Then the Spirit picked me up and took me to the gate of the Temple that faces east. There were twenty-five men standing at the gate. I recognized the leaders, Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah.
God said, "Son of man, these are the men who draw up blueprints for sin, who think up new programs for evil in this city.
They say, 'We can make anything happen here. We're the best. We're the choice pieces of meat in the soup pot.'
"Oppose them, son of man. Preach against them."
Then the Spirit of God came upon me and told me what to say: "This is what God says: 'That's a fine public speech, Israel, but I know what you are thinking.
You've murdered a lot of people in this city. The streets are piled high with corpses.'
"Therefore this is what God, the Master, says: 'The corpses that you've piled in the streets are the meat and this city is the soup pot, and you're not even in the pot! I'm throwing you out!
You fear war, but war is what you're going to get. I'm bringing war against you.
I'm throwing you out of this city, giving you over to foreigners, and punishing you good.
You'll be killed in battle. I'll carry out judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you'll realize that I am God.
This city will not be your soup pot and you won't be the choice pieces of meat in it either. Hardly. I will carry out judgment on you at the borders of Israel
and you'll realize that I am God, for you haven't followed my statutes and ordinances. Instead of following my ways, you've sunk to the level of the laws of the nations around you.'"
Even while I was preaching, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. I fell down, face to the ground, and prayed loudly, "O Master, God! Will you completely wipe out what's left of Israel?"
The answer from God came back:
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)