Prophet in Babylon with a message for Jerusalem

About Ezekiel

Ezekiel was from the tribe of Levi. He knew all about the work that the priests in Israel did. But he could not do a priest’s work in God’s house (the temple) in Jerusalem. He was living in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had taken many important people from Jerusalem. He had taken them to his city, Babylon. God had let him do this because Israel's people had worshipped other gods.

God chose to speak to Ezekiel and God made him a prophet. Bible students think that God began to give him messages in the year 593 BC. Ezekiel became God’s messenger to Israel's people. He spoke to all the Jews who lived in Babylon.

Some Jews remained in Jerusalem. They thought that they were important. They thought that they were better than the Jews in Babylon. (Nebuchadnezzar had taken some of them there.) God said that Ezekiel must speak to the people in Babylon. He said that he would punish the people in Jerusalem. That was because they had not obeyed his rules. The prophet Jeremiah had already said this to the people in Jerusalem. But they would not listen to Jeremiah.

The Bible says that the Lord God rules all the earth. Ezekiel believed this. He believed that God was holy. And he gave great honour to God. The Israelites in Babylon listened to Ezekiel. They believed that he was God’s prophet. Sometimes God spoke to Ezekiel in dreams. Or he said that he must do strange things. Ezekiel had to explain the dreams to Israel's people.

Chapter 1

God gives Ezekiel a dream

1 God spoke to me on the fifth (5th) day of the fourth (4th) month. I was among the Jews by the side of the river Kebar. Nebuchadnezzar had taken them there from Israel. God opened heaven (God's home) and I saw pictures of him in the sky.

2 Nebuchadnezzar had kept King Jehoiachin in Babylon for five (5) years. On the fifth (5th) day of the month, 3 God spoke to Ezekiel the priest. He was the son of Buzi. He was standing by the River Kebar in the country called Babylon. This was the place where the Lord God spoke to Ezekiel. He told him what he wanted him to do.

4 I, Ezekiel, looked. And I saw great clouds that were coming from the north. They came with a strong wind and bright lights. Light shone all round the clouds. It was like a fire that had burning metal in the centre. 5 I could see something like four (4) living things in the fire. Each of them had the shape of a man. 6 But each of them had four (4) faces and four (4) wings. 7 Their legs were straight and their feet were like the feet of a young cow. They shone like bright metal. 8 They had hands under their wings on the four (4) sides. They were like the hands of a man. Each of these four living things had faces and wings. 9 And their wings touched each other. Each living thing went straight towards the front. They did not turn from their straight path.

10 I saw their faces. The face at the front was the face of a man. On the right side each had an ox’s face. And on the left side each had a lion’s face. Each also had the face of a great bird. 11 That is how I saw their faces. Each of them held two wings up from their sides. The wings of each living thing touched the wings next to them. 12 Each living thing covered its body with two wings. Each living thing moved straight towards the front. They did not turn when they moved. So they went where the spirit wanted. 13 They looked like hot fires or burning sticks of wood. Fire moved between the living things. It shone brightly, and it sent out light like sharp knives. 14 The living things moved very quickly. They went one way and then they went another way.

15 I continued to look at them. And I saw four (4) wheels on the ground. Each was by the side of a living thing. 16 The wheels were all the same. They shone like bright glass. Each was like a wheel across another wheel. 17 They moved any way that the living things moved. 18 The wheels had high edges. Eyes covered their edges. 19 When the living things moved, the wheels moved with them. If they rose from the earth, the wheels rose with them. 20 They went where the spirit wanted, and the wheels went with them. The wheels also had the spirit of the living things. 21 The wheels moved when the living things moved. The wheels stood in the same place when the things stopped. When the living things rose from the ground the wheels also rose. The same spirit moved the living things and the wheels.

22 A roof that looked like shining ice was over the heads of the living things. 23 The living things stood under the roof. Each stood with their wings held towards the things next to them. They covered their bodies with their other two wings. 24 I heard a noise like a fast river or like a great army when they flew. It was like the voice of the great, powerful God. They put their wings down when they stood still. 25 A voice spoke while they stood still with their wings down. It came from above their heads.

26 Over the roof like ice I saw a kind of throne. Someone had made it out of blue stone. And high above the throne I saw something like a man. 27 He shone like bright metal in the centre of a fire. The light of many colours was all round him. 28 It was like the ring of light over the earth on a wet day. This light showed that the Lord was there, in his glory. When I saw it, I fell down on my face. Then a voice spoke to me.

Chapter 2

God chooses Ezekiel to be his messenger

1 ‘Son of man, you must stand up on your feet’, the Lord said to me. ‘Then I will speak to you.’ 2 His Spirit came into me while he spoke. He made me stand up and I heard him speak to me.

3 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘I am sending you to Israel's people. They are people who have not obeyed me. Their nation has turned away from me. They and their fathers have never obeyed my rules. 4 I am sending you to a people who do not listen to me. They think that their ideas are better than mine. This is what you must say to them. “This is what the great, powerful Lord says.” 5 They may listen or they may not listen. But they will know that you are a prophet. They are not an obedient people. But they will know that I have sent a prophet to them. 6 You, son of man, must not be afraid of them or their words. You may feel like you have sharp branches all round you. You may think that they can bite you like animals. But they cannot hurt you. Do not be afraid of what they say. They are all against me. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they will listen or not. They are a people that do not obey me. 8 But you, son of man, must listen to what I say to you. Do not turn against me, like those bad people. Open your mouth. And eat what I give you.’

9 Then I looked and I saw a hand. It held a very long piece of skin. Someone had written words on the skin. The hand offered it to me. 10 When the hand opened the skin, I saw words on both sides of the skin. I read them. They were not happy words, but were very sad.

Chapter 3

1 ‘Son of man, eat what is in front of you’, he said to me. ‘Eat this skin with words on it. Then go and speak to the Israelites.’ 2 Then I opened my mouth and he gave me the skin to eat.

3 ‘Son of man, eat this and fill your stomach with it’, he said. So I ate it, and it was very sweet in my mouth.

4 Then he said to me, ‘Now go, son of man. Speak my words to Israel's people. 5 I am sending you to them. I do not send you to a people whose words you cannot understand. 6 And I do not send you to people who speak a foreign language. I could have sent you to those people. And I am sure that they would have listened to you. 7 But Israel's people will not listen to you. That is because they will not listen to me. They have all decided not to obey me, and they will not change. 8 But I will make you as strong as they are. You will not stop obeying me. 9 You will be strong and you will not change. They may refuse to do as I say. But you must not be afraid of them, even when they do.’

10 And he said to me, ‘Son of man, listen carefully to all that I say. Remember the words that I speak to you. 11 Now you must go to Babylon. Speak to Israel's people who are there. Say this, “This is what the great powerful Lord says.” They may listen or they may refuse to listen.’

12 Then the Lord’s Spirit lifted me up. I heard a loud noise and a voice spoke. ‘Praise the glory of the Lord in his home above’, it said. 13 I heard the sound of the living things’ wings. Their wings were hitting each other. And the wheels made a noise like the sound of the earth when it moves about. 14 Then the Spirit lifted me up and he took me away. He carried me with great power. I felt angry and hurt in my mind. 15 I came to Tel Abib near the river Kedar. The people who had come from Israel lived there. I stayed there with them for seven (7) days. I was very tired and confused.

The Lord tells Ezekiel that he will become a watchman

16 When the seven (7) days were finished, the Lord spoke to me. 17 ‘Son of man, I have made you a watchman for Israel's people. So listen to what I say. They may not obey me. Then tell them what will happen. 18 I may say to a bad man, “I am going to make you die.” You must tell him this. Or you must say that he must stop doing wrong things. Then he will save his life. If you do not tell him this, he will die. He will die because of the bad things that he has done. But I will punish you, because you did not give him my message. 19 You must tell him what I have promised. But he may not listen. Then he will die because he has not obeyed me. But you will have saved yourself.

20 A very good man may start to do bad things and I can make his life difficult. But he will die if you do not tell him about his sin. He will die because of his sins. I will not remember the good things that he did. But you did not tell him what I would do. Then I will punish you. 21 If you give him my message, he may stop sinning. Then he will stay alive. He will not die, because he stopped doing wrong things. And you will not die.’

22 The Lord was very near to me. ‘Go into the flat land and I will speak to you there’, he said. 23 So I got up and I went out to the flat land. And I saw the glory of the Lord there. It was like the glory that I had seen by the River Kebar. I fell down with my face to the ground. 24 Then the Lord’s Spirit lifted me up and he made me stand up. ‘Go into your house and shut the door’, he said. 25 ‘I will stop you from moving. You will be like a man that men have tied up. You will not be able to go out among the people. 26 I will stop your tongue from moving so that you cannot speak. You will not be able to tell my people that they have not obeyed me. But they have done wrong things. 27 I will speak to you again. Then you will be able to give them my message. “This is what the great and powerful Lord says”, you will say. Some of my people will listen to my words, but some people will refuse to listen. They are people who will not obey me.’

Chapter 4

A picture with a message about Jerusalem

1 ‘Now, son of man, make a square flat plate out of soft earth. Draw a picture on this plate. Draw a picture of the city, Jerusalem. 2 Then build hills round it for soldiers to attack the city. Put your tents round the city. Prepare very heavy long sticks to hit its gates. 3 Then you must turn your face towards it. Take an iron plate and put it between your face and the city. This will be a wall between you and the city.

The army is round the city. But you will attack it. This is to show Israel's people what I will do.

4 Then lie on your left side. I will put on you the sin of the Israelites. You will stay there for 390 days and you will suffer because of their sin. 5 This means that I will punish Israel for 390 years. 6 After you have finished this, lie down on your right side. You will stay there for 40 days. You will suffer for the sin of Judah's people. This is to show that I will punish them for 40 years. 7 Turn your face towards the picture of the soldiers who are attacking Jerusalem. Point to it and prophesy against the city. 8 I will tie you up so that you cannot turn from one side to another. You will stay on one side until the day when the soldiers round the city go away.

9 You must take different kinds of food grains. Then put them in a jar. Use them to make bread for yourself. You must eat this for 390 days. Those are the 390 days that you are on your left side. 10 Weigh out 20 shekels (about 8 ounces or 220 grams) of food for each day. This is all the food that I will let you eat in one day. 11 You can have a sixth (1/6th) of a hin (two cups) of water a day to drink. 12 Bake the food like a cake. Bake it in front of the people on a fire that you have made with human dirt.’ 13 The Lord said, ‘I will send Israel's people to live in foreign lands. This is to show them that they will eat bad food there. That food will not be clean.’

14 ‘No, great and powerful Lord’, I replied. ‘I have never eaten anything that would make me not clean. Even when I was a child, I obeyed your rules. An animal might have died when nobody had killed it. I did not eat that meat. Nor did I eat meat that wild animals had killed. I have never eaten any food that was not clean.’

15 So God spoke to me. ‘It is good’, he said. ‘You can use dirt from cows instead. You can cook your bread on that.’

16 Then God said, ‘I am going to take away the bread from the people in Jerusalem. They will have to measure the food that they eat. And they will measure the water that they drink. I will give them great trouble. 17 They will have no more bread or water. They will be very sad and their bodies will become thin. This is because they have done so many bad things.’

God had given Israel's people a list of the only animals that they should eat. They might not obey him and eat another animal. Then they would not be clean. Then they must not go near to God. They would not be holy.

Chapter 5

Ezekiel cuts his hair

1 ‘Now, son of man, take a sharp sword. Use it to cut all the hair from your head and face. Then take the hair and weigh it. Make it into three (3) equal parts.

2 Keep this hair until the end of the days that you lie still. Then you will not watch the soldiers round your picture of Jerusalem any longer. Take one part of the hair and burn it inside the city. Take another part and hit it all round the city with a sword. And take the third (3rd) part and throw the hairs to the wind. I will run after them with a sword. 3 But take a few hairs and keep them in your clothes. 4 Then take out some of these hairs and burn them in the fire. This fire will grow and go out to all Israel.’

5 The Lord, the King who rules Israel, says this. ‘I have put Jerusalem in the centre of all the nations. There are countries all round it. 6 But the people who live there have not obeyed my rules. They have been very wicked.’ 7 So this is what the Lord, your King says: ‘They have done more bad things than any of the nations round them have done. They have refused to obey my rules. I said that they must not do certain things. But they have done them. They have done even worse things than the nations round them have done.’

8 So this is what the Lord, your King, says: ‘I am against you, people in Jerusalem. I will punish you in front of all the nations. 9 I will punish you as I have never punished anyone before. And I will never do it again. I will punish you because you worship so many wrong things. You worship idols. But they are not gods. 10 You will have among you fathers who will eat their children. And children will eat their fathers. I will punish you. I will send far away those few people who do not die. They will go to all parts of the earth.

11 You can be sure that I am alive. I will surely not help you again. You have put your bad things (idols) in my house, and you have done wrong things there. Because you have made my house not clean, I will not be sorry for you. I will not save you. 12 A third (1/3rd) of the people will die. They will die inside your city because they are ill. Or they will die there because they have no food. Soldiers will kill a third (1/3rd) of the people outside your walls. And I will send a third (1/3rd) away. Their enemies will run after them with a sword.

13 When I have done this I will not be angry any longer. I will not punish them any more, because it is enough. They will know that I, the Lord, have spoken to them. And I hate the wrong things that they have done.

14 I will break down your walls and your buildings. People from other nations who walk past you will be afraid. 15 They will look at you. They will see what I did to you. I did it because I was angry. They will think that you have no value. They will know what I told you. You should not do bad things. And they will say that I punished you because you did not obey me. And they will be afraid.’ I, the Lord, say this. 16 ‘I will take away your food in order to kill you. You will have pain because you will be very hungry. I will make it more and more difficult for those in the city to get food. 17 You will have nothing to eat and wild animals will attack you. They will kill your children. I will send illness, armies and swords to kill you.’ I, the Lord, have spoken.

Chapter 6

1 The Lord spoke to me again. 2 ‘Son of man, you must turn to speak against the mountains of Israel. Give my prophecy to them. 3 “You mountains of Israel”, you must say. “This is what the Lord, your ruler, says to you. I am speaking to the mountains, the hills and valleys. ‘I am going to attack you. I will destroy your high places where men worship other gods. 4 I will break down your altars where they burn food to idols. I will destroy the altars where they offer their sweet smelling oils to false gods. And I will kill the people in front of those idols. 5 Their dead bodies will lie in front of their false gods. And soldiers will throw their bones round the idol’s altars. 6 In every place that they live, they will destroy their towns.

They will break the altars on the high places. And they will pull down the altars where you burnt the sweet oils. They will destroy your idols. 7 You will see your dead people. And then you will know that I am the Lord.

8 But some of you will not die. These people will run to other countries and nations. 9 When they are there, far away, they will remember me. They will remember how they made me very sad. They turned away from me and they did wrong things. They worshipped idols and they did not obey me. Then they will be angry with themselves. They will be ashamed of the evil things that they did. 10 And they will know that I am the Lord. They will know that I kept my promise to punish them.’ ”

11 This is what the Lord, your King, says. “Make a loud noise. Hit your hands together. Hit the ground with your feet. Shout ‘Help!’ Do this because of all the bad, evil things that Israel's people have done. I will send soldiers and illness to kill them. Or they will die because they do not have anything to eat. 12 People who are far away will become ill. And they will die. Soldiers will kill those who are near to the city. The people in the city will die because they do not have any food. That is how I will punish them. I am very angry. 13 They will see their dead bodies. Then they will know that I am the Lord. The bodies will be lying in front of their idols and their altars to false gods. They will see dead bodies on every high hill and mountain and round their altars. They will see them in every place. Their bodies will lie under big trees. That is where they offered sweet oils to their idols. 14 I will make the land from Diblah to the desert empty. I will change the land where they live into a desert. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” ’

Chapter 7

The day has come for the Lord to punish Israel

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man, the Lord, your King, is speaking to the land in Israel. He says, “This is the end. Now I am going to finish with all the land. 3 Now I will show you how angry I am. I will punish you because of all the wrong things that you have done. The punishment will be as great as the wrong things that you have done. 4 I will not be sorry for you or save you. I will punish you. I will punish you because of all the wrong things that you have done. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

5 This is what the Lord says. “Great trouble! I am going to send you greater trouble than anyone has ever seen. 6 No time is left. It is finished. 7 I will destroy the lives of the people who live in this country. They will not have parties where they worshipped idols. They will have no more parties in the high places. People will be confused, not happy. 8 I will soon cause you to know how angry I am. I am going to be your judge for all that you have done. And I will punish you because of all the wrong things that you have done. 9 I will not make your punishment less. I will give you great punishment for all the sins that you have done. Then you will know that I, the Lord, am punishing you.

10 It is time now. The people have done enough wrong things. The time to punish them has come. 11 I have become very angry. I will punish the wicked people. I will punish all of them. None of their dear things will remain, nor anything that has any value. 12 The day when I punish my people has come. The person who buys will not be happy. Nor will the person who sells. I am angry with every one of them. 13 Any man who sells his land will not get it back. I will keep my promise. Nobody who has done wrong things will stay alive. 14 They may prepare for war, but nobody will go out to fight. The whole nation has made me very angry.

15 The enemy is outside the city. Inside the city, people are ill and they have no food. Soldiers will kill the people in the country. The people in the city will die from illness, or because they do not have any food. 16 Some people will stay alive. They will leave the city and they will run to the mountains. They will be like birds that are flying from the hunters. They will all cry because of their sins. 17 Their hands will be weak and their knees will knock together. 18 They will want to show that they are sorry. So they will wear clothes that are not comfortable. They will be very afraid. They will be ashamed and they will cut all the hair from their heads. 19 They will throw their silver and gold away like dirt. They will know that neither silver nor gold can save them from God’s anger. Neither will buy them food or anything that they want. These valuable metals have made them sin. 20 They were happy because they had beautiful things. But they used them to make idols. That is why the Lord has made them hate their silver and gold. 21 He will give their silver and gold to foreigners and to robbers. People will think that their idols have become not clean. 22 I will turn away from my people. Bad men will go into my special house (temple) and they will make it not clean. Nobody will worship me there.

23 Nothing is safe. The country is full of men who kill. People are fighting in the city. 24 I will bring the most evil people here and they will live in your homes. Your strongest men will feel weak when they see the temple. Evil men will have made it not clean.

25 When people are afraid, they will look for peace. But they will not find it. 26 Many bad things will come, one after another. Men will bring bad news all the time. They will ask the prophet to tell them what will happen. The priests will not have anything to teach the people. And the leaders will have not have anything to say. 27 The king will be very sad and his son will not be able to hope for anything. The people will be very afraid. And their bodies will move about like leaves in the wind. I will punish them because of the wrong things that they have done. I will be their judge in the same way that they were judges for other people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” ’

Chapter 8

God shows Ezekiel the bad things that men are doing in his temple

1 I was sitting in my house. The leaders of Judah sat in front of me. It was the sixth (6th) year and the fifth (5th) day of the sixth (6th) month. While I sat there, the Lord showed me a picture in my mind. 2 I saw something that looked like a man. The top half of his body looked as bright as burning metal. The half of his body that was below looked like fire. 3 He put out something like a hand. Then he held me by my hair. The Lord’s Spirit lifted me up in a dream, high in the sky. And, in my dream, God took me to Jerusalem. He took me to the north gate of the temple’s inside yard. Enemies had put an idol there that had made God angry. 4 And in front of me I saw the bright light of the Lord. It was like the light that I had seen by the River Kebar.

5 Then the Lord spoke to me. ‘Son of man’, he said, ‘Look towards the north.’

When I looked, I saw the idol. It made God angry. It stood near the altar by the north door.

6 ‘Son of man, you see what they are doing’, he said to me. ‘Israel's people are doing very bad things here. They are keeping me a long way away from my holy temple. But I will show you worse things than these.’

7 Then he took me to the gate of the inside yard. There he showed me a hole in the wall. 8 ‘Son of man, make a hole in the wall here’, he said. So I dug into the wall and I found a door. 9 ‘Go in. And see the very bad things that they are doing there’, he said. 10 So I went in and I saw pictures on the walls. They were pictures of snakes and other animals. They were all animals that God did not let us touch or eat. And there were other pictures there. Israel's people were worshipping them. 11 Seventy (70) leaders were there. Jaazaniah, son of Shaphan, was among them. Each man held a pot with burning sweet-smelling oil in it.

12 ‘Son of man’, said the Lord. ‘Look at what these leaders are doing! Each man is burning oil to offer worship to his own idol. It is their secret. They say, “The Lord does not see us. He has gone away from us.” ’

13 ‘You will see even worse things than that’, the Lord said to me. 14 Then he took me to the north gate of the temple. Women there were crying because the god Tammuz was dead.

