Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 192

Ezekiel 11–15, Psalm 61

Bible text(s)

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.

Ezekiel 11GNBOpen in Bible reader

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!”

Ezekiel 12GNBOpen in Bible reader

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.”

Ezekiel 13GNBOpen in Bible reader

God Condemns Idolatry

1Some of the leaders of the Israelites came to consult me about the LORD's will. 2Then the LORD spoke to me. 3“Mortal man,” he said, “these men have given their hearts to idols and are letting idols lead them into sin. Do they think I will give them an answer?

4“Now speak to them and tell them what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to them: every Israelite who has given his heart to idols and lets them lead him into sin and who then comes to consult a prophet, will get an answer from me — the answer that his many idols deserve! 5All those idols have turned the Israelites away from me, but by my answer I hope to win back their loyalty.

6“Now then, tell the Israelites what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying: turn back and leave your disgusting idols.

7“Whenever one of the Israelites or one of the foreigners who live in the Israelite community turns away from me and worships idols, and then goes to consult a prophet, I, the LORD, will give him his answer! 8I will oppose him. I will make an example of him. I will remove him from the community of my people, so that you will know that I am the LORD.

9“If a prophet is deceived into giving a false answer, it is because I, the LORD, have deceived him. I will remove him from the people of Israel. 10Both the prophet and the one who consults him will get the same punishment. 11I will do this to keep the Israelites from deserting me and defiling themselves by their sins. They are to be my people, and I will be their God.” The Sovereign LORD has spoken.

Noah, Danel, and Job

12The LORD spoke to me. 13“Mortal man,” he said, “if a country sins and is unfaithful to me, I will stretch out my hand and destroy its supply of food. I will send a famine and kill people and animals alike. 14Even if those three men, Noah, Danel, and Job, were living there, their goodness would save only their own lives.” The Sovereign LORD has spoken.

15“Or I might send wild animals to kill the people, making the land so dangerous that no one could travel through it, 16and even if those three men lived there — as surely as I, the Sovereign LORD, am the living God — they would not be able to save even their own children. They would save only their own lives, and the land would become a wilderness.

17“Or I might bring war on that country and send destructive weapons to wipe out people and animals alike, 18and even if those three men lived there — as surely as I, the Sovereign LORD, am the living God — they would not be able to save even their children, but only their own lives.

19“If I send an epidemic on that country and in my anger take many lives, killing people and animals, 20even if Noah, Danel, and Job lived there — as surely as I, the Sovereign LORD, am the living God — they would not be able to save even their own children. Their goodness would save only their own lives.”

21This is what the Sovereign LORD is saying: “I will send my four worst punishments on Jerusalem — war, famine, wild animals, and disease — to destroy people and animals alike. 22If anyone does survive and save his children, look at them when they come to you. See how evil they are, and be convinced that the punishment I am bringing on Jerusalem is justified; 23then you will know that there was good reason for everything I did.” The Sovereign LORD has spoken.

Ezekiel 14GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Parable about a Vine

1The LORD spoke to me. 2“Mortal man,” he said, “how does a vine compare with a tree? What good is a branch of a grapevine compared with the trees of the forest? 3Can you use it to make anything? Can you even make a peg out of it to hang things on? 4It is only good for building a fire. And when the ends are burnt up and the middle is charred, can you make anything out of it? 5It was useless even before it was burnt. Now that the fire has burnt it and charred it, it is even more useless.”

6Now this is what the Sovereign LORD is saying, “Just as a vine is taken from the forest and burnt, so I will take the people who live in Jerusalem 7and will punish them. They have escaped one fire, but now fire will burn them up. When I punish them, you will know that I am the LORD. 8They have been unfaithful to me, and so I will make the country a wilderness.” The Sovereign LORD has spoken.

Ezekiel 15GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Prayer for Protection

1Hear my cry, O God;

listen to my prayer!

2In despair and far from home

I call to you!

Take me to a safe refuge,

3for you are my protector,

my strong defence against my enemies.

4Let me live in your sanctuary all my life;

let me find safety under your wings.

5You have heard my promises, O God,

and you have given me what belongs to those who honour you.

6Add many years to the king's life;

let him live on and on!

7May he rule for ever in your presence, O God;

protect him with your constant love and faithfulness.

8So I will always sing praises to you,

as I offer you daily what I have promised.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
Find us on