Ezekiel 44:15
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 GOD:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) The sons of Zadok.—See Note on Ezekiel 40:46. They are here described as those who continued faithful in the general apostasy, and it is probable that Ezekiel uses the term in this sense. As Zadok had continued faithful in the rebellion of Adonijah, when even the high priest and life-long friend of David went astray (1Kings 1:7-8), so all the faithful priests in the time of apostasy were called “sons of Zadok.”

Ezekiel 44:15-16. The priests the Levites — The Levites who are priests; the sons of Zadok — Who continued faithful; they shall stand before me to offer the fat, &c. — They shall serve at the altar of burnt-offering, and offer sacrifices thereon. They shall enter into my sanctuary — Into the holy place; to minister unto me — To burn incense there upon the golden altar, to sprinkle the blood of the victims before the veil, to trim the lamps, and to change the loaves on the sacred table every sabbath. They shall keep my charge — They shall have this honour in reward of their fidelity. Observe, reader, God will put marks of honour upon those who are faithful to him in trying times, and will employ those in his service who have kept close to it when others drew back.

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.Lifted up mine hand - i. e., "The Lord sware" Ezekiel 20:5, that they should bear their iniquities. 15. Zadok—The priests of the line of Ithamar were to be discharged from ministrations in the temple, because of their corruptions, following in the steps of Eli's sons, against whom the same denunciation was uttered (1Sa 2:32, 35). Zadok, according to his name (which means "righteous") and his line, were to succeed (1Ki 2:35; 1Ch 24:3), as they did not take part in the general apostasy to the same degree, and perhaps [Fairbairn] the prophet, referring to their original state, speaks of them as they appeared when first chosen to the office. The priests; so called from their office. The Levites; by descent from Levi, Jacob’s son.

Sons of Zadok; who was of Eleazar’s family, to whose father Phinehas a covenant of salt insured the high priesthood, and all the honour, privileges, and advantages thereof, Numbers 25:12,13.

Kept the charge; were constant, zealous, and faithful in their priestly office, and their duties in it.

Went astray: this may possibly refer to that transgression in the matter of Baal-peor, of which Numbers 25:3 Psalm 106:28-30. See Ezekiel 44:10. They shall come near to me: see Ezekiel 40:46.

To offer unto me the fat and the blood; to offer expiatory sacrifices, to make atonement and intercede for the people. This honour God put upon them for their integrity and constancy in the things of God.

But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok;.... The priests who were of the tribe of Levi, whom the Lord chose and separated, to minister to him, and so had a lawful call to this office, and were regularly invested with it; and design true and lawful, as well as faithful, ministers of the word; these are called the sons of Zadok, who descended from Eleazar the son of Aaron in the line of Phinehas, to whom the Lord promised the everlasting priesthood, and who was put into this office by Solomon in the room of Abiathar, 1 Kings 2:35, his name signifies "righteous", and was a type of Christ; who, as a divine Person, is essentially righteous; as man, truly and perfectly so; and, as Mediator, God's righteous servant; and who, by his obedience and sufferings, is the author of righteousness to his people; who are his spiritual seed and offspring; children given him of his Father; who have his sonship and adoption through him, and are born of him, his Spirit, and grace; and these are made righteous by him, through his righteousness imputed to them, and may be rightly called sons of Zadok: and this agrees with all the saints; and who, under the Gospel dispensation, are all priests, and offer up themselves, souls and bodies, and their spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, unto God by Christ; though all have not a right to preach the word, and administer ordinances, as ministers lawfully called have, and who seem to be more particularly designed here; and such as are regenerated persons, and justified by Christ's righteousness, and preach the doctrine of free justification by it, are the only fit persons for such an office:

that kept the charge of my sanctuary, when the children of Israel went astray from me; that kept and held fast the pure doctrines of the Gospel, committed as a sacred depositum to them, without mixture, and without wavering, with courage and valour; though a greater number were on the other side, and though they were reproached and persecuted for it; and who taught the people to keep the ordinances of the Gospel as they were first delivered, in faith and love, and without sinister ends, and so administered them themselves; and such faithful ministers and members of churches, especially in a time of great declension and general defection, God takes notice of, and has promised them great and good things; see Revelation 2:7.

