Ezekiel’s Call to Be a Prophet

He said to me, “Son of man,[a](A) stand(B) up on your feet and I will speak to you.(C) As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me(D) to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day.(E) The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn.(F) Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’(G) And whether they listen or fail to listen(H)—for they are a rebellious people(I)—they will know that a prophet has been among them.(J) And you, son of man, do not be afraid(K) of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns(L) are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.(M) You must speak(N) my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.(O) But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel(P) like that rebellious people;(Q) open your mouth and eat(R) what I give you.”

Then I looked, and I saw a hand(S) stretched out to me. In it was a scroll,(T) 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.(U)

And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate(V) it, and it tasted as sweet as honey(W) in my mouth.

He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them.(X) You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language,(Y) but to the people of Israel— not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you.(Z) But the people of Israel are not willing to listen(AA) to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate.(AB) But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are.(AC) I will make your forehead(AD) like the hardest stone, harder than flint.(AE) Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.(AF)

10 And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart(AG) all the words I speak to you. 11 Go(AH) now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’(AI) whether they listen or fail to listen.(AJ)

12 Then the Spirit lifted me up,(AK) and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where it was standing.[b] 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures(AL) brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound.(AM) 14 The Spirit(AN) then lifted me up(AO) and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord(AP) on me. 15 I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River.(AQ) And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days(AR)—deeply distressed.

Ezekiel’s Task as Watchman

16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me:(AS) 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman(AT) for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.(AU) 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,(AV)’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[c] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.(AW) 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn(AX) from their wickedness(AY) or from their evil ways, they will die(AZ) for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.(BA)

20 “Again, when a righteous person turns(BB) from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block(BC) before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.(BD) 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.(BE)

22 The hand of the Lord(BF) was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go(BG) out to the plain,(BH) and there I will speak to you.” 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River,(BI) and I fell facedown.(BJ)

24 Then the Spirit came into me and raised me(BK) to my feet. He spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house.(BL) 25 And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people.(BM) 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof(BN) of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious people.(BO) 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’(BP) Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.(BQ)


  1. Ezekiel 2:1 The Hebrew phrase ben adam means human being. The phrase son of man is retained as a form of address here and throughout Ezekiel because of its possible association with “Son of Man” in the New Testament.
  2. Ezekiel 3:12 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text sound—may the glory of the Lord be praised from his place
  3. Ezekiel 3:18 Or in; also in verses 19 and 20

The Day of the Lord

Dear friends,(A) this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders(B) to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets(C) and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.(D)

Above all, you must understand that in the last days(E) scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.(F) They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?(G) Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”(H) But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word(I) the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.(J) By these waters also the world of that time(K) was deluged and destroyed.(L) By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire,(M) being kept for the day of judgment(N) and destruction of the ungodly.

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