The Sins of Israel
22 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “And you, son of man [Ezekiel], will you judge, will you judge the city of bloodshed? Then make her recognize all her repulsive acts. 3 You shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “A city that sheds blood in her midst, so that her time [of doom] will come, and makes idols to defile her, contrary to her interest! 4 You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and you are defiled by the idols which you have made. Thus you have caused your day [of judgment and punishment] to approach and have arrived at [the completion of] your years; therefore, I have made you an object of scorn to the [pagan] nations and a thing to be mocked by all countries. 5 Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you [infamous one] of ill repute, full of turmoil.
6 “Behold, the princes of Israel, every one according to his power, have been intending to shed blood in you. 7 In you they have treated father and mother lightly. They have oppressed the stranger among you; and in your presence they have wronged the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised and scorned My sacred things and have profaned My Sabbaths. 9 In you are men who slander for the purpose of shedding blood, and in your presence they have eaten [food offered to idols] at the mountain shrines; in your midst they have committed acts of lewdness. 10 In you men have uncovered their fathers’ nakedness [the nakedness of mother or stepmother]; in you they have violated women who are [set apart as ceremonially] unclean during their menstrual impurity [or after childbirth]. 11 In you one has committed a shameful act with his neighbor’s wife, another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law, and another has violated his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you they have accepted bribes to shed blood; you have taken [forbidden] interest and [a percentage of] profits, and you have injured your neighbors for gain by oppression and extortion, and you have forgotten Me,” says the Lord God.
13 “Behold, therefore, I strike My hands [together] at your dishonest gain which you have acquired and at the bloodshed which is among you. 14 Can your heart (courage) endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I will deal with you? I the Lord have spoken, and will act. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will destroy your filthiness. 16 You will defile yourself in the sight of the [Gentile] nations, and you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.”’”
17 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross (metallic waste) to Me. All of them are (useless) bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the furnace; they are the dross of silver. 19 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you [O Israel] into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As they gather silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into the furnace to blow fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in My anger and in My wrath, and I will put you there and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you will be melted in the midst of it. 22 As silver is melted in the furnace, so will you be melted in the midst of it; and you will know [without any doubt] that I the Lord have poured out My wrath on you [O Israel].’”
23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her, ‘You [Israel] are a land that is not pronounced clean or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 There is a conspiracy of her [false] prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured [human] life; they have taken [in their greed] treasure and precious things; they have made many widows among her. 26 Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy (sacred) and the profane (secular), they have not taught [people] the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes within her are like wolves tearing and devouring the prey, shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God’—when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have practiced oppression and extortion and have committed robbery; they have wronged the poor and needy and they have oppressed the stranger without justice. 30 I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for [the sake of] the land, that I would not destroy it, but I found no one [not even one]. 31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; I have repaid their way [by bringing it] upon their own heads,” says the Lord God.
New Living Translation
The Sins of Jerusalem
22 Now this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, are you ready to judge Jerusalem? Are you ready to judge this city of murderers? Publicly denounce her detestable sins, 3 and give her this message from the Sovereign Lord: O city of murderers, doomed and damned—city of idols,[a] filthy and foul— 4 you are guilty because of the blood you have shed. You are defiled because of the idols you have made. Your day of destruction has come! You have reached the end of your years. I will make you an object of mockery throughout the world. 5 O infamous city, filled with confusion, you will be mocked by people far and near.
6 “Every leader in Israel who lives within your walls is bent on murder. 7 Fathers and mothers are treated with contempt. Foreigners are forced to pay for protection. Orphans and widows are wronged and oppressed among you. 8 You despise my holy things and violate my Sabbath days of rest. 9 People accuse others falsely and send them to their death. You are filled with idol worshipers and people who do obscene things. 10 Men sleep with their fathers’ wives and force themselves on women who are menstruating. 11 Within your walls live men who commit adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defile their daughters-in-law, or who rape their own sisters. 12 There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere. They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign Lord.
13 “But now I clap my hands in indignation over your dishonest gain and bloodshed. 14 How strong and courageous will you be in my day of reckoning? I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I said. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and purge you of your wickedness. 16 And when I have been dishonored among the nations because of you,[b] you will know that I am the Lord.”
The Lord’s Refining Furnace
17 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 18 “Son of man, the people of Israel are the worthless slag that remains after silver is smelted. They are the dross that is left over—a useless mixture of copper, tin, iron, and lead. 19 So tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you are all worthless slag, I will bring you to my crucible in Jerusalem. 20 Just as silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin are melted down in a furnace, I will melt you down in the heat of my fury. 21 I will gather you together and blow the fire of my anger upon you, 22 and you will melt like silver in fierce heat. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my fury on you.’”
The Sins of Israel’s Leaders
23 Again a message came to me from the Lord: 24 “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: In the day of my indignation, you will be like a polluted land, a land without rain. 25 Your princes[c] plot conspiracies just as lions stalk their prey. They devour innocent people, seizing treasures and extorting wealth. They make many widows in the land. 26 Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored among them. 27 Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money! 28 And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, ‘My message is from the Sovereign Lord,’ when the Lord hasn’t spoken a single word to them. 29 Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice.
30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. 31 So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
New King James Version
Sins of Jerusalem
22 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Now, son of man, (A)will you judge, will you judge (B)the bloody city? Yes, show her all her abominations! 3 Then say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “The city sheds (C)blood in her own midst, that her time may come; and she makes idols within herself to defile herself. 4 You have become guilty by the blood which you have (D)shed, and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made. You have caused your days to draw near, and have come to the end of your years; (E)therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all countries. 5 Those near and those far from you will mock you as [a]infamous and full of tumult.
