Ezekiel 1-5 New English Translation (NET Bible)
A Vision of God’s Glory
1 In the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was among the exiles at the Kebar River, the heavens opened and I saw a divine vision. 2 (On the fifth day of the month—it was the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile— 3 the word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel the son of Buzi, at the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. The hand of the Lord came on him there).
4 As I watched, I noticed a windstorm coming from the north—an enormous cloud, with lightning flashing, such that bright light rimmed it and came from it like glowing amber from the middle of a fire. 5 In the fire were what looked like four living beings. In their appearance they had human form, 6 but each had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight, but the soles of their feet were like calves’ feet. They gleamed like polished bronze. 8 They had human hands under their wings on their four sides. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, 9 their wings touched each other; they did not turn as they moved, but went straight ahead.
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. 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. 12 Each moved straight ahead—wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 In the middle of the living beings was something like burning coals of fire or like torches. It moved back and forth among the living beings. It was bright, and lightning was flashing out of the fire. 14 The living beings moved backward and forward as quickly as flashes of lightning.
15 Then I looked, and I saw one wheel on the ground beside each of the four beings. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their construction was like gleaming jasper, and all four wheels looked alike. Their structure was like a wheel within a wheel. 17 When they moved they would go in any of the four directions they faced without turning as they moved. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and the rims of all four wheels were full of eyes all around.
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. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise up beside them because the spirit of the living being was in the wheel. 21 When the living beings moved, the wheels moved, and when they stopped moving, the wheels stopped. 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.
22 Over the heads of the living beings was something like a platform, glittering awesomely like ice, stretched out over their heads. 23 Under the platform their wings were stretched out, each toward the other. Each of the beings also had two wings covering its body. 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, or the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.
25 Then there was a voice from above the platform over their heads when they stood still. 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. 27 I saw an amber glow like a fire enclosed all around from his waist up. From his waist down I saw something that looked like fire. There was a brilliant light around it, 28 like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds after the rain. This was the appearance of the surrounding brilliant light; it looked like the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I threw myself face down, and I heard a voice speaking.
2 He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet and I will speak with you.” 2 As he spoke to me, a wind came into me and stood me on my feet, and I heard the one speaking to me.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the house of Israel, to rebellious nations who have rebelled against me; both they and their fathers have revolted against me to this very day. 4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and hard-hearted, and you must say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says.’ 5 And as for them, whether they listen or not—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 But you, son of man, do not fear them, and do not fear their words—even though briers and thorns surround you and you live among scorpions—do not fear their words and do not be terrified of the looks they give you, for they are a rebellious house! 7 You must speak my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious. 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.”
9 Then I looked and realized a hand was stretched out to me, and in it was a written scroll. 10 He unrolled it before me, and it had writing on the front and back; written on it were laments, mourning, and woe.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you see in front of you—eat this scroll—and then go and speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth and he fed me the scroll.
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, and it was sweet like honey in my mouth.
4 He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of unintelligible speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand—surely if I had sent you to them, they would listen to you! 7 But the house of Israel is unwilling to listen to you, because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hard-headed and hard-hearted.
8 “I have made your face adamant to match their faces, and your forehead hard to match their foreheads. 9 I have made your forehead harder than flint—like diamond! Do not fear them or be terrified of the looks they give you, for they are a rebellious house.”
10 And he said to me, “Son of man, take all my words that I speak to you to heart and listen carefully. 11 Go to the exiles, to your fellow countrymen, and speak to them—say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says,’ whether they pay attention or not.”
Ezekiel Before the Exiles
12 Then a wind lifted me up and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me as the glory of the Lord rose from its place, 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. 14 A wind lifted me up and carried me away. I went bitterly, my spirit full of fury, and the hand of the Lord rested powerfully on me. 15 I came to the exiles at Tel Abib, who lived by the Kebar River. I sat dumbfounded among them there, where they were living, for seven days.
16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must give them a warning from me. 18 When I say to the wicked, “You will certainly die,” 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, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 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.
20 “When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I set an obstacle 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. 21 However, if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he will certainly live because he was warned, and you will have saved your own life.”
Isolated and Silenced
22 The hand of the Lord rested on me there, and he said to me, “Get up, go out to the valley, and I will speak with you there.” 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, and I threw myself face down.
24 Then a wind came into me and stood me on my feet. The Lord spoke to me and said, “Go shut yourself in your house. 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. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will loosen your tongue and you must say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says.’ Those who listen will listen, but the indifferent will refuse, for they are a rebellious house.
Ominous Object Lessons
4 “And you, son of man, take a brick and set it in front of you. Inscribe a city on it—Jerusalem. 2 Lay siege to it! Build siege works against it. Erect a siege ramp against it! Post soldiers outside it and station battering rams around it. 3 Then for your part take an iron frying pan 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 for the house of Israel.
