1Then he said to me: Human one, eat this thing that you’ve found. Eat this scroll and go, speak to the house of Israel. 2So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. 3He said to me: Human one, feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you. So I ate it, and in my mouth it became as sweet as honey.
4Then he said to me: Human one, go! Go to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5You aren’t being sent to a people whose language and speech are difficult and obscure but to the house of Israel. 6No, not to many peoples who speak difficult and obscure languages, whose words you wouldn’t understand. If I did send you to them, they would listen to you. 7But the house of Israel—they will refuse to listen to you because they refuse to listen to me. The whole house of Israel is hardheaded and hard-hearted too. 8I’ve now hardened your face so that you can meet them head-on. 9I’ve made your forehead like a diamond, harder than stone. Don’t be afraid of them or shrink away from them, because they are a household of rebels.
10He said to me: Human one, listen closely, and take to heart every word I say to you. 11Then go to the exiles, to your people’s children. Whether they listen or not, speak to them and say: The LORD God proclaims!
12Then a wind lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great quaking sound from his place. Blessed is the LORD’s glory! 13The sound was the creatures’ wings beating against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them; it was a great rumbling noise. 14Then the wind picked me up and took me away. With the LORD’s power pressing down against me I went away, bitter and deeply angry, 15and I came to the exiles who lived beside the Chebar River at Tel-abib. I stayed there among them for seven desolate days.
16At the end of the seven days, the LORD’s word came to me: 17Human one, I’ve made you a lookout for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from me, deliver my warning. 18If I declare that the wicked will die but you don’t warn them, if you say nothing to warn them from their wicked ways so that they might live, they will die because of their guilt, but I will hold you accountable for their deaths. 19If you do warn the wicked and they don’t turn from their wickedness or their wicked ways, they will die because of their guilt, but you will save your life.
20Or suppose righteous people turn away from doing the right thing. If they act dishonestly, and I make them stumble because of it, they will die because you didn’t warn them of their sin. Their righteous deeds won’t be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their deaths. 21But if you do warn the righteous not to sin, and they don’t sin, they will be declared righteous. Their lives will be preserved because they heeded the warning, and you will save your life.
22The LORD’s power overcame me, and he said to me: Get up! Go out to the valley, and I’ll speak to you there. 23So I got up and went out to the valley. Suddenly, the LORD’s glory stood there, like the glory that I had seen at the Chebar River, and I fell on my face. 24When a wind came to me and stood me on my feet, he spoke to me and said: Go, shut yourself up inside your house. 25Look at you, human one! They’ve now put cords on you and bound you up so that you can’t go out among them. 26I’ll make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth and take away your ability to speak. You won’t be able to correct them, because they are a household of rebels. 27But whenever I speak to you, I’ll open your mouth, and you will say to them: The LORD God proclaims. Those who hear will understand, but those who refuse will not. They are just a household of rebels.