Bible: Ezekiel 1-19

A Vision of God’s Glory

1:1 In the thirtieth year, 1  on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was among the exiles 2  at the Kebar River, 3  the heavens opened 4  and I saw a divine vision. 5  1:2 (On the fifth day of the month – it was the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile 1:3 the word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel 6  the son of Buzi, 7  at the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. 8  The hand 9  of the Lord came on him there).

1:4 As I watched, I noticed 10  a windstorm 11  coming from the north – an enormous cloud, with lightning flashing, 12  such that bright light 13  rimmed it and came from 14  it like glowing amber 15  from the middle of a fire. 1:5 In the fire 16  were what looked like 17  four living beings. 18  In their appearance they had human form, 19  1:6 but each had four faces and four wings. 1:7 Their legs were straight, but the soles of their feet were like calvesfeet. They gleamed 20  like polished bronze. 1:8 They had human hands 21  under their wings on their four sides. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, 1:9 their wings touched each other; they did not turn as they moved, but went straight ahead. 22 

1:10 Their faces had this appearance: Each of the four had the face of a man, with the face of a lion on the right, the face of an ox on the left and also the face of an eagle. 23  1:11 Their wings were spread out above them; each had two wings touching the wings of one of the other beings on either side and two wings covering their bodies. 1:12 Each moved straight ahead 24 wherever the spirit 25  would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 1:13 In the middle 26  of the living beings was something like 27  burning coals of fire 28  or like torches. It moved back and forth among the living beings. It was bright, and lightning was flashing out of the fire. 1:14 The living beings moved backward and forward as quickly as flashes of lightning. 29 

1:15 Then I looked, 30  and I saw one wheel 31  on the ground 32  beside each of the four beings. 1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their construction 33  was like gleaming jasper, 34  and all four wheels looked alike. Their structure was like a wheel within a wheel. 35  1:17 When they moved they would go in any of the four directions they faced without turning as they moved. 1:18 Their rims were high and awesome, 36  and the rims of all four wheels were full of eyes all around.

1:19 When the living beings moved, the wheels beside them moved; when the living beings rose up from the ground, the wheels rose up too. 1:20 Wherever the spirit 37  would go, they would go, 38  and the wheels would rise up beside them because the spirit 39  of the living being was in the wheel. 1:21 When the living beings moved, the wheels moved, and when they stopped moving, the wheels stopped. 40  When they rose up from the ground, the wheels rose up from the ground; the wheels rose up beside them because the spirit of the living being was in the wheel.

1:22 Over the heads of the living beings was something like a platform, 41  glittering awesomely like ice, 42  stretched out over their heads. 1:23 Under the platform their wings were stretched out, each toward the other. Each of the beings also had two wings covering 43  its body. 1:24 When they moved, I heard the sound of their wings – it was like the sound of rushing waters, or the voice of the Almighty, 44  or the tumult 45  of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.

1:25 Then there was a voice from above the platform over their heads when they stood still. 46  1:26 Above the platform over their heads was something like a sapphire shaped like a throne. High above on the throne was a form that appeared to be a man. 1:27 I saw an amber glow 47  like a fire enclosed all around 48  from his waist up. From his waist down I saw something that looked like fire. There was a brilliant light around it, 1:28 like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds after the rain. 49  This was the appearance of the surrounding brilliant light; it looked like the glory of the Lord. When I saw 50  it, I threw myself face down, and I heard a voice speaking.

Ezekiel’s Commission

2:1 He said to me, “Son of man, 51  stand on your feet and I will speak with you.” 2:2 As he spoke to me, 52  a wind 53  came into me and stood me on my feet, and I heard the one speaking to me.

2:3 He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the house 54  of Israel, to rebellious nations 55  who have rebelled against me; both they and their fathers have revolted 56  against me to this very day. 2:4 The people 57  to whom I am sending you are obstinate and hard-hearted, 58  and you must say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says.’ 59  2:5 And as for them, 60  whether they listen 61  or not – for they are a rebellious 62  house 63 they will know that a prophet has been among them. 2:6 But you, son of man, do not fear them, and do not fear their words – even though briers 64  and thorns 65  surround you and you live among scorpions – do not fear their words and do not be terrified of the looks they give you, 66  for they are a rebellious house! 2:7 You must speak my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious. 2:8 As for you, son of man, listen to what I am saying to you: Do not rebel like that rebellious house! Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.”

2:9 Then I looked and realized a hand was stretched out to me, and in it was a written scroll. 2:10 He unrolled it before me, and it had writing on the front 67  and back; 68  written on it were laments, mourning, and woe.

3:1 He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you see in front of you 69  – eat this scroll – and then go and speak to the house of Israel.” 3:2 So I opened my mouth and he fed me the scroll.

3:3 He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll I am giving to you.” So I ate it, 70  and it was sweet like honey in my mouth.

3:4 He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 3:5 For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech 71  and difficult language, 72  but 73  to the house of Israel 3:6 not to many peoples of unintelligible speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand 74 surely if 75  I had sent you to them, they would listen to you! 3:7 But the house of Israel is unwilling to listen to you, 76  because they are not willing to listen to me, 77  for the whole house of Israel is hard-headed and hard-hearted. 78 

3:8I have made your face adamant 79  to match their faces, and your forehead hard to match their foreheads. 3:9 I have made your forehead harder than flint – like diamond! 80  Do not fear them or be terrified of the looks they give you, 81  for they are a rebellious house.”

3:10 And he said to me, “Son of man, take all my words that I speak to you to heart and listen carefully. 3:11 Go to the exiles, to your fellow countrymen, 82  and speak to them – say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says,’ whether they pay attention or not.”

Ezekiel Before the Exiles

3:12 Then a wind lifted me up 83  and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me as the glory of the Lord rose from its place, 84  3:13 and the sound of the living beings’ wings brushing against each other, and the sound of the wheels alongside them, a great rumbling sound. 3:14 A wind lifted me up and carried me away. I went bitterly, 85  my spirit full of fury, and the hand of the Lord rested powerfully 86  on me. 3:15 I came to the exiles at Tel Abib, 87  who lived by the Kebar River. 88  I sat dumbfounded among them there, where they were living, for seven days. 89 

3:16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 90  3:17 Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman 91  for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must give them a warning from me. 3:18 When I say to the wicked, “You will certainly die,” 92  and you do not warn him – you do not speak out to warn the wicked to turn from his wicked deed and wicked lifestyle so that he may live – that wicked person will die for his iniquity, 93  but I will hold you accountable for his death. 94  3:19 But as for you, if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wicked deed and from his wicked lifestyle, he will die for his iniquity but you will have saved your own life. 95 

3:20When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I set an obstacle 96  before him, he will die. If you have not warned him, he will die for his sin. The righteous deeds he performed will not be considered, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 3:21 However, if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he 97  does not sin, he will certainly live because he was warned, and you will have saved your own life.”

