Ezekiel 17:1-20:32New English Translation (NET Bible)
A Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine
17 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, offer a riddle, and tell a parable to the house of Israel. 3 Say to them: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:
“‘A great eagle with broad wings, long feathers,
9 “‘Say to them: This is what the sovereign Lord says:
“‘Will it prosper?
11 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 12 “Say to the rebellious house of Israel: ‘Don’t you know what these things mean?’ Say: ‘See here, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took her king and her officials prisoner and brought them to himself in Babylon. 13 He took one from the royal family, made a treaty with him, and put him under oath. He then took the leaders of the land 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. 15 But this one from Israel’s royal family rebelled against the king of Babylon 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?
16 “‘As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, surely in the city of the king who crowned him, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke—in the middle of Babylon he will die! 17 Pharaoh with his great army and mighty horde will not help him in battle, when siege ramps are erected and siege-walls are built to kill many people. 18 He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Take note—he gave his promise and did all these things—he will not escape!
19 “‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will certainly repay him for despising my oath and breaking my covenant! 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. 21 All the choice men among his troops will die by the sword and the survivors will be scattered to every wind. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken!
22 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:
“‘I will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and plant it.
18 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “What do you mean by quoting this proverb concerning the land of Israel,
“‘The fathers eat sour grapes
3 “As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb in Israel anymore! 4 Indeed! All lives are mine—the life of the father as well as the life of the son is mine. The one who sins will die.
5 “Suppose a man is righteous. He practices what is just and right, 6 does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains or pray to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not have sexual relations with a woman during her period, 7 does not oppress anyone, but gives the debtor back whatever was given in pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and clothes the naked, 8 does not engage in usury or charge interest, but refrains from wrongdoing, promotes true justice between men, 9 and follows my statutes and observes my regulations by carrying them out. That man is righteous; he will certainly live, declares the sovereign Lord.
10 “Suppose such a man has a violent son who sheds blood and does any of these things mentioned previously 11 (though the father did not do any of them). He eats pagan sacrifices on the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 oppresses the poor and the needy, commits robbery, does not give back what was given in pledge, prays to idols, performs abominable acts, 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. He will bear the responsibility for his own death.
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. 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, 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, 17 refrains from wrongdoing, 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; he will surely live. 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.
19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not suffer 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. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A son will not suffer for his father’s iniquity, and a father will not suffer for his son’s iniquity; the righteous person will be judged according to his righteousness, and the wicked person according to his wickedness.
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. 22 None of the sins he has committed will be held against him; because of the righteousness he has done, he will live. 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?
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.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord’s conduct is unjust!’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my conduct unjust? Is it not your conduct that is unjust? 26 When a righteous person turns back from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing, he will die for it; because of the wrongdoing he has done, he will die. 27 When a wicked person turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will preserve his life. 28 Because he considered and turned from all the sins he had done, he will surely live; he will not die. 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?
30 “Therefore I will judge each person according to his conduct, O house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent and turn from all your wickedness; then it will not be an obstacle leading to iniquity. 31 Throw away all your sins you have committed and fashion yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I take no delight in the death of anyone, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
Lament for the Princes of Israel
19 “And you, sing a lament for the princes of Israel, 2 and say:
“‘What a lioness was your mother among the lions!
This is a lament song, and has become a lament song.”
20 In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, some of the elders of Israel came to seek the Lord, and they sat down in front of me. 2 The word of the Lord came to me: 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, declares the sovereign Lord.’ 4 “Are you willing to pronounce judgment? Are you willing to pronounce judgment, son of man? Then confront them with the abominable practices of their fathers, 5 and say to them:
“‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel I swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt. I swore to them, “I am the Lord your God.” 6 On that day I swore to bring them out of the land of Egypt to a land which I had picked out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. 7 I said to them, “Each of you must get rid of the detestable idols you keep before you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” 8 But they rebelled against me, and refused to listen to me; no one got rid of their detestable idols, nor did they abandon the idols of Egypt. Then I decided to pour out my rage on them and fully vent my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 I acted for the sake of my reputation, so that I would not be profaned before the nations among whom they lived, before whom I revealed myself by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
10 “‘So I brought them out of the land of Egypt and led them to the wilderness. 11 I gave them my statutes and revealed my regulations to them. The one who carries them out will live by them! 12 I also gave them my Sabbaths as a reminder of our relationship, so that they would know that I, the Lord, sanctify them. 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 my rage on them in the wilderness and destroy them. 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. 15 I also swore 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. 16 I did this because they rejected my regulations, did not follow my statutes, and desecrated my Sabbaths; for their hearts followed their idols. 17 Yet I had pity on them and did not destroy them, so I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.
18 “‘But I said to their children in the wilderness, “Do not follow the practices of your fathers; do not observe their regulations, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God; follow my statutes, observe my regulations, and carry them out. 20 Treat my Sabbaths as holy and they will be a reminder of our relationship, and then you will know that I am the Lord your God.” 21 “‘But the children rebelled against me, did not follow my statutes, did not observe my regulations by carrying them out (the one who obeys them will live by them), and desecrated my Sabbaths. I decided to pour out my rage on them and fully vent my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I refrained from doing so, 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. 23 I also swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the lands. 24 I did this because they did not observe my regulations, they rejected my statutes, they desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols. 25 I also gave them decrees which were not good and regulations by which they could not live. 26 I declared them to be defiled because of their sacrifices—they caused all their first born to pass through the fire—so that I would devastate them, so that they will know that I am the Lord.’
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. 28 I brought them to the land which I swore 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. 29 So I said to them, What is this high place you go to?’” (So it is called “High Place” to this day.)
30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Will you defile yourselves like your fathers and engage in prostitution with detestable idols? 31 When you present your sacrifices—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, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I will not allow you to seek me!
32 “‘What you plan will never happen. You say, “We will be like the nations, like the clans of the lands, who serve gods of wood and stone.”
James 2:14-3:18New English Translation (NET Bible)
Faith and Works Together
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that—and tremble with fear.
20 But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And similarly, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
The Power of the Tongue
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect individual, able to control the entire body as well. 3 And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to get them to obey us, then we guide their entire bodies. 4 Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs. 5 So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. 6 And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence—and is set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. 8 But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. 11 A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. 18 And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace.