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 calves’ feet. 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.
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
3:8 “I 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
3:20 “When 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
4:1 “And 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.
4:4 “Also 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
4:6 “When 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
4:9 “As 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
5:1 “As 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.
5:5 “This 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.
5:7 “Therefore 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!
5:8 “Therefore 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
5:11 “Therefore, 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.
5:14 “I 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 Lord – when 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!
7:5 “This 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
7:10 “Look, 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.
7:14 “They 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.’
11:16 “Therefore 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.’
11:17 “Therefore 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.’
11:18 “When 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.
12:3 “Therefore, 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.’
12:12 “The 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.
12:15 “Then 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.’
13:17 “As 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.’”
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.’
14:6 “Therefore 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.
14:15 “Suppose 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.
14:17 “Or 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.
14:19 “Or 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.
14:21 “For 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?
15:6 “Therefore, 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!’”
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
18:3 “As 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.
18:5 “Suppose 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.
18:10 “Suppose 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
18:14 “But 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.
18:19 “Yet 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
18:21 “But 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?
18:24 “But 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
18:25 “Yet 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?
18:30 “Therefore 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
19:1 “And 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 rulers’ scepters; 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.”
20:1 In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, 524 some of the elders 525 of Israel came to seek 526 the Lord, and they sat down in front of me. 20:2 The word of the Lord came to me: 20:3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and tell them: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Are you coming to seek me? As surely as I live, I will not allow you to seek me, 527 declares the sovereign Lord.’ 20:4 “Are you willing to pronounce judgment? 528 Are you willing to pronounce judgment, son of man? Then confront them with the abominable practices of their fathers, 20:5 and say to them:
“‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel I swore 529 to the descendants 530 of the house of Jacob and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt. I swore 531 to them, “I am the Lord your God.” 20:6 On that day I swore 532 to bring them out of the land of Egypt to a land which I had picked out 533 for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, 534 the most beautiful of all lands. 20:7 I said to them, “Each of you must get rid of the detestable idols you keep before you, 535 and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” 20:8 But they rebelled against me, and refused to listen to me; no one got rid of their detestable idols, 536 nor did they abandon the idols of Egypt. Then I decided to pour out 537 my rage on them and fully vent my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 20:9 I acted for the sake of my reputation, 538 so that I would not be profaned before the nations among whom they lived, 539 before whom I revealed myself by bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 540
20:10 “‘So I brought them out of the land of Egypt and led them to the wilderness. 20:11 I gave them my statutes 541 and revealed my regulations to them. The one 542 who carries 543 them out will live by them! 544 20:12 I also gave them my Sabbaths 545 as a reminder of our relationship, 546 so that they would know that I, the Lord, sanctify them. 547 20:13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness; they did not follow my statutes and they rejected my regulations (the one who obeys them will live by them), and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I decided to pour out 548 my rage on them in the wilderness and destroy them. 549 20:14 I acted for the sake of my reputation, so that I would not be profaned before the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 20:15 I also swore 550 to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them to the land I had given them – a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. 20:16 I did this 551 because they rejected my regulations, did not follow my statutes, and desecrated my Sabbaths; for their hearts followed their idols. 552 20:17 Yet I had pity on 553 them and did not destroy them, so I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.
