It was the ninth year since King Jehoiachin had been brought to Babylon as a prisoner. On the tenth day of the tenth month, a message came to me from the Lord. He said,
"Son of man, write down today's date. The king of Babylonia has surrounded Jerusalem and attacked it this very day.
"Your people refuse to obey me. So tell them a story. Say to them, 'The LORD and King told me, " ' "Put a cooking pot on the fire. Pour water into it.
Put pieces of meat in it. Use all of the best pieces. Use the leg and shoulder. Fill it with the best bones.
Pick the finest animal in the flock. Pile wood under the pot to cook the bones. Bring the water to a boil. Cook the bones in it." ' "
The LORD and King says, "How terrible it will be for this city! It has so many murderers in it. How terrible for the pot that is coated with scum! The scum on it will not go away. Take the meat and bones out of the pot piece by piece. Do not cast lots for them.
"The blood Jerusalem's people spilled is inside its walls. They poured it out on a bare rock. They did not pour it on the ground. If they had, dust would have covered it up.
So I put their blood on the bare rock. I did not want it to be covered up. I poured my burning anger out on them. I paid them back."
So the LORD and King said to me, "How terrible it will be for this city! It has so many murderers in it. I too will pile the wood high.
So pile on the wood. Light the fire. Cook the meat well. Mix in the spices. Let the bones be blackened.
Then set the empty pot on the coals. Let it get hot. Let its copper glow. Then what is not pure in it will melt. Its scum will be burned away.
But it can't be cleaned up. Its thick scum has not been removed. Even fire can't burn it off.
"Jerusalem, you are really impure. I tried to clean you up. But you would not let me make you pure. So you will not be clean again until my burning anger against you has calmed down.
"I have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back. I will not feel sorry for you. I will do what I said I would do. You will be judged for your conduct and actions. I am the Lord," announces the LORD and King.