Ezekiel 1-4 Bible in Basic English

The Prophet's Vision of the Divine Glory

1 1  Now it came about in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, while I was by the river Chebar among those who had been made prisoners, that the heavens were made open and I saw visions of God. 2  On the fifth day of the month, in the fifth year after King Jehoiachin had been made a prisoner, 3  The word of the Lord came to me, Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldaeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was on me there.

4  And, looking, I saw a storm-wind coming out of the north, a great cloud with flames of fire coming after one another, and a bright light shining round about it and in the heart of it was something coloured like electrum. 5  And in the heart of it were the forms of four living beings. And this was what they were like; they had the form of a man. 6  And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings. 7  And their feet were straight feet; and the under sides of their feet were like the feet of oxen; and they were shining like polished brass. 8  And they had the hands of a man under their wings; the four of them had faces on their four sides. 9  They went without turning, every one went straight forward. 10  As for the form of their faces, they had the face of a man, and the four of them had the face of a lion on the right side, and the four of them had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four of them had the face of an eagle. 11  And their wings were separate at the top; two of the wings of every one were joined one to another, and two were covering their bodies. 12  Every one of them went straight forward; wherever the spirit was to go they went; they went on without turning. 13  And between the living beings it was like burning coals of fire, as if flames were going one after the other between the living beings; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went thunder-flames. 14  And the living beings went out and came back as quickly as a thunder-flame.

15  Now while I was looking at the four living beings, I saw one wheel on the earth, by the side of the living beings, for the four of them. 16  The form of the wheels and their work was like a beryl; the four of them had the same form and design, and they were like a wheel inside a wheel. 17  The four of them went straight forward without turning to one side. 18  And I saw that they had edges, and their edges, even of the four, were full of eyes round about. 19  And when the living beings went on, the wheels went by their side; and when the living beings were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. 20  Wherever the spirit was to go they went; and the wheels were lifted up by their side: for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. 21  When these went on, the others went; and when these came to rest, the others came to rest; and when these were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up by their side: for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. 22  And over the heads of the living beings there was the form of an arch, looking like ice, stretched out over their heads on high. 23  Under the arch their wings were straight, one stretched out to another: every one had two wings covering their bodies on this side and two covering their bodies on that side. 24  And when they went, the sound of their wings was like the sound of great waters to my ears, like the voice of the Ruler of all, a sound like the rushing of an army: when they came to rest they let down their wings. 25  And there was a voice from the top of the arch which was over their heads: when they came to rest they let down their wings.

26  And on the top of the arch which was over their heads was the form of a king's seat, like a sapphire stone; and on the form of the seat was the form of a man seated on it on high. 27  And I saw it coloured like electrum, with the look of fire in it and round it, going up from what seemed to be the middle of his body; and going down from what seemed to be the middle of his body I saw what was like fire, and there was a bright light shining round him. 28  Like the bow in the cloud on a day of rain, so was the light shining round him. And this is what the glory of the Lord was like. And when I saw it I went down on my face, and the voice of one talking came to my ears.

The Call of Ezekiel

2 1  And he said to me, Son of man, get up on your feet, so that I may say words to you. 2  And at his words the spirit came into me and put me on my feet; and his voice came to my ears. 3  And he said to me, Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to an uncontrolled nation which has gone against me: they and their fathers have been sinners against me even to this very day. 4  And the children are hard and stiff-hearted; I am sending you to them: and you are to say to them, These are the words of the Lord. 5  And they, if they give ear to you or if they do not give ear (for they are an uncontrolled people), will see that there has been a prophet among them.

6  And you, son of man, have no fear of them or of their words, even if sharp thorns are round you and you are living among scorpions: have no fear of their words and do not be overcome by their looks, for they are an uncontrolled people. 7  And you are to give them my words, if they give ear to you or if they do not: for they are uncontrolled. 8  But you, son of man, give ear to what I say to you, and do not be uncontrolled like that uncontrolled people: let your mouth be open and take what I give you. 9  And looking, I saw a hand stretched out to me, and I saw the roll of a book in it; 10  And he put it open before me, and it had writing on the front and on the back; words of grief and sorrow and trouble were recorded in it.

