The End Is Near for Israel
7 The Lord spoke to me. 2 “Mortal man,” he said, “this is what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to the land of Israel: This is the end for the whole land!
3 “Israel, the end has come. You will feel my anger, because I am judging you for what you have done. I will pay you back for all your disgusting conduct. 4 I will not spare you or show you any mercy. I am going to punish you for the disgusting things you have done, so that you will know that I am the Lord.”
5 This is what the Sovereign Lord is saying: “One disaster after another is coming on you. 6 It's all over. This is the end. You are finished. 7 The end is coming for you people who live in the land. The time is near when there will be no more celebrations at the mountain shrines, only confusion.[a]
8 “Very soon now you will feel all the force of my anger. I am judging you for what you have done, and I will pay you back for all your disgusting conduct. 9 I will not spare you or show you any mercy. I am going to punish you for the disgusting things you have done, so that you will know that I am the Lord and that I am the one who punishes you.”
10 The day of disaster is coming. Violence is flourishing. Pride is at its height.[b] 11 Violence produces more wickedness. Nothing of theirs will remain, nothing of their wealth, their splendor, or their glory.
12 The time is coming. The day is near when buying and selling will have no more meaning, because God's punishment will fall on everyone alike. 13 No merchants will live long enough to get back what they have lost, because God's anger is on everyone. Those who are evil cannot survive.[c] 14 The trumpet blows, and everyone gets ready. But no one goes off to war, for God's anger will fall on everyone alike.
Punishment for Israel's Sins
15 There is fighting in the streets, and sickness and hunger in the houses. Anyone who is out in the country will die in the fighting, and anyone in the city will be a victim of sickness and hunger. 16 Some will escape to the mountains like doves frightened from the valleys. All of them will moan over their sins.[d] 17 Everyone's hands will be weak, and their knees will shake. 18 They will put on sackcloth and they will tremble all over. Their heads will be shaved, and they will all be disgraced. 19 They will throw their gold and silver away in the streets like garbage, because neither silver nor gold can save them when the Lord pours out his fury. They cannot use it to satisfy their desires or fill their stomachs. Gold and silver led them into sin. 20 Once they were proud of their beautiful jewels, but they used them to make disgusting idols. That is why the Lord has made their wealth repulsive to them.
21 “I will let foreigners rob them,” says the Lord, “and lawbreakers will take all their wealth and defile it. 22 I will not interfere when my treasured Temple is profaned, when robbers break into it and defile it.
23 “Everything is in confusion[e]—the land is full of murders and the cities are full of violence. 24 I will bring the most evil nations here and let them have your homes. Your strongest men will lose their confidence when I let the nations profane the places where you worship. 25 Despair is coming. You will look for peace and never find it. 26 One disaster will follow another, and a steady stream of bad news will pour in. You will beg the prophets to reveal what they foresee. The priests will have nothing to teach the people, and the elders will have no advice to give. 27 The king will mourn, the prince will give up hope, and the people will shake with fear. I will punish you for all you have done, and will judge you in the same way as you have judged others. This will show you that I am the Lord.”
EZEKIEL'S SECOND VISION OF GOD (8.1—10.22)
Idolatry in Jerusalem
8 On the fifth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of our exile, the leaders of the exiles from Judah were sitting in my house with me. Suddenly the power of the Sovereign Lord came on me. 2 (A)I looked up and saw a vision of a fiery human form. From the waist down his body looked like fire, and from the waist up he was shining like polished bronze. 3 He reached out what seemed to be a hand and grabbed me by the hair. Then in this vision God's spirit lifted me high in the air and took me to Jerusalem. He took me to the inner entrance of the north gate of the Temple, where there was an idol that was an outrage to God.
4 (B)There I saw the dazzling light that shows the presence of Israel's God, just as I had seen it when I was by the Chebar River. 5 God said to me, “Mortal man, look toward the north.” I looked, and there near the altar by the entrance of the gateway I saw the idol that was an outrage to God.
6 God said to me, “Mortal man, do you see what is happening? Look at the disgusting things the people of Israel are doing here, driving me farther and farther away from my holy place. You will see even more disgraceful things than this.”
7 He took me to the entrance of the outer courtyard and showed me a hole in the wall. 8 He said, “Mortal man, break through the wall here.” I broke through it and found a door. 9 He told me, “Go in and look at the evil, disgusting things they are doing there.” 10 So I went in and looked. The walls were covered with drawings of snakes and other unclean animals,[f] and of the other things which the Israelites were worshiping. 11 Seventy Israelite leaders were there, including Jaazaniah son of Shaphan. Each one was holding an incense burner, and smoke was rising from the incense. 12 God asked me, “Mortal man, do you see what the Israelite leaders are doing in secret? They are all worshiping in a room full of images. Their excuse is: ‘The Lord doesn't see us! He has abandoned the country.’”
13 Then the Lord said to me, “You are going to see them do even more disgusting things than that.” 14 So he took me to the north gate of the Temple and showed me women weeping over the death of the god Tammuz.[g]
15 He asked, “Mortal man, do you see that? You will see even more disgusting things.” 16 So he took me to the inner courtyard of the Temple. There near the entrance of the sanctuary, between the altar and the porch, were about twenty-five men. They had turned their backs to the sanctuary and were bowing low toward the east, worshiping the rising sun.
