Ezekiel 24

1The word of the Lord my Master came to me. This was on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year ˻of exile˼. He said, 2“Son of man, write today’s date and this note: 'On this date the army of the king of Babylon surrounded Jerusalem.’ 3Tell this story to the family that refuses to obey ˻(Israel)˼. Tell them these things, 'The Lord my Master says this: “'Put the pot on the fire. Put on the pot and pour in the water. 4Put in the pieces of meat. Put in every good piece, the thighs and the shoulders. Fill the pot with the best bones. 5Use the best animals in the flock. Pile the wood under the pot. And boil the pieces of meat. Boil the soup until even the bones are cooked!’ 6“So the Lord my Master says these things: 'It will be bad for ˻Jerusalem˼. It will be bad for that city of murderers. Jerusalem is like a pot with rust on it. And those spots of rust can’t be removed! ˻That pot is not clean, so you must˼ take every piece of meat out of the pot! ˻Don’t eat that meat!˼ And don’t let ˻the priests˼ choose any ˻of that ruined meat˼. 7Jerusalem is like a pot with rust on it. Why? Because the blood from the murders is still there! She put the blood on the bare rock! She did not pour the blood on the ground and cover it with dirt. 8I put her blood on the bare rock, so it would not be covered. I did this so people would get angry and punish her for killing innocent people.’ 9“So the Lord my Master says these things: 'It will be bad for that city of murderers! I will pile up plenty of wood for the fire. 10Put plenty of wood ˻under the pot˼. Light the fire. Cook the meat well done! Mix in the spices. And let the bones be burned up. 11Then let the pot stand empty on the coals. Let it become so hot that its stains begin to glow. Those stains will be melted away. The rust will be destroyed. 12“'˻Jerusalem˼ might work hard to scrub away her stains. But that 'rust’ won’t go away! Only fire ˻(punishment)˼ will remove that rust! 13“'You sinned against me and became stained with sin. I wanted to wash you and make you clean. But the stains would not come out. I won’t try washing you again until my hot anger is finished with you! 14“'I am the Lord. I said your punishment would come, and I will make it happen. I won’t hold back the punishment. I won’t feel sorry for you. I will punish you for the bad things you did.’ The Lord my Master said those things.” 15Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, 16“Son of man, you love your wife very much, but I am going to take her away from you. Your wife will die suddenly. But you must not show your sadness. You must not cry loudly. You will cry and your tears will fall, 17but you must make your sad sounds quietly. Don’t cry out loud for your dead wife. ˻You must wear the clothes you normally wear.˼ Wear your turban and your shoes. Don’t cover your mustache ˻to show your sadness˼. And don’t eat the food people normally eat when a person dies.” 18The next morning I told the people what God had said. That evening, my wife died. The next morning I did the things God commanded. 19Then the people said to me, “Why are you doing these things? What does it mean?” 20Then I said to them, “The word of the Lord came to me. He told me 21to speak to the family of Israel. The Lord my Master said, 'Look, I will destroy my holy place. You are proud of that place and sing songs of praise about it. You love to see that place. You really love that place. ˻But I will destroy that place˼ and your children that you left behind will be killed in battle. 22But you will do the same things that I have done ˻about my dead wife˼. You won’t cover your mustache ˻to show your sadness˼. You won’t eat the food people normally eat when a person dies. 23You will wear your turbans and your shoes. You won’t show your sadness. You won’t cry. But you will be wasting away because of your sins. You will make your sad sounds quietly to each other. 24So Ezekiel is an example for you. You will do all the same things he did. That time of punishment will come. And then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 25- 26“Son of man, I will take away that safe place ˻(Jerusalem)˼ from the people. That beautiful place makes them happy. They love to see that place. They really love that place. But at that time, I will take that city and their children away from these people. One of the survivors will come to you with the bad news about Jerusalem. 27At that time, you will be able to speak to that person. You won’t be silent any more. In this way, you will be an example for them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

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