New Living Translation
The Adultery of Two Sisters
23 This message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, once there were two sisters who were daughters of the same mother. 3 They became prostitutes in Egypt. Even as young girls, they allowed men to fondle their breasts. 4 The older girl was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. I married them, and they bore me sons and daughters. I am speaking of Samaria and Jerusalem, for Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem.
5 “Then Oholah lusted after other lovers instead of me, and she gave her love to the Assyrian officers. 6 They were all attractive young men, captains and commanders dressed in handsome blue, charioteers driving their horses. 7 And so she prostituted herself with the most desirable men of Assyria, worshiping their idols[a] and defiling herself. 8 For when she left Egypt, she did not leave her spirit of prostitution behind. She was still as lewd as in her youth, when the Egyptians slept with her, fondled her breasts, and used her as a prostitute.
9 “And so I handed her over to her Assyrian lovers, whom she desired so much. 10 They stripped her, took away her children as their slaves, and then killed her. After she received her punishment, her reputation was known to every woman in the land.
11 “Yet even though Oholibah saw what had happened to Oholah, her sister, she followed right in her footsteps. And she was even more depraved, abandoning herself to her lust and prostitution. 12 She fawned over all the Assyrian officers—those captains and commanders in handsome uniforms, those charioteers driving their horses—all of them attractive young men. 13 I saw the way she was going, defiling herself just like her older sister.
14 “Then she carried her prostitution even further. She fell in love with pictures that were painted on a wall—pictures of Babylonian[b] military officers, outfitted in striking red uniforms. 15 Handsome belts encircled their waists, and flowing turbans crowned their heads. They were dressed like chariot officers from the land of Babylonia.[c] 16 When she saw these paintings, she longed to give herself to them, so she sent messengers to Babylonia to invite them to come to her. 17 So they came and committed adultery with her, defiling her in the bed of love. After being defiled, however, she rejected them in disgust.
18 “In the same way, I became disgusted with Oholibah and rejected her, just as I had rejected her sister, because she flaunted herself before them and gave herself to satisfy their lusts. 19 Yet she turned to even greater prostitution, remembering her youth when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 She lusted after lovers with genitals as large as a donkey’s and emissions like those of a horse. 21 And so, Oholibah, you relived your former days as a young girl in Egypt, when you first allowed your breasts to be fondled.
The Lord’s Judgment of Oholibah
22 “Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will send your lovers against you from every direction—those very nations from which you turned away in disgust. 23 For the Babylonians will come with all the Chaldeans from Pekod and Shoa and Koa. And all the Assyrians will come with them—handsome young captains, commanders, chariot officers, and other high-ranking officers, all riding their horses. 24 They will all come against you from the north[d] with chariots, wagons, and a great army prepared for attack. They will take up positions on every side, surrounding you with men armed with shields and helmets. And I will hand you over to them for punishment so they can do with you as they please. 25 I will turn my jealous anger against you, and they will deal harshly with you. They will cut off your nose and ears, and any survivors will then be slaughtered by the sword. Your children will be taken away as captives, and everything that is left will be burned. 26 They will strip you of your beautiful clothes and jewels. 27 In this way, I will put a stop to the lewdness and prostitution you brought from Egypt. You will never again cast longing eyes on those things or fondly remember your time in Egypt.
28 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will surely hand you over to your enemies, to those you loathe, those you rejected. 29 They will treat you with hatred and rob you of all you own, leaving you stark naked. The shame of your prostitution will be exposed to all the world. 30 You brought all this on yourself by prostituting yourself to other nations, defiling yourself with all their idols. 31 Because you have followed in your sister’s footsteps, I will force you to drink the same cup of terror she drank.
32 “Yes, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“You will drink from your sister’s cup of terror,
a cup that is large and deep.
It is filled to the brim
with scorn and derision.
33 Drunkenness and anguish will fill you,
for your cup is filled to the brim with distress and desolation,
the same cup your sister Samaria drank.
34 You will drain that cup of terror
to the very bottom.
Then you will smash it to pieces
and beat your breast in anguish.
I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
35 “And because you have forgotten me and turned your back on me, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You must bear the consequences of all your lewdness and prostitution.”
The Lord’s Judgment on Both Sisters
36 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, you must accuse Oholah and Oholibah of all their detestable sins. 37 They have committed both adultery and murder—adultery by worshiping idols and murder by burning as sacrifices the children they bore to me. 38 Furthermore, they have defiled my Temple and violated my Sabbath day! 39 On the very day that they sacrificed their children to their idols, they boldly came into my Temple to worship! They came in and defiled my house.