17 The Lord said to me, “Mortal man, do you see that? These people of Judah are not satisfied with merely doing all the disgusting things you have seen here and with spreading violence throughout the country. No, they must come and do them right here in the Temple and make me even more angry. Look how they insult me in the most offensive way possible![h] 18 They will feel all the force of my anger. I will not spare them or show them any mercy. They will shout prayers to me as loud as they can, but I will not listen to them.”
Jerusalem Is Punished
9 Then I heard God shout, “Come here, you men who are going to punish the city. Bring your weapons with you.” 2 At once six men came from the outer north gate of the Temple, each one carrying a weapon. With them was a man dressed in linen clothes, carrying something to write with. They all came and stood by the bronze altar.
3 Then the dazzling light of the presence of the God of Israel rose up from the winged creatures[i] where it had been, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. The Lord called to the man dressed in linen, 4 (C)“Go through the whole city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the forehead of everyone who is distressed and troubled because of all the disgusting things being done in the city.”
5 And I heard God say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill. Spare no one; have mercy on no one. 6 Kill the old men, young men, young women, mothers, and children. But don't touch anyone who has the mark on his forehead. Start here at my Temple.” So they began with the leaders who were standing there at the Temple.
7 God said to them, “Defile the Temple. Fill its courtyards with corpses. Get to work!” So they began to kill the people in the city.[j]
8 While the killing was going on, I was there alone. I threw myself face downward on the ground and shouted, “Sovereign Lord, are you so angry with Jerusalem that you are going to kill everyone left in Israel?”
9 God answered, “The people of Israel and Judah are guilty of terrible sins. They have committed murder all over the land and have filled Jerusalem with crime. They say that I, the Lord, have abandoned their country and that I don't see them. 10 But I will not have pity on them; I will do to them what they have done to others.”
11 Then the man wearing linen clothes returned and reported to the Lord, “I have carried out your orders.”
- Ezekiel 7:7 Probable text celebrations … confusion; Hebrew unclear.
- Ezekiel 7:10 Probable text Pride is at its height; Hebrew unclear.
- Ezekiel 7:13 Verse 13 in Hebrew is unclear.
- Ezekiel 7:16 Verse 16 in Hebrew is unclear.
- Ezekiel 7:23 One ancient translation Everything is in confusion; Hebrew unclear.
- Ezekiel 8:10 The Law of Moses prohibited the eating of certain animals as being ritually unclean (see 4.13; Lv 11).
- Ezekiel 8:14 A god who was thought to die when vegetation died and to come to life the next year. Women would mourn his ritual death.
- Ezekiel 8:17 A reference to a pagan rite of putting a branch to the nose.
- Ezekiel 9:3 See 1.5-12.
- Ezekiel 9:7 work!” So they … city.; or work! Go on and start killing the people in the city!”
5 Every high priest is chosen from his fellow-men and appointed to serve God on their behalf, to offer sacrifices and offerings for sins. 2 Since he himself is weak in many ways, he is able to be gentle with those who are ignorant and make mistakes. 3 (A)And because he is himself weak, he must offer sacrifices not only for the sins of the people but also for his own sins. 4 (B)No one chooses for himself the honor of being a high priest. It is only by God's call that a man is made a high priest—just as Aaron was.
5 (C)In the same way, Christ did not take upon himself the honor of being a high priest. Instead, God said to him,
7 (E)In his life on earth Jesus made his prayers and requests with loud cries and tears to God, who could save him from death. Because he was humble and devoted, God heard him. 8 But even though he was God's Son, he learned through his sufferings to be obedient. 9 When he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him, 10 and God declared him to be high priest, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.[b]
Warning against Abandoning the Faith
11 There is much we have to say about this matter, but it is hard to explain to you, because you are so slow to understand. 12 (F)There has been enough time for you to be teachers—yet you still need someone to teach you the first lessons of God's message. Instead of eating solid food, you still have to drink milk. 13 Anyone who has to drink milk is still a child, without any experience in the matter of right and wrong. 14 Solid food, on the other hand, is for adults, who through practice are able to distinguish between good and evil.
God and His People(A)
105 Give thanks to the Lord,
proclaim his greatness;
tell the nations what he has done.
2 Sing praise to the Lord;
tell the wonderful things he has done.
3 Be glad that we belong to him;
let all who worship him rejoice.
4 Go to the Lord for help;
and worship him continually.
5-6 You descendants of Abraham, his servant;
you descendants of Jacob, the man he chose:
remember the miracles that God performed
and the judgments that he gave.
7 The Lord is our God;
his commands are for all the world.
8 He will keep his covenant forever,
his promises for a thousand generations.
9 (B)He will keep the agreement he made with Abraham
and his promise to Isaac.
10 (C)The Lord made a covenant with Jacob,
one that will last forever.
11 “I will give you the land of Canaan,” he said.
“It will be your own possession.”
12 God's people were few in number,
strangers in the land of Canaan.
13 They wandered from country to country,
from one kingdom to another.
14 (D)But God let no one oppress them;
to protect them, he warned the kings:
15 “Don't harm my chosen servants;
do not touch my prophets.”
28 You have to hate someone to want to hurt him with lies. Insincere talk brings nothing but ruin.