Ezekiel 23; Ezekiel 24

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Ezekiel 23

1 The Lord spoke his word to me, saying:
2 "Human, a woman had two daughters.
3 While they were young, they went to Egypt and became prostitutes. They let men touch and hold their breasts.
4 The older girl was named Oholah, and her sister was named Oholibah. They became my wives and had sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem
5 "While still my wife, Samaria had sexual relations with other men. She had great sexual desire for her lovers, men from Assyria. The Assyrians were warriors and
6 wore blue uniforms. They were all handsome young captains and lieutenants riding on horseback.
7 Samaria became a prostitute for all the important men in Assyria and made herself unclean with all the idols of everyone she desired.
8 She continued the prostitution she began in Egypt. When she was young, she had slept with men, and they touched her breasts and had sexual relations with her.
9 "So I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians, that she wanted so badly.
10 They stripped her naked and took away her sons and daughters. Then they killed her with a sword. Women everywhere began talking about how she had been punished.
11 "Her sister Jerusalem saw what happened, but she became worse than her sister in her sexual desire and prostitution.
12 She also desired the Assyrians, who were all soldiers in beautiful uniforms -- handsome young captains and lieutenants riding horses.
13 I saw that both girls were alike; both were prostitutes.
14 "But Jerusalem went even further. She saw carvings of Babylonian men on a wall. They wore re
15 and had belts around their waists and turbans on their heads. They all looked like chariot officers born in Babylonia.
16 When she saw them, she wanted to have sexual relations with them and sent messengers to them in Babylonia.
17 So these Babylonian men came and had sexual relations with her and made her unclean. After that, she became sick of them.
18 But she continued her prostitution so openly that everyone knew about it. And I finally became sick of her, as I had her sister.
19 But she remembered how she was a young prostitute in Egypt, so she took part in even more prostitution
20 She wanted men who behaved like animals in their sexual desire.
21 In the same way you desired to do the sinful things you had done in Egypt. There men touched and held your young breasts
22 "So, Jerusalem, this is what the Lord God says: You are tired of your lovers. So now I will make them angry with you and have them attack you from all sides.
23 Men from Babylon and all Babylonia and men from Pekod, Shoa, and Koa will attack you. All the Assyrians will attack you: handsome young captains and lieutenants, all of them important men and all riding horses.
24 Those men will attack with great armies and with their weapons, chariots, and wagons. They will surround you with large and small shields and with helmets. And I will give them the right to punish you, and they will give you their own kind of punishment.
25 Then you will see how strong my anger can be when they punish you in their anger. They will cut off your noses and ears. They will take away your sons and daughters, and those who are left will be burned.
26 They will take off your clothes and steal your jewelry.
27 I will put a stop to the sinful life you began when you were in Egypt so that you will not desire it or remember Egypt anymore.
28 "This is what the Lord God says: You became tired of your lovers, but I am going to hand you over to those men you now hate.
29 They will treat you with hate and take away everything you worked for, leaving you empty and naked. Everyone will know about the sinful things you did. Your sexual sins
30 have brought this on you. You have had sexual relations with the nations and made yourselves unclean by worshiping their idols.
31 You did the same things your sister did, so you will get the same punishment, like a bitter cup to drink.
32 "This is what the Lord God says: You will drink the same cup your sister did, and that cup is deep and wide. Everyone will make fun of you, because the cup is full.
33 It will make you miserable and drunk. It is the cup of fear and ruin. It is the cup of your sister Samaria.
34 You will drink everything in it, and then you will smash it and tear at your breasts. I have spoken, says the Lord God.
35 "So this is what the Lord God says: You have forgotten me and turned your back on me. So you will be punished for your sexual sins."
36 The Lord said to me: "Human, will you judge Samaria and Jerusalem, showing them their hateful acts
37 They are guilty of adultery and murder. They have taken part in adultery with their idols. They even offered our children as sacrifices in the fire to be food for these idols.
38 They have also done this to me: They made my Temple unclean at the same time they dishonored my Sabbaths
39 They sacrificed their children to their idols. Then they entered my Temple at that very time to dishonor it. That is what they did inside my Temple!
40 "They even sent for men from far away, who came after a messenger was sent to them. The two sisters bathed themselves for them, painted their eyes, and put on jewelry.
41 They sat on a fine bed with a table set before it, on which they put my incense and my oil.
42 "There was the noise of a reckless crowd in the city. Common people gathered, and drunkards were brought from the desert. They put bracelets on the wrists of the two sisters and beautiful crowns on their heads.
43 Then I said about the one who was worn out by her acts of adultery, 'Let them continue their sexual sins with her. She is nothing but a prostitute.'
44 They kept going to her as they would go to a prostitute. So they continued to go to Samaria and Jerusalem, these shameful women.
45 But men who do right will punish them as they punish women who take part in adultery and who murder people, because they are guilty of adultery and murder.
46 "This is what the Lord God says: Bring together a mob against Samaria and Jerusalem, and hand them over to be frightened and robbed.
47 Let the mob kill them by throwing stones at them, and let them cut them down with their swords. Let them kill their sons and daughters and burn their houses down.
48 "So I will put an end to sexual sins in the land. Then all women will be warned, and they will not do the sexual sins you have done.
49 You will be punished for your sexual sins and the sin of worshiping idols. Then you will know that I am the Lord God."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Ezekiel 24

