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Ezekiel 1-10

Ezekiel

The Vision of the Chariot

1In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 2On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), 3the word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was on him there.

As I looked, a stormy wind came out of the north: a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing forth continually, and in the middle of the fire, something like gleaming amber. 5In the middle of it was something like four living creatures. This was their appearance: they were of human form. 6Each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. 7Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like burnished bronze. 8Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: 9their wings touched one another; each of them moved straight ahead, without turning as they moved. 10As for the appearance of their faces: the four had the face of a human being, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle; 11such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. 12Each moved straight ahead; wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. 13In the middle of* the living creatures there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches moving to and fro among the living creatures; the fire was bright, and lightning issued from the fire. 14The living creatures darted to and fro, like a flash of lightning.

15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.* 16As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl; and the four had the same form, their construction being something like a wheel within a wheel. 17When they moved, they moved in any of the four directions without veering as they moved. 18Their rims were tall and awesome, for the rims of all four were full of eyes all round. 19When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. 20Wherever the spirit would go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21When they moved, the others moved; when they stopped, the others stopped; and when they rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22 Over the heads of the living creatures there was something like a dome, shining like crystal,* spread out above their heads. 23Under the dome their wings were stretched out straight, one towards another; and each of the creatures had two wings covering its body. 24When they moved, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of mighty waters, like the thunder of the Almighty,* a sound of tumult like the sound of an army; when they stopped, they let down their wings. 25And there came a voice from above the dome over their heads; when they stopped, they let down their wings.

26 And above the dome over their heads there was something like a throne, in appearance like sapphire;* and seated above the likeness of a throne was something that seemed like a human form. 27Upwards from what appeared like the loins I saw something like gleaming amber, something that looked like fire enclosed all round; and downwards from what looked like the loins I saw something that looked like fire, and there was a splendour all round. 28Like the bow in a cloud on a rainy day, such was the appearance of the splendour all round. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.

When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of someone speaking.

The Vision of the Scroll

2He said to me: O mortal,* stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. 2And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. 3He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation* of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. 4The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ 5Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them. 6And you, O mortal, do not be afraid of them, and do not be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns surround you and you live among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words, and do not be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 7You shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear; for they are a rebellious house.

But you, mortal, hear what I say to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you. 9I looked, and a hand was stretched out to me, and a written scroll was in it. 10He spread it before me; it had writing on the front and on the back, and written on it were words of lamentation and mourning and woe.

3He said to me, O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. 2So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. 3He said to me, Mortal, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey.

He said to me: Mortal, go to the house of Israel and speak my very words to them. 5For you are not sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel— 6not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you. 7But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me; because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. 8See, I have made your face hard against their faces, and your forehead hard against their foreheads. 9Like the hardest stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not fear them or be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 10He said to me: Mortal, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart and hear with your ears; 11then go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them. Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God’; whether they hear or refuse to hear.

Ezekiel at the River Chebar

12 Then the spirit lifted me up, and as the glory of the Lord rose* from its place, I heard behind me the sound of loud rumbling; 13it was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, that sounded like a loud rumbling. 14The spirit lifted me up and bore me away; I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me. 15I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who lived by the river Chebar.* And I sat there among them, stunned, for seven days.

16 At the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: 17Mortal, I have made you a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 18If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’, and you give them no warning, and do not speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way, in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for their iniquity; but their blood I will require at your hand. 19But if you warn the wicked, and they do not turn from their wickedness, or from their wicked way, they shall die for their iniquity; but you will have saved your life. 20Again, if the righteous turn from their righteousness and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before them, they shall die; because you have not warned them, they shall die for their sin, and their righteous deeds that they have done shall not be remembered; but their blood I will require at your hand. 21If, however, you warn the righteous not to sin, and they do not sin, they shall surely live, because they took warning; and you will have saved your life.

Ezekiel Isolated and Silenced

22 Then the hand of the Lord was upon me there; and he said to me, Rise up, go out into the valley, and there I will speak with you. 23So I rose up and went out into the valley; and the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. 24The spirit entered into me, and set me on my feet; and he spoke with me and said to me: Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25As for you, mortal, cords shall be placed on you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people; 26and I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be speechless and unable to reprove them; for they are a rebellious house. 27But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God’; let those who will hear, hear; and let those who refuse to hear, refuse; for they are a rebellious house.

