New regulations for worship
1 He brought me back to the outer east gate of the sanctuary. It was shut. 2 Yahweh said to me, “This gate will be kept shut. No one will open it or go through it, since Yahweh the God of Israel has been through it. And so it must be kept shut. 3 The prince himself, however, may sit there to take his meal in the presence of Yahweh. But he is to enter through the entrance of the gate and leave through the same way.”
4 He led me through the north gate to the front of the House. I looked; I saw the Glory of Yahweh filling his House, and I threw myself to the ground. 5 Yahweh said to me, “Son of man, pay attention, look carefully and listen closely to everything while I explain to you all the rules of the House of Yahweh and all its laws. Be careful about which men are admitted to the House and which are excluded from the sanc tuary. 6 And say to the rebels of the people of Israel, the Lord Yahweh says this: There has been enough of all your filthy practices, House of Israel. 7 You let aliens enter, uncircumcised in heart and body, to frequent my sanctuary and profane my Temple when you gave me for my food the fat and the blood; and you broke my covenant with all your filthy practices 8 when you let them perform your duties in my sanctuary. 9 For, the Lord Yahweh said this: No alien, uncircumcised in heart and body, is to enter my sanctuary, none of those aliens living among the Israelites.
10 The Levites who abandoned me when Israel strayed far from me, and followed their idols, must bear the weight of their own sin. 11 They are to be servants in my sanctuary, responsible for guarding the gates and serving the House. They will kill the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and hold themselves at the service of the people. 12 But since they used to be at their service in front of their idols and made Israel sin, (and I have raised my hand against them) it is Yahweh who speaks – they must bear the weight of their sin. 13 They are never to approach me again to perform the priestly office in my presence, or to touch my holy things and my most holy things; they must bear the disgrace of their filthy practices. 14 I shall let them work in the House and serve it and do everything to be done in it.
15 The levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who did their duty to me in the sanctuary when the Israelites strayed far from me, may still approach me to serve me. They may stand in my presence to offer me the fat and blood – it is Yahweh who speaks. 16 They may enter my sanctuary and approach my table to serve me; they may perform my liturgy. 17 Once they enter the gates of the inner court, they are to wear linen garments; they are to wear no wool when they serve inside the gates of the inner court and in the House. 18 They are to wear linen caps on their heads, and linen breeches about their loins; they are not to wear belts that may make them sweat. 19 When they go out to the people in the outer court, they are to remove the garments in which they have performed the liturgy and leave them in the rooms of the Holy Place, and put on other clothes, so as not to hallow the people with their vestments. 20 They are neither to shave their heads nor to let their hair grow long, but must cut their hair to a reasonable length. 21 No priest is to drink wine on the day he enters the inner court. 22 They are not to marry widows or divorced women, but only virgins of the race of Israel; they may, however, marry widows, if it is the widow of a priest. 23 They are to teach my people what is sacred and what is profane and make them know what is clean and what is unclean. 24 They are to be judges in disputes; they must judge in the spirit of my statutes; they must follow my laws and ordinances at all my feasts and keep my sabbaths holy. 25 They are not to go near a dead person, lest they become unclean, except for father, mother, daughter, son, brother or unmarried sister. 26 After one of them has been purified, seven days must elapse; 27 then on the day when he enters the sanctuary – the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he is to offer his sacrifice for sin – it is Yahweh who speaks. 28 They are to have no inheritance in Israel; I myself will be their inheritance. You are to give them no patrimony in Israel; I myself will be their patrimony. 29 Their food is to be the offering, the sacrifice for sin and the sacrifice of repayment. Everything in Israel con secrated by anathema shall be for them. 30 The best of all your first fruits of every sort and of all that you offer, is to go to the priests; and the best of your dough you are also to give to the priests, so that a blessing may rest on your houses. 31 Priests are not to eat the flesh of anything that has died a natural death or been savaged, neither the flesh of a bird nor of any other creature.