The march of exiles
1The word of the LORD came to me: 212.2: Mk 8.18.“Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not; 3for they are a rebellious house. Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight; you shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though12.3 Or will see that they are a rebellious house. 4You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile; and you shall go forth yourself at evening in their sight, as men do who must go into exile. 5Dig through the wall in their sight, and go12.5 Gk Syr Vg Tg: Heb bring out through it. 6In their sight you shall lift the baggage upon your shoulder, and carry it out in the dark; you shall cover your face, that you may not see the land; for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel.”
7And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands; I went forth in the dark, carrying my outfit upon my shoulder in their sight.
8In the morning the word of the LORD came to me: 9“Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ 10Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.’12.10 Heb in the midst of them 11Say, ‘I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them; they shall go into exile, into captivity.’ 12And the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage upon his shoulder in the dark, and shall go forth; he12.12 Gk Syr: Heb they shall dig through the wall and go12.12 Gk Syr Tg: Heb bring out through it; he shall cover his face, that he may not see the land with his eyes. 13And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare; and I will bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chalde'ans, yet he shall not see it; and he shall die there. 14And I will scatter toward every wind all who are round about him, his helpers12.14 Gk Syr Tg: Heb his help and all his troops; and I will unsheathe the sword after them. 15And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries. 16But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, that they may confess all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the LORD.”
17Moreover the word of the LORD came to me: 18“Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink water with trembling and with fearfulness; 19and say of the people of the land, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with fearfulness, and drink water in dismay, because their land will be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it. 20And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
21And the word of the LORD came to me: 22“Son of man, what is this proverb that you have about the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to naught’? 23Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.’ But say to them, The days are at hand, and the fulfilment12.23 Heb word of every vision. 24For there shall be no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25But I the LORD will speak the word which I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, says the Lord GOD.”
26Again the word of the LORD came to me: 27“Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days hence, and he prophesies of times far off.’ 28Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word which I speak will be performed, says the Lord GOD.”
Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, 1957 and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.