Ezekiel 1:1-21:20New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Vision of Four Figures
1 Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw [a]visions of God. 2 (On the fifth of the month [b]in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile, 3 the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the Lord came upon him.)
4 As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. 5 Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. 6 Each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight and [c]their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, 9 their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward. 10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; [d]all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and [e]all four had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies. 12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 [f]In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, [g]like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was [h]flashing from the fire. 14 And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.
15 Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, [i]for each of the four of them. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like [j]sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship being as if [k]one wheel were within another. 17 Whenever they [l]moved, they [m]moved in any of their four [n]directions without turning as they [o]moved. 18 As for their rims they were lofty and awesome, and the rims of all four of them were full of eyes round about. 19 Whenever the living beings [p]moved, the wheels [q]moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also. 20 Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction[r]. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living [s]beings was in the wheels. 21 Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still. And whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living [t]beings was in the wheels.
Vision of Divine Glory
22 Now over the heads of the living [u]beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of [v]crystal, spread out over their heads. 23 Under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering its body on the one side and on the other. 24 I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of [w]the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings. 25 And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.
26 Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like [x]lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. 27 Then I [y]noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like [z]glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. 28 As the appearance of the rainbow [aa]in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.
The Prophet’s Call
2 Then He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!” 2 As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me. 3 Then He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. 4 I am sending you to them who are [ab]stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord [ac]God.’ 5 As for them, whether they listen or [ad]not—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. 7 But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or [ae]not, for they are rebellious.
8 “Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.” 9 Then I looked, and behold, a hand was extended to me; and lo, a [af]scroll was in it. 10 When He spread it out before me, it was written on the front and back, and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe.
3 Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your [ag]body with this scroll which I am giving you.” Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.
4 Then He said to me, “Son of man, [ah]go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. 5 For you are not being sent to a people of [ai]unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel, 6 nor to many peoples of [aj]unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. [ak]But I have sent you to them [al]who should listen to you; 7 yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is [am]stubborn and obstinate. 8 Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. 9 Like [an]emery harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not be afraid of them or be dismayed before them, though they are a rebellious house.” 10 Moreover, He said to me, “Son of man, take into your heart all My words which I will speak to you and listen [ao]closely. 11 [ap]Go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or [aq]not, ‘Thus says the Lord [ar]God.’”
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me, “Blessed be the glory of the Lord [as]in His place.” 13 And I heard the sound of the wings of the living beings touching one another and the sound of the wheels beside them, even a great rumbling sound. 14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away; and I went embittered in the rage of my spirit, and the hand of the Lord was strong on me. 15 Then I came to the exiles who lived beside the river Chebar at Tel-abib, and I sat there seven days where they were living, causing consternation among them.
16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. 20 Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 However, if you have warned [at]the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.”
22 The hand of the Lord was on me there, and He said to me, “Get up, go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” 23 So I got up and went out to the plain; and behold, the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory which I saw by the river Chebar, and I fell on my face. 24 The Spirit then entered me and made me stand on my feet, and He spoke with me and said to me, “Go, shut yourself up in your house. 25 As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so that you cannot go out among them. 26 Moreover, I will make your tongue stick to [au]the roof of your mouth so that you will be mute and cannot be a man who rebukes them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord [av]God.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.
Siege of Jerusalem Predicted
4 “Now you son of man, get yourself a brick, place it before you and inscribe a city on it, Jerusalem. 2 Then lay siege against it, build a siege wall, [aw]raise up a ramp, pitch camps and place battering rams against it all around. 3 Then get yourself an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city, and set your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This is a sign to the house of Israel.
4 “As for you, lie down on your left side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; you shall bear their iniquity for the number of days that you lie on it. 5 For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year. 7 Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. 8 Now behold, I will put ropes on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.
9 “But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days. 10 Your food which you eat shall be twenty shekels a day by weight; you shall eat it from time to time. 11 The water you drink shall be the sixth part of a hin by measure; you shall drink it from time to time. 12 You shall eat it as a barley cake, having baked it in their sight over human dung.” 13 Then the Lord said, “Thus will the sons of Israel eat their bread unclean among the nations where I will banish them.” 14 But I said, “Ah, Lord [ax]God! Behold, I have never been defiled; for from my youth until now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has any unclean meat ever entered my mouth.” 15 Then He said to me, “See, I will give you cow’s dung in place of human dung over which you will prepare your bread.” 16 Moreover, He said to me, “Son of man, behold, I am going to break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they will eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and drink water by measure and in horror, 17 because bread and water will be scarce; and they will be appalled with one another and waste away in their iniquity.