they shall come near to me to minister unto me; in holy things to his people, which is called ministering unto him; as to pray to him for them; lo preach to them in his name, and administer ordinances: all the saints indeed are priests, and may draw nigh to God through Christ; men are at a distance from him, through sin; there is no coming near to him but by Christ; and this coming near is not local, but spiritual, and includes all acts of worship, particularly prayer; and is a great favour and blessing:

and they shall stand before me, to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God; which, under the law, were both the Lord's; the one was burnt, and the other sprinkled, on divers things, and in various places: here it may respect the administration of the ordinance of the Lord's supper, that feast of fat things, and which may be eminently called the goodness and fatness of the house of God; and in which the blood of Christ is represented as shed for the remission of sins, and as spiritual drink indeed to believers; and the sacrifice of Christ is commemorated, the feast being kept in remembrance of that.

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

(e) Who observed the law of God and did not fall to idolatry.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15, 16. The priests of the family of Zadok alone shall be priests in the new Temple. These continued faithful to Jehovah when the provincial priests went far from him. The judgment of the prophet may be to some extent a comparative one. The worship at Jerusalem never sank to the level of the licentiousness and corruption prevailing at the rural sanctuaries, though undoubtedly the record of the reform of Josiah reveals great corruptions at Jerusalem also (2 Kings 23). How far these were introduced by the kings, such as Manasseh, despite the opposition of the priests, cannot be ascertained. The reforms of Hezekiah most probably, and certainly those of Josiah, were promoted by the priests (2 Kings 22). The family of Zadok dates from Solomon, who deposed Abiathar on account of his favouring the pretensions of Adonijah and installed Zadok in his place. Since those remote times the Zadokites had served in the temple, and upon the whole the prophet’s favourable judgment of them is no doubt justified (cf. 2 Kings 11; Isaiah 8:2).

