Idolatrous Elders Punished
1Some of the elders of Israel came14:1 Ezk 8:1; 20:1 to me and sat down in front of me.14:1 Ezk 33:31–32
2Then the word of the Lord came to me:
4“Therefore, speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: When anyone from the house of Israel sets up idols in his heart and puts his sinful stumbling block in front of himself, and then comes to the prophet, I, the Lord, will answer him appropriately.14:4 Alt Hb tradition reads him who comes I will answer him according to his many idols,
5so that I may take hold of the house of Israel by their hearts. They are all estranged from me because of their idols.’
6“Therefore, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Repent and turn away14:6 1Sm 7:3; Neh 1:9; Is 2:20; 30:22; 55:6–7; Ezk 18:30 from your idols; turn your faces away from all your detestable things.
7For when anyone from the house of Israel or from the aliens who reside in Israel separates himself from me, setting up idols in his heart and putting his sinful stumbling block in front of himself, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of me, I, the Lord, will answer him myself.
9“‘But if the prophet is deceived and speaks a message, it was I, the Lord, who deceived that prophet.14:9 Jdg 9:23; 1Sm 16:14; 1Kg 22:23; Jr 20:7; 2Th 2:11 I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel.14:9 Jr 6:14–15; 14:15
10They will bear their punishment — the punishment of the one who inquires will be the same as that of the prophet —
Four Devastating Judgments
12The word of the Lord came to me:
13“Son of man, suppose a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its supply of bread,14:13 Lv 26:26; Is 3:1; Ezk 4:16 to send famine through it, and to wipe out both people and animals from it.
15“Suppose I allow dangerous animals14:15 Lv 26:22; Nm 21:6; 2Kg 17:25; Ezk 5:17 to pass through the land and depopulate it so that it becomes desolate, with no one passing through it for fear of the animals.
17“Or suppose I bring a sword14:17 Lv 26:25; Ezk 5:12; 21:3–4 against that land and say, ‘Let a sword pass through it,’ so that I wipe out both people and animals from it.14:17 Ezk 25:13; Zph 1:3
18Even if these three men were in it, as I live” — the declaration of the Lord God — “they could not rescue their sons or daughters, but they alone would be rescued.
19“Or suppose I send a plague into that land14:19 2Sm 24:15; Ezk 38:22 and pour out my wrath on it with bloodshed to wipe out both people and animals from it.
20Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live” — the declaration of the Lord God — “they could not rescue their son or daughter. They would rescue only themselves by their righteousness.
21“For this is what the Lord God says: How much worse will it be when I send my four14:21 Ezk 5:17; 33:27; Am 4:6–10; Rv 6:8 devastating judgments against Jerusalem — sword, famine, dangerous animals, and plague — in order to wipe out both people and animals from it!
22Even so, there will be survivors left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out. Indeed, they will come out to you, and you will observe their conduct and actions.14:22 Ezk 6:8; 12:16; 20:43; 36:20 Then you will be consoled about the devastation I have brought on Jerusalem, about all I have brought on it.
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