3 1  And he said to me, Son of man, take this roll for your food, and go and say my words to the children of Israel. 2  And, on my opening my mouth, he made me take the roll as food. 3  And he said to me, Son of man, let your stomach make a meal of it and let your inside be full of this roll which I am giving you. Then I took it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth. 4  And he said to me, Son of man, go now to the children of Israel, and say my words to them. 5  For you are not sent to a people whose talk is strange and whose language is hard, but to the children of Israel; 6  Not to a number of peoples whose talk is strange and whose language is hard and whose words are not clear to you. Truly, if I sent you to them they would give ear to you. 7  But the children of Israel will not give ear to you; for they have no mind to give ear to me: for all the children of Israel have a hard brow and a stiff heart. 8  See, I have made your face hard against their faces, and your brow hard against their brows. 9  Like a diamond harder than rock I have made your brow: have no fear of them and do not be overcome by their looks, for they are an uncontrolled people. 10  Then he said to me, Son of man, take into your heart all my words which I am about to say to you, and let your ears be open to them. 11  And go now to those who have been taken away as prisoners, to the children of your people, and say to them, This is what the Lord has said; if they give ear or if they do not. 12  Then I was lifted up by the wind, and at my back the sound of a great rushing came to my ears when the glory of the Lord was lifted up from his place. 13  And there was the sound of the wings of the living beings touching one another, and the sound of the wheels at their side, the sound of a great rushing. 14  And the wind, lifting me up, took me away: and I went in the heat of my spirit, and the hand of the Lord was strong on me. 15  Then I came to those who had been taken away as prisoners, who were at Telabib by the river Chebar, and I was seated among them full of wonder for seven days.

A Watchman to Israel

16  And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17  Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the children of Israel: so give ear to the word of my mouth, and give them word from me of their danger. 18  When I say to the evil-doer, Death will certainly be your fate; and you give him no word of it and say nothing to make clear to the evil-doer the danger of his evil way, so that he may be safe; that same evil man will come to death in his evil-doing; but I will make you responsible for his blood. 19  But if you give the evil-doer word of his danger, and he is not turned from his sin or from his evil way, death will overtake him in his evil-doing; but your life will be safe. 20  Again, when an upright man, turning away from his righteousness, does evil, and I put a cause of falling in his way, death will overtake him: because you have given him no word of his danger, death will overtake him in his evil-doing, and there will be no memory of the upright acts which he has done; but I will make you responsible for his blood. 21  But if you say to the upright man that he is not to do evil, he will certainly keep his life because he took note of your word; and your life will be safe.

The Prophet Made Dumb

22  And the hand of the Lord was on me there; and he said, Get up and go out into the valley and there I will have talk with you. 23  Then I got up and went out into the valley; and I saw the glory of the Lord resting there as I had seen it by the river Chebar; and I went down on my face. 24  Then the spirit came into me and put me on my feet; and he had talk with me and said to me, Go and keep yourself shut up inside your house. 25  But see, O son of man, I will put bands on you, prisoning you in them, and you will not go out among them: 26  And I will make your tongue fixed to the roof of your mouth, so that you have no voice and may not make protests to them: for they are an uncontrolled people. 27  But when I have talk with you I will make your mouth open, and you are to say to them, This is what the Lord has said: Let the hearer give ear; and as for him who will not, let him keep his ears shut: for they are an uncontrolled people.

The Siege of Jerusalem Portrayed

4 1  And you, son of man, take a back and put it before you and on it make a picture of a town, even Jerusalem. 2  And make an attack on it, shutting it in, building strong places against it, and making high an earthwork against it; and put up tents against it, placing engines all round it for smashing down its walls. 3  And take a flat iron plate, and put it for a wall of iron between you and the town: and let your face be turned to it, and it will be shut in and you will make an attack on it. This will be a sign to the children of Israel. 4  Then, stretching yourself out on your left side, take the sin of the children of Israel on yourself: for as long as you are stretched out, so long will the sin of the children of Israel be on you. 5  For I have had the years of their sin measured for you by a number of days, even three hundred and ninety days: and you will take on yourself the sin of the children of Israel. 6  And when these days are ended, turning on your right side, you are to take on yourself the sin of the children of Judah: forty days, a day for a year, I have had it fixed for you. 7  And let your face be turned to where Jerusalem is shut in, with your arm uncovered, and be a prophet against it. 8  And see, I will put bands on you; and you will be stretched out without turning from one side to the other till the days of your attack are ended.

9  And take for yourself wheat and barley and different sorts of grain, and put them in one vessel and make bread for yourself from them; all the days when you are stretched on your side it will be your food. 10  And you are to take your food by weight, twenty shekels a day: you are to take it at regular times. 11  And you are to take water by measure, the sixth part of a hin: you are to take it at regular times. 12  And let your food be barley cakes, cooking it before their eyes with the waste which comes out of a man. 13  And the Lord said, Even so the children of Israel will have unclean bread for their food among the nations where I am driving them. 14  Then I said, Ah, Lord! see, my soul has never been unclean, and I have never taken as my food anything which has come to a natural death or has been broken by beasts, from the time when I was young even till now; no disgusting flesh has ever come into my mouth. 15  Then he said to me, See, I have given you cow's waste in place of man's waste, and you will make your bread ready on it. 16  And he said to me, Son of man, see, I will take away from Jerusalem her necessary bread: they will take their bread by weight and with care, measuring out their drinking-water with fear and wonder: 17  So that they may be in need of bread and water and be wondering at one another, wasting away in their sin.


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