December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Then he led me to the gate which faces the east,
- and there I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. I heard a sound like the roaring of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory.
- The vision was like that which I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and like that which I had seen by the river Chebar. I fell prone
- as the glory of the LORD entered the temple by way of the gate which faces the east,
- but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court. And I saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the LORD.
- Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple, while the man stood beside me.
- The voice said to me: Son of man, this is where my throne shall be, this is where I will set the soles of my feet; here I will dwell among the Israelites forever. Never again shall they and their kings profane my holy name with their harlotries and with the corpses of their kings (their high places).
- 1 When they placed their threshold against my threshold and their doorpost next to mine, so that only a wall was between us, they profaned my holy name by their abominable deeds; therefore I consumed them in my wrath.
- From now on they shall put far from me their harlotry and the corpses of their kings, and I will dwell in their midst forever.
- As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel (that they may be ashamed of their sins), both its measurements and its design;
- (and if they are ashamed of all that they have done,) make known to them the form and design of the temple, its exits and entrances, all its statutes and laws; write these down for them to see, that they may carefully observe all its laws and statutes.
- This is the law of the temple: its whole surrounding area on the mountain top shall be most sacred.
- 2 These were the measurements of the altar in cubits of one cubit plus a handbreadth. Its base was one cubit high and one cubit deep, with a rim around its edges of one span. The height of the altar itself was as follows:
- from its base at the bottom up to the lower edge it was two cubits high, and this ledge was one cubit deep; from the lower to the upper ledge it was four cubits high, and this ledge also was one cubit deep;
- the hearth of the altar was four cubits high, and extending from the top of the hearth were the four horns of the altar.
- The hearth was a square: twelve cubits long and twelve cubits wide.
- The upper ledge was also a square: fourteen cubits long and fourteen cubits wide. The lower ledge, likewise a square, was sixteen cubits long and sixteen cubits wide, with a half-cubit rim surrounding it. And there was a base of one cubit all around. The steps of the altar face the east.
- Then he said to me: Son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: These are the statutes for the altar when it is set up for the offering of holocausts upon it and for the sprinkling of blood against it.
- Give a young bull as a sin offering to the priests, the Levites who are of the line of Zadok, who draw near me to minister to me, says the Lord GOD.
- Take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, and on the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim all around. Thus you shall purify it and make atonement for it.
- Then take the bull of the sin offering, which is to be burnt in a designated part of the temple, outside the sanctuary.
- On the second day present an unblemished he-goat as a sin offering, to purify the altar as was done with the bull.
- When you have finished the purification, bring an unblemished young bull and an unblemished ram from the flock,
- and present them before the LORD; the priests shall strew salt on them and offer them to the LORD as holocausts.
- Daily for seven days you shall offer a he-goat as a sin offering, and a young bull and a ram from the flock, all unblemished, shall be offered
- for seven days. Thus atonement shall be made for the altar, and it shall be purified and dedicated.
- And when these days are over, from the eighth day on, the priests shall offer your holocausts and peace offerings on the altar. Then I will accept you, says the Lord GOD.
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1  They placed their threshold against my threshold: the preexilic temple and the royal palace belonged to the same complex of buildings, and this physical proximity was reflected in the use made of the temple by kings like Ahaz and Manasseh, who treated it as their private chapel for pagan rites. In the new Israel the temple is free, even physically, from civil jurisdiction; cf Ezekiel 45:7-8.
2  The altar: of holocausts, standing in the inner court of the temple area; cf Ezekiel 40:47.
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