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ESV — Ezekiel 33-37

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.”

Prophecy Against the Shepherds of Israel

34 The word of the Lord came to me: d“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: eAh, shepherds of Israel fwho have been feeding yourselves! gShould not shepherds feed the sheep? hYou eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, iyou slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. jThe weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, hthe injured you have not bound up, hthe strayed you have not brought back, kthe lost you have not sought, and with force and lharshness you have ruled them. mSo they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and nthey became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, owith none to search or seek for them.

“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: pAs I live, declares the Lord God, surely because qmy sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 Thus says the Lord God, rBehold, I am against the shepherds, and sI will require my sheep at their hand and tput a stop to their feeding the sheep. uNo longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. vI will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.

The Lord God Will Seek Them Out

11 “For thus says the Lord God: wBehold, I, I xmyself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on ya day of clouds and zthick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples aand gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on bthe mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 cI will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. dThere they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 eI myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, dand I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 fI will seek the lost, gand I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and hthe fat and the strong I will destroy.3 I will feed them in justice.

17 “As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: iBehold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and jmale goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of kclear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? 19 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

20 “Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you push with side and shoulder, and lthrust at all the mweak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, 22 I will rescue4 my flock; nthey shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 And oI will set up over them one shepherd, pmy servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And qI, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. rI am the Lord; I have spoken.

The Lord's Covenant of Peace

25 s“I will make with them a covenant of peace and tbanish wild beasts from the land, uso that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill va blessing, and wI will send down the showers in their season; they shall be xshowers of blessing. 27 yAnd the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, uand they shall be secure in their land. And zthey shall know that I am the Lord, when aI break the bars of their yoke, and adeliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 nThey shall no more be a prey to the nations, tnor shall the beasts of the land devour them. uThey shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid. 29 And I will provide for them brenowned plantations so that cthey shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer dsuffer the reproach of the nations. 30 And they shall know that qI am the Lord their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord God. 31 And you are my sheep, ehuman sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.”

Prophecy Against Mount Seir

35 The word of the Lord came to me: f“Son of man, gset your face hagainst iMount Seir, and prophesy against it, and say to it, Thus says the Lord God: jBehold, I am against you, Mount Seir, and kI will stretch out my hand against you, land I will make you a desolation and a waste. mI will lay your cities waste, and you shall become a desolation, and you shall know that I am the Lord. Because nyou cherished perpetual enmity and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword oat the time of their calamity, pat the time of their final punishment, therefore, qas I live, declares the Lord God, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; rbecause you did not hate bloodshed, therefore blood shall pursue you. lI will make Mount Seir a waste mand a desolation, and I will cut off from it sall who come and go. And I will fill tits mountains with the slain. On your hills and in your valleys and in all tyour ravines uthose slain with the sword shall fall. lI will make you a perpetual desolation, and myour cities shall not be inhabited. Then vyou will know that I am the Lord.

10 “Because you said, w‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and xwe will take possession of them’—although the yLord was there—11 therefore, qas I live, declares the Lord God, I will deal with you zaccording to the anger and zenvy that you showed because of your hatred against them. And aI will make myself known among them, when I judge you. 12 And you shall know that I am the Lord.

b“I have heard all the revilings that you uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are laid desolate; cthey are given us to devour.’ 13 And byou magnified yourselves against me dwith your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it. 14 Thus says the Lord God: eWhile the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate. 15 As you frejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, gMount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then hthey will know that I am the Lord.

Prophecy to the Mountains of Israel

36 “And you, ison of man, prophesy to jthe mountains of Israel, and say, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God: Because kthe enemy said of you, l‘Aha!’ and, ‘The ancient mheights have become our possession,’ therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God: Precisely because nthey made you desolate and crushed you from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and oyou became the talk and evil gossip of the people, therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God: Thus says the Lord God to pthe mountains and the hills, the ravines and the valleys, qthe desolate wastes and the deserted cities, which have become ra prey and derision to the rest of the nations all around, therefore thus says the Lord God: Surely I have spoken in smy hot jealousy against the rest of the nations and tagainst all Edom, who ugave my land to themselves as a possession vwith wholehearted joy and wutter contempt, that they might make its pasturelands a prey. Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to jthe mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, Thus says the Lord God: xBehold, I have spoken in my jealous wrath, because you have suffered ythe reproach of the nations. Therefore thus says the Lord God: zI swear that the nations that are all around you yshall themselves suffer reproach.

