Tag Archives: christian
Ezekiel as Israel’s Watchman
1 Once again a message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. 3 When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. 4 Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. 5 They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. 6 But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’
7 “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. 8 If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 9 But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself.
The Watchman’s Message
10 “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ 11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?
12 “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. 13 When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. 14 And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right.15 For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. 16 None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.
17 “Your people are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right,’ but it is they who are not doing what’s right. 18 For again I say, when righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and turn to evil, they will die. 19 But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live. 20 O people of Israel, you are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right.’ But I judge each of you according to your deeds.”
Explanation of Jerusalem’s Fall
21 On January 8,[a] during the twelfth year of our captivity, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!” 22 The previous evening the Lord had taken hold of me and given me back my voice. So I was able to speak when this man arrived the next morning.
23 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 24 “Son of man, the scattered remnants of Israel living among the ruined cities keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he gained possession of the entire land. We are many; surely the land has been given to us as a possession.’ 25 So tell these people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You eat meat with blood in it, you worship idols,[b] and you murder the innocent. Do you really think the land should be yours?26 Murderers! Idolaters! Adulterers! Should the land belong to you?’
27 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die by the sword. And I will send wild animals to eat those living in the open fields. Those hiding in the forts and caves will die of disease. 28 I will completely destroy the land and demolish her pride. Her arrogant power will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate that no one will even travel through them. 29 When I have completely destroyed the land because of their detestable sins, then they will know that I am the Lord.’
30 “Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the Lord is saying!’ 31 So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. 32 You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it! 33 But when all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.”
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Ezekiel 31 New Living Translation (NLT)
Egypt Compared to Fallen Assyria
1 On June 21,[a] during the eleventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, give this message to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and all his hordes:
“To whom would you compare your greatness?
3 You are like mighty Assyria,
which was once like a cedar of Lebanon,
with beautiful branches that cast deep forest shade
and with its top high among the clouds.
4 Deep springs watered it
and helped it to grow tall and luxuriant.
The water flowed around it like a river,
streaming to all the trees nearby.
5 This great tree towered high,
higher than all the other trees around it.
It prospered and grew long thick branches
because of all the water at its roots.
6 The birds nested in its branches,
and in its shade all the wild animals gave birth.
All the great nations of the world
lived in its shadow.
7 It was strong and beautiful,
with wide-spreading branches,
for its roots went deep
into abundant water.
8 No other cedar in the garden of God
could rival it.
No cypress had branches to equal it;
no plane tree had boughs to compare.
No tree in the garden of God
came close to it in beauty.
9 Because I made this tree so beautiful,
and gave it such magnificent foliage,
it was the envy of all the other trees of Eden,
the garden of God.
10 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because Egypt[b] became proud and arrogant, and because it set itself so high above the others, with its top reaching to the clouds, 11 I will hand it over to a mighty nation that will destroy it as its wickedness deserves. I have already discarded it. 12 A foreign army—the terror of the nations—has cut it down and left it fallen on the ground. Its branches are scattered across the mountains and valleys and ravines of the land. All those who lived in its shadow have gone away and left it lying there.
13 “The birds roost on its fallen trunk,
and the wild animals lie among its branches.
14 Let the tree of no other nation
proudly exult in its own prosperity,
though it be higher than the clouds
and it be watered from the depths.
For all are doomed to die,
to go down to the depths of the earth.
They will land in the pit
along with everyone else on earth.
15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When Assyria went down to the grave,[c] I made the deep springs mourn. I stopped its rivers and dried up its abundant water. I clothed Lebanon in black and caused the trees of the field to wilt. 16 I made the nations shake with fear at the sound of its fall, for I sent it down to the grave with all the others who descend to the pit. And all the other proud trees of Eden, the most beautiful and the best of Lebanon, the ones whose roots went deep into the water, took comfort to find it there with them in the depths of the earth. 17 Its allies, too, were all destroyed and had passed away. They had gone down to the grave—all those nations that had lived in its shade.
