Idolaters Condemned

14 Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me.(A) Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts(B) and put wicked stumbling blocks(C) before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?(D) Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted(E) me for their idols.’(F)

“Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent!(G) Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!(H)

“‘When any of the Israelites or any foreigner(I) residing in Israel separate themselves from me and set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block(J) before their faces and then go to a prophet to inquire(K) of me, I the Lord will answer them myself. I will set my face against(L) them and make them an example(M) and a byword.(N) I will remove them from my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord.(O)

“‘And if the prophet(P) is enticed(Q) to utter a prophecy, I the Lord have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel.(R) 10 They will bear their guilt—the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him. 11 Then the people of Israel will no longer stray(S) from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people,(T) and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign Lord.(U)’”

Jerusalem’s Judgment Inescapable

12 The word of the Lord came to me: 13 “Son of man, if a country sins(V) against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply(W) and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals,(X) 14 even if these three men—Noah,(Y) Daniel[a](Z) and Job(AA)—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness,(AB) declares the Sovereign Lord.

15 “Or if I send wild beasts(AC) through that country and they leave it childless and it becomes desolate so that no one can pass through it because of the beasts,(AD) 16 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be desolate.(AE)

17 “Or if I bring a sword(AF) against that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass throughout the land,’ and I kill its people and their animals,(AG) 18 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved.

19 “Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath(AH) on it through bloodshed,(AI) killing its people and their animals,(AJ) 20 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only themselves by their righteousness.(AK)

21 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem my four dreadful judgments(AL)—sword(AM) and famine(AN) and wild beasts and plague(AO)—to kill its men and their animals!(AP) 22 Yet there will be some survivors(AQ)—sons and daughters who will be brought out of it.(AR) They will come to you, and when you see their conduct(AS) and their actions, you will be consoled(AT) regarding the disaster I have brought on Jerusalem—every disaster I have brought on it. 23 You will be consoled when you see their conduct and their actions, for you will know that I have done nothing in it without cause, declares the Sovereign Lord.(AU)

Jerusalem as a Useless Vine

15 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, how is the wood of a vine(AV) different from that of a branch from any of the trees in the forest? Is wood ever taken from it to make anything useful?(AW) Do they make pegs(AX) from it to hang things on? And after it is thrown on the fire as fuel and the fire burns both ends and chars the middle, is it then useful for anything?(AY) If it was not useful for anything when it was whole, how much less can it be made into something useful when the fire has burned it and it is charred?

“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As I have given the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the people living in Jerusalem. I will set my face against(AZ) them. Although they have come out of the fire(BA), the fire will yet consume them. And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the Lord.(BB) I will make the land desolate(BC) because they have been unfaithful,(BD) declares the Sovereign Lord.”

Jerusalem as an Adulterous Wife

16 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, confront(BE) Jerusalem with her detestable practices(BF) and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry(BG) and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father(BH) was an Amorite(BI) and your mother a Hittite.(BJ) On the day you were born(BK) your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.

“‘Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!”[b](BL) I made you grow(BM) like a plant of the field. You grew and developed and entered puberty. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, yet you were stark naked.(BN)

“‘Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment(BO) over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant(BP) with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.(BQ)

“‘I bathed you with water and washed(BR) the blood from you and put ointments on you. 10 I clothed you with an embroidered(BS) dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen(BT) and covered you with costly garments.(BU) 11 I adorned you with jewelry:(BV) I put bracelets(BW) on your arms and a necklace(BX) around your neck, 12 and I put a ring on your nose,(BY) earrings(BZ) on your ears and a beautiful crown(CA) on your head.(CB) 13 So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes(CC) were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil(CD) and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen.(CE) 14 And your fame(CF) spread among the nations on account of your beauty,(CG) because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign Lord.(CH)

15 “‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by(CI) and your beauty became his.(CJ) 16 You took some of your garments to make gaudy high places,(CK) where you carried on your prostitution.(CL) You went to him, and he possessed your beauty.[c] 17 You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them.(CM) 18 And you took your embroidered clothes to put on them, and you offered my oil and incense(CN) before them. 19 Also the food I provided for you—the flour, olive oil and honey I gave you to eat—you offered as fragrant incense before them. That is what happened, declares the Sovereign Lord.(CO)

20 “‘And you took your sons and daughters(CP) whom you bore to me(CQ) and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough?(CR) 21 You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols.(CS) 22 In all your detestable practices and your prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth,(CT) when you were naked and bare,(CU) kicking about in your blood.(CV)

23 “‘Woe!(CW) Woe to you, declares the Sovereign Lord. In addition to all your other wickedness, 24 you built a mound for yourself and made a lofty shrine(CX) in every public square.(CY) 25 At every street corner(CZ) you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, spreading your legs with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by.(DA) 26 You engaged in prostitution(DB) with the Egyptians,(DC) your neighbors with large genitals, and aroused my anger(DD) with your increasing promiscuity.(DE) 27 So I stretched out my hand(DF) against you and reduced your territory; I gave you over(DG) to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines,(DH) who were shocked by your lewd conduct. 28 You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians(DI) too, because you were insatiable; and even after that, you still were not satisfied.(DJ) 29 Then you increased your promiscuity to include Babylonia,[d](DK) a land of merchants, but even with this you were not satisfied.(DL)

30 “‘I am filled with fury against you,[e] declares the Sovereign Lord, when you do all these things, acting like a brazen prostitute!(DM) 31 When you built your mounds at every street corner and made your lofty shrines(DN) in every public square, you were unlike a prostitute, because you scorned payment.

32 “‘You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband! 33 All prostitutes receive gifts,(DO) but you give gifts(DP) to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors.(DQ) 34 So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.

35 “‘Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! 36 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your naked body in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood,(DR) 37 therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip(DS) you in front of them, and they will see you stark naked.(DT) 38 I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood;(DU) I will bring on you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger.(DV) 39 Then I will deliver you into the hands(DW) of your lovers, and they will tear down your mounds and destroy your lofty shrines. They will strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewelry and leave you stark naked.(DX) 40 They will bring a mob against you, who will stone(DY) you and hack you to pieces with their swords. 41 They will burn down(DZ) your houses and inflict punishment on you in the sight of many women.(EA) I will put a stop(EB) to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay your lovers. 42 Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry.(EC)

43 “‘Because you did not remember(ED) the days of your youth but enraged me with all these things, I will surely bring down(EE) on your head what you have done, declares the Sovereign Lord. Did you not add lewdness to all your other detestable practices?(EF)


  1. Ezekiel 14:14 Or Danel, a man of renown in ancient literature; also in verse 20
  2. Ezekiel 16:6 A few Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts repeat and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!”
  3. Ezekiel 16:16 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
  4. Ezekiel 16:29 Or Chaldea
  5. Ezekiel 16:30 Or How feverish is your heart,

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