On the fifth day of the tenth month in the twelfth year of our captivity, a refugee from Jerusalem came to me. He said, "The city has been captured."
The evening before the refugee arrived, the power of the LORD came over me. On the morning the refugee arrived, the LORD made me speak. So I spoke, and I was no longer quiet.
The LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
"Son of man, those who live in the ruined cities in Israel are saying, 'Abraham was only one person, and he was given the land. But we are many. Certainly the land has been given to us.'
So tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: You eat meat with blood in it. You look to your idols for help. You murder people. Should the land be given to you?
You rely on your swords. You do disgusting things. You dishonor your neighbor's wife. Should the land be given to you?'
"Tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: As I live, whoever is in the ruined cities will be killed in battle. Whoever is in the open field will become food for wild animals. Whoever is in fortified places and caves will die from plagues.
I will turn the land into a barren wasteland. People will no longer brag about its power. The mountains of Israel will become so ruined that no one will travel through them.
Then people will know that I am the LORD, when I make the land a barren wasteland because of all the disgusting things that they have done.'
"Son of man, your people are talking about you by the walls and in the doorways of their homes. They are saying to each other, 'Let's go and hear the word that has come from the LORD.'
Then they come to you, as if they are still my people, and they sit down in front of you. They listen to what you say, but they don't do it. They say that they love me, but in their hearts they chase dishonest profits.
To them you are nothing more than a singer with a beautiful voice who sings love songs or a musician who plays an instrument. They listen to your words, but they don't do them.
When all your words come true--and they certainly will come true--these people will know that a prophet has been among them."