The Lord returns to the temple
1 Then the man brought me to the east gate. 2 There I suddenly saw the bright glory of the God of Israel as it came from the east. His voice was like the noise of lots of water that pours along a river. The land around shone with the bright light of his glory. 3 I had seen a vision like this when I was beside the Kebar River. I had also seen a vision like this when God came to destroy Jerusalem. I bent down low with my face on the ground. 4 The Lord's bright glory went through the east gate into the temple. 5 Then a spirit lifted me up and took me into the temple's inside yard. As I watched, the Lord's glory filled the temple.
43:5‘A spirit’ or ‘a wind’. The same Hebrew word may mean either of these.
6 While the man stood beside me, I heard a voice come from inside the temple.
7 The Lord said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place where I sit on my throne. It is my home where I will live among Israel's people. Israel's people and their kings will never again spoil the honour of my holy name. They will not turn away from me and worship other gods. They will not put the graves of their kings in this place. 8 Their kings built their palaces too near to my holy temple. There was only a wall between me and them. They did many disgusting things that spoiled the honour of my holy name. As a result, I became very angry with them and I destroyed them. 9 Now they must be faithful to me. They must no longer worship other gods. The must not give honour to the graves of their kings. If they stop doing these things, I will live among them for ever.
10 Son of man, you must describe the temple to Israel's people. It should make them ashamed of their sins. They must study the plan of the temple. 11 Then they will be ashamed of everything that they have done. Explain the temple's plan to them. Describe its shape, its entrances, and everything about it. Explain its rules and its laws. You must write all this down while they watch you. Then they can study the temple's plan and they can obey its rules.
12 This is the most important law about the temple: All the top of the mountain around the temple will be most holy.
The great altar
13 This is the size of the altar. There is a hole, 50 centimetres deep and 50 centimetres wide, all around the altar. There is a border around its outside edge, 25 centimetres high. 14 The lowest part of the altar, from its base up, is 1 metre high. The part above that is 2 metres high. It is 50 centimetres smaller than the part below it, all around. The top part of the altar is also 50 centimetres smaller than the middle part. 15 This top part is 2 metres high. They burn the sacrifices on this top part. Its four corners have points like horns that go up. 16 The top of the altar is square, with each side 6 metres long. 17 The middle part is also square, with each side 7 metres long. It has a border around its edge that is 25 centimetres high. There is a hole all around that is 50 centimetres wide. There are steps up to the top of the altar on the east side.’
They must make the altar holy
18 Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, this is what the Almighty Lord says: These are the rules about the altar. On the day that it is ready to use, the priests will offer burnt offerings on it. They will alsosplash blood from the sacrifices on it. 19 You must give a young bull to the priests to offer as a sacrifice to me. The priests must belong to Zadok's family in the tribe of Levi. They are the only men who can come near to me to serve me. That is what I, the Almighty Lord, say. 20 You will take some of the bull's blood and put it on the four horns on the top of the altar. Also put some blood on the corners of the middle part of the altar. And put some on the border around the edge of the altar. Do that to make the altar clean and pure for me. 21 You must take the bull to burn as a sin offering. Burn it in the proper place in the temple yard, outside the temple building.
22 The next day, choose a male goat that has nothing wrong with it. Offer it as a sin offering. Use its blood to make the altar clean and pure, as you did with the bull's blood. 23 After you have done that, choose a young bull and a male sheep that have nothing wrong with them. 24 Bring them to me, the Lord. The priests will throw salt on them. Then they will offer them to me as a burnt offering.
25 Each day for seven days, you must offer a male goat as a sin offering. You must also choose a young bull and a male sheep each day as sacrifices. They must all have nothing wrong with them. 26 The priests will make the altar clean and pure on each of those seven days. That will make it ready for holy use.
27 When the seven days have finished, the priests can begin to offer burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar. They can do this for you on the eighth day and after that. Then I will accept you as my own people. That is what I, the Almighty Lord, say.’