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Ezekiel 20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Israel’s Continuing Rebellion

20 In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain elders of Israel came to consult the Lord, and sat down before me. And the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them: Thus says the Lord God: Why are you coming? To consult me? As I live, says the Lord God, I will not be consulted by you. Will you judge them, mortal, will you judge them? Then let them know the abominations of their ancestors, and say to them: Thus says the Lord God: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob—making myself known to them in the land of Egypt—I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; not one of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.

Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them my statutes and showed them my ordinances, by whose observance everyone shall live. 12 Moreover I gave them my sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, so that they might know that I the Lord sanctify them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness; they did not observe my statutes but rejected my ordinances, by whose observance everyone shall live; and my sabbaths they greatly profaned.

Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make an end of them. 14 But I acted for the sake of my name, so that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands, 16 because they rejected my ordinances and did not observe my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make an end of them in the wilderness.

18 I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not follow the statutes of your parents, nor observe their ordinances, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I the Lord am your God; follow my statutes, and be careful to observe my ordinances, 20 and hallow my sabbaths that they may be a sign between me and you, so that you may know that I the Lord am your God. 21 But the children rebelled against me; they did not follow my statutes, and were not careful to observe my ordinances, by whose observance everyone shall live; they profaned my sabbaths.

Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld my hand, and acted for the sake of my name, so that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not executed my ordinances, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their ancestors’ idols. 25 Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live. 26 I defiled them through their very gifts, in their offering up all their firstborn, in order that I might horrify them, so that they might know that I am the Lord.

27 Therefore, mortal, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: In this again your ancestors blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. 28 For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing odors, and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 (I said to them, What is the high place to which you go? So it is called Bamah[a] to this day.) 30 Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your ancestors and go astray after their detestable things? 31 When you offer your gifts and make your children pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be consulted by you, O house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord God, I will not be consulted by you.

32 What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, “Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.”

God Will Restore Israel

33 As I live, says the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be king over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out; 35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 As I entered into judgment with your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, says the Lord God. 37 I will make you pass under the staff, and will bring you within the bond of the covenant. 38 I will purge out the rebels among you, and those who transgress against me; I will bring them out of the land where they reside as aliens, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord God: Go serve your idols, every one of you now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.

40 For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, says the Lord God, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land; there I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred things. 41 As a pleasing odor I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 You shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your ancestors. 43 There you shall remember your ways and all the deeds by which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, or corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, says the Lord God.

A Prophecy against the Negeb

45 [b] The word of the Lord came to me: 46 Mortal, set your face toward the south, preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb; 47 say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree; the blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. 48 All flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it; it shall not be quenched. 49 Then I said, “Ah Lord God! they are saying of me, ‘Is he not a maker of allegories?’”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 20:29 That is High Place
  2. Ezekiel 20:45 Ch 21.1 in Heb
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.

Ezekiel 20 Common English Bible (CEB)

History of rebellion

20 In the seventh year, on the tenth day of the fifth month, some of Israel’s elders came to inquire of the Lord. As they were sitting with me, the Lord’s word came to me: Human one, speak to Israel’s elders and say to them, The Lord God proclaims: Have you come to petition me? As surely as I live, I reject your petitions. This is what the Lord God says! Will you judge them, human one, will you judge them? Then expose to them the detestable practices of their ancestors. Say to them, The Lord God proclaims: On the day I chose Israel, I swore a solemn pledge to the descendants of Jacob’s household. When I made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I swore a solemn pledge: I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore that I would lead them out of the land of Egypt to a land that I would show them, a land full of milk and honey, the most splendid of all lands. And I said to them, Every one of you must cast away your disgusting things. Don’t let yourselves be defiled by Egypt’s idols. I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against me and refused to listen to me. No one cast off their disgusting things or abandoned their Egyptian idols. So I declared that I would pour out my wrath on them and satisfy my anger against them in the land of Egypt. But I acted for my name’s sake, so that it wouldn’t be degraded in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, and in whose sight I made it known that I would lead them out of the land of Egypt.

10 So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the desert. 11 I gave them my regulations and made known to them my case laws, which bring life to all who observe them. 12 I also gave them my sabbaths as a sign between us that I, the Lord, have set them apart for my purpose.[a] 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the desert. They didn’t follow my regulations and rejected my case laws, which bring life to all who observe them. They completely degraded my sabbaths. So I declared that I would pour out my anger against them and destroy them in the desert. 14 But instead, I acted for the sake of my name so that it wouldn’t be degraded in the sight of the nations who saw me lead them out of Egypt. 15 So in the desert I swore another solemn pledge, that I wouldn’t bring them to the land that I had given to them, a land full of milk and honey, a land more splendid than any other, 16 because they rejected my case laws, didn’t follow my regulations, and degraded my sabbaths. They had their hearts set on their idols. 17 But I had too much compassion to destroy them, so I didn’t put an end to them in the desert.