Verses 15, 16. - The ordinance for the priests. That Ezekiel derived the phrase, the priests the Levites, from Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 17:9; 18:1; 24:8; 27:9) may be granted without admitting that the Levites were all priests, or that the phrase had other import than that the priests were, as the Deuteronomist says, "sons of Levi" (Deuteronomy 21:5; 31:9). The priesthood, at its institution, having been entrusted to Aaron and his sons (Exodus 27:20, 21; Exodus 28:1-4; Exodus 29:9, 44; Numbers 3:10; Numbers 16:40; Numbers 18:7; Numbers 25:13), on Aaron's death the high priesthood passed into the hands of Eleazar, his eldest (living) son (Numbers 20:26-28), and after Eleazar's death into those of Phinehas, his eldest son (Numbers 25:11-13). In the last days of the judges, when the ark and tabernacle stood at Shiloh, the high priesthood belonged to Eli, of the line of Ithamar (comp. 1 Samuel 14:3 and 1 Sam 22:20 with 1 Chronicles 24:3), in which line it continued till the reign of David, when it was held conjointly by Abiathar (called also Ahimelech) of the line of Ithamar, and Zadok of the line of Eleazar (2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Samuel 20:25; 1 Kings 4:4). This arrangement, however, Solomon eventually overturned, by deposing the former for espousing Adonijah's pretensions to the throne (1 Kings 1:7; 1 Kings 2:26), and from that time forward till the exile the high priesthood remained with Zadok and his sons (1 Kings 2:35; 1 Chronicles 29:22). When, therefore, it is announced to Ezekiel that his vision-sanctuary should have as priests the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of Jehovah's sanctuary, when the children of Israel went astray from him; the first question that arises is - To what does this allude? Kliefoth holds it cannot mean that, while Israel as a whole declined into idolatry, the Zadokite priests remained faithful to the worship of Jehovah, because the vision of Judah's idolatries granted to the prophet, in Ezekiel 8:16, revealed quite clearly that the priesthood was as much caught in the national apostasy as were the princes or the people. Nor is the language of the text perfectly satisfied by the view of Havernick, Keil, Delitzsch, and others, that it goes beck to Zadok's fidelity to the throne of David at the time of Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 15:24-29), a fidelity exhibited also by Abiathar, or to his adherence to Solomon in preference to Adonijah (1 Kings 1:8, 39), this time without Abiathar's concurrence, rather in the face of his opposition. In neither of these instances was Zadok's fidelity specially directed towards Jehovah's sanctuary, but concerned expressly and exclusively David's throne. Hence the commendation of the Zadokites' fidelity can only signify that, while the priesthood as a body were corrupt like the people, there were among them, as among the people, some who, like Ezekiel, continued steadfast to Jehovah's sanctuary; that these faithful few were Zadokites (see Ezekiel 48:11), and that to these should be entrusted the priesthood in the new sanctuary. But, at this point, a second question starts - Was it intended to declare that the new priesthood should be Zadokites in body, i.e. in respect of lineal descent, or only in soul, i.e. in respect of moral and religious excellence? The former is contended by Kuenen, Wellhausen, Smend, and others, who see in the vision-sanctuary a plan of the second, or post-exilic, temple, and in its ordinances a program for the establishment of the Levitical hierarchy; but this contention shatters itself on the fact that no proof exists either that the second temple was constructed after Ezekiel's as a model, or that those who served in it were exclusively flesh and blood Zadokites. The latter opinion, favored by Kliefoth, appears the more correct, that moral and spiritual resemblance to the sons of Zadok should form the first qualification for the priesthood in this ideal sanctuary of the future (see note at the end of Ezekiel 48.). Ezekiel 44:15The Position of Foreigners, Levites, and Priests in Relation to the Temple and the Temple Service. - The further precepts concerning the approach to the sanctuary, and the worship to be presented there, are introduced with a fresh exhortation to observe with exactness all the statutes and laws, in order that the desecration of the sanctuary which had formerly taken place might not be repeated, and are delivered to the prophet at the north gate in front of the manifestation of the glory of God (Ezekiel 44:4-8). - Ezekiel 44:4. And he brought me by the way of the north gate to the front of the house; and I looked, and behold the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah, and I fell down upon my face. Ezekiel 44:5. And Jehovah said to me, Son of man, direct thy heart and see with thine eyes and hear with thine ears all that I say to thee with regard to all the statutes of the house of Jehovah and all its laws, and direct thy heart to the entering into the house through all the exits of the house, Ezekiel 44:6. And say to the rebellious one, to the family of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Let it be sufficient for you, of all your abominations, O house of Israel, Ezekiel 44:7. In that ye brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to desecrate it, my house, when ye offered my food, fat and blood, and so they broke my covenant to all your abominations, Ezekiel 44:8. And so ye did not keep the charge of my holy things, but made them keepers of my charge for you in my sanctuary. - From the outer gate to which Ezekiel had been taken, simply that he might be instructed concerning the entering thereby, he is once more conducted, after this has been done, by the way of the north gate to the front of the temple house, to receive the further directions there for the performance of the worship of God in the new sanctuary. The question, whether we are to understand by the north gate that of the outer or that of the inner court, cannot be answered with certainty. Hitzig has decided in favour of the latter, Kliefoth in favour of the former. The place to which he is conducted is אל־פּני הבּית, ad faciem domus, before the temple house, so that he had it before his eyes, i.e., was able to see it. As the gateway of the inner court was eight steps, about four cubits, higher than the outer court gate, this was hardly possible if he stood at or within the latter. הבּית, i.e., the temple house, could only be distinctly seen from the inner north gate. And the remark that it is more natural to think of the outer north gate, because the next thing said to the prophet has reference to the question who is to go into and out of the sanctuary, has not much force, as the instructions do not refer to the going in and out alone, but chiefly to the charge of Jehovah, i.e., to the maintenance of divine worship.

