No Bible Study is complete without a study of this often overlooked Book of the Bible. The priority of any Bible Study Group should result in a better understanding of the Characteristics of Almighty God, and choosing a good Book for Bible Study is very important.
In the Book of Ezekiel, God presents a number of His Characteristics that are often overlooked, and a Bible Study Group will find this Book .very interesting
New Living Translation (NLT)
Why Almighty God thinks and acts as He does. 5:14 6:9 13:9 15:8 18:31 20:9 33:11,13,15 39:25
disappointed, frustrated, angry, vengeful, merciful, forgiving
1 On July 31 of my thirtieth year, while I was with the Judean exiles beside the Kebar River in Babylon, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. 2 This happened during the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity. 3 The Lord gave this message to me, Ezekiel, son of Buzi, a priest, beside the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians, and I felt the hand of the Lord take hold of me.
4 As I looked, I saw a great storm coming from the north, driving before it a huge cloud that flashed with lightning and shone with brilliant light. There was fire inside the cloud, and in the middle of the fire glowed something like gleaming amber. 5 From the center of the cloud came four living beings that looked human, except that each had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight, and their feet had hooves like those of a calf and shone like burnished bronze. 8 Under each of their four wings I could see human hands. So each of the four beings had four faces and four wings. 9 The wings of each living being touched the wings of the beings beside it. Each one moved straight forward in any direction without turning around.
10 Each had a human face in the front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle at the back. 11 Each had two pairs of outstretched wings—one pair stretched out to touch the wings of the living beings on either side of it, and the other pair covered its body. 12 They went in whatever direction the spirit chose, and they moved straight forward in any direction without turning around.
13 The living beings looked like bright coals of fire or brilliant torches, and lightning seemed to flash back and forth among them. 14 And the living beings darted to and fro like flashes of lightning.
15 As I looked at these beings, I saw four wheels touching the ground beside them, one wheel belonging to each. 16 The wheels sparkled as if made of beryl. All four wheels looked alike and were made the same; each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it. 17 The beings could move in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved. 18 The rims of the four wheels were tall and frightening, and they were covered with eyes all around.
19 When the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. When they flew upward, the wheels went up, too. 20 The spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. So wherever the spirit went, the wheels and the living beings also went. 21 When the beings moved, the wheels moved. When the beings stopped, the wheels stopped. When the beings flew upward, the wheels rose up, for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
22 Spread out above them was a surface like the sky, glittering like crystal. 23 Beneath this surface the wings of each living being stretched out to touch the others’ wings, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 As they flew, their wings sounded to me like waves crashing against the shore or like the voice of the Almighty or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped, they let down their wings. 25 As they stood with wings lowered, a voice spoke from beyond the crystal surface above them.
26 Above this surface was something that looked like a throne made of blue lapis lazuli. And on this throne high above was a figure whose appearance resembled a man. 27 From what appeared to be his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor. 28 All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the Lord looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.
“Stand up, son of man,” said the voice. “I want to speak with you.” 2 The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words. 3 “Son of man,” he said, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been rebelling against me to this very day. 4 They are a stubborn and hard-hearted people. But I am sending you to say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ 5 And whether they listen or refuse to listen—for remember, they are rebels—at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.
6 “Son of man, do not fear them or their words. Don’t be afraid even though their threats surround you like nettles and briers and stinging scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls, even though they are rebels. 7 You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious! 8 Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in their rebellion. Open your mouth, and eat what I give you.”
9 Then I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me. It held a scroll, which he unrolled. And I saw that both sides were covered with funeral songs, words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom.
The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. 3 “Fill your stomach with this,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
4 Then he said, “Son of man, go to the people of Israel and give them my messages. 5 I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand. 6 No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen! 7 But the people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. 8 But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are. 9 I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don’t be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels.”
10 Then he added, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. 11 Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.”
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the Lord be praised in his place!) 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living beings as they brushed against each other and the rumbling of their wheels beneath them.
14 The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord’s hold on me was strong. 15 Then I came to the colony of Judean exiles in Tel-abib, beside the Kebar River. I was overwhelmed and sat among them for seven days.
16 After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.
20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”
22 Then the Lord took hold of me and said, “Get up and go out into the valley, and I will speak to you there.” 23 So I got up and went, and there I saw the glory of the Lord, just as I had seen in my first vision by the Kebar River. And I fell face down on the ground.
24 Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in. 25 There, son of man, you will be tied with ropes so you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.”
“And now, son of man, take a large clay brick and set it down in front of you. Then draw a map of the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 Show the city under siege. Build a wall around it so no one can escape. Set up the enemy camp, and surround the city with siege ramps and battering rams. 3 Then take an iron griddle and place it between you and the city. Turn toward the city and demonstrate how harsh the siege will be against Jerusalem. This will be a warning to the people of Israel.
4 “Now lie on your left side and place the sins of Israel on yourself. You are to bear their sins for the number of days you lie there on your side. 5 I am requiring you to bear Israel’s sins for 390 days—one day for each year of their sin. 6 After that, turn over and lie on your right side for 40 days—one day for each year of Judah’s sin.
7 “Meanwhile, keep staring at the siege of Jerusalem. Lie there with your arm bared and prophesy her destruction. 8 I will tie you up with ropes so you won’t be able to turn from side to side until the days of your siege have been completed.
9 “Now go and get some wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and emmer wheat, and mix them together in a storage jar. Use them to make bread for yourself during the 390 days you will be lying on your side. 10 Ration this out to yourself, eight ounces of food for each day, and eat it at set times. 11 Then measure out a jar of water for each day, and drink it at set times. 12 Prepare and eat this food as you would barley cakes. While all the people are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat the bread.” 13 Then the Lord said, “This is how Israel will eat defiled bread in the Gentile lands to which I will banish them!”
14 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, must I be defiled by using human dung? For I have never been defiled before. From the time I was a child until now I have never eaten any animal that died of sickness or was killed by other animals. I have never eaten any meat forbidden by the law.”
15 “All right,” the Lord said. “You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung.” 16 Then he told me, “Son of man, I will make food very scarce in Jerusalem. It will be weighed out with great care and eaten fearfully. The water will be rationed out drop by drop, and the people will drink it with dismay. 17 Lacking food and water, people will look at one another in terror, and they will waste away under their punishment.
“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. 2 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. 3 Keep just a bit of the hair and tie it up in your robe. 4 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.
5 “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, 6 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.
7 “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. 8 Therefore, I myself, the Sovereign Lord, am now your enemy. I will punish you publicly while all the nations watch. 9 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!”
Again a message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, turn and face the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them. 3 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. 4 All your altars will be demolished, and your places of worship will be destroyed. I will kill your people in front of your idols. 5 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. 7 The place will be littered with corpses, and you will know that I alone am the Lord.
8 “But I will let a few of my people escape destruction, and they will be scattered among the nations of the world. 9 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 in the north. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “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.
3 No hope remains,
for I will unleash my anger against you.
I will call you to account
for all your detestable sins.
4 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.
5 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
Disaster after disaster
is coming your way!
6 The end has come.
It has finally arrived.
Your final doom is waiting!
7 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.
8 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.
9 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.
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.”
Then on September 17, 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. 2 I saw a figure that appeared to be a man. From what appeared to be his waist down, he looked like a burning flame. From the waist up he looked like gleaming amber. 3 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. 4 Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel was there, just as I had seen it before in the valley.
5 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.
6 “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!” 7 Then he brought me to the door of the Temple courtyard, where I could see a hole in the wall. 8 He said to me, “Now, son of man, dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and found a hidden doorway.
9 “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 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.”
Then the Lord thundered, “Bring on the men appointed to punish the city! Tell them to bring their weapons with them!” 2 Six men soon appeared from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man dressed in linen, who carried a writer’s case at his side. They all went into the Temple courtyard and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 Then the glory of the God of Israel rose up from between the cherubim, where it had rested, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. And the Lord called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer’s case. 4 He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.”
5 Then I heard the Lord say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! 6 Kill them all—old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin right here at the Temple.” So they began by killing the seventy leaders.
7 “Defile the Temple!” the Lord commanded. “Fill its courtyards with corpses. Go!” So they went and began killing throughout the city.
8 While they were out killing, I was all alone. I fell face down on the ground and cried out, “O Sovereign Lord! Will your fury against Jerusalem wipe out everyone left in Israel?”
9 Then he said to me, “The sins of the people of Israel and Judah are very, very great. The entire land is full of murder; the city is filled with injustice. They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see it! The Lord has abandoned the land!’ 10 So I will not spare them or have any pity on them. I will fully repay them for all they have done.”
11 Then the man in linen clothing, who carried the writer’s case, reported back and said, “I have done as you commanded.”
In my vision I saw what appeared to be a throne of blue lapis lazuli above the crystal surface over the heads of the cherubim. 2 Then the Lord spoke to the man in linen clothing and said, “Go between the whirling wheels beneath the cherubim, and take a handful of burning coals and scatter them over the city.” He did this as I watched.
3 The cherubim were standing at the south end of the Temple when the man went in, and the cloud of glory filled the inner courtyard. 4 Then the glory of the Lord rose up from above the cherubim and went over to the entrance of the Temple. The Temple was filled with this cloud of glory, and the courtyard glowed brightly with the glory of the Lord. 5 The moving wings of the cherubim sounded like the voice of God Almighty and could be heard even in the outer courtyard.
6 The Lord said to the man in linen clothing, “Go between the cherubim and take some burning coals from between the wheels.” So the man went in and stood beside one of the wheels. 7 Then one of the cherubim reached out his hand and took some live coals from the fire burning among them. He put the coals into the hands of the man in linen clothing, and the man took them and went out. 8 (All the cherubim had what looked like human hands under their wings.)
9 I looked, and each of the four cherubim had a wheel beside him, and the wheels sparkled like beryl. 10 All four wheels looked alike and were made the same; each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it. 11 The cherubim could move in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved. They went straight in the direction they faced, never turning aside. 12 Both the cherubim and the wheels were covered with eyes. The cherubim had eyes all over their bodies, including their hands, their backs, and their wings. 13 I heard someone refer to the wheels as “the whirling wheels.” 14 Each of the four cherubim had four faces: the first was the face of an ox, the second was a human face, the third was the face of a lion, and the fourth was the face of an eagle.
15 Then the cherubim rose upward. These were the same living beings I had seen beside the Kebar River. 16 When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved with them. When they lifted their wings to fly, the wheels stayed beside them. 17 When the cherubim stopped, the wheels stopped. When they flew upward, the wheels rose up, for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
18 Then the glory of the Lord moved out from the entrance of the Temple and hovered above the cherubim. 19 And as I watched, the cherubim flew with their wheels to the east gate of the Lord’s Temple. And the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them.
20 These were the same living beings I had seen beneath the God of Israel when I was by the Kebar River. I knew they were cherubim, for each had four faces and four wings and what looked like human hands under their wings. 22 And their faces were just like the faces of the beings I had seen at the Kebar, and they traveled straight ahead, just as the others had.
Then the Spirit lifted me and brought me to the east gateway of the Lord’s Temple, where I saw twenty-five prominent men of the city. Among them were Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, who were leaders among the people.
2 The Spirit said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are planning evil and giving wicked counsel in this city. 3 They say to the people, ‘Is it not a good time to build houses? This city is like an iron pot. We are safe inside it like meat in a pot.’
4 Therefore, son of man, prophesy against them loudly and clearly.”
5 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and he told me to say, “This is what the Lord says to the people of Israel: I know what you are saying, for I know every thought that comes into your minds. 6 You have murdered many in this city and filled its streets with the dead.
7 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: This city is an iron pot all right, but the pieces of meat are the victims of your injustice. As for you, I will soon drag you from this pot. 8 I will bring on you the sword of war you so greatly fear, says the Sovereign Lord. 9 I will drive you out of Jerusalem and hand you over to foreigners, who will carry out my judgments against you. 10 You will be slaughtered all the way to the borders of Israel. I will execute judgment on you, and you will know that I am the Lord. 11 No, this city will not be an iron pot for you, and you will not be like meat safe inside it. I will judge you even to the borders of Israel, and you will know that I am the Lord. For you have refused to obey my decrees and regulations; instead, you have copied the standards of the nations around you.”
13 While I was still prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah suddenly died. Then I fell face down on the ground and cried out, “O Sovereign Lord, are you going to kill everyone in Israel?”
14 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 15 “Son of man, the people still left in Jerusalem are talking about you and your relatives and all the people of Israel who are in exile. They are saying, ‘Those people are far away from the Lord, so now he has given their land to us!’
16 “Therefore, tell the exiles, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Although I have scattered you in the countries of the world, I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile. 17 I, the Sovereign Lord, will gather you back from the nations where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel once again.’
18 “When the people return to their homeland, they will remove every trace of their vile images and detestable idols. 19 And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those who long for vile images and detestable idols, I will repay them fully for their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
22 Then the cherubim lifted their wings and rose into the air with their wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them. 23 Then the glory of the Lord went up from the city and stopped above the mountain to the east.
24 Afterward the Spirit of God carried me back again to Babylonia, to the people in exile there. And so ended the vision of my visit to Jerusalem. 25 And I told the exiles everything the Lord had shown me.
Again a message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, you live among rebels who have eyes but refuse to see. They have ears but refuse to hear. For they are a rebellious people.
3 “So now, son of man, pretend you are being sent into exile. Pack the few items an exile could carry, and leave your home to go somewhere else. Do this right in front of the people so they can see you. For perhaps they will pay attention to this, even though they are such rebels. 4 Bring your baggage outside during the day so they can watch you. Then in the evening, as they are watching, leave your house as captives do when they begin a long march to distant lands. 5 Dig a hole through the wall while they are watching and go out through it. 6 As they watch, lift your pack to your shoulders and walk away into the night. Cover your face so you cannot see the land you are leaving. For I have made you a sign for the people of Israel.”
7 So I did as I was told. In broad daylight I brought my pack outside, filled with the things I might carry into exile. Then in the evening while the people looked on, I dug through the wall with my hands and went out into the night with my pack on my shoulder.
