Ezekiel 2-5 New English Translation (NET Bible)
3 He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the house[d] of Israel, to rebellious nations[e] who have rebelled against me; both they and their fathers have revolted[f] against me to this very day. 4 The people[g] to whom I am sending you are obstinate and hard-hearted,[h] and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’[i] 5 And as for them,[j] whether they listen[k] or not—for they are a rebellious[l] house[m]—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 But you, son of man, do not fear them, and do not fear their words. Even though briers[n] and thorns[o] surround you and you live among scorpions—do not fear their words and do not be terrified of the looks they give you,[p] for they are a rebellious house! 7 You must speak my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious. 8 As for you, son of man, listen to what I am saying to you: Do not rebel like that rebellious house! Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.”
9 Then I looked and realized a hand was stretched out to me, and in it was a written scroll. 10 He unrolled it before me, and it had writing on the front[q] and back;[r] written on it were laments, mourning, and woe.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you see in front of you[s]—eat this scroll—and then go and speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth and he fed me the scroll.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll I am giving to you.” So I ate it,[t] and it was sweet like honey in my mouth.
4 He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech[u] and difficult language,[v] but[w] to the house of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of unintelligible speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand.[x] Surely if[y] I had sent you to them, they would listen to you! 7 But the house of Israel is unwilling to listen to you,[z] because they are not willing to listen to me,[aa] for the whole house of Israel is hardheaded and hardhearted.[ab]
8 “I have made your face adamant[ac] to match their faces, and your forehead hard to match their foreheads. 9 I have made your forehead harder than flint—like diamond![ad] Do not fear them or be terrified of the looks they give you,[ae] for they are a rebellious house.”
10 And he said to me, “Son of man, take all my words that I speak to you to heart and listen carefully. 11 Go to the exiles, to your fellow countrymen,[af] and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ whether they pay attention or not.”
Ezekiel Before the Exiles
12 Then a wind lifted me up[ag] and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me as the glory of the Lord rose from its place,[ah] 13 and the sound of the living beings’ wings brushing against each other, and the sound of the wheels alongside them, a great rumbling sound. 14 A wind lifted me up and carried me away. I went bitterly,[ai] my spirit full of fury, and the hand of the Lord rested powerfully[aj] on me. 15 I came to the exiles at Tel Abib,[ak] who lived by the Kebar River.[al] I sat dumbfounded among them there, where they were living, for seven days.[am]
16 At the end of seven days the Lord’s message came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman[an] for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must give them a warning from me. 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’[ao] and you do not warn him—you do not speak out to warn the wicked to turn from his wicked lifestyle so that he may live—that wicked person will die for his iniquity,[ap] but I will hold you accountable for his death.[aq] 19 But as for you, if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wicked deed and from his wicked lifestyle, he will die for his iniquity but you will have saved your own life.[ar]
20 “When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I set an obstacle[as] before him, he will die. If you have not warned him, he will die for his sin. The righteous deeds he performed will not be considered, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 21 However, if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he[at] does not sin, he will certainly live because he was warned, and you will have saved your own life.”
Isolated and Silenced
22 The hand[au] of the Lord rested on me there, and he said to me, “Get up, go out to the valley,[av] and I will speak with you there.” 23 So I got up and went out to the valley, and the glory of the Lord was standing there, just like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River,[aw] and I threw myself face down.
24 Then a wind[ax] came into me and stood me on my feet. The Lord[ay] spoke to me and said, “Go shut yourself in your house. 25 As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and tie you up with them, so you cannot go out among them. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to reprove[az] them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will loosen your tongue[ba] and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Those who listen will listen, but the indifferent will refuse,[bb] for they are a rebellious house.
Ominous Object Lessons
4 “And you, son of man, take a brick[bc] and set it in front of you. Inscribe[bd] a city on it—Jerusalem. 2 Lay siege to it! Build siege works against it. Erect a siege ramp[be] against it! Post soldiers outside it[bf] and station battering rams around it. 3 Then for your part take an iron frying pan[bg] and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face toward it. It is to be under siege; you are to besiege it. This is a sign[bh] for the house of Israel.
