In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month on the fifth day, a man who had escaped1 from Jerusalem came to me and said, "The city has fallen!2"
Now the evening before the man arrived, the hand of the LORD was upon me,3 and he opened my mouth4 before the man came to me in the morning. So my mouth was opened and I was no longer silent.523
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, the people living in those ruins6 in the land of Israel are saying, 'Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many;7 surely the land has been given to us as our possession.'825
Therefore say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Since you eat9 meat with the blood10 still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land?1126
You rely on your sword, you do detestable things,12 and each of you defiles his neighbor's wife.13 Should you then possess the land?'
"Say this to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: As surely as I live, those who are left in the ruins will fall by the sword, those out in the country I will give to the wild animals to be devoured, and those in strongholds and caves will die of a plague.1428
I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end, and the mountains15 of Israel will become desolate so that no one will cross them.1629
Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolate17 waste because of all the detestable things they have done.'1830
"As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, 'Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.'
My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before19 you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy20 for unjust gain.2132
Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs22 with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.2333
"When all this comes true--and it surely will--then they will know that a prophet has been among them.24"