New International Reader's Version
The Lord Judges Jerusalem for Its Sins
22 A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said,
2 “Son of man, are you going to judge Jerusalem? Will you judge this city that has so many murderers in it? Then tell its people they have done many evil things. I hate those things. 3 Tell them, ‘The Lord and King says, “Your city brings death on itself. You spill blood inside its walls. You make yourselves ‘unclean’ by making statues of gods. 4 You are guilty of spilling blood. Your statues have made you ‘unclean.’ You have brought your days to a close. The end of your years has come. So the nations will make fun of you. All the countries will laugh at you. 5 Those who are near you will tell jokes about you. So will those who are far away. Trouble fills the streets of your sinful city.
6 “ ‘ “The princes of Israel are in your city. All of them use their power to spill blood. 7 They have made fun of fathers and mothers alike. They have crushed outsiders. They have treated badly the children whose fathers have died. They have done the same thing to widows. 8 You have looked down on the holy things that were set apart to me. You have misused my Sabbath days. 9 You have spread lies about others so you can spill someone’s blood. You eat at the mountain temples. You commit impure acts. 10 You bring shame on your fathers by having sex with their wives. You have sex with women during their monthly period. That is when they are ‘unclean.’ 11 One of you has sex with another man’s wife. I hate that sin. Another brings shame on his daughter-in-law by having sex with her. Still another has sex with his sister, even though she is his own father’s daughter. 12 You accept money from people who want special favors. You do this to spill someone’s blood. You charge interest to poor people when you lend them money. You make money from them. You get rich by cheating your neighbors. And you have forgotten me,” announces the Lord and King.
13 “ ‘ “I will clap my hands because I am so angry. You got rich by cheating others. You spilled blood inside the walls of your city. 14 Will you be brave on the day I deal with you? Will you be strong at that time? I have spoken. I will do this. I am the Lord. 15 I will scatter you among the nations. I will send you to other countries. I will put an end to your ‘uncleanness.’ 16 You will be ‘unclean’ in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
17 A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, 18 “Son of man, the people of Israel have become like scum to me. All of them are like the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace. They are only the scum that is removed from silver.” 19 So the Lord and King says, “People of Israel, all of you have become like scum. So I will gather you together in Jerusalem. 20 People put silver, copper, iron, lead and tin into a furnace. They melt it with a blazing fire. In the same way, I will gather you. I will pour out my burning anger on you. I will put you inside the city and melt you. 21 I will gather you together. My burning anger will blaze out at you. And you will be melted inside Jerusalem. 22 Silver is melted in a furnace. And you will be melted inside the city. Then you will know that I have poured out my burning anger on you. I am the Lord.”
23 Another message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, 24 “Son of man, speak to the land. Tell it, ‘You have not been washed clean with rain. That’s because I am angry with you.’ 25 Ezekiel, the princes of the land are like a roaring lion that tears its food apart. They eat people up. They take treasures and other valuable things. They cause many women in the land to become widows. 26 Its priests break my law. They treat things set apart to me as if they were not holy. They treat holy and common things as if they were the same. They teach that there is no difference between things that are ‘clean’ and things that are not. They refuse to keep my Sabbath days. So they treat me as if I were not holy. 27 The officials in the land are like wolves that tear their food apart. They spill blood and kill people to get rich. 28 The prophets cover up these acts for them. The visions of these prophets are false. They use magic to try to find out what is going to happen. But their magic tricks are lies. They say, ‘The Lord and King says.’ But I have not spoken to them. 29 The people of the land get rich by cheating others. They steal. They crush those who are poor and in need. They treat outsiders badly. They refuse to be fair to them.
30 “I looked for someone among them who would stand up for Jerusalem. I tried to find someone who would pray to me for the land. Then I would not have to destroy it. But I could not find anyone who would pray for it. 31 So I will pour out my anger on its people. I will destroy them because of my great anger against them. And anything that happens to them will be their own fault,” announces the Lord and King.