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Ezekiel: Chapter 20

God refuses to be consulted by the elders of Israel, 1-3. He shows the story of their rebellions in Egypt, 4-9, in the wilderness, 10-26, and in the land, 27-32. He promises to gather them by the Gospel, 33-44. Under the name of a forest he shows the destruction of Jerusalem, 45-49.

1 And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that some of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me. 2 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 3 "Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Have you come to inquire of me? As I live," says the Lord GOD, "I will not be inquired of by you."' 4 Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers, 5 And say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up my hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up my hand to them, saying, 'I am the LORD your God,' 6 In the day that I lifted up my hand to them, to bring them forth from the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, 7 I said to them, 'Every one of you cast away the abominations of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.' 8 But they rebelled against me, and would not listen to me. They did not each cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said that I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 But I wrought for my name's sake, so that it should not be profaned before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known to them, in bringing them forth from the land of Egypt. 10 Therefore, I caused them to go forth from the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which if a man does, he shall even live in them. 12 Moreover, I also gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, so that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man does, he shall even live in them, and they greatly profaned my sabbaths. Then I said that I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14 But I wrought for my name's sake, so that it should not be profaned before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. 15 Yet I also lifted up my hand to them in the wilderness, so that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, 16 Because they despised my judgments, and did not walk in my statutes, but profaned my sabbaths, for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless, my eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.

18 "But I said to their children in the wilderness, 'Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the LORD your God. Walk in my statutes, keep my judgments, and do them, 20 And hallow my sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between me and you, so that you may know that I am the LORD your God.' 21 But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes, or keep my judgments to do them, which if a man does, he shall even live in them. They profaned my sabbaths. Then I said that I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 Nevertheless, I withdrew my hand, and wrought for my name's sake, so that it should not be profaned in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth. 23 I lifted up my hand to them also in the wilderness, so that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries, 24 Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had profaned my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. 25 Therefore, I also gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments by which they should not live. 26 And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused all the first-born to pass through the fire, so that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD."'

27 "Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me. 28 For when I had brought them into the land, for which I lifted up my hand to give it to them, they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered their sacrifices there, and they presented the provocation of their offering there. They also made their sweet savor there, and poured out their drink-offerings there. 29 Then I said to them, 'What is the high place to which you go?' And its name is called Bamah to this day."' 30 Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Are you polluted after the manner of your fathers? And do you commit lewd deeds after their abominations? 31 For when you offer your gifts, when you make your sons to pass through the fire, you pollute yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," says the Lord GOD, "I will not be inquired of by you. 32 And that which comes into your mind shall not be at all, when you say, 'We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.'

33 "As I live," says the Lord GOD, "surely with a mighty hand, and with an out-stretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. 34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an out-stretched arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there I will plead with you face to face. 36 As I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead with you," says the Lord GOD. 37 "And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD.

39 "As for you, O house of Israel," thus says the Lord GOD: "Go, each of you serve his idols, and hereafter also, if you will not listen to me. But profane my holy name no longer with your gifts, and with your idols. 40 For on my holy mountain, on the mountain of the height of Israel," says the Lord GOD, "there all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, shall serve me. There I will accept them, and there I will require your offerings, and the first fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. 41 I will accept you with your sweet savor, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries in which you have been scattered. And I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. 42 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I lifted up my hand to give it to your fathers. 43 And there you shall remember your ways, and all your doings in which you have been defiled. And you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, and not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel," says the Lord GOD.'"

45 Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 46 "Son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop your word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field, 47 And say to the forest of the south, 'Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you, and every dry tree. The flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. 48 And all flesh shall see that I, the LORD, have kindled it. It shall not be quenched."'" 49 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! They say of me, 'Does he not speak parables?'"