Idolatrous Elders Condemned
1 Then some elders of Israel came to me and sat down before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 3 "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be consulted by them at all? 4 "Therefore speak to them and tell them, `Thus says the Lord GOD, "Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will be brought to give him an answer in the matter in view of the multitude of his idols, 5 in order to lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me through all their idols."
6 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, `Thus says the Lord GOD, "Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations. 7 "For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I the LORD will be brought to answer him in My own person. 8 "I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from among My people. So you will know that I am the LORD.
9 "But if the prophet is prevailed upon to speak a word, it is I, the LORD, who have prevailed upon that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 "They will bear the punishment of their iniquity; as the iniquity of the inquirer is, so the iniquity of the prophet will be, 11 in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Thus they will be My people, and I shall be their God,"' declares the Lord GOD."
The City Will Not Be Spared
12 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 13 "Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, 14 even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves," declares the Lord GOD. 15 "If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, 16 though these three men were in its midst, as I live," declares the Lord GOD, "they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. 17 "Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, `Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,' 18 even though these three men were in its midst, as I live," declares the Lord GOD, "they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. 19 "Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, 20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live," declares the Lord GOD, "they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness."
21 For thus says the Lord GOD, "How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it! 22 "Yet, behold, survivors will be left in it who will be brought out, both sons and daughters. Behold, they are going to come forth to you and you will see their conduct and actions; then you will be comforted for the calamity which I have brought against Jerusalem for everything which I have brought upon it. 23 "Then they will comfort you when you see their conduct and actions, for you will know that I have not done in vain whatever I did to it," declares the Lord GOD.
Jerusalem like a Useless Vine
1 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any wood of a branch which is among the trees of the forest? 3 "Can wood be taken from it to make anything, or can men take a peg from it on which to hang any vessel? 4 "If it has been put into the fire for fuel, and the fire has consumed both of its ends and its middle part has been charred, is it then useful for anything? 5 "Behold, while it is intact, it is not made into anything. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it still be made into anything! 6 "Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, `As the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 7 and I set My face against them. Though they have come out of the fire, yet the fire will consume them. Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I set My face against them. 8 `Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have acted unfaithfully,'" declares the Lord GOD.
God's Grace to Unfaithful Jerusalem
1 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations 3 and say, `Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem, "Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 "As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing; you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths. 5 "No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born.
6 "When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, `Live!' Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, `Live!' 7 "I made you numerous like plants of the field. Then you grew up, became tall and reached the age for fine ornaments; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown. Yet you were naked and bare.
8 "Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine," declares the Lord GOD. 9 "Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10 "I also clothed you with embroidered cloth and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 "I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. 12 "I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 "Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. 14 "Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you," declares the Lord GOD.
15 "But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing. 16 "You took some of your clothes, made for yourself high places of various colors and played the harlot on them, which should never come about nor happen. 17 "You also took your beautiful jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that you might play the harlot with them. 18 "Then you took your embroidered cloth and covered them, and offered My oil and My incense before them. 19 "Also My bread which I gave you, fine flour, oil and honey with which I fed you, you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened," declares the Lord GOD. 20 "Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? 21 "You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire. 22 "Besides all your abominations and harlotries you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare and squirming in your blood.
23 "Then it came about after all your wickedness (`Woe, woe to you!' declares the Lord GOD), 24 that you built yourself a shrine and made yourself a high place in every square. 25 "You built yourself a high place at the top of every street and made your beauty abominable, and you spread your legs to every passer-by to multiply your harlotry. 26 "You also played the harlot with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, and multiplied your harlotry to make Me angry. 27 "Behold now, I have stretched out My hand against you and diminished your rations. And I delivered you up to the desire of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd conduct. 28 "Moreover, you played the harlot with the Assyrians because you were not satisfied; you played the harlot with them and still were not satisfied. 29 "You also multiplied your harlotry with the land of merchants, Chaldea, yet even with this you were not satisfied."'"
30 "How languishing is your heart," declares the Lord GOD, "while you do all these things, the actions of a bold-faced harlot. 31 "When you built your shrine at the beginning of every street and made your high place in every square, in disdaining money, you were not like a harlot. 32 "You adulteress wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband! 33 "Men give gifts to all harlots, but you give your gifts to all your lovers to bribe them to come to you from every direction for your harlotries. 34 "Thus you are different from those women in your harlotries, in that no one plays the harlot as you do, because you give money and no money is given you; thus you are different."
35 Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD. 36 Thus says the Lord GOD, "Because your lewdness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers and with all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your sons which you gave to idols, 37 therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, even all those whom you loved and all those whom you hated. So I will gather them against you from every direction and expose your nakedness to them that they may see all your nakedness. 38 "Thus I will judge you like women who commit adultery or shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39 "I will also give you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your shrines, demolish your high places, strip you of your clothing, take away your jewels, and will leave you naked and bare. 40 "They will incite a crowd against you and they will stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. 41 "They will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women. Then I will stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay your lovers. 42 "So I will calm My fury against you and My jealousy will depart from you, and I will be pacified and angry no more. 43 "Because you have not remembered the days of your youth but have enraged Me by all these things, behold, I in turn will bring your conduct down on your own head," declares the Lord GOD, "so that you will not commit this lewdness on top of all your other abominations.
44 "Behold, everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb concerning you, saying, `Like mother, like daughter.' 45 "You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and children. You are also the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 "Now your older sister is Samaria, who lives north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lives south of you, is Sodom with her daughters. 47 "Yet you have not merely walked in their ways or done according to their abominations; but, as if that were too little, you acted more corruptly in all your conduct than they. 48 "As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. 50 "Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it. 51 "Furthermore, Samaria did not commit half of your sins, for you have multiplied your abominations more than they. Thus you have made your sisters appear righteous by all your abominations which you have committed. 52 "Also bear your disgrace in that you have made judgment favorable for your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. Yes, be also ashamed and bear your disgrace, in that you made your sisters appear righteous.
53 "Nevertheless, I will restore their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and along with them your own captivity, 54 in order that you may bear your humiliation and feel ashamed for all that you have done when you become a consolation to them. 55 "Your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to their former state, and you with your daughters will also return to your former state. 56 "As the name of your sister Sodom was not heard from your lips in your day of pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered, so now you have become the reproach of the daughters of Edom and of all who are around her, of the daughters of the Philistines--those surrounding you who despise you. 58 "You have borne the penalty of your lewdness and abominations," the LORD declares. 59 For thus says the Lord GOD, "I will also do with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath by breaking the covenant.
The Covenant Remembered
60 "Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 61 "Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both your older and your younger; and I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant. 62 "Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, 63 so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done," the Lord GOD declares.