In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, God's Message came to me:
"Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has worn out his army against Tyre. They've worked their fingers to the bone and have nothing to show for it.
"Therefore, God, the Master, says, 'I'm giving Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He'll haul away its wealth, pick the place clean. He'll pay his army with Egyptian plunder.
He's been working for me all these years without pay. This is his pay: Egypt. Decree of God, the Master.
"'And then I'll stir up fresh hope in Israel - the dawn of deliverance! - and I'll give you, Ezekiel, bold and confident words to speak. And they'll realize that I am God.'"