New International Reader's Version

Ezekiel 14

The Lord Judges Those Who Worship Other Gods

1Some of the elders of Israel came to see me. They sat down with me. Then a message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, “Son of man, these men have thought about nothing but other gods. They have fallen into the evil trap of worshiping them. Should I let these men ask me for any advice? Speak to them. Tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “Suppose any of the Israelites think about other gods. And they fall into the evil trap of worshiping them. Then they go to a prophet to ask for advice. If they do, I myself will tell the prophet to answer them in keeping with their worship of many gods. I will win back the hearts of the people of Israel. All of them have deserted me for their other gods.” ’

“So speak to the people of Israel. Tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “Turn away from your sins! Also turn away from your gods. Give up all the evil things you have done. I hate them.

“ ‘ “Suppose any of the Israelites or any outsiders who live in Israel separate themselves from me. And they think about other gods. They fall into the evil trap of worshiping them. Then they go to a prophet to ask me for advice. If they do, I myself will tell the prophet to answer them. I will turn against them. I will make an example out of them. People will talk about the bad things that happen to them. I will remove them from you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

“ ‘ “Suppose that prophet is stirred up to give a prophecy. Then I am the one who has stirred him up. And I will reach out my powerful hand against him. I will destroy him from among my people Israel. 10 The prophet will be as much to blame as the one who asks him for advice. Both of them will be guilty. 11 Then the people of Israel will no longer wander away from me. And they will not make themselves ‘unclean’ anymore with their many sins. They will be my people. And I will be their God,” ’ announces the Lord and King.”

Jerusalem Can’t Escape the Lord’s Judgment

12 A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, 13 “Son of man, suppose the people in a certain country sin against me. And they are not faithful to me. So I reach out my powerful hand against them. I cut off their food supply. I make them very hungry. I kill them and their animals. 14 And suppose Noah, Daniel and Job were in that country. Then these three men could save only themselves by doing what is right,” announces the Lord and King.

15 “Or suppose I send wild animals through that country. And they kill all its children. It becomes a dry and empty desert. No one can pass through it because of the animals. 16 And suppose these three men were in that country. Then they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved. But the land would become a dry and empty desert. And that is just as sure as I am alive,” announces the Lord and King.

17 “Or suppose I send swords to kill the people in that country. And I say, ‘Let swords sweep all through the land.’ And I kill its people and their animals. 18 And suppose these three men were in that country. Then they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved. And that is just as sure as I am alive,” announces the Lord and King.

19 “Or suppose I send a plague into that land. And I pour out my great anger on it by spilling blood. I kill its people and their animals. 20 And suppose Noah, Daniel and Job were in that land. Then they could not save their own sons or daughters. They could save only themselves by doing what is right. And that is just as sure as I am alive,” announces the Lord and King.

21 The Lord and King says, “It will get much worse. I will punish Jerusalem in four horrible ways. There will be war, hunger, wild animals and plague. They will destroy the people and their animals. 22 But some people will be left alive. Some children will be brought out of the city. They will come to you. You will see how they act and the way they live. And you will be comforted in spite of all the trouble I brought on Jerusalem. 23 You will be comforted when you see how they act and the way they live. Then you will know that I did not do anything there without a reason,” announces the Lord and King.