This memorable allegory traces the fate of two sisters who represent the two capital cities of Israel and Judah: Samaria and Jerusalem. The graphic portrayals of their sexual exploits are some of the most disturbing in Scripture; they highlight the disgust God and His prophet must feel toward God’s wayward people. Anyone who hears Ezekiel speak this message must come to the same conclusion: God must judge His unfaithful wives. It is right. It is just. It is necessary.
24 The word of the Eternal came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day.
Eternal One: 2 Son of man, remember this date. Write it down. The Babylonian king laid siege to Jerusalem today. 3 Tell this rebellious crowd a parable. Here is what the Eternal Lord has to say:
Put the cooking pot on the fire;
put it on and fill it with water.
4 Put the finest cuts of meat into it—legs and brisket;
fill it with the best bones.
5 Pick out the best from the flock,
stack wood beneath the pot,
Bring it to a rolling boil,
and cook what’s in the pot.
No one is safe in the cauldron of Jerusalem.
6 Woe to this city polluted with blood—
that pot thickly corroded, whose filth is impossible to clean!
Empty the pot one piece at a time;
don’t bother choosing one or the other!
7 The blood she shed is still polluting the city.
She poured it out on bare rock
Instead of into the ground
to be absorbed by the dust where blood belongs.
8 I have spilled her blood on bare rock
so that it may not be covered,
knowing My anger would be ignited and My revenge accomplished.
9 That’s why I, the Eternal Lord, speak out:
Woe to this city polluted with blood;
I will stack the wood Myself—
10 Stack it high beneath the pot
to feed the fire.
Mix spices and seasoning into the boiling brew
and cook the meat and then burn the bones.
11 Set the empty pot on the coals
until it grows so hot its metal begins to glow,
its filth melts inside, and no trace of corrosion remains.
12 But she has thwarted My efforts!
Her massive corrosion remains when the fire should have cleansed her.
13 Jerusalem, I tried to cleanse your lewd impurity, but you would not stay pure. Because of this, you will not be clean again until after you have suffered the full punishment of My wrath. 14 I, the Eternal One, have spoken. Your day of judgment has arrived, and I will act. I will not be easy on you; I will not feel sorry for you; I will not regret My actions. You will be judged by what you have done and get only what you deserve.
So said the Eternal Lord.
15 The word of the Eternal came to me regarding my wife.
Eternal One: 16 Son of man, in the blink of an eye, I am going to take away the delight of your eyes. Do not weep or grieve or shed a tear. 17 Any groaning must be inward and silent, but do not grieve for the dead. Dress as you always dress: with a turban on your head and sandals on your feet. Don’t do any of the things mourners do. Don’t eat the food others bring to comfort you or cover your upper lip.
18 It happened as such: I preached to the people in the morning, and that evening, my wife passed away. The next morning, I did exactly as I had been instructed to do.
People: 19 Tell us what all of this has to do with us. Why are you acting this way?
Ezekiel: 20 The word of the Eternal came to me 21 with a message for the people of Israel: “Look! I will desecrate My sanctuary—the magnificent house in which you take pride, the desire of your eyes, your complete delight—and all of the children you left behind in Jerusalem will be put to the sword and slaughtered.” 22 You will do exactly as I have done in hiding your grief: You will not eat the food others bring to comfort you or cover your upper lips. 23 You will dress as you always dress: with turbans on your heads and sandals on your feet. You will not mourn or grieve. God tells me, “Instead, you will rot away from within because of your wickedness and moan among yourselves. 24 In this way, Ezekiel will be a living example for you. You must do exactly as he has done. When this happens, you will know that I am the Eternal Lord.”
Eternal One: 25 As for you, son of man, on the day I seize their fortress—the joyous aspect of their pride, the desire of their eyes, their complete delight—and all of their children, 26 a fugitive will escape from the destruction and will come to you in Babylon with news of what happened. 27 The day you learn of My judgment, your mouth will be opened, and your silence will be broken. Then you will be able to converse with the fugitive. You will be a living example to them, and they will know that I am the Eternal One.
25 The word of the Eternal came to me regarding how He plans to punish Israel’s neighbors.
Eternal One: 2 Son of man, face the Ammonites and preach against them. 3 Tell them to listen to the word of the Eternal Lord:
(to Ammon) Because you delighted in the desecration of My sanctuary, because you rejoiced when Israel became a wasteland, and because you cheered when the Judeans went into exile, 4 I will certainly hand you over to the people of the East. They will set up camp all around you, pitching their tents and settling among you. They will feast off of your tables, eating your fruit and drinking your milk. 5 I will transform Rabbah, your great city, into a pasture for camels, and Ammon will be turned into a resting place for sheep and goats. Then you will know that I am the Eternal One.
