Ezekiel 22

1The word of the Lord came to me. He said, 2“Son of man, will you judge the city of murderers ˻(Jerusalem)˼? Will you tell her about all the terrible things she has done? 3You must say, 'The Lord my Master says this: The city is full of murderers. So her time of punishment will come! She made filthy idols for herself. And those idols made her filthy! 4“'People of Jerusalem, you killed many people. You made filthy idols. You are guilty, and the time has come to punish you. Your end has come. Other nations will make fun of you. Those countries will laugh at you. 5People far and near will make fun of you. You have ruined your name. You can hear the loud laughter. 6“'Look! In Jerusalem, every ruler of Israel made himself strong so he could kill other people. 7People in Jerusalem don’t respect their parents. They hurt foreigners in that city. They cheat orphans and widows in that place. 8You people hate my holy things. You treat my special days of rest like they are not important. 9People in Jerusalem tell lies about other people. They do this to kill those innocent people. People go to the mountains ˻to worship false gods˼ and then come to Jerusalem to eat ˻their fellowship meals˼. “'In Jerusalem, people do many sexual sins. 10In Jerusalem, people do sexual sins with their father’s wife. In Jerusalem, men rape women—even during their monthly time of bleeding. 11One man does that terrible sin against his own neighbor’s wife. Another man has sex with his own daughter-in-law and makes her unclean. And another man rapes his father’s daughter—his very own sister. 12“'In Jerusalem, you men take money to kill people. You people lend money and charge interest on those loans. You people cheat their neighbors just to make a little money. And you people have forgotten me.’ The Lord my Master said these things. 13“˻God said,˼ 'Now look! I will slam my hand down and stop you! I will punish you for cheating and killing people. 14Will you be brave then? Will you be strong at the time I come to punish you? No! I am the Lord. I have spoken. And I will do the things I said! 15I will scatter you among the nations. I will force you to go to many countries. I will completely destroy the filthy things in this city. 16But Jerusalem, you will become unclean. And the other nations will see all these things happen. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 17The word of the Lord came to me. He said, 18“Son of man, bronze, iron, lead, and tin are worthless compared to silver. ˻Workers put silver into fire to make it pure. The silver melts and the workers separate it from the waste.˼ The nation of Israel has become like that worthless waste. 19So the Lord and Master says these things, 'All of you people have become like worthless waste. So I will gather you into Jerusalem. 20Workers put silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into a fire. They blow on the fire to make it hotter. Then the metals begin to melt. In the same way, I will put you in my fire and melt you. That fire is my hot anger. 21I will put you in that fire. I will blow on the fire of my anger. And you will begin to melt. 22Silver melts in the fire ˻and workers pour off the silver and save it˼. In the same way, you will melt in the city. Then you will know that I am the Lord. And you will know that I have poured out my anger against you.’” 23The word of the Lord came to me. He said, 24“Son of man, speak to Israel. Tell her that she is not pure. I am angry at that country, so that country has not received its rain. 25The prophets in Jerusalem are making evil plans. They are like a lion—it roars when it begins to eat the animal it caught. Those prophets have destroyed many lives. They have taken many valuable things. They caused many women to become widows in Jerusalem. 26“The priests have really hurt my teachings. They don’t treat my holy things right—they don’t show they are important. They treat holy things just like things that are not holy. They treat clean things just like things that are unclean. They don’t teach the people about these things. They refuse to respect my special days of rest. They treat me like I am not important. 27“The leaders in Jerusalem are like a wolf eating the animal it has caught. Those leaders attack and kill people just to get rich. 28“The prophets ˻don’t warn the people—they cover up the truth. They are like workers that don’t really fix a wall˼—they only put plaster over the holes. They only see lies. They do their magic to learn the future, but they only tell lies. They say, 'The Lord my Master said these things.’ But they are only lying—the Lord did not speak to them! 29“The common people take advantage of each other. They cheat and steal from each other. They get rich by taking advantage of poor helpless beggars. And they really cheat the foreigners-they are not fair to them at all! 30“I asked the people to ˻change their lives and˼ protect their country. I asked people to fix the walls. I wanted them to stand by those holes in the wall and fight to protect their city. But no person came to help! 31So I will show them my anger—I will completely destroy them! I will punish them for the bad things they have done. It is all their fault!” The Lord my Master said these things.

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