1 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find. Eat this scroll. Then speak to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I’m giving you, and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
4 He said to me, “Son of man, go to the people of Israel, and speak my words to them. 5 I am not sending you to people whose language is hard to understand or difficult to speak. I am sending you to Israel. 6 I am not sending you to nations whose language is hard to understand, difficult to speak, or whose words you cannot understand. If I send you to those nations, they will certainly listen to you. 7 But the people of Israel will refuse to listen to you because they refuse to listen to me. All the people of Israel are very stubborn and hardheaded. 8 Yet, I will make you as stubborn and as hardheaded as they are. 9 I will make you as hard as a diamond, harder than stone. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t be terrified in their presence, even though they are rebellious people.”
10 He also said to me, “Son of man, take to heart everything I have spoken to you, and listen closely. 11 Go to the exiles, to your people. Whether they listen or not, tell them, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says.’ ”
12 Then the Spirit lifted me, and behind me I heard a loud thundering voice say, “Blessed is the Lord’s glory, which left this place.” 13 I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures touching one another and the noise of the wheels beside them as well as a loud rumbling. 14 Then the Spirit lifted me and took me away. I went away feeling bitter and angry. The strong power of the Lord came over me. 15 I went to Tel Abib, to the exiles who lived by the Chebar River. I sat there among them for seven days. I was stunned.
Ezekiel Is Appointed to Be a Watchman
16 After seven days the Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the people of Israel. Listen to what I say, and warn them for me. 18 Suppose I tell you that wicked people will surely die, but you don’t warn them or speak out so that they can change their wicked ways in order to save their lives. Then these wicked people will die because of their sin, but I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 But suppose you warn the wicked people, and they don’t turn from their wicked ways. Then they will die because of their sin, but you will save yourself. 20 If righteous people turn from living the right way and do wrong, I will make them stumble, and they will die. If you don’t warn them, they will die because of their sin, and the right things they did will not be remembered. I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin, and they don’t sin, they will certainly live because they listened to the warning. You will save yourself.”
The Lord Gives Ezekiel Directions to Follow
22 The power of the Lord came over me. He said, “Get up, and go to the plain. I will speak to you there.” 23 I got up and went to the plain. The Lord’s glory was standing there like the glory I saw by the Chebar River, and I immediately bowed down.
24 Then the Spirit entered me and stood me on my feet. He talked to me. He said, “Go into your home, and shut yourself inside. 25 People will tie you up with ropes, son of man, so that you can’t go outside. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you can’t talk or criticize them, even though they are rebellious people. 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth. You will tell them, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says.’ Some will listen, and some will refuse to listen. They are rebellious people.”