Ezekiel 44:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"'The Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray and who wandered from me after their idols must bear the consequences of their sin.

New Living Translation
And the men of the tribe of Levi who abandoned me when Israel strayed away from me to worship idols must bear the consequences of their unfaithfulness.

English Standard Version
But the Levites who went far from me, going astray from me after their idols when Israel went astray, shall bear their punishment.

New American Standard Bible
"But the Levites who went far from Me when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity.

King James Bible
And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Surely the Levites who wandered away from Me when Israel went astray, and who strayed from Me after their idols, will bear the consequences of their sin.

International Standard Version
But the descendants of Levi, who went far away from me when Israel abandoned me, who left me to follow their idols, are to bear the punishment of their iniquity.

NET Bible
"'But the Levites who went far from me, straying off from me after their idols when Israel went astray, will be responsible for their sin.

New Heart English Bible
But the Levites who went far from me, when Israel went astray, who went astray from me after their idols, they shall bear their iniquity.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
" 'Some Levites went far away from me when Israel wandered off to follow their idols. They must be punished for their sins.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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;

New American Standard 1977
“But the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall bear their iniquity.

King James 2000 Bible
And the Levites who have gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, who went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.

American King James Version
And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Moreover the Levites that went away far from me, when the children of Israel went astray, and have wandered from me after their idols, and have borne their iniquity:

Darby Bible Translation
But the Levites who went away far from me, when Israel went astray, going astray from me after their idols, they shall even bear their iniquity;

English Revised Version
But the Levites that went far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray from me after their idols; they shall bear their iniquity.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the Levites that have gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, who went astray from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.

World English Bible
But the Levites who went far from me, when Israel went astray, who went astray from me after their idols, they shall bear their iniquity.

Young's Literal Translation
but -- the Levites who have gone far off from me, in the wandering of Israel when they went astray from Me after their idols, and they have borne their iniquity.
Study Bible
East Gate Assigned to the Prince
9'Thus says the Lord GOD, "No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the sons of Israel, shall enter My sanctuary. 10"But the Levites who went far from Me when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for 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 slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them.…
Cross References
Numbers 18:23
"Only the Levites shall perform the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the sons of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

2 Kings 23:8
Then he brought all the priests from the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba; and he broke down the high places of the gates which were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one's left at the city gate.

2 Kings 23:9
Nevertheless the priests of the high places did not go up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers.

Ezekiel 14:11
in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Thus they will be My people, and I shall be their God,"' declares the Lord GOD."

Ezekiel 22:26
"Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

Ezekiel 44:12
"Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn against them," declares the Lord GOD, "that they shall bear the punishment for their iniquity.

Ezekiel 44:15
"But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood," declares the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 48:11
"It shall be for the priests who are sanctified of the sons of Zadok, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the sons of Israel went astray as the Levites went astray.

Malachi 2:8
"But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi," says the LORD of hosts.
Treasury of Scripture

And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.

the Levites

Ezekiel 44:15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge …

Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things: …

Ezekiel 48:11 It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; …

2 Kings 23:8,9 And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled …

2 Chronicles 29:4,5 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them …

Nehemiah 9:34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, …

Jeremiah 23:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in my house have I …

Zephaniah 3:4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have …

1 Timothy 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's …

bear

Genesis 4:13 And Cain said to the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

Leviticus 19:8 Therefore every one that eats it shall bear his iniquity, because …

Numbers 5:31 Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall …

Psalm 38:4 For my iniquities are gone over my head: as an heavy burden they …

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: …

(10) And the Levites that are gone away.--The connection between this and the preceding verse is made clearer by translating the first words, "Yea, even;" not only the uncircumcised in heart among the heathen are to be excluded from the sanctuary, but even the Levites who had apostatised are to bear their guilt. Levites is here used (see Ezekiel 44:13), as often, emphatically of the Levitical priests. At the great schism of the northern kingdom these had remained true to the worship of Jehovah (2Chronicles 11:13); but in the subsequent general religious declension many of them, as has appeared from Ezekiel 8, had fallen into idolatry. Such priests are to be allowed, like the priests under the law who had any physical blemish (Leviticus 21:17-23), to minister in the more menial offices of the priesthood, but not to approach the altar (Ezekiel 44:11-14).

