The Lord’s Glory Returns
43 After this, the man brought me back around to the east gateway. 2 Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east. The sound of his coming was like the roar of rushing waters, and the whole landscape shone with his glory. 3 This vision was just like the others I had seen, first by the Kebar River and then when he came[a] to destroy Jerusalem. I fell face down on the ground. 4 And the glory of the Lord came into the Temple through the east gateway.
5 Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple. 6 And I heard someone speaking to me from within the Temple, while the man who had been measuring stood beside me. 7 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place where I will rest my feet. I will live here forever among the people of Israel. They and their kings will not defile my holy name any longer by their adulterous worship of other gods or by honoring the relics of their kings who have died.[b] 8 They put their idol altars right next to mine with only a wall between them and me. They defiled my holy name by such detestable sin, so I consumed them in my anger. 9 Now let them stop worshiping other gods and honoring the relics of their kings, and I will live among them forever.
10 “Son of man, describe to the people of Israel the Temple I have shown you, so they will be ashamed of all their sins. Let them study its plan, 11 and they will be ashamed[c] of what they have done. Describe to them all the specifications of the Temple—including its entrances and exits—and everything else about it. Tell them about its decrees and laws. Write down all these specifications and decrees as they watch so they will be sure to remember and follow them. 12 And this is the basic law of the Temple: absolute holiness! The entire top of the mountain where the Temple is built is holy. Yes, this is the basic law of the Temple.
13 “These are the measurements of the altar[d]: There is a gutter all around the altar 21 inches deep and 21 inches wide,[e] with a curb 9 inches[f] wide around its edge. And this is the height[g] of the altar: 14 From the gutter the altar rises 3 1⁄2 feet[h] to a lower ledge that surrounds the altar and is 21 inches[i] wide. From the lower ledge the altar rises 7 feet[j] to the upper ledge that is also 21 inches wide. 15 The top of the altar, the hearth, rises another 7 feet higher, with a horn rising up from each of the four corners. 16 The top of the altar is square, measuring 21 feet by 21 feet.[k] 17 The upper ledge also forms a square, measuring 24 1⁄2 feet by 24 1⁄2 feet,[l] with a 21-inch gutter and a 10 1⁄2-inch curb[m] all around the edge. There are steps going up the east side of the altar.”
18 Then he said to me, “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: These will be the regulations for the burning of offerings and the sprinkling of blood when the altar is built. 19 At that time, the Levitical priests of the family of Zadok, who minister before me, are to be given a young bull for a sin offering, says the Sovereign Lord. 20 You will take some of its blood and smear it on the four horns of the altar, the four corners of the upper ledge, and the curb that runs around that ledge. This will cleanse and make atonement for the altar. 21 Then take the young bull for the sin offering and burn it at the appointed place outside the Temple area.
22 “On the second day, sacrifice as a sin offering a young male goat that has no physical defects. Then cleanse and make atonement for the altar again, just as you did with the young bull. 23 When you have finished the cleansing ceremony, offer another young bull that has no defects and a perfect ram from the flock. 24 You are to present them to the Lord, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to the Lord.
25 “Every day for seven days a male goat, a young bull, and a ram from the flock will be sacrificed as a sin offering. None of these animals may have physical defects of any kind. 26 Do this each day for seven days to cleanse and make atonement for the altar, thus setting it apart for holy use. 27 On the eighth day, and on each day afterward, the priests will sacrifice on the altar the burnt offerings and peace offerings of the people. Then I will accept you. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
The Prince, Levites, and Priests
44 Then the man brought me back to the east gateway in the outer wall of the Temple area, but it was closed. 2 And the Lord said to me, “This gate must remain closed; it will never again be opened. No one will ever open it and pass through, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered here. Therefore, it must always remain shut. 3 Only the prince himself may sit inside this gateway to feast in the Lord’s presence. But he may come and go only through the entry room of the gateway.”
4 Then the man brought me through the north gateway to the front of the Temple. I looked and saw that the glory of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord, and I fell face down on the ground.
5 And the Lord said to me, “Son of man, take careful notice. Use your eyes and ears, and listen to everything I tell you about the regulations concerning the Lord’s Temple. Take careful note of the procedures for using the Temple’s entrances and exits. 6 And give these rebels, the people of Israel, this message from the Sovereign Lord: O people of Israel, enough of your detestable sins! 7 You have brought uncircumcised foreigners into my sanctuary—people who have no heart for God. In this way, you defiled my Temple even as you offered me my food, the fat and blood of sacrifices. In addition to all your other detestable sins, you have broken my covenant. 8 Instead of safeguarding my sacred rituals, you have hired foreigners to take charge of my sanctuary.
