1The LORD said, “Ezekiel, son of man, after you eat this scroll, go and speak to the people of Israel.”3.1-3: Rev 10.9,10.
2-3He handed me the scroll and said, “Eat this and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate the scroll, and it tasted sweet as honey.
4The LORD said:
Ezekiel, I am sending you to your own people. 5-6They are Israelites, not strangers who speak a foreign language you can't understand. If I were to send you to foreign nations, they would listen to you. 7But the people of Israel will refuse to listen, because they have refused to listen to me. All of them are stubborn and hard-headed, 8so I will make you as stubborn as they are. 9You will be so determined to speak my message that nothing will stop you. I will make you hard like a diamond, and you'll have no reason to be afraid of those arrogant rebels.
10Listen carefully to everything I say and then think about it. 11Then go to the people who were brought here to Babylonia with you and tell them you have a message from me, the LORD God. Do this, whether they listen to you or not.
12The Spirit3.12 The Spirit: Or “A wind”. lifted me up, and as the glory of the LORD started to leave,3.12 as the glory of the LORD started to leave: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. I heard a loud, thundering noise behind me. 13It was the sound made by the creatures' wings as they brushed against each other, and by the rumble of the wheels beside them. 14Then the Spirit carried me away.
The LORD's power had taken complete control of me, and I was both annoyed and angry.
15When I was back with the others living at Abib Hill near the River Chebar, I sat among them for seven days, shocked at what had happened to me.
The LORD appoints Ezekiel to stand watch
16Seven days after I had seen the brightness of the LORD's glory, the LORD said:
17Ezekiel, son of man, I have appointed you to stand watch for the people of Israel. So listen to what I say, then warn them for me. 18When I tell wicked people they will die because of their sins, you must warn them to turn from their sinful ways so they won't be punished. If you refuse, you are responsible for their death. 19However, if you do warn them, and they keep on sinning, they will die because of their sins, and you will be innocent.
20Now suppose faithful people start sinning, and I decide to put stumbling blocks in their paths to make them fall. They deserve to die because of their sins. So if you refuse to warn them, I will forget about the times they were faithful, and I will hold you responsible for their death. 21But if you do warn them, and they listen to you and stop sinning, I will let them live. And you will be innocent.
Ezekiel cannot talk
22The LORD took control of me and said, “Stand up! Go into the valley, and I will talk with you there.”
23I immediately went to the valley, where I saw the brightness of the LORD's glory, just as I had seen near the River Chebar, and I bowed with my face to the ground. 24His Spirit took control of me and lifted me to my feet. Then the LORD said:
Go back and lock yourself in your house! 25You will be tied up to keep you inside, 26and I will make you unable to talk or to warn those who have rebelled against me. 27But the time will come, when I will tell you what to say, and you will again be able to speak my message.3.27 again…speak my message: See 33.21,22. Some of them will listen; others will be stubborn and refuse to listen.
Contemporary English Version (CEV) is copyright © American Bible Society. Psalms and Proverbs © 1991, 1992; New Testament © 1991, 1992, 1995; Old Testament © 1995; translation notes, subject headings for text © 1995; Anglicisations © The British and Foreign Bible Society 1997, 2012.