20:18 “‘But I said to their children 554 in the wilderness, “Do not follow the practices of your fathers; do not observe their regulations, 555 nor defile yourselves with their idols. 20:19 I am the Lord your God; follow my statutes, observe my regulations, and carry them out. 20:20 Treat my Sabbaths as holy 556 and they will be a reminder of our relationship, 557 and then you will know that I am the Lord your God.” 20:21 “‘But the children 558 rebelled against me, did not follow my statutes, did not observe my regulations by carrying them out (the one who obeys 559 them will live by them), and desecrated my Sabbaths. I decided to pour out 560 my rage on them and fully vent my anger against them in the wilderness. 20:22 But I refrained from doing so, 561 and acted instead for the sake of my reputation, so that I would not be profaned before the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 20:23 I also swore 562 to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the lands. 563 20:24 I did this 564 because they did not observe my regulations, they rejected my statutes, they desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on 565 their fathers’ idols. 20:25 I also gave 566 them decrees 567 which were not good and regulations by which they could not live. 20:26 I declared them to be defiled because of their sacrifices 568 – they caused all their first born to pass through the fire 569 – so that I would devastate them, so that they will know that I am the Lord.’ 570
20:27 “Therefore, speak to the house of Israel, son of man, and tell them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: In this way too your fathers blasphemed me when they were unfaithful to me. 20:28 I brought them to the land which I swore 571 to give them, but whenever they saw any high hill or leafy tree, they offered their sacrifices there and presented the offerings that provoke me to anger. They offered their soothing aroma there and poured out their drink offerings. 20:29 So I said to them, What is this high place you go to?’” (So it is called “High Place” 572 to this day.)
20:30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Will you defile yourselves like your fathers 573 and engage in prostitution with detestable idols? 20:31 When you present your sacrifices 574 – when you make your sons pass through the fire – you defile yourselves with all your idols to this very day. Will I allow you to seek me, 575 O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I will not allow you to seek me! 576
20:32 “‘What you plan 577 will never happen. You say, “We will be 578 like the nations, like the clans of the lands, who serve gods of wood and stone.” 579 20:33 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, with a powerful hand and an outstretched arm, 580 and with an outpouring of rage, I will be king over you. 20:34 I will bring you out from the nations, and will gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a powerful hand and an outstretched arm and with an outpouring of rage! 20:35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 20:36 Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the sovereign Lord. 20:37 I will make you pass under 581 the shepherd’s staff, 582 and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 20:38 I will eliminate from among you the rebels and those who revolt 583 against me. I will bring them out from the land where they have been residing, but they will not come to the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
20:39 “‘As for you, O house of Israel, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Each of you go and serve your idols, 584 if you will not listen to me. 585 But my holy name will not be profaned 586 again by your sacrifices 587 and your idols. 20:40 For there on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord, all the house of Israel will serve me, all of them 588 in the land. I will accept them there, and there I will seek your contributions and your choice gifts, with all your holy things. 20:41 When I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, I will accept you along with your soothing aroma. I will display my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 20:42 Then you will know that I am the Lord when I bring you to the land of Israel, to the land I swore 589 to give to your fathers. 20:43 And there you will remember your conduct 590 and all your deeds by which you defiled yourselves. You will despise yourselves 591 because of all the evil deeds you have done. 20:44 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for the sake of my reputation and not according to your wicked conduct and corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord.’”
Prophecy Against the South
20:45 592 The word of the Lord came to me: 20:46 “Son of man, turn toward 593 the south, 594 and speak out against the south. 595 Prophesy against the open scrub 596 land of the Negev, 20:47 and say to the scrub land of the Negev, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look here, 597 I am about to start a fire in you, 598 and it will devour every green tree and every dry tree in you. The flaming fire will not be extinguished, and the whole surface of the ground from the Negev to the north will be scorched by it. 20:48 And everyone 599 will see that I, the Lord, have burned it; it will not be extinguished.’”
20:49 Then I said, “O sovereign Lord! They are saying of me, ‘Does he not simply speak in eloquent figures of speech?’”
The Sword of Judgment
21:1 600 The word of the Lord came to me: 21:2 “Son of man, turn toward 601 Jerusalem 602 and speak out against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel 21:3 and say to them, 603 ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, 604 I am against you. 605 I will draw my sword 606 from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 607 21:4 Because I will cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked, my sword will go out from its sheath against everyone 608 from the south 609 to the north. 21:5 Then everyone will know that I am the Lord, who drew my sword from its sheath – it will not be sheathed again!’
21:6 “And you, son of man, groan with an aching heart 610 and bitterness; groan before their eyes. 21:7 When they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you will reply, ‘Because of the report that has come. Every heart will melt with fear and every hand will be limp; everyone 611 will faint and every knee will be wet with urine.’ 612 Pay attention – it is coming and it will happen, declares the sovereign Lord.”
