19[1-5] Besides this sing a song of sorrow for the rulers of Israel, and say, What was your mother? A lioness, which sat among lions, and with all the young lions she fed her cubs. She raised up one of her cubs (Jehoahaz), which became a young lion, and learned to catch prey; and ate people. The nations also heard of it and caught it in a pit; and brought it with hooks to the land of Egypt. Now when the lioness saw that she had waited, and had no hope, then she took another cub (Jehoiachin), and made it a young lion.
[6-9] It grew up and prowled around with the other lions; It became a young lion, and learned to catch prey; and ate people. It roamed their empty palaces, and destroyed their cities; and the land was empty and bare, because of the noise of its roaring. Then the nations fought against it on every side from the countries all around; and caught it in a net; and it was put in a pit. They put it in a cage with hooks, and brought it to the ruler of Babylon, into strongholds, that its voice wouldn’t be heard anymore on the mountains of Israel.
20[1-5] In the 7th year, in the 10th day of the 5th month, some of the elders of Israel came to ask of Yahweh, and sat with me. The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, “Human being, speak to the elders of Israel, and tell them, Yahweh God says, Did you come to ask something of me? As I live, says Yahweh God, you won’t ask of me anything. Will you judge them, Human being, will you judge them? Cause them to know the filthy garbage of their ancestors; and tell them, Yahweh God says, In the day when I chose Israel, and made My Promise to the people of Jacob, and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I promised them, saying, I am Yahweh your God.
[6-11] In that day I promised them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, full of milk and honey, which is the best of all lands. I said to them, Throw away everything filthy from before your eyes, and don’t ruin yourselves by worshiping the false gods of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God. But they rebelled against me, and wouldn’t listen to me; none of them threw away the filthy things before their eyes, nor did they stop worshiping the false gods of Egypt. Then I said I would be very angry with them, and punish them in the land of Egypt. But I did what I did for My Name’s sake, that it wouldn’t be disrespected in the sight of the nations, where they were, in whose sight I made myself known to them, in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. So I caused them to go out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the countryside. I gave them My rules, and showed them My Laws, which if anyone does, they will live by doing them.
[12-16] Besides this, I gave them My Seventh Days, to be a sign between me and them, that they would know that I am Yahweh who sets them apart. But the people of Israel rebelled against me in the countryside, and didn’t follow My rules, and rejected My Laws, which if anyone keeps, will live by doing them; and My Seventh Days they greatly disrespected. Then I said I’d be very angry with them in the countryside, to destroy them. But I did what I did for My Name’s sake, that it wouldn’t be disrespected in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them out. Besides this, I promised them in the countryside, that I wouldn’t bring them into the land which I had given them, full of milk and honey, which is the best of all lands; because they rejected My Laws, and didn’t follow My rules, and disrespected My Seventh Days and their hearts worshipped their false gods.
[17-22] But I spared them, and I didn’t completely destroy them in the countryside. I said to their children in the countryside, Don’t follow the rules of your ancestors, nor keep their laws, nor ruin yourselves with their false gods. I am Yahweh your God, follow My rules, and keep My Laws, and do them; and make My Seventh Days holy; and they’ll be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am Yahweh your God. But the children rebelled against me, too, and didn’t follow My rules, nor keep My Laws to do them, which if anyone does, will live by doing them; and disrespected My Seventh Days. Then I said I would be very angry with them, to punish them in the countryside. But I withdrew my hand, and did what I did for My Name’s sake, that it wouldn’t be disrespected in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them out.
[23-26] Besides this, I promised them in the countryside, that I would scatter them among the nations, and send them to all the other countries; because they hadn’t kept My Laws, but had rejected My rules, and disrespected My Seventh Days, and worshipped their ancestors’ false gods. Besides this, I gave them rules that weren’t good, and laws in which they wouldn’t live; and I ruined them in their own gifts, in that they sacrificed their firstborn children, that I would make them few, so that they’d know that I am Yahweh.
[27-32] So, human being, speak to the people of Israel, and tell them, Yahweh God says, In this also have your ancestors disrespected me, in that they’ve sinned against me. For when I had brought them into the land, which I promised to give them, then they saw every high hill, and every big tree, and offered their sacrifices there, and presented their offering to provoke Me there; where they made their good smell, and poured out their drink offerings. Then I said to them, What is this high place where you go? So its name is called Bamah (high place of false worship) to this day. So tell the people of Israel, Yahweh God says, Do you ruin yourselves like your ancestors did? Are you unfaithful in worshipping all your filthy garbage? And when you offer your gifts, do you sacrifice your children to destroy them, do you ruin yourselves with all your false gods to this day? And you dare ask me for anything, people of Israel? As I live, says Yahweh God, I won’t be asked anything by you; and what comes into your mind won’t happen at all, in that you say, We will be as the nations, as the families of the other countries, to serve false gods of wood and stone.
