In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth [month], on the fifth [day] of the month, a fugitive from Jerusalem came to me and reported, "The city has been taken!"
Now the hand of the Lord had been on me the evening before the fugitive arrived, and He opened my mouth before the man came to me in the morning. So my mouth was opened and I was no longer mute.a
Then the word of the Lord came to me:
"Son of man, those who live in theb ruins in the land of Israel are saying: Abraham was only one person,c yet he received possession of the land.d But we are many; the land has been given to us as a possession.e25
Therefore say to them: This is what the Lord God says: You eat [meat] with blood [in it],f raise your eyes to your idols, and shed blood. Should you then receive possession of the land?g26
You have relied on your swords, you have committed abominations, and each of you has defiled his neighbor's wife. Should you then receive possession of the land?h27
"Tell them this: This is what the Lord God says: As surely as I live, those who are in the ruins will fall by the sword, those in the open field I have given to wild animals to be devoured,i and those in the strongholds and caves will die by plague.j28
I will make the land a desolate waste,k and its proud strength will come to an end.l The mountains of Israelm will become desolate, with no one passing through.
They will know that I am the Lord when I make the land a desolate waste because of all the abominations they have committed.
"Now, son of man, your people are talking about you near the [city] walls and in the doorways of their houses. One person speaks to another, each saying to his brother: Come and hear what the message is that comes from the Lord!
So My people come to you in crowds,n sit in front of you, and hear your words, but they don't obey them. Although they express love with their mouths, their hearts pursue unjust gain.
Yes, to them you are like a singer of love songs who has a beautiful voice and plays skillfully on an instrument. They hear your words, but they don't obey them.
Yet when it comeso -and it will definitely come-then they will know that a prophet has been among them."