21:8 The word of the Lord came to me: 21:9 “Son of man, prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘A sword, a sword is sharpened,
and also polished.
21:10 It is sharpened for slaughter,
it is polished to flash like lightning!
“‘Should we rejoice in the scepter of my son? No! The sword despises every tree! 613
21:11 “‘He gave it to be polished,
to be grasped in the hand –
the sword is sharpened, it is polished –
giving it into the hand of the executioner.
21:12 Cry out and moan, son of man,
for it is wielded against my people;
against all the princes of Israel.
They are delivered up to the sword, along with my people.
Therefore, strike your thigh. 614
21:13 “‘For testing will come, and what will happen when the scepter, which the sword despises, is no more? 615 declares the sovereign Lord.’
21:14 “And you, son of man, prophesy,
and clap your hands together.
Let the sword strike twice, even three times!
It is a sword for slaughter,
a sword for the great slaughter surrounding them.
21:15 So hearts melt with fear and many stumble.
At all their gates I have stationed the sword for slaughter.
Ah! It is made to flash, it is drawn for slaughter!
21:16 Cut sharply on the right!
Swing to 616 the left,
wherever your edge 617 is appointed to strike.
21:17 I too will clap my hands together,
I will exhaust my rage;
I the Lord have spoken.”
21:18 The word of the Lord came to me: 21:19 “You, son of man, mark out two routes for the king of Babylon’s sword to take; both of them will originate in a single land. Make a signpost and put it at the beginning of the road leading to the city. 21:20 Mark out the routes for the sword to take: “Rabbah of the Ammonites” and “Judah with Jerusalem in it.” 618 21:21 For the king of Babylon stands at the fork 619 in the road at the head of the two routes. He looks for omens: 620 He shakes arrows, he consults idols, 621 he examines 622 animal livers. 623 21:22 Into his right hand 624 comes the portent for Jerusalem – to set up battering rams, to give the signal 625 for slaughter, to shout out the battle cry, 626 to set up battering rams against the gates, to erect a siege ramp, to build a siege wall. 21:23 But those in Jerusalem 627 will view it as a false omen. They have sworn solemn oaths, 628 but the king of Babylon 629 will accuse them of violations 630 in order to seize them. 631
21:24 “Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have brought up 632 your own guilt by uncovering your transgressions and revealing your sins through all your actions, for this reason you will be taken by force. 633
21:25 “‘As for you, profane and wicked prince of Israel, 634
whose day has come, the time of final punishment,
21:26 this is what the sovereign Lord says:
Tear off the turban, 635
take off the crown!
Things must change! 636
Exalt the lowly,
bring down the proud! 637
21:27 A total ruin I will make it! 638
It will come to an end
when the one arrives to whom I have assigned judgment.’ 639
21:28 “As for you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says concerning the Ammonites and their coming humiliation; 640 say:
“‘A sword, a sword drawn for slaughter,
polished to consume, 641 to flash like lightning –
21:29 while seeing false visions for you
and reading lying omens for you 642 –
to place that sword 643 on the necks of the profane wicked, 644
whose day has come,
the time of final punishment.
21:30 Return it to its sheath! 645
In the place where you were created, 646
in your native land, I will judge you.
21:31 I will pour out my anger on you;
the fire of my fury I will blow on you.
I will hand you over to brutal men,
who are skilled in destruction.
21:32 You will become fuel for the fire –
your blood will stain the middle of the land; 647
you will no longer be remembered,
for I, the Lord, have spoken.’”
The Sins of Jerusalem
22:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 22:2 “As for you, son of man, are you willing to pronounce judgment, 648 are you willing to pronounce judgment on the bloody city? 649 Then confront her with all her abominable deeds! 22:3 Then say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: O city, who spills blood within herself (which brings on her doom), 650 and who makes herself idols (which results in impurity), 22:4 you are guilty because of the blood you shed and defiled by the idols you made. You have hastened the day of your doom; 651 the end of your years has come. 652 Therefore I will make 653 you an object of scorn to the nations, an object to be mocked by all lands. 22:5 Those both near and far from you will mock you, you with your bad reputation, 654 full of turmoil.
