The Parable of the Boiling Pot

241 The Message of God came to me in the ninth year, the tenth month, and the tenth day of the month: 2 "Son of man, write down this date. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. 3 Tell this company of rebels a story: "'Put on the soup pot. Fill it with water. 4 Put chunks of meat into it, all the choice pieces - loin and brisket. Pick out the best soup bones 5 from the best of the sheep in the flock. Pile wood beneath the pot. Bring it to a boil and cook the soup. 6 "'God, the Master, says: "'Doom to the city of murder, to the pot thick with scum, thick with a filth that can't be scoured. Empty the pot piece by piece; don't bother who gets what. 7 "'The blood from murders has stained the whole city; Blood runs bold on the street stones, with no one bothering to wash it off - 8 Blood out in the open to public view to provoke my wrath, to trigger my vengeance. 9 "'Therefore, this is what God, the Master, says: "'Doom to the city of murder! I, too, will pile on the wood. 10 Stack the wood high, light the match, Cook the meat, spice it well, pour out the broth, and then burn the bones. 11 Then I'll set the empty pot on the coals and heat it red-hot so the bronze glows, So the germs are killed and the corruption is burned off. 12 But it's hopeless. It's too far gone. The filth is too thick. 13 "'Your encrusted filth is your filthy sex. I wanted to clean you up, but you wouldn't let me. I'll make no more attempts at cleaning you up until my anger quiets down. 14 I, God, have said it, and I'll do it. I'm not holding back. I've run out of compassion. I'm not changing my mind. You're getting exactly what's coming to you. Decree of God, the Master.'"

The Death of Ezekiel's Wife

15 God's Message came to me: 16 "Son of man, I'm about to take from you the delight of your life - a real blow, I know. But, please, no tears. 17 Keep your grief to yourself. No public mourning. Get dressed as usual and go about your work - none of the usual funeral rituals." 18 I preached to the people in the morning. That evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I'd been told. 19 The people came to me, saying, "Tell us why you're acting like this. What does it mean, anyway?" 20 So I told them, "God's Word came to me, saying, 21 'Tell the family of Israel, This is what God, the Master, says: I will desecrate my Sanctuary, your proud impregnable fort, the delight of your life, your heart's desire. The children you left behind will be killed. 22 "'Then you'll do exactly as I've done. You'll perform none of the usual funeral rituals. 23 You'll get dressed as usual and go about your work. No tears. But your sins will eat away at you from within and you'll groan among yourselves. 24 Ezekiel will be your example. The way he did it is the way you'll do it. "'When this happens you'll recognize that I am God, the Master.''' 25 "And you, son of man: The day I take away the people's refuge, their great joy, the delight of their life, what they've most longed for, along with all their children 26 - on that very day a survivor will arrive and tell you what happened to the city. 27 You'll break your silence and start talking again, talking to the survivor. Again, you'll be an example for them. And they'll recognize that I am God."

The Prophecy against the Ammonites

251 God's Message came to me: 2 "Son of man, face Ammon and preach against the people: 3 Listen to the Message of God, the Master. This is what God has to say: Because you cheered when my Sanctuary was desecrated and the land of Judah was devastated and the people of Israel were taken into exile, 4 I'm giving you over to the people of the east. They'll move in and make themselves at home, eating the food right off your tables and drinking your milk. 5 I'll turn your capital, Rabbah, into pasture for camels and all your villages into corrals for flocks. Then you'll realize that I am God. 6 "God, the Master, says, Because you clapped and cheered, venting all your malicious contempt against the land of Israel, 7 I'll step in and hand you out as loot - first come, first served. I'll cross you off the roster of nations. There'll be nothing left of you. And you'll realize that I am God."

The Prophecy against Moab

8 "God, the Master, says: Because Moab said, 'Look, Judah's nothing special,' 9 I'll lay wide open the flank of Moab by exposing its lovely frontier villages to attack: Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. 10 I'll lump Moab in with Ammon and give them to the people of the east for the taking. Ammon won't be heard from again. 11 I'll punish Moab severely. And they'll realize that I am God."

The Prophecy against Edom

12 "God, the Master, says: Because Edom reacted against the people of Judah in spiteful revenge and was so criminally vengeful against them, 13 therefore I, God, the Master, will oppose Edom and kill the lot of them, people and animals both. I'll waste it - corpses stretched from Teman to Dedan. 14 I'll use my people Israel to bring my vengeance down on Edom. My wrath will fuel their action. And they'll realize it's my vengeance. Decree of God the Master."