8 The next morning this message came to me from the Lord: 9 “Son of man, these rebels, the people of Israel, have asked you what all this means. 10 Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: These actions contain a message for King Zedekiah in Jerusalem and for all the people of Israel.’ 11 Explain that your actions are a sign to show what will soon happen to them, for they will be driven into exile as captives.
12 “Even Zedekiah will leave Jerusalem at night through a hole in the wall, taking only what he can carry with him. He will cover his face, and his eyes will not see the land he is leaving. 13 Then I will throw my net over him and capture him in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Babylonians, though he will never see it, and he will die there. 14 I will scatter his servants and warriors to the four winds and send the sword after them. 15 And when I scatter them among the nations, they will know that I am the Lord. 16 But I will spare a few of them from death by war, famine, or disease, so they can confess all their detestable sins to their captors. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
17 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 18 “Son of man, tremble as you eat your food. Shake with fear as you drink your water. 19 Tell the people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says concerning those living in Israel and Jerusalem: They will eat their food with trembling and sip their water in despair, for their land will be stripped bare because of their violence. 20 The cities will be destroyed and the farmland made desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
21 Again a message came to me from the Lord: 22 “Son of man, you’ve heard that proverb they quote in Israel: ‘Time passes, and prophecies come to nothing.’ 23 Tell the people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will put an end to this proverb, and you will soon stop quoting it.’ Now give them this new proverb to replace the old one: ‘The time has come for every prophecy to be fulfilled!’
24 “There will be no more false visions and flattering predictions in Israel. 25 For I am the Lord! If I say it, it will happen. There will be no more delays, you rebels of Israel. I will fulfill my threat of destruction in your own lifetime. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
26 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 27 “Son of man, the people of Israel are saying, ‘He’s talking about the distant future. His visions won’t come true for a long, long time.’ 28 Therefore, tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No more delay! I will now do everything I have threatened. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!’”
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the false prophets of Israel who are inventing their own prophecies. Say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the Lord. 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: What sorrow awaits the false prophets who are following their own imaginations and have seen nothing at all!’
4 “O people of Israel, these prophets of yours are like jackals digging in the ruins. 5 They have done nothing to repair the breaks in the walls around the nation. They have not helped it to stand firm in battle on the day of the Lord. 6 Instead, they have told lies and made false predictions. They say, ‘This message is from the Lord,’ even though the Lord never sent them. And yet they expect him to fulfill their prophecies! 7 Can your visions be anything but false if you claim, ‘This message is from the Lord,’ when I have not even spoken to you?
8 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because what you say is false and your visions are a lie, I will stand against you, says the Sovereign Lord. 9 I will raise my fist against all the prophets who see false visions and make lying predictions, and they will be banished from the community of Israel. I will blot their names from Israel’s record books, and they will never again set foot in their own land. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.
10 “This will happen because these evil prophets deceive my people by saying, ‘All is peaceful’ when there is no peace at all! It’s as if the people have built a flimsy wall, and these prophets are trying to reinforce it by covering it with whitewash! 11 Tell these whitewashers that their wall will soon fall down. A heavy rainstorm will undermine it; great hailstones and mighty winds will knock it down. 12 And when the wall falls, the people will cry out, ‘What happened to your whitewash?’
13 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will sweep away your whitewashed wall with a storm of indignation, with a great flood of anger, and with hailstones of fury. 14 I will break down your wall right to its foundation, and when it falls, it will crush you. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 15 At last my anger against the wall and those who covered it with whitewash will be satisfied. Then I will say to you: ‘The wall and those who whitewashed it are both gone. 16 They were lying prophets who claimed peace would come to Jerusalem when there was no peace. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!’
17 “Now, son of man, speak out against the women who prophesy from their own imaginations. 18 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: What sorrow awaits you women who are ensnaring the souls of my people, young and old alike. You tie magic charms on their wrists and furnish them with magic veils. Do you think you can trap others without bringing destruction on yourselves? 19 You bring shame on me among my people for a few handfuls of barley or a piece of bread. By lying to my people who love to listen to lies, you kill those who should not die, and you promise life to those who should not live.
20 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against all your magic charms, which you use to ensnare my people like birds. I will tear them from your arms, setting my people free like birds set free from a cage. 21 I will tear off the magic veils and save my people from your grasp. They will no longer be your victims. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 22 You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. 23 Because of all this, you will no longer talk of seeing visions that you never saw, nor will you make predictions. For I will rescue my people from your grasp. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Then some of the leaders of Israel visited me, and while they were sitting with me, this message came to me from the Lord: 3 “Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin. Why should I listen to their requests? 4 Tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel have set up idols in their hearts and fallen into sin, and then they go to a prophet asking for a message. So I, the Lord, will give them the kind of answer their great idolatry deserves. 5 I will do this to capture the minds and hearts of all my people who have turned from me to worship their detestable idols.’
6 “Therefore, tell the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent and turn away from your idols, and stop all your detestable sins. 7 I, the Lord, will answer all those, both Israelites and foreigners, who reject me and set up idols in their hearts and so fall into sin, and who then come to a prophet asking for my advice. 8 I will turn against such people and make a terrible example of them, eliminating them from among my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
9 “‘And if a prophet is deceived into giving a message, it is because I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet. I will lift my fist against such prophets and cut them off from the community of Israel. 10 False prophets and those who seek their guidance will all be punished for their sins. 11 In this way, the people of Israel will learn not to stray from me, polluting themselves with sin. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!’”
12 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 13 “Son of man, suppose the people of a country were to sin against me, and I lifted my fist to crush them, cutting off their food supply and sending a famine to destroy both people and animals. 14 Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, their righteousness would save no one but themselves, says the Sovereign Lord.
15 “Or suppose I were to send wild animals to invade the country, kill the people, and make the land too desolate and dangerous to pass through. 16 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, even if those three men were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be made desolate.
17 “Or suppose I were to bring war against the land, and I sent enemy armies to destroy both people and animals. 18 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, even if those three men were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved.
19 “Or suppose I were to pour out my fury by sending an epidemic into the land, and the disease killed people and animals alike. 20 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved by their righteousness.
21 “Now this is what the Sovereign Lord says: How terrible it will be when all four of these dreadful punishments fall upon Jerusalem—war, famine, wild animals, and disease—destroying all her people and animals. 22 Yet there will be survivors, and they will come here to join you as exiles in Babylon. You will see with your own eyes how wicked they are, and then you will feel better about what I have done to Jerusalem. 23 When you meet them and see their behavior, you will understand that these things are not being done to Israel without cause. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, how does a grapevine compare to a tree? Is a vine’s wood as useful as the wood of a tree? 3 Can its wood be used for making things, like pegs to hang up pots and pans? 4 No, it can only be used for fuel, and even as fuel, it burns too quickly. 5 Vines are useless both before and after being put into the fire!
6 “And this is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Jerusalem are like grapevines growing among the trees of the forest. Since they are useless, I have thrown them on the fire to be burned. 7 And I will see to it that if they escape from one fire, they will fall into another. When I turn against them, you will know that I am the Lord.
8 And I will make the land desolate because my people have been unfaithful to me. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Then another message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable sins. 3 Give her this message from the Sovereign Lord: You are nothing but a Canaanite! Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 On the day you were born, no one cared about you. Your umbilical cord was not cut, and you were never washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in cloth. 5 No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were unwanted, dumped in a field and left to die.
6 “But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘Live!’ 7 And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field. You grew up and became a beautiful jewel. Your breasts became full, and your body hair grew, but you were still naked. 8 And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love. So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.
9 “Then I bathed you and washed off your blood, and I rubbed fragrant oils into your skin. 10 I gave you expensive clothing of fine linen and silk, beautifully embroidered, and sandals made of fine goatskin leather. 11 I gave you lovely jewelry, bracelets, beautiful necklaces, a ring for your nose, earrings for your ears, and a lovely crown for your head. 13 And so you were adorned with gold and silver. Your clothes were made of fine linen and costly fabric and were beautifully embroidered. You ate the finest foods—choice flour, honey, and olive oil—and became more beautiful than ever. You looked like a queen, and so you were! 14 Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty. I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign Lord.
15 “But you thought your fame and beauty were your own. So you gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along. Your beauty was theirs for the asking. 16 You used the lovely things I gave you to make shrines for idols, where you played the prostitute. Unbelievable! How could such a thing ever happen? 17 You took the very jewels and gold and silver ornaments I had given you and made statues of men and worshiped them. This is adultery against me! 18 You used the beautifully embroidered clothes I gave you to dress your idols. Then you used my special oil and my incense to worship them. 19 Imagine it! You set before them as a sacrifice the choice flour, olive oil, and honey I had given you, says the Sovereign Lord.
20 “Then you took your sons and daughters—the children you had borne to me—and sacrificed them to your gods. Was your prostitution not enough? 21 Must you also slaughter my children by sacrificing them to idols? 22 In all your years of adultery and detestable sin, you have not once remembered the days long ago when you lay naked in a field, kicking about in your own blood.
23 “What sorrow awaits you, says the Sovereign Lord. In addition to all your other wickedness, you built a pagan shrine and put altars to idols in every town square. 25 On every street corner you defiled your beauty, offering your body to every passerby in an endless stream of prostitution. 26 Then you added lustful Egypt to your lovers, provoking my anger with your increasing promiscuity. 27 That is why I struck you with my fist and reduced your boundaries. I handed you over to your enemies, the Philistines, and even they were shocked by your lewd conduct. 28 You have prostituted yourself with the Assyrians, too. It seems you can never find enough new lovers! And after your prostitution there, you still were not satisfied. 29 You added to your lovers by embracing Babylonia, the land of merchants, but you still weren’t satisfied.
30 “What a sick heart you have, says the Sovereign Lord, to do such things as these, acting like a shameless prostitute. 31 You build your pagan shrines on every street corner and your altars to idols in every square. In fact, you have been worse than a prostitute, so eager for sin that you have not even demanded payment. 32 Yes, you are an adulterous wife who takes in strangers instead of her own husband. 33 Prostitutes charge for their services—but not you! You give gifts to your lovers, bribing them to come and have sex with you. 34 So you are the opposite of other prostitutes. You pay your lovers instead of their paying you!
35 “Therefore, you prostitute, listen to this message from the Lord! 36 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you have poured out your lust and exposed yourself in prostitution to all your lovers, and because you have worshiped detestable idols, and because you have slaughtered your children as sacrifices to your gods, 37 this is what I am going to do. I will gather together all your allies—the lovers with whom you have sinned, both those you loved and those you hated—and I will strip you naked in front of them so they can stare at you. 38 I will punish you for your murder and adultery. I will cover you with blood in my jealous fury. 39 Then I will give you to these many nations who are your lovers, and they will destroy you. They will knock down your pagan shrines and the altars to your idols. They will strip you and take your beautiful jewels, leaving you stark naked. 40 They will band together in a mob to stone you and cut you up with swords. 41 They will burn your homes and punish you in front of many women. I will stop your prostitution and end your payments to your many lovers.
42 “Then at last my fury against you will be spent, and my jealous anger will subside. I will be calm and will not be angry with you anymore. 43 But first, because you have not remembered your youth but have angered me by doing all these evil things, I will fully repay you for all of your sins, says the Sovereign Lord. For you have added lewd acts to all your detestable sins. 44 Everyone who makes up proverbs will say of you, ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ 45 For your mother loathed her husband and her children, and so do you. And you are exactly like your sisters, for they despised their husbands and their children. Truly your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
46 “Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters in the north. Your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters in the south. 47 But you have not merely sinned as they did. You quickly surpassed them in corruption. 48 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you and your daughters. 49 Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. 50 She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen.
51 “Even Samaria did not commit half your sins. You have done far more detestable things than your sisters ever did. They seem righteous compared to you. 52 Shame on you! Your sins are so terrible that you make your sisters seem righteous, even virtuous.
53 “But someday I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and Samaria, and I will restore you, too. 54 Then you will be truly ashamed of everything you have done, for your sins make them feel good in comparison. 55 Yes, your sisters, Sodom and Samaria, and all their people will be restored, and at that time you also will be restored. 56 In your proud days you held Sodom in contempt. 57 But now your greater wickedness has been exposed to all the world, and you are the one who is scorned—by Edom and all her neighbors and by Philistia. 58 This is your punishment for all your lewdness and detestable sins, says the Lord.
59 “Now this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will give you what you deserve, for you have taken your solemn vows lightly by breaking your covenant. 60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were young, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 61 Then you will remember with shame all the evil you have done. I will make your sisters, Samaria and Sodom, to be your daughters, even though they are not part of our covenant. 62 And I will reaffirm my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. 63 You will remember your sins and cover your mouth in silent shame when I forgive you of all that you have done. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, give this riddle, and tell this story to the people of Israel. 3 Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“A great eagle with broad wings and long feathers, covered with many-colored plumage, came to Lebanon. He seized the top of a cedar tree and plucked off its highest branch. He carried it away to a city filled with merchants. He planted it in a city of traders. 5 He also took a seedling from the land and planted it in fertile soil.
He placed it beside a broad river, where it could grow like a willow tree.
6 It took root there and grew into a low, spreading vine. Its branches turned up toward the eagle, and its roots grew down into the ground. It produced strong branches and put out shoots.
7 But then another great eagle came with broad wings and full plumage. So the vine now sent its roots and branches toward him for water even though it was already planted in good soil and had plenty of water so it could grow into a splendid vine and produce rich leaves and luscious fruit.
9 “So now the Sovereign Lord asks: Will this vine grow and prosper? No! I will pull it up, roots and all! I will cut off its fruit and let its leaves wither and die. I will pull it up easily without a strong arm or a large army. 10 But when the vine is transplanted, will it thrive? No, it will wither away when the east wind blows against it. It will die in the same good soil where it had grown so well.”
11 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 12 “Say to these rebels of Israel: Don’t you understand the meaning of this riddle of the eagles? The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took away her king and princes, and brought them to Babylon. 13 He made a treaty with a member of the royal family and forced him to take an oath of loyalty. He also exiled Israel’s most influential leaders, 14 so Israel would not become strong again and revolt. Only by keeping her treaty with Babylon could Israel survive.
