The LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
"Son of man, make known to the people of Jerusalem the disgusting things they have done.
Tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says to the people of Jerusalem: Your birthplace and your ancestors were in the land of the Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite, and your mother was a Hittite.
When you were born, your umbilical cord wasn't cut. You weren't washed with water to make you clean. You weren't rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloth.
No one who saw you felt sorry enough for you to do any of these things. But you were thrown into an open field. You were rejected when you were born.
"'Then I went by you and saw you kicking around in your own blood. I said to you, "Live."
I made you grow like a plant in the field. You grew up, matured, and became a young woman. Your breasts developed, and your hair grew. Yet, you were naked and bare.
"'I went by you again and looked at you. You were old enough to make love to. So I spread my robe over you, and covered your naked body. I promised to love you, and I exchanged marriage vows with you. You became mine, declares the Almighty LORD.
"'Then I bathed you with water, and I washed off your blood. I poured olive oil over you.
I put an embroidered dress on you and fine leather sandals on your feet. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with silk.
I gave you jewelry. I put bracelets on your wrists and a necklace around your neck.
I put a ring in your nose, earrings on your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.
So you wore gold and silver jewelry. You were dressed in fine linen, silk, and embroidered clothes. Your food was flour, honey, and olive oil. You were very beautiful, and eventually you became a queen.
You became famous in every nation because of your beauty. Your beauty was perfect because I gave you my glory, declares the Almighty LORD.
"'But you trusted your beauty, and you used your fame to become a prostitute. You had sex with everyone who walked by.
You took some of your clothes and made your worship sites colorful. This is where you acted like a prostitute. Such things shouldn't happen. They shouldn't occur.
You took your beautiful gold and silver jewelry that I had given you and made male idols for yourself. Then you committed adultery with them.
You took off your embroidered clothes and covered the idols with them. You offered my olive oil and incense in their presence.
You also offered them sweet and fragrant sacrifices. You gave flour, olive oil, and honey--all the food that I gave you to eat. This is what happened, declares the Almighty LORD.
"'You took your sons and daughters, who belonged to me, and you sacrificed them as food to idols. Wasn't your prostitution enough?
You slaughtered my children and presented them as burnt offerings to idols.
With all the disgusting things that you did and all your acts of prostitution, you didn't remember the time when you were young. You didn't remember when you were naked and bare, kicking around in your own blood.
"'How horrible! How horrible it will be for you! declares the Almighty LORD. After all your wickedness,
you built yourself platforms and illegal worship sites in every city square.
You also built worship sites at the head of every street. You used your beauty to seduce people there. You offered your body to everyone who passed by. You increased your acts of prostitution.
You had sex with your lustful neighbors, the Egyptians. You used your prostitution to make me angry.
"'So I used my power against you. I took away some of your land, and I handed you over to your greedy enemies, the Philistines, who were ashamed of what you had done.
"'You had sex with the Assyrians because you weren't satisfied. You still weren't satisfied.
So you increased your acts of prostitution to include the land of the merchants, the Babylonians. Even after that, you weren't satisfied.
"'You have no will power! declares the Almighty LORD. You do everything a shameless prostitute does.
You build your platforms at the head of every street and place your illegal worship sites in every square. Yet, you aren't like other prostitutes, because you don't want to be paid.
You are an adulterous wife who prefers strangers to her husband.
All prostitutes get paid. But you give gifts to all your lovers and bribe them to come to you from all directions to have sex with you.
You are a different kind of prostitute. No one goes after you for favors. You are the opposite. You pay them, and you don't accept payment.
"'Listen to the word of the LORD, you prostitute.
This is what the Almighty LORD says: You exposed yourself and uncovered your naked body when you gave yourself to your lovers and to all your disgusting idols. You also killed your children and sacrificed their blood to these idols.
That is why I will gather all your lovers with whom you found pleasure. I will have all those who love you and hate you gather around. I will uncover your body for them, and they will see you naked.
I will punish you the same way that those who are guilty of prostitution and murder are punished. I will give you the death penalty in my fury and burning anger.
I will hand you over to your lovers. They will destroy your platforms and tear down your illegal worship sites. They will tear off your clothes, take away your beautiful jewelry, and leave you naked and bare.
They will also bring a mob against you. They will stone you and cut you into pieces with their swords.
They will burn your houses and punish you in the presence of many women. I will put an end to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay others.
Then I will rest from my fury against you, and I will stop being angry. I will be at peace. I will no longer be angry.
"'You didn't remember the time when you were young, and you made me very angry with all these things. So I will pay you back for what you have done, declares the Almighty LORD. Didn't you make wicked plans in addition to all your disgusting practices?
"'Everyone who uses proverbs will speak the following saying against you: Like mother, like daughter.
You are your mother's daughter. She rejected her husband and her children. You are exactly like your sisters. They rejected their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite, and your father was an Amorite.
