Ezekiel 20-21 New American Standard Bible

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God's Dealing with Israel

20 Now in the seventh year , in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month , certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord , and sat before me. 2  And the word of the Lord came to me saying , 3  "Son of man , speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD , "Do you come to inquire of Me? As I live ," declares the Lord GOD , " I will not be inquired of by you."' 4  "Will you judge them, will you judge them, son of man ? Make them know the abominations of their fathers ;

5  and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD , "On the day when I chose Israel and swore e to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt , when I swore e to them, saying , I am the Lord your God , 6  on that day I swore e to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey , which is the glory of all lands . 7  "I said to them, ' Cast away , each of you, the detestable things of his eyes , and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt ; I am the Lord your God .' 8  "But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes , nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt . Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt . 9  "But I acted for the sake of My name , that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt .

10  "So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness . 11  "I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances , by which , if a man observes them, he will live . 12  "Also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13  "But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness . They did not walk in My statutes and they rejected My ordinances , by which , if a man observes them, he will live ; and My sabbaths they greatly profaned . Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness , to annihilate them. 14  "But I acted for the sake of My name , that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations , before whose sight I had brought them out. 15  "Also I swore e to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey , which is the glory of all lands , 16  because they rejected My ordinances , and as for My statutes , they did not walk in them; they even profaned My sabbaths , for their heart continually went after their idols . 17  "Yet My eye spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not cause their annihilation in the wilderness . 18  "I said to their children in the wilderness , ' Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers or keep their ordinances or defile yourselves with their idols . 19  ' I am the Lord your God ; walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and observe them. 20  ' Sanctify My sabbaths ; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God .' 21  "But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes , nor were they careful to observe My ordinances , by which , if a man observes them, he will live ; they profaned My sabbaths . So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness . 22  "But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name , that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23  "Also I swore e to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands , 24  because they had not observed My ordinances , but had rejected My statutes and had profaned My sabbaths , and their eyes were on the idols of their fathers . 25  "I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live ; 26  and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts , in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate , in order that they might know that I am the Lord ."'

27  "Therefore , son of man , speak to the house of Israel and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD , "Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me by acting treacherously against Me. 28  "When I had brought them into the land which I swore e to give to them, then they saw every high hill and every leafy tree , and they offered there their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering . There also they made their soothing aroma and there they poured out their drink offerings . 29  "Then I said to them, 'What is the high place to which you go ?' So its name is called Bamah to this day ."' 30  "Therefore , say to the house of Israel , 'Thus says the Lord GOD , "Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and play the harlot after their detestable things ? 31  "When you offer your gifts , when you cause your sons to pass through the fire , you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day . And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel ? As I live ," declares the Lord GOD , "I will not be inquired of by you. 32  "What comes into your mind will not come about, when you say : 'We will be like the nations , like the tribes of the lands , serving wood and stone .'

33  "As I live ," declares the Lord GOD , "surely e with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. 34  "I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered , with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out; 35  and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples , and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face . 36  "As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt , so I will enter into judgment with you," declares the Lord GOD . 37  "I will make you pass under the rod , and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant ; 38  and I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn , but they will not enter the land of Israel . Thus you will know that I am the Lord . 39  "As for you, O house of Israel ," thus says the Lord GOD , " Go , serve everyone his idols ; but later you will surely e listen to Me, and My holy name you will profane no longer with your gifts and with your idols . 40  "For on My holy mountain , on the high mountain of Israel ," declares the Lord GOD , "there the whole house of Israel , all of them, will serve Me in the land ; there I will accept them and there I will seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts , with all your holy things . 41  "As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered ; and I will prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations . 42  "And you will know that I am the Lord , when I bring you into the land of Israel , into the land which I swore e to give to your forefathers . 43  "There you will remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things that you have done . 44  "Then you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for My name's sake , not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds , O house of Israel ," declares the Lord GOD .' "

The Prophecy against the South

45  Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying , 46  "Son of man , set your face toward Teman , and speak out against the south and prophesy against the forest land of the Negev , 47  and say to the forest of the Negev , 'Hear the word of the Lord : thus says the Lord GOD , "Behold , I am about to kindle a fire in you, and it will consume every green tree in you, as well as every dry tree ; the blazing flame will not be quenched and the whole surface from south to north will be burned by it. 48  "All flesh will see that I, the Lord , have kindled it; it shall not be quenched .""' 49  Then I said , "Ah Lord GOD ! They are saying of me, 'Is he not just speaking parables ?' "

