The Bible – Old Testament
1 In the seventh year, on the tenth day of the fifth month, some of the elders of Israel came to consult the LORD and sat down before me.
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, speak with the elders of Israel and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD: Have you come to consult me? As I live! I swear I will not allow myself to be consulted by you, says the Lord GOD.
Will you judge them? Will you judge, son of man? Make known to them the abominations of their ancestors
in these words: Thus speaks the Lord GOD: The day I chose Israel, I swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob; in the land of Egypt I revealed myself to them and swore: I am the LORD, your God.
That day I swore to bring them out of the land of Egypt to the land I had scouted for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, a jewel among all lands.
Then I said to them: Throw away, each of you, the detestable things that have held your eyes; do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD, your God.
But they rebelled against me and refused to listen to me; none of them threw away the detestable things that had held their eyes, they did not abandon the idols of Egypt. Then I thought of pouring out my fury on them and spending my anger on them there in the land of Egypt;
but I acted for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they were, in whose presence I had made myself known to them, revealing that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt.
Therefore I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the desert.
Then I gave them my statutes and made known to them my ordinances, which everyone must keep, to have life through them.
I also gave them my sabbaths to be a sign between me and them, to show that it was I, the LORD, who made them holy.
But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the desert. They did not observe my statutes, and they despised my ordinances that bring life to those who keep them. My sabbaths, too, they desecrated grievously. Then I thought of pouring out my fury on them in the desert to put an end to them,
but I acted for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose presence I had brought them out.
Nevertheless I swore to them in the desert not to bring them to the land I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, a jewel among all lands.
So much were their hearts devoted to their idols, they had not lived by my statutes, but despised my ordinances and desecrated my sabbaths.
But I looked on them with pity, not wanting to destroy them, so I did not put an end to them in the desert.
Then I said to their children in the desert: Do not observe the statutes of your parents or keep their ordinances; do not defile yourselves with their idols.
I am the LORD, your God: observe my statutes and be careful to keep my ordinances;
keep holy my sabbaths, as a sign between me and you to show that I am the LORD, your God.
But their children rebelled against me: they did not observe my statutes or keep my ordinances that bring life to those who observe them, and my sabbaths they desecrated. Then I thought of pouring out my fury on them, of spending my anger on them in the desert;
but I stayed my hand, acting for my name’s sake, lest it be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose presence I brought them out.
Nevertheless I swore to them in the desert that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them over foreign lands;
for they did not keep my ordinances, but despised my statutes and desecrated my sabbaths, with eyes only for the idols of their fathers.
2 Therefore I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances through which they could not live.
I let them become defiled by their gifts, by their immolation of every first-born, so as to make them an object of horror.
Therefore speak to the house of Israel, son of man, and tell them: Thus says the Lord GOD: In this way also your fathers blasphemed me, breaking faith with me:
when I had brought them to the land I had sworn to give them, and they saw all its high hills and leafy trees, there they offered their sacrifices (there they brought their offensive offerings), there they sent up appeasing odors, and there they poured out their libations.
I asked them: To what sort of high place do you betake yourselves? – and so they call it a high place even to the present day.
Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord GOD: Will you defile yourselves like your fathers? Will you lust after their detestable idols?
By offering your gifts, by making your children pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols even to this day. Shall I let myself be consulted by you, house of Israel? As I live! says the Lord GOD: I swear I will not let myself be consulted by you.
What you are thinking of shall never happen: “We shall be like the nations, like the peoples of foreign lands, serving wood and stone.”
As I live, says the Lord GOD, with a mighty hand and outstretched arm, with poured-out wrath, I swear I will be king over you!
With a mighty hand and outstretched arm, with poured-out wrath, I will bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries over which you are scattered;
3 then I will lead you to the desert of the peoples, where I will enter into judgment with you face to face.
Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you, says the Lord GOD.
I will count you with the staff and bring back but a small number.
I will separate from you those who have rebelled and transgressed against me; from the land where they sojourned as aliens I will bring them out, but they shall not return to the land of Israel. Thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
As for you, house of Israel, thus says the Lord GOD: Come, each one of you, destroy your idols! Then listen to me, and never again profane my holy name with your gifts and your idols.
For on my holy mountain, on the mountain height of Israel, says the Lord GOD, there the whole house of Israel without exception shall worship me; there I will accept them, and there I will claim your tributes and the first fruits of your offerings, and all that you dedicate.
As a pleasing odor I will accept you, when I have brought you from among the nations and gathered you out of the countries over which you were scattered; and by means of you I will manifest my holiness in the sight of the nations.
Thus you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you back to the land of Israel, the land which I swore to give to your fathers.
There you shall recall your conduct and all the deeds by which you defiled yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves because of all the evil things you did.
And you shall know that I am the LORD when I deal with you thus, for my name’s sake, and not according to your evil conduct and corrupt actions, O house of Israel, says the Lord GOD.
1  The seventh year, on the tenth day of the fifth month: August 14, 591 B.C.
2 [25-26] I gave them statutes that were not good: the Lord permitted them to adopt pagan practices, including the abominable sacrifice of their newborn infants, which could only merit their destruction. See note on ⇒ Ezekiel 14:9.
3 [35-38] Exile in the pagan lands will serve the same purpose as the desert journey after the Exodus from Egypt: the rebellious will be eliminated, and only a remnant will survive.