18 “O Egypt, to which of the trees of Eden will you compare your strength and glory? You, too, will be brought down to the depths with all these other nations. You will lie there among the outcasts[d] who have died by the sword. This will be the fate of Pharaoh and all his hordes. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Ezekiel 30 A Sad Day for Egypt
1 This is another message that came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, prophesy and give this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“Weep and wail
for that day,
3 for the terrible day is almost here—
the day of the Lord!
It is a day of clouds and gloom,
a day of despair for the nations.
4 A sword will come against Egypt,
and those who are slaughtered will cover the ground.
Its wealth will be carried away
and its foundations destroyed.
The land of Ethiopia[a] will be ravished.
5 Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all Arabia,[b]
and all their other allies
will be destroyed in that war.
6 “For this is what the Lord says:
All of Egypt’s allies will fall,
and the pride of her power will end.
From Migdol to Aswan[c]
they will be slaughtered by the sword,
says the Sovereign Lord.
7 Egypt will be desolate,
surrounded by desolate nations,
and its cities will be in ruins,
surrounded by other ruined cities.
8 And the people of Egypt will know that I am the Lord
when I have set Egypt on fire
and destroyed all their allies.
9 At that time I will send swift messengers in ships
to terrify the complacent Ethiopians.
Great panic will come upon them
on that day of Egypt’s certain destruction.
Watch for it!
It is sure to come!
10 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
By the power of King Nebuchadnezzar[d] of Babylon,
I will destroy the hordes of Egypt.
11 He and his armies—the most ruthless of all—
will be sent to demolish the land.
They will make war against Egypt
until slaughtered Egyptians cover the ground.
12 I will dry up the Nile River
and sell the land to wicked men.
I will destroy the land of Egypt and everything in it
by the hands of foreigners.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
13 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
I will smash the idols[e] of Egypt
and the images at Memphis.[f]
There will be no rulers left in Egypt;
terror will sweep the land.
14 I will destroy southern Egypt,[g]
set fire to Zoan,
and bring judgment against Thebes.[h]
15 I will pour out my fury on Pelusium,[i]
the strongest fortress of Egypt,
and I will stamp out
the hordes of Thebes.
16 Yes, I will set fire to all Egypt!
Pelusium will be racked with pain;
Thebes will be torn apart;
Memphis will live in constant terror.
17 The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastis[j] will die in battle,
and the women[k] will be taken away as slaves.
18 When I come to break the proud strength of Egypt,
it will be a dark day for Tahpanhes, too.
A dark cloud will cover Tahpanhes,
and its daughters will be led away as captives.
19 And so I will greatly punish Egypt,
and they will know that I am the Lord.”
The Broken Arms of Pharaoh
20 On April 29,[l] during the eleventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. His arm has not been put in a cast so that it may heal. Neither has it been bound up with a splint to make it strong enough to hold a sword. 22 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am the enemy of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt! I will break both of his arms—the good arm along with the broken one—and I will make his sword clatter to the ground. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians to many lands throughout the world. 24 I will strengthen the arms of Babylon’s king and put my sword in his hand. But I will break the arms of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he will lie there mortally wounded, groaning in pain. 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, while the arms of Pharaoh fall useless to his sides. And when I put my sword in the hand of Babylon’s king and he brings it against the land of Egypt, Egypt will know that I am the Lord. 26 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, dispersing them throughout the earth. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
- 30:4 Hebrew Cush; similarly in 30:9.
- 30:5 Hebrew Cush, Put, Lud, all Arabia, Cub. Cub is otherwise unknown and may be another spelling for Lub (Libya).
- 30:6 Hebrew to Syene.
- 30:10 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar.
- 30:13a The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung.
- 30:13b Hebrew Noph; also in 30:16.
- 30:14a Hebrew Pathros.
- 30:14b Hebrew No; also in 30:15, 16.
- 30:15 Hebrew Sin; also in 30:16.
- 30:17a Hebrew of Awen and Pi-beseth.
- 30:17b Or and her cities.
- 30:20 Hebrew On the seventh day of the first month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on April 29, 587 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.
Ezekiel 28 A Message for Tyre’s King
1 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, give the prince of Tyre this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“In your great pride you claim, ‘I am a god!
I sit on a divine throne in the heart of the sea.’
