On January 8, during the twelfth year of our captivity, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!”
The previous evening the LORD had taken hold of me and given me back my voice. So I was able to speak when this man arrived the next morning.
Then this message came to me from the LORD :
“Son of man, the scattered remnants of Israel living among the ruined cities keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he gained possession of the entire land. We are many; surely the land has been given to us as a possession.’
So tell these people, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You eat meat with blood in it, you worship idols, and you murder the innocent. Do you really think the land should be yours?
Murderers! Idolaters! Adulterers! Should the land belong to you?’
“Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die by the sword. And I will send wild animals to eat those living in the open fields. Those hiding in the forts and caves will die of disease.
I will completely destroy the land and demolish her pride. Her arrogant power will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate that no one will even travel through them.
When I have completely destroyed the land because of their detestable sins, then they will know that I am the LORD .’
“Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the LORD is saying!’
So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money.
You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it!
But when all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.”