Ezekiel 20

Ezekiel 20

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25 I gave them over to worthless customs and laws that would not lead to life.

26 I let them pollute themselves with the very gifts I had given them, and I allowed them to give their firstborn children as offerings to their gods--so I might devastate them and show them that I alone am the LORD.

27 "Therefore, son of man, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD: Your ancestors continued to blaspheme and betray me,

28 for when I brought them into the land I had promised them, they offered sacrifices and incense on every high hill and under every green tree they saw! They roused my fury as they offered up sacrifices to their gods. They brought their perfumes and incense and poured out their drink offerings to them!

29 I said to them, `What is this high place where you are going?' (This idol shrine has been called Bamah--`high place'--ever since.)

30 "Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD: Do you plan to pollute yourselves just as your ancestors did? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshiping detestable idols?

31 For when you offer gifts to them and give your little children to be burned as sacrifices,* you continue to pollute yourselves to this day. Should I listen to you or help you, O people of Israel? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I will not give you a message even though you have come to me requesting one.1

32 "You say, `We want to be like the nations all around us, who serve idols of wood and stone.' But what you have in mind will never happen.

33 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I will rule you with an iron fist in great anger and with awesome power.

34 With might and fury I will bring you out from the lands where you are scattered.

35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will judge you face to face.

36 I will judge you there just as I did your ancestors in the wilderness after bringing them out of Egypt, says the Sovereign LORD.

37 I will count you carefully and hold you to the terms of the covenant.

38 I will purge you of all those who rebel and sin against me. I will bring them out of the countries where they are in exile, but they will never enter the land of Israel. And when that happens, you will know that I am the LORD.

39 "As for you, O people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: If you insist, go right ahead and worship your idols, but then don't turn around and bring gifts to me. Such desecration of my holy name must stop!

40 For on my holy mountain, says the Sovereign LORD, the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them. There I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices.

41 When I bring you home from exile, you will be as pleasing to me as an offering of perfumed incense. And I will display my holiness in you as all the nations watch.

42 Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised your ancestors, you will know that I am the LORD.

43 You will look back at all your sins and hate yourselves because of the evil you have done.

44 You will know that I am the LORD, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness, says the Sovereign LORD."

45 Then this message came to me from the LORD:

46 "Son of man, look toward the south* and speak out against it; prophesy against the fields of the Negev.2

47 Give the southern wilderness this message from the Sovereign LORD: Hear the word of the LORD! I will set you on fire, O forest, and every tree will be burned--green and dry trees alike. The terrible flames will not be quenched; they will scorch everything from south to north.

48 And all the world will see that I, the LORD, have set this fire. It will not be put out."

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1: Or and make your little children pass through the fire.

2: Hebrew Teman.

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

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