Ezekiel 21; Ezekiel 22; Ezekiel 23

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Ezekiel 21

1 A message came to me from the Lord. He said,
2 "Son of man, turn your attention to Jerusalem. Preach against the temple. Prophesy against the land of Israel.
3 "Tell them, 'The LORD says, "I am against you. I will pull out my sword. I will cut off from you godly people and sinful people alike.
4 Because I am going to cut them off, my sword will be ready to use. I will strike everyone down from south to north.
5 Then all people will know that I have pulled out my sword. I will not put it back. I am the Lord." '
6 "Groan, son of man! Groan in front of your people with a broken heart and bitter sorrow.
7 They will ask you, 'Why are you groaning?' "Then you will say, 'Because of the news that is coming. The hearts of all of the people will melt away in fear. Their hands will not be able to help them. Their spirits will grow weak. And their knees will become as weak as water.' "The news is coming! You can be sure those things will happen," announces the LORD and King.
8 A message came to me from the Lord. He said,
9 "Son of man, prophesy. Say, 'The Lord says, " ' "A sword! A sword! A sharp and shiny sword is coming from Babylonia!
10 It is sharpened to kill people. It flashes like lightning." ' " The people say, "Should we take delight in the rod of the ruler of the LORD's son Judah? The sword looks down on every stick like that."
11 The LORD says, "I have told Nebuchadnezzar to shine his sword. It is in his hand. It has been sharpened and shined. It is ready for the killer's hand.
12 Son of man, cry out and sob. The sword is against my people. It is against all of the princes of Israel. It will kill them along with the rest of my people. So beat your chest in sorrow.
13 "You can be sure that testing will come. Why does the sword look down on the rod? Because the rod will not continue to rule," announces the LORD and King.
14 "Son of man, prophesy. Clap your hands. Let the sword strike twice. Let it strike even three times. It is a sword to kill people. It is a sword to kill many people. It is closing in on them from every side.
15 People's hearts will melt away in fear. Many will be wounded or killed. I have prepared the sword to kill people at all of their city gates. It flashes like lightning. It is in the killer's hand.
16 Sword, cut to the right. Then cut to the left. Strike people down everywhere your blade is turned.
17 I too will clap my hands. My burning anger will calm down. I have spoken. I am the Lord."
18 A message came to me from the Lord. He said,
19 "Son of man, mark out on a map two roads for the sword to take. The sword belongs to the king of Babylonia. Both roads start from the same country. Put up a sign where the road turns off to the city of Rabbah.
20 Mark out one road for the sword to take against Rabbah in Ammon. Mark out another against Judah and the walls of Jerusalem.
21 "The king of Babylonia will stop at the place where the two roads meet. He will ask his gods to tell him which way to go. He will cast lots by pulling arrows out of a bag. And he will look carefully at the liver of a sheep.
22 "His right hand will pull out the arrow for Jerusalem. There he will get huge logs ready to knock down its gates. He will give the command to kill its people. He will sound the battle cry. He will build a ramp up to the city wall. He will bring in his war machines.
23 "The decision to attack Jerusalem will seem like the wrong advice to those who made a treaty with Nebuchadnezzar. But he will remind them that they are guilty. And he will take them away as prisoners."
24 So the LORD and King says, "You people have reminded everyone of how guilty you are. You have done it by refusing to obey me or any other authority. Everything you do clearly shows how sinful you are. So you will be taken away as prisoners."
25 King Zedekiah, the day for you to be punished has finally come. You are an unholy and evil prince in Israel. Your time is up.
26 The LORD and King says, "Take off your turban. Remove your crown. Things will not be as they were in the past. Those who are not important will be honored. And those who are honored will be brought down.
27 Jerusalem will fall. I will destroy it. It will not be rebuilt until the true king comes. After all, the kingdom belongs to him. I will give it to him.
28 "Son of man, prophesy. Say, 'The LORD and King speaks about the Ammonites. He also talks about the way they laugh because of Jerusalem's fall. He says, " ' "A sword! A sword! Nebuchadnezzar's sword is ready to kill you. It is shined to destroy you. It flashes like lightning.
29 The visions of your prophets are false. They use magic to try to find out what is going to happen to you. But their magic tricks are lies. The sword will strike the necks of you sinful people. You will be killed. The day for you to be punished has finally come. Your time is up.
30 Ammon, return your sword to its place. In the land where you were created, I will judge you. That is where you came from.
31 I will pour out my anger on you. I will breathe out my burning anger against you. I will hand you over to mean people. They are skilled at destroying others.
32 You will be burned in the fire. Your blood will be spilled in your land. You will not be remembered anymore. I have spoken. I am the Lord." ' "
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Ezekiel 22

1 A message came to me from the Lord. He said,
2 "Son of man, are you going to judge Jerusalem? Will you judge this city that has so many murderers in it? Then tell its people they have done many evil things. I hate those things.
3 Tell them, 'The LORD and King says, "Your city brings death on itself. You spill blood inside its walls. You pollute yourselves by making statues of gods.
