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.”
Teach Sound Doctrine
2 But as for you, teach what accords with psound1 doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, psound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 qOlder women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, rnot slanderers sor slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, tpure, uworking at home, kind, and vsubmissive to their own husbands, wthat the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge xthe younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be ya model of good works, and in your teaching zshow integrity, adignity, 8 and bsound speech that cannot be condemned, cso that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 dBondservants2 are to be submissive to their own masters ein everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, fbut showing all good faith, gso that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.