The Lord’s Judgment of Jerusalem Is Certain
1Then the Spirit of the Lord lifted me up. He brought me to the east gate of the Lord’s house. There were 25 men at the entrance of the gate. I saw Jaazaniah and Pelatiah among them. They were leaders of the people. Jaazaniah is the son of Azzur. Pelatiah is the son of Benaiah. 2The Lord said to me, “Son of man, these men are making evil plans. They are giving bad advice to the city. 3They say, ‘Haven’t our houses just been built again? The city is like a pot used for cooking. And we are the meat in it.’ 4So prophesy against them. Prophesy, son of man.”
5Then the Spirit of the Lord came on me. He told me to tell them, “The Lord says, ‘You leaders in Israel, that is what you are saying. But I know what you are thinking. 6You have killed many people in this city. In fact, you have filled its streets with dead bodies.’
7“So the Lord and King says, ‘The bodies you have thrown there are the meat. And the city is the cooking pot. But I will drive you out of it. 8You are afraid of the swords of war. But I will bring them against you,’ announces the Lord and King. 9‘I will drive you out of the city. I will hand you over to outsiders. And I will punish you. 10You will be killed by swords. I will judge you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 11This city will not be a pot for you. And you will not be the meat in it. I will judge you at the borders of Israel. 12Then you will know that I am the Lord. You have not obeyed my rules. You have not kept my laws. Instead, you have lived by the standards of the nations around you.’ ”
13Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah, died as I was prophesying. Then I fell with my face toward the ground. I cried out in a loud voice. I said, “Lord and King, will you destroy all the Israelites who are still left alive?”
The Lord Will Bring His People Back Home
14A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, 15“Son of man, the people of Jerusalem have spoken about you. They have spoken about the others the Babylonians have taken away. They have also spoken about all the other people of Israel. The people of Jerusalem have said, ‘Those people are far away from the Lord. This land was given to us. And it belongs to us.’
16“So tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “I sent some of my people far away among the nations. I scattered them among the countries. But for a little while I have been their temple in the countries where they have gone.” ’
17“Tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “I will gather you from the nations. I will bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered. I will give you back the land of Israel.” ’
18“They will return to it. They will remove all its statues of evil gods. I hate those gods. 19I will give my people hearts that are completely committed to me. I will give them a new spirit that is faithful to me. I will remove their stubborn hearts from them. And I will give them hearts that obey me. 20Then they will follow my rules. They will be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people. And I will be their God. 21But some people have hearts that are committed to worshiping the statues of their evil gods. I hate those gods. Anything that happens to those people will be their own fault,” announces the Lord and King.
22Then the cherubim spread their wings. The wheels were beside them. The glory of the God of Israel was above them. 23The glory of the Lord went up from the city. It stopped above the Mount of Olives east of the city. 24The Spirit of God lifted me up. He took me to those who had been brought to Babylon as prisoners. These are the things that happened in the visions the Spirit gave me.
Then the visions I had seen were gone. 25I told my people everything the Lord had shown me.