4 You are guilty of spilling blood. The statues you have made have polluted you. " ' "You have brought your days to a close. The end of your years has come. So the nations will make fun of you. All of the countries will laugh at you.
5 Those who are near you will tell jokes about you. So will those who are far away. Trouble fills the streets of your sinful city.
6 " ' "The princes of Israel are in your city. All of them use their power to spill blood.
7 They have made fun of fathers and mothers alike. They have crushed outsiders. They have treated badly the children whose fathers have died. They have done the same thing to widows.
8 " ' "You have looked down on the holy things that were set apart to me. You have misused my Sabbath days.
9 You have spread lies about others so you can spill someone's blood. You eat at the mountain temples. You commit impure acts.
10 " ' "You bring shame on your fathers by having sex with their wives. You have sex with women during their monthly period. That is when they are 'unclean.'
11 One of you has sex with another man's wife. I hate that sin. Another brings shame on his daughter-in-law by having sex with her. Still another has sex with his sister, even though she is his own father's daughter.
12 " ' "You accept money from people who want special favors. You do it to spill someone's blood. You charge too much interest when you lend money. You get rich by cheating your neighbors. And you have forgotten me," announces the LORD and King.
13 " ' "I will clap my hands because I am so angry. You got rich by cheating others. You spilled blood inside the walls of your city.
14 Will you be brave on the day I deal with you? Will you be strong at that time? I have spoken. I will do it. I am the Lord.
15 " ' "I will scatter you among the nations. I will send you to other countries. I will put an end to your 'uncleanness.'
16 You will be polluted in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the Lord." ' "
17 A message came to me from the Lord. He said,
18 "Son of man, the people of Israel have become like scum to me. All of them are like the copper, tin, iron and lead that are left inside a furnace. They are only the scum that is removed from silver."
19 So the LORD and King says, "People of Israel, all of you have become like scum. So I will gather you together in Jerusalem.
20 Men put silver, copper, iron, lead and tin into a furnace. They melt it with a blazing fire. In the same way, I will gather you. I will pour out my burning anger on you. I will put you inside the city and melt you.
21 I will gather you together. My burning anger will blaze out at you. And you will be melted inside Jerusalem.
22 Silver is melted in a furnace. And you will be melted inside the city. Then you will know that I have poured out my burning anger on you. I am the Lord."
23 Another message came to me from the Lord. He said,
24 "Son of man, speak to the land. Tell it, 'You have not had any rain or showers. That is because I am angry with you.'
25 "Ezekiel, the princes of the land are like a roaring lion that tears its food apart. They eat people up. They take treasures and other valuable things. They cause many women in the land to become widows.
26 "Its priests break my law. They treat things that are set apart to me as if they were not holy. They treat holy and common things as if they were the same. They teach that there is no difference between things that are 'clean' and things that are not. They refuse to keep my Sabbath days. So they treat me as if I were not holy.
27 "The officials in the land are like wolves that tear their food apart. They spill blood and kill people to get rich.
28 The prophets cover up those acts for them. The visions of those prophets are false. They use magic to try to find out what is going to happen. But their magic tricks are lies. They say, 'The LORD and King says,' But I have not spoken to them.
29 "The people of the land get rich by cheating others. They steal. They crush those who are poor and in need. They treat outsiders badly. They refuse to be fair to them.
30 "I looked for a man among them who would stand up for Jerusalem. I tried to find someone who would pray to me for the land. Then I would not have to destroy it. But I could not find anyone who would pray for it.
31 So I will pour out my anger on its people. I will destroy them because my anger burns against them. And anything that happens to them will be their own fault," announces the LORD and King.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Ezekiel 23

1 A message came to me from the Lord. He said,
2 "Son of man, once there were two women. They had the same mother.
3 They became prostitutes in Egypt. They have been unfaithful to me since they were young. In that land they allowed their breasts to be touched. They permitted their virgin breasts to be kissed.
4 "The older sister was named Oholah. The younger one was Oholibah. They belonged to me. Sons and daughters were born to them. Oholah stands for Samaria. And Oholibah stands for Jerusalem
5 "Oholah was unfaithful to me even while she still belonged to me. She longed for her Assyrian lovers.
6 They included soldiers who wore blue uniforms. They also included governors and commanders. All of them were young and handsome. They rode horses.
7 She gave herself as a prostitute to all of Assyria's finest warriors. She polluted herself with the statues of the gods of everyone she longed for.
8 "She started being a prostitute in Egypt. And she never stopped. When she was young, men had sex with her. They kissed her virgin breasts. They used up all of their sinful longings on her.
9 "So I handed her over to her Assyrian lovers. She longed for them.
10 They stripped her naked. They took her sons and daughters away. And they killed her with their swords. Other women laughed when that happened. I was the one who had punished her.
11 "Her sister Oholibah saw it. But her evil longing for sexual sin was worse than her sister's.
12 She too longed for the men of Assyria. They included governors and commanders. They included soldiers who wore uniforms. They also included men who rode horses. All of them were young and handsome.
