Ezekiel 20, 21
1 Again it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that men from the elders of the house of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and they sat before me. 2 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,” says the Lord, “I will not answer your inquiries.’ ” 4 Shall I utterly take vengeance on them, son of man? Testify to them concerning the lawlessness of their fathers.
5 “You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “From the day I chose Israel and made Myself known to the seed of the house of Jacob, and to those in the land of Egypt, and helped them with My hand, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God’— 6 in that day I helped them with My hand to lead them from the land of Egypt into the land I prepared for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land more abundant than all other lands. 7 I said to them, ‘Let each of you cast away the abominations before his eyes, and not defile yourselves with the practices of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’ 8 But they fell away from Me and were unwilling to obey Me. They did not cast away the abominations before their eyes, nor abandon the practices of Egypt. Then I said I would pour out My anger and accomplish My wrath among them in the land of Egypt. 9 So I acted that My name would not at all be desecrated in the sight of the nations in the midst of whom they were, and among whom I made Myself known in their sight, to lead them out of Egypt.
10 “I brought them out of Egypt and led them into the desert. 11 I gave them My ordinances and made known My requirements to them, which if a man will do them, he shall live by them. 12 I also gave them My Sabbaths as a sign between Me and them, so they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 I said to the house of Israel in the desert, ‘You shall walk in my ordinances.’ But they did not walk in them, and they rejected my requirements, which if a man will do them, he shall live by them; and they desecrated my Sabbaths exceedingly. Thus I said I would pour out My anger upon them in the wilderness, to utterly destroy them. 14 So I acted that My name might not be at all desecrated before the nations before whose eyes I brought them out. 15 I swore an oath against them in the desert that I would no longer bring them into the land I gave them, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land sweeter than all other lands, 16 because they rejected My requirements and did not walk in My ordinances; instead, they desecrated My Sabbaths and walked after the inventions of their hearts. 17 Nevertheless My eye spared them from utter destruction, and I did not make an end to them in the wilderness.
18 “But I said to their children in the desert, ‘Do not walk in the customs of your fathers, nor observe their requirements, nor have fellowship with their practices, nor defile yourself with them. 19 I am the Lord your God. Walk in My ordinances, keep My requirements and do them. 20 Sanctify My Sabbaths, and let them be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ 21 But they rebelled against me, along with their children. They did not walk in My ordinances or keep My requirements, which if a man will do them, he shall live by them; and they desecrated My Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out My wrath upon them in the desert, to accomplish My wrath against them. 22 But I did this so My name would not be desecrated in the sight of the nations before whose eyes I brought them out. 23 Thus I swore an oath against them in the desert, that I might scatter them among the nations and disperse them in the countries, 24 because they did not keep My requirements and rejected My ordinances. They desecrated My Sabbaths, and their eyes went after the inventions of their fathers. 25 Therefore I gave them ordinances that were not good, and requirements in which they should not live. 26 I will defile them by their gifts, when I pass through upon everyone that opens the womb, that I may destroy them.’ ”
27 “Therefore speak to the house of Israel, son of man, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Up to this point, your fathers provoked Me by the transgressions they committed against Me. 28 But I led them into the land I swore with an oath to give them, and they saw every high hill and every shade tree. There they sacrificed to their gods; and there they appointed fragrant offerings and poured out their drink offerings. 29 Then I said to them, ‘What is this high place you go to?’ So they call its name Bamah, to this day.’ ” 30 Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Do you defile yourselves with the lawlessness of your fathers, and commit fornication after their abominations? 31 You defile yourselves in the first fruits of your gifts with all your inventions to this very day. Shall I answer you, O house of Israel? As I live,” says the Lord, “I will not answer you, nor will an answer occur to your spirit; 32 for it will not be as you say, ‘We will be like the nations and like the tribes of the earth, to worship trees and stones.’
33 “Therefore, as I live,” says the Lord, “I will reign over you with a mighty hand, with a high arm, and with anger poured out. 34 I shall lead you out from the peoples and will receive you from the countries where you were scattered, with a mighty hand, with a high arm, and with anger poured out. 35 I shall bring you into the desert of the peoples and will judge you face to face. 36 As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I shall judge you,” says the Lord. 37 “I will make you pass under my scepter and bring you in by number. 38 I will select the ungodly from among you, and those who revolted; for I shall lead them out of their sojourning, and they will not enter the land of Israel. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
39 “As for you, O house of Israel,” thus says the Lord and Master: “Each of you put away your practices, and after this, if you listen to Me, you will no longer desecrate My holy name with your gifts and practices. 40 For upon My holy mountain, the high mountain,” says the Lord and Master, “there all the house of Israel will serve Me to the end; and there I shall receive you, and look upon the first fruits of your offerings, together with all your holy objects. 41 I shall receive you as a fragrant aroma when I lead you out from the peoples, and receive you from the countries where you were scattered; and I shall be sanctified among you before the eyes of the peoples. 42 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I lead you into the land of Israel, into the land I swore by an oath to give your fathers. 43 There you will remember all your ways and practices which defiled you; and you shall bewail yourselves for all your evil. 44 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you in the way, that My name be not desecrated according to your evil ways and corrupt practices,” says the Lord.’ ”
Fire in the Woods
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Teman, and look against Darom, and prophesy against the forest which leads to Nageb. 3 You will say to the forest of Nageb, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord and Master: “Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green wood and every dry wood in you. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and every face from north to south shall be burned up by it. 4 All flesh shall know that I, the Lord, kindled it, and it shall not be quenched.” ’ ” 5 Then I said, “By no means, O Lord and Master. They say to me, ‘This is a parable, is it not?’ ”
The Sword of the Lord
6 So the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 7 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and set your face against Jerusalem, and look against the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel. 8 You shall say to the land of Israel, ‘Behold, I am against you, and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and destroy both the unrighteous man and the lawless man from among you. 9 Because I will destroy both the unrighteous man and the lawless man from among you, thus My sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from north to south, 10 and all flesh will know that I, the Lord, have drawn My sword out of its sheath; and it shall not return anymore.’ 11 As for you, son of man, groan with a breaking heart, and sigh with bitterness before their eyes. 12 It will be, if they say to you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ that you shall say, ‘Because of the news, for it is coming. Every heart will be oppressed, all hands will be feeble, all flesh and every spirit will faint, and every thigh will be stained with urine. Behold, it is coming and will be,’ says the Lord and Master.”
