Ezekiel 33:21-33

The Lord tells Ezekiel why enemies have taken Jerusalem

21 A man ran away from Jerusalem. He came to me when we had been in Babylon for 12 years. He came on the fifth day of the tenth month. He said, ‘Enemies have taken the city.’ 22 The Lord had touched me in the night. That was the night before the man came to me. He had opened my mouth so that I was able to speak again.

33:21It had taken this man about 6 months to bring the news. It was a long way to travel on foot. And he had to come into the country of the enemy. It would have been a difficult journey.

23 Then the Lord spoke to me.

24 ‘Son of man,’ he said, ‘People live in the broken cities of Israel. This is what they are saying. They say, “Abraham was only one man, but God gave him the country called Israel. But we are many men. Now God has given the country called Israel to us.” 25 So speak to them. Say: This is what the Lord God says. “You eat meat with the blood still in it. You worship your idols and you kill people. The country is too good for you. 26 You fight to get the things that you want. You do bad things. You have sex with each other's wives. I cannot give the country to you.” ’

27 Say this to them. ‘This is what the Lord God says: “I will make a promise. Enemies will kill the people in the destroyed city with swords. Wild animals will kill and eat people in the country. Some of these people will hide in strong buildings. Or they might hide in holes in the sides of mountains. They will become ill and die. 28 I will make the country empty, like a desert. Israel will no longer be strong or powerful. I will make its mountains wild and empty. No people will walk across them. 29 Then they will know that I am the Lord. I have made the country a desert because they have done such evil things.” ’

30 Son of man, your people are talking about you in the streets. They are saying, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’

31 ‘My people will come and sit in front of you. They often do that. They will listen to your words. But they will not obey them. They say that they love me. But they really want to become rich people. They take things from other people. They are not fair. 32 They do not believe your words. You are like a man who sings beautiful love songs. They listen to your words but they do not obey them.

33 All these things will happen. Then they will know that a prophet has spoken to them.’