1The Lord said to me, “Son of man, eat what is in front of you. Eat this scroll. Then go and speak to the people of Israel.” 2So I opened my mouth. And he gave me the scroll to eat.
3Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you. Fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it. And it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
4Then he said to me, “Son of man, go to the people of Israel. Give them my message. 5I am not sending you to people who speak another language that is hard to learn. Instead, I am sending you to the people of Israel. 6You are not being sent to many nations whose people speak other languages that are hard to learn. You would not be able to understand them. Suppose I had sent you to them. Then they certainly would have listened to you. 7But the people of Israel do not want to listen to you. That is because they do not want to listen to me. All the Israelites are very stubborn. 8But I will make you just as stubborn as they are. 9I will make you very brave. So do not be afraid of them. Do not let them terrify you, even though they refuse to obey me.”
10He continued, “Son of man, listen carefully. Take to heart everything I tell you. 11Go now to your own people who were brought here as prisoners. Speak to them. Tell them, ‘Here is what the Lord and King says.’ Speak to them whether they listen or not.”
12Then the Spirit of the Lord lifted me up. I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. The sound was made when the glory of the Lord rose up. It rose up from the place it had been standing. 13The sound was made by the wings of the living creatures. They were brushing against one another. The sound was also made by the wheels beside them. It was a loud rumbling sound. 14Then the Spirit lifted me up and took me away. My spirit was bitter. I was very angry. The power of the Lord was on me. 15I came to my people who had been brought as prisoners to Tel Aviv. It was near the Kebar River. I went to where they were living. There I sat among them for seven days. I was very sad and scared about everything that had happened.
The Lord Has Appointed Ezekiel to Warn Israel
16After seven days, a message from the Lord came to me. 17The Lord said, “Son of man, I have appointed you as a prophet to warn the people of Israel. So listen to my message. Give them a warning from me. 18Suppose I say to a sinful person, ‘You can be sure you will die.’ And you do not warn them. You do not try to get them to change their evil ways in order to save their life. Then that sinful person will die because they have sinned. And I will hold you responsible for their death. 19But suppose you do warn that sinful person. And they do not turn away from their sin or their evil ways. Then they will die because they have sinned. But you will have saved yourself.
20“Or suppose a godly person turns away from their godliness and does what is evil. And suppose I put something in their way that will trip them up. Then they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The godly things that person did will not be remembered. And I will hold you responsible for their death. 21But suppose you do warn a godly person not to sin. And they do not sin. Then you can be sure that they will live because they listened to your warning. And you will have saved yourself.”
22The power of the Lord was on me. He said, “Get up. Go out to the plain. I will speak to you there.” 23So I got up and went out to the plain. The glory of the Lord was standing there. It was just like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River. So I fell with my face toward the ground.
24Then the Spirit of the Lord came into me. He raised me to my feet. He said to me, “Go, son of man. Shut yourself inside your house. 25Some people will tie you up with ropes. So you will not be able to go out among your people. 26I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth. Then you will be silent. You will not be able to correct them. That’s because they always refuse to obey me. 27But later I will speak to you. I will open your mouth. Then you will tell them, ‘Here is what the Lord and King says.’ Those who listen will listen. And those who refuse to listen will refuse. They always refuse to obey me.