Ezekiel Prepares for Exile
1The word of the Lord also came to me, saying, 2“Son of man, you live among a rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, who have ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious people. 3Therefore, son of man, prepare your belongings for exile, and move into exile during the day when they will see you; even go into exile from your place to another place as they watch. Perhaps they will understand even though they are a rebellious people. 4Bring your provisions and supplies out during the day as they watch, as provisions and supplies for [going into] exile. Then you shall go out at evening as they watch, as those going into exile. 5Dig through the wall as they watch and go out through the hole. 6As they look on, load the provisions and supplies on your shoulder and carry it out in the dark. You shall cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have set you as a sign to the house of Israel.”
7I did as I had been commanded. I brought out my provisions and supplies during the day, like the provisions and supplies of an exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands. I brought out my provisions and supplies in the dark, carrying it on my shoulder as they watched.
8In the morning the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9“Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, asked you, ‘What you are doing?’ 10Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “This oracle (a burden to be carried) concerns the prince (Zedekiah) in Jerusalem as well as all the house of Israel who are there.” ’ 11Say, ‘I am a sign to you. As I have done, so it will be done to them; they will go into exile, into captivity.’ 12The prince who is among them will load his provisions and supplies on his shoulder in the dark and go out. They will dig a hole through the wall to go out. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land with his eyes. 13I will also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. And I will bring him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldeans; yet he will not see it, though he will die there. 14I will scatter to every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops; and I will draw out a sword after them. 15So they will know and understand fully that I am the Lord when I scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the [pagan] countries. 16But I will leave a few [survivors] who will escape the sword, the famine, and the virulent disease, that they may confess all their repulsive (idolatrous) acts among the nations where they go, and may know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.”
17Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18“Son of man, eat your bread with anxiety, and drink your water with trembling and with fear. 19Then say to the people of the land, ‘Thus says the Lord God concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel, “They will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water with horror, because their land will be stripped and looted of its fullness because of the violence of all those who live in it. 20The cities that are inhabited will be in ruins and the land will be deserted; and you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
21Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 22“Son of man, what is this proverb that you have in the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days are long and every vision fails’? 23Therefore tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “I will put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer use it as a proverb in Israel.” But say to them, “The days draw near as well as the fulfillment of every vision. 24For there will no longer be any false and empty vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25For I the Lord will speak, and whatever word I speak will be accomplished. It will no longer be delayed, for in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and I will fulfill it,” says the Lord God.’ ”
26Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 27“Son of man, behold, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that Ezekiel sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies of the times that are far off.’ 28Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word I speak will be fulfilled completely,” ’ ” says the Lord God.