17 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, the people of Israel have become dross(A) to me; all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace.(B) They are but the dross of silver.(C) 19 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have all become dross,(D) I will gather you into Jerusalem. 20 As silver, copper, iron, lead and tin are gathered into a furnace to be melted with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath and put you inside the city and melt you.(E) 21 I will gather you and I will blow(F) on you with my fiery wrath, and you will be melted inside her.(G) 22 As silver is melted(H) in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath(I) on you.’”(J)

23 Again the word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has not been cleansed or rained on in the day of wrath.’(K) 25 There is a conspiracy(L) of her princes[a] within her like a roaring lion(M) tearing its prey; they devour people,(N) take treasures and precious things and make many widows(O) within her. 26 Her priests do violence to my law(P) and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common;(Q) they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean;(R) and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned(S) among them.(T) 27 Her officials(U) within her are like wolves(V) tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people(W) to make unjust gain.(X) 28 Her prophets whitewash(Y) these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations.(Z) They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken.(AA) 29 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery;(AB) they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner,(AC) denying them justice.(AD)

30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall(AE) and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.(AF) 31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger,(AG) bringing down(AH) on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.(AI)

Two Adulterous Sisters

23 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother.(AJ) They became prostitutes in Egypt,(AK) engaging in prostitution(AL) from their youth.(AM) In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms caressed.(AN) The older was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They were mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.(AO)

“Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine; and she lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians(AP)—warriors(AQ) clothed in blue, governors and commanders, all of them handsome young men, and mounted horsemen. She gave herself as a prostitute to all the elite of the Assyrians and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after.(AR) She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt,(AS) when during her youth men slept with her, caressed her virgin bosom and poured out their lust on her.(AT)

“Therefore I delivered her into the hands(AU) of her lovers,(AV) the Assyrians, for whom she lusted.(AW) 10 They stripped(AX) her naked, took away her sons and daughters and killed her with the sword. She became a byword among women,(AY) and punishment was inflicted(AZ) on her.(BA)

11 “Her sister Oholibah saw this,(BB) yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister.(BC) 12 She too lusted after the Assyrians—governors and commanders, warriors in full dress, mounted horsemen, all handsome young men.(BD) 13 I saw that she too defiled herself; both of them went the same way.(BE)

14 “But she carried her prostitution still further. She saw men portrayed on a wall,(BF) figures of Chaldeans[b] portrayed in red,(BG) 15 with belts(BH) around their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like Babylonian chariot officers, natives of Chaldea.[c] 16 As soon as she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers(BI) to them in Chaldea.(BJ) 17 Then the Babylonians(BK) came to her, to the bed of love, and in their lust they defiled her. After she had been defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust.(BL) 18 When she carried on her prostitution openly and exposed her naked body,(BM) I turned away(BN) from her in disgust, just as I had turned away from her sister.(BO) 19 Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. 21 So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled.[d](BP)

22 “Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will stir up your lovers(BQ) against you, those you turned away from in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side(BR) 23 the Babylonians(BS) and all the Chaldeans,(BT) the men of Pekod(BU) and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, handsome young men, all of them governors and commanders, chariot officers and men of high rank, all mounted on horses.(BV) 24 They will come against you with weapons,[e] chariots and wagons(BW) and with a throng of people; they will take up positions against you on every side with large and small shields and with helmets. I will turn you over to them for punishment,(BX) and they will punish you according to their standards. 25 I will direct my jealous anger(BY) against you, and they will deal with you in fury. They will cut off your noses and your ears, and those of you who are left will fall by the sword. They will take away your sons and daughters,(BZ) and those of you who are left will be consumed by fire.(CA) 26 They will also strip(CB) you of your clothes and take your fine jewelry.(CC) 27 So I will put a stop(CD) to the lewdness and prostitution you began in Egypt. You will not look on these things with longing or remember Egypt anymore.

28 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to deliver you into the hands(CE) of those you hate, to those you turned away from in disgust. 29 They will deal with you in hatred and take away everything you have worked for. They will leave you stark naked,(CF) and the shame of your prostitution will be exposed.(CG) Your lewdness(CH) and promiscuity(CI) 30 have brought this on you, because you lusted after the nations and defiled yourself with their idols.(CJ) 31 You have gone the way of your sister; so I will put her cup(CK) into your hand.(CL)

32 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“You will drink your sister’s cup,
    a cup large and deep;
it will bring scorn and derision,(CM)
    for it holds so much.(CN)
33 You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow,
    the cup of ruin and desolation,
    the cup of your sister Samaria.(CO)
34 You will drink it(CP) and drain it dry
    and chew on its pieces—
    and you will tear your breasts.

