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Ezekiel, Israel’s Watchman

33 And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the (A)sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and (B)blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then [a]he who hears the sound of the trumpet and (C)does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his (D)blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have (E)escaped with his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is (F)taken away [b]in his iniquity; but his (G)blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’

“Now as for you, son of man, I have (H)given you as a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a word from My mouth and give them (I)warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will (J)surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. But as for you, if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he (K)does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have (L)delivered your life.

10 “Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus you have spoken, saying, “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are (M)rotting away in them; (N)how then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘(O)As I live!’ declares Lord Yahweh, ‘I take (P)no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked (Q)turn from his way and live. (R)Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’ 12 Now as for you, son of man, say to the sons of your people, ‘The (S)righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will (T)not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live [c]by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.’ 13 When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he (U)does iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has done he will die. 14 But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and he (V)turns from his sin and does (W)justice and righteousness, 15 if a wicked man restores a pledge, (X)pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the (Y)statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 (Z)None of his sins that he has done will be remembered against him. He has done justice and righteousness; he shall surely live.

17 “Yet the sons of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right. 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and (AA)does iniquity, then he shall die in [d]it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does justice and righteousness, he will live by them. 20 Yet you say, ‘(AB)The way of the Lord is not right.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”

Jerusalem Has Been Struck Down

21 Now (AC)it happened in the (AD)twelfth year of our exile, on the fifth of the tenth month, that those who escaped from Jerusalem came to me, saying, “(AE)The city has been struck down.” 22 Now the (AF)hand of Yahweh had been upon me in the evening, before those who escaped came. And He (AG)opened my mouth [e]at the time they came to me in the morning; so my mouth was (AH)opened, and I was no longer mute.

23 Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 24 “Son of man, they who (AI)inhabit these waste places in the land of Israel are saying, ‘(AJ)Abraham was only one, yet he possessed the land; so to (AK)us who are many the land has been given as a possession.’ 25 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says Lord Yahweh, “You eat meat with the (AL)blood in it and lift up your eyes to your idols as you shed blood. (AM)Should you then possess the land? 26 You (AN)stand on account of your sword, you do abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Should you then possess the land?”’ 27 Thus you shall say to them, ‘Thus says Lord Yahweh, “As I live, surely those who are in the waste places will (AO)fall by the sword, and whoever is in the [f]open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and in the (AP)caves will die of pestilence. 28 I will (AQ)make the land a desolation and a desecration, and the (AR)lofty pride of her strength will cease; and the mountains of Israel will be desolate so that no one will pass through. 29 Then they will know that I am Yahweh, when I make the land a desolation and a desecration because of all their abominations which they have done.”’

30 “But as for you, son of man, the sons of your people who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak to one another, each to his brother, saying, ‘(AS)Come now and hear what the word is which comes forth from Yahweh.’ 31 They come to you as people come and sit before you as My people and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their (AT)mouth, and their heart goes after their (AU)greedy gain. 32 Behold, you are to them like a lustful song by one who has a (AV)beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not do them. 33 So when it (AW)comes to pass—behold, it is coming—then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst.”


  1. Ezekiel 33:4 Lit the hearer who hears
  2. Ezekiel 33:6 Or for, so in ch
  3. Ezekiel 33:12 Lit by it
  4. Ezekiel 33:18 Lit them
  5. Ezekiel 33:22 Lit until he came
  6. Ezekiel 33:27 Lit surface of the field