Ezekiel Plays Out Israel’s Exile
12 Yahweh spoke his word to me. He said, 2 “Son of man, you are living among rebellious people. They have eyes, but they can’t see. They have ears, but they can’t hear because they are rebellious people.
3 “Son of man, pack your bags as if you were going into exile. Let the people see you leave in the daylight. March like a captive from your place to another place as they watch. Maybe they will understand, even though they are rebellious people. 4 Let them see you in the daylight. Bring out your bags as if you were going into exile. In the evening let them see you leave like a captive going into exile. 5 Dig a hole through the wall of your house, and leave through it. 6 Let them see you put your bags on your shoulders and carry them out in the dark. Cover your face so that you won’t see the land. I’ve made you a sign to warn the nation of Israel.”
7 I did what I was ordered to do. During the day I brought out bags as if I were going into exile. In the evening I dug a hole through the wall. I brought out my bags in the dark. I let the people see me as I carried my bags on my shoulders.
8 The next morning Yahweh spoke his word to me. He said, 9 “Son of man, didn’t the rebellious nation of Israel ask you what you were doing?
10 “Tell them, ‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: This is the divine revelation about the prince from Jerusalem and about all the people of Israel who live there.’
11 “Tell them, ‘I am your warning sign. What I have done will happen to you. You will go into exile and into captivity. 12 The prince who is among you will put his bags on his shoulders in the dark and leave. People will dig holes in the wall to go through. The prince will cover his face so that he cannot see the land. 13 I will spread my net over him, and he will be caught in my net. I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Babylonians, but he will not see it. And that’s where he’ll die. 14 I will scatter in every direction all those who are around him—his staff and all his troops. I will pursue them with my sword. 15 Then they will know that I am Yahweh, because I will scatter them among the nations and force them into other countries. 16 However, I will spare a few of them from wars, famines, and plagues. Wherever they go among the nations, they will realize that everything they did was disgusting. Then they will know that I am Yahweh.’”
17 Yahweh spoke his word to me. He said, 18 “Son of man, shake as you eat your food. Tremble and be worried as you drink your water.
19 “Tell the people of this land, ‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says about the people who live in Jerusalem and in the land of Israel: They will be worried as they eat their food and terrified as they drink their water. Their country will be stripped of everything because everyone who lives there is violent. 20 The cities where people live will be destroyed, and the country will become a wasteland. Then they will know that I am Yahweh.’”
21 Yahweh spoke his word to me. He said, 22 “Son of man, what is this proverb you have in Israel: ‘Days go by, and every vision comes to nothing’?
23 “Tell the people, ‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: I will put a stop to the use of this proverb. You will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Instead, tell them, ‘The time is near when every vision will come true. 24 There will no longer be any false visions or flattering fortunetelling to the people. 25 I, Yahweh, will speak. Everything that I say will happen without any more delay. I will say something, and it will happen during your lifetime, you rebellious people, declares Adonay Yahweh.’”
26 Yahweh spoke his word to me. He said, 27 “Son of man, the people of Israel are saying, ‘The vision that Ezekiel sees won’t happen for a long time. What he prophecies will happen in the distant future.’
28 “Tell them, ‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: Everything that I say will no longer be delayed. Whatever I say will happen, declares Adonay Yahweh.’”
False Prophets Condemned
13 Yahweh spoke his word to me. He said, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel. Tell those who make up their prophecies, ‘Listen to the word of Yahweh.
3 “‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: How horrible it will be for the foolish prophets. They follow their own ideas, and they have seen nothing. 4 Israel, your prophets are like foxes among the ruins of a city. 5 They haven’t repaired the gaps in the wall or rebuilt the wall for the nation of Israel. So Israel will not be protected in battle on the day of Yahweh. 6 These foolish prophets see false visions, and their predictions don’t come true. They say, “Yahweh said this.” But Yahweh hasn’t sent them. Then they hope that their message will come true. 7 Prophets of Israel, haven’t you seen false visions and predicted things that don’t come true? Don’t you say, “Yahweh said this,” even though I haven’t said anything?
8 “‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: Your predictions are false, and your visions are lies. That is why I’m against you, declares Adonay Yahweh. 9 I will use my power against the prophets who see false visions and predict things that don’t come true. They will not help my people make decisions or be recorded in the records of the nation of Israel. They won’t even enter Israel. Then you will know that I am Adonay Yahweh.
10 “‘They have deceived my people by saying that everything is alright, but it’s not alright. When someone builds a flimsy wall, the prophets cover it up with paint. 11 Tell those who cover up the wall with paint that their wall will fall down. Rain will pour down, hailstones will fall on it, and stormy winds will break it to pieces. 12 When the wall falls down, people will ask them, “Where’s the paint that you used to cover the wall?”
13 “‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: In my fury I’ll cause a storm to break out. In my anger rain will pour down, and hailstones will destroy the wall. 14 I will tear down the wall that the prophets covered up with paint. I will level it and expose its foundation. When the wall falls, they will be destroyed by it. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. 15 I will unleash my fury on the wall and on those who covered it up with paint.
“‘Then I will say to you, “The wall is gone, and so are those who painted it. 16 The prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem are gone. Those who said that everything was alright, when it wasn’t alright, are gone, declares Adonay Yahweh.” ’
17 “Son of man, look at the women among your people who make up prophecies, and prophesy against them.