40 “You sisters sent messengers to distant lands to get men. Then when they arrived, you bathed yourselves, painted your eyelids, and put on your finest jewels for them. 41 You sat with them on a beautifully embroidered couch and put my incense and my special oil on a table that was spread before you. 42 From your room came the sound of many men carousing. They were lustful men and drunkards[e] from the wilderness, who put bracelets on your wrists and beautiful crowns on your heads. 43 Then I said, ‘If they really want to have sex with old worn-out prostitutes like these, let them!’ 44 And that is what they did. They had sex with Oholah and Oholibah, these shameless prostitutes. 45 But righteous people will judge these sister cities for what they really are—adulterers and murderers.
46 “Now this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Bring an army against them and hand them over to be terrorized and plundered. 47 For their enemies will stone them and kill them with swords. They will butcher their sons and daughters and burn their homes. 48 In this way, I will put an end to lewdness and idolatry in the land, and my judgment will be a warning to all women not to follow your wicked example. 49 You will be fully repaid for all your prostitution—your worship of idols. Yes, you will suffer the full penalty. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
The Sign of the Cooking Pot
24 On January 15,[f] during the ninth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, write down today’s date, because on this very day the king of Babylon is beginning his attack against Jerusalem. 3 Then give these rebels an illustration with this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“Put a pot on the fire,
and pour in some water.
4 Fill it with choice pieces of meat—
the rump and the shoulder
and all the most tender cuts.
5 Use only the best sheep from the flock,
and heap fuel on the fire beneath the pot.
Bring the pot to a boil,
and cook the bones along with the meat.
6 “Now this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
What sorrow awaits Jerusalem,
the city of murderers!
She is a cooking pot
whose corruption can’t be cleaned out.
Take the meat out in random order,
for no piece is better than another.
7 For the blood of her murders
is splashed on the rocks.
It isn’t even spilled on the ground,
where the dust could cover it!
8 So I will splash her blood on a rock
for all to see,
an expression of my anger
and vengeance against her.
9 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
What sorrow awaits Jerusalem,
the city of murderers!
I myself will pile up the fuel beneath her.
10 Yes, heap on the wood!
Let the fire roar to make the pot boil.
Cook the meat with many spices,
and afterward burn the bones.
11 Now set the empty pot on the coals.
Heat it red hot!
Burn away the filth and corruption.
12 But it’s hopeless;
the corruption can’t be cleaned out.
So throw it into the fire.
13 Your impurity is your lewdness
and the corruption of your idolatry.
I tried to cleanse you,
but you refused.
So now you will remain in your filth
until my fury against you has been satisfied.
14 “I, the Lord, have spoken! The time has come, and I won’t hold back. I will not change my mind, and I will have no pity on you. You will be judged on the basis of all your wicked actions, says the Sovereign Lord.”
The Death of Ezekiel’s Wife
15 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 16 “Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. 17 Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends.”
18 So I proclaimed this to the people the next morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did everything I had been told to do. 19 Then the people asked, “What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?”
20 So I said to them, “A message came to me from the Lord, 21 and I was told to give this message to the people of Israel. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will defile my Temple, the source of your security and pride, the place your heart delights in. Your sons and daughters whom you left behind in Judah will be slaughtered by the sword. 22 Then you will do as Ezekiel has done. You will not mourn in public or console yourselves by eating the food brought by friends. 23 Your heads will remain covered, and your sandals will not be taken off. You will not mourn or weep, but you will waste away because of your sins. You will groan among yourselves for all the evil you have done. 24 Ezekiel is an example for you; you will do just as he has done. And when that time comes, you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
25 Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold—their joy and glory, their heart’s desire, their dearest treasure—I will also take away their sons and daughters. 26 And on that day a survivor from Jerusalem will come to you in Babylon and tell you what has happened. 27 And when he arrives, your voice will suddenly return so you can talk to him, and you will be a symbol for these people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
- 23:7 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung; also in 23:30, 37, 39, 49.
- 23:14 Or Chaldean.
- 23:15 Or Chaldea; also in 23:16.
- 23:24 As in Greek version; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 23:42 Or Sabeans.
- 24:1 Hebrew On the tenth day of the tenth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on January 15, 588 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.