BOOK ENDS. Seraphim, April 2009.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 1
1:1 In the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, as I was among the exiles on the bank of the river Chebar, heaven opened and I saw visions from God.
1:2 On the fifth of the month – it was the fifth year of exile for King Jehoiachin –
1:3 the word of Yahweh was addressed to the priest Ezekiel son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldaeans, on the bank of the river Chebar.[*a]
The vision of the ‘Chariot of Yahweh’
There the hand of Yahweh came on me.
1:4 I looked; a stormy wind blew from the north, a great cloud with light around it, a fire from which flashes of lightning darted, and in the centre a sheen like bronze at the heart of the fire.
1:5 In the centre I saw what seemed four animals. They looked like this. They were of human form.
1:6 Each had four faces, each had four wings.
1:7 Their legs were straight; they had hooves like oxen, glittering like polished brass.
1:8 Human hands showed under their wings; the faces of all four were turned to the four quarters[*b].
1:9 Their wings touched each other; they did not turn as they moved; each one went straight forward.
1:10 As to what they looked like, they had human faces, and all four had a lion’s face to the right, and all four had a bull’s face to the left, and all four had an eagle’s face.
1:11 Their wings were spread upwards; each had two wings that touched, and two wings that covered his body;
1:12 and they all went straight forward; they went where the spirit urged them; they did not turn as they moved.
1:13 Between these animals something could be seen like flaming brands or torches, darting between the animals; the fire flashed light, and lightning streaked from the fire.
1:14 And the creatures ran to and fro like thunderbolts.
1:15 I looked at the animals; there was a wheel on the ground by each of them, one beside each of the four.
1:16 The wheels glittered as if made of chrysolite. All four looked alike, and seemed to be made one inside the other.
1:17 They went forward four ways and kept their course unswervingly.
1:18 Their rims seemed enormous when I looked at them and all four rims had eyes all the way round.
1:19 When the animals went forward, the wheels went forward beside them; and when the animals left the ground, the wheels too left the ground.
1:20 Where the spirit urged them, there the wheels went, since the spirit of the animal was in the wheels.
1:21 When the animals moved on, they moved on; when the former halted, the latter halted; when the former left the ground, the wheels too left the ground, since the spirit of the animal was in the wheels.
1:22 Over the heads of the animals a sort of vault, gleaming like crystal, arched above their heads;
1:23 under this vault their wings stretched out to one another, and each had two covering his body.
1:24 I heard the noise of their wings as they moved; it sounded like rushing water, like the voice of Shaddai, a noise like a storm, like the noise of a camp; when they halted, they folded their wings,
1:25 and there was a noise.
1:26 Above the vault over their heads was something that looked like a sapphire; it was shaped like a throne and high up on this throne was a being that looked like a man.
1:27 I saw him shine like bronze, and close to and all around him from what seemed his loins upwards was what looked like fire; and from what seemed his loins downwards I saw what looked like fire, and a light all round
1:28 like a bow in the clouds on rainy days; that is how the surrounding light appeared. It was something that looked like the glory of Yahweh. I looked, and prostrated myself, and I heard a voice speaking.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 2
The vision of the scroll[*a]
2:1 It said, ‘Son of man, stand up; I am going to speak to you’.
2:2 As he said these words the spirit came into me and made me stand up, and I heard him speaking to me.
2:3 He said, ‘Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to the rebels who have turned against me. Till now they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me.
2:4 The sons are defiant and obstinate; I am sending you to them, to say, “The Lord Yahweh says this”.
2:5 Whether they listen or not, this set of rebels shall know there is a prophet among them.
2:6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them, do not be afraid when they say, “There are thorns all round you and scorpions under you”. There is no need to be afraid either of their words or of their looks, for they are a set of rebels.
2:7 You must deliver my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are a set of rebels.
2:8 ‘You, son of man, listen to the words I say; do not be a rebel like that rebellious set. Open your mouth and eat what I am about to give you.’
2:9 I looked. A hand was there, stretching out to me and holding a scroll.
2:10 He unrolled it in front of me; it was written on back and front; on it was written ‘lamentations, wailings, moanings’.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 3
3:1 He said, ‘Son of man, eat what is given to you; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel’.
3:2 I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat
3:3 and said, ‘Son of man, feed and be satisfied by the scroll I am giving you’. I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey.
3:4 Then he said, ‘Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said.
3:5 You are not being sent to a nation that speaks a difficult foreign language; you are being sent to the House of Israel.
3:6 Not to big nations that speak difficult foreign languages, and whose words you would not understand – if I sent you to them, they would listen to you;
3:7 but the House of Israel will not listen to you because it will not listen to me. The whole House of Israel is stubborn and obstinate.
3:8 But now, I will make you as defiant as they are, and as obstinate as they are;
3:9 I am going to make your resolution as hard as a diamond and diamond is harder than flint. So do not be afraid of them, do not be overawed by them for they are a set of rebels.’
3:10 Then he said, ‘Son of man, remember everything I say to you, listen closely,
3:11 and go to your exiled countrymen and talk to them. Tell them, “The Lord Yahweh says this”, whether they listen or not.’
3:12 The spirit lifted me up, and behind me I could hear a tumultuous shouting, ‘Blessed be the glory of Yahweh in his dwelling place’.
3:13 This was the sound of the animals’ wings beating against each other, and the sound of the wheels beside them; a tumultuous shouting.
3:14 The spirit lifted me up and took me; my heart, as I went, overflowed with bitterness and anger, and the hand of Yahweh lay heavy on me.
3:15 I came to Tel Abib, to the exiles beside the river Chebar where is they were then living; and I stayed with them for seven days like a man stunned.
The prophet as sentry
3:16 After seven days the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
3:17 ‘Son of man, I have appointed you as sentry to the House of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from me, warn them in my Name.
3:18 If I say to a wicked man: You are to die, and you do not warn him; if you do not speak and warn him to renounce his evil ways and so live, then he shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death.
3:19 If, however, you do warn a wicked man and he does not renounce his wickedness and his evil ways, then he shall die for his sin, but you yourself will have saved your life.
3:20 When the upright man renounces his integrity to do evil and I set a trap for him, he too shall die; since you failed to warn him, he shall die for his sin and the integrity he practised will no longer be remembered; but I will hold you responsible for his death.
3:21 If, however, you warn the upright man not to sin and he abstains from sinning, he shall live, thanks to your warning, and you too will have saved your life.’
- BEFORE THE SIEGE OF JERUSALEM
Ezekiel is struck dumb
3:22 While I was there the hand of Yahweh came on me; he said, ‘Get up, go out into the valley; I am going to speak to you’.
3:23 I got up and went out into the valley; the glory of Yahweh was resting there, like the glory I had seen by the river Chebar, and I prostrated myself.
3:24 The spirit of Yahweh then entered me, and made me stand up, and spoke to me.
3:25 He said, ‘Go and shut yourself in your house. ‘Son of man, bonds are now about to be laid on you; you will be bound with them and not be able to mix with others.
3:26 I am going to make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth; you will be dumb; you will stop warning them, for they are a set of rebels.
3:27 When I speak to you, I shall open your mouth and you will tell them, “The Lord Yahweh says this”. Whoever will listen, let him listen; whoever will not, let him not; for they are a set of rebels.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 4
The siege of Jerusalem foretold
4:1 ‘Son of man, take a brick and lay it in front of you; on it scratch a city, Jerusalem.
4:2 You are then to besiege it, trench round it, build earthworks, pitch camps and bring up battering-rams all round.
4:3 Then take an iron pan and place it as if it were an iron wall between you and the city. Then turn to it; it is being besieged and you are besieging it. This is a sign for the House of Israel.
4:4 ‘Lie down on your left side and take the sin of the House of Israel on yourself. I am making you bear their sin for as many days as you lie there.
4:5 I myself have set the years they will sin at a hundred and ninety days; during these you are to bear the sin of the House of Israel.
4:6 And at the end of these days, you are to lie down again on your right side and bear the sin of the House of Judah for forty days. I have set the length for you as one day for one year.
4:7 And you are to turn towards the siege of Jerusalem, lift your bare arm and prophesy against it.
4:8 I have laid bonds on you, and you must not turn over until the period of your seclusion is finished.
4:9 ‘You must then take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt; put them all in the same pot and make yourself some bread. You are to eat it for as many days as you have been lying on your side, a hundred and ninety days.
4:10 As regards this food you are to measure out a daily portion of twenty shekels and make it last the whole day.
4:11 And you are to drink water sparingly; your drink is to be the sixth of a hin and to last the whole day.
4:12 Take this food in the shape of a barley cake baked where they can see you, over human dung.
4:13 And say, “Yahweh, the God of Israel, says this: This is the way the Israelites will have to eat their defiled food, wherever I disperse them among the nations”.’
4:14 I then said, ‘Lord Yahweh, my soul is not defiled. From my childhood until now, I have never eaten an animal that has died a natural death or been savaged; no unclean flesh has ever entered my mouth.’
4:15 ‘Very well,’ he said ‘I grant you cow’s dung instead of human dung; you are to bake your bread on that.’
4:16 He then said, ‘Son of man, I mean to destroy the stock of bread in Jerusalem; in their distress they will eat bread strictly weighed; in terror they will drink water grudgingly measured,
4:17 since bread and water will be scarce; they will all pine and waste away as a result of their sins.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 5
5:1 ‘Son of man, take a sharp blade, sharp as a barbers razor; take it and use it on your head and beard. Then take scales and divide the hair you have cut off.
5:2 You are to set fire to a third in the centre of the city, while the time of the siege is working itself out. Then take another third and toss it by swordpoint all round the city. The last third you are to scatter to the wind, while I unsheathe the sword behind them.
5:3 Then take a few hairs and wrap them in the folds of your cloak;
5:4 and of these again take a few, and throw them on the fire and burn them. From them will issue fire, and you are to say to the entire House of Israel,
5:5 “The Lord Yahweh says this: This is Jerusalem, which I have placed in the middle of the nations, surrounded with foreign countries.
5:6 She is so perverse that she has rebelled more against my observances than the nations, and more against my laws than the surrounding countries; for she has rejected my observances and refused to keep my laws.
5:7 Therefore, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since you are more rebellious than the nations round you, since you do not keep my laws or respect my observances, and since you do not even respect the observances of the surrounding nations,
5:8 so then, the Lord Yahweh says this: I have now set myself against you, I will inflict punishments upon you for all the nations to see.
5:9 On account of all your filthy practices I will do things to you that I have never done before and that I will never do again.
5:10 Fathers among you will eat their children, and children eat their fathers. I will inflict punishments on you and disperse what remains of you to the winds.
5:11 Therefore, as I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – as sure as you have defiled my sanctuary with all your horrors and all your filthy practices, I too will reject pitilessly; I will not spare, either.
5:12 A third of your inhabitants shall die of plague or starve to death inside you; a third shall fall by the sword, outside you; a third I will scatter to every wind, while I unsheathe the sword behind them.
5:13 My anger will be satisfied; I mean to satisfy my fury against them and be avenged; they will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken in my jealousy, when I have exhausted my fury against them.
5:14 I mean to reduce you to a ruin, an object of contempt to surrounding nations, in the eyes of all who pass by.
5:15 You will become an object of contempt and shame, an example and a thing of horror, to all the surrounding nations, when I execute my judgements on you in anger and fury, with bitter punishments. I, Yahweh, have spoken.
5:16 Against you I mean to send the deadly arrows of starvation – which will destroy you, since I shall send them to destroy you – and I will destroy your stock of bread.
5:17 Against you I mean to send famine and wild animals, to rob you of your children; plague and bloodshed shall visit you. I will summon the sword against you. I, Yahweh, have spoken.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 6
Against the mountains of Israel
6:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
6:2 ‘Son of man, turn towards the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them.
6:3 Say, “Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahweh. The Lord Yahweh says this to mountains and hills and ravines and valleys: Listen; I am going to summon the sword against you and destroy your high places.
6:4 Your altars will be wrecked, and your incense burners smashed; your inhabitants are going to be cut to pieces and thrown down in front of your idols,
6:5 and their bones spread all round your altars.
6:6 Throughout your territory the towns will be destroyed and the high places wrecked, to the ruin and wrecking of your altars, the shattering and abolition of your idols, the smashing of your incense burners and the utter destruction of all your works.
6:7 Among you men will fall, and be cut to pieces; and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
6:8 But I shall spare some of you; they will escape the sword and be dispersed by me among the nations.
6:9 Your survivors will remember me among the nations where they have been deported. I shall have broken their wanton hearts for having deserted me, and blinded their adulterous eyes for having fawned on idols. They will loathe themselves for all the wrong they have caused by their filthy practices,
6:10 and so they will learn that I am Yahweh; I have said, and I have meant it, that I am going to inflict all these disasters on them.
The sins of Israel
6:11 The Lord Yahweh says this: Clap your hands, stamp your feet, and say: Alas! for all the abominable sins of the House of Israel, which is about to perish by sword, famine and plague.
6:12 Far off, they will die by plague; near at hand they will fall by the sword; those who are spared and besieged will die of hunger, since I mean to satisfy my fury against them.
6:13 You will know that I am Yahweh when their corpses, cut to pieces, lie there among their idols, all round their altars, on every high hill, on every mountain top, under every spreading tree, under every leafy oak, in fact wherever they offer an appeasing fragrance to all their idols.
6:14 I mean to stretch out my hand against them and reduce the country to an empty wasteland from the desert to Riblah,[*a] the length and breadth of the country; and so they will learn that I am Yahweh.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 7
The end is near
7:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
7:2 ‘Son of man, say, “The Lord Yahweh says this to the land of Israel: Finished! The end is coming for the four quarters of the land.
7:3 Now all is over with you; I mean to unleash my anger on you, and judge you as your conduct deserves and force you to answer for all your filthy practices.
7:4 I mean to show you no pity, I will not spare you; I am going to call you to account for your conduct and for the filthy practices that you parade; and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
7:5 The Lord Yahweh says this: Now disaster is going to follow on disaster.
7:6 The end is coming, the end is coming for you; it is coming now.
7:7 Now, it is your turn, you who live in this country. The time has come, the day is near; no joy now, only tumult, on the mountains.
7:8 Soon I am going to pour out my fury on you and exhaust my anger at you; I will judge you as your conduct deserves and call you to account for all your filthy practices.
7:9 I mean to show you neither pity nor mercy, since I am going to call you to account for your conduct and for the filthy practices which you parade; and so you will learn that I am Yahweh, and that I strike.
7:10 Here is the day! It has come; your turn has come, the scourge is ready, pride is at its peak.
7:11 Violence has risen to become the scourge of wickedness…
7:12 The time has come and the day is near. Let neither buyer rejoice, nor seller regret, for anger rages against all alike.
7:13 The seller will not recover what he has sold; they will all carry on sinning and be none the stronger for it.
7:14 The trumpet will sound, all will be ready; but no one will go into battle, since my anger rages against all alike.
The sins of Israel
7:15 Outside, the sword; inside, plague and famine. Anyone who is found in the countryside will die by the sword; anyone who is found in the city will be devoured by famine and plague.
7:16 Their fugitives will run away and make for the mountains; I shall slaughter them all like doves of the valleys, each for his sin.
7:17 With limp hands and quaking knees,
7:18 they will put on sackcloth; and shudder all over. All their faces will be red with shame and every head will be shaved.
7:19 They will throw their silver down in the streets and their gold will fill them with horror. Never again will they have enough to eat, never again will they fill their bellies, since this has been the cause of their crimes.
7:20 They used to pride themselves on the beauty of their jewellery, out of which they made their loathsome images and idols. That is why I mean to make it an object of horror to them.
7:21 I intend to hand it over to be the plunder of foreigners and loot for local brigands, who will profane it.
7:22 I shall turn my face from them; my treasury will be profaned; barbarians will force their way in and profane it.
7:23 Forge yourself a chain; for the country is filled with bloody murders, the city is full of violent crime.
7:24 I am going to summon the cruellest of the nations to seize their houses. I will break the pride of their grandees; their sanctuaries will be profaned.
7:25 Anguish is on its way: they will look for peace and there will be none.
7:26 Disaster will follow on disaster, rumour on rumour; they will pester the prophet for a vision; the priest will be at a loss over the law and the elders on how to advise.
7:27 The king will go into mourning, the prince be plunged in grief, the hands of the country people tremble. I mean to treat them as their conduct deserves, and judge them as their own verdicts merit; and so they will learn that I am Yahweh.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 8
A vision of the sins of Jerusalem
8:1 In the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month,[*a] as I was sitting at home and the elders of Judah were sitting with me, when the hand of the Lord Yahweh fell on me.
8:2 I looked and saw something that looked like a man. Downwards from what seemed to be his loins he was fire; and upwards from his loins he seemed to shine like polished bronze.
8:3 He stretched out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair; and the spirit lifted me into the air and, in visions from God, took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the inner north gate, where the idol of Jealousy stands, provoking jealousy.[*b]
8:4 There I saw the glory of the God of Israel, as I had seen it in the valley.
8:5 He said, ‘Son of man, raise your eyes to the north’. I raised my eyes to the north, and there, to the north of the altar gate, stood this statue of Jealousy at the entrance.
8:6 He said, ‘Son of man, do you see what they are doing? Do you see all the filth practised here by the House of Israel, to drive me out of my sanctuary? You will see filthier practices yet.’
8:7 He next took me to the entrance to the court. I looked; there was a hole in the wall.
8:8 He said, ‘Son of man, break through the wall’. I broke through the wall; there was a door.
8:9 He said, ‘Go in and look at the filthy things they are doing inside’.
8:10 I went in and looked: all sorts of images of snakes and repulsive animals and all the idols of the House of Israel drawn on the wall all round.
8:11 Seventy elders of the House of Israel were standing in front of the idols, among them Jaazaniah son of Shaphan, each one, censer in hand; the fragrance of incense was rising.
8:12 He said, ‘Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the House of Israel do in the dark, each in his painted room? They say, “Yahweh cannot see us; Yahweh has abandoned the country”.’
8:13 He said, ‘You will see them at filthier practices still’.
8:14 He next took me to the entrance of the north gate of the Temple of Yahweh where women were sitting, weeping for Tammuz.[*c]
8:15 He said, ‘Son of man, do you see that? You will see even filthier things than that.’
8:16 He then led me to the inner court of the Temple of Yahweh. And there, at the entrance to the sanctuary of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, there were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the sanctuary of Yahweh and their faces turned to the east. They were bowing to the east, towards the sun.
8:17 He said to me, ‘Son of man, do you see that? Is it not bad enough for the House of Judah to do the filthy things that they are doing here? But they fill the country with violence and provoke my anger further; look at them now putting that branch to their nostrils.
