Bible: Ezekiel 1-8

A Vision of God’s Glory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ezekiel’s Commission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ezekiel Before the Exiles

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

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

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

Isolated and Silenced

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

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

Ominous Object Lessons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Judgment on the Mountains of Israel

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

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

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

The End Arrives

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

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

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

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

A Desecrated Temple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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