1I was 30 years old. I was with my people who had been taken away from their country. We were by the Kebar River in the land of Babylonia. On the fifth day of the fourth month, the heavens were opened. I saw visions of God.2It was the fifth day of the month. Jehoiachin had been king of Judah. It was the fifth year since he had been brought to Babylon as a prisoner.3A message came to me from the Lord. I was by the Kebar River in Babylonia. The LORD put his strong hand on me there. I am Ezekiel, the son of Buzi. I'm a priest.4I looked up and saw a windstorm coming from the north. I saw a huge cloud. The fire of lightning was flashing out of it. Bright light surrounded it. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal.5I saw in the fire something that looked like four living creatures. They appeared to have the shape of a man.6But each of them had four faces and four wings.7Their legs were straight. Their feet looked like the feet of a calf. They were as bright as polished bronze.8The creatures had a man's hands under their wings on their four sides. All four of them had faces and wings.9Their wings touched one another. Each of the creatures went straight ahead. They didn't change their direction as they moved.10Here's what their faces looked like. Each of the four creatures had a man's face. On the right side each had the face of a lion. On the left each had the face of an ox. Each one also had an eagle's face.11That's what their faces looked like. Two of their wings were spread out and lifted up. Each one touched the wing of another creature on either side. The other two wings covered their bodies.12All of the creatures went straight ahead. Anywhere their spirits would lead them to go, they would go. They didn't change their direction as they went.13The living creatures looked like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures. It was bright. Lightning flashed out of it.14The creatures raced back and forth like flashes of lightning.15As I looked at the living creatures, I saw wheels on the ground beside them. Each creature had four faces.16Here's how the wheels looked and worked. They gleamed like chrysolite. All four of them looked alike. Each one seemed to be made like a wheel inside another wheel at right angles.17The wheels could go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced. The wheels didn't change their direction as the creatures moved.18Their rims were high and terrifying. All four rims were full of eyes all the way around them.19When the creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved. When the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose.20Anywhere their spirits would lead them to go, they would go. And the wheels would rise along with them. That's because the spirits of the living creatures were in the wheels.21When the creatures moved, the wheels also moved. When the creatures stood still, they also stood still. When the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them. That's because the spirits of the living creatures were in the wheels.22Something that looked like a huge space was spread out above the heads of the living creatures. It gleamed like ice. It was terrifying.23The wings of the creatures were spread out under the space. They reached out toward one another. Each creature had two wings covering its body.24When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings. It was like the roar of rushing waters. It sounded like the thundering voice of the Mighty One. It was like the loud noise an army makes. When the creatures stood still, they lowered their wings.25Then a voice came from above the huge space over their heads. They stood with their wings lowered.26Above the space over their heads was something that looked like a throne made out of sapphire. On the throne high above was a figure that appeared to be human.27From his waist up he looked like glowing metal that was full of fire. From his waist down he looked like fire. Bright light surrounded him.28The glow around him looked like a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day. That's what the glory of the LORD looked like. When I saw it, I fell with my face toward the ground. Then I heard the voice of someone speaking.
1He said to me, "Son of man, stand up on your feet. I will speak to you."2As he spoke, the Spirit of the LORD came into me. He raised me to my feet. I heard him speaking to me.3He said, "Son of man, I am sending you to the people of Israel. That nation has refused to obey me. They have turned against me. They and their people before them have been against me to this very day.4The people I am sending you to are very stubborn. Tell them, 'Here is what the LORD and King says.'5"They might listen, or they might not. After all, they refuse to obey me. But whether they listen or not, they will know that a prophet was among them.6"Son of man, do not be afraid of them or of what they say. Do not be afraid, even if thorns and bushes are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say. Do not be terrified by them. They always refuse to obey me.7"You must give them my message. They might listen, or they might not. After all, they refuse to obey me.8Son of man, listen to what I tell you. Do not be like those who refuse to obey me. Open your mouth. Eat what I give you."9Then I looked up. I saw a hand reach out to me. A scroll was in it.10He unrolled it in front of me. Both sides had words written on them. They spoke about sadness, sorrow and trouble.
1He said to me, "Son of man, eat what is in front of you. Eat this scroll. Then go and speak to the people of Israel."2So I opened my mouth. And he gave me the scroll to eat.3Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you. Fill your stomach with it." So I ate it. And it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.4Then he said to me, "Son of man, go to the people of Israel. Give them my message.5"I am not sending you to people who speak another language that is hard to learn. Instead, I am sending you to the people of Israel.6You are not being sent to many nations whose people speak other languages that are hard to learn. You would not be able to understand them. Suppose I had sent you to them. Then they certainly would have listened to you.7But the people of Israel do not want to listen to you. That is because they do not want to listen to me. "All of the people of Israel are very stubborn.8But I will make you just as stubborn as they are.9I will make you very brave. So do not be afraid of them. Do not let them terrify you, even though they refuse to obey me."10He continued, "Son of man, listen carefully. Take to heart everything I tell you.11Go now to your own people who were brought here as prisoners. Speak to them. Tell them, 'Here is what the LORD and King says.' Speak to them whether they listen or not."12Then the Spirit of the LORD lifted me up. I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. May the glory of the LORD be praised in the place where he lives!13The sound was made by the wings of the living creatures. They were brushing against one another. The sound was also made by the wheels beside them. It was a loud rumbling sound.14Then the Spirit lifted me up and took me away. My spirit was bitter. I was burning with anger. The strong hand of the LORD was on me.15I came to my people who had been brought as prisoners to Tel Abib. It was near the Kebar River. I went to where they were living. There I sat among them for seven days. I was shocked by everything that had happened.16After seven days, a message came to me from the Lord.17He said, "Son of man, I have appointed you as a prophet to warn the people of Israel. So listen to my message. Give them a warning from me.18"Suppose I say to a sinful person, 'You can be sure you will die.' And you do not warn him. You do not try to get him to change his evil ways in order to save his life. Then he will die because he has sinned. And I will hold you accountable for his death.19"But suppose you do warn that sinful person. And he does not turn away from his sin or his evil ways. Then he will die because he has sinned. But you will have saved yourself.20"Or suppose a godly person turns away from his godliness and does what is evil. And suppose I put something in his way that will trip him up. Then he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The godly things he did will not be remembered. And I will hold you accountable for his death.21"But suppose you do warn a godly person not to sin. And he does not sin. Then you can be sure that he will live because he listened to your warning. And you will have saved yourself."22The strong hand of the LORD was on me. He said, "Get up. Go out to the flatlands. I will speak to you there."23So I got up and went out to the flatlands. The glory of the LORD was standing there. It was just like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River. So I fell with my face toward the ground.24Then the Spirit of the LORD came into me. He raised me to my feet. He said to me, "Go, son of man. Shut yourself inside your house.25Some people will tie you up with ropes. So you will not be able to go out among your people.26I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth. Then you will be silent. You will not be able to correct them. They always refuse to obey me.27"But later I will speak to you. I will open your mouth. Then you will tell them, 'Here is what the LORD and King says.' Those who listen will listen. And those who refuse to listen will refuse. They always refuse to obey me.