Ezekiel 36:1-38

A prophecy to the mountains of Israel

1 The Lord said, ‘Son of man, speak my message to the mountains of Israel. Say to them: “Listen to the Lord's message, you mountains of Israel. 2 This is what the Almighty Lord says: Your enemies have laughed at you. They have said, ‘The old mountains now belong to us!’ ”

3 So now prophesy to those mountains. Tell them, “This is what the Almighty Lord says: Your enemies attacked you from every side. They won against you, so that you belonged to other nations. People talked about you and they insulted you.

4 Because of this, mountains of Israel, listen to this message from me, the Almighty Lord. I say this to the hills, the mountains and the valleys. I say this to the empty places and the towns that have become heaps of stones where nobody lives. This has caused the nations around you to laugh at you and insult you.

5 So this is what the Almighty Lord says: I am very angry with those nations and I will punish them. I am even more angry with the people of Edom because they insulted my people. They were happy to take my land for themselves so that their animals could eat the grass.”

6 So prophesy to the hills and mountains of Israel, and to its valleys. Tell them, “This is what the Almighty Lord says: I am very angry because the nations around you have caused you to be ashamed. 7 So this is what I, the Almighty Lord, say: I make a strong promise that those nations will soon be ashamed themselves.

8 But I say this to you mountains of Israel. Trees will grow on you again and crops will provide much food for my people. My people will soon come home. 9 I am your friend and I will take care of you. Men will plough your ground and they will plant seeds in it. 10 I will cause more and more Israelite people to live on you, and in all the land. They will live in the towns and they will repair the broken buildings. 11 I will make more and more people and animals live on you. They will give birth to many young ones, so that they grow in number. I will cause many people to live on you, as they did a long time ago. I will help you with more good things than you had when you first became a land for my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 12 I will cause my people, the Israelites, to walk on you. You will belong to them as the place where they and their descendants live. You will never again cause their children to die.

13 This is what the Almighty Lord says: People are saying to you, Israel's land, ‘You destroy people. You take away the nation's children.’ 14 So now I, the Almighty Lord, tell you this: You will no longer destroy people or take away the nation's children. 15 People from other nations will no longer insult you or laugh at you. You will no longer cause your nation to suffer. That is what the Almighty Lord says.” ’

16 The Lord gave this message to me: 17 ‘Son of man, Israel's people made their own land unclean when they lived there. They lived in a bad way and they did bad things. It made them unclean, like a woman when she bleeds each month. 18 So I punished them with my great anger. I punished them because they murdered people on their land. And they made the land unclean with idols that they worshipped. 19 I sent them to live among people of other nations in foreign countries. I punished them as they deserved for the bad things that they did.

20 But among the nations where they went, they continued to bring shame to my holy name. People said, “These are the Lord's people, but they had to leave the land that he gave to them.” 21 I wanted them to give honour to my holy name. Instead, Israel's people brought me shame among the nations where they went.

22 So you must say to Israel's people, “This is what the Almighty Lord says: I will help you, Israel's people. But it is not because you deserve it. I will do it so that people give honour to my holy name. You brought me shame among the nations where you went. 23 Now I will show them that my name is great and holy. You brought shame to my name. But I will help you so that the nations can see that I am great. When I do that, they will know that I am the Lord. That is what I, the Almighty Lord, say.

24 I will take you out from the nations and all the foreign countries where you have been living. I will bring you back to your own land. 25 You will become pure, as if I splash you with clean water. I will remove all the things that make you unclean. I will take away the idols that you worship. 26 I will give you new thoughts. I will put a new spirit in you. You will no longer refuse to obey me. Instead, you will want to please me. 27 I will put my Spirit in you, so that you obey my commands. You will be careful to obey my laws.

28 At that time, you will live in the land that I gave to your ancestors. You will be my people and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all the things that made you unclean. I will cause the land to give you plenty of grain to eat. You will no longer have any famines. 30 The trees will provide plenty of fruit. And crops will grow well in the fields. Other nations will no longer make you feel ashamed because you have no food to eat. 31 Then you will remember the evil way that you lived. You will remember the bad things that you did. You will be ashamed of yourselves because of the sins and the disgusting things that you did. 32 I want you to know that I am not doing this because you deserve it. You should be ashamed, Israel's people. You should feel sorry for the things that you have done. That is what the Almighty Lord says.

33 This is what the Almighty Lord says: At that time, I will make you clean from all your sins. When I do that, I will send you back to live in your towns. You will build your houses again that had become heaps of stones. 34 You will plough the empty land again to provide food. People who travel there will no longer think that the land is useless. 35 They will say, ‘This land was like a desert, but now it is like the Garden of Eden. People now live in the cities that had become heaps of stones. The cities now have strong walls.’ 36 Then the nations that still live around you will see what has happened. They will know that I, the Lord, have mended the broken cities. They will know that I have planted crops again in the fields that were empty. I, the Lord, have said this, and I will do it!”

36:35See Genesis 2:8-9.

37-38 This is what the Almighty Lord says: I will listen to what Israel's people are asking me to do for them. I will allow them to grow in number, like a big crowd of sheep. They will be as many as the sheep that people brought to Jerusalem as offerings at a festival. I will fill the broken cities with crowds of people, as many as those sheep. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’