15 ‘You saw that’, he said. ‘But I will show you more things that are even worse.’ 16 He took me to the inside yard, between the altar and the gate. About twenty-five (25) men were standing there. Their backs were turned away from the Lord. And their faces were looking to the east. Then they bent their heads down to worship the sun when it rose.

17 ‘Son of man, you saw that’, the Lord said to me. ‘This is not a small thing. The people in Judah are doing the wrong things that you have seen here. And they are fighting and killing in all the country. They are making me angry all the time. They are worshipping other gods in my holy temple. They are taking away the honour of my name. 18 So I will show them how angry I am. I will not be kind to them or save them. They may shout to me, but I will not listen to them.’

Chapter 9

God kills the people who worship idols

1 I heard God’s Spirit speak in a loud voice. ‘Bring here the men who keep the city safe. Tell them that they must bring their arms with them.’ 2 And I saw (6) six men. They came out of the higher gate. People can look towards the north from that gate. Each man carried his powerful arms. A man who was wearing white clothes came with them. He was carrying tools with which to write. They came in and they stood next to the altar of yellow metal.

3 The bright light that was the glory of Israel’s God moved away from the living things. It went to the door of the temple that was outside. Then the Lord called out to the man with the writing tools. 4 ‘Go through all the city (Jerusalem)’, he said. ‘Some people are very sad. They are sad because of the evil things that men are doing there. Put a mark on those people who are so sad. Put it on their faces.’

5 While I listened, the Lord spoke to the other men. ‘Follow that man through the city. And kill anyone who does not have the mark. 6 Kill the old men, young men and women. Kill the women and the children. Do not be kind or save any of them. But do not touch anyone that has the mark on their face.’ So they started to kill. The leaders were in front of the temple. They began with them.

7 ‘Fill the yard of the temple with dead bodies. Then the people cannot use the temple for worship’, he said. ‘Go now!’ So they went out and they started to kill people all over the city. 8 They left me alone while they were doing this. I fell down on my face. ‘Great and powerful Lord’, I cried. ‘Jerusalem has made you very angry. Will you kill all Israel's people who remain?’

9 This was his answer. ‘Both Israel and Judah are very, very bad. They have hurt and killed each other. And they have not been fair to each other. They say, “The Lord has forgotten his country. The Lord does not see us.” 10 So I will not be sorry for them. I will punish them because of what they have done.’

11 Then the man with the writing tools came back ‘I have done what you asked me to do’, he said.

Chapter 10

God’s glory leaves the temple

1 I looked and I saw something like a throne of blue stone. It was high over the heads of the living things. 2 The Lord spoke to the man with white clothes. ‘Go between the wheels under the living things’, he said. ‘See the stones that are burning among the living things. Fill your hands with them. Then throw them all over the city.’ The man went in. And I watched him while he went in.

3 The living things stood at the south side of the temple. A cloud filled the inside yard. 4 Then the Lord’s glory rose up. It went from above the living things. Then it moved to the outside door of the temple. The cloud filled the temple. And the Lord’s glory shone through the whole inside yard. 5 I could hear the noise of the living things’ wings as far as the outside yard. The noise was like the voice of the great and powerful God when he speaks.

6 The man in white clothes went and he stood next to a wheel. He did this when the Lord said ‘Take fire from among the wheels. Take it from under the living things.’ 7 Then one of the living things put his hand into the fire. He took some fire. He put it into the man’s hands. Then the man in white clothes went out. 8 (The living things had hands under their wings. They were like the hands of a man.)

9 I looked and I saw four (4) wheels next to the living things. There was one wheel next to each living thing. And the wheels shone like broken ice. 10 All the four (4) wheels looked the same. Each had a wheel inside a wheel. 11 When the living things moved, they could go in any direction. They all moved together to go where they wanted. They did not have to turn round to change their direction. 12 All their bodies were covered with eyes. This included their backs, hands and wings. And eyes covered the wheels. 13 A voice gave the wheels the name, ‘fast moving wheels’. (See Ezekiel 1:15-21.)

14 Each of the living things had four (4) faces. One face was the face of a male cow. And the second (2nd) was the face of a man. The third (3rd) face was a lion’s face. And the fourth (4th) face was the face of an eagle (a great bird).

15 I had seen the same living things by the River Kebar. 16 When they rose in the air, the wheels rose too. They put out their wings to fly. And then the wheels stayed by them. 17 When the living things stood still, the wheels also stood still. And when the living things rose in the air, the wheels rose also. This was because the same spirit ruled them all. 18 Then the glory of the Lord left the outside door of the temple. It moved to a place above the living things. 19 They put out their wings. So they flew up from the earth. And the wheels went with them. They stopped by the east gate of the Lord’s house. And the glory of the Lord was above them.

20 They were the same living things that I had seen before. They were under the Lord’s glory. And I knew that they were called cherubs. 21 Each of them had four (4) faces and four (4) wings. And they had something that looked like a hand under each wing. 22 Their faces were the same as those that I had seen by the river Kebar. Each of them moved along a straight path.

Chapter 11

1 Then the Spirit lifted me and he took me to the Lord’s house. We stood by the east gate. I saw Jaazaniah, Azzur’s son and Pelatiah, Benaiah’s son among them. They were leaders of the people. 2 The Lord spoke to me. ‘These are the men who want to do evil things in this city’, he said. ‘They are saying wrong things to the people. 3 They are saying, “It will soon be time to build houses. This city is like a pot to cook meat. And we are that good meat.” 4 Son of man, you must prophesy against them.’

5 Then the Lord’s Spirit told me what I should say. ‘I know what you are saying, Israel's people. And I know what you want to do. 6 You have killed so many people that the streets are full of dead bodies.

7 So this is what the great and powerful Lord says: “The bodies that you threw into the street are the meat. And the city is the pot in which to cook them. But I will push you out of the city. 8 You are afraid of swords. So I will send men with swords to attack you”, says the Lord. 9 “I will make you run from the city. I will send foreign men to punish you. 10 Their swords will kill you in your own country. This is how I have decided to punish you. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 11 This city will not be like a pot that holds the meat inside it. And you will not be the meat in the pot. I will punish you near the edges of Israel. 12 Then you will know that I am the Lord. This is because you have not obeyed my rules. Instead you have done the same things as the nations round you.” ’

13 While I was speaking the words from the Lord, Pelatiah, Benaiah’s son, died. Then I fell with my face down. And I shouted to the Lord. ‘Great and powerful Lord, will you kill all Israel's people who remain?’

14 The Lord spoke to me. 15 ‘Son of man, this is what the people in Jerusalem say. They say that your family and all Israel’s people are far away from me. They say that I gave them this country to keep.’

The Lord promises that some of the people will return to their country

16 ‘So say this to them. “This is what the Lord, your King, says. ‘I did send them to many different lands far away. But for that short time I have kept them safe in those countries.’ ”

17 Then say, “This is what the Lord, your King, says. ‘I will fetch you and bring you home. I will bring you back from the countries where I sent you. I will give the land of Israel back to you.’ ”

18 The people will return and burn their idols and their evil things. 19 They will want to worship only me. I will put a new spirit into them. I will take away the bad spirit that is in them. I will make them understand how I want them to live. 20 Then they will know my rules. They will be careful to obey them. They will be my people and I will be their God. 21 But I will punish those who continue to worship idols. I will punish them because of the evil things that they do’, says the Lord, your God.

22 Then the living things put out their wings to fly. The wheels were by their sides. And the glory of Israel’s God was above them. 23 The glory of the Lord rose up from the city. It stopped to the east of it. The glory was above the mountain. 24 In my dream, the Spirit took me back to Babylon. I went to the Israelites who were there. That was the end of the dream. 25 I told the people everything that the Lord’s dream had showed me.

Chapter 12

1 The Lord spoke to me again. 2 ‘Son of man, you live among a people who refuse to obey me. They have eyes to see, but they do not see. They have ears to hear, but they do not hear. Then they refuse to obey me.

3 So you must prepare your things for a journey. Enemies will take you as a prisoner to a country far away. Go to another place while it is day. Then the people can watch you go. They do not obey me but perhaps they will understand. 4 Bring out the things that you have prepared. Bring them out during the day while the people are watching you. Then go out in the evening while they watch you. Go like someone who is leaving the country. 5 While they watch, dig a hole in the wall. Go through it and take your things with you. 6 Put your things on your shoulder while they watch you. Carry them out while the light starts to go away. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land. This is how I have made you a picture for Israel’s people.’

7 So I did what the Lord had said. I brought out the things that I had prepared. I would take them with me out of the country. I did this during the day. Then evening came. I dug a hole in the wall with my hands. I took my things out when it became dark. I carried them on my shoulders while the people watched me.

8 In the morning, the Lord spoke to me again. 9 ‘Son of man, you know about those people who refuse to obey me. They did not even ask you what you were doing’, he said to me.

10 ‘You must speak to them. Say, “This what the Lord, your King says. ‘This is a picture of the king in Jerusalem and all the people there.’ ” 11 You must say to them, “I am a picture of what the Lord will cause to happen. The people will do what I have done. Enemies will take them far away to another country as prisoners.” 12 Their king will leave when it starts to become dark. He will carry his things on his shoulders. They will dig a hole in the wall for him to go through. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land. 13 I will catch him and take him to Babylon. That is the country where the people called Chaldeans live. But he will not see the land, and he will die there. 14 I will make all his officers and soldiers run away. I will make their enemies run after them with swords. Their enemies will be ready to kill them.

15 I will send the people away from their city. Then they will know that I am the Lord. They will know this when I send them to many different countries. 16 But I will save a few of them. I will not make them all die. In those far countries they will be sad. Then they will be sorry because of the many bad things that they have done. And they will know that I am the Lord.’

17 The Lord spoke to me again. 18 ‘Son of man, let your body shake while you eat your food. Be afraid and shake your body. You will shake while you drink your water. 19 Speak to the people in this country. Say, “This is what the Lord, the King, says. He is speaking about those who live in Jerusalem and in Israel. They will be afraid while they eat their food. They will be very afraid. They will shake while they drink their water. This is because nothing will remain in their country. All who live there are angry. Then they hurt each other. 20 Enemies will knock down the towns where people live. The country will be empty. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” ’

21 The Lord spoke to me again. 22 ‘Son of man, there is a thing that people say in Israel. They say, “People see pictures in the mind. But what they see never happens. Time passes and people forget about it.” 23 But you must say to them. “This is what the Lord, your King, says. ‘I will stop you from saying these words. I say that soon every one of your dreams will become true. I will do it. 24 Nobody in Israel will again dream things that are false. Nobody will say that bad things will not happen. 25 But I, the Lord, will say what I want to say. I will make it happen immediately. I say this to you people who do not obey me. I will do this while you are alive. I will do all the things that I have said’, says the Lord, your King.” ’

26 The Lord spoke to me. 27 ‘Son of man, Israel's people are saying wrong things. “Your message will not become true for many years. That day will not be soon.” That is what they say. 28 So you must speak to them. “This is what your Lord, the King says, ‘I will not wait any longer to do what I have said. I will do everything that I told you’ ”, says the Lord.’

In this chapter, Ezekiel tried to make people hear the true words of the Lord. The people did not want to hear, because his words brought bad news. People had their own ideas. Ezekiel showed them that their ideas were false. The Lord would do as he had said. And he would do it soon.

Chapter 13

The Lord is against false prophets

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man, prophesy against the prophets who are now speaking to Israel’s people. Their prophecies are their own ideas. Say to them, “Listen to what the Lord says. 3 This is what he says. ‘You will not be happy, you fools. You have not seen anything. You are speaking your own words. 4 Israel’s prophets are like wild dogs that live in broken houses. 5 They have not built up the broken walls for Israel's people. So they will not be strong when I send enemies to attack them. 6 These prophets describe false dreams and their words are not true. They say, “The Lord says”. But I have not sent them. The things that they tell the people will not happen. But they think that they will happen. 7 Their dreams are false. And they have said things that are not true. You know that they said, “The Lord says”. But I have not spoken to them.’ ”

8 So this is what the Lord, your King, says to them. “I am against you because of your words and dreams that are not true”, says the Lord. 9 “I will punish the prophets who see false dreams. I will punish those who say false things. They will not become leaders of my people. People will not remember them. They will not go into the country called Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, your King.”

10 They are leading my people away from me. They say that there will be peace. But there is no peace. They are like men who build a thin wall. And they paint it white. 11 You must speak to the men who painted the wall. Say that it will fall. I will send much rain and hail (rain like stones) and strong winds. 12 The wall will fall. And people will ask why the paint did not hold it up.

13 This, then, is what the Lord, your King, says. “I am very angry. So I will send strong winds and hail (rain like stones). Hard rain will fall and it will destroy much. 14 I will break down the wall that you painted. The wall will fall flat. Then you will see the ground on which it was. When the wall falls it will kill you. And you will know that I am the Lord. 15 By this, I will show you that I am very angry. I will destroy the wall and those who painted it white. I will say to you, ‘The wall is gone. And so are those who painted it.’ 16 I am speaking about the prophets of Israel. They promised that Jerusalem would have peace. But I will send no peace to Jerusalem”, says the Lord, your King.’

17 ‘Now, son of man, you must turn against the women prophets. They say to your people things that are not true. They tell them things that are their own ideas. You must prophesy against them. 18 Say, “This is what the Lord, your King, says. ‘I will punish those who tie special things on their arms. They think that these can make good things happen for them. They wear special cloths over their heads to give them power over people. They want to have power over other people so that they can save themselves. 19 You have taken away my honour so that you can get a little bread. You have said things that are not true. This is how you have caused people to die. But they should not have died. And you have caused people to stay alive who should not stay alive. You say what is not true to my people. And they believe you.’ ”

20 Now this is what the Lord, your King, says. “You catch people as you catch birds with your special cloths and things. But I will tear the special things from you. I will make everyone free from your power. 21 I will tear the cloths from your heads. And you will have no power over people. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 22 The false things that you said made the good people sad. But I did nothing to make them sad. And you did not try to make the bad people stop doing wrong things. You did not try to save their lives. 23 So you women will not see false dreams or have power over people. I will save my people from the things that you do. And then you will know that I am theLord.” ’

Chapter 14

1 Some of the leaders of Israel came. They sat down in front of me. 2 Then the Lord spoke to me. 3 ‘Son of man’, he said, ‘These men worship idols. They will not listen to me. I do not want them to ask me for anything. 4 You must speak to them. Say, “This is what the Lord, the King, says. ‘A man who worships idols may come to ask me something. And I will answer him. I will show him that his idols have no value. 5 I will do this so that Israel’s people will turn back to me. Those who worship idols will again worship me.’ ”

6 So you must speak to Israel's people. Say, “This is what the Lord, your King says. ‘Be sorry about the bad things that you have done! You must not worship idols. Stop doing all the wrong things that you were doing.”

7 An Israelite or a foreigner who lives in Israel may not want to be my servant. He may turn from me and worship idols. Then he may go to ask a prophet for help. I myself, the Lord, will answer him. 8 I will be against that man. I will make bad things happen to him. People will see what I have done. I will make him an example to them and they will push him away. He will no longer belong to my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

9 I can make a prophet give a false answer. He will give a false prophecy. But I have made him say it. 10 I will punish both the prophet and the person who asked him for a prophecy. 11 Then Israel's people will stay close to me. They will no longer be like a bad smell to me because they do so many bad things. They will be my people and I will be their God’ ”, says the Lord.’

12 The Lord spoke to me. 13 ‘Son of man, a country’s people may not obey me. Then this is what I will do. I will not give its people any food if they turn away from me. The men and animals that live there will die because they do not have anything to eat. 14 I would only save men like Noah, Daniel and Job, if they lived there. They would save themselves because they did good things’, says the Lord, your King.

15 ‘Or I might send wild animals to kill the people in that country. Nobody would be able to travel through it because of the animals. 16 I am surely alive’, the Lord, your King says. ‘And I say what is true. Even if these three (3) men lived in that country, they could not save their own children. I would save only those three men.

17 Or I might bring men with swords to fight against that country. I would let them kill the men and their animals. 18 I am surely alive’, says the Lord, your King. ‘And my promise is true. Even if these three (3) men lived there, they could not save their own children. I would save only those three men.

19 Or I might be angry and send illness into that country. It would kill the men and animals that lived there. 20 I am surely alive’, says the Lord, your King. ‘And what I say is true. Even if Noah, Daniel and Job lived there, they could not save their sons or daughters. They would save only themselves because they had done good things.’

21 This is what the Lord, your King says. ‘Jerusalem’s people will have a very bad time when they do not have any food to eat. And I will send soldiers and wild animals and illness to punish them. 22 But they will not all die. Some sons and daughters will remain alive. They will come to you. You will see that they stay alive. And then you will be happy. You will be happy that I sent all these things to punish Jerusalem’s people. 23 Then you will know that I had a good reason to do these things’, says the Lord, your King.

Chapter 15

Jerusalem is like a tree that has no value

1 Again the Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘The wood of the vine is no better than any other wood that grows. 3 Nobody takes its wood to make into a thing that they can use. They cannot even make from it a little thing on which to hang clothes! 4 They can burn it in the fire. Then only the black, burnt centre remains. But they still cannot use it. 5 They could not use it while it was green. So they surely cannot use it after they have burnt it black.

6 So this is what the Lord, your King, says to you. “I have burnt the wood of the vine. In the same way, I will burn the people who live in Jerusalem. 7 I will not save them. If the fire has not burnt them yet, it will still burn them. I will do this. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 8 I will cause the land to be empty. I will do this because they have not continued to worship me” ’, says the Lord, your King.

Chapter 16

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man, make Jerusalem's people see what bad things they have done. 3 Say to them, “This is what the Lord, your King says to Jerusalem’s people, ‘Your mother gave you birth in the country called Canaan. Your father was an Ammonite and your mother a Hittite. 4 They did not wash you on the day that you were born. They did not cut you from your mother’s body. They did not make you clean or tie you in cloths. 5 Nobody was sorry or wanted to do these things for you.

No, they threw you out on the day that you were born. They threw you into a field. They thought that you had no value.

6 Then I came. I was walking by and I saw you. You were lying there. You were kicking and blood covered you. Then I said to you, “Stay alive.” 7 I made you grow like the plants in a field. You became beautiful, like a valuable shining stone. Your breasts and your hair grew. You had no value before, but I had made you beautiful.

8 I walked by again. Then I saw that you were old enough for me to love you. I covered you with my coat. I gave you clothes. I made a promise to you that was true. We agreed that you would belong to me’, said the Lord, your King.

9 ‘I washed you with water. I washed away the blood and I put oil on your body. 10 I put a beautiful dress on you and leather shoes on your feet. The clothes that I gave you were very good. They were the best and most expensive that I could find. 11 I made rings out of pretty stones. Then I put them round your neck and your arms. 12 I put valuable rings in your nose and ears. And I put a beautiful ring round your head. I dressed you like a queen. 13 I made you beautiful with gold and silver. I gave you pretty, expensive clothes and I fed you with the best food. You became very beautiful and then you became a queen. 14 The people in all countries heard how beautiful you were. I was the person who had made you so beautiful. I had given you all your good things’, says the Lord, your King.

15 ‘But you used your beauty to do wrong things. You wanted to do what you liked. You thought like this because you were so beautiful. You had sex with those who were not your husband. You had sex with any traveller who came past. He tasted your beautiful body. 16 You took some of your good clothes. You used them to make beautiful the places where they worship idols. 17 You took the things of gold and silver that I had given to you. You made male idols for yourself. You had sex with them. 18 You put your beautiful clothes on them and you gave them my oil and wine. 19 You offered to idols the food that I gave to you. You worshipped them with sweet smells. You made all this happen’, says the Lord, your King.

20 ‘And you took the sons and daughters that I had given to you. 21 You offered them to those idols for food. You did what was wrong. You worshipped other Gods. But you did a much worse thing. You killed my children and you offered them to idols. 22 When I found you, then you had no clothes. And blood covered you. You did not remember this when you had sex with idols.

23 Be very sad. I will bring great trouble to you!’ says the Lord, your King. ‘You have done even more evil things. 24 In the centre of every town, you have built hills. On each hill you have built a place to worship other gods. 25 You have put these places at the end of every street. There you offered yourself to anyone who went past. You have made yourself of no value. 26 You had sex with the Egyptians, who wanted you. All this made me very angry. 27 So I took away some of your land. I gave your enemies, the people who live in Philistia, power over you. They were ashamed because you were not faithful to me. 28 You gave your body to the people who live in Assyria, too. You could not get enough sex! 29 You had sex with the people from Babylon, who sell things. But even then you had not had enough sex.’ ” ’ 30 ‘Your mind is so weak’, says the Lord, your King. ‘You do these things like a woman who is not ashamed. She asks a man for money to have sex with her. 31 But you are not like one of those women. You built places to worship idols in every street. But you did not let men pay you when they had sex with you.

