According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. 1 Peter 1:2

Ezekiel 44-45

Ezekiel 44

East Gate Assigned to the Prince

1 Then he brought me back through the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces the east, and it was shut. 2 The Lord said to me, “This gate shall be shut. It shall not be opened. No man shall enter in by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it. Therefore it shall be shut. 3 Only the prince, since he is a prince, shall sit in it to eat bread before the Lord. He shall enter through the porch at the front of the gate and shall go out the same way.”

4 Then he brought me through the north gate before the house, and I looked, and the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord, so I fell on my face.

5 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, mark well and see with your eyes and hear with your ears all that I tell you concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord and all its laws, and mark well the entrance of the house with every exit of the sanctuary.

6 You shall tell the rebellious, the house of Israel, ‘The Lord God says this: You, house of Israel, that is enough of all your abominations. 7 You have brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to profane it, my house, when you offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant, to add to all your abominations. 8 You have not carried out the duties of my holy things, but you have set up foreigners to perform the duties of my sanctuary.

9 The Lord God says: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any foreigners who are among the Israelites.

10 But the Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray, who went astray from me after their idols, they will 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 kill the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them. 12 Because they ministered to them before their idols, and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel. Therefore I have lifted up my hand against them, declares the Lord God, and they will bear their iniquity. 13 They shall not come near to me, to execute the office of priest to me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, to the things that are most holy, but they will bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. 14 Yet I will appoint them to the duties of the temple, for all its service and for all that will be done in it.’ ”

Rules for the Levites

15 “ ‘But the Levitical priests, the descendants of Zadok, who carried out the duties of my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from me, shall come near to me to minister to me. They shall stand before me to offer to me the fat and the blood, declares the Lord God. 16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister to me, and they shall keep my instruction.

17 It will be that, when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments. No wool shall touch them while they minister in the gates of the inner court or within the  temple. 18 They shall have linen turbans on their heads and shall have linen undergarments on their waists. They shall not clothe themselves with anything that makes them perspire. 19 When they go out into the outer court, into the outer court to the people, they shall take off the garments in which they ministered and lay them in the holy rooms. They shall put on other garments, so that they do not transmit holiness to the people with their garments.

20 They shall not shave their heads or allow the locks of their hair to grow long. They shall only trim the hair of their heads. 21 None of the priests shall drink wine when they enter into the inner court. 22 They shall not take as their wives a widow, or divorcee, but they shall take virgins from among the Israelites, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. 23 They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and teach them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

24 In a dispute, they shall stand to judge. They shall judge the dispute according to my ordinances. They shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my appointed feasts. They shall keep my Sabbaths holy.

25 They shall not defile themselves by going near a dead person; except for their father, or mother, or son, or daughter, or brother, or sister who has never married, they may defile themselves. 26 After he is cleansed, they shall count off seven days. 27 On the day that he goes into the sanctuary, into the inner court to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering, declares the Lord God.

28 They shall have an inheritance. I am their inheritance; and you shall not give them any possession in Israel. I am their possession. 29 They shall eat the grain offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering, and every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs. 30 The first of all the first fruits of every thing, and every offering of everything, of all your offerings, shall be for the priest. You shall also give to the priests the first of your dough, to cause a blessing to rest on your house. 31 The priests shall not eat of anything that dies by itself, or is torn, whether it is bird or animal.’ ”

Ezekiel 45

Consecration of the Land

1 “ ‘Moreover, when you divide the land by lot as an inheritance, you shall give an offering to the Lord, a holy portion of the land. The length shall be seven miles, and the width shall be five and three quarters miles. Within its borders, the entire plot shall be holy.

2 Of this there shall be a square plot of 250 yards by 250 yards for the sanctuary with twenty yards of open space around it.

3 From this measurement you shall measure a length of seven miles, and a width of two and three quarters miles for the sanctuary, which is most holy. 4 It is a holy portion of the land. It shall be for the priests, the ministers of the sanctuary, who come near to minister to the Lord. It shall be a place for their houses and a holy place for the sanctuary. 5 Seven miles in length, and two and three quarters miles in width, shall be for the Levites, the ministers of the house, as their own cities in which to live.

6 You shall appoint for the possession of the city, a plot of land one and a half miles wide and seven miles long, adjacent to the holy port. It shall be common property for the whole house of Israel.’ ”

The Prince’s Portion

7 “ ‘The portion for the prince shall be on each side of the holy offering and of the common property, in front of the holy offering and in front of the common property, extending to the west on the west side, and to the east on the east side; and in length will be in accordance to one of the portions, from the west border to the east border. 8 In the land, this shall be his possession in Israel. My princes shall no longer oppress my people, but they shall give the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes.

