Ezequiel 20

1 And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that certain men of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and they sat down before me.

2 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

3 Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus hath said the Lord Eternal, Is it to inquire of me that ye are coming? as I live, I will not let myself be inquired of by you, saith the Lord Eternal.

4 Wilt thou take them to task, wilt thou take them to task, son of man? then cause them to know the abominations of their fathers;

5 And say unto them, Thus hath said the Lord Eternal, On the day when I made choice of Israel, I lifted up my hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and I made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt: and I lifted up my hand unto them, saying, I am the Lord your God.

6 On the same day I lifted up my hand unto them, to bring them forth from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is an ornament among all the countries.

7 And I said unto them, Cast ye away every one of the abominations of his eyes, and on the idols of Egypt shall ye not defile yourselves: I am the Lord your God.

8 But they rebelled against me, and they would not hearken unto me; they did not cast away every one the abominations of their eyes, and the idols of Egypt did they not forsake: and I thought then to pour out my fury over them, to let out all my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.

9 But I acted for the sake of my name, so as not to profane it before the eyes of the nations, in the midst of whom they were; because I had made myself known unto them before their eyes, to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt.

10 I therefore caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.

11 And I gave them my statutes, and my ordinances made I known to them, which a man is to do, that he may live through them.

12 And also my sabbaths gave I unto them, to be as a sign between me and between them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctify them.

13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness; in my statutes they walked not, and my ordinances they despised, which a man is to do, that he may live through them; and my sabbaths they greatly profaned: and I then thought to pour out my fury over them in the wilderness, to make an end of them.

14 But I acted for the sake of my name, so as not to profane it before the eyes of the nations, before whose eyes I had brought them forth.

15 Yet did I also lift up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is an ornament among all the countries.

16 Because my ordinances they had despised, and in my statutes they had not walked, and my sabbaths they had profaned; for after their idols did their heart go.

17 Nevertheless my eye looked pityingly on them, so as not to destroy them, and I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.

18 And I said unto their children in the wilderness, In the statutes of your fathers shall ye not walk, and their ordinances shall ye not keep, and on their idols shall ye not defile yourselves.

19 I am the Lord your God: in my statutes must ye walk, and my ordinances must ye keep, and do them;

20 And my sabbaths must ye sanctify; and they shall be as a sign between me and between you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.

21 Nevertheless the children rebelled against me; in my statutes did they not walk, and my ordinances they kept not to do them, which a man is to do, that he may live through them; my sabbaths they profaned: and I then thought to pour out my fury over them, to let out all my anger against them in the wilderness.

22 But I withdrew my hand, and acted for the sake of my name, so as not to profane it before the eyes of the nations, before whose eyes I had brought them forth.

23 I also lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the nations, and disperse them through the countries;

24 Because my ordinances they had not executed, and my statutes they had despised, and my sabbaths they had profaned, and after the idols of their fathers their eyes were directed.

25 And I also let them follow statutes that were not good, and ordinances whereby they could not live;

26 And I let them be defiled through their gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, in order that I might destroy them, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord.

27 Therefore, speak unto the house of Israel, O son of man, and say unto them, Thus hath said the Lord Eternal, Yet in this too did your fathers blaspheme me, by their committing a trespass against me:

28 When I had brought them into the land, for which I had lifted up my hand to give it to them, they saw every high hill, and all the thick–branched trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and presented there their provoking offerings, and they brought there their sweet savor, and poured out there their drink–offerings.

29 Then said I unto them, What is this high–place whereunto ye go? And its name was called "The height" until this day.

30 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus hath said the Lord Eternal, Ha! do you pollute yourselves after the manner of your fathers; and after their abominations do ye go astray?

31 And when ye offer up your gifts, when ye make your sons pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even until this day: and I should allow myself to be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord Eternal, I will not let myself be inquired of by you.

32 And that which cometh up into your mind shall not at all come to pass, namely, that ye say, We will be like the nations, like the families of the other countries, to serve wood and stone.

33 As I live, saith the Lord Eternal, surely, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:

34 And I will bring you out from the people, and I will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with my fury poured out.

35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and I will hold judgment over you there, face to face.

36 As I held judgment over your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I hold judgment over you, saith the Lord Eternal.

37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant;

38 And I will separate from you those that have rebelled, and those that have transgressed against me: out of the country where they sojourn will I cause them to go forth, but into the land of Israel shall not one of them enter; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus hath said the Lord Eternal, Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me; but my holy name do not profane any more with your gifts, and with your idols.

40 For on my holy mountain, on the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord Eternal, there shall serve me all the house of Israel, altogether, in the land: there will I accept them in favor, and there will I require your heave–offerings, and the first–fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.

41 With your sweet savor will I accept you in favor, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered: and I will be sanctified through you before the eyes of the nations.

42 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I have lifted up my hand to give it to your fathers.

43 And ye shall remember there your ways, and all your doings, whereby ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves, because of all your evil deeds that ye have committed.

44 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for the sake of my name, not in accordance with your wicked ways, and in accordance with your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord Eternal.

45 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

46 Son of man, set thy face in the direction toward the south, and preach toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the field in the south.

47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the Lord, Thus hath said the Lord Eternal, Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour in thee every green tree, and every dry tree: the glowing flame shall not be quenched, and there shall be burnt therein all faces from the south to the north.

48 And all flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.

49 Then said I, Ah Lord Eternal! they say of me, Behold, he speaketh but in parables!