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Ezekiel 20 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Israel’s Rebellion

20 In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, some of Israel’s elders came to inquire of the Lord, and they sat down in front of me. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak with the elders of Israel and tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Are you coming to inquire of me? As I live, I will not let you inquire of me. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’

“Will you pass judgment against them, will you pass judgment, son of man? Explain the detestable practices of their fathers to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore an oath[a] to the descendants of Jacob’s house and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt. I swore to them, saying, “I am the Lord your God.” On that day I swore[b] to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. I also said to them, “Throw away, each of you, the abhorrent things that you prize,[c] and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”

“‘But they rebelled against me and were unwilling to listen to me. None of them threw away the abhorrent things that they prized,[d] and they did not abandon the idols of Egypt. So I considered pouring out my wrath on them, exhausting my anger against them within the land of Egypt. But I acted for the sake of my name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations they were living among, in whose sight I had made myself known to Israel by bringing them out of Egypt.

10 “‘So I brought them out of the land of Egypt and led them into the wilderness. 11 Then I gave them my statutes and explained my ordinances to them—the person who does them will live by them. 12 I also gave them my Sabbaths to serve as a sign between me and them, so that they would know that I am the Lord who consecrates them.

13 “‘But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not follow my statutes and they rejected my ordinances—the person who does them will live by them. They also completely profaned my Sabbaths. So I considered pouring out my wrath on them in the wilderness to put an end to them. 14 But I acted for the sake of my name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 However, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land I had given them—the most beautiful of all lands, flowing with milk and honey— 16 because they rejected my ordinances, profaned my Sabbaths, and did not follow my statutes. For their hearts went after their idols. 17 Yet I spared them from destruction and did not bring them to an end in the wilderness.

18 “‘Then I said to their children in the wilderness, “Don’t follow the statutes of your fathers, defile yourselves with their idols, or keep their ordinances. 19 I am the Lord your God. Follow my statutes, keep my ordinances, and practice them. 20 Keep my Sabbaths holy, and they will be a sign between me and you, so you may know that I am the Lord your God.”

21 “‘But the children rebelled against me. They did not follow my statutes or carefully keep my ordinances—the person who does them will live by them. They also profaned my Sabbaths. So I considered pouring out my wrath on them and exhausting my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I brought them out. 23 However, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries. 24 For they did not practice my ordinances but rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols. 25 I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances they could not live by. 26 When they sacrificed every firstborn in the fire,[e] I defiled them through their gifts in order to devastate them so they would know that I am the Lord.’

27 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: In this way also your fathers blasphemed me by committing treachery against me: 28 When I brought them into the land that I swore to give them and they saw any high hill or leafy tree, they offered their sacrifices and presented their offensive offerings there. They also sent up their pleasing aromas and poured out their drink offerings there. 29 So I asked them, “What is this high place you are going to?” And it is still called Bamah[f] today.’

30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Are you defiling yourselves the way your fathers did, and prostituting yourselves with their abhorrent things? 31 When you offer your gifts, sacrificing your children in the fire,[g] you still continue to defile yourselves with all your idols today. So should I let you inquire of me, house of Israel? As I live—this is the declaration of the Lord God—I will not let you inquire of me!

Israel’s Restoration

32 “‘When you say, “Let us be like the nations, like the clans of other countries, serving wood and stone,” what you have in mind will never happen. 33 As I live—the declaration of the Lord God—I will reign over you with a strong hand, an outstretched arm, and outpoured wrath. 34 I will bring you from the peoples and gather you from the countries where you were scattered, with a strong hand, an outstretched arm, and outpoured wrath. 35 I will lead you into the wilderness of the peoples and enter into judgment with you there face to face. 36 Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you. This is the declaration of the Lord God. 37 I will make you pass under the rod and will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 I will purge you of those who rebel and transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they live as foreign residents, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

