Ezekiel 24-26 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Cooking Pot
24 Nine years after King Jehoiachin and the rest of us had been led away as prisoners to Babylonia, the Lord spoke to me on the tenth day of the tenth month.[a] He said:
2 Ezekiel, son of man, write down today’s date, because the king of Babylonia has just begun attacking the city of Jerusalem. 3 Then tell my rebellious people:
“Pour water in a cooking pot
6 These words mean that Jerusalem is doomed! The city is filled with murderers and is like an old, rusty pot. The meat is taken out piece by piece, and no one cares what happens to it.[c] 7 The people of Jerusalem murdered innocent people in the city and didn’t even try to cover up the blood that flowed out on the hard ground. 8 But I have seen that blood, and it cries out for me to take revenge.
9 I, the Lord God, will punish that city of violence! I will make a huge pile of firewood, 10 so bring more wood and light it. Cook the meat and boil away the broth[d] to let the bones scorch. 11 Then set the empty pot over the hot coals until it is red-hot. That will clean the pot and burn off the rust. 12 I’ve tried everything else. Now the rust must be burned away.[e]
13 Jerusalem is so full of sin and evil that I can’t get it clean, even though I have tried. It will stay filthy until I let loose my fierce anger against it. 14 That time will certainly come! And when it does, I won’t show the people of Jerusalem any pity or change my mind. They must be punished for the evil they have done. I, the Lord God, have spoken.
Ezekiel’s Wife Dies
15 The Lord said, 16 “Ezekiel, son of man, I will suddenly take the life of the person you love most. But I don’t want you to complain or cry. 17 Mourn in silence and don’t show that you are grieving. Don’t remove your turban or take off your sandals; don’t cover your face to show your sorrow, or eat the food that mourners eat.”[f]
18 One morning, I was talking with the people as usual, and by sunset my wife was dead. The next day I did what the Lord told me, 19 and when people saw me, they asked, “Why aren’t you mourning for your wife?”
20 I answered:
The Lord God says 21 he is ready to destroy the temple in which you take such pride and which makes you feel so safe. Your children who now live in Jerusalem will be killed. 22 Then you will do the same things I have done. You will leave your face uncovered and refuse to eat the food that mourners usually eat. 23 You won’t take off your turbans and your sandals.[g] You won’t cry or mourn, but all day long you will go around groaning because of your sins.
24 I am a warning sign—everything I have done, you will also do. And then you will know the Lord God has made these things happen.
25 The Lord said, “Ezekiel, I will soon destroy the temple that makes everyone feel proud and safe, and I will take away their children as well. 26 On that same day, someone will escape from the city and come to tell you what has happened. 27 Then you will be able to speak again,[h] and the two of you will talk. You will be a warning sign to the people, and they will know that I am the Lord.”
Judgment on Ammon
25 The Lord God said:
2 Ezekiel, son of man, condemn the people of Ammon 3 and tell them:
You celebrated when my temple was destroyed, when Israel was defeated, and when my people were taken away as prisoners. 4 Now I am going to let you be conquered by tribes from the eastern desert. They will set up their camps in your land and eat your fruit and drink your milk. 5 Your capital city of Rabbah will be nothing but pastureland for camels, and the rest of the country will be pastures for sheep. Then you will know that I am the Lord God.
6 You hated Israel so much that you clapped and shouted and celebrated. 7 And so I will hand you over to enemies who will rob you. I will completely destroy you. There won’t be enough of your people left to be a nation ever again, and you will know that I, the Lord, have done these things.
Judgment on Moab
8 The Lord God said, “The people of Moab[i] thought Judah was no different from any other nation. 9 So I will let Moab’s fortress towns along its border be attacked, including Beth-Jeshimoth, Baal-Meon, and Kiriathaim. 10 The same eastern desert tribes that invade Ammon will invade Moab, and just as Ammon will be forgotten forever, 11 Moab will be punished. Then the people there will know that I am the Lord.”
Judgment on Edom
12 The Lord God then said, “The people of Edom are guilty of taking revenge on Judah. 13 So I will punish Edom by killing all its people and livestock. It will be an empty wasteland all the way from Teman to Dedan. 14 I will send my own people to take revenge on the Edomites by making them feel my fierce anger. And when I punish them, they will know that I am the Lord God.”
Judgment on Philistia
15 The Lord God said, “The cruel Philistines have taken revenge on their enemies over and over and have tried to destroy them. 16 Now it’s my turn to treat the Philistines as my enemies and to kill everyone[j] living in their towns along the seacoast. 17 In my fierce anger, I will take revenge on them. And when I punish them, they will know that I am the Lord.”