The Siege of Jerusalem Portrayed

4And you, O mortal, take a brick and set it before you. On it portray a city, Jerusalem; 2and put siege-works against it, and build a siege-wall against it, and cast up a ramp against it; set camps also against it, and plant battering-rams against it all round. 3Then take an iron plate and place it as an iron wall between you and the city; set your face towards it, and let it be in a state of siege, and press the siege against it. This is a sign for the house of Israel.

Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Israel upon it; you shall bear their punishment for the number of the days that you lie there. 5For I assign to you a number of days, three hundred and ninety days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment; and so you shall bear the punishment of the house of Israel. 6When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah; forty days I assign you, one day for each year. 7You shall set your face towards the siege of Jerusalem, and with your arm bared you shall prophesy against it. 8See, I am putting cords on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.

And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread for yourself. During the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it. 10The food that you eat shall be twenty shekels a day by weight; at fixed times you shall eat it. 11And you shall drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; at fixed times you shall drink. 12You shall eat it as a barley-cake, baking it in their sight on human dung. 13The Lord said, ‘Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread, unclean, among the nations to which I will drive them.’ 14Then I said, ‘Ah Lord God! I have never defiled myself; from my youth up until now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by animals, nor has carrion flesh come into my mouth.’ 15Then he said to me, ‘See, I will let you have cow’s dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread.’

16 Then he said to me, Mortal, I am going to break the staff of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with fearfulness; and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay. 17Lacking bread and water, they will look at one another in dismay, and waste away under their punishment.

A Sword against Jerusalem

5And you, O mortal, take a sharp sword; use it as a barber’s razor and run it over your head and your beard; then take balances for weighing, and divide the hair. 2One-third of the hair you shall burn in the fire inside the city, when the days of the siege are completed; one-third you shall take and strike with the sword all around the city;* and one-third you shall scatter to the wind, and I will unsheathe the sword after them. 3Then you shall take from these a small number, and bind them in the skirts of your robe. 4From these, again, you shall take some, throw them into the fire, and burn them up; from there a fire will come out against all the house of Israel.

Thus says the Lord God: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the centre of the nations, with countries all around her. 6But she has rebelled against my ordinances and my statutes, becoming more wicked than the nations and the countries all around her, rejecting my ordinances and not following my statutes. 7Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you, and have not followed my statutes or kept my ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations that are all around you; 8therefore thus says the Lord God: I, I myself, am coming against you; I will execute judgements among you in the sight of the nations. 9And because of all your abominations, I will do to you what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again. 10Surely, parents shall eat their children in your midst, and children shall eat their parents; I will execute judgements on you, and any of you who survive I will scatter to every wind. 11Therefore, as I live, says the Lord God, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations—therefore I will cut you down;* my eye will not spare, and I will have no pity. 12One-third of you shall die of pestilence or be consumed by famine among you; one-third shall fall by the sword around you; and one-third I will scatter to every wind and will unsheathe the sword after them.

13 My anger shall spend itself, and I will vent my fury on them and satisfy myself; and they shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy, when I spend my fury on them. 14Moreover, I will make you a desolation and an object of mocking among the nations around you, in the sight of all that pass by. 15You shall be* a mockery and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations around you, when I execute judgements on you in anger and fury, and with furious punishments—I, the Lord, have spoken— 16when I loose against you* my deadly arrows of famine, arrows for destruction, which I will let loose to destroy you, and when I bring more and more famine upon you, and break your staff of bread. 17I will send famine and wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children; pestilence and bloodshed shall pass through you; and I will bring the sword upon you. I, the Lord, have spoken.

Judgement on Idolatrous Israel

6The word of the Lord came to me: 2O mortal, set your face towards the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, 3and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I, I myself will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. 4Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense-stands shall be broken; and I will throw down your slain in front of your idols. 5I will lay the corpses of the people of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6Wherever you live, your towns shall be waste and your high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined,* your idols broken and destroyed, your incense-stands cut down, and your works wiped out. 7The slain shall fall in your midst; then you shall know that I am the Lord.

