The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Ezechiel
Then he took me to the eastern gate;
and all at once, from the sun’s rising, the bright presence of the God of Israel made entry there. Like the sound of waters in deep flood his voice was, and earth was lit up with the splendour all around.
Such was the appearance I had seen of him, when he came bent on the city’s destruction, when I saw my vision by the banks of Chobar; down fell I, face to earth.
In it came through the eastern gateway, the splendour of the Lord himself;
and with that, a transport seized me, carrying me off into the inner court, where already the brightness of the Lord’s presence filled the temple.
Thence it was I heard his voice speaking to me; and the man who stood at my side passed on the message.
Son of man, he told me, here is my throne; here eternally, in the heart of Israel, is my resting-place. No more shall Israel’s folk, Israel’s kings, drag my name in the dust with their infidelities, with the dead gods they served, with their hill-sanctuaries.✻
Door next to door of mine, pillar to pillar, only a wall between us; and for the foul doings that dragged my name in the dust, my vengeance took full toll of them.✻
Bid they those infidelities, those dead gods farewell, I will make my eternal home here in the midst of them.
Thine, son of man, to shame the men of Israel by the sight of yonder temple; who measures the fabric of it,
shall learn to blush for his misdeeds. Form and fashion of the temple, gates that lead in and out, all the plot of it do thou make known to them; and what observances they are that govern the ordering of it. All this they must see in writing, and so learn to keep its pattern ever unaltered, its laws ever to fulfil.
Wouldst thou know what the temple’s charter is? No part of the mountain top that lies within its bounds but is my inmost sanctuary; that, nothing less, is the charter of the temple.
These measurements the altar had,✻ measured by the true cubit, that is the width of a fore-arm and a palm; first came a gutter, of a cubit’s depth and a cubit’s width, ending in a lip a span broad all round; thus the altar was drained.
Above this gutter, which was at ground level, came the lower base, two cubits high and a cubit across; the upper base rose four cubits above it, and was again a cubit wide.
The altar proper was four cubits high, with four horns projecting above it,
and the sides of it were square, twelve cubits by twelve.
The base was also square, fourteen cubits by fourteen, and had a projecting rim half a cubit across; the groove under this was a cubit in height. The steps of the altar faced eastwards …
Son of man, he told me, when the altar is set up, ready for burnt-sacrifice and for blood-sprinkling, these ceremonies the Lord God would have thee observe.
A young bullock the priests must have, those priests of Sadoc’s line that are my true ministers, for a transgression-victim.
Horns of the altar, and the four corners of its base, and the rim round about it, thou shalt smear with the victim’s blood, to cleanse them and purge them of fault,
then take the victim itself to a place apart, beyond the temple precincts, and there burn it.
Next day, the transgression-victim shall be a male kid, without blemish; with this, as with the calf, the altar must be purged;
and when the purging is over, bullock and ram must be offered, these too without blemish;
when they have been brought into the Lord’s presence, and the priests have sprinkled them with salt, they must be given to the Lord in burnt-sacrifice.
Each day, for seven days, goat and bullock and ram must be offered, all unblemished;
purged and cleansed and hallowed the altar must be for seven days,
and when these are over, on the eighth day and ever afterwards, the priests may use it for burnt-sacrifice and welcome-offering of yours, and I will look favourably on you, the Lord God says.
The Holy Bible