[33-38] As I live, says Yahweh God, without a doubt with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great anger, I’ll be ruler over you, and I’ll bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered. Yes, with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great anger, I’ll bring you into the countryside of the peoples, and there I’ll judge you face to face. Like I judged your ancestors in the countryside of the land of Egypt, so I’ll judge you, says Yahweh God. I’ll count a few of you, and teach you to obey My agreement; and I’ll get rid of all the rebels, and those who disobey me; I’ll bring you out of the land where you stay, but you won’t enter into the land of Israel either, and you’ll know that I am Yahweh.
[39-44] As for you, people of Israel, Yahweh God says this, Go and serve your false gods, from here on out, if you won’t listen to me; but you won’t disrespect my holy name any more with your gifts, and with your false gods. For in my holy mountain, on the highest mountain of Israel, says Yahweh God, there will all the people of Israel, all of you, serve me in the land and there I’ll accept you, and there I’ll require your offerings, and the first fruits of your offerings, with all your holy things. As a good smell I’ll accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries in which you’ve been scattered; and I’ll be set apart by you in the sight of the nations. You’ll know that I am Yahweh, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country, which I promised to give to your ancestors. There you’ll remember your ways, and all the things that you did, in which you ruined yourselves; and you’ll hate yourselves in your own sight because all the evil things that you’ve done. You’ll know that I am Yahweh, when I’ve dealt with you for My Name’s sake, not for your evil ways, nor for the wrong things you did, people of Israel, says Yahweh God.
[45-49] The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Human being, look toward the south, and speak toward the south, and preach against the forest of the field in the South; and tell the forest of the South, Hear the word of Yahweh, Yahweh God says, See, I’ll start a fire in you, and it will burn every green and dry tree, and the flaming fire won’t go out, and all faces from the south to the north will be burnt by it. Everybody will see that I, Yahweh, have started it; it won’t go out. Then I said, Ah Yahweh God! They say of me, Isn’t he just telling stories?
21[1-7] The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, “Human being, look toward Jerusalem, and speak toward the places of worship, and preach against the land of Israel; and tell the land of Israel, So says Yahweh, See, I am against you, and will take out my weapon, and kill both the good and the evil. Seeing then that I’ll destroy both the good and the evil, from you, my weapon will come against everyone from the south to the north, and everyone will know that I, Yahweh, have drawn my weapon and it won’t go back any more. So sigh, Human being, with a broken heart and with sorrow in your eyes. When they ask you, Why are you sighing? Say, Because of the news of what’s coming; Every heart will melt in fear, all their hands will be weak, every spirit will faint, and their knees will be weak as water. It’s coming, and it will be done, says Yahweh God.
[8-13] The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Human being, preach, and say, So says Yahweh, Say, My weapon is ready and waiting; it’s ready to kill; it flashes like lightning, and no one will celebrate. My People have rejected every warning and punishment. It’s being readied, that it may be used in war. Yes, it’s ready and waiting, to put in the hand of the killer. Cry and scream, Human being, because it’s for My People, and for all the rulers of Israel. War is coming to My People; so clap your hands on your thigh. I am testing them all; and what if even those who rule them all die? says Yahweh God.
[14-17] So you, Human being, preach, and clap your hands together; and let the war come, and kill again. It’s coming to kill all those who go hide in their rooms. I’ve sent war against all their gates, so that their hearts will melt, and they’ll stumble and fall. Ah! It’s ready to kill you. Gather together and be ready, go to the right and go to the left, wherever you want to go. I’ll also clap my hands together, and my great anger will rest; I, Yahweh, have said it.”
[18-23] The word of Yahweh came to me again, saying, “Also, human being, draw two paths that the ruler of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) will come to make war; both will come out of one land. Make a sign, and put it at the fork of the road to the city. Draw a path for war to come to Rabbah of the people of Ammon, and to Judah in Jerusalem, which is protected. The ruler of Babylon will stand at the fork in the road, at the head of the two roads, to gamble on which way to go. He’ll gamble and pray to his false gods, and study the signs he sees. In his right hand is the sign for Jerusalem, to set up battering rams, to call for war with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to throw up mounds, and to build forts. They won’t believe that those who have made promises with them could do this; but he’ll remind them of their sins, that they may be taken.