“But you, O mountains of Israel, ashall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for bthey will soon come home. For cbehold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and dyou shall be tilled and sown. 10 And eI will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. fThe cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt. 11 And I will multiply on you gman and beast, and hthey shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in iyour former times, and jwill do more good to you than ever before. kThen you will know that I am the Lord. 12 I will let people walk on you, even my people Israel. lAnd they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no longer mbereave them of children. 13 Thus says the Lord God: Because they say to you, n‘You devour people, and you bereave your nation of children,’ 14 therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, declares the Lord God. 15 And I will not let you hear anymore ythe reproach of the nations, and you shall no longer bear the disgrace of the peoples and no longer cause your nation to stumble, declares the Lord God.”

The Lord's Concern for His Holy Name

16 The word of the Lord came to me: 17 o“Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, pthey defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were qlike the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. 18 So rI poured out my wrath upon them sfor the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols twith which they had defiled it. 19 uI scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. vIn accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them. 20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, wthey profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land.’ 21 But I had concern xfor my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.

I Will Put My Spirit Within You

22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: yIt is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, wwhich you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23 zAnd I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. aAnd the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 24 bI will take you cfrom the nations and gather you from all the countries and dbring you into your own land. 25 eI will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from fall your uncleannesses, and gfrom all your idols hI will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you ia new heart, and ia new spirit I will put within you. iAnd I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 jAnd I will put my Spirit within you, iand cause you to walk in my statutes and kbe careful to obey my rules.5 28 lYou shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and myou shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 And nI will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And oI will summon the grain and make it abundant and play no famine upon you. 30 qI will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, othat you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then ryou will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 yIt is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

33 “Thus says the Lord God: On the day that sI cleanse you from all your iniquities, tI will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. 34 And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. 35 And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like uthe garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then vthe nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and wreplanted that which was desolate. xI am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.

37 “Thus says the Lord God: This also yI will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: zto increase their people like aa flock. 38 Like the flock for sacrifices,6 blike the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so tshall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. cThen they will know that I am the Lord.”

The Valley of Dry Bones

37 dThe hand of the Lord was upon me, and ehe brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley;7 it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, f“Son of man, gcan these bones live?” And hI answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, i“Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, jO dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause kbreath8 to enter you, and you shall live. lAnd I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and lcover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, mand you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied nas I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, oa rattling,9 and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But pthere was no breath in them. Then he said to me, i“Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, fson of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from qthe four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied nas he commanded me, and rthe breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then he said to me, f“Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and sour hope is lost; twe are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore iprophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, uI will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And vI will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And wyou shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And xI will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; yI have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

I Will Be Their God, They Shall Be My People

15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 z“Son of man, atake a stick10 and write on it, ‘For bJudah, and cthe people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For bJoseph (the stick of dEphraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17 And ejoin them one to another into one stick, that fthey may become gone in your hand. 18 And when hyour people say to you, i‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’ 19 say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am about to take jthe stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the jstick of Judah,11 and kmake them one stick, gthat they may be one in my hand. 20 When the sticks on which you write are in your hand lbefore their eyes, 21 then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, mI will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and mbring them to their own land. 22 And nI will make them one nation in the land, on othe mountains of Israel. And pone king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer qtwo nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. 23 rThey shall not sdefile themselves anymore twith their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But uI will save them from all the backslidings12 in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and vthey shall be my people, and I will be their God.

24 “My servant wDavid xshall be king over them, and they shall all have yone shepherd. zThey shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. 25 aThey shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children shall dwell there bforever, and David my servant shall be their prince cforever. 26 dI will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be ean everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land13 and fmultiply them, and will gset my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 hMy dwelling place shall be with them, vand I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 Then ithe nations will know that jI am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when gmy sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

Footnotes

[1] 33:12 Hebrew by it
[2] 33:32 Hebrew like the singing of lustful songs with a beautiful voice and one who plays
[3] 34:16 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate I will watch over
[4] 34:22 Or save
[5] 36:27 Or my just decrees
[6] 36:38 Hebrew flock of holy things
[7] 37:1 Or plain; also verse 2
[8] 37:5 Or spirit; also verses 6, 9, 10
[9] 37:7 Or an earthquake (compare 3:12, 13)
[10] 37:16 Or one piece of wood; also verses 17, 19, 20
[11] 37:19 Hebrew And I will place them on it, the stick of Judah
[12] 37:23 Many Hebrew manuscripts; other Hebrew manuscripts dwellings
[13] 37:26 Hebrew lacks in their land