New American Standard Bible

Ezekiel 14

Idolatrous Elders Condemned

1Then some elders of Israel came to me and sat down before me. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be consulted by them at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord [a]God, “Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will be brought to give him an answer in [b]the matter in view of the multitude of his idols, in order to lay hold of [c]the hearts of the house of Israel who are [d]estranged from Me through all their idols.”’

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations. For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I the Lord will be brought to answer him in My own person. I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and [e]a proverb, and I will cut him off from among My people. So you will know that I am the Lord.

“But if the prophet is [f]prevailed upon to speak a word, it is I, the Lord, who have [g]prevailed upon that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 They will bear the punishment of their iniquity; as the iniquity of the inquirer is, so the iniquity of the prophet will be, 11 in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Thus they will be My people, and I shall be their God,”’ declares the Lord God.”

The City Will Not Be Spared

12 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 13 “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, [h]destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, 14 even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. 15 “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they [i]depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, 16 though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. 17 Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ 18 even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. 19 Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, 20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

21 For thus says the Lord God, “How much more when I send My four [j]severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it! 22 Yet, behold, [k]survivors will be left in it who will be brought out, both sons and daughters. Behold, they are going to come forth to you and you will see their conduct and actions; then you will be comforted for the calamity which I have brought against Jerusalem for everything which I have brought upon it. 23 Then they will comfort you when you see their conduct and actions, for you will know that I have not done in vain whatever I did [l]to it,” declares the Lord God.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 14:4 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord, and so throughout the ch
  2. Ezekiel 14:4 Lit it
  3. Ezekiel 14:5 Lit their
  4. Ezekiel 14:5 Or all estranged from Me through their idols
  5. Ezekiel 14:8 Lit proverbs
  6. Ezekiel 14:9 Or enticed
  7. Ezekiel 14:9 Or enticed
  8. Ezekiel 14:13 Lit break the staff
  9. Ezekiel 14:15 Lit bereave of children
  10. Ezekiel 14:21 Lit evil
  11. Ezekiel 14:22 Lit escaped ones
  12. Ezekiel 14:23 Or in

The Message

Ezekiel 14

Idols in Their Hearts

11-5 Some of the leaders of Israel approached me and sat down with me. God’s Message came to me: “Son of Man, these people have installed idols in their hearts. They have embraced the wickedness that will ruin them. Why should I even bother with their prayers? Therefore tell them, ‘The Message of God, the Master: All in Israel who install idols in their hearts and embrace the wickedness that will ruin them and still have the gall to come to a prophet, be on notice: I, God, will step in and personally answer them as they come dragging along their mob of idols. I am ready to go to work on the hearts of the house of Israel, all of whom have left me for their idols.’

6-8 “Therefore, say to the house of Israel: ‘God, the Master, says, Repent! Turn your backs on your no-god idols. Turn your backs on all your outrageous obscenities. To every last person from the house of Israel, including any of the resident aliens who live in Israel—all who turn their backs on me and embrace idols, who install the wickedness that will ruin them at the center of their lives and then have the gall to go to the prophet to ask me questions—I, God, will step in and give the answer myself. I’ll oppose those people to their faces, make an example of them—a warning lesson—and get rid of them so you will realize that I am God.

9-11 “‘If a prophet is deceived and tells these idolaters the lies they want to hear, I, God, get blamed for those lies. He won’t get by with it. I’ll grab him by the scruff of the neck and get him out of there. They’ll be equally guilty, the prophet and the one who goes to the prophet, so that the house of Israel will never again wander off my paths and make themselves filthy in their rebellions, but will rather be my people, just as I am their God. Decree of God, the Master.’”

12-14 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, when a country sins against me by living faithlessly and I reach out and destroy its food supply by bringing on a famine, wiping out humans and animals alike, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job—the Big Three—were alive at the time, it wouldn’t do the population any good. Their righteousness would only save their own lives.” Decree of God, the Master.

15-16 “Or, if I make wild animals go through the country so that everyone has to leave and the country becomes wilderness and no one dares enter it anymore because of the wild animals, even if these three men were living there, as sure as I am the living God, neither their sons nor daughters would be rescued, but only those three, and the country would revert to wilderness.

17-18 “Or, if I bring war on that country and give the order, ‘Let the killing begin!’ leaving both people and animals dead, even if those three men were alive at the time, as sure as I am the living God, neither sons nor daughters would be rescued, but only these three.

19-20 “Or, if I visit a deadly disease on that country, pouring out my lethal anger, killing both people and animals, and Noah, Daniel, and Job happened to be alive at the time, as sure as I am the living God, not a son, not a daughter, would be rescued. Only these three would be delivered because of their righteousness.

21-23 “Now then, that’s the picture,” says God, the Master, “once I’ve sent my four catastrophic judgments on Jerusalem—war, famine, wild animals, disease—to kill off people and animals alike. But look! Believe it or not, there’ll be survivors. Some of their sons and daughters will be brought out. When they come out to you and their salvation is right in your face, you’ll see for yourself the life they’ve been saved from. You’ll know that this severe judgment I brought on Jerusalem was worth it, that it had to be. Yes, when you see in detail the kind of lives they’ve been living, you’ll feel much better. You’ll see the reason behind all that I’ve done in Jerusalem.” Decree of God, the Master.