18 In the desert, I said to their children, Don’t follow your parents’ regulations or observe their case laws or become defiled by their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God! Follow my regulations! Observe my case laws and do them! 20 Make my sabbaths holy, and let them be a sign between us that I am the Lord your God. 21 But the children rebelled against me. They didn’t follow my regulations or observe my case laws, which bring life to all who observe them. They also degraded my sabbaths. So I declared that I would pour out my wrath on them and satisfy my anger against them in the desert. 22 But I restrained myself and acted for the sake of my name so that it wouldn’t be diminished in the sight of the nations who saw me lead them out of Egypt. 23 And I swore yet another solemn pledge in the desert, that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them throughout the earth, 24 because they didn’t observe my case laws, they rejected my regulations, and they degraded my sabbaths while they kept looking to their parents’ idols. 25 I also issued regulations that were not good and case laws by which they could not live. 26 I defiled them with their very gifts when they offered up all their oldest children. They were supposed to be so horrified that they would acknowledge that I am the Lord.

27 Therefore, human one, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, The Lord God proclaims: Yet again your ancestors defamed me by rebelling against me! 28 I brought them into the land that I swore to give to them. But when they saw all the high hills and lofty trees, there they made their sacrifices: irksome offerings here, pleasing aromas there, and drink offerings elsewhere! 29 I said to them, What shrine are you going to now? So it’s called Shrine[b] to this very day.

30 So now say to the house of Israel, The Lord God proclaims: Will you defile yourselves as your ancestors did, and will you prostitute yourself after their disgusting things? 31 When you offer up your gifts and make your children pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this very day. Should I let you seek me out, house of Israel? This is what the Lord God says: As surely as I live, I won’t let you seek me. 32 What is in your minds will never happen! You’ve been saying, “Let’s be like the nations and the clans of the lands in the service of wood and stone.” 33 This is what the Lord God says: As surely as I live, with a strong hand, an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be your king! 34 I will lead you out from the peoples and gather you from the countries where you’ve been scattered—yes, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out! 35 I will march you out to the wilderness nations, and there I will judge you face-to-face. 36 Just as I judged your ancestors in the desert of the land of Egypt, so will I judge you. This is what the Lord God says. 37 I will make you walk under the rod, and I will bring you into the covenant bond. 38 I will remove from among you those who rebel and transgress against me. I will lead them out from the land where they lived as immigrants, but they won’t enter Israel’s fertile land. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

39 But to you, house of Israel, the Lord God proclaims: Go ahead and serve your idols, all of you! But afterward, if any of you are left to listen to me,[c] you will no longer make my holy name impure with your gifts or your idols! 40 On my holy mountain, on the high mountain in Israel, the whole house of Israel will serve me there—every one of them in the land! This is what the Lord God says. There I will accept them, and there I will ask for their offerings, their finest gifts, and all their holy things. 41 When I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you are scattered, I will accept you as a pleasing aroma. Through you I will be made holy in the sight of the nations. 42 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you to Israel’s fertile land, to the land that I swore to give to your ancestors. 43 There you will remember how your ways and all your wicked deeds defiled you, and you will loathe yourselves for all the wicked things that you’ve done. 44 Then, house of Israel, you will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for the sake of my name and not according to your wicked ways and ruinous deeds. This is what the Lord God says.

Fire in the southern plain

45 [d] The Lord’s word came to me: 46 Human one, face Teman, preach against the south, and prophesy against the thicket in the arid southern plain. 47 Say to the thicket in the arid southern plain: Hear the Lord God’s word. This is what the Lord God says: I’m about to set a fire in you, and it will consume every green and every dry tree in you. Its blazing flame won’t be put out, and everything from south to north will be scorched. 48 Everyone will see that I, the Lord, have set it on fire. It won’t be quenched. 49 Then I said, “Oh, Lord God! They say about me, ‘Isn’t he one for making metaphors?’”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 20:12 Or to make them holy
  2. Ezekiel 20:29 Heb sounds like Where are you going?
  3. Ezekiel 20:39 Heb uncertain
  4. Ezekiel 20:45 21:1 in Heb
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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