God's Truth

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The Book of the Prophet Ezechiel

From the Hebrew “God strengthens”

(Part Three)

The Seventeenth Chapter
     The word of the Lord came unto me, saying: You son of man: put forth a dark speaking and a parable, unto the house of Israel, And say: Thus says the Lord God: There came a great Eagle with great wings, yes with mighty long wings, full of feathers, of diverse colors, upon the mount of Libanus, and took a branch from a Cedar tree, and break off the top of his twig, and carried it into the land of Canaan, and set it in a city of merchants. He took also a branch of the land, and planted it in a fruitful ground, he brought it unto great waters, and set it as a willow tree thereby. Then did it grow, and was a great vine stock, but low by the ground: thus there came of it a vine, and it brought forth blossoms, and spread out branches. But their was another Eagle, a great one, which had great wings and many feathers: and behold, the roots of this vine had an hunger after him, and spread out his branches toward him, to water his fruits: Nevertheless it was planted upon good ground beside great waters: so that (by reason) it should have brought out branches and fruit, and have been a goodly vine. Speak you therefore, thus says the Lord God: Shall this vine prosper? Shall not his roots be plucked out, his fruit be broken off, his green branches wither and fade away? Yes without strong armies or many people, shall it be plucked up by the roots. Behold, it was planted: shall it prosper therefore. Shall it not be dried up and withered, yes even in the shooting out of its blossoms, as soon as the east wind blows?
     Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me saying: Speak that froward household: Know you not, what these things do signify? Tell them: Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took the King and his Princes, and led them to Babylon.
     He took of the kings seed, and made a covenant with him, and took an oath of him: The Princes of the land toke he with him also, that the land might be held in subjection, and not rebel, but keep the covenant, and fulfill it. But he fell from him, and sent his embassy tours into Egypt that he might have horses and much people. Should that prosper? Should he be kept safe, that does such things? Or should he escape, that breaks his covenant? As truly as I live says the Lord God: He shall die in Babylon, in the place where the King dwells, that made him King: whos oath he has despised, Neither shall Pharaoh with his great host and multitude of people, maintain him in the war: Then they cast up ditches, and set up bulwarks to destroy much people. For seeing he despised the oath, and broken the covenant, (where as he yet give his hand thereupon) and done all these things, he shall not escape.
     Therefore thus says the Lord God: As truly as I live, I will bring mine oath that he has despised, and my covenant that he has broken, upon his own head. I will cast my net about him, and catch him in my yarn. To Babylon will I carry him, there will I punish him, because of the great offense that he made me. As for those that flee from him out of the host, they shall be slayen with the sword. The residue shall be scattered toward all the winds: and you shall know, that I the Lord has spoken it.
     Thus says the Lord God: I will also take a branch from an high Cedar tree, and will set it, and take the uppermost twig, that is yet but tender, and plant it upon an high hill: Namely, upon the high hill of Sion will I plant it: that it may bring forth twigs, and give fruit, and be a great cedar tree: so that all manner of fowls may bide in it, and make their nests under the shadow of his branches.
     And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, and set the low tree up: that I have dried up the green tree, and made the dry tree to flourish: Even I the Lord that speak it, have also brought it to pass.

