16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.(A) 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to tell him to turn from his wicked way to save his life, that same evil man will die in his sin, but you will be responsible for his blood. 19 However, if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he will die in his sin; but you have [a]freed yourself [from responsibility]. 20 Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness (right standing with God) and sins, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he will die in his sin, and the righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered; but you will be responsible for his blood. 21 However, if you have warned the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning; also you have [b]freed yourself [from responsibility].”
22 The hand of the Lord was on me there, and He said to me, “Arise, go out to the plain, and I will speak to you.” 23 So I got up and went out to the plain; and behold, the glory and brilliance of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the River Chebar, and I fell face downward. 24 Then the Spirit entered me and made me stand on my feet; He spoke and said to me, “Go, shut yourself up in your house. 25 As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so that you cannot go out among them. 26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you cannot talk and you cannot be a man who rebukes the people, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth and you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses [to hear], let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.
Siege of Jerusalem Predicted
4 “Now you, son of man, take a brick, place it before you and inscribe on it [a diagram of] the city of Jerusalem. 2 Then lay siege against it, build a siege wall, raise a ramp against it; set up [enemy] camps and place battering rams all around it. 3 Further, take an iron plate and place it as an iron wall between you and the city, and set your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This is a sign to the house of Israel.
4 “Then lie down on your left side (toward the north) to bear [symbolically] the wickedness and punishment of the [c]house of Israel. You shall bear their wickedness and punishment for the number of days that you lie on your side. 5 For I have assigned you the years of their wickedness and punishment, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days [representing three hundred and ninety years]; in this way you shall bear [symbolically] the wickedness and punishment of the house of Israel. 6 When you have completed these [days for Israel], lie down again, but on your right side (toward the south), and you shall bear the wickedness and punishment of the [d]house of Judah forty days. I have assigned you one day for each year. 7 Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. 8 Now behold, I will put ropes on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.
9 “But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt, and put them into one vessel and make them into bread for yourself. You shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days. 10 The food you eat each day shall be [measured] by weight, [e]twenty shekels, to be eaten daily at a set time. 11 You shall drink water by measure also, [f]the sixth part of a hin; you shall drink daily at a set time. 12 You shall eat your food as barley cakes, having baked it in their sight over human dung.” 13 Then the Lord said, “Thus the children of Israel will eat their bread unclean and defiled among the nations where I will banish them.”(B) 14 But I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold (hear me), I have never been defiled; for from my youth until now I have never eaten what died on its own or was torn by beasts, nor has any unclean meat ever entered my mouth.”(C) 15 Then He said to me, “See, I will let you use cow’s dung instead of human dung over which you shall prepare your food.” 16 Moreover, He said to me, “Son of man, behold (listen carefully), I am going to break the staff of bread [that supports life] in Jerusalem; and they shall eat bread [rationed] by weight and [eat it] with anxiety and fear, and drink water by measure and [drink it] in horror [of the impending starvation],(D) 17 because bread and water will be scarce; and they will look at one another in dismay and waste away [in punishment] for their wickedness.
Jerusalem’s Desolation Foretold
5 “And you [Ezekiel], son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor and shave your head and your beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair [into three parts]. 2 You shall burn one third with fire in the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them. 3 Also take some of them and bind them in the edges of your robes. 4 Again take some hair and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.
5 “Thus says the Lord God, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the center of the nations, and countries are around her. 6 And she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the [pagan] nations and against My statutes more than the countries that are around her; for Israel has rejected My ordinances and has not walked in My statutes.’(E) 7 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor kept My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you,’(F) 8 therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I, I Myself, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations. 9 And because of all your abominations, I will do among you that which I have not done, and the like of which I will not do again.(G) 10 Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on you and I will scatter to all the winds the remnant of you.(H) 11 So, as I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you and withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare [you]. 12 One third of you will die of virulent disease or be consumed by famine among you; one third will fall by the sword around you; and one third I will scatter to all the winds, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.
13 ‘Thus My anger will come to an end and I will satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be appeased; then they will know [without any doubt] that I the Lord have spoken in My zeal when I have spent My wrath on them.(I) 14 Moreover, I will make you a desolation and a disgrace among the nations which surround you and in the sight of all who pass by.(J) 15 So it will be a disgrace, a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the [pagan] nations who surround you when I execute judgments against you in anger and in wrath and in raging reprimands—I, the Lord, have spoken.(K) 16 When I send against them the deadly arrows of hunger which were for the destruction of those whom I will send to destroy you, then I will increase the famine upon you and break your staff of bread. 17 Further, I will send against you hunger and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; virulent disease and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the Lord, have spoken.’”
