71The LORD spoke to me. 2“Mortal man,” he said, “this is what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to the land of Israel: this is the end for the whole land!
3“Israel, the end has come. You will feel my anger, because I am judging you for what you have done. I will pay you back for all your disgusting conduct. 4I will not spare you or show you any mercy. I am going to punish you for the disgusting things you have done, so that you will know that I am the LORD.”
5This is what the Sovereign LORD is saying, “One disaster after another is coming on you. 6It's all over. This is the end. You are finished. 7The end is coming for you people who live in the land. The time is near when there will be no more celebrations at the mountain shrines, only confusion.7.7 Probable text celebrations… confusion; Hebrew unclear.
8“Very soon now you will feel all the force of my anger. I am judging you for what you have done, and I will pay you back for all your disgusting conduct. 9I will not spare you or show you any mercy. I am going to punish you for the disgusting things you have done, so that you will know that I am the LORD, and that I am the one who punishes you.”
10The day of disaster is coming for Israel. Violence is flourishing. Pride is at its height.7.10 Probable text Pride is at its height; Hebrew unclear. 11Violence produces more wickedness. Nothing of theirs will remain, nothing of their wealth, their splendour, or their glory.
12The time is coming. The day is near when buying and selling will have no more meaning, because God's punishment will fall on everyone alike. 13No merchant will live long enough to get back what he has lost, because God's anger is on everyone. Those who are evil cannot survive.7.13 Verse 13 in Hebrew is unclear. 14The trumpet sounds, and everyone gets ready. But no one goes off to war, for God's anger will fall on everyone alike.
15There is fighting in the streets, and sickness and hunger in the houses. Anyone who is out in the country will die in the fighting, and anyone in the city will be a victim of sickness and hunger. 16Some will escape to the mountains like doves frightened from the valleys. All of them will moan over their sins.7.16 Verse 16 in Hebrew is unclear. 17Everyone's hands will be weak, and their knees will shake. 18They will put on sackcloth and they will tremble all over. Their heads will be shaved, and they will all be disgraced. 19They will throw their gold and silver away in the streets like refuse, because neither silver nor gold can save them when the LORD pours out his fury. They cannot use it to satisfy their desires or fill their stomachs. Gold and silver led them into sin. 20Once they were proud of their beautiful jewels, but they used them to make disgusting idols. That is why the LORD has made their wealth repulsive to them.
21“I will let foreigners rob them,” says the LORD, “and lawbreakers will take all their wealth and defile it. 22I will not interfere when my treasured Temple is profaned, when robbers break into it and defile it.
23“Everything is in confusion7.23 One ancient translation Everything is in confusion; Hebrew unclear. — the land is full of murders and the cities are full of violence. 24I will bring the most evil nations here and let them have your homes. Your strongest men will lose their confidence when I let the nations profane the places where you worship. 25Despair is coming. You will look for peace and never find it. 26One disaster will follow another, and a steady stream of bad news will pour in. You will beg the prophets to reveal what they foresee. The priests will have nothing to teach the people, and the elders will have no advice to give. 27The king will mourn, the prince will give up hope, and the people will shake with fear. I will punish you for all you have done, and will judge you in the same way as you have judged others. This will show you that I am the LORD.”
81On the fifth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of our exile, the leaders of the exiles from Judah were sitting in my house with me. Suddenly the power of the Sovereign LORD came on me. 2
I looked up and saw a vision of a fiery human form. From the waist down his body looked like fire, and from the waist up he was shining like polished bronze. 3He stretched out what seemed to be a hand and seized me by the hair. Then in this vision God's Spirit lifted me high in the air and took me to Jerusalem. He took me to the inner entrance of the north gate of the Temple, where there was an idol that was an outrage to God.
There I saw the dazzling light that shows the presence of Israel's God, just as I had seen it when I was by the River Chebar. 5God said to me, “Mortal man, look towards the north.” I looked, and there near the altar by the entrance of the gateway I saw the idol that was an outrage to God.
6God said to me, “Mortal man, do you see what is happening? Look at the disgusting things the people of Israel are doing here, driving me farther and farther away from my holy place. You will see even more disgraceful things than this.”
7He took me to the entrance of the outer courtyard and showed me a hole in the wall. 8He said, “Mortal man, break through the wall here.” I broke through it and found a door. 9He said to me, “Go in and look at the evil, disgusting things they are doing there.” 10So I went in and looked. The walls were covered with drawings of snakes and other unclean animals,8.10 unclean animals: The Law of Moses prohibited the eating of certain animals as being ritually unclean (see 4.13; Lev 11). and of the other things which the Israelites were worshipping. 11Seventy Israelite leaders were there, including Jaazaniah son of Shaphan. Each one was holding an incense burner, and smoke was rising from the incense. 12God asked me, “Mortal man, do you see what the Israelite leaders are doing in secret? They are all worshipping in a room full of images. Their excuse is: ‘The LORD doesn't see us! He has abandoned the country.’ ”
13Then the LORD said to me, “You are going to see them do even more disgusting things than that.” 14So he took me to the north gate of the Temple and showed me women weeping over the death of the god Tammuz.8.14 Tammuz: A god who was thought to die when vegetation died and to come to life the next year. Women would mourn his ritual death.
15He asked, “Mortal man, do you see that? You will see even more disgusting things.” 16So he took me to the inner courtyard of the Temple. There near the entrance of the sanctuary, between the altar and the passage, were about 25 men. They had turned their backs to the sanctuary and were bowing low towards the east, worshipping the rising sun.
17The LORD said to me, “Mortal man, do you see that? These people of Judah are not satisfied with merely doing all the disgusting things you have seen here and with spreading violence throughout the country. No, they must come and do them here in the Temple itself and make me even more angry. Look how they insult me in the most offensive way possible!8.17 in the most offensive way possible: A reference to a pagan rite of putting a branch to the nose. 18They will feel all the force of my anger. I will not spare them or show them any mercy. They will shout prayers to me as loud as they can, but I will not listen to them.”
91Then I heard God shout, “Come here, you men who are going to punish the city. Bring your weapons with you.” 2At once six men came from the outer north gate of the Temple, each one carrying a weapon. With them was a man dressed in linen clothes, carrying something to write with. They all came and stood by the bronze altar.
3Then the dazzling light of the presence of the God of Israel rose up from the winged creatures,9.3 winged creatures: See 1.5–12. where it had been, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. The LORD called to the man dressed in linen, 4
“Go through the whole city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the forehead of everyone who is distressed and troubled because of all the disgusting things being done in the city.”
5And I heard God say to the other men, “Follow him through the city, and kill. Spare no one; have mercy on no one. 6Kill the old men, young men, young women, mothers, and children. But don't touch anyone who has the mark on his forehead. Start here at my Temple.” So they began with the leaders who were standing there at the Temple.
7God said to them, “Defile the Temple. Fill its courtyards with corpses. Get to work!” So they began to kill the people in the city.9.7 work!” So they… city.; or work! Go on and start killing the people in the city!”
8While the killing was going on, I was there alone. I threw myself face downwards on the ground and shouted, “Sovereign LORD, are you so angry with Jerusalem that you are going to kill everyone left in Israel?”
9God answered, “The people of Israel and Judah are guilty of terrible sins. They have committed murder all over the land and have filled Jerusalem with crime. They say that I, the LORD, have abandoned their country and that I don't see them. 10But I will not have pity on them; I will do to them what they have done to others.”
11Then the man wearing linen clothes returned and reported to the LORD, “I have carried out your orders.”