Ezekiel 33-34Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Watchman’s Duty
33 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people [who are exiled in Babylon] and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword on a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming on the land, and he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his [own] head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood shall be on himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, he is taken away because of his corruption and sin; but I will require his blood from the watchman’s hand.’
7 “Now as for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you shall hear a message from My mouth and give them a warning from Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will certainly die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man will die because of his sin; but I will require his blood from your hand. 9 But if you on your part warn the wicked man to turn from his [evil] way and he does not turn from his [evil] way, he will die in his sin; but you have saved your life.
10 “Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus you have said, “Truly our transgressions and our sins are on us, and we are rotting away because of them; how then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back (change your way of thinking), turn back [in repentance] from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ 12 And you, son of man, say to the sons of your people, ‘The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him in the day of his transgression; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stagger because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness, whereas a righteous man will not be able to live because of his [previous acts of] righteousness on the day when he commits sin.’ 13 When I say to the righteous that he will most certainly live, and he trusts in his [previous acts of] righteousness [to save him] and commits injustice, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but he will die for his injustice that he committed. 14 But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and he turns from his sin and practices that which is just (fair) and right— 15 if a wicked man returns [what he took as] a pledge, pays back what he had taken by robbery, walks in the statutes which ensure life, without committing injustice, he will certainly live; he will not die. 16 None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced that which is just (fair) and right; he will most certainly live.
17 “Yet your people [who are in exile in Babylon] say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right;’ but as for them, it is their own way that is not right. 18 When the righteous turns back from his righteousness and commits injustice, he will also die because of it. 19 But when a wicked man turns back from his wickedness and practices what is just (fair) and right, he will live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ O house of Israel, I will judge you, every one [of you] in accordance with his own ways!”
Word of Jerusalem’s Capture
21 In the twelfth year of our exile [in Babylon], on the fifth of the tenth month, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me, saying, “The city has been captured.” 22 Now the hand of the Lord had been upon me in the evening, before the survivor came. And He [a]opened my mouth at the time he came to me in the morning; so my mouth was opened [in readiness] and I was no longer mute.
23 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, those [back in Palestine] who inhabit these ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was [only] one man and he took possession of the land, but we are many; the land has [most certainly] been given to us [to possess] as property.’ 25 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “You eat meat with the blood in it and raise your eyes to your idols and shed blood. Should you take possession of the land? 26 You rely on your sword [as your security]; you commit outrageous and disgraceful acts and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Should you then take possession of the land?”’ 27 You shall say this to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “As I live, those who are in the ruins certainly will fall by the sword, and I will give whoever is in the open field to the [predatory] animals to be devoured, and those who are in strongholds and in caves will die of virulent diseases. 28 And I will make the land [of Israel] a desolation and a ruin, and her pride in her power will be brought to an end; and the mountains of Israel will be so deserted that no one will pass through. 29 Then they will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord, when I make the land a desolation and a ruin because of all the atrocities which they have committed.”’
30 “But as for you, son of man, your people who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses say one to another, every one to his brother, ‘Come now and hear what the message is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 They come to you as people come, and they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not practice them; for with their mouth they express loving devotion, but their heart goes after their (unlawful) gain. 32 Behold, you are to them like a love song by one who has a pleasant voice and plays well on a stringed instrument [merely to entertain them]; for they hear your words but do not practice them. 33 So when it comes to pass—as it most certainly will—then they will know [without any doubt] that a prophet has been among them.”
Prophecy against the Shepherds of Israel
34 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to them, the [spiritual] shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe (judgment is coming) to the [spiritual] shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? 3 You eat the fat [the choicest of meat], and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the best of the livestock, but you do not feed the flock. 4 You have not strengthened those who are weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bandaged the crippled, you have not brought back those gone astray, you have not looked for the lost; but you have ruled them with force and violence. 5 They were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the predators of the field. 6 My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the face of the earth and no one searched or sought them.”’”
7 Therefore, you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “certainly because My flock has become prey, My flock has even become food for every predator of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; 9 therefore, you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My flock from them and make them stop tending the flock, so that the shepherds cannot feed themselves anymore. I will rescue My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”’”
The Restoration of Israel
11 For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My flock and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd cares for his sheep on the day that he is among his scattered flock, so I will care for My sheep; and I will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed My flock and I will let them lie down [to rest],” says the Lord God. 16 “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bandage the crippled, and strengthen the weak and the sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong [who have become hard-hearted and perverse]. I will feed them with judgment and punishment.
17 “And as for you, My flock, thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats [between the righteous and the unrighteous]. 18 Is it too little a thing for you that you [unrighteous ones who are well-fed] feed in the best pasture, yet you must trample down with your feet [of wickedness] the rest of your pastures? Or that you drink clear [still] water, yet you must muddy with your feet [of wickedness] the rest [of the water]? 19 As for My flock (the righteous), they must feed on what you trample with your feet and drink what you muddy with your feet!’”
20 Therefore thus says the Lord God to them, “Behold, I Myself will judge between the [well-fed] fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you push with side and shoulder, and gore with your horns all those that have become weak and sick until you have scattered them away, 22 therefore, I will rescue My flock, and they shall no longer be prey; and I will judge between one sheep [ungodly] and another [godly].
23 “Then I will appoint over them one shepherd and he will feed them, [a ruler like] My servant [b]David; he will feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David will be a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken.
25 “I will make a covenant of peace with them and will eliminate the predatory animals from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep [safely] in the woods. 26 I will make them and the places around My hill (Jerusalem, Zion) a blessing. And I will make showers come down in their season; there will be [abundant] showers of blessing (divine favor). 27 Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit and the earth will yield its produce; and My people will be secure on their land. Then they will know [with confidence] that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have rescued them from the hand of those who made them slaves. 28 They will no longer be prey to the nations, and the predators of the earth will not devour them; but they will live safely, and no one will make them afraid [in the [c]day of the Messiah’s reign]. 29 I will prepare for them a place renowned for planting [crops], and they will not again be victims of famine in the land, and they will not endure the insults of the nations any longer. 30 Then they will know [with assurance] that I the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord God. 31 “As for you, My flock, the flock of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord God.
1 Peter 5Amplified Bible (AMP)
Serve God Willingly
5 Therefore, I strongly urge the elders among you [pastors, spiritual leaders of the church], as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory that is to be revealed: 2 shepherd and guide and protect the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not [motivated] for shameful gain, but with wholehearted enthusiasm; 3 not lording it over those assigned to your care [do not be arrogant or overbearing], but be examples [of Christian living] to the flock [set a pattern of integrity for your congregation]. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd (Christ) appears, you will receive the [conqueror’s] unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you younger men [of lesser rank and experience], be subject to your elders [seek their counsel]; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another [tie on the servant’s apron], for God is opposed to the proud [the disdainful, the presumptuous, and He defeats them], but He gives grace to the humble.
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, 7 casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 8 Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. 11 To Him be dominion (power, authority, sovereignty) forever and ever. Amen.
12 By [a]Silvanus, our faithful brother (as I consider him), I have written to you briefly, to counsel and testify that this is the true grace [the undeserved favor] of God. Stand firm in it! 13 She [the church] who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son [in the faith], Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
To all of you who are in Christ, may there be peace.
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