8:18 My anger forces me to it; I will show neither pity nor mercy. They may shout as loud as they like; I will not listen to them.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 9
9:1 Then as I listened he shouted, ‘Come here, you scourges of the city, and bring your weapons of destruction’.
9:2 Immediately six men advanced from the upper north gate, each holding a deadly weapon. In the middle of them was a man in white, with a scribe’s ink horn in his belt. They came in and halted in front of the bronze altar.
9:3 The glory of the God of Israel rose off the cherubs where it had been and went up to the threshold of the Temple. He called the man in white with a scribe’s ink horn in his belt
9:4 and said, ‘Go all through the city, all through Jerusalem, and mark a cross on the foreheads of all who deplore and disapprove of all the filth practised in it’.
9:5 I heard him say to the others, ‘Follow him through the city, and strike. Show neither pity nor mercy;
9:6 old men, young men, virgins, children, women, kill and exterminate them all. But do not touch anyone with a cross on his forehead. Begin at my sanctuary.’ So they began with the old men in front of the Temple.
9:7 He said to them, ‘Defile the Temple; fill the courts with corpses, and go’. They went out and hacked their way through the city.
9:8 While they were hacking them down, I stayed behind; I fell face downwards and exclaimed, ‘Ah, Lord Yahweh, are you going to annihilate all that is left of Israel as you turn your anger on Jerusalem?’
9:9 He said, ‘The guilt of the House of Israel and Judah is immense, boundless; the country is full of bloodshed, the city overflows with wickedness, for they say, “Yahweh has abandoned the country, Yahweh cannot see”.
9:10 Right, then, I too will show no pity, I too will not spare. I mean to call them to account for all their behaviour.’
9:11 The man in white with the scribe’s ink horn in his belt then came back and made his report, ‘I have carried out your orders’.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 10
10:1 I looked, and I saw that above the vault over the cherubs’ heads there was something that looked like a sapphire, and there showed above them the semblance of a throne.
10:2 He then said to the man in white, ‘Go under the chariot, beneath the cherubs; take a handful of burning coal from between the cherubs and scatter it over the city’. He went in as I watched.
10:3 The cherubs were on the right of the Temple as the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court.
10:4 The glory of Yahweh rose off the cherubs and up to the threshold of the Temple; the Temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of Yahweh.
10:5 The noise of the cherubs’ wings could be heard even in the outer court, like the thunder of God Almighty when he speaks.
10:6 When he ordered the man in white to take the fire from under the chariot, between the cherubs, the man went and stopped by the wheel;
10:7 one cherub stretched his hand towards the fire which was between the cherubs, took some and put it into the hands of the man in white, who took it and went off.
10:8 I then saw that the cherubs had what seemed to be a human hand under their wings.
10:9 I looked; there were four wheels at the side of the cherubs, one wheel at the side of each cherub, and the wheels glittered as if made of chrysolite.
10:10 All four looked alike, and seemed to be one inside the other.
10:11 They went forward four ways and kept their course unswervingly, moving the way they faced and never swerving off their course.
10:12 Their bodies, their backs, their hands, their wings, and the wheels – the wheels of all four – were covered in eyes all over.
10:13 I heard that the wheels were called ‘galgal’.
10:14 Each cherub had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, the fourth the face of an eagle.
10:15 The cherubs rose; this was the creature I had seen by the river Chebar.
10:16 As the cherubs went forward, the wheels went forward beside them; and the wheels did not swerve even when the cherubs spread their wings to leave the ground.
10:17 When the former stopped, the latter stopped; when the former rose, the latter rose with them, since the spirit of the creature was in them.
The glory of Yahweh leaves the Temple
10:18 The glory of Yahweh came out from the Temple threshold and paused over the cherubs.
10:19 The cherubs spread their wings and rose from the ground to leave, and as I watched the wheels rose with them. They paused at the entrance to the east gate of the Temple of Yahweh, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them.
10:20 This was the creature that I had seen supporting the God of Israel beside the river Chebar, and I was now certain that these were cherubs.
10:21 Each had four faces and four wings and what seemed to be human hands under their wings.
10:22 Their faces were just as I had seen them beside the river Chebar. Each moved straight forward.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 11
The sins of Jerusalem (continued)
11:1 The spirit lifted me up and carried me to the east gate of the Temple of Yahweh, the gate that looks eastwards. There at the entrance to the gate stood twenty-five men, among whom I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people.
11:2 Yahweh said, ‘Son of man, these are the wicked schemers who are spreading their bad advice through this city.
11:3 They say, “Shall we not soon be building houses? Here is the cooking pot and we are the meat.”[*a]
11:4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, son of man.’
11:5 The spirit of Yahweh fell on me, and he said to me, ‘Say, “Yahweh says this: I know what you are saying, House of Israel, I know how insolent you are.
11:6 You have filled this city with more and more corpses of murdered men, you have strewn its streets with your victims.
11:7 And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: The corpses you have thrown into it are the meat, and the city is the cooking pot; but I mean to drive you out.
11:8 You are afraid of the sword and I will summon it against you – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
11:9 I shall drive you from the city and hand you over to foreigners, and I shall carry out my sentence on you;
11:10 you will fall by the sword on the soil of Israel; I shall execute justice on you; and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
11:11 This city will be no cooking pot for you, and you will never be the meat inside; I am going to execute justice on you on the soil of Israel;
11:12 and so you will learn that I am Yahweh, whose laws you have not obeyed and whose observances you have not kept; instead, you have adopted the manners of the nations round you.”‘
11:13 Now as I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah dropped dead. I prostrated myself and cried aloud, ‘Ah, Lord Yahweh, are you going to wipe out all that is left of Israel?’
The new covenant promised to the exiles
11:14 The word of Yahweh was then addressed to me as follows,
11:15 ‘Son of man, your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole House of Israel, these are told by the citizens of Jerusalem, “You have been sent away from Yahweh; it is to us that the land was given as our domain”.
11:16 Say therefore, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Yes, I have sent them far away among the nations and I have dispersed them to foreign countries; and for a while I have been a sanctuary for them in the country to which they have gone”.
11:17 Then say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I will gather you together from the peoples, I will bring you all back from the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you the land of Israel. They will come and will purge it of all the horrors and the filthy practices
11:18 I will give them a single heart and I will put a new spirit in them;
11:19 I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh instead,
11:20 so that they will keep my laws and respect my observances and put them into practice. Then they shall be my people and I will be their God.
11:21 But those whose hearts are set on their idols and their filthy practices I will call to account for their conduct – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
The glory of Yahweh leaves Jerusalem
11:22 The cherubs then spread their wings and the wheels began to move with them, while the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them.
11:23 And the glory of Yahweh rose to leave the city and paused on the mountain to the east of the city.
11:24 The spirit lifted me up in vision, in the spirit of God, and took me to the Chaldaeans, away to the exiles, and so the vision I had seen faded;
11:25 and then I told the exiles everything that Yahweh had shown me.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 12
The mime of the emigrant
12:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
12:2 ‘Son of man, you are living with that set of rebels who have eyes and never see, ears and never hear, for they are a set of rebels.
12:3 You, son of man, pack an exile’s bundle and emigrate by daylight when they can see you, emigrate from where you are to somewhere else while they watch. Perhaps they will admit then that they are a set of rebels.
12:4 You will pack your baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight, for them to see, and leave like an exile in the evening, making sure that they are looking.
12:5 As they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it.
12:6 As they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the country, since I have made you a symbol for the House of Israel.’
12:7 I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hand. I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack as they watched.
12:8 The next morning the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
12:9 ‘Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that set of rebels, ask you what you were doing?
12:10 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: This oracle is directed against Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel wherever they are living”.
12:11 Say, “I am a symbol for you; the thing I have done will be done to them; they will go into exile, into banishment”.
12:12 Their ruler will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face rather than see the country,[*a]
12:13 I shall throw my net over him and catch him in my mesh; I shall take him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldaeans, though he will not see it; and there he will die.
12:14 And all those who form his court, his guards and all his troops, I shall scatter to all the winds and unsheathe the sword behind them.
12:15 They will learn that I am Yahweh, when I scatter them throughout the nations and disperse them in foreign countries.
12:16 However, I intend to leave some of them unscathed by sword, famine and plague, to describe all their filthy practices to the peoples among whom they will go, so that these too may learn that I am Yahweh.’
12:17 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
12:18 ‘Son of man, you are to tremble as you eat your bread and to behave restlessly and anxiously as you drink your water,
12:19 and you are to say to the people of the country, “The Lord Yahweh says this to the citizens of Jerusalem scattered throughout Israel: They are going to eat their bread in anxiety, and drink their water in fear, until the country and those who live in it are free of the violence of all its inhabitants.
12:20 The inhabited towns are going to be destroyed and the country will be reduced to desert; and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.”‘
12:21 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
12:22 ‘Son of man, what do you mean by this proverb common throughout the land of Israel: Days go by and visions fade?
12:23 ‘Very well, tell them, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I will put an end to this proverb; it shall never be heard in Israel again”. Instead, tell them: “The day is coming when every vision will come true.”
12:24 From now on there will be no empty vision, no deceitful prophecy in the House of Israel,
12:25 since it is I, Yahweh, who will speak. What I say is said and will soon come true; since what I pronounce I will fulfil in your own lifetime, you set of rebels – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.’
12:26 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
12:27 ‘Son of man, the House of Israel is saying, “The vision that this man sees concerns the distant future; he is prophesying for times far ahead”.
12:28 Very well, tell them, “The Lord Yahweh says this: There will be no further delay in the fulfilling of any of my words. What I say is said and will come true – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 13
Against the false prophets
13:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
13:2 ‘Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel; prophesy, and say to those who make up prophecies out of their own heads, “Hear the word of Yahweh.
13:3 The Lord Yahweh says this: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, without seeing anything!
13:4 Like jackals in a ruin, so are your prophets, Israel.
13:5 You have never ventured into the breach; you have never bothered to fortify the House of Israel, to hold fast in battle on the day of Yahweh.
13:6 They have empty visions and give lying prophecies and say: It is Yahweh who speaks, although Yahweh has not sent them; and they are still waiting for their words to come true.
13:7 Can you deny that you have only empty visions, that you utter only lying prophecies when you say: It is Yahweh who speaks, when I myself have not spoken?
13:8 Very well, the Lord Yahweh says this: Because of your empty words and lying visions, I have now set myself against you – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
13:9 I am going to stretch my hand over the prophets who have empty visions and give lying predictions; they will not be admitted to the council of my people, their names will not be entered in the Book of the House of Israel, they will not set foot on the soil of Israel; and you will learn that I am the Lord Yahweh,
13:10 since they have misled my people by saying: Peace! when there is no peace. Instead of my people rebuilding the wall, these men come and slap on plaster.
13:11 Tell these plasterers: It will rain hard, it will hail, it will blow a gale,
13:12 and down will come the wall. Will not people ask: Where is the plaster you slapped on it?
13:13 Well then, the Lord Yahweh says this: I am going to unleash a stormy wind in my anger, torrential rain in my wrath, hailstones in my destructive fury.
13:14 I mean to shatter the wall you slapped with plaster, to throw it down and lay its foundations bare. It will fall and you will perish under it; and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
13:15 When I have exhausted my anger against the wall and those who plastered it, I shall say to you: The wall is gone, and so are those who slapped it over with plaster,
13:16 these prophets of Israel who prophesy about Jerusalem and have visions of peace for her when there is no peace – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”
The false prophetesses
13:17 ‘And you, son of man, turn to the daughters of your people who make up is prophecies out of their own heads; prophesy against them.
13:18 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Trouble is coming to the women who sew frills round wrists,[*a] who make veils for people of all sizes, the better to ensnare lives! You ensnare the lives of the men of my people while looking after your own.
13:19 You dishonour me in front of my people for a few handfuls of barley, a few bits of bread, killing those who ought not to die and sparing those who ought not to live, lying to my people who love to listen to lies.
13:20 Well then, the Lord Yahweh says this. We shall see about these frills you use for snaring lives like birds. I intend to rip them off your arms, and free those lives you try to snare like birds.
13:21 I am going to rip your veils to pieces and rescue my people from you; they will no longer be fair game for you. And so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
13:22 Since you distress with lies the heart of the upright man whom I would never distress, and since you encourage the wicked man not to give up his wicked ways and find life again,
13:23 very well, you will have no more empty visions, and you will not make any more predictions. I mean to rescue my people from you, and then you will learn that I am Yahweh.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 14
14:1 When some elders of Israel had come to my house and sat down with me,
14:2 the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
14:3 ‘Son of man, these people have enshrined their own idols in their hearts, they cling to the cause of their sins; am I going to let myself be consulted by them?
14:4 Well then, speak to them; tell them this, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Every member of the House of Israel who enshrines his own idols in his heart, or who, clinging to the cause of his sins, comes looking for the prophet, will get his answer from me, Yahweh, on account of his hundreds of idols”;
14:5 and in this way I hope to touch the heart of the House of Israel who have deserted me in favour of a pack of idols.
14:6 ‘Say therefore to the House of Israel, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Come back, renounce your idols and give up all your filthy practices;
14:7 for if any member of the House of Israel – or even any foreigner living in Israel – deserts me to enshrine his own idols in his heart, and, clinging to the cause of his sins, then comes looking for the prophet to consult me, he will get his answer from me, Yahweh.
14:8 I will turn against this man; I will make him an example and a byword; I will cut him off from my people; and you will learn that I am Yahweh.
14:9 If the prophet is led astray and speaks, it is I, Yahweh, who have led that prophet astray; I will stretch out my hand against him and will wipe him out from my people Israel.
14:10 They will bear the weight of their faults, and the fault of the prophet will be as grave as the fault of the man who consults him.
14:11 So the House of Israel will not desert me any more; it will not defile itself with any more of these sins. They shall be my people, and I will be their God – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
14:12 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
14:13 ‘Son of man, if a country were to sin against me by faithlessness, and if I were to stretch out my hand against it and destroy its stock of bread and send famine to it to kill its men and beasts,
14:14 and if in that country there were these three men, Noah, Danel and Job,[*a] these men would have their lives spared because of their integrity – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
14:15 Were I to unleash wild animals on that country to rob it of its children and reduce it to such a desert that no one would dare to cross it because of the animals,
14:16 and if these three men were in that country, then, as I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – they would not be able to save either son or daughter; they alone would be saved, and the country would become a desert.
14:17 If I were to bring the sword into that country and say: Let the sword pass through the country; I will strike down men and beasts with it,
14:18 and if these three men were in that country, then, as I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – they would not be able to save either son or daughter; they alone would be saved.
14:19 If I were to send the plague into that country and satisfy my anger with them by bloodshed, cutting off men and beasts,
14:20 if Noah and Danel and Job were in the country, as I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – they would not be able to save either son or daughter, though they would save their own lives because of their integrity.
14:21 ‘The Lord Yahweh says this: Now, if I do send my four dreadful scourges against Jerusalem – sword, famine, wild animals and plague – to cut off its men and beasts,
14:22 and if any survivors are left there to contrive the escape of son and daughter, they will come for you to see their conduct and actions and so be comforted in spite of the scourges I shall have brought on Jerusalem, in spite of everything I shall have brought on her.
14:23 They will comfort you, when you see their conduct and actions, and so you will learn that I have not done all I have done against her for nothing – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 15
A parable of the vine
15:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows:
15:2 ‘Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than wood from the branch of a forest tree?
15:3 Do people use its wood to carve it into something? Do they make a peg out of it, and hang things on it?
15:4 There it is, thrown on the fire for fuel. The fire burns off both ends; the middle is charred; is it fit for carving now?
15:5 While it was intact, it was impossible to carve; burned and charred, will it be now fit for carving?
15:6 Therefore, the Lord Yahweh says this: As the wood of the vine among the forest trees, which I have thrown on the fire for fuel, so have I treated the citizens of Jerusalem.
15:7 I have turned my face against them. They have escaped the fire, but the fire will devour them yet. And you will learn that I am Yahweh, when I turn my face against them.
15:8 I mean to reduce the country to desert, to punish their faithlessness to me – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 16
An allegorical history of Israel
16:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
16:2 ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her filthy crimes.
16:3 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
16:4 At birth, the very day you were born, there was no one to cut your navel-string, or wash you in cleansing water, or rub you with salt, or wrap you in napkins.
16:5 No one leaned kindly over you to do anything like that for you. You were exposed in the open fields; you were as unloved as that on the day you were born.
16:6 I saw you struggling in your blood as I was passing, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live,
16:7 and grow like the grass of the fields. You developed, you grew, you reached marriageable age. Your breasts and your hair both grew, but you were quite naked.
16:8 Then I saw you as I was passing. Your time had come, the time for love. I spread part of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I bound myself by oath, I made a covenant with you – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – and you became mine.
16:9 I bathed you in water, I washed the blood off you, I anointed you with oil.
16:10 I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk.
16:11 I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat.
16:12 I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head.
16:13 You were loaded with gold and silver, and dressed in fine linen and embroidered silks. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful; and you rose to be queen.
16:14 The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
16:15 You have become infatuated with your own beauty; you have used your fame to make yourself a prostitute; you have offered your services to all comers…
16:16 You have taken your clothes to brighten your high places and there you have played the whore…
16:17 You have taken my presents of gold and silver jewellery and made yourself human images to use in your whorings.
16:18 You have taken your embroidered clothes and put them on the images, and the oil and incense which are rightly mine you have offered to them.
16:19 The bread I gave you, the finest flour, oil and honey with which I used to feed you, you have now offered to them as an appeasing fragrance.
16:20 You have even – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – taken the sons and daughters you bore me and sacrificed them as food to the images. Was it not enough for you just to be a whore?
16:21 You have slaughtered my children and handed them over as a burnt offering to them,
16:22 and in all your filthy practices and your whorings you have never remembered your youth or the time when you were quite naked and struggling in your own blood.
16:23 To crown your wickedness – trouble for you, it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks –
16:24 you have built yourself a mound and made a high place at every cross-roads.
16:25 At the beginning of every road you have built a high place to defile your beauty there and to give your body to every comer; you have piled whoring on whoring.
16:26 You have lain down for those big-membered neighbours, the Egyptians; you have piled whoring on whoring to provoke me,
16:27 and now I have raised my hand against you. I have rationed your food, I have handed you over to the mercy of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who are sick of your filthy ways.
16:28 Still unsatisfied, you have prostituted yourself to the Assyrians; you have played the whore and not been satisfied even then.[*a]
16:29 You have piled whoring on whoring with Canaanite and Chaldaean, and even then not been satisfied.
16:30 How easily led you were – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – to behave no better than a bold-faced whore!
16:31 When you built yourself a mound at the beginning of every road and made a high place at every crossroads, you were not, like the whore, out for money:
16:32 an adulteress welcomes strangers instead of her husband;
16:33 a prostitute is paid. But you, in your whoring, have given your presents away to all your lovers; you have offered them gifts to attract them from everywhere.