Isolated and Silenced

3:22 The hand 98  of the Lord rested on me there, and he said to me, “Get up, go out to the valley, 99  and I will speak with you there.” 3:23 So I got up and went out to the valley, and the glory of the Lord was standing there, just like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, 100  and I threw myself face down.

3:24 Then a wind 101  came into me and stood me on my feet. The Lord 102  spoke to me and said, “Go shut yourself in your house. 3:25 As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and tie you up with them, so you cannot go out among them. 3:26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to reprove 103  them, for they are a rebellious house. 3:27 But when I speak with you, I will loosen your tongue 104  and you must say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says.’ Those who listen will listen, but the indifferent will refuse, 105  for they are a rebellious house.

Ominous Object Lessons

4:1And you, son of man, take a brick 106  and set it in front of you. Inscribe 107  a city on it – Jerusalem. 4:2 Lay siege to it! Build siege works against it. Erect a siege ramp 108  against it! Post soldiers outside it 109  and station battering rams around it. 4:3 Then for your part take an iron frying pan 110  and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face toward it. It is to be under siege; you are to besiege it. This is a sign 111  for the house of Israel.

4:4Also for your part lie on your left side and place the iniquity 112  of the house of Israel on it. For the number of days you lie on your side you will bear their iniquity. 4:5 I have determined that the number of the years of their iniquity are to be the number of days 113  for you – 390 days. 114  So bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 115 

4:6When you have completed these days, then lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah 40 days 116 I have assigned one day for each year. 4:7 You must turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. 4:8 Look here, I will tie you up with ropes, so you cannot turn from one side to the other until you complete the days of your siege. 117 

4:9As for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt, 118  put them in a single container, and make food 119  from them for yourself. For the same number of days that you lie on your side – 390 days 120 you will eat it. 4:10 The food you eat will be eight ounces 121  a day by weight; you must eat it at fixed 122  times. 4:11 And you must drink water by measure, a pint and a half; 123  you must drink it at fixed times. 4:12 And you must eat the food like you would a barley cake. You must bake it in front of them over a fire made with dried human excrement.” 124  4:13 And the Lord said, “This is how the people of Israel will eat their unclean food among the nations 125  where I will banish them.”

4:14 And I said, “Ah, sovereign Lord, I have never been ceremonially defiled before. I have never eaten a carcass or an animal torn by wild beasts; from my youth up, unclean meat 126  has never entered my mouth.”

4:15 So he said to me, “All right then, I will substitute cow’s manure instead of human excrement. You will cook your food over it.”

4:16 Then he said to me, “Son of man, I am about to remove the bread supply 127  in Jerusalem. 128  They will eat their bread ration anxiously, and they will drink their water ration in terror 4:17 because they will lack bread and water. Each one will be terrified, and they will rot for their iniquity. 129 

5:1As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor. 130  Shave off some of the hair from your head and your beard. 131  Then take scales and divide up the hair you cut off. 5:2 Burn a third of it in the fire inside the city when the days of your siege are completed. Take a third and slash it with a sword all around the city. Scatter a third to the wind, and I will unleash a sword behind them. 5:3 But take a few strands of hair 132  from those and tie them in the ends of your garment. 133  5:4 Again, take more of them and throw them into the fire, 134  and burn them up. From there a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.

5:5This is what the sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem; I placed her in the center of the nations with countries all around her. 5:6 Then she defied my regulations and my statutes, becoming more wicked than the nations 135  and the countries around her. 136  Indeed, they 137  have rejected my regulations, and they do not follow my statutes.

5:7Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: Because you are more arrogant 138  than the nations around you, 139  you have not followed my statutes and have not carried out my regulations. You have not even 140  carried out the regulations of the nations around you!

5:8Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: I – even I – am against you, 141  and I will execute judgment 142  among you while the nations watch. 143  5:9 I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again because of all your abominable practices. 144  5:10 Therefore fathers will eat their sons within you, Jerusalem, 145  and sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments on you, and I will scatter any survivors 146  to the winds. 147 

5:11Therefore, as surely as I live, says the sovereign Lord, because you defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominable practices, I will withdraw; my eye will not pity you, nor will I spare 148  you. 5:12 A third of your people will die of plague or be overcome by the famine within you. 149  A third of your people will fall by the sword surrounding you, 150  and a third I will scatter to the winds. I will unleash a sword behind them. 5:13 Then my anger will be fully vented; I will exhaust my rage on them, and I will be appeased. 151  Then they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy 152  when I have fully vented my rage against them.

5:14I will make you desolate and an object of scorn among the nations around you, in the sight of everyone who passes by. 5:15 You will be 153  an object of scorn and taunting, 154  a prime example of destruction 155  among the nations around you when I execute judgments against you in anger and raging fury. 156  I, the Lord, have spoken! 5:16 I will shoot against them deadly, 157  destructive 158  arrows of famine, 159  which I will shoot to destroy you. 160  I will prolong a famine on you and will remove the bread supply. 161  5:17 I will send famine and wild beasts against you and they will take your children from you. 162  Plague and bloodshed will overwhelm you, 163  and I will bring a sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken!

Judgment on the Mountains of Israel

6:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 6:2 Son of man, turn toward 164  the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them: 6:3 Say, ‘Mountains of Israel, 165  Hear the word of the sovereign Lord! 166  This is what the sovereign Lord says to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I am bringing 167  a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places. 168  6:4 Your altars will be ruined and your incense altars will be broken. I will throw down your slain in front of your idols. 169  6:5 I will place the corpses of the people of Israel in front of their idols, 170  and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6:6 In all your dwellings, the cities will be laid waste and the high places ruined so that your altars will be laid waste and ruined, your idols will be shattered and demolished, your incense altars will be broken down, and your works wiped out. 171  6:7 The slain will fall among you and then you will know that I am the Lord. 172 

6:8‘But I will spare some of you. Some will escape the sword when you are scattered in foreign lands. 173  6:9 Then your survivors will remember me among the nations where they are exiled. They will realize 174  how I was crushed by their unfaithful 175  heart which turned from me and by their eyes which lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves 176  because of the evil they have done and because of all their abominable practices. 6:10 They will know that I am the Lord; my threats to bring this catastrophe on them were not empty.’ 177 

6:11‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Clap your hands, stamp your feet, and say, “Ah!” because of all the evil, abominable practices of the house of Israel, for they will fall by the sword, famine, and pestilence. 178  6:12 The one far away will die by pestilence, the one close by will fall by the sword, and whoever is left and has escaped these 179  will die by famine. I will fully vent my rage against them. 6:13 Then you will know that I am the Lordwhen their dead lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and all the mountaintops, under every green tree and every leafy oak, 180  the places where they have offered fragrant incense to all their idols. 6:14 I will stretch out my hand against them 181  and make the land a desolate waste from the wilderness to Riblah, 182  in all the places where they live. Then they will know that I am the Lord!