22:6 “‘See how each of the princes of Israel living within you has used his authority to shed blood. 655 22:7 They have treated father and mother with contempt 656 within you; they have oppressed the foreigner among you; they have wronged the orphan and the widow 657 within you. 22:8 You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths! 22:9 Slanderous men shed blood within you. 658 Those who live within you eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains; 659 they commit obscene acts among you. 660 22:10 They have sex with their father’s wife within you; 661 they violate women during their menstrual period within you. 662 22:11 One 663 commits an abominable act with his neighbor’s wife; another obscenely defiles his daughter-in-law; another violates 664 his sister – his father’s daughter 665 – within you. 22:12 They take bribes within you to shed blood. You engage in usury and charge interest; 666 you extort money from your neighbors. You have forgotten me, 667 declares the sovereign Lord. 668
22:13 “‘See, I strike my hands together 669 at the dishonest profit you have made, and at the bloodshed 670 they have done among you. 22:14 Can your heart endure, 671 or can your hands be strong when I deal with you? 672 I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it! 22:15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you among various countries; I will remove your impurity from you. 673 22:16 You will be profaned within yourself 674 in the sight of the nations; then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
22:17 The word of the Lord came to me: 22:18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become slag to me. All of them are like bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the furnace; 675 they are the worthless slag of silver. 22:19 Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: ‘Because all of you 676 have become slag, look out! – I am about to gather you in the middle of Jerusalem. 677 22:20 As silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin are gathered in a furnace so that the fire can melt them, so I will gather you in my anger and in my rage. I will deposit you there 678 and melt you. 22:21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my fury, and you will be melted in it. 22:22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted in it, and you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my anger on you.’”
22:23 The word of the Lord came to me: 22:24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that receives no rain 679 or showers in the day of my anger.’ 680 22:25 Her princes 681 within her are like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they have devoured lives. They take away riches and valuable things; they have made many women widows 682 within it. 22:26 Her priests abuse my law and have desecrated my holy things. They do not distinguish between the holy and the profane, 683 or recognize any distinction between the unclean and the clean. They ignore 684 my Sabbaths and I am profaned in their midst. 22:27 Her officials are like wolves in her midst rending their prey – shedding blood and destroying lives – so they can get dishonest profit. 22:28 Her prophets coat their messages with whitewash. 685 They see false visions and announce lying omens for them, saying, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 22:29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have wronged the poor and needy; they have oppressed the foreigner who lives among them and denied them justice. 686
22:30 “I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one. 687 22:31 So I have poured my anger on them, and destroyed them with the fire of my fury. I hereby repay them for what they have done, 688 declares the sovereign Lord.”
23:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 23:2 “Son of man, there were two women who were daughters of the same mother. 23:3 They engaged in prostitution in Egypt; in their youth they engaged in prostitution. Their breasts were squeezed there; lovers 689 fondled their virgin nipples there. 23:4 Oholah was the name of the older and Oholibah 690 the name of her younger sister. They became mine, and gave birth to sons and daughters. 691 Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem.
23:5 “Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was mine. 692 She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians 693 – warriors 694 23:6 clothed in blue, governors and officials, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. 23:7 She bestowed her sexual favors on them; all of them were the choicest young men of Assyria. She defiled herself with all whom she desired 695 – with all their idols. 23:8 She did not abandon the prostitution she had practiced in Egypt; for in her youth men had sex with her, fondled her virgin breasts, and ravished her. 696 23:9 Therefore I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians 697 for whom she lusted. 23:10 They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and killed her with the sword. She became notorious 698 among women, and they executed judgments against her.