15 “Nevertheless, this man of Israel’s royal family rebelled against Babylon, sending ambassadors to Egypt to request a great army and many horses. Can Israel break her sworn treaties like that and get away with it? 16 No! For as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, the king of Israel will die in Babylon, the land of the king who put him in power and whose treaty he disregarded and broke. 17 Pharaoh and all his mighty army will fail to help Israel when the king of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem again and destroys many lives. 18 For the king of Israel disregarded his treaty and broke it after swearing to obey; therefore, he will not escape.
19 “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will punish him for breaking my covenant and disregarding the solemn oath he made in my name. 20 I will throw my net over him and capture him in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and put him on trial for this treason against me. 21 And all his best warriors will be killed in battle, and those who survive will be scattered to the four winds. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken.
22 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take a branch from the top of a tall cedar, and I will plant it on the top of Israel’s highest mountain. 23 It will become a majestic cedar, sending forth its branches and producing seed. Birds of every sort will nest in it, finding shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 And all the trees will know that it is I, the Lord, who cuts the tall tree down and makes the short tree grow tall. It is I who makes the green tree wither and gives the dead tree new life. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I said!”
Then another message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Why do you quote this proverb concerning the land of Israel: ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste’? 3 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb anymore in Israel. 4 For all people are mine to judge—both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.
5 “Suppose a certain man is righteous and does what is just and right. 6 He does not feast in the mountains before Israel’s idols[a] or worship them. He does not commit adultery or have intercourse with a woman during her menstrual period. 7 He is a merciful creditor, not keeping the items given as security by poor debtors. He does not rob the poor but instead gives food to the hungry and provides clothes for the needy.
8 He grants loans without interest, stays away from injustice, is honest and fair when judging others, 9 and faithfully obeys my decrees and regulations. Anyone who does these things is just and will surely live, says the Sovereign Lord.
10 “But suppose that man has a son who grows up to be a robber or murderer and refuses to do what is right. 11 And that son does all the evil things his father would never do—he worships idols on the mountains, commits adultery, 12 oppresses the poor and helpless, steals from debtors by refusing to let them redeem their security, worships idols, commits detestable sins, 13 and lends money at excessive interest. Should such a sinful person live? No! He must die and must take full blame.
14 “But suppose that sinful son, in turn, has a son who sees his father’s wickedness and decides against that kind of life. 15 This son refuses to worship idols on the mountains and does not commit adultery. 16 He does not exploit the poor, but instead is fair to debtors and does not rob them. He gives food to the hungry and provides clothes for the needy. 17 He helps the poor, a person will not die because of his father’s sins; he will surely live. 18 But the father will die for his many sins—for being cruel, robbing people, and doing what was clearly wrong among his people.
19 “‘What?’ you ask. ‘Doesn’t the child pay for the parent’s sins?’ No! For if the child does what is just and right and keeps my decrees, that child will surely live. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins.
Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.
21 But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. 22 All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done.
23 “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.
24 However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you?
26 When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds.
27 And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. 28 They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die.
29 And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I.
30 “Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you! 31 Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? 32 I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live!
“Sing this funeral song for the princes of Israel:
2 “What is your mother?
A lioness among lions!
She lay down among the young lions
and reared her cubs.
3 She raised one of her cubs
to become a strong young lion.
He learned to hunt and devour prey,
and he became a man-eater.
4 Then the nations heard about him,
and he was trapped in their pit.
They led him away with hooks
to the land of Egypt.
5 “When the lioness saw
that her hopes for him were gone,
she took another of her cubs
and taught him to be a strong young lion.
6 He prowled among the other lions
and stood out among them in his strength.
He learned to hunt and devour prey,
and he, too, became a man-eater.
7 He demolished fortresses
and destroyed their towns and cities.
Their farms were desolated,
and their crops were destroyed.
The land and its people trembled in fear
when they heard him roar.
8 Then the armies of the nations attacked him,
surrounding him from every direction.
They threw a net over him
and captured him in their pit.
9 With hooks, they dragged him into a cage
and brought him before the king of Babylon.
They held him in captivity,
so his voice could never again be heard
on the mountains of Israel.
10 “Your mother was like a vine
planted by the water’s edge.
It had lush, green foliage
because of the abundant water.
11 Its branches became strong—
strong enough to be a ruler’s scepter.
It grew very tall,
towering above all others.
It stood out because of its height
and its many lush branches.
12 But the vine was uprooted in fury
and thrown down to the ground.
The desert wind dried up its fruit
and tore off its strong branches,
so that it withered
and was destroyed by fire.
13 Now the vine is transplanted to the wilderness,
where the ground is hard and dry.
14 A fire has burst out from its branches
and devoured its fruit.
Its remaining limbs are not
strong enough to be a ruler’s scepter.
“This is a funeral song, and it will be used in a funeral.”
On August 14, during the seventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, some of the leaders of Israel came to request a message from the Lord. They sat down in front of me to wait for his reply. 2 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 3 “Son of man, tell the leaders of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: How dare you come to ask me for a message? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will tell you nothing!’
4 “Son of man, bring charges against them and condemn them. Make them realize how detestable the sins of their ancestors really were. 5 Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: When I chose Israel—when I revealed myself to the descendants of Jacob in Egypt—I took a solemn oath that I, the Lord, would be their God. 6 I took a solemn oath that day that I would bring them out of Egypt to a land I had discovered and explored for them—a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the best of all lands anywhere. 7 Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’
8 “But they rebelled against me and would not listen. They did not get rid of the vile images they were obsessed with, or forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I threatened to pour out my fury on them to satisfy my anger while they were still in Egypt. 9 But I didn’t do it, for I acted to protect the honor of my name. I would not allow shame to be brought on my name among the surrounding nations who saw me reveal myself by bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. 10 So I brought them out of Egypt and led them into the wilderness. 11 There I gave them my decrees and regulations so they could find life by keeping them. 12 And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I am the Lord, who had set them apart to be holy.
13 “But the people of Israel rebelled against me, and they refused to obey my decrees there in the wilderness. They wouldn’t obey my regulations even though obedience would have given them life. They also violated my Sabbath days. So I threatened to pour out my fury on them, and I made plans to utterly consume them in the wilderness.
14 But again I held back in order to protect the honor of my name before the nations who had seen my power in bringing Israel out of Egypt. 15 But I took a solemn oath against them in the wilderness. I swore I would not bring them into the land I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful place on earth. 16 For they had rejected my regulations, refused to follow my decrees, and violated my Sabbath days. Their hearts were given to their idols. 17 Nevertheless, I took pity on them and held back from destroying them in the wilderness.
18 “Then I warned their children not to follow in their parents’ footsteps, defiling themselves with their idols. 19 ‘I am the Lord your God,’ I told them. ‘Follow my decrees, pay attention to my regulations, and keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord your God.’
21 “But their children, too, rebelled against me. They refused to keep my decrees and follow my regulations, even though obedience would have given them life. And they also violated my Sabbath days. So again I threatened to pour out my fury on them in the wilderness. 22 Nevertheless, I withdrew my judgment against them to protect the honor of my name before the nations that had seen my power in bringing them out of Egypt.
23 But I took a solemn oath against them in the wilderness. I swore I would scatter them among all the nations because they did not obey my regulations. They scorned my decrees by violating my Sabbath days and longing for the idols of their ancestors. 25 I gave them over to (their own) worthless decrees and regulations that would not lead to life. 26 I let them pollute themselves with the very gifts I had given them, and I allowed them to give their firstborn children as offerings to their gods—so I might devastate them and remind them that I alone am the Lord.
27 “Therefore, son of man, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Your ancestors continued to blaspheme and betray me, for when I brought them into the land I had promised them, they offered sacrifices on every high hill and under every green tree they saw! They roused my fury as they offered up sacrifices to their gods. They brought their perfumes and incense and poured out their liquid offerings to them. 29 I said to them, ‘What is this high place where you are going?’ (This kind of pagan shrine has been called Bamah—‘high place’—ever since.)
30 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Do you plan to pollute yourselves just as your ancestors did? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshiping vile images? 31 For when you offer gifts to them and give your little children to be burned as sacrifices, you continue to pollute yourselves with idols to this day. Should I allow you to ask for a message from me, O people of Israel? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will tell you nothing.
32 “You say, ‘We want to be like the nations all around us, who serve idols of wood and stone.’ But what you have in mind will never happen. 33 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will rule over you with an iron fist in great anger and with awesome power. 34 And in anger I will reach out with my strong hand and powerful arm, and I will bring you back from the lands where you are scattered. 35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will judge you face to face. 36 I will judge you there just as I did your ancestors in the wilderness after bringing them out of Egypt, says the Sovereign Lord. 37 I will examine you carefully and hold you to the terms of the covenant. 38 I will purge you of all those who rebel and revolt against me. I will bring them out of the countries where they are in exile, but they will never enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
39 “As for you, O people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go right ahead and worship your idols, but sooner or later you will obey me and will stop bringing shame on my holy name by worshiping idols. 40 For on my holy mountain, the great mountain of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord, the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them. There I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices. 41 When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch. 42 Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord. 43 You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
45 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 46 “Son of man, turn and face the south and speak out against it; prophesy against the brushlands of the Negev. 47 Tell the southern wilderness, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Hear the word of the Lord! I will set you on fire, and every tree, both green and dry, will be burned. The terrible flames will not be quenched and will scorch everything from south to north.
48 And everyone in the world will see that I, the Lord, have set this fire. It will not be put out.’”
49 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, they are saying of me, ‘He only talks in riddles!’”
A Warning to the People of Israel
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, turn and face Jerusalem and prophesy against Israel and her sanctuaries. 3 Tell her, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am your enemy, O Israel, and I am about to unsheath my sword to destroy your people—the righteous and the wicked alike. 4 Yes, I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked! I will draw my sword against everyone in the land from south to north.
5 Everyone in the world will know that I am the Lord. My sword is in my hand, and it will not return to its sheath until its work is finished.’
6 “Son of man, groan before the people! Groan before them with bitter anguish and a broken heart. 7 When they ask why you are groaning, tell them, ‘I groan because of the terrifying news I have heard. When it comes true, the boldest heart will melt with fear; all strength will disappear. Every spirit will faint; strong knees will become as weak as water. And the Sovereign Lord says: It is coming! It’s on its way!’”
8 Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, give the people this message from the Lord:
“A sword, a sword is being sharpened and polished. 10 It is sharpened for terrible slaughter and polished to flash like lightning! Now will you laugh? Those far stronger than you have fallen beneath its power! 11 Yes, the sword is now being sharpened and polished; it is being prepared for the executioner.
12 “Son of man, cry out and wail; pound your thighs in anguish, for that sword will slaughter my people and their leaders—everyone will die! 13 It will put them all to the test. What chance do they have ? says the Sovereign Lord.
14 “Son of man, prophesy to them and clap your hands. Then take the sword and brandish it twice, even three times, to symbolize the great massacre, the great massacre facing them on every side.
15 Let their hearts melt with terror, for the sword glitters at every gate.
It flashes like lightning and is polished for slaughter! 16 O sword, slash to the right, then slash to the left, wherever you will, wherever you want.
17 I, too, will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
A Message for Babylon ( now Iraq )
18 Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, make a map and trace two routes on it for the sword of Babylon’s king to follow. Put a signpost on the road that comes out of Babylon where the road forks into two— one road going to Ammon and its capital, Rabbah, and the other to Judah and fortified Jerusalem. 21 The king of Babylon now stands at the fork, uncertain whether to attack Jerusalem or Rabbah. He calls his magicians to look for omens. They cast lots by shaking arrows from the quiver. They inspect the livers of animal sacrifices. 22 The omen in his right hand says, ‘Jerusalem!’ With battering rams his soldiers will go against the gates, shouting for the kill. They will put up siege towers and build ramps against the walls. 23 The people of Jerusalem will think it is a false omen, because of their treaty with the Babylonians. But the king of Babylon will remind the people of their rebellion. Then he will attack and capture them.
24 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Again and again you remind me of your sin and your guilt. You don’t even try to hide it! In everything you do, your sins are obvious for all to see. So now the time of your punishment has come!
25 “O you corrupt and wicked prince of Israel, your final day of reckoning is here! 26 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“Take off your jeweled crown, for the old order changes. Now the lowly will be exalted, and the mighty will be brought down. 27 Destruction! Destruction! I will surely destroy the kingdom. And it will not be restored until the one appears who has the right to judge it. Then I will hand it over to him.
A Message for the Ammonites ( now Northern Jordan )
28 “And now, son of man, prophesy concerning the Ammonites and their mockery. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“A sword, a sword is drawn for your slaughter. It is polished to destroy, flashing like lightning! 29 Your prophets have given false visions, and your fortune-tellers have told lies. The sword will fall on the necks of the wicked for whom the day of final reckoning has come.
30 “Now return the sword to its sheath, for in your own country, the land of your birth, I will pass judgment upon you. 31 I will pour out my fury on you and blow on you with the fire of my anger. I will hand you over to cruel men who are skilled in destruction.
32 You will be fuel for the fire, and your blood will be spilled in your own land. You will be utterly wiped out your memory lost to history, for I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Now this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, are you ready to judge Jerusalem? Are you ready to judge this city of murderers? Publicly denounce her detestable sins, and give her this message from the Sovereign Lord: O city of murderers, doomed and damned—city of idols, filthy and foul— you are guilty because of the blood you have shed. You are defiled because of the idols you have made. Your day of destruction has come! You have reached the end of your years. I will make you an object of mockery throughout the world. 5 O infamous city, filled with confusion, you will be mocked by people far and near.
6 “Every leader in Israel who lives within your walls is bent on murder. 7 Fathers and mothers are treated with contempt. Foreigners are forced to pay for protection. Orphans and widows are wronged and oppressed among you. 8 You despise my holy things and violate my Sabbath days of rest. 9 People accuse others falsely and send them to their death. You are filled with idol worshipers and people who do obscene things. 10 Men sleep with their fathers’ wives and force themselves on women who are menstruating. 11 Within your walls live men who commit adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defile their daughters-in-law, or who rape their own sisters. 12 There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere. They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign Lord.