32 You are like a wife that is not faithful wife to me. You want to have sex with strangers more than with your own husband! 33 Men pay bad women who let them have sex with them. But you give gifts to the men who have sex with you. You pay them to come and have sex with you. 34 So you are very different from those other women. You pay your men, and they do not pay you.’

35 So listen to what the Lord is saying to you. ‘You are not a faithful wife. 36 You gave your good things to those who were not your husband. And you showed them your body without any clothes. You offered them your children’s blood. 37 So I will bring all those with whom you had sex round you. I will bring those that you liked. And I will bring those that you did not like. Then I will remove your clothes in front of them all. They will see you without clothes. 38 They punish wives who are not faithful. You are like those who kill people. So I will punish you. I will show you that I am very angry. I am like a good husband who is angry with a wife. He is angry because she is not faithful. 39 I will make those men who loved you punish you. They will destroy the high places where you worshipped idols. They will take away your beautiful clothes and your things of gold and silver. They will leave you with no clothes. 40 They will bring a crowd of men with swords to cut you up. They will throw stones at you. 41 They will burn down your houses. Women will watch while they punish you. I will stop you from having sex with other men. You will not pay them to have sex with you. 42 After this, I will no longer be angry with you. I will be quiet, and not angry.

The Lord is telling Jerusalem's people a story. He says that they are like a bad wife. Her husband gave her everything that she had. But she was not faithful to her husband. Israel’s people do not love the Lord. They do not worship him. They have loved foreign gods. So, like an angry husband, the Lord will punish his people (his wife). He will take away the good things that he gave them.

43 I will surely punish you because of what you have done’, says the Lord, your King. ‘You forgot what I did for you. I was kind to you when you were young. You did many things to make me very angry. And you were not ashamed of the bad things that you did.

44 You say that a daughter will be like her mother. 45 Yes, you are a true daughter of your mother! She thought that her husband and her children were not valuable. And you are like your sisters. They thought that their husbands and their children had no value. Your mother was a Hittite and your father was an Amorite. 46 Your older sister was Samaria. She and her daughters lived north of you. Your younger sister was Sodom. She and her daughters lived south of you. 47 You did all the bad things that they did. But you did even worse things, too. 48 Your sister Sodom and her daughters never did such bad things as you and your daughters have done’, says the Lord, your King.

49 ‘This is the sin that your sister Sodom did. She and her daughters (people) thought that they were better than other people. They ate too much and they did not try to help poor people. 50 They thought that they could do what they liked. And I saw them do all kinds of bad things. So I took them away, as you have seen. 51 Samaria's people did only half as many bad things as you have done. You have done much worse things than your sisters. The things that you have done make your bad sisters seem good! 52 Now I must punish you. You have done such bad things that you should be ashamed. After I have looked at you, your sisters seem to be good.

53 But I will give things back to Sodom and her daughters (people). I will give to Samaria and her daughters the things that I took from them. And I will give you back the things that I took away from you. 54 You will be sorry that you did such bad things. And your sisters will be happy that I punished you. 55 I will make your sisters, Sodom and Samaria with their daughters, the same as they were before. And you and your daughters will become what they were before. 56 Before I punished you, you would not speak about your sister Sodom. You thought that you were much better than she was. 57 But then I showed everyone how bad you were. Now the people in Edom and the people near to that country think that you have no value. The people in Philistia and all the people round you think that you have no value. 58 This is because you were not a faithful wife to me. And you did so many wrong things’, says the Lord.

59 ‘You have not kept your promise to me. You did not think that it was important’, says the Lord, your King. ‘Because of this, I must punish you. 60 But I will remember my promise. I agreed it with you when you were young. And I will make a promise with you that will always remain. 61 Then you will remember the bad things that you did. You will be ashamed when you meet your sisters. I will make them like daughters to you. That was not part of my promise but I will do it. 62 I will keep this promise. And then you will know that I am the Lord. 63 When I pay the price of your sin, you will remember. And you will be ashamed. You will remain quiet because you will be so ashamed’, says the Lord, your King.

Chapter 17

God’s picture of two big birds and a vine

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘I want you to tell a story. This story is a picture of Israel's people. 3 Say this to Israel's people. “A big bird had great powerful wings. Feathers of beautiful colours covered his wings. He came to Lebanon. 4 There he broke the top from a big tree. He took this top branch to a city. In that city, men buy and sell many things. There he planted his branch.

5 The bird took seed from your land. And he planted it in good ground. He planted it near to much water where trees grow. 6 The branch grew along the ground and it became a vine. The branches turned up towards the bird. And the roots went down into the ground. The vine grew and it covered itself with branches and leaves.

7 Another big bird came, with great wings and many feathers. Then the vine made its branches and roots grow towards this bird. The vine thought that the new bird would give it even more water. 8 But the vine was in a lovely garden where there was good ground and much water. It could grow leaves and fruit (grapes) there, and become big and strong.”

9 Ask the people a question’, said the Lord. ‘Do they think that the vine will stay alive? No, enemies will pull it up and take its fruit. They will let it die. All its new branches will die. It would not be difficult for a strong man or a few people to pull it up. 10 It would die even if they put it into good new ground. The east wind would kill it where it grew.’

11 The Lord spoke to me again. 12 ‘This people do not obey me. Perhaps they do not know what these things mean’, he said. ‘Speak to them. Say, “The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem. He took away the king and his officers. He took them back with him to Babylon. 13 Then he agreed to let one of the king’s family rule Jerusalem as its king.

This king made a promise to the king of Babylon. He said that he would obey Babylon’s king. 14 The king of Babylon wanted to make Israel weak. So he took Jerusalem’s important men away to Babylon. He did not want them make Israel strong enough to fight him. 15 But the king of Jerusalem did not keep his promise. He sent messengers to the king of Egypt. He asked him to send an army with horses to save Jerusalem. I tell you that he did a bad thing. He has done the thing that he had promised not to do. The king of Babylon will punish him.

16 I am surely alive”, says the Lord, your King. “The king of Israel will die in Babylon. The king of Babylon gave him authority to rule Israel. Israel’s king will die in his country. This is because he did not remember his promise to the king of Babylon. He thought that the promise was not important. 17 Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) will not be able to help him with his big army and many soldiers. An enemy will build hills round the city. Then they will attack it. And soldiers will attack Jerusalem and they will kill many people. 18 Your king did not remember his promise. He did not keep it.

Because he did all these things, I will punish him.” ’ 19 So this is what the Lord, your God, says. ‘He did not obey me. So I will do all the bad things that I promised. He promised to do good things. But he did not do them. He thought that his promise to me had no value. 20 I will catch him like a hunter that catches an animal. I will take him to Babylon and I will punish him there. I will punish him because he was not faithful to me. 21 His soldiers will run away and enemies will kill them. A few of them will run to countries that are far away. Then you will know that my words are true.’

22 The Lord, your King, says this: ‘I myself will take a small branch from the top of a great tree. I will take it and I will plant it on a high mountain. 23 I will plant it on a high mountain in Israel. It will grow more branches and make fruit. It will become a great tree. Many kinds of birds will live in the tree. They will make their homes in it. Its branches will keep them safe from the sun. 24 Then all the trees in the field will know that I am the Lord. I break down big trees and I make small trees grow. I make the green tree dry and I make the dry tree grow well.

This is what I, the Lord, have said. And I will do it.’

Chapter 18

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Your people say this about the country called Israel. “Fathers have eaten fruit that makes their mouths dry. But their children have the dry mouths.” 3 Now I am sure that you will no longer say this. 4 Everything that is alive is mine, says the Lord. Both the father and the son are mine. I will punish any person who does wrong things. 5 Think about a good man. He does only what is good.

6 He does not eat with people who worship idols. He does not himself worship idols. He does not have sex with another man’s wife. He does not have sex at the time that the woman is not clean.

7 He does not hurt other people. He may take something from a man and lend him money. He will keep the thing until the man has paid him back. But he will always give the man’s thing back.

He does not take things from other people. But he gives food to hungry people.

And he gives clothes to people who have no clothes.

8 He does not lend money and then ask the man to give back a lot more money.

He will not do anything that is wrong.

Sometimes men do not agree. He decides what is right.

9 He obeys all my rules.

Surely he is a good man. And I will let him stay alive’, says the Lord, your King.

10 ‘Now think about that man’s son. He might be angry. And he might hurt or kill people.

He might do other bad things. 11 (But the father has not done any of these things.)

The son might eat with people who worship idols.

He might have sex with another man’s wife.

12 He might hurt people who are poor or sick.

He might take things that are not his.

He might not give back things that he took from other men.

He might worship idols and do other bad things.

13 He might lend money and take back much more money.

I will not let any man that does these things stay alive. I will kill him because he has not obeyed me. I am a fair judge.

14 But this bad man might have a son. The son would see all the wrong things that his father had done. But he would not do them himself.

15 He would not eat with people who worship idols.

He would not worship idols.

He would not have sex with another man’s wife.

16 He would not hurt anyone.

He would not take anything when he lent money to someone.

He would not take things that belonged to other people. But he would give food to hungry people.

He would give clothes to people who had none.

17 He would not do any wrong thing. He would not take back too much money from people to whom he had lent it.

He would obey my rules. And he would do the things that give me pleasure.

This son will not die because his father did bad things. He will stay alive. 18 But his father did things that were wrong. So he will die. He took too much money from people to whom he had lent it. He took things from his brother.

19 You do not understand why I do not punish the son with his father. The son has done what is good and right. And so he will stay alive. He obeyed all my rules, so he will stay alive. 20 But I will punish people who do wrong things. They will die. I will not punish the son because of the bad things that his father did. And I will not punish the father because of the bad things that his son did. Men who do good things give me pleasure. But I will punish those men who do bad things.

21 A bad man might not do the wrong things that he did any longer. And he might start to do good things. He would begin to obey me. Then he would stay alive. I would not kill him. 22 I would not remember any of the bad things that he did. 23 I do not want to kill anyone. That does not give me pleasure’, says the Lord, your King. ‘When bad men start to do good things, it gives me pleasure. Then they stay alive.

24 A good man might not do things that are good and true any longer. He might start to do the same wrong things as bad men. Then I will not remember any of the good things that he did. I will punish him because of the wrong things that he has done. He will die because he has not been faithful to me.

25 You say that I am not fair. But listen to me, Israel's people. The things that you do are not fair. 26 A good man might stop doing good things. If then he does bad things he will die. He will die because he has done wrong things. 27 A bad man might not do bad things any longer. Then if he does good things he will stay alive. 28 He has seen that he had done wrong things. And so he has started to do good things. I will not kill him and he will stay alive. 29 But you, Israel's people, say that I am not fair. You must see that you are not fair to me. The things that you do are wrong.

30 So I will be a judge for each of you. I will punish those people who do bad things. And I will save the people who do good things’, says the Lord, your King. ‘You must be sad if you have done bad things. You must be sorry and you must start to do good things. Stop doing bad things and I will not punish you. 31 You must live in a different way. You need new thoughts. You must want to do good things. I am sure that you, Israel's people, do not want to die. 32 I do not want anyone to die. That gives me no pleasure’, says the Lord, your King. ‘Be sad. Turn back to me and stop doing wrong things. Then you will stay alive.’

Chapter 19

1 ‘Say this to the leaders of Israel. It is a sad song and it is about them.

2 “Your mother was a strong female among the great wild animals.

She lay among her young animals. She kept them safe among the males.

3 One of her young animals became a great strong male.

He caught animals for food and he tore them into pieces.

He also ate men.

4 Men in other countries heard what he did.

So they dug a hole and they caught him in it.

They pulled him out and they took him to Egypt.

5 The mother saw that her strong son was taken away.

So she took another of her sons and she made him big and strong.

6 Now he was big. And he learned to kill and tear his food.

And he killed and ate men.

7 He attacked their towns and he broke down their strong buildings.

All the people in the country were afraid. The noise that he made frightened them.

8 Men from countries round them came to attack him.

They dug a hole and they made him run into it.

They caught him and they put him in a box.

9 They took him to the king of Babylon.

There they put him in prison.

The people on the hills of Israel could not hear his voice any longer.

10 Your mother was like a vine that was growing in a field of vines.

Her vine grew near the water and its branches had much fruit.

11 The branches were strong enough to use as a stick to show a king’s power.

The vine grew high above other trees.

It was very tall and it had many branches.

12 But I was angry with it. So I threw it to the ground.

The east wind dried it up and its leaves died.

They took its fruit.

Its strong branches dried and they burnt them in a fire.

13 Now the vine is growing in a dry and empty land (a desert).

14 Fire from one of its big branches burnt up its fruit.

Now it has no big branches that men can make into a special stick.

That stick is for the king.

This is a sad story for people to sing.” ’

Chapter 20

1 In the tenth (10th) day of the fifth (5th) month some of Israel’s leaders came to me. That was in the seventh (7th) year in Babylon. They sat in front of me. They wanted me to ask the Lord for his help.

2 Then the Lord spoke to me. 3 ‘Son of man, say this to the leaders of Israel. “This is what the Lord, your King, says. ‘I see that you have come to ask for my help. Be sure that I am alive. But I will not let you ask me anything’ ”, he says.

4 You must be a judge for them, son of man. Make them remember all the wrong things that their fathers did. 5 Say to them, “On the day that I chose Israel's people, I the Lord, your King said: ‘I made a promise to all Jacob’s sons and their sons. I showed myself to them in Egypt. I promised to be their God. 6 I said that I would take them out of Egypt.

And I promised to take them to a country that I had chosen for them. It was a most beautiful country and it would give them milk and sweet food. 7 I said to them: “You must each destroy the idols that you worshipped in Egypt. You are not clean. I am the Lord, your God.”

8 But your fathers would not obey me. They would not listen to me, and they did not destroy their idols. They continued to worship the idols of Egypt. So I was very angry. I said that I would punish them there in Egypt. 9 But the people who lived near to Egypt knew about me. They had seen that I had taken the Israelites out of Egypt. I did not want them to say bad things about me. 10 So I took the people out of Egypt. Then I led them into the desert. 11 I gave them my rules. I told them how I wanted them to live. The man that obeys my rules will live a good life. 12 And I gave them the Sabbath, the seventh (7th) day of the week. This special day showed them that I had chosen them to be my holy people. It helped them to remember our promises to each other.

13 But when Israel’s people were in the desert, they did not obey me. They did not obey my rules. I told them what they should do. But they did not do those things. (But the man that does these things will stay alive.) And they did not obey my rules about the Sabbath. I was very angry. So I said that I would destroy them there in the desert. 14 I wanted the nations who had seen me take them from Egypt to give me honour. I did not want them to think that I could not save my people. 15 But I spoke to my people in the desert. I had chosen a beautiful country that gave milk and sweet food for them. But I said that I would not bring my people into their country. 16 I would not do this because they had not obeyed my rules. And they had done so many wrong things. They wanted to worship their idols and not to worship me. 17 But I was kind to them. I did not kill them in the desert. 18 I spoke to their children in the desert. “Do not do the wrong things that your fathers do”, I said. “Do not obey their rules or worship their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God, so obey my rules. Be careful to do the things that give me pleasure. 20 Make the Sabbath a holy day. Then I will know that you remember my promises. You will know that I am the Lord your God.”

21 But the children did not obey my rules. They did not do the things that give me pleasure. (But people who obey my rules will stay alive.) And they did not make the Sabbath day a holy day. So I showed them there in the desert that I was angry. 22 But I did not kill them. All the nations round Israel had seen me take my people out of Egypt. I wanted the nations to give me honour. I did not want them to say bad things about me. 23 There in the desert I made a strong promise to my people. I said that I would send them to many different countries. 24 This was because they had not obeyed my rules. Nor had they made the Sabbath a holy day. And they had chosen to worship their father’s idols. 25 So I let them obey their own rules. They were bad rules and they could not give life. 26 I let them kill their first-born children to offer to idols. This would make them so sad that they would be sorry. Then they would know that I am the Lord.’ ”

27 Son of man, you must speak to Israel's people and say, “This is what the Lord, your King says, ‘This is how your fathers took away my honour. They stopped obeying me. 28 They came to the country that I had promised to give them. They looked at the mountains and high hills When I took them there they offered gifts to idols on those high hills. They offered them gifts under the tall trees. This made me angry. And they made sweet smells and they gave food and drink to those idols. 29 They did this on the high places that they all turn to.’ ”

30 Say this to Israel's people. “This is what the Lord, your King says: ‘The things that you are doing are not right. They are quite as bad as the wrong things that your fathers did. You still want to worship things that they made out of wood and stone (idols). 31 You offer your sons to them in the fire as gifts. This shows how bad you are. You must see that. But you still do it even to this day. I cannot let you ask me for help. I am surely alive and I will not let you do this.

32 You say: “We want to be like people in other countries. They worship things that they have made out of wood and stone (idols).” But I will not let this happen. 33 I am alive’, says the powerful Lord. ‘I will rule over you. I will rule you with my strong power. And I will punish you when you make me angry. 34 I will bring you back from the nations where I sent you. I will do this with my strong power. I am still angry with you. 35 I will take you away to a desert where I will punish you. 36 As I punished your fathers in the desert of Egypt, so I will punish you’, says the Lord, your King. 37 ‘I will look at each of you and I will remember my covenant with you. 38 I will remove those who will not obey my rules. I will bring them out of the country where they are living. But I will not bring them into the country called Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

39 Israel's people, this is what the Lord, your King says: “Go, every one of you, to be servants to your idols! But after you have gone to do it you will listen to me. I am sure about that. And you will no longer give gifts to idols. You will no longer give them honour. You should give me that honour. 40 The high mountain of Israel is my holy mountain, says the Lord, your King. There in the country called Israel you will all be my servants. This will give me pleasure. There you will bring me your good gifts. I want you to offer me your holy gifts there. And you will burn them on my altar. 41 You will be like a sweet smell to me when I bring you home. I will bring you back from all the nations. I will bring you back from all the countries to which I sent you. I will show you that I am holy. And those nations will also see that I am holy. 42 Then you will know that I am the Lord. You will know this when I bring you into the country. I promised to give your fathers that country. 43 Then you will remember all the wrong things that you did. You will be sorry. You will be ashamed of the evil things that you have done. 44 Then I will be good to you. And you will know that I am the Lord. I will forget the bad things that you did and your wrong thoughts. This will bring honour to me, you Israel's people” ’, says the Lord, your King.” ’

45 The Lord spoke to me again. 46 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Turn and look towards the south. Speak my words to the people there. Prophesy against the forests in the south. 47 Say this to those forests: “Listen to what the Lord says. I am going to make you burn with fire. The fire will destroy all the young trees and the dry trees. You will not be able to stop the fire. It will burn the faces of people. It will burn those in the south and in the north. 48 Everyone will see that I, the Lord, started the fire. Nobody will put it out.” ’

49 Then I told the Lord what the people thought. They said that I was only telling them stories.

Chapter 21

The Lord uses the people from Babylon to punish Israel

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘You must look towards Jerusalem. Then tell them what I say. They are doing things in my holy place that are wrong. Speak to the people in Israel. 3 Say to them, “This is what the Lord says. ‘I will fight against you. I will take out my sword and I will use it to kill everyone. I will kill the good people and the bad ones. 4 Because of this, I will attack all the people from the north to the south. 5 Then all the people will know that I am attacking them with my sword. And I will not put my sword back in its place.’ ”

6 So cry with a loud voice, son of man. Let them see how sad and sorry you are. 7 They will ask you why you are so sad. Then you will say, “Because of the bad news that is coming to you. Every one of you will be afraid and will become weak. Your hands will hang down and your knees will bend. You will be very afraid. You can be sure that I am coming to punish you”, says the Lord, your King.’

8 The Lord spoke to me again. 9 ‘Son of man, prophesy to them. Say, “This is what the Lord says:

I have a sword. It is sharp and it shines.

10 It is ready to kill. It shines like the light that shoots from the sky!”

This sword will destroy all arms made from wood. So we cannot be happy.

11 I have made it ready to hold in the hand.

It is sharp and it shines. My sword is ready for the hand of the person who kills.

12 Cry with a loud voice, son of man,

because the sword is coming against my people.

It is coming against the princes of Israel.

I will throw the princes and the people to the sword.

So you must show them that you are very sad.

13 I will surely be a judge for my people.

And if they do not obey me, these things will happen’, says the Lord, your King.

14 ‘So prophesy, son of man.

Hit your hands together.

The sword will hit them more than once.

I made the sword to kill. It will kill many times.

The swords come from all round the city.

15 The people are very afraid. Swords will kill many of them.

Swords wait at every gate. They move fast to kill.

16 Sword, hit out to your right side. Then hit to the left. Turn every way to kill.

17 I, too, will hit my hands together. Then I will not be angry any longer.

I, the Lord have spoken.’