Jerusalem’s Desolation Foretold
5 “As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and [ay]use it as a barber’s razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide [az]the hair. 2 One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around [ba]the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them. 3 Take also a few in number from [bb]them and bind them in the edges of your robes. 4 Take again some of them and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will [bc]spread to all the house of Israel.
5 “Thus says the Lord [bd]God, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her. 6 But she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have not walked [be]in My statutes.’ 7 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you,’ 8 therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations. 9 And because of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again. 10 Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind. 11 So as I live,’ declares the Lord God, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare. 12 One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.
13 ‘Thus My anger will be spent and I will [bf]satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be [bg]appeased; then they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken in My zeal when I have spent My wrath upon them. 14 Moreover, I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations which surround you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15 So [bh]it will be a reproach, a reviling, a warning and an object of horror to the nations who surround you when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath and raging rebukes. I, the Lord, have spoken. 16 When I send against them the [bi]deadly arrows of famine which [bj]were for the destruction of those whom I will send to destroy you, then I will also intensify the famine upon you and break the staff of bread. 17 Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; plague and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the Lord, have spoken.’”
Idolatrous Worship Denounced
6 And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them 3 and say, ‘Mountains of Israel, listen to the word of the Lord [bk]God! Thus says the Lord [bl]God to the mountains, the hills, the ravines and the valleys: “Behold, I Myself am going to bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places. 4 So your altars will become desolate and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will make your slain fall in front of your idols. 5 I will also lay the dead bodies of the sons of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6 In all your dwellings, cities will become waste and the high places will be desolate, that your altars may become waste and [bm]desolate, your idols may be broken and brought to an end, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be blotted out. 7 The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the Lord.
8 “However, I will leave a remnant, for you will have those who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered among the countries. 9 Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have [bn]been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations. 10 Then they will know that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain [bo]that I would inflict this disaster on them.”’
11 “Thus says the Lord [bp]God, ‘Clap your hand, stamp your foot and say, “Alas, because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel, which will fall by sword, famine and plague! 12 He who is far off will die by the plague, and he who is near will fall by the sword, and he who remains and is besieged will die by the famine. Thus will I spend My wrath on them. 13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when their slain are among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, under every green tree and under every leafy oak—the places where they offered soothing aroma to all their idols. 14 So throughout all their habitations I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land more desolate and waste than the wilderness toward Diblah; thus they will know that I am the Lord.”’”
Punishment for Wickedness Foretold
7 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord [bq]God to the land of Israel, ‘An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land. 3 Now the end is upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways and bring all your abominations upon you. 4 For My eye will have no pity on you, nor will I spare you, but I will bring your ways upon you, and your abominations will be among you; then you will know that I am the Lord!’
5 “Thus says the Lord [br]God, ‘A disaster, unique disaster, behold it is coming! 6 An end is coming; the end has come! It has awakened against you; behold, it has come! 7 Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come, the day is near—tumult rather than joyful shouting on the mountains. 8 Now I will shortly pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you; judge you according to your ways and bring on you all your abominations. 9 My eye will show no pity nor will I spare. I will [bs]repay you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst; then you will know that I, the Lord, do the smiting.
10 ‘Behold, the day! Behold, it is coming! Your doom has gone forth; the rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed. 11 Violence [bt]has grown into a rod of wickedness. None of them shall remain, none of their people, none of their wealth, nor anything eminent among them. 12 The time has come, the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice nor the seller mourn; for wrath is against all their multitude. 13 Indeed, the seller will not [bu]regain [bv]what he sold as long as [bw]they both live; for the vision regarding all their multitude will not [bx]be averted, nor will any of them maintain his life by his iniquity.
14 ‘They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but no one is going to the battle, for My wrath is against all [by]their multitude. 15 The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city. 16 Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them [bz]mourning, each over his own iniquity. 17 All hands will hang limp and all knees will [ca]become like water. 18 They will gird themselves with sackcloth and shuddering will overwhelm them; and shame will be on all faces and baldness on all their heads. 19 They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their [cb]appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling.
