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Ezekiel Is Israel’s Watchman

33 The word of the Lord came to me: t“Son of man, speak to uyour people and say to them, If vI bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their wwatchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and xblows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, yhis blood shall be upon his own head. zHe heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. aBut if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, athat person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

b“So you, tson of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. bWhenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. cIf I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, cand you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, cthat wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. dBut if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, dthat person shall die in his iniquity, ebut you will have delivered your soul.

Why Will You Die, Israel?

10 “And you, fson of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and gwe rot away because of them. hHow then can we live?’ 11 Say to them, iAs I live, declares the Lord God, jI have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; kturn back, turn back from your evil ways, kfor why will you die, O house of Israel?

12 t“And you, son of man, say to lyour people, mThe righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, nand as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, mand the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness1 when he sins. 13 Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet mif he trusts in his righteousness and does injustice, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his injustice that he has done he shall die. 14 Again, othough I say to the wicked, p‘You shall surely die,’ yet qif he turns from his sin and does what is just and right, 15 if the wicked rrestores the pledge, sgives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks tin the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 uNone of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he shall surely live.

17 “Yet lyour people say, v‘The way of the Lord is not just,’ when it is their own way that is not just. 18 wWhen the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it. 19 And xwhen the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he shall live by this. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, yI will judge each of you according to his ways.”

Jerusalem Struck Down

21 In the ztwelfth year aof our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, ba fugitive from Jerusalem came to me and said, c“The city has been struck down.” 22 dNow ethe hand of the Lord had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; and he had opened my mouth by the time the man came to me in the morning, so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.

23 The word of the Lord came to me: 24 f“Son of man, the inhabitants of these gwaste places in the land of Israel keep saying, h‘Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but iwe are many; the land is surely given us to possess.’ 25 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: jYou eat flesh with the blood and klift up your eyes to your idols and lshed blood; shall you then possess the land? 26 mYou rely on the sword, nyou commit abominations, and neach of you defiles his neighbor’s wife; shall you then possess the land? 27 Say this to them, Thus says the Lord God: oAs I live, surely those who are in pthe waste places shall fall by qthe sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to qthe beasts to be devoured, and those who are in rstrongholds and in caves shall die by qpestilence. 28 sAnd I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and ther proud might shall come to an end, and uthe mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that none will pass through. 29 vThen they will know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.

30 “As for you, fson of man, wyour people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, ‘Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 xAnd they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for ywith lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain. 32 And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and zplays2 well on an instrument, for athey hear what you say, but they will not do it. 33 bWhen this comes—and come it will!—cthen they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

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