18 The Lord spoke to me. 19 ‘Son of man, draw two roads for the king of Babylon to follow. They must both start from the same country. Put a sign where the two roads go away from each other. 20 Mark one road for the sword to go to Rabbah of the Ammonites. The other road goes towards Judah and the strong city, Jerusalem. 21 The king of Babylon will stop when he comes to the sign. He will try to find which way to go. He will ask his idols. He will ask his priests to throw down sticks. Then they will look at the insides of animals. But this sword will destroy all arms that people have made from wood. 22 The priests will say that he should go to Jerusalem. There he will build hills round the city, to attack it. He will make his men shout while they attack it. They will hit the gates with very heavy long sticks. They will climb up its walls. 23 The people in Jerusalem may think that the king of Babylon is their friend. He should be their friend because of the promises that they made to each other. They think that he will not attack them. But he will attack because the people in Jerusalem have done many wrong things. That is what I say. He will make them his prisoners.

24 This then is what the Lord, your King says: “People see that you have not obeyed me. You do evil things all the time and in all the places where you go. You are not ashamed of your sin. So your enemies will make you their prisoners.

25 King of Israel, you are evil. I told you what you should do. But you have not done those things. The day has come when I will punish you.” 26 This is what the Lord, your King says: “Take off the special hat that you wear. Remove your crown. I will change things. Some people think that other people have no value. But those same people will become important. Other people thought that they themselves were important. Then they will learn that they are not important. 27 I will break down your city. This will not happen until my chosen man comes. I will give the city to him. It belongs to him.”

28 You, son of man, must prophesy about the people in Ammon. They have said bad things about you. This is what the Lord, your King says:

“A sword, a sword, it is ready to kill.

It shines like the light that moves quickly from the sky.

29 Your prophets have said nothing that is true.

They have told you about pictures that I have not given them.

They say that things will happen. But I did not tell them that they should say those things.

The sword will cut through the necks of people who are evil.

The time has come when I will punish them.

30 Put your sword back in its place.

I will be your judge in the place where I made you.

In the country that I gave to your fathers, I will punish you.

31 You will see that I am angry with you.

I will give you to men who are not kind.

They are men who like to kill.

32 You will be like wood in the fire.

They will pour your blood on the land.

Nobody will remember you.

I, the Lord, have spoken.” ’

Chapter 22

The Lord is a judge for Jerusalem (and all its people)

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man, you must tell the people in this city that I am going to be their judge. They have killed many people. Make them see how many wrong things they have done. 3 Say to them, “This is what the Lord, your King says: ‘You are a city that destroys itself. 4 I will punish you because you poured blood over your streets. You have made idols for yourselves and you are no longer pure. I will cause your days to end. I have finished your years as a city. Nations will not give you any honour. Men from all countries will laugh because I have punished you. 5 Those who live near and those far away will laugh. You are a city full of evil things. And all the people in you are always fighting.

6 In you, each leader of Israel used his power to kill men. 7 In you they have not given any honour to father or mother. In you they have not been kind to foreigners, widows or children with no parents. 8 You gave no honour to my holy things. You have not made my Sabbaths holy. 9-10 In you, are men who say wrong things. They say what is not true. They say it in order to kill other people. In you, there are men who have sex with other men’s wives. They do the bad things that they did in Egypt. The people there give food to idols. And then those people eat it. In you, there are men who do the same thing. And they do other bad things. Some men have sex with women who are not pure. 11 There are men who have sex with other men’s wives. There are those who have sex with their daughters or their son’s wives. Some have sex with their sisters, the daughters of their own fathers. 12 In you, men pay money for one man to kill another. They lend money to people. But they make those men give them a lot more money back. In you, men make people give them money in ways that are not fair. And you have forgotten me’, says the Lord.

13 ‘I am very angry because you have killed people. You have not been fair. You have taken more money than was right. 14 I will punish you and that will make you feel weak. I am the Lord. I have said what I will do. And I will do it. 15 I will send you to many different countries. I will make you pure again. 16 All nations will think that you have no value. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ” ’

17 The Lord spoke to me. 18 ‘Son of man, Israel's people are like dirt to me. Men burn metals in a fire so that they can take out the silver. My people are like the metal that remains in the pot. 19 So this is what the Lord, your King says: “I will bring you all into Jerusalem because you are like dirt. 20 Men bring metals into a hot fire to make them soft. I will do the same thing to you. I will bring you into the city and I will make you soft. I will do this because I am so angry. 21 I will bring you into Jerusalem. And I will burn you with my anger. 22 They make silver soft in a hot fire. In the same way I will make you soft with my hot anger. Then you will know that I am the Lord. And you will know that I have burnt you with my hot anger.” ’

23 The Lord spoke to me again. 24 ‘Son of man, speak to the land. Say, “I am angry and I will not send you any rain.” 25 Your leaders agree to hurt people. They take valuable things from the people and they kill many women’s husbands. They are like wild animals that tear up their meat. 26 The priests do not obey my rules. They do not use my holy things as they should. They think that holy things are not special. They teach men that pure things and things that are not pure are the same. They do not teach men to keep my Sabbath holy. Because of this, men do not give me any honour. 27 Their officers are like wild animals that tear their meat. They do not judge in a fair way. And they kill people to get their money. 28 Their prophets say that they are not doing any wrong thing. But those prophets see false dreams and they tell false stories. They say, “This is what the Lord, your King says.” But I have not spoken to them. 29 The people in this country make people afraid and take their money. They are not kind to poor people or to those people who are weak. They hurt foreigners and they do not judge them in a fair way.

30 I tried to find a man who would help me to save the land. Then I would not have to destroy it. But I could not find a man to help me. 31 So I will burn the people up with my great anger. I will punish them because of the wrong things that they have done’, says the Lord, your King.

Holy things are clean in a special way. People must give them honour because they belong to the Lord. If people use them in the same way as other things, they are no longer pure. This means that nobody can use them for the Lord’s work.

Chapter 23

A story about two bad sisters

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man, a woman had two daughters. They were sisters. 3 Men in Egypt paid to have sex with them. They sold themselves to men from the time that they were young. Men touched their young breasts and made love to them. 4 The older sister was called Oholah. The younger one was Oholibah. They belonged to me, and they gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

5 Oholah sold herself to other men while she was still mine. She wanted to have sex with the people who live in Assyria, her lovers. 6 Their soldiers wore red and blue clothes. They were officers and rulers and they were all very beautiful. They rode on horses. 7 Oholah had sex with all the important people who live in Assyria. And she worshipped their idols. 8 She continued to sell her body as she had done in Egypt. She had sex with men. She was quite as bad as when she was young.

9 I gave her to her lovers, the people who live in Assyria. That was because she had not been faithful to me. 10 They took off all her clothes and they took all her sons and daughters. Then they killed her. Her story made women afraid because I punished her.

11 Oholibah, her sister saw this, but did even worse things than her sister. 12 She, too, wanted to have sex with the people who live in Assyria. She wanted the beautiful young officers and the rulers on horses to love her. 13 I saw that she, like her sister, was not faithful to me. She became not clean.

14 But she did more bad things than her sister. She saw pictures on the walls. They were pictures of men from Babylon They wore red clothes. 15 They had belts round their bodies and cloths round their heads. They looked like officers who drove chariots. 16 As soon as she saw the officers, she wanted them. She sent messengers to them in Babylon. 17 Then they came to her from Babylon. And they had sex with her. They made her not clean. After they had done this to her, she did not want them any longer. She turned away from them. 18 I turned away from her when she had sex with other men. She was quite like her sister. 19 But she wanted more and more men to love her. She had had sex when she was young. She remembered about that. At that time she had sex with men in Egypt. 20 They had loved her more like animals than men. 21 She very much wanted to have sex like that again.

22 So this is what the Lord, your King says to you, Oholibah: “The men that you had sex with will turn against you. I will make them do this. You turned away from them. But I will bring them all round you. 23 Men from Babylon and Chaldea will come. And men from Pekod, Shoa and Koa will come. All the people who live in Assyria will come with them. They will be beautiful young men, officers, rulers and important men. They will all ride on horses. 24 They will fight you with arms and chariots and with many soldiers. They will come to attack you from every side. They will have shields (flat metal or leather plates to save them from sharp knives and stones) and they will wear strong hats on their heads. I will let them punish you as they think best. 25 I am very angry with you. And they are angry with you. They will cut off your noses and ears. They will kill any men that remain. They will take away your sons and daughters. And they will burn the rest of your people with fire. 26 They will take away your clothes and all your valuable things. 27 You will no longer do the wrong things that you began to do in Egypt. I will stop you. You will never want to think about them or remember Egypt any longer.”

28 So this is what the Lord, your King says: “I will give people power over you. I will give that power to people that you hate. You turned away from them because they did bad things to you. 29 They will show you how much they hate you. They will take away everything for which you have worked. You will have no clothes or food. You will be ashamed of the things that you did. Everyone will know what you did. 30 I am punishing you because you did those things. I am punishing you because you wanted to be like other nations. And because you worshipped their idols. 31 You have done the same bad things that your sister did. So I will punish you as I punished her.”

32 This is what the Lord, your King says:

“I will give you the same punishment that I gave to your sister.

It will be a strong punishment.

It will make people laugh. And they will think that you have no value.

33 You will all be sad and you will get drunk.

They will break down your cities and your country will be empty.

It will be like your sister Samaria.

34 Your punishment will be complete and you will be very sad.

That is what I have said”, says the Lord, your King.

35 “So this is what I say to you”, says the Lord, your King. “You have forgotten me and men have paid to have sex with you. You were not ashamed. You thought that I could not see. But now I will punish you because of the bad things that you have done.” ’

36 The Lord spoke to me. ‘Son of man, you must judge Oholah and Oholibah. Make them see that they have done wrong things. 37 They have not been faithful to me and they have caused men to die. They worshipped idols and they even offered their children to the idols as food. 38 At the same time, they did not keep holy the place where they should have worshipped me. They did not keep the Sabbaths as my special days. 39 The same day that they gave their children to idols they made my house not clean. That is what they did to my house.

40 The sisters sent messages to men in a far country. When the men came to visit them they made themselves beautiful with paint and pretty stones. 41 They sat on a soft seat and they put a table in front of it. On the table they put oils with sweet smells. But those oils belonged to me.

42 Men from the desert (Sabeans) came with a crowd who were making a noise. Some of them put pretty things on the women’s arms and crowns (special hats that rulers wear) on their heads. 43 I said: “Let them have sex with the woman. She has had so much sex that she is tired. That is now the only way that anyone can use her.” 44 So the men used her for sex. They paid Oholah and Oholibah to have sex with them. 45 But men who do good things will punish them. They will punish them because they were not faithful to me. And because they caused men to die.

46 This is what the Lord, your King says: “You good men must take a crowd to attack them. You will make them afraid and you will take their things. 47 The crowd will throw stones at them and cut them with swords. They will kill their sons and daughters and they will burn down their houses.

48 So I will stop people from using their bodies in a wrong way. I will make women want to do what is good and right. 49 I will punish you because of the bad things that you have done. And I will punish you because you have worshipped idols. Then you will know that I am the Lord, your King.” ’

The two sisters, Oholah and Oholibah are God’s pictures of Israel (Samaria) and Judah (Jerusalem). He is saying that their people are not faithful to him. Israel and Judah are like wives who are not faithful to their husbands. That is because they worship false gods.

Chapter 24

The pot to cook meat

1 The Lord spoke to me on the tenth (10th) day. That was in the tenth (10th) month of the ninth (9th) year. 2 ‘Remember this day, son of man. On this day, the king of Babylon is starting to attack Jerusalem. 3 Tell a story to this people who do not obey me. Say, “This is what the Lord says:

‘Put the pot on the fire. Fill it with water.

4 Put into it the best pieces of meat, the leg and the shoulder.

Fill it with all the best bones. 5 Take them from sheep that are the best to eat.

Put wood under the pot and boil it to cook the meat and the bones.’

6 This is what the Lord, your King says.

‘I will make sorry the city where they killed men.

This city is like a pot that nobody has cleaned. They have taken out every piece of meat. They have not left one piece. 7 Men can see the blood that poured out on the streets. No dirt covers it. 8 I am very angry. So I let all men see the blood that you poured out.’

9 So this is what the Lord, your King says.

‘I will make the city that poured out this blood very sad.

And I will put wood on the fire.

10 So make the fire burn and cook the meat well.

Put in more things that will make it taste good. Let the bones burn.

11 Put the empty pot on the fire so that it becomes red and hot.

The fire should burn away all its dirt.

12 But the dirt will not burn away. Even fire cannot do this.

13 The bad things that you do are like your dirt. I tried to make you clean, but you would not let me. You will not become clean until I am no longer angry with you.

14 I, the Lord have spoken. Now I am beginning to do the things that I promised.

I will not stop. I will not be kind or make the punishment less. I will judge you because of the many bad things that you have done’, says the Lord, your King.” ’

Ezekiel’s wife dies

15 The Lord spoke to me. 16 ‘Son of man I will take away the one person who gives you great pleasure. I will do it quickly. But you must not look sad or cry. 17 You must not make a lot of noise. You must not show people how sad you are. Keep your head covered and your feet. Do not cover part of your face. People eat special food when someone dies. But you must not do this.’

18 That morning I spoke to the people. In the evening my wife died. The next morning I did what the Lord had said.

19 Then the people asked me what this meant for them. 20 So I said to them, ‘The Lord spoke to me. He said, 21 “Say this to Israel's people: ‘This is what the Lord, your King says: “I will make my holy place not clean. You think that it is a beautiful place. And you love it. I will take away the things that you love. And they will kill your sons and daughters that you left in Jerusalem. 22 Then you will do the same things that I have done. You will not cover part of your face. You will not eat special food. People eat special food when someone dies. But you will not do that. 23 You will not cry or look sad. You will wear your hats and shoes. You will be sorry. You will become thin because of the bad things that you have done. 24 I have made Ezekiel show you what I will do to you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” ’ 25 On that day, son of man, I will destroy all the things that they love. I will destroy their beautiful buildings and I will take away their sons and daughters. 26 A man will run away from Jerusalem. He will bring you the bad news on the day that I cause these things to happen. 27 At that time you will become able to speak. You will talk with him. You will no longer be quiet. This will show the people that I am the Lord.” ’

Chapter 25

The Lord speaks against Ammon

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Turn your face towards the people in Ammon. You must prophesy against them. 3 Say to them, “Listen to the message from the Lord, the King. This is what he says: ‘You were happy when enemies made my holy place not clean. And you were not sorry when I destroyed the land in Israel. Nor were you sad when I took the people in Judah away to a foreign country. 4 So I will give you to the people in the East as a gift. Their armies will come and they will put tents all round you. They will eat your fruit and they will drink your milk. 5 I will make Rabbah a place where camels (animals that carry men and their things over deserts) feed. I will make Ammon a place where sheep rest. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ 6 So this is what the Lord, the King says: ‘You hit your hands together and you jumped about. You were happy when I punished Israel. 7 Because of this I will attack you. Nations will come and I will give them all your good things. You will not be a nation any longer. I will destroy you and you will not have your own country. And you will know that I am the Lord.’

The Lord speaks against Moab

8 The Lord, the King says this to the people in Moab and Seir. ‘You said that the people in Judah have become like all the other nations. 9 Because of this, I will make the towns at the edge of Moab weak. These are Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon and Kiriathaim. They are the best towns in the country. 10 I will give Moab with the Ammonites as a gift to the people in the East. Nobody will remember that Ammon was a nation. 11 And I will punish Moab. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ ”

The Lord speaks against Edom

12 “This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘Edom was angry with the people in Judah. So they attacked them. They caused me to become very angry.’ 13 ‘Because they did this’, the Lord says, ‘I will attack Edom. Enemies will kill its men and its animals. I will make Edom into a desert. Israel will take their swords. And they will kill the people from Teman to Dedan. 14 I will use Israel's people to punish Edom. They will make Edom know that I am very angry with them. They will know that I am punishing them’, says the Lord, the King.”

The Lord speaks against the Philistines

15 “This is what the Lord, the King says. ‘The Philistines hated Judah. They sent armies to kill and to hurt them. They tried to destroy Judah.’ 16 So this is what the Lord, the King says. ‘I will punish the Philistines. I will kill their people who remain by the edge of the sea. 17 I am very angry with them and I will punish them strongly. I will do this. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ ” ’

The Philistines were sailors who lived between Judah and the sea.

Chapter 26

The Lord speaks against Tyre

1 The Lord spoke to me on the first day of the month. It was the eleventh (11th) year.

2 ‘Tyre's people have said: “Good! Now we have broken down the walls of Jerusalem. Its doors are open to us. Tyre will become a rich city because we have destroyed Jerusalem.” 3 So this is what the Lord, the King says: “I am against you, Tyre, I will bring many nations to attack you. They will be as strong as the waves of the sea. 4 They will destroy the walls of Tyre and they will pull down its strong buildings. I will pull away all the stones that they used to build it. 5 There, men will dry the things that they use to catch fish. They will dry them on the rock where Tyre was before. That is what I say”, says the Lord, the King. 6 “Armies with swords will destroy all the towns near the city. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” ’

7 Now this is what the Lord, your King says: ‘I will bring Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon against Tyre. He will come from the north. He is a great king with men on horses, chariots (war cars) and a great army. 8 He will attack and destroy all your towns and villages on the land near the sea. He will build hills to attack your walls. 9 He will hit your walls with very heavy long sticks. And he will destroy your high buildings. 10 He will have many horses. Their feet will cause dirt to cover you. He will break through your walls and he will bring in his horses and chariots (war cars). The noise that they make will cause your walls to shake. 11 While his horses go along your streets, his soldiers will kill people. They will kill them with their swords. They will break down all your tall buildings. 12 They will take away all your food and the things that you sell. They will break down your beautiful buildings. They will throw into the sea all the wood and stone that made them. 13 Nobody will sing your songs any longer. Nobody will hear your music any longer. 14 I will cause you to become just a rock in the sea. Men will dry there the things that they use to catch fish. They will never build you again. That is what I say’, says the Lord, the King.

15 This is what the Lord, the King says to Tyre. ‘All the people who live by the sea will hear. They will hear that I have made you fall. Then they will be very afraid. They will hear the cries of people who are hurting. 16 Then the princes of those towns will take off their beautiful clothes. They will sit in the dirt and they will be sad and afraid. Their bodies will shake because they are so afraid. 17 Then they will make a sad song about you:

“Great city of men of the sea, I have completely destroyed you.

You and your people were the strong men of the sea.

You made everyone else afraid of you.

18 Now people on the land are afraid on the day that you fall.

The islands in the sea are afraid because I have made you fall.” ’

19 This is what the Lord, your King says. ‘I will make you like an empty city. And the sea will cover you with its great waters. 20 Then I will make you fall into the earth. You will go to be with men who have died. You will not return. Nobody will ever live in you again. 21 I will completely destroy you. People will look for you but they will never find you”, says the Lord, your King.’

Chapter 27

A sad song about Tyre

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man, you must sing this sad song for Tyre. Tyre is like a gate to the sea. From there, men go to sell things to many peoples. 3 Say to Tyre's people, “This is what the Lord, the King says:

‘You say that the beauty of Tyre is complete.

4 You ruled the great seas. Men made you a beautiful city like a boat on the sea.

5 They used wood from the pine trees of Senir.

They took the trunk of a cedar of Lebanon. From it they made a tall round stick to stand in the centre of the boat.

6 They made flat sticks (oars) from oaks of Bashan. They used them to push you through the water.

They made your deck with ivory and wood from the coasts of Cyprus.

7 They made your sail out of the best white cloth from Egypt. They made it pretty with many colours.

The beautiful sail told people who you were.

Over your deck they put tents of blue and purple cloth.

It came from Elishah’s country by the sea.

8 Men from Sidon and Arvad pushed you through the water.

Your men from Tyre told them how to do this. And they told them where to go.

9 Men from Gebal went with you. They had made boats for many years.

Sailors from many ships bought and sold things in your shops.

10 You had men from Persia, Lydia and Put (Libya) in your army.

They hung their arms in the houses where your soldiers lived.

They fought and won your fights for you.

They brought you honour.

11 Men from Arvad and Helech stood on your walls.

And men from Gammad kept your tall buildings safe.

They hung their arms on your walls. They made you beautiful.

12 You had many different things to sell. So men from Tarshish came to buy from you. They brought silver and other metals to pay for those things.

13 Men from Greece, Tubal and Meshech came. They paid you with slaves and metals.

14 Men from Beth Togarmah came. They sold you horses to use for war or for work.

15 Men from Rhodes and other countries by the sea came to you. They paid you with ivory and hard black wood.

16 People from Aram came because you had so many things to sell. They brought you coloured stones of great value. And they brought the best cloth with pretty colours on it.

17 People from Judah and Israel came to buy things from you. They paid you with food grains from Minnith and sweet cakes.

18 Men from Damascus came to buy your things. They came because you had many different things to sell. They sold you wine from Helbon and white wool.

19 Men from Dan and Greeks from Uzal came and they bought your things. They paid you with iron and plants to make food taste good (spices).