But I will spare some. Some of you shall escape the sword among the nations and be scattered through the countries. 9Those of you who escape shall remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I was crushed by their wanton heart that turned away from me, and their wanton eyes that turned after their idols. Then they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations. 10And they shall know that I am the Lord; I did not threaten in vain to bring this disaster upon them.

11 Thus says the Lord God: Clap your hands and stamp your foot, and say, Alas for all the vile abominations of the house of Israel! For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. 12Those far off shall die of pestilence; those nearby shall fall by the sword; and any who are left and are spared shall die of famine. Thus I will spend my fury upon them. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountain tops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak, wherever they offered pleasing odour to all their idols. 14I will stretch out my hand against them, and make the land desolate and waste, throughout all their settlements, from the wilderness to Riblah.* Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

Impending Disaster

7The word of the Lord came to me: 2You, O mortal, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel:
An end! The end has come
   upon the four corners of the land.
3 Now the end is upon you,
   I will let loose my anger upon you;
I will judge you according to your ways,
   I will punish you for all your abominations.
4 My eye will not spare you, I will have no pity.
   I will punish you for your ways,
   while your abominations are among you.
Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

Thus says the Lord God:
Disaster after disaster! See, it comes.
6   An end has come, the end has come.
It has awakened against you; see, it comes!
7 Your doom* has come to you,
   O inhabitant of the land.
The time has come, the day is near—
   of tumult, not of revelling on the mountains.
8 Soon now I will pour out my wrath upon you;
   I will spend my anger against you.
I will judge you according to your ways,
   and punish you for all your abominations.
9 My eye will not spare; I will have no pity.
   I will punish you according to your ways,
   while your abominations are among you.
Then you shall know that it is I the Lord who strike.
10 See, the day! See, it comes!
   Your doom* has gone out.
The rod has blossomed, pride has budded.
11   Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness.
None of them shall remain,
   not their abundance, not their wealth;
   no pre-eminence among them.*
12 The time has come, the day draws near;
   let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn,
   for wrath is upon all their multitude.
13For the sellers shall not return to what has been sold as long as they remain alive. For the vision concerns all their multitude; it shall not be revoked. Because of their iniquity, they cannot maintain their lives.*
14 They have blown the horn and made everything ready;
   but no one goes to battle,
   for my wrath is upon all their multitude.
15 The sword is outside, pestilence and famine are inside;
   those in the field die by the sword;
   those in the city—famine and pestilence devour them.
16 If any survivors escape,
   they shall be found on the mountains
   like doves of the valleys,
all of them moaning over their iniquity.
17 All hands shall grow feeble,
   all knees turn to water.
18 They shall put on sackcloth,
   horror shall cover them.
Shame shall be on all faces,
   baldness on all their heads.
19 They shall fling their silver into the streets,
   their gold shall be treated as unclean.
Their silver and gold cannot save them on the day of the wrath of the Lord. They shall not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling-block of their iniquity. 20From their* beautiful ornament, in which they took pride, they made their abominable images, their detestable things; therefore I will make of it an unclean thing to them.
21 I will hand it over to strangers as booty,
   to the wicked of the earth as plunder;
   they shall profane it.
22 I will avert my face from them,
   so that they may profane my treasured* place;
the violent shall enter it,
   they shall profane it.
23 Make a chain!*
For the land is full of bloody crimes;
   the city is full of violence.
24 I will bring the worst of the nations
   to take possession of their houses.
I will put an end to the arrogance of the strong,
   and their holy places shall be profaned.
25 When anguish comes, they will seek peace,
   but there shall be none.
26 Disaster comes upon disaster,
   rumour follows rumour;
they shall keep seeking a vision from the prophet;
   instruction shall perish from the priest,
   and counsel from the elders.
27 The king shall mourn,
   the prince shall be wrapped in despair,
   and the hands of the people of the land shall tremble.
According to their way I will deal with them;
   according to their own judgements I will judge them.
And they shall know that I am the Lord.

Abominations in the Temple

8In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there. 2I looked, and there was a figure that looked like a human being;* below what appeared to be its loins it was fire, and above the loins it was like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming amber. 3It stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, to the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. 4And the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I had seen in the valley.

