International Standard Version
Ezekiel’s Commission to Prophesy
3 Then he told me, “Son of Man, fill your stomach and digest this scroll that I’m giving you.” So I ate it, and it was like sweet honey in my mouth.
4 Then he told me, “Son of Man, go to the house of Israel and tell them what I have to say to them, 5 because you’re not going to a people whose speech you cannot understand or whose language is difficult to speak. Instead, you’re going to the house of Israel. 6 This isn’t a large group of people whose speech is unintelligible to you or whose language is difficult for you to comprehend. Frankly, if I had sent you to that kind of people,[c] they would certainly have listened to you! 7 But the house of Israel won’t listen to you, since they weren’t willing to listen to me. That’s because the entire house of Israel is hard-headed and hard-hearted. 8 So pay attention! I’m going to make you just as obstinate[d] and unyielding as they are.[e] 9 I’m making you harder than flint—like diamond! So you are not to fear them or be intimidated by how they look at you,[f] since they’re a rebellious group.”
Ezekiel is Commissioned to Speak
10 Next, he told me, “Son of Man, take to heart every word that I’m telling you. Listen carefully, 11 then go immediately[g] to the exiles; that is, to your people’s descendants, and tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says…’ whether they listen or not.”[h]
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up and I heard a great earthquake behind me and the glory of the Lord arose from his place, 13 accompanied by the sound of the wings of the living creatures gently touching each other and with the sound of the wheels emanating from the front, accompanied by a great earthquake.
Ezekiel Addresses the Israelis
14 Then the Spirit lifted me up and carried me away. I went bitterly with an angry attitude as the hand of the Lord rested on me. 15 I came to the exiles at Tel-abib by the Chebar River and sat down among them for seven days, appalled. 16 At the end of the seven days, this message from the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of Man,” he said,[i] “I’ve appointed you to be a watchman[j] over the house of Israel. Therefore when you hear a message that comes from me, you are to warn them for me.
18 “So when I say to a wicked person, ‘You’re about to die,’ if you don’t warn or instruct that wicked person that his behavior[k] is wicked so he can live, that wicked person will die in his sin, but I’ll hold you responsible for his death.[l] 19 If you warn the wicked person, and he doesn’t repent of his wickedness or of his wicked behavior,[m] he’ll die in his sin, but you will have saved your own life.
20 “When a righteous man abandons his righteousness to practice unrighteousness, I’ll set a stumbling block before him. He’ll die. If you don’t warn him, he’ll die in his sin and the righteous deeds that he had practiced won’t be remembered, but you’ll be held responsible for his death.[n] 21 If you warn the righteous person, so that he[o] doesn’t commit sin, then he’ll live, since he had been warned. And you will have saved your life.”
Ezekiel Sees God in the Valley
22 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he told me, “Get up! Go to the valley, and I’ll speak with you there.” 23 So I got up, went to the valley, and there was the glory of the Lord, standing there just like[p] I had seen at the Chebar River. So I fell on my face.
24 The Spirit entered me, rested on me, caused me to stand on my feet, and then he spoke to me. This is what he had to say: “Go barricade yourself in your house. 25 Now pay attention! They’re going to bind you with ropes, tying you up right in their midst, so you won’t be able to circulate freely among them. 26 Meanwhile, I’ll make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you’ll be mute and unable to reprove them, since they’re a rebellious group.[q] 27 But when I speak with you, I’ll open your mouth so you can say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says:
“As for those who will listen,
‘Let them listen,’
but as for those who refuse,
‘Let them refuse,’
since they’re a rebellious group.”’”[r]
- Ezekiel 3:1 Lit. find
- Ezekiel 3:2 Lit. he caused me to eat
- Ezekiel 3:6 Lit. to them
- Ezekiel 3:8 Lit. I’m making your face hard against their faces
- Ezekiel 3:8 Lit. and your forehead as hard as their foreheads
- Ezekiel 3:9 The Heb. lacks at you
- Ezekiel 3:11 Lit. walk and go
- Ezekiel 3:11 Lit. or fail
- Ezekiel 3:17 The Heb. lacks he said
- Ezekiel 3:17 cf. 2Sam 18:24; 2King 9:17
- Ezekiel 3:18 Lit. ways
- Ezekiel 3:18 Lit. but I’ll seek his blood from your hand
- Ezekiel 3:19 Lit. ways
- Ezekiel 3:20 Lit. but I’ll seek his blood from your hand
- Ezekiel 3:21 Lit. righteous person.
- Ezekiel 3:23 Lit. there like the glory of the Lord that
- Ezekiel 3:26 Lit. house
- Ezekiel 3:27 Lit. house