August 5, 2022
Return of the divine glory
Then he led me to the east gate, 2 where the glory of Israel’s God was coming in from the east. Its sound was like the sound of a mighty flood, and the earth was lit up with his glory. 3 What appeared when I looked was like what I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and also like what I saw at the Chebar River, and I fell on my face. 4 Then the Lord’s glory came into the temple by way of the east gate. 5 A wind picked me up and brought me to the inner courtyard, and there the Lord’s glory filled the temple. 6 A man was standing next to me, but the voice that I heard came from inside the temple. 7 He said to me, Human one, this is the place for my throne and the place for the soles of my feet, where I will dwell among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel will never again defile my holy name, neither they nor their kings, with their disloyalties and with their kings’ corpses at the shrines. 8 When they set their plazas with mine and their doorposts next to mine, the wall was between us. They defiled my holy name with their detestable practices, so I consumed them in my anger. 9 Now let them remove their disloyalties and their kings’ corpses from me, and I will dwell among them forever.
10 You, human one, describe the temple to the house of Israel. Let them be humiliated because of their guilt when they think about its design. 11 When they feel humiliated by all that they have done, make known to them the shape of the temple and its adornment, its exits and its entrances, its entire plan and all of its regulations. Write them down in their sight so that they may observe all of its entire plan and all its regulations and perform them.
12 These are the instructions for the temple: the top of the mountain, as well as its boundaries all around, are most holy. These are the instructions for the temple.
13 These are the dimensions of the altar, according to a twenty-one-inch unit of measure. The base is twenty-one inches high and twenty-one inches wide, with an outer curb measuring one and a half inches all around. This is the altar’s height. 14 From the base at ground level to the lower ledge is forty-two inches; the lower ledge is twenty-one inches wide. The distance from the lower to the upper ledge is seven feet; the upper ledge is twenty-one inches wide. 15 The hearth is seven feet high, with four horns projecting upward from the hearth. 16 The hearth is twenty-one feet square; each side is equal to the others. 17 The ledge around the hearth is twenty-four and a half feet long by twenty-four and a half feet wide, a square. Its outer rim is ten and a half inches, and its base all around is twenty-one inches. Its ramp faces east.
Purification of the altar
18 He said to me, Human one, the Lord God proclaims: These are the regulations established for the altar on the day when it is prepared for making entirely burned offerings and dashing blood on it. 19 You will provide a young bull as a purification offering to the levitical priests who are descendants of Zadok, the ones who may draw near to minster to me. This is what the Lord God says. 20 You will take some of its blood and set it on the four horns of the altar and on the four sides of the ledge and on the curb all around. So you will purify it and purge it. 21 Then you will take the bull selected as the purification offering, and the priests will burn it in a designated place of the temple outside of the sanctuary. 22 On the second day, you will present a flawless male goat as a purification offering. The priests will purify the altar just as they purified the altar with the bull. 23 When you have completed the purification, you will present a flawless bull from the herd and a flawless ram from the flock. 24 You will present them to the Lord. The priests will throw salt on them and offer them as entirely burned offerings to the Lord. 25 Daily, for seven days, you will present a male goat for a purification offering. You will also present a bull from the herd and a ram from the flock, both flawless. 26 For seven days the priests will purge the altar in order to purify it and to dedicate it. 27 When the seven days are completed, the priests will offer your entirely burned offerings and your well-being sacrifices on the altar from the eighth day on, and I will accept you with pleasure. This is what the Lord God says.
The closed gate
He brought me back to the outer sanctuary gate that faces east. It was closed. 2 The Lord said to me, This gate remains closed. It shouldn’t be opened. No one should come in through it because the Lord, Israel’s God, has entered through it. It will remain closed. 3 As for the prince, he may sit in it to eat bread in the Lord’s presence. He may come in and go out by way of the gate’s porch.
Foreigners, Levites, Zadokites
4 Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. I looked, and suddenly the Lord’s glory filled the Lord’s temple, and I fell on my face. 5 Then the Lord said to me: Human one, pay close attention! Use your eyes and ears and listen to all that I say to you concerning the regulations of the Lord’s temple and all its instructions. Pay close attention to the access to the temple through all the sanctuary portals. 6 Speak to the rebels, to the house of Israel, The Lord God proclaims: Enough of your detestable practices, house of Israel! 7 You made my temple unclean because you brought into my sanctuary foreigners who were physically and spiritually uncircumcised. When you offered my food of fat and blood to me, you broke my covenant with all your detestable practices. 8 You didn’t keep charge of my holy things. On the contrary, you appointed them to keep charge in my sanctuary for you.