At the fresh standing-place the glory of the Lord, which filled the temple, met the sight of the prophet again, so that he fell down and worshipped once more (cf. Ezekiel 43:3, Ezekiel 43:5). This remark is not intended "to indicate that now, after the preliminary observations in Ezekiel 43:13-44:3, the true thorah commences" (Kliefoth), but to show the unapproachable glory and holiness of the new temple. For Ezekiel 44:5, see Ezekiel 40:4; Ezekiel 43:11-12. In Ezekiel 44:6 אל־מרי is placed at the head in a substantive form for the sake of emphasis, and בּית־ישׂראל is appended in the form of an apposition. For the fact itself, see Ezekiel 2:8. רב־לּכם followed by מן, a sufficiency of anything, as in Exodus 9:28; 1 Kings 12:28, is equivalent to "there is enough for you to desist from it." The תּועבות, from which they are to desist, are more precisely defined in Ezekiel 44:6. They consisted in the fact that the Israelites admitted foreigners, heathen, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, into the sanctuary, to desecrate it during the offering of sacrifice. It is not expressly stated, indeed, that they admitted uncircumcised heathen to the offering of sacrifice, but this is implied in what is affirmed. The offering of sacrifice in the temple of Jehovah is not only permitted in the Mosaic law to foreigners living in Israel, but to some extent prescribed (Leviticus 17:10,Leviticus 17:12; Numbers 15:13.). It was only in the paschal meal that no 'בן was allowed to participate (Exodus 12:43). To do this, he must first of all be circumcised (v. 44). Solomon accordingly prays to the Lord in his temple-prayer that He will also hearken to the prayer of the foreigner, who may come from a distant land for the Lord's name sake to worship in His house (1 Kings 8:41.). The reproof in the verse before us is apparently at variance with this. Raschi would therefore understand by בּני־נכר, Israelites who had fallen into heathen idolatry. Rosenmller, on the other hand, is of opinion that the Israelites were blamed because they had accepted victimas et libamina from the heathen, and offered them in the temple, which had been prohibited in Leviticus 25:22. Hvernick understands by the sons of the foreigner, Levites who had become apostates from Jehovah, and were therefore placed by Ezekiel on a par with the idolatrous sons of the foreigner. And lastly, Hitzig imagines that they were foreign traders, who had been admitted within the sacred precincts as sellers of sacrificial animals, incense, and so forth. All these are alike arbitrary and erroneous. The apparent discrepancy vanishes, if we consider the more precise definition of בּני , viz., "uncircumcised in heart and flesh." Their being uncircumcised in heart is placed first, for the purpose of characterizing the foreigners as godless heathen, who ere destitute not only of the uncircumcision of their flesh, but also of that of the heart, i.e., of piety of heart, which Solomon mentions in his prayer as the motive for the coming of distant strangers to the temple. By the admission of such foreigners as these, who had no fear of God at all, into the temple during the sacrificial worship, Israel had defiled the sanctuary. את־בּיתי is in apposition to the suffix to חלּלו. The food of Jehovah (לחמי) is sacrifice, according to Leviticus 3:11; Leviticus 21:6, etc., and is therefore explained by "fat and blood." ויּפרוּ, which the lxx changed in an arbitrary manner into the second person, refers to the "foreigners," the heathen. By their treading the temple in their ungodliness they broke the covenant of the Lord with His people, who allowed this desecration of His sanctuary. אל כּל־תּועבות, in addition to all your abominations. How grievous a sin was involved in this is stated in Ezekiel 44:8. The people of Israel, by their unrighteous admission of godless heathen into the temple, not only failed to show the proper reverence for the holy things of the Lord, but even made these heathen, so to speak, servants of God for themselves in His sanctuary. These last words are not to be understood literally, but spiritually. Allowing them to tread the temple is regarded as equivalent to appointing them to take charge of the worship in the temple. For שׁמר , see Leviticus 18:30; Leviticus 22:9, and the commentary on Leviticus 8:35.