16:34 In your whoring you have done the exact opposite from other women; no one was running after you, so you went and paid them; they did not pay you since your behaviour was so outrageous.
16:35 Well then, whore, hear the word of Yahweh.
16:36 The Lord Yahweh says this: For having undressed and let yourself be seen naked while whoring with your lovers and with your filthy idols, and for giving them your children’s blood –
16:37 for all this, I am going to band together all the lovers who have pleasured you, both those you liked and those you disliked, I am going to band them together against you from all around; I will strip you in front of them, and let them see you naked.
16:38 And I mean to punish you like women who commit adultery and murder;
16:39 I intend to hand you over to fury and jealousy; I will hand you over to them; they will level your mound and demolish your high places; they will tear your clothes off, take your jewels and leave you completely naked.
16:40 They will then whip up the crowd against you; you will be stoned and run through with a sword;
16:41 they will set your houses on fire and execute justice on you with crowds of women looking on; I will put an end to your whoring: no more paid lovers for you.
16:42 I will exhaust my fury against you. My jealousy will then leave you; I shall be appeased and my anger will stop.
16:43 Since you have never remembered your youth, since in all this you have done nothing but provoke me, I in my turn intend to bring your conduct down on your own head – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks. Have you not been disgusting with all your filthy practices?
16:44 Now all the proverb-makers will make up a proverb about you: Like mother, like daughter.
16:45 Yes; you are a true daughter of your mother, who hated her husband and her children; a true sister of your sisters, who hated their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
16:46 Your elder sister is Samaria, who lives on your left with her daughters. Your younger sister is Sodom, who lives on your right with her daughters.
16:47 You have not failed to copy their behaviour; throughout your career you have shown yourself more corrupt than they were.
16:48 As I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – your sister Sodom and her daughters have not been as bad as you and your daughters.
16:49 The crime of your sister Sodom was pride, gluttony, arrogance, complacency; such were the sins of Sodom and her daughters. They never helped the poor and needy;
16:50 they were proud and engaged in filthy practices in front of me; that is why I have swept them away as you have seen.
16:51 And yet Samaria never committed half the crimes that you have. You have done far filthier things than they did. By your filthy practices you have made your sisters seem almost innocent,
16:52 and now you have to bear the shame for all those faults of which you have cleared your sisters; since the grossness of the sins for which you bear the guilt is more horrible than theirs, they now appear more virtuous than you are. Be ashamed, then; bear the shame of having put your sisters in the right.
16:53 I will restore them. I will restore Sodom and her daughters. I will restore Samaria and her daughters; and, after that, I will restore you along with them,
16:54 that you may bear your shame and be ashamed of all you have done, and console them.
16:55 Your sister Sodom and her daughters will be restored to what they were. Samaria and her daughters will be restored to what they were. You and your daughters will be restored to what you were.
16:56 Did you not gloat over your sister Sodom when you were still in your finery,
16:57 before you were stripped naked? Now the daughters of Edom and all the women around are jeering at you, and the daughters of the Philistines are treating you like something beneath them, and so are all your neighbours.
16:58 You have brought it on yourself by your brazenness and filth – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
16:59 For the Lord Yahweh says this: I will treat you as you deserve, you who have despised your oath even to the extent of breaking a covenant,
16:60 but I will remember the covenant that I made with you when you were a girl, and I will conclude a covenant with you that shall last for ever.
16:61 And you for your part will remember your past behaviour and be covered with shame when I take your elder and younger sisters and make them your daughters, although this was not included in this covenant.
16:62 I am going to renew my covenant with you; and you will learn that I am Yahweh,
16:63 and so remember and be covered with shame, and in your confusion be reduced to silence, when I have pardoned you for all that you have done – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 17
The allegory of the eagle
17:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
17:2 ‘Son of man, ask them a riddle; propound a parable to the House of Israel.
17:3 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: A large eagle,[*a] with huge wings and a wide span, covered with speckled feathers, came to Lebanon. He took hold of the top of the cedar,
17:4 plucked off the top branch, carried it off to the land of merchants, and set it down in a city of shopkeepers.
17:5 Then he carried off a seedling vine, and planted it in fertile soil; by the side of a wide stream, as a border he set it.
17:6 The seedling grew, and turned into a vine, not tall but well spread out; its branches grew up towards the eagle, its roots grew down. It turned into a vine; it sent out stems and put out sprays.
17:7 There was another large eagle, with huge wings and thickly feathered. And now the vine twisted its roots toward him, stretched its branches towards him away from the bed where it was planted for him to water them.
17:8 It was in a fertile field, by the side of a wide stream, that the vine had been planted, to grow shoots, bear fruit and become a noble vine.”
17:9 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Will this vine thrive? Will not the eagle break its roots, and snap up the fruit, so that all the new leaves will wither when they shoot? It will take no effort and no strong nation to pull it up by the roots.
17:10 It is planted there; will it thrive? Will it not shrivel when the east wind blows? It will wither on the soil where it was growing.”‘
17:11 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows:
17:12 ‘Say to that set of rebels, “Do you not know what this means?” Say this, “Listen; the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem; he carried away the king and the princes, and took them to where he lives in Babylon.
17:13 He took a member of the royal family and made a treaty with him, forcing him to swear loyalty, after having already deported the chief men of the land,
17:14 so that the kingdom would remain modest and without ambition and so maintain his treaty faithfully.
17:15 But the prince rebelled and sent envoys to Egypt, asking for horses and a large number of troops. Is he going to thrive? Will a man who has done this go unpunished? Can he break a treaty and go unpunished?
17:16 As I live, I swear – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks: In Babylon, in the country of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he has ignored, whose treaty he has broken, there will he die.
17:17 Despite the pharaoh’s great army and hordes of men, he will not be able to save him by fighting, however many earthworks are raised, however many trenches dug to the loss of many lives.
17:18 He has ignored the oath and broken the treaty by which he was bound. He has done all this and shall not go unpunished.
17:19 “And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: As I live, I swear: my oath which he has ignored, my treaty which he has broken, I will make them both recoil on his own head.
17:20 I mean to throw my net over him and catch him in my mesh; I mean to take him to Babylon and punish him there for breaking his oath to me.
17:21 The pick of his army will fall by the sword, and the survivors be scattered to all the winds. And so you will learn that I, Yahweh, have spoken.
17:22 The Lord Yahweh says this: From the top of the cedar, from the highest branch I will take a shoot and plant it myself on a very high mountain.
17:23 I will plant it on the high mountain of Israel. It will sprout branches and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Every kind of bird will live beneath it, every winged creature rest in the shade of its branches.
17:24 And every tree of the field will learn that I, Yahweh, am the one who stunts tall trees and makes the low ones grow, who withers green trees and makes the withered green. I, Yahweh, have spoken, and I will do it.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 18
18:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
18:2 ‘Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: The fathers have eaten unripe grapes; and the children’s teeth are set on edge?
18:3 ‘As I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – there will no longer be any reason to repeat this proverb in Israel.
18:4 See now: all life belongs to me; the father’s life and the son’s life, both alike belong to me. The man who has sinned, he is the one who shall die.
18:5 ‘The upright man is law-abiding and honest;
18:6 he does not eat on the mountains[*a] or raise his eyes to the idols of the House of Israel, does not seduce his neighbour’s wife or sleep with a woman during her periods.
18:7 He oppresses no one, returns pledges, never steals, gives his own bread to the hungry, his clothes to the naked.
18:8 He never charges usury on loans, takes no interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgement between man and man,
18:9 keeps my laws and sincerely respects my observances – such a man is truly upright. It is Yahweh who speaks.
18:10 ‘But if anyone has a son prone to violence and bloodshed, who commits one of these misdeeds –
18:11 even though the father never has – a son who dares to eat on the mountains and to seduce his neighbour’s wife,
18:12 who oppresses the poor and needy, steals, fails to return pledges, raises his eyes to idols, engages in filthy practices,
18:13 charges usury on loans and takes interest, then this son shall certainly not live; having committed all these appalling crimes he will have to die, and his blood be on his own head.
18:14 But if he in turn has a son who, in spite of seeing all the sins that his father has committed, does not imitate him,
18:15 does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the idols of the House of Israel, does not seduce his neighbour’s wife,
18:16 oppresses no one, takes no pledges, never steals, gives his own bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked,
18:17 abstains from evil, does not charge usury or take interest, respects my observances and keeps my laws, he will not die is for his father’s sins, this son shall certainly live.
18:18 Because the father was violent, robbed others and never did good among my people, be sure he shall die for his sins.
18:19 But you object, “Why does the son not suffer for the sins of his father?” The son, however, has been law-abiding and honest, has kept all my laws and followed them, and so he shall certainly live.
18:20 The man who has sinned is the one who must die; a son is not to suffer for the sins of his father, nor a father for the sins of his son. To the upright man his integrity will be credited, to the wicked his wickedness.
18:21 ‘But if the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die.
18:22 All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised.
18:23 What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
18:24 ‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die.
18:25 But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust”. Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust?
18:26 When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed.
18:27 When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live.
18:28 He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.
18:29 And yet the House of Israel objects, “What the Lord does is unjust”. Is what I do unjust, you House of Israel? Is it not what you do that is unjust?
18:30 House of Israel, in future I mean to judge each of you by what he does – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks. Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin!
18:31 Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel?
18:32 I take no pleasure in the death of anyone – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks. Repent and live!
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 19
A lamentation over the rulers of Israel
19:1 ‘As for you, raise a dirge for the princes of Israel.
19:2 Say: “What was your mother? A lioness surrounded by lions; lying among the cubs she nursed her whelps.
19:3 She reared one of her whelps and it grew into a young lion; he learnt to tear his prey; he became a man-eater.
19:4 The nations combined against him; he was caught in their pit; they dragged him off with hooks to the land of Egypt.[*a]
19:5 Her expectation thwarted, her hope dashed, she took another of her whelps and made a young lion of him.
19:6 He grew to prowl with other lions, and grew into a young lion; he learned to tear his prey; he became a man-eater.
19:7 He stormed their palaces, and sacked their cities; the country and its inhabitants were alarmed by the sound of his roars.
19:8 The nations marched out against him from the surrounding provinces; they spread their net for him; he was caught in their pit.
19:9 They caged him with hooks (they took him to the king of Babylon); they took him into a fortress, so that his voice could never again be heard on the mountains of Israel.[*b]
19:10 “Your mother was like a vine planted beside the water, fruitful and leafy, because the water flowed so full.
19:11 It put out strong branches that turned to royal sceptres; they reached up, reached so high they touched the clouds; men admired them for their height and their thick foliage.
19:12 But it was rooted up and thrown on the ground; the east wind dried up its fruit; it was broken up; its strong branch withered away; fire consumed it all.
19:13 Now it has been transplanted into the desert, the waterless country of drought;
19:14 fire has come out of its stem, consumed its branches and fruit. No more strong branch for her, no more kingly sceptre.” This is a dirge; it was used as such.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 20
An account of Israel’s infidelities
20:1 In the seventh year, on the tenth day of the fifth month,[*a] some of the elders of Israel came to consult Yahweh and sat down in front of me.
20:2 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
20:3 ‘Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel. Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Have you come to consult me?” As I live, I am not going to let myself be consulted by them – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
20:4 Are you ready to judge them? Are you ready to judge them, son of man? Confront them with the filthy practices of their fathers.
20:5 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: On the day when I chose Israel, when I raised my hand over the descendants of the House of Jacob, I told them then in the land of Egypt; I raised my hand over them and said: I am Yahweh your God.
20:6 On that day I raised my hand over them and swore to lead them out of the land of Egypt and bring them into the land I had chosen for them, a land where milk and honey flow, and the noblest of them all.
20:7 I said: Each one of you must reject those horrors that attract you; do not pollute yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Yahweh, your God.
20:8 But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me. Not one of them rejected those horrors that attracted them; they did not give up the idols of Egypt. I resolved to discharge my anger on them and exhaust my fury against them in Egypt.
20:9 But respect for my own name kept me from allowing it to be profaned in the opinion of the nations among whom they were living, for I had given them my word that in the sight of those nations I would lead my people out of the land of Egypt.
20:10 So I led them out of Egypt and into the wilderness.
20:11 I gave them my laws and taught them my observances, which must be practised by all who want to live.
20:12 I even gave them my sabbaths to be a sign between me and them, so that they might learn that I, Yahweh, am the one who sanctifies them.
20:13 The House of Israel, however, rebelled against me in the wilderness; they refused to keep my laws, they scorned my observances, which must be practised by all who wish to live, and they profaned my sabbaths. Then I resolved to discharge my anger on them in the wilderness and to destroy them.
20:14 But respect for my own name kept me from allowing it to be profaned in the opinion of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.
20:15 However, I did raise my hand over them in the wilderness and swear that I would not lead them to the land which I had given them, a land where milk and honey flow, the noblest of them all,
20:16 since they had scorned my observances, had refused to keep my laws and had profaned my sabbaths, their hearts being so attached to idols.
20:17 In spite of this, I took pity on them; I refrained from destroying them, and I did not kill them all in the wilderness.
20:18 I said to their children in the wilderness: Do not live by your ancestors’ standards, do not practise the observances they practised, do not defile yourselves with their idols.
20:19 I am Yahweh your God. Keep my laws, respect my observances and practise them.
20:20 Keep my sabbaths holy; let them be a sign between me and you, so that men may learn that I am Yahweh your God.
20:21 The sons, however, rebelled against me; they refused to keep my laws, they did not respect or practise my observances, which must be practised by all who want to live; they profaned my sabbaths. I then resolved to discharge my anger on them and exhaust my fury against them in the wilderness.
20:22 But I restrained my hand; respect for my own name kept me from allowing it to be profaned in the opinion of the nations, under whose eyes I had brought them out.
20:23 Once again, however, I raised my hand over them in the wilderness, swearing to scatter them throughout the nations and disperse them in foreign countries,
20:24 because they had not followed my observances but had rejected my laws and profaned my sabbaths, and because they had kept their eyes fastened on their ancestors’ idols.
20:25 I even gave them laws that were not good and observances by which they could never live;
20:26 and I polluted them with their own offerings, making them sacrifice all their first-born; which was to punish them, so that they would learn that I am Yahweh.”
20:27 ‘For this reason, son of man, speak to the House of Israel. Say to them, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Here is another way by which your ancestors outraged me, behaving treacherously to me,
20:28 even though I led them into the land which I had solemnly sworn to give them. There they saw all sorts of high hills, all kinds of leafy trees, and there they performed their sacrifices and made offerings that provoked my anger; there they laid their appeasing fragrance and poured their libations.
20:29 I said to them: What is the name of the high place where you go? And they gave, and still give it, the name of Bamah.”[*b]
20:30 Very well, say to the House of Israel, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Since you insist on defiling yourselves by behaving like your fathers, by whoring with their idols,
20:31 by offering your gifts and by burning your children as sacrifices, polluting yourselves with your pack of idols to this very day, how can I let you consult me, House of Israel? As I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – I am not going to let myself be consulted by you.
20:32 And that dream ever haunting your mind will never come true, when you say: We shall be like the nations, like foreign tribes worshipping wood and stone.
20:33 As I live I swear it – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – I am the one who will reign over you, with a strong hand and outstretched arm, through the discharge of my anger.
20:34 With a strong hand and outstretched arm, through the discharge of my anger, I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you together from foreign countries among which you have been scattered.
20:35 I will lead you into the Desert of the Nations[*c] and condemn you to your face.
20:36 As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so will I judge you – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
20:37 I mean to make you pass under my crook[*d] and I will bring a few of you back;
20:38 I will sort out the rebels who have rebelled against me. I intend to bring them out of the country where they are staying, but they shall not enter the land of Israel, and you will learn that I am Yahweh.
20:39 House of Israel, the Lord Yahweh says this: Go on, all of you, worship your idols, but I swear that you will hear me irk the end. You will stop profaning my Holy Name with your offerings and your idols.
20:40 For on my holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – it is where the whole House of Israel, resettled in the country, will worship me. There I will welcome you, and there expect your presents, your choicest gifts and all your holy offerings.
20:41 will welcome you like an appeasing fragrance when I bring you out from among the peoples; I mean to gather you together from the foreign countries in which you have been scattered; through you I intend to display my holiness for all the nations to see;
20:42 and you will learn that I am Yahweh, when I bring you back to the soil of Israel, to the land I solemnly swore to give to your fathers.
20:43 There you will remember your past behaviour and all the misdeeds by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the sins that you have committed.
20:44 Then you will learn that I am Yahweh, when I treat you as respect for my own name requires, and not as your wicked behaviour and corrupt actions deserve, House of Israel. It is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 21
The sword of Yahweh
21:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
21:2 ‘Son of man, turn to the right; utter your word towards the south, prophesy against the forest land of the Negeb.
21:3 Say to the forest of the Negeb, “Hear the word of Yahweh. The Lord Yahweh says this: Listen; I am about to kindle a fire in you that will burn up every green tree as well as every dry one; it will be an unquenchable blaze and every face will be scorched by it from the Negeb to the North.
21:4 All mankind will see that it was I, Yahweh, who kindled it, and it will not be put out.”‘
21:5 I said, ‘Lord Yahweh, they say of me, “What a storyteller this man is!”‘
21:6 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
21:7 ‘Son of man, turn towards Jerusalem, curse their sanctuary and prophesy against the land of Israel.
21:8 Say to the land of Israel, “Yahweh says this: Now I set myself against you; I am about to unsheathe my sword and to kill both upright man and sinner.
21:9 My sword will leave its sheath to kill upright and sinful alike and turn against all mankind from the Negeb to the North.
21:10 All mankind is going to learn that I, Yahweh, am the one who has drawn the sword from its sheath; it will not go back again.”
21:11 ‘Son of man, groan as though your heart were breaking. Bitterly utter your groans where they can see you.
21:12 And if they say, “Why these groans?” reply, “The news has made all hearts sink, has numbed hands, troubled spirits, caused knees to tremble. Now it has come, it is here; it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
21:13 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
21:14 ‘Son of man, prophesy. Say, “The Lord says this”. Say: “The sword, the sword sharpened and polished!
21:15 Sharpened for slaughter, polished to flash like lightning…
21:16 polished only to be wielded, sharpened and polished to fit the slaughterer’s hand!
21:17 Yes, shout and howl, son of man; it is meant for my people, for all the princes of Israel, doomed like my people to the sword. So beat your breast;
21:18 this is no first attempt, and what would happen, were there no haughty sceptre? – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
21:19 Son of man, prophesy and clap your hands. Let the sword be twice, three times, as cruel, the butcher’s sword, the great sword of slaughter, menacing all around.
21:20 To make hearts sink and to increase the number of victims I have posted a sword at every gate to flash like lightning, polished for havoc.
