Ezekiel 1; Ezekiel 2; Ezekiel 3; Ezekiel 4

1 I 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. 2 It 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. 3 A 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. 4 I 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. 5 I saw in the fire something that looked like four living creatures. They appeared to have the shape of a man. 6 But each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight. Their feet looked like the feet of a calf. They were as bright as polished bronze. 8 The creatures had a man's hands under their wings on their four sides. All four of them had faces and wings. 9 Their wings touched one another. Each of the creatures went straight ahead. They didn't change their direction as they moved. 10 Here'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. 11 That'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. 12 All 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. 13 The 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. 14 The creatures raced back and forth like flashes of lightning. 15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw wheels on the ground beside them. Each creature had four faces. 16 Here'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. 17 The wheels could go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced. The wheels didn't change their direction as the creatures moved. 18 Their rims were high and terrifying. All four rims were full of eyes all the way around them. 19 When the creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved. When the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Anywhere 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. 21 When 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. 22 Something that looked like a huge space was spread out above the heads of the living creatures. It gleamed like ice. It was terrifying. 23 The wings of the creatures were spread out under the space. They reached out toward one another. Each creature had two wings covering its body. 24 When 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. 25 Then a voice came from above the huge space over their heads. They stood with their wings lowered. 26 Above 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. 27 From 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. 28 The 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.
1 He said to me, "Son of man, stand up on your feet. I will speak to you." 2 As he spoke, the Spirit of the LORD came into me. He raised me to my feet. I heard him speaking to me. 3 He 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. 4 The 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. 8 Son 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." 9 Then I looked up. I saw a hand reach out to me. A scroll was in it. 10 He unrolled it in front of me. Both sides had words written on them. They spoke about sadness, sorrow and trouble.
1 He 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." 2 So I opened my mouth. And he gave me the scroll to eat. 3 Then 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. 4 Then 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. 6 You 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. 7 But 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. 8 But I will make you just as stubborn as they are. 9 I 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." 10 He continued, "Son of man, listen carefully. Take to heart everything I tell you. 11 Go 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." 12 Then 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! 13 The 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. 14 Then 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. 15 I 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. 16 After seven days, a message came to me from the Lord. 17 He 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." 22 The strong hand of the LORD was on me. He said, "Get up. Go out to the flatlands. I will speak to you there." 23 So 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. 24 Then 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. 25 Some people will tie you up with ropes. So you will not be able to go out among your people. 26 I 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.
1 "Son of man, get a clay tablet. Put it in front of you. Draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 Then pretend to surround it and attack it. Make some little models of war machines. Build a ramp up to it. Set camps up around it. Surround it with models of logs to be used for knocking down its gates. 3 Then get an iron pan. Put it between you and the city. Pretend it is an iron wall. Turn your face toward the city. It will be under attack when you begin to attack it. That will show the people of Israel what is going to happen to Jerusalem. 4 "Next, lie down on your left side. Pretend that you are putting Israel's sin on yourself. Keep their sin on you for the number of days you lie on your side. 5 Let each day you lie there stand for one year of their sin. So you will keep Israel's sin on you for 390 days. 6 "After you have finished that, lie down again. This time lie on your right side. Pretend that you are putting Judah's sin on yourself. Lie there for 40 days. That is one day for each year of their sin. 7 "Next, turn your face toward the model of Jerusalem under attack. Uncover your arm as if you were a soldier ready to fight. Prophesy against the city. 8 "I will tie you up with ropes. Then you will not be able to turn from one side to the other. You will stay that way until you have finished attacking Jerusalem. 9 "Get some wheat and barley. Also get some beans and lentils. And get some millet and spelt. Put everything in a storage jar. Use it to make some bread for yourself. Eat it during the 390 days you are lying down on your side. 10 Weigh out eight ounces of food to eat each day. Eat it at your regular mealtimes. 11 Also measure out two thirds of a quart of water. Drink it at your regular mealtimes. 12 "Eat your food as you would eat a barley cake. Bake it over human waste in front of the people." 13 The LORD said, "That is how the people of Israel will eat 'unclean' food. They will eat it in the nations where I will drive them." 14 Then I said, "No, LORD and King! I won't do it! I've never eaten anything that was 'unclean.' From the time I was young until now, I've never eaten anything that was found dead. And I've never eaten anything that was torn apart by wild animals. 'Unclean' meat has never entered my mouth." 15 "All right," he said. "I will let you bake your bread over waste from cows. You can use that instead of human waste." 16 He continued, "Son of man, I will cut off the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will be worried as they eat their tiny share of food. They will not have any hope as they drink their tiny share of water. 17 There will be very little food and water. The people will be shocked as they look at one another. They will become weaker and weaker because of their sin.
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