Now in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, certain of the 1elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me.
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And the word of the LORD came to me saying,
"Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Do you come to inquire of Me? As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "2I will not be inquired of by you."'
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"Will you judge them, will you judge them, son of man? 3Make them know the abominations of their fathers;
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and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "On the day when I 4chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, 5I am the LORD your God,
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on that day I swore to them, 6to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, 7flowing with milk and honey, which is 8the glory of all lands.
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"I said to them, '9Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and 10do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; 11I am the LORD your God.'
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"But they 12rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the 13idols of Egypt. Then I resolved to 14pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
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"But I acted 15for the sake of My name, that it should 16not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
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"So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the 17wilderness.
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"I gave them My 18statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by 19which, if a man observes them, he will live.
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"Also I gave them My sabbaths to be a 20sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
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"But the house of Israel 21rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes and they rejected My ordinances, 22by which, if a man observes them, he will live; and My 23sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I resolved to 24pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them.
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"But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out.
"Also 25I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands,
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because they rejected My ordinances, and as for My statutes, they did not walk in them; they even profaned My sabbaths, for their 26heart continually went after their idols.
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"Yet My eye spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not cause their 27annihilation in the wilderness.
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"I said to their 28children in the wilderness, '29Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers or keep their ordinances or defile yourselves with their idols.
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'30I am the LORD your God; 31walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and observe them.
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'32Sanctify My sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.'
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"But the 33children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness.
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"But I 34withdrew My hand and acted 35for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.
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"Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would 36scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands,
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because they had not observed My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes and had profaned My sabbaths, and 37their eyes were on the idols of their fathers.
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"I also gave them statutes that were 38not good and ordinances by which they could not live;
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and I pronounced them 39unclean because of their gifts, in that they 40caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might 41know that I am the LORD."'
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"Therefore, son of man, 42speak to the house of Israel and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Yet in this your fathers have 43blasphemed Me by 44acting treacherously against Me.
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"When I had 45brought them into the land which I swore to give to them, then they saw every 46high hill and every leafy tree, and they offered there their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering. There also they made their soothing aroma and there they poured out their drink offerings.
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"Then I said to them, 'What is the high place to which you go?' So its name is called Bamah to this day."'
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"Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your 47fathers and play the harlot after their detestable things?
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"When you offer your gifts, when you 48cause your sons to pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "I will not be inquired of by you.
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"What 49comes into your mind will not come about, when you say: 'We will be like the nations, like the tribes of the lands, 50serving wood and stone.'
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"As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "surely with a mighty hand and with an 51outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be 52king over you.
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"I will 53bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with 54wrath poured out;
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and I will bring you into the 55wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.
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"As I 56entered into judgment with your fathers in the 57wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you," declares the Lord GOD.
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"I will make you 58pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant;
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and I will 59purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will 60not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the LORD.
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"As for you, O house of Israel," thus says the Lord GOD, "61Go, serve everyone his idols; but later you will surely listen to Me, and My holy name you will 62profane no longer with your gifts and with your idols.
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"For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel," declares the Lord GOD, "there the whole house of Israel, 63all of them, will serve Me in the land; there I will 64accept them and there I will seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things.
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"As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I 65bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will prove Myself 66holy among you in the sight of the nations.
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"And 67you will know that I am the LORD, 68when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the 69land which I swore to give to your forefathers.
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"There you will 70remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will 71loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things that you have done.
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"Then 72you will know that I am the LORD when I have dealt with you 73for My name's sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD.' "
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Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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"Son of man, set your face toward Teman, and speak out against the 74south and 75prophesy against the 76forest land of the Negev,
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and say to the forest of the Negev, 'Hear the word of the LORD: thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am about to 77kindle a fire in you, and it will consume every green tree in you, as well as every dry tree; the blazing flame will not be quenched and 78the whole surface from south to north will be burned by it.
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"All flesh will see that I, the LORD, have kindled it; it shall 79not be quenched.""'
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Then I said, "Ah Lord GOD! They are saying of me, 'Is he not just speaking 80parables?' "
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