21:21 Behind! To the right! To the left! In front!
21:22 And I too will clap my hands; I will exhaust my wrath. I, Yahweh, have spoken.”‘
The king of Babylon at the crossroads
21:23 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
21:24 ‘Son of man, mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to come along, making both of them begin from the same country. Put up a signpost where they begin, showing the way to a city,
21:25 showing the sword the way to Rabbah of the Ammonites, and the way to Judah, to the fortress of Jerusalem.
21:26 For the king of Babylon has halted at the fork where these two roads diverge, to take the omens. He has shaken the arrows, questioned the teraphim, inspected the liver.
21:27 Into his right hand the lot for Jerusalem falls; there he must set up battering-rams, give the word for slaughter, raise the war cry, level battering-rams against the gates, cast up earthworks, build entrenchments.
21:28 The citizens believe that these omens are idle, whatever oaths have been sworn. But he is evidence of their crimes, and these will bring about their capture.
21:29 And so, thus says the Lord Yahweh. Since you give evidence of your crimes by parading your sins and flaunting your wickedness in everything you do, and since this evidence now produced against you, you will be punished.
21:30 As for you, prince of Israel, vile criminal on the last of whose crimes the day is about to dawn,
21:31 the Lord Yahweh says this: They will take away your turban and remove your crown; everything will be changed; the low will be high and the high brought low.
21:32 To ruin, and to ruin on ruin, am I going to bring it, to such ruin as was never known before this man came who is appointed to inflict the punishment which I am determined to impose on it.
The punishment of Ammon
21:33 ‘Son of man, prophesy and say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: To the Ammonites with their insults, say: The sword, the sword is drawn for slaughter, polished to destroy, to flash like lightning –
21:34 while you have empty visions and consult lying omens – to slaughter the vile criminals on the last of whose crimes the day is about to dawn.
21:35 Put it back in the scabbard. In the place where you were created, in the country where you were born, there I will judge you;
21:36 I am going to discharge my anger on you, blow the flames of my fury against you and hand you over to barbarous men whose trade is destruction.
21:37 You will be fuel to the fire, your blood will flow through the country, you will leave no memory behind you; for I, Yahweh, have spoken.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 22
The crimes of Jerusalem
22:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
22:2 ‘Son of man, are you prepared to judge? Are you prepared to judge the murderous city? Confront her with all her filthy crimes!
22:3 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: City shedding blood inside yourself to bring your hour closer, setting up idols on your soil to defile yourself,
22:4 you have incurred guilt by the blood you have shed, you have defiled yourself with the idols you have made, you have brought your hour closer, you have come to the end of your time. And so I have made you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughing-stock to every country.
22:5 Near and far, they will scoff at you, the turbulent city with a tarnished name
22:6 where all the princes of Israel live, each one busy shedding blood, and a law to himself;
22:7 where people despise their fathers and mothers; where they ill-treat the settler; where they oppress the widow and the orphan;
22:8 where you have no reverence for my sanctuaries and profane my sabbaths;
22:9 where informers incite to bloodshed; where there are people who eat on the mountains and couple promiscuously;
22:10 where men uncover their father’s nakedness; where they force women in their unclean condition;
22:11 where one man engages in filthy practices with his neighbour’s wife, another defiles himself with his daughter-in-law, another violates his sister, his own father’s daughter;
22:12 where people take bribes for shedding blood; you charge usury and interest, you rob your neighbour by extortion, you forget all about me – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
22:13 Now I will clap my hands at your acts of banditry and the blood that flows in you.
22:14 Will your heart be able to resist, will your hands be strong on the day I call you to account? I, Yahweh, have spoken, and I will do it.
22:15 I mean to disperse you throughout the nations, to scatter you in foreign countries, and to take your foulness from you.
22:16 I shall be dishonoured by you in the opinion of the nations; and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.”‘
22:17 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
22:18 ‘Son of man, the House of Israel, as I see it, is base metal; they are all copper, tin, iron, lead, in the melting-pot; they are base metal.
22:19 And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since you are all base metal, I will collect you inside Jerusalem.
22:20 As silver, copper, iron, lead and tin are thrown into the melting-pot together, and the fire is stoked underneath to melt it all down, so I will collect you in my furious anger and melt you down;
22:21 I will collect you and stoke the fire of my fury for you, and melt you down inside the city.
22:22 As silver is melted in the melting-pot, so you will be melted down inside the city; and thus you will learn that I, Yahweh, am the one who has discharged my anger on you.’
22:23 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
22:24 ‘Son of man, say to her, “You are a land that has not received rain or shower on the day of anger,
22:25 and whose princes are like a roaring lion tearing its prey inside her. They have eaten the people, seized wealth and jewels and widowed many inside her.
22:26 Her priests have violated my Law and desecrated my sanctuaries; they have drawn no distinction between sacred and profane, they have not taught people the difference between clean and unclean; they have turned their eyes away from my sabbaths and I have been dishonoured by them.
22:27 Her leaders in the city are like wolves tearing their prey, shedding blood and killing people to steal their possessions.
22:28 Her prophets have whitewashed these crimes with their empty visions and lying prophecies. They have said: Yahweh says this; although Yahweh has not spoken.
22:29 The people of the country have taken to extortion and banditry; they have oppressed the poor and needy and ill-treated the settler for no reason.
22:30 I have been looking for someone among them to build a wall and man the breach in front of me, to defend the country and prevent me from destroying it; but I have not found anyone.
22:31 Hence I have discharged my anger on them; I have destroyed them in the fire of my fury. I have made their conduct recoil on their own heads – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 23
An allegorical history of Jerusalem and Samaria
23:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
23:2 ‘Son of man, there were once two women, daughters of the same mother.
23:3 They became prostitutes in Egypt, when they were girls. There their nipples were handled, there their virgin breasts were first fondled.
23:4 Their names were: Oholah the elder, Oholibah her sister. They belonged to me and bore sons and daughters. As regards their names, Samaria is Oholah, Jerusalem Oholibah.
23:5 Now Oholah played the whore, although she belonged to me; she lusted for her lovers, her neighbours the Assyrians,
23:6 dressed in purple, governors and nobles, all of them young and desirable, and skilful horsemen.
23:7 She granted them her favours – they were all the flower of the Assyrians – and she defiled herself with all the idols of all those she lusted for.
23:8 She did not renounce the whoring begun in Egypt, where men had slept with her from her girlhood, fondling her virgin breast, debauching her.
23:9 ‘And that is why I have handed her over to her lovers, to those Assyrians for whom she lusted.
23:10 They uncovered her nakedness, they seized her sons and daughters and put her to the sword. She became notorious among women for the justice done on her.
23:11 ‘Though her sister Oholibah saw all this, her own lust and whorings were even more shameful than her sister’s.
23:12 She lusted for her neighbours the Assyrians, governor and nobles, dressed in sumptuous clothes, skilful horsemen, all young and desirable.
23:13 I saw that she was unchaste, that both sisters were as bad as each other.
23:14 She began whoring worse than ever; no sooner had she seen wall carvings of men, paintings of Chaldaeans coloured vermilion,
23:15 men with sashes round their waists and elaborate turbans on their heads, all so imperious of bearing, portraits of Babylonians from Chaldaea,
23:16 than she fell in love with them at first sight and sent messengers to them in Chaldaea.
23:17 The Babylonians came to her, shared her love-bed and defiled her with their debauchery. Once defiled she lost interest in them.
23:18 She flaunted her whoring, she stripped naked; then I turned away from her as I had turned away from her sister.
23:19 She began whoring worse than ever, remembering her girlhood, when she had played the whore in the land of Egypt,
23:20 when she had been infatuated by profligates big-membered as donkeys, ejaculating as violently as stallions.
23:21 ‘You were hankering for the debauchery of your girlhood, when they used to handle your nipples in Egypt and fondle your young breasts.
23:22 And so, Oholibah, the Lord Yahweh says this: I intend to call up against you those of your lovers in whom you have lost interest; I will bring them against you from everywhere,
23:23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldaeans, the men of Pekod and Shoa and Koa,[*a] and all the Assyrians with them, young and desirable, all governors and nobles, all famous officers and horsemen.
23:24 They will advance on you from the North, with chariots and wagons, at the head of a horde of peoples. From every side they will arm against you with shield, buckler and helmet. I have told them to pass sentence on you; they will pass sentence on you as they think fit.
23:25 I shall direct my jealousy against you; they will treat you with fury; they will cut off your nose and ears, and what is left of your family will fall by the sword; they will seize your sons and daughters, and what is left of you will be burnt.
23:26 They will strip off your garments and rob you of your jewels.
23:27 I mean to put an end to your debauchery and to the whorings you began in Egypt; you will not look to the Egyptians any more, you will never think of them again.
23:28 For the Lord Yahweh says this: I now hand you over to those you hate, to those in whom you have lost interest.
23:29 They will treat you with hatred, they will rob you of the fruit of your labours and leave you completely naked. And thus your shameful whoring will be exposed. Your debauchery and your whorings
23:30 are the cause of these afflictions, since by playing the whore with the nations you have defiled yourself with their idols.
23:31 As you have copied your sister’s behaviour, I will put her cup in your hand.
23:32 The Lord Yahweh says this: You will drink your sister’s cup, a cup that is wide and deep, leading to laughter and mockery, so ample the draught it holds.
23:33 You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow. Cup of affliction and devastation, the cup of your sister Samaria,
23:34 you will drink it, you will drain it; then it will be shattered to pieces and lacerate your breast. I have spoken – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
23:35 ‘And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since you have forgotten me and have turned your back on me, you too will have to bear the weight of your debauchery and whorings.’
23:36 And Yahweh said to me, ‘Son of man, are you willing to judge Oholah and Oholibah and charge them with their filthy crimes?
23:37 They have been adulteresses, their hands are dripping with blood, they have committed adultery with their idols. As for the children they had borne me, they have made them pass through the fire to be consumed.
23:38 And here is something else they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary the same day and have profaned my sabbaths.
23:39 The same day as sacrificing their children to their idols, they have been to my sanctuary and profaned it. Yes, this is what they have done in my own house.
23:40 ‘Worse still, these men summoned from distant countries, invited by messenger, arrived; you bathed and painted your eyes, put on your jewels
23:41 and sat on a sumptuous bed, by which stood a table on which you had put my incense and my oil.
23:42 The revelry of a carefree company re-echoed because of the crowd of men brought in from the desert; they put bracelets on the women’s arms and magnificent crowns on their heads.
23:43 I thought: The prostitutes are at work in the house of a woman worn out with adulteries. And she is still playing the whore too,
23:44 and men keep visiting her just like a prostitute, just as they went to those profligate women Oholah and Oholibah.
23:45 But upright men will judge them as adulteresses and murderesses are judged, since they are adulteresses and their hands are dripping with blood.
23:46 ‘The Lord Yahweh says this: Summon an assembly to deal with them, and hand them over to terror and pillage;
23:47 let the assembly stone them and hack them to death with the sword; let their sons and daughters be slaughtered and their houses be set on fire.
23:48 I mean to purge the land of debauchery; all the women will thus be warned, and ape your debauchery no more.
23:49 Your debauchery will recoil on your own heads, and you will bear the weight of your idolatrous sins; and so you will learn that I am the Lord Yahweh.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 24
A prophecy of the siege of Jerusalem
24:1 In the ninth year, on the tenth day of the tenth month,[*a] the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
24:2 “Son of man, write down today’s date, since this is the very day the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem.
24:3 So pronounce a parable for this set of rebels. Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Put the pot on the fire; put it on; pour water into it.
24:4 Put cuts of meat in too, the best cuts, leg and shoulder. Fill it with the best bones.
24:5 Take the best of the flock. Then heap wood underneath; make the pot boil and bubble until even the bones are cooked.
24:6 For the Lord Yahweh says this: Trouble for the bloodstained city, that rusty cooking-pot whose rust can never be scoured away! Empty it scrap by scrap, drawing no lots.
24:7 For her blood is in her; she has put it on the naked rock; she has not shed it on the ground to hide it in dust.
24:8 To make my anger overflow, to take revenge, I have put her blood on the naked rock, unhidden.
24:9 So, the Lord Yahweh says this: Trouble for the bloodstained city! I too plan to build a great fire.
24:10 Heap on the wood, light it, cook the meat, prepare the spices, let the bones burn.
24:11 Set the pot empty to heat on the coals; let the bronze glow red-hot, the filth inside melt away, the rust inside be consumed.
24:12 But all that rust will not disappear in the flames.
24:13 I have tried to purge you of the filth of your debauchery, but you would not let yourself be purged of your filth. So now you will not be purged until my anger has been exhausted against you.
24:14 I, Yahweh, have spoken; my word will come true; I shall act and not relent; I shall show no pity, no compassion. I intend to judge you as your conduct and actions deserve – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
The personal ordeals of the prophet
24:15 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
24:16 ‘Son of man, I am about to deprive you suddenly of the delight of your eyes. But you are not to lament, not to weep, not to let your tears run down.
24:17 Groan in silence, do not go into mourning for the dead, knot your turban round your head, put your sandals on your feet, do not cover your beard, do not eat common bread.’
24:18 I told this to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening, and the next morning I did as I had been ordered.
24:19 The people then said to me, ‘Are you not going to explain what meaning these actions have for us?’
24:20 I replied, ‘The word of Yahweh has been addressed to me as follows,
24:21 “Say to the House of Israel: The Lord Yahweh says this. I am about to profane my sanctuary, the pride of your strength, the delight of your eyes, the passion of your souls. Those of your sons and daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword.
24:22 And you are to do as I have done; you must not cover your beards or eat common bread;
24:23 ‘you must keep your turbans on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you must not lament or weep. You shall waste away owing to your sins and groan among yourselves.
24:24 Ezekiel is to be a sign for you. You are to do just as he has done. And when this happens, you will learn that I am Yahweh.”
24:25 ‘And, son of man, on the very day I deprive them of their sons and daughters who are their strength, their pride and glory, the delight of their eyes, the joy of their hearts,
24:26 on that very day a fugitive will come and bring you news of this.
24:27 On that day your mouth will be opened to speak to the fugitive; you will speak and not be dumb any more; you are to be a sign for them, and they will learn that I am Yahweh.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 25
- ORACLES AGAINST THE NATIONS
Against the Ammonites
25:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
25:2 Son of man, turn towards the Ammonites and prophesy against them.
25:3 Say to the Ammonites, “Hear the word of the Lord Yahweh. The Lord Yahweh says this: You cried: Aha! over my sanctuary when it was profaned, and over the land of Israel when it was ravaged, and over the House of Judah when it went into exile,
25:4 and because of that I am going to hand you over to the sons of the East[*a]; they will pitch their camps inside your frontiers, they will settle there. They are going to eat your fruit, and drink your milk.
25:5 I intend to turn Rabbah into a camel yard and the towns of Ammon into sheepfolds. And so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
25:6 The Lord Yahweh says this: Since you have clapped your hands and danced for joy, inwardly full of malice against the land of Israel,
25:7 I mean to stretch out my hand against you for this; I will hand you over to be looted by the peoples, obliterate you as a nation, wipe you out as a country. I will reduce you to nothing, and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
25:8 The Lord Yahweh says this: Since Moab and Seir[*b] have said: Look at the House of Judah; it is no different from any other nation;
25:9 very well, I will strip the hillsides of Moab bare and destroy her towns throughout the country, including her pride, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon and Kiriath-aim.
25:10 I shall hand her over to the sons of the East, the enemies of the Ammonites; I shall hand her over so that the Ammonites will not even be remembered as a nation.
25:11 Thus shall I punish Moab, and everyone will learn that I am Yahweh.
25:12 The Lord Yahweh says this: Since Edom has taken revenge on the House of Judah and committed great crimes in doing so,
25:13 very well, the Lord Yahweh says this: I will stretch out my hand against Edom too and wipe out all the men and animals in the country. I shall reduce it to desert; people will be put to the sword from Teman to Dedan.
25:14 I shall unleash my revenge on Edom by means of my people Israel. They will treat Edom as my anger and fury dictate, and everyone will learn that this is my vengeance – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
Against the Philistines
25:15 The Lord Yahweh says this: Since the Philistines have acted in revenge and taken revenge maliciously, and with persistent hatred have done their best to destroy,
25:16 very well, thus speaks the Lord Yahweh: I will stretch out my hand against the Philistines; I shall destroy the Cherethites[*c] and wipe out all the rest of the coastal peoples.
25:17 I shall perform frightful acts of vengeance and inflict furious punishments on them; and when I exact vengeance on them they will learn that I am Yahweh.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 26
26:1 In the eleventh year, on the first of the month,[*a] the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows:
26:2 ‘Son of man, since Tyre has jeered at Jerusalem, “Aha! It is shattered, that gate of nations; it is opening to me; its wealth is ruined”,
26:3 very well, the Lord Yahweh says this: Now, Tyre, I set myself against you. I mean to cause many nations to surge against you like the sea and its waves.
26:4 They will destroy the walls of Tyre, they will demolish her towers; I will sweep away her dust and leave her a naked rock.
26:5 She will be a drying-ground in mid-ocean for fishing nets. For I have spoken – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – she will be the prey of the nations.
26:6 As for her daughters on the mainland, these will be put to the sword, and everyone will learn that I am Yahweh.
26:7 For the Lord Yahweh says this. From the North, I am sending Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, king of kings, against Tyre with horses and chariots and horsemen, a horde of many races.
26:8 He will put your daughters on the mainland to the sword. He will build siege-works against you, cast up a mound against you, raise a siege-tower against you;
26:9 he will break down your walls with his battering-rams, and demolish your towers with his siege-engines.[*b]
26:10 His horses are so many their dust will hide you. Noise of his horsemen and his chariots and wagons will make your walls tremble as he rides through your gates like a man entering a conquered city.
26:11 His horses’ hoofs will trample through your streets; he will put your people to the sword, and throw your massive pillars to the ground.
26:12 Your wealth will be seized, your merchandise looted, your walls razed, your luxurious houses shattered, your stones, your timbers, your very dust, thrown into the sea.
26:13 I will stop your music and songs; the sound of your harps will not be heard again.
26:14 I will reduce you to a naked rock, and make you into a drying-ground for fishing nets, never to be rebuilt; for I, Yahweh, have spoken – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
26:15 The Lord Yahweh says this to Tyre: When they hear of your fall, the groans of your wounded and the havoc inside your walls, will not the islands shake?
26:16 The rulers of the sea will all get off their thrones, lay aside their cloaks and take off their embroidered robes. Dressed in terror they will sit on the ground unable to stop trembling, terrified at your fate.
26:17 ‘They will raise a dirge and say to you: “You are destroyed then, swept from the seas, city of pride, you who were mighty on the sea, you and your citizens, who used to terrorise the continent far and near.