20 People from Dedan sold you blankets for your horses.

21 Men from Arabia and the leaders of Kedar all came to buy your things. They bought and sold young sheep, male sheep and goats.

22 Men from Sheba and Raamah came to buy and to sell many valuable things. These were pretty stones, gold and things to make food taste good (spices).

23 Men from many towns came to you to buy and sell things. They came from Haran, Canneh and Eden. Other men came from Sheba, Asshur and Kilmad. 24 They came to the centre of your town. There they bought and sold beautiful clothes, good blue cotton cloth and strong carpets.

25 You were like a ship from Tarshish.

You carried the things that you wanted to buy and sell.

You sailed on the sea. You were full of heavy things.

26 Men took sticks that they had made from wood (oars). With them they pushed your boats. The boats went over the deep sea.

But the east wind there will break you into small pieces.

27 All your valuable things and all the people in the boat

will fall into the deep sea.

The men who buy and sell will fall.

The soldiers and the sailors in the ship will all fall.

They will fall into the sea when the boat breaks.

28 The land by the sea will shake.

It will move when people hear your sailors cry out.

29 The men who push the boat will jump out of the ship. They push the boat with sticks that they made from wood (oars).

Sailors and people by the sea 30 will stand there and cry. They will make a loud noise.

They will put dirt on their heads and on their clothes.

31 They will cut the hair from their heads and they will wear old clothes.

They will do this because God is punishing you.

They will be very sorry and they will cry about you.

32 They will sing a sad song about you while they walk up and down.

“Nobody ever destroyed a city as God has destroyed Tyre.

Tyre was a city with sea all round it.”

33 You gave good things to many nations.

You had valuable things and you sold them to kings.

You made all the kings in the world become rich men.

34 Now the sea has broken you up.

You are under its waters.

All your things and your people are under the sea.

35 The people who live by the sea are afraid.

They are afraid because they have seen you fall.

Their kings shake because they are afraid.

Their faces have become long and sad.

36 Men from other nations who buy and sell are afraid.

They are afraid that they too will fall.

God has destroyed your city. You will never return.’ ” ’

Chapter 28

God’s prophecy against the king of Tyre

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man, say this to the ruler of Tyre. “This is what the Lord, your King says:

‘You thought that you were very great.

You said to yourself, “I am a god.

I am sitting on a throne. I am like a god with seas all round me.”

But you are a man and not a god.

You think that you are as wise as a god.

3 But you are not as wise as Daniel.

You do not know all secrets.

4 You have been clever enough to get many valuable things.

You have stored much gold and silver in a safe place.

5 You buy and sell in a clever way, so you have many valuable things.

You think that you are great. You think that because you are so rich.

So this is what the Lord, your King, says:

6 “You think that you are as wise as a god.

7 So I am bringing foreign soldiers to fight you.

They will be less kind than people from any nation.

Their swords will destroy your beautiful city.

It will no longer be beautiful.

8 They will kill you and they will send your bodies into the sea.

9 Your enemies will come to kill you.

Then you will no longer say that you are a god.

10 They will kill you in the same way as they kill other people. They will kill you like people who do not belong to God.

That is what I say”, says the Lord, your King.’ ” ’

11 The Lord spoke to me,

12 ‘Son of man, you must make a sad song about the king of Tyre. Speak to him. Say, “This is what the Lord, the King, says:

‘I did not see anything bad in you.

You were completely beautiful. You were wise in every way.

13 You lived in the garden of God (Eden).

I had covered your body with beautiful stones of every kind.

They were of different colours, red, blue, green, yellow and other colours too.

Gold held the stones together.

I made them for you on the day that I made you.

14 I chose you to keep my garden safe.

I gave you that work to do for me.

You lived on my holy mountain.

You walked among the burning fires.

15 You were not bad in any way.

You were completely pure on the day that I made you.

But later, I saw that you had become bad.

16 You bought and sold things. You fought for the things that you wanted.

That was your sin.

So I sent you out of my mountain to make you ashamed.

You no longer walked among the fires.

17 But you still thought that you were very great.

You liked to think that you were very beautiful.

You used your wisdom to do things that were wrong.

Because of this, I threw you down to the earth.

Their kings saw how you had fallen.

18 You bought and sold things. But you did it in a way that was not fair.

That is how your temples became no longer pure.

So I made a fire come out of you to burn you up.

Everyone saw you become ashes on the ground.

19 The nations who knew you are very afraid. They were not happy at all.

They saw that your life had such a bad end. So they were not happy.

You will not be alive again.’ ” ’

A prophecy against Sidon

20 The Lord spoke to me. 21 ‘Son of man, you must turn against Sidon. Prophesy against its people and say, 22 “This is what the Lord, your King says:

‘I am against you, Sidon.

But the people in you will give me honour.

I will punish their city.

Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Then they will know that I am holy.

23 I will cause them to become ill.

I will make blood run through its streets.

They will kill the men in the city.

Enemies will attack Sidon from every side.

Then its people will know that I am the Lord.

24 I will kill the people in the countries round Israel.

They will no longer be like sharp points on plants that cause Israel's people pain.

Then they will know that I am the Lord, their King.’

25 This is what the Lord, the King, says: ‘I will bring back Israel's people from the countries where I sent them. Then all the nations will see that I am holy. My people will live in their own country. I gave that country to my servant, their father Jacob. 26 I will make them safe while they live there. They will build houses and they will plant vines in their fields. I will punish all those nations round them. I will punish them because they said bad things about my people. Then my people will be safe. And they will know that I am the Lord their God.’ ” ’

Chapter 29

A prophecy against Egypt

1 The Lord spoke to me. It was the twelfth (12th) day of the tenth (10th) month of the tenth (10th) year. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Turn against Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. You must prophesy against him and against all Egypt. 3 Speak to him and say, “The Lord says this:

‘I am against you, Pharaoh, king of Egypt.

You are like the great wild animal that lies in your streams.

You say, “The River Nile is mine; I made it for myself.”

4 But I will catch you like a fish.

I will catch your mouth with a piece of bent metal.

I will pull you out of your streams.

Little fish will hang on the points of your skin.

5 I will leave you and your little fish in the desert.

You will lie on the ground.

And nobody will pick you up.

I will give you as food to the wild animals and birds.

6 Then all the people in Egypt will know that I am the Lord.

Israel's people thought that you would help them. 7 But your help was like a thin stick. It broke. And it tore their shoulders when they held it. And it hurt their backs when they put weight on it.’

8 So this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I will bring men with swords to kill your men and their animals. 9 I will make Egypt become a desert where nobody lives. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

I am against you because you said, “The River Nile is mine. I made it.” 10 I am against you and your streams. I will destroy the country called Egypt. I will destroy it from Migdol to Aswan, as far as Cush. I will make it a desert where nobody lives. 11 No men or animals will walk there and nobody will live there for forty (40) years. 12 It will become a desert among desert lands. Its broken cities will be empty for forty (40) years. I will push the Egyptians out to other lands. They will go to many other countries.’

13 But this is what the Lord, the King says, ‘I will bring back the Egyptians from the lands where I sent them. I will do this after the forty (40) years. 14 I will bring them back from their prisons. I will bring them to Pathros, the country of their fathers. There they will not be important. 15 Their king will be the least important of all kings. People will never again think that Egypt is important. I will make it so weak that it can never rule over other nations. 16 Egypt's people will no longer be able to help Israel. But they will make Israel's people remember their sin. Their sin was to ask Egypt for help.’ Then they will know that I am the Lord, their King.” ’

17 The Lord spoke to me in the twenty-seventh (27th) year. It was the first day of the first month. 18 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon fought to win the city called Tyre. His soldiers carried such great weights that their skin broke. And it bled. But they did not find there any things of value to pay for their work.’ 19 So this is what the Lord, the King, says: ‘I will give Egypt to the king of Babylon. He will take away all its valuable things. He will go through the country to find things to give to his soldiers. 20 I will do this to pay him. He and his army did what I wanted. So I will pay him’, says the Lord, your King.

21 ‘When that happens, I will make Israel's people strong. Then I will open your mouth to speak to them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’

Chapter 30

The Lord will punish Egypt

1 The Lord spoke again. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Prophesy to the people. Tell them what I, the Lord, your King, say. You must shout these words,

“A day is coming that will frighten you all!”

3 That day will be very soon. It is the day when theLord will do this.

He will bring clouds and trouble to the nations.

4 Enemies will come to fight with Egypt.

The people in Cush will be sad.

Many men in Egypt will die

and enemies will carry away their valuable things.

They will break its cities into pieces.

5 Soldiers who fight for Egypt will die, too. They came from Cush, Lydia, Libya, Put and the Arab nations. Some men even came from my own people.

6 The Lord says, “Enemies will kill all the people who fight for Egypt. All the people will die. They will die from the north to the south. They will die from Migdol to Aswan. Enemies will destroy all the army of Egypt.” I, the Lord your God, say this. 7 “Egypt will have more desert than any other country. Enemies will break all its cities into pieces. 8 I will cause them to burn Egypt and those who fight for Egypt. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

9 On the day that I destroy Egypt, I will send messengers to Cush. I will send them on ships. The people there think that they are safe. The news from Egypt will make them very afraid. That day is coming soon!

10 I will use King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to kill all the people in Egypt. He and his army will take away all Egypt’s good things. 11 They will come to destroy the country. They will attack Egypt’s people with swords. They will fill the country with dead bodies. 12 I will cause the river Nile to become dry. Evil men will rule Egypt. Foreign men will destroy the whole country.” This is what I, the Lord, say.

13 The Lord, your King says, “I will destroy the idols and false gods in Memphis. Egypt will no longer have its own ruler. Everyone will be very afraid.

14 I will make Pathros a desert and I will burn Zoan with fire.

I will punish the great city called Thebes.

15 Pelusium is the strongest city in Egypt.

I will show it that I am very angry.

Enemies will take away all the valuable things from Thebes.

16 I will make fire burn the country of Egypt.

The pain of Pelusium will be very great.

Enemies will come like a storm and they will take Thebes.

The people in Memphis will always have trouble.

17 Soldiers will kill the young men in Heliopolis and Bubastis.

They will make all the other people their prisoners.

18 I will take away Egypt’s power.

Then the people in Tahpanhes will feel that they are in a dark place.

A cloud will cover Egypt.

Enemies will take away the people from the villages.

19 This is how I will punish Egypt.

Then they will know that I am the Lord.” ’

20 The Lord spoke to me on the seventh (7th) day. It was the first month of the eleventh (11th) year. 21 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. He will never again have great power. He will always be weak. 22 So this is what the Lord, your King says, “Pharaoh king of Egypt is my enemy. But I will make him like a man with two broken arms. He will drop his sword. He will not be able to fight again. 23 I will send his people away to many other countries. 24 I will make the king of Babylon strong. I will give him power over Pharaoh. The king of Egypt will cry out like a man who is dying. 25 I will make the king of Babylon strong. But the king of Egypt will have no power. Then they will know that I am the Lord. They will see that I gave Babylon the power to win the fight. 26 I will send the people in Egypt to many different countries. They will live among the nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” ’

Chapter 31

1 The Lord spoke to me on the first day of the third (3rd) month. That was in the eleventh (11th) year. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said, ‘Speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt and his soldiers:

“Nobody is as great or powerful as you are.

3 Think about Assyria. It was like a great cedar tree before.

It had beautiful branches that covered other trees.

It was very tall and it had many leaves.

4 Waters fed the tree and streams made it grow tall.

The streams went round it. And they sent some water to all the other trees.

5 So it became taller than any of the trees in the field.

Many long branches grew from it.

They grew because it had so much water.

6 All kinds of birds lived in its branches.

Under its branches, the wild animals gave birth to their young animals.

It kept safe all the great nations.

7 It was as beautiful as a king in his best clothes.

It drank the deep waters.

8 It was more beautiful than the cedars in God’s garden.

The pine trees were not as tall.

Other trees had fewer branches.

No other tree in God’s garden was nearly as beautiful.

9 I made the tree beautiful and I gave it its branches.

All the trees in Eden (God’s garden) wanted to be as beautiful as the cedar.

10 So this is what the Lord, your King says:

‘Assyria was like that tree. It knew that it was very tall. And it thought that it was more important than any other tree. These thoughts were bad thoughts. 11 So I made the ruler of the nations punish it. I have destroyed it because it was so bad. 12 Cruel foreigners cut it down and they went away. They broke all its branches. Its branches fell on the mountains and in the valleys. The nations that it had kept safe all went away from it. 13 The birds sat on the tree that had fallen. And the wild animals walked over its branches. 14 I will never again let a tree become so tall. No tree that grows by the waters will grow as big. It grew taller than other trees. Its top was in the clouds. So it thought that it was more important than the other trees. All the trees will die, like men. They will die even when they have much water. They will never grow so high again. They will die like men. And other men will bury them in the ground.’

15 This is what the Lord, your King says: ‘They buried the tree. Then I made the deep streams cover it. But I will stop the rivers from sending streams of water to the earth. I will make the mountains of Lebanon dark. All the trees in the forest will become dry and they will die. 16 The nations will shake when they hear the tree fall. They will bury the tree with all those in the earth below. After I have done this, the other trees in the earth will become happy. They were the trees from God’s garden (Eden) and from Lebanon. 17 Some trees are already in the earth. Men will bury the cedar tree with those trees. I will send the people who lived under the tree to live in other nations.

18 The king of Egypt and all his people are also like a tree. You are great and powerful. But I will cut you down like the trees of Eden (God’s garden). Men will bury you with your dead soldiers. You will lie with those that men have killed with swords.

This is what I will do to Pharaoh and all his armies’ ”, says the Lord, your King.’

Chapter 32

The king of Egypt is like a great animal that swims in rivers

1 The Lord spoke to me in the twelfth (12th) year. It was the first day of the twelfth (12th) month. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Make this sad song about Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And say to him,

“You are the strongest among the nations.

You are like the greatest of animals in the seas.

You move about in the rivers

and you hit the water with your feet.

You mix dirt with the clean water.” ’

3 This is what the Lord, the King says:

‘I will send a great crowd of people

and they will catch you in their net.

4 I will pull you out of the water

and I will throw you on dry ground.

I will let the birds land on you in the field.

I will give your meat to the wild animals. I will fill their stomachs.

5 I will cause parts of your body to lie on all the mountains

and they will fill the valleys.

6 I will cover the ground with your blood. It will run up to the mountains.

And your meat will fill the deep valleys.

7 I will hide the stars and I will make the sky dark.

I will do this when I make you nothing.

I will cover the sun with a cloud

and you will not see the moon.

8 I will make the lights in the sky become dark.

Your whole country will become dark.

I will make it dark’, says the Lord.

9 ‘I will destroy your nation.

Then many nations that you do not know will become afraid.

10 They will think that I will give them trouble.

And their kings will be afraid because I destroyed you.

They will see me shake my sword in front of them.

They will think that I will kill them.

So each of them will be afraid and they will shake.’

11 So, this is what the Lord, your King says.

‘The king of Babylon will attack you.

12 His great army will fight against you.

I will give his strong men power to kill your soldiers.

His people are the most cruel of all nations.

They will change Egypt into a poor weak nation.

They will destroy all its armies.

13 Egypt's people have many cows near its great rivers,

but I will destroy them.

No men’s feet will mix dirt with the water any longer.

No animal’s feet will remain to make the water dirty.

14 Then I will make the waters quiet.

They will move like oil’, says the Lord, your King.

15 ‘I will destroy Egypt.

I will take away all that you have.

I will kill all the people who live there.

Then they will know that I am the Lord.

16 They will sing this sad song for Egypt. Women in all nations will sing it. They will sing it for the land of Egypt and its many people.’ This is what the Lord, your King says.

17 In the fifteenth (15th) month of the twelfth (12th) year, the Lord spoke to me.

18 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Be sad and make a loud noise for the many people in Egypt. Send them down to the place of dead people. Send them there with the dead bodies of all the strong nations’ men. 19 Tell them that they are no better than any other people. They will all go to that place. They will be with those who are not circumcised. 20 The people in Egypt will die with the other soldiers who die. A sword is ready to kill them all. 21 Great leaders lie in the home of dead people. They will speak about Egypt and its friends. They will say: “Many men died in the fight. They have come down to lie with all of them. They are with those who are not circumcised.”

22 Assyria is there with its whole army. All its men who died in the fight lie there. They lie round it in the home of dead people. 23 Their dead bodies are in the deepest parts of that place. Its dead soldiers are all round it. Many armies made people afraid. All their men are now in the country of dead people. Their enemies have killed them.

24 Elam is there with all its dead soldiers round it. Its enemy’s swords have killed them all. All the men who made people afraid are down there. They are there with those who are not circumcised. They are ashamed. They are in the place of dead people. 25 Elam lies on a bed with all its soldiers round it. Not one of them is circumcised. Swords have killed them all. They will be ashamed because they made people afraid. They did that when they were alive. So I will make their bodies lie among the men who died.

26 Meshech and Tubal are there in the home of dead people. The dead bodies of their soldiers are round them. They are all in the home of dead people. Not one of them is circumcised. They made people afraid when they were alive. So men killed them with swords. 27 Now they lie with other dead soldiers who were not circumcised. They are in the home of dead people with their arms and their swords under their heads. Their armies made all people very afraid when they marched through the country. But I have punished them because of their sins.

28 I will kill you too, Pharaoh. And your dead body will lie with those men. You will lie with men who are not circumcised. You will lie with men whose enemies killed them with swords.

29 Edom is there. Its kings and leaders are there. Soldiers killed many of their men with swords. The kings and leaders are with those men. They had great power. But now they lie in the home of dead people. They lie with men who are not circumcised.

30 The kings of the north and from Sidon are there. They had great power but they are ashamed. They made men very afraid. But now they lie in the home of dead people.

They are with those that men killed with swords. They are with those dead men who are not circumcised.

31 Pharaoh felt sad because men had killed all his soldiers. When he and his army see those other dead men, they will feel better’, says the Lord, your King. 32 ‘Pharaoh and his armies will lie among men who are not circumcised. They made men very afraid.

But their dead bodies will lie with other men’s bodies. They will lie with men that enemies’swords had killed.’

Chapter 33

The Lord tells Ezekiel that he must watch over his people

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Speak to the people in your nation. Tell them that they may choose a man to watch over my people. I may send men with swords to attack you. Then you must do this. 3 The man must blow a trumpet to tell them if he sees an enemy. The enemy may come to attack them with swords. 4 The people will hear the trumpet and they will prepare to fight. If they do not prepare, then they may die. They will die because they did not listen. 5 A man may hear the trumpet but he may not prepare to fight. Then the enemy may kill him with a sword. He will die because he did not obey the noise of the trumpet. He would not have died if he had listened to the trumpet’s noise. He did not save himself. 6 But the man who is watching may see the enemy. He may see them when they come with swords. But then he may not blow his trumpet. The men in the city will not hear anything. Then soldiers will come and kill them. The people may have done bad things. They will die because they did not obey me. But they did not know that the enemy was coming to attack them. They could not prepare to fight the enemy. Then I will punish the man who saw the soldiers. I will punish him because he did not blow the trumpet. He did not tell the people that an enemy was attacking them.

7 Son of man, I have made you like the man with the trumpet. You must watch Israel's people. You must tell them when they do wrong things. 8 I may say to a bad man, “You are doing something that is wrong. You will die.” Then you must tell him that I am angry. Tell him that I will kill him. If you do not tell him this, he will surely die because of his sin. But I will punish you because you have caused his death. 9 That man is doing something that is wrong. You must tell him that. He may not listen to your words. He may not stop doing those things. Then he will die because of his sins. But you will not have caused his death. I will not punish you.

10 Son of man, speak to Israel's people. “You say: ‘We have done many wrong things and we are dying. We want to stay alive!’ ” 11 Tell them, “It does not give me pleasure to kill men that do bad things. I want them to stop doing those wrong things and to stay alive. Stop doing things that are wrong, Israel's people. I do not want you to die!”

12 So you must speak to the people in your country, son of man. Say, “If a good man starts to do bad things, I will punish him. The good things that he did will not save him. They will not save him if he does not obey me. But I will not punish a bad man who stops doing wrong things.

A good man may stop doing good things. He may start to do bad things. Then he will die. The good things that he had done will not save him.” 13 He may think about the good things that he has done. He may think that they will save him. But I will not remember those good things if he then does bad things. I will cause him to die because of the wrong things that he has done.

14 I may say to a bad man: “You must die.” But then he may stop doing wrong things and do good things. 15 He might give back to a man something that he had taken (something that would make sure that the man would return his money). Or he might return things that were not his. He might start to obey me. If he then does only good things he will stay alive. 16 I will not remember any of the wrong things that he has done.

He has done what is good and right. So he will surely stay alive.