39 “‘As for you, house of Israel, this is what the Lord God says: Go and serve your idols, each of you. But afterward you will surely listen to me, and you will no longer defile my holy name with your gifts and idols. 40 For on my holy mountain, Israel’s high mountain—the declaration of the Lord God—there the entire house of Israel, all of them, will serve me in the land. There I will accept them and will require your contributions and choicest gifts, all your holy offerings. 41 When I bring you from the peoples and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, I will accept you as a pleasing aroma. And I will demonstrate my holiness through you in the sight of the nations. 42 When I lead you into the land of Israel, the land I swore to give your fathers, you will know that I am the Lord. 43 There you will remember your ways and all your deeds by which you have defiled yourself, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil things you have done. 44 You will know that I am the Lord, house of Israel, when I have dealt with you for the sake of my name rather than according to your evil ways and corrupt acts. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’”

Fire in the South

45 The word of the Lord came to me: 46 “Son of man, face the south and preach against it. Prophesy against the forest land in the Negev, 47 and say to the forest there, ‘Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord God says: I am about to ignite a fire in you, and it will devour every green tree and every dry tree in you. The blazing flame will not be extinguished, and every face from the south to the north will be scorched by it. 48 Then all people will see that I, the Lord, have kindled it. It will not be extinguished.’”

49 Then I said, “Oh, Lord God, they are saying of me, ‘Isn’t he just composing parables?’”

Footnotes:

  1. 20:5 Lit I lifted my hand
  2. 20:6 Lit lifted my hand, also in vv. 15,23,28,42
  3. 20:7 Lit things of your eyes
  4. 20:8 Lit things of their eyes
  5. 20:26 Lit they made every firstborn pass through the fire
  6. 20:29 = High Place
  7. 20:31 Lit gifts, making your children pass through the fire
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Ezekiel 20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Israel’s Continuing Rebellion

20 In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain elders of Israel came to consult the Lord, and sat down before me. And the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them: Thus says the Lord God: Why are you coming? To consult me? As I live, says the Lord God, I will not be consulted by you. Will you judge them, mortal, will you judge them? Then let them know the abominations of their ancestors, and say to them: Thus says the Lord God: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob—making myself known to them in the land of Egypt—I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; not one of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.

Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them my statutes and showed them my ordinances, by whose observance everyone shall live. 12 Moreover I gave them my sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, so that they might know that I the Lord sanctify them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness; they did not observe my statutes but rejected my ordinances, by whose observance everyone shall live; and my sabbaths they greatly profaned.

Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make an end of them. 14 But I acted for the sake of my name, so that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands, 16 because they rejected my ordinances and did not observe my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make an end of them in the wilderness.

18 I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not follow the statutes of your parents, nor observe their ordinances, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I the Lord am your God; follow my statutes, and be careful to observe my ordinances, 20 and hallow my sabbaths that they may be a sign between me and you, so that you may know that I the Lord am your God. 21 But the children rebelled against me; they did not follow my statutes, and were not careful to observe my ordinances, by whose observance everyone shall live; they profaned my sabbaths.

Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld my hand, and acted for the sake of my name, so that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not executed my ordinances, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their ancestors’ idols. 25 Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live. 26 I defiled them through their very gifts, in their offering up all their firstborn, in order that I might horrify them, so that they might know that I am the Lord.

27 Therefore, mortal, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: In this again your ancestors blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. 28 For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing odors, and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 (I said to them, What is the high place to which you go? So it is called Bamah[a] to this day.) 30 Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your ancestors and go astray after their detestable things? 31 When you offer your gifts and make your children pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be consulted by you, O house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord God, I will not be consulted by you.

32 What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, “Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.”

God Will Restore Israel

33 As I live, says the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be king over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out; 35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 As I entered into judgment with your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, says the Lord God. 37 I will make you pass under the staff, and will bring you within the bond of the covenant. 38 I will purge out the rebels among you, and those who transgress against me; I will bring them out of the land where they reside as aliens, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord God: Go serve your idols, every one of you now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.

40 For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, says the Lord God, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land; there I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred things. 41 As a pleasing odor I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 You shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your ancestors. 43 There you shall remember your ways and all the deeds by which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, or corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, says the Lord God.

A Prophecy against the Negeb

45 [b] The word of the Lord came to me: 46 Mortal, set your face toward the south, preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb; 47 say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree; the blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. 48 All flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it; it shall not be quenched. 49 Then I said, “Ah Lord God! they are saying of me, ‘Is he not a maker of allegories?’”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 20:29 That is High Place
  2. Ezekiel 20:45 Ch 21.1 in Heb
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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