26:18 Now the islands are trembling on the day of your fall; the islands of the sea are terrified by your end.”
26:19 ‘For the Lord Yahweh says this: ‘When I make you as desolate as any depopulated city, when I bring up the deep against you and the ocean covers you,
26:20 I will cast you down with those who go down to the pit, down to the men of old; I will make you live in the regions underground, in the eternal solitudes, with those who go down to the pit, so that you can never come back and be restored to the land of the living.
26:21 I will make you an object of terror; you will not exist. People will look for you and never find you again – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 27
A lamentation over the fall of Tyre
27:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
27:2 ‘Son of man, raise the dirge over Tyre.
27:3 Say to Tyre, that city standing at the edge of the sea, doing business with the nations in innumerable islands, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Tyre, you used to say: I am a ship perfect in beauty.
27:4 Your frontiers stretched far out to sea; those who built you made you perfect in beauty.
27:5 Cypress from Senir[*a] they used for all your planking. They took a cedar from Lebanon to make you a mast. From the tallest
27:6 oaks of Bashan they made your oars. They built you a deck of cedar inlaid with ivory from the Kittim[*b] isles.
27:7 Embroidered linen of Egypt was used for your sail and for your flag. Purple and scarlet from the Elishah islands formed your deck-tent.
27:8 Men from Sidon and from Arvad[*c] were your oarsmen. Your sages, Tyre, were aboard serving as sailors.
27:9 The elders and craftsmen of Gebal[*d] were there to caulk your seams. All the ships of the sea and the sailors in them visited you to trade with you.
27:10 Men of Persia and Lud and Put served in your army and were your warriors. They hung up shield and helmet in you. They brought you glory.
27:11 The sons of Arvad and their army manned your walls all round and kept watch from your bastions. They hung their shields all round your walls and helped make your beauty perfect.
27:12 Tarshish was your client, profiting from your abundant wealth. People paid you in silver and iron, tin and lead for your merchandise.
27:13 Javan, Tubal and Meshech[*e] traded with you. For your merchandise they bartered men and bronze implements.
27:14 The people of Beth-togarmah[*f] traded you horses, chargers, mules.
27:15 The sons of Dedan traded with you; many shores were your clients; you were paid in ivory tusks and ebony.
27:16 Edom was your client, because of the variety and quantity of your goods; she exchanged carbuncles, purple, embroideries, fine linen, coral and rubies against your goods.
27:17 Judah and the land of Israel also traded with you, supplying you with corn from Minnith, wax, honey, tallow and balm.
27:18 Damascus was your client, because of the plentifulness of your goods and the immensity of your wealth, furnishing you with wine from Helbon and wool from Zahar.
27:19 Dan and Javan, from Uzal onwards, supplied you with wrought iron, cassia and calamus in exchange for your goods.
27:20 Dedan traded with you in horse-cloths.
27:21 Arabia and even the sheikhs of Kedar were all your clients; they paid in lambs, rams and he-goats.
27:22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah traded with you; they supplied you with the best quality spices, precious stones and gold against your goods.
27:23 Haran, Canneh and Eden, traders of Sheba, Asshur and Chilmad[*g] traded with you.
27:24 They traded rich clothes, embroidered and purple cloaks, multi-coloured materials and strong plaited cords in your markets.
27:25 The ships of Tarshish crossed the seas for your trade. Then you were rich and glorious surrounded by the seas.
27:26 Out to the open sea your oarsmen rowed you. The east wind has shattered you, surrounded by the seas.
27:27 Your riches, your goods, your cargo, your crew, your sailors, your caulkers, your commercial agents, all the soldiers you carry with you, the whole host who are aboard: all will sink surrounded by the seas on the day of your shipwreck.
27:28 When they hear the cries of your sailors the coasts will tremble.
27:29 Then the oarsmen will all desert their ships. The sailors and seafaring people will stay ashore.
27:30 They will raise their voices for you, and weep bitterly. They will throw dust on their heads, and roll in ashes;
27:31 they will shave their heads for you, and put sackcloth round their waists. They will raise a bitter dirge over you, in their despair;
27:32 they will raise a dirge and mourn for you, they will bewail you: Who could compare with haughty Tyre surrounded by the seas?
27:33 When you unloaded your goods to satisfy so many peoples, you made the kings of the earth rich with your excess of wealth and goods.
27:34 Now you are shattered by the waves, surrounded by the seas. Your cargo and all your crew have foundered with you.
27:35 All those who live in the distant islands have been horrified at your fate. Their kings have been panic-stricken, their faces quite cast down.
27:36 The traders of the nations have whistled at your fate, since you have become an object of dread, gone for ever.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 28
Against the king of Tyre
28:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
28:2 ‘Son of man, tell the ruler of Tyre, “The Lord Yahweh say this: Being swollen with pride, you have said: I am a god; I am sitting on the throne of God, surrounded by the seas. Though you are a man and not a god, you consider yourself the equal of God.
28:3 You are wiser now than Danel; there is no sage as wise as you.
28:4 By your wisdom and your intelligence you have amassed great wealth; you have piles of gold and silver inside your treasure-houses.
28:5 Such is your skill in trading, your wealth has continued to increase, and with this your heart has grown more arrogant.
28:6 And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since you consider yourself the equal of God,
28:7 very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most barbarous of the nations. They will draw sword against your fine wisdom, they will defile your glory;
28:8 they will throw you down into the pit and you will die a violent death surrounded by the seas.
28:9 Are you still going to say: I am a god, when your murderers confront you? No, you are a man and not a god in the clutches of your murderers!
28:10 You will die like the uncircumcised – at the hand of foreigners. For I have spoken – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
The fall of the king of Tyre
28:11 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
28:12 ‘Son of man, raise a dirge over the king of Tyre. Say to him, “The Lord Yahweh says this: You were once an exemplar of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty;
28:13 you were in Eden, in the garden of God. A thousand gems formed your mantle. Sard, topaz, diamond, chrysolite, onyx, jasper, sapphire, carbuncle, emerald, the gold of which your flutes and tambourines are made, all were prepared on the day of your creation.
28:14 I had provided you with a guardian cherub; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked amid red-hot coals.
28:15 Your behaviour was exemplary from the day of your creation until the day when evil was first found in you.
28:16 Your busy trading has filled you with violence and sin. I have thrown you down from the mountain of God, and the guardian cherub has destroyed you from amid the coals.
28:17 Your heart has grown swollen with pride on account of your beauty. You have corrupted your wisdom owing to your splendour. I have thrown you to the ground; I have made you a spectacle for other kings.
28:18 By the immense number of your sins, by the dishonesty of your trading, you have defiled your sanctuaries. I have brought fire out of you to consume you. I have made you ashes on the ground before the eyes of all who saw you.
28:19 Of the nations, all who know you are lost in amazement over you. You are an object of terror; gone for ever.”‘
28:20 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
28:21 ‘Son of man, turn towards Sidon and prophesy against her.
28:22 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Sidon, now I set myself against you; I will show my glory through you. Men shall learn that I am Yahweh, since I will execute sentence on her and display my holiness in her.
28:23 I will send the plague to her; blood shall flow in her streets, and in her the dead will fall under the sword raised against her on all sides, and so men will learn that I am Yahweh.
Israel delivered from the nations
28:24 No more, for the House of Israel, shall any of the hostile nations surrounding her be a thorn that wounds or a briar that tears; and so men will learn that I am the Lord Yahweh.
28:25 The Lord Yahweh says this. When I gather the House of Israel from the peoples among whom it is dispersed, this is how I am going to display my holiness in the sight of the nations. They shall live on the soil that I gave to my servant Jacob.
28:26 They shall live there in confidence, build houses, plant vineyards; they shall live in confidence. When I inflict punishments on all the hostile surrounding nations, then men will learn that I am Yahweh their God.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 29
29:1 In the tenth year, on the twelfth day of the tenth month,[*a] the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
29:2 ‘Son of man, turn towards Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophesy against him and against the whole of Egypt.
29:3 Speak to him and say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Now I set myself against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, you great crocodile wallowing in your Niles, you have said: My Niles are mine, I made them.
29:4 I am going to put hooks through your jaws, make your Nile fish stick to your scales, and pull you out of your Niles with all your Nile fish sticking to your scales.
29:5 I shall drop you in the desert, with all your Nile fish. You will fall on open ground and not be taken up or buried. I shall give you as food to the beasts of the earth and the birds of heaven,
29:6 so that all the inhabitants of Egypt may learn that I am Yahweh, since they have given no more support than a reed to the House of Israel.
29:7 Whenever they grasped you, you broke in their hands and cut their hands all over. Whenever they leaned on you, you broke and left their loins shaking.
29:8 For this reason, the Lord Yahweh says this: I am sending the sword against you, to kill your men and your beasts.
29:9 Egypt will be reduced to desert and desolation, and men will learn that I am Yahweh. Since he has said: The Nile is mine, I made it,
29:10 very well, now I set myself against you and your Niles. I mean to reduce Egypt to desert and desolation, from Migdol to Syene and beyond to the frontiers of Ethiopia.[*b]
29:11 The feet of men will not pass that way, the feet of animals will not pass that way. For forty years it will remain uninhabited.
29:12 I intend to reduce the land of Egypt to a waste among wasted countries; for forty years its cities will be a waste among ruined cities. And I shall scatter the Egyptians among the nations, dispersing them throughout the peoples.
29:13 And the Lord Yahweh says this: After forty years have passed, I will gather the inhabitants of Egypt from the nations where they have been scattered.
29:14 I will bring the Egyptian captives back and reinstall them in the land of Pathros,[*c] the land they came from. There they will constitute a weak kingdom.
29:15 Egypt will be the weakest of kingdoms and no longer dominate other nations; I shall reduce her, and she will not rule any more over the nations.
29:16 She will no longer be anything for the House of Israel to trust in, but will be living evidence of the sins of Israel at the time when Israel turned to her for help. And men will learn that I am the Lord Yahweh.”‘
29:17 In the twenty-seventh year, on the first day of the first month,[*d] the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows:
29:18 ‘Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon mobilised his army for a great expedition against Tyre. Their heads have all gone bald, their shoulders are all chafed, but even so he has derived no profit from the expedition mounted against Tyre either for himself or for his army.
29:19 Since this is so, the Lord Yahweh says this: I am going to hand Egypt over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He will levy his share of riches there instead, will loot it and carry off the booty to pay his army.
29:20 In reward for his efforts against Tyre I am handing the land of Egypt over to him, since he has been working for me – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
29:21 ‘On that day I will cause the House of Israel to sprout a horn, and I shall allow you to open your mouth for all to hear. And so they will learn that I am Yahweh.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 30
Against Egypt: the day of Yahweh
30:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
30:2 ‘Son of man, prophesy and say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Howl: Alas, the day!
30:3 For the day is near, the day of Yahweh is near; it will be a day dark with cloud, the end of an epoch for the nations.
30:4 The sword will come on Egypt, and terror will visit Ethiopia when the slaughtered fall in Egypt, when her riches are carried away, when her foundations are destroyed.
30:5 Cush and Put and Lud, the whole of Arabia and Cub and the sons of my covenant will fall by the sword along with them.
30:6 Yahweh says this: The supports of Egypt will fall; the pride of her strength will crumble; people will fall by the sword from Migdol to Syene – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
30:7 They will be laid waste among wasted countries; her cities will rank with other ruined cities.
30:8 They will learn that I am Yahweh when I set fire to Egypt and all her supports are shattered.
30:9 On that day messengers despatched by me will set out in boats to shake the complacency of Ethiopia Terror will run through her inhabitants on the day of Egypt – it is coming now!
30:10 The Lord Yahweh says this: I intend to destroy the huge population of Egypt at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
30:11 He and his people, most barbarous of nations, will be sent to ravage the country. They will draw the sword against Egypt and fill the country with corpses.
30:12 I am going to dry up the arms of the Nile, hand the country over to brigands. and lay the whole country waste and everything in it, at the hand of foreigners. I, Yahweh, have spoken.
30:13 The Lord Yahweh says this: I mean to destroy the idols, and take the rams away from Noph.[*a] The land of Egypt will be left without a ruler. I shall spread terror through the land of Egypt.
30:14 I shall lay Pathros waste, set Zoan on fire, inflict my punishments on No.
30:15 I shall discharge my fury on Sin, the stronghold of Egypt; I shall wipe out the crowding population of No.
30:16 I shall set fire to Egypt; Sin will be racked with anguish; there will be a flood at No, the waters will inundate it.
30:17 The young men of On and Pi-beseth will fall by the sword and the cities themselves go into captivity.
30:18 At Tahpanhes day will turn to darkness when I shatter the yoke of Egypt there, when the pride of her strength ceases. A cloud will cover her, and her daughters will go into captivity.
30:19 Such will be the punishments that I am going to inflict on Egypt. And so men will learn that I am Yahweh.”‘
30:20 In the eleventh year, on the seventh day of the first month,[*b] the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
30:21 ‘Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; you can see that no one has bound up his wound to heal it, given it a bandage or a dressing to make the arm strong enough to wield the sword again.
30:22 And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: Now I set myself against Pharaoh king of Egypt; I intend to break his arms, the sound one and the broken one, and make the sword drop from his hand.
30:23 I shall scatter Egypt among the nations and disperse her throughout the countries.
30:24 I shall strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand. I shall break Pharaoh’s arms and, confronted with his enemy, he will groan like a dying man.
30:25 I shall strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh will fall. And so men will learn that I am Yahweh, when I put my sword into the hands of the king of Babylon and he wields it against the land of Egypt.
30:26 I mean to scatter Egypt among the nations and disperse her throughout the countries; and men will learn that I am Yahweh.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 31
31:1 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the third month, the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
31:2 ‘Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to all his subjects: “To what shall I compare you in your greatness?
31:3 Surely, to a cedar of Lebanon with noble branches, thick-set needles and lofty trunk. Its top pierces the clouds.
31:4 The waters have made it grow, the deep has made it tall, pouring its rivers round the place where it is planted, sending its streams to all the other trees.
31:5 This is why its trunk grew taller than all the other trees; its branches increased in number, its boughs stretched wide, because the plentiful waters reached it.
31:6 All the birds of heaven used to nest in its branches; under its boughs all wild animals used to drop their young; in its shade every kind of people sat.
31:7 It was beautiful in its size, in the span of its boughs; its roots went deep into plentiful waters.
31:8 No cedar equalled it in the garden of God, no cypress had branches such as these; no plane tree could match its boughs, no tree in the garden of God could rival its beauty.
31:9 I had made it lovely with branching green. It was the envy of every tree in Eden, in the garden of God.
31:10 “Very well then, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since it has raised itself to its full height, has lifted its top to the clouds, and has grown arrogant in its height,
31:11 I have handed it over to the prince of the nations[*a] to do with it as its wickedness deserves; I have destroyed it.
31:12 Foreigners, the most barbarous of the nations, have cut it down and felled it. On the mountains, in all the valleys, lie its branches; its broken boughs fill every ravine throughout the country; everybody in the country has left its shade and deserted it.
31:13 On the wreckage perch all the birds of heaven; all the wild animals have made their dens under its branches.
31:14 In future let no tree rise in pride beside the waters, none push its top through the clouds, no well-watered tree stretch its whole height towards them. For all of them are doomed to death, to the regions underground, with the common run of mankind, with those who go down to the pit.
31:15 The Lord Yahweh says this: On the day it went down to Sheol, I closed the deep over it in sign of mourning. I stopped its rivers, the plentiful waters dried up; I made Lebanon dark for its sake, and all the trees of the fields wilted for its sake.
31:16 With the noise when it fell I made the nations quake, as I hurled it down to Sheol, with those who go down to the pit. In the regions underground all the trees of Eden took comfort, all the noble and lovely trees of Lebanon nourished by the waters.
31:17 And with it went down to Sheol, to the victims of the sword, all those nations who used to live in its shade.
31:18 Was anyone of all the trees of Eden your equal in glory and size, for you to be hurled with the trees of Eden down to the regions underground? With the uncircumcised there you lie; with the victims of the sword lie Pharaoh and all his subjects – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 32
32:1 In the twelfth year, on the first day of the twelfth month,[*a] the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
32:2 ‘Son of man, raise the dirge for Pharaoh king of Egypt. Say to him, “Young lion of nations, you have been wiped out. You were like a crocodile in the water; you snorted through your nostrils, you churned the water with your feet, you muddied its streams.
32:3 “The Lord Yahweh says this: I am going to throw my net over you in a great concourse of nations; they will drag you ashore in my net.
32:4 I mean to leave you on land, drop you on the ground; make all the birds settle on you, glut all the beasts of the earth with you,
32:5 lay your carcase on the mountainside, fill the valleys with your offal.
32:6 I intend to water the country with what flows from you, with your blood, on the mountainsides, and the ravines will be full of it.
32:7 When I extinguish you I will cover the skies, and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with clouds and the moon will not give its light.
32:8 I will dim every luminary in heaven for you, and cover your country in darkness – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
32:9 I shall grieve the heart of many peoples when I lead your captives among the nations, into countries unknown to you.
32:10 I shall stun many peoples with shock at your fate; their kings will be panic-stricken at your fate, when I brandish my sword before their eyes. On the day of your fall, each will tremble continuously for his life.
32:11 For the Lord Yahweh says this: The sword of the king of Babylon will follow you.
32:12 ‘I shall make your throngs of subjects fall at the swords of my warriors, who are the most barbarous of the nations. They will annihilate the pride of Egypt, and her whole population will be destroyed.
32:13 I shall make all her cattle perish too on the banks of the deep waters. The feet of men will not muddy them again, the feet of animals will not muddy them again.
32:14 Then I shall calm her waters; I shall make her rivers glide like oil – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
32:15 When I reduce Egypt to desert and the country is stripped of its contents, when I strike all those who live there, they will learn that I am Yahweh.
32:16 Such is the dirge that the daughters of the nations will raise. They will raise it over Egypt and her huge population. This is the dirge they will raise – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
Egypt goes down to Sheol
32:17 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the first month, the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
32:18 ‘Son of man, raise the dirge over the huge population of Egypt; send them down, her and the daughters of the nations in their majesty, to the regions underground, with those who go down to the pit.
32:20 ‘With those who have fallen by the sword they too will fall; her strength shall be totally extinguished.
32:21a In Sheol the greatest heroes will address her,
32:19 “Do you excel anyone in beauty now?
32:21b Come down, make your bed with the uncircumcised who have fallen by the sword.
32:22 ‘Assyria is there with all her warriors round her tomb; all killed, all victims of the sword;
32:23 their graves have been made in the deepest part of the pit, with her army round her tomb, all killed, all victims of the sword, yet she once spread terror throughout the land of the living.