6 This is what the Eternal Lord has to say about Ammon:
Eternal One: Because you have clapped your hands and stomped your feet, delighting with a malevolent heart against the land of Israel, 7 I will raise My hand against you and divide you among the nations as prisoners and slaves. I will destroy you completely and make sure you are never a nation again. Then you will know that I am the Eternal One.
8 This is what the Eternal Lord has to say about Moab:
Eternal One: Because Moab and Seir said, “Look! There’s nothing special about Judah; she is just like every other nation,” 9 I will lay bare the western defenses of Moab by exposing its frontier cities—Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriath aim. 10 I will hand Moab and her northern neighbors the Ammonites over to the people of the East. Then the Ammonites will be entirely forgotten by the nations. 11 I will exercise My justice against Moab. Then they will know that I am the Eternal One.
12 This is what the Eternal Lord has to say about Edom:
Eternal One: Edom took revenge on the people of Judah, and her people are undeniably guilty for avenging themselves against My people. 13 Because of this, I—the Eternal Lord—will raise My hand to strike Edom and slaughter the people and animals who live there. I will make Edom a wasteland—and everyone from Teman to Dedan will be put to the sword and die. 14 I will take My own revenge on Edom and use My own people Israel as the weapon against them. Israel will do to Edom everything My anger and wrath require, and Edom will experience My vengeance. This I, the Eternal Lord, declare.
15 This is what the Eternal Lord has to say about Philistia:
Eternal One: Because the Philistines had an old grudge against Judah and acted out of revenge and total malevolence to try to destroy My people, 16 therefore I, the Eternal Lord, promise this: I will raise My hand and strike the Philistines, cut off the Cherethites, and slaughter anyone left along the coast. 17 I will bring My fierce vengeance against them, rebuking them and punishing them in My wrath! When I bring My vengeance against them, they will know that I am the Eternal One.
Israel and Judah are not the only nations infuriating God with their conduct. The surrounding countries—Ammon in the northeast, Moab in the east, Edom in the southeast, Philistia in the west, and Tyre in the northwest—have often been at odds with Israel and Judah. So when Judah falls, they celebrate in the streets and begin to figure how they might maneuver around these political and economic changes. Judah’s fall might be a windfall for them. As the Judean exiles are forcibly marched out of their land, their neighbors mercilessly mock them for their crushing defeat. But God takes all of this very personally. He will not tolerate their disrespect of His people, which amounts to disrespect of Him too. So God takes His own revenge and punishes those who delight in Israel’s and Judah’s tragedies.
26 During the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Eternal came to me regarding Tyre.
Eternal One: 2 Son of man, Tyre has delighted in the news of Jerusalem, saying,
Hurray! The gateway to the nations is broken,
And now it is open for me to receive all of her commerce.
My markets will be full now that she is in ruins.
3 Therefore I, the Eternal Lord, am telling you that I am your enemy, Tyre, and I will gather many nations and march them against you, just as the sea marches its waves against the unsuspecting shore. 4 The waves of the nations will demolish the city walls of Tyre and crumble her towers. After the city is pummeled, I will sweep away all of her rubble and leave nothing but a bare rock. 5 In the loneliness of the ocean, she will become a desolate island, used only for drying out fishnets. She will become prisoner and slave to all the nations, 6 and her villages on the mainland will be massacred in battle. Then they will know that I am the Eternal One.
7 I am going to bring the great Babylonian king, the king of kings named Nebuchadnezzar, against Tyre. He will charge down from the north with strapping horses and indestructible chariots, master horsemen, and an enormous army. 8 He will dispatch his soldiers to destroy your villages on the mainland and then lay siege against you with ramps against your walls and shields raised to deflect your opposition. 9 He will demolish your walls with his siege machines and dismantle your towers with axes. 10 You will be covered with dust from the galloping of his war horses. Your walls will shake from the tumult of the horses, wagons, and chariots when he breaches your walls and comes storming into the city. 11 His rampaging horses will trample all your streets. He will slaughter everyone in the battle and topple every strong pillar to the ground. 12 They will loot your wealth and claim your goods! They will tear down your walls and fine houses, and they’ll toss the wood and stone and rubble into the sea. 13 I will use My avenger to silence your lutes and harps and put an end to your songs. 14 I will leave you a bare rock in the lonely ocean, a desolate island used only for drying out fishnets. I promise you will never be rebuilt. Never. I, the Eternal Lord, declare this.
