Israel’s Continuing Rebellion
20 qIn the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain of rthe elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, sand sat before me. 2 And the word of the Lord came to me: 3 t“Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God, Is it to inquire of me that you come? uAs I live, declares the Lord God, vI will not be inquired of by you. 4 wWill you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? xLet them know the abominations of their fathers, 5 and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: yOn the day when I chose Israel, zI swore1 to the offspring of the house of Jacob, amaking myself known to them in the land of Egypt; zI swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. 6 On that day I swore to them that bI would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land bflowing with milk and honey, cthe most glorious of all lands. 7 And I said to them, d‘Cast away the detestable things eyour eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with fthe idols of Egypt; gI am the Lord your God.’ 8 hBut they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. iNone of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.
“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them jand spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 kBut I acted lfor the sake of my name, mthat it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, nin whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 oSo I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 pI gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, qby which, if a person does them, he shall live. 12 Moreover, I gave them rmy Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, sthat they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 tBut the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. uThey did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; vand my Sabbaths they greatly profaned.
t“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them. 14 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, win whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Moreover, xI swore to them in the wilderness ythat I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land zflowing with milk and honey, zthe most glorious of all lands, 16 because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; afor their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless, bmy eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or cmake a full end of them in the wilderness.
18 “And I said to dtheir children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk ein the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, fnor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 gI am the Lord your God; hwalk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, 20 and ikeep my Sabbaths holy that jthey may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ 21 kBut the children lrebelled against me. mThey did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths.
n“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 oBut I withheld my hand pand acted for the sake of my name, qthat it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 rMoreover, sI swore to them in the wilderness tthat I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, uand their eyes were set on their fathers’ idols. 25 vMoreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, 26 and I defiled them through wtheir very gifts win their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it xthat they might know that I am the Lord.
27 “Therefore, yson of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by zdealing treacherously with me. 28 For when I had brought them into the land that aI swore to give them, then wherever they saw bany high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented cthe provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 (I said to them, d‘What is the high place to which you go?’ So its name is called Bamah2 to this day.)
30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: eWill you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go fwhoring after their detestable things? 31 When you present your gifts and goffer up your children in fire,3 you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And hshall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? iAs I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.
The Lord Will Restore Israel
33 i“As I live, declares the Lord God, msurely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and nwith wrath poured out I will be king over you. 34 oI will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 35 pAnd I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, qand there I will enter into judgment with you rface to face. 36 sAs I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord God. 37 I will make you tpass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 uI will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. vI will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, wbut they shall not enter the land of Israel. xThen you will know that I am the Lord.
39 “As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord God: yGo serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; zbut my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.
40 a“For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord God, there ball the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. cThere I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings. 41 As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when dI bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And eI will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 fAnd you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that gI swore to give to your fathers. 43 hAnd there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, hand you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the Lord, iwhen I deal with you for my name’s sake, jnot according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
45 4 And the word of the Lord came to me: 46 k“Son of man, lset your face toward the southland;5 mpreach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb. 47 Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Behold, nI will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every ogreen tree in you and every odry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and pall faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. 48 qAll flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.” 49 Then I said, r“Ah, Lord God! They are saying of me, s‘Is he not a maker of parables?’”
The Lord Has Drawn His Sword
21 1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 t“Son of man, uset your face toward Jerusalem and vpreach against the sanctuaries.2 Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord: wBehold, I am against you and will draw xmy sword from its sheath and ywill cut off from you both righteous and wicked. 4 Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. 5 zAnd all flesh shall know that I am the Lord. I have drawn xmy sword from its sheath; ait shall not be sheathed again.
6 “As for you, son of man, bgroan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, cgroan before their eyes. 7 dAnd when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news ethat it is coming. fEvery heart will melt, and gall hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and gall knees will be weak as water. hBehold, it is ecoming, and it will be fulfilled,’” declares the Lord God.
8 And the word of the Lord came to me: 9 t“Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say:
i“A sword, a sword is sharpened
and also polished,
10 jsharpened for slaughter,
jpolished to flash like lightning!
(Or kshall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, lwith everything of wood.)3 11 So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished mto be given into the hand of the slayer. 12 nCry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. oStrike therefore upon your thigh. 13 For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise pthe rod?”4 declares the Lord God.
14 “As for you, qson of man, prophesy. rClap your hands and let the sword come down twice, syes, three times,5 the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many stumble.6 At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; tit is taken up7 for slaughter. 16 Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. 17 I also will rclap my hands, uand I will satisfy my fury; vI the Lord have spoken.”
18 The word of the Lord came to me again: 19 “As for you, son of man, mark two ways for wthe sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make xa signpost; make it xat the head of the way to a city. 20 Mark a way yfor the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands zat the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults athe teraphim;8 he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, bto set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, cto cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23 But to them it will seem like a false divination. dThey have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, ethat they may be taken.
24 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, fyou shall be taken in hand. 25 And you, O profane9 gwicked one, prince of Israel, hwhose day has come, ithe time of your final punishment, 26 thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. jExalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. kThis also shall not be, luntil he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.
28 “And you, mson of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God nconcerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, oA sword, a sword pis drawn for the slaughter. oIt is polished to consume and to flash like lightning— 29 while qthey see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, rwhose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30 pReturn it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, sI will judge you. 31 And tI will pour out my indignation upon you; uI will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of vbrutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. wYou shall be no more remembered, xfor I the Lord have spoken.”