17 Then the word of the Lord came to me:18 “Son of man, the people of Israel have become dross to me; all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace. They are but the dross of silver.19 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have all become dross, 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.21 I will gather you and I will blow on you with my fiery wrath, and you will be melted inside her.22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath on you.’”
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.’25 There is a conspiracy of her princes[a] within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her.26 Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.27 Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain.28 Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken.29 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice.
30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall 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.31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
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