4 “Also for your part lie on your left side and place the iniquity of the house of Israel on it. For the number of days you lie on your side you will bear their iniquity. 5 I have determined that the number of the years of their iniquity are to be the number of days for you—390 days. So bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
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—I have assigned one day for each year. 7 You must turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. 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.
9 “As for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt, put them in a single container, and make food from them for yourself. For the same number of days that you lie on your side—390 days—you will eat it. 10 The food you eat will be eight ounces a day by weight; you must eat it at fixed times. 11 And you must drink water by measure, a pint and a half; you must drink it at fixed times. 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.” 13 And the Lord said, “This is how the people of Israel will eat their unclean food among the nations where I will banish them.”
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 has never entered my mouth.”
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.”
16 Then he said to me, “Son of man, I am about to remove the bread supply in Jerusalem. They will eat their bread ration anxiously, and they will drink their water ration in terror 17 because they will lack bread and water. Each one will be terrified, and they will rot for their iniquity.
5 “As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor. Shave off some of the hair from your head and your beard. Then take scales and divide up the hair you cut off. 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. 3 But take a few strands of hair from those and tie them in the ends of your garment. 4 Again, take more of them and throw them into the fire, and burn them up. From there a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.
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. 6 Then she defied my regulations and my statutes, becoming more wicked than the nations and the countries around her. Indeed, they have rejected my regulations, and they do not follow my statutes.
7 “Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: Because you are more arrogant than the nations around you, you have not followed my statutes and have not carried out my regulations. You have not even carried out the regulations of the nations around you!
8 “Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: I—even I—am against you, and I will execute judgment among you while the nations watch. 9 I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again because of all your abominable practices. 10 Therefore fathers will eat their sons within you, Jerusalem, and sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments on you, and I will scatter any survivors to the winds.
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 you. 12 A third of your people will die of plague or be overcome by the famine within you. A third of your people will fall by the sword surrounding you, and a third I will scatter to the winds. I will unleash a sword behind them. 13 Then my anger will be fully vented; I will exhaust my rage on them, and I will be appeased. Then they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy when I have fully vented my rage against them.
14 “I will make you desolate and an object of scorn among the nations around you, in the sight of everyone who passes by. 15 You will be an object of scorn and taunting, a prime example of destruction among the nations around you when I execute judgments against you in anger and raging fury. I, the Lord, have spoken! 16 I will shoot against them deadly, destructive arrows of famine, which I will shoot to destroy you. I will prolong a famine on you and will remove the bread supply. 17 I will send famine and wild beasts against you and they will take your children from you. Plague and bloodshed will overwhelm you, and I will bring a sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Hebrews 11 New English Translation (NET Bible)
People Commended for Their Faith
11 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. 2 For by it the people of old received God’s commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible. 4 By faith Abel offered God a greater sacrifice than Cain, and through his faith he was commended as righteous, because God commended him for his offerings. And through his faith he still speaks, though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he did not see death, and he was not to be found because God took him up. For before his removal he had been commended as having pleased God. 6 Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, when he was warned about things not yet seen, with reverent regard constructed an ark for the deliverance of his family. Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, and he went out without understanding where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as a foreigner in the promised land as though it were a foreign country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirs of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was too old, he received the ability to procreate, because he regarded the one who had given the promise to be trustworthy. 12 So in fact children were fathered by one man—and this one as good as dead—like the number of stars in the sky and like the innumerable grains of sand on the seashore. 13 These all died in faith without receiving the things promised, but they saw them in the distance and welcomed them and acknowledged that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth. 14 For those who speak in such a way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 In fact, if they had been thinking of the land that they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He had received the promises, yet he was ready to offer up his only son. 18 God had told him, “Through Isaac descendants will carry on your name,” 19 and he reasoned that God could even raise him from the dead, and in a sense he received him back from there. 20 By faith also Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning the future. 21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshiped as he leaned on his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the sons of Israel and gave instructions about his burial.
23 By faith, when Moses was born, his parents hid him for three months, because they saw the child was beautiful and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith, when he grew up, Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be ill-treated with the people of God than to enjoy sin’s fleeting pleasure. 26 He regarded abuse suffered for Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for his eyes were fixed on the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt without fearing the king’s anger, for he persevered as though he could see the one who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the one who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith they crossed the Red Sea as if on dry ground, but when the Egyptians tried it, they were swallowed up. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell after the people marched around them for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute escaped the destruction of the disobedient, because she welcomed the spies in peace.
32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets. 33 Through faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, gained what was promised, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, put foreign armies to flight, 35 and women received back their dead raised to life. But others were tortured, not accepting release, to obtain resurrection to a better life. 36 And others experienced mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, sawed apart, murdered with the sword; they went about in sheepskins and goatskins; they were destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (the world was not worthy of them); they wandered in deserts and mountains and caves and openings in the earth. 39 And these all were commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. 40 For God had provided something better for us, so that they would be made perfect together with us.