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Ezekiel 5-8 (New Living Translation)

Ezekiel 5-8

A Sign of the Coming Judgment

“Son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a razor to shave your head and beard. Use a scale to weigh the hair into three equal parts. Place a third of it at the center of your map of Jerusalem. After acting out the siege, burn it there. Scatter another third across your map and chop it with a sword. Scatter the last third to the wind, for I will scatter my people with the sword. Keep just a bit of the hair and tie it up in your robe. Then take some of these hairs out and throw them into the fire, burning them up. A fire will then spread from this remnant and destroy all of Israel.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is an illustration of what will happen to Jerusalem. I placed her at the center of the nations, but she has rebelled against my regulations and decrees and has been even more wicked than the surrounding nations. She has refused to obey the regulations and decrees I gave her to follow.

“Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You people have behaved worse than your neighbors and have refused to obey my decrees and regulations. You have not even lived up to the standards of the nations around you. Therefore, I myself, the Sovereign Lord, am now your enemy. I will punish you publicly while all the nations watch. Because of your detestable idols, I will punish you like I have never punished anyone before or ever will again. 10 Parents will eat their own children, and children will eat their parents. I will punish you and scatter to the winds the few who survive.

11 “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will cut you off completely. I will show you no pity at all because you have defiled my Temple with your vile images and detestable sins. 12 A third of your people will die in the city from disease and famine. A third of them will be slaughtered by the enemy outside the city walls. And I will scatter a third to the winds, chasing them with my sword. 13 Then at last my anger will be spent, and I will be satisfied. And when my fury against them has subsided, all Israel will know that I, the Lord, have spoken to them in my jealous anger.

14 “So I will turn you into a ruin, a mockery in the eyes of the surrounding nations and to all who pass by. 15 You will become an object of mockery and taunting and horror. You will be a warning to all the nations around you. They will see what happens when the Lord punishes a nation in anger and rebukes it, says the Lord.

16 “I will shower you with the deadly arrows of famine to destroy you. The famine will become more and more severe until every crumb of food is gone. 17 And along with the famine, wild animals will attack you and rob you of your children. Disease and war will stalk your land, and I will bring the sword of the enemy against you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Judgment against Israel’s Mountains

Again a message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, turn and face the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them. Proclaim this message from the Sovereign Lord against the mountains of Israel. This is what the Sovereign Lord says to the mountains and hills and to the ravines and valleys: I am about to bring war upon you, and I will smash your pagan shrines. All your altars will be demolished, and your places of worship will be destroyed. I will kill your people in front of your idols.[a] I will lay your corpses in front of your idols and scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you live there will be desolation, and I will destroy your pagan shrines. Your altars will be demolished, your idols will be smashed, your places of worship will be torn down, and all the religious objects you have made will be destroyed. The place will be littered with corpses, and you will know that I alone am the Lord.

“But I will let a few of my people escape destruction, and they will be scattered among the nations of the world. Then when they are exiled among the nations, they will remember me. They will recognize how hurt I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for their idols. Then at last they will hate themselves for all their detestable sins. 10 They will know that I alone am the Lord and that I was serious when I said I would bring this calamity on them.

11 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Clap your hands in horror, and stamp your feet. Cry out because of all the detestable sins the people of Israel have committed. Now they are going to die from war and famine and disease. 12 Disease will strike down those who are far away in exile. War will destroy those who are nearby. And anyone who survives will be killed by famine. So at last I will spend my fury on them. 13 They will know that I am the Lord when their dead lie scattered among their idols and altars on every hill and mountain and under every green tree and every great shade tree—the places where they offered sacrifices to their idols. 14 I will crush them and make their cities desolate from the wilderness in the south to Riblah[b] in the north. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

The Coming of the End

Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:

“The end is here!
    Wherever you look—
east, west, north, or south—
    your land is finished.
No hope remains,
    for I will unleash my anger against you.
I will call you to account
    for all your detestable sins.
I will turn my eyes away and show no pity.
    I will repay you for all your detestable sins.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
Disaster after disaster
    is coming your way!
The end has come.
    It has finally arrived.
    Your final doom is waiting!
O people of Israel, the day of your destruction is dawning.
    The time has come; the day of trouble is near.
Shouts of anguish will be heard on the mountains,
    not shouts of joy.
Soon I will pour out my fury on you
    and unleash my anger against you.
I will call you to account
    for all your detestable sins.
I will turn my eyes away and show no pity.
    I will repay you for all your detestable sins.
Then you will know that it is I, the Lord,
    who is striking the blow.

