from a creature, bird or beast, that has died a natural death or been killed by wild beasts, the priests shall not eat.

Footnotes

44:3 Var. The prince, he is prince, he shall
44:5 (last part) Susp.; conj. on those who are to be admitted to the house and those who are to be excluded from all the precinct
44:6 Codd. say to disobedience, the house of Var. say to the disobedient house, the house of
44:8 Codd. but installed for keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. Says the Lord Jehovah (var. in my sanctuary. Therefore the Lord Jehovah says)
44:10 Lit. that they went or who went
44:13 Var. their humiliation and their abominations that they committed
44:22 Var. stock of Israel
44:30 Var. the first of everything, and the firstfruits of everything, and every