The Lord would guard against such desecration of His sanctuary in the future. To this end the following precepts concerning the worship in the new temple are given. - Ezekiel 44:9. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall come into my sanctuary, of all the foreigners that are in the midst of the sons of Israel; Ezekiel 44:10. But even the Levites, who have gone away from me in the wandering of Israel, which wandered away from me after its idols, they shall bear their guilt. Ezekiel 44:11. They shall be servants in my sanctuary, as guards at the gates of the house and serving in the house; they shall slay the burnt-offering and the slain-offering for the people, and shall stand before it to serve them. Ezekiel 44:12. Because they served them before their idols, and became to the house of Israel a stumbling-block to guilt, therefore I have lifted my hand against them, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, that they should bear their guilt. Ezekiel 44:13. They shall not draw near to me to serve me as priests, and to draw near to all my holy things, to the most holy, but shall bear their disgrace and all their abominations which they have done. Ezekiel 44:14. And so will I make them guards of the charge of the house with regard to all its service, and to all that is performed therein. Ezekiel 44:15. But the priests of the tribe of Levi, the sons of Zadok, who have kept the charge of my sanctuary on the wandering of the sons of Israel from me, they shall draw near to me to serve me, and stand before me, offer to me fat and blood, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 44:16. They shall come into my sanctuary, and they draw near to my table to serve me, and shall keep my charge. - In order that all desecration may be kept at a distance from the new sanctuary, foreigners uncircumcised in heart and flesh are not to be admitted into it; and even of the Levites appointed for the service of the sanctuary according to the Mosaic law, all who took part in the falling away of the people into idolatry are to be excluded from investiture with the priests' office as a punishment for their departure from the Lord, and only to be allowed to perform subordinate duties in connection with the worship of God. On the other hand, the descendants of Zadok, who kept themselves free from all straying into idolatry, are to perform the specifically priestly service at the altar and in the sanctuary, and they alone. The meaning and design of the command, to shut out the foreigners uncircumcised in heart from all access to the sanctuary, are not that the intermediate position and class of foreigners living in Israel should henceforth be abolished (Kliefoth); for this would be at variance with Ezekiel 47:22 and Ezekiel 47:23, according to which the foreigners (גּרים) were to receive a possession of their own in the fresh distribution of the land, which not only presupposes their continuance within the congregation of Israel, but also secures it for the time to come. The meaning is rather this: No heathen uncircumcised in heart, i.e., estranged in life from God, shall have access to the altar in the new sanctuary. The emphasis of the prohibition lies here, as in Ezekiel 44:7, upon their being uncircumcised in heart; and the reason for the exclusion of foreigners consists not so much in the foreskin of the flesh as in the spiritual foreskin, so that not only the uncircumcised heathen, but also Israelites who were circumcised in flesh, were to keep at a distance from the sanctuary if they failed to possess circumcision of heart. The ל before כּל־בּן serves the purpose of comprehension, as in Genesis 9:10; Leviticus 11:42, etc. (compare Ewald, ֗310a). Not only are foreigners who are estranged from God to be prevented from coming into the sanctuary, but even the Levites, who fell into idolatry at the time of the apostasy of the Israelites, are to bear their guilt, i.e., are to be punished for it by exclusion from the rights of the priesthood. This is the connection between the tenth verse and the ninth, indicated by כּי אם, which derives its meaning, truly (imo), yea even, from this connection, as in Isaiah 33:21. הלויּם are not the Levites here as distinguished from the priests (Aaronites), but all the descendants of Levi, including the Aaronites chosen for the priests' office, to whom what is to be said concerning the Levites chiefly applied. The division of the Levites into such as are excluded from the service and office of priests (כּהן, Ezekiel 44:13) on account of their former straying into idolatry, and the sons of Zadok, who kept aloof from that wandering, and therefore are to be the only persons allowed to administer the priests' office for the future, shows very clearly that the threat "they shall bear their guilt" does not apply to the common Levites, but to the Levitical priests. They are to be degraded to the performance of the inferior duties in the temple and at divine worship. The guilt with which they are charged is that they forsook Jehovah when the people strayed into idolatry. Forsaking Jehovah involves both passive and active participation in idolatry (cf. Jeremiah 2:5). This wandering of the Israelites from Jehovah took place during the whole time that the tabernacle and Solomon's temple were in existence, though at different periods and with varying force and extent.