32:24 ‘Elam is there, with all her troops round her tomb; all killed, all victims of the sword, they have gone down uncircumcised to the regions underground, yet she once spread terror throughout the land of the living. They endure the disgrace of those who go down to the pit.
32:25 In the middle of the slaughtered a bed has been made for her, with all her troops round her tomb, all of them uncircumcised, put to the sword, yet she once spread terror throughout the land of the living. They endure the disgrace of those who go down to the pit. They have been put among the slaughtered.
32:26 ‘Meshech is there, and Tubal, with all her troops round her tomb, all of them uncircumcised, put to the sword for having spread terror throughout the land of the living.
32:27 They do not lie with the heroes who fell long ago, those who went fully armed down to Sheol, who had their swords laid under their heads and their shields put under their bones, since the heroes inspired the land of the living with terror.
32:28 Instead, you shall lie with the uncircumcised, with those who have fallen to the sword.
32:29 ‘Edom is there, her kings and all her princes who, despite their valour, have been laid with those who have fallen by the sword. They lie with the uncircumcised, with those who go down to the pit.
32:30 ‘All the princes of the North and all the Sidonians are there, having gone down with the slaughtered, in spite of the terror their power inspired. Uncircumcised they lie with those who were victims of the sword. They endure the disgrace of those who go down to the pit.
32:31 Pharaoh will see them and take comfort at the sight of such a host put to the sword, Pharaoh and his whole army – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
32:32 He who once spread terror throughout the land of the living now lies with the uncircumcised, with those who were victims of the sword, Pharaoh and his whole army. It is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 33
III. DURING AND AFTER THE SIEGE OF JERUSALEM
The prophet as sentry
33:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
33:2 ‘Son of man, speak to the members of your nation. Say to them, “When I send the sword against a country, the people of that country select one of themselves and post him as a sentry;
33:3 if he sees the sword coming against the country, he sounds his horn to alert the people.
33:4 If someone hears the sound of the horn, but pays no attention, the sword will overtake him and destroy him; he will have been responsible for his own death.
33:5 He has heard the sound of the horn and paid no attention; his death will be his own responsibility. But the life of someone who pays attention to the warning will be secure.
33:6 “If, however, the sentry has seen the sword coming but has not blown his horn, and so the people are not alerted and the sword overtakes them and destroys one of them, the latter shall indeed die for his sin, but I will hold the sentry responsible for his death.”
33:7 ‘Son of man, I have appointed you as sentry to the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them in my name.
33:8 If I say to a wicked man: Wicked wretch, you are to die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked man to renounce his ways, then he shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death.
33:9 If, however, you do warn a wicked man to renounce his ways and repent, and he does not repent, then he shall die for his sin, but you yourself will have saved your life.
Conversion and perversity
33:10 ‘Son of man, say to the House of Israel, “You are continually saying: Our sins and crimes weigh heavily on us; we are wasting away because of them. How are we to go on living?”
33:11 Say to them, “As I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – I take pleasure, not in the death of a wicked man, but in the turning back of a wicked man who changes his ways to win life. Come back, come back from your evil ways. Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel?”
33:12 ‘And you, son of man, say to the members of your nation, “The integrity of an upright man will not save him once he has chosen to sin; the wickedness of a wicked man will no longer condemn him once he renounces wickedness, nor will an upright man live on the strength of his integrity once he has chosen to sin.
33:13 If I say to an upright man: You are to live, and then, trusting in his own integrity, he turns to evil, all his integrity will no longer be remembered; because he has sinned, he shall die.
33:14 If, however, I say to a wicked man: You are to die, and he renounces his sins and does what is lawful and right,
33:15 if he returns pledges, restores what he has stolen, keeps the laws that give life and stops committing sin – he shall live, and will not die.
33:16 All his previous sins will no longer be remembered – he has done what is lawful and right; he shall live.
33:17 “The members of your nation object: What the Lord does is unjust; but it is what you do that is unjust.
33:18 When an upright man renounces his integrity and commits sin, he dies for it.
33:19 And when a wicked man renounces his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, because of this he lives.
33:20 You object: What the Lord does is unjust; but I mean to judge each of you by what he does, House of Israel.”‘
The taking of the city
33:21 In the twelfth year of our captivity, on the fifth day of the tenth month,[*a] a fugitive arrived from Jerusalem and said to me, ‘The city has been taken’.
33:22 Now the hand of the Lord had been on me the evening before the fugitive arrived; he had opened my mouth before the man came to me the next morning; my mouth had been opened and I was dumb no longer.[*b]
The ravaging of the country
33:23 The word of Yahweh was then addressed to me as follows,
33:24 ‘Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel say, “Abraham was alone when he was given possession of this land. Now we are many and we hold the country as our domain.”
33:25 ‘Very well, tell them, “The Lord Yahweh says this: You eat blood, you raise your eyes to your idols, you shed blood; are you likely to keep possession of the land?
33:26 You rely on your swords, you engage in filthy practices, you each commit adultery with your neighbour’s wife; are you likely to retain possession of the land?”
33:27 Tell them this, “The Lord Yahweh says this: As I live, I swear it, those in the ruins will fall to the sword, those in the countryside I will give to wild animals to devour, those in strongholds and caves will die of plague.
33:28 I intend to reduce the land to desert and desolation and it will no longer take pride in its strength. The mountains of Israel will be deserted and no one will pass that way again.
33:29 And so men will learn that I am Yahweh, when I reduce the land to desert and desolation on account of all their filthy practices.”
The results of the preaching
33:30 ‘Son of man, the members of your nation are talking about you on the ramparts and in doorways. They keep saying, “Come and hear the word that has come from Yahweh”.
33:31 They throng towards you; my people sit down in front of you and listen to your words, but they do not act on them. They cannot tell the truth and their hearts are set on dishonest gain.
33:32 As far as they are concerned, you are like a love song beautifully sung to music. They listen to your words, but no one puts them into practice.
33:33 When the thing takes place – and it is beginning now – they will learn that there has been a prophet among them.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 34
The shepherds of Israel
34:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
34:2 ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them, “Shepherds, the Lord Yahweh says this: Trouble for the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shepherds ought to feed their flock,
34:3 yet you have fed on milk, you have dressed yourselves in wool, you have sacrificed the fattest sheep, but failed to feed the flock.
34:4 You have failed to make weak sheep strong, or to care for the sick ones, or bandage the wounded ones. You have failed to bring back strays or look for the lost. On the contrary, you have ruled them cruelly and violently.
34:5 For lack of a shepherd they have scattered, to become the prey of any wild animal; they have scattered far.
34:6 My flock is straying this way and that, on mountains and on high hills; my flock has been scattered all over the country; no one bothers about them and no one looks for them.
34:7 Well then, shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh.
34:8 As I live, I swear it – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – since my flock has been looted and for lack of a shepherd is now the prey of any wild animal, since my shepherds have stopped bothering about my flock, since my shepherds feed themselves rather than my flock,
34:9 in view of all this, shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh.
34:10 The Lord Yahweh says this: I am going to call the shepherds to account. I am going to take my flock back from them and I shall not allow them to feed my flock. In this way the shepherds will stop feeding themselves. I shall rescue my sheep from their mouths; they will not prey on them any more.
34:11 For the Lord Yahweh says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view.
34:12 As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness.
34:13 I shall bring them out of the countries where they are; I shall gather them together from foreign countries and bring them back to their own land. I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in every inhabited place in the land.
34:14 I shall feed them in good pasturage; the high mountains of Israel will be their grazing ground. There they will rest in good grazing ground; they will browse in rich pastures on the mountains of Israel.
34:15 I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
34:16 I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
34:17 As for you, my sheep, the Lord Yahweh says this: I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.
34:18 Not content to graze in good pastures, you trample down the rest; not content to drink clear water, you muddy the rest with your feet.
34:19 And my sheep must graze on what your feet have trampled, drink what your feet have muddied.
34:20 Very well then, the Lord Yahweh says this: I myself am now about to judge between fat sheep and lean sheep.
34:21 Since you have butted all the weak sheep with your rumps and shoulders and horns, until you have chased them away,
34:22 I am going to come and rescue my sheep from being cheated; I will judge between sheep and sheep.
34:23 I mean to raise up one shepherd, my servant David, and to put him in charge of them and he will pasture them; he will pasture them and be their shepherd.
34:24 I, Yahweh, will be their God, and my servant David shall be their ruler. I, Yahweh, have spoken.
34:25 I shall make a covenant of peace with them; I shall rid the country of wild animals. They will be able to live safely in the wilderness and go to sleep in the woods.
34:26 I shall settle them round my hill;[*a] I shall send rain at the proper time; it will be a fertile rain.
34:27 The trees of the countryside will yield their fruit and the earth its produce; they will feel safe on their own farms. And men will learn that I am Yahweh when I break their yokestraps and release them from their captors.
34:28 No more will they be a prey to foreign countries, no more will they be eaten by wild animals in this country. They will live without fear and no one will disturb them again.
34:29 I shall make splendid vegetation grow for them; no more will they suffer from famine in this land; no more will they have to bear the insults of other nations.
34:30 And men will learn that I, their God, am with them and that they, the House of Israel, are my people – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
34:31 And you, my sheep, are the flock I shall pasture, and I am your God – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 35
Against the mountains of Edom
35:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
35:2 ‘Son of man, turn towards the mountain of Seir and prophesy against it.
35:3 Say to it, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Now I set myself against you, mountain of Seir; I am stretching out my hand against you; I am going to reduce you to desert and desolation,
35:4 I lay your towns in ruins, and make you a desolation, and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
35:5 Since, nourishing a long-standing hatred, you betrayed the sons of Israel to the sword during their trouble, at the time of their last crime,
35:6 very well, as I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – I mean to hand you over to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you. I swear it; you have sinned by shedding blood, and bloodshed will pursue you.
35:7 I intend to reduce the mountain of Seir to desert and desolation, and I will eliminate everyone who travels up and down the country.
35:8 I shall fill its mountains with corpses; people will fall, struck down by the sword on your hills, in your valleys, in every one of your ravines.
35:9 I am going to reduce you to desolation, for ever your towns will remain uninhabited, and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
35:10 Since you said to the two nations, the two countries:[*a] You belong to me; we are going to take possession here where Yahweh used to be:
35:11 very well, as I live – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – in anger and fury I will do exactly what you did because you hated them. I shall make it clear that I am punishing you on their behalf;
35:12 then you will know that I, Yahweh, have overheard all the outrageous things you have said about the mountains of Israel, such as: They have been abandoned, they have been left for us to devour.
35:13 You have talked arrogantly about me, too, you have repeatedly slandered me; I have heard!
35:14 The Lord Yahweh says this: To the joy of the whole country, I am going to reduce you to desert.
35:15 Since you rejoiced when the domain of the House of Israel became a desert, I will do the same to you, mountain of Seir; you will become a desert, and so will the whole of Edom; and so men will learn that I am Yahweh.”
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 36
Oracle on the mountains of Israel
36:1 ‘Son of man, prophesy this to the mountains of Israel. Say, “Mountains of Israel, hear the word of Yahweh”.
36:2 The Lord Yahweh says this: Since the enemy has insulted you by saying, “Aha! These eternal heights have now become our domain”,
36:3 you must prophesy. Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Since you have been ravaged and seized on by surrounding countries, and taken over by the rest of the nations, and made the subject of people’s talk and gossip,
36:4 now, mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahweh: The Lord Yahweh says this to mountains and hills, to ravines and valleys, to abandoned ruins and the empty plundered cities that have become the laughing-stock of all the surrounding nations.
36:5 Yes, the Lord Yahweh says this: I swear it by the fierceness of my jealousy; I am speaking to the rest of the nations and to the whole of Edom who so exultantly and contemptuously took possession of my country and plundered it.”
36:6 ‘This being so, prophesy this about the land of Israel. Say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I am speaking in my jealousy and rage; because you are enduring the insults of the nations,
36:7 very well, the Lord Yahweh says this: I raise my hand and I swear that the nations round you shall have their own insults to bear.
36:8 Mountains of Israel, you will grow branches and bear fruit for my people Israel, who will soon return.
36:9 Yes, I am coming to you, I have turned to you; you will be tilled and sown.
36:10 I shall multiply the men who live on you, the whole House of Israel, yes, all. The cities will be lived in again and the ruins rebuilt.
36:11 I shall multiply the men and animals that live on you; there will be many of them and they will be fertile. I shall repopulate you as you were before; I shall make you more prosperous than you were before, and so you will learn that I am Yahweh.
36:12 Thanks to me, men will tread your soil again, my people Israel; they will have you for their own domain, and never again will you rob them of their children.
36:13 The Lord Yahweh says this: Since people have said of you: You are a maneater, you have robbed your nation of its children,
36:14 very well, you will eat no more men, never rob your nation of its children again – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
36:15 I shall never again let you hear the insults of the nations, you will never again have to bear the taunts of the foreigners, you will never again rob the nation of its children – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”‘
36:16 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows:
36:17 ‘Son of man, the members of the House of Israel used to live in their own land, but they defiled it by their conduct and actions; to me their conduct was as unclean as a woman’s menstruation.
36:18 I then discharged my fury at them because of the blood they shed in their land and the idols with which they defiled it.
36:19 I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them in foreign countries. I sentenced them as their conduct and actions deserved.
36:20 And now they have profaned my holy name among the nations where they have gone, so that people say of them, These are the people of Yahweh; they have been exiled from his land”.
36:21 But I have been concerned about my holy name, which the House of Israel has profaned among the nations where they have gone.
36:22 And so, say to the House of Israel, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I am not doing this for your sake, House of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.
36:23 I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am Yahweh – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes.
36:24 Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land.
36:25 I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols.
36:26 I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead.
36:27 I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances.
36:28 You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.
36:29 I shall rescue you from all your defilement. I shall summon the corn and make it plentiful, and no more bring famines on you.
36:30 I shall increase the yield of fruit trees and fields so that you will no longer have the ignominy of famine among the nations.
36:31 Then you will remember your evil conduct and actions. You will loathe yourselves for your sins and your filthy practices.
36:32 I assure you that I am not doing this for your sake – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks. Be ashamed and blush for your conduct, House of Israel.
36:33 The Lord Yahweh says this: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will repopulate the cities and cause the ruins to be rebuilt.
36:34 Waste land, once desolate for every passer-by to see, will now be farmed again.
36:35 Everyone will say: This land, so recently a waste, is now like a garden of Eden, and the ruined cities once abandoned and levelled to the ground are now strongholds with people living in them.
36:36 And the nations left round you will know that I, Yahweh, have rebuilt what was destroyed and replanted what was ruined. I, Yahweh, have spoken, and I will do it.
36:37 The Lord Yahweh says this: To grant them further favour, I shall encourage the House of Israel to look for me, and shall increase them like a flock of men,
36:38 like a flock of sacrificial animals, like the flock in Jerusalem on her solemn feasts. And so your ruined cities will be filled with a human flock. And men will learn that I am Yahweh.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 37
The dry bones
37:1 The hand of Yahweh was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of Yahweh and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones.
37:2 He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up.
37:3 He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord Yahweh’.
37:4 He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of Yahweh.
37:5 The Lord Yahweh says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath[*a] enter you, and you will live.
37:6 I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am Yahweh.”‘
37:7 I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together.
37:8 I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them.
37:9 He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”‘
37:10 I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.
37:11 Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead”.
37:12 So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel.
37:13 And you will know that I am Yahweh, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people.
37:14 And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, Yahweh, have said and done this – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”
Judah and Israel in one kingdom
37:15 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
37:16 ‘Son of man, take a stick and write on it, “Judah and those Israelites loyal to him”. Take another stick and write on it, “Joseph, the wood of Ephraim, and all the House of Israel loyal to him”.
37:17 ‘Join one to the other to make a single piece of wood, a single stick in your hand.
37:18 And when the members of your nation say, “Tell us what you mean”,
37:19 say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I am taking the stick of Joseph, now in the hand of Ephraim, and those tribes of Israel loyal to him, and I am going to put the stick of Judah with them. I shall make one stick out of the two, and I shall hold them as one.”
37:20 ‘Keep the pieces of wood you have written on in your hand where they can see,
37:21 and say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I am going to take the sons of Israel from the nations where they have gone. I shall gather them together from everywhere and bring them home to their own soil.
37:22 I shall make them into one nation in my own land and on the mountains of Israel, and one king is to be king of them all; they will no longer form two nations, nor be two separate kingdoms.
37:23 They will any longer defile themselves with their idols and their filthy practices and all their sins. I shall rescue them from all the betrayals they have been guilty of; I shall cleanse them; they shall be my people and I will be their God.
37:24 My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all; they will follow my observances, respect my laws and practise them.
37:25 They will live in the land that I gave my servant Jacob, the land in which your ancestors lived. They will live in it, they, their children, their children’s children, for ever. David my servant is to be their prince for ever.
37:26 I shall make a covenant of peace with them, an eternal covenant with them. I shall resettle them and increase them; I shall settle my sanctuary among them for ever.
37:27 I shall make my home above them; I will be their God, they shall be my people.
37:28 And the nations will learn that I am Yahweh the sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary is with them for ever.”‘
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 38
Against Gog, king of Magog[*a]
38:1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
38:2 ‘Son of man, turn towards Gog and the country of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.
38:3 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I am against you, Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.
38:4 I will turn you round, fixing hooks in your jaws, and drag you and your troops along, all the horses and well-armoured horsemen, and all that great army carrying shields and bucklers, and wielding swords.
38:5 Persia and Cush and Put are with them, all with buckler and helmet;
38:6 Gomer and all its troops, northernmost Beth-togarmah and all its troops,[*b] and many nations with you.
38:7 Be ready, be well prepared, you and all your troops and the others rallying round you, and hold yourself at my service.
38:8 Many days will pass before you are given orders; in years to come you will march against this country. Its inhabitants will have been living undisturbed, remote from all other peoples, since they escaped the sword and were gathered in from various nations, here in the long-deserted mountains of Israel.
38:9 Like a storm you will come up and onwards, and cover the land like a cloud, you, your army and many nations with you.
38:10 The Lord Yahweh says this: On that day, a thought is going to enter your mind and you will work out a wicked plan.
38:11 You will say: I will attack this undefended country and march against this peaceful nation living undisturbed. They all live in towns that have no walls or bars or gates.
38:12 To plunder them for loot, I am going to reach out my hand towards the ruins they live in, against this nation gathered out of other nations, these stock-breeders and tradesmen who live at the navel of the earth.[*c]
38:13 Sheba and Dedan, the traders of Tarshish and all its young lions will ask you: Have you come for plunder? Are you massing your troops with a view to looting? To make off with gold and silver, seize cattle and goods, and come away with unlimited spoil?”
38:14 ‘And so, son of man, say in prophecy to Gog, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Is it not true that you are planning to set out at a time when my people Israel is living undisturbed?
