Ezekiel 14 (New International Reader's Version)

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The LORD Judges Those Who Worship Other Gods

1 Some of the elders of Israel came to see me. They sat down with me. 2 Then a message came to me from the Lord. He said, 3 "Son of man, these men have thought about nothing but other gods. They have fallen into the evil trap of worshiping them. Should I let those men ask me for any advice? 4 "Speak to them. Tell them, 'The LORD and King says, "Suppose an Israelite thinks about other gods. And he falls into the evil trap of worshiping them. Then he goes to a prophet to ask for advice. If he does, I myself will tell the prophet to answer him in keeping with his worship of many gods. 5 I will win back the hearts of the people of Israel. All of them have deserted me for their other gods." ' 6 "So speak to the people of Israel. Tell them, 'The LORD and King says, "Turn away from your sins! Also turn away from your gods. Give up all of the evil things you have done. I hate them. 7 " ' "Suppose an Israelite or outsider who lives in Israel separates himself from me. And he thinks about other gods. He falls into the evil trap of worshiping them. Then he goes to a prophet to ask me for advice. If he does, I myself will tell the prophet to answer him. 8 I will turn against him. I will make an example out of him. People will laugh at him. I will cut him off from you. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 9 " ' "Suppose that prophet is stirred up to give a prophecy. Then I am the one who has stirred him up. And I will reach out my powerful hand against him. I will destroy him from among my people Israel. 10 The prophet will be as much to blame as the one who asks him for advice. Both of them will be guilty. 11 Then the people of Israel will no longer wander away from me. And they will not pollute themselves anymore with their many sins. They will be my people. And I will be their God," ' announces the LORD and King."

The LORD Punishes All Sinners

12 A message came to me from the Lord. He said, 13 "Son of man, suppose the people in a certain country sin against me. And they are not faithful to me. So I reach out my powerful hand against them. I cut off their food supply. I make them very hungry. I kill them and their animals. 14 And suppose Noah, Daniel and Job were in that country. Then those three men could save only themselves by doing what is right," announces the LORD and King. 15 "Or suppose I send wild animals through that country. And they kill all of its children. It becomes a dry and empty desert. No one can pass through it because of the animals. 16 And suppose those three men were in that country. Then they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved. But the land would become a dry and empty desert. And that is just as sure as I am alive," announces the LORD and King. 17 "Or suppose I send swords to kill the people in that country. And I say, 'Let swords sweep all through the land.' And I kill its people and their animals. 18 And suppose those three men were in that country. Then they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved. And that is just as sure as I am alive," announces the LORD and King. 19 "Or suppose I send a plague into that land. And I pour out my burning anger on it by spilling blood. I kill its people and their animals. 20 And suppose Noah, Daniel and Job were in that land. Then they could not save their own sons or daughters. They could save only themselves by doing what is right. And that is just as sure as I am alive," announces the LORD and King. 21 The LORD and King says, "It will get much worse. I will punish Jerusalem in four horrible ways. There will be war, hunger, wild animals and plague. They will destroy the people and their animals. 22 "But some people will be left alive. Some children will be brought out of the city. They will come to you. You will see how they act and the way they live. And you will be comforted in spite of all of the trouble I brought on Jerusalem. 23 You will be comforted when you see how they act and the way they live. Then you will know that I did not do anything there without a reason," announces the LORD and King.
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