Ezekiel Is Israel’s Watchman
33 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 t“Son of man, speak to uyour people and say to them, If vI bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their wwatchman, 3 and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and xblows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, yhis blood shall be upon his own head. 5 zHe heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6 aBut if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, athat person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
7 b“So you, tson of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. bWhenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 8 cIf I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, cand you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, cthat wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 dBut if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, dthat person shall die in his iniquity, ebut you will have delivered your soul.
Why Will You Die, Israel?
10 “And you, fson of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and gwe rot away because of them. hHow then can we live?’ 11 Say to them, iAs I live, declares the Lord God, jI have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; kturn back, turn back from your evil ways, kfor why will you die, O house of Israel?
12 t“And you, son of man, say to lyour people, mThe righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, nand as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, mand the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness1 when he sins. 13 Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet mif he trusts in his righteousness and does injustice, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his injustice that he has done he shall die. 14 Again, othough I say to the wicked, p‘You shall surely die,’ yet qif he turns from his sin and does what is just and right, 15 if the wicked rrestores the pledge, sgives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks tin the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 uNone of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he shall surely live.
17 “Yet lyour people say, v‘The way of the Lord is not just,’ when it is their own way that is not just. 18 wWhen the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it. 19 And xwhen the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he shall live by this. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, yI will judge each of you according to his ways.”
Jerusalem Struck Down
21 In the ztwelfth year aof our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, ba fugitive from Jerusalem came to me and said, c“The city has been struck down.” 22 dNow ethe hand of the Lord had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; and he had opened my mouth by the time the man came to me in the morning, so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.
23 The word of the Lord came to me: 24 f“Son of man, the inhabitants of these gwaste places in the land of Israel keep saying, h‘Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but iwe are many; the land is surely given us to possess.’ 25 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: jYou eat flesh with the blood and klift up your eyes to your idols and lshed blood; shall you then possess the land? 26 mYou rely on the sword, nyou commit abominations, and neach of you defiles his neighbor’s wife; shall you then possess the land? 27 Say this to them, Thus says the Lord God: oAs I live, surely those who are in pthe waste places shall fall by qthe sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to qthe beasts to be devoured, and those who are in rstrongholds and in caves shall die by qpestilence. 28 sAnd I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and ther proud might shall come to an end, and uthe mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that none will pass through. 29 vThen they will know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.
30 “As for you, fson of man, wyour people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, ‘Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 xAnd they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for ywith lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain. 32 And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and zplays2 well on an instrument, for athey hear what you say, but they will not do it. 33 bWhen this comes—and come it will!—cthen they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
Prophecy Against the Shepherds of Israel
34 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 d“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: eAh, shepherds of Israel fwho have been feeding yourselves! gShould not shepherds feed the sheep? 3 hYou eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, iyou slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. 4 jThe weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, hthe injured you have not bound up, hthe strayed you have not brought back, kthe lost you have not sought, and with force and lharshness you have ruled them. 5 mSo they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and nthey became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; 6 they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, owith none to search or seek for them.
7 “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 pAs I live, declares the Lord God, surely because qmy sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 Thus says the Lord God, rBehold, I am against the shepherds, and sI will require my sheep at their hand and tput a stop to their feeding the sheep. uNo longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. vI will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.
The Lord God Will Seek Them Out
11 “For thus says the Lord God: wBehold, I, I xmyself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on ya day of clouds and zthick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples aand gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on bthe mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 cI will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. dThere they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 eI myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, dand I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 fI will seek the lost, gand I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and hthe fat and the strong I will destroy.3 I will feed them in justice.
17 “As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: iBehold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and jmale goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of kclear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? 19 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
20 “Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you push with side and shoulder, and lthrust at all the mweak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, 22 I will rescue4 my flock; nthey shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 And oI will set up over them one shepherd, pmy servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And qI, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. rI am the Lord; I have spoken.
The Lord’s Covenant of Peace
25 s“I will make with them a covenant of peace and tbanish wild beasts from the land, uso that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill va blessing, and wI will send down the showers in their season; they shall be xshowers of blessing. 27 yAnd the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, uand they shall be secure in their land. And zthey shall know that I am the Lord, when aI break the bars of their yoke, and adeliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 nThey shall no more be a prey to the nations, tnor shall the beasts of the land devour them. uThey shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid. 29 And I will provide for them brenowned plantations so that cthey shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer dsuffer the reproach of the nations. 30 And they shall know that qI am the Lord their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord God. 31 And you are my sheep, ehuman sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.”
Shepherd the Flock of God
5 So I exhort the elders among you, mas a fellow elder and na witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 oshepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,1 pnot under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;2 qnot for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not rdomineering over those in your charge, but sbeing examples to the flock. 4 And when tthe chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the uunfading vcrown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. wClothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for x“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
6 xHumble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 ycasting all your anxieties on him, because zhe cares for you. 8 aBe sober-minded; bbe watchful. Your cadversary the devil dprowls around elike a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 fResist him, gfirm in your faith, knowing that hthe same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And iafter you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, jwho has called you to his keternal glory in Christ, will himself lrestore, mconfirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 nTo him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
12 By oSilvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, pI have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is qthe true grace of God. rStand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does sMark, my son. 14 tGreet one another with the kiss of love.
uPeace to all of you who are in Christ.