The Sins of Israel
1Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2“And you, son of man [Ezekiel], will you judge, will you judge the city of bloodshed? Then make her recognize all her repulsive acts. 3You shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “A city that sheds blood in her midst, so that her time [of doom] will come, and makes idols to defile her, contrary to her interest! 4You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and you are defiled by the idols which you have made. Thus you have caused your day [of judgment and punishment] to approach and have arrived at [the completion of] your years; therefore, I have made you an object of scorn to the [pagan] nations and a thing to be mocked by all countries. 5Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you [infamous one] of ill repute, full of turmoil.
6“Behold, the princes of Israel, every one according to his power, have been intending to shed blood in you. 7In you they have treated father and mother lightly. They have oppressed the stranger among you; and in your presence they have wronged the fatherless and the widow. 8You have despised and scorned My sacred things and have profaned My Sabbaths. 9In you are men who slander for the purpose of shedding blood, and in your presence they have eaten [food offered to idols] at the mountain shrines; in your midst they have committed acts of lewdness. 10In you men have uncovered their fathers’ nakedness [the nakedness of mother or stepmother]; in you they have violated women who are [set apart as ceremonially] unclean during their menstrual impurity [or after childbirth]. 11In you one has committed a shameful act with his neighbor’s wife, another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law, and another has violated his sister, his father’s daughter. 12In you they have accepted bribes to shed blood; you have taken [forbidden] interest and [a percentage of] profits, and you have injured your neighbors for gain by oppression and extortion, and you have forgotten Me,” says the Lord God.
13“Behold, therefore, I strike My hands [together] at your dishonest gain which you have acquired and at the bloodshed which is among you. 14Can your heart (courage) endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I will deal with you? I the Lord have spoken, and will act. 15I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will destroy your filthiness. 16You will defile yourself in the sight of the [Gentile] nations, and you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
17And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18“Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross (metallic waste) to Me. All of them are (useless) bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the furnace; they are the dross of silver. 19Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you [O Israel] into the midst of Jerusalem. 20As they gather silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into the furnace to blow fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in My anger and in My wrath, and I will put you there and melt you. 21I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you will be melted in the midst of it. 22As silver is melted in the furnace, so will you be melted in the midst of it; and you will know [without any doubt] that I the Lord have poured out My wrath on you [O Israel].’ ”
23And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24“Son of man, say to her, ‘You [Israel] are a land that is not pronounced clean or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25There is a conspiracy of her [false] prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured [human] life; they have taken [in their greed] treasure and precious things; they have made many widows among her. 26Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy (sacred) and the profane (secular), they have not taught [people] the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27Her princes within her are like wolves tearing and devouring the prey, shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain. 28Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God’—when the Lord has not spoken. 29The people of the land have practiced oppression and extortion and have committed robbery; they have wronged the poor and needy and they have oppressed the stranger without justice. 30I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for [the sake of] the land, that I would not destroy it, but I found no one [not even one]. 31Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; I have repaid their way [by bringing it] upon their own heads,” says the Lord God.