9 The Lord God proclaims: Foreigners who are spiritually and physically uncircumcised must not enter my sanctuary; that is, all foreigners among the Israelites. 10 But the Levites, who went far from me when Israel went astray, who went astray from me after their idols, will bear their guilt. 11 They will keep charge in my sanctuary, and they will oversee the temple gates and keep charge of the temple. They will slaughter the entirely burned offerings and the sacrifices for the people, and they will stand before them to minister to them. 12 Because they ministered to them before their idols, they brought about the downfall of the house of Israel. For that reason I made a solemn pledge against them—this is what the Lord God says—and they will bear their guilt. 13 They won’t approach me to officiate for me as priests or approach any of my holy things or the most holy place. Though they will bear their humiliation and the consequences of their detestable practices, 14 I will appoint them to keep charge of the temple, all its work, and all that is done in it.
15 As for the priests of the levitical family of Zadok who did keep charge of my sanctuary when the Israelites strayed away from me, they will draw near to me to serve me. They will stand in my presence to present fat and blood to me. This is what the Lord God says. 16 They will come into my sanctuary, and they will approach my table to minister to me. They will keep my charge. 17 When they come through the gates to the inner courtyard, they will wear linen garments. They won’t wear any wool when they minister at the gates of the inner courtyard or in the temple. 18 They will have linen turbans on their heads and linen undergarments around their waists. They won’t wear anything that makes them sweat. 19 When they go out to the outer courtyard to the people, they will remove the garments in which they were ministering. They will lay them aside in the holy chambers and wear other clothing. They must not transfer holiness to the people through their clothing. 20 They must neither shave their heads nor let their hair grow long, but they will trim the hair on their heads. 21 None of the priests should drink wine when they come into the inner courtyard. 22 They must not marry widows or divorced women, but only Israelite virgins. Priests may, however, marry the widows of other priests. 23 They must teach my people the difference between the holy and the ordinary, and show them the difference between clean and unclean. 24 They must execute judgments according to my case laws in cases of civil conflict. They must observe my instructions and my regulations regarding all my festivals. They must keep my sabbaths holy. 25 In order to avoid uncleanness, they must not approach the dead. They may, however, become unclean for their father or mother, son or daughter, brother or unmarried sister. 26 Once the priest is clean again, he must count off seven days. 27 On the day that he comes into the holy place, the inner courtyard, to minister in the holy place, he will present his purification offering. This is what the Lord God says. 28 As for their inheritance, I am their inheritance. They won’t be given family property in Israel; I am their family property. 29 They will eat the grain offerings, the purification offerings, and the compensation offerings. Every dedicated thing in Israel belongs to them. 30 The best of the early produce of every kind, and every contribution, all of them, belong to the priests. You will give the best of your bread dough to the priest so that a blessing may come to rest on your household. 31 The priests must not eat any bird or animal that dies naturally or is torn apart by prey.
The holy portion
When you distribute the land as an inheritance, you will set aside a holy portion of land for the Lord. It will be 7.1 miles long and 5.68 miles[i] wide. It will be holy throughout the entire area. 2 Out of this portion, an area seven hundred fifty feet by seven hundred fifty feet square will be for the sanctuary. All around it will be an open space seventy-five feet wide. 3 Beginning with this measurement, you will measure out an area 7.1 miles long and 2.84 miles wide. The sanctuary, the most holy place, will lie on it. 4 It is holy, set apart from the land, and it belongs to the priests who draw near to minister in the Lord’s sanctuary. It will be a place for their houses, and a holy place for the sanctuary. 5 The area 7.1 miles long and 2.84 miles wide will be for the Levites who minister in the temple. Twenty chambers are theirs as their property. 6 As the property for the city, you will set aside an area 1.42 miles wide and 7.1 miles long next to the holy portion. It will be for the whole house of Israel. 7 The territory for the prince will be on both sides of the holy portion and the city property, alongside the holy portion and alongside the city property, from their western boundaries westward and from their eastern boundaries eastward. Its length will equal one tribal portion, from the western border to the eastern border. 8 The land will be his property in Israel, and my princes will no longer oppress my people. They will give the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes.