"'Your older sister was Samaria. She and her daughters lived north of you. Your younger sister is Sodom. She lives south of you with her daughters.
You didn't follow their ways. You didn't do the same disgusting things that they did. It only took you a little time to be more corrupt than they ever were.
As I live, declares the Almighty LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.
This is what your sister Sodom has done wrong. She and her daughters were proud that they had plenty of food and had peace and security. They didn't help the poor and the needy.
They were arrogant and did disgusting things in front of me. So I did away with them when I saw this.
"'Samaria didn't commit half the sins you did. You have done many more disgusting things than they ever did. Because of all the disgusting things that you have done, you make your sisters look innocent.
You will have to suffer disgrace because you accused your sisters. Yet, your sins are more disgusting than theirs. They look like they are innocent compared to you. Be ashamed of yourself and suffer disgrace, because you have made your sisters look like they are innocent.
"'I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and Samaria and her daughters. I will also restore your fortune along with theirs.
You will have to suffer disgrace and be ashamed of everything you have done, including comforting them.
When Sodom and her daughters and Samaria and her daughters return to what they once were, you and your daughters will return to what you once were.
You didn't mention your sister Sodom when you were arrogant.
You didn't mention her before your wickedness was revealed. Now the daughters of Aram and their neighbors despise you. The daughters of the Philistines also despise you. Those around you hate you.
You must suffer because of all the crude and disgusting things you have done, declares the LORD.
"'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I will give you what you deserve. You despised your marriage vows and rejected my promise.
I will remember the promise that I made with you when you were young, and I will make it a promise that will last forever.
Then you will remember what you have done. You will be ashamed when I return your older and younger sisters to you. I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of my promise with you.
Then I will make my promise with you, and you will know that I am the LORD.
You will remember and be ashamed. You will never again open your mouth because of your disgrace when I forgive you for everything you did, declares the Almighty LORD.'"
The LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
"Son of man, tell this riddle. Give this illustration to the nation of Israel.
Say, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: A large eagle came to Lebanon. It had large wings with long, colorful feathers. It took hold of the top of a cedar tree.
It broke off the highest twig and carried it to a country of merchants. It planted the twig in a city of merchants.
"'Then it took a seedling from that country and planted the seedling in fertile soil. The eagle planted the seedling like a willow where there was plenty of water.
The plant sprouted and grew into a low vine that spread over the ground. Its branches turned upward toward the eagle, but its roots grew downward. So it became a vine, producing branches and growing shoots.
"'There was another large eagle with large wings and many feathers. Now, the vine stretched its roots toward this eagle and sent its branches toward the eagle so that the eagle could water it. The vine turned away from the garden where it was planted.
It was planted in good soil beside plenty of water so that it could grow branches, bear fruit, and become a wonderful vine.'
"Tell the nation of Israel, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: Will this vine live and grow? Won't the first eagle uproot it and tear off its fruit? Then it will wither. All the leaves on its branches will wither. It won't take much strength or many people to pull the vine up by its roots.
It might be planted again, but will it live and grow? It will wither completely when the east wind blows on it. It will certainly wither in the garden where it is growing.'"
The LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
"Ask these rebellious people, 'Don't you know what this means?' Tell them, 'The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and captured its king and its leaders. He brought them home with him to Babylon.
Then he took someone from the royal family, made a treaty with him, and made him promise to be loyal. He took away the leading citizens from Judah
so that it would remain a humiliated country and be unable to regain its power. The country could only survive by keeping the treaty.
But the king of Judah rebelled against the king of Babylon by sending his messengers to Egypt to get horses and many soldiers. Will the king of Judah succeed? Will anyone who does such things escape? He can't break a treaty and go unpunished.
"'As I live, declares the Almighty LORD, the king of Judah will die in Babylonia. He will die in the country of the king who appointed him king of Judah. The king of Judah broke his promise and his treaty with the king of Babylon.
Even with a large army and many people, Pharaoh will not be able to help him in battle when the Babylonians put up dirt ramps and set up blockades to kill many people.
The king of Judah broke the promise and the treaty that he pledged to keep. He did all these things, and he can't go unpunished.
"'So this is what the Almighty LORD says: As I live, I will certainly punish you for rejecting my promise and hating my treaty.
I will spread my net over you to catch you in my trap. I will take you to Babylon and judge you there for rebelling against me.
The best of your troops will die in battle. Anyone who remains will be scattered in every direction that the wind blows. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken.
"'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I, too, will take hold of the top of a cedar tree. I will break off the highest twig and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
I will plant it on a high mountain in Israel. It will grow branches and produce fruit. It will become a magnificent cedar tree. Every kind of bird will nest in it and find a home in the shelter of its branches.
Then all the trees in the field will know that I am the LORD. I cut down tall trees, and I make small trees grow tall. I dry up green trees, and I make dry trees grow. I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do it.'"