Ezekiel 24

The pot to cook meat

1 The Lord gave this message to me on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year: 2 ‘Son of man, remember this day. Write it down. On this day, the king of Babylon is starting to attack Jerusalem. 3 Tell a story to these people who refuse to obey me. Say to them, “This is what the Almighty Lord says:

Put the pot on the fire. Put it there now.

Pour some water into the pot.

4 Put the pieces of meat into it.

Put in all the good pieces of meat.

Put in the leg and the shoulder.

Fill it with all the best bones.

5 Use meat and bones from the best sheep.

Put more wood on the fire under the pot.

Cause the water in the pot to boil well.

Cook the bones and the meat.

6 This is what the Almighty Lord says:

Terrible trouble will come to the city that is full of murderers!

It is like a pot that has become dirty.

Nobody has tried to clean it.

Take out each piece of meat, one by one.

No piece is special.

7 You can see the blood of people that men killed in the city.

It lies on the rocks where everyone can see it.

Those murderers did not leave the blood on the ground,

where dirt would hide it.

8 I have put the blood on the rocks where everyone can see it.

Nothing will be able to hide it.

When I see it, I am very angry.

I will punish the people of that city as they deserve.

9 So this is what the Almighty Lord says:

Terrible trouble will come to the city that is full of murderers!

I will put more wood on the fire to destroy it.

10 Yes, make a big heap of wood.

Make the fire burn hot! Cook the meat well!

Mix in some spices!

Let the bones burn.

11 Then put the empty pot on the coals of the fire.

Make the pot very hot, so that its metal is bright red.

Burn all the dirt to remove it.

Make the pot clean again!

12 Yes, I have tried to make it clean.

But the disgusting dirt is still there.

So throw the pot and all its dirt on the fire!

13 The dirt on the pot shows the disgusting things that you do. I tried to remove those wicked things to make you clean, but you would not let me do that. So I will punish you until I am no longer angry with you. You will not be clean until that happens.

14 I, the Lord have said what I will do. Now I will do it! The time for your punishment has come! I will not change my mind. I will not be kind to you. I will not be sorry for you. I will judge you as you deserve for the things that you have done. That is what the Almighty Lord says.” ’

Ezekiel's wife dies

15 The Lord gave me this message: 16 ‘Son of man, I will suddenly take away from you the one person who makes you happy. But you must not weep. Do not let people see that you are sad. 17 Cry inside yourself but do not cry aloud. Do not show that you are sad because someone has died. Do not remove the cloth from your head. Keep your shoes on your feet. Do not cover the lower part of your face. Do not eat the food that people eat at funerals.’

24:17God told Ezekiel that he should not do the things that people usually did when someone had died. He should not show people that he was sad.

18 That morning I spoke to the people. In the evening of that day, my wife died. The next morning I did what the Lord had told me to do.

19 Then the people said to me, ‘Please tell us why you are doing these things. What are you trying to show us?’ 20 So I said to them, ‘The Lord gave this message to me:

21 Say to Israel's people, “This is what the Almighty Lord says: Listen! I will now make my holy place become unclean. It is the place that makes you very proud. You love it because it is so beautiful. But now enemy soldiers will kill your sons and daughters that you left in Jerusalem. 22 Then you will do the same things that I have done. You will not cover the lower part of your face. You will not eat special food that people eat at funerals. 23 You will still wear your cloths on your heads. You will wear your shoes on your feet. You will not cry aloud or weep. You will suffer and you will be weak because of the punishment for your sins. You will cry quietly among yourselves. 24 Ezekiel is an example to you. You must do the same as he has done when his wife died. When this happens, you will know that I am the Almighty Lord.”

24:24God had taken Ezekiel's wife from him. He had loved her very much. Now God says to the people of Jerusalem that he will take away from them the temple that they love. But they will be like Ezekiel was when his wife died. They will not show that they are sad, even though they have lost what they loved very much.

25 Son of man, I will soon take away from them Jerusalem's great temple. It is the beautiful place that has made them very happy. They are very proud of it. They love to look at it. I will also take away their sons and daughters. 26 On the day when that happens, a man will run away from the battle in Jerusalem. He will come here to tell you the news. 27 At that time, you will be able to speak again. You will talk with that man. You will no longer have to be quiet. You will be an example to the people, and they will know that I am the Lord. ’

24:27For some years, Ezekiel had been unable to speak, except when the Lord gave him a message to tell to the people. See Ezekiel 3:26-27.