Ezekiel 33:1–33

The Watchman and His Message

33 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to athe children of your people, and say to them: b‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their cwatchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does dnot take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, ehis blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will 1save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, fhe is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’

g“So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have 2delivered your soul.

10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we hpine 3away in them, ihow can we then live?” ’ 11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, j‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked kturn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For lwhy should you die, O house of Israel?’

The Fairness of God’s Judgment

12 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The mrighteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, nhe shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ 13 When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, obut he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. 14 Again, pwhen I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does 4what is lawful and 5right, 15 if the wicked qrestores the pledge, rgives back what he has stolen, and walks in sthe statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 tNone of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

17 u“Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not 6fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! 18 vWhen the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20 Yet you say, w‘The way of the Lord is not 7fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

The Fall of Jerusalem

21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year xof our captivity, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, ythat one who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, z“The city has been 8captured!”

22 Now athe hand of the Lord had been upon me the evening before the man came who had escaped. And He had bopened my mouth; so when he came to me in the morning, my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.

The Cause of Judah’s Ruin

23 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 24 “Son of man, cthey who inhabit those druins in the land of Israel are saying, e‘Abraham was only one, and he inherited the land. fBut we are many; the land has been given to us as a gpossession.’

25 “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: h“You eat meat with blood, you ilift up your eyes toward your idols, and jshed blood. Should you then possess the kland? 26 You rely on your sword, you commit abominations, and you ldefile one another’s wives. Should you then possess the land?” ’

27 “Say thus to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “As I live, surely mthose who are in the ruins shall fall by the sword, and the one who is in the open field nI will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and ocaves shall die of the pestilence. 28 pFor I will make the land most desolate, 9her qarrogant strength shall cease, and rthe mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that no one will pass through. 29 Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.” ’

Hearing and Not Doing

30 “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they sspeak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 So tthey come to you as people do, they usit before you as My people, and they vhear your words, but they do not do them; wfor with their mouth they show much love, but xtheir hearts pursue their own gain. 32 Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do ynot do them. 33 zAnd when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then athey will know that a prophet has been among them.”

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