9 “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigners, including those who live among the people of Israel, will enter my sanctuary if they have not been circumcised and have not surrendered themselves to the Lord. 10 And the men of the tribe of Levi who abandoned me when Israel strayed away from me to worship idols[n] must bear the consequences of their unfaithfulness. 11 They may still be Temple guards and gatekeepers, and they may slaughter the animals brought for burnt offerings and be present to help the people. 12 But they encouraged my people to worship idols, causing Israel to fall into deep sin. So I have taken a solemn oath that they must bear the consequences for their sins, says the Sovereign Lord. 13 They may not approach me to minister as priests. They may not touch any of my holy things or the holy offerings, for they must bear the shame of all the detestable sins they have committed. 14 They are to serve as the Temple caretakers, taking charge of the maintenance work and performing general duties.
15 “However, the Levitical priests of the family of Zadok continued to minister faithfully in the Temple when Israel abandoned me for idols. These men will serve as my ministers. They will stand in my presence and offer the fat and blood of the sacrifices, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 They alone will enter my sanctuary and approach my table to serve me. They will fulfill all my requirements.
17 “When they enter the gateway to the inner courtyard, they must wear only linen clothing. They must wear no wool while on duty in the inner courtyard or in the Temple itself. 18 They must wear linen turbans and linen undergarments. They must not wear anything that would cause them to perspire. 19 When they return to the outer courtyard where the people are, they must take off the clothes they wear while ministering to me. They must leave them in the sacred rooms and put on other clothes so they do not endanger anyone by transmitting holiness to them through this clothing.
20 “They must neither shave their heads nor let their hair grow too long. Instead, they must trim it regularly. 21 The priests must not drink wine before entering the inner courtyard. 22 They may choose their wives only from among the virgins of Israel or the widows of the priests. They may not marry other widows or divorced women. 23 They will teach my people the difference between what is holy and what is common, what is ceremonially clean and unclean.
24 “They will serve as judges to resolve any disagreements among my people. Their decisions must be based on my regulations. And the priests themselves must obey my instructions and decrees at all the sacred festivals, and see to it that the Sabbaths are set apart as holy days.
25 “A priest must not defile himself by being in the presence of a dead person unless it is his father, mother, child, brother, or unmarried sister. In such cases it is permitted. 26 Even then, he can return to his Temple duties only after being ceremonially cleansed and then waiting for seven days. 27 The first day he returns to work and enters the inner courtyard and the sanctuary, he must offer a sin offering for himself, says the Sovereign Lord.
28 “The priests will not have any property or possession of land, for I alone am their special possession. 29 Their food will come from the gifts and sacrifices brought to the Temple by the people—the grain offerings, the sin offerings, and the guilt offerings. Whatever anyone sets apart[o] for the Lord will belong to the priests. 30 The first of the ripe fruits and all the gifts brought to the Lord will go to the priests. The first batch of dough must also be given to the priests so the Lord will bless your homes. 31 The priests may not eat meat from any bird or animal that dies a natural death or that dies after being attacked by another animal.
Division of the Land
45 “When you divide the land among the tribes of Israel, you must set aside a section for the Lord as his holy portion. This piece of land will be 8 1⁄3 miles long and 6 2⁄3 miles wide.
6 “Adjacent to the larger sacred area will be a section of land 8 1⁄3 miles long and 1 2⁄3 miles wide.[u] This will be set aside for a city where anyone in Israel can live.
7 “Two special sections of land will be set apart for the prince. One section will share a border with the east side of the sacred lands and city, and the second section will share a border on the west side. Then the far eastern and western borders of the prince’s lands will line up with the eastern and western boundaries of the tribal areas. 8 These sections of land will be the prince’s allotment. Then my princes will no longer oppress and rob my people; they will assign the rest of the land to the people, giving an allotment to each tribe.
Rules for the Princes
9 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Enough, you princes of Israel! Stop your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Quit robbing and cheating my people out of their land. Stop expelling them from their homes, says the Sovereign Lord. 10 Use only honest weights and scales and honest measures, both dry and liquid.[v] 11 The homer[w] will be your standard unit for measuring volume. The ephah and the bath[x] will each measure one-tenth of a homer. 12 The standard unit for weight will be the silver shekel.[y] One shekel will consist of twenty gerahs, and sixty shekels will be equal to one mina.[z]
Special Offerings and Celebrations
13 “You must give this tax to the prince: one bushel of wheat or barley for every 60[aa] you harvest, 14 one percent of your olive oil,[ab] 15 and one sheep or goat for every 200 in your flocks in Israel. These will be the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings that will make atonement for the people who bring them, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 All the people of Israel must join in bringing these offerings to the prince. 17 The prince will be required to provide offerings that are given at the religious festivals, the new moon celebrations, the Sabbath days, and all other similar occasions. He will provide the sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, liquid offerings, and peace offerings to purify the people of Israel, making them right with the Lord.[ac]
18 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In early spring, on the first day of each new year,[ad] sacrifice a young bull with no defects to purify the Temple. 19 The priest will take blood from this sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the Temple, the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar, and the gateposts at the entrance to the inner courtyard. 20 Do this also on the seventh day of the new year for anyone who has sinned through error or ignorance. In this way, you will purify[ae] the Temple.