4 “Also for your part lie on your left side and place the iniquity[bi] of the house of Israel on it. For the number of days you lie on your side you will bear their iniquity. 5 I have determined that the number of the years of their iniquity are to be the number of days[bj] for you—390 days.[bk] So bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.[bl]
6 “When you have completed these days, then lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah 40 days[bm]—I have assigned one day for each year. 7 You must turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. 8 Look here: I will tie you up with ropes, so you cannot turn from one side to the other until you complete the days of your siege.[bn]
9 “As for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt,[bo] put them in a single container, and make food[bp] from them for yourself. For the same number of days that you lie on your side—390 days[bq]—you will eat it. 10 The food you eat will be eight ounces[br] a day by weight; you must eat it at fixed times.[bs] 11 And you must drink water by measure, a pint and a half;[bt] you must drink it at fixed times. 12 And you must eat the food as you would a barley cake. You must bake it in front of them over a fire made with dried human excrement.”[bu] 13 And the Lord said, “This is how the people of Israel will eat their unclean food among the nations[bv] where I will banish them.”
14 And I said, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, I have never been ceremonially defiled before. I have never eaten a carcass or an animal torn by wild beasts; from my youth up, unclean meat[bw] has never entered my mouth.”
15 So he said to me, “All right then, I will substitute cow’s manure instead of human excrement. You will cook your food over it.”
16 Then he said to me, “Son of man, I am about to remove the bread supply[bx] in Jerusalem. They will eat their bread ration anxiously, and they will drink their water ration in terror 17 because they will lack bread and water. Each one will be terrified, and they will rot for their iniquity.[by]
5 “As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor.[bz] Shave off some of the hair from your head and your beard.[ca] Then take scales and divide up the hair you cut off. 2 Burn a third of it in the fire inside the city when the days of your siege are completed. Take a third and slash it with a sword all around the city. Scatter a third to the wind, and I will unleash a sword behind them. 3 But take a few strands of hair[cb] from those and tie them in the ends of your garment.[cc] 4 Again, take more of them and throw them into the fire,[cd] and burn them up. From there a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.
5 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem; I placed her in the center of the nations with countries all around her. 6 Then she defied my regulations and my statutes, becoming more wicked than the nations[ce] and the countries around her.[cf] Indeed, they[cg] have rejected my regulations, and they do not follow my statutes.
7 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you are more arrogant[ch] than the nations around you,[ci] you have not followed my statutes and have not carried out my regulations. You have not even[cj] carried out the regulations of the nations around you!
8 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I—even I—am against you,[ck] and I will execute judgment[cl] among you while the nations watch.[cm] 9 I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again because of all your abominable practices.[cn] 10 Therefore, fathers will eat their sons within you, Jerusalem,[co] and sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments on you, and I will scatter any survivors[cp] to the winds.[cq]
11 “Therefore, as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, because you defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominable practices, I will withdraw; my eye will not pity you, nor will I spare[cr] you. 12 A third of your people will die of plague or be overcome by the famine within you.[cs] A third of your people will fall by the sword surrounding you,[ct] and a third I will scatter to the winds. I will unleash a sword behind them. 13 Then my anger will be fully vented; I will exhaust my rage on them, and I will be appeased.[cu] Then they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy[cv] when I have fully vented my rage against them.
14 “I will make you desolate and an object of scorn among the nations around you, in the sight of everyone who passes by. 15 You will be[cw] an object of scorn and taunting,[cx] a prime example of destruction[cy] among the nations around you when I execute judgments against you in anger and raging fury.[cz] I, the Lord, have spoken! 16 I will shoot against them deadly,[da] destructive[db] arrows of famine,[dc] which I will shoot to destroy you.[dd] I will prolong a famine on you and will remove the bread supply.[de] 17 I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will take your children from you.[df] Plague and bloodshed will overwhelm you,[dg] and I will bring a sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”