1 The Lord spoke his word to me in the ninth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month. He said:
2 "Human, write down today's date, this very date. The king of Babylon has surrounded Jerusalem this very day.
3 And tell a story to the people who refuse to obey me. Say to them: 'This is what the Lord God says: Put on the pot; put it on and pour water in it.
4 Put in the pieces of meat, the best pieces -- the legs and the shoulders. Fill it with the best bones.
5 Take the best of the flock, and pile wood under the pot. Boil the pieces of meat until even the bones are cooked.
6 "'This is what the Lord God says: How terrible it will be for the city of murderers! How terrible it will be for the rusty pot whose rust will not come off! Take the meat out of it, piece by piece. Don't choose any special piece.
7 "'The blood from her killings is still in the city. She poured the blood on the bare rock. She did not pour it on the ground where dust would cover it.
8 To stir up my anger and revenge, I put the blood she spilled on the bare rock so it will not be covered.
9 "'So this is what the Lord God says: How terrible it will be for the city of murderers! I myself will pile the wood high for burning.
10 Pile up the wood and light the fire. Finish cooking the meat. Mix in the spices, and let the bones burn.
11 Then set the empty pot on the coals so it may become hot and its copper sides glow. The dirty scum stuck inside it may then melt and its rust burn away.
12 But efforts to clean the pot have failed. Its heavy rust cannot be removed, even in the fire.
13 "'By your sinful action you have become unclean. I wanted to cleanse you, but you are still unclean. You will never be cleansed from your sin until my anger against you is carried out.
14 "'I, the Lord, have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back punishment or feel pity or change my mind. I will judge you by your ways and actions, says the Lord God.'"
15 Then the Lord spoke his word to me, saying:
16 "Human, I am going to take your wife from you, the woman you look at with love. She will die suddenly, but you must not be sad or cry loudly for her or shed any tears.
17 Groan silently; do not cry loudly for the dead. Tie on your turban, and put your sandals on your feet. Do not cover your face, and do not eat the food people eat when they are sad about a death."
18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening. The next morning I did as I had been commanded.
19 Then the people asked me, "Tell us, what do the things you are doing mean for us?"
20 Then I said to them, "The Lord spoke his word to me. He said,
21 'Say to the people of Israel, This is what the Lord God says: I am going to dishonor my Temple. You think it gives you strength. You are proud of it, and you look at it with love and tenderness. But your sons and daughters that you left behind in Jerusalem will fall dead by the sword.
22 When that happens, you are to act as I have: you are not to cover your face, and you are not to eat the food people eat when they are sad about a death.
23 Your turbans must stay on your heads, and your sandals on your feet. You must not cry loudly, but you must rot away in your sins and groan to each other.
24 So Ezekiel is to be an example for you. You must do all the same things he did. When all this happens, you will know that I am the Lord God.'
25 "And as for you, human, this is how it will be. I will take away the Temple that gives them strength and joy, that makes them proud. They look at it with love, and it makes them happy. And I will take away their sons and daughters also.
26 At that time a person who escapes will come to you with information for you to hear.
27 At that very time your mouth will be opened. You will speak and be silent no more. So you will be a sign for them, and they will know that I am the Lord."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.