Idolatrous Worship Denounced
6 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them, 3 and say, ‘You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: “Behold, I Myself am going to bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places [of idolatrous worship], 4 and your altars will become deserted and your pillars for sun-worship will be smashed in pieces; and I will throw down your slain in front of your idols [that cannot bring them back to life].(L) 5 I will also lay the dead bodies of the children of Israel in front of their [Canaanite] idols; and I will scatter your bones all around your altars. 6 Everywhere you live, the cities will become waste and the high places will become deserted, so that your altars may bear their guilt and become deserted, your idols may be broken and destroyed, your incense altars [for sun-worship] may be cut down, and your works may be blotted out. 7 The slain will fall among you, then you shall know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.
8 “Yet I will leave some of you alive [a remnant], for you will have some who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered throughout the countries. 9 Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be exiled, how I have been broken by their lewdness and their adulterous hearts which have turned away from Me, and by their eyes which lust after their idols; and they will loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed, for all their repulsive acts. 10 Then they will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain that I would bring this disaster [as punishment] on them.”’
11 “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Strike with your fist, stamp with your foot and say, “Alas, because of all the evil atrocities of the house of Israel, which will fall by sword, by famine, and by virulent disease! 12 He who is far away will die of the virulent disease, and he who is near will fall by the sword, and he who remains and is besieged will die by the famine. Thus I will spend My wrath on them. 13 Then you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord, when their slain are among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, under every leafy tree and under every oak with thick branches, the places where they offered sweet incense and a soothing aroma to all their idols. 14 And I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land a more desolate waste than the wilderness toward Diblah [the Moabite city], throughout all the places where they live; and they will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.”’”
- Ezekiel 3:17 : Is 52:8; 56:10; 62:6; Jer 6:17
- Ezekiel 4:13 : Hos 9:3
- Ezekiel 4:14 : Acts 10:14
- Ezekiel 4:16 : Lev 26:26; Ps 105:16; Is 3:1
- Ezekiel 5:6 : Rom 2:14, 15
- Ezekiel 5:7 : Deut 7:2-6; Josh 23:7; Judg 2:2
- Ezekiel 5:9 : Lam 4:6; Dan 9:12; Amos 3:2
- Ezekiel 5:10 : Lev 26:33; Deut 28:64; Ezek 12:14; Zech 2:6
- Ezekiel 5:13 : Ezek 36:6; 38:19
- Ezekiel 5:14 : Lev 26:31, 32; Neh 2:17
- Ezekiel 5:15 : Deut 28:37; Ps 79:4; Jer 24:9
- Ezekiel 6:4 : Lev 26:30
The Believer’s Rest
4 Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still remains and is freely offered today, let us fear, in case any one of you may seem to come short of reaching it or think he has come too late. 2 For indeed we have had the good news [of salvation] preached to us, just as the Israelites also [when the good news of the promised land came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not united with faith [in God] by those who heard. 3 For we who believe [that is, we who personally trust and confidently rely on God] enter that rest [so we have His inner peace now because we are confident in our salvation, and assured of His power], just as He has said,
“As I swore [an oath] in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,”
4 For somewhere [in Scripture] He has said this about the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”;(B) 5 and again in this, “They shall not enter My rest.”(C) 6 Therefore, since the promise remains for some to enter His rest, and those who formerly had the good news preached to them failed to [grasp it and did not] enter because of [their unbelief evidenced by] disobedience, 7 He again sets a definite day, [a new] “Today,” [providing another opportunity to enter that rest by] saying through David after so long a time, just as has been said before [in the words already quoted],
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”(D)
8 [This mention of a rest was not a reference to their entering into Canaan.] For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak about another day [of opportunity] after that. 9 So there remains a [full and complete] Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has once entered His rest has also rested from [the weariness and pain of] his [human] labors, just as God rested from [those labors uniquely] His own.(E) 11 Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience [as those who died in the wilderness]. 12 For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [b]sword, penetrating as far as the division of the [c]soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.
14 Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].
- Hebrews 4:3 God “rested” because everything that needed to be done was done—everything was complete, fully accomplished. In human terms this expression is used when a lawyer completes his presentation in a court of law; he “rests” his case—everything is in evidence, there is nothing left to present.
- Hebrews 4:12 In addition to “sword,” the word in Greek was used for the knife used by the priests to slit the throats of the sacrificial lambs and for the knife (scalpel) used by a surgeon.
- Hebrews 4:12 “soul and spirit” used here to emphasize the whole person, not two separate entities as in other passages.
O Lord, how many and varied are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures.
There is the sea, great and broad,
In which are swarms without number,
Creatures both small and great.
There the ships [of the sea] sail,
And Leviathan [the sea monster], which You have formed to play there.
They all wait for You
To give them their food in its appointed season.
You give it to them, they gather it up;
You open Your hand, they are filled and satisfied with good [things].
You hide Your face, they are dismayed;
You take away their breath, they die
And return to their dust.
You send out Your Spirit, they are created;
You renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice and be glad in His works—
He looks at the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
May my meditation be sweet and pleasing to Him;
As for me, I will rejoice and be glad in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
And let the wicked be no more.
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)
Whoever digs a pit [for another man’s feet] will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone [up a hill to do mischief], it will come back on him.(A)