3 And he said to me: “Son of dust, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.”
2 So I took the scroll.
3 “Eat it all,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted sweet as honey.
4 Then he said: “Son of dust, I am sending you to the people of Israel with my messages. 5 I am not sending you to some far-off foreign land where you can’t understand the language— 6 no, not to tribes with strange, difficult tongues. (If I did, they would listen!) 7 I am sending you to the people of Israel, and they won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard, impudent, and stubborn. 8 But see, I have made you hard and stubborn too—as tough as they are. 9 I have made your forehead as hard as rock. So don’t be afraid of them, or fear their sullen, angry looks, even though they are such rebels.”
10 Then he added: “Son of dust, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first; listen to them carefully for yourself. 11 Then, afterward, go to your people in exile, and whether or not they will listen, tell them: ‘This is what the Lord God says!’”
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and the glory of the Lord began to move away, accompanied by the sound of a great earthquake.[a] 13 It was the noise of the wings of the living beings as they touched against each other, and the sound of their wheels beside them.
14-15 The Spirit lifted me up, and took me away to Tel Abib, another colony of Jewish exiles beside the Chebar River. I went in bitterness and anger,[b] but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. And I sat among them, overwhelmed, for seven days.
16 At the end of the seven days, the Lord said to me:
17 “Son of dust, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel; whenever I send my people a warning, pass it on to them at once. 18 If you refuse to warn the wicked when I want you to tell them, ‘You are under the penalty of death; therefore repent and save your life,’ they will die in their sins, but I will punish you. I will demand your blood for theirs. 19 But if you warn them, and they keep on sinning and refuse to repent, they will die in their sins, but you are blameless—you have done all you could. 20 And if a good man becomes bad, and you refuse to warn him of the consequences, and the Lord destroys him, his previous good deeds won’t help him—he shall die in his sin. But I will hold you responsible for his death and punish you. 21 But if you warn him and he repents, he shall live, and you have saved your own life too.”
22 I was helpless in the hand of God, and when he said to me, “Go out into the valley and I will talk to you there”— 23 I arose and went, and oh, I saw the glory of the Lord there, just as in my first vision! And I fell to the ground on my face.
24 Then the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet. He talked to me and said: “Go, imprison yourself in your house, 25 and I will paralyze you[c] so you can’t leave; 26 and I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you can’t reprove them; for they are rebels. 27 But whenever I give you a message, then I will loosen your tongue and let you speak, and you shall say to them: ‘The Lord God says.’ Let anyone listen who wants to, and let anyone refuse who wants to, for they are rebels.
- Ezekiel 3:12 accompanied by the sound of a great earthquake, literally, “I heard behind me the sound of a great earthquake.”
- Ezekiel 3:14 I went in bitterness and anger, literally, “I went in the heat of my spirit”—not necessarily anger, but indicated here by this reaction.
- Ezekiel 3:25 paralyze you, literally, “lay bands upon you.”
New International Version
3 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.
4 He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them.(C) 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language,(D) but to the people of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you.(E) 7 But the people of Israel are not willing to listen(F) to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate.(G) 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are.(H) 9 I will make your forehead(I) like the hardest stone, harder than flint.(J) Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.(K)”
10 And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart(L) all the words I speak to you. 11 Go(M) now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’(N) whether they listen or fail to listen.(O)”
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up,(P) and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where it was standing.[a] 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures(Q) brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound.(R) 14 The Spirit(S) then lifted me up(T) and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord(U) on me. 15 I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River.(V) And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days(W)—deeply distressed.
Ezekiel’s Task as Watchman
16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me:(X) 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman(Y) for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.(Z) 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,(AA)’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.(AB) 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn(AC) from their wickedness(AD) or from their evil ways, they will die(AE) for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.(AF)
20 “Again, when a righteous person turns(AG) from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block(AH) before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.(AI) 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.(AJ)”
22 The hand of the Lord(AK) was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go(AL) out to the plain,(AM) and there I will speak to you.” 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River,(AN) and I fell facedown.(AO)
24 Then the Spirit came into me and raised me(AP) to my feet. He spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house.(AQ) 25 And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people.(AR) 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof(AS) of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious people.(AT) 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’(AU) Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.(AV)