The Eighteenth Chapter
     The word of the Lord came unto me, on this manner: what mean ye, by this common proverb, that you use in the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the childrens teeth are set on edge? As truly as I live, says the Lord God, you shall use this byword no more in Israel.
     Behold, all souls are mine. Like as the father is mine, so is the son mine also. The soul that sins, shall die. If a man be godly, and do the thing that is equal and right, he eats not upon the hills: he lifts not his eyes up to the Idols of Israel, he defiles not his neighbors wife: he meddles with no menstruous woman: he grieves nobody: he gives his debtor his pledge again , he rakes none other mans goods by violence: he parts his meat with the hungry: he clothes the naked: he lends nothing upon usury: he takes nothing over: he with draws his hand from doing wrong: he handles faithfully between man and man: he walks in my commandments, and keeps my laws, and performs them faithfully: This is a righteous man, he shall surly live says the Lord God.
     If he now get a son, that is a murderer, a shedder of blood: if he do one of these things (though he do not all) he eats upon the hills: he defiled his neighbors wife: he grieves the poor and needy: he robs and spoils: he gives not the debtor his pledge again, he lifts up his eyes unto Idols, and meddle with abominable things: he lends upon usury, and takes moreover. Shall this man live? He shall not live. Seeing he has done all these abominations, he shall die his blood shall be upon him.
     Now if this man get a son also, that sees all his fathers sins, which he has done: and fears, neither do such like: Namely , he eats not upon the mountains: he lifts not up his eyes to the Idols of Israel: he defiles not his neighbors wife: he vexes no man: he keeps no mans pledge, he neither spoils, nor robs any man: he deals his meat with the hungry: he clothes the naked: he oppresses not the poor: he receives no usury, nor anything over: he keeps my laws, and walks in my commandments: this man shall not die in his fathers sin, but shall live without fail. As for his father: because he oppressed and spoiled his brother, and did wickedly among his people: Lo, he is dead in his own sin. And yet say ye: Wherefore then should not the son bear his fathers sin? Therefore shall he live in deed. The same soul that sins, shall die. The son shall not bear the fathers offense. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him self also. But if the ungodly will turn away from all his sins that he has done, and keep all my commandments, and do the thing that is equal and right: doubtless he shall live, and not die. As for all the sins that he did before, they shall not be thought upon: but in his righteousness that he has done, he shall live. For have I any pleasure in the death of a sinner, says the Lord God: but rather that he convert, and live?
     Again: If the righteous turn away from his righteousness, and do iniquity, according to all the abominations, that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness that he has done, shall not be thought upon: but in the fault that he offended withal and in the sin that he has done, he shall die.
     And yet you say: Tush, the way of the Lord is not indifferent. Hear therefore you house of Israel: Is not my way right? Or, are not your ways rather wicked? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and meddles with ungodliness: he must die therein: yes for the unrighteousness that he has done, he must die. Again: when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness, that he has done, and does the thing which is equal and right: he shall save his soul alive. For in so much that he remembers himself, and turns him from all ungodliness that he used, he shall live, and not die.
     And yet says the house of Israel: Tush, the way of the Lord is not equal. Are my ways unright, O you house of Israel: Are not your ways rather unequal? As for me, I will judge every man, according to his ways, O you house of Israel, says the Lord God. Wherefore be converted, and turn you clean from all your wickedness, so shall there no sin do you harm. Cast away from you all your ungodliness, that you have done: make you new hearts and new spirit. Wherefore will you die, O you house of Israel: seeing that I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord God. Turn you then, and you shall live.

The Nineteenth Chapter
     But mourn you for the princes of Israel, and say: Wherefore lay your mother that lioness among lions, and nourished her young ones among the lions whelps? One of her whelps she brought up, and it became a young lion: it likened to spoil, and devoured folk. The heathen heard of him, and took him in their nets, and brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.
     Now when the dame saw, that all her hope and comfort was away, she took another of her whelps, and made lion of him: which went among the lions, and became a fierce lion: learned to spoil, and devoured folk: he devoured their palaces, and made their cities waste. In so much that the whole land and every thing therin, were utterly desolate, through the very voice of his roaring.
     Then came the heathen together on every side out of all countries against him, layed their nets for him, and took him in their pit. So they bound him with chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: which put him in prison, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel. As for your mother, she is like a vine in your blood, planted by the water side: her fruits and branches are grown out of many waters, her stalks were so strong, that men might have made staves thereof for officers: she grew so high in her stalks.
     So when men saw that she exceeded the height and multitude of her branches, she was rooted out in displeasure, and cast down to the ground. The East wind dried up her fruit, her strong stalks were broken off, withered and burnt in the fire. But now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. And there is a fire gone out of her stalks, which has burnt up her branches and her fruit: so that she has no more strong stalks, to be staves for officers. This is a piteous and miserable thing.

