The Sins of Jerusalem
1The Lord spoke his word to me, saying: 2“And you, human, will you judge? Will you judge the city of murderers? Then tell her about all her hateful acts. 3You are to say: ‘This is what the Lord God says: You are a city that kills those who come to live there. You make yourself unclean by making idols. 4You have become guilty of murder and have become unclean by your idols which you have made. So you have brought your time of punishment near; you have come to the end of your years. That is why I have made you a shame to the nations and why all lands laugh at you. 5Those near and those far away laugh at you with your bad name, you city full of confusion.
6“ ‘Jerusalem, see how each ruler of Israel in you has been trying to kill people. 7The people in you hate their fathers and mothers. They mistreat the foreigners in you and wrong the orphans and widows in you. 8You hate my holy things and dishonor my Sabbaths. 9The men in you tell lies to cause the death of others. The people in you eat food offered to idols at the mountain places of worship, and they take part in sexual sins. 10The men in you have sexual relations with their fathers’ wives and with women who are unclean, during their time of monthly bleeding. 11One man in you does a hateful act with his neighbor’s wife, while another has shamefully made his daughter-in-law unclean sexually. And another forces his half sister to have sexual relations with him. 12The people in you take money to kill others. You take unfair interest and profits and make profits by mistreating your neighbor. And you have forgotten me, says the Lord God.
13“ ‘So, Jerusalem, I will shake my fist at you for stealing money and for murdering people. 14Will you still be brave and strong when I punish you? I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will act. 15I will scatter you among the nations and spread you through the countries. That is how I will get rid of your uncleanness. 16But you, yourself, will be dishonored in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”
Israel Is Worthless
17The Lord spoke his word to me, saying: 18“Human, the people of Israel have become useless like scum to me. They are like the copper, tin, iron, and lead left in the furnace when silver is purified. 19So this is what the Lord God says: ‘Because you have become useless like scum, I am going to put you together inside Jerusalem. 20People put silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin together inside a furnace to melt them down in a blazing fire. In the same way I will gather you in my hot anger and put you together in Jerusalem and melt you down. 21I will put you together and make you feel the heat of my anger. You will be melted down inside Jerusalem. 22As silver is melted in a furnace, you will be melted inside the city. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my anger on you.’ ”
Sins of the People
23The Lord spoke his word to me, saying: 24“Human, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has not had rain or showers when God is angry.’ 25Like a roaring lion that tears the animal it has caught, Israel’s rulers make evil plans. They have destroyed lives and have taken treasure and valuable things. They have caused many women to become widows. 26Israel’s priests do cruel things to my teachings and do not honor my holy things. They make no difference between holy and unholy things, and they teach there is no difference between clean and unclean things. They do not remember my Sabbaths, so I am dishonored by them. 27Like wolves tearing a dead animal, Jerusalem’s leaders have killed people for profit. 28And the prophets try to cover this up by false visions and by lying messages. They say, ‘This is what the Lord God says’ when the Lord has not spoken. 29The people cheat others and steal. They hurt people who are poor and needy. They cheat foreigners and do not treat them fairly.
30“I looked for someone to build up the walls and to stand before me where the walls are broken to defend these people so I would not have to destroy them. But I could not find anyone. 31So I let them see my anger. I destroyed them with an anger that was like fire because of all the things they have done, says the Lord God.”