Ezekiel 21-22 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Lord Will Punish Jerusalem
21 The Lord said:
2 Ezekiel, son of man, condemn the places in Jerusalem where people worship. Warn everyone in Israel 3 that I am about to punish them. I will pull out my sword and have it ready to kill everyone, whether good or evil. 4 From south to north, people will die, 5 knowing that my sword will never be put away.
6 Ezekiel, groan in sorrow and despair so that everyone can hear you. 7 When they ask why you are groaning, tell them you have terrifying news that will make them faint and tremble in fear and lose all courage. These things will happen soon. I, the Lord God, make this promise!
A Sword Is Ready To Attack Israel
8 The Lord said:
9-10 Ezekiel, son of man, tell the people of Jerusalem:
I have sharpened my sword
12 Groan in sorrow, Ezekiel;
14 Ezekiel, warn my people,
The King of Babylonia and His Sword
18 The Lord said:
19 Ezekiel, son of man, mark two roads for the king of Babylonia to follow when he comes with his sword. The roads will begin at the same place, but be sure to put up a signpost where the two roads separate and go in different directions. 20 Clearly mark where the two roads lead. One goes to Rabbah, the capital of Ammon, and the other goes to Jerusalem, the fortified capital of Judah. 21 When the Babylonian king stands at that signpost, he will decide which way to go by shaking his arrows, by asking his idols, and by carefully looking at the liver of a sacrificed animal.[d] 22 His right hand will pull out the arrow marked “Jerusalem.” Then he will immediately give the signal to shout the battle cry, to build dirt ramps to the top of the city walls, to break down its walls and gates with large wooden poles, and to kill the people. 23 Everyone in Jerusalem had promised to be loyal to Babylonia, and so none of them will believe that this could happen to them. But Babylonia’s king will remind them of their sinful ways and warn them of their coming captivity.
24 Ezekiel, tell the people of Jerusalem and their ruler that I, the Lord God, am saying:
Everything you do is wicked and shows how sinful you are. You are guilty and will be taken away as prisoners.
25 And now, you evil and wicked ruler of Israel, your day of final punishment is almost here. 26 I, the Lord God, command you to take off your royal turban and your crown, because everything will be different. Those who had no power will be put in charge, and those who now rule will become nobodies. 27 I will leave Jerusalem in ruins when my chosen one comes to punish this city.
Judgment against Ammon
28 The Lord God said:
Ezekiel, son of man, the Ammonites have insulted Israel, so condemn them and tell them I am saying:
A sword is drawn,
29 You wicked Ammonites see false visions and believe untrue messages. But your day of punishment is coming soon, and my sword will slaughter you!
30 Your days to punish others are over, so put your swords away.[e] You will be punished in the land of your birth. 31 My furious anger will scorch you like fire, and I will hand you over to cruel men who are experts in killing. 32 You will be burned and will die in your own land. Then you will be forgotten forever. I, the Lord, have spoken.
Jerusalem Is Condemned
22 Some time later, the Lord said:
2 Ezekiel, son of man, are you ready to condemn Jerusalem? That city is filled with murderers, so remind the people of their sins 3 and tell them I am saying:
Jerusalem, you have murdered many of your own people and have worshiped idols. You will soon be punished! 4 Those crimes have made you guilty, and the idols have made you unacceptable to me. So your final punishment is near. Other nations will laugh at you and make insulting remarks, 5 and people far and near will make fun of your misery.
6 Your own leaders use their power to murder. 7 None of you honor your parents, and you cheat foreigners, orphans, and widows. 8 You show no respect for my sacred places and treat the Sabbath just like any other day. 9 Some of your own people tell lies, so that others will be put to death. Some of you eat meat sacrificed to idols at local shrines, and others never stop doing vulgar things. 10 Men have sex with their father’s wife or with women who are having their monthly period 11 or with someone else’s wife. Some men even sleep with their own daughter-in-law or half sister. 12 Others of you accept money to murder someone. Your own people charge high interest when making a loan to other Israelites, and they get rich by cheating. Worst of all, you have forgotten me, the Lord God.
13 I will shake my fist in anger at your violent crimes. 14 When I’m finished with you, your courage will disappear, and you will be so weak that you won’t be able to lift your hands. I, the Lord, have spoken and will not change my mind. 15 I will scatter you throughout every nation on earth and put a stop to your sinful ways. 16 You[f] will be humiliated in the eyes of other nations. Then you will know that I, the Lord God, have done these things.
Jerusalem Must Be Purified
17 The Lord said:
18 Ezekiel, son of man, I consider the people of Israel as worthless as the leftover metal in a furnace after silver has been purified. 19 So I am going to bring them together in Jerusalem. 20-21 I will be like a metalworker who collects that metal from the furnace and melts it down. I will collect the Israelites and blow on them with my fiery anger. They will melt inside the city of Jerusalem 22 like silver in a furnace. Then they will know that I, the Lord, have punished them in my anger.
Everyone in Jerusalem Is Guilty
23 The Lord said:
24 Ezekiel, son of man, tell the people of Israel that their country is full of sin, and that I, the Lord, am furious! 25 Their leaders are like[g] roaring lions, tearing apart their victims. They put people to death, then steal everything of value. Husbands are killed, and many women are left as widows.
26 The priests of Israel ignore my Law! Not only do they refuse to respect any of my sacred things, but they don’t even teach the difference between what is sacred and what is ordinary, or between what is clean and what is unclean. They treat my Sabbath like any other day, and so my own people no longer honor me.
27 Israel’s officials are like ferocious wolves, ripping their victims apart. They make a dishonest living by injuring and killing people.
28 And then the prophets in Israel cover up these sins by giving false visions. I have never spoken to them, but they lie and say they have a message from me. 29 The people themselves cheat and rob; they abuse the poor and take advantage of foreigners.
30 I looked for someone to defend the city and to protect it from my anger, as well as to stop me from destroying it. But I found no one. 31 So in my fierce anger, I will punish the Israelites for what they have done, and they will know that I am furious. I, the Lord, have spoken.
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