The Twentieth Chapter
     In the seventh year, the tenth day of the fifth month, it happened, that certain of the elders of Israel came unto me, for to ask counsel at the Lord, and sat them down by me. Then came the word of the Lord unto me on this manner: You son of man: speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them: Thus says the Lord God: Are you come hither to ask anything at me? As truly as I live, (says the Lord God) I will give you no answer. Will you not reprove them (you son of man) will you not reprove them? Show them the abominations of their fathers: and tell them: Thus says the Lord God: In the day when I chose Israel, and lift up mine hand upon the seed of the house of Jacob, and showed myself unto them in the land of Egypt, Yes when I lift up mine hand over them, and said: I am the Lord your God, even in that day that I lift up mine hand over them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt, into a land that I provided for them, which flowed with milk and honey, and is a pleasant land among all others: Then said I unto them: Cast away every man the abominations that he has before him, and defile not yourselves with the Idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.
     But they rebelled against me, and would not follow me: to cast away every man the abominations of his eyes, and to forsake the Idols of Egypt. Then I made me to pour my indignation over them, and to satisfy my wrath upon them: Yes even in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I would not do it, for my names sake: that it should not be unhallowed before the Heathen, among whom they dwelt, and among whom I showed my self unto them, that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt. Now when I had carried them out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. I gave them my commandments, and showed them my laws: which who so keeps shall live in them. I gave them also my holy days, to be a token between me and them, and thereby to know, that I am the Lord, which hallows them. And yet the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness, they would not walk in my commandments, they have cast away my laws (which whose keeps should live in them) and my Sabbath days have they greatly unhallowed.
     Then I made me to pour out my indignation upon them, and to consume them in the wilderness, Yet I would not do it, for my names sake: least it should be dishonored before the Heathen, from which I had carried them away. But I swore unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land, which I give them: a land that flows with milk and honey, and is a pleasure of all lands: and because they refused my laws, and walked not in my commandments, but had unhallowed my Sabbaths, for their heart was gone after their idols. Nevertheless mine eye spared them, so that I would not utterly slay them, and consume them in the wilderness. Moreover, I said unto their sons in the wilderness: walk not in the statutes of your forefathers, keep not their ordinances, and defile yourselves with their idols, for I am the Lord your God. But walk in my statutes, keep my laws and do them, hallow my Sabbaths: for they are a token between you and me, that you may know how that I am the Lord your God. Notwithstanding, their sons rebelled against me also: they walked not in my statutes, they kept not my laws to fulfill them (which he that does shall live in them) neither hallowed they my Sabbath days. Then I made me to pour out my indignation over them, and to satisfy my wrath upon them in the wilderness. Nevertheless, I withdrew mine hand for my names sake, least it should be unhallowed among the Heathen, before whom I had brought them forth. I lift up mine hand over them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the Heathen, and strew them among the nations: because they had not kept my laws, but cast aside my commandments, unhallowed my Sabbaths, and lift up their eyes to their fathers Idols. Wherefore I also gave them commandments not good, and laws through the which they should not live, and I unhallowed them in their own gifts (when I appointed for my own self all their first born) to make them desolate: that they might know that I am the Lord.
     Therefore (O son of man) tell the house of Israel, thus says the Lord God: Behold all this, your fathers have yet blasphemed me more, and greatly offended against me: For after I had brought them into the land, That I promised to give to them, when they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees: they made their offerings, and provoked me with their oblations, making sweet saviours there, and poured out their drink offerings. Then I ask them, What have you to with all, that you go over there? And therefore it is called the high place unto this day. Wherefore, speak unto the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord God: you are even as unclean as your forefathers, and commit whoredom also with their abominations. In all your idols, where unto you bring your oblations, and to whos honor you burn your children: you defile your selves, even unto this day: how dare you then come , and ask any question at me? O you household of Israel? As truly as I live (says the Lord God) you get no answer of me: and as for the thing that you go about, it shall not come to pass, where as you say: we will be as the Heathen, and do as other people in the land, wood and stone will we worship.
     As truly as I live, says the Lord God, I myself will rule you with a mighty hand, with a stretched out arm, and with indignation poured out over you: and will bring you out of the nations and lands, wherein you are scattered: and gather you together with a mighty hand, with a stretched out arm and with indignation poured out upon you: and will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there I will reason with you face to face. Like as I punished your forefathers in the wilderness, so will I punish you also, says the Lord God. I will bring you under my jurisdiction, and under the bond of the covenant. The forsakers also and the transgressors will I take from among you, and bring them out of the land of your habitations: As for the land of Israel, they shall no come in it: that they may know that I am the Lord.
     Go now then (thus says the Lord God) you house of Israel, cast away, and destroy every man his Idols: then shall you hear me, and no more blaspheme my holy name with your offerings and Idols. But upon my holy hill, even upon the high hill of Israel shall all the house of Israel and all that is in the land, worship me: and in the same place will I savoir them, and there will I require your heave offerings, and the firstlings of your oblations, with all your holy things.
     I will accept your sweet savoir, when I bring you from the nations, and gather you together out of the lands, wherein you be scattered: that I may be hallowed in you before the Heathen. and that you may know, that I am the Lord, which have brought you into the land of Israel: Yes into the same land, that I swore to give to your forefathers. There shall you call to remembrance your own ways and all your imaginations, wherein you have been defiled: and you shall be displeased with your own selves, for all your wickedness, that you have done. And you shall know that I am the Lord: when I entreat you after my name, not after your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt works: O you house of Israel, says the Lord.
     Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying: You son of man, set your face toward the south, and speak to the south wind, and say to the wood toward the south: Hear the word of the Lord, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, that shall consume you green trees with the Dry. No man shall be able to quench his flame, but all that looks from the south to the north shall be burned therein. And all flesh shall see, that I the Lord have kindled it, so that no man shall quench it. Then said I: O' Lord, they will say of me: Tush, they are but fables that he tells.