21 “On the fourteenth day of the first month,[af] you must celebrate the Passover. This festival will last for seven days. The bread you eat during that time must be made without yeast. 22 On the day of Passover the prince will provide a young bull as a sin offering for himself and the people of Israel. 23 On each of the seven days of the feast he will prepare a burnt offering to the Lord, consisting of seven young bulls and seven rams without defects. A male goat will also be given each day for a sin offering. 24 The prince will provide a basket of flour as a grain offering and a gallon of olive oil[ag] with each young bull and ram.
25 “During the seven days of the Festival of Shelters, which occurs every year in early autumn,[ah] the prince will provide these same sacrifices for the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the grain offering, along with the required olive oil.
43:3 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Latin Vulgate; Masoretic Text reads I came.
43:7 Or kings on their high places.
43:11 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads if they are ashamed.
43:13a Hebrew measurements of the altar in long cubits, each being a cubit [18 inches or 45 centimeters] and a handbreadth [3 inches or 8 centimeters] in length.
43:13b Hebrew a cubit [53 centimeters] deep and a cubit wide.
43:13c Hebrew 1 span [23 centimeters].
43:13d As in Greek version; Hebrew reads base.
43:14a Hebrew 2 cubits [1.1 meters].
43:14b Hebrew 1 cubit [53 centimeters]; also in 43:14d.
43:14c Hebrew 4 cubits [2.1 meters]; also in 43:15.
43:16 Hebrew 12 [cubits] [6.4 meters] long and 12 [cubits] wide.
43:17a Hebrew 14 [cubits] [7.4 meters] long and 14 [cubits] wide.
43:17b Hebrew a gutter of 1 cubit [53 centimeters] and a curb of 1⁄2 a cubit [27 centimeters].
44:10 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung; also in 44:12.
44:29 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
45:1 As in Greek version, which reads 25,000 [cubits] [13.3 kilometers] long and 20,000 [cubits] [10.6 kilometers] wide; Hebrew reads 25,000 [cubits] long and 10,000 [cubits] [3 1⁄3 miles or 5.3 kilometers] wide. Compare 45:3, 5; 48:9.
45:2a Hebrew 500 [cubits] [265 meters] by 500 [cubits], a square.
45:2b Hebrew 50 cubits [26.5 meters].
45:3 Hebrew 25,000 [cubits] [13.3 kilometers] long and 10,000 [cubits] [5.3 kilometers] wide; also in 45:5.
45:5 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads They will have as their possession 20 rooms.
45:6 Hebrew 25,000 [cubits] [13.3 kilometers] long and 5,000 [cubits] [2.65 kilometers] wide.
45:10 Hebrew Use honest scales, an honest ephah, and an honest bath.
45:11a The homer measures about 50 gallons or 220 liters.
45:11b The ephah is a dry measure; the bath is a liquid measure.
45:12a The shekel weighs about 0.4 ounces or 11 grams.
45:12b Elsewhere the mina is equated to 50 shekels.
45:13 Hebrew 1⁄6 of an ephah from each homer of wheat and 1⁄6 of an ephah from each homer of barley.
45:14 Hebrew the portion of oil, measured by the bath, is 1⁄10 of a bath from each cor, which consists of 10 baths or 1 homer, for 10 baths are equivalent to a homer.
45:17 Or to make atonement for the people of Israel.
45:18 Hebrew On the first day of the first month, of the Hebrew calendar. This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in March or April.
45:20 Or will make atonement for.
45:21 This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in late March, April, or early May.
45:24 Hebrew an ephah [20 quarts or 22 liters] of flour . . . and a hin [3.8 liters] of olive oil.
45:25 Hebrew the festival which begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month (see Lev 23:34). This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in late September, October, or early November.
21 An inheritance obtained too early in life
is not a blessing in the end.
22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
23 The Lord detests double standards;
he is not pleased by dishonest scales.
24 The Lord directs our steps,
so why try to understand everything along the way?
25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
and only later counting the cost.
26 A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat,
then runs his threshing wheel over them.
27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,[a]
exposing every hidden motive.
28 Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king;
his throne is made secure through love.
29 The glory of the young is their strength;
the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
30 Physical punishment cleanses away evil;[b]
such discipline purifies the heart.
20:27 Or The human spirit is the Lord’s light.
The Day of the Lord Is Coming
3 This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. 2 I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.
3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”
5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.[a]
11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.
14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
15 And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— 16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.
Peter’s Final Words
17 You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. 18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.
3:10 Other manuscripts read will be burned up; one early manuscript reads will be found destroyed.
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
1 I took my troubles to the Lord;
I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.
2 Rescue me, O Lord, from liars
and from all deceitful people.
3 O deceptive tongue, what will God do to you?
How will he increase your punishment?
4 You will be pierced with sharp arrows
and burned with glowing coals.
5 How I suffer in far-off Meshech.
It pains me to live in distant Kedar.
6 I am tired of living
among people who hate peace.
7 I search for peace;
but when I speak of peace, they want war!