Ezekiel chapter 44

The duties of the ministers in the new temple.





VERSE 1. Then he brought me back by the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, which looks toward the east; and it was shut.

looks toward the east. This gate opens toward the Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives.


VERSE 2. The LORD said to me, “This gate shall be shut. It shall not be opened, no man shall enter in by it; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered in by it. Therefore it shall be shut.

NIV translation. The Lord said to me, “This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it.”

This gate. Jesus describes himself as the gate.

John 10:9. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. (NLT translation)

It must not be opened. Jesus Christ is the only one who opens the gate.

no one may enter through it. Jesus opens the gate that we may enter.


VERSE 3. As for the prince, he shall sit in it as prince to eat bread before the LORD. He shall enter by the way of the porch of the gate, and shall go out the same way.”

Exodus 15:3. The LORD is a man of war. The LORD is his name.

Isaiah 9:6. For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 28:29. This also comes out from the LORD of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom.

Ezekiel 44:3. As for the prince, he shall sit in it as prince to eat bread before the LORD. He shall enter by the way of the porch of the gate, and shall go out the same way.


VERSE 4. Then he brought me by the way of the north gate before the house; and I looked, and behold, the LORD’s glory filled the LORD’s house; so I fell on my face.

the LORD’s glory. The Hebrew word is כְבוֹד־ (“kabowd”). It means glory, honor, abundance.


VERSE 5. The LORD said to me, “Son of man, mark well, and see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I tell you concerning all the ordinances of the LORD’s house and all its laws; and mark well the entrance of the house, with every exit of the sanctuary.


VERSE 6. You shall tell the rebellious, even the house of Israel, ‘The Lord GOD says: “You house of Israel, let that be enough of all your abominations,


VERSE 7. in that you have brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to profane it, even my house, when you offer my bread, the fat and the blood; and they have broken my covenant, to add to all your abominations.


VERSE 8. You have not performed the duty of my holy things; but you have set performers of my duty in my sanctuary for yourselves.”


VERSE 9. The Lord GOD says, “No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any foreigners who are among the children of Israel.


VERSE 10. “ ‘ “But the Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray, who went astray from me after their idols, they will bear their iniquity.

the Levites who went far from me. During the centuries when the nation fell into depravity, many Levites did not stand up for righteousness.

Instead, they too fell into depravity.


VERSE 11. Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house, and ministering in the house. They shall kill the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them.


VERSE 12. Because they ministered to them before their idols, and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have lifted up my hand against them,” says the Lord GOD, “and they will bear their iniquity.


VERSE 13. They shall not come near to me, to execute the office of priest to me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they will bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed.


VERSE 14. Yet I will make them performers of the duty of the house, for all its service and for all that will be done therein.


VERSE 15. “ ‘ “But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who performed the duty of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, shall come near to me to minister to me. They shall stand before me to offer to me the fat and the blood,” says the Lord GOD.

the sons of Zadok. Among the Levites there are many distinct family lineages. One of those is the Zadok lineage.

Even when the nation fell into moral depravity, the priests in the Zadok lineage remained faithful to the Most High God.

They shall stand before me. Now the Zadok line will be honored. Only they will be permitted to enter the sanctuary and minister there.

the fat and the blood. In true carnivore fashion, the fat is prized. It is dealt with first.


VERSE 16. “They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister to me, and they shall keep my instruction.


VERSE 17. “ ‘ “It will be that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments. No wool shall come on them while they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.


VERSE 18. They shall have linen turbans on their heads, and shall have linen trousers on their waists. They shall not clothe themselves with anything that makes them sweat.


VERSE 19. When they go out into the outer court, even into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments in which they minister and lay them in the holy rooms. They shall put on other garments, that they not sanctify the people with their garments.


VERSE 20. “ ‘ “They shall not shave their heads, or allow their locks to grow long. They shall only cut off the hair of their heads.

They shall not shave their heads. Shaving your hair was a sign of mourning. The priests are not to mourn.

or allow their locks to grow long. Letting your hair grow unkempt was a sign of mourning. The priests are not to mourn.


VERSE 21. None of the priests shall drink wine when they enter into the inner court.


VERSE 22. They shall not take for their wives a widow, or her who is put away; but they shall take virgins of the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest.


VERSE 23. They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.


VERSE 24. “ ‘ “In a controversy they shall stand to judge. They shall judge it according to my ordinances. They shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my appointed feasts. They shall make my Sabbaths holy.

they shall stand to judge. The priests will serve as judges.


VERSE 25. “ ‘ “They shall go in to no dead person to defile themselves; but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister who has had no husband, they may defile themselves.


VERSE 26. After he is cleansed, they shall reckon to him seven days.


VERSE 27. In the day that he goes into the sanctuary, into the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering,” says the Lord GOD.


VERSE 28. “ ‘They shall have an inheritance: I am their inheritance; and you shall give them no possession in Israel. I am their possession.

NIV translation. I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession.

I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. Many Christian denominations pay their ministers a pittance. They glamorize it by referring to Bible verses such as this.

However, the Old Testament ministers were lifelong members of a stable community that cared for them.

Today’s churches do not offer a covenant of lifelong stability. Nor do they offer perpetual care to their ministers.

Or if they do, it is much less than a member of their congregation would tolerate for themselves.


VERSE 29. They shall eat the meal offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; and every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs.


VERSE 30. The first of all the first fruits of every thing, and every offering of everything, of all your offerings, shall be for the priest. You shall also give to the priests the first of your dough, to cause a blessing to rest on your house.


VERSE 31. The priests shall not eat of anything that dies of itself or is torn, whether it is bird or animal.


next chapter »

« previous chapter


CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 1516, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.