17 Israel's people are saying: “The Lord’s rules are not fair!” But you people are those who are not fair. 18 A good man may stop doing good things. If he then starts to do bad things he will die. 19 And a bad man may stop doing bad things. Then he might start to do things that are good and right. Because he has done these good things, he will stay alive. 20 But Israel's people say: “The Lord is not fair!” But I will judge each man because of the things that he has done.’

The Lord tells Ezekiel why enemies have taken Jerusalem

21 A man ran away from Jerusalem. He came to me when we had been in Babylon for twelve (12) years. He came on the fifth (5th) day of the tenth (10th) month. He said, ‘Enemies have taken the city.’ 22 The Lord had touched me in the night. That was the night before the man came to me. He had opened my mouth so that I was able to speak again.

23 Then the Lord spoke to me. 24 ‘Son of man’, he said, ‘People live in the broken cities of Israel. This is what they are saying. They say, “Abraham was only one man, but God gave him the country called Israel. But we are many men. Now God has given the country called Israel to us.” 25 So speak to them. Say, “This is what the Lord, your King says. ‘You eat meat with the blood still in it. You worship your idols and you kill people. The country is too good for you. 26 You fight to get the things that you want. You do bad things. You have sex with each other’s wives. I cannot give the country to you.’ ”

27 Say this to them. “This is what the Lord, your King says: ‘I will make a promise. Enemies will kill the people in the destroyed city with swords. Wild animals will kill and eat people in the country. Some of these people will hide in strong buildings. Or they might hide in holes in the sides of mountains. They will become ill and die. 28 I will make the country empty, like a desert. Israel will no longer be strong or powerful. I will make its mountains wild and empty. No people will walk across them. 29 Then they will know that I am the Lord. I have made the country a desert because they have done such evil things.’ ”

30 Son of man, your people are talking about you in the streets. They are saying, “Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.” 31 My people will come and sit in front of you. They often do that. They will listen to your words. But they will not obey them. They say that they love me. But they really want to become rich people. They take things from other people. They are not fair. 32 They do not believe your words. You are like a man who sings beautiful love songs. They listen to your words but they do not obey them.

33 All these things will happen. Then they will know that a prophet has spoken to them.’

Chapter 34

Sheep and the shepherds who keep them safe

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘You must prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Say to them, “This is what the Lord, your King says, ‘I am angry with the shepherds of Israel. They only think about themselves. But shepherds should keep the sheep safe and well. 3 You eat their milk and you make warm clothes from their wool. You kill the best animals to eat. But you have not kept my sheep well and safe. 4 You have not helped the weak sheep to grow strong. You have not made the sick ones well. Nor have you tied up those who were hurting. You have not found the lost sheep and brought them back. You have not ruled them in a kind way. You have been cruel to them. 5 So my sheep went away to many places because they did not have a shepherd. Then the wild animals ate them. 6 My sheep went over the mountains and the high hills. They were all over the land. Nobody went to find them.’ ” ’

7 So I say this to you, my shepherds, says the Lord: 8 ‘My sheep do not have any shepherds. You shepherds have not kept my sheep safe and wild animals have eaten the sheep. You did not look for those that were lost. You only wanted good things for yourselves. 9 So listen to what I say, you shepherds. 10 The Lord, your King says this, “You can be sure that I am against the shepherds. They should have kept my sheep safe. Because they did not do this they will no longer be shepherds. They will no longer keep my sheep. Then they will not have any food to eat. I will take away my sheep so that no shepherds can eat them.” ’

11 So this is what the Lord, your King says, ‘I myself will look for my sheep and I will keep them safe. 12 I will be like a shepherd who looks everywhere to find his lost sheep. I will be with them and I will keep them safe. I will bring them back from places that are far away. They went away on a dark day when I let bad things happen. 13 I will bring them back from other countries to their own land. They will eat grass on the mountains of Israel. They will eat it in its valleys and villages. 14 I will keep them on good land. And they will eat grass on Israel’s high places. They will lie down in the good land. They will eat good food on Israel’s mountains. 15 I will keep them safe myself. I will make them lie down and rest’, says the Lord, your King. 16 ‘I will find the lost sheep and I will bring them back. I will tie up the ones that are hurting. I will help the weak ones to become strong. But I will kill the fat sheep in a way that is fair.

17 This is what the Lord, your King says to his sheep, “I will decide how to judge between my sheep. I will decide how to judge between male sheep and goats. 18 You have much good food, so you must not destroy other grass. You have clean water to drink. So you must not make dirty that which remains. 19 I do not want my sheep to eat grass that you have made too dirty to eat. I do not want them to drink water that you have made dirty with your feet.” ’

20 So this is what the Lord, your King says to them, ‘I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the thin sheep. 21 You attack them with the sharp points (horns) on your heads. Then you push them away with your shoulders. Because you do this, 22 I will save my sheep. No longer will anyone take them away. I will judge between one sheep and another sheep. 23 I will make my servant David one shepherd over them all. He will keep them safe. He will be their shepherd. 24 I, the Lord will be their God and David will rule them. He will be their king. I the Lord have spoken.

25 I will make a promise to them. I will give them peace. I will take away the wild animals. Then they can live in the desert. Then they can sleep in the forests. They will be safe there. 26 I will bless them (give them many good things). I will bless all the places round my hill. I will send them rain at the right seasons. The rain will be a picture of how kind I will be to them. 27 The trees will give them their fruit. Seeds that they plant in the ground will give plenty of food to eat. The people will be safe in their country. I will make them free from the men who made them their servants. They will no longer be slaves. Then they will know that I am the Lord. 28 Other nations will no longer take their things. And no longer will wild animals eat them. They will be safe and nobody will make them afraid. 29 I will give them a country that gives much good food. So then they will always have enough to eat. They will never be hungry. Other nations will not say bad things about them any longer. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them. They will know that they are my people’, says the Lord, the King. 31 ‘And you are like my sheep, the sheep of my grass-lands. You are men and I am your God’, says God, the Lord.

Chapter 35

A prophecy against Edom

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Son of man, look towards Mount Seir. Then you must prophesy against it. 3 Say, “This is what the Lord, your King says: ‘I am against you, Mount Seir. I will attack you and I will make you a desert. 4 I will destroy your towns and nobody will live there. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Mount Seir is another name for Edom. The people in Edom were the children of Esau. He was Jacob’s brother. They were their cousins but they were enemies of Israel.

5 You continued to hate Israel's people for many years. Before, I punished them and they had no friends. But you let people attack them with swords. 6 So I make this promise to you. I will surely do this. Your blood will fall to the ground. You will run away from your enemies but you will still die. You were not afraid to kill people, so I will not be afraid to kill you. 7 I will make Mount Seir a desert where nobody lives. No longer will anyone visit it. 8 Dead bodies will cover your mountains. Men that enemies’ swords have killed will lie on your hills. And their bodies will lie in your valleys. 9 I will make you into a desert for all time. Nobody will live in your towns. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

10 You say, “We will take these two nations (Israel and Judah) and then they will become ours. We will take them, even if the Lord is there.” 11 So I will surely punish you’, says the Lord, the King. ‘You hurt them because you were angry. You hated them. I will hurt you in the same way that you hurt them. My people will know me when I judge you. 12 Then you will know this. I, the Lord have heard all the bad things that you have said. You spoke about the mountains of Israel “Men have made them into a desert. We can take them for ourselves.” 13 You said bad things about me. You said that I had only a little power. And you said that I could not help my people. And I heard you say it.’ 14 So this is what the Lord, the King says: ‘I will make you a desert. All the nations will see this and they will be very happy. 15 You were happy when you saw me punish Israel. You were happy when Israel became a desert. Because you were happy, I will make your country a desert. Mount Seir and all the country of Edom will become an empty desert. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ ” ’

Chapter 36

A prophecy to the mountains of Israel

1 ‘Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel. Say to them, “Listen to the word of the Lord, you mountains of Israel. 2 ‘This is what an enemy has said to you: “Your old mountains now belong to us.” 3 So prophesy to them. Say, “This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘Enemies attacked you from every side. Many nations took parts of you to keep for themselves. People said many bad things about you.’ ” ’ 4 I am speaking to you, mountains of Israel, because they did this. This is what I say to the mountains and hills and to the valleys. This is what I say to the empty, broken towns. Enemies took away all their good things and they laughed at their people. 5 ‘I am very angry’, says the Lord, the King. ‘I have judged against Edom and the other nations. This is because they took my land. They wanted it for their cows and sheep. And they hated my people. They hurt them. They were happy to hurt them.’ 6 So prophesy about the country of Israel to the mountains, hills and valleys. Say, ‘This is what the Lord, the King says, “I am angry because other nations have laughed at you. They thought that you had no value.” 7 So this is what I say: “I promise that people will laugh at the nations round you. That is my true word.

8 But you mountains of Israel will give much food for Israel’s people. I promise that my people will soon come home. 9 I love you and I want to give you good things. Men will dig your ground and they will plant seeds in it. 10 The number of people who live there will grow. They will live in the towns and they will repair the broken buildings. 11 I will make more men and animals live on you, and they will have many children. People will live on you as they did many years ago. I will give them many good things. They had food before I sent them away. But they will have more. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 12 I will cause my people, Israel's people, to walk upon you. You will be their land, and you will belong to them and to their children. You will never again lose them.”

13 This is what the Lord, your King says. “People say that you destroy men. They say that you kill the nation’s children. So I am making a promise to you. 14 You will no longer destroy or kill the nation’s people”, says the Lord, your King. 15 People from other nations will no longer laugh at you. You will no longer feel sad or cause your nation to fall’, says the Lord, your King.” ’

16 The Lord spoke to me again. 17 ‘Son of man, Israel’s people made their own country not clean when they lived there. They did many wrong things. I saw that they were an evil people. 18 So I became angry and I punished them. I punished them because they had killed people there. And they had made the country not clean with idols. 19 I sent them to many different nations. They went to many countries. I judged them because of the bad things that they had done. 20 But they still did the things that took away my honour. Men said bad things about my name. “These are the Lord’s people, but they had to leave their country”, they said. 21 I wanted them to give honour to my holy name. But Israel’s people who lived in other nations had given me no honour. 22 So you must speak to Israel's people. Say, “This is what the Lord, the King says, ‘I will not do this for you, Israel's people. But I will do it so that men will give honour to my holy name. You took away my honour from the nations where you live. 23 I will show them that my name is great and holy. You made them think that it was not clean. Then the nations will know that I am theLord’, says the Lord, your King. ‘I will do this for you. Then they will see that I am holy.

24 So I will take you out from the nations. I will bring you back to your own country. You will return from all the places where I sent you. 25 You will become pure. You will be like a man whom I have washed with clean water. You will no longer be not clean, but you will be clean. You will turn away from your idols. 26 I will make you new inside. I will give you a new spirit. You will no longer turn away from me. I will make you want to do the things that give me pleasure. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you, and you will want to obey my rules. You will want to obey me. 28 You will live in the country that I gave to your fathers. You will be my people and I will be your God. 29 I save you from the bad things that made you not clean. I will make seeds grow to give plenty of food. You will always have enough to eat. 30 I will make the trees give much fruit. And plants will grow well in the fields. Then you will not feel ashamed because you have no food. Other nations will no longer think that you have no value. 31 Then you will remember the evil things that you did. And you will be sorry and ashamed that you did those wrong things. 32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your honour, says the Lord, your King. ‘You must feel very sorry and ashamed because of the bad things that you did, Israel's people!’

33 This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘I will make you clean from the evil things that you did. On that same day, I will send you back to your towns. You will build them up again. 34 You will again make food grow on the empty land. No longer will people who pass it think that it is a desert. 35 They will say, “This land was like a desert, but now it is like the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2: 8-9). People now live in the cities that were broken and empty. But now they have built them with strong walls.” 36 Then the nations who still live round you will see this. They will know that I have built up the broken cities. They will know that I have planted them again. I will plant what enemies destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken and I will do it.’

37-38 This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘Israel’s people ask for my help. I will listen to them again. Men bring many sheep to Jerusalem to offer to the Lord. They bring them on a feast day. I will make them as many as those sheep. So I will fill the broken cities with people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ ” ’

People may have wrong thoughts. Then they do and say bad things. So Ezekiel says that they are not pure. When the Lord makes people pure, he makes them clean inside. He sends his Spirit to help them to think good thoughts. And his Spirit helps them to do things that give God pleasure.

Chapter 37

The valley of dry bones

1 The Lord showed me a picture in my mind. His Spirit took me and put me in the middle of a dry valley. It was full of bones. 2 He made me walk up and down among them. There, on the ground in the valley, I saw many very dry bones. 3 ‘Son of man’, he asked me. ‘Can these dry bones become alive?’ ‘Lord my King’, I said. ‘Only you know the answer.’

4Prophesy to these bones’, he said. ‘Say to them, “Dry bones, listen to the Lord’s word.” 5 This is what the Lord, the King says to these dry bones. “I will make you become alive. 6 I will make your bones join together and I will put meat on your bones. I will cover you with skin. I will blow air into your bodies. You will become alive. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” ’

7 So I prophesied as he had said. While I did this, I heard noises. The bones hit each other when they came together. 8 Then I looked. And I saw meat and skin cover the bones. But the bodies were not alive. They did not move or take in air.

9 Then the Lord spoke to me. ‘Prophesy to the air’, he said. ‘Say that the four (4) winds must come. And they must blow air into these dead bodies. Then they can become alive.’ 10 So I prophesied and air blew into them. They became alive and they stood on their feet. They were a great army. 11 Then the Lord said, ‘Son of man, these bones are all Israel's people. They say, “Our bones are dry and we cannot hope for anything. We are lost.” 12 So prophesy and say to them, “This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘My people, I am going to open the places where men bury your bodies. I will take you out of them and I will bring you back to the country called Israel. 13 I will open the places where they buried you. I will bring you out. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will become alive. And you will stay in your own country. Then you will know that I, the Lord have spoken. You will know that I have done this’, says the Lord.” ’

Israel’s people believe that they cannot hope for anything. God gives Ezekiel a picture of dry human bones. The bones are like Israel’s life as slaves in foreign countries. They had been there for more than ten (10) years. So the bones are very dry! But the Lord is showing them that he will bring them back to their own country. He wants them to hope that he will save them. He wants them to believe the things that he tells them.

The Hebrew word for the air is the same word as for his Spirit. So when the Lord puts air into a man he is also putting his Spirit into that man.

15 The Lord spoke to me. 16 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Take a wooden stick and write on it. Write, “This stick belongs to Judah and all the people with him.” Then take another stick and write on it, “Ephraim’s stick belongs to Joseph and all Israel’s people that are with him.” 17 Make the two sticks join together to become one stick in your hand. 18 Your people, Israel’s people, will ask you why you did this. They will ask, “Please tell us what this means.” 19 Say to them, “This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘Joseph’s stick is the land of Ephraim and all the Israelite tribes who are with him. I will cause it to join Judah’s stick and I will make them one stick in my hand.’ ” 20 Hold the sticks with words on them in front of their eyes. 21 Say to them “This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘I will take Israel’s people out from the nations where they have gone. I will fetch them back from all the places round them. I will bring them into their own country. 22 I will make them become one nation. They will be in the country. They will live on Israel’s mountains. They will have one king over them all. They will never become two nations or two kingdoms again. 23 They will no longer worship idols and make themselves not clean. They will no longer do those things that make me angry. I will save them from all the wrong things that they did. I will make them clean. They will be my people and I will be their God.

24 My servant David will be their king and he will be their shepherd. They will all have one ruler. And they will obey all my rules. 25 They will live in the country that I gave to my servant Jacob and his sons. It is the country where your fathers lived. My people and their children and grandchildren will live there. They will live there until the end of time. And David my servant will always be their king. 26 I will make a promise with them to give them peace. It is a promise that will never change. They will remain there and I will keep them safe. Their numbers will grow greater. 27 I will put my temple there and it will always remain there. I will live among them. I will be their God and they will be my people. 28 I have put my temple among them. It will remain until the end of time. Then the nations will know that I, the Lord make Israel holy.’ ” ’

Chapter 38

1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 ‘Gog rules the country of Magog. Son of man, turn your face against him’, he said. ‘Gog is the most important prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him 3 and say, “This is what the Lord, the King says. ‘I am against you, Gog, important prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4 And I will turn you round. I will catch your mouth with a sharp piece of metal like a fish. I will catch you and your great army with its men on horses. I will take you and all your soldiers. They have small shields. They hold their swords high. 5 Persia, Cush (Sudan) and Put (Libya) will be there with their metal hats and their shields. 6 Gomer will be there with its armies. And Beth Togarmah and its armies from the north will be with them. I will catch all these many nations with you.

7 Prepare to fight. Make all the armies round you ready. You must tell them what they should do. 8 After many days you will fight. In a future year, you will attack a country. That country's people will not have fought for a long time. The people there came back to Israel’s mountains from many nations. I had brought them out from the nations and they were safe there. 9 You, your armies and all the nations with you will go to attack them. You will be like a storm cloud that is moving over the country.’

10 This is what the Lord, the King says, ‘On that day you will have bad thoughts. You will decide to do an evil thing. 11 You will say: “We will attack a country whose villages have no walls. The people have peace. So they do not think that anyone will attack them. They have no walls or gates to keep them safe. 12 I will turn against the people who have returned to build up their broken cities. I will take their good things and their many animals. Now they are in the middle of the land.” 13 The men in Sheba and Dedan will ask you questions. So will those from Tarshish and its villages. Their people buy and sell things. They will say, “Have you come to take away their good things? Have you and your armies come to carry away their silver and gold? Will you take their animals and other things?” ’ ”

14 So, son of man, you must prophesy to Gog. Say, “This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘Now you see my people Israel. They are living in peace. 15 So you will come from your country far in the north. You will come with your great armies. All the soldiers will ride on horses. They will be very many men. 16 Your armies will be like a cloud that covers the land. I will make you, Gog, attack my country on a future day. I will use you to show the nations that I am holy. Then they will know me.’

17 This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘I spoke to you in days long ago. I spoke by my servants, the prophets of Israel. For many years they have said that I would bring you against my people. 18 When that day comes, I will become very angry. Gog will attack Israel’, says the Lord, the King. 19 ‘Then I will make the whole country of Israel shake because I am so angry. 20 The fish in the sea, and the birds in the air will be very afraid. And all the animals on the land will be afraid. Everything that moves and all the people on the earth will be afraid. They will all shake when they see that I am so angry. I will make the mountains fall and break into pieces. All the walls will fall down. 21 I will call the men on the mountains to show their swords’, the Lord, the King says. ‘Every man of yours will fight his brothers. 22 I will judge Gog. I will make his men ill and they will die. I will send rain and fire and stones from the sky on him and his armies. 23 I will show the nations how great and holy I am. Then they will all know that I am the Lord.’ ” ’

Chapter 39

1 ‘Son of man, you must prophesy against the nations. Say to them, “This is what the Lord, the King says: ‘I am against you, Gog, prince of Meshech and Tubal. 2 I will turn you round and I will pull you along. I will bring you from the far north to attack the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will knock your arms out of your hands. 4 You will fall on Israel’s mountains. You and your soldiers and the nations with you will all fall there. Birds of many kinds and wild animals will feed on your dead bodies. 5 I have decided that you will fall in the fields.’ That is what the Lord, the King says. 6 ‘I will send fire to burn Magog and the people who live in safe towns by the sea. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

7 My people, Israel will know that my name is holy. No longer will I let them say bad things about me. And the nations round you will know that I, the Lord am holy. 8 I promise that I will cause this to happen. You can be sure that this day will come’, says the Lord, the King. ‘I told you that this day would come.

9 Then those who live in Israel’s towns will go out. They will pick up the arms and they will burn them. They will burn the small and large shields, the heavy sticks, the throwing sticks and the sharp pointed sticks (swords). They will use them to make their fires. They will have enough wood for seven (7) years of fires. 10 They will not have to go into the fields or forests to find wood. They will take away the things from those who took their things’, says the Lord, the King.

11 ‘They will bury Gog in the valley east of the sea. They will bury Gog and all his armies there. So men will not be able to walk through this valley. They will call it the valley of Hamon Gog (Gog’s army).

12 Israel’s people will need seven (7) months to bury all the dead bodies. Then the land will be clean. 13 All the people in the country will bury the dead bodies. They will always remember that day, the day that I won the fight. They will give me glory’, says the Lord, the King.

14 ‘They will choose some men to clean the land. They will travel through all the country. Other men will bury the dead bodies that remain on the ground. They will begin to do this at the end of the seven (7) months. 15 The men who walk through the country will find dead men’s bones. They will put a sign by each one. Then the men who bury the bodies will bury them in the valley of Hamon Gog. 16 (A town called Hamonah is also there.) That is how they will make the land clean.’ ”

17 Son of man, this is what the Lord, the King says: “Shout to all kinds of birds and wild animals, ‘Come here from all the country to eat the meal that I have prepared for you. It is a great sacrifice on Israel’s mountains. There you will eat meat and you will drink blood. 18 You will eat the meat of great men and you will drink the blood of kings. You will eat them like the fat sheep, cows and animals from Bashan that you eat. 19 At this sacrifice, you will eat so much fat that you cannot eat any more. You will drink so much blood that you become drunk. 20 I will give you horses and their riders to eat. I will give you great men and many kinds of soldiers to eat’, says the Lord, the King.

