Ezekiel 44 – “Yahweh’s Speech about the Zadokite Priests”

linen fabric texture closeupHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Yahweh warns Ezekiel to heed the laws of the temple and teaches him the laws pertaining to the Zadokite priests.

II. Photo

Yahweh teaches Ezekiel about the clothing of the Zadokites: “And when they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall wear linen vestments.” (v. 17)

III. Select Verses

1-3: Then he led me back to the outer gate of the Sanctuary that faced eastward; it was shut.  And the LORD said to me: This gate is to be kept shut and is not to be opened! No one shall enter by it because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.  Only the prince may sit in it and eat bread before the LORD, since he is a prince; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall depart by the same way.

6-7: And say to the rebellious House of Israel: Thus said the Lord GOD: Too long, O House of Israel, have you committed all your abominations,  admitting aliens, uncircumcised of spirit and uncircumcised of flesh, to be in My Sanctuary and profane My very Temple, when you offer up My food — the fat and the blood. You have broken My covenant with all your abominations.

10-14: But the Levites who forsook Me when Israel went astray — straying from Me to follow their fetishes — shall suffer their punishment: They shall be servitors in My Sanctuary, appointed over the Temple gates, and performing the chores of My Temple; they shall slaughter the burnt offerings and the sacrifices for the people. They shall attend on them and serve them. Because they served the House of Israel in the presence of their fetishes and made them stumble into guilt, therefore — declares the Lord GOD — I have sworn concerning them that they shall suffer their punishment: They shall not approach Me to serve Me as priests, to come near any of My sacred offerings, the most holy things. They shall bear their shame for the abominations that they committed. I will make them watchmen of the Temple, to perform all its chores, everything that needs to be done in it.

15-16: But the levitical priests descended from Zadok, who maintained the service of My Sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from Me — they shall approach Me to minister to Me; they shall stand before Me to offer Me fat and blood — declares the Lord GOD.  They alone may enter My Sanctuary and they alone shall approach My table to minister to Me; and they shall keep My charge.

22: They shall not marry widows or divorced women; they may marry only virgins of the stock of the House of Israel, or widows who are widows of priests.

IV. Outline

1-3. The eastern gate is sacred and only for the prince

4. Ezekiel reenters the Temple

5-31. Yahweh’s speech

    5. Heed the laws of temple entrance

    6-9. The uncircumsized and non-Israelites shall not enter the sanctuary

    10-14. The Levites will serve as watchment and not enter the sanctuary because of their sins

    15-16. The Zadokite Levites shall serve as priests for their loyalty

    17-27. Laws for the Zadokites

        17-19. Linen clothing in the inner court

        20. Haircuts

        21. Wine in the inner court

        22. Marriage with virgins only

        23-24. Teaching and judging

        25-27. Impurity for a family funeral

    28-30. The Zadokites are to receive offerings, proscriptions, first fruits, votive offerings, and first bakings

    31. The Zadokite priests must not eat any animal that died naturally or was killed by another animal

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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