Ezekiel 1; Ezekiel 2; Ezekiel 3

1 On the fifth day of the fourth month in the thirtieth year, while I was living among the exiles by the Chebar River, the sky opened, and I saw visions from God. 2 On the fifth day of the month, during the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiakin, 3 the LORD spoke his word to the priest Ezekiel, son of Buzi, in Babylon by the Chebar River. The power of the LORD came over Ezekiel. 4 As I looked, I saw a storm coming from the north. There was an immense cloud with flashing lightning surrounded by a bright light. The middle of the lightning looked like glowing metal. 5 In the center of the cloud I saw what looked like four living creatures. They were shaped like humans, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight, their feet were like those of calves, and they glittered like polished bronze. 8 They had human hands under their wings on each of their four sides. All four of them had faces and wings. 9 Their wings touched each other. The creatures went straight ahead, and they did not turn as they moved. 10 Their faces looked like this: From the front, each creature had the face of a human. From the right, each one had the face of a lion. From the left, each one had the face of a bull. And from the back, each one had the face of an eagle. 11 That is what their faces looked like. Their wings were spread out, pointing upward. Each creature had two wings with which they touched each other. The other two wings covered their bodies. 12 Each of the creatures went straight ahead. They went wherever their spirit wanted to go, and they didn't turn as they moved. 13 The living creatures looked like burning coals and torches. Fire moved back and forth between the living creatures. The fire was bright, and lightning came out of the fire. 14 The living creatures ran back and forth like lightning. 15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each of them. 16 This is how the wheels looked and how they were made: They looked like beryl. All four wheels looked the same. They looked like a wheel within a wheel. 17 Whenever they moved, they moved in any of the four directions without turning as they moved. 18 The rims of the wheels were large and frightening. They were covered with eyes. 19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved with them. When the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. 20 Wherever their spirit wanted to go, the creatures went. The wheels rose with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 So whenever the creatures moved, the wheels moved. Whenever the creatures stood still, the wheels stood still. And whenever the creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 22 Something like a dome was spread over the heads of the living creatures. It looked like dazzling crystal. 23 Under the dome, each creature had two wings that were stretched out straight, touching one another. Each creature had two wings that covered its body. 24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings. The sound was like the noise of rushing water, like the thunder of the Almighty, like the commotion in an army camp. When the creatures stood still, they lowered their wings. 25 A voice came from above the dome over their heads as they stood still with their wings lowered. 26 Above the dome over their heads was something that looked like a throne made of sapphire. On the throne was a figure that looked like a human. 27 Then I saw what he looked like from the waist up. He looked like glowing bronze with fire all around it. From the waist down, he looked like fire. A bright light surrounded him. 28 The brightness all around him looked like a rainbow in the clouds. It was like the LORD's glory. When I saw it, I immediately bowed down, and I heard someone speaking.
1 He said to me, "Son of man, stand up, and I will speak to you." 2 As he spoke to me, the Spirit entered me, stood me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. 3 He said to me, "Son of man, I am sending you to the people of Israel. They are people from a nation that has rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have rebelled against me to this day. 4 I am sending you to these defiant and stubborn children. Tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says.' 5 Whether these rebellious people listen or not, they will realize that a prophet has been among them. 6 Son of man, don't be afraid of them or the things they say. Don't be afraid, even though thorns and thistles are around you and you live among scorpions. Don't let the things they say frighten you. Don't be terrified in their presence, even though they are rebellious people. 7 Speak my words to them whether they listen or not, because they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say. Don't be rebellious like those rebellious people. Open your mouth, and eat what I am giving to you." 9 As I looked, I saw a hand stretched out toward me. In it was a scroll. 10 He spread the scroll in front of me. There was writing on the front and back. There were funeral songs, songs of mourning, and horrible things written on it.
1 The LORD said to me, "Son of man, eat what you find. Eat this scroll. Then speak to the people of Israel." 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. 3 He said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I'm giving you, and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. 4 He said to me, "Son of man, go to the people of Israel, and speak my words to them. 5 I am not sending you to people whose language is hard to understand or difficult to speak. I am sending you to Israel. 6 I am not sending you to nations whose language is hard to understand, difficult to speak, or whose words you cannot understand. If I send you to those nations, they will certainly listen to you. 7 But the people of Israel will refuse to listen to you because they refuse to listen to me. All the people of Israel are very stubborn and hardheaded. 8 Yet, I will make you as stubborn and as hardheaded as they are. 9 I will make you as hard as a diamond, harder than stone. Don't be afraid of them. Don't be terrified in their presence, even though they are rebellious people." 10 He also said to me, "Son of man, take to heart everything I have spoken to you, and listen closely. 11 Go to the exiles, to your people. Whether they listen or not, tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says.'" 12 Then the Spirit lifted me, and behind me I heard a loud thundering voice say, "Blessed is the LORD's glory, which left this place." 13 I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures touching one another and the noise of the wheels beside them as well as a loud rumbling. 14 Then the Spirit lifted me and took me away. I went away feeling bitter and angry. The strong power of the LORD came over me. 15 I went to Tel Abib, to the exiles who lived by the Chebar River. I sat there among them for seven days. I was stunned. 16 After seven days the LORD spoke his word to me. He said, 17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the people of Israel. Listen to what I say, and warn them for me. 18 Suppose I tell you that wicked people will surely die, but you don't warn them or speak out so that they can change their wicked ways in order to save their lives. Then these wicked people will die because of their sin, but I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 But suppose you warn the wicked people, and they don't turn from their wicked ways. Then they will die because of their sin, but you will save yourself. 20 If righteous people turn from living the right way and do wrong, I will make them stumble, and they will die. If you don't warn them, they will die because of their sin, and the right things they did will not be remembered. I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin, and they don't sin, they will certainly live because they listened to the warning. You will save yourself." 22 The power of the LORD came over me. He said, "Get up, and go to the plain. I will speak to you there." 23 I got up and went to the plain. The LORD's glory was standing there like the glory I saw by the Chebar River, and I immediately bowed down. 24 Then the Spirit entered me and stood me on my feet. He talked to me. He said, "Go into your home, and shut yourself inside. 25 People will tie you up with ropes, son of man, so that you can't go outside. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you can't talk or criticize them, even though they are rebellious people. 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth. You will tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says.' Some will listen, and some will refuse to listen. They are rebellious people."
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