The End Arrives

7:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 7:2 You, son of man – this is what the sovereign Lord says to the land of Israel: An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land! 183  7:3 The end is now upon you, and I will release my anger against you; I will judge 184  you according to your behavior, 185  I will hold you accountable for 186  all your abominable practices. 7:4 My eye will not pity you; I will not spare 187  you. 188  For I will hold you responsible for your behavior, 189  and you will suffer the consequences of your abominable practices. 190  Then you will know that I am the Lord!

7:5This is what the sovereign Lord says: A disaster 191 a one-of-a-kind 192  disaster – is coming! 7:6 An end comes 193 the end comes! 194  It has awakened against you 195  – the end is upon you! Look, it is coming! 196  7:7 Doom is coming upon you who live in the land! The time is coming, the day 197  is near. There are sounds of tumult, not shouts of joy, on the mountains. 198  7:8 Soon now I will pour out my rage 199  on you; I will fully vent my anger against you. I will judge you according to your behavior. I will hold you accountable for all your abominable practices. 7:9 My eye will not pity you; I will not spare 200  you. For your behavior I will hold you accountable, 201  and you will suffer the consequences of your abominable practices. Then you will know that it is I, the Lord, who is striking you. 202 

7:10Look, the day! Look, it is coming! Doom has gone out! The staff has budded, pride has blossomed! 7:11 Violence 203  has grown into a staff that supports wickedness. Not one of them will be left 204  – not from their crowd, not from their wealth, not from their prominence. 205  7:12 The time has come; the day has struck! The customer should not rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for divine wrath 206  comes against their whole crowd. 7:13 The customer will no longer pay the seller 207  while both parties are alive, for the vision against their whole crowd 208  will not be revoked. Each person, for his iniquity, 209  will fail to preserve his life.

7:14They have blown the trumpet and everyone is ready, but no one goes to battle, because my anger is against their whole crowd. 210  7:15 The sword is outside; pestilence and famine are inside the house. Whoever is in the open field will die by the sword, and famine and pestilence will consume everyone in the city. 7:16 Their survivors will escape to the mountains and become like doves of the valleys; all of them will moan – each one for his iniquity. 7:17 All of their hands will hang limp; their knees will be wet with urine. 211  7:18 They will wear sackcloth, terror will cover them; shame will be on all their faces, and all of their heads will be shaved bald. 212  7:19 They will discard their silver in the streets, and their gold will be treated like filth. 213  Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them on the day of the Lord’s fury. 214  They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs because their wealth 215  was the obstacle leading to their iniquity. 216  7:20 They rendered the beauty of his ornaments into pride, 217  and with it they made their abominable images – their detestable idols. Therefore I will render it filthy to them. 7:21 I will give it to foreigners as loot, to the world’s wicked ones as plunder, and they will desecrate it. 7:22 I will turn my face away from them and they will desecrate my treasured place. 218  Vandals will enter it and desecrate it. 219  7:23 (Make the chain, 220  because the land is full of murder 221  and the city is full of violence.) 7:24 I will bring the most wicked of the nations and they will take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the arrogance of the strong, and their sanctuaries 222  will be desecrated. 7:25 Terror 223  is coming! They will seek peace, but find none. 7:26 Disaster after disaster will come, and one rumor after another. They will seek a vision from a prophet; priestly instruction will disappear, along with counsel from the elders. 7:27 The king will mourn and the prince will be clothed with shuddering; the hands of the people of the land will tremble. Based on their behavior I will deal with them, and by their standard of justice 224  I will judge them. Then they will know that I am the Lord!

A Desecrated Temple

8:1 In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth of the month, 225  as I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting in front of me, the hand 226  of the sovereign Lord seized me. 227  8:2 As I watched, I noticed 228  a form that appeared to be a man. 229  From his waist downward was something like fire, 230  and from his waist upward something like a brightness, 231  like an amber glow. 232  8:3 He stretched out the form 233  of a hand and grabbed me by a lock of hair on my head. Then a wind 234  lifted me up between the earth and sky and brought me to Jerusalem 235  by means of divine visions, to the door of the inner gate which faces north where the statue 236  which provokes to jealousy was located. 8:4 Then I perceived that the glory of the God of Israel was there, as in the vision I had seen earlier in the valley.

8:5 He said to me, “Son of man, look up toward 237  the north.” So I looked up toward the north, and I noticed to the north of the altar gate was this statue of jealousy at the entrance.

8:6 He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing – the great abominations that the people 238  of Israel are practicing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see greater abominations than these!

8:7 He brought me to the entrance of the court, and as I watched, I noticed a hole in the wall. 8:8 He said to me, “Son of man, dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and discovered a doorway.

8:9 He said to me, “Go in and see the evil abominations they are practicing here.” 8:10 So I went in and looked. I noticed every figure 239  of creeping thing and beast – detestable images 240  – and every idol of the house of Israel, engraved on the wall all around. 241  8:11 Seventy men from the elders of the house of Israel 242  (with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them) were standing in front of them, each with a censer in his hand, and fragrant 243  vapors from a cloud of incense were swirling upward.

8:12 He said to me, “Do you see, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in the chamber of his idolatrous images? 244  For they think, ‘The Lord does not see us! The Lord has abandoned the land!’ 8:13 He said to me, “You will see them practicing even greater abominations!

8:14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the Lord’s house. I noticed 245  women sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 246  8:15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see even greater abominations than these!

8:16 Then he brought me to the inner court of the Lord’s house. Right there 247  at the entrance to the Lord’s temple, between the porch and the altar, 248  were about twenty-five 249  men with their backs to the Lord’s temple, 250  facing east – they were worshiping the sun 251  toward the east!

