Ezekiel 11:16-12:28

The Lord promises that some of the people will return to their country

16 ‘So say this to them. “This is what the Lord God says. I did send them to many different lands far away. But for that short time I have kept them safe in those countries.” ’

17 Then say, ‘This is what the Lord God says. “I will fetch you and bring you home. I will bring you back from the countries where I sent you. I will give the land of Israel back to you.” ’

18 ‘The people will return and burn their idols and their evil things. 19 They will want to worship only me. I will put a new spirit into them. I will take away the bad spirit that is in them. I will make them understand how I want them to live. 20 Then they will know my rules. They will be careful to obey them. They will be my people and I will be their God. 21 But I will punish those who continue to worship idols. I will punish them because of the evil things that they do,’ says the Lord God.

22 Then the cherubs put out their wings to fly. The wheels were by their sides. And the glory of Israel's God was above them. 23 The glory of the Lord rose up from the city. It stopped to the east of it. The glory was above the mountain. 24 In my dream, the Spirit took me back to Babylon. I went to the Israelites who were there. That was the end of the dream. 25 I told the people everything that the Lord's dream had showed me.

11:23The hill on the east of the city is called the Mount of Olives.

Ezekiel 12

1 The Lord spoke to me again. 2 ‘Son of man, you live among a people who refuse to obey me. They have eyes to see, but they do not see. They have ears to hear, but they do not hear. Then they refuse to obey me.

3 So you must prepare your things for a journey. Enemies will take you as a prisoner to a country far away. Go to another place while it is day. Then the people can watch you go. They do not obey me but perhaps they will understand. 4 Bring out the things that you have prepared. Bring them out during the day while the people are watching you. Then go out in the evening while they watch you. Go like someone who is leaving the country. 5 While they watch, dig a hole in the wall. Go through it and take your things with you. 6 Put your things on your shoulder while they watch you. Carry them out while the light starts to go away. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land. This is how I have made you a picture for Israel's people.’

7 So I did what the Lord had said. I brought out the things that I had prepared. I would take them with me out of the country. I did this during the day. Then evening came. I dug a hole in the wall with my hands. I took my things out when it became dark. I carried them on my shoulders while the people watched me.

8 In the morning, the Lord spoke to me again. 9 ‘Son of man, you know about those people who refuse to obey me. They did not even ask you what you were doing,’ he said to me.

10 ‘You must speak to them. Say, “This what the Lord God says. This is a picture of the king in Jerusalem and all the people there.”

11 You must say to them, “I am a picture of what the Lord will cause to happen. The people will do what I have done. Enemies will take them far away to another country as prisoners.”

12 Their king will leave when it starts to become dark. He will carry his things on his shoulders. They will dig a hole in the wall for him to go through. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land. 13 I will catch him and take him to Babylon. That is the country where the people called Chaldeans live. But he will not see the land, and he will die there. 14 I will make all his officers and soldiers run away. I will make their enemies run after them with swords. Their enemies will be ready to kill them.

15 I will send the people away from their city. Then they will know that I am the Lord. They will know this when I send them to many different countries. 16 But I will save a few of them. I will not make them all die. In those far countries they will be sad. Then they will be sorry because of the many bad things that they have done. And they will know that I am the Lord.’

17 The Lord spoke to me again. 18 ‘Son of man, let your body shake while you eat your food. Be afraid and shake your body. You will shake while you drink your water. 19 Speak to the people in this country. Say, “This is what the Lord God says. He is speaking about those who live in Jerusalem and in Israel. They will be afraid while they eat their food. They will be very afraid. They will shake while they drink their water. This is because nothing will remain in their country. All who live there are angry. Then they hurt each other. 20 Enemies will knock down the towns where people live. The country will be empty. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” ’

21 The Lord spoke to me again. 22 ‘Son of man, there is a thing that people say in Israel. They say, “People see pictures in the mind. But what they see never happens. Time passes and people forget about it.” 23 But you must say to them. “This is what the Lord God says. ‘I will stop you from saying these words. I say that soon every one of your dreams will become true. I will do it. 24 Nobody in Israel will again dream things that are false. Nobody will say that bad things will not happen. 25 But I, the Lord, will say what I want to say. I will make it happen immediately. I say this to you people who do not obey me. I will do this while you are alive. I will do all the things that I have said,’ says the Lord God.” ’

26 The Lord spoke to me. 27 ‘Son of man, Israel's people are saying wrong things. “Your message will not become true for many years. That day will not be soon.” That is what they say. 28 So you must speak to them. “This is what the Lord God says, ‘I will not wait any longer to do what I have said. I will do everything that I told you’ ”, says the Lord God.’

12:28In this chapter, Ezekiel tried to make people hear the true words of the Lord. The people did not want to hear, because his words brought bad news. People had their own ideas. Ezekiel showed them that their ideas were false. The Lord would do as he had said. And he would do it soon.