The Use of the East Gate
44 The man led me to the outer gate at the east side of the Temple area. The gate was closed, 2 and the Lord said to me, “This gate will stay closed and will never be opened. No human being is allowed to use it, because I, the Lord God of Israel, have entered through it. It is to remain closed. 3 The ruling prince, however, may go there to eat a holy meal in my presence. He is to enter and leave the gateway through the entrance room at the inner end.”
Rules for Admission to the Temple
4 Then the man took me through the north gate to the front of the Temple. As I looked, I saw that the Temple of the Lord was filled with the dazzling light of his presence. I threw myself face downward on the ground, 5 and the Lord said to me, “Mortal man, pay attention to everything you see and hear. I am going to tell you the rules and regulations for the Temple. Note carefully which persons are allowed to go in and out of the Temple, and which persons are not allowed.
6 “Tell those rebellious people of Israel that I, the Sovereign Lord, will no longer tolerate the disgusting things that they have been doing. 7 They have profaned my Temple by letting uncircumcised foreigners, people who do not obey me, enter the Temple when the fat and the blood of the sacrifices are being offered to me. So my people have broken my covenant by all the disgusting things they have done. 8 They have not taken charge of the sacred rituals in my Temple, but instead have put foreigners in charge.
9 “I, the Sovereign Lord, declare that no uncircumcised foreigner, no one who disobeys me, will enter my Temple, not even a foreigner who lives among the people of Israel.”
The Levites Are Excluded from the Priesthood
10 The Lord said to me, “I am punishing those Levites who, together with the rest of the people of Israel, deserted me and worshiped idols. 11 They may serve me in the Temple by taking charge of the gates and by performing the work of the Temple. They may kill the animals which the people offer for burnt offerings and for sacrifices, and they are to be on duty to serve the people. 12 But because they conducted the worship of idols for the people of Israel and in this way led the people into sin, I, the Sovereign Lord, solemnly swear that they must be punished. 13 They are not to serve me as priests or to go near anything that is holy to me or to enter the Most Holy Place. This is the punishment for the disgusting things they have done. 14 I am assigning to them the menial work that is to be done in the Temple.”
15 The Sovereign Lord said, “Those priests belonging to the tribe of Levi who are descended from Zadok, however, continued to serve me faithfully in the Temple when the rest of the people of Israel turned away from me. So now they are the ones who are to serve me and come into my presence to offer me the fat and the blood of the sacrifices. 16 They alone will enter my Temple, serve at my altar, and conduct the Temple worship. 17 When they enter the gateway to the inner courtyard of the Temple, they are to put on linen clothing. They must not wear anything made of wool when they are on duty in the inner courtyard or in the Temple. 18 So that they won’t perspire, they are to wear linen turbans and linen trousers, but no belt. 19 Before they go to the outer courtyard where the people are, they must first take off the clothes they wore on duty in the Temple and leave them in the holy rooms. They are to put on other clothing in order to keep their sacred clothing from harming the people.
20 “Priests must neither shave their heads nor let their hair grow long. They are to keep it a proper length. 21 Priests must not drink any wine before going into the inner courtyard. 22 No priest may marry a divorced woman; he is to marry only an Israelite virgin or the widow of another priest.
23 “The priests are to teach my people the difference between what is holy and what is not, and between what is ritually clean and what is not. 24 When a legal dispute arises, the priests are to decide the case according to my laws. They are to keep the religious festivals according to my rules and regulations, and they are to keep the Sabbaths holy.
25 “A priest is not to become ritually unclean by touching a corpse, unless it is one of his parents, one of his children or a brother or an unmarried sister. 26 After he has become clean again, he must wait seven days 27 and then go into the inner courtyard of the Temple and offer a sacrifice for his purification, so that he can serve in the Temple again. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken.
28 “The priests have the priesthood as their share of what I have given Israel to be handed down from one generation to another. They are not to hold property in Israel; I am all they need. 29 The grain offerings, the sin offerings, and the repayment offerings will be the priests’ food, and they are to receive everything in Israel that is set apart for me. 30 The priests are to have the best of all the first harvest and of everything else that is offered to me. Each time the people bake bread, they are to give the priests the first loaf as an offering, and my blessing will rest on their homes. 31 The priests must not eat any bird or animal that dies a natural death or is killed by another animal.”
The Lord’s Portion of the Country
45 When the land is divided to give each tribe a share, one part is to be dedicated to the Lord. It is to be 10 miles long by 8 miles wide. The entire area will be holy. 2 In this area there is to be a square plot of land for the Temple, 840 feet on each side, entirely surrounded by an open space 84 feet wide. 3 Half of this area, a section 10 miles by 4 miles, is to be measured off; it will contain the Temple, the holiest place of all. 4 It will be a holy part of the country, set aside for the priests who serve the Lord in his Temple. It will contain their houses and the section of land for the Temple. 5 The other half of the area is to be set aside as the possession of the Levites, who do the work in the Temple. There will be towns there for them to live in.
6 Next to the holy area, another section, 10 miles long and 2 miles wide, is to be set aside for a city where any of the people of Israel may live.
Land for the Prince
7 Land is also to be set aside for the ruling prince. From the west boundary of the holy area it will extend west to the Mediterranean Sea; and from the east boundary it will extend to the eastern border of the country, so that its length will be the same as the length of one of the areas allotted to the tribes of Israel. 8 This area will be the share the ruling prince will have in the land of Israel, so that he will no longer oppress the people, but will let the rest of the country belong to the tribes of Israel.
Rules for the Prince
9 The Sovereign Lord said, “You have sinned too long, you rulers of Israel! Stop your violence and oppression. Do what is right and just. You must never again drive my people off their land. I, the Sovereign Lord, am telling you this.
10 “Everyone must use honest weights and measures:
11 “The ephah for dry measure is to be equal to the bath for liquid measure. The standard is the homer. The resulting measures are as follows:
1 homer=10 ephahs=10 baths
12 “Your weights are to be as follows:
20 gerahs=1 shekel
1 Peter 1:1-12
1 From Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ—
To God’s chosen people who live as refugees scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood.
May grace and peace be yours in full measure.
A Living Hope
3 Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, 4 and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away. 5 They are for you, who through faith are kept safe by God’s power for the salvation which is ready to be revealed at the end of time.
6 Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. 7 Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 You love him, although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. So you rejoice with a great and glorious joy which words cannot express, 9 because you are receiving the salvation of your souls, which is the purpose of your faith in him.
10 It was concerning this salvation that the prophets made careful search and investigation, and they prophesied about this gift which God would give you. 11 They tried to find out when the time would be and how it would come. This was the time to which Christ’s Spirit in them was pointing, in predicting the sufferings that Christ would have to endure and the glory that would follow. 12 God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about those things which you have now heard from the messengers who announced the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. These are things which even the angels would like to understand.
Happiness in the Law of the Lord
17 Be good to me, your servant,
Determination to Obey the Law of the Lord
25 I lie defeated in the dust;
8 If you get rich by charging interest and taking advantage of people, your wealth will go to someone who is kind to the poor.
9 If you do not obey the law, God will find your prayers too hateful to hear.
10 If you trick an honest person into doing evil, you will fall into your own trap.
The innocent will be well rewarded.