Ezekiel 43

The Lord returns to the Temple

1 Then the man brought me to the east gate. 2 And I saw the shining glory of the God of Israel. It came from the east. His voice was loud like the noise of water that pours along a river very fast. The earth shone with the bright light of his glory. 3 I had seen a dream picture like this by the River Kebar. That was when God had come to destroy the city. I fell down on my face. 4 The shining light went through the east gate into the temple. 5 Then the Lord's Spirit lifted me up. He took me into the temple's inside yard. And I saw that the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

6 The man stood there by my side. I heard the Lord's voice come from inside the temple.

7 ‘Son of man,’ he said. ‘Here is my throne. I will live here among Israel's people. I will rule over them for all time. They will never again do things that take away my honour. Neither they nor their kings will worship other gods or put their kings' dead bodies in this place. 8 They built the entrances and doors of their houses here. They were next to my temple's doors. Only a wall separated us. They did many evil things and they took away the honour of my holy name. 9 Now they must stop doing those evil things. They must take away their kings' dead bodies. If they do this, I will live among them for all time.

10 Son of man, tell Israel's people about the temple. It should make them ashamed of the evil things that they have done. Let them think about it. 11 Then they will become ashamed of what they have done. You must tell them all about the way to build the temple. Describe its entrances, its shape, its rules and how they must do everything. You must write all this down. Then they can copy the whole thing and they can correctly obey its rules.

12 All the top of the mountain round the temple will be most holy. That is the important rule about the temple.’

The altar

13 The man measured the altar with the same measuring stick. They had dug a hole that was half a metre deep and half a metre wide round the altar. Round its outside edge they had built a wall twenty-five (25) centimetres high. 14 The lowest part of the altar was one metre high. The next part was fifty (50) centimetres inside the part below all round. It was two metres high. The edge above that was again fifty (50) centimetres inside the middle part. 15 This top part was two metres high. They burnt the sacrifices on this top part. Its corners had points like horns that were higher than the flat top. 16 The top of the altar was square and each side was six metres long. 17 The middle part was also square, with sides seven metres long. It had a wall twenty-five (25) centimetres high round its edge. (They had left a space fifty (50) centimetres wide between the top two parts of the altar.) They had built steps up to the altar on the east side.

They must make the altar holy

18 ‘Son of man,’ the Lord God said to me. ‘Listen to me. They must make the altar holy for my worship. To do this they will burn sacrifices on it. And they will shake over it the animal's blood that you sacrificed. 19 The sons of Zadok are the only priests who can come into my house to work for me. I, the Lord God say this very strongly. You will give them a young bull to offer as a sacrifice for sin. 20 You will take some of its blood and put it on the points on the altar. Those are on the corners of its top part. And you will put its blood on the corners of its middle part. And you must put blood all round its edges. This is how you will make the altar clean and holy, separate for my worship. 21 You must choose the bull to become the sacrifice for sin. Take it to the special place. Burn it outside the holy place. 22 The next day, choose the best male goat that you can find. Offer it as a sacrifice for sin. Use its blood to make the altar clean and holy, as you did with the cow's blood. 23 After that, take the best young bull and young male sheep 24 and bring them to me. The priests will shake salt on them. They will burn them as a gift to me. 25 Each day for a week you must offer sacrifices to me. They are for your sins. Sacrifice a goat, a bull and a male sheep each day. They must all be your best animals that have nothing wrong with them. 26 The priests must make the altar clean and holy for each of seven days. Then it will be ready to use. 27 The priests can begin to make burnt offerings when the seven days are finished. They will offer the burnt offerings and the people's friendship offerings on the altar. You will all give me great pleasure when you do this. I, the Lord God, say this.’