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Ezekiel 20Common English Bible (CEB)

History of rebellion

20 In the seventh year, on the tenth day of the fifth month, some of Israel’s elders came to inquire of the Lord. As they were sitting with me, the Lord’s word came to me: Human one, speak to Israel’s elders and say to them, The Lord God proclaims: Have you come to petition me? As surely as I live, I reject your petitions. This is what the Lord God says! Will you judge them, human one, will you judge them? Then expose to them the detestable practices of their ancestors. Say to them, The Lord God proclaims: On the day I chose Israel, I swore a solemn pledge to the descendants of Jacob’s household. When I made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I swore a solemn pledge: I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore that I would lead them out of the land of Egypt to a land that I would show them, a land full of milk and honey, the most splendid of all lands. And I said to them, Every one of you must cast away your disgusting things. Don’t let yourselves be defiled by Egypt’s idols. I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against me and refused to listen to me. No one cast off their disgusting things or abandoned their Egyptian idols. So I declared that I would pour out my wrath on them and satisfy my anger against them in the land of Egypt. But I acted for my name’s sake, so that it wouldn’t be degraded in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, and in whose sight I made it known that I would lead them out of the land of Egypt.

10 So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the desert. 11 I gave them my regulations and made known to them my case laws, which bring life to all who observe them. 12 I also gave them my sabbaths as a sign between us that I, the Lord, have set them apart for my purpose.[a] 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the desert. They didn’t follow my regulations and rejected my case laws, which bring life to all who observe them. They completely degraded my sabbaths. So I declared that I would pour out my anger against them and destroy them in the desert. 14 But instead, I acted for the sake of my name so that it wouldn’t be degraded in the sight of the nations who saw me lead them out of Egypt. 15 So in the desert I swore another solemn pledge, that I wouldn’t bring them to the land that I had given to them, a land full of milk and honey, a land more splendid than any other, 16 because they rejected my case laws, didn’t follow my regulations, and degraded my sabbaths. They had their hearts set on their idols. 17 But I had too much compassion to destroy them, so I didn’t put an end to them in the desert.

18 In the desert, I said to their children, Don’t follow your parents’ regulations or observe their case laws or become defiled by their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God! Follow my regulations! Observe my case laws and do them! 20 Make my sabbaths holy, and let them be a sign between us that I am the Lord your God. 21 But the children rebelled against me. They didn’t follow my regulations or observe my case laws, which bring life to all who observe them. They also degraded my sabbaths. So I declared that I would pour out my wrath on them and satisfy my anger against them in the desert. 22 But I restrained myself and acted for the sake of my name so that it wouldn’t be diminished in the sight of the nations who saw me lead them out of Egypt. 23 And I swore yet another solemn pledge in the desert, that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them throughout the earth, 24 because they didn’t observe my case laws, they rejected my regulations, and they degraded my sabbaths while they kept looking to their parents’ idols. 25 I also issued regulations that were not good and case laws by which they could not live. 26 I defiled them with their very gifts when they offered up all their oldest children. They were supposed to be so horrified that they would acknowledge that I am the Lord.

27 Therefore, human one, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, The Lord God proclaims: Yet again your ancestors defamed me by rebelling against me! 28 I brought them into the land that I swore to give to them. But when they saw all the high hills and lofty trees, there they made their sacrifices: irksome offerings here, pleasing aromas there, and drink offerings elsewhere! 29 I said to them, What shrine are you going to now? So it’s called Shrine[b] to this very day.

30 So now say to the house of Israel, The Lord God proclaims: Will you defile yourselves as your ancestors did, and will you prostitute yourself after their disgusting things? 31 When you offer up your gifts and make your children pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this very day. Should I let you seek me out, house of Israel? This is what the Lord God says: As surely as I live, I won’t let you seek me. 32 What is in your minds will never happen! You’ve been saying, “Let’s be like the nations and the clans of the lands in the service of wood and stone.” 33 This is what the Lord God says: As surely as I live, with a strong hand, an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be your king! 34 I will lead you out from the peoples and gather you from the countries where you’ve been scattered—yes, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out! 35 I will march you out to the wilderness nations, and there I will judge you face-to-face. 36 Just as I judged your ancestors in the desert of the land of Egypt, so will I judge you. This is what the Lord God says. 37 I will make you walk under the rod, and I will bring you into the covenant bond. 38 I will remove from among you those who rebel and transgress against me. I will lead them out from the land where they lived as immigrants, but they won’t enter Israel’s fertile land. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

