The Lord will punish Jerusalem's people
1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 He said, ‘Son of man, you must tell the people in this city that I am going to be their judge. They have killed many people. Make them see how many wrong things they have done. 3 Say to them, “This is what the Lord God says: ‘You are a city that destroys itself. 4 I will punish you because you poured blood over your streets. You have made idols for yourselves and you are no longer pure. I will cause your days to end. I have finished your years as a city. Nations will not give you any honour. Men from all countries will laugh because I have punished you. 5 Those who live near and those far away will laugh. You are a city full of evil things. And all the people in you are always fighting.
6 In Jerusalem, each leader of Israel used his power to kill men. 7 In Jerusalem, they have not given any honour to father or mother. In Jerusalem, they have not been kind to foreigners, widows or children with no parents. 8 You gave no honour to my holy things. You have not made my Sabbaths holy. 9-10 There are men in Jerusalem who tell lies against other people. They do that to kill those people. There are men who have sex with other men's wives. They do the bad things that they did in Egypt. The people there give food to idols. And then those people eat it. In you, there are men who do the same thing. And they do other bad things. Some men have sex with women who are not pure. 11 There are men who have sex with other men's wives. There are those who have sex with their daughters or their son's wives. Some have sex with their sisters, the daughters of their own fathers. 12 In you, men pay money for one man to kill another. They lend money to people. But they make those men give them a lot more money back. In you, men make people give them money in ways that are not fair. And you have forgotten me,’ says the Lord.
13 ‘I am very angry because you have killed people. You have not been fair. You have taken more money than was right. 14 I will punish you and that will make you feel weak. I am the Lord. I have said what I will do. And I will do it. 15 I will send you to many different countries. I will make you pure again. 16 All nations will think that you have no value. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ” ’
17 The Lord spoke to me. 18 ‘Son of man, Israel's people are like dirt to me. Men burn metals in a fire so that they can take out the silver. My people are like the metal that remains in the pot. 19 So this is what the Lord God says: “I will bring you all into Jerusalem because you are like dirt. 20 Men bring metals into a hot fire to make them soft. I will do the same thing to you. I will bring you into the city and I will make you soft. I will do this because I am so angry. 21 I will bring you into Jerusalem. And I will burn you with my anger. 22 They make silver soft in a hot fire. In the same way I will make you soft with my hot anger. Then you will know that I am the Lord. And you will know that I have burnt you with my hot anger.” ’
23 The Lord spoke to me again. 24 ‘Son of man, speak to the land. Say, “I am angry and I will not send you any rain.” 25 Your leaders agree to hurt people. They take valuable things from the people and they kill many women's husbands. They are like wild animals that tear up their meat. 26 The priests do not obey my rules. They do not use my holy things as they should. They think that holy things are not special. They teach men that pure things and things that are not pure are the same. They do not teach men to keep my Sabbath holy. Because of this, men do not give me any honour. 27 Their officers are like wild animals that tear their meat. They do not judge in a fair way. And they kill people to get their money. 28 Their prophets say that they are not doing any wrong thing. But those prophets see false dreams and they tell false stories. They say, “This is what the Lord God says.” But I have not spoken to them. 29 The people in this country make people afraid and take their money. They are not kind to poor people or to those people who are weak. They hurt foreigners and they do not judge them in a fair way.
30 I tried to find a man who would help me to save the land. Then I would not have to destroy it. But I could not find a man to help me. 31 So I will burn the people up with my great anger. I will punish them because of the wrong things that they have done,’ says the Lord God.
22:31Holy things are clean in a special way. People must give them honour because they belong to the Lord. If people use them in the same way as other things, they are no longer pure. This means that nobody can use them for the Lord's work.