[24-27] So Yahweh God says this, Because you’ve made your sins known, in that your sins are done openly, so that in everything you do your sins are known; because I’m reminded of them, you’ll be punished. You, evil ruler of Israel (Zedekiah), your day is coming, when your sin will come to an end. Yahweh God says this, Take off your crowns of power, you preachers and rulers; nothing will be the same; raise up those who are unimportant, and take down those who are in power. I’ll turn everything upside down, yes, everything upside down. None of you will rule anymore until the One comes who has a right to it, who I’ll give it to.
[28-32] You, Human being, preach, and say, Yahweh God says about the people of Ammon, and about your blaming; say, War, war is coming, it’s ready to kill and destroy, like lightning; while they see false visions for you, and tell lies to you, to make you go to war with the evil who are about to die, whose day is coming and whose sin will come to an end. Put your weapons of war away. In the place where you were created, in the land of your birth, I’ll judge you. I’ll be very angry with you; I’ll blow on you with the fire of my great anger; and I’ll put you into the hand of violent people, who know how to destroy you. You’ll be fuel to the fire and you’ll die in the middle of the land; you won’t be remembered anymore because I, Yahweh, have said it.
22[1-5] Besides this, the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Human being, Will you judge the deathly city? Tell them all their filthy garbage, saying, Yahweh God says, This city kills its own people in the middle of it, that its time may come, and makes false gods within it to ruin itself! You’re guilty for the blood that you’ve shed, and are ruined by your false gods, which you’ve made; and you’ve caused your day of judgment to come near, and are come even to the end of your years. So I’ve made all the nations blame you, and all the countries will mock you. Those who are near, and those who are far from you, will mock you, as an unknown people and full of trouble.
[6-12] See, the rulers of Israel, all those in power have cause bloodshed in you. In you, they’ve made light of their parents; in you they’ve abused foreigners; in you they’ve wronged those who have lost a parent and the surviving parent. You’ve hated my holy things, and have disrespected My Seventh Days. Lying people have been in you to cause bloodshed; and in you they’ve eaten sacrifices to false gods on the mountains; in you they’ve done great sinfulness. In you’ve they’ve had sex with their fathers; in you they’ve sexually abused women who on their period. Some of you have had sex with their neighbor’s wife; and others have sexually abused their daughter-in-law; and others in you have sexually abused their sister, their own parent’s daughter. In you’ve they’ve taken bribes to cause bloodshed; you’ve taken interest and made a profit, and you’ve greedily gained a profit from your neighbors by your abuses, and have forgotten Me, says Yahweh God.
[13-16] So see, I’ve clapped my hand at your dishonest profit that you’ve made, and at the bloodshed which has been in you. Can you take it, or can you be strong, when I punish you? I, Yahweh, have said it, and will do it. I’ll scatter you among the nations, and spread you throughout all the countries; and I’ll destroy whatever is filthy in you. You’ll ruin yourself in the sight of the nations; and you’ll know that I am Yahweh.
[17-22] The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Human being, the people of Israel have become dross to Me. All of you are brass, tin, iron, and lead, in the furnace; you’re like the dross of silver. So Yahweh God says this, Because you’ve all become like dross, I’ll gather you into the middle of Jerusalem. As you gather silver, brass, iron, lead, and tin into the furnace, to blow the fire on it, and melt it; so I’ll gather you in my anger, and in my great anger, I’ll put you there, and melt you. Yes, I’ll gather you, and blow on you with my fiery anger, and you’ll be melted in it. As silver is melted in the furnace, so you’ll be melted in the middle of Jerusalem; and you’ll know that I, Yahweh, have been very angry with you.
[23-28] The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Human being, tell Israel, You’re a land that isn’t cleansed, nor rained on in the day of anger. There is an evil plan by its preachers, like a roaring lion eating the prey. They’ve eaten the people; they’ve taken treasure and precious things; and made many survivors there. Its priests have broken My Law, and have disrespected my holy things. They’ve made no difference between the holy and the common, nor have they taught the people how to tell the difference between the unfit and the fit, and have ignored My Seventh Days, and I am disrespected among them. Its rulers are like wolves eating the prey, to cause bloodshed, and to destroy people, in order to make a dishonest profit. Its preachers have painted them white, seeing false visions, and telling lies to them, saying, Yahweh God says, when Yahweh hasn’t spoken.
