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36 “Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel. Tell them, ‘Mountains of Israel, listen to the Lord’s message. 2The Lord and King says, “Your enemies made fun of you. They bragged, ‘The hills you lived in for a long time belong to us now.’ ” ’
3“Ezekiel, prophesy. Say, ‘The Lord and King says, “Your enemies destroyed you. They hunted you down from every side. So the rest of the nations took over your land. People talked about you. They told lies about you.” ’ ”
4Mountains of Israel, listen to the message of the Lord and King. He speaks to you mountains, hills, canyons and valleys. He speaks to you destroyed cities and deserted towns. The rest of the nations around you took everything of value away from you. They made fun of you. 5So the Lord and King says, “My anger burns against those nations. I have spoken against them and the whole land of Edom. They were very happy when they took over my land. Deep down inside them they hated Israel. They wanted to take its grasslands.
6“Ezekiel, prophesy about the land of Israel. Speak to the mountains, hills, canyons and valleys. Tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “My jealous anger burns against the nations. They have laughed at you.” 7So the Lord and King says, “I raise my hand and take an oath. I promise that the nations around you will also be laughed at.
8“ ‘ “Mountains of Israel, you will produce branches and bear fruit for my people Israel. They will come home soon. 9I am concerned about you. I will look on you with favor. Farmers will plow your ground. They will plant seeds in it.
10“ ‘ “I will multiply the number of people who live in Israel. The towns will no longer be empty. Their broken-down houses will be rebuilt. 11I will increase the number of your people and animals. They will have many babies. I will settle people in your towns, just as I did in the past. I will help you succeed more than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
13The Lord and King says, “People say to you mountains, ‘You destroy people. You let your nation’s children be taken away.’ 14But I will not let you destroy people anymore. I will no longer let your nation’s children be taken away,” announces the Lord and King.
16Another message came to me from the Lord. He said, 17“Son of man, the people of Israel used to live in their own land. But they polluted it because of how they acted and the way they lived. To me they were ‘unclean’ like a woman who was having her monthly period.
18“They spilled people’s blood in the land. They polluted the land by worshiping other gods. So I poured out my burning anger on them. 19I scattered them among the nations. I sent them to other countries. I judged them based on how they acted and the way they lived.
20“They treated my name as if it were not holy. They did it everywhere they went among the nations. People said about them, ‘They are the Lord’s people. But they were forced to leave his land.’ 21I was concerned about my holy name. The people of Israel treated it as if it were not holy. They did it everywhere they went among the nations.
22“But tell the people of Israel, ‘The Lord and King speaks. He says, “People of Israel, I will not take action for your benefit. Instead, I will act for the honor of my holy name. You have treated it as if it were not holy. You did it everywhere you went among the nations. 23But I will show everyone how holy my great name is. You have treated it as if it were not holy. So I will use you to show the nations how holy I am. Then they will know that I am the Lord,” announces the Lord and King.
25“ ‘ “I will sprinkle pure water on you. Then you will be ‘clean.’ I will make you completely pure and clean. I will take all of the statues of your gods away from you. 26I will give you new hearts. I will give you a new spirit that is faithful to me. I will remove your stubborn hearts from you. I will give you hearts that obey me.
27“ ‘ “I will put my Spirit in you. I will move you to follow my rules. I want you to be careful to keep my laws. 28You will live in the land I gave your people long ago. You will be my people. And I will be your God.
29“ ‘ “I will save you from all of your ‘uncleanness.’ I will give you plenty of grain. You will have more than enough. So you will never be hungry again. 30I will multiply the fruit on your trees. I will increase the crops in your fields. Then the nations will no longer make fun of you because you are hungry.
31“ ‘ “You will remember your evil ways and the sinful things you have done. You will hate yourselves because you have sinned so much. I also hate your evil practices. 32I want you to know that I am not doing those things for your benefit,” announces the Lord and King. “People of Israel, you should be ashamed of yourselves! Your conduct has brought dishonor to you.” ’ ”
33The Lord and King says, “I will make you pure from all of your sins. On that day I will settle you in your towns again. Your broken-down houses will be rebuilt. 34The dry and empty land will be farmed again.
“Everyone who passes through it will see that it is no longer empty. 35They will say, ‘This land was completely destroyed. But now it’s like the Garden of Eden. The cities were full of broken-down buildings. They were destroyed and empty. But now they have high walls around them. And people live in them.’
36“Then the nations that remain around you will know that I have rebuilt what was once destroyed. I have planted again the fields that were once empty. I have spoken. And I will do it. I am the Lord.”
37The Lord and King says, “Once again I will answer the prayers of the people of Israel. Here is what I will do for them. I will multiply them as if they were sheep. 38Large flocks of animals are sacrificed at Jerusalem during the appointed feasts there. In the same way, the destroyed cities will be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
About New International Reader’s Version
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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