8:17 He said to me, “Do you see, son of man? Is it a trivial thing that the house of Judah commits these abominations they are practicing here? For they have filled the land with violence and provoked me to anger still further. Look, they are putting the branch to their nose! 252  8:18 Therefore I will act with fury! My eye will not pity them nor will I spare 253  them. When they have shouted in my ears, I will not listen to them.”

The Execution of Idolaters

9:1 Then he shouted in my ears, “Approach, 254  you who are to visit destruction on the city, each with his destructive weapon in his hand! 9:2 Next, I noticed 255  six men 256  coming from the direction of the upper gate 257  which faces north, each with his war club in his hand. Among them was a man dressed in linen with a writing kit 258  at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.

9:3 Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub where it had rested to the threshold of the temple. 259  He called to the man dressed in linen who had the writing kit at his side. 9:4 The Lord said to him, “Go through the city of Jerusalem 260  and put a mark 261  on the foreheads of the people who moan and groan over all the abominations practiced in it.”

9:5 While I listened, he said to the others, 262 Go through the city after him and strike people down; do no let your eye pity nor spare 263  anyone! 9:6 Old men, young men, young women, little children, and women – wipe them out! But do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary!” So they began with the elders who were at the front of the temple.

9:7 He said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courtyards with corpses. Go!” So they went out and struck people down throughout the city. 9:8 While they were striking them down, I was left alone, and I threw myself face down and cried out, “Ah, sovereign Lord! Will you destroy the entire remnant of Israel when you pour out your fury on Jerusalem?

9:9 He said to me, “The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is extremely great; the land is full of murder, and the city is full of corruption, 264  for they say, ‘The Lord has abandoned the land, and the Lord does not see!’ 265  9:10 But as for me, my eye will not pity them nor will I spare 266  them; I hereby repay them for what they have done.” 267 

9:11 Next I noticed the man dressed in linen with the writing kit at his side bringing back word: “I have done just as you commanded me.”

God’s Glory Leaves the Temple

10:1 As I watched, I saw 268  on the platform 269  above the top of the cherubim something like a sapphire, resembling the shape of a throne, appearing above them. 10:2 The Lord 270  said to the man dressed in linen, “Go between the wheelwork 271  underneath the cherubim. 272  Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” He went as I watched.

10:3 (The cherubim were standing on the south side 273  of the temple when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court.) 10:4 Then the glory of the Lord arose from the cherub and moved to the threshold of the temple. The temple was filled with the cloud while the court was filled with the brightness of the Lord’s glory. 10:5 The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard from the outer court, like the sound of the sovereign God 274  when he speaks.

10:6 When the Lord 275  commanded the man dressed in linen, “Take fire from within the wheelwork, from among the cherubim,” the man 276  went in and stood by one of the wheels. 277  10:7 Then one of the cherubim 278  stretched out his hand 279  toward the fire which was among the cherubim. He took some and put it into the hands of the man dressed in linen, who took it and left. 10:8 (The cherubim appeared to have the form 280  of human hands under their wings.)

10:9 As I watched, I noticed 281  four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; 282  the wheels gleamed like jasper. 283  10:10 As for their appearance, all four of them looked the same, something like a wheel within a wheel. 284  10:11 When they 285  moved, they would go in any of the four directions they faced without turning as they moved; in the direction the head would turn they would follow 286  without turning as they moved, 10:12 along with their entire bodies, 287  their backs, their hands, and their wings. The wheels of the four of them were full of eyes all around. 10:13 As for their wheels, they were called “the wheelwork 288  as I listened. 10:14 Each of the cherubim 289  had four faces: The first was the face of a cherub, 290  the second that of a man, the third that of a lion, and the fourth that of an eagle.

10:15 The cherubim rose up; these were the living beings 291  I saw at the Kebar River. 10:16 When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved beside them; when the cherubim spread 292  their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels did not move from their side. 10:17 When the cherubim 293  stood still, the wheels 294  stood still, and when they rose up, the wheels 295  rose up with them, for the spirit 296  of the living beings 297  was in the wheels. 298 

10:18 Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. 10:19 The cherubim spread 299  their wings, and they rose up from the earth 300  while I watched (when they went the wheels went alongside them). They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the Lord’s temple as the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them.

10:20 These were the living creatures 301  which I saw at the Kebar River underneath the God of Israel; I knew that they were cherubim. 10:21 Each had four faces; each had four wings and the form of human hands under the wings. 10:22 As for the form of their faces, they were the faces whose appearance I had seen at the Kebar River. Each one moved straight ahead.

The Fall of Jerusalem

11:1 A wind 302  lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the Lord’s temple that faces the east. There, at the entrance of the gate, I noticed twenty-five men. Among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, officials of the people. 303  11:2 The Lord 304  said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who plot evil and give wicked advice in this city. 11:3 They say, 305 The time is not near to build houses; 306  the city 307  is a cooking pot 308  and we are the meat in it.’ 11:4 Therefore, prophesy against them! Prophesy, son of man!

11:5 Then the Spirit of the Lord came 309  upon me and said to me, “Say: This is what the Lord says: ‘This is what you are thinking, 310  O house of Israel; I know what goes through your minds. 311  11:6 You have killed many people in this city; you have filled its streets with corpses.’ 11:7 Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: ‘The corpses you have dumped 312  in the midst of the city 313  are the meat, and this city 314  is the cooking pot, but I will take you out of it. 315  11:8 You fear the sword, so the sword I will bring against you,’ declares the sovereign Lord. 11:9 But I will take you out of the city. 316  And I will hand you over to foreigners. I will execute judgments on you. 11:10 You will die by the sword; I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 11:11 This city will not be a cooking pot for you, and you will not 317  be meat within it; I will judge you at the border of Israel. 11:12 Then you will know that I am the Lord, whose statutes you have not followed and whose regulations you have not carried out. Instead you have behaved according to the regulations of the nations around you!’

11:13 Now, while I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I threw myself face down and cried out with a loud voice, “Alas, sovereign Lord! You are completely wiping out the remnant of Israel! 318 

11:14 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 11:15 Son of man, your brothers, 319  your relatives, 320  and the whole house of Israel, all of them are those to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem 321  have said, ‘They have gone 322  far away from the Lord; to us this land has been given as a possession.’

11:16Therefore say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Although I have removed them far away among the nations and have dispersed them among the countries, I have been a little 323  sanctuary for them among the lands where they have gone.’

11:17Therefore say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: When I regather you from the peoples and assemble you from the lands where you have been dispersed, I will give you back the country of Israel.’

