Judgment on Wicked Counselors
11 sThe Spirit lifted me up and brought me to tthe east gate of the house of the Lord, which faces east. And behold, at the entrance of the gateway there were utwenty-five men. And I saw among them Jaazaniah vthe son of Azzur, and wPelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. 2 And he said to me, x“Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city; 3 ywho say, z‘The time is not near1 to build houses. aThis city is the cauldron, and we are the meat.’ 4 Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, O son of man.”
5 And bthe Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the Lord: So you think, O house of Israel. cFor I know the things that come into your mind. 6 dYou have multiplied your slain in this city and have filled its streets with the slain. 7 Therefore thus says the Lord God: eYour slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, athey are the meat, and athis city is the cauldron, but you shall be brought out of the midst of it. 8 fYou have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you, declares the Lord God. 9 And I will bring you out of the midst of it, and ggive you into the hands of foreigners, and hexecute judgments upon you. 10 iYou shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel, jand you shall know that I am the Lord. 11 kThis city shall not be your cauldron, nor shall you be the meat in the midst of it. I will judge you at the border of Israel, 12 and you shall know that I am the Lord. For you have not walked in my statutes, nor obeyed my rules, lbut have acted according to the rules of the nations that are around you.”
13 And it came to pass, while I was prophesying, mthat nPelatiah the son of Benaiah died. oThen I fell down on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, o“Ah, Lord God! pWill you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?”
Israel’s New Heart and Spirit
14 And the word of the Lord came to me: 15 q“Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, your kinsmen,2 the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, r‘Go far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession.’ 16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet sI have been a sanctuary to them for a while3 in the countries where they have gone.’ 17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: tI will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, tand I will give you the land of Israel.’ 18 And when they come there, uthey will remove from it all its vdetestable things and all its abominations. 19 wAnd I will give them one heart, and xa new spirit I will put within them. yI will remove the heart of stone from their flesh zand give them a heart of flesh, 20 athat they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. bAnd they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21 cBut as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, dI will4 bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord God.”
22 eThen the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, eand the glory of the God of Israel was over them. 23 And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and fstood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city. 24 gAnd the Spirit lifted me up and brought me hin the vision by the Spirit of God iinto Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up from me. 25 And I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me.
Judah’s Captivity Symbolized
12 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 j“Son of man, you dwell in the midst of ka rebellious house, lwho have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are ka rebellious house. 3 As for you, son of man, prepare for yourself man exile’s baggage, and go into exile by day nin their sight. You shall go like an exile from your place to another place nin their sight. oPerhaps they will understand, though1 they are a rebellious house. 4 You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile, and you shall go out yourself pat evening in their sight, as those do who must go into exile. 5 In their sight qdig through the wall, and bring your baggage out through it. 6 In their sight you shall lift the baggage upon your shoulder and carry it out at dusk. You shall cover your face that you may not see the land, for I have made you ra sign for the house of Israel.”
7 sAnd I did as I was commanded. tI brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands. I brought out my baggage at dusk, carrying it on my shoulder in their sight.
8 In the morning the word of the Lord came to me: 9 u“Son of man, has not the house of Israel, vthe rebellious house, said to you, w‘What are you doing?’ 10 Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: This oracle concerns2 xthe prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.’3 11 Say, y‘I am a sign for you: zas I have done, so shall it be done to them. They shall go into exile, into captivity.’ 12 aAnd the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage upon his shoulder at dusk, and shall go out. bThey shall dig through the wall to bring him out through it. cHe shall cover his face, that he may not see the land with his eyes. 13 dAnd I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. And eI will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, eyet he shall not see it, and he shall die there. 14 fAnd I will scatter toward every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops, gand I will unsheathe the sword after them. 15 hAnd they shall know that I am the Lord, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries. 16 iBut I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the nations where they go, jand may know that I am the Lord.”