38:15 You plan to leave your home in the far north, you and many nations with you, a great army of countless troops all mounted.
38:16 You plan to invade Israel, my people. You will be like a cloud covering the earth. I myself am going to bring you in days to come to attack my country, so that the nations may learn what I am, when I have used you, Gog, to display my holiness to them.
38:17 The Lord Yahweh says this: It was of you that I spoke in the past through my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied and foretold your invasion.
38:18 On the day Gog attacks the land of Israel – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – I shall grow angry. In my anger,
38:19 my jealousy and the heat of my fury I say it: I swear that on that day there will be a fearful quaking in the land of Israel.
38:20 At my presence the fish in the sea and the birds of heaven, the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl along the ground, and all men on earth, will quake. Mountains will fall, cliffs crumble, walls collapse, and
38:21 I will confront him with every sort of terror – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks. His men will turn their swords on each other,
38:22 I will punish him with plague and bloodshed and send torrential rain, hailstones, fire and brimstone against him and his hordes and against the many nations with him.
38:23 I mean to display my greatness and holiness and to compel the many nations to acknowledge me; this is how they will learn that I am Yahweh.”
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 39
39:1 ‘Son of man, prophesy against Gog. Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Now I set myself against you, Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.
39:2 I will turn you round, lead you on, and bring you from the farthest north to attack the mountains of Israel.
39:3 I will break the bow in your left hand and dash the arrows out of your right.
39:4 You will be killed on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes, and the nations with you. I shall make you food for carrion birds and wild beasts.
39:5 You will fall in the open countryside. I have spoken – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
39:6 I will send fire to Magog and on those living undisturbed on islands, and they will learn that I am Yahweh.
39:7 I am going to see that my holy name is known among my people Israel, and I will no longer allow my holy name to be profaned; the nations shall learn that I am Yahweh, holy in Israel.
39:8 All this is going to happen, all this is going to take place – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks. This is the day I predicted.
39:9 The citizens of the towns of Israel will go out and use these arms for firewood: shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, clubs and javelins. For seven years they will feed the fire with them.
39:10 Men will stop looking for wood in the countryside or cutting it in the forest; they will be feeding the fire with arms. They will plunder those who plundered them, and take spoil from those who despoiled them – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
39:11 On that day, I shall give Gog a famous spot in Israel for his grave – the valley of the Abarim,[*a] on the east of the Sea – the valley that turns back the traveller – and there Gog and his whole army will be buried, and it shall be called the Valley of Hamon-gog.
39:12 The House of Israel will take seven months to bury them and cleanse the country.
39:13 All the people of the country will dig their graves, and be honoured for this on the day when I reveal my glory – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
39:14 Men will be selected to go continually up and down the country to bury those left on the ground and cleanse it. For seven months they will go searching.
39:15 If one of them sees any human bones as they go up and down the country he will put a mark beside them until the gravediggers have buried them in the valley of Hamon-gog –
39:16 the name of the town is to be Hamonah – and so have cleansed the country.”
39:17 ‘Son of man, the Lord Yahweh says this. Speak to every kind of bird and to all wild beasts, “Muster, come here, meet from everywhere around for the sacrifice I am making for you, a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel; you will eat flesh and drink blood.
39:18 You will eat the flesh of heroes, you will drink the blood of the princes of the world. They are all rams and lambs, goats and fat bulls of Bashan.
39:19 You will feed full on fat, drink yourselves drunk with blood, at this sacrifice I am making for you.
39:20 You will glut yourselves at my table on horses and chargers, on heroes and common soldiers – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.”
39:21 ‘That is how I shall display my glory to the nations, and all nations will feel my sentence when I judge, and feel my hand when I strike them.
39:22 The House of Israel will know that I am Yahweh their God, from that day forward for ever.
39:23 And the nations will learn that the House of Israel was exiled for their sin in behaving so treacherously to me that I had to avert my face from them because they had rebelled against me, and to hand them over to their enemies; and they all perished by the sword.
39:24 I treated them as their filthy sins deserved and hid my face from them.
39:25 And so, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Now I am going to bring back the captives of Jacob, now I am going to take pity on the whole House of Israel and show myself jealous for my holy name.
39:26 ‘They will forget the disgrace of having so often betrayed me when they were living safely in their own land, with no one to disturb them.
39:27 When I bring them home from the peoples, when I bring them back from the countries of their enemies, when I reveal my holiness in them for many nations to see,
39:28 they will know that I am Yahweh their God, when I rescue the captives from the pagans and reunite them in their own country, not leaving a single one behind.
39:29 I shall never hide my face from them again, since I shall pour out my spirit on the House of Israel – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 40
- THE TORAH OF EZEKIEL
The future Temple
40:1 In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, fourteen years after the destruction of the city,[*a] the hand of Yahweh came on me.
40:2 In a divine vision he took me away to the land of Israel and put me down on a very high mountain, on the south of which there seemed to be built a city.
40:3 He took me to it, and there I saw a man who seemed to be made of bronze. He had a flax cord and a measuring rod in his hand and was standing in the gateway.
40:4 The man said to me, ‘Son of man, look carefully, listen closely and pay attention to everything I show you, since you have only been brought here for me to show it to you. Tell the House of Israel everything that you see.’
The outer wall
40:5 The Temple was surrounded with a wall, and the man was holding a measuring rod that was six cubits long, each cubit a forearm and a handbreadth. He measured the thickness of this construction – one rod; and its height – one rod.
The east gate
40:6 He went to the east gate, climbed the steps and measured its threshold: one rod deep.
40:7 Each guardroom one rod by one rod; and the walls between the guardrooms five cubits thick; and the threshold of the gate inwards from the porch of the gate: one rod.
40:9 He measured the porch of the gate: eight cubits; its jambs: two cubits; the porch of the gate was at the inner end.
40:10 There were three guardrooms on each side of the east gate, all three the same size; the walls between them all the same thickness each side.
40:11 He measured the width of the entrance: ten cubits; and the width all down the gateway: thirteen cubits.
40:12 There was a rail in front of the guardrooms; each rail on either side was one cubit. And the guardrooms on either side were six cubits square.
40:13 He measured the width of the gate from the back wall of one guardroom to the back wall of the other; it was twenty-five cubits across from window to window.
40:14 He measured the porch: twenty cubits; after the porch of the gate came the outer court.
40:15 From the entrance end of the gate to the porch opposite: fifty cubits.
40:16 On each side of the gate there were splayed openings both in the guardrooms and in the spaces between, and there were openings all round inside the porch as well, and palm trees decorating the jambs.
The outer court
40:17 He took me through to the outer court that had rooms and a paved terrace going all the way round; there were thirty rooms on this terrace.
40:18 This terrace, which came right up to the sides of the gates and matched their depth, is the Lower Terrace.
40:19 He measured across the outer court from the lower gate to the outside of the inner court: a hundred cubits on the eastern and northern sides.
The north gate
40:20 He measured the length and breadth of the north gate of the outer court.
40:21 It had three guardrooms on each side; the thickness of the walls between them, and its porch too, all measured the same as those of the first gate: fifty cubits by twenty-five cubits.
40:22 Its windows, its porch and its palm-tree decoration all measured the same as those of the east gate. There were seven steps up to it, and its porch was at the inner end.
40:23 In the inner court there was, opposite the north gate, a gate like the one opposite the east gate. He measured the distance from one gate to the other: a hundred cubits.
The south gate
40:24 He took me to the south side where there was a south gate; he measured its guardrooms, wall-thicknesses and porch; they were of the same dimensions as the others.
40:25 All round it and its porch were windows, like the other windows; it measured fifty cubits by twenty-five cubits,
40:26 and it had seven steps up to it; its porch was at the inner end and had palm-tree decoration on its jambs, one on each side.
40:27 The inner court had a south gate; he measured the distance southwards from one gate to the other: a hundred cubits.
The inner court. The south gate
40:28 He then took me into the inner court by the south gate; he measured the south gate which was the same size as the others.
40:29 Its guardrooms, wall-thicknesses and porch all measured the same as the others. It and its porch had windows all round. It measured fifty cubits by twenty-five cubits.
40:30 Its porch, measured, in all, all round, was twenty-five cubits by five cubits.
40:31 The porch gave on to the outer court. It had palm trees on its jambs, each side, and eight steps leading up to it.
The east gate
40:32 He took me to the east gate and measured it. It was the same size as the others.
40:33 Its guardrooms, the thickness of its walls, its porch all measured the same as the others. It and its porch had windows all round. Its area was fifty cubits by twenty-five cubits.
40:34 Its porch gave on to the outer court. There were palm trees on its jambs on either side, and eight steps leading up to it.
The north gate
40:35 He took me to the north gate and measured it.
40:36 Its guardrooms, the thickness of its walls and its porch all measured the same as the others. It had windows all round. Its area was fifty cubits by twenty-five cubits.
40:37 Its porch gave on to the outer court. There were palm trees on its jambs on either side, and eight steps leading up to it.
Subsidiary buildings at the gate
40:38 There was a room entered from the porch of the gates. It was here that they washed the holocaust.
40:39 And on either side of the porch of the gate there were two tables for slaughtering the holocaust, the sacrifice for sin and the sacrifice of reparation.
40:40 Going northward up to the gate, there were two tables outside and two more tables at the porch end of the gate.
40:41 Four tables on the inside and four tables on the outside of the porch; in all, eight tables on which the sacrifices were offered.
40:42 There were also four tables of dressed stone for holocausts, a cubit and a half long, a cubit and a half wide and a cubit high, on which all the things necessary for killing the holocaust and the sacrifices were put.
40:43 Rims, a handbreadth broad, went all round the top, and on these tables was put the sacrificial flesh.
40:44 He took me into the inner court; there were two lodges in the inner court, one at the side of the north gate, facing south, the other at the side of the south gate, facing north.
40:45 He told me, ‘The lodge looking south is for the priests in charge of the Temple,
40:46 and the lodge looking north is for the priests who serve the altar. These are the sons of Zadok, those of the sons of Levi who approach Yahweh to serve him.’
The inner court
40:47 He measured the inner court. It was a quadrangle, a hundred cubits by a hundred cubits, with the altar in front of the Temple.
The Temple.[*b] The Ulam
40:48 He took me to the Ulam of the Temple and measured its door jambs – five cubits each side; and the width of the entrance was fourteen cubits with a three-cubit wall each side.
40:49 The Ulam was twenty cubits by twelve cubits. There were ten steps leading up to it, and there were columns by the door jambs, one on each side.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 41
41:1 He took me into the Hekal and measured its door jambs: six cubits deep on the one side, six cubits deep on the other.
41:2 The width of the entrance was ten cubits. The walls each side of the entrance were five cubits on the one side and five cubits on the other. He measured its length: forty cubits; and its width: twenty cubits.
41:3 He went in and measured the door jambs at the entrance: two cubits; then the entrance: six cubits; and the walls each side of the entrance: seven cubits.
41:4 He measured its length: twenty cubits; and its width measured across the end wall of the Hekal: twenty cubits. He then said to me, ‘This is the most holy place’.
The side cells
41:5 He measured the wall of the Temple: six cubits. The width of the side cells was four cubits, all round the Temple.
41:6 The cells were one above the other, thirty of them in three stories. The supports for the surrounding cells were fixed into the Temple wall, so that the cells were not recessed into the wall of the Temple.
41:7 The width of the cells increased, story by story, for they surrounded the Temple in the stories that went right round it, and hence . . .
41:8 Then I saw that there was a paved terrace all round the Temple. The height of this, which formed the base of the side cells, was a full rod of six cubits.
41:9 The outer wall of the side cells was five cubits thick and the pavement formed a verandah outside the cells of the Temple.
41:10 Beyond the rooms came an area twenty cubits wide right round the Temple.
41:11 And for getting from the side cells on to the verandah there was one entrance on the north side and one entrance on the south side. The width of the verandah was five cubits right round.
The building on the west side
41:12 The building to the west of this surrounding area was seventy cubits by ninety cubits, and the wall of the building was five cubits thick, all round.
41:13 He measured the length of the Temple: a hundred cubits. The length of the court plus the building and its walls: a hundred cubits.
41:14 The breadth of the facade of the Temple with the quadrangle: a hundred cubits.
41:15 He measured the length of the building plus the surrounding area at the back, plus the side depth of its door: a hundred cubits.
Particulars of the Temple Itself
41:16 The inside of the Hekal and the porches of the court, their thresholds, the window screens, the three sets of doors, one at each threshold, were all panelled with wood, from floor to windows, and the windows were screened with lattice-work.
41:17 From the door to the inner part of the Temple, and right round the whole wall of the inner room, outside and inside, were carved
41:18 cherubs and palm trees, palm trees and cherubs alternating; each cherub had two faces –
41:19 the face of a man turned towards the palm tree one side and the face of a lion towards the palm tree the other side, all round the Temple.
41:20 The cherubs and palm trees were carved from the floor to above the entrance, as also on the wall of the hall.
41:21 The pillars of the Temple were square.
The wooden altar
In front of the Debir, there appeared to be
41:22 a wooden altar, three cubits high and two cubits square. Its corners, base and sides were of wood. He said to me, ‘This is the table in front of Yahweh’.
41:23 There was a double door for the Hekal, and a double door for the Debir,
41:24 These doors had two hinged leaves, two leaves for the one door, two leaves for the other.
41:25 On them, on the doors of the Hekal, were carved cherubs and palm trees like those carved on the walls. A wooden screen outside went across the front of the Ulam.
41:26 There were screened windows with flanking palm trees on the walls of the Ulam, and of the cells to the side of the Temple and on the screens,
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 42
Outbuildings of the Temple
42:1 He took me northward into the court and led me to the rooms facing the outer court, those to the north of the building.
42:2 They were one hundred cubits long on the north side and fifty cubits wide.
42:3 On the sides facing the porches of the inner court and the paving of the outer court was a gallery in front of the triple gallery.
42:4 and in front of the rooms was a walk, ten cubits broad measured inwards and a hundred cubits long; their doors looked north.
42:5 The top floor rooms were narrow because the galleries took up part of the width, being narrower than those on the ground floor or those on the middle floor of the building,
42:6 since these were divided into three stories and had no columns such as the court had. Hence they were narrower than the ground floor ones or the middle floor ones below them.
42:7 ‘The outer wall parallel to the rooms, facing them and giving on to the outer court, was fifty cubits long,
42:8 the length of the rooms facing the outer court being fifty cubits, while on the side facing the Temple it was a hundred cubits.
42:9 Beneath the rooms there was an entrance from the east, leading in from the outer court.
42:10 In the thickness of the wall of the court, on the south side fronting the court and the building, were rooms.
42:11A walk ran in front of them, as with the rooms built on the north side; they were of the same length and breadth, and had similar design and doors in and out.
42:12 They were like the entrances of the southern rooms; one entrance at the end of each walk, fronting the eastern wall, being the way in.
42:13 He said to me, ‘The northern and southern rooms giving on to the court are the rooms of the Debir, in which the priests who approach Yahweh will eat the most holy things. In them will be placed the most holy things: the oblation, the sacrifice for sin and the sacrifice of reparation, since this is a holy place.
42:14 Once the priests have entered, they will not go out of the holy place into the outer court without leaving their liturgical vestments there, since these vestments are holy; they will put on other clothes before going near places assigned to the people.’
Measurements of the court
42:15 When he had finished measuring the inside of the Temple, he took me out to the east gate and measured the whole area of the court.
42:16 He measured the east side with his measuring rod: a total of five hundred cubits by the measuring rod.
42:17 He then measured the north side: a total of five hundred cubits by the measuring rod.
42:18 He then measured the south side: five hundred cubits by the measuring rod
42:19 was the total. On the west side he measured five hundred cubits by the measuring rod.
42:20 He measured the entire enclosing wall on all four sides: length five hundred, breadth five hundred, separating the sacred from the profane.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 43
The return of Yahweh
43:1 He took me to the gate, the one facing east.
43:2 I saw the glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east. A sound came with it, like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his glory.
43:3 This vision was like the one I had seen when I had come for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen on the bank of the river Chebar. Then I prostrated myself.
43:4 The glory of Yahweh arrived at the Temple by the east gate.
43:5 The spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; I saw the glory of Yahweh fill the Temple.
43:6 And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the man stood beside me.
43:7 The voice said, ‘Son of man, this is the dais of my throne, the step on which I rest my feet. I shall live here among the sons of Israel for ever; and the House of Israel, they and their kings, will no longer defile my holy name with their whorings and the corpses of their kings,
43:8 setting their threshold beside my threshold and their pillars beside my pillars, with a party wall shared by them and me. They used to defile my holy name by their filthy practices, and this is why I destroyed them in my anger.
43:9 From now on they will banish their whorings and the corpses of their kings from my presence and I shall live among them for ever.
43:10 ‘Son of man, describe this Temple to the House of Israel, to shame them out of their filthy practices. Let them draw up the plan,
43:11 and, if they are ashamed of their behaviour, show them the design and plan of the Temple, its exits and entrances, its shape, how all of it is arranged, the entire design and all its principles. Give them all this in writing so that they can see and take note of its design and the way it is all arranged and carry it out.
43:12 This is the charter of the Temple: all the surrounding area on top of the mountain is a most holy area. Such is the charter of the Temple.’
43:13 Here are the dimensions of the altar, in cubits each of a cubit plus a handbreadth. The base: one cubit high and one cubit wide. The ledge all round it: one span. This is the height of the altar:
43:14 from the ground level of the base up to the lower plinth, two cubits high and one cubit wide; from the lesser plinth to the greater plinth, four cubits high and one cubit wide.
43:15 The altar hearth: four cubits high, with four horns projecting from the hearth,
43:16 the hearth being square: twelve cubits by twelve cubits;
43:17 and the square plinth: fourteen cubits by fourteen cubits; and the ledge all round: half a cubit; and the base: one cubit all round. The steps were on the east side.
The consecration of the altar
43:18 He said to me, ‘Son of man, the Lord Yahweh says this: As regards the altar, this is how things are to be done when it has been built for the offering of the holocaust and for the pouring of blood.
43:19 To those levitical priests of the race of Zadok who approach me to serve me – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks – you must give a young bull as a sacrifice for sin.
43:20 You are to take some of its blood and put it on the four horns and the four corners of the plinth and the surrounding ledge. In this way you will purify it and make atonement on it.
43:21 Then take the bull of the sacrifice for sin and burn it in that part of the Temple which is cut off from the sanctuary.
43:22 On the second day, you must offer an unblemished he-goat as the sacrifice for sin, and the altar is to be purified again as with the bull.
43:23 When you have finished the purification you must offer a young bull without blemish and an unblemished ram chosen from the flock.
43:24 You are to present them before Yahweh, and the priests will sprinkle salt on them and offer them as a holocaust to Yahweh.