11:18When they return to it, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 11:19 I will give them one heart and I will put a new spirit within them; 324  I will remove the hearts of stone from their bodies 325  and I will give them tender hearts, 326  11:20 so that they may follow my statutes and observe my regulations and carry them out. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God. 327  11:21 But those whose hearts are devoted to detestable things and abominations, I hereby repay them for what they have done, 328  says the sovereign Lord.”

11:22 Then the cherubim spread 329  their wings with their wheels alongside them while the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them. 11:23 The glory of the Lord rose up from within the city and stopped 330  over the mountain east of it. 11:24 Then a wind 331  lifted me up and carried me to the exiles in Babylonia, 332  in the vision given to me by the Spirit of God.

Then the vision I had seen went up from me. 11:25 So I told the exiles everything 333  the Lord had shown me.

Previewing the Exile

12:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 12:2 Son of man, you are living in the midst of a rebellious house. 334  They have eyes to see, but do not see, and ears to hear, but do not hear, 335  because they are a rebellious house.

12:3Therefore, son of man, pack up your belongings as if for exile. During the day, while they are watching, pretend to go into exile. Go from where you live to another place. Perhaps they will understand, 336  although they are a rebellious house. 12:4 Bring out your belongings packed for exile during the day while they are watching. And go out at evening, while they are watching, as if for exile. 12:5 While they are watching, dig a hole in the wall and carry your belongings out through it. 12:6 While they are watching, raise your baggage onto your shoulder and carry it out in the dark. 337  You must cover your face so that you cannot see the ground 338  because I have made you an object lesson 339  to the house of Israel.”

12:7 So I did just as I was commanded. I carried out my belongings packed for exile during the day, and at evening I dug myself a hole through the wall with my hands. I went out in the darkness, carrying my baggage 340  on my shoulder while they watched.

12:8 The word of the Lord came to me in the morning: 12:9 Son of man, has not the house of Israel, that rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ 12:10 Say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: The prince will raise this burden in Jerusalem, 341  and all the house of Israel within it.’ 342  12:11 Say, ‘I am an object lesson for you. Just as I have done, it will be done to them; they will go into exile and captivity.’

12:12The prince 343  who is among them will raise his belongings 344  onto his shoulder in darkness, and will go out. He 345  will dig a hole in the wall to leave through. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land with his eyes. 12:13 But I will throw my net over him, and he will be caught in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans 346  (but he will not see it), 347  and there he will die. 348  12:14 All his retinue – his attendants and his troops – I will scatter to every wind; I will unleash a sword behind them.

12:15Then they will know that I am the Lord when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among foreign countries. 12:16 But I will let a small number of them survive the sword, famine, and pestilence, so that they can confess all their abominable practices to the nations where they go. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

12:17 The word of the Lord came to me: 12:18 Son of man, eat your bread with trembling, 349  and drink your water with anxious shaking. 12:19 Then say to the people of the land, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says about the inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the land of Israel: They will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water in fright, for their land will be stripped bare of all it contains because of the violence of all who live in it. 12:20 The inhabited towns will be left in ruins and the land will be devastated. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’

12:21 The word of the Lord came to me: 12:22 Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel, ‘The days pass slowly, and every vision fails? 12:23 Therefore tell them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: I hereby end this proverb; they will not recite it in Israel any longer.’ But say to them, ‘The days are at hand when every vision will be fulfilled. 350  12:24 For there will no longer be any false visions or flattering omens amidst the house of Israel. 12:25 For I, the Lord, will speak. Whatever word I speak will be accomplished. It will not be delayed any longer. Indeed in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and accomplish it, declares the sovereign Lord.’

12:26 The word of the Lord came to me: 12:27 Take note, son of man, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for distant days; he is prophesying about the far future.’ 12:28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer! The word I speak will come to pass, declares the sovereign Lord.’

False Prophets Denounced

13:1 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 13:2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to the prophets who prophesy from their imagination: 351  ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 13:3 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit but have seen nothing! 13:4 Your prophets have become like jackals among the ruins, O Israel. 13:5 You have not gone up in the breaks in the wall, nor repaired a wall for the house of Israel that it would stand strong in the battle on the day of the Lord. 13:6 They see delusion and their omens are a lie. 352  They say, “the Lord declares,” though the Lord has not sent them; 353  yet they expect their word to be confirmed. 354  13:7 Have you not seen a false vision and announced a lying omen when you say, “the Lord declares,” although I myself never spoke?

13:8‘Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Because you have spoken false words and forecast delusion, look, 355  I am against you, 356  declares the sovereign Lord. 13:9 My hand will be against the prophets who see delusion and announce lying omens. They will not be included in the council 357  of my people, nor be written in the registry 358  of the house of Israel, nor enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the sovereign Lord.

13:10‘This is because they have led my people astray saying, “All is well,” 359  when things are not well. When anyone builds a wall without mortar, 360  they coat it with whitewash. 13:11 Tell the ones who coat it with whitewash that it will fall. When there is a deluge of rain, hailstones 361  will fall and a violent wind will break out. 362  13:12 When the wall has collapsed, people will ask you, “Where is the whitewash you coated it with?

13:13‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: In my rage I will make a violent wind break out. In my anger there will be a deluge of rain and hailstones in destructive fury. 13:14 I will break down the wall you coated with whitewash and knock it to the ground so that its foundation is exposed. When it falls you will be destroyed beneath it, 363  and you will know that I am the Lord. 13:15 I will vent my rage against the wall, and against those who coated it with whitewash. Then I will say to you, “The wall is no more and those who whitewashed it are no more – 13:16 those prophets of Israel who would prophesy about Jerusalem 364  and would see visions of peace for it, when there was no peace,” declares the sovereign Lord.’

13:17As for you, son of man, turn toward 365  the daughters of your people who are prophesying from their imagination. 366  Prophesy against them 13:18 and say ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Woe to those who sew bands 367  on all their wrists 368  and make headbands 369  for heads of every size to entrap people’s lives! 370  Will you entrap my people’s lives, yet preserve your own lives? 13:19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. You have put to death people 371  who should not die and kept alive those who should not live by your lies to my people, who listen to lies!

13:20‘Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Take note 372  that I am against your wristbands with which you entrap people’s lives 373  like birds. I will tear them from your arms and will release the people’s lives, which you hunt like birds. 13:21 I will tear off your headbands and rescue my people from your power; 374  they will no longer be prey in your hands. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 13:22 This is because you have disheartened the righteous person with lies (although I have not grieved him), and because you have encouraged the wicked person not to turn from his evil conduct and preserve his life. 13:23 Therefore you will no longer see false visions and practice divination. I will rescue my people from your power, and you 375  will know that I am the Lord.’