Verses 10-14. - The ordinance for the Levites. According to the so-called priest-code, the Levites were Levi's descendants, who were chosen by Jehovah for service in the tabernacle (Numbers 3:6-13; Numbers 16:9), to minister to the priests when these sacrificed in the tabernacle (Numbers 8:19; Numbers 18:6), and in particular to keep the charge of the tabernacle, i.e. of the house and all its vessels (Numbers 1:53), as distinguished from the charge of the sanctuary and of the altar, which pertained to Aaron and his sons alone as priests (Numbers 18:2-6, 23). The Deuteronomic code, says Wellhausen ('Geschichte Israels,' pp. 121, etc.), was unacquainted with any such distinction between Levites and priests, who, it is alleged, composed one homogeneous body, the tribe of Levi, whose members were equally empowered to officiate at the altar (Deuteronomy 10:8), the lower duties of the tabernacle having been performed by the aforesaid strangers, and the subordination of Levites to priests having first been suggested by Ezekiel (comp. Smend, 'Der Prophet Ezekiel,' p. 361, "Der unterschied zwischen Priestern und Leviten ist hier im Enstehn begriffen"), and first formally carried out alter the exile. This theory, however, cannot be admitted as made out in face of

(1) Deuteronomy 18, which (ver. 1) recognizes "the priests" and" the Levites" as constituting "the whole tribe of Levi," and (ver. 3, 6) distinguishes between "the priest" and "the Levite;"

(2) 2 Samuel 15:24, which associates with Zadok the priest, the Levites as carriers of the ark;

(3) 1 Kings 8:4, in which the same distinction between the two bodies is recognized;

(4) 1 and 2 Chronicles, passim, which attest the existence of priests and Levites as separate temple officials in pre-exilic times; and

(5) Ezra 1:5, 62; Ezra 3:8, 10; 6:20, which show that the distinction, alleged to have been first made by Ezekiel, was well known to the first company of exiles who returned under Zerubbabel to Jerusalem, and was by them traced back to pre-exilic times (see Keil, on REFERENCE_WORK:Keil & DelitzschDeuteronomy 18:1; Curtiss's 'Levitical Priests,' pp. 22, etc.; Delitzsch, in Luthardt's 'Zeit-schrift fur kirchliche Wissensehaft,' pp. 286, etc., aud in Riehm's ' Handworterbuch des Biblischen Alterthums,' art. "Leviten;" Oehler, in Herzog's 'Real-Encyclopadie,' art. "Levi"). The question, therefore, of which Levites Ezekiel speaks in this verse, whether of those whose duties were of a menial order or of those whose functions partook of a priestly character, is not difficult to resolve. It could hardly have been the former, since in vers. 11-14 Ezekiel's Levites are represented as about to be degraded by being relegated to inferior tasks than those they had formerly performed; it must have been the latter, because in the present verse they are designated the Levites that are gone away (or, went) far from me, when Israel went astray. Now, Israel's apostasy from Jehovah and declension towards idolatry began with Solomon's unfaithfulness (1 Kings 11:4-8), and continued with greater or less intensity in every subsequent reign till the exile; it certainly cannot be restricted, as Keil and Currey propose, to Jeroboam's conduct in setting up rival sanctuaries in Dan and Bethel, with altars and priests, for the accommodation of the northern kingdom (1 Kings 12:26-33). Nor is there room for doubting, although historical notices of the fact are not abundant, that in this apostasy the priesthood largely led the way (Jeremiah 26:7, 11; 2 Kings 16:11-16; Zephaniah 1:4), becoming priests of the high places, ministering for the people at heathen altars, and so causing them to fall into iniquity (ver. 12). Hengstenberg and Plumptre suggest that the reason why these apostate priests are now called Levites was to intimate that they were no more worthy of the priesthood, and were about to be reduced to the lower ministry of the Levites so called. Consequently, under the new Torah, those among the priests (who were also Levites) who had been guilty of this flagrant wickedness (i.e., says Delitzsch, all the Aaronides who were not Zadokitos) would no more, either in themselves or their descendants, be suffered to retain the priestly office, but would be degraded to the status of ordinary Levites, and, like them, should be ministers in Jehovah's sanctuary, having charge - or, oversight (Revised Version) - at the gates of the house, and ministering, to (or, in) the house, i.e. in its courts, serving as keepers of the charge of the house (ver. 14), as watchers at the gates of the house (ver. 11), as slaughterers of the sacrificial victims (ver. 11), but should not, like their brethren who had remained faithful, be allowed to do the office of a priest, i.e. approach the altar to offer sacrifice, or to enter into the holy place (ver. 13). In this way they should bear their iniquity (vers. 10,12) - a favorite expression in the middle books of the Pentateuch (Exodus 28:38, 43; Leviticus 5:1; Leviticus 10:17; Leviticus 20:19; Numbers 5:31; Numbers 18:1), but never occurring in Deuteronomy, and meaning "to be requited" on account of, and make expiation for, sin and their shame and their abominations, i.e. the shame due to them for their abominations - a specially Ezekelian phrase (comp. Ezekiel 16:52, 54; Ezekiel 32:30; Ezekiel 36:7). And the Levites that are gone away far from me,.... These Levites were priests, as appears from Ezekiel 44:13, who professed themselves Gospel preachers, ministers of the reformed churches; but departed from the reformation principles; erred from the faith; and either mixed it with the doctrines of men, or wholly dropped, concealed, or dissembled it; departed from the word of God, as the rule of faith and practice; and set up their own reason as their guide in matters of religion; were gone off from the pure worship of God and his ordinances, and entirely neglected the discipline of his house:

