Ezekiel 17-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine
17 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, propound a riddle and speak a parable to the house of Israel, 3 [a]saying, ‘Thus says the Lord [b]God, “A great eagle with great wings, long pinions and a full plumage of many colors came to Lebanon and took away the top of the cedar. 4 He plucked off the topmost of its young twigs and brought it to a land of merchants; he set it in a city of traders. 5 He also took some of the seed of the land and planted it in [c]fertile soil. He [d]placed it beside abundant waters; he set it like a willow. 6 Then it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine with its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and yielded shoots and sent out branches.
7 “But there was [e]another great eagle with great wings and much plumage; and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and sent out its branches toward him from the beds where it was planted, that he might water it. 8 It was planted in good [f]soil beside abundant waters, that it might yield branches and bear fruit and become a splendid vine.”’ 9 Say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers—so that all its sprouting leaves wither? And neither by great [g]strength nor by many people can it be raised from its roots again. 10 Behold, though it is planted, will it thrive? Will it not completely wither as soon as the east wind strikes it—wither on the beds where it grew?”’”
11 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 12 “Say now to the rebellious house, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Say, ‘Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and princes and brought them to him in Babylon. 13 He took one of the royal [h]family and made a covenant with him, [i]putting him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land, 14 that the kingdom might be [j]in subjection, not exalting itself, but keeping his covenant that it might continue. 15 But he rebelled against him by sending his envoys to Egypt that they might give him horses and many [k]troops. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Can he indeed break the covenant and escape? 16 As I live,’ declares the Lord God, ‘Surely in the [l]country of the king who [m]put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke, [n]in Babylon he shall die. 17 Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not [o]help him in the war, when they cast up ramps and build siege walls to cut off many lives. 18 Now he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, and behold, he [p]pledged his allegiance, yet did all these things; he shall not escape.’” 19 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “As I live, surely My oath which he despised and My covenant which he broke, I will [q]inflict on his head. 20 I will spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. Then I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there regarding the unfaithful act which he has committed against Me. 21 All the [r]choice men in all his troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to every wind; and you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken.”
22 Thus says the Lord God, “I will also take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and set it out; I will pluck from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar. And birds of every [s]kind will [t]nest under it; they will [u]nest in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord; I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will perform it.”
God Deals Justly with Individuals
18 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying,
‘The fathers eat the sour grapes,
3 As I live,” declares the Lord [w]God, “you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore. 4 Behold, all [x]souls are Mine; the [y]soul of the father as well as the [z]soul of the son is Mine. The [aa]soul who sins will die.
5 “But if a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness, 6 and does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period— 7 if a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, 8 if he does not lend money on interest or take increase, if he keeps his hand from iniquity and executes true justice between man and man, 9 if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully—he is righteous and will surely live,” declares the Lord God.
10 “Then he may [ab]have a violent son who sheds blood and who does any of these things to a brother 11 (though he himself did not do any of these things), that is, he even eats at the mountain shrines, and defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols and commits abomination, 13 he lends money on interest and takes increase; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be [ac]on his own head.
14 “Now behold, he [ad]has a son who has observed all his father’s sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise. 15 He does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife, 16 or oppress anyone, or retain a pledge, or commit robbery, but he gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, 17 he keeps his hand from [ae]the poor, does not take interest or increase, but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die for his father’s iniquity, he will surely live. 18 As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was not good among his people, behold, he will die for his iniquity.
19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity?’ When the son has practiced justice and righteousness and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live. 20 The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.
21 “But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. 23 Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “[af]rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?
24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die. 25 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. 28 Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?
30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”
Lament for the Princes of Israel
19 “As for you, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel 2 and say,
‘[ag]What was your mother?
This is a lamentation, and has become a lamentation.
God’s Dealings with Israel Rehearsed
20 Now in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, [aq]certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and sat before me. 2 And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord [ar]God, “Do you come to inquire of Me? As I live,” declares the Lord God, “I will not be inquired of by you.”’ 4 Will you judge them, will you judge them, son of man? Make them know the abominations of their fathers; 5 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On the day when I chose Israel and [as]swore to the [at]descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I [au]swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God, 6 on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had [av]selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands. 7 I said to them, ‘Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.’ 8 But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; [aw]they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.
Then I [ax]resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man [ay]observes them, he will live. 12 Also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes and they rejected My ordinances, by which, if a man [az]observes them, he will live; and My sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I [ba]resolved to pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them. 14 But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, 16 because they rejected My ordinances, and as for My statutes, they did not walk in them; they even profaned My sabbaths, for their heart continually went after their idols. 17 Yet My eye spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not cause their annihilation in the wilderness.
18 “I said to their [bb]children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers or keep their ordinances or defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God; walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and [bc]observe them. 20 Sanctify My sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ 21 But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I [bd]resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands, 24 because they had not observed My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes and had profaned My sabbaths, and their eyes were [be]on the idols of their fathers. 25 I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live; 26 and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all [bf]their firstborn to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am the Lord.”’
27 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me by acting treacherously against Me. 28 When I had brought them into the land which I swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill and every leafy tree, and they offered there their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering. There also they made their soothing aroma and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 Then I said to them, ‘What is the high place to which you go?’ So its name is called [bg]Bamah to this day.”’ 30 Therefore, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Will you defile yourselves [bh]after the manner of your fathers and play the harlot after their detestable things? 31 [bi]When you offer your gifts, when you cause your sons to pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live,” declares the Lord God, “I will not be inquired of by you. 32 What comes [bj]into your mind will not come about, when you say: ‘We will be like the nations, like the tribes of the lands, serving wood and stone.’
God Will Restore Israel to Her Land
33 “As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out; 35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,” declares the Lord God. 37 “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 and I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the [bk]land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the Lord.
39 “As for you, O house of Israel,” thus says the Lord God, “Go, serve everyone his idols; [bl]but later you will surely listen to Me, and My holy name you will profane no longer with your gifts and with your idols. 40 For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel,” declares the Lord God, “there the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land; there I will accept them and there I will [bm]seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things. 41 [bn]As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations. 42 And you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the land which I swore to give to your forefathers. 43 There you will remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves in your own [bo]sight for all the evil things that you have done. 44 Then you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord God.’”
45 [bp]Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 46 “Son of man, set your face toward [bq]Teman, and speak out against the south and prophesy against the forest [br]land of the Negev, 47 and say to the forest of the Negev, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am about to kindle a fire in you, and it will consume every [bs]green tree in you, as well as every dry tree; the blazing flame will not be quenched and [bt]the whole surface from south to north will be burned by it. 48 All flesh will see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.”’” 49 Then I said, “Ah Lord God! They are saying of me, ‘Is he not just speaking parables?’”
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