The Watchman’s Duty

33 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the (A)sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and (B)blows the [a]horn and warns the people, then [b]someone who hears the sound of the horn but (C)does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his (D)blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the horn but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have (E)saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the horn and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is (F)taken away for his wrongdoing; but I will [c]require his (G)blood from the watchman’s hand.’

“Now as for you, son of man, I have [d](H)appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a [e]message from My mouth and give them a (I)warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will (J)certainly die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked about his way, that wicked person shall die for his wrongdoing, but I will [f]require his blood from your hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he (K)does not turn from his way, he will die for his wrongdoing, but you have (L)saved your life.

10 “Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you have [g]said: “Surely our offenses and our sins are upon us, and we are (M)rotting away in them; (N)how then can we [h]survive?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘(O)As I live!’ declares the Lord [i]God, ‘I take (P)no pleasure at all in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked (Q)turn from his way and live. (R)Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then should you die, house of Israel?’ 12 And you, son of man, say to [j]your fellow citizens, ‘The (S)righteousness of a righteous one will not save him on the day of his offense, and as for the wickedness of a wicked one, he will (T)not stumble because of it on the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous one will not be able to live [k]by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.’ 13 When I say to the righteous that he will certainly live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he (U)commits injustice, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but for that same injustice of his which he has committed he will die. 14 But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and he (V)turns from his sin and practices (W)justice and righteousness, 15 if a wicked person returns a pledge, (X)pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the (Y)statutes [l]which ensure life without committing injustice, he shall certainly live; he shall not die. 16 (Z)None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall certainly live.

17 “Yet [m]your fellow citizens say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right. 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and (AA)commits injustice, then he shall die in [n]it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them. 20 Yet you say, ‘(AB)The way of the Lord is not right.’ I will judge each of you according to his ways, house of Israel.”

Word of Jerusalem’s Capture

21 Now (AC)in the (AD)twelfth year of our exile, on the fifth of the tenth month, the survivor from Jerusalem came to me, saying, “(AE)The city has been [o]taken.” 22 Now the (AF)hand of the Lord had been upon me in the evening, before the survivors came. And He (AG)opened my mouth [p]at the time they came to me in the morning; so my mouth was (AH)opened and I was no longer [q]speechless.

23 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, they who (AI)live in these ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘(AJ)Abraham was only one, yet he possessed the land; so to (AK)us who are many the land has been given as a possession.’ 25 Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “You eat meat with the (AL)blood in it, raise your eyes to your idols as you shed blood. (AM)Should you then possess the land? 26 You [r](AN)rely on your sword, you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Should you then possess the land?”’ 27 You shall say this to them: ‘This is what the Lord God says: “As I live, those who are in the places of ruins certainly will (AO)fall by the sword, and whoever is in the [s]open field I will give to the animals to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and in the (AP)caves will die of plague. 28 And I will (AQ)make the land a desolation and a waste, and the (AR)pride of her power will be brought to an end; and the mountains of Israel will be deserted so that no one will pass through. 29 Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I make the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations which they have committed.”’

30 “But as for you, son of man, [t]your fellow citizens who talk with one another about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak one with another, each with his brother, saying, ‘(AS)Come now and hear what the [u]message is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 And they come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people and hear your words, but they do not do them; for they do the lustful desires expressed by their (AT)mouth, and their heart follows their unlawful (AU)gain. 32 And behold, you are to them like a love song by one who has a (AV)beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them. 33 So when it (AW)comes—[v]as it certainly will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”


  1. Ezekiel 33:3 Heb shofar; i.e., ram’s horn
  2. Ezekiel 33:4 Lit the one who hears the sound...hears it but
  3. Ezekiel 33:6 I.e., hold the watchman responsible
  4. Ezekiel 33:7 Or given
  5. Ezekiel 33:7 Lit word
  6. Ezekiel 33:8 I.e., hold you responsible
  7. Ezekiel 33:10 Lit said, saying
  8. Ezekiel 33:10 Lit live
  9. Ezekiel 33:11 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord, and so throughout the ch
  10. Ezekiel 33:12 Lit the sons of your people
  11. Ezekiel 33:12 Lit by it
  12. Ezekiel 33:15 Lit of life
  13. Ezekiel 33:17 Lit the sons of your people
  14. Ezekiel 33:18 Lit them
  15. Ezekiel 33:21 Lit struck
  16. Ezekiel 33:22 Lit until he came
  17. Ezekiel 33:22 Or mute
  18. Ezekiel 33:26 Lit stand
  19. Ezekiel 33:27 Lit faces of the field
  20. Ezekiel 33:30 Lit the sons of your people
  21. Ezekiel 33:30 Lit word
  22. Ezekiel 33:33 Lit behold, it is coming

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