21 ‘I will show my glory to all the nations. They will see that I can punish people. And they will know that I decide how and when to punish them. 22 From that time and for all the time after that, Israel's people will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that I sent Israel’s people away from their country. They will know that I punished my people because of their sin. They had not been faithful to me so I turned away from them. I let their enemies take them and kill them with swords. 24 I punished them because they had not kept themselves clean from sin. I hid myself from them because they had done so many evil things.’ ” ’

25 So this is what the Lord, your King says. ‘Now I will bring back Jacob (Israel) from the countries where his people are prisoners. I will be kind to all Israel's people. And I will make them see that I am holy. 26 They will forget that they were ashamed. They will forget that they failed to keep their promises to me. That was when they lived in a safe country. In that country, nobody made them afraid. 27 I will bring them back from the lands where their enemies took them. The nations will see what I have done. So all the nations will know that I am holy. 28 Then Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. I sent my people away to far countries. But I will bring them all back to their own country. I will not leave any behind. 29 No longer will I turn away from them. I will pour my Spirit over Israel's people’, says the Lord, the King.

Chapter 40

A picture of the Temple

1 The Lord touched me on the tenth (10th) day of the year. It was our twenty-fifth (25th) year in a foreign country. He took me to our city (Jerusalem). Enemies had taken the city fourteen (14) years earlier. 2 He showed me a picture of the country of Israel. I was standing on a very high mountain. Some buildings that looked like a city were there on its south side. 3 The Lord took me there. And I saw a man that looked like bronze. He was standing in the gate. The man had a thin rope and a stick in his hand to measure the ground and walls. 4 The man spoke to me. ‘Son of man’, he said, ‘Look and listen carefully to me. Remember everything that I show to you. That is why God has brought you here. Tell Israel's people everything that you see.’

The east gate to the yard

5 I saw a wall all the way round the place where the temple was. The stick in the man’s hand was three (3) metres long. He measured the wall with this stick. It was three (3) metres wide and three (3) metres high.

6 Then he went to the gate on the east side. He climbed its steps and he measured the size of the entrance. It was three (3) metres deep. 7 Beyond this was a passage with three (3) rooms on each side. They were rooms for the guards. Each of these rooms was three (3) metres long and 3 (three) metres wide. The walls between the rooms were two and a half metres thick. Beyond them was a passage that was three (3) metres long. This went to a room towards the temple. 8-9 This room was four (4) metres wide. It was the nearest part of the gate to the temple. Its walls were one metre wide at the far end. 10 The rooms on each side of the passage were all the same size. So were all the walls between them.

11 Then the man measured across the passage through the gate. It was six and a half (6½) metres wide. The space between the two open gates was five (5) metres. 12 A wall half a metre high and half a metre wide was in front of each of the rooms. (The rooms were three (3) metres square.) 13 He measured the space between the back wall of one room and the back wall of the room opposite. It was twelve and a half (12½) metres long. 14 The room at the other end opened into a yard. That room measured ten (10) metres wide. 15 The gate measured twenty-five (25) metres from the outside wall to the other room’s end. 16 All the rooms had windows in their outside walls. And they had windows on the walls between the rooms. Men had cut shapes of palm trees inside the passage walls.

The yard outside the temple

17 The man took me through the gate into the yard. They had built thirty (30) rooms against the outside wall. Flat stones covered the space in front of them. 18 This space went all round the yard. The outside yard was lower down than the inside yard.

19 There was a gate to the inside yard. The man measured fifty (50) metres between the two gates.

The north gate

20 Then the man measured the gate on the north side of the outside yard. 21 He measured the entrance room. Then he measured the three rooms on each side of the passage and the walls between them. They measured the same as those in the east gate. The whole gate was twenty-five (25) metres long and it was twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 22 The entrance room, the windows and the palm trees were the same as those in the east gate. Seven (7) steps went up to the gate. And there was a room at the end by the yard. 23 From this gate across the yard was the gate to the inside yard. It was the same as on the east side. The man measured fifty (50) metres between the two gates.

The south gate

24 Next, the man took me to the south side, and we saw another gate there. The man measured its walls and the entrance room and they measured the same as the other walls. 25 The rooms in this gate had windows that were the same as those in the other gates. The whole gate was twenty-five (25) metres long and twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 26 Seven (7) steps went up to it. The way in was also at the end by the yard. They had cut the shapes of palm trees on the inside walls of the passage. 27 Here too, was a gate into the inside yard. The man measured fifty (50) metres between the two gates.

The south gate of the inside yard

28 The man took me through the south gate into the inside yard. He measured the gate. It was the same size as the gates in the outside wall. 29-30 The guards’ rooms, entrance and inside walls were the same as those of the other gates. And its rooms had windows. It was twenty-five (25) metres long and twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 31 Its entrance room opened towards the outside yard. Men had cut shapes of palm trees. They were along the walls inside the passage.

The east gate of the inside yard

32 The man took me through the east gate into the inside yard. He measured the gate. He found that it was the same size as the other gates. 33 The guards’ rooms, entrance and inside walls all measured the same as those in the other gates. They had made windows all round and in the entrance room. The whole gate was twenty-five (25) metres long and twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 34 The entrance room's door opened towards the outside yard. They had cut shapes of palm trees along the walls. They were inside the passage. Eight (8) steps went up to this gate.

The north gate of the inside yard

35 The man took me to the north gate. He measured it. He found that it was the same size as the other gates. 36 Like them, it had rooms for the guards and pictures on the inside walls. It had an entrance room with windows all round. It was twenty-five (25) metres long and twelve and a half (12½) metres wide. 37 The entrance room's door opened towards the outside yard. Men had cut palm tree shapes on the walls of the passage. Eight (8) steps went up to this gate.

Buildings near the north gate

38 They had put a small building in the outside yard. It was next to the north side of the inside gate. Its door opened from the entrance room by the yard. There the priests washed the dead bodies of animals that they burnt whole as sacrifices. 39 In the entrance room they had put four (4) tables, two on each side of the room. They killed the animals for sacrifice on these tables. They burnt some of these animals whole. But they burnt other animals for sin offerings. They killed other animals as sacrifices when people had done wrong things.

40 They had put four (4) more tables outside the room by the north gate’s entrance. They put two on each side of the north gate. 41 I counted eight (8) tables on which they killed animals for sacrifices. Four (4) tables were in the room and four (4) were in the yard. 42 Someone had made the tables in the room out of stone. They put the animals on them. There they would kill the animals that they burnt whole. These tables were fifty (50) centimetres high and their tops were seventy-five (75) centimetres square. They kept all the things that they used to kill the animals on these tables. 43 They had raised the edges all round each table by seven and a half (7½) centimetres. They put all the meat that they would sacrifice on these tables.

44 Then the man brought me into the inside yard. Two rooms had doors to the inside yard. One was by the north gate and its door opened towards the south. The other room was by the south gate and its door opened towards the north. 45 The man told me that one room was for the priests. That room's door opened to the south. 46 The other room's door opened to the north. The priests who worked for God at the altar used that room. All the priests belong to Zadok’s family. They are the only people that the Lord lets near to work for him in his temple. All Zadok’s family come from Levi’s tribe.

The inside yard and the temple building

47 The man measured the inside yard. It was square, fifty (50) metres long and fifty (50) metres wide. The temple was on the west side of the yard. An altar was there in front of the temple. 48 Then he took me into the entrance room of the temple. He measured the entrance. It was two and a half metres long and seven (7) metres wide. The walls were one and a half metres thick on each side. 49 Steps went up to the entrance room. This room was ten (10) metres wide and six (6) metres long. Two pillars were there, one on each side of the entrance.

Chapter 41

1 Then the man took me into the room in the centre, the Holy Place. He measured the entrance to it. It was three (3) metres deep 2 and five (5) metres wide. The walls on either side were two and a half (2½) metres thick. The room itself measured twenty (20) metres long and ten (10) metres wide.

3 Then he measured the passage that went to the inside room. He went in. It was one metre long and three (3) metres wide. The walls on either side were three and a half (3½) metres thick. 4 The room measured ten (10) metres square. It was behind the Holy Place. ‘This is the Most Holy Place’, he said to me.

5 Then the man measured the wall of the temple. It was three (3) metres thick. They had built rooms two metres wide all round the temple. They were against the wall. 6 Three (3) rooms were on top of each other. They were all round the temple. I counted thirty (30) rooms at the top, thirty (30) rooms below them and thirty (30) rooms below them. The wall of the temple in each group of 30 rooms was thinner than the wall below. So the floor of the room at the top could rest on the wall’s edge. They did not have to fix it to the temple wall. 7 The walls at the top of the temple were thinner than the walls below them. So the rooms at the top were wider than the rooms below them.

Against the temple walls, they had built two wide sets of stairs. People could walk up these stairs to the rooms above. 8-11 The outside wall of these rooms was two and a half (2½) metres thick. One door opened into the north side rooms of the temple. And one door opened into the south side of the temple. I saw a path two and a half (2½) metres wide all round the temple. It was three (3) metres above the yard. It was as high as the lowest rooms against the temple wall. The yard was between this path and the buildings for the priests. It was ten (10) metres wide and it went along the sides of the temple. 12 A building was at the west side of the temple. It was at the far end of the yard. It measured forty-five (45) metres long and thirty-five (35) metres wide. Its walls were two and a half (2½) metres thick.

13 Then the man measured the outside of the temple. It was fifty (50) metres long. He measured from the back of the temple to the building’s west side. It measured fifty (50) metres. 14 He measured the space across the front of the temple. Then he measured the yard on each side. Each of these measured fifty (50) metres. 15 The building at the west, with its passages also measured fifty (50) metres. 16 They had covered the inside walls of the entrance room of the temple, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place with wood. The wood covered the walls from the floor to the windows. They could also cover the windows. 17-18 Men had cut shapes above the doors and all over the walls. They were shapes of palm trees and animals with wings. They covered all the inside walls of the temple. First they cut a palm tree then an animal, then another palm tree, and so on, all round the room. Each animal had two faces. 19 On one side, a human face looked at the palm tree. A lion’s face looked at the tree on the other side. The walls were like this all round the room. 20 These pictures went from the floor to above the doors. 21 The bases of the pillars that were holding the doors were square. And the front of the Holy Place seemed the same.

The altar

22 There was an altar in front of the Holy Place’s entrance. They had made it out of wood. It was one and a half metres high and one metre wide. Its corners, sides and part below the top were all wooden. ‘This is the table that is in front of the Lord’, the man said to me.

The doors

23 A door opened into the passage to the Holy Place. Another door went to the Most Holy Place. 24 Both of these doors opened down the middle. 25 Men had made pictures on the doors. They were pictures of palm trees and animals with wings. They were like the shapes that they had cut on the walls. Men had put a cover over the door to the entrance room. 26 This room had thin windows in its sides. Men had cut shapes of palm trees on its walls. They had also made covers over the side rooms.

Chapter 42

Two buildings near the temple

1 Then the man took me into the outside yard. We went to a building near the temple. It was on the north side of thetemple. It was not far from the other building (that was on the west side of the temple). 2 This building was fifty (50) metres long and twenty-five (25) metres wide. There was a ten (10) metre space between it and the temple. The building’s other side was by the yard that they had covered with flat stones. 3 It had three (3) sets of rooms. They were on top of each other. Each was a little way behind the one below it. 4 A path went along inside its north side. It was fifty (50) metres long and five (5) metres wide. The entrances to the building were on the same side. 5 The rooms at the top were not as wide as the rooms below them. And they were not as wide as the rooms below them. 6 Each of the two groups of rooms at the top was on a wide wall. They were not on pillars like the other buildings in the yard. 7 The wall in front of the lowest rooms had no doors for twenty-five (25) metres. Rooms filled the other 25 metres. 8 At the top, there were rooms from one end to the other. 9 They had made an entrance to the rooms below from the outside yard. It was at the east end of the building. The wall of the yard started there.

10 A building like this one was at the south side of the temple. It was not far from the other building (that was at the west end of the temple). 11 A path went along its side. The sizes and entrance were the same as those of the other building. 12 They had made a door at its east end. The door went to the set of rooms that was below the other sets of rooms. The door was on the building’s south side, where the wall began.

13 The man spoke to me. ‘The north and south rooms towards the yard are for the priests. They are holy. In them, the priests who work there will eat the most holy sacrifices. They will keep the most holy things there. For example, they put there the grain and other offerings that people gave. Those people were sorry about the wrong things that they had done.

14 The priests may want to go into the outside yard. Then they must take off the special holy clothes that they wear to work for the Lord. They must leave them in these rooms and they must put on other clothes. Then they can go out to meet the people.’

15 Then he had finished measuring everything inside the place where the temple was. He took me out through the east gate and he measured the space all round. 16 He measured the wall of the east side with his stick. It was two hundred and fifty (250) metres. 17-19 Then he measured the north side and the south side and the west side. Each one measured the same as the east side, two hundred and fifty (250) metres. 20 So the walls made a square round the holy place. They separated the holy place from the common place.

Chapter 43

The Lord returns to the Temple

1 Then the man brought me to the east gate. 2 And I saw the shining glory of the God of Israel. It came from the east. His voice was loud like the noise of the great sea. The earth shone with the bright light of his glory. 3 I had seen a dream picture like this by the River Kebar. That was when God had come to destroy the city. I fell down on my face. 4 The shining light went through the east gate into the temple. 5 Then the Lord’s Spirit lifted me up. He took me into the temple’s inside yard. And I saw that the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

6 The man stood there by my side. I heard the Lord’s voice come from inside the temple. 7 ‘Son of man’, he said. ‘Here is my throne. I will live here among Israel's people. I will rule over them for all time. They will never again do things that take away my honour. Neither they nor their kings will worship other gods or put their kings’ dead bodies in this place. 8 They built the entrances and doors of their houses here. They were next to my temple’s doors. Only a wall separated us. They did many evil things and they took away the honour of my holy name. 9 Now they must stop doing those evil things. They must take away their kings’ dead bodies. If they do this, I will live among them for all time.

10 Son of man, tell Israel's people about the temple. It should make them ashamed of the evil things that they have done. Let them think about it. 11 Then they will become ashamed of what they have done. You must tell them all about the way to build the temple. Describe its entrances, its shape, its rules and how they must do everything. You must write all this down. Then they can copy the whole thing and they can correctly obey its rules.

12 All the top of the mountain round the temple will be most holy. That is the important rule about the temple.’

The altar

13 The man measured the altar with the same measuring stick. They had dug a hole that was half a metre deep and half a metre wide round the altar. Round its outside edge they had built a wall twenty-five (25) centimetres high. 14 The lowest part of the altar was one metre high. The next part was fifty (50) centimetres inside the part below all round. It was two metres high. The edge above that was again fifty (50) centimetres inside the middle part. 15 This top part was two metres high. They burnt the sacrifices on this top part. Its corners had points that were higher than the flat top. 16 The top of the altar was square and each side was six (6) metres long. 17 The middle part was also square, with sides seven (7) metres long. It had a wall twenty-five (25) centimetres high round its edge. (They had left a space fifty (50) centimetres wide between the top two parts of the altar.) They had built steps up to the altar on the east side.

They must make the altar holy

18 ‘Son of man’, the Lord, the King said to me. ‘Listen to me. They must make the altar holy for my worship. To do this they will burn sacrifices on it. And they will shake over it the animal’s blood that you sacrificed. 19 The sons of Zadok are the only priests who can come into my house to work for me. I, the Lord, your King say this very strongly. You will give them a young male cow to offer as a sacrifice for sin. 20 You will take some of its blood and put it on the points on the altar. Those are on the corners of its top part. And you will put its blood on the corners of its middle part. And you must put blood all round its edges. This is how you will make the altar clean and holy, separate for my worship. 21 You must choose the male cow to become the sacrifice for sin. Take it to the special place. Burn it outside the holy place. 22 The next day, choose the best male goat that you can find. Offer it as a sacrifice for sin. Use its blood to make the altar clean and holy, as you did with the cow’s blood. 23 After that, take the best young male cow and young male sheep 24 and bring them to me. The priests will shake salt on them. They will burn them as a gift to me. 25 Each day for a week you must offer sacrifices to me. They are for your sins. Sacrifice a goat, a male cow and a male sheep each day. They must all be your best animals that have nothing wrong with them. 26 The priests must make the altar clean and holy for each of seven (7) days. Then it will be ready to use. 27 The priests can begin to make burnt offerings when the seven (7) days are finished. They will offer the burnt offerings and the people’s fellowship offerings on the altar. You will all give me great pleasure when you do this. I, the Lord, your King, say this.’

Chapter 44

Rules about how to use the temple

1 Then the man brought me back to the outside gate of the holy place. That gate opened to the east. But it they had shut it. 2 ‘This gate must stay shut’, the Lord said to me. ‘Nobody can go through it. It must remain closed because the Lord, the God of Israel, has gone through it. 3 Only the king himself can sit inside the gate to eat a holy meal in front of the Lord. He must go in and out through the inside entrance room.’

4 Then the man took me through the north gate. We went to the front of the temple. I saw that the Lord’s glory filled his temple. And I fell flat on my face.

5 ‘Son of man, look and listen carefully’, the Lord said to me. ‘You must listen very carefully to everything that I tell you. These are the rules for the Lord’s temple. Understand which people can go into the temple. And learn which people can go out of the temple. 6 Speak to those Israelites who do not obey me. Say, “This is what the Lord, the King says. ‘You have done enough evil things. 7 You even brought foreigners into my holy place. But they were not circumcised and they did not obey my important rules. You made my temple not clean. It was no longer holy. And you offered me food, fat and blood there. You did not keep your promise to me, your covenant promise. 8 You did not do the work yourselves. But you made people that I had not chosen work in my holy place.’ 9 This is what the Lord, your King says. ‘No foreigner who is not circumcised can go into my holy place. He must not go in because he does not obey my rules. Even if that foreigner lives among my people, he must not go in.

10 Some men from Levi’s tribe turned away from me to worship idols. I will punish them because of their sin. 11 They can work for me in the holy place. They can open and close the doors. They can make offerings and sacrifices. And they can stand and work for the people. 12 But I have decided that I must punish them. That is because they helped the people to worship idols. And so they caused them to sin. I promise that I will do this. 13 They must not come near to me to work for me as priests. They must not come near to my holy things or my most holy offerings. They must become ashamed of the evil things that they have done. 14 But I will let them do the work of the temple that is not special priest’s work. 15 Only the priests, sons of Zadok, Levi’s son, can offer sacrifices to me. Only they worked for me and obeyed me. They remained faithful to me when other Israelites worshipped false gods. They can offer sacrifices of fat and blood to me’, says the Lord, the King. 16 ‘Only they can come into the holy place. They are the only men who can come near to my table to work for me.

17 When they come into the inside yard, they must wear linen clothes. They must not wear anything woollen while they are working. They must not wear them inside the yard or inside the temple. 18 They must wear linen cloths round their heads and linen clothes next to their skin. They must not wear anything that makes them hot and sticky. 19 They must take off their special clothes when they leave the holy place. They must leave them in the holy place when they go out to meet the people. Then their special clothes will not make the people holy.

20 They must keep the hair on their heads short. They must not cut it all off, or let it grow long. 21 A priest must not drink wine when he goes into the inside yard. 22 He must not marry a woman whose husband has died. And he must not marry a woman whose husband has sent her away. Priests can only marry women who have never had sex. Or they can marry the wives of priests who are now dead. 23 They must teach my people that holy things are different from common things.

24 If people do not agree with each other, the priests must be their judges. They must decide who is right. They must use my rules to decide. They must obey the rules about my special feasts and they must keep my Sabbaths holy.

25 A priest must not go near to a dead person. It would stop him from being holy. But he can go near to a dead person who is his father or mother. He can also make himself not clean (not pure) for a son, daughter or a sister who is not married. 26 After this, he must make himself clean. Then he must wait seven (7) days. 27 And he can go back into the inside yard of the holy place to work for me there. Then he must offer a sin offering for himself’, says the Lord, the King.

