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  • Dr. David Neiman

History of the Sadducees Part 12

There is no more powerful assertion of the divinely ordained authority of the Tzadukian priesthood than that stated in the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel, who lived in Babylonia after the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians, has many fascinating visions which induce passionate, inspiring prophetic utterances. Several of his statements speak of the restoration of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple, in some of which he gives detailed specifications. In chapters 43:19 and 44:15-31 of his book he states that the Kohanim, the Levitic priests shall lead the People of Israel and shall make the authoritative decisions affecting the nation. There, concerning the altar in the Temple precincts, he states the following:

"You should give to the Levitic Priests who are

of the descendants of Tzadok,who are close to Me,

to serve Me, says the Lord God, a bullock as a sin offering."

But it is in chapter 44:15-31, that we have the most powerful statement concerning the legitimacy of the Tzadokite Priesthood. There we read the following:

"The Levitic Priests who are the descendants of Tzadok, who guarded well My Sanctuary when the People of Israel strayed away from Me, they shall come close to Me to serve Me. They shall stand in My presence to offer up the fat and the blood [of sacrifices] says the Lord your God.

"They shall enter My Sacred Place and they shall approach My Table to serve Me and they shall guard My charge."

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