The Temple Profaned
20 They transformed the beauty of His ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things with it; therefore I will make it an abhorrent thing to them. 21 I will give it into the hands of the foreigners as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they will profane it. 22 I will also turn My face from them, and they will profane My secret place; then robbers will enter and profane it.
23 ‘Make the chain, for the land is full of [cc]bloody crimes and the city is full of violence. 24 Therefore, I will bring the worst of the nations, and they will possess their houses. I will also make the pride of the strong ones cease, and their holy places will be profaned. 25 When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none. 26 Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be added to rumor; then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law will be lost from the priest and counsel from the elders. 27 The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, and the hands of the people of the land will [cd]tremble. According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the Lord.’”
Vision of Abominations in Jerusalem
8 It came about in the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month, as I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord [ce]God fell on me there. 2 Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of [cf]a man; from His loins and downward there was the appearance of fire, and from His loins and upward the appearance of brightness, like the appearance of [cg]glowing metal. 3 He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the [ch]north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located. 4 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the appearance which I saw in the plain.
5 Then He said to me, “Son of man, raise your eyes now toward the north.” So I raised my eyes toward the north, and behold, to the north of the altar gate was this idol of jealousy at the entrance. 6 And He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from My sanctuary? But yet you will see still greater abominations.”
7 Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. 8 He said to me, “Son of man, now dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance. 9 And He said to me, “Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here.” 10 So I entered and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around. 11 Standing in front of them were seventy elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them, each man with his censer in his hand and the fragrance of the cloud of incense rising. 12 Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’” 13 And He said to me, “Yet you will see still greater abominations which they are committing.”
14 Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these.”
16 Then He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they were [ci]prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun. 17 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they have committed here, that they have filled the land with violence and provoked Me repeatedly? For behold, they are putting the twig to their nose. 18 Therefore, I indeed will deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor will I spare; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I will not listen to them.”
The Vision of Slaughter
9 Then He cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying, “Draw near, [cj]O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” 2 Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a [ck]writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the [cl]temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. 4 The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” 5 But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare. 6 [cm]Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.” So they started with the [cn]elders who were before the [co]temple. 7 And He said to them, “Defile the [cp]temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” Thus they went out and struck down the people in the city. 8 As they were striking the people and I alone was left, I fell on my face and cried out [cq]saying, “Alas, Lord [cr]God! Are You destroying the whole remnant of Israel [cs]by pouring out Your wrath on Jerusalem?”
9 Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with blood and the city is full of perversion; for they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!’ 10 But as for Me, My eye will have no pity nor will I spare, but I will bring their conduct upon their heads.”
Vision of God’s Glory Departing from the Temple
10 Then I looked, and behold, in the [cv]expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them. 2 And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Enter between the whirling wheels under the [cw]cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And he entered in my sight.
3 Now the cherubim were standing on the right side of the [cx]temple when the man entered, and the cloud filled the inner court. 4 Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord. 5 Moreover, the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of [cy]God Almighty when He speaks.
6 It came about when He commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, “Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim,” he entered and stood beside a wheel. 7 Then the cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubim to the fire which was between the cherubim, took some and put it into the hands of the one clothed in linen, who took it and went out. 8 The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings.
9 Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like the gleam of a [cz]Tarshish stone. 10 As for their appearance, all four of them had the same likeness, as if one wheel were within another wheel. 11 When they moved, they went in any of their four [da]directions without turning as they went; but they followed in the direction which [db]they faced, without turning as they went. 12 Their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around, the wheels belonging to all four of them. 13 The wheels were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels. 14 And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
15 Then the cherubim rose up. They are the living beings that I saw by the river Chebar. 16 Now when the cherubim moved, the wheels would go beside them; also when the cherubim lifted up their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels would not turn from beside them. 17 When [dc]the cherubim stood still, [dd]the wheels would stand still; and when they rose up, [de]the wheels would rise with them, for the spirit of the living beings was in them.
18 Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. 19 When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them; and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel [df]hovered over them.
20 These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; so I knew that they were cherubim. 21 Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and beneath their wings was the form of human hands. 22 As for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. Each one went straight ahead.
