1I looked at the dome over the heads of the living creatures and above them was something that seemed to be a throne made of sapphire. 2God said to the man wearing linen clothes, “Go between the wheels under the creatures and fill your hands with burning coals. Then scatter the coals over the city.”
I watched him go. 3The creatures were standing to the south of the Temple when he went in, and a cloud filled the inner courtyard. 4The dazzling light of the LORD's presence rose up from the creatures and moved to the entrance of the Temple. Then the cloud filled the Temple, and the courtyard was blazing with the light. 5The noise made by the creatures' wings was heard even in the outer courtyard. It sounded like the voice of Almighty God.
6When the LORD commanded the man wearing linen clothes to take some fire from between the wheels that were under the creatures, the man went in and stood by one of the wheels. 7One of the creatures put his hand into the fire that was there among them, picked up some coals, and put them in the hands of the man in linen. The man took the coals and left.
8I saw that each creature had what looked like a human hand under each of its wings. 11When the creatures moved, they could go in any direction without turning. They all moved together in the direction they wanted to go, without having to turn round. 12Their bodies, backs, hands, wings, and wheels were covered with eyes. 13I heard a voice calling out, “Whirling wheels”.
14Each creature had four faces. The first was the face of a bull, the second a human face, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. 15(They were the same creatures that I had seen by the River Chebar.) When the creatures rose in the air 16and moved, the wheels went with them. Whenever they spread their wings to fly, the wheels still went with them. 17When the creatures stopped, the wheels stopped; and when the creatures flew, the wheels went with them, because the creatures controlled them.
18Then the dazzling light of the LORD's presence left the entrance of the Temple and moved to a place above the creatures. 19They spread their wings and flew up from the earth while I was watching, and the wheels went with them. They paused at the east gate of the Temple, and the dazzling light was over them. 20I recognized them as the same creatures which I had seen beneath the God of Israel at the River Chebar.
21Each of them had four faces, four wings, and what looked like a human hand under each wing. 22Their faces looked exactly like the faces I had seen by the River Chebar. Each creature moved straight ahead.
Jerusalem is Condemned
1God's Spirit lifted me up and took me to the east gate of the Temple. There near the gate I saw 25 men, including Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, two leaders of the nation.
2God said to me, “Mortal man, these men make evil plans and give bad advice in this city. 3They say, ‘We will soon be building houses again. The city is like a cooking pot, and we are like the meat in it, but at least it protects us from the fire.’ 4Now then, denounce them, mortal man.”
5The Spirit of the LORD took control of me, and the LORD told me to give the people this message: “People of Israel, I know what you are saying and what you are planning. 6You have murdered so many people here in the city that the streets are full of corpses.
7“So this is what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to you. This city is indeed a cooking pot, but what is the meat? The corpses of those you have killed! You will not be here — I will throw you out of the city! 8Are you afraid of swords? I will bring men with swords to attack you. 9I will take you out of the city and hand you over to foreigners. I have sentenced you to death, 10and you will be killed in battle in your own country. Then everyone will know that I am the LORD. 11This city will not protect you as a pot protects the meat in it. I will punish you wherever you may be in the land of Israel. 12You will know that I am the LORD and that while you were keeping the laws of the neighbouring nations, you were breaking my laws and disobeying my commands.”
13While I was prophesying, Pelatiah dropped dead. I threw myself face downwards on the ground and shouted, “No, Sovereign LORD! Are you going to kill everyone left in Israel?”
God's Promise to the Exiles
14The LORD spoke to me. 15“Mortal man,” he said, “the people who live in Jerusalem are talking about you and your fellow-Israelites who are in exile. They say, ‘The exiles are too far away to worship the LORD. He has given us possession of the land.’
16“Now tell your fellow-exiles what I am saying. I am the one who sent them to live in far-off nations and scattered them in other countries. Yet, for the time being I will be present with them in the lands where they have gone.
17“So tell them what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying. I will gather them out of the countries where I scattered them, and will give the land of Israel back to them. 18When they return, they are to get rid of all the filthy, disgusting idols they find. 19I will give them a new heart and a new mind. I will take away their stubborn heart of stone and will give them an obedient heart. 20Then they will keep my laws and faithfully obey all my commands. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21But I will punish the people who love to worship filthy, disgusting idols. I will punish them for what they have done.” The Sovereign LORD has spoken.
God's Glory Leaves Jerusalem
22The living creatures began to fly, and the wheels went with them. The dazzling light of the presence of the God of Israel was over them. 23Then the dazzling light left the city and moved to the mountain east of it. 24In the vision the Spirit of God lifted me up and brought me back to the exiles in Babylonia. Then the vision faded, 25and I told the exiles everything that the LORD had shown me.
The Prophet as a Refugee
1The LORD spoke to me. 2“Mortal man,” he said, “you are living among rebellious people. They have eyes, but they see nothing; they have ears, but they hear nothing, because they are rebellious.
3“Now, mortal man, pack a bundle just as a refugee would, and start out before nightfall. Let everyone see you leaving and going to another place. Maybe those rebels will notice you.4While it is still daylight, pack your bundle for exile, so that they can see you, and then let them watch you leave in the evening as if you were going into exile. 5While they are watching, break a hole through the wall of your house and take your pack out through it. 6Let them watch you putting your pack on your shoulder and going out into the dark with your eyes covered, so that you can't see where you are going. What you do will be a warning to the Israelites.”
