Again a message came to me from the LORD:
"Son of man, you live among rebels who could see the truth if they wanted to, but they don't want to. They could hear me if they would listen, but they won't listen because they are rebellious.
So now put on a demonstration to show them what it will be like to go off into exile. Pack whatever you can carry on your back and leave your home to go on a journey. Make your preparations in broad daylight so the people can see you, for perhaps they will even yet consider what this means, even though they are such rebels.
Bring your baggage outside during the day so they can watch you. Then as they are watching, leave your house in the evening, just as captives do when they begin a long march to distant lands.
Dig a hole through the wall while they are watching and carry your possessions out through it.
As they watch, lift your pack to your shoulders and walk away into the night. Cover your face and don't look around. All of these actions will be a sign for the people of Israel."
So I did as I was told. In broad daylight I brought my pack outside, filled with the things I might carry into exile. Then in the evening while the people looked on, I dug through the wall with my hands and went out into the darkness with my pack on my shoulder.
The next morning this message came to me from the LORD:
"Son of man, these rebels, the people of Israel, have asked you what all this means.
Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: These actions contain a message for Zedekiah in Jerusalem a and for all the people of Israel.'
Then explain that your actions are a demonstration of what will soon happen to them, for they will be driven from their homes and sent away into exile.
"Even Zedekiah will leave Jerusalem at night through a hole in the wall, taking only what he can carry with him. He will cover his face, and his eyes will never see his homeland again.
Then I will spread out my net and capture him in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Babylonians, b though he will never see it, and he will die there.
I will scatter his servants and guards to the four winds and send the sword after them.
And when I scatter them among the nations, they will know that I am the LORD.
But I will spare a few of them from death by war, famine, or disease, so they can confess to their captors about how wicked they have been. Then they will know that I am the LORD!"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)