13 “But now I clap my hands in indignation over your dishonest gain and bloodshed. 14 How strong and courageous will you be in my day of reckoning? I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I said. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and purge you of your wickedness. 16 And when I have been dishonored among the nations because of you, you will know that I am the Lord.”
17 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 18 “Son of man, the people of Israel are the worthless slag that remains after silver is smelted. They are the dross that is left over—a useless mixture of copper, tin, iron, and lead. 19 So tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you are all worthless slag, I will bring you to my crucible in Jerusalem. 20 Just as silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin are melted down in a furnace, I will melt you down in the heat of my fury. 21 I will gather you together and blow the fire of my anger upon you, and you will melt like silver in fierce heat. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my fury on you.’”
23 Again a message came to me from the Lord: 24 “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: In the day of my indignation, you will be like a polluted land, a land without rain. 25 Your princes plot conspiracies just as lions stalk their prey. They devour innocent people, seizing treasures and extorting wealth. They make many widows in the land. 26 Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored among them. 27 Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money! 28 And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, ‘My message is from the Sovereign Lord,’ when the Lord hasn’t spoken a single word to them. 29 Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice.
30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. 31 So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
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 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 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. 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.
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 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.”
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 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.”
On January 15, 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 s 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.”
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.”
A message to Ammon (now Northern Jordan )
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, turn and face the land of Ammon and prophesy against its people. 3 Give the Ammonites this message from the Sovereign Lord: Hear the word of the Sovereign Lord! Because you cheered when my Temple was defiled, mocked Israel in her desolation, and laughed at Judah as she went away into exile, I will allow nomads from the eastern deserts to overrun your country. They will set up their camps among you and pitch their tents on your land. They will harvest all your fruit and drink the milk from your livestock. 5 And I will turn the city of Rabbah into a pasture for camels, and all the land of the Ammonites into a resting place for sheep and goats. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
6 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you clapped and danced and cheered with glee at the destruction of my people, 7 I will raise my fist of judgment against you. I will give you as plunder to many nations. I will cut you off from being a nation and destroy you completely. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
A Message for Moab (now Central Jordan )
8 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the people of Moab have said that Judah is just like all the other nations, I will open up their eastern flank and wipe out their glorious frontier towns—Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. 10 And I will hand Moab over to nomads from the eastern deserts, just as I handed over Ammon. Yes, the Ammonites will no longer be counted among the nations. 11 In the same way, I will bring my judgment down on the Moabites. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
A Message for Edom (now portions of Southern Israel and Jordan)
12 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Edom have sinned greatly by avenging themselves against the people of Judah. 13 Therefore, says the Sovereign Lord, I will raise my fist of judgment against Edom. I will wipe out its people and animals with the sword. I will make a wasteland of everything from Teman to Dedan. 14 I will accomplish this by the hand of my people of Israel. They will carry out my vengeance with anger, and Edom will know that this vengeance is from me. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
A Message for Philistia (now Gaza)
15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Philistia have acted against Judah out of bitter revenge and long-standing contempt. 16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will raise my fist of judgment against the land of the Philistines. I will wipe out the Kerethites and utterly destroy the people who live by the sea. 17 I will execute terrible vengeance against them to punish them for what they have done. And when I have inflicted my revenge, they will know that I am the Lord.”
A Message for Tyre ( now Lebanon )
On February 3, during the twelfth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, Tyre has rejoiced over the fall of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Ha! She who was the gateway to the rich trade routes to the east has been broken, and I am the heir! Because she has been made desolate, I will become wealthy!’
3 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am your enemy, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the waves of the sea crashing against your shoreline. 4 They will destroy the walls of Tyre and tear down its towers. I will scrape away its soil and make it a bare rock! 5 It will be just a rock in the sea, a place for fishermen to spread their nets, for I have spoken, says the Sovereign Lord. Tyre will become the prey of many nations, and its mainland villages will be destroyed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
7 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: From the north I will bring King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon against Tyre. He is king of kings and brings his horses, chariots, charioteers, and great army. 8 First he will destroy your mainland villages. Then he will attack you by building a siege wall, constructing a ramp, and raising a roof of shields against you. 9 He will pound your walls with battering rams and demolish your towers with sledgehammers. 10 The hooves of his horses will choke the city with dust, and the noise of the charioteers and chariot wheels will shake your walls as they storm through your broken gates. 11 His horsemen will trample through every street in the city. They will butcher your people, and your strong pillars will topple.
12 “They will plunder all your riches and merchandise and break down your walls. They will destroy your lovely homes and dump your stones and timbers and even your dust into the sea. 13 I will stop the music of your songs. No more will the sound of harps be heard among your people. 14 I will make your island a bare rock, a place for fishermen to spread their nets. You will never be rebuilt, for I, the Lord, have spoken. Yes, the Sovereign Lord has spoken!
15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Tyre: The whole coastline will tremble at the sound of your fall, as the screams of the wounded echo in the continuing slaughter. 16 All the seaport rulers will step down from their thrones and take off their royal robes and beautiful clothing. They will sit on the ground trembling with horror at your destruction. 17 Then they will wail for you, singing this funeral song:
“O famous island city,
once ruler of the sea,
how you have been destroyed!
Your people, with their naval power,
once spread fear around the world.
Now the coastlands tremble at your fall.
The islands are dismayed as you disappear.
19 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will make Tyre an uninhabited ruin, like many others. I will bury you beneath the terrible waves of enemy attack. Great seas will swallow you. 20 I will send you to the pit to join those who descended there long ago. Your city will lie in ruins, buried beneath the earth, like those in the pit who have entered the world of the dead. You will have no place of respect here in the land of the living. 21 I will bring you to a terrible end, and you will exist no more. You will be looked for, but you will never again be found. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, sing a funeral song for Tyre, that mighty gateway to the sea, the trading center of the world. Give Tyre this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“You boasted, O Tyre, ‘My beauty is perfect!’ 4 You extended your boundaries into the sea. Your builders made your beauty perfect. 5 You were like a great ship built of the finest cypress from Senir. They took a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you.
6 They carved your oars from the oaks of Bashan. Your deck of pine from the coasts of Cyprus was inlaid with ivory. 7 Your sails were made of Egypt’s finest linen, and they flew as a banner above you. You stood beneath blue and purple awnings made bright with dyes from the coasts of Elishah.
8 Your oarsmen came from Sidon and Arvad; your helmsmen were skilled men from Tyre itself. 9 Wise old craftsmen from Gebal did the caulking. Ships from every land came with goods to barter for your trade.
10 “Men from distant Persia, Lydia, and Libya served in your great army. They hung their shields and helmets on your walls, giving you great honor. 11 Men from Arvad and Helech stood on your walls. Your towers were manned by men from Gammad. Their shields hung on your walls, completing your beauty.
12 “Tarshish sent merchants to buy your wares in exchange for silver, iron, tin, and lead. 13 Merchants from Greece, Tubal, and Meshech brought slaves and articles of bronze to trade with you.
14 “From Beth-togarmah came riding horses, chariot horses, and mules, all in exchange for your goods. 15 Merchants came to you from Dedan.[e] Numerous coastlands were your captive markets; they brought payment in ivory tusks and ebony wood.
16 “Syria sent merchants to buy your rich variety of goods. They traded turquoise, purple dyes, embroidery, fine linen, and jewelry of coral and rubies. 17 Judah and Israel traded for your wares, offering wheat from Minnith, figs, honey, olive oil, and balm.
18 “Damascus sent merchants to buy your rich variety of goods, bringing wine from Helbon and white wool from Zahar. 19 Greeks from Uzal came to trade for your merchandise. Wrought iron, cassia, and fragrant calamus were bartered for your wares.
20 “Dedan sent merchants to trade their expensive saddle blankets with you. 21 The Arabians and the princes of Kedar sent merchants to trade lambs and rams and male goats in exchange for your goods. 22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah came with all kinds of spices, jewels, and gold in exchange for your wares.
23 “Haran, Canneh, Eden, Sheba, Asshur, and Kilmad came with their merchandise, too. 24 They brought choice fabrics to trade—blue cloth, embroidery, and multicolored carpets rolled up and bound with cords. 25 The ships of Tarshish were your ocean caravans. Your island warehouse was filled to the brim!
26 “But look! Your oarsmen have taken you into stormy seas! A mighty eastern gale has wrecked you in the heart of the sea! 27 Everything is lost—your riches and wares,
your sailors and pilots, your ship builders, merchants, and warriors. On the day of your ruin, everyone on board sinks into the depths of the sea. 28 Your cities by the sea tremble as your pilots cry out in terror.
29 All the oarsmen abandon their ships; the sailors and pilots stand on the shore. They cry aloud over you and weep bitterly. They throw dust on their heads and roll in ashes.
31 They shave their heads in grief for you nand dress themselves in burlap. They weep for you with bitter anguish and deep mourning. 32 As they wail and mourn over you, they sing this sad funeral song, ‘Was there ever such a city as Tyre, now silent at the bottom of the sea? 33 The merchandise you traded satisfied the desires of many nations.
Kings at the ends of the earth were enriched by your trade. 34 Now you are a wrecked ship, broken at the bottom of the sea. All your merchandise and crew have gone down with you. 35 All who live along the coastlands are appalled at your terrible fate. Their kings are filled with horror and look on with twisted faces. 36 The merchants among the nations shake their heads at the sight of you, for you have come to a horrible end and will exist no more.’”
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, give the prince of Tyre this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“In your great pride you claim, ‘I am a god! I sit on a divine throne in the heart of the sea.’ But you are only a man and not a god, though you boast that you are a god.
3 You regard yourself as wiser than Daniel and think no secret is hidden from you.
4 With your wisdom and understanding you have amassed great wealth—gold and silver for your treasuries. 5 Yes, your wisdom has made you very rich, and your riches have made you very proud.
6 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you think you are as wise as a god, I will now bring against you a foreign army, the terror of the nations.
They will draw their swords against your marvelous wisdom and defile your splendor!
8 They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die in the heart of the sea, pierced with many wounds. 9 Will you then boast, ‘I am a god!’ to those who kill you? To them you will be no god but merely a man! 10 You will die like an outcast at the hands of foreigners.
I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
11 Then this further message came to me from the Lord: 12 “Son of man, sing this funeral song for the king of Tyre. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white moonstone, blue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper,
blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald—all beautifully crafted for you and set in the finest gold. They were given to you on the day you were created. 14 I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire.
15 “You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. 16 Your rich commerce led you to violence, and you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. 17 Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings. 18 You defiled your sanctuaries
with your many sins and your dishonest trade. So I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you. I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.
19 All who knew you are appalled at your fate. You have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more.”
A Message for Sidon ( now Lebanon )
20 Then another message came to me from the Lord: 21 “Son of man, turn and face the city of Sidon and prophesy against it. 22 Give the people of Sidon this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“I am your enemy, O Sidon, and I will reveal my glory by what I do to you. When I bring judgment against you and reveal my holiness among you, everyone watching will know that I am the Lord.
23 I will send a plague against you, nd blood will be spilled in your streets. The attack will come from every direction, and your people will lie slaughtered within your walls.
Then everyone will know that I am the Lord. 24 No longer will Israel’s scornful neighbors prick and tear at her like briers and thorns. For then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.
25 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel will again live in their own land, the land I gave my servant Jacob. For I will gather them from the distant lands where I have scattered them. I will reveal to the nations of the world my holiness among my people. 26 They will live safely in Israel and build homes and plant vineyards. And when I punish the neighboring nations that treated them with contempt, they will know that I am the Lord their God.”
A Message for Egypt
On January 7, during the tenth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, turn and face Egypt and prophesy against Pharaoh the king and all the people of Egypt. 3 Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“I am your enemy, O Pharaoh, king of Egypt—you great monster, lurking in the streams of the Nile. For you have said, ‘The Nile River is mine; I made it for myself.’
4 I will put hooks in your jaws and drag you out on the land with fish sticking to your scales. 5 I will leave you and all your fish stranded in the wilderness to die. You will lie unburied on the open ground, for I have given you as food to the wild animals and birds
6 All the people of Egypt will know that I am the Lord, for to Israel you were just a staff made of reeds.
7 When Israel leaned on you, you splintered and broke and stabbed her in the armpit.
When she put her weight on you, you collapsed, and her legs gave way. 8 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will bring an army against you, O Egypt, and destroy both people and animals. 9 The land of Egypt will become a desolate wasteland, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.
“Because you said, ‘The Nile River is mine; I made it,’ I am now the enemy of both you and your river. I will make the land of Egypt a totally desolate wasteland, from Migdol to Aswan, as far south as the border of Ethiopia. 11 For forty years not a soul will pass that way, neither people nor animals. It will be completely uninhabited. 12 I will make Egypt desolate, and it will be surrounded by other desolate nations. Its cities will be empty and desolate for forty years, surrounded by other ruined cities. I will scatter the Egyptians to distant lands.
13 “But this is what the Sovereign Lord also says: At the end of the forty years I will bring the Egyptians home again from the nations to which they have been scattered.
14 I will restore the prosperity of Egypt and bring its people back to the land of Pathros in southern Egypt from which they came. But Egypt will remain an unimportant, minor kingdom. 15 It will be the lowliest of all the nations, never again great enough to rise above its neighbors.
16 “Then Israel will no longer be tempted to trust in Egypt for help. Egypt’s shattered condition will remind Israel of how sinful she was to trust Egypt in earlier days. Then Israel will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
17 On April 26, the first day of the new year, during the twenty-seventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, the army of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon fought so hard against Tyre that the warriors’ heads were rubbed bare and their shoulders were raw and blistered. Yet Nebuchadnezzar and his army won no plunder to compensate them for all their work. 19 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. He will carry off its wealth, plundering everything it has so he can pay his army. 20 Yes, I have given him the land of Egypt as a reward for his work, says the Sovereign Lord, because he was working for me when he destroyed Tyre.