13 I saw that she too polluted herself. So both sisters did the same evil things.
14 "But Oholibah went even further with her sexual sins. She saw pictures of men drawn on a wall. They were figures of Babylonians drawn in red
15 They had belts around their waists. They wore flowing turbans on their heads. All of them looked like Babylonian chariot officers. They were from the land of the Chaldeans.
16 "As soon as she saw the pictures, she longed for the men. So she sent messengers to them in Babylonia.
17 Then the Babylonians came to her. They went to bed with her. They made love to her. They polluted her when they had sex with her. After they did it, she became sick of them. So she turned away from them.
18 "She acted like a prostitute who had no shame at all. She openly showed her naked body. I became sick of what she was doing. So I turned away from her. I had also turned away from her sister.
19 "But Oholibah offered her body to her lovers again and again. She remembered the days when she was a young prostitute in Egypt
20 There she had longed for her lovers. Their private parts seemed as big as those of donkeys. And their flow of semen appeared to be as much as that of horses.
21 So you wanted to return to the days when you were young. You longed for the time when you first became impure in Egypt. That was when you allowed your breasts to be kissed. And you permitted your young breasts to be touched.
22 So the LORD and King says, "Oholibah, I will stir up your lovers against you. You became sick of them. You turned away from them. But I will bring them against you from every side.
23 They include the Babylonians and all of the Chaldeans. They include the men from Pekod, Shoa and Koa. They also include all of the Assyrians. They are young and handsome. Some of them are governors and commanders. Others are chariot officers. Still others are very high officials. All of them ride horses.
24 "So a huge army will come against you with weapons, chariots and wagons. They will take up positions against you on every side. They will carry large and small shields. They will wear helmets. I will turn you over to them to be punished. They will punish you in their own way.
25 "I will pour out my jealous anger on you. And the army's anger will burn against you. They will cut off your noses and ears. Some of you who are left will be killed with swords. They will take your sons and daughters away. Others of you who are left will be burned up.
26 The army will also strip your clothes off. They will take your fine jewelry away from you.
27 "You became an impure prostitute in Egypt. But I will put a stop to all of that. You will no longer want to do any of it. You will not remember Egypt anymore."
28 The LORD and King says, "I am about to hand you over to people you hate. You became sick of them. You turned away from them.
29 They will punish you because they hate you so much. They will take everything you have worked for away from you. They will leave you naked and bare. Then everyone will see that you are a prostitute who has no shame at all. You were impure. You offered your body to your lovers again and again.
30 "That is why you will be punished. You longed for lovers in other nations. You polluted yourself by worshiping their gods.
31 You did the same things your sister Oholah did. So I will put her cup in your hand. It is filled with the wine of my anger."
32 The LORD and King says to Oholibah, "You will drink from your sister's cup. It is large and deep. It is filled with the wine of my anger. So others will laugh at you. They will make fun of you.
33 You will become drunk and sad. The cup of my anger will completely destroy you. It is the same cup your sister Samaria drank from.
34 You will drink from it until it is empty. Then you will throw it down and break it in pieces. And you will claw at your breasts. I have spoken," announces the LORD and King.
35 So the LORD and King says, "You have forgotten me. You have pushed me behind your back. You have been impure. You have acted like a prostitute. So I will punish you."
36 The LORD said to me, "Son of man, are you going to judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then tell them they have done many evil things. I hate those things
37 They have committed adultery. Their hands are covered with the blood of the people they have murdered. They have worshiped other gods. They have not been faithful to me. They have even sacrificed their children as food to other gods. Those children belonged to me.
38 "Here are some other things the sisters have done to me. They have polluted my temple. They have misused my Sabbath days
39 They have sacrificed their children to their gods. On that same day they entered my temple and polluted it. That is what they have done in my house.
40 "They even sent messengers to bring men from far away. When the men arrived, Oholibah took a bath. She put makeup on her eyes. She put her jewelry on.
41 She sat down on a beautiful couch. A table was in front of it. There she put the incense and olive oil that belonged to me.
42 "The noise of a carefree crowd was all around her. Sabeans were brought from the desert. Other men were brought along with them. They put bracelets on the arms of the two sisters. They put beautiful crowns on their heads.
43 "Then I spoke about Oholibah. She was worn out by adultery. I said, 'Let them use her as a prostitute. After all, that is what she is.'
44 So they had sex with her. In fact, they had sex with both of those impure women, Oholah and Oholibah. It was just like having sex with prostitutes.
45 "But men who are right with God will sentence the sisters to be punished. They will be punished in the same way as women who commit adultery and murder. After all, they have committed adultery. And their hands are covered with the blood of the people they have murdered."
46 The LORD and King says, "Bring an angry crowd against the sisters. Hand them over to those who will terrify them and steal everything they have.
47 The crowd will kill them by throwing stones at them. They will cut them down with their swords. They will kill their sons and daughters. And they will burn their houses down.
48 "So I will put an end to impurity in the land. Then all of its women will be warned. They will not want to be like the sisters.
49 Those sisters will be punished because of the impure things they have done. They will be judged because they have worshiped other gods. Then they will know that I am the LORD and King."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.