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Ezekiel 24 (New Century Version)

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1 The Lord spoke his word to me in the ninth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month. He said: 2 "Human, write down today's date, this very date. The king of Babylon has surrounded Jerusalem this very day. 3 And tell a story to the people who refuse to obey me. Say to them: 'This is what the Lord God says: Put on the pot; put it on and pour water in it. 4 Put in the pieces of meat, the best pieces -- the legs and the shoulders. Fill it with the best bones. 5 Take the best of the flock, and pile wood under the pot. Boil the pieces of meat until even the bones are cooked. 6 "'This is what the Lord God says: How terrible it will be for the city of murderers! How terrible it will be for the rusty pot whose rust will not come off! Take the meat out of it, piece by piece. Don't choose any special piece. 7 "'The blood from her killings is still in the city. She poured the blood on the bare rock. She did not pour it on the ground where dust would cover it. 8 To stir up my anger and revenge, I put the blood she spilled on the bare rock so it will not be covered. 9 "'So this is what the Lord God says: How terrible it will be for the city of murderers! I myself will pile the wood high for burning. 10 Pile up the wood and light the fire. Finish cooking the meat. Mix in the spices, and let the bones burn. 11 Then set the empty pot on the coals so it may become hot and its copper sides glow. The dirty scum stuck inside it may then melt and its rust burn away. 12 But efforts to clean the pot have failed. Its heavy rust cannot be removed, even in the fire. 13 "'By your sinful action you have become unclean. I wanted to cleanse you, but you are still unclean. You will never be cleansed from your sin until my anger against you is carried out. 14 "'I, the Lord, have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back punishment or feel pity or change my mind. I will judge you by your ways and actions, says the Lord God.'" 15 Then the Lord spoke his word to me, saying: 16 "Human, I am going to take your wife from you, the woman you look at with love. She will die suddenly, but you must not be sad or cry loudly for her or shed any tears. 17 Groan silently; do not cry loudly for the dead. Tie on your turban, and put your sandals on your feet. Do not cover your face, and do not eat the food people eat when they are sad about a death." 18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening. The next morning I did as I had been commanded. 19 Then the people asked me, "Tell us, what do the things you are doing mean for us?" 20 Then I said to them, "The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 21 'Say to the people of Israel, This is what the Lord God says: I am going to dishonor my Temple. You think it gives you strength. You are proud of it, and you look at it with love and tenderness. But your sons and daughters that you left behind in Jerusalem will fall dead by the sword. 22 When that happens, you are to act as I have: you are not to cover your face, and you are not to eat the food people eat when they are sad about a death. 23 Your turbans must stay on your heads, and your sandals on your feet. You must not cry loudly, but you must rot away in your sins and groan to each other. 24 So Ezekiel is to be an example for you. You must do all the same things he did. When all this happens, you will know that I am the Lord God.' 25 "And as for you, human, this is how it will be. I will take away the Temple that gives them strength and joy, that makes them proud. They look at it with love, and it makes them happy. And I will take away their sons and daughters also. 26 At that time a person who escapes will come to you with information for you to hear. 27 At that very time your mouth will be opened. You will speak and be silent no more. So you will be a sign for them, and they will know that I am the Lord."
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