Well-Deserved Judgment

14:1 Then some men from Israel’s elders came to me and sat down in front of me. 14:2 The word of the Lord came to me: 14:3 Son of man, these men have erected their idols in their hearts and placed the obstacle leading to their iniquity 376  right before their faces. Should I really allow them to seek 377  me? 14:4 Therefore speak to them and say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: When any one from the house of Israel erects his idols in his heart and sets the obstacle leading to his iniquity before his face, and then consults a prophet, I the Lord am determined to answer him personally according to the enormity of his idolatry. 378  14:5 I will do this in order to capture the hearts of the house of Israel, who have alienated themselves from me on account of all their idols.’

14:6Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Return! Turn from your idols, and turn your faces away from your abominations. 14:7 For when anyone from the house of Israel, or the foreigner who lives in Israel, separates himself from me and erects his idols in his heart and sets the obstacle leading to his iniquity before his face, and then consults a prophet to seek something from me, I the Lord am determined to answer him personally. 14:8 I will set my face against that person and will make him an object lesson and a byword 379  and will cut him off from among my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

14:9‘As for the prophet, if he is made a fool by being deceived into speaking a prophetic word – I, the Lord, have made a fool of 380  that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel. 14:10 They will bear their punishment; 381  the punishment of the one who sought an oracle will be the same as the punishment of the prophet who gave it 382  14:11 so that the house of Israel will no longer go astray from me, nor continue to defile themselves by all their sins. They will be my people and I will be their God, 383  declares the sovereign Lord.’

14:12 The word of the Lord came to me: 14:13 Son of man, suppose a country sins against me by being unfaithful, and I stretch out my hand against it, cut off its bread supply, 384  cause famine to come on it, and kill both people and animals. 14:14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, 385  and Job, were in it, they would save only their own lives by their righteousness, declares the sovereign Lord.

14:15Suppose I were to send wild animals through the land and kill its children, leaving it desolate, without travelers due to the wild animals. 14:16 Even if these three men were in it, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, they could not save their own sons or daughters; they would save only their own lives, and the land would become desolate.

14:17Or suppose I were to bring a sword against that land and say, ‘Let a sword pass through the land,’ and I were to kill both people and animals. 14:18 Even if these three men were in it, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, they could not save their own sons or daughters – they would save only their own lives.

14:19Or suppose I were to send a plague into that land, and pour out my rage on it with bloodshed, killing both people and animals. 14:20 Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, they could not save their own son or daughter; they would save only their own lives by their righteousness.

14:21For this is what the sovereign Lord says: How much worse will it be when I send my four terrible judgments – sword, famine, wild animals, and plague – to Jerusalem 386  to kill both people and animals! 14:22 Yet some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out. They will come out to you, and when you see their behavior and their deeds, you will be consoled about the catastrophe I have brought on Jerusalem – for everything I brought on it. 14:23 They will console you when you see their behavior and their deeds, because you will know that it was not without reason that I have done everything which I have done in it, declares the sovereign Lord.”

Burning a Useless Vine

15:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 15:2 Son of man, of all the woody branches among the trees of the forest, what happens to the wood of the vine? 387  15:3 Can wood be taken from it to make anything useful? Or can anyone make a peg from it to hang things on? 15:4 No! 388  It is thrown in the fire for fuel; when the fire has burned up both ends of it and it is charred in the middle, will it be useful for anything? 15:5 Indeed! If it was not made into anything useful when it was whole, how much less can it be made into anything when the fire has burned it up and it is charred?

15:6Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Like the wood of the vine is among the trees of the forest which I have provided as fuel for the fire – so I will provide the residents of Jerusalem 389  as fuel. 390  15:7 I will set 391  my face against them – although they have escaped from the fire, 392  the fire will still consume them! Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. 15:8 I will make 393  the land desolate because they have acted unfaithfully, declares the sovereign Lord.”

God’s Unfaithful Bride

16:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 16:2 Son of man, confront Jerusalem 394  with her abominable practices 16:3 and say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 16:4 As for your birth, on the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water; 395  you were certainly not rubbed down with salt, nor wrapped with blankets. 396  16:5 No eye took pity on you to do even one of these things for you to spare you; 397  you were thrown out into the open field 398  because you were detested on the day you were born.

16:6‘I passed by you and saw you kicking around helplessly in your blood. I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!” I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live! 399  16:7 I made you plentiful like sprouts in a field; you grew tall and came of age so that you could wear jewelry. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, but you were still naked and bare.

16:8‘Then I passed by you and watched you, noticing 400  that you had reached the age for love. 401  I spread my cloak 402  over you and covered your nakedness. I swore a solemn oath to you and entered into a marriage covenant with you, declares the sovereign Lord, and you became mine.

16:9‘Then I bathed you in water, washed the blood off you, and anointed you with fragrant oil. 16:10 I dressed you in embroidered clothing and put fine leather sandals on your feet. I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 16:11 I adorned you with jewelry. I put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. 16:12 I put a ring in your nose, earrings on your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 16:13 You were adorned with gold and silver, while your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidery. You ate the finest flour, honey, and olive oil. You became extremely beautiful and attained the position of royalty. 16:14 Your fame 403  spread among the nations because of your beauty; your beauty was perfect because of the splendor which I bestowed on you, declares the sovereign Lord. 404 

16:15‘But you trusted in your beauty and capitalized on your fame by becoming a prostitute. You offered your sexual favors to every man who passed by so that your beauty 405  became his. 16:16 You took some of your clothing and made for yourself decorated high places; you engaged in prostitution on them. You went to him to become his. 406  16:17 You also took your beautiful jewelry, made of my gold and my silver I had given to you, and made for yourself male images and engaged in prostitution 407  with them. 16:18 You took your embroidered clothing and used it to cover them; you offered my olive oil and my incense to them. 16:19 As for my food that I gave you – the fine flour, olive oil, and honey I fed you – you placed it before them as a soothing aroma. That is exactly what happened, declares the sovereign Lord.

16:20‘You took your sons and your daughters whom you bore to me and you sacrificed them 408  as food for the idols to eat. As if your prostitution not enough, 16:21 you slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols. 409  16:22 And with all your abominable practices and prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth when you were naked and bare, kicking around in your blood.

