Ezekiel 36

1“Son of man, speak to the mountains of Israel for me. Tell the mountains of Israel to listen to the word of the Lord! 2Tell them that the Lord and Master says these things, 'The enemy said bad things against you. They said: Hurrah! Now the ancient mountains will be ours!’ 3“So speak to the mountains of Israel for me. Tell them that the Lord and Master says these things, 'The enemy destroyed your cities and attacked you from every direction. They did this so you would belong to the other nations. Then people talked and whispered about you.’” 4So, mountains of Israel, listen to the word of the Lord my Master! The Lord my Master says this to the mountains, hills, streams, valleys, empty ruins, and abandoned cities that have been looted and laughed at by the other nations around them. 5The Lord my Master says, “I swear ˻(promise)˼, I will let my strong feelings speak for me! I will let Edom and the other nations feel my anger. Those nations took my land for themselves. They really had a good time when they showed how much they hated this land. They took the land for themselves just so they could destroy it!” 6“So, say these things about the land of Israel. Speak to the mountains and to the hills, to the streams and to the valleys. Tell them that the Lord and Master says these things, 'I will let my strong feelings and anger speak for me. Why? Because you had to suffer the insults from those nations.’” 7So the Lord my Master says these things, “I am the One making this promise! I swear that the nations around you will have to suffer for those insults. 8“But mountains of Israel, you will grow new trees and produce fruit for my people Israel. My people will soon come back. 9I am with you. I will help you. People will till your soil. People will plant seeds in you. 10There will be many, many people living on you. The whole family of Israel—all of them—will live there. The cities will have people living in them. The destroyed places will be built like new. 11I will give you many people and animals. And they will grow and have many children. I will bring people to live on you like in the past. I will make it better for you than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 12Yes, I will lead many people—my people, Israel—to your land. You will be their property. And you won’t take away their children again.” 13The Lord my Master says these things, “Land of Israel, people say bad things to you. They say you destroyed your people. They say you took the children away from your people. 14But you won’t destroy people any more. You won’t take away their children again.” The Lord my Master said those things. 15“I won’t let those other nations insult you any more. You won’t be hurt by those people any more. You won’t take the children away from your people again.” The Lord my Master said those things. 16Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, 17“Son of man, the family of Israel lived in their own country. But they made that land filthy by the bad things they did. To me, they were like a woman that becomes unclean because of her monthly time of bleeding. 18They spilled blood on the ground when they murdered people in that land. They made the land filthy with their idols. So I showed them how angry I was. 19I scattered them among the nations and spread them through all the lands. I gave them the punishment they should have for the bad things they did. 20But even in those other nations they ruined my good name. How? Those nations said, 'These are the Lord’s people, but they left his land. ˻So there must be something wrong with the Lord!˼’ 21“The people of Israel ruined my holy name in the places where the went. And I felt sorry for my name. 22So tell the family of Israel that the Lord and Master says these things, 'Family of Israel, you ruined my holy name in the places where you went. I am going to do something to stop this. I won’t do it for your sake, Israel. I will do it for my holy name. 23I will show those nations that my great name is truly holy. You ruined my good name in those nations! But I will show you that I am holy. I will make you respect my name. And then those nations will know that I am the Lord.’” The Lord my Master said those things. 24˻God said,˼ “I will take you out of those nations, gather you together, and bring you back to your own land. 25Then I will sprinkle pure water on you and make you pure. I will wash away all your filth. I will wash away the filth from those nasty idols and make you pure.” 26˻God said,˼ “I will also put a new spirit in you ˻and change your way of thinking˼. I will take out the heart of stone from your body and give you a tender, human heart. 27And I will put my Spirit inside you. I will change you so you will obey my laws. You will carefully obey my commands. 28Then you will live in the land that I gave to your ancestors. You will be my people, and I will be your God.” 29˻God said,˼ “Also, I will save you and keep you from becoming unclean. I will command the grain to grow. I won’t bring a time of hunger against you. 30I will give you large crops of fruit from your trees and the harvest from your fields so you will never again feel the shame of being hungry in a foreign country. 31You will remember the bad things you did. You will remember that those things were not good. Then you will hate yourselves because of your sins and the terrible things you did.” 32The Lord my Master says, “I want you to remember this: I am not doing these things for your good! ˻I am doing them for my good name!˼ Family of Israel, you should be ashamed and embarrassed about the way you lived!” 33The Lord my Master says these things, “On the day that I wash away your sins, I will bring people back to your cities. Those ruined cities will be built again. 34People will again begin to work the land so when other people pass by they won’t see ruins any more. 35They will say, 'In the past, this land was ruined. But now it is like the garden of Eden. The cities were destroyed. They were ruined and empty. But now they are protected, and there are people living in them.’” 36˻God said,˼ “Then those nations that are still around you will know I am the Lord and that I built those ruined places again. I planted things in this land that was empty. I am the Lord. I said these things, and I will make them happen!” 37The Lord my Master says these things, “I will also let the family of Israel come to me and ask me to do these things for them. I will make them grow and become many, many people. They will be like flocks of sheep. 38During the special festivals, Jerusalem is filled with flocks of sheep and goats that have been made holy. In the same way, the cities and ruined places will be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

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