Evil Rulers to Be Judged
1Moreover, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the Lord’s house, which faced eastward. And behold, at the entrance of the gate there were twenty-five men; and I saw among them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. 2Then the Spirit said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who devise evil and give wicked advice in this city, 3who say, ‘Is not the time near to build houses? This city is [secure just like] the pot and we are the meat [in it].’ 4Therefore, prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man!”
5Then the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and He said to me, “Say, ‘Thus says the Lord, “This is what you think, house of Israel, for I know your thoughts. 6You have multiplied your slain in this city, and you have filled its streets with the corpses [of righteous men].” 7Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Your dead whom you have laid in the midst of your city are the meat and this city is the pot; but I shall force you out of [the security of] it. 8You have feared the sword; so I will bring a sword upon you,” says the Lord God. 9“And I will bring you out of the midst of the city and hand you over to strangers and execute judgment against you. 10You will fall by the sword; I will judge and punish you [in front of your neighbors] at the border of [the land of] Israel; and you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord. 11This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be meat [safe] in it, but I will judge you at the border of Israel. 12And you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord; for you have not walked in My statutes nor have you executed My ordinances, but you have acted in accordance with the ordinances of the nations around you.” ’ ”
13Now it came about while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell face downward and cried out loudly, “Alas, Lord God! Will You bring the remnant of Israel to a complete end?”
Promise of Restoration
14Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 15“Son of man, your brothers, your relatives, your fellow exiles and the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those to whom the [present] inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far away from the Lord; this land has been given to us as a possession.’ 16Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Though I had removed Israel far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary for them for a little while in the countries to which they had gone.” ’ 17Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give [back] to you the land of Israel.” ’ 18When they return there, they will remove from it all [traces of] its detestable things and all its repulsive things (remnants of paganism). 19And I will give them one heart [a new heart], and put a new spirit within them. I will take from them the heart of stone, and will give them a heart of flesh [that is responsive to My touch], 20that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 21But as for those whose heart longs for and follows after their detestable things and their repulsive things [associated with idolatry], on their own head I will repay [them in full for] their [vile] conduct,” says the Lord God.
22Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels beside them, and the [Shekinah] glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. 23Then the glory and brilliance of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and paused over the mountain, [the Mount of Olives] which is east of the city. 24And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God to the exiles in Chaldea (Babylonia). Then the vision that I had seen left me. 25Then I told the exiles everything that the Lord had shown me.