But you are only a man and not a god,
though you boast that you are a god.
3 You regard yourself as wiser than Daniel
and think no secret is hidden from you.
4 With your wisdom and understanding you have amassed great wealth—
gold and silver for your treasuries.
5 Yes, your wisdom has made you very rich,
and your riches have made you very proud.
6 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
Because you think you are as wise as a god,
7 I will now bring against you a foreign army,
the terror of the nations.
They will draw their swords against your marvelous wisdom
and defile your splendor!
8 They will bring you down to the pit,
and you will die in the heart of the sea,
pierced with many wounds.
9 Will you then boast, ‘I am a god!’
to those who kill you?
To them you will be no god
but merely a man!
10 You will die like an outcast[a]
at the hands of foreigners.
I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
11 Then this further message came to me from the Lord: 12 “Son of man, sing this funeral song for the king of Tyre. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“You were the model of perfection,
full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty.
13 You were in Eden,
the garden of God.
Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone[b]—
red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white moonstone,
blue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper,
blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald—
all beautifully crafted for you
and set in the finest gold.
They were given to you
on the day you were created.
14 I ordained and anointed you
as the mighty angelic guardian.[c]
You had access to the holy mountain of God
and walked among the stones of fire.
15 “You were blameless in all you did
from the day you were created
until the day evil was found in you.
16 Your rich commerce led you to violence,
and you sinned.
So I banished you in disgrace
from the mountain of God.
I expelled you, O mighty guardian,
from your place among the stones of fire.
17 Your heart was filled with pride
because of all your beauty.
Your wisdom was corrupted
by your love of splendor.
So I threw you to the ground
and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings.
18 You defiled your sanctuaries
with your many sins and your dishonest trade.
So I brought fire out from within you,
and it consumed you.
I reduced you to ashes on the ground
in the sight of all who were watching.
19 All who knew you are appalled at your fate.
You have come to a terrible end,
and you will exist no more.”
A Message for Sidon
20 Then another message came to me from the Lord: 21 “Son of man, turn and face the city of Sidon and prophesy against it. 22 Give the people of Sidon this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“I am your enemy, O Sidon,
and I will reveal my glory by what I do to you.
When I bring judgment against you
and reveal my holiness among you,
everyone watching will know
that I am the Lord.
23 I will send a plague against you,
and blood will be spilled in your streets.
The attack will come from every direction,
and your people will lie slaughtered within your walls.
Then everyone will know
that I am the Lord.
24 No longer will Israel’s scornful neighbors
prick and tear at her like briers and thorns.
For then they will know
that I am the Sovereign Lord.
Restoration for Israel
25 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel will again live in their own land, the land I gave my servant Jacob. For I will gather them from the distant lands where I have scattered them. I will reveal to the nations of the world my holiness among my people. 26 They will live safely in Israel and build homes and plant vineyards. And when I punish the neighboring nations that treated them with contempt, they will know that I am the Lord their God.”
The End of Tyre’s Glory
1 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, sing a funeral song for Tyre, 3 that mighty gateway to the sea, the trading center of the world. Give Tyre this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“You boasted, O Tyre,
‘My beauty is perfect!’
4 You extended your boundaries into the sea.
Your builders made your beauty perfect.
5 You were like a great ship
built of the finest cypress from Senir.[a]
They took a cedar from Lebanon
to make a mast for you.
6 They carved your oars
from the oaks of Bashan.
Your deck of pine from the coasts of Cyprus[b]
was inlaid with ivory.
7 Your sails were made of Egypt’s finest linen,
and they flew as a banner above you.
You stood beneath blue and purple awnings
made bright with dyes from the coasts of Elishah.
8 Your oarsmen came from Sidon and Arvad;
your helmsmen were skilled men from Tyre itself.
9 Wise old craftsmen from Gebal did the caulking.
Ships from every land came with goods to barter for your trade.
10 “Men from distant Persia, Lydia, and Libya[c] served in your great army. They hung their shields and helmets on your walls, giving you great honor. 11 Men from Arvad and Helech stood on your walls. Your towers were manned by men from Gammad. Their shields hung on your walls, completing your beauty.
