1 Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, 2 “Son of man, you live among rebellious people—they always turn against me. They have eyes to see ˻the things I have done for them˼. But they don’t see those things. They have ears to hear ˻the things I told them to do˼. But they don’t hear my commands. Why? Because they are a rebellious people. 3 So, Son of man, pack your bags. Act like you are going to a faraway country. Do this so the people can see you. Maybe they will see you—but they are a very rebellious people. 4 “During the day, take your bags outside so the people can see you. Then in the evening, act like you are going away like a prisoner to a faraway country. 5 While the people are watching, make a hole in the wall and go out through that hole in the wall. 6 At night, put your bag on your shoulder and leave. Cover your face so you can’t see where you are going. You must do these things so the people can see you. Why? Because I am using you as an example to the family of Israel.” 7 So I ˻(Ezekiel)˼ did as I was commanded. During the day, I took my bags and acted like I was going to a faraway country. That evening I used my hands and made a hole in the wall. During the night I put my bag on my shoulder and left. I did this so all the people could see me. 8 The next morning, the word of the Lord came to me. He said, 9 “Son of man, did those rebellious people of Israel ask you what you were doing? 10 Tell them that the Lord their Master said these things. This sad message is about the leader of Jerusalem and all the people of Israel living there. 11 Tell them, 'I ˻(Ezekiel)˼ am an example for all you people. The things I have done will really happen to you.’ You really will be forced to go to a faraway country as prisoners. 12 And your leader will make a hole in the wall and sneak out at night. He will cover his face ˻so people won’t recognize him˼. His eyes won’t be able to see where he is going. 13 ˻He will try to escape.˼ But I ˻(God)˼ will catch him! He will be caught in my trap. And I will bring him to Babylonia—the land of the Chaldean people. But he will not be able to see where he is going. ˻The enemy will poke out his eyes and make him blind.˼ 14 I will force the king’s people to live in the foreign countries around Israel. And I will scatter his army to the winds. And the enemy soldiers will chase after them. 15 Then those people will know that I am the Lord. They will know that I scattered them among the nations. They will know that I forced them to go to other countries. 16 “But I will let a few of the people live. They won’t die from the disease, hunger, and war. I will let those people live so they can tell other people about the terrible things they did against me. And then they will know that I am the Lord.” 17 Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, 18 “Son of man, you must act like you are very scared. You must shake when you eat your food. You must act worried and afraid when you drink your water. 19 You must tell these things to the common people. You must say, 'The Lord our Master says these things to the people living in Jerusalem and in the other parts of Israel. You people will be very worried while you eat your food. You will be terrified while you drink your water. Why? Because all the things in your country will be destroyed! The enemy will be very cruel to all the people living there. 20 Many people live in your cities now—but those cities will be ruined. Your whole country will be destroyed! Then you will know that I am the Lord.” 21 Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, 22 “Son of man, why do people say this poem about the land of Israel: Trouble won’t come soon, the visions won’t happen. 23 “Tell those people that the Lord their Master will stop that poem. They won’t say those things about Israel any more. Now they will say this poem: Trouble will come soon, the visions will happen. 24 “It is true, there won’t be any more false visions in Israel. There won’t be any more magicians telling things that don’t come true. 25 Why? Because I am the Lord. And I will say what I want to say, and that thing will happen! And I won’t let the time stretch out. Those troubles are coming soon—in your own lifetime. You rebellious people, when I say something, I make it happen.” The Lord my Master said those things. 26 Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, 27 “Son of man, the people of Israel think that the visions I give you are for a time far in the future. They think you are talking about things that will happen many, many years from now. 28 So you must tell them these things, 'The Lord my Master says: I won’t delay any longer. If I say something will happen, then it will happen!’” The Lord my Master said those things.