Ezekiel 11–13; James 1

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. And he said to me, xSon of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city; ywho say, zThe time is not near1 to build houses. aThis city is the cauldron, and we are the meat. Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, O son of man.

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. dYou have multiplied your slain in this city and have filled its streets with the slain. 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. fYou have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you, declares the Lord God. 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, oAh, 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 qSon 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, rGo 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: jSon 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. 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, though5 they are a rebellious house. 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. In their sight qdig through the wall, and bring your baggage out through it. 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.

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.

In the morning the word of the Lord came to me: uSon of man, has not the house of Israel, vthe rebellious house, said to you, wWhat are you doing? 10 Say to them, Thus says the Lord God: This oracle concerns6 xthe prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.7 11 Say, yI 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 kSon 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 you8 have about the land of Israel, saying, rThe 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 fulfillment9 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, yThe 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: aSon 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! Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. 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. 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. Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, fwhenever you have said, Declares the Lord, although I have not spoken?

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. 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,10 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.


James Illustration

James

Greeting

aJames, a servant1 of God and bof the Lord Jesus Christ,

To cthe twelve tribes in dthe Dispersion:

Greetings.

Testing of Your Faith

eCount it all joy, my brothers,2 when you meet trials fof various kinds, for you know that gthe testing of your faith hproduces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be iperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

jIf any of you lacks wisdom, klet him ask God, lwho gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But mlet him ask in faith, nwith no doubting, for the one who doubts is like oa wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; phe is a double-minded man, qunstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and rthe rich in his humiliation, because slike a flower of the grass3 he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and twithers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12 uBlessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive vthe crown of life, wwhich God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire xwhen it has conceived gives birth to sin, and ysin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 zEvery good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from athe Father of lights, bwith whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.4 18 cOf his own will he dbrought us forth by the word of truth, ethat we should be a kind of ffirstfruits of his creatures.

Hearing and Doing the Word

19 gKnow this, my beloved brothers: let every person hbe quick to hear, islow to speak, jslow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore kput away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with lmeekness the implanted word, mwhich is able to save your souls.

22 But be ndoers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, othe law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, phe will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious qand does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s rreligion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: sto visit torphans and widows in their affliction, and uto keep oneself vunstained from the world.