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24 One day late in December of the ninth year (of King Jehoiachin’s captivity), another message came to me from the Lord.

“Son of dust,” he said, “write down this date, for today the king of Babylon has attacked Jerusalem. And now give this parable to these rebels, Israel; tell them, ‘The Lord God says: Put a pot of water on the fire to boil. Fill it with choicest mutton, the rump and shoulder and all the most tender cuts. Use only the best sheep from the flock, and heap fuel on the fire beneath the pot. Boil the meat well, until the flesh falls off the bones.’”

For the Lord God says: “Woe to Jerusalem, City of Murderers; you are a pot that is pitted with rust and with wickedness. So take out the meat chunk by chunk in whatever order it comes—for none is better than any other.[a] For her wickedness is evident to all—she boldly murders, leaving blood upon the rocks in open view for all to see; she does not even try to cover it. And I have left it there, uncovered, to shout to me against her and arouse my wrath and vengeance.

“Woe to Jerusalem, City of Murderers. I will pile on the fuel beneath her. 10 Heap on the wood; let the fire roar and the pot boil. Cook the meat well, and then empty the pot and burn the bones. 11 Now set it empty on the coals to scorch away the rust and corruption. 12 But all for naught—it all remains despite the hottest fire. 13 It is the rust and corruption of your filthy lewdness, of worshiping your idols. And now, because I wanted to cleanse you and you refused, remain filthy until my fury has accomplished all its terrors upon you! 14 I, the Lord, have spoken it; it shall come to pass and I will do it.”

15 Again a message came to me from the Lord, saying:

16 “Son of dust, I am going to take away your lovely wife. Suddenly, she will die. Yet you must show no sorrow. Do not weep; let there be no tears. 17 You may sigh, but only quietly. Let there be no wailing at her grave; don’t bare your head nor feet, and don’t accept the food brought to you by consoling friends.”

18 I proclaimed this to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did all the Lord had told me to.

19 Then the people said: “What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?”

20-21 And I answered, “The Lord told me to say to the people of Israel: ‘I will destroy my lovely, beautiful Temple, the strength of your nation. And your sons and daughters in Judea will be slaughtered by the sword. 22 And you will do as I have done; you may not mourn in public or console yourself by eating the food brought to you by sympathetic friends. 23 Your head and feet shall not be bared; you shall not mourn or weep. But you will sorrow to one another for your sins and mourn privately for all the evil you have done. 24 Ezekiel is an example to you,’ the Lord God says. ‘You will do as he has done. And when that time comes, then you will know I am the Lord.’”

25 “Son of dust, on the day I finish taking from them in Jerusalem the joy of their hearts and their glory and joys—their wives and their sons and their daughters— 26 on that day a refugee from Jerusalem will start on a journey to come to you in Babylon to tell you what has happened. 27 And on the day of his arrival, your voice will suddenly return to you so that you can talk with him; and you will be a symbol for these people, and they shall know I am the Lord.”


  1. Ezekiel 24:6 for none is better than any other, literally, “for no lot has fallen upon it.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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