Ezekiel 12

Ezekiel 12

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1 Again a message came to me from the LORD:

2 "Son of man, you live among rebels who could see the truth if they wanted to, but they don't want to. They could hear me if they would listen, but they won't listen because they are rebellious.

3 So now put on a demonstration to show them what it will be like to go off into exile. Pack whatever you can carry on your back and leave your home to go on a journey. Make your preparations in broad daylight so the people can see you, for perhaps they will even yet consider what this means, even though they are such rebels.

4 Bring your baggage outside during the day so they can watch you. Then as they are watching, leave your house in the evening, just as captives do when they begin a long march to distant lands.

5 Dig a hole through the wall while they are watching and carry your possessions out through it.

6 As they watch, lift your pack to your shoulders and walk away into the night. Cover your face and don't look around. All of these actions will be a sign for the people of Israel."

7 So I did as I was told. In broad daylight I brought my pack outside, filled with the things I might carry into exile. Then in the evening while the people looked on, I dug through the wall with my hands and went out into the darkness with my pack on my shoulder.

8 The next morning this message came to me from the LORD:

9 "Son of man, these rebels, the people of Israel, have asked you what all this means.

10 Say to them, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: These actions contain a message for Zedekiah in Jerusalem* and for all the people of Israel.'1

11 Then explain that your actions are a demonstration of what will soon happen to them, for they will be driven from their homes and sent away into exile.

12 "Even Zedekiah will leave Jerusalem at night through a hole in the wall, taking only what he can carry with him. He will cover his face, and his eyes will never see his homeland again.

13 Then I will spread out my net and capture him in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Babylonians,* though he will never see it, and he will die there.2

14 I will scatter his servants and guards to the four winds and send the sword after them.

15 And when I scatter them among the nations, they will know that I am the LORD.

16 But I will spare a few of them from death by war, famine, or disease, so they can confess to their captors about how wicked they have been. Then they will know that I am the LORD!"

17 Then this message came to me from the LORD:

18 "Son of man, tremble as you eat your food. Drink your water with fear, as if it were your last.

19 Give the people this message from the Sovereign LORD concerning those living in Israel and Jerusalem: They will eat their food with trembling and sip their tiny portions of water in utter despair, because their land will be stripped bare on account of their violence.

20 The cities will be destroyed and the farmland deserted. Then you will know that I am the LORD."

21 Again a message came to me from the LORD:

22 "Son of man, what is that proverb they quote in Israel: `Time passes, making a liar of every prophet'?

23 Give the people this message from the Sovereign LORD: I will put an end to this proverb, and you will soon stop quoting it. Now give them this new proverb to replace the old one: `The time has come for every prophecy to be fulfilled!'

24 "Then you will see what becomes of all the false visions and misleading predictions about peace in Israel.

25 For I am the LORD! What I threaten always happens. There will be no more delays, you rebels of Israel! I will fulfill my threat of destruction in your own lifetime, says the Sovereign LORD."

26 Then this message came to me from the LORD:

27 "Son of man, the people of Israel are saying, `His visions won't come true for a long, long time.'

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1: Hebrew the prince in Jerusalem; also in 12:12.

2: Or Chaldeans.

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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