1In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain of 2the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, 3and sat before me.
And the word of the LORD came to me:
4"Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD, Is it to inquire of me that you come? 5As I live, declares the Lord GOD, 6I will not be inquired of by you.
7Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? 8Let them know the abominations of their fathers,
and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: 9On the day when I chose Israel, 10I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, 11making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; 12I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God.
On that day I swore to them that 13I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land 14flowing with milk and honey, 15the most glorious of all lands.
And I said to them, 16Cast away the detestable things 17your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with 18the idols of Egypt; 19I am the LORD your God.
20But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. 21None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. "Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them 22and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
23But I acted 24for the sake of my name, 25that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, 26in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
27So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.
28I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, 29by which, if a person does them, he shall live.
Moreover, I gave them 30my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, 31that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
32But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. 33They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; 34and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. 35"Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them.
But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, 36in whose sight I had brought them out.
Moreover, 37I swore to them in the wilderness 38that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land 39flowing with milk and honey, 40the most glorious of all lands,
because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; 41for their heart went after their idols.
Nevertheless, 42my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or 43make a full end of them in the wilderness.
"And I said to 44their children in the wilderness, Do not walk 45in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, 46nor defile yourselves with their idols.
47I am the LORD your God; 48walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules,
and 49keep my Sabbaths holy that 50they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.
51But the children 52rebelled against me. 53They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths. 54"Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness.
55But I withheld my hand 56and acted for the sake of my name, 57that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.
58Moreover, 59I swore to them in the wilderness 60that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries,
because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, 61and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols.
62Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life,
and I defiled them through 63their very gifts 64in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it 65that they might know that I am the LORD.
"Therefore, 66son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by 67dealing treacherously with me.
For when I had brought them into the land that 68I swore to give them, then wherever they saw 69any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented 70the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings.
(I said to them, 71What is the high place to which you go? So its name is called Bamah to this day.)
"Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: 72Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go 73whoring after their detestable things?
When you present your gifts and 74offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And 75shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? 76As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you.
77"What is in your mind shall never happen--the thought, 78'Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, 79and worship wood and stone.'
80"As I live, declares the Lord GOD, 81surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and 82with wrath poured out I will be king over you.
83I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out.
84And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, 85and there I will enter into judgment with you 86face to face.
87As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord GOD.
I will make you 88pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.
89I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. 90I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, 91but they shall not enter the land of Israel. 92Then you will know that I am the LORD.
"As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord GOD: 93Go serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; 94but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.
95"For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, there 96all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. 97There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings.
As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when 98I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And 99I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations.
100And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that 101I swore to give to your fathers.
102And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, 103and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed.
And you shall know that I am the LORD, 104when I deal with you for my name's sake, 105not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD."
And the word of the LORD came to me:
106"Son of man, 107set your face toward the southland;108preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb.
Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, 109I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every 110green tree in you and every 111dry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and 112all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it.
113All flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched."
Then I said, 114"Ah, Lord GOD! They are saying of me, 115'Is he not a maker of parables?'"