15 (continuing to Tyre) Don’t you think the coastlands will shake at the sound of your fall, at the groans of the injured, at the great massacre that takes place inside your walls? 16 Then the princes from the other coastal cities will step down from their thrones, give up their royal robes, and remove their embroidered garments. They will clothe their nakedness with sheer terror and sit on the ground, constantly shaking with horror at what happened to you. 17 Then they will sing a dirge over you:
How you are destroyed, O famous city!
City of sea people!
You and your kind were a great force on the seas;
you terrorized all who lived around you.
18 Now, the coastlands will quake on the day when you fall,
and the cities along the shore will be terrified by your passing.
19 When I destroy you and empty your streets, when I drown you and bury you within the ocean depths, 20 I will sink you down into the pit where those people from long ago sleep in death. I will make you stay there, in the lower parts of the earth among the ancient ruins with those who dwell in the pit of the dead, and you will never be inhabited again. You will never resurface in the land of the living where I rest My glory. 21 I will terrify you, and you will meet your end. You will be sought, but you will never be found again.
This is what the Eternal Lord declares.
11 Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen. 2 It was by faith that our forebears were approved. 3 Through faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God; everything we now see was fashioned from that which is invisible.
Faith begins as hope and indeed is unseen; so many doubt that it is real. What follows is the proof that faith is a reality that can be trusted.
4 By faith Abel presented to God a sacrifice more acceptable than his brother Cain’s. By faith Abel learned he was righteous, as God Himself testified by approving his offering. And by faith he still speaks, although his voice was silenced by death.
5 By faith Enoch was carried up into heaven so that he did not see death; no one could find him because God had taken him. Before he was taken up, it was said of him that he had pleased God. 6 Without faith no one can please God because the one coming to God must believe He exists, and He rewards those who come seeking.
7 By faith Noah respected God’s warning regarding the flood—the likes of which no one had ever seen—and built an ark that saved his family. In this he condemned the world and inherited the righteousness that comes by faith.
8 By faith Abraham heard God’s call to travel to a place he would one day receive as an inheritance; and he obeyed, not knowing where God’s call would take him. 9 By faith he journeyed to the land of the promise as a foreigner; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, his fellow heirs to the promise 10 because Abraham looked ahead to a city with foundations, a city laid out and built by God.
11 By faith Abraham’s wife Sarah became fertile long after menopause because she believed God would be faithful to His promise. 12 So from this man, who was almost at death’s door, God brought forth descendants, as many as the stars in the sky and as impossible to count as the sands of the shore.
13 All these I have mentioned died in faith without receiving the full promises, although they saw the fulfillment as though from a distance. These people accepted and confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on this earth 14 because people who speak like this make it plain that they are still seeking a homeland. 15 If this was only a bit of nostalgia for a time and place they left behind, then certainly they might have turned around and returned. 16 But such saints as these look forward to a far better place, a heavenly country. So God is not ashamed to be called their God because He has prepared a heavenly city for them.
A song of David.
Psalm 110 may have been written to celebrate the coronation of one of David’s sons as king. The Eternal invites the royal son of David to take his rightful place at His right hand, the place of power and authority—not just over Jerusalem but over his enemies as well. But the royal son is to be more than a king, he is to be a priest according the order of that mysterious and enigmatic figure, Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-24). God promises to give this royal priest-king victory over his enemies as he marches out to war.
This psalm is the psalm most quoted by early Christian writers in the New Testament. As they considered the significance of Jesus, they found that this psalm, more than any, expressed their conviction that the risen Jesus now occupies a unique place at God’s right hand and will be victorious over His enemies.
1 The Eternal said to my lord,
“Sit here at My right hand,
in the place of honor and power,
And I will gather your enemies together,
lead them in on hands and knees;
you will rest your feet on their backs.”
2 The Eternal will extend your reach as you rule
from your throne on Zion.
You will be out in enemy lands, ruling.
3 Your people will come as volunteers that day; they will be a sight to see:
on that day, you will lead your army, noble in their holiness.
As the new day dawns and dew settles on the grass,
your young volunteers will make their way to you.
4 The Eternal has sworn an oath
and cannot change His mind:
“You are a priest forever—
in the honored order of Melchizedek.”
5 The lord is at Your right hand;
on the day that his fury comes to its peak, he will crush kings.
6 You will see the dead in heaps at the roadside,
corpses spread far and wide in valleys and on hillsides.
Rulers and military leaders will lie among them without distinction.
This will be his judgment on the nations.
7 There is a brook along the way.
He will stop there and drink;
And when he is finished,
he will raise his head.
14 Anyone who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice
early in the morning,
will find his blessing regarded as a curse.