9 The Lord God proclaims: Enough, princes of Israel! Turn aside from violence and oppression. Establish justice and righteousness. Cease your evictions of my people! This is what the Lord God says: 10 You must use fair scales, a fair ephah, and a fair bath. 11 The ephah and the bath must be the same size. Both should be calibrated to the homer: each will contain one-tenth of a homer. 12 The shekel must weigh twenty gerahs. Twenty shekels, twenty-five shekels, and fifteen shekels will equal one maneh for you.
Sacrificial offerings and gifts
13 These are your prescribed contributions: one-sixth of an ephah for each homer of wheat, and one-sixth of an ephah for each homer of barley; 14 a regular amount of oil, one-tenth of a bath for each kor (each kor contains ten baths); 15 and one sheep from the flock for every two hundred from Israel’s pastureland, for grain offerings, for entirely burned offerings, and for well-being sacrifices to make reconciliation for them. This is what the Lord God says. 16 All the people will make this contribution on behalf of the prince in Israel. 17 The prince will be responsible for the entirely burned offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings for the festivals, new moons, and sabbaths, all the appointed festivals of the house of Israel. He will offer the purification offering, the grain offering, the entirely burned offering, and the well-being sacrifice to make reconciliation on behalf of the house of Israel.
18 The Lord God proclaims: On the first day of the first month, you will take a flawless young bull from the herd, and you will purify the sanctuary. 19 The priest will take some of the blood from the purification offering, and he will set it on the doorposts of the temple and on the four corners of the ledge of the altar and on the doorposts of the gate to the inner courtyard. 20 You will do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins through inadvertence or ignorance. So you will purge the temple. 21 Your Passover will be on the fourteenth day of the first month. Unleavened bread will be eaten during the seven days of the festival. 22 On that day, the prince will provide a young bull as the purification offering for himself and for the people of the land. 23 For the seven days of the festival, he will provide seven flawless bulls and seven flawless rams, one for each day of the festival, as the entirely burned offering for the Lord, and, for the purification offering, one male goat for each day. 24 He will also provide the grain offerings, one ephah for each bull, and one ephah for each ram, with one hin of oil for each ephah. 25 For the festival that begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, he will make the same provisions for the purification offerings, entirely burned offerings, grain offerings, and oil, for all seven days of the festival.
Sabbaths and gift offerings
The Lord God proclaims: The east-facing gate of the inner courtyard will remain closed for the six days of the workweek. But on the Sabbath and on the day of the new moon it will be opened, 2 and the prince will come in from outside by way of the porch of the gate and stand at the gate’s doorposts. The priests will present the prince’s entirely burned offerings and well-being sacrifices, and then he will bow down on the threshold of the gate and go out. The gate won’t be closed until evening 3 so that the people of the land may bow in the presence of the Lord on sabbaths and new moons at the opening of that gate. 4 On the Sabbath day, the prince will offer to the Lord an entirely burned offering of six flawless lambs and a flawless ram, 5 a grain offering of one ephah for the ram, and a grain offering at his discretion for the lambs, with one hin of oil for each ephah. 6 For the day of the new moon, the offering will be a flawless young bull from the herd, six lambs, and a flawless ram, 7 and he will provide a grain offering of one ephah each for the bull and the ram, and for the lambs as much as he likes, with one hin of oil for each ephah.
8 When the prince enters, he comes in by way of the porch of the gate and goes out in the same direction. 9 When the people of the land come into the Lord’s presence for the festivals, those who enter through the north gate to worship should go out through the south, and those who come in through the south gate should go out through the north gate. They shouldn’t turn around and go out the same way they came in. Instead, they should go out the opposite gate. 10 The prince should accompany them: when they come in, he comes in, and when they go out, he goes out. 11 At the festivals and appointed gatherings, the grain offering is one ephah for each bull, one ephah for each ram, and whatever one is able to give for each lamb, with one hin of oil for each ephah.
12 Whenever the prince makes a spontaneous gift to the Lord, whether it is an entirely burned offering or a well-being sacrifice, the gate facing east will be opened for him, and he will present his entirely burned offering and well-being sacrifices, just as he does on the Sabbath day. When he leaves, the gate will be closed after he has gone out.
13 As a daily entirely burned offering for the Lord, you will provide a flawless year-old lamb. You will make the offering every morning. 14 You will provide a grain offering along with it every morning, one-sixth of an ephah along with one-third of a hin of oil to moisten the choice flour. This is a permanent and perpetual regulation for the grain offering to the Lord. 15 So the lamb, the grain offering, and the oil are provided every morning as a perpetual entirely burned offering.
Royal land grants
16 The Lord God proclaims: When the prince gives a gift to each of his sons, it becomes their inheritance. It becomes their family property as an inheritance. 17 And if he gives one of his servants a gift from his inheritance, it will belong to the servant only until the year of release, and then it will revert to the prince. It is his children’s inheritance; it belongs to them. 18 The prince won’t take the people’s inheritance by evicting them from their family property. He will bequeath only his own property to his sons, lest any of my people be deprived of their rightful property.
19 Then he brought me through the passage beside the gate next to the priests’ quarters, the holy chambers facing north. There was a place hidden away on the western side. 20 He said to me, “Rather than taking these offerings out into the outer courtyard and transferring holiness to the people, this is the place where the priests will boil the compensation offerings and the purification offerings, and where they will bake the grain offerings.”
21 Then he took me to the outer courtyard, and he had me pass through its four corners, and I saw that there were additional courtyards in each of the corners. 22 In all four corners of the courtyard, these courtyards were constructed to handle smoke. All four were the same size, sixty feet long by forty-five feet wide. 23 All four had stone masonry all the way around, and hearths were built under this masonry all the way around. 24 He said to me, “These are the kitchens where those who minister in the temple cook the people’s sacrifices.”
When he brought me back to the temple’s entrance, I noticed that water was flowing toward the east from under the temple’s threshold (the temple faced east). The water was going out from under the temple’s facade toward the south, south of the altar. 2 He led me out through the north gate and around the outside to the outer east gate, where the water flowed out under the facade on the south side. 3 With the line in his hand, the man went out toward the east. When he measured off fifteen hundred feet, he made me cross the water; it was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another fifteen hundred feet and made me cross the water; it was knee-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet and made me cross the water, and it was waist-high. 5 When he measured off another fifteen hundred feet, it had become a river that I couldn’t cross. The water was high, deep enough for swimming but too high to cross. 6 He said to me, “Human one, do you see?” Then he led me back to the edge of the river. 7 When I went back, I saw very many trees on both banks of the river. 8 He said to me, “These waters go out to the eastern region, flow down the steep slopes, and go into the Dead Sea.[t] When the flowing waters enter the sea, its water becomes fresh. 9 Wherever the river flows, every living thing that moves will thrive. There will be great schools of fish, because when these waters enter the sea, it will be fresh. Wherever the river flows, everything will live. 10 People will stand fishing beside it, from En-gedi to En-eglayim, and it will become a place for spreading nets. It will be like the Mediterranean Sea, having all kinds of fish in it. 11 Its marshes and swamps won’t be made fresh (they are left for salt), 12 but on both banks of the river will grow up all kinds of fruit-bearing trees. Their leaves won’t wither, and their fruitfulness won’t wane. They will produce fruit in every month, because their water comes from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for eating, their leaves for healing.”
13 The Lord God proclaims: These are the boundaries of the portions of land that will be distributed as an inheritance to the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph will receive two portions. 14 What I swore to give to your ancestors, you will distribute as an inheritance equally. This land is given to you as an inheritance. 15 This is the boundary of the land. The northern limit begins at the Mediterranean Sea and goes in the direction of Hethlon toward Lebo-hamath, Zedad, 16 Berothah, Sibraim (which is between the boundary of Damascus and the boundary of Hamath), and Hazer-hatticon (that is on the boundary of Hauran). 17 So the boundary from the Mediterranean Sea to Hazar-enon will run north of the boundary of Damascus, with the boundary of Hamath to the north. This is the northern limit. 18 For the eastern limit, you will measure continuously between Hauran and Damascus and between Gilead and the land of Israel, along the Jordan River as far as the Dead Sea. This is the eastern limit. 19 The southern limit runs from Tamar to the waters of Meribath-kadesh and from there along the border of Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. This is the southern limit. 20 For the western limit, the Mediterranean Sea is the boundary up to Lebo-hamath. This is the western limit. 21 You will apportion this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 When you distribute the land as an inheritance, the immigrants who reside with you and raise families among you are considered full citizens along with the Israelites. They will receive an inheritance along with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 You will assign the immigrants’ inheritance with the tribe with whom they reside. This is what the Lord God says.
