3 The Lord said, “Ezekiel, son of man, after you eat this scroll, go speak to the people of Israel.”
2-3 He handed me the scroll and said, “Eat this and fill up on it.” So I ate the scroll, and it tasted sweet as honey.
4 The Lord said:
Ezekiel, I am sending you to your own people. 5-6 They are Israelites, not some strangers who speak a foreign language you can’t understand. If I were to send you to foreign nations, they would listen to you. 7 But the people of Israel will refuse to listen, because they have refused to listen to me. All of them are stubborn and hardheaded, 8 so I will make you as stubborn as they are. 9 You will be so determined to speak my message that nothing will stop you. I will make you hard like a diamond, and you’ll have no reason to be afraid of those arrogant rebels.
10 Listen carefully to everything I say and then think about it. 11 Then go to the people who were brought here to Babylonia with you and tell them you have a message from me, the Lord God. Do this, whether they listen to you or not.
12 The Spirit[a] lifted me up, and as the glory of the Lord started to leave,[b] I heard a loud, thundering noise behind me. 13 It was the sound made by the creatures' wings as they brushed against each other, and by the rumble of the wheels beside them. 14 Then the Spirit carried me away.
The Lord’s power had taken complete control of me, and I was both annoyed and angry.
15 When I was back with the others living at Abib Hill near the Chebar River, I sat among them for seven days, shocked at what had happened to me.
The Lord Appoints Ezekiel To Stand Watch
16 Seven days after I had seen the brightness of the Lord’s glory, the Lord said:
17 Ezekiel, son of man, I have appointed you to stand watch for the people of Israel. So listen to what I say, then warn them for me. 18 When I tell wicked people they will die because of their sins, you must warn them to turn from their sinful ways so they won’t be punished. If you refuse, you are responsible for their death. 19 However, if you do warn them, and they keep on sinning, they will die because of their sins, and you will be innocent.
20 Now suppose faithful people start sinning, and I decide to put stumbling blocks in their paths to make them fall. They deserve to die because of their sins. So if you refuse to warn them, I will forget about the times they were faithful, and I will hold you responsible for their death. 21 But if you do warn them, and they listen to you and stop sinning, I will let them live. And you will be innocent.
Ezekiel Cannot Talk
22 The Lord took control of me and said, “Stand up! Go into the valley, and I will talk with you there.”
23 I immediately went to the valley, where I saw the brightness of the Lord’s glory, just as I had seen near the Chebar River, and I bowed with my face to the ground. 24 His Spirit took control of me and lifted me to my feet. Then the Lord said:
Go back and lock yourself in your house! 25 You will be tied up to keep you inside, 26 and I will make you unable to talk or to warn those who have rebelled against me. 27 But the time will come, when I will tell you what to say, and you will again be able to speak my message.[c] Some of them will listen; others will be stubborn and refuse to listen.
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