[29-31] The people of the land have abused others, and stolen things; yes, they’ve troubled the poor and needy, and have abused the foreigner wrongfully. I looked for a human to lead them, who would rebuild the wall that protects them, and stand in the gap in prayer before Me for the land, so that I wouldn’t destroy it; but I found no one. So I’ve been very angry with them; I’ve destroyed them with the fire of my great anger and brought down their own ways on their heads, says Yahweh God.
23[1-4] The word of Yahweh came again to me, saying, Human being, there were two women, the daughters of one mother, who were unfaithful in Egypt and were unfaithful in their youth; there were their breasts touched, and there the breasts of their youth were held. Their names were Oholah, the oldest, and Oholibah her sister, and they were mine, and had children. As for their names, Samaria (The northern realm of Israel) is Oholah, and Jerusalem (The southern realm of Judah) is Oholibah.
[5-10] Oholah been unfaithful when she was mine; and she wanted her lovers, the Assyrians, her neighbors, who were clothed with blue, governors and rulers, all of them attractive young men, horsemen riding on horses. She was unfaithful with them, all of them being the best men of Assyria; and with whomever she wanted, with all their false gods she ruined herself. Nor has she stopped being unfaithful since she was in Egypt; because in her youth they had been unfaithful with her, and handled her youthful breasts; They poured out their sinfulness on her. So I gave her to her lovers, the Assyrians, who she wanted. They uncovered her nakedness; and took her children; and killed her with war; and she became a saying among women; who had brought judgment on her.
[11-15] Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was worse than her sister in her sinfulness, and in her unfaithfulness which was worse than the unfaithfulness of her sister. She wanted the Assyrians governors and rulers, her neighbors, who were well clothed, horsemen riding on horses, all of them attractive young men. I saw that she was ruined; both of them took the same way. She was more unfaithful because she saw men drawn on the wall, pictures of the Chaldeans (Babylonians) in red, with belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like rulers, just like the Babylonians in Chaldea (Iraq, Iran), the land of their birth.
[16-21] As soon as she saw them she wanted them, and sent messengers to them in Chaldea (Iraq, Iran). The Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and ruined her with their sinfulness, and she was ruined by them, and then she stayed away from them. So she uncovered her unfaithfulness and her nakedness; Then I kept Myself from her, like I kept Myself from her sister. Yet she sinned more and more, remembering the days of her youth, in which she had been unfaithful in the land of Egypt. She wanted her lovers, who were as lustful and unfit as an animal. So you called to memory the sinfulness of your youth, when the Egyptians held your youthful breasts.
[22-27] So, Oholibah, Yahweh God says this, See, I’ll stir up your lovers against you, from whom you have kept yourself, and I’ll bring them against you on every side; the Babylonians, all the Chaldeans, Pekod, Shoa, Koa, and all the Assyrians with them; all of them attractive young men, governors and rulers all of them, rulers and people of fame, all of them riding on horses. They’ll come against you with weapons, war vehicles, and supply wagons, with a troop of soldiers; they’ll set themselves against you with armored soldiers; and I’ll let them bring judgment on you, and they’ll judge you with their judgments. I’ll set my jealousy against you, and they’ll deal with you in great anger; they’ll take away your nose and your ears; and what left of you will fall by war. They’ll take your children; and what’s left of you will be burned by fire. They’ll also strip you out of your clothes, and take all your beautiful jewelry. So I’ll make you stop your sinfulness, and your unfaithfulness that you learned in the land of Egypt, so that you won’t look at them, nor remember Egypt anymore.
[28-34] For Yahweh God says this, See, I’ll give you over to those whom you hate, into the hand of those from whom you have kept yourself; and they’ll deal with you in hatred, and will take away all your work, and will leave you naked and bare; and the nakedness of your unfaithfulness will be seen by all, both your sinfulness and your unfaithfulness. These things will be done to you, because you’ve been unfaithful with the unbelieving nations, and because you’re ruined with your false gods. You’ve done just like your sister, so I’ll give her punishment to you, as well. Yahweh God says, You’ll take your sister’s punishment, which is great; you’ll be made fun of and laughed at very much. You’ll be full of drunkenness and sorrow, and the punishment will shock you and make you empty. You’ll be punished just like your sister Samaria. You’ll even drink your cup of punishment to the last drop, and you’ll break it to pieces and cut your breasts with it; because I’ve said it, says Yahweh God.
