Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me.12
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts2 and put wicked stumbling blocks3 before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?44
Therefore speak to them and tell them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the LORD will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry.
I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted5 me for their idols.'66
"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent!7 Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!87
" 'When any of the Israelites or any foreigner9 residing in Israel separate themselves from me and set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block10 before their faces and then go to a prophet to inquire11 of me, I the LORD will answer them myself.
I will set my face against12 them and make them an example13 and a byword.14 I will remove them from my people. Then you will know that I am the LORD.159
" 'And if the prophet16 is enticed17 to utter a prophecy, I the LORD have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel.1810
They will bear their guilt--the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him.
Then the people of Israel will no longer stray19 from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people,20 and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.21' "
The word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, if a country sins22 against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply23 and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals,2414
even if these three men--Noah,25 Daniela26 and Job27--were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness,28 declares the Sovereign LORD.
"Or if I send wild beasts29 through that country and they leave it childless and it becomes desolate so that no one can pass through it because of the beasts,3016
as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be desolate.3117
"Or if I bring a sword32 against that country and say, 'Let the sword pass throughout the land,' and I kill its people and their animals,3318
as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved.
"Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath34 on it through bloodshed,35 killing its people and their animals,3620
as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only themselves by their righteousness.3721
"For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem my four dreadful judgments38--sword39 and famine40 and wild beasts and plague41--to kill its men and their animals!4222
Yet there will be some survivors43--sons and daughters who will be brought out of it.44 They will come to you, and when you see their conduct45 and their actions, you will be consoled46 regarding the disaster I have brought on Jerusalem--every disaster I have brought on it.
You will be consoled when you see their conduct and their actions, for you will know that I have done nothing in it without cause, declares the Sovereign LORD.47"