Evil Rulers to Be Judged
11 Moreover, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the Lord’s house which faced eastward. And behold, there were twenty-five men at the entrance of the gate, and among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people. 2 He said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give evil advice in this city, 3 who say, ‘The time is not near to build houses. [dg]This city is the pot and we are the flesh.’ 4 Therefore, prophesy against them, son of man, prophesy!”
5 Then the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and He said to me, “Say, ‘Thus says the Lord, “So you think, house of Israel, for I know [dh]your thoughts. 6 You have multiplied your slain in this city, filling its streets with [di]them.” 7 Therefore, thus says the Lord [dj]God, “Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of [dk]the city are the flesh and this city is the pot; but [dl]I will bring you out of it. 8 You have feared a sword; so I will bring a sword upon you,” the Lord God declares. 9 “And I will bring you out of the midst of [dm]the city and deliver you into the hands of strangers and execute judgments against you. 10 You will fall by the sword. I will judge you to the border of Israel; so you shall know that I am the Lord. 11 This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be flesh in the midst of it, but I will judge you to the border of Israel. 12 Thus you will know that I am the Lord; for you have not walked in My statutes nor have you executed My ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you.”’”
13 Now it came about as I prophesied, that Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, “Alas, Lord God! Will You bring the remnant of Israel to a complete end?”
Promise of Restoration
14 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 15 “Son of man, your brothers, your [dn]relatives, [do]your fellow exiles and the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far from the Lord; this land has been given us as a possession.’ 16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Though I had removed them far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the countries where they had gone.”’ 17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’ 18 When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. 19 And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within [dp]them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. 21 [dq]But as for those whose hearts go after their detestable things and abominations, I will bring their conduct down on their heads,” declares the Lord God.
22 Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel [dr]hovered over them. 23 The glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city. 24 And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God to the exiles [ds]in Chaldea. So the vision that I had seen [dt]left me. 25 Then I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me.
Ezekiel Prepares for Exile
12 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house. 3 Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile by day in their sight; even go into exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will [du]understand though they are a rebellious house. 4 Bring your baggage out by day in their sight, as baggage for exile. Then you will go out at evening in their sight, as those going into exile. 5 Dig a hole through the wall in their sight and [dv]go out through it. 6 Load the baggage on your shoulder in their sight and carry it out in the dark. You shall cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have set you as a sign to the house of Israel.”
7 I did so, as I had been commanded. By day I brought out my baggage like the baggage of an exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands; I went out in the dark and carried the baggage on my shoulder in their sight.
8 In the morning the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9 “Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ 10 Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord [dw]God, “This [dx]burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem as well as all the house of Israel who are [dy]in it.”’ 11 Say, ‘I am [dz]a sign to you. As I have done, so it will be done to them; they will go into exile, into captivity.’ 12 The prince who is among them will load his baggage on his shoulder in the dark and go out. [ea]They will dig a hole through the wall to bring it out. He will cover his face so that he can not see the land with his eyes. 13 I will also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. And I will bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans; yet he will not see it, though he will die there. 14 I will scatter to every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops; and I will draw out a sword after them. 15 So they will know that I am the Lord when I scatter them among the nations and spread them among the countries. 16 But I will [eb]spare a few of them from the sword, the famine and the pestilence that they may tell all their abominations among the nations where they go, and [ec]may know that I am the Lord.”
17 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying, 18 “Son of man, eat your bread with trembling and drink your water with quivering and anxiety. 19 Then say to the people of the land, ‘Thus says the Lord God concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel, “They will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water with horror, because [ed]their land will be [ee]stripped of its fullness on account of the violence of all who live in it. 20 The inhabited cities will be laid waste and the land will be a desolation. So you will know that I am the Lord.”’”
21 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 22 “Son of man, what is this proverb you people have concerning the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days are long and every vision fails’? 23 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “I will make this proverb cease so that they will no longer use it as a proverb in Israel.” But tell them, “The days draw near as well as the [ef]fulfillment of every vision. 24 For there will no longer be any [eg]false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25 For I the Lord will speak, and whatever word I speak will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, for in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it,” declares the Lord God.’”
26 Furthermore, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 27 “Son of man, behold, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many [eh]years from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ 28 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word I speak will be performed,”’” declares the Lord God.