12 “Tarshish sent merchants to buy your wares in exchange for silver, iron, tin, and lead. 13 Merchants from Greece,[d] Tubal, and Meshech brought slaves and articles of bronze to trade with you.
14 “From Beth-togarmah came riding horses, chariot horses, and mules, all in exchange for your goods. 15 Merchants came to you from Dedan.[e] Numerous coastlands were your captive markets; they brought payment in ivory tusks and ebony wood.
16 “Syria[f] sent merchants to buy your rich variety of goods. They traded turquoise, purple dyes, embroidery, fine linen, and jewelry of coral and rubies. 17 Judah and Israel traded for your wares, offering wheat from Minnith, figs,[g] honey, olive oil, and balm.
18 “Damascus sent merchants to buy your rich variety of goods, bringing wine from Helbon and white wool from Zahar. 19 Greeks from Uzal[h] came to trade for your merchandise. Wrought iron, cassia, and fragrant calamus were bartered for your wares.
20 “Dedan sent merchants to trade their expensive saddle blankets with you.21 The Arabians and the princes of Kedar sent merchants to trade lambs and rams and male goats in exchange for your goods. 22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah came with all kinds of spices, jewels, and gold in exchange for your wares.
23 “Haran, Canneh, Eden, Sheba, Asshur, and Kilmad came with their merchandise, too. 24 They brought choice fabrics to trade—blue cloth, embroidery, and multicolored carpets rolled up and bound with cords. 25 The ships of Tarshish were your ocean caravans. Your island warehouse was filled to the brim!
The Destruction of Tyre
26 “But look! Your oarsmen
have taken you into stormy seas!
A mighty eastern gale
has wrecked you in the heart of the sea!
27 Everything is lost—
your riches and wares,
your sailors and pilots,
your ship builders, merchants, and warriors.
On the day of your ruin,
everyone on board sinks into the depths of the sea.
28 Your cities by the sea tremble
as your pilots cry out in terror.
29 All the oarsmen abandon their ships;
the sailors and pilots stand on the shore.
30 They cry aloud over you
and weep bitterly.
They throw dust on their heads
and roll in ashes.
31 They shave their heads in grief for you
and dress themselves in burlap.
They weep for you with bitter anguish
and deep mourning.
32 As they wail and mourn over you,
they sing this sad funeral song:
‘Was there ever such a city as Tyre,
now silent at the bottom of the sea?
33 The merchandise you traded
satisfied the desires of many nations.
Kings at the ends of the earth
were enriched by your trade.
34 Now you are a wrecked ship,
broken at the bottom of the sea.
All your merchandise and crew
have gone down with you.
35 All who live along the coastlands
are appalled at your terrible fate.
Their kings are filled with horror
and look on with twisted faces.
36 The merchants among the nations
shake their heads at the sight of you,[i]
for you have come to a horrible end
and will exist no more.’”
- 27:5 Or Hermon.
- 27:6 Hebrew Kittim.
- 27:10 Hebrew Paras, Lud, and Put.
- 27:13 Hebrew Javan.
- 27:15 Greek version reads Rhodes.
- 27:16 Hebrew Aram; some manuscripts read Edom.
- 27:17 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 27:19 Hebrew Vedan and Javan from Uzal. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 27:36 Hebrew hiss at you.
A Message for Tyre
1 On February 3, during the twelfth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity,[a] this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, Tyre has rejoiced over the fall of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Ha! She who was the gateway to the rich trade routes to the east has been broken, and I am the heir! Because she has been made desolate, I will become wealthy!’
3 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am your enemy, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the waves of the sea crashing against your shoreline. 4 They will destroy the walls of Tyre and tear down its towers. I will scrape away its soil and make it a bare rock! 5 It will be just a rock in the sea, a place for fishermen to spread their nets, for I have spoken, says the Sovereign Lord. Tyre will become the prey of many nations, 6 and its mainland villages will be destroyed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
7 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: From the north I will bring King Nebuchadnezzar[b] of Babylon against Tyre. He is king of kings and brings his horses, chariots, charioteers, and great army. 8 First he will destroy your mainland villages. Then he will attack you by building a siege wall, constructing a ramp, and raising a roof of shields against you. 9 He will pound your walls with battering rams and demolish your towers with sledgehammers. 10 The hooves of his horses will choke the city with dust, and the noise of the charioteers and chariot wheels will shake your walls as they storm through your broken gates. 11 His horsemen will trample through every street in the city. They will butcher your people, and your strong pillars will topple.