28 ‘The priests must not own any land in Israel to keep for their children and grandchildren. I will be like the land that belongs to them. 29 They will eat the offerings of grain and the offerings because of sin. They can also eat some other offerings that people bring. All the Lord’s special things will belong to them. 30 The best of your first fruits and all your special gifts will belong to the priests. You must also give them the first flour that you make from your grain. Then I will bless those who live in your house. 31 The priests must not eat anything, bird or animal, that men find dead.’ ” ’

Chapter 45

The Lord separates the land into different parts

1 ‘You must separate the land into different parts for each tribe. When you do this, you must give one part to the Lord. Make it twelve and a half (12½) kilometres long and ten (10) kilometres wide. All of this land will be holy. 2 You will keep a piece of this land, two hundred and fifty (250) metres long and two hundred and fifty (250) metres wide for the temple. You must keep an empty space twenty-five (25) metres wide all round the temple. 3 Half of this space that measures twelve and a half (12½) kilometres by five (5) kilometres will contain the temple. This will be the most holy part of the land. 4 The priests will have this holy part of the country to work for the Lord in his temple. They will build their houses there as well as the temple. 5 Some Levites work in the temple. They will own the other half of the land. There they will build their towns to live in.

6 You must give a piece of land to the city. It is the part next to the holy part. This part will measure twelve and a half (12½) kilometres long, and two and a half (2½) kilometres wide. Any of Israel’s people can live there.

7 You must keep some land for the king. His land will include that from the west of the holy land to the sea. From the east, his land will include all the land to the country’s east edge. So his land will be as long as a tribe’s part of the land. 8 This is the part of the land that will belong to the king who rules Israel. Then he will no longer try to make the people do what he wants. And they can all live in their own parts of the country. I will give parts to each of them.

9 “Stop arguing and fighting, you leaders of Israel. You have done enough bad things!” says the Lord, your King. “Do the things that are right and good. Stop taking away the things that belong to my people.” That is what the Lord, the King says. 10 “You must use correct measures for size and weight. 11 The ephah for dry things must be the same as the bath for wet things. Ten ephahs will be equal to one homer. Ten baths will be equal to one homer. 12 Twenty (20) gerahs will be equal to one shekel. Sixty (60) shekels will be equal to one mina (about 24 ounces or 660 grams).

Offerings and holy days

13 You must take 1/6th of a homer of grain to offer as a special gift. 14 The correct oil gift is 1/10th of a bath from each cor (a cor is equal to 10 baths or one homer). 15 You must take one sheep from every two hundred (200) sheep that live in the green land in Israel. You will use these gifts to offer to me. They are grain offerings, animals to burn and fellowship offerings. These are sacrifices so that I can forgive your sin.” I, the Lord, your King, say that you must do this.

16 “All Israel’s people must bring these offerings to the king in Israel.” This is what the Lord, the King says: 17 “The king must give the animals for the burnt sacrifices. He must give the grain and wine to offer at the people’s feasts. He must give them for the New Moon feasts and the Sabbaths. He must give them the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. These are to pay for the sin of Israel’s people.

18 On the first day of the first month you must take a male cow to make the holy place clean. The animal must not have anything wrong with it. 19 The priest will take some of the blood of this sin offering. He will put some blood on the posts of the temple doors. And he must put blood on the corners of the altar. And he will put some on the gate posts of the inside temple yard. 20 You must also do this on the seventh (7th) day of the month. A person might sin by mistake and this will make the temple clean from their sin.

21 On the fourteenth (14th) day of the first month you must have a feast. You will have a feast for seven (7) days. It is the Passover feast. And for that time you must not eat any bread that you have made with yeast.

22 On that day the king must give a male cow as a sin offering. It is an offering for himself and for all the people. 23 Every day of the feast he must give seven (7) male cows and seven (7) male sheep for burnt offerings to the Lord. He must also give a male goat each day for a sin offering. None of the animals can have anything wrong with it. 24 The king must give an ephah of grain with each cow and an ephah with each sheep. He must give a hin of oil with each ephah.

25 You will have a feast for seven (7) days. It will begin on the fifteenth (15th) day of the seventh (7th) month. The king must give the same offerings for these seven (7) days.” ’

A homer measured about a hundred and seventy-five (175) litres (40 gallons). So a bath or an ephah would be about seventeen and a half (17½) litres (4 gallons). A hin was about four (4) litres (1 gallon). In the days of Ezekiel a shekel was about 0.4 ounces (11 grams).

Chapter 46

1 ‘You must keep shut the door of the inside yard that opens to the east. You must do this for the six (6) days that you work. You must only open it on the seventh (7th) day and on the New Moon day. 2 The king must go through the entrance room by the gate. It is his way in from the outside yard. He must stand by the gate’s posts. The priests must burn his sacrifice and offer his fellowship gifts. He can worship there and then go out. But they must not shut the gate until the evening. 3 The people must also worship the Lord in front of the gate each Sabbath and New Moon feast. 4 Every Sabbath day, the king must bring a male sheep and six (6) young male sheep. The priests will burn them as a sacrifice to the Lord. None of them should have anything wrong with them. 5 The king must bring an ephah of grain to sacrifice with the male sheep. He can give as much grain as he likes with the young sheep. And he must give a hin of oil with each ephah. 6 On the day of the New Moon he must offer a young male cow, a male sheep and six (6) young sheep. None of them can have anything wrong with it. 7 He must give an ephah of grain with the cow and an ephah with the sheep. He can give as much as he chooses with the young sheep. And he must give a hin of oil with each ephah of grain. 8 When the king goes in, he must go through the gate’s entrance room. And he must go out by the same way.

9 The people will come to worship the Lord at the feast times that I give to them.

Then if they come in by the north gate they must go out by the south gate. And if they come in by the south gate they must go out by the north gate. Nobody can go out of the gate through which he came in. He must go out by the opposite gate. 10 The king must go with them. He must go in when they go in. He must go out when they go out.

11 They must offer an ephah of grain with a male cow. And they must give an ephah with a sheep. They can give as much as they choose with a young sheep. They must give a hin of oil with each ephah.

This is what they must do on feast days. They must do it on each of the days that I have given to them for worship. 12 They must open the east gate for the king. He may want to make a special offering to the Lord. He can go in. He can make his burnt offering or fellowship offering as he does on the Sabbath day. Then he must go out and they will shut the gate after him.

13 Every day, you must give a sheep one year old to burn as an offering to the Lord. It must have nothing that is wrong with it. You must sacrifice this sheep every morning, day after day. 14 And you must give a sixth (1/6th) of an ephah of grain with it. And you must put with it a third (1/3rd) of a hin of oil. That is to keep the flour together. You must continue to offer the grain to the Lord until the end of time. 15 Every morning, you must offer the young sheep, the grain and the oil for a burnt sacrifice.

16 The king can make a gift to one of his sons. He can make it from the land that I gave him.’ This is what the Lord, your King says, ‘That land will belong to the son and to his children and grandchildren. It will become their land for all time. 17 But the king may give land to one of his servants. The servant can keep the land until the year of jubilee. (See Leviticus 25:10.) Then they must give the land back to the king. The land belongs only to the king and his sons for all time. 18 The king must not take any land that belongs to the people. He can give only land that I have given to him to his sons. Nobody among the people must be without his land.’

19 The man took me through the entrance by the gate. We came into the priest’s holy rooms. These opened to the north. He showed me a place at the west end. 20 ‘This is the place where the priests will cook the offerings to pay for sin and other wrong things’, he said. ‘They will bake the grain offerings here, too. In this way, they will not have to go into the outside yard. If they did that, they would make the people holy.’

21-22Then he took me to the outside yard. He showed me the four (4) corners. In each corner I saw another yard twenty (20) metres long and fifteen (15) metres wide. 23 These smaller yards had walls round them. Under the walls they had made places for fire. 24 ‘The temple priests will work in these kitchens. Here they will cook the people’s sacrifices’, he said to me.

Chapter 47

The river from the temple

1 The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple. There I saw water. It was coming out from under the entrance and it was running to the east. (The temple looked towards the east.) It came from under the south side of the temple. Then it ran past the south side of the altar. 2 The man took me out of the temple by the north gate. We went to the gate that opens to the east. Another small stream of water came out. That was at the south side of the gate. 3 The man measured five hundred (500) metres down the stream. He told me that I must walk through it. The water came up to my ankles. 4 Then he measured another five hundred (500) metres along the stream and the water came up to my knees. He measured down another five hundred (500) metres. The water came to the middle of my body. 5 When he measured another five hundred (500) metres the river was so deep that nobody could walk through it. 6 ‘Son of man’, he said, ‘remember this.’

Then he took me back to the river’s edge. 7 There I saw very many trees. They were on each side of the river. 8 ‘This water goes through the land to the east. It runs into the River Jordan’s valley and out into the Dead Sea. When it goes into the sea, the water there will lose its salt. 9 Many kinds of animals and plants will live where the river goes. Many fish will live where the river goes. They will live there because there is no salt in the water. 10 Men by the sea will catch fish. They will find fish from the River Engedi to the streams of Eneglaim. They will dry their fishing nets by the side of the sea. Many kinds of fish, like the fish of the Great Sea, will live there. 11 But the wet lands near the Dead Sea will still contain salt. You can use their water to get salt for yourselves. 12 All kinds of fruit trees will live there. They will live on each side of the river. They will remain green and give fruit every month. That is because they live by special water. That is the water that comes from the holy place. You will eat their fruit. And you can use their leaves to make sick people well.’

The edges of Israel’s land

13 This is what the Lord, your King says. ‘This is the land that I am giving to you to keep. Each of your twelve (12) tribes must have a part. You must give Joseph’s sons two parts. 14 Each tribe must have a part of the same size. I made a promise to your fathers that I would give them this country to live in. I gave it to them and their children to keep for all time.

15 These are the edges of your country. The north side goes from the Great Sea to the city called Hethlon. Then it passes Lebo Hamath and goes to the city called Zedad. 16 From there, it continues through Berothah and Sibraim. They are on the edges of Hamath’s and Damascus’s lands. Then it goes to the city called Hazarhatticon. It goes by the edge of Hauran’s land. 17 That is the north edge of your country. It goes from the Great Sea to the city called Hazarenan. That is the north edge of Damascus’s land. The land of Hamath is north of it.

18 On the east side, your land goes along the River Jordan. It starts between Hauran and Damascus. It goes between Gilead and Israel as far as Tamar on the Dead Sea.

19 On the south side, it goes from Tamar to the waters of Kadesh Meribah. Then it goes north-west along the edge of Egypt to the Great Sea.

20 The Great Sea is the west edge of your country. It goes north as far as the west of Lebo Hamath. That is the west side of your country.

21 You must give each tribe a part of the land. 22 You will keep it for yourselves and the foreigners and their children who live among you. You must think of them as Israel’s people. You must give them land to live on. 23 They can have land in any tribe’s land where they decide to live’, says the Lord, your King.

Chapter 48

Each tribe gets its part of the land

1-7 ‘The north edge of your country starts at the Great Sea. It goes from Hethlon through Lebo Hamath. From there, it goes to the city called Hazarenan. It ends where the lands of Damascus and Hamath meet. You must give each tribe a part of the land. Each part must go from the east edge to the Great Sea. From north to south, the tribes will be,

Dan

Asher

Naphtali

Manasseh

Ephraim

Reuben

Judah.

Each tribe will be next to the one to its north side.

8 The next part of the land will be different. It will be as wide as the parts of the land that I am giving to the tribes. It will measure twelve and a half (17½) kilometres from north to south. You must put the temple in the middle of it.

9 A special part twelve and a half (12½) kilometres by ten (10) kilometres will be holy to the Lord. 10 Here the priests will have their part. It will measure twelve and a half (12½) kilometres from east to west. And it will measure five (5) kilometres from north to south. You must build the Lord’s temple in the middle of this part. 11 The priests who are the sons of Zadok will have this part. They were my faithful servants. They obeyed me when the other Levites and Israel’s people did not obey me. 12 So the priests will have a special part, next to the Levite’s part. And the priest’s part is the most holy part. 13 The Levites will also have a special part, south of the priest’s part. And it will measure the same. It will measure twelve and a half (12½) kilometres from east to west. And it will be five (5) kilometres from north to south. 14 The Lord’s part of the land is the best of the land. You must not give or sell his land to anyone else. It is holy and it belongs to the Lord.

15 The people can use the rest of this special part. It measures twelve and a half (12½) kilometres by two and a half (2½) kilometres and it is not holy. You must build the city in the middle of it. 16 You will make it square. It must be 2250 metres long on each side. 17 You must leave an open space one hundred and twenty-five (125) metres wide on each side of the city. 18 When you have built the city south of the holy place, the land on each side will be left. People who live in the city can use it to grow food and to feed their animals. 19 The farmers can be from any of Israel’s tribes.

20 This middle of the Lord’s part will be a square. It measures twelve and a half (12½) kilometres on each side. The city will be in this middle part. 21 The parts on either side of the square will be the king's land. They will go east to the edge of the country. They will go west to the Great Sea. And the holy part and the most holy place will be in the middle. 22 So the land that belongs to the Levites and the priests is in the king’s land. It is in the middle of it. Judah’s land is north of these lands. And Benjamin’s land is south of it.

23-27 The other tribes will each have a part of the land south of this special part. From north to south they will be

Benjamin

Simeon

Issachar

Zebulun

Gad.

Each tribe’s part will be south of the next tribe’s land.

28 The south edge of Gad’s land goes south. It goes from Tamar to the waters of Meribah Kadesh. Then it goes along the edge of Egypt. It goes to the Great Sea.

29 This is how you must give the land to the tribes. You must give a part to each tribe’, says the Lord, your King.

The city gates

30 ‘Each side of the city is 2250 metres long. 31 You will give the gates the names of Israel’s tribes. You will give the three gates in the north wall the names of Reuben, Judah and Levi. 32 You will give the three gates in the east wall the names of Joseph, Benjamin and Dan. 33 You will give the three gates in the south wall the names of Simeon, Issachar and Zebulun. 34 You will give the three gates in the west wall the names of Gad, Asher and Naphtali. 35 The walls all round the city will measure 9000 metres. And then you will give the city the name, “The Lord is there.” ’

Word List

altar
table of stone or metal on which people burned gifts to God (sacrifices).
Ammonite
a person who came from the family of Ammon. Ammon was a grandson of Lot (Genesis 19:36-38).
Amorite
one of a group of people who had lived in Canaan before the Jews lived there.
anger
what someone feels when they are angry.
Arab
people from Lot’s or Esau’s families; cousins to the Israelites.
base
lowest part of something.
bath
they used a bath to measure things like water and oil.
BC
600 BC means the year that was 600 years before Christ came to earth, and so on.
beauty
if someone is beautiful, we say that they have beauty.
bless
to ask God for good things for a person.
bronze
a mixed metal that people make from other metals.
burnt offering
an animal that the priests killed and burned; this is how they gave them to God.
camel
a big animal that people ride on in a desert.
cedar
a big tree that is green all the year.
chariot
a box that soldiers ride in. Horses pull it.
circumcise
to cut the skin from the end of the sex part of a boy or man; for an Israelite, it showed that he wanted to obey God’s rules.
clean
when people do good things and think good thoughts; when something is right to use because God is happy about it.
complete
every part that should be there is there.
cor
they used a cor to measure dry things; it was about 10 ephahs.
covenant
when people agree something together; when God and a person or people agree to a special thing.
crown
a special hat that a king, queen or other ruler wears.
cypress
tall thin tree that is green all the year.
desert
wild place where no people live.
Egyptian
someone or something from Egypt.
entrance
where you go in to a building or through a gate.
ephah
they used an ephah to measure dry things; about 22 litres (5 gallons).
evil
bad; when someone does bad things, they are being evil.
faithful
someone who believes in God; someone who always tries to do the things that God wants; a wife who only has sex with her husband.
feast
big happy meal at a party.
feathers
soft, light things that cover a bird.
fellowship
when we are very good friends with someone.
foreigner
someone who comes from another country.
forgive
when someone stops being angry with another person who has done bad things.
gerah
a very small weight.
glory
bright light that shows how great and beautiful God is.
grain
hard seed that we can eat or make into bread.
grape
a fruit. People use them to make drink that has alcohol in it.
Greek
a person from Greece.
guard
to keep safe; person who keeps things or people safe.
hate
opposite of love.
Hebrew
the language of Jewish people.
hin
they used a hin to measure things; about 4 litres (1 gallon).
Hittite
one of a group of people who had lived in Canaan before the Jews lived there.
holy
good with nothing bad in it; what God is like;clean inside.
homer
10 ephahs; they used a homer to measure dry things; about 220 litres (40 gallons).
honour
when you say that somebody is very great and good; when you do the things that please them.
idol
a false god; or anything that a person makes and then worships as a god.
Israelite
a person who lived in Israel; a person who was born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.
ivory
white, like bone; something that people have made from the teeth of an animal called an elephant.
Jew
a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Jewish
a word that describes a Jew or anything that belongs to a Jew.
jubilee
every 50th year; the people made their Jewish slaves free. And people gave land back to the person who had sold it.
judge
to say what is right or wrong; or a person who says what is right or wrong.
keep a promise
do what you promised to do.
kingdom
a place or country that a king rules.
Levite
a person from the tribe of Levi. God chose them to work for him in his temple.
linen
people make clothes for hot weather from this material.
lion
big wild animal like a cat that kills and eats other animals.
Lord
Lord someone who rules or is a master. God is the Lord who rules everyone.
lover
someone who has sex with a person.
messenger
person who has something to tell other people.
Mount
a short word for mountain; small mountain.
nation
people who live in one country.
net
thin strong material that you tie together; you use it to catch fish.
oak
big strong tree. It has hard wood.
obedient
a person who obeys is obedient.
offering
something that people gave to God. It could be food or drink or an animal. Some offerings were to give thanks to God. People also made offerings when they had sinned.
ox
big male cow.
palace
a building where the king lives.
palm
a tree with big leaves at the top.
passage
long space in a house from which you can go into different rooms.
Passover
a special meal when Jews remember that God brought them out from Egypt.
peace
time of rest with no war or troubles.
pillar
a large long piece of wood or stone that stands on its end.
pine (tree)
tree that grows on mountains.
post
a large long piece of wood that stands on its end; it may hold a door.
praise
say how great somebody is; or, words that say how great someone is.
priest
son of Aaron, son of Levi. God chose these men to make sacrifices to God for the Israelites.
prince
a ruler, not as important as a king; son of a king.
prisoner
person that someone has caught and kept.
prophecy
the words that a prophet speaks or writes.
prophesy
tell people what God thinks and will do; to tell about things before they happen; to speak with God’s (or a false god’s) help and on God’s (or a false god’s) behalf.
prophet
a person who hears God’s words and tells them to the people.
punish
to hurt someone because they have wrong things.
punishment
the bad things that we do to a person who has done wrong things.
pure
clean inside with no bad thoughts; right with God.
purple
colour between red and blue; often the colour of a king’s clothes or those of rich people.
roots
part of a plant in the ground that holds it up and feeds it.
rope
very long, strong and thin material that people use to tie things together.
Sabbath
a day of rest in which the people should not work; day seven of the week for the Jews; a special day for the Jews, when they should do what would please God.
sacrifice
to give something valuable to God; or, something valuable that a person gives to God.
sail
big piece of material on a tall round stick on a ship. When the wind blows, it moves the boat.
shake
to move from one side to another and back again very fast many times.
shekel
a weight, about 0.4 ounces (11 grams); also a silver coin.
shepherd
person who feeds sheep and keeps them safe.
shield
a soldier holds this in front of himself; it stops things that would hit him.
silver
valuable shiny white metal.
sin
when a person does bad things against God or another person.
spirit
the part of a person that is alive and can speak to God. We cannot see it.
suffer
when we are hurting inside.
sword
long sharp metal knife to fight enemies with.
temple
building where people praise and worship their god.
tent
a home that people have made from animal skins; you can move a tent to different places.
throne
special seat that a king or ruler sits on.
tongue
large red part (of the body) in the mouth; it helps us to speak; the part of our mouth that we talk with.
tribe
the whole family of one of Jacob’s sons.
trumpet
men blow through this metal thing to make music.
trunk
the strong tall part of a tree that stands up and holds the branches.
vine
plant that climbs. Its fruit is called a grape.
watchman
person who guards people or things. He watches to see if any enemies are coming to attack them.
wave
when the wind blows on water and it moves up and down. In a storm, the waves can be very big.
wheel
flat round thing that people put under boxes so that they can move more easily.
wicked
when someone thinks and does wrong things.
widow
woman whose husband is dead.
wine
drink that people make from grapes. It contains alcohol.
wing
front arms of a bird. It uses them to fly.
wisdom
a person who has wisdom chooses what is right and good.
wise
a wise person knows what is right and good.
wooden
something that someone has made from wood.
wool
soft hair of a sheep.
woollen
something that someone has made from wool.
worship
to give thanks to God; to show God that we love him very much; to tell God that he is very great.
yeast
people put yeast into flour and water to make bread. The yeast grows in the bread and it makes the bread rise.

Book List

Tyndale OT Commentaries ~ Ezekiel ~ IVP

H. L. Ellison ~ Ezekiel the man and his message ~ Paternoster Press

Ezekiel ~ Chapter by J. Muilenburg in Peake’s Commentary

Info

© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1997-2006

This version published April 2006

The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.