Ezekiel 33-35New English Translation (NET Bible)
Ezekiel Israel’s Watchman
33 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people, and say to them, ‘Suppose I bring a sword against the land, and the people of the land take one man from their borders and make him their watchman. 3 He sees the sword coming against the land, blows the trumpet, and warns the people, 4 but there is one who hears the sound of the trumpet yet does not heed the warning. Then the sword comes and sweeps him away. He will be responsible for his own death. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, so he is responsible for himself. If he had heeded the warning, he would have saved his life. 6 But suppose the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people. Then the sword comes and takes one of their lives. He is swept away for his iniquity, but I will hold the watchman accountable for that person’s death.’
7 “As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must warn them on my behalf. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you must certainly die,’ and you do not warn the wicked about his behavior, the wicked man will die for his iniquity, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 9 But if you warn the wicked man to change his behavior, and he refuses to change, he will die for his iniquity, but you have saved your own life.
10 “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you have said: “Our rebellious acts and our sins have caught up with us, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but prefer that the wicked change his behavior and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil deeds! Why should you die, O house of Israel?’
12 “And you, son of man, say to your people, ‘The righteousness of the righteous will not deliver him if he rebels. As for the wicked, his wickedness will not make him stumble if he turns from it. The righteous will not be able to live by his righteousness if he sins.’ 13 Suppose I tell the righteous that he will certainly live, but he becomes confident in his righteousness and commits iniquity. None of his righteous deeds will be remembered; because of the iniquity he has committed he will die. 14 Suppose I say to the wicked, ‘You must certainly die,’ but he turns from his sin and does what is just and right. 15 He returns what was taken in pledge, pays back what he has stolen, and follows the statutes that give life, committing no iniquity. He will certainly live—he will not die. 16 None of the sins he has committed will be counted against him. He has done what is just and right; he will certainly live.
17 “Yet your people say, ‘The behavior of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their behavior that is not right. 18 When a righteous man turns from his godliness and commits iniquity, he will die for it. 19 When the wicked turns from his sin and does what is just and right, he will live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘The behavior of the Lord is not right.’ House of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his behavior.”
The Fall of Jerusalem
21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth of the month, a refugee came to me from Jerusalem saying, “The city has been defeated!” 22 Now the hand of the Lord had been on me the evening before the refugee reached me, but the Lord opened my mouth by the time the refugee arrived in the morning; he opened my mouth and I was no longer unable to speak. 23 The word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, the ones living in these ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land, but we are many; surely the land has been given to us for a possession.’ 25 Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: You eat the meat with the blood still in it, pray to your idols, and shed blood. Do you really think you will possess the land? 26 You rely on your swords and commit abominable deeds; each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Will you possess the land?’
27 “This is what you must 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, those in the open field I will give to the wild beasts for food, and those who are in the strongholds and caves will die of disease. 28 I will turn the land into a desolate ruin; her confident pride will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate no one will pass through them. 29 Then they will know that I am the Lord when I turn the land into a desolate ruin because of all the abominable deeds they have committed.’
30 “But as for you, son of man, your people (who are talking about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses) say to one another, ‘Come hear the word that comes from the Lord.’ 31 They come to you in crowds, and they sit in front of you as my people. They hear your words, but do not obey them. For they talk lustfully, and their heart is set on their own advantage. 32 Realize that to them you are like a sensual song, a beautiful voice and skilled musician. They hear your words, but they do not obey them. 33 When all this comes true—and it certainly will—then they will know that a prophet was among them.”
A Prophecy Against False Shepherds
34 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them—to the shepherds: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not shepherds feed the flock? 3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the choice animals, but you do not feed the sheep! 4 You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought back the strays, or sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled over them. 5 They were scattered because they had no shepherd, and they became food for every wild beast. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over the entire face of the earth with no one looking or searching for them.
7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, my sheep have become prey and have become food for all the wild beasts. There was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my flock, but fed themselves and did not feed my sheep, 9 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand my sheep from their hand. I will no longer let them be shepherds; the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore. I will rescue my sheep from their mouth, so that they will no longer be food for them.
11 “‘For this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day. 13 I will bring them out from among the peoples and gather them from foreign countries; I will bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams and all the inhabited places of the land. 14 In a good pasture I will feed them; the mountain heights of Israel will be their pasture. There they will lie down in a lush pasture, and they will feed on rich grass on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will feed my sheep and I myself will make them lie down, declares the sovereign Lord. 16 I will seek the lost and bring back the strays; I will bandage the injured and strengthen the sick, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them—with judgment!
17 “‘As for you, my sheep, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must trample the rest of your pastures with your feet? When you drink clean water, must you muddy the rest of the water by trampling it with your feet? 19 As for my sheep, they must eat what you trampled with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet!
20 “‘Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says to them: Look, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you push with your side and your shoulder, and thrust your horns at all the weak sheep until you scatter them abroad, 22 I will save my sheep; they will no longer be prey. I will judge between one sheep and another.
23 I will set one shepherd over them, and he will feed them—namely, my servant David. He will feed them and will be their shepherd. 24 I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken!
25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and will rid the land of wild beasts, so that they can live securely in the wilderness and even sleep in the woods. 26 I will turn them and the regions around my hill into a blessing. I will make showers come down in their season; they will be showers that bring blessing. 27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the earth will yield its crops. They will live securely on their land; they will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be prey for the nations and the wild beasts will not devour them. They will live securely and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will prepare for them a healthy planting. They will no longer be victims of famine in the land and will no longer bear the insults of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they are my people, the house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord. 31 And you, my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are my people, and I am your God, declares the sovereign Lord.’”
Prophecy Against Mount Seir
35 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, turn toward Mount Seir, and prophesy against it. 3 Say to it, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:
“‘Look, I am against you, Mount Seir;
5 “‘You have shown unrelenting hostility and poured the people of Israel onto the blades of a sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment. 6 Therefore, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I will subject you to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you. 7 I will turn Mount Seir into a desolate ruin; I will cut off from it the one who passes through or returns. 8 I will fill its mountains with its dead; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines, those killed by the sword will fall. 9 I will turn you into a perpetual desolation, and your cities will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
10 “‘You said, “These two nations, these two lands will be mine, and we will possess them,”—although the Lord was there— 11 therefore, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I will deal with you according to your anger, and according to your envy, by which you acted spitefully against them. I will reveal myself to them when I judge you. 12 Then you will know that I, the Lord, have heard all the insults you spoke against the mountains of Israel, saying, “They are desolate, they have been given to us for food.” 13 You exalted yourselves against me with your speech and hurled many insults against me—I have heard them all! 14 This is what the sovereign Lord says: While the whole earth rejoices, I will turn you into a desolation. 15 As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so will I deal with you—you will be desolate, Mount Seir, and all of Edom—all of it! Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”
1 Peter 4:12-5:14New English Translation (NET Bible)
12 Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or criminal or as a troublemaker. 16 But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear such a name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners? 19 So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good.
Leading and Living in God’s Flock
5 So as your fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings and as one who shares in the glory that will be revealed, I urge the elders among you: 2 Give a shepherd’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God’s direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. 3 And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock. 4 Then when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away.
5 In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 6 And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand 7 by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you. 8 Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering. 10 And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him belongs the power forever. Amen.
12 Through Silvanus, whom I know to be a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 13 The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.