These are the tribes’ names: Beginning at the north, along the Hethlon road from Lebo-hamath to Hazar-enon, the boundary of Damascus with Hamath to the north, from the eastern border to the western border: Dan, one portion. 2 Along the boundary of Dan from the eastern border to the western border: Asher, one portion. 3 Along the boundary of Asher from the eastern border to the western border: Naphtali, one portion. 4 Along the boundary of Naphtali from the eastern border to the western border: Manasseh, one portion. 5 Along the boundary of Manasseh from the eastern border to the western border: Ephraim, one portion. 6 Along the boundary of Ephraim from the eastern border to the western border: Reuben, one portion. 7 Along the boundary of Reuben from the eastern border to the western border: Judah, one portion.
8 Along the boundary of Judah from the eastern border to the western border will be the portion that you will set aside, 7.1 miles wide and the length of a tribal portion from the eastern border to the western border. The sanctuary is in its center. 9 The portion that you will set aside for the Lord will be 7.1 miles long and 5.68 miles wide. 10 These measurements define the holy portion for the priests: along the north, a length of 7.1 miles; along the west, a width of 2.84 miles; along the east, a width of 2.84 miles; and along the south, a length of 7.1 miles. The Lord’s sanctuary is in its center. 11 This holy area is for the Zadokite priests who kept my charge and didn’t stray as the Levites did when the house of Israel strayed away from me. 12 It belongs to them as a most special portion of the land, a most holy place, up to the border of the Levites. 13 The Levites’ allotment is next to the boundary of the priests, a length of 7.1 miles and a width of 2.84 miles. The entire length is 7.1 miles and the width 2.84 miles. 14 None of it will be sold, exchanged, or transferred. It is the choicest land, because it is holy to the Lord. 15 The remaining area, 1.42 miles wide and 7.1 miles long, is for ordinary use for the city, for residences, and for pastures. The city will be in the middle of it. 16 It measures 1.28 miles on its northern border, 1.28 miles on its southern border, 1.28 miles on its eastern border, and 1.28 miles on its western border. 17 There will be pastures for the city, three hundred seventy-five feet on the north side, three hundred seventy-five feet on the south side, three hundred seventy-five feet on the east side, and three hundred seventy-five feet on the west side. 18 The remaining area alongside the holy portion is 2.84 miles on the east and 2.84 miles on the west. These areas that adjoin the holy portion will produce the food for the city’s workers. 19 The city’s workers from every tribe of Israel will farm it. 20 The entire portion that you will set aside is 7.1 miles by 7.1 miles, a square; it includes the holy portion in addition to the city property. 21 What is left on both sides of the holy portion and the city property belongs to the prince. The land from the edge of the portion of 7.1 miles, to the eastern boundary, and on the western edge of the 7.1 miles to the western boundary, belongs to the prince. It corresponds to one tribal portion. The holy portion and the temple sanctuary are in the middle of it, 22 but what belongs to the prince is separate from both the levitical property and the city property. The prince’s territory will be between the boundary of Judah and the boundary of Benjamin.
23 Now for the rest of the tribes: From the eastern border to the western border: Benjamin, one portion. 24 Along the boundary of Benjamin from the eastern border to the western border: Simeon, one portion. 25 Along the boundary of Simeon from the eastern border to the western border: Issachar, one portion. 26 Along the boundary of Issachar from the eastern border to the western border: Zebulun, one portion. 27 Along the boundary of Zebulun from the eastern border to the western border: Gad, one portion. 28 Along the boundary of Gad to the southern border, the boundary will run from Tamar to the waters of Meribath-kadesh and from there to the border of Egypt and to the Mediterranean Sea. 29 This is the land that you will distribute as an inheritance for the tribes of Israel. These are their portions. This is what the Lord God says.
30 These are the city exits. The north side is measured at 1.28 miles. 31 The gates of the city go by the names of the tribes of Israel. There are three gates on the north side: one gate for Reuben, one gate for Judah, and one gate for Levi. 32 There are three gates on the east side along its 1.28 miles: one gate for Joseph, one gate for Benjamin, and one gate for Dan. 33 There are three gates on the south side measuring 1.28 miles: one gate for Simeon, one gate for Issachar, and one gate for Zebulun. 34 There are three gates on the west side along its 1.28 miles: one gate for Gad, one gate for Asher, and one gate for Naphtali. 35 The circumference of the city is 5.1 miles. As of today, the name of the city is The Lord Is There.
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