23:11 “Her sister Oholibah watched this, 699 but she became more corrupt in her lust than her sister had been, and her acts of prostitution were more numerous than those of her sister. 23:12 She lusted after the Assyrians – governors and officials, warriors in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 23:13 I saw that she was defiled; both of them followed the same path. 23:14 But she increased her prostitution. She saw men carved on the wall, images of the Chaldeans carved in bright red, 700 23:15 wearing belts on their waists and flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, the image of Babylonians 701 whose native land is Chaldea. 23:16 When she saw them, 702 she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 703 23:17 The Babylonians crawled into bed with her. 704 They defiled her with their lust; after she was defiled by them, she 705 became disgusted with them. 23:18 When she lustfully exposed her nakedness, 706 I 707 was disgusted with her, just as I 708 had been disgusted with her sister. 23:19 Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. 23:20 She lusted after their genitals – as large as those of donkeys, 709 and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions. 23:21 This is how you assessed 710 the obscene conduct of your youth, when the Egyptians fondled 711 your nipples and squeezed 712 your young breasts.
23:22 “Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look here, 713 I am about to stir up against you the lovers with whom you were disgusted; I will bring them against you from every side: 23:23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, 714 Shoa, 715 and Koa, 716 and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, all of them governors and officials, officers and nobles, all of them riding on horses. 23:24 They will attack 717 you with weapons, 718 chariots, wagons, and with a huge army; 719 they will array themselves against you on every side with large shields, small shields, and helmets. I will assign them the task of judgment; 720 they will punish you according to their laws. 23:25 I will direct 721 my jealous anger against you, and they will deal with you in rage. They will cut off your nose and your ears, 722 and your survivors will die 723 by the sword. They will seize your sons and daughters, and your survivors will be consumed by fire. 23:26 They will strip your clothes off you and take away your beautiful jewelry. 23:27 So I will put an end to your obscene conduct and your prostitution which you have practiced in the land of Egypt. 724 You will not seek their help 725 or remember Egypt anymore.
23:28 “For this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look here, 726 I am about to deliver you over to 727 those whom you hate, to those with whom you were disgusted. 23:29 They will treat you with hatred, take away all you have labored for, 728 and leave you naked and bare. Your nakedness will be exposed, just as when you engaged in prostitution and obscene conduct. 729 23:30 I will do these things to you 730 because you engaged in prostitution with the nations, polluting yourself with their idols. 23:31 You have followed the ways of your sister, so I will place her cup of judgment 731 in your hand. 23:32 “This is what the sovereign Lord says: “You will drink your sister’s deep and wide cup; 732 you will be scorned and derided, for it holds a great deal. 23:33 You will be overcome by 733 drunkenness and sorrow. The cup of your sister Samaria is a cup of horror and desolation. 23:34 You will drain it dry, 734 gnaw its pieces, 735 and tear out your breasts, 736 for I have spoken, declares the sovereign Lord.
23:35 “Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: Because you have forgotten me and completely disregarded me, 737 you must bear now the punishment 738 for your obscene conduct and prostitution.”
23:36 The Lord said to me: “Son of man, are you willing to pronounce judgment 739 on Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominable deeds! 23:37 For they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols, and their sons, whom they bore to me, 740 they have passed through the fire as food to their idols. 741 23:38 Moreover, they have done this to me: In the very same day 742 they desecrated my sanctuary and profaned my Sabbaths. 23:39 On the same day they slaughtered their sons for their idols, they came to my sanctuary to desecrate it. This is what they have done in the middle of my house.
23:40 “They even sent for men from far away; when the messenger arrived, those men set out. 743 For them you bathed, 744 painted your eyes, and decorated yourself with jewelry. 23:41 You sat on a magnificent couch, with a table arranged in front of it where you placed my incense and my olive oil. 23:42 The sound of a carefree crowd accompanied her, 745 including all kinds of men; 746 even Sabeans 747 were brought from the desert. The sisters 748 put bracelets on their wrists and beautiful crowns on their heads. 23:43 Then I said about the one worn out by adultery, ‘Now they will commit immoral acts with her.’ 23:44 They had sex with her 749 as one does with a prostitute. In this way they had sex with Oholah and Oholibah, promiscuous women. 23:45 But upright men will punish them appropriately for their adultery and bloodshed, 750 because they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands.