16:23‘After all of your evil – “Woe! Woe to you!” declares the sovereign Lord 16:24 you built yourself a chamber 410  and put up a pavilion 411  in every public square. 16:25 At the head of every street you erected your pavilion and you disgraced 412  your beauty when you spread 413  your legs to every passerby and multiplied your promiscuity. 16:26 You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your sexually aroused neighbors, 414  multiplying your promiscuity and provoking me to anger. 16:27 So see here, I have stretched out my hand against you and cut off your rations. I have delivered you into the power of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed by your obscene conduct. 16:28 You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians because your sexual desires were insatiable; you prostituted yourself with them and yet you were still not satisfied. 16:29 Then you multiplied your promiscuity to the land of merchants, Babylonia, 415  but you were not satisfied there either.

16:30‘How sick is your heart, declares the sovereign Lord, when you perform all of these acts, the deeds of a bold prostitute. 16:31 When you built your chamber at the head of every street and put up your pavilion in every public square, you were not like a prostitute, because you scoffed at payment. 416 

16:32‘Adulterous wife, who prefers strangers instead of her own husband! 16:33 All prostitutes receive payment, 417  but instead you give gifts to every one of your lovers. You bribe them to come to you from all around for your sexual favors! 16:34 You were different from other prostitutes 418  because no one solicited you. When you gave payment and no payment was given to you, you became the opposite!

16:35‘Therefore O prostitute, hear the word of the Lord: 16:36 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Because your lust 419  was poured out and your nakedness was uncovered in your prostitution with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your children you have given to them, 16:37 therefore, take note: I am about to gather all your lovers whom you enjoyed, both all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around, and I will expose your nakedness to them, and they will see all your nakedness. 420  16:38 I will punish you as an adulteress and murderer deserves. 421  I will avenge your bloody deeds with furious rage. 422  16:39 I will give you into their hands and they will destroy your chambers and tear down your pavilions. They will strip you of your clothing and take your beautiful jewelry and leave you naked and bare. 16:40 They will summon a mob who will stone you and hack you in pieces with their swords. 16:41 They will burn down your houses and execute judgments on you in front of many women. Thus I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer give gifts to your clients. 423  16:42 I will exhaust my rage on you, and then my fury will turn from you. I will calm down and no longer be angry.

16:43‘Because you did not remember the days of your youth and have enraged me with all these deeds, I hereby repay you for what you have done, 424  declares the sovereign Lord. Have you not engaged in prostitution on top of all your other abominable practices?

16:44 “‘Observe – everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.” 16:45 You are the daughter of your mother, who detested her husband and her sons, and you are the sister of your sisters who detested their husbands and their sons. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 16:46 Your older sister was Samaria, who lived north 425  of you with her daughters, and your younger sister, who lived south 426  of you, was Sodom 427  with her daughters. 16:47 Have you not copied their behavior 428  and practiced their abominable deeds? In a short time 429  you became even more depraved in all your conduct than they were! 16:48 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never behaved as wickedly as you and your daughters have behaved.

16:49‘See here – this was the iniquity 430  of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had majesty, abundance of food, and enjoyed carefree ease, but they did not help 431  the poor and needy. 16:50 They were haughty and practiced abominable deeds before me. Therefore when I saw it I removed them. 16:51 Samaria has not committed half the sins you have; you have done more abominable deeds than they did. 432  You have made your sisters appear righteous with all the abominable things you have done. 16:52 So now, bear your disgrace, because you have given your sisters reason to justify their behavior. 433  Because the sins you have committed were more abominable than those of your sisters; they have become more righteous than you. So now, be ashamed and bear the disgrace of making your sisters appear righteous.

16:53‘I will restore their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters (along with your fortunes among them), 16:54 so that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all you have done in consoling them. 16:55 As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters will be restored to their former status, Samaria and her daughters will be restored to their former status, and you and your daughters will be restored to your former status. 16:56 In your days of majesty, 434  was not Sodom your sister a byword in your mouth, 16:57 before your evil was exposed? Now you have become an object of scorn to the daughters of Aram 435  and all those around her and to the daughters of the Philistines – those all around you who despise you. 16:58 You must bear your punishment for your obscene conduct and your abominable practices, declares the Lord.

16:59‘For this is what the sovereign Lord says: I will deal with you according to what you have done when you despised your oath by breaking your covenant. 16:60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish a lasting 436  covenant with you. 16:61 Then you will remember your conduct, and be ashamed when you receive your older and younger sisters. I will give them to you as daughters, but not on account of my covenant with you. 16:62 I will establish my covenant with you, and then you will know that I am the Lord. 16:63 Then you will remember, be ashamed, and remain silent 437  when I make atonement for all you have done, 438  declares the sovereign Lord.’

A Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine

17:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 17:2 Son of man, offer a riddle, 439  and tell a parable to the house of Israel. 17:3 Say to them: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: 440 

“‘A great eagle 441  with broad wings, long feathers, 442 

with full plumage which was multi-hued, 443 

came to Lebanon 444  and took the top of the cedar.

17:4 He plucked off its topmost shoot;

he brought it to a land of merchants

and planted it in a city of traders.

17:5 He took one of the seedlings 445  of the land,

placed it in a cultivated plot; 446 

a shoot by abundant water,

like a willow he planted it.

17:6 It sprouted and became a vine,

spreading low to the ground; 447 

its branches turning toward him, 448  its roots were under itself. 449 

So it became a vine; it produced shoots and sent out branches.

17:7‘There was another great eagle 450 

with broad wings and thick plumage.

Now this vine twisted its roots toward him

and sent its branches toward him

to be watered from the soil where it was planted.

17:8 In a good field, by abundant waters, it was planted

to grow branches, bear fruit, and become a beautiful vine.

17:9‘Say to them: This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘Will it prosper?

Will he not rip out its roots

and cause its fruit to rot 451  and wither?

All its foliage 452  will wither.

No strong arm or large army

will be needed to pull it out by its roots. 453 

17:10 Consider! It is planted, but will it prosper?

Will it not wither completely when the east wind blows on it?

Will it not wither in the soil where it sprouted?’

17:11 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 17:12 Say to the rebellious house of Israel: 454  ‘Don’t you know what these things mean?’ 455  Say: ‘See here, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem 456  and took her king and her officials prisoner and brought them to himself in Babylon. 17:13 He took one from the royal family, 457  made a treaty with him, and put him under oath. 458  He then took the leaders of the land 17:14 so it would be a lowly kingdom which could not rise on its own but must keep its treaty with him in order to stand. 17:15 But this one from Israel’s royal family 459  rebelled against the king of Babylon 460  by sending his emissaries to Egypt to obtain horses and a large army. Will he prosper? Will the one doing these things escape? Can he break the covenant and escape?