Judgment on the City of Tyre
26 Eleven years[k] after King Jehoiachin and the rest of us had been led away as prisoners to Babylonia, the Lord spoke to me on the first day of the month. He said:
2 Ezekiel, son of man, the people of the city of Tyre[l] have celebrated Jerusalem’s defeat by singing,
“Jerusalem has fallen!
3 Because the people of Tyre have sung that song, I have the following warning for them: I am the Lord God, and I am now your enemy! I will send nations to attack you, like waves crashing against the shore. 4 They will tear down your city walls and defense towers. I will sweep away the ruins until all that’s left of you is a bare rock, 5 where fishermen can dry their nets along the coast. I promise that you will be robbed 6 and that the people who live in your towns along the coast will be killed. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
7 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia is the world’s most powerful king, and I will send him to attack you. He will march from the north with a powerful army, including horses and chariots and cavalry troops. 8 First, he will attack your towns along the coast and kill the people who live there. Then he will build dirt ramps up to the top of your city walls and set up rows of shields around you. 9 He will command some of his troops to use large wooden poles to beat down your walls, while others use iron rods to knock down your watchtowers. 10 He will have so many horses that the dust they stir up will seem like a thick fog. And as his chariots and cavalry approach, even the walls will shake, especially when he proudly enters your ruined city. 11 His troops will ride through your streets, killing people left and right, and your strong columns will crumble to the ground. 12 The troops will steal your valuable possessions; they will break down your walls, and crush your expensive houses. Then the stones and wood and all the remains will be dumped into the sea. 13 You will have no reason to sing or play music on harps, 14 because I will turn you into a bare rock where fishermen can dry their nets. And you will never rebuild your city. I, the Lord God, make this promise.
15 The people of the nations up and down the coast will shudder when they hear your screams and moans of death. 16 The kings will step down from their thrones, then take off their royal robes and fancy clothes, and sit on the ground, trembling. They will be so shocked at the news of your defeat that they will shake in fear 17 and sing this funeral song:
“The great city beside the sea
19 I, the Lord God, will turn you into a ghost-town. The ocean depths will rise over you 20 and carry you down to the world of the dead, where you will join people of ancient times and towns ruined long ago. You will stay there and never again be a city filled with people.[n] 21 You will die a horrible death! People will come looking for your city, but it will never be found. I, the Lord, have spoken.
1 Peter 2 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Living Stone and a Holy Nation
2 Stop being hateful! Quit trying to fool people, and start being sincere. Don’t be jealous or say cruel things about others. 2 Be like newborn babies who are thirsty for the pure spiritual milk that will help you grow and be saved. 3 You have already found out how good the Lord really is.
4 Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone that people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honored. 5 And now you are living stones that are being used to build a spiritual house. You are also a group of holy priests, and with the help of Jesus Christ you will offer sacrifices that please God. 6 It is just as God says in the Scriptures,
“Look! I am placing in Zion
7 You are followers of the Lord, and that stone is precious to you. But it isn’t precious to those who refuse to follow him. They are the builders who tossed aside the stone that turned out to be the most important one of all. 8 They disobeyed the message and stumbled and fell over that stone, because they were doomed.
9 But you are God’s chosen and special people. You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation. God has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now you must tell all the wonderful things that he has done. The Scriptures say,
10 “Once you were nobody.
Live as God’s Servants Should
11 Dear friends, you are foreigners and strangers on this earth. So I beg you not to surrender to those desires that fight against you. 12 Always let others see you behaving properly, even though they may still accuse you of doing wrong. Then on the day of judgment, they will honor God by telling the good things they saw you do.
13 The Lord wants you to obey all human authorities, especially the Emperor, who rules over everyone. 14 You must also obey governors, because they are sent by the Emperor to punish criminals and to praise good citizens. 15 God wants you to silence stupid and ignorant people by doing right. 16 You are free, but still you are God’s servants, and you must not use your freedom as an excuse for doing wrong. 17 Respect everyone and show special love for God’s people. Honor God and respect the Emperor.
The Example of Christ’s Suffering
18 Servants, you must obey your masters and always show respect to them. Do this, not only to those who are kind and thoughtful, but also to those who are cruel. 19 God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him. 20 You don’t gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you, if you have to suffer for doing something good. 21 After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.
22 Christ did not sin
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