Ezekiel 14

1Some of the elders of Israel came to me. They sat down to talk with me. 2The word of the Lord came to me. He said, 3“Son of man, these men came to talk to you. ˻They wanted you to ask me for advice.˼ But these men still have their filthy idols. They kept the things that made them sin. They still worship those statues. So why do they come to me for advice? Should I answer their questions? No! 4But I will give them an answer. ˻I will punish them!˼ You must tell those people these things. 'The Lord my Master says: If any Israelite comes to a prophet and asks me for advice, then ˻the prophet won’t give that person an answer˼. I myself will answer that person’s question. I will answer him even if he still has his filthy idols, even if he kept the things that made him sin, and even if he still worships those statues. I will speak to him in spite of all his filthy idols. 5Why? Because I want to touch their heart. I want to show them I love them, even though they left me for their filthy idols.’ 6“So tell the family of Israel these things. Tell them, 'The Lord my Master says: Come back ˻to me˼ and leave your filthy idols. Turn away from those terrible false gods. 7If any Israelite or foreigner living in Israel comes to me for advice, I will give him an answer. I will answer him even if he still has his filthy idols and even if he kept the things that made him sin and even if he worships those statues. And this is the answer I will give him: 8I will turn against that person. I will destroy him. He will be an example to other people. People will laugh at him. I will remove him from my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord! 9And if a prophet is foolish enough to give his own answer, then I will show him how foolish he is! I will use my power against him. I will destroy him and remove him from among my people, Israel. 10So, both the person that came for advice and the prophet that gave an answer will get the same punishment. 11Why? So those prophets will stop leading my people away from me. And so my people will stop becoming filthy with their sins. Then they will be my special people. And I will be their God.’” The Lord my Master said those things. 12Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, 13“Son of man, I will punish any nation that leaves me and sins against me. I will stop their food supply. I might cause a time of hunger and remove the people and animals from that country. 14˻I would punish that country˼ even if Noah, Danel, and Job lived there. Those men could save their own lives by their goodness, ˻but they could not save the whole country˼.” The Lord my Master said these things. 15˻God said,˼ “Or, I might send wild animals through that country. And those animals might kill all the people. No person would travel through that country because of the wild animals. 16If Noah, Danel, and Job lived there, ˻then I would save those three good men˼. Those three men could save their own lives. But by my life I promise, they could not save the lives of other people—not even their own sons and daughters! That evil country would be destroyed!” The Lord my Master said these things. 17˻God said,˼ “Or, I might send an enemy army to fight against that country. Those soldiers would destroy that country—I would remove all the people and animals from that country. 18If Noah, Danel, and Job lived there, ˻then I would save those three good men˼. Those three men could save their own lives. But by my life I promise, they could not save the lives of other people—not even their own sons and daughters! That evil country would be destroyed!” The Lord my Master said these things. 19˻God said,˼ “Or, I might send a disease against that country. I will pour my anger down on those people. I will remove all the people and animals from that country. 20If Noah, Danel, and Job lived there, ˻then I would save those three men˼ because they are good men. Those three men could save their own lives. But by my life I promise, they could not save the lives of other people—not even their own sons and daughters!” The Lord my Master said these things. 21Then the Lord my Master said, “So think how bad it will be for Jerusalem: I will send all four of those punishments against that city! I will send enemy soldiers, hunger, disease, and wild animals against that city. I will remove all the people and animals from that country! 22Some of the people will escape from that country. They will bring their sons and daughters and come to you for help. Then you will see how bad those people really are. And you will feel better about all the troubles that I will bring to Jerusalem. 23You will see the way they live and the bad things they do. And then you will know that I had a good reason for punishing those people.” The Lord my Master said these things.

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