Bearing the guilt is more minutely defined in Ezekiel 44:11-13. The Levitical priests who have forsaken the Lord are to lose the dignity and rights of the priesthood; they are not, indeed, to be entirely deprived of the prerogative conferred upon the tribe of Levi by virtue of its election to the service of the sanctuary in the place of the first-born of the whole nation, but henceforth they are merely to be employed in the performance of the lower duties, as guards at the gates of the temple, and as servants of the people at the sacrificial worship, when they are to slaughter the animals for the people, which every one who offered sacrifice was also able to do for himself. Because they have already served the people before their idols, i.e., have helped them in their idolatry, they shall also serve the people in time to come in the worship of God, though not as priests, but simply in non-priestly occupations. The words 'המּה יעמדוּ are taken from Numbers 16:9, and the suffixes in לפּניהם and לשׁרתּם refer to עם. מכשׁול עון .עם ot ref, as in Ezekiel 7:19; Ezekiel 14:3; Ezekiel 18:30. נשׂא יד, not to raise the arm to smite, but to lift up the hand to swear, as in Ezekiel 20:5-6, etc. לגשׁת על כּל־קדשׁי, to draw near to all my holy things. קדשׁים are not the rooms in the sanctuary, but those portions of the sacrifices which were sacred to the Lord. They are not to touch these, i.e., neither to sprinkle blood nor to burn the portions of fat upon the altar, or perform anything connected therewith. This explanation is required by the apposition אל־קדשׁי הקּדשׁים, which (in the plural) does not mean the most holy place at the hinder part of the temple, but the most holy sacrificial gifts (cf. Ezekiel 42:13). נשׂא , as in Ezekiel 16:52. In Ezekiel 44:14 it is once more stated in a comprehensive manner in what the bearing of the guilt and shame was to consist: God would make them keepers of the temple with regard to the inferior acts of service. The general expression שׁמר משׁמרת הבּית, which signifies the temple service universally, receives its restriction to the inferior acts of service from 'לכל עבדתו וגו, which is used in Numbers 3:26; Numbers 4:23, Numbers 4:30,Numbers 4:32, Numbers 4:39, Numbers 4:47, for the heavy duties performed by the Merarites and Gershonites, in distinction from the עבדה of the Kohathites, which consisted in שׁמר משׁמרת הקּדשׁ (Numbers 3:28) and עשׂות מלאכה (Numbers 4:3). The priestly service at the altar and in the sanctuary, on the other hand, was to be performed by the sons of Zadok alone, because when the people went astray they kept the charge of the sanctuary, i.e., performed the duties of the priestly office with fidelity. Zadok was the son of Ahitub, of the line of Eleazar (1 Chronicles 5:34; 1 Chronicles 6:37-38), who remained faithful to King David at the rebellion of Absalom (2 Samuel 15:24.), and also anointed Solomon as king in opposition to Adonijah the pretender (1 Kings 1:32.); whereas the high priest Abiathar, of the line of Ithamar, took part with Adonijah (1 Kings 1:7, 1 Kings 1:25), and was deposed from his office by Solomon in consequence, so that now the high-priesthood was in the sole possession of Zadok and his descendants (1 Kings 2:26-27, and 1 Kings 2:35). From this attitude of Zadok toward David, the prince given by the Lord to His people, it may be seen at once that he not only kept aloof from the wandering of the people, but offered a decided opposition thereto, and attended to his office in a manner that was well-pleasing to God. As he received the high-priesthood from Solomon in the place of Abiathar for this fidelity of his, so shall his descendants only be invested with the priestly office in the new temple. For the correct explanation of the words in these verses, however, we must pay particular regard to the clause, "who have kept the charge of my sanctuary." This implies, for example, that lineal descent from Zadok alone was not sufficient, but that fidelity in the service of the Lord must also be added as an indispensable requisite. In Ezekiel 44:15 and Ezekiel 44:16 the priestly service is described according to its principal functions at the altar of burnt-offering, and in the holy place at the altar of incense. שׁלחני is the altar of incense (see Ezekiel 41:22).

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