The LORD's Sharpened Sword

21 And the word of the Lord came to me saying , 2  "Son of man , set your face toward Jerusalem , and speak against the sanctuaries and prophesy against the land of Israel ; 3  and say to the land of Israel , 'Thus says the Lord , "Behold , I am against you; and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and cut off from you the righteous and the wicked . 4  "Because I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked , therefore My sword will go forth from its sheath against all flesh from south to north . 5  "Thus all flesh will know that I, the Lord , have drawn My sword out of its sheath . It will not return to its sheath again ."' 6  "As for you, son of man , groan with breaking heart and bitter grief , groan in their sight . 7  "And when they say to you, 'Why e do you groan ?' you shall say , 'Because of the news that is coming ; and every heart will melt , all hands will be feeble , every spirit will faint and all knees will be weak as water . Behold , it comes and it will happen ,' declares the Lord GOD ."

8  Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying , 9  "Son of man , prophesy and say , 'Thus says the Lord .' Say , ' A sword , a sword sharpened And also polished ! 10  'Sharpened to make a slaughter , Polished to flash like lightning !' Or shall we rejoice , the rod of My son despising every tree ? 11  "It is given to be polished , that it may be handled ; the sword is sharpened and polished , to give it into the hand of the slayer . 12  " Cry out and wail , son of man ; for it is against My people , it is against all the officials of Israel . They are delivered over to the sword with My people , therefore strike your thigh . 13  "For there is a testing ; and what if even the rod which despises will be no more?" declares the Lord GOD . 14  "You therefore, son of man , prophesy and clap your hands together e ; and let the sword be doubled the third time , the sword for the slain . It is the sword for the great one slain , which surrounds them, 15  that their hearts may melt , and many fall at all their gates . I have given the glittering sword . Ah ! It is made for striking like lightning , it is wrapped up in readiness for slaughter . 16  "Show yourself sharp , go to the right ; set yourself; go to the left , wherever your edge is appointed . 17  "I will also clap My hands together e , and I will appease My wrath ; I, the Lord , have spoken ."

18  The word of the Lord came to me saying , 19  "As for you, son of man , make two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come ; both of them will go out of one land . And make a signpost ; make it at the head of the way to the city . 20  "You shall mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the sons of Ammon , and to Judah into fortified Jerusalem . 21  "For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way , at the head of the two ways , to use divination ; he shakes the arrows , he consults the household idols , he looks at the liver . 22  "Into his right hand came the divination , 'Jerusalem ,' to set battering rams , to open the mouth for slaughter , to lift up the voice with a battle cry , to set battering rams against the gates , to cast up ramps , to build a siege wall . 23  "And it will be to them like a false divination in their eyes ; they have sworn solemn oaths . But he brings iniquity to remembrance , that they may be seized . 24  "Therefore , thus says the Lord GOD , 'Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered , in that your transgressions are uncovered , so that in all your deeds your sins appear -because you have come to remembrance , you will be seized with the hand . 25  'And you, O slain , wicked one , the prince of Israel , whose day has come , in the time of the punishment of the end ,' 26  thus says the Lord GOD , 'Remove the turban and take off the crown ; this will no longer be the same . Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high . 27  ' A ruin , a ruin , a ruin , I will make it. This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.'

Judgment on the Ammonites

28  "And you, son of man , prophesy and say , 'Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the sons of Ammon and concerning their reproach ,' and say : 'A sword , a sword is drawn , polished for the slaughter , to cause it to consume , that it may be like lightning - 29  while they see for you false visions , while they divine lies for you-to place you on the necks of the wicked who are slain , whose day has come , in the time of the punishment of the end . 30  ' Return it to its sheath . In the place where you were created , in the land of your origin , I will judge you. 31  'I will pour out My indignation on you; I will blow on you with the fire of My wrath , and I will give you into the hand of brutal men , skilled in destruction . 32  'You will be fuel for the fire ; your blood will be in the midst of the land . You will not be remembered , for I, the Lord , have spoken .' "

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