43:25 As a sacrifice for sin, every day for seven days you must offer a he-goat, a bull and an unblemished ram from the flock,
43:26 for a week. In this way the altar will be atoned for and will be purified and inaugurated.
43:27 At the end of that time, on the eighth day and afterwards, the priest is to offer your holocausts and your communion sacrifices on the altar, and I will look kindly on you – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.’
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 44
The use of the east gate
44:1 He brought me back to the outer east gate of the sanctuary. It was shut.
44:2 Yahweh said to me, ‘This gate will be kept shut. No one will open it or go through it, since Yahweh the God of Israel has been through it. And so it must be kept shut.
44:3 The prince himself, however, may sit there to take his meal in the presence of Yahweh. He is to enter and leave through the porch of the gate.’
Rules of admission to the Temple
44:4 He led me through the north gate to the front of the Temple. I looked; I saw the glory of Yahweh filling the Temple of Yahweh, and I prostrated myself.
44:5 Yahweh said to me, ‘Son of man, pay attention, look carefully and listen closely to everything I explain; these are all the arrangements of the Temple of Yahweh and all its laws. Be careful about which men are admitted to the Temple and which are excluded from the sanctuary.
44:6 And say to the rebels of the House of Israel, “The Lord Yahweh says this: You have gone beyond all bounds with all your filthy practices, House of Israel,
44:7 by admitting aliens, uncircumcised in heart and body, to frequent my sanctuary and profane my Temple, while you offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and break my covenant with all your filthy practices.
44:8 Instead of performing your duties to me in the Holy Place, you have deputed someone else to perform your duties in my sanctuary.
44:9 The Lord Yahweh says this: No alien, uncircumcised in heart and body, is to enter my sanctuary, none of those aliens living among the Israelites.
44:10 As regards the Levites who abandoned me when Israel strayed far from me to follow its idols, they must bear the weight of their own sin.
44:11 They are to be servants in my sanctuary, responsible for guarding the Temple gates and serving the Temple. They will kill the holocaust and the sacrifice for the people, and hold themselves at the service of the people.
44:12 Since they used to be at their service in front of their idols and were an occasion of sin to the House of Israel, very well, I raise my hand against them – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks; they must bear the weight of their sin.
44:13 They are never to approach me again to perform the priestly office in my presence, or to touch my holy things and my most holy things; they must bear the disgrace of their filthy practices.
44:14 I shall give them the responsibility of working in the Temple; I shall make them responsible for serving it and for everything to be done in it.
44:15 As regards the levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who did their duty to me in the sanctuary when the Israelites strayed far from me, they may still approach me to serve me; they may stand in my presence to offer me the fat and blood – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
44:16 They may enter my sanctuary and approach my table to serve me; they may perform my liturgy.
44:17 Once they enter the gates of the inner court, they are to wear linen vestments; they are to wear no wool when they serve inside the gates of the inner court and in the Temple.
44:18 They are to wear linen caps on their heads, and linen breeches about their loins; they are not to wear belts of. . .
44:19 When they go out to the people in the outer court, they are to remove the vestments in which they have performed the liturgy and leave them in the rooms of the Holy Place, and put on other clothes, so as not to hallow the people with their vestments.
44:20 They are neither to shave their heads nor to let their hair grow long, but must cut their hair to a reasonable length.
44:21 No priest is to drink wine on the day he enters the inner court.
44:22 They are not to marry widows or divorced women, but only virgins of the race of Israel; they may, however, marry widows, if the widow of a priest.
44:23 They are to teach my people the difference between what is sacred and what is profane and make them understand the difference between what is clean and what is unclean.
44:24 They are to be judges in disputes; they must judge in the spirit of my statutes; they must follow my laws and ordinances at all my feasts and keep my sabbaths holy.
44:25 They are not to go near a dead man, in case they become unclean, except in these permissible cases, that is, for father, mother, daughter, son, brother or unmarried sister.
44:26 After one of them has been purified, seven days must elapse;
44:27 then, on the day when he enters the Holy Place – enters the inner court to minister in the Holy Place – he is to offer his sacrifice for sin – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
44:28 They are to have no inheritance; I myself will be their inheritance. You are to give them no patrimony in Israel; I myself will be their patrimony.
44:29 Their food is to be the oblation, the sacrifice for sin and the sacrifice of reparation. Everything in Israel put under the ban shall be for them.
44:30 The best of all your first-fruits, of every sort of due and of all that you offer, is to go to the priests; and the best of your dough you are also to give to the priests, so that a blessing may rest on your house.
44:31 Priests are not to eat the flesh of anything that has died a natural death or been savaged, neither of a bird nor of any other creature.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 45
The division of the country. The portion for Yahweh
45:1 When you divide the country into portions by lot, you are to allocate the sacred portion of the country to Yahweh: twenty-five thousand cubits long and twenty thousand wide. The whole of this land is to be sacred,
45:2 and of this an area five hundred by five hundred cubits square is to be for the sanctuary, with a boundary fifty cubits wide right round.
45:3 Out of this area you are also to measure a section twenty-five thousand by ten thousand cubits, in which there shall stand the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies.
45:4 This is to be the sacred portion of the country; it shall belong to the priests who officiate in the sanctuary and approach Yahweh to serve him. There they are to have their houses and also a district set apart for the sanctuary.
45:5 An area twenty-five thousand by ten thousand cubits is to be kept for the Levites serving the Temple to own, with towns to live in.
45:6 You are to give the city possession of an area five thousand by twenty-five thousand cubits, near the land belonging to the sanctuary; this is to be for the whole House of Israel.
The portion for the prince
45:7 The prince is to have a domain either side of the land belonging to the Holy Place and of the land belonging to the city, and adjacent to the land belonging to the Holy Place and the land belonging to the city, stretching westwards from the west and eastwards from the east, its size equal to one of the portions between the west and the east frontiers[*a]
45:8 of the country. This is to be his possession in Israel. Then my princes will no longer oppress my people; they must leave the rest of the country for the House of Israel, for its tribes.
45:9 The Lord Yahweh says this: Let this be enough for you, princes of Israel! Give up your violence and plundering, practise justice and integrity, crush my people no more with taxation – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
45:10 Have scales that are fair, a fair ephah, a fair bath.
45:11 Let the ephah and bath be equal, let the bath hold one tenth of a homer and the ephah one tenth of a homer. Let the measures be based on the homer.
45:12 The shekel is to be twenty gerahs. Twenty shekels, twenty-five shekels and fifteen shekels are to make one mina.
Offerings for worship
45:13 ‘This is the offering that you are to levy: the sixth of an ephah for every homer of wheat, and the sixth of an ephah for every homer of barley.
45:14 The dues on oil: one bath of oil out of every ten baths or out of every cor (which is equal to ten baths or one homer, since ten baths equal one homer).
45:15 You are to levy one sheep on every flock of two hundred from the patrimony of Israel for the oblation, the holocaust and the communion sacrifice. This is to form your atonement – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
45:16 Let all the people of the country be subject to this due for the prince of Israel.
45:17 The prince is to make himself responsible for providing the holocausts, oblation and libation for feasts, New Moons and sabbaths, for all the solemn festivals of the House of Israel. He is to provide the sacrifice for sin, oblation, holocaust and communion sacrifices atoning for the House of Israel.
The feast of the Passover
45:18 The Lord Yahweh says this: On the first day of the first month, you must take a young bull without blemish, to purify the sanctuary.
45:19 The priest is to take blood from the sacrifice for sin and put it on the doorposts of the Temple, on the four corners of the altar plinth and on the doorposts of the gates of the inner court.
45:20 You must do the same on the seventh of the month, on behalf of anyone who has sinned through inadvertence or ignorance. This is how you are to make atonement for the Temple.
45:21 On the fourteenth day of the first month, you must celebrate the feast of the Passover. For seven days everyone is to eat unleavened loaves.
45:22 On that day, the prince must offer a bull as a sacrifice for sin, for himself and all the people in the country.
45:23 For the seven days of the feast, he must offer Yahweh a holocaust of seven bulls and seven rams without blemish, daily for a week, and one he-goat daily as a sacrifice for sin,
45:24 offering one ephah for each bull and one ephah for each ram, and a hin of oil for every ephah for the oblation.
The feast of Tabernacles
45:25 For the feast that falls on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, he must do the same for seven days, offering the sacrifice for sin, the holocaust, oblation and the oil.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 46
The sabbath and the New Moon
46:1 Thus speaks the Lord Yahweh: The east gate of the inner court must be kept shut for the six working days. On the sabbath day it is to be opened, as also on the day of the New Moon;
46:2 and the prince is to go in through the porch of the outer gate and take his position by the doorposts of the gate. The priests must then offer his holocaust and his communion sacrifice. He must prostrate himself on the threshold of the gate and go out, and the gate is not to be shut again until the evening.
46:3 The people of the country are to prostrate themselves in the presence of Yahweh at the entrance to the gate on sabbaths and days of the New Moon.
46:4 The holocaust offered to Yahweh by the prince on the sabbath day is to consist of six unblemished lambs and one unblemished ram,
46:5 and an oblation of one ephah for the ram, and such oblation as he pleases for the lambs, and a hin of oil for every ephah.
46:6 On the day of the New Moon it is to consist of a young bull without blemish, six unblemished lambs and one unblemished ram,
46:7 when he must make an oblation of one ephah for the bull and one ephah for the ram, and what he pleases for the lambs, and a hin of oil for every ephah.
46:8 When the prince goes in, he is to enter by the porch of the gate, and he must leave by the same way.
46:9 When the people of the country come into the presence of Yahweh at the solemn festivals, those who have come in by the north gate to prostrate themselves are to go out by the south gate, and those who have come in by the south gate are to go out by the north gate; no one is to turn back to leave through the gate by which he entered but is to go out on the opposite side.
46:10 The prince is to come with them, coming in like them and going out like them.
46:11 On feast days and solemn festivals the oblation must be one ephah for every bull, one ephah for every ram, what he pleases for the lambs, and a hin of oil for every ephah.
46:12 When the prince offers Yahweh a voluntary holocaust or a voluntary communion sacrifice, the east gate is to be opened for him, and he is to offer his holocaust and his communion sacrifice as he does on the sabbath day; when he has gone out, the gate is to be shut after him.
46:13 Every day he must offer an unblemished lamb one year old as a holocaust to Yahweh; he must offer this every morning.
46:14 Every morning in addition he is to offer an oblation of one sixth of an ephah and one third of a hin of oil, for mixing with the flour. This is the oblation to Yahweh, an eternal law fixed in perpetuity.
46:15 The lamb, is the oblation and the oil are to be offered morning after morning for ever.
46:16 The Lord Yahweh says this. If the prince presents his sons with part of his hereditary portion, the gift is to pass into the ownership of his sons, and become their hereditary property.
46:17 If, however, he presents part of his hereditary portion to one of his servants, it shall only belong to the man until the year of liberation[*a] and is then to revert to the prince. Only his sons may retain his hereditary portion.
46:18 The prince may not take any part of the people’s hereditary portion and thus rob them of their rightful possessions; he must provide the patrimony of his sons out of his own property, so that no member of my people is robbed of his rightful possessions.”‘
46:19 He took me through the entrance at the side of the north gate that leads to the rooms of the Holy Place set apart for the priests. And there before us, to the west, was a space at the end.
46:20 He said to me, ‘This is where the priests are to boil the slaughtered animals for the sacrifice for sin and the sacrifice of reparation, and where they are to bake the oblation, without having to carry them into the outer court and so run the risk of hallowing the people’.
46:21 He took me into the outer court and led me to each of its four corners; in each corner of the outer court was a compound;
46:22 in other words, the four corners of the court contained four small compounds, forty cubits by thirty, all four being the same size.
46:23 Each of the four was enclosed by a wall, with hearths all round the bottom of the wall.
46:24 He said, ‘These are the kitchens where the Temple servants are to boil the sacrifices offered by the people’.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 47
The spring in the Temple
47:1 He brought me back to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar.
47:2 He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side.
47:3 The man went to the east holding his measuring line and measured off a thousand cubits; he then made me wade across the stream; the water reached my ankles.
47:4 He measured off another thousand and made me wade across the stream again; the water reached my knees. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across again; the water reached my waist.
47:5 He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which I could not cross; the stream had swollen and was now deep water, a river impossible to cross.
47:6 He then said, ‘Do you see, son of man?’ He took me further, then brought me back to the bank of the river.
47:7 When I got back, there were many trees on each bank of the river.
47:8 He said, ‘This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome.
47:9 Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows.
47:10 There will be fishermen on its banks. Fishing nets will be spread from En-gedi to En-eglaim. The fish will be as varied and as plentiful as the fish of the Great Sea[*a]
47:11 The marshes and lagoons, however, will not become wholesome, but will remain salt.
47:12 Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.
The frontiers of the land
47:13 ‘The Lord Yahweh says this: Here are the frontiers of the territories to be allotted between the twelve tribes of Israel, with two portions for Joseph.
47:14 You must share it out equally between you, since I swore to your fathers that I would give them this land which now falls to you as your inheritance.
47:15 Here are the frontiers of the land. On the north, from the Great Sea by way of Hethion to the Pass of Hamath and on to Zedad,
47:16 Berothah, Sibraim lying between the territories of Damascus and Hamath – and to Hazer-hat-ticon on the borders of Hauran.
47:17 The frontier will extend from the sea to Hazer-enon, marching with the frontier of Damascus to the north of it and the frontier of Hamath also on the north; so much for the northern frontier.
47:18 On the east is the Jordan will serve as frontier between Hauran and Damascus, between Gilead and the land of Israel, down to the Eastern Sea[*b] as far as Tamar; so much for the eastern frontier.
47:19 On the south, from Tamar southward to the waters of Meribah in Kadesh, to the Wadi and the Great Sea; so much for the southern frontier.
47:20 On the west the Great Sea will serve as frontier up to the point opposite the Pass of Hamath; so much for the western frontier.
47:21 You are to share out this land among yourselves, between the tribes of Israel.
47:22 You are to divide it into inheritances for yourselves and the aliens settled among you who have begotten children with you, since you are to treat them as citizens of Israel. They are to draw lots with you for their inheritance, with the tribes of Israel.
47:23 You must give the alien his inheritance in the tribe in which he is living – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
JB EZEKIEL Chapter 48
The division of the land
48:1 ‘This is the list of the tribes. In the far north by way of Hethlon to the Pass of Hamath, to Hazer-enon, with the frontier of Damascus lying to the north, and marching with Hamath – the land from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Dan, one portion.
48:2 Bordering Dan, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Asher, one portion.
48:3 Bordering Asher, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Naphtali, one portion.
48:4 Bordering Naphtali, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Manasseh, one portion.
48:5 Bordering Manasseh, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Ephraim, one portion.
48:6 Bordering Ephraim, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Reuben, one portion.
48:7 Bordering Reuben, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Judah, one portion.
48:8 Bordering Judah, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier, is the part you are to set aside, twenty-five thousand cubits wide, and as long as each of the other portions from the eastern frontier to the western frontier. The sanctuary will be in the centre of it.
48:9 ‘The part you must set aside for Yahweh is to be twenty-five thousand cubits long and ten thousand cubits wide.
48:10 This consecrated portion is to belong to the priests, being, on the north side, twenty-five thousand cubits; on the west side ten thousand cubits wide, on the east side ten thousand cubits wide and on the south side twenty-five thousand cubits long, and the sanctuary of Yahweh will be in the centre of it.
48:11 This is to belong to the consecrated priests, to those of the sons of Zadok who maintained my liturgy and did not go astray with the straying Israelites, as the Levites went astray.
48:12 And so their portion is to be taken out of the most holy portion of the land, near the territory of the Levites.
48:13 The territory of the Levites, like the territory of the priests, is to be twenty-five thousand cubits long and ten thousand wide the whole length being twenty-five thousand and the width ten thousand.
48:14 It will be illegal for them to sell or exchange any part of it, and the domain can never be alienated, since it is consecrated to Yahweh.
48:15 As regards the remainder, an area of five thousand cubits by twenty-five thousand, this is to be for the common use of the city, for houses and pastures. The city is to stand in the centre.
48:16 Here are its measurements: on the north side, four thousand five hundred cubits; on the south side, four thousand five hundred cubits; on the east side, four thousand five hundred cubits; on the west side, four thousand five hundred cubits.
48:17 And the city pastures are to extend two hundred and fifty cubits to the north, two hundred and fifty to the south, two hundred and fifty to the east, two hundred and fifty to the west.
48:18 One strip, contiguous to the consecrated portion, must be left over, consisting of ten thousand cubits to eastward and ten thousand to westward, marching with the consecrated portion; this will bring in a revenue for feeding the municipal workmen.
48:19 These municipal workpeople are to be drawn from all the tribes of Israel.
48:20 The portion is to have a total area of twenty-five thousand cubits by twenty-five thousand. You are to allocate a quarter of the sacred portion to form the city.
48:21 What is left over shall be for the prince, on either side of the sacred portion and of the common land belonging to the city, marching with the twenty-five thousand cubits to eastward to the eastern frontier, and marching with the twenty-five thousand cubits to westward to the western frontier – running parallel with the other portions and belonging to the prince. In the centre will be the consecrated portion and the sanctuary of the Temple.
48:22 Thus, apart from the property of the Levites and the property of the city which lie inside the prince’s portion, everything between the borders of Judah and the borders of Benjamin is to belong to the prince.
48:23 Here are the rest of the tribes: from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Benjamin, one portion.
48:24 Bordering Benjamin, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Simeon, one portion.
48:25 Bordering Simeon, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Issachar, one portion.
48:26 Bordering Issachar, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Zebulun, one portion.
48:27 Bordering Zebulun, from the eastern frontier to the western frontier: Gad, one portion.
48:28 The southern border of Gad will be formed by the southern frontier running through Tamar to the waters of Meribah in Kadesh, to the Wadi and the Great Sea.
48:29 This is how you are to divide the land into patrimonies for the tribes of Israel; and these are to be their portions – it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks.
The gates of Jerusalem
48:30 Here are the ways out of the city. On the north side, being four thousand five hundred cubits long,
48:31 three gates: the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah, the gate of Levi; the gates of the city are to be named after the tribes of Israel.
48:32 On the east side, being four thousand five hundred cubits long, three gates: the gate of Joseph, the gate of Benjamin, the gate of Dan.
48:33 On the south side, being four thousand five hundred cubits long, three gates: the gate of Simeon, the gate of Issachar, the gate of Zebulun.
48:34 On the west side, being four thousand five hundred cubits long, three gates: the gate of Gad, the gate of Asher, the gate of Naphtali.
48:35 Total perimeter: eighteen thousand cubits. The name of the city in future is to be: Yahweh-is-there.’
END OF JB EZEKIEL [48 Chapters].