The East Gate Is for the Lord
1 Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary that faces toward the east, but it was shut.†
2 So the Lord said to me, “This gate shall be shut. It shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it, because the Lord God of Israel will enter by it; therefore, it shall be shut.
3 As for the prince, he will sit in it to eat bread before the Lord. He will go in by way of the gate chamber and go out the same way.”
4 Then He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple, and I looked, and behold, the house of the Lord was full of glory; and I fell on my face.
5 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, note well with your heart, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all I say to you concerning all the ordinances of the Lord’s house and all its laws. Mark well with your heart the entering of the house according to all its exits in all its holy places.
6 Then you will say to the house which provokes, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “O house of Israel, enough of your lawlessness,†
7 when you brought in foreign sons, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it, as when you offered breads, meat, and blood. You broke My covenant because of all your lawless deeds.
8 You have not kept charge of My holy things, but sought out others.”
9 ‘Therefore, thus says the Lord God: “No foreign son, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner among the children of Israel.
Law for the Levites
10 “But for the Levites who departed far from Me, when Israel went astray, who strayed away from Me to seek their inventions, they will bear their wrongdoing.
11 Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary as gatekeepers at the gates of the house and ministers in the house. They shall slay the whole burnt offerings and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before the people to minister liturgically to them.
12 Because they used to minister to them before their idols and became a punishment of wrongdoing to the house of Israel, for this reason I lifted up My hand against them,” says the Lord God.
13 “They will not draw near to Me to act as priests for Me, nor approach the sanctuary of the sons of Israel, nor My holy place; and they shall bear their shame and dishonor for the error wherein they erred.
14 Nevertheless they shall keep charge of the house, for all the service of it and all that needs to be done.
15 “But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the house of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister liturgically to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer to Me sacrifice, the fat and the blood,” says the Lord God.
16 “They shall enter My sanctuary and come near My table to minister liturgically to Me; and they shall keep My charge.
17 So it will be, whenever they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall put on linen vestments, but no wool shall come upon them while they minister liturgically within the gates of the inner court.
18 They shall have linen turbans on their heads and linen trousers on their bodies, and they shall not tightly gird themselves.
19 When they go out to the outer court to the people, they shall take off their vestments in which they ministered liturgically, leave them in their halls, and put on other garments; and in these garments they shall not sanctify the people.
20 They shall neither shave their heads nor pluck out their hairs; but they shall surely keep their head covered.
21 No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court.
22 They shall not take as wife a widow or a divorced woman, but rather a virgin of the descendants of Israel, or a widow of a priest.
23 They shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
24 They shall stand at a judgment of blood, and judge in righteousness and according to My judgments. They shall keep My laws and My ordinances in all My appointed feasts, and they shall sanctify My Sabbaths.
25 They shall not defile themselves by coming near a dead person. However, a priest may defile himself for a father or mother, for a son or daughter, or for a brother or for an unmarried sister.
26 After he is cleansed, he shall number seven days for himself.
27 Then on the day they go into the inner court to minister liturgically in the sanctuary, they shall bring a propitiation offering,” says the Lord God.
28 “It shall be, in regard to their inheritance, that I am their inheritance. You shall give them no possession among the sons of Israel, for I am their possession.
29 They shall eat the sacrifices—the sin offering and the trespass offering—and every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs.
30 The best of all firstfruits of any kind, and every sacrifice of any kind from all your sacrifices, shall be for the priests. You shall also give to the priest the first of your produce, to cause your blessings to rest on your houses.
31 But the priests shall not eat anything, bird or beast, that died naturally or was torn by wild animals.
1 A psalm by David, when his son persecuted him. †O Lord, hear my prayer; Give ear to my supplication in Your truth; Answer me in Your righteousness;
2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For no one living shall become righteous in Your sight.
3 For the enemy persecuted my soul; He humbled my life to the ground; He caused me to dwell in dark places as one long dead,
4 And my spirit was in anguish within me; My heart was troubled within me.
5 I remembered the days of old, And I meditated on all Your works; I meditated on the works of Your hands.
6 I spread out my hands to You; My soul thirsts for You like a waterless land. (Pause)
7 Hear me speedily, O Lord; My spirit faints within me; Turn not Your face from me, Lest I become like those who go down into the pit.
8 Cause me to hear Your mercy in the morning, For I hope in You; Make me know, O Lord, the way wherein I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.
9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, For to You I flee for refuge.
10 Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your good Spirit shall guide me in the land of uprightness.
11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, give me life; In Your righteousness You shall bring my soul out of affliction.
12 In Your mercy You shall destroy my enemies; You shall utterly destroy all who afflict my soul, For I am Your servant.
Proverbs of Solomon 30
Lessons from the Animals
16 The leech had three dearly loved daughters, And these three did not satisfy her, And the fourth did not satisfy her, for her to say, “It is enough.”†
17 Hades and the love of a woman And Tartarus and the earth not satisfied with water, And water and fire will not say, “It is enough.”
18 The eye that mocks his father and dishonors the old age of his mother, Let the ravens of the valleys pick it out, And the young eagles devour it.
19 Now there are three things I cannot understand, And a fourth I do not know:
20 The track of a flying eagle, And the ways of a serpent upon a rock,
21 And the paths of a ship passing through the sea, And the ways of a man in his youth.
The Beast Against the Saints
1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.†
2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”†
5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.†
6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.†
7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.†
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.†
12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.†
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,†
17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.†