18 “Tell them, ‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: How horrible it will be for women who sew magic charms for people’s wrists and make magic veils of every size for people’s heads. You want to trap people. You want to control the lives of my people for your own profit. 19 You dishonor me in front of my people for a few handfuls of barley and a few pieces of bread. You kill people who shouldn’t die, and you spare the lives of people who shouldn’t live. You lie to my people who are willing to listen.
20 “‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: I’m against the magic charms that you use to trap people like birds. I will tear them from your arms and free the people that you have trapped. 21 I will tear off your magic veils and rescue my people from your power so that they will no longer be under your control. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. 22 You have discouraged righteous people with your lies, even though I hadn’t brought them any grief. You encouraged wicked people not to turn from their wicked ways to save their lives. 23 That is why you will no longer see false visions or make predictions. I will rescue my people from your power. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.’”
14 Some of Israel’s leaders came to me and sat down in front of me. 2 Then Yahweh spoke his word to me. He said, 3 “Son of man, these people are devoted to their idols, and they are allowing themselves to fall into sin. Should they be allowed to ask me for help?
4 “So speak to them. Tell them, ‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: Suppose an Israelite is devoted to idols and allows himself to fall into sin. Suppose he goes to a prophet to ask for my help. I, Yahweh, will give that Israelite an answer, the answer that his many idols deserve. 5 I will do this to recapture the hearts of the nation of Israel. They have deserted me because of their disgusting idols.’
6 “So tell the nation of Israel, ‘This is what Adonay Yahweh says: Change the way you think and act! Turn away from your idols, and don’t return to any of your disgusting things. 7 Suppose an Israelite or a foreigner who lives in Israel deserts me by devoting himself to idols and by allowing himself to fall into sin. If he goes to a prophet to ask for my help, I, Yahweh, will give him an answer. 8 I will reject him, and I will make an example of him. I will exclude him from my people. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.
9 “‘If a prophet is tricked into giving a prophecy, it is I, Yahweh, who tricked the prophet. I will use my power against you and destroy you from among my people Israel. 10 Both of you will suffer for your sins. The prophet will be as guilty as you are when you ask for his help. 11 Then the people of Israel will no longer wander away from me. They will no longer dishonor me with all their sins. Then they will be my people, and I will be their Elohim, declares Adonay Yahweh.’”
Christ Is Superior to Melchizedek
7 Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of the Most High God. He met Abraham and blessed him when Abraham was returning from defeating the kings. 2 Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything he had captured.
In the first place, Melchizedek’s name means king of righteousness. He is also called king of Salem (which means king of peace). 3 No one knows anything about Melchizedek’s father, mother, or ancestors. No one knows when he was born or when he died. Like the Son of God, Melchizedek continues to be a priest forever.
4 You can see how important Melchizedek was. Abraham gave him a tenth of what he had captured, even though Abraham was the father of the chosen people. 5 Moses’ Teachings say that members of the tribe of Levi who become priests must receive a tenth of everything from the people. The priests collect it from their own people, Abraham’s descendants. 6 Although Melchizedek was not from the tribe of Levi, he received a tenth of everything from Abraham. Then Melchizedek blessed Abraham, who had God’s promises. 7 No one can deny that the more important person blesses the less important person.
8 Priests receive a tenth of everything, but they die. Melchizedek received a tenth of everything, but we are told that he lives. 9 We could even say that when Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything, Levi was giving a tenth of everything. Levi gave, although later his descendants would receive a tenth of everything. 10 Even though Levi had not yet been born, he was in the body of Abraham when Melchizedek met him.
11 The people established the Levitical priesthood based on instructions they received. If the work of the Levitical priests had been perfect, we wouldn’t need to speak about another kind of priest. However, we speak about another kind of priest, a priest like Melchizedek, not a Levitical priest like Aaron.
12 When a different kind of priesthood is established, the regulations for those priests are different. 13 The priest whom we are talking about was a member of a different tribe. No one from that tribe ever served as a priest at the altar. 14 Everyone knows that our Lord came from the tribe of Judah. Moses never said anything about priests coming from that tribe. 15 The regulations were different. This became clear when a different priest who is like Melchizedek appeared. 16 That person is a priest, not because he met human requirements, but because he has power that comes from a life that cannot be destroyed. 17 The Scriptures say the following about him: “You are a priest forever, in the way Melchizedek was a priest.”
37 He brought Israel out with silver and gold,
and no one among his tribes stumbled.
38 The Egyptians were terrified of Israel,
so they were glad when Israel left.
39 He spread out a cloud as a protective covering
and a fire to light up the night.
40 The Israelites asked, and he brought them quail
and filled them with bread from heaven.
41 He opened a rock, and water gushed
and flowed like a river through the dry places.
42 He remembered his holy promise to his servant Abraham.
43 He brought his people out with joy,
his chosen ones with a song of joy.
44 He gave them the lands of other nations,
and they inherited what others had worked for
45 so that they would obey his laws
and follow his teachings.
3 A stone is heavy, and sand weighs a lot,
but annoyance caused by a stubborn fool is heavier than both.