[35-39] So Yahweh God says this, Because you’ve for gotten me, and put me behind your back, you’ll take the punishment for your sinfulness and your unfaithfulness. Yahweh said also to me, Human being, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then tell them of their filthy garbage. They’ve been unfaithful, and blood is on their hands; They’ve been unfaithful with their false gods; and they’ve also caused their children, whom they had for me, to be destroyed for them. Besides this, they’ve ruined My Place of Worship in the same day, and have disrespected My Seventh Days. For when they had sacrificed their children to their false gods, then they came into My Place of Worship to ruin it on the same day; and this they’ve done right in the middle of My House.
[40-45] Besides this you’ve sent for people who came from far away, to whom a messenger was sent, and they came; for whom you did wash yourself, paint your eyes, and put on your jewelry, and sit on a fancy bed, with a table set before it, where you put My incense and My oil. The sound of a lot of people partying with her, and drunks from the countryside were brought with the common people; and they put bracelets on the hands of the two sisters, and beautiful crowns on their heads. Then I said of her who had been unfaithful for so long, Now will they have sex with her, and she with them? But they went in to her, just like going into a whore. So they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, the naughty women. Good people will judge them with the judgment of the unfaithful, and with the judgment of women who cause bloodshed; because they’re unfaithful, and blood is on their hands.
[46-49] For Yahweh God says this, I’ll bring up a company of soldiers against them, and will let them be troubled and robbed. The company will make war on you and kill your children, and burn up your peoples with fire. So I’ll cause sinfulness to come to an end out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your sinfulness. They’ll repay you for your sinfulness, and you’ll take the punishment for the sin of worshipping your false gods; and you’ll know that I am Yahweh God.
24[1-5] Again, in the ninth year, in the 10th day of the 10th month, the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Human being, write the name of the day, this same day that the ruler of Babylon came against Jerusalem. Tell a story to these rebellious people, and tell them, Yahweh God says, Put on the pot, set it on the fire, and pour water into it. Put the pieces of meat into it, even every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; and fill it with the best bones. Take the best lamb of the flock, and also a pile of bones for fuel under the pot; make it boil well; yes, let the bones be boiled in it.
[6-13] So Yahweh God says this, Sorrow will come to the bloody city, to the pot with scum in it, and whose scum hasn’t been taken out of it! Take out one piece after another; No one is better than any other. For its blood is seen right in the middle of it; she put it on the bare rock and didn’t pour it on the ground, to cover it with dirt, that it may cause great anger to come up and punish, I’ve put her blood on the bare rock, that it wouldn’t be covered. So Yahweh God says this, Sorrow will come to the bloody city! I’ll also make the pile great. Pile on the wood, make the fire hot, cook the meat well, boil the broth away, and let the bones burn. Then set it empty on the coals, so that it may be hot, and its brass burned, so that its filthiness may burn away, that the scum may be destroyed. She has tired herself out with work; yet all her scum doesn’t go out of her; her scum doesn’t go out by fire. Your filthiness was sinful, and even though I’ve cleansed you, you still weren’t cleansed. So you won’t be cleansed from your filthiness any more, until I let my great anger toward you rest.
[14-19] I, Yahweh, have said it, and I’ll do it. I won’t go back, nor will I spare you, nor will I change my mind. For your ways, and for your doings, they’ll judge you, says Yahweh God. Also the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Human being, I take away from you what you love the most with one stroke, yet you won’t sorrow, nor cry, nor let your tears run down. Sigh, but not out loud; don’t be sorry for the dead; put on your hat, and your shoes; don’t cover your face, and don’t eat what the people eat when someone dies. So I spoke to the people in the morning; and in the evening my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was told. The people said to me, Won’t you tell us what these things mean to us, that you do these things?
[20-27] Then I said to them, The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Speak to the people of Israel, Yahweh God says, See, I’ll ruin My Place of Worship, the pride of your power, what you love the most, and what makes you sorry; and your children whom you’ve left behind will fall by war. You’ll do as I’ve done; you won’t cover your face, nor eat what people eat when someone dies. Your hats will be on your heads, and your shoes will be on your feet. You won’t be sorry, nor cry; but you’ll suffer in your sins, and cry out together. So Ezekiel will be a warning to you; for all that he has done you’ll do. When this comes, then you’ll know that I am Yahweh God. You, Human being, will it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their fame, what they love the most, and that which they’ve set their hearts on, their children, that in that day, those who escape, will come to you, so that you can hear it with your own ears? In that day your mouth will be opened to those who’ve escaped, and you’ll speak, and won’t be mute any more. So you’ll be a warning to them; and they’ll know that I am Yahweh.