False Prophets Condemned
13 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy from their own [ei]inspiration, ‘Listen to the word of the Lord! 3 Thus says the Lord [ej]God, “Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing. 4 O Israel, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. 5 You have not gone up into the breaches, nor did you build the wall around the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the Lord. 6 They see [ek]falsehood and lying divination who are saying, ‘The Lord declares,’ when the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word. 7 Did you not see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you said, ‘The Lord declares,’ but it is not I who have spoken?”’”
8 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Because you have spoken [el]falsehood and seen a lie, therefore behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord God. 9 “So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will [em]have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, [en]that you may know that I am the Lord God. 10 It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash; 11 so tell those who plaster it over with whitewash, that it will fall. A flooding rain will come, and you, O hailstones, will fall; and a violent wind will break out. 12 Behold, when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked, ‘Where is the plaster with which you plastered it?’” 13 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “I will make a violent wind break out in My wrath. There will also be in My anger a flooding rain and hailstones to consume it in wrath. 14 So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord. 15 Thus I will spend My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it over with whitewash; and I will say to you, ‘The wall [eo]is gone and its plasterers are gone, 16 along with the prophets of Israel who prophesy to Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’ declares the Lord God.
17 “Now you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who are prophesying from their own [ep]inspiration. Prophesy against them 18 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe to the women who sew magic bands on [eq]all wrists and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature to hunt down [er]lives! Will you hunt down the [es]lives of My people, but preserve the [et]lives of others for yourselves? 19 For handfuls of barley and fragments of bread, you have profaned Me to My people to put to death [eu]some who should not die and to keep [ev]others alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies.”’”
20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against your magic bands by which you hunt [ew]lives there as [ex]birds and I will tear them from your arms; and I will let [ey]them go, even those [ez]lives whom you hunt as [fa]birds. 21 I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people from your hands, and they will no longer be in your hands to be hunted; and you will know that I am the Lord. 22 Because you disheartened the righteous with falsehood when I did not cause him grief, but have [fb]encouraged the wicked not to turn from his wicked way and preserve his life, 23 therefore, you women will no longer see [fc]false visions or practice divination, and I will deliver My people out of your hand. Thus you will know that I am the Lord.”
Idolatrous Elders Condemned
14 Then some elders of Israel came to me and sat down before me. 2 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 3 “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be consulted by them at all? 4 Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord [fd]God, “Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will be brought to give him an answer in [fe]the matter in view of the multitude of his idols, 5 in order to lay hold of [ff]the hearts of the house of Israel who are [fg]estranged from Me through all their idols.”’
6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations. 7 For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I the Lord will be brought to answer him in My own person. 8 I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and [fh]a proverb, and I will cut him off from among My people. So you will know that I am the Lord.
9 “But if the prophet is [fi]prevailed upon to speak a word, it is I, the Lord, who have [fj]prevailed upon that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 They will bear the punishment of their iniquity; as the iniquity of the inquirer is, so the iniquity of the prophet will be, 11 in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Thus they will be My people, and I shall be their God,”’ declares the Lord God.”
The City Will Not Be Spared
12 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 13 “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, [fk]destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, 14 even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. 15 “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they [fl]depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, 16 though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. 17 Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ 18 even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. 19 Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, 20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”
21 For thus says the Lord God, “How much more when I send My four [fm]severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it! 22 Yet, behold, [fn]survivors will be left in it who will be brought out, both sons and daughters. Behold, they are going to come forth to you and you will see their conduct and actions; then you will be comforted for the calamity which I have brought against Jerusalem for everything which I have brought upon it. 23 Then they will comfort you when you see their conduct and actions, for you will know that I have not done in vain whatever I did [fo]to it,” declares the Lord God.
Jerusalem like a Useless Vine
15 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any wood of a branch which is among the trees of the forest? 3 Can wood be taken from it to make [fp]anything, or can men take a peg from it on which to hang any vessel? 4 [fq]If it has been put into the fire for fuel, and the fire has consumed both of its ends and its middle part has been charred, is it then useful for [fr]anything? 5 Behold, while it is intact, it is not made into [fs]anything. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it still be made into [ft]anything! 6 Therefore, thus says the Lord [fu]God, ‘As the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 7 and I set My face against them. Though they have come out of the fire, yet the fire will consume them. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them. 8 Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have acted unfaithfully,’” declares the Lord God.