The Twenty First Chapter
     The word of the Lord came to me, saying: You son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, speak against the Sanctuary, and prophesy against the land of Israel, say to the land of Israel: Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will upon you, and will draw my sword out of the sheath, and root out of you the righteous and the wicked, Seeing then that I will root out of you both the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go out of his sheath against all flesh from the north to the south: that all flesh may know, how that I the Lord, have drawn my sword out of the sheath, and it shall not be put in again.
     Mourn therefore (O you son of man) that your loins crack withal, yes mourn bitterly for them: And if they say, wherefore mourn you? Then tell them: for the tidings that comes, at the which all hearts shall melt, all hands shall be let down, all stomachs shall faint, and all knees shall wax feeble. Behold, it comes, and shall be fulfilled, says the Lord God.
     Again, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying: You son of man, prophesy, saying: Thus says the Lord God: speak, the sword is sharpened and well scoured. Sharpened is it for slaughter, and scoured that it may be bright. O, the destroying staff of my son, shall bring down all wood. He has put his sword to the *dighting, that good hold may be taken of it. This sword is sharpened and *dight, that it may be given into the hand of the man slayer. *dighting=prepared, dressed, made ready
     Cry (O you son of man) and howl, for this sword shall smite my people, and all the rulers of Israel, which with my people shall be slain down to the ground through his sword. Smite you upon your thigh, For wherefor should not the plague and staff of judgement come? Prophesy you son of man, and smite your hands together: make the sword two edged, yes make it three edged, the manslayers sword, that sword of great slaughter, which shall smite them, even in their privy chambers: to make them abashed and faint at the hearts, and in all gates to make some of them fall. O how bright and sharp it is, how will dight and meat for the slaughter. Get you to some place alone, either upon the right hand or the left, wither so ever your face turns. I will smite your hands together also and satisfy my wrothfull indignation: Even I the Lord has said it.
     The word of the Lord came yet unto me again saying: You son of man, make you two streets, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come. Both these streets shall go out of one land. He shall set him up a place, at the head of the street shall he choose him out a corner. Make that a street, that the sword may come toward Kabbath of the Ammonites, and to the strong city of Jerusalem. For the king of Babylon shall stand in the turning of the way, at the head of the two trees: to ask counsel of the soothsayers, casting the lots with his arrows, to ask counsel at the Idols, and to look in the liver. But the soothsaying shall point to the right side upon Jerusalem, that he may set men of war, to smite it with a great noise, to cry out Alarm, to set battle rams against the gates, to grave up ditches, and to make bulwarks.
     Nevertheless, as for the soothsaying, they shall hold it but for vanity, even as though a jest were told them: yes and they themselves remember their wickedness, so that by right they must be taken and womne (won). Therefore says the Lord God: for as much as you yourselves show your offense, and have opened your wickedness, so that in all your works men may see your sins: yes in so much (I say) that you yourselves have made mention thereof you shall be taken by violence.
     O you shameful wicked guide of Israel whose day is come: even the time when wickedness shall have an end: Thus says the Lord God: take away the miser, and put off the crown, and so is it away: the humble is exalted, and the proud brought low. Punish, punish, yes punish them will I, and destroy them: and that shall not be fulfilled till he come, to whom the judgement belongs, and to whom I have given it. And you (O son of man) prophecy, and speak: Thus says the Lord God to the children of Ammon, and to their blaspheme, speak you: The sword, the sword is drawn forth already to slaughter, and scoured that it glitters (because you have looked out vanities, and prophesied lies) that it may come upon your neck, like as upon the other ungodly, which be slain: whose day came, when their wickedness was full.
     Though it were put up again into the sheath, yet will I punish you, in the land where you was nourished and born, and pour my indignation upon you and will blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and deliver you unto evil people, which are learned to destroy. You shall feed the fire and your blood shall be shed in the land, that you may be put out of remembrance. Even I the Lord have spoken it.

