Prophecies Against Evil Leaders
1The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the front gate of the Temple of the Lord, which faces east. I saw twenty-five men where the gate opens, among them Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, who were leaders of the people. 2Then the Lord said to me, “Human, these are the men who plan evil and give wicked advice in this city of Jerusalem. 3They say, ‘It is almost time for us to build houses. This city is like a cooking pot, and we are like the best meat.’ 4So prophesy against them, prophesy, human.”
5Then the Spirit of the Lord entered me and told me to say: “This is what the Lord says: You have said these things, people of Israel, and I know what you are thinking. 6You have killed many people in this city, filling its streets with their bodies.
7“So this is what the Lord God says: Those people you have killed and left in the middle of the city are like the best meat, and this city is like the cooking pot. But I will force you out of the city. 8You have feared the sword, but I will bring a sword against you, says the Lord God. 9I will force you out of the city and hand you over to strangers and punish you. 10You will die by the sword. I will punish you at the border of Israel so you will know that I am the Lord. 11This city will not be your cooking pot, and you will not be the best meat in the middle of it. I will punish you at the border of Israel. 12Then you will know that I am the Lord. You did not live by my rules or obey my laws. Instead, you did the same things as the nations around you.”
13As I prophesied, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I bowed facedown on the ground and shouted with a loud voice, “Oh no, Lord God! Will you completely destroy the Israelites who are left alive?”
Promise to Those Remaining
14The Lord spoke his word to me, saying, 15“Human, the people still in Jerusalem have spoken about your own relatives and all the people of Israel who are captives with you, saying, ‘They are far from the Lord. This land has been given to us as our property.’
16“So say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: I sent the people far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries. But for a little while I have become a Temple to them in the countries where they have gone.’
17“So say: ‘This is what the Lord God says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you together from the countries where you have been scattered. Then I will give you back the land of Israel.’
18“When they come to this land, they will remove all the evil idols and all the hateful images. 19I will give them a desire to respect me completely, and I will put inside them a new way of thinking. I will take out the stubborn heart of stone from their bodies, and I will give them an obedient heart of flesh. 20Then they will live by my rules and obey my laws and keep them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21But those who want to serve their evil statues and hateful idols, I will pay back for their evil ways, says the Lord God.”
Ezekiel’s Vision Ends
22Then the living creatures lifted their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. 23The glory of the Lord went up from inside Jerusalem and stopped on the mountain on the east side of the city. 24The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the captives who had been taken from Judah to Babylonia. This happened in a vision given by the Spirit of God, and then the vision I had seen ended. 25And I told the captives from Judah all the things the Lord had shown me.