God’s Grace to Unfaithful Jerusalem
16 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord [fv]God to Jerusalem, “Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing; you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths. 5 No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the [fw]open field, [fx]for you were abhorred on the day you were born.
6 “When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’ 7 I made you [fy]numerous like plants of the field. Then you grew up, became tall and reached the age for fine ornaments; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown. Yet you were naked and bare.
8 “Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, [fz]you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord God. 9 “Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10 I also clothed you with embroidered cloth and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. 12 I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. 14 Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord God.
15 “But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by [ga]who might be willing. 16 You took some of your clothes, made for yourself high places of various colors and played the harlot on them, [gb]which should never come about nor happen. 17 You also took your beautiful [gc]jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that you might play the harlot with them. 18 Then you took your embroidered cloth and covered them, and offered My oil and My incense before them. 19 Also My bread which I gave you, fine flour, oil and honey with which I fed you, [gd]you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened,” declares the Lord God. 20 “Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to [ge]idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? 21 You slaughtered My children and offered them up to [gf]idols by causing them to pass through the fire. 22 Besides all your abominations and harlotries you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare and squirming in your blood.
23 “Then it came about after all your wickedness (‘Woe, woe to you!’ declares the Lord God), 24 that you built yourself a shrine and made yourself a high place in every square. 25 You built yourself a high place at the top of every street and made your beauty abominable, and you spread your legs to every passer-by to multiply your harlotry. 26 You also played the harlot with the Egyptians, your [gg]lustful neighbors, and multiplied your harlotry to make Me angry. 27 Behold now, I have stretched out My hand against you and diminished your rations. And I delivered you up to the desire of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd conduct. 28 Moreover, you played the harlot with the Assyrians because you were not satisfied; you played the harlot with them and still were not satisfied. 29 You also multiplied your harlotry with the land of merchants, Chaldea, yet even with this you were not satisfied.”’”
30 “How languishing is your heart,” declares the Lord God, “while you do all these things, the actions of a [gh]bold-faced harlot. 31 When you built your shrine at the beginning of every street and made your high place in every square, in disdaining money, you were not like a harlot. 32 You adulteress wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband! 33 [gi]Men give gifts to all harlots, but you give your gifts to all your lovers to bribe them to come to you from every direction for your harlotries. 34 Thus you are different from those women in your harlotries, in that no one plays the harlot [gj]as you do, because you give money and no money is given you; thus you are different.”
35 Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of the Lord. 36 Thus says the Lord God, “Because your lewdness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers and with all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your sons which you gave to [gk]idols, 37 therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, even all those whom you loved and all those whom you hated. So I will gather them against you from every direction and expose your nakedness to them that they may see all your nakedness. 38 Thus I will judge you like women who commit adultery or shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39 I will also give you into [gl]the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your shrines, demolish your high places, strip you of your clothing, take away your [gm]jewels, and will leave you naked and bare. 40 They will [gn]incite a crowd against you and they will stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. 41 They will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women. Then I will stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay [go]your lovers. 42 So I will calm My fury against you and My jealousy will depart from you, and I will be pacified and angry no more. 43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth but [gp]have enraged Me by all these things, behold, I in turn will bring your conduct down on your own head,” declares the Lord God, “so that you will not commit this lewdness on top of all your other abominations.
44 “Behold, everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb concerning you, saying, ‘[gq]Like mother, [gr]like daughter.’ 45 You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and children. You are also the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 Now your older sister is Samaria, who lives [gs]north of you with her [gt]daughters; and your younger sister, who lives [gu]south of you, is Sodom with her [gv]daughters. 47 Yet you have not merely walked in their ways or done according to their abominations; but, as if that were too little, you acted more corruptly in all your conduct than they. 48 As I live,” declares the Lord God, “Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not [gw]help the poor and needy. 50 Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them [gx]when I saw it. 51 Furthermore, Samaria did not commit half of your sins, for you have multiplied your abominations more than they. Thus you have made your sisters appear righteous by all your abominations which you have committed. 52 Also bear your disgrace in that you have [gy]made judgment favorable for your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. Yes, be also ashamed and bear your disgrace, in that you made your sisters appear righteous.