12 “They will plunder all your riches and merchandise and break down your walls. They will destroy your lovely homes and dump your stones and timbers and even your dust into the sea. 13 I will stop the music of your songs. No more will the sound of harps be heard among your people. 14 I will make your island a bare rock, a place for fishermen to spread their nets. You will never be rebuilt, for I, the Lord, have spoken. Yes, the Sovereign Lord has spoken!
The Effect of Tyre’s Destruction
15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Tyre: The whole coastline will tremble at the sound of your fall, as the screams of the wounded echo in the continuing slaughter. 16 All the seaport rulers will step down from their thrones and take off their royal robes and beautiful clothing. They will sit on the ground trembling with horror at your destruction. 17 Then they will wail for you, singing this funeral song:
“O famous island city,
once ruler of the sea,
how you have been destroyed!
Your people, with their naval power,
once spread fear around the world.
18 Now the coastlands tremble at your fall.
The islands are dismayed as you disappear.
19 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will make Tyre an uninhabited ruin, like many others. I will bury you beneath the terrible waves of enemy attack. Great seas will swallow you. 20 I will send you to the pit to join those who descended there long ago. Your city will lie in ruins, buried beneath the earth, like those in the pit who have entered the world of the dead. You will have no place of respect here in the land of the living. 21 I will bring you to a terrible end, and you will exist no more. You will be looked for, but you will never again be found. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
- 26:1 Hebrew In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar year. Since an element is missing in the date formula here, scholars have reconstructed this probable reading: In the eleventh [month of the twelfth] year, on the first day of the month. This reading would put this message on February 3, 585 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.
- 26:7 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar.
A Message for Ammon
1 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, turn and face the land of Ammon and prophesy against its people. 3 Give the Ammonites this message from the Sovereign Lord: Hear the word of the Sovereign Lord! Because you cheered when my Temple was defiled, mocked Israel in her desolation, and laughed at Judah as she went away into exile, 4 I will allow nomads from the eastern deserts to overrun your country. They will set up their camps among you and pitch their tents on your land. They will harvest all your fruit and drink the milk from your livestock. 5 And I will turn the city of Rabbah into a pasture for camels, and all the land of the Ammonites into a resting place for sheep and goats. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
6 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you clapped and danced and cheered with glee at the destruction of my people, 7 I will raise my fist of judgment against you. I will give you as plunder to many nations. I will cut you off from being a nation and destroy you completely. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
A Message for Moab
8 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the people of Moab[a] have said that Judah is just like all the other nations, 9 I will open up their eastern flank and wipe out their glorious frontier towns—Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim.10 And I will hand Moab over to nomads from the eastern deserts, just as I handed over Ammon. Yes, the Ammonites will no longer be counted among the nations.11 In the same way, I will bring my judgment down on the Moabites. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
A Message for Edom
12 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Edom have sinned greatly by avenging themselves against the people of Judah. 13 Therefore, says the Sovereign Lord, I will raise my fist of judgment against Edom. I will wipe out its people and animals with the sword. I will make a wasteland of everything from Teman to Dedan. 14 I will accomplish this by the hand of my people of Israel. They will carry out my vengeance with anger, and Edom will know that this vengeance is from me. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
A Message for Philistia
15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Philistia have acted against Judah out of bitter revenge and long-standing contempt. 16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will raise my fist of judgment against the land of the Philistines. I will wipe out the Kerethites and utterly destroy the people who live by the sea. 17 I will execute terrible vengeance against them to punish them for what they have done. And when I have inflicted my revenge, they will know that I am the Lord.”
- 25:8 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads Moab and Seir.
The Sign of the Cooking Pot
1 On January 15,[a] during the ninth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, write down today’s date, because on this very day the king of Babylon is beginning his attack against Jerusalem. 3 Then give these rebels an illustration with this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“Put a pot on the fire,
and pour in some water.
