Bible: Ezekiel 44:15-27

The Levitical Priests

44:15‘But the Levitical priests, the descendants of Zadok 1  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. 2 

44:20‘They must not shave their heads 3  nor let their hair grow long; 4  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 5  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. 6 

44:24‘In a controversy they will act as judges; 7  they will judge according to my ordinances. They will keep my laws and my statutes regarding all my appointed festivals and will observe 8  my Sabbaths.

44:25‘They must not come near a dead person or they will be defiled; 9  however, for father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister, they may defile themselves. 44:26 After a priest 10  has become ceremonially clean, they 11  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.

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