10 “The day of judgment is here;
    your destruction awaits!
The people’s wickedness and pride
    have blossomed to full flower.
11 Their violence has grown into a rod
    that will beat them for their wickedness.
None of these proud and wicked people will survive.
    All their wealth and prestige will be swept away.
12 Yes, the time has come;
    the day is here!
Buyers should not rejoice over bargains,
    nor sellers grieve over losses,
for all of them will fall
    under my terrible anger.
13 Even if the merchants survive,
    they will never return to their business.
For what God has said applies to everyone—
    it will not be changed!
Not one person whose life is twisted by sin
    will ever recover.

The Desolation of Israel

14 “The trumpet calls Israel’s army to mobilize,
    but no one listens,
    for my fury is against them all.
15 There is war outside the city
    and disease and famine within.
Those outside the city walls
    will be killed by enemy swords.
Those inside the city
    will die of famine and disease.
16 The survivors who escape to the mountains
    will moan like doves, weeping for their sins.
17 Their hands will hang limp,
    their knees will be weak as water.
18 They will dress themselves in burlap;
    horror and shame will cover them.
They will shave their heads
    in sorrow and remorse.

19 “They will throw their money in the streets,
    tossing it out like worthless trash.
Their silver and gold won’t save them
    on that day of the Lord’s anger.
It will neither satisfy nor feed them,
    for their greed can only trip them up.
20 They were proud of their beautiful jewelry
    and used it to make detestable idols and vile images.
Therefore, I will make all their wealth
    disgusting to them.
21 I will give it as plunder to foreigners,
    to the most wicked of nations,
    and they will defile it.
22 I will turn my eyes from them
    as these robbers invade and defile my treasured land.

23 “Prepare chains for my people,
    for the land is bloodied by terrible crimes.
    Jerusalem is filled with violence.
24 I will bring the most ruthless of nations
    to occupy their homes.
I will break down their proud fortresses
    and defile their sanctuaries.
25 Terror and trembling will overcome my people.
    They will look for peace but not find it.
26 Calamity will follow calamity;
    rumor will follow rumor.
They will look in vain
    for a vision from the prophets.
They will receive no teaching from the priests
    and no counsel from the leaders.
27 The king and the prince will stand helpless,
    weeping in despair,
and the people’s hands
    will tremble with fear.
I will bring on them
    the evil they have done to others,
and they will receive the punishment
    they so richly deserve.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Idolatry in the Temple

Then on September 17,[c] during the sixth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, while the leaders of Judah were in my home, the Sovereign Lord took hold of me. I saw a figure that appeared to be a man.[d] From what appeared to be his waist down, he looked like a burning flame. From the waist up he looked like gleaming amber.[e] He reached out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair. Then the Spirit lifted me up into the sky and transported me to Jerusalem in a vision from God. I was taken to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple, where there is a large idol that has made the Lord very jealous. Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel was there, just as I had seen it before in the valley.

Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and there to the north, beside the entrance to the gate near the altar, stood the idol that had made the Lord so jealous.

“Son of man,” he said, “do you see what they are doing? Do you see the detestable sins the people of Israel are committing to drive me from my Temple? But come, and you will see even more detestable sins than these!” Then he brought me to the door of the Temple courtyard, where I could see a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Now, son of man, dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and found a hidden doorway.

“Go in,” he said, “and see the wicked and detestable sins they are committing in there!” 10 So I went in and saw the walls covered with engravings of all kinds of crawling animals and detestable creatures. I also saw the various idols[f] worshiped by the people of Israel. 11 Seventy leaders of Israel were standing there with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan in the center. Each of them held an incense burner, from which a cloud of incense rose above their heads.

12 Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the leaders of Israel are doing with their idols in dark rooms? They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see us; he has deserted our land!’” 13 Then the Lord added, “Come, and I will show you even more detestable sins than these!”

14 He brought me to the north gate of the Lord’s Temple, and some women were sitting there, weeping for the god Tammuz. 15 “Have you seen this?” he asked. “But I will show you even more detestable sins than these!”

16 Then he brought me into the inner courtyard of the Lord’s Temple. At the entrance to the sanctuary, between the entry room and the bronze altar, there were about twenty-five men with their backs to the sanctuary of the Lord. They were facing east, bowing low to the ground, worshiping the sun!

17 “Have you seen this, son of man?” he asked. “Is it nothing to the people of Judah that they commit these detestable sins, leading the whole nation into violence, thumbing their noses at me, and provoking my anger? 18 Therefore, I will respond in fury. I will neither pity nor spare them. And though they cry for mercy, I will not listen.”

Footnotes:

  1. 6:4 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung; also in 6:5, 6, 9, 13.
  2. 6:14 As in some Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts read Diblah.
  3. 8:1 Hebrew on the fifth [day] of the sixth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on September 17, 592 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.
  4. 8:2a As in Greek version; Hebrew reads appeared to be fire.
  5. 8:2b Or like burnished metal.
  6. 8:10 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung.
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New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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