4 Fill it with choice pieces of meat—
the rump and the shoulder
and all the most tender cuts.
5 Use only the best sheep from the flock,
and heap fuel on the fire beneath the pot.
Bring the pot to a boil,
and cook the bones along with the meat.
6 “Now this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
What sorrow awaits Jerusalem,
the city of murderers!
She is a cooking pot
whose corruption can’t be cleaned out.
Take the meat out in random order,
for no piece is better than another.
7 For the blood of her murders
is splashed on the rocks.
It isn’t even spilled on the ground,
where the dust could cover it!
8 So I will splash her blood on a rock
for all to see,
an expression of my anger
and vengeance against her.
9 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
What sorrow awaits Jerusalem,
the city of murderers!
I myself will pile up the fuel beneath her.
10 Yes, heap on the wood!
Let the fire roar to make the pot boil.
Cook the meat with many spices,
and afterward burn the bones.
11 Now set the empty pot on the coals.
Heat it red hot!
Burn away the filth and corruption.
12 But it’s hopeless;
the corruption can’t be cleaned out.
So throw it into the fire.
13 Your impurity is your lewdness
and the corruption of your idolatry.
I tried to cleanse you,
but you refused.
So now you will remain in your filth
until my fury against you has been satisfied.
14 “I, the Lord, have spoken! The time has come, and I won’t hold back. I will not change my mind, and I will have no pity on you. You will be judged on the basis of all your wicked actions, says the Sovereign Lord.”
The Death of Ezekiel’s Wife
15 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 16 “Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. 17 Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends.”
18 So I proclaimed this to the people the next morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did everything I had been told to do. 19 Then the people asked, “What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?”
20 So I said to them, “A message came to me from the Lord, 21 and I was told to give this message to the people of Israel. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will defile my Temple, the source of your security and pride, the place your heart delights in. Your sons and daughters whom you left behind in Judah will be slaughtered by the sword. 22 Then you will do as Ezekiel has done. You will not mourn in public or console yourselves by eating the food brought by friends.23 Your heads will remain covered, and your sandals will not be taken off. You will not mourn or weep, but you will waste away because of your sins. You will groan among yourselves for all the evil you have done. 24 Ezekiel is an example for you; you will do just as he has done. And when that time comes, you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
25 Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold—their joy and glory, their heart’s desire, their dearest treasure—I will also take away their sons and daughters. 26 And on that day a survivor from Jerusalem will come to you in Babylon and tell you what has happened. 27 And when he arrives, your voice will suddenly return so you can talk to him, and you will be a symbol for these people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
The Rebellion of Israel
1 On August 14,[a] during the seventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, some of the leaders of Israel came to request a message from the Lord. They sat down in front of me to wait for his reply. 2 Then this message came to me from the Lord:3 “Son of man, tell the leaders of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: How dare you come to ask me for a message? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will tell you nothing!’
4 “Son of man, bring charges against them and condemn them. Make them realize how detestable the sins of their ancestors really were. 5 Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: When I chose Israel—when I revealed myself to the descendants of Jacob in Egypt—I took a solemn oath that I, the Lord, would be their God. 6 I took a solemn oath that day that I would bring them out of Egypt to a land I had discovered and explored for them—a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the best of all lands anywhere. 7 Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols[b] of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’
8 “But they rebelled against me and would not listen. They did not get rid of the vile images they were obsessed with, or forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I threatened to pour out my fury on them to satisfy my anger while they were still in Egypt. 9 But I didn’t do it, for I acted to protect the honor of my name. I would not allow shame to be brought on my name among the surrounding nations who saw me reveal myself by bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. 10 So I brought them out of Egypt and led them into the wilderness. 11 There I gave them my decrees and regulations so they could find life by keeping them. 12 And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I am the Lord, who had set them apart to be holy.