13 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 14 “Son of man, prophesy and you will say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Say, ‘O sword, sword, be sharpened and furious, 15 that you may slay victims. Be sharpened, that you may be glistening and ready for destruction. Despise and reject every tree.’ 16 So he made it ready for his hand to hold. The sword is sharpened and ready to put in the hand of the slayer.’ ”
17 “Cry out and wail, son of man, for this sword is come among My people; this sword is come among all the leaders of Israel. They shall be as strangers because of the sword that is come among My people; therefore, clap your hands, 18 because it is justified; and what if even the tribe is rejected? It shall not be,” says the Lord and Master.
19 “So you, son of man, prophesy, and clap your hands, and take a second sword. The third is the sword of the slain, the great sword of the slain. It will amaze them, 20 that the heart may be oppressed, and the weak multiplied at every gate of theirs. They are handed over for slaughter by the sword, a sword well suited for slaughter, a sword well suited for glistening. 21 Pass through and strike from the right and from the left, wherever your face may set itself. 22 I also will clap My hands together and let go My anger. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
The Sword of the King of Babylon
23 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 24 “So you, son of man, order two roads for yourself, for the sword of the king of Babylon to enter. The two roads will go forth from one region. There shall be a force at the top of the way leading to the city. 25 You shall order for a sword to enter against Rabbath of the children of Ammon, against Judah and against Jerusalem in its midst. 26 For the king of Babylon will stand at the ancient road, at the fork of the two roads, to practice divination by casting a stick, consulting the graven images, and inspecting the liver for soothsaying. 27 The divination against Jerusalem has come to pass—to set up barricades, to open the mouth with shouting, to lift up the voice with great shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, and to build engines of war. 28 He will be to them as one who practices divination before them, and he will bring their wrongdoings to remembrance.
29 “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Because you caused your wrongdoings to be remembered in the revelation of your ungodliness, that your sins should be seen in all your ungodliness and ways of living—because you caused remembrance of them—you shall be taken captive. 30 Now you, O godless and lawless leader of Israel, whose day has come, whose end of wrongdoing has come at the proper time, 31 thus says the Lord: “You removed the turban and put on the crown; another will not follow. You humbled what was high and exalted what was low. 32 I will reckon it as wrongdoing, wrongdoing! Another shall not follow it until He comes whose right it is, and I will deliver it to Him.’ ”
A Sword for Ammon
33 “As for you, son of man, prophesy, and you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord to the sons of Ammon and to their shame,’ and you shall say, ‘O sword, sword, drawn for slaughter and for an end; arise, that you may glisten. 34 While you are seeing a worthless vision, and while you are prophesying falsehood, and while you are handing over the necks of wounded and lawless men whose day has come, whose end of wrongdoing has come at the proper time, 35 turn back, and do not lodge in this place in which you were born, for I will judge you in your own land. 36 I will pour out My wrath upon you; I will breathe upon you with the fire of My wrath, and deliver you into the hands of barbarians, skilled in working destruction. 37 You will be fuel for the fire; your blood will be in the midst of your land. There will be no remembrance of you; for I the Lord have spoken.’ ”
Praise the name of the Lord,
O you servants; praise the Lord,
2 You who stand in the house of the Lord,
In the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
Sing to His name, for it is good;
4 For the Lord chose Jacob for Himself,
Israel for His special treasure.
5 For I know the Lord is great,
And our Lord is above all the gods.
6 All things whatsoever the Lord willed, He did,
In heaven and on the earth,
In the seas and in all deep places,
7 Bringing clouds from the furthest part of the earth;
He made lightning for the rain,
Bringing winds from His storehouses.
8 He struck the firstborn of Egypt,
From man to cattle;
9 He sent forth signs and wonders in your midst, O Egypt,
Among Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He struck many nations
And destroyed mighty kings,
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
And Og king of Bashan,
And all the kingdoms of Canaan;
12 And He gave their land as an inheritance,
An inheritance for Israel His people.
21 He who works his own land shall be satisfied with bread,
But he who pursues leisure shall be filled with poverty.
22 A trustworthy man shall be blessed in many things,
But an evil man shall not go unpunished.
23 He who does not respect righteous people is not good;
Such a man will sell another for a morsel of bread.
24 An envious man hastens to be rich,
But does not know that a merciful man shall have the mastery over him.
25 He who reproves a man’s ways
Shall have more grace than he who flatters him.
1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
3 “and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.
4 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
5 “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
6 “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’
The Persecuted Church
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,
‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:
9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’
The Compromising Church
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
14 “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
15 “Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’
The Corrupt Church
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
20 “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 “And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 “I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.
25 “But hold fast what you have till I come.
26 “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father;
28 “and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’