In the twelfth year, on the fifth day of the tenth month of our exile, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me and reported, "The city has fallen!"
The LORD's power was with me in the evening before the survivor arrived, and just before he arrived in the morning, God opened my mouth. So my mouth was opened, and I was no longer speechless.
The LORD's word came to me:
Human one, those who live among those ruins in Israel's fertile land are saying, "Abraham was just one man, and he inherited the land. We are many, so certainly the land has been given to us as an inheritance."
So say to them, The LORD God proclaims: You eat with the blood, you lift your eyes to the idols, and you shed blood. Should you inherit the land?
You live by the sword, you observe detestable practices, and every one of you commits adultery. Should you inherit the land?
Say to them, The LORD God proclaims: As surely as I live, those in the ruins will fall by the sword, those in the countryside I will give to the wild beasts to consume, and those in the strongholds and caves will die of plague.
I will make the land an uninhabitable waste. Its proud strength will come to an end, and Israel's highlands will become so deserted that no one will cross through them.
They will know that I am the LORD when I make the land an uninhabitable waste because of all their detestable practices.
As for you, human one, your people talk about you beside the walls and in their doorways. One by one, they say to each other, "Let's go hear what sort of message has come from the LORD."
So they come to you as people do, and they sit before you as my people. They listen to your words, but they refuse to do them. Though they speak of their longing for me, they act out of their own interests and opinions.
To them you are like a singer of love songs with a lovely voice and skilled technique. They listen to your words, but no one does them.
When this comes—and it is certainly coming—they will know that a prophet has been among them.