The Scarecrow of the Nations
22 1-5 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, are you going to judge this bloody city or not? Come now, are you going to judge her? Do it! Face her with all her outrageous obscenities. Tell her, ‘This is what God, the Master, says: You’re a city murderous at the core, just asking for punishment. You’re a city obsessed with no-god idols, making yourself filthy. In all your killing, you’ve piled up guilt. In all your idol-making, you’ve become filthy. You’ve forced a premature end to your existence. I’ll put you on exhibit as the scarecrow of the nations, the world’s worst joke. From far and near they’ll deride you as infamous in filth, notorious for chaos.
6-12 “‘Your leaders, the princes of Israel among you, compete in crime. You’re a community that’s insolent to parents, abusive to outsiders, oppressive against orphans and widows. You treat my holy things with contempt and desecrate my Sabbaths. You have people spreading lies and spilling blood, flocking to the hills to the sex shrines and fornicating unrestrained. Incest is common. Men force themselves on women regardless of whether they’re ready or willing. Sex is now anarchy. Anyone is fair game: neighbor, daughter-in-law, sister. Murder is for hire, usury is rampant, extortion is commonplace.
“‘And you’ve forgotten me. Decree of God, the Master.
13-14 “‘Now look! I’ve clapped my hands, calling everyone’s attention to your rapacious greed and your bloody brutalities. Can you stick with it? Will you be able to keep at this once I start dealing with you?
14-16 “‘I, God, have spoken. I’ll put an end to this. I’ll throw you to the four winds. I’ll scatter you all over the world. I’ll put a full stop to your filthy living. You will be defiled, spattered with your own mud in the eyes of the nations. And you’ll recognize that I am God.’”
17-22 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, the people of Israel are slag to me, the useless byproduct of refined copper, tin, iron, and lead left at the smelter—a worthless slag heap. So tell them, ‘God, the Master, has spoken: Because you’ve all become worthless slag, you’re on notice: I’ll assemble you in Jerusalem. As men gather silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin into a furnace and blow fire on it to melt it down, so in my wrath I’ll gather you and melt you down. I’ll blow on you with the fire of my wrath to melt you down in the furnace. As silver is melted down, you’ll be melted down. That should get through to you. Then you’ll recognize that I, God, have let my wrath loose on you.’”
23-25 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, tell her, ‘You’re a land that during the time I was angry with you got no rain, not so much as a spring shower. The leaders among you became desperate, like roaring, ravaging lions killing indiscriminately. They grabbed and looted, leaving widows in their wake.
26-29 “‘Your priests violated my law and desecrated my holy things. They can’t tell the difference between sacred and secular. They tell people there’s no difference between right and wrong. They’re contemptuous of my holy Sabbaths, profaning me by trying to pull me down to their level. Your politicians are like wolves prowling and killing and rapaciously taking whatever they want. Your preachers cover up for the politicians by pretending to have received visions and special revelations. They say, “This is what God, the Master, says . . .” when God hasn’t said so much as one word. Extortion is rife, robbery is epidemic, the poor and needy are abused, outsiders are kicked around at will, with no access to justice.’
30-31 “I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone. Not one. So I’ll empty out my wrath on them, burn them to a crisp with my hot anger, serve them with the consequences of all they’ve done. Decree of God, the Master.”
New International Version
Judgment on Jerusalem’s Sins
22 The word of the Lord came to me:
2 “Son of man, will you judge her? Will you judge this city of bloodshed?(A) Then confront her with all her detestable practices(B) 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You city that brings on herself doom by shedding blood(C) in her midst and defiles herself by making idols, 4 you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed(D) and have become defiled by the idols you have made. You have brought your days to a close, and the end of your years has come.(E) Therefore I will make you an object of scorn(F) to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries.(G) 5 Those who are near and those who are far away will mock you, you infamous city, full of turmoil.(H)
6 “‘See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood.(I) 7 In you they have treated father and mother with contempt;(J) in you they have oppressed the foreigner(K) and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.(L) 8 You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths.(M) 9 In you are slanderers(N) who are bent on shedding blood;(O) in you are those who eat at the mountain shrines(P) and commit lewd acts.(Q) 10 In you are those who dishonor their father’s bed;(R) in you are those who violate women during their period,(S) when they are ceremonially unclean.(T) 11 In you one man commits a detestable offense with his neighbor’s wife,(U) another shamefully defiles his daughter-in-law,(V) and another violates his sister,(W) his own father’s daughter.(X) 12 In you are people who accept bribes(Y) to shed blood; you take interest(Z) and make a profit from the poor. You extort unjust gain from your neighbors.(AA) And you have forgotten(AB) me, declares the Sovereign Lord.(AC)
13 “‘I will surely strike my hands(AD) together at the unjust gain(AE) you have made and at the blood(AF) you have shed in your midst.(AG) 14 Will your courage endure(AH) or your hands(AI) be strong in the day I deal with you? I the Lord have spoken,(AJ) and I will do it.(AK) 15 I will disperse you among the nations and scatter(AL) you through the countries; and I will put an end to(AM) your uncleanness.(AN) 16 When you have been defiled[a] in the eyes of the nations, you will know that I am the Lord.’”
17 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, the people of Israel have become dross(AO) to me; all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace.(AP) They are but the dross of silver.(AQ) 19 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have all become dross,(AR) I will gather you into Jerusalem. 20 As silver, copper, iron, lead and tin are gathered into a furnace to be melted with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath and put you inside the city and melt you.(AS) 21 I will gather you and I will blow(AT) on you with my fiery wrath, and you will be melted inside her.(AU) 22 As silver is melted(AV) in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath(AW) on you.’”(AX)
23 Again the word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has not been cleansed or rained on in the day of wrath.’(AY) 25 There is a conspiracy(AZ) of her princes[b] within her like a roaring lion(BA) tearing its prey; they devour people,(BB) take treasures and precious things and make many widows(BC) within her. 26 Her priests do violence to my law(BD) and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common;(BE) they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean;(BF) and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned(BG) among them.(BH) 27 Her officials(BI) within her are like wolves(BJ) tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people(BK) to make unjust gain.(BL) 28 Her prophets whitewash(BM) these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations.(BN) They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken.(BO) 29 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery;(BP) they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner,(BQ) denying them justice.(BR)
30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall(BS) and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.(BT) 31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger,(BU) bringing down(BV) on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.(BW)”