The Twenty Second Chapter
     Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, and said: you son of man, will not reprove this blood thirsty city? Show them their abominations, and tell them: Thus says the Lord God: O you city, that sheds blood in the midst of you, that your time may come also: and make the Idols to defile you withal. You have made your self guilty in the blood that you have shed, and defiled you in the Idols, which you have made. You have caused your days to draw nye, and made the time of your years to come. Therefore will I make you to be confounded among the heathen, and to be defiled in all the lands, whether they be near or far from you: they shall laugh you to scorn, you that have gotten you so foul a name, and are full of mischief. Behold, the rulers of Israel have brought every man his power, to shed blood in you. In you have they despised father and mother, in you have they oppressed the stranger, in you have they vexed the widow and the fatherless. You have despised my Sanctuary, and unhallowed my sabbath. Murders are there in you, that shed blood, and eat upon the hills, and in you they use unhappiness.
     In you have they discovered their fathers shame, in you have they vexed women in their sickness. Every man has dealt shamefully with his neighbors wife, and abominably defiled his daughter in law. In that has every man forced his own sister, even his fathers daughter. Yes gifts have been received in you, to shed blood. You have taken usury and increase, and you have oppressed your neighbors by extortion, and forgotten me, says the Lord God. Behold, I have smitten my hands upon your covetousness, that you have used, and upon the blood which has been in you. Is your heart able to endure it, or may your hands defend themselves, in the time that I shall bring upon you? Even I the Lord that speak it, will bring it also to pass. I will scatter you among the heathen, and strew you about in the lands, and will cause your filthiness to cease out of you. Yes and I will have you in possession in the sight of the Heathen, that you may know that I am the Lord.
     And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying: You son of man, the house of Israel is turned to *dross. All they that should be brass, tin, iron, and lead, are in the fire become dross. Therefore, thus says the Lord God: for as much as you have all turned into dross, behold: I will bring you together unto Jerusalem, like as silver, and brass, iron, tin, and lead, are put together in the furnace and the fire blown there under to melt them: Even so I will gather you, put you in together, and melt you in my wrath and indignation. I will bring you together, and kindle the fire of my cruel displeasure under you, that you may be melted therein.
*dross = waste product formed during the firing of metal to make it soft (molten)
     Like as silver is melted in the fire, so shall you also be melted therein: that you may know, how that I the Lord have poured my wrath upon you.
     And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying: You son of man, tell her: You are an unclean land, which is not rained upon in the day of the cruel wrath: your Prophets that are in you, are sworn together to devour souls, like as a roaring Lion, that lives by his prey. They receive riches and good, and make many widows in you. your priests break my law, and defile my Sanctuary. They put no difference between the holy and unholy, neither discern between the clean and the unclean: they turn their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am unhallowed among you. your rulers in you are like raving wolves, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, for their own *covetous lucre. As for your Prophets, they daub with untempered clay, they see vanities, and prophecy lies unto you, saying: the Lord God says so, where as the Lord has not spoken. The people in the land uses wicked extortion and robbery. They vex the poor and needy and oppress the stranger against right. And I sought the land for a man, that would make up the hedge, and set himself in the gap before me in the lands behalf, that I should not utterly destroy it: but I could find none. Therefore will I poured out my cruel displeasure upon them, and burn them in the fire of my wrath: their own ways will I recompense upon their heads says the Lord God. *covetous lucre= unearned profit, unjust gain, and/ or gain (profit) acquired by violence and or usury (Heb) RN


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