21 “And the day will come when I will cause the ancient glory of Israel to revive,[e] and then, Ezekiel, your words will be respected. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
This is another message that came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, prophesy and give this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“Weep and wail
for that day,
3 for the terrible day is almost here—
the day of the Lord!
It is a day of clouds and gloom,
a day of despair for the nations.
4 A sword will come against Egypt,
and those who are slaughtered will cover the ground.
Its wealth will be carried away
and its foundations destroyed.
The land of Ethiopia will be ravished.
5 Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all Arabia,
and all their other allies
will be destroyed in that war.
6 “For this is what the Lord says:
All of Egypt’s allies will fall,
and the pride of her power will end.
From Migdol to Aswan
they will be slaughtered by the sword,
says the Sovereign Lord.
7 Egypt will be desolate,
surrounded by desolate nations,
and its cities will be in ruins,
surrounded by other ruined cities.
8 And the people of Egypt will know that I am the Lord
when I have set Egypt on fire
and destroyed all their allies.
9 At that time I will send swift messengers in ships
to terrify the complacent Ethiopians.
Great panic will come upon them
on that day of Egypt’s certain destruction.
Watch for it!
It is sure to come!
10 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
By the power of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon,
I will destroy the hordes of Egypt.
11 He and his armies—the most ruthless of all—
will be sent to demolish the land.
They will make war against Egypt
until slaughtered Egyptians cover the ground.
12 I will dry up the Nile River
and sell the land to wicked men.
I will destroy the land of Egypt and everything in it
by the hands of foreigners.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
13 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
I will smash the idols of Egypt
and the images at Memphis.
There will be no rulers left in Egypt;
terror will sweep the land.
14 I will destroy southern Egypt,
set fire to Zoan,
and bring judgment against Thebes.
15 I will pour out my fury on Pelusium,
the strongest fortress of Egypt,
and I will stamp out
the hordes of Thebes.
16 Yes, I will set fire to all Egypt!
Pelusium will be racked with pain;
Thebes will be torn apart;
Memphis will live in constant terror.
17 The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastis[j] will die in battle,
and the women[k] will be taken away as slaves.
18 When I come to break the proud strength of Egypt,
it will be a dark day for Tahpanhes, too.
A dark cloud will cover Tahpanhes,
and its daughters will be led away as captives.
19 And so I will greatly punish Egypt,
and they will know that I am the Lord.”
20 On April 29, during the eleventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. His arm has not been put in a cast so that it may heal. Neither has it been bound up with a splint to make it strong enough to hold a sword. 22 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am the enemy of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt! I will break both of his arms—the good arm along with the broken one—and I will make his sword clatter to the ground. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians to many lands throughout the world. 24 I will strengthen the arms of Babylon’s king and put my sword in his hand. But I will break the arms of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he will lie there mortally wounded, groaning in pain. 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, while the arms of Pharaoh fall useless to his sides. And when I put my sword in the hand of Babylon’s king and he brings it against the land of Egypt, Egypt will know that I am the Lord. 26 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, dispersing them throughout the earth. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Egypt compared to fallen Assyria ( Syria)
On June 21,[a] during the eleventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, give this message to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and all his hordes:
“To whom would you compare your greatness? 3 You are like mighty Assyria, which was once like a cedar of Lebanon, with beautiful branches that cast deep forest shade and with its top high among the clouds. 4 Deep springs watered it and helped it to grow tall and luxuriant.
The water flowed around it like a river, streaming to all the trees nearby. 5 This great tree towered high, higher than all the other trees around it. It prospered and grew long thick branches because of all the water at its roots. 6 The birds nested in its branches, and in its shade all the wild animals gave birth. All the great nations of the world lived in its shadow. 7 It was strong and beautiful, with wide-spreading branches, or its roots went deep into abundant water.
8 No other cedar in the garden of God could rival it. No cypress had branches to equal it; no plane tree had boughs to compare. No tree in the garden of God came close to it in beauty. 9 Because I made this tree so beautiful, and gave it such magnificent foliage, it was the envy of all the other trees of Eden, the garden of God.
10 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because Egypt became proud and arrogant, and because it set itself so high above the others, with its top reaching to the clouds, 11 I will hand it over to a mighty nation that will destroy it as its wickedness deserves. I have already discarded it. 12 A foreign army—the terror of the nations—has cut it down and left it fallen on the ground. Its branches are scattered across the mountains and valleys and ravines of the land. All those who lived in its shadow have gone away and left it lying there.
13 “The birds roost on its fallen trunk, and the wild animals lie among its branches. Let the tree of no other nation proudly exult in its own prosperity, though it be higher than the cloud and it be watered from the depths. For all are doomed to die, to go down to the depths of the earth. They will land in the pit along with everyone else on earth.
15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When Assyria went down to the grave, I made the deep springs mourn. I stopped its rivers and dried up its abundant water. I clothed Lebanon in black and caused the trees of the field to wilt. 16 I made the nations shake with fear at the sound of its fall, for I sent it down to the grave with all the others who descend to the pit. And all the other proud trees of Eden, the most beautiful and the best of Lebanon, the ones whose roots went deep into the water, took comfort to find it there with them in the depths of the earth. 17 Its allies, too, were all destroyed and had passed away. They had gone down to the grave—all those nations that had lived in its shade.
18 “O Egypt, to which of the trees of Eden will you compare your strength and glory? You, too, will be brought down to the depths with all these other nations. You will lie there among the outcasts who have died by the sword. This will be the fate of Pharaoh and all his hordes. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
A Warning for Pharoah ( Egypt)
On March 3, during the twelfth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, mourn for Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and give him this message:
“You think of yourself as a strong young lion among the nations,but you are really just a sea monster, heaving around in your own rivers, stirring up mud with your feet.
3 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will send many people to catch you in my net and haul you out of the water. 4 I will leave you stranded on the land to die.
All the birds of the heavens will land on you, and the wild animals of the whole earth
will gorge themselves on you. 5 I will scatter your flesh on the hills and fill the valleys with your bones.
6 I will drench the earth with your gushing blood all the way to the mountains, filling the ravines to the brim. 7 When I blot you out, I will veil the heavens and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give you its light. 8 I will darken the bright stars overhead and cover your land in darkness.
I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
9 “I will disturb many hearts when I bring news of your downfall to distant nations you have never seen. 10 Yes, I will shock many lands, and their kings will be terrified at your fate. They will shudder in fear for their lives as I brandish my sword before them on the day of your fall. 11 For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“The sword of the king of Babylon will come against you. 12 I will destroy your hordes with the swords of mighty warriors—the terror of the nations. They will shatter the pride of Egypt, and all its hordes will be destroyed. 13 I will destroy all your flocks and herds that graze beside the streams. Never again will people or animals muddy those waters with their feet.
14 “ Then I will let the waters of Egypt become calm again, and they will flow as smoothly as olive oil, says the Sovereign Lord. 15 And when I destroy Egypt and strip you of everything you own and strike down all your people, then you will know that I am the Lord.
16 “ Yes, this is the funeral song they will sing for Egypt. Let all the nations mourn. Let them mourn for Egypt and its hordes.
“ I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
17 On March 17, during the twelfth year, another message came to me from the Lord: 18 “Son of man, weep for the hordes of Egypt and for the other mighty nations. For I will send them down to the world below in company with those who descend to the pit. 19 Say to them, ‘O Egypt, are you lovelier than the other nations? No! So go down to the pit and lie there among the outcasts.’
20 The Egyptians will fall with the many who have died by the sword, for the sword is drawn against them. Egypt and its hordes will be dragged away to their judgment. 21 Down in the grave mighty leaders will mockingly welcome Egypt and its allies, saying, ‘They have come down; they lie among the outcasts, hordes slaughtered by the sword.’
22 “Assyria lies there surrounded by the graves of its army, those who were slaughtered by the sword. 23 Their graves are in the depths of the pit, and they are surrounded by their allies. They struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere, but now they have been slaughtered by the sword.
24 “Elam lies there surrounded by the graves of all its hordes, those who were slaughtered by the sword. They struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere, but now they have descended as outcasts to the world below. Now they lie in the pit and share the shame of those who have gone before them. 25 They have a resting place among the slaughtered, surrounded by the graves of all their hordes. Yes, they terrorized the nations while they lived, but now they lie in shame with others in the pit, all of them outcasts, slaughtered by the sword.
26 “Meshech and Tubal are there, surrounded by the graves of all their hordes. They once struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere. But now they are outcasts, all slaughtered by the sword. 27 They are not buried in honor like their fallen heroes, who went down to the grave with their weapons—their shields covering their bodies[g] and their swords beneath their heads. Their guilt rests upon them because they brought terror to everyone while they were still alive.
28 “You too, Egypt, will lie crushed and broken among the outcasts, all slaughtered by the sword.
29 “Edom is there with its kings and princes. Mighty as they were, they also lie among those slaughtered by the sword, with the outcasts who have gone down to the pit.
30 “All the princes of the north and the Sidonians are there with others who have died. Once a terror, they have been put to shame. They lie there as outcasts with others who were slaughtered by the sword. They share the shame of all who have descended to the pit.
31 “When Pharaoh and his entire army arrive, he will take comfort that he is not alone in having his hordes killed, says the Sovereign Lord. 32 Although I have caused his terror to fall upon all the living, Pharaoh and his hordes will lie there among the outcasts who were slaughtered by the sword. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Once again a message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. 3 When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. 4 Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. 5 They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. 6 But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’
7 “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. 8 If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 9 But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself.
10 “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ 11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?
12 “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. 13 When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. 14 And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. 15 For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. 16 None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.
17 “Your people are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right,’ but it is they who are not doing what’s right. 18 For again I say, when righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and turn to evil, they will die. 19 But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live. 20 O people of Israel, you are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right.’ But I judge each of you according to your deeds.”
21 On January 8, during the twelfth year of our captivity, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!” 22 The previous evening the Lord had taken hold of me and given me back my voice. So I was able to speak when this man arrived the next morning.
23 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 24 “Son of man, the scattered remnants of Israel living among the ruined cities keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he gained possession of the entire land. We are many; surely the land has been given to us as a possession.’ 25 So tell these people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You eat meat with blood in it, you worship idols, and you murder the innocent. Do you really think the land should be yours? 26 Murderers! Idolaters! Adulterers! Should the land belong to you?’
27 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die by the sword. And I will send wild animals to eat those living in the open fields. Those hiding in the forts and caves will die of disease. 28 I will completely destroy the land and demolish her pride. Her arrogant power will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate that no one will even travel through them. 29 When I have completely destroyed the land because of their detestable sins, then they will know that I am the Lord.’
30 “Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the Lord is saying!’ 31 So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. 32 You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it! 33 But when all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.”
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep? 3 You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. 4 You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty. 5 So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd, and they are easy prey for any wild animal. 6 They have wandered through all the mountains and all the hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them.
7 “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. 9 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, and I will stop them from feeding themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey.
11 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!
17 “And as for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to his people: I will judge between one animal of the flock and another, separating the sheep from the goats. 18 Isn’t it enough for you to keep the best of the pastures for yourselves? Must you also trample down the rest? Isn’t it enough for you to drink clear water for yourselves? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Why must my flock eat what you have trampled down and drink water you have fouled?
20 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will surely judge between the fat sheep and the scrawny sheep. 21 For you fat sheep pushed and butted and crowded my sick and hungry flock until you scattered them to distant lands. 22 So I will rescue my flock, and they will no longer be abused. I will judge between one animal of the flock and another. 23 And I will set over them one shepherd, my servant David. He will feed them and be a shepherd to them. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be a prince among my people. I, the Lord, have spoken!
25 “I will make a covenant of peace with my people and drive away the dangerous animals from the land. Then they will be able to camp safely in the wildest places and sleep in the woods without fear. 26 I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing. 27 The orchards and fields of my people will yield bumper crops, and everyone will live in safety. When I have broken their chains of slavery and rescued them from those who enslaved them, then they will know that I am the Lord. 28 They will no longer be prey for other nations, and wild animals will no longer devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will frighten them.
29 “And I will make their land famous for its crops, so my people will never again suffer from famines or the insults of foreign nations. 30 In this way, they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them. And they will know that they, the people of Israel, are my people, says the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people, and I am your God. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
A Message for Edom ( now portions of Southern Israel and Jordan )
Again a message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, turn and face Mount Seir, and prophesy against its people ( in Edom). 3 Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“I am your enemy, O Mount Seir, and I will raise my fist against you to destroy you completely. 4 I will demolish your cities and make you desolate.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.
5 “Your eternal hatred for the people of Israel led you to butcher them when they were helpless, when I had already punished them for all their sins. 6 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, since you show no distaste for blood, I will give you a bloodbath of your own. Your turn has come! 7 I will make Mount Seir utterly desolate, killing off all who try to escape and any who return. 8 I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your ravines will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword. 9 I will make you desolate forever. Your cities will never be rebuilt. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
10 “For you said, ‘The lands of Israel and Judah will be ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care that the Lord is there!’ 11 Therefore, as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will pay back your angry deeds with my own. I will punish you for all your acts of anger, envy, and hatred. And I will make myself known to Israel[a] by what I do to you. 12 Then you will know that I, the Lord, have heard every contemptuous word you spoke against the mountains of Israel. For you said, ‘They are desolate; they have been given to us as food to eat!’ 13 In saying that, you boasted proudly against me, and I have heard it all!
14 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The whole world will rejoice when I make you desolate. 15 You rejoiced at the desolation of Israel’s territory. Now I will rejoice at yours! You will be wiped out, you people of Mount Seir and all who live in Edom!
Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
“Son of man, prophesy to Israel’s mountains. Give them this message: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord! 2 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Your enemies have taunted you, saying, ‘Aha! Now the ancient heights belong to us!’ 3 Therefore, son of man, give the mountains of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Your enemies have attacked you from all directions, making you the property of many nations and the object of much mocking and slander. 4 Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign Lord. He speaks to the hills and mountains, ravines and valleys, and to ruined wastes and long-deserted cities that have been destroyed and mocked by the surrounding nations. 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My jealous anger burns against these nations, especially Edom, because they have shown utter contempt for me by gleefully taking my land for themselves as plunder.