53 “Nevertheless, I will restore their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and [gz]along with them [ha]your own captivity, 54 in order that you may bear your humiliation and feel ashamed for all that you have done when you become a consolation to them. 55 Your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, [hb]will return to their former state, and you with your daughters will also return to your former state. 56 As the name of your sister Sodom was not heard from your lips in your day of pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered, [hc]so now you have become the reproach of the daughters of [hd]Edom and of all who are around her, of the daughters of the Philistines—those surrounding you who despise you. 58 You have borne the penalty of your lewdness and abominations,” the Lord declares. 59 For thus says the Lord God, “I will also do with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath by breaking the covenant.
The Covenant Remembered
60 “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both your older and your younger; and I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant. 62 Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, 63 so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done,” the Lord God declares.
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 [he]saying, ‘Thus says the Lord [hf]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 [hg]fertile soil. He [hh]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 [hi]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 [hj]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 [hk]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 [hl]family and made a covenant with him, [hm]putting him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land, 14 that the kingdom might be [hn]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 [ho]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 [hp]country of the king who [hq]put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke, [hr]in Babylon he shall die. 17 Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not [hs]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 [ht]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 [hu]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 [hv]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 [hw]kind will [hx]nest under it; they will [hy]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 [ia]God, “you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore. 4 Behold, all [ib]souls are Mine; the [ic]soul of the father as well as the [id]soul of the son is Mine. The [ie]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 [if]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 [ig]on his own head.
14 “Now behold, he [ih]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 [ii]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, “[ij]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,
‘[ik]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, [iu]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 [iv]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 [iw]swore to the [ix]descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I [iy]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 [iz]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; [ja]they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.
Then I [jb]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 [jc]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 [jd]observes them, he will live; and My sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I [je]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 [jf]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 [jg]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 [jh]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 [ji]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 [jj]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 [jk]Bamah to this day.”’ 30 Therefore, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Will you defile yourselves [jl]after the manner of your fathers and play the harlot after their detestable things? 31 [jm]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 [jn]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 [jo]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; [jp]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 [jq]seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things. 41 [jr]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 [js]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 [jt]Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 46 “Son of man, set your face toward [ju]Teman, and speak out against the south and prophesy against the forest [jv]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 [jw]green tree in you, as well as every dry tree; the blazing flame will not be quenched and [jx]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?’”
Parable of the Sword of the Lord
21 [jy]And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and [jz]speak against the sanctuaries and prophesy against the land of Israel; 3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am against you; and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. 4 Because I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore My sword will go forth from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. 5 Thus all flesh will know that I, the Lord, have drawn My sword out of its sheath. It will not return to its sheath again.”’ 6 As for you, son of man, groan with breaking [ka]heart and bitter grief, groan in their sight. 7 And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming; and every heart will melt, all hands will be feeble, every spirit will [kb]faint and all knees will [kc]be weak as water. Behold, it comes and it will happen,’ declares the Lord [kd]God.”
8 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord.’ Say,
‘A sword, a sword sharpened
Or shall we rejoice, the [kf]rod of My son despising every tree? 11 It is given to be polished, that it may be handled; the sword is sharpened and polished, to give it into the hand of the slayer. 12 Cry out and wail, son of man; for it is against My people, it is against all the officials of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with My people, therefore strike your thigh. 13 For there is a testing; and what if even the [kg]rod which despises will be no more?” declares the Lord God.
14 “You therefore, son of man, prophesy and clap your hands together; and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword for the slain. It is the sword for the great one slain, which surrounds them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many fall at all their gates. I have given the glittering sword. Ah! It is made for striking like lightning, it is wrapped up in readiness for slaughter. 16 [kh]Show yourself sharp, go to the right; set yourself; go to the left, wherever your [ki]edge is appointed. 17 I will also clap My hands together, and I will [kj]appease My wrath; I, the Lord, have spoken.”
The Instrument of God’s Judgment
18 The word of the Lord came to me saying, 19 “As for you, son of man, [kk]make two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come; both of them will go out of one land. And [kl]make a signpost; [km]make it at the head of the way to the city. 20 You shall [kn]mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, and to Judah into fortified Jerusalem.
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