A Watchman for Israel

16 (A)And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: 17 (B)“Son of man, (C)I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall (D)give them warning from me. 18 (E)If I say to the wicked, (F)‘You shall surely die,’ (G)and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person (H)shall die for[a] his iniquity, (I)but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 (J)But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, (K)but you (L)will have delivered your soul. 20 (M)Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, (N)and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. (O)Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, (P)and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, (Q)but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”

22 (R)And the hand of the Lord was upon me there. And he said to me, “Arise, go out into (S)the valley,[b] and (T)there I will speak with you.” 23 So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, (U)the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory that I had seen (V)by the Chebar canal, (W)and I fell on my face. 24 (X)But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, “Go, shut yourself within your house. 25 And you, O son of man, behold, (Y)cords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that (Z)you shall be mute and unable to reprove them, (AA)for they are a rebellious house. 27 (AB)But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, (AC)‘Thus says the Lord God.’ (AD)He who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house.

The Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized

“And you, (AE)son of man, (AF)take a brick and lay it before you, and engrave on it a city, even Jerusalem. (AG)And put siegeworks against it, (AH)and build a siege wall against it, (AI)and cast up a mound against it. Set camps also against it, (AJ)and plant battering rams against it all around. And you, take an iron griddle, and place it as an iron wall between you and the city; (AK)and set your face toward it, (AL)and let it be in a state of siege, and press the siege against it. This is (AM)a sign for the house of Israel.

“Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment[c] of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, (AN)you shall bear their punishment. For I assign to you a number of days, (AO)390 days, (AP)equal to the number of the years of their punishment. (AQ)So long shall you bear (AR)the punishment of the house of Israel. And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and (AS)bear (AT)the punishment of the house of Judah. (AU)Forty days I assign you, a day for each year. (AV)And you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, (AW)with your arm bared, and you shall prophesy against the city. And behold, (AX)I will place cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from one side to the other, till you have completed (AY)the days of your siege.

“And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer,[d] and put them into a single vessel and make your (AZ)bread from them. (BA)During the number of days that you lie on your side, (BB)390 days, you shall eat it. 10 And your food that you eat shall be (BC)by weight, (BD)twenty shekels[e] a day; from day to day[f] you shall eat it. 11 And water you shall drink (BE)by measure, the sixth part of a hin;[g] from day to day you shall drink. 12 And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it (BF)in their sight on human dung.” 13 And the Lord said, “Thus shall the people of Israel eat (BG)their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them.” 14 Then I said, (BH)“Ah, Lord God! Behold, I have never defiled myself.[h] (BI)From my youth up till now I have never eaten (BJ)what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has (BK)tainted meat come into my mouth.” 15 Then he said to me, “See, I assign to you cow's dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread.” 16 Moreover, he said to me, (BL)“Son of man, behold, (BM)I will break the supply[i] of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread (BN)by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water (BO)by measure and in dismay. 17 I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and (BP)look at one another in dismay, and (BQ)rot away because of their punishment.

Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed

“And you, (BR)O son of man, take a (BS)sharp sword. Use it as (BT)a barber's razor and (BU)pass it over your head and your beard. Then take balances for weighing and divide the hair. (BV)A third part you shall burn in the fire (BW)in the midst of the city, (BX)when the days of the siege are completed. And a third part you shall take and strike with the sword all around the city. (BY)And a third part you shall scatter to the wind, and (BZ)I will unsheathe the sword after them. (CA)And you shall take from these a small number and bind them in the skirts of your robe. (CB)And of these again you shall take some and cast them into the midst of the fire and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will come out into all the house of Israel.

“Thus says the Lord God: (CC)This is Jerusalem. I have set her (CD)in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. And she has rebelled against my rules by doing wickedness (CE)more than the nations, and against my statutes more than (CF)the countries all around her; for they have rejected my rules and have not walked in my statutes. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you are (CG)more turbulent than the nations that are all around you, (CH)and have not walked in my statutes or obeyed my rules, (CI)and have not[j] even acted according to the rules of the nations that are all around you, therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, even I, (CJ)am against you. (CK)And I will execute judgments[k] in your midst (CL)in the sight of the nations. And because of all your abominations I will do with you (CM)what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again. 10 Therefore (CN)fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers. (CO)And I will execute judgments on you, (CP)and any of you who survive I will scatter to all the winds. 11 Therefore, (CQ)as I live, declares the Lord God, surely, (CR)because you have defiled my sanctuary (CS)with all your detestable things and with all your (CT)abominations, (CU)therefore I will withdraw.[l] (CV)My eye will not spare, and I will have no pity. 12 (CW)A third part of you shall die of pestilence and be consumed with famine in your midst; (CX)a third part shall fall by the sword all around you; (CY)and a third part I will scatter to all the winds and will unsheathe the sword after them.

13 (CZ)“Thus shall my anger spend itself, and I will vent my fury upon them and satisfy myself. And they shall know that (DA)I am the Lord—that I have spoken in my jealousy—(DB)when I spend my fury upon them. 14 Moreover, I will make you (DC)a desolation and (DD)an object of reproach among (DE)the nations all around you and in the sight of all who pass by. 15 You shall be[m] a reproach and a taunt, a warning (DF)and a horror, to (DG)the nations all around you, (DH)when I execute judgments on you in anger and fury, and (DI)with furious rebukes—I am the Lord; I have spoken— 16 when I send against you[n] (DJ)the deadly arrows of famine, arrows for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, and when I bring more and more famine upon (DK)you and break your supply[o] of bread. 17 I will send famine and (DL)wild beasts against you, (DM)and they will rob you of your children. Pestilence and (DN)blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword upon you. I am the Lord; I have spoken.”


  1. Ezekiel 3:18 Or in; also verses 19, 20
  2. Ezekiel 3:22 Or plain; also verse 23
  3. Ezekiel 4:4 Or iniquity; also verses 5, 6, 17
  4. Ezekiel 4:9 A type of wheat
  5. Ezekiel 4:10 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
  6. Ezekiel 4:10 Or at a set time daily; also verse 11
  7. Ezekiel 4:11 A hin was about 4 quarts or 3.5 liters
  8. Ezekiel 4:14 Hebrew my soul (or throat) has never been made unclean
  9. Ezekiel 4:16 Hebrew staff
  10. Ezekiel 5:7 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac lack not
  11. Ezekiel 5:8 The same Hebrew expression can mean obey rules, or execute judgments, depending on the context
  12. Ezekiel 5:11 Some Hebrew manuscripts I will cut you down
  13. Ezekiel 5:15 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum; Masoretic Text And it shall be
  14. Ezekiel 5:16 Hebrew them
  15. Ezekiel 5:16 Hebrew staff

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