6 “Therefore, prophesy to the hills and mountains, the ravines and valleys of Israel. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am furious that you have suffered shame before the surrounding nations. 7 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I have taken a solemn oath that those nations will soon have their own shame to endure.
8 “But the mountains of Israel will produce heavy crops of fruit for my people—for they will be coming home again soon! 9 See, I care about you, and I will pay attention to you. Your ground will be plowed and your crops planted. 10 I will greatly increase the population of Israel, and the ruined cities will be rebuilt and filled with people. 11 I will increase not only the people, but also your animals. O mountains of Israel, I will bring people to live on you once again. I will make you even more prosperous than you were before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 12 I will cause my people to walk on you once again, and you will be their territory. You will never again rob them of their children.
13 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The other nations taunt you, saying, ‘Israel is a land that devours its own people and robs them of their children!’ 14 But you will never again devour your people or rob them of their children, says the Sovereign Lord. 15 I will not let you hear those other nations insult you, and you will no longer be mocked by them. You will not be a land that causes its nation to fall, says the Sovereign Lord.”
16 Then this further message came to me from the Lord: 17 “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by the evil way they lived. To me their conduct was as unclean as a woman’s menstrual cloth. 18 They polluted the land with murder and the worship of idols, so I poured out my fury on them. 19 I scattered them to many lands to punish them for the evil way they had lived. 20 But when they were scattered among the nations, they brought shame on my holy name. For the nations said, ‘These are the people of the Lord, but he couldn’t keep them safe in his own land!’ 21 Then I was concerned for my holy name, on which my people brought shame among the nations.
22 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations. 23 I will show how holy my great name is—the name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign Lord, then the nations will know that I am the Lord. 24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
28 “And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will cleanse you of your filthy behavior. I will give you good crops of grain, and I will send no more famines on the land. 30 I will give you great harvests from your fruit trees and fields, and never again will the surrounding nations be able to scoff at your land for its famines. 31 Then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves for all the detestable things you did. 32 But remember, says the Sovereign Lord, I am not doing this because you deserve it. O my people of Israel, you should be utterly ashamed of all you have done!
33 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When I cleanse you from your sins, I will repopulate your cities, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The fields that used to lie empty and desolate in plain view of everyone will again be farmed. 35 And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden! The abandoned and ruined cities now have strong walls and are filled with people!’ 36 Then the surrounding nations that survive will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted the wasteland. For I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I say.
37 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am ready to hear Israel’s prayers and to increase their numbers like a flock. 38 They will be as numerous as the sacred flocks that fill Jerusalem’s streets at the time of her festivals. The ruined cities will be crowded with people once more, and everyone will know that I am the Lord.”
The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. 2 He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. 3 Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”
“O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”
4 Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! 6 I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. 8 Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”
10 So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.
11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ 12 Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. 14 I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”
15 Again a message came to me from the Lord: 16 “Son of man, take a piece of wood and carve on it these words: ‘This represents Judah and its allied tribes.’ Then take another piece and carve these words on it: ‘This represents Ephraim and the northern tribes of Israel.’ 17 Now hold them together in your hand as if they were one piece of wood. 18 When your people ask you what your actions mean, 19 say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take Ephraim and the northern tribes and join them to Judah. I will make them one piece of wood in my hand.’
20 “Then hold out the pieces of wood you have inscribed, so the people can see them. And give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. 22 I will unify them into one nation on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule them all; no longer will they be divided into two nations or into two kingdoms. 23 They will never again pollute themselves with their idols and vile images and rebellion, for I will save them from their sinful apostasy. I will cleanse them. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.
24 “My servant David will be their king, and they will have only one shepherd. They will obey my regulations and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave my servant Jacob, the land where their ancestors lived. They and their children and their grandchildren after them will live there forever, generation after generation. And my servant David will be their prince forever. 26 And I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. I will give them their land and increase their numbers, and I will put my Temple among them forever. 27 I will make my home among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 And when my Temple is among them forever, the nations will know that I am the Lord, who makes Israel holy.”
land of Magog ( now Central Europe )
This is another message that came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, turn and face Gog of the land of Magog, the prince who rules over the nations of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him. 3 Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: Gog, I am your enemy! 4 I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with your whole army—your horses and charioteers in full armor and a great horde armed with shields and swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya will join you, too, with all their weapons. 6 Gomer and all its armies will also join you, along with the armies of Beth-togarmah from the distant north, and many others.
7 “Get ready; be prepared! Keep all the armies around you mobilized, and take command of them. 8 A long time from now you will be called into action. In the distant future you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be enjoying peace after recovering from war and after its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel. 9 You and all your allies—a vast and awesome army—will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud.
10 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: At that time evil thoughts will come to your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme. 11 You will say, ‘Israel is an unprotected land filled with unwalled villages! I will march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence! 12 I will go to those formerly desolate cities that are now filled with people who have returned from exile in many nations. I will capture vast amounts of plunder, for the people are rich with livestock and other possessions now. They think the whole world revolves around them!’ 13 But Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish will ask, ‘Do you really think the armies you have gathered can rob them of silver and gold? Do you think you can drive away their livestock and seize their goods and carry off plunder?’
14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: When my people are living in peace in their land, then you will rouse yourself. 15 You will come from your homeland in the distant north with your vast cavalry and your mighty army, and you will attack my people Israel, covering their land like a cloud. At that time in the distant future, I will bring you against my land as everyone watches, and my holiness will be displayed by what happens to you, Gog. Then all the nations will know that I am the Lord.
17 “This is what the Sovereign Lord asks: Are you the one I was talking about long ago, when I announced through Israel’s prophets that in the future I would bring you against my people? 18 But this is what the Sovereign Lord says: When Gog invades the land of Israel, my fury will boil over! 19 In my jealousy and blazing anger, I promise a mighty shaking in the land of Israel on that day. 20 All living things—the fish in the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people on earth—will quake in terror at my presence. Mountains will be thrown down; cliffs will crumble; walls will fall to the earth. 21 I will summon the sword against you on all the hills of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord. Your men will turn their swords against each other. 22 I will punish you and your armies with disease and bloodshed; I will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur! 23 In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
Gog ( now Russia)
“Son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am your enemy, O Gog, ruler of the nations of Meshech and Tubal. 2 I will turn you around and drive you toward the mountains of Israel, bringing you from the distant north. 3 I will knock the bow from your left hand and the arrows from your right hand, and I will leave you helpless. 4 You and your army and your allies will all die on the mountains. I will feed you to the vultures and wild animals. 5 You will fall in the open fields, for I have spoken, says the Sovereign Lord. 6 And I will rain down fire on Magog and on all your allies who live safely on the coasts. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
7 “In this way, I will make known my holy name among my people of Israel. I will not let anyone bring shame on it. And the nations, too, will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 8 That day of judgment will come, says the Sovereign Lord. Everything will happen just as I have declared it.
9 “Then the people in the towns of Israel will go out and pick up your small and large shields, bows and arrows, javelins and spears, and they will use them for fuel. There will be enough to last them seven years! 10 They won’t need to cut wood from the fields or forests, for these weapons will give them all the fuel they need. They will plunder those who planned to plunder them, and they will rob those who planned to rob them, says the Sovereign Lord.
11 “And I will make a vast graveyard for Gog and his hordes in the Valley of the Travelers, east of the Dead Sea. It will block the way of those who travel there, and they will change the name of the place to the Valley of Gog’s Hordes. 12 It will take seven months for the people of Israel to bury the bodies and cleanse the land. 13 Everyone in Israel will help, for it will be a glorious victory for Israel when I demonstrate my glory on that day, says the Sovereign Lord.
14 “After seven months, teams of men will be appointed to search the land for skeletons to bury, so the land will be made clean again. 15 Whenever bones are found, a marker will be set up so the burial crews will take them to be buried in the Valley of Gog’s Hordes. 16 There will be a town there named Hamonah, which means ‘horde.’ And so the land will finally be cleansed.
17 “And now, son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Call all the birds and wild animals. Say to them: Gather together for my great sacrificial feast. Come from far and near to the mountains of Israel, and there eat flesh and drink blood! 18 Eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of princes as though they were rams, lambs, goats, and bulls—all fattened animals from Bashan! 19 Gorge yourselves with flesh until you are glutted; drink blood until you are drunk. This is the sacrificial feast I have prepared for you. 20 Feast at my banquet table—feast on horses and charioteers, on mighty men and all kinds of valiant warriors, says the Sovereign Lord.
21 “In this way, I will demonstrate my glory to the nations. Everyone will see the punishment I have inflicted on them and the power of my fist when I strike. 22 And from that time on the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 The nations will then know why Israel was sent away to exile—it was punishment for sin, for they were unfaithful to their God. Therefore, I turned away from them and let their enemies destroy them. 24 I turned my face away and punished them because of their defilement and their sins.
25 “So now, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will end the captivity of my people; I will have mercy on all Israel, for I jealously guard my holy reputation! 26 They will accept responsibility for their past shame and unfaithfulness after they come home to live in peace in their own land, with no one to bother them. 27 When I bring them home from the lands of their enemies, I will display my holiness among them for all the nations to see. 28 Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them away to exile and brought them home again. I will leave none of my people behind. 29 And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Chapter 40 begins Almighty God’s detailed description of a new Temple to be built in His honor. In Chapter 43 vs 5, God continues :
“ 5 Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple. 6 And I heard someone speaking to me from within the Temple, while the man who had been measuring stood beside me. 7 The Lord said to me, “ Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place where I will rest my feet. I will live here forever among the people of Israel. They and their kings will not defile my holy name any longer by their adulterous worship of other gods or by honoring the relics of their kings who have died. 8 They put their idol altars right next to mine with only a wall between them and me. They defiled my holy name by such detestable sin, so I consumed them in my anger. 9 Now let them stop worshiping other gods and honoring the relics of their kings, and I will live among them forever.
10 “Son of man, describe to the people of Israel the Temple I have shown you, so they will be ashamed of all their sins.
That concludes the portion of the Book of Ezekiel that contains instances of some of Almighty God’s Characteristics that are not commonly discussed or considered……….. disappointed, frustrated, angry, vengeful, and yet always merciful, and forgiving.
Nearly 150 years later, a still frustrated God continues to point out the failures of His people, and reminds them (and us) “ I the Lord, do not change. ” Malach 3:6
Then another 550 years pass, and long after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, Almighty God continues to show his disappointment in the Book of Revelation Ch2:4-5 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.
And to others, He says 20“But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols.21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.
22 “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds.23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.
The remainder of the Book of Ezekiel follows :
On April 28, during the twenty-fifth year of our captivity—fourteen years after the fall of Jerusalem—the Lord took hold of me. 2 In a vision from God he took me to the land of Israel and set me down on a very high mountain. From there I could see toward the south what appeared to be a city. 3 As he brought me nearer, I saw a man whose face shone like bronze standing beside a gateway entrance. He was holding in his hand a linen measuring cord and a measuring rod.
4 He said to me, “Son of man, watch and listen. Pay close attention to everything I show you. You have been brought here so I can show you many things. Then you will return to the people of Israel and tell them everything you have seen.”
The East Gate
I could see a wall completely surrounding the Temple area. The man took a measuring rod that was 10 1⁄2 feet long and measured the wall, and the wall was 10 1⁄2 feet thick and 10 1⁄2 feet high.
6 Then he went over to the eastern gateway. He climbed the steps and measured the threshold of the gateway; it was 10 1⁄2 feet front to back. 7 There were guard alcoves on each side built into the gateway passage. Each of these alcoves was 10 1⁄2 feet square, with a distance between them of 8 3⁄4 feet along the passage wall. The gateway’s inner threshold, which led to the entry room at the inner end of the gateway passage, was 10 1⁄2 feet front to back. 8 He also measured the entry room of the gateway. 9 It was 14 feet across, with supporting columns 3 1⁄2 feet thick. This entry room was at the inner end of the gateway structure, facing toward the Temple.
10 There were three guard alcoves on each side of the gateway passage. Each had the same measurements, and the dividing walls separating them were also identical. 11 The man measured the gateway entrance, which was 17 1⁄2 feet wide at the opening and 22 3⁄4 feet wide in the gateway passage. 12 In front of each of the guard alcoves was a 21-inch curb. The alcoves themselves were 10 1⁄2 feet on each side.
13 Then he measured the entire width of the gateway, measuring the distance between the back walls of facing guard alcoves; this distance was 43 3⁄4 feet. 14 He measured the dividing walls all along the inside of the gateway up to the entry room of the gateway; this distance was 105 feet. 15 The full length of the gateway passage was 87 1⁄2 feet from one end to the other. 16 There were recessed windows that narrowed inward through the walls of the guard alcoves and their dividing walls. There were also windows in the entry room. The surfaces of the dividing walls were decorated with carved palm trees.
The Outer Courtyard
17 Then the man brought me through the gateway into the outer courtyard of the Temple. A stone pavement ran along the walls of the courtyard, and thirty rooms were built against the walls, opening onto the pavement. 18 This pavement flanked the gates and extended out from the walls into the courtyard the same distance as the gateway entrance. This was the lower pavement. 19 Then the man measured across the Temple’s outer courtyard between the outer and inner gateways; the distance was 175 feet.
The North Gateway
20 The man measured the gateway on the north just like the one on the east. 21 Here, too, there were three guard alcoves on each side, with dividing walls and an entry room. All the measurements matched those of the east gateway. The gateway passage was 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide between the back walls of facing guard alcoves. The windows, the entry room, and the palm tree decorations were identical to those in the east gateway. There were seven steps leading up to the gateway entrance, and the entry room was at the inner end of the gateway passage. 23 Here on the north side, just as on the east, there was another gateway leading to the Temple’s inner courtyard directly opposite this outer gateway. The distance between the two gateways was 175 feet.
