Ezekiel 44

Study the Inner Meaning

English: American Standard Version         

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1 Then he brought me back by the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.

2 And Jehovah said unto me, This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, neither shall any man enter in by it; for Jehovah, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it; therefore it shall be shut.

3 As for the prince, he shall sit therein as prince to eat bread before Jehovah; he shall enter by the way of the porch of the gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.

4 Then he brought me by the way of the north gate before the house; and I looked, and, behold, the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah: and I fell upon my face.

5 And Jehovah said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of Jehovah, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entrance of the house, with every egress of the sanctuary.

6 And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations,

7 in that ye have brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to profane it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant, [to add] unto all your abominations.

8 And ye have not kept the charge of my holy things; but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves.

9 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any foreigners that are among the children of Israel.

10 But the Levites that went far from me, when Israel went astray, that went astray from me after their idols, they shall bear their iniquity.

11 Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house, and ministering in the house: they shall slay the burnt-offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them.

12 Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and became a stumblingblock of iniquity unto the house of Israel; therefore have I lifted up my hand against them, saith the Lord Jehovah, and they shall bear their iniquity.

13 And they shall not come near unto me, to execute the office of priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, unto the things that are most holy; but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed.

14 Yet will I make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein.

15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me; and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord Jehovah:

16 they shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.

17 And it shall be that, when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, while they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.

18 They shall have linen tires upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with [anything that causeth] sweat.

19 And when they go forth into the outer court, even into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they minister, and lay them in the holy chambers; and they shall put on other garments, that they sanctify not the people with their garments.

20 Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only cut off the hair of their heads.

21 Neither shall any of the priests drink wine, when they enter into the inner court.

22 Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away; but they shall take virgins of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that is the widow of a priest.

23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

24 And in a controversy they shall stand to judge; according to mine ordinances shall they judge it: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my appointed feasts; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.

25 And they shall go in to no dead person to defile themselves; but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves.

26 And after he is cleansed, they shall reckon unto him seven days.

27 And in the day that he goeth into the sanctuary, into the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin-offering, saith the Lord Jehovah.

28 And they shall have an inheritance: I am their inheritance; and ye shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession.

29 They shall eat the meal-offering, and the sin-offering, and the trespass-offering; and every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs.

30 And the first of all the first-fruits of every thing, and every oblation of everything, of all your oblations, shall be for the priest: ye shall also give unto the priests the first of your dough, to cause a blessing to rest on thy house.

31 The priests shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself, or is torn, whether it be bird or beast.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Apocalypse Revealed 861, 945

Conjugial Love 26

Divine Providence 134

Doctrine of the Lord 52

Heaven and Hell 171

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 167


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 1250, 2049, 2362, 2851, 3301, 3706, 3708, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 191, 671, 904

The Lord 28, 39

Faith 54

Heaven and Hell 197

True Christian Religion 93


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 66, 186, 208, 220, 422, 444, 630, ...

Marriage 93

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 53

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 12:48, 23:19

Leviticus 2:3, 10, 3:3, 16, 4:3, 6:3, 4, 10:9, 16:4, 17:6, 21:1, 5, 7, 13, 14, 22:8, 10, 13, 23:2, 27:21, 28

Numbers 15:20, 16:5, 9, 18:3, 4, 5, 19:11, 14, 16

Deuteronomy 12:7, 17:9, 18:2, 23:4

Joshua 13:14

1 Samuel 2:35

2 Samuel 8:17

2 Kings 16:18

1 Chronicles 23:28, 32, 26:1

2 Chronicles 30:17, 31:10

Psalms 24:3

Proverbs 11:31

Isaiah 58:13

Jeremiah 3:25, 9:25, 23:11

Ezekiel 2:5, 3:23, 10:4, 14:3, 22:26, 40:4, 46, 41:22, 42:14, 43:1, 4, 11, 45:9, 46:1, 2, 8, 9, 12, 20, 24, 48:11

Hosea 4:9

Zechariah 3:7, 14:21

Malachi 2:4, 8, 3:10

Acts of the Apostles 21:28

1 Peter 4:3

Revelation 15:8

Word/Phrase Explanations

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

Way
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

shut
There are only a couple of references in the Writings to "close" used as a verb, and both stem from Amos 9:11, which talks about...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

god
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

sit
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

bread
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

north
'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

filled
There are two ways something can be filled: It can be filled with something bad against the wishes of its owner, or it can be...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

hear
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

laws
All laws, even civil and judicial laws, which are in the Word, correspond to the laws of good and truth, which are in heaven.

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

foreigners
There is a long history of using travel to round out an education, from the 19th-century “world tours” taken by Oxford and Cambridge graduates to...

uncircumcised
'The uncircumcised,' as in Ezekiel 31:18, signifies people lacking the good of charity.

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

fat
'Fat things full of marrow,' signify goods.

blood
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

Sanctuary
'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

Idols
Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

iniquity
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

Minister
'To minister,' as in Genesis 40:2, relates to scientific ideas.

gates
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

stand
'To stay with,' as in Genesis 32:4, relates to the life of truth when accompanied by good, and in this instance, it means to take...

ministered
People in the Word who operate the details of charity are called 'ministers.'

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

shame
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

service
'Service' denotes everything beneath, which is subordinate and obeys, and so, truth being derived from good, and ministering to good.

priests
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

table
Food and drink in the Bible represent the desire to be loving and the understanding of how to be loving, gifts that flow from the...

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

court
The court of the tabernacle (Exodus 27:9), etc., signifies the external of heaven, or the first, which is also called the ultimate heaven.

linen
Flax, as in Exodus 9:31, signifies truth of the natural exterior principle. A smoking flax, as in Isaiah 42:3, signifies a little of truth from...

garments
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

Loins
'Loins' in general, signify love, and when referring to the Lord, divine love. 'Loins' signify the interiors of conjugial love. Loins,' as in Isaiah 11:5,...

gird
To gird one’s self, as in John. 21:18, signifies to know and perceive truths in the light from good.

Sweat
'To sweat,' as in Ezekiel 44:18, denotes a person's proprium.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

sanctify
'To sanctify' denotes being led by the Lord. 'To sanctify' denotes being incapable of being violated.

Grow
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

Long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

drink
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

wine
Wine played a key role in the ancient world, where safe, reliable water sources were scarce. It could be stored for long periods of time;...

wives
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

virgins
'Virgins,' as in Revelation 14:4, signify people who love truths because they are truths, so from a spiritual affection. 'Virgin' signifies the church as a...

Seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

unclean
'Pollution' denotes the truth of faith defiled.

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

Ordinances
'Ordinances' in the prophets, signify changes relative to spiritual and celestial things, both in general and particular, which are also compared to the changes of...

sabbaths
In Exodus 31:13, 'verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep,' signifies continuous holy thought about the union of the Lord’s divine with His human.

dead
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

daughter
"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

brother
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

sister
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

husband
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...

Seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

inheritance
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

Torn
'Torn,' as in Genesis 31:38, signifies death caused by another, so evil without blame. 'Torn' relates to good, which falsity is injected into, which means...

bird
Fowl signify spiritual truth; a bird, natural truth; and a winged thing, sensual truth. Fowl signify intellectual things. Fowl signify thoughts, and all that creeps...

beast
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...


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