6 “Look, (F)the princes of Israel: each one has used his [b]power to shed blood in you. 7 In you they have (G)made light of father and mother; in your midst they have (H)oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the [c]fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised My holy things and (I)profaned My Sabbaths. 9 In you are (J)men who slander to cause bloodshed; (K)in you are those who eat on the mountains; in your midst they commit lewdness. 10 In you men (L)uncover their fathers’ nakedness; in you they violate women who are (M)set apart during their impurity. 11 One commits abomination (N)with his neighbor’s wife; (O)another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; and another in you violates his sister, his father’s (P)daughter. 12 In you (Q)they take bribes to shed blood; (R)you take usury and increase; you have made profit from your neighbors by extortion, and (S)have forgotten Me,” says the Lord God.
13 “Behold, therefore, I (T)beat My fists at the dishonest profit which you have made, and at the bloodshed which has been in your midst. 14 (U)Can your heart endure, or can your hands remain strong, in the days when I shall deal with you? (V)I, the Lord, have spoken, and will do it. 15 (W)I will scatter you among the nations, disperse you throughout the countries, and (X)remove your filthiness completely from you. 16 You shall defile yourself in the sight of the nations; then (Y)you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
Israel in the Furnace
17 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, (Z)the house of Israel has become dross to Me; they are all bronze, tin, iron, and lead, in the midst of a (AA)furnace; they have become dross from silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have all become dross, therefore behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As men gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace, to blow fire on it, to (AB)melt it; so I will gather you in My anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there and melt you. 21 Yes, I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst. 22 As silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so shall you be melted in its midst; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have (AC)poured out My fury on you.’ ”
Israel’s Wicked Leaders
23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that is (AD)not [d]cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 (AE)The conspiracy of her [e]prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they (AF)have devoured [f]people; (AG)they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 (AH)Her priests have [g]violated My law and (AI)profaned My holy things; they have not (AJ)distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her (AK)princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy [h]people, and to get dishonest gain. 28 (AL)Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, (AM)seeing false visions, and divining (AN)lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord had not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully (AO)oppress the stranger. 30 (AP)So I sought for a man among them who would (AQ)make a wall, and (AR)stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I have (AS)poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed (AT)their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.
The Scarecrow of the Nations
22 1-5 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, are you going to judge this bloody city or not? Come now, are you going to judge her? Do it! Face her with all her outrageous obscenities. Tell her, ‘This is what God, the Master, says: You’re a city murderous at the core, just asking for punishment. You’re a city obsessed with no-god idols, making yourself filthy. In all your killing, you’ve piled up guilt. In all your idol-making, you’ve become filthy. You’ve forced a premature end to your existence. I’ll put you on exhibit as the scarecrow of the nations, the world’s worst joke. From far and near they’ll deride you as infamous in filth, notorious for chaos.
6-12 “‘Your leaders, the princes of Israel among you, compete in crime. You’re a community that’s insolent to parents, abusive to outsiders, oppressive against orphans and widows. You treat my holy things with contempt and desecrate my Sabbaths. You have people spreading lies and spilling blood, flocking to the hills to the sex shrines and fornicating unrestrained. Incest is common. Men force themselves on women regardless of whether they’re ready or willing. Sex is now anarchy. Anyone is fair game: neighbor, daughter-in-law, sister. Murder is for hire, usury is rampant, extortion is commonplace.
“‘And you’ve forgotten me. Decree of God, the Master.
13-14 “‘Now look! I’ve clapped my hands, calling everyone’s attention to your rapacious greed and your bloody brutalities. Can you stick with it? Will you be able to keep at this once I start dealing with you?
14-16 “‘I, God, have spoken. I’ll put an end to this. I’ll throw you to the four winds. I’ll scatter you all over the world. I’ll put a full stop to your filthy living. You will be defiled, spattered with your own mud in the eyes of the nations. And you’ll recognize that I am God.’”
17-22 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, the people of Israel are slag to me, the useless byproduct of refined copper, tin, iron, and lead left at the smelter—a worthless slag heap. So tell them, ‘God, the Master, has spoken: Because you’ve all become worthless slag, you’re on notice: I’ll assemble you in Jerusalem. As men gather silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin into a furnace and blow fire on it to melt it down, so in my wrath I’ll gather you and melt you down. I’ll blow on you with the fire of my wrath to melt you down in the furnace. As silver is melted down, you’ll be melted down. That should get through to you. Then you’ll recognize that I, God, have let my wrath loose on you.’”
23-25 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, tell her, ‘You’re a land that during the time I was angry with you got no rain, not so much as a spring shower. The leaders among you became desperate, like roaring, ravaging lions killing indiscriminately. They grabbed and looted, leaving widows in their wake.
26-29 “‘Your priests violated my law and desecrated my holy things. They can’t tell the difference between sacred and secular. They tell people there’s no difference between right and wrong. They’re contemptuous of my holy Sabbaths, profaning me by trying to pull me down to their level. Your politicians are like wolves prowling and killing and rapaciously taking whatever they want. Your preachers cover up for the politicians by pretending to have received visions and special revelations. They say, “This is what God, the Master, says . . .” when God hasn’t said so much as one word. Extortion is rife, robbery is epidemic, the poor and needy are abused, outsiders are kicked around at will, with no access to justice.’
30-31 “I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone. Not one. So I’ll empty out my wrath on them, burn them to a crisp with my hot anger, serve them with the consequences of all they’ve done. Decree of God, the Master.”