7I did what the LORD told me to do. That day I packed a bundle as a refugee would, and that evening as it was getting dark I dug a hole in the wall with my hands and went out. While everyone watched, I put the pack on my shoulder and left.
8The next morning the LORD spoke to me. 9“Mortal man,” he said, “now that those Israelite rebels are asking you what you're doing, 10tell them what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to them. This message is for the prince ruling in Jerusalem and for all the people who live there. 11Tell them that what you have done is a sign of what will happen to them — they will be refugees and captives. 12The prince who is ruling them will shoulder his pack in the dark and escape through a hole that they dig for him in the wall. He will cover his eyes and not see where he is going. 13But I will spread out my net and trap him in it. Then I will take him to the city of Babylon, where he will die without having seen it. 14I will scatter in every direction all the members of his court and his advisers and bodyguard, and people will search for them to kill them.
15“When I scatter them among the other nations and in foreign countries, they will know that I am the LORD. 16I will let a few of them survive the war, the famine, and the diseases, so that there among the nations they will realize how disgusting their actions have been and will acknowledge that I am the LORD.”
The Sign of the Trembling Prophet
17The LORD spoke to me. 18“Mortal man,” he said, “tremble when you eat, and shake with fear when you drink. 19Tell the whole nation that this is the message of the Sovereign LORD to the people of Jerusalem who are still living in their land: they will tremble when they eat and shake with fear when they drink. Their land will be stripped bare, because everyone who lives there is lawless. 20Cities that are now full of people will be destroyed, and the country will be made a wilderness. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
A Popular Proverb and an Unpopular Message
21The LORD spoke to me. 22“Mortal man,” he said, “why do the people of Israel repeat this proverb: ‘Time goes by, and predictions come to nothing’? 23Now tell them what I, the Sovereign LORD, have to say about that. I will put an end to that proverb. It won't be repeated in Israel any more. Tell them instead: the time has come, and the predictions are coming true!
24“Among the people of Israel there will be no more false visions or misleading prophecies. 25I, the LORD, will speak to them, and what I say will be done. There will be no more delay. In your own lifetime, you rebels, I will do what I have warned you I would do. I have spoken,” says the Sovereign LORD.
26The LORD said to me, 27“Mortal man, the Israelites think that your visions and prophecies are about the distant future. 28So tell them that I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying: there will be no more delay. What I have said will be done. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”
Prophecy against False Male Prophets
1The LORD spoke to me. 2“Mortal man,” he said, “denounce the prophets of Israel who make up their own prophecies. Tell them to listen to the word of the LORD.”
3This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “These foolish prophets are doomed! They provide their own inspiration and invent their own visions. 4People of Israel, your prophets are as useless as foxes living among the ruins of a city. 5They don't guard the places where the walls have crumbled, nor do they rebuild the walls, and so Israel cannot be defended when war comes on the day of the LORD. 6Their visions are false, and their predictions are lies. They claim that they are speaking my message, but I have not sent them. Yet they expect their words to come true! 7I tell them: those visions you see are false, and the predictions you make are lies. You say that they are my words, but I haven't spoken to you!”
8So the Sovereign LORD says to them, “Your words are false, and your visions are lies. I am against you. 9I am about to punish you prophets who have false visions and make misleading predictions. You will not be there when my people gather to make decisions; your names will not be included in the list of the citizens of Israel; you will never return to your land. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.
10“The prophets mislead my people by saying that all is well. All is certainly not well! My people have put up a wall of loose stones, and then the prophets have come and covered it with whitewash. 11Tell the prophets that their wall is going to fall down. I will send a pouring rain. Hailstones will fall on it, and a strong wind will blow against it. 12The wall will collapse, and everyone will ask you what good the whitewash did.”
13Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “In my anger I will send a strong wind, pouring rain, and hailstones to destroy the wall. 14I intend to break down the wall they whitewashed, to shatter it, and to leave the foundation stones bare. It will collapse and kill you all. Then everyone will know that I am the LORD.
15“The wall and those who covered it with whitewash will feel the force of my anger. Then I will tell you that the wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it — 16those prophets who assured Jerusalem that all was well, when all was not well!” The Sovereign LORD has spoken.
Prophecy against False Female Prophets
17The LORD said, “Now, mortal man, look at the women among your people who make up predictions. Denounce them 18and tell them what the Sovereign LORD is saying to them:
“You women are doomed! You sew magic wristbands for everyone and make magic scarves for everyone to wear on their heads, so that they can have power over other people's lives. You want to possess the power of life and death over my people and to use it for your own benefit. 19You dishonour me in front of my people in order to get a few handfuls of barley and a few pieces of bread. You kill people who don't deserve to die, and you keep people alive who don't deserve to live. So you tell lies to my people, and they believe you.”
20Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “I hate the wristbands that you use in your attempt to control life and death. I will rip them off your arms and set free the people that you were controlling.21I will rip off your scarves and let my people escape from your power once and for all. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
22“By your lies you discourage good people, whom I do not wish to hurt. You prevent evil people from giving up evil and saving their lives. 23So now your false visions and misleading predictions are over. I am rescuing my people from your power, so that you will know that I am the LORD.”