Ezekiel 13-15 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
13 The Lord said:
2 Ezekiel, son of man, condemn the prophets of Israel who say they speak in my name, but who preach messages that come from their own imagination. Tell them it’s time to hear my message.
3 I, the Lord God, say those lying prophets are doomed! They don’t see visions—they make up their own messages! 4 Israel’s prophets are no better than jackals[a] that hunt for food among the ruins of a city. 5 They don’t warn the people about coming trouble or tell them how dangerous it is to sin against me. 6 Those prophets lie by claiming they speak for me, but I have not even chosen them to be my prophets. And they still think their words will come true. 7 They say they’re preaching my messages, but they are full of lies—I did not speak to them!
8 So I am going to punish those lying prophets for deceiving the people of Israel with false messages. 9 I will turn against them and no longer let them belong to my people. They will not be allowed to call themselves Israelites or even to set foot in Israel. Then they will realize that I am the Lord God.
10 Those prophets refuse to be honest. They tell my people there will be peace, even though there’s no peace to be found. They are like workers who think they can fix a shaky wall by covering it with paint. 11 But when I send rainstorms, hailstones, and strong winds, the wall will surely collapse. 12 People will then ask the workers why the paint didn’t hold it up.
13 That wall is the city of Jerusalem. And I, the Lord God, am so angry that I will send strong winds, rainstorms, and hailstones to destroy it. 14 The lying prophets have tried to cover up the evil in Jerusalem, but I will tear down the city, all the way to its foundations. And when it collapses, those prophets will be killed, and everyone will know that I have done these things.
15 The city of Jerusalem and its lying prophets will feel my fierce anger. Then I will announce that the city has fallen and that the lying prophets are dead, 16 because they promised my people peace, when there was no peace. I, the Lord God, have spoken.
Women Who Wear Magic Charms
The Lord said:
17 Ezekiel, son of man, now condemn the women of Israel who preach messages that come from their own imagination. 18 Tell them they’re doomed! They wear magic charms on their wrists and scarves on their heads, then trick others into believing they can predict the future.[b] They won’t get away with telling those lies. 19 They charge my people a few handfuls of barley and a couple pieces of bread, and then give messages that are insulting to me. They use lies to sentence the innocent to death and to help the guilty go free. And my people believe them!
20 I hate the magic charms they use to trick people into believing their lies. I will rip those charms from their wrists and set free the people they have trapped like birds.[c] 21 I will tear the scarves from their heads and rescue my people from their power once and for all. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.
22 They do things I would never do. They lie to good people and encourage them to do wrong, and they convince the wicked to keep sinning and ruin their lives. 23 I will no longer let these women give false messages and use magic, and I will free my people from their control. Then they will know that I, the Lord, have done these things.
Ezekiel Encourages the People To Turn Back to the Lord
14 One day, some of Israel’s leaders came to me and asked for a message from the Lord. 2 While they were there, the Lord said:
3 Ezekiel, son of man, these men have started worshiping idols, though they know it will cause them to sin even more. So I refuse to give them a message!
4 Tell the people of Israel that if they sin by worshiping idols and then go to a prophet to find out what I say, I will give them the answer their sins deserve. 5 When they hear my message, maybe they will see that they need to turn back to me and stop worshiping those idols.
6 Now, Ezekiel, tell everyone in Israel:
I am the Lord God. Stop worshiping your disgusting idols and come back to me.
7 Suppose one of you Israelites or a foreigner living in Israel rejects me and starts worshiping idols. If you then go to a prophet to find out what I say, I will answer 8 by turning against you. I will make you a warning to anyone who might think of doing the same thing, and you will no longer belong to my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord and that you have sinned against me.
9 If a prophet gives a false message, I am the one who caused that prophet to lie. But I will still reject him and cut him off from my people, 10 and anyone who goes to that prophet for a message will be punished in the same way. 11 I will do this, so that you will come back to me and stop destroying yourselves with these disgusting sins. So turn back to me! Then I will be your God, and you will be my people. I, the Lord God, make this promise.
Judgment on a Sinful Nation
12 The Lord God said:
13 Ezekiel, son of man, suppose an entire nation sins against me, and I punish it by destroying the crops and letting its people and livestock starve to death. 14 Even if Noah, Daniel,[d] and Job were living in that nation, their faithfulness would not save anyone but themselves.
15 Or suppose I punish a nation by sending wild animals to eat people and scare away every passerby, so that the land becomes a barren desert. 16 As surely as I live, I promise that even if these three men lived in that nation, their own children would not be spared. The three men would live, but the land would be an empty desert.
17 Or suppose I send an enemy to attack a sinful nation and kill its people and livestock. 18 If these three men were in that nation when I punished it, not even their children would be spared. Only the three men would live.
19 And suppose I am so angry that I send a deadly disease to wipe out the people and livestock of a sinful nation. 20 Again, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were living there, I, the Lord, promise that the children of these faithful men would also die. Only the three of them would be spared.
21 I am the Lord God, and I promise to punish Jerusalem severely. I will send war, starvation, wild animals, and deadly disease to slaughter its people and livestock. 22 And those who survive will be taken from their country and led here to Babylonia. Ezekiel, when you see how sinful they are, you will know why I did all these things to Jerusalem. 23 You will be convinced that I, the Lord God, was right in doing what I did.
Jerusalem Is a Useless Vine
15 Some time later, the Lord said:
2 Ezekiel, son of man, what happens to the wood of a grapevine after the grapes have been picked? It isn’t like other trees in the forest, 3 because the wood of a grapevine can’t be used to make anything, not even a small peg to hang things on. 4 It can only be used as firewood. But after its ends are burnt and its middle is charred, it can’t be used for anything. 5 The wood is useless before it is burned, and afterwards, it is completely worthless.
6 I, the Lord God, promise that just as the wood of a grapevine is burned as firewood, 7 I will punish the people of Jerusalem with fire. Some of them have escaped one destruction, but soon they will be completely burned. And when that happens, you, Ezekiel, will know that I am the Lord. 8 I will make their country an empty wasteland, because they have not been loyal to me. I, the Lord God, have spoken.
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