13 “But the people of Israel rebelled against me, and they refused to obey my decrees there in the wilderness. They wouldn’t obey my regulations even though obedience would have given them life. They also violated my Sabbath days. So I threatened to pour out my fury on them, and I made plans to utterly consume them in the wilderness. 14 But again I held back in order to protect the honor of my name before the nations who had seen my power in bringing Israel out of Egypt.15 But I took a solemn oath against them in the wilderness. I swore I would not bring them into the land I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful place on earth. 16 For they had rejected my regulations, refused to follow my decrees, and violated my Sabbath days. Their hearts were given to their idols. 17 Nevertheless, I took pity on them and held back from destroying them in the wilderness.
18 “Then I warned their children not to follow in their parents’ footsteps, defiling themselves with their idols. 19 ‘I am the Lord your God,’ I told them. ‘Follow my decrees, pay attention to my regulations, 20 and keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord your God.’
21 “But their children, too, rebelled against me. They refused to keep my decrees and follow my regulations, even though obedience would have given them life. And they also violated my Sabbath days. So again I threatened to pour out my fury on them in the wilderness. 22 Nevertheless, I withdrew my judgment against them to protect the honor of my name before the nations that had seen my power in bringing them out of Egypt. 23 But I took a solemn oath against them in the wilderness. I swore I would scatter them among all the nations 24 because they did not obey my regulations. They scorned my decrees by violating my Sabbath days and longing for the idols of their ancestors. 25 I gave them over to worthless decrees and regulations that would not lead to life. 26 I let them pollute themselves[c] with the very gifts I had given them, and I allowed them to give their firstborn children as offerings to their gods—so I might devastate them and remind them that I alone am the Lord.
Judgment and Restoration
27 “Therefore, son of man, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Your ancestors continued to blaspheme and betray me, 28 for when I brought them into the land I had promised them, they offered sacrifices on every high hill and under every green tree they saw! They roused my fury as they offered up sacrifices to their gods. They brought their perfumes and incense and poured out their liquid offerings to them. 29 I said to them, ‘What is this high place where you are going?’ (This kind of pagan shrine has been called Bamah—‘high place’—ever since.)
30 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Do you plan to pollute yourselves just as your ancestors did? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshiping vile images? 31 For when you offer gifts to them and give your little children to be burned as sacrifices,[d] you continue to pollute yourselves with idols to this day. Should I allow you to ask for a message from me, O people of Israel? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will tell you nothing.
32 “You say, ‘We want to be like the nations all around us, who serve idols of wood and stone.’ But what you have in mind will never happen. 33 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will rule over you with an iron fist in great anger and with awesome power. 34 And in anger I will reach out with my strong hand and powerful arm, and I will bring you back[e] from the lands where you are scattered. 35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will judge you face to face.36 I will judge you there just as I did your ancestors in the wilderness after bringing them out of Egypt, says the Sovereign Lord. 37 I will examine you carefully and hold you to the terms of the covenant. 38 I will purge you of all those who rebel and revolt against me. I will bring them out of the countries where they are in exile, but they will never enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
39 “As for you, O people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go right ahead and worship your idols, but sooner or later you will obey me and will stop bringing shame on my holy name by worshiping idols. 40 For on my holy mountain, the great mountain of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord, the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them. There I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices. 41 When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch. 42 Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord. 43 You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Judgment against the Negev
45 [f]Then this message came to me from the Lord: 46 “Son of man, turn and face the south[g] and speak out against it; prophesy against the brushlands of the Negev. 47 Tell the southern wilderness, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Hear the word of the Lord! I will set you on fire, and every tree, both green and dry, will be burned. The terrible flames will not be quenched and will scorch everything from south to north. 48 And everyone in the world will see that I, the Lord, have set this fire. It will not be put out.’”
49 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, they are saying of me, ‘He only talks in riddles!’”
- 20:1 Hebrew In the fifth month, on the tenth day, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day was August 14, 591 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.
- 20:7 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung; also in 20:8, 16, 18, 24, 31, 39.
- 20:25-26 Or I gave them worthless decrees and regulations. . . . I polluted them.
- 20:31 Or and make your little children pass through the fire.
- 20:34 Greek version reads I will welcome you. Compare 2 Cor 6:17.
- 20:45 Verses 20:45-49 are numbered 21:1-5 in Hebrew text.
- 20:46 Hebrew toward Teman.