23:46 “For this is what the sovereign Lord says: Bring up an army 751 against them and subject them 752 to terror and plunder. 23:47 That army will pelt them with stones and slash them with their swords; they will kill their sons and daughters and burn their houses. 753 23:48 I will put an end to the obscene conduct in the land; all the women will learn a lesson from this and not engage in obscene conduct. 23:49 They will repay you for your obscene conduct, and you will be punished for idol worship. 754 Then you will know that I am the sovereign Lord.”
The Boiling Pot
24:1 The word of the Lord came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month 755 : 24:2 “Son of man, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege 756 to Jerusalem 757 this very day. 24:3 Recite a proverb to this rebellious house 758 and say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:
“‘Set on the pot, 759 set it on,
pour water in it too;
24:4 add the pieces of meat to it,
every good piece,
the thigh and the shoulder;
fill it with choice bones.
24:5 Take the choice bone of the flock,
heap up bones under it;
and boil its bones in it.
24:6 “‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says:
Woe to the city of bloodshed,
the pot whose rot 760 is in it,
whose rot has not been removed 761 from it!
Empty it piece by piece.
No lot has fallen on it. 762
24:7 For her blood was in it;
she poured it on an exposed rock;
she did not pour it on the ground to cover it up with dust.
24:8 To arouse anger, to take vengeance,
I have placed her blood on an exposed rock so that it cannot be covered up.
24:9 “‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says:
Woe to the city of bloodshed!
I will also make the pile high.
24:10 Pile up the bones, kindle the fire;
cook the meat well, mix in the spices,
let the bones be charred.
24:11 Set the empty pot on the coals, 763
until it becomes hot and its copper glows,
until its uncleanness melts within it and its rot 764 is consumed.
24:12 It has tried my patience; 765
yet its thick rot is not removed 766 from it.
Subject its rot to the fire! 767
24:13 You mix uncleanness with obscene conduct. 768
I tried to cleanse you, 769 but you are not clean.
You will not be cleansed from your uncleanness 770
until I have exhausted my anger on you.
24:14 “‘I the Lord have spoken; judgment 771 is coming and I will act! I will not relent, or show pity, or be sorry! 772 I will judge you 773 according to your conduct 774 and your deeds, declares the sovereign Lord.’”
Ezekiel’s Wife Dies
24:15 The word of Lord came to me: 24:16 “Son of man, realize that I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you with a jolt, 775 but you must not mourn or weep or shed tears. 24:17 Groan in silence for the dead, 776 but do not perform mourning rites. 777 Bind on your turban 778 and put your sandals on your feet. Do not cover your lip 779 and do not eat food brought by others.” 780
24:18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening. In the morning 781 I acted just as I was commanded. 24:19 Then the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things you are doing mean for us?”
24:20 So I said to them: “The word of the Lord came to me: 24:21 Say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Realize I am about to desecrate my sanctuary – the source of your confident pride, 782 the object in which your eyes delight, 783 and your life’s passion. 784 Your very own sons and daughters whom you have left behind will die 785 by the sword. 24:22 Then you will do as I have done: You will not cover your lip or eat food brought by others. 786 24:23 Your turbans will be on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you will not mourn or weep, but you will rot 787 for your iniquities 788 and groan among yourselves. 24:24 Ezekiel will be an object lesson for you; you will do all that he has done. When it happens, then you will know that I am the sovereign Lord.’
24:25 “And you, son of man, this is what will happen on the day I take 789 from them their stronghold – their beautiful source of joy, the object in which their eyes delight, and the main concern of their lives, 790 as well as their sons and daughters: 791 24:26 On that day a fugitive will come to you to report the news. 792 24:27 On that day you will be able to speak again; 793 you will talk with the fugitive and be silent no longer. You will be an object lesson for them, and they will know that I am the Lord.”