The South Gateway
24 Then the man took me around to the south gateway and measured its various parts, and they were exactly the same as in the others. 25 It had windows along the walls as the others did, and there was an entry room where the gateway passage opened into the outer courtyard. And like the others, the gateway passage was 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide between the back walls of facing guard alcoves. 26 This gateway also had a stairway of seven steps leading up to it, and an entry room at the inner end, and palm tree decorations along the dividing walls. 27 And here again, directly opposite the outer gateway, was another gateway that led into the inner courtyard. The distance between the two gateways was 175 feet.
Gateways to the Inner Courtyard
28 Then the man took me to the south gateway leading into the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways. 29 Its guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room were the same size as those in the others. It also had windows along its walls and in the entry room. And like the others, the gateway passage was 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide. 30 The entry rooms of the gateways leading into the inner courtyard were 14 feet across and 43 3⁄4 feet wide. 31 The entry room to the south gateway faced into the outer courtyard. It had palm tree decorations on its columns, and there were eight steps leading to its entrance.
32 Then he took me to the east gateway leading to the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways. 33 Its guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room were the same size as those of the others, and there were windows along the walls and in the entry room. The gateway passage measured 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide. 34 Its entry room faced into the outer courtyard. It had palm tree decorations on its columns, and there were eight steps leading to its entrance.
35 Then he took me around to the north gateway leading to the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways. 36 The guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room of this gateway had the same measurements as in the others and the same window arrangements. The gateway passage measured 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide. 37 Its entry room faced into the outer courtyard, and it had palm tree decorations on the columns. There were eight steps leading to its entrance.
Rooms for Preparing Sacrifices
38 A door led from the entry room of one of the inner gateways into a side room, where the meat for sacrifices was washed. 39 On each side of this entry room were two tables, where the sacrificial animals were slaughtered for the burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings. 40 Outside the entry room, on each side of the stairs going up to the north entrance, were two more tables. 41 So there were eight tables in all—four inside and four outside—where the sacrifices were cut up and prepared. 42 There were also four tables of finished stone for preparation of the burnt offerings, each 31 1⁄2 inches square and 21 inches high. On these tables were placed the butchering knives and other implements for slaughtering the sacrificial animals. 43 There were hooks, each 3 inches long, fastened all around the foyer walls. The sacrificial meat was laid on the tables.
44 Inside the inner courtyard were two rooms, one beside the north gateway, facing south, and the other beside the south gateway, facing north. 45 And the man said to me, “The room beside the north inner gate is for the priests who supervise the Temple maintenance. 46 The room beside the south inner gate is for the priests in charge of the altar—the descendants of Zadok—for they alone of all the Levites may approach the Lord to minister to him.”
The Inner Courtyard and Temple
47 Then the man measured the inner courtyard, and it was a square, 175 feet wide and 175 feet across. The altar stood in the courtyard in front of the Temple. 48 Then he brought me to the entry room of the Temple. He measured the walls on either side of the opening to the entry room, and they were 8 3⁄4 feet thick. The entrance itself was 24 1⁄2 feet wide, and the walls on each side of the entrance were an additional 5 1⁄4 feet long. 49 The entry room was 35 feet wide and 21 feet deep. There were ten steps leading up to it, with a column on each side.
After that, the man brought me into the sanctuary of the Temple. He measured the walls on either side of its doorway, and they were 10 1⁄2 feet thick. 2 The doorway was 17 1⁄2 feet wide, and the walls on each side of it were 8 3⁄4 feet long. The sanctuary itself was 70 feet long and 35 feet wide.
3 Then he went beyond the sanctuary into the inner room. He measured the walls on either side of its entrance, and they were 3 1⁄2 feet thick. The entrance was 10 1⁄2 feet wide, and the walls on each side of the entrance were 12 1⁄4 feet long. 4 The inner room of the sanctuary was 35 feet long and 35 feet wide. “This,” he told me, “is the Most Holy Place.”
5 Then he measured the wall of the Temple, and it was 10 1⁄2 feet thick. There was a row of rooms along the outside wall; each room was 7 feet wide. 6 These side rooms were built in three levels, one above the other, with thirty rooms on each level. The supports for these side rooms rested on exterior ledges on the Temple wall; they did not extend into the wall. 7 Each level was wider than the one below it, corresponding to the narrowing of the Temple wall as it rose higher. A stairway led up from the bottom level through the middle level to the top level.
8 I saw that the Temple was built on a terrace, which provided a foundation for the side rooms. This terrace was 10 1⁄2 feet high. 9 The outer wall of the Temple’s side rooms was 8 3⁄4 feet thick. This left an open area between these side rooms 10 and the row of rooms along the outer wall of the inner courtyard. This open area was 35 feet wide, and it went all the way around the Temple. 11 Two doors opened from the side rooms into the terrace yard, which was 8 3⁄4 feet wide. One door faced north and the other south.
12 A large building stood on the west, facing the Temple courtyard. It was 122 1⁄2 feet wide and 157 1⁄2 feet long, and its walls were 8 3⁄4 feet thick. 13 Then the man measured the Temple, and it was 175 feet long. The courtyard around the building, including its walls, was an additional 175 feet in length. 14 The inner courtyard to the east of the Temple was also 175 feet wide. 15 The building to the west, including its two walls, was also 175 feet wide.
The sanctuary, the inner room, and the entry room of the Temple were all paneled with wood, as were the frames of the recessed windows. The inner walls of the Temple were paneled with wood above and below the windows. 17 The space above the door leading into the inner room, and its walls inside and out, were also paneled. 18 All the walls were decorated with carvings of cherubim, each with two faces, and there was a carving of a palm tree between each of the cherubim. 19 One face—that of a man—looked toward the palm tree on one side. The other face—that of a young lion—looked toward the palm tree on the other side. The figures were carved all along the inside of the Temple, 20 from the floor to the top of the walls, including the outer wall of the sanctuary.
21 There were square columns at the entrance to the sanctuary, and the ones at the entrance of the Most Holy Place were similar. 22 There was an altar made of wood, 5 1⁄4 feet high and 3 1⁄2 feet across. Its corners, base, and sides were all made of wood. “This,” the man told me, “is the table that stands in the Lord’s presence.”
23 Both the sanctuary and the Most Holy Place had double doorways, each with two swinging doors. 25 The doors leading into the sanctuary were decorated with carved cherubim and palm trees, just as on the walls. And there was a wooden roof at the front of the entry room to the Temple. 26 On both sides of the entry room were recessed windows decorated with carved palm trees. The side rooms along the outside wall also had roofs.
Then the man led me out of the Temple courtyard by way of the north gateway. We entered the outer courtyard and came to a group of rooms against the north wall of the inner courtyard. 2 This structure, whose entrance opened toward the north, was 175 feet long and 87 1⁄2 feet wide. 3 One block of rooms overlooked the 35-foot width of the inner courtyard. Another block of rooms looked out onto the pavement of the outer courtyard. The two blocks were built three levels high and stood across from each other. 4 Between the two blocks of rooms ran a walkway 17 1⁄2 feet wide. It extended the entire 175 feet of the complex, and all the doors faced north. 5 Each of the two upper levels of rooms was narrower than the one beneath it because the upper levels had to allow space for walkways in front of them. 6 Since there were three levels and they did not have supporting columns as in the courtyards, each of the upper levels was set back from the level beneath it. 7 There was an outer wall that separated the rooms from the outer courtyard; it was 87 1⁄2 feet long. 8 This wall added length to the outer block of rooms, which extended for only 87 1⁄2 feet, while the inner block—the rooms toward the Temple—extended for 175 feet. 9 There was an eastern entrance from the outer courtyard to these rooms.
10 On the south side of the Temple there were two blocks of rooms just south of the inner courtyard between the Temple and the outer courtyard. These rooms were arranged just like the rooms on the north. 11 There was a walkway between the two blocks of rooms just like the complex on the north side of the Temple. This complex of rooms was the same length and width as the other one, and it had the same entrances and doors. The dimensions of each were identical. 12 So there was an entrance in the wall facing the doors of the inner block of rooms, and another on the east at the end of the interior walkway.
13 Then the man told me, “These rooms that overlook the Temple from the north and south are holy. Here the priests who offer sacrifices to the Lord will eat the most holy offerings. And because these rooms are holy, they will be used to store the sacred offerings—the grain offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings. 14 When the priests leave the sanctuary, they must not go directly to the outer courtyard. They must first take off the clothes they wore while ministering, because these clothes are holy. They must put on other clothes before entering the parts of the building complex open to the public.”
15 When the man had finished measuring the inside of the Temple area, he led me out through the east gateway to measure the entire perimeter. 16 He measured the east side with his measuring rod, and it was 875 feet long. 17 Then he measured the north side, and it was also 875 feet. 18 The south side was also 875 feet, 19 and the west side was also 875 feet. 20 So the area was 875 feet on each side with a wall all around it to separate what was holy from what was common.
After this, the man brought me back around to the east gateway. 2 Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east. The sound of his coming was like the roar of rushing waters, and the whole landscape shone with his glory. 3 This vision was just like the others I had seen, first by the Kebar River and then when he came to destroy Jerusalem. I fell face down on the ground. 4 And the glory of the Lord came into the Temple through the east gateway.
5 Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple. 6 And I heard someone speaking to me from within the Temple, while the man who had been measuring stood beside me. 7 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place where I will rest my feet. I will live here forever among the people of Israel. They and their kings will not defile my holy name any longer by their adulterous worship of other gods or by honoring the relics of their kings who have died. 8 They put their idol altars right next to mine with only a wall between them and me. They defiled my holy name by such detestable sin, so I consumed them in my anger. 9 Now let them stop worshiping other gods and honoring the relics of their kings, and I will live among them forever.
10 “Son of man, describe to the people of Israel the Temple I have shown you, so they will be ashamed of all their sins. Let them study its plan, and they will be ashamed of what they have done. Describe to them all the specifications of the Temple—including its entrances and exits—and everything else about it. Tell them about its decrees and laws. Write down all these specifications and decrees as they watch so they will be sure to remember and follow them. 12 And this is the basic law of the Temple: absolute holiness! The entire top of the mountain where the Temple is built is holy. Yes, this is the basic law of the Temple.
13 “These are the measurements of the altar: There is a gutter all around the altar 21 inches deep and 21 inches wide,with a curb 9 inches wide around its edge. And this is the height of the altar: 14 From the gutter the altar rises 3 1⁄2 feet to a lower ledge that surrounds the altar and is 21 inches wide. From the lower ledge the altar rises 7 feet to the upper ledge that is also 21 inches wide. 15 The top of the altar, the hearth, rises another 7 feet higher, with a horn rising up from each of the four corners. 16 The top of the altar is square, measuring 21 feet by 21 feet. 17 The upper ledge also forms a square, measuring 24 1⁄2 feet by 24 1⁄2 feet, with a 21-inch gutter and a 10 1⁄2-inch curb all around the edge. There are steps going up the east side of the altar.”
18 Then he said to me, “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: These will be the regulations for the burning of offerings and the sprinkling of blood when the altar is built. 19 At that time, the Levitical priests of the family of Zadok, who minister before me, are to be given a young bull for a sin offering, says the Sovereign Lord. 20 You will take some of its blood and smear it on the four horns of the altar, the four corners of the upper ledge, and the curb that runs around that ledge. This will cleanse and make atonement for the altar. 21 Then take the young bull for the sin offering and burn it at the appointed place outside the Temple area.
22 “On the second day, sacrifice as a sin offering a young male goat that has no physical defects. Then cleanse and make atonement for the altar again, just as you did with the young bull. 23 When you have finished the cleansing ceremony, offer another young bull that has no defects and a perfect ram from the flock. 24 You are to present them to the Lord, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to the Lord.
25 “Every day for seven days a male goat, a young bull, and a ram from the flock will be sacrificed as a sin offering. None of these animals may have physical defects of any kind. 26 Do this each day for seven days to cleanse and make atonement for the altar, thus setting it apart for holy use. 27 On the eighth day, and on each day afterward, the priests will sacrifice on the altar the burnt offerings and peace offerings of the people. Then I will accept you. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Then the man brought me back to the east gateway in the outer wall of the Temple area, but it was closed. 2 And the Lord said to me, “This gate must remain closed; it will never again be opened. No one will ever open it and pass through, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered here. Therefore, it must always remain shut. 3 Only the prince himself may sit inside this gateway to feast in the Lord’s presence. But he may come and go only through the entry room of the gateway.”
4 Then the man brought me through the north gateway to the front of the Temple. I looked and saw that the glory of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord, and I fell face down on the ground.
5 And the Lord said to me, “Son of man, take careful notice. Use your eyes and ears, and listen to everything I tell you about the regulations concerning the Lord’s Temple. Take careful note of the procedures for using the Temple’s entrances and exits. 6 And give these rebels, the people of Israel, this message from the Sovereign Lord: O people of Israel, enough of your detestable sins! 7 You have brought uncircumcised foreigners into my sanctuary—people who have no heart for God. In this way, you defiled my Temple even as you offered me my food, the fat and blood of sacrifices. In addition to all your other detestable sins, you have broken my covenant. 8 Instead of safeguarding my sacred rituals, you have hired foreigners to take charge of my sanctuary.
9 “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigners, including those who live among the people of Israel, will enter my sanctuary if they have not been circumcised and have not surrendered themselves to the Lord. 10 And the men of the tribe of Levi who abandoned me when Israel strayed away from me to worship idols must bear the consequences of their unfaithfulness. 11 They may still be Temple guards and gatekeepers, and they may slaughter the animals brought for burnt offerings and be present to help the people. 12 But they encouraged my people to worship idols, causing Israel to fall into deep sin. So I have taken a solemn oath that they must bear the consequences for their sins, says the Sovereign Lord. 13 They may not approach me to minister as priests. They may not touch any of my holy things or the holy offerings, for they must bear the shame of all the detestable sins they have committed. 14 They are to serve as the Temple caretakers, taking charge of the maintenance work and performing general duties.
15 “However, the Levitical priests of the family of Zadok continued to minister faithfully in the Temple when Israel abandoned me for idols. These men will serve as my ministers. They will stand in my presence and offer the fat and blood of the sacrifices, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 They alone will enter my sanctuary and approach my table to serve me. They will fulfill all my requirements.