Then God* said to me, ‘O mortal, lift up your eyes now in the direction of the north.’ So I lifted up my eyes towards the north, and there, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy. 6He said to me, ‘Mortal, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? Yet you will see still greater abominations.’

And he brought me to the entrance of the court; I looked, and there was a hole in the wall. 8Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, dig through the wall’; and when I dug through the wall, there was an entrance. 9He said to me, ‘Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.’ 10So I went in and looked; there, portrayed on the wall all round, were all kinds of creeping things, and loathsome animals, and all the idols of the house of Israel. 11Before them stood seventy of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the fragrant cloud of incense was ascending. 12Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of images? For they say, “The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.” 13He said also to me, ‘You will see still greater abominations that they are committing.’

14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord; women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15Then he said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O mortal? You will see still greater abominations than these.’

16 And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord; there, at the entrance of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the Lord, and their faces towards the east, prostrating themselves to the sun towards the east. 17Then he said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O mortal? Is it not bad enough that the house of Judah commits the abominations done here? Must they fill the land with violence, and provoke my anger still further? See, they are putting the branch to their nose! 18Therefore I will act in wrath; my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; and though they cry in my hearing with a loud voice, I will not listen to them.’

The Slaughter of the Idolaters

9Then he cried in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, ‘Draw near, you executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.’ 2And six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand; among them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing-case at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up, from the cherub on which it rested, to the threshold of the house. The Lord called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing-case at his side, 4and said to him, ‘Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of those who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.’ 5To the others he said in my hearing, ‘Pass through the city after him, and kill; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. 6Cut down old men, young men and young women, little children and women, but touch no one who has the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.’ So they began with the elders who were in front of the house. 7Then he said to them, ‘Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go!’ So they went out and killed in the city. 8While they were killing, and I was left alone, I fell prostrate on my face and cried out, ‘Ah Lord God! will you destroy all who remain of Israel as you pour out your wrath upon Jerusalem?’ 9He said to me, ‘The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city full of perversity; for they say, “The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.” 10As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity, but I will bring down their deeds upon their heads.’

11 Then the man clothed in linen, with the writing-case at his side, brought back word, saying, ‘I have done as you commanded me.’

God’s Glory Leaves Jerusalem

10Then I looked, and above the dome that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire,* in form resembling a throne. 2He said to the man clothed in linen, ‘Go within the wheel-work underneath the cherubim; fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.’ He went in as I looked on. 3Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the house when the man went in; and a cloud filled the inner court. 4Then the glory of the Lord rose up from the cherub to the threshold of the house; the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the glory of the Lord. 5The sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty* when he speaks.

When he commanded the man clothed in linen, ‘Take fire from within the wheel-work, from among the cherubim’, he went in and stood beside a wheel. 7And a cherub stretched out his hand from among the cherubim to the fire that was among the cherubim, took some of it, and put it into the hands of the man clothed in linen, who took it and went out. 8The cherubim appeared to have the form of a human hand under their wings.

I looked, and there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like gleaming beryl. 10And as for their appearance, the four looked alike, something like a wheel within a wheel. 11When they moved, they moved in any of the four directions without veering as they moved; but in whatever direction the front wheel faced, the others followed without veering as they moved. 12Their entire body, their rims, their spokes, their wings, and the wheels—the wheels of the four of them—were full of eyes all round. 13As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing ‘the wheel-work’. 14Each one had four faces: the first face was that of the cherub, the second face was that of a human being, the third that of a lion, and the fourth that of an eagle.

15 The cherubim rose up. These were the living creatures that I saw by the river Chebar. 16When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved beside them; and when the cherubim lifted up their wings to rise up from the earth, the wheels at their side did not veer. 17When they stopped, the others stopped, and when they rose up, the others rose up with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in them.

18 Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house and stopped above the cherubim. 19The cherubim lifted up their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight as they went out with the wheels beside them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the Lord; and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.

20 These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; and I knew that they were cherubim. 21Each had four faces, each four wings, and underneath their wings something like human hands. 22As for what their faces were like, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. Each one moved straight ahead.

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