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Ezekiel 32-33 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Lamentation over Pharaoh and Egypt

32 In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him:

You consider yourself a lion among the nations,
    but you are like a dragon in the seas;
you thrash about in your streams,
    trouble the water with your feet,
    and foul your[a] streams.
Thus says the Lord God:
    In an assembly of many peoples
    I will throw my net over you;
    and I[b] will haul you up in my dragnet.
I will throw you on the ground,
    on the open field I will fling you,
and will cause all the birds of the air to settle on you,
    and I will let the wild animals of the whole earth gorge themselves with you.
I will strew your flesh on the mountains,
    and fill the valleys with your carcass.[c]
I will drench the land with your flowing blood
    up to the mountains,
    and the watercourses will be filled with you.
When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens,
    and make their stars dark;
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
    and the moon shall not give its light.
All the shining lights of the heavens
    I will darken above you,
    and put darkness on your land,
says the Lord God.
I will trouble the hearts of many peoples,
    as I carry you captive[d] among the nations,
    into countries you have not known.
10 I will make many peoples appalled at you;
    their kings shall shudder because of you.
When I brandish my sword before them,
    they shall tremble every moment
for their lives, each one of them,
    on the day of your downfall.
11 For thus says the Lord God:
The sword of the king of Babylon shall come against you.
12 I will cause your hordes to fall
    by the swords of mighty ones,
    all of them most terrible among the nations.
They shall bring to ruin the pride of Egypt,
    and all its hordes shall perish.
13 I will destroy all its livestock
    from beside abundant waters;
and no human foot shall trouble them any more,
    nor shall the hoofs of cattle trouble them.
14 Then I will make their waters clear,
    and cause their streams to run like oil, says the Lord God.
15 When I make the land of Egypt desolate
    and when the land is stripped of all that fills it,
when I strike down all who live in it,
    then they shall know that I am the Lord.
16 This is a lamentation; it shall be chanted.
    The women of the nations shall chant it.
Over Egypt and all its hordes they shall chant it,
    says the Lord God.

Dirge over Egypt

17 In the twelfth year, in the first month,[e] on the fifteenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me:

18 Mortal, wail over the hordes of Egypt,
    and send them down,
with Egypt[f] and the daughters of majestic nations,
    to the world below,
    with those who go down to the Pit.
19 “Whom do you surpass in beauty?
    Go down! Be laid to rest with the uncircumcised!”

20 They shall fall among those who are killed by the sword. Egypt[g] has been handed over to the sword; carry away both it and its hordes. 21 The mighty chiefs shall speak of them, with their helpers, out of the midst of Sheol: “They have come down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, killed by the sword.”

22 Assyria is there, and all its company, their graves all around it, all of them killed, fallen by the sword. 23 Their graves are set in the uttermost parts of the Pit. Its company is all around its grave, all of them killed, fallen by the sword, who spread terror in the land of the living.

24 Elam is there, and all its hordes around its grave; all of them killed, fallen by the sword, who went down uncircumcised into the world below, who spread terror in the land of the living. They bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit. 25 They have made Elam[h] a bed among the slain with all its hordes, their graves all around it, all of them uncircumcised, killed by the sword; for terror of them was spread in the land of the living, and they bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit; they are placed among the slain.

26 Meshech and Tubal are there, and all their multitude, their graves all around them, all of them uncircumcised, killed by the sword; for they spread terror in the land of the living. 27 And they do not lie with the fallen warriors of long ago[i] who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war, whose swords were laid under their heads, and whose shields[j] are upon their bones; for the terror of the warriors was in the land of the living. 28 So you shall be broken and lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are killed by the sword.

29 Edom is there, its kings and all its princes, who for all their might are laid with those who are killed by the sword; they lie with the uncircumcised, with those who go down to the Pit.

30 The princes of the north are there, all of them, and all the Sidonians, who have gone down in shame with the slain, for all the terror that they caused by their might; they lie uncircumcised with those who are killed by the sword, and bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit.

31 When Pharaoh sees them, he will be consoled for all his hordes—Pharaoh and all his army, killed by the sword, says the Lord God. 32 For he[k] spread terror in the land of the living; therefore he shall be laid to rest among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword—Pharaoh and all his multitude, says the Lord God.

Ezekiel Israel’s Sentry

33 The word of the Lord came to me: O Mortal, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one of their number as their sentinel; and if the sentinel sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people; then if any who hear the sound of the trumpet do not take warning, and the sword comes and takes them away, their blood shall be upon their own heads. They heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; their blood shall be upon themselves. But if they had taken warning, they would have saved their lives. But if the sentinel sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any of them, they are taken away in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at the sentinel’s hand.

So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, “O wicked ones, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life.

God’s Justice and Mercy

10 Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” 11 Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel? 12 And you, mortal, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not save them when they transgress; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, it shall not make them stumble when they turn from their wickedness; and the righteous shall not be able to live by their righteousness[l] when they sin. 13 Though I say to the righteous that they shall surely live, yet if they trust in their righteousness and commit iniquity, none of their righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. 14 Again, though I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” yet if they turn from their sin and do what is lawful and right— 15 if the wicked restore the pledge, give back what they have taken by robbery, and walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity—they shall surely live, they shall not die. 16 None of the sins that they have committed shall be remembered against them; they have done what is lawful and right, they shall surely live.

17 Yet your people say, “The way of the Lord is not just,” when it is their own way that is not just. 18 When the righteous turn from their righteousness, and commit iniquity, they shall die for it.[m] 19 And when the wicked turn from their wickedness, and do what is lawful and right, they shall live by it.[n] 20 Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is not just.” O house of Israel, I will judge all of you according to your ways!

The Fall of Jerusalem

21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, someone who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen.” 22 Now the hand of the Lord had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; but he had opened my mouth by the time the fugitive came to me in the morning; so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer unable to speak.

The Survivors in Judah

23 The word of the Lord came to me: 24 Mortal, the inhabitants of these waste places in the land of Israel keep saying, “Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but we are many; the land is surely given us to possess.” 25 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: You eat flesh with the blood, and lift up your eyes to your idols, and shed blood; shall you then possess the land? 26 You depend on your swords, you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife; shall you then possess the land? 27 Say this to them, Thus says the Lord God: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword; and those who are in the open field I will give to the wild animals to be devoured; and those who are in strongholds and in caves shall die by pestilence. 28 I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and its proud might shall come to an end; and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that no one will pass through. 29 Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.

30 As for you, mortal, your people who talk together about you by the walls, and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to a neighbor, “Come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.” 31 They come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but they will not obey them. For flattery is on their lips, but their heart is set on their gain. 32 To them you are like a singer of love songs,[o] one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; they hear what you say, but they will not do it. 33 When this comes—and come it will!—then they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 32:2 Heb their
  2. Ezekiel 32:3 Gk Vg: Heb they
  3. Ezekiel 32:5 Symmachus Syr Vg: Heb your height
  4. Ezekiel 32:9 Gk: Heb bring your destruction
  5. Ezekiel 32:17 Gk: Heb lacks in the first month
  6. Ezekiel 32:18 Heb it
  7. Ezekiel 32:20 Heb It
  8. Ezekiel 32:25 Heb it
  9. Ezekiel 32:27 Gk Old Latin: Heb of the uncircumcised
  10. Ezekiel 32:27 Cn: Heb iniquities
  11. Ezekiel 32:32 Cn: Heb I
  12. Ezekiel 33:12 Heb by it
  13. Ezekiel 33:18 Heb them
  14. Ezekiel 33:19 Heb them
  15. Ezekiel 33:32 Cn: Heb like a love song
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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