The Exile Symbolized

12 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people.(A) They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.(B)

“Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps(C) they will understand,(D) though they are a rebellious people.(E) During the daytime, while they watch, bring out your belongings packed for exile. Then in the evening, while they are watching, go out like those who go into exile.(F) While they watch, dig through the wall(G) and take your belongings out through it. Put them on your shoulder as they are watching and carry them out at dusk. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have made you a sign(H) to the Israelites.”

So I did as I was commanded.(I) During the day I brought out my things packed for exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands. I took my belongings out at dusk, carrying them on my shoulders while they watched.

In the morning the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, did not the Israelites, that rebellious people, ask you, ‘What are you doing?’(J)

10 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This prophecy concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the Israelites who are there.’ 11 Say to them, ‘I am a sign(K) to you.’

“As I have done, so it will be done to them. They will go into exile as captives.(L)

12 “The prince among them will put his things on his shoulder at dusk(M) and leave, and a hole will be dug in the wall for him to go through. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land.(N) 13 I will spread my net(O) for him, and he will be caught in my snare;(P) I will bring him to Babylonia, the land of the Chaldeans,(Q) but he will not see(R) it, and there he will die.(S) 14 I will scatter to the winds all those around him—his staff and all his troops—and I will pursue them with drawn sword.(T)

15 “They will know that I am the Lord, when I disperse them among the nations(U) and scatter them through the countries. 16 But I will spare a few of them from the sword, famine and plague, so that in the nations where they go they may acknowledge all their detestable practices. Then they will know that I am the Lord.(V)

17 The word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, tremble as you eat your food,(W) and shudder in fear as you drink your water. 19 Say to the people of the land: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says about those living in Jerusalem and in the land of Israel: They will eat their food in anxiety and drink their water in despair, for their land will be stripped of everything(X) in it because of the violence of all who live there.(Y) 20 The inhabited towns will be laid waste and the land will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord.(Z)’”

There Will Be No Delay

21 The word of the Lord came to me: 22 “Son of man, what is this proverb(AA) you have in the land of Israel: ‘The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’?(AB) 23 Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Say to them, ‘The days are near(AC) when every vision will be fulfilled.(AD) 24 For there will be no more false visions or flattering divinations(AE) among the people of Israel. 25 But I the Lord will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled without delay.(AF) For in your days, you rebellious people, I will fulfill(AG) whatever I say, declares the Sovereign Lord.(AH)’”

26 The word of the Lord came to me: 27 “Son of man, the Israelites are saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’(AI)

28 “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

False Prophets Condemned

13 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets(AJ) of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination:(AK) ‘Hear the word of the Lord!(AL) This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish[a] prophets(AM) who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!(AN) Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair(AO) it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord.(AP) Their visions are false(AQ) and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent(AR) them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words.(AS) Have you not seen false visions(AT) and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken?

“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you,(AU) declares the Sovereign Lord. My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying(AV) divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records(AW) of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.(AX)

10 “‘Because they lead my people astray,(AY) saying, “Peace,”(AZ) when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash,(BA) 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones(BB) hurtling down,(BC) and violent winds will burst forth.(BD) 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”

13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones(BE) and torrents of rain(BF) will fall with destructive fury.(BG) 14 I will tear down the wall(BH) you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation(BI) will be laid bare. When it[b] falls,(BJ) you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord. 15 So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, 16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.(BK)”’

17 “Now, son of man, set your face(BL) against the daughters(BM) of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them(BN) 18 and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people. Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own? 19 You have profaned(BO) me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread.(BP) By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live.(BQ)

20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds.(BR) 21 I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord.(BS) 22 Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies,(BT) when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives,(BU) 23 therefore you will no longer see false visions(BV) or practice divination.(BW) I will save(BX) my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the Lord.(BY)’”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 13:3 Or wicked
  2. Ezekiel 13:14 Or the city