when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; though there may be an allusion to some apostasy of literal Israel, under the Old Testament, and from whence language may be borrowed to express this; either to the Israelites joining themselves to Baalpeor in the fields of Moab, in the time of Phinehas, who was zealous and faithful to the Lord, from whom Zadok descended after mentioned: or to the defection in the times of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, when all Israel forsook the word of the Lord: or to the times of Ahaz, when Uriah the priest made an altar like to that at Damascus by the king's order; and which idolatrous practices increased in the times of Manasseh; when, no doubt, many of the priests and Levites, either through fear of kings, or on account of gain, and for the sake of their livelihood, departed from the Lord and his worship: but the reference is to a defection in the times of the New Testament, and in the latter days of those times; not to the falling away of the church of Rome, and its departure from the faith and order of the Gospel, predicted 2 Thessalonians 2:3, though, no doubt, some truly godly ministers have been carried away with the errors of that church, and afterwards restored, as these Levites: but the case here referred to is the declension in the reformed churches; their formality; their great imperfection in the service of God; their departure from the doctrine of faith they once heard and received, which they are called upon to repent of; their defiling themselves with superstition and will worship, and going after the idols of their own hearts, corrupt reason, the doctrines and inventions of men, and carnal rites and ceremonies; see Revelation 3:1,

they shall even bear their iniquity; that is, the Levites, priests, or ministers; they shall bear the shame and disgrace, when they come to see their errors, and the punishment and chastisement of their sin, of which hereafter. 10, 11. Levites … shall … bear—namely, the punishment of

their iniquity … Yet they shall be ministers—So Mark, a Levite, nephew of Barnabas (Ac 4:36), was punished by Paul for losing an opportunity of bearing the cross of Christ, and yet was afterwards admitted into his friendship again, and showed his zeal (Ac 13:13; 15:37; Col 4:10; 2Ti 4:11). One may be a believer, and that too in a distinguished place, and yet lose some special honor—be acknowledged as pious, yet be excluded from some dignity [Bengel].

charge at the gates—Better to be "a doorkeeper in the house of God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness" (Ps 84:10). Though standing as a mere doorkeeper, it is in the house of God, which hath foundations: whereas he who dwells with the wicked, dwells in but shifting tents.44:1-31 This chapter contains ordinances relative to the true priests. The prince evidently means Christ, and the words in ver. 2, may remind us that no other can enter heaven, the true sanctuary, as Christ did; namely, by virtue of his own excellency, and his personal holiness, righteousness, and strength. He who is the Brightness of Jehovah's glory entered by his own holiness; but that way is shut to the whole human race, and we all must enter as sinners, by faith in his blood, and by the power of his grace.
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