17 And the word of the Lord came to me: 18 k“Son of man, leat your bread with quaking, and drink water with trembling and with anxiety. 19 And say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord God concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: mThey shall eat their bread with anxiety, mand drink water in dismay. In this way nher land will be stripped of all it contains, oon account of the violence of all those who dwell in it. 20 pAnd the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
21 And the word of the Lord came to me: 22 “Son of man, qwhat is this proverb that you4 have about the land of Israel, saying, r‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing’? 23 Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.’ But say to them, sThe days are near, and the fulfillment5 of every vision. 24 tFor there shall be no more any ufalse vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25 For I am the Lord; I will speak vthe word that I will speak, and it will be performed. wIt will no longer be delayed, but in your days, xO rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord God.”
26 And the word of the Lord came to me: 27 “Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, y‘The vision that he sees is zfor many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ 28 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: wNone of my words will be delayed any longer, vbut the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord God.”
False Prophets Condemned
13 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 a“Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those bwho prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. 5 cYou have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord. 6 dThey have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ ewhen the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. 7 Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, fwhenever you have said, ‘Declares the Lord,’ although I have not spoken?”
8 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, gI am against you, declares the Lord God. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, hnor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, inor shall they enter the land of Israel. jAnd you shall know that I am the Lord God. 10 Precisely because they have misled my people, ksaying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, lthese prophets smear it with whitewash,1 11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! mThere will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. 12 And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ 13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: mI will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, mand there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. 14 And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, nand you shall know that I am the Lord. 15 Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, 16 the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem kand saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord God.
17 “And you, son of man, oset your face against pthe daughters of your people, qwho prophesy out of their own hearts. Prophesy against them 18 and say, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the women rwho sew magic bands upon all wrists, and smake veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in tthe hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? 19 You have profaned me among my people ufor handfuls of barley vand for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.
20 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, wI am against xyour magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. 21 Your veils also I will tear off and ydeliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, zand you shall know that I am the Lord. 22 aBecause you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and byou have encouraged the wicked, that che should not turn from his evil way to save his life, 23 dtherefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the Lord.”
Idolatrous Elders Condemned
14 Then certain of the eelders of Israel came to me eand sat before me. 2 And the word of the Lord came to me: 3 f“Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set gthe stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. hShould I indeed let myself be consulted by them? 4 Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, iI the Lord will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols, 5 jthat I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, kwho are all estranged from me through their idols.
6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: lRepent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. 7 For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, kwho separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, mI the Lord will answer him myself. 8 And nI will set my face against that man; I owill make him a sign and a byword nand cut him off from the midst of my people, pand you shall know that I am the Lord. 9 And if the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, qI, the Lord, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10 And they shall bear their punishment1—the punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer shall be alike— 11 that the house of Israel may no more go astray from me, nor rdefile themselves anymore with all their transgressions, sbut that they may be my people and I may be their God, declares the Lord God.”
Jerusalem Will Not Be Spared
12 And the word of the Lord came to me: 13 t“Son of man, when a land sins against me uby acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and vbreak its supply2 of bread and send famine upon it, and wcut off from it man and beast, 14 xeven if these three men, yNoah, zDaniel, and aJob, were in it, bthey would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord God.
15 c“If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, dand it be made desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even if these three men were in it, eas I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but fthe land would be desolate.
17 “Or gif I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, hand I cut off from it man and beast, 18 xthough these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered.
19 “Or iif I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast, 20 even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.
21 “For thus says the Lord God: How much more jwhen I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, ksword, lfamine, mwild beasts, and npestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! 22 But behold, osome survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and pyou see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. 23 They will console you, when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, declares the Lord God.”
Jerusalem, a Useless Vine
15 And the word of the Lord came to me: 2 q“Son of man, how does rthe wood of the vine surpass any wood, the vine branch that is among the trees of the forest? 3 Is wood taken from it to make anything? Do people take sa peg from it to hang any vessel on it? 4 tBehold, it is given to the fire for fuel. When the fire has consumed both ends of it, and the middle of it is charred, is it useful for anything? 5 uBehold, when it was whole, it was used for nothing. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it ever be used for anything! 6 Therefore thus says the Lord God: vLike the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, twhich I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 7 wAnd I will set my face against them. Though xthey escape from the fire, the fire shall yet consume them, yand you will know that I am the Lord, wwhen I set my face against them. 8 zAnd I will make the land desolate, because athey have acted faithlessly, declares the Lord God.”