I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.(CQ)

35 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you have forgotten(CR) me and turned your back on me,(CS) you must bear(CT) the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution.”

36 The Lord said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then confront(CU) them with their detestable practices,(CV) 37 for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them.(CW) 38 They have also done this to me: At that same time they defiled my sanctuary(CX) and desecrated my Sabbaths.(CY) 39 On the very day they sacrificed their children to their idols, they entered my sanctuary and desecrated(CZ) it. That is what they did in my house.(DA)

40 “They even sent messengers for men who came from far away,(DB) and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, applied eye makeup(DC) and put on your jewelry.(DD) 41 You sat on an elegant couch,(DE) with a table(DF) spread before it on which you had placed the incense(DG) and olive oil that belonged to me.(DH)

42 “The noise of a carefree(DI) crowd was around her; drunkards(DJ) were brought from the desert along with men from the rabble, and they put bracelets(DK) on the wrists of the woman and her sister and beautiful crowns on their heads.(DL) 43 Then I said about the one worn out by adultery, ‘Now let them use her as a prostitute,(DM) for that is all she is.’ 44 And they slept with her. As men sleep with a prostitute, so they slept with those lewd women, Oholah and Oholibah. 45 But righteous judges will sentence them to the punishment of women who commit adultery and shed blood,(DN) because they are adulterous and blood is on their hands.(DO)

46 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Bring a mob(DP) against them and give them over to terror and plunder.(DQ) 47 The mob will stone them and cut them down with their swords; they will kill their sons and daughters(DR) and burn(DS) down their houses.(DT)

48 “So I will put an end(DU) to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not imitate you.(DV) 49 You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sins of idolatry.(DW) Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.(DX)


  1. Ezekiel 22:25 Septuagint; Hebrew prophets
  2. Ezekiel 23:14 Or Babylonians
  3. Ezekiel 23:15 Or Babylonia; also in verse 16
  4. Ezekiel 23:21 Syriac (see also verse 3); Hebrew caressed because of your young breasts
  5. Ezekiel 23:24 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

20 It was because of the Lord’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust(A) them from his presence.(B)

The Fall of Jerusalem(C)(D)(E)

Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

25 So in the ninth(F) year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar(G) king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works(H) all around it. The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

It was because of the Lord’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah,(A) and in the end he thrust them from his presence.(B)

Now Zedekiah rebelled(C) against the king of Babylon.

So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth(D) day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem(E) with his whole army. They encamped outside the city and built siege works(F) all around it.(G) The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

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39 In the ninth year of Zedekiah(A) king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar(B) king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege(C) to it.

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Jerusalem as a Cooking Pot

24 In the ninth year, in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the Lord came to me:(A) “Son of man, record(B) this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.(C) Tell this rebellious people(D) a parable(E) and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘Put on the cooking pot;(F) put it on
    and pour water into it.
Put into it the pieces of meat,
    all the choice pieces—the leg and the shoulder.
Fill it with the best of these bones;(G)
    take the pick of the flock.(H)
Pile wood beneath it for the bones;
    bring it to a boil
    and cook the bones in it.(I)

“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘Woe(J) to the city of bloodshed,(K)
    to the pot now encrusted,
    whose deposit will not go away!
Take the meat out piece by piece
    in whatever order(L) it comes.(M)

“‘For the blood she shed is in her midst:
    She poured it on the bare rock;
she did not pour it on the ground,
    where the dust would cover it.(N)
To stir up wrath and take revenge
    I put her blood on the bare rock,
    so that it would not be covered.

“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘Woe to the city of bloodshed!
    I, too, will pile the wood high.
10 So heap on the wood
    and kindle the fire.
Cook the meat well,
    mixing in the spices;
    and let the bones be charred.
11 Then set the empty pot on the coals
    till it becomes hot and its copper glows,
so that its impurities may be melted
    and its deposit burned away.(O)
12 It has frustrated all efforts;
    its heavy deposit has not been removed,
    not even by fire.

13 “‘Now your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed(P) from your impurity, you will not be clean again until my wrath against you has subsided.(Q)

14 “‘I the Lord have spoken.(R) The time has come for me to act.(S) I will not hold back; I will not have pity,(T) nor will I relent.(U) You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions,(V) declares the Sovereign Lord.(W)’”

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