39 But to you, house of Israel, the Lord God proclaims: Go ahead and serve your idols, all of you! But afterward, if any of you are left to listen to me,[c] you will no longer make my holy name impure with your gifts or your idols! 40 On my holy mountain, on the high mountain in Israel, the whole house of Israel will serve me there—every one of them in the land! This is what the Lord God says. There I will accept them, and there I will ask for their offerings, their finest gifts, and all their holy things. 41 When I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you are scattered, I will accept you as a pleasing aroma. Through you I will be made holy in the sight of the nations. 42 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you to Israel’s fertile land, to the land that I swore to give to your ancestors. 43 There you will remember how your ways and all your wicked deeds defiled you, and you will loathe yourselves for all the wicked things that you’ve done. 44 Then, house of Israel, you will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for the sake of my name and not according to your wicked ways and ruinous deeds. This is what the Lord God says.

Fire in the southern plain

45 [d] The Lord’s word came to me: 46 Human one, face Teman, preach against the south, and prophesy against the thicket in the arid southern plain. 47 Say to the thicket in the arid southern plain: Hear the Lord God’s word. This is what the Lord God says: I’m about to set a fire in you, and it will consume every green and every dry tree in you. Its blazing flame won’t be put out, and everything from south to north will be scorched. 48 Everyone will see that I, the Lord, have set it on fire. It won’t be quenched. 49 Then I said, “Oh, Lord God! They say about me, ‘Isn’t he one for making metaphors?’”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 20:12 Or to make them holy
  2. Ezekiel 20:29 Heb sounds like Where are you going?
  3. Ezekiel 20:39 Heb uncertain
  4. Ezekiel 20:45 21:1 in Heb
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Ezekiel 20New International Version (NIV)

Rebellious Israel Purged

20 In the seventh year, in the fifth month on the tenth day, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and they sat down in front of me.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Have you come to inquire of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign Lord.

“Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their ancestors and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. And I said to them, “Each of you, get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

“‘But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; they did not get rid of the vile images they had set their eyes on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in Egypt. But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites. 10 Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, by which the person who obeys them will live. 12 Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.

13 “‘Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws—by which the person who obeys them will live—and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the wilderness. 14 But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land I had given them—a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands 16 because they rejected my laws and did not follow my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths. For their hearts were devoted to their idols. 17 Yet I looked on them with pity and did not destroy them or put an end to them in the wilderness. 18 I said to their children in the wilderness, “Do not follow the statutes of your parents or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 20 Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.

21 “‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, “The person who obeys them will live by them,” and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld my hand, and for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes lusted after their parents’ idols. 25 So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live; 26 I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord.

27 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In this also your ancestors blasphemed me by being unfaithful to me: 28 When I brought them into the land I had sworn to give them and they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices, made offerings that aroused my anger, presented their fragrant incense and poured out their drink offerings. 29 Then I said to them: What is this high place you go to?’” (It is called Bamah[a] to this day.)

Rebellious Israel Renewed

30 “Therefore say to the Israelites: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Will you defile yourselves the way your ancestors did and lust after their vile images? 31 When you offer your gifts—the sacrifice of your children in the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, you Israelites? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will not let you inquire of me.

32 “‘You say, “We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.” But what you have in mind will never happen. 33 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will reign over you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. 34 I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered—with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. 35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. 36 As I judged your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord. 37 I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

39 “‘As for you, people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go and serve your idols, every one of you! But afterward you will surely listen to me and no longer profane my holy name with your gifts and idols. 40 For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord, there in the land all the people of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them. There I will require your offerings and your choice gifts,[b] along with all your holy sacrifices. 41 I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations. 42 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors. 43 There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, you people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Prophecy Against the South

45 The word of the Lord came to me: 46 “Son of man, set your face toward the south; preach against the south and prophesy against the forest of the southland. 47 Say to the southern forest: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched, and every face from south to north will be scorched by it. 48 Everyone will see that I the Lord have kindled it; it will not be quenched.’”

49 Then I said, “Sovereign Lord, they are saying of me, ‘Isn’t he just telling parables?’”[c]

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 20:29 Bamah means high place.
  2. Ezekiel 20:40 Or and the gifts of your firstfruits
  3. Ezekiel 20:49 In Hebrew texts 20:45-49 is numbered 21:1-5.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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