The word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir; prophesy against it
and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you and make you a desolate waste.
I will turn your towns into ruins and you will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
" 'Because you harbored an ancient hostility and delivered the Israelites over to the sword at the time of their calamity, the time their punishment reached its climax,
therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you.
I will make Mount Seir a desolate waste and cut off from it all who come and go.
I will fill your mountains with the slain; those killed by the sword will fall on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines.
I will make you desolate forever; your towns will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
" 'Because you have said, "These two nations and countries will be ours and we will take possession of them," even though I the LORD was there,
therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will treat you in accordance with the anger and jealousy you showed in your hatred of them and I will make myself known among them when I judge you.
Then you will know that I the LORD have heard all the contemptible things you have said against the mountains of Israel. You said, "They have been laid waste and have been given over to us to devour."
You boasted against me and spoke against me without restraint, and I heard it.
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: While the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate.
Because you rejoiced when the inheritance of the house of Israel became desolate, that is how I will treat you. You will be desolate, O Mount Seir, you and all of Edom. Then they will know that I am the LORD.' "
"Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, 'O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD.
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The enemy said of you, "Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession." '
Therefore prophesy and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because they ravaged and hounded you from every side so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations and the object of people's malicious talk and slander,
therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign LORD: This is what the Sovereign LORD says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, to the desolate ruins and the deserted towns that have been plundered and ridiculed by the rest of the nations around you--
this is what the Sovereign LORD says: In my burning zeal I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, for with glee and with malice in their hearts they made my land their own possession so that they might plunder its pastureland.'
Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I speak in my jealous wrath because you have suffered the scorn of the nations.
Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I swear with uplifted hand that the nations around you will also suffer scorn.
" 'But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home.
I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown,
and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.
I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.
" 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because people say to you, "You devour men and deprive your nation of its children,"
therefore you will no longer devour men or make your nation childless, declares the Sovereign LORD.
No longer will I make you hear the taunts of the nations, and no longer will you suffer the scorn of the peoples or cause your nation to fall, declares the Sovereign LORD.' "
Again the word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman's monthly uncleanness in my sight.
So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols.
I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions.
And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, 'These are the LORD's people, and yet they had to leave his land.'
I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone.
"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.
I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
" 'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you.
I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine.
Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.
I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel!
" 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt.
The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.
They will say, "This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited."
Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.'
"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Once again I will yield to the plea of the house of Israel and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep,
as numerous as the flocks for offerings at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD."
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.
He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."
Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.
I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' "
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet--a vast army.
Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.'
Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.
I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "
The word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, 'Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, 'Ephraim's stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.'
Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.
"When your countrymen ask you, 'Won't you tell us what you mean by this?'
say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph--which is in Ephraim's hand--and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah's stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.'
Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on
and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.
I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.
They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
" 'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.
They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever.
I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever.
My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.' "