In the seventh year, in the fifth month on the tenth day, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire1 of the LORD, and they sat down in front of me.22
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, speak to the elders3 of Israel and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Have you come to inquire4 of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign LORD.5'
"Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their fathers65
and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I chose7 Israel, I swore with uplifted hand8 to the descendants of the house of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, "I am the LORD your God.9"
On that day I swore10 to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey,11 the most beautiful of all lands.127
And I said to them, "Each of you, get rid of the vile images13 you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols14 of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.15"
" 'But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me;16 they did not get rid of the vile images they had set their eyes on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.17 So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in Egypt.189
But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned19 in the eyes of the nations they lived among and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites by bringing them out of Egypt.2010
Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert.2111
I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them.2212
Also I gave them my Sabbaths23 as a sign24 between us,25 so they would know that I the LORD made them holy.2613
" 'Yet the people of Israel rebelled27 against me in the desert. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws28--although the man who obeys them will live by them--and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths.29 So I said I would pour out my wrath30 on them and destroy31 them in the desert.3214
But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned33 in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.3415
Also with uplifted hand I swore35 to them in the desert that I would not bring them into the land I had given them--a land flowing with milk and honey, most beautiful of all lands36--
because they rejected my laws37 and did not follow my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths. For their hearts38 were devoted to their idols.3917
Yet I looked on them with pity and did not destroy40 them or put an end to them in the desert.
I said to their children in the desert, "Do not follow the statutes of your fathers41 or keep their laws or defile yourselves42 with their idols.
I am the LORD your God;43 follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.4420
Keep my Sabbaths45 holy, that they may be a sign46 between us. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.47"
" 'But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws48--although the man who obeys them will live by them--and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger49 against them in the desert.5022
But I withheld51 my hand, and for the sake of my name52 I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.
Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter53 them through the countries,
because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees54 and desecrated my Sabbaths,55 and their eyes [lusted] after56 their fathers' idols.5725
I also gave them over58 to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by;5926
I let them become defiled through their gifts--the sacrifice60 of every firstborna--that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the LORD.61'
"Therefore, son of man, speak to the people of Israel and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In this also your fathers62 blasphemed63 me by forsaking me:6428
When I brought them into the land65 I had sworn to give them and they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices, made offerings that provoked me to anger, presented their fragrant incense and poured out their drink offerings.6629
Then I said to them: What is this high place67 you go to?' " (It is called Bamahb to this day.)
"Therefore say to the house of Israel: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Will you defile yourselves68 the way your fathers did and lust after their vile images?6931
When you offer your gifts--the sacrifice of your sons70 inc the fire--you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will not let you inquire of me.7132
" 'You say, "We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone." But what you have in mind will never happen.