9 This is what the Lord God says: Princes of Israel, that is enough! Stop the violence, the plunder, and the dispossession of my people, and execute justice and righteousness, declares the Lord God. 10 You shall have just balances–honest dry and liquid measurements. 11 The dry measurement and the liquid measurement shall have set standards. The bath shall contain six gallons and the ephah shall contain three quarters of a bushel, the measurement of which shall be in accordance with homer (six and a third bushels).

12 The shekel shall be two fifths of an ounce. Twenty shekels plus 25 shekels plus fifteen shekels shall be equal to one mina (one and half pounds).’ ”

Offerings and Feasts

13 “ ‘This is the offering that you shall make: one sixth of an ephah from a homer of wheat; and you shall give one sixth of an ephah from a homer of barley; 14 and the set portion of oil, of the bath of oil, one tenth of a bath out of the cor, which is ten baths, a homer; (for ten baths are a homer) 15 and one lamb of the flock, out of 200, from the well-watered pastures of Israel—for a grain offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make atonement for them, declares the Lord God. 16 All the people of the land shall give to this offering for the prince in Israel. 17 It shall be the prince’s part to give the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the drink offerings, in the feasts, and on the new moons, and on the Sabbaths, in all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel.

18 This is what the Lord God says: In the first month, on the first day of the month, you shall take a young bull without defect, and you shall cleanse the sanctuary. 19 The priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it on the door posts of the temple, and on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the gate posts of the inner court. 20 So you shall do on the seventh day of the month for everyone who errs, and for him who is simple. So you shall make atonement for the temple.

21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, you shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days. Unleavened bread shall be eaten. 22 On that day the prince shall prepare for himself and for all the people of the land, a bull for a sin offering. 23 The seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the Lord, seven bulls and seven rams without defect daily for seven days; and a male goat daily as a sin offering. 24 He shall prepare a grain offering, an ephah for a bull, and an ephah for a ram, and a hin of oil to an ephah.

25 In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, in the feast, he shall do like that for seven days; according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the grain offering, and according to the oil.’ ”

1 Peter 1

Greetings from Peter


1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To the chosen ones who are living as foreigners in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood:

Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

A Living Hope

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that does not fade away, reserved in Heaven for you. 5 By the power of God you are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 In this, you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved in various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes even though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Not having seen him, you love, him. And not having seen him, yet you believe and rejoice greatly with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory, 9 receiving the result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets sought and searched diligently. They prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching for who or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, pointed to, when he predicted the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that would follow them. 12 To them it was revealed, that they served not to themselves, but to you, in these things, which now have been announced to you through those who preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent out from heaven, into which things angels long to look.

A Call to be Holy

13 Therefore prepare your minds for action. Be sober and set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ— 14 as children of obedience, not conforming to your former lusts as in your ignorance, 15 but just as he who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all of your behavior, 16 because it is written,

“You shall be holy, for I am holy.” a

17 If you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges according to each man’s work, pass the time of your living as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, 19 but with precious blood, a lamb without blemish or spot, the blood of Christ. 20 He was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in this last age for your sake, 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God.

The Word of the Lord Stands Forever

22 Seeing you have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth through the Spirit in sincere brotherly affection, love one another fervently from the heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which lives and remains forever. 24 For,

“All flesh is like grass,
and all of man’s glory like the flower in the grass.
The grass withers, and its flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.” b

This is the word which was preached to you.

a Leviticus 11:44-45
b Isaiah 40:6-8

Psalm 119:17-32

17 Do good to your servant.
I will live and I will obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
wondrous things from your law.
19 I am a stranger on the earth.
Do not hide your commandments from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your ordinances at all times.
21 You have rebuked the proud who are cursed,
who wander from your commandments.
22 Take reproach and contempt away from me,
for I have kept your statutes.
23 Though princes sit and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Indeed your statutes are my delight,
and my counselors.

25 My soul is laid low in the dust.
Revive me according to your word!
26 I declared my ways, and you answered me.
Teach me your statutes.
27 Let me understand the teaching of your precepts!
Then I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow:
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from the way of deceit.
Grant me your law graciously!
30 I have chosen the way of truth.
I have set your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to your statutes, Lord.
Do not let me be disappointed.
32 I run in the path of your commandments,
for you have set my heart free.

Proverbs 28:8-10

8 He who increases his wealth by excessive interest
gathers it for one who has pity on the poor.

9 He who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.

10 Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way,
he will fall into his own trap,
but the blameless will inherit good.

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