Jerusalem had become like dross to the LORD God. Ezekiel prophecies the cause of judgment; the means of judgment; and the recipients of judgment.
VERSE 1. Moreover the LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 2. “You, son of man, will you judge? Will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations.
VERSE 3. You shall say, ‘The Lord GOD says: “A city that sheds blood within herself, that her time may come, and that makes idols against herself to defile her!
VERSE 4. You have become guilty in your blood that you have shed, and are defiled in your idols which you have made! You have caused your days to draw near, and have come even to your years. Therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the countries.
VERSE 5. Those who are near, and those who are far from you, will mock you, you infamous one, full of tumult.
full of tumult. That is, “your great perversity” (NAB translation).
VERSE 6. “ ‘ “Behold, the princes of Israel, everyone according to his power, have been in you to shed blood.
NIV translation. See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood.
the princes. In those days, the leader was a prince.
In our day, the leaders of Catholic denominations are called the Princes of the Church.
uses his power to shed blood. In those days, the princes were utterly corrupt. They used they position for personal gain. If somebody arose who was a threat, the princes had that person executed.
VERSE 7. In you have they treated father and mother with contempt. Among you they have oppressed the foreigner. In you they have wronged the fatherless and the widow.
VERSE 8. You have despised my holy things, and have profaned my Sabbaths.
VERSE 9. Slanderous men have been in you to shed blood. In you they have eaten on the mountains. They have committed lewdness among you.
VERSE 10. In you have they uncovered their fathers’ nakedness. In you have they humbled her who was unclean in her impurity.
VERSE 11. One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife; and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law. Another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter.
defiled his daughter-in-law. What does the Bible say about human sexuality and nakedness? Here are all the verses we found in the Book of Ezekiel.
with his neighbor’s wife. What does the Book of Ezekiel say about women? Here are all the verses we found in the Book of Ezekiel that mention a woman.
VERSE 12. In you have they taken bribes to shed blood. You have taken interest and increase, and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by oppression, and have forgotten me,” says the Lord GOD.
VERSE 13. “ ‘ “Behold, therefore I have struck my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been within you.
VERSE 14. Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I will deal with you? I, the LORD, have spoken it, and will do it.
VERSE 15. I will scatter you among the nations, and disperse you through the countries. I will consume your filthiness out of you.
VERSE 16. You will be profaned in yourself, in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the LORD.” ’ ”
VERSE 17. The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 18. “Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me. All of them are bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the middle of the furnace. They are the dross of silver.
Israel has become dross to me. Dross is scum that forms on the surface of molten metal.
VERSE 19. Therefore the Lord GOD says: ‘Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the middle of Jerusalem.
VERSE 20. As they gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the middle of the furnace, to blow the fire on it, to melt it; so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will lay you there, and melt you.
VERSE 21. Yes, I will gather you, and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you will be melted in the middle of it.
VERSE 22. As silver is melted in the middle of the furnace, so you will be melted in the middle of it; and you will know that I, the LORD, have poured out my wrath on you.’ ”
VERSE 23. The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 24. “Son of man, tell her, ‘You are a land that is not cleansed, nor rained on in the day of indignation.’
VERSE 25. There is a conspiracy of her prophets within it, like a roaring lion ravening the prey. They have devoured souls. They take treasure and precious things. They have made many widows within it.
NIV translation. There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her.
a conspiracy of her princes within her. In our day, this behavior continues. It is known that Catholic bishops conspire against the victims of clergy sex abuse.
they devour people. In our day, Catholic bishops rage against the victims of clergy sex abuse.
VERSE 26. Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hidden their eyes from my Sabbaths. So I am profaned among them.
VERSE 27. Her princes within it are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, that they may get dishonest gain.
VERSE 28. Her prophets have plastered for them with whitewash, seeing false visions, and divining lies to them, saying, ‘The Lord GOD says,’ when the LORD has not spoken.
NAB translation. Her prophets cover them with whitewash, pretending to visions that are false and performing lying divinations, saying “Thus says the LORD GOD,” although the LORD has not spoken.
prophets cover them with whitewash. False prophets had taken over the religion. But now Ezekiel is calling them out.
pretending to visions. When somebody says, “I’ve had a vision from God,” it is hard to disagree. However, most people just pretend to have a vision.
VERSE 29. The people of the land have used oppression and exercised robbery. Yes, they have troubled the poor and needy, and have oppressed the foreigner wrongfully.
VERSE 30. “I sought for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.
NAB translation. I have searched among them for someone who could build a wall or stand in the breach before me to keep me from destroying the land; but I found none.
someone who could build a wall. It is easy to tear something down. Just look at all the politicians who tear down their opponent. But it is very difficult to build something up.
The LORD God looks for people who can build something up.
Has God called you to build something up?
stand in the breach. Who will stand before God and pray for these people?
The LORD God searches for someone willing to do that. All it would take is just one. But no one steps forward.
What has God placed upon your heart? Who or what might God be trying to inspire you to intercede for? Go ahead. Take it up. Pray. Don’t be afraid.
VERSE 31. Therefore I have poured out my indignation on them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have brought their own way on their heads,” says the Lord GOD.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.