17:16‘As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, surely in the city 461  of the king who crowned him, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke – in the middle of Babylon he will die! 17:17 Pharaoh with his great army and mighty horde will not help 462  him in battle, when siege ramps are erected and siege-walls are built to kill many people. 17:18 He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Take note 463 he gave his promise 464  and did all these things – he will not escape!

17:19‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will certainly repay him 465  for despising my oath and breaking my covenant! 17:20 I will throw my net over him and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylon and judge him there because of the unfaithfulness he committed against me. 17:21 All the choice men 466  among his troops will die 467  by the sword and the survivors will be scattered to every wind. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken!

17:22‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘I will take a sprig 468  from the lofty top of the cedar and plant it. 469 

I will pluck from the top one of its tender twigs;

I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.

17:23 I will plant it on a high mountain of Israel,

and it will raise branches and produce fruit and become a beautiful cedar.

Every bird will live under it;

Every winged creature will live in the shade of its branches.

17:24 All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord.

I make the high tree low; I raise up the low tree.

I make the green tree wither, and I make the dry tree sprout.

I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it!’

Individual Retribution

18:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 18:2 What do you mean by quoting this proverb concerning the land of Israel,

‘The fathers eat sour grapes

And the children’s teeth become numb?’ 470 

18:3As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, 471  you will not quote this proverb in Israel anymore! 18:4 Indeed! All lives are mine – the life of the father as well as the life of the son is mine. The one 472  who sins will die.

18:5Suppose a man is righteous. He practices what is just and right, 18:6 does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains 473  or pray to the idols 474  of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not have sexual relations with a 475  woman during her period, 18:7 does not oppress anyone, but gives the debtor back whatever was given in pledge, 476  does not commit robbery, 477  but gives his bread to the hungry and clothes the naked, 18:8 does not engage in usury or charge interest, 478  but refrains 479  from wrongdoing, promotes true justice 480  between men, 18:9 and follows my statutes and observes my regulations by carrying them out. 481  That man 482  is righteous; he will certainly live, 483  declares the sovereign Lord.

18:10Suppose such a man has 484  a violent son who sheds blood and does any of these things 485  mentioned previously 18:11 (though the father did not do any of them). 486  He eats pagan sacrifices on the mountains, 487  defiles his neighbor’s wife, 18:12 oppresses the poor and the needy, 488  commits robbery, does not give back what was given in pledge, prays to 489  idols, performs abominable acts, 18:13 engages in usury and charges interest. Will he live? He will not! Because he has done all these abominable deeds he will certainly die. 490  He will bear the responsibility for his own death. 491 

18:14But suppose he in turn has a son who notices all the sins his father commits, considers them, and does not follow his father’s example. 492  18:15 He does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains, does not pray to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, 18:16 does not oppress anyone or keep what has been given in pledge, does not commit robbery, gives his food to the hungry, and clothes the naked, 18:17 refrains from wrongdoing, 493  does not engage in usury or charge interest, carries out my regulations and follows my statutes. He will not die for his father’s iniquity; 494  he will surely live. 18:18 As for his father, because he practices extortion, robs his brother, and does what is not good among his people, he will die for his iniquity.

18:19Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not suffer 495  for his father’s iniquity?’ When the son does what is just and right, and observes all my statutes and carries them out, he will surely live. 18:20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A son will not suffer 496  for his father’s iniquity, and a father will not suffer 497  for his son’s iniquity; the righteous person will be judged according to his righteousness, and the wicked person according to his wickedness. 498 

18:21But if the wicked person turns from all the sin he has committed and observes all my statutes and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. 18:22 None of the sins he has committed will be held 499  against him; because of the righteousness he has done, he will live. 18:23 Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the sovereign Lord? Do I not prefer that he turn from his wicked conduct and live?

18:24But if a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing according to all the abominable practices the wicked carry out, will he live? All his righteous acts will not be remembered; because of the unfaithful acts he has done and the sin he has committed, he will die. 500 

18:25Yet you say, ‘The Lord’s conduct 501  is unjust!’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my conduct unjust? Is it not your conduct that is unjust? 18:26 When a righteous person turns back from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing, he will die for it; 502  because of the wrongdoing he has done, he will die. 18:27 When a wicked person turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will preserve his life. 18:28 Because he considered 503  and turned from all the sins he had done, he will surely live; he will not die. 18:29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The Lord’s conduct is unjust!’ Is my conduct unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your conduct that is unjust?

18:30Therefore I will judge each person according to his conduct, 504  O house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent 505  and turn from all your wickedness; then it will not be an obstacle leading to iniquity. 506  18:31 Throw away all your sins you have committed and fashion yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! 507  Why should you die, O house of Israel? 18:32 For I take no delight in the death of anyone, 508  declares the sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

Lament for the Princes of Israel

19:1And you, sing 509  a lament for the princes of Israel, 19:2 and say:

“‘What a lioness was your mother among the lions!

She lay among young lions; 510  she reared her cubs.

19:3 She reared one of her cubs; he became a young lion.

He learned to tear prey; he devoured people. 511 

19:4 The nations heard about him; he was trapped in their pit.

They brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt. 512 

19:5‘When she realized that she waited in vain, her hope was lost.

She took another of her cubs 513  and made him a young lion.

19:6 He walked about among the lions; he became a young lion.

He learned to tear prey; he devoured people.

19:7 He broke down 514  their strongholds 515  and devastated their cities.

The land and everything in it was frightened at the sound of his roaring.

19:8 The nations – the surrounding regions – attacked him.

They threw their net over him; he was caught in their pit.

19:9 They put him in a collar with hooks; 516 

they brought him to the king of Babylon;

they brought him to prison 517 

so that his voice would not be heard

any longer on the mountains of Israel.

19:10‘Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard, 518  planted by water.

It was fruitful and full of branches because it was well-watered.

19:11 Its boughs were strong, fit 519  for rulersscepters; it reached up into the clouds.

It stood out because of its height and its many branches. 520 

19:12 But it was plucked up in anger; it was thrown down to the ground.

The east wind 521  dried up its fruit;

its strong branches broke off and withered

a fire consumed them.

19:13 Now it is planted in the wilderness,

in a dry and thirsty land. 522 

19:14 A fire has gone out from its branch; it has consumed its shoot and its fruit. 523 

No strong branch was left in it, nor a scepter to rule.’

This is a lament song, and has become a lament song.”

NET Bible Study Environment