17 “When they enter the gateway to the inner courtyard, they must wear only linen clothing. They must wear no wool while on duty in the inner courtyard or in the Temple itself. 18 They must wear linen turbans and linen undergarments. They must not wear anything that would cause them to perspire. 19 When they return to the outer courtyard where the people are, they must take off the clothes they wear while ministering to me. They must leave them in the sacred rooms and put on other clothes so they do not endanger anyone by transmitting holiness to them through this clothing.
20 “They must neither shave their heads nor let their hair grow too long. Instead, they must trim it regularly. 21 The priests must not drink wine before entering the inner courtyard. 22 They may choose their wives only from among the virgins of Israel or the widows of the priests. They may not marry other widows or divorced women. 23 They will teach my people the difference between what is holy and what is common, what is ceremonially clean and unclean.
24 “They will serve as judges to resolve any disagreements among my people. Their decisions must be based on my regulations. And the priests themselves must obey my instructions and decrees at all the sacred festivals, and see to it that the Sabbaths are set apart as holy days.
25 “A priest must not defile himself by being in the presence of a dead person unless it is his father, mother, child, brother, or unmarried sister. In such cases it is permitted. Even then, he can return to his Temple duties only after being ceremonially cleansed and then waiting for seven days. 27 The first day he returns to work and enters the inner courtyard and the sanctuary, he must offer a sin offering for himself, says the Sovereign Lord.
28 “The priests will not have any property or possession of land, for I alone am their special possession. 29 Their food will come from the gifts and sacrifices brought to the Temple by the people—the grain offerings, the sin offerings, and the guilt offerings. Whatever anyone sets apart for the Lord will belong to the priests. 30 The first of the ripe fruits and all the gifts brought to the Lord will go to the priests. The first batch of dough must also be given to the priests so the Lord will bless your homes. 31 The priests may not eat meat from any bird or animal that dies a natural death or that dies after being attacked by another animal.
“When you divide the land among the tribes of Israel, you must set aside a section for the Lord as his holy portion. This piece of land will be 8 1⁄3 miles long and 6 2⁄3 miles wide. The entire area will be holy. 2 A section of this land, measuring 875 feet by 875 feet, will be set aside for the Temple. An additional strip of land 87 1⁄2 feet wide is to be left empty all around it. 3 Within the larger sacred area, measure out a portion of land 8 1⁄3 miles long and 3 1⁄3 miles wide. Within it the sanctuary of the Most Holy Place will be located. 4 This area will be holy, set aside for the priests who minister to the Lord in the sanctuary. They will use it for their homes, and my Temple will be located within it. 5 The strip of sacred land next to it, also 8 1⁄3 miles long and 3 1⁄3 miles wide, will be a living area for the Levites who work at the Temple. It will be their possession and a place for their towns.
6 “Adjacent to the larger sacred area will be a section of land 8 1⁄3 miles long and 1 2⁄3 miles wide. This will be set aside for a city where anyone in Israel can live.
7 “Two special sections of land will be set apart for the prince. One section will share a border with the east side of the sacred lands and city, and the second section will share a border on the west side. Then the far eastern and western borders of the prince’s lands will line up with the eastern and western boundaries of the tribal areas. 8 These sections of land will be the prince’s allotment. Then my princes will no longer oppress and rob my people; they will assign the rest of the land to the people, giving an allotment to each tribe.
9 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Enough, you princes of Israel! Stop your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Quit robbing and cheating my people out of their land. Stop expelling them from their homes, says the Sovereign Lord. 10 Use only honest weights and scales and honest measures, both dry and liquid. 11 The homer will be your standard unit for measuring volume. The ephah and the bath will each measure one-tenth of a homer. 12 The standard unit for weight will be the silver shekel. One shekel will consist of twenty gerahs, and sixty shekels will be equal to one mina.
13 “You must give this tax to the prince: one bushel of wheat or barley for every 60 you harvest, one percent of your olive oil, and one sheep or goat for every 200 in your flocks in Israel. These will be the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings that will make atonement for the people who bring them, says the Sovereign Lord. All the people of Israel must join in bringing these offerings to the prince. 17 The prince will be required to provide offerings that are given at the religious festivals, the new moon celebrations, the Sabbath days, and all other similar occasions. He will provide the sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, liquid offerings, and peace offerings to purify the people of Israel, making them right with the Lord.
18 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In early spring, on the first day of each new year, sacrifice a young bull with no defects to purify the Temple. 19 The priest will take blood from this sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the Temple, the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar, and the gateposts at the entrance to the inner courtyard. Do this also on the seventh day of the new year for anyone who has sinned through error or ignorance. In this way, you will purify the Temple.
21 “On the fourteenth day of the first month, you must celebrate the Passover. This festival will last for seven days. The bread you eat during that time must be made without yeast. 22 On the day of Passover the prince will provide a young bull as a sin offering for himself and the people of Israel. 23 On each of the seven days of the feast he will prepare a burnt offering to the Lord, consisting of seven young bulls and seven rams without defects. A male goat will also be given each day for a sin offering. 24 The prince will provide a basket of flour as a grain offering and a gallon of olive oil with each young bull and ram.
25 “During the seven days of the Festival of Shelters, which occurs every year in early autumn, the prince will provide these same sacrifices for the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the grain offering, along with the required olive oil.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The east gateway of the inner courtyard will be closed during the six workdays each week, but it will be open on Sabbath days and the days of new moon celebrations. 2 The prince will enter the entry room of the gateway from the outside. Then he will stand by the gatepost while the priest offers his burnt offering and peace offering. He will bow down in worship inside the gateway passage and then go back out the way he came. The gateway will not be closed until evening. The common people will bow down and worship the Lord in front of this gateway on Sabbath days and the days of new moon celebrations.
4 “Each Sabbath day the prince will present to the Lord a burnt offering of six lambs and one ram, all with no defects. 5 He will present a grain offering of a basket of choice flour to go with the ram and whatever amount of flour he chooses to go with each lamb, and he is to offer one gallon of olive oil for each basket of flour. 6 At the new moon celebrations, he will bring one young bull, six lambs, and one ram, all with no defects. With the young bull he must bring a basket of choice flour for a grain offering. With the ram he must bring another basket of flour. And with each lamb he is to bring whatever amount of flour he chooses to give. With each basket of flour he must offer one gallon of olive oil.
8 “The prince must enter the gateway through the entry room, and he must leave the same way. 9 But when the people come in through the north gateway to worship the Lord during the religious festivals, they must leave by the south gateway. And those who entered through the south gateway must leave by the north gateway. They must never leave by the same gateway they came in, but must always use the opposite gateway. The prince will enter and leave with the people on these occasions.
11 “So at the special feasts and sacred festivals, the grain offering will be a basket of choice flour with each young bull, another basket of flour with each ram, and as much flour as the worshiper chooses to give with each lamb. Give one gallon of olive oil with each basket of flour. 12 When the prince offers a voluntary burnt offering or peace offering to the Lord, the east gateway to the inner courtyard will be opened for him, and he will offer his sacrifices as he does on Sabbath days. Then he will leave, and the gateway will be shut behind him.
13 “Each morning you must sacrifice a one-year-old lamb with no defects as a burnt offering to the Lord. 14 With the lamb, a grain offering must also be given to the Lord—about three quarts of flour with a third of a gallon of olive oil to moisten the choice flour. This will be a permanent law for you. 15 The lamb, the grain offering, and the olive oil must be given as a daily sacrifice every morning without fail.
16 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: If the prince gives a gift of land to one of his sons as his inheritance, it will belong to him and his descendants forever. 17 But if the prince gives a gift of land from his inheritance to one of his servants, the servant may keep it only until the Year of Jubilee, which comes every fiftieth year. At that time the land will return to the prince. But when the prince gives gifts to his sons, those gifts will be permanent. 18 And the prince may never take anyone’s property by force. If he gives property to his sons, it must be from his own land, for I do not want any of my people unjustly evicted from their property.”
19 In my vision, the man brought me through the entrance beside the gateway and led me to the sacred rooms assigned to the priests, which faced toward the north. He showed me a place at the extreme west end of these rooms. 20 He explained, “This is where the priests will cook the meat from the guilt offerings and sin offerings and bake the flour from the grain offerings into bread. They will do it here to avoid carrying the sacrifices through the outer courtyard and endangering the people by transmitting holiness to them.”
21 Then he brought me back to the outer courtyard and led me to each of its four corners. In each corner I saw an enclosure. 22 Each of these enclosures was 70 feet long and 52 1⁄2 feet wide, surrounded by walls. 23 Along the inside of these walls was a ledge of stone with fireplaces under the ledge all the way around. 24 The man said to me, “These are the kitchens to be used by the Temple assistants to boil the sacrifices offered by the people.”
In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. 2 The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.
3 Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. 4 He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. 5 Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through.
6 He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank. 7 When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. 8 Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. 9 There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea. All the way from En-gedi to En-eglaim, the shores will be covered with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea, just as they fill the Mediterranean. 11 But the marshes and swamps will not be purified; they will still be salty. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”
13 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Divide the land in this way for the twelve tribes of Israel: The descendants of Joseph will be given two shares of land. 14 Otherwise each tribe will receive an equal share. I took a solemn oath and swore that I would give this land to your ancestors, and it will now come to you as your possession.
15 “These are the boundaries of the land: The northern border will run from the Mediterranean toward Hethlon, then on through Lebo-hamath to Zedad; then it will run to Berothah and Sibraim, which are on the border between Damascus and Hamath, and finally to Hazer-hatticon, on the border of Hauran. 17 So the northern border will run from the Mediterranean to Hazar-enan, on the border between Hamath to the north and Damascus to the south.
18 “The eastern border starts at a point between Hauran and Damascus and runs south along the Jordan River between Israel and Gilead, past the Dead Sea and as far south as Tamar. This will be the eastern border.
19 “The southern border will go west from Tamar to the waters of Meribah at Kadesh and then follow the course of the Brook of Egypt to the Mediterranean. This will be the southern border.
20 “On the west side, the Mediterranean itself will be your border from the southern border to the point where the northern border begins, opposite Lebo-hamath.
21 “Divide the land within these boundaries among the tribes of Israel. 22 Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. 23 These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
“Here is the list of the tribes of Israel and the territory each is to receive. The territory of Dan is in the extreme north. Its boundary line follows the Hethlon road to Lebo-hamath and then runs on to Hazar-enan on the border of Damascus, with Hamath to the north. Dan’s territory extends all the way across the land of Israel from east to west.
2 “Asher’s territory lies south of Dan’s and also extends from east to west. 3 Naphtali’s land lies south of Asher’s, also extending from east to west. 4 Then comes Manasseh south of Naphtali, and its territory also extends from east to west. 5 South of Manasseh is Ephraim, and then Reuben, and then Judah, all of whose boundaries extend from east to west.
8 “South of Judah is the land set aside for a special purpose. It will be 8 1⁄3 miles wide and will extend as far east and west as the tribal territories, with the Temple at the center.
9 “The area set aside for the Lord’s Temple will be 8 1⁄3 miles long and 6 2⁄3 miles wide. 10 For the priests there will be a strip of land measuring 8 1⁄3 miles long by 3 1⁄3 miles wide, with the Lord’s Temple at the center. 11 This area is set aside for the ordained priests, the descendants of Zadok who served me faithfully and did not go astray with the people of Israel and the rest of the Levites. 12 It will be their special portion when the land is distributed, the most sacred land of all. Next to the priests’ territory will lie the land where the other Levites will live.
13 “The land allotted to the Levites will be the same size and shape as that belonging to the priests—8 1⁄3 miles long and 3 1⁄3 miles wide. Together these portions of land will measure 8 1⁄3 miles long by 6 2⁄3 miles wide. 14 None of this special land may ever be sold or traded or used by others, for it belongs to the Lord; it is set apart as holy.
15 “An additional strip of land 8 1⁄3 miles long by 1 2⁄3 miles wide, south of the sacred Temple area, will be allotted for public use—homes, pasturelands, and common lands, with a city at the center. 16 The city will measure 1 1⁄2 miles on each side—north, south, east, and west. 17 Open lands will surround the city for 150 yards in every direction. 18 Outside the city there will be a farming area that stretches 3 1⁄3 miles to the east and 3 1⁄3 miles to the west along the border of the sacred area. This farmland will produce food for the people working in the city. 19 Those who come from the various tribes to work in the city may farm it. 20 This entire area—including the sacred lands and the city—is a square that measures 8 1⁄3 miles on each side.
21 “The areas that remain, to the east and to the west of the sacred lands and the city, will belong to the prince. Each of these areas will be 8 1⁄3 miles wide, extending in opposite directions to the eastern and western borders of Israel, with the sacred lands and the sanctuary of the Temple in the center. 22 So the prince’s land will include everything between the territories allotted to Judah and Benjamin, except for the areas set aside for the sacred lands and the city.
23 “These are the territories allotted to the rest of the tribes. Benjamin’s territory lies just south of the prince’s lands, and it extends across the entire land of Israel from east to west. 24 South of Benjamin’s territory lies that of Simeon, also extending across the land from east to west. 25 Next is the territory of Issachar with the same eastern and western boundaries.
26 “Then comes the territory of Zebulun, which also extends across the land from east to west. 27 The territory of Gad is just south of Zebulun with the same borders to the east and west. 28 The southern border of Gad runs from Tamar to the waters of Meribah at Kadesh and then follows the Brook of Egypt to the Mediterranean.
29 “These are the allotments that will be set aside for each tribe’s exclusive possession. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
30 “These will be the exits to the city: On the north wall, which is 1 1⁄2 miles long, there will be three gates, each one named after a tribe of Israel. The first will be named for Reuben, the second for Judah, and the third for Levi. 32 On the east wall, also 1 1⁄2 miles long, the gates will be named for Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan. 33 The south wall, also 1 1⁄2 miles long, will have gates named for Simeon, Issachar, and Zebulun. 34 And on the west wall, also 1 1⁄2 miles long, the gates will be named for Gad, Asher, and Naphtali.
35 “The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. And from that day the name of the city will be ‘The Lord Is There.’”
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