On the tenth day of the fifth month of the seventh year, some of Isra'el's leaders came to consult ADONAI and sat with me;
and the word of ADONAI came to me:
"Human being, speak to Isra'el's leaders; tell them that Adonai ELOHIM asks, 'Have you come to consult me? As I live,' says Adonai ELOHIM, 'I swear that I will not let you consult me.'
"Are you going to judge them? Human being, are you going to judge them? Then have them realize how disgusting their ancestors' practices were.
Tell them that Adonai ELOHIM says this: 'Back on the day when I chose Isra'el, I raised my hand to the descendants of the house of Ya'akov. I revealed myself to them in the land of Egypt when I raised my hand to them and said, "I am ADONAI your God."
On the day I raised my hand to them, pledging to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land I had reconnoitered for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands,
I told them, "Each of you is to throw away the detestable things that draw your eyes. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am ADONAI your God."
"'But they rebelled against me and wouldn't listen to me; they did not, each of them, throw away the detestable things that drew their eyes; and they did not abandon the idols of Egypt. Then I said I would pour out my fury on them and spend my anger on them there in the land of Egypt.
But concern for my own reputation kept me from letting it be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they were living, in the sight of whom I had made myself known to them, in order to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
So I had them leave the land of Egypt and brought them into the desert.
I gave them my laws and showed them my rulings; if a person obeys them, he will have life through them.
I gave them my shabbats as a sign between me and them, so that they would know that I, ADONAI, am the one who makes them holy.
"'But the house of Isra'el rebelled against me in the desert. They did not live by my laws; and they rejected my rulings, which, if a person does, he will have life through them; moreover, they greatly profaned my shabbats. Then I said I would pour out my fury on them in the desert, in order to destroy them.
But concern for my own reputation kept me from letting it be profaned in the sight of the nations who had seen when I brought them out.
Yet I also raised my hand and swore to them in the desert that I would not bring them into the land I was giving them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands;
because they had rejected my rulings, did not live by my laws and profaned my shabbats; since their hearts went after their idols.
However, I spared them from complete destruction; I did not completely finish them off in the desert.
"'I said to their children in the desert, "Don't live by the laws of your fathers, observe their rulings or defile yourselves with their idols.
I am ADONAI your God; live by my laws, observe my rulings, and obey them,
and keep my shabbats holy; and they will be a sign between me and you, so that you will know that I am ADONAI your God."
"'But the children too rebelled against me. They did not live by my laws or observe my rulings, to obey them, which, if a person does, he will have life by them; and they profaned my shabbats. Then I said I would pour out my fury on them and spend my anger on them in the desert.
Nevertheless, I withdrew my hand and allowed concern for my own reputation to keep me from letting it be profaned in the sight of the nations who had seen when I brought them out.
"'I also raised my hand and swore to them in the desert that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries;
because they hadn't obeyed my rulings but had rejected my laws and profaned my shabbats, and their eyes had turned toward their fathers' idols.
I also gave them laws which did them no good and rulings by which they did not live;
and I let them become defiled by their own gifts, in that they offered up their firstborn sons, so that I could fill them with revulsion, so that they would [finally] realize that I am ADONAI.'
"Therefore, human being, speak to the house of Isra'el; tell them that Adonai ELOHIM says, 'Moreover, your ancestors blasphemed me by breaking faith with me in still another way:
for after I had brought them into the land, which I had raised my hand in pledge to give them, they noted all its high hills and leafy trees and offered there their sacrifices; there they made offerings that provoked my anger, there they set out their sweet aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings.
When I asked them, "This high place where you go, what is the meaning of it?" they gave it the name Bamah which it retains to this day.'
"So tell the house of Isra'el that Adonai ELOHIM says, 'You are defiling yourselves in the same way as your ancestors, following their abominations and fornicating with them;
and when offering your gifts, you make your children pass through the fire and defile yourselves with all your idols - to this day. So, am I supposed to allow you to consult me, house of Isra'el? As I live,' says Adonai ELOHIM, 'I swear that I won't have you consult me,
and that what you have in mind when you say, "We will be like the Goyim, like the families of the other countries, serving wood and stone," will certainly not happen.
As I live,' says Adonai ELOHIM, 'I swear that surely with a mighty hand, with a stretched-out arm and with poured-out fury I myself will be king over you.
I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you were scattered, with a mighty hand, with a stretched-out arm and with poured-out fury;
then I will bring you into the desert of the peoples and judge you face to face.
Just as I judged your ancestors in the desert of the land of Egypt, so will I judge you,' says Adonai ELOHIM.
'I will make you pass under the crook and bring you into the obligations of the covenant.
I will rid you of the rebels who are in revolt against me - I will bring them out from the land where they are living, but they will not enter the land of Isra'el; then you will know that I am ADONAI.'
"As for you, house of Isra'el, here is what Adonai ELOHIM says: 'Go on serving your idols, every one of you! But afterwards, [I swear that] you will listen to me, and you will no longer profane my holy name with your gifts and with your idols.
For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Isra'el,' says Adonai ELOHIM, 'the whole house of Isra'el, all of them, will serve me in the land. I will accept them there, and there I will require your contributions, your best gifts and all your consecrated things.
I will accept you with your sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you were scattered; and through you I will manifest my holiness in the sight of the nations.
"'You will know that I am ADONAI when I bring you into the land of Isra'el, into the country which I pledged, by raising my hand, to give to your ancestors.
There you will remember your behavior and all the things you did by which you defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evils you committed.
You will know that I am ADONAI when I have dealt with you in a manner that preserves my reputation, and not according to your evil ways and corrupt actions, house of Isra'el' says Adonai ELOHIM." The Hebrew word bamah means "high place"; the etymology suggested here relates it to Hebrew ba ("go") and mah ("what").
The word of ADONAI came to me:
"Human being, turn your face southward, preach to the south and prophesy to the scrublands of the Negev;
say to the Negev forest: 'Hear the word of ADONAI. Adonai ELOHIM says, "I will light a fire in you; it will devour every tree in you, green and dry alike; a blazing, unquenchable flame that will scorch every face from the Negev to the north.
All humanity will see that I, ADONAI, lit it; it will not be put out."'"
I said, "Oh, Adonai ELOHIM! They complain that I speak only in parables."