If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed he will die.
But if a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will save his life.
Because he considers all the offenses he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die.
Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' Are my ways unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
"Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.
Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
"Take up a lament concerning the princes of Israel
and say: " 'What a lioness was your mother among the lions! She lay down among the young lions and reared her cubs.
She brought up one of her cubs, and he became a strong lion. He learned to tear the prey and he devoured men.
The nations heard about him, and he was trapped in their pit. They led him with hooks to the land of Egypt.
" 'When she saw her hope unfulfilled, her expectation gone, she took another of her cubs and made him a strong lion.
He prowled among the lions, for he was now a strong lion. He learned to tear the prey and he devoured men.
He broke down their strongholds and devastated their towns. The land and all who were in it were terrified by his roaring.
Then the nations came against him, those from regions round about. They spread their net for him, and he was trapped in their pit.
With hooks they pulled him into a cage and brought him to the king of Babylon. They put him in prison, so his roar was heard no longer on the mountains of Israel.
" 'Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches because of abundant water.
Its branches were strong, fit for a ruler's scepter. It towered high above the thick foliage, conspicuous for its height and for its many branches.
But it was uprooted in fury and thrown to the ground. The east wind made it shrivel, it was stripped of its fruit; its strong branches withered and fire consumed them.
Now it is planted in the desert, in a dry and thirsty land.
Fire spread from one of its main branches and consumed its fruit. No strong branch is left on it fit for a ruler's scepter.' This is a lament and is to be used as a lament."
In the seventh year, in the fifth month on the tenth day, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and they sat down in front of me.
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Have you come to inquire of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign LORD.'
"Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their fathers
and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of the house of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, "I am the LORD your God."
On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands.
And I said to them, "Each of you, get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your God."
" 'But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; they did not get rid of the vile images they had set their eyes on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in Egypt.
But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations they lived among and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites by bringing them out of Egypt.
Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert.
I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them.
Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the LORD made them holy.
" 'Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in the desert. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws--although the man who obeys them will live by them--and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the desert.
But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.
Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would not bring them into the land I had given them--a land flowing with milk and honey, most beautiful of all lands--