The Prophecy against the Philistines

15 "God, the Master, says: Because the Philistines were so spitefully vengeful - all those centuries of stored-up malice! - and did their best to destroy Judah, 16 therefore I, God, the Master, will oppose the Philistines and cut down the Cretans and anybody else left along the seacoast. 17 Huge acts of vengeance, massive punishments! When I bring vengeance, they'll realize that I am God."

Prophecies against Tyrus

261 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, God's Message came to me: 2 "Son of man, Tyre cheered when they got the news of Jerusalem, exclaiming, "'Good! The gateway city is smashed! Now all her business comes my way. She's in ruins and I'm in clover.' 3 "Therefore, God, the Master, has this to say: "'I'm against you, Tyre, and I'll bring many nations surging against you, as the waves of the sea surging against the shore. 4 They'll smash the city walls of Tyre and break down her towers. I'll wash away the soil and leave nothing but bare rock. 5 She'll be an island of bare rock in the ocean, good for nothing but drying fishnets. Yes, I've said so.' Decree of God, the Master. 'She'll be loot, free pickings for the nations! 6 Her surrounding villages will be butchered. Then they'll realize that I am God.' 7 "God, the Master, says: Look! Out of the north I'm bringing Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a king's king, down on Tyre. He'll come with chariots and horses and riders - a huge army. 8 He'll massacre your surrounding villages and lay siege to you. He'll build siege ramps against your walls. A forest of shields will advance against you! 9 He'll pummel your walls with his battering rams and shatter your towers with his iron weapons. 10 You'll be covered with dust from his horde of horses - a thundering herd of war horses pouring through the breaches, pulling chariots. Oh, it will be an earthquake of an army and a city in shock! 11 Horses will stampede through the streets. Your people will be slaughtered and your huge pillars strewn like matchsticks. 12 The invaders will steal and loot - all that wealth, all that stuff! They'll knock down your fine houses and dump the stone and timber rubble into the sea. 13 And your parties, your famous good-time parties, will be no more. No more songs, no more lutes. 14 I'll reduce you to an island of bare rock, good for nothing but drying fishnets. You'll never be rebuilt. I, God, have said so. Decree of God, the Master. Introduced to the Terrors of Death

15 "This is the Message of God, the Master, to Tyre: Won't the ocean islands shake at the crash of your collapse, at the groans of your wounded, at your mayhem and massacre? 16 "All up and down the coast, the princes will come down from their thrones, take off their royal robes and fancy clothes, and wrap themselves in sheer terror. They'll sit on the ground, shaken to the core, horrified at you. 17 Then they'll begin chanting a funeral song over you: "'Sunk! Sunk to the bottom of the sea, famous city on the sea! Power of the seas, you and your people, Intimidating everyone who lived in your shadows. 18 But now the islands are shaking at the sound of your crash, Ocean islands in tremors from the impact of your fall.' 19 "The Message of God, the Master: 'When I turn you into a wasted city, a city empty of people, a ghost town, and when I bring up the great ocean deeps and cover you, 20 then I'll push you down among those who go to the grave, the long, long dead. I'll make you live there, in the grave in old ruins, with the buried dead. You'll never see the land of the living again. 21 I'll introduce you to the terrors of death and that'll be the end of you. They'll send out search parties for you, but you'll never be found. Decree of God, the Master.'"

21 So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. 2 Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God. 3 You've had a taste of God.

Christ the Living Stone

4 Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. 5 Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you'll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. 6 The Scriptures provide precedent: Look! I'm setting a stone in Zion, a cornerstone in the place of honor. Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation will never have cause to regret it. 7 To you who trust him, he's a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him, The stone the workmen threw out is now the chief foundation stone. 8 For the untrusting it's . . . a stone to trip over, a boulder blocking the way. They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted.

God's Own People

9 But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you - 10 from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Live as Servants of God

11 Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. 12 Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.

13 Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; 14 they are God's emissaries for keeping order. 15 It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society. 16 Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. 17 Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.

The Example of Christ's Suffering

18 You who are servants, be good servants to your masters - not just to good masters, but also to bad ones. 19 What counts is that you put up with it for God's sake when you're treated badly for no good reason. 20 There's no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you're treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a good servant, that is what counts with God. 21 This is the kind of life you've been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step. 22 He never did one thing wrong, Not once said anything amiss. 23 They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. 24 He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. 25 You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you're named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.