Ezekiel 33:1-20 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
The Lord Again Appoints Ezekiel to Warn Israel
33 A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, 2 “Son of man, speak to your people. Tell them, ‘Suppose I send enemies against a land. And its people choose one of their men to stand guard. 3 He sees the enemies coming against the land. He blows a trumpet to warn the people. 4 Someone hears the trumpet. But they do not pay any attention to the warning. The enemies come and kill them. Then what happens to them will be their own fault. 5 They heard the sound of the trumpet. But they did not pay any attention to the warning. So what happened to them was their own fault. If they had paid attention, they would have saved themselves. 6 But suppose the guard sees the enemies coming. And he does not blow the trumpet to warn the people. The enemies come and kill one of them. Then their life has been taken away from them because they sinned. But I will hold the guard responsible for their death.’
7 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a prophet to warn the people of Israel. So listen to my message. Give them a warning from me. 8 Suppose I say to a sinful person, ‘You can be sure that you will die.’ And suppose you do not try to get them to change their ways. Then they will die because they have sinned. And I will hold you responsible for their death. 9 But suppose you do warn that sinful person. You tell them to change their ways. But they do not change. Then they will die because they have sinned. But you will have saved yourself.
10 “Son of man, speak to the Israelites. Tell them, ‘You are saying, “Our sins and the wrong things we have done weigh us down. We are wasting away because we have sinned so much. So how can we live?” ’ 11 Tell them, ‘When sinful people die, it does not give me any joy. But when they turn away from their sins and live, that makes me very happy. And that is just as sure as I am alive,’ announces the Lord and King. ‘So turn away from your sins! Change your evil ways! Why should you die, people of Israel?’
12 “Son of man, speak to your people. Tell them, ‘Suppose a godly person does not obey the Lord. Then the right things that person has done in the past count for nothing. Suppose a sinful person turns away from doing wrong things. Then the wrong things that person has done in the past won’t bring them judgment. A godly person who sins won’t be allowed to live. That’s true even though they used to do right things.’ 13 Suppose I tell a godly person that they will live. And they trust in the fact that they used to do what is right. But now they do what is evil. Then I will not remember any of the right things they have done. They will die because they have done so many evil things. 14 Suppose I say to a sinful person, ‘You can be sure you will die.’ And then they turn away from their sin. They do what is fair and right. 15 They return things they take to make sure loans are repaid. They give back what they have stolen. They obey my rules that give life. They do not do what is evil. Then you can be sure they will live. They will not die. 16 None of the sins they have committed will be held against them. They have done what is fair and right. So you can be sure they will live.
17 “In spite of that, your people say, ‘What the Lord does isn’t fair.’ But it is what you do that is not fair. 18 Suppose a godly person stops doing what is right. And they do what is evil. Then they will die because of it. 19 But suppose a sinful person turns away from the evil things they have done. And they do what is fair and right. Then they will live by doing that. 20 In spite of that, you Israelites say, ‘What the Lord does isn’t fair.’ But I will judge each of you based on how you have lived.”
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