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Ezequiel 33

1 Jehovah continued to speak to me:

2 »Son of man, speak to your people. Tell them: ‘Suppose I bring war on this country and the people of this country choose one of their men and make him their watchman.

3 »‘If he sees the enemy coming to attack the country he will blow his horn to warn the people.

4 »‘If the people hear the horn and ignore the warning and the enemy comes and takes them, they will be responsible for their own deaths.

5 »‘They heard the sound of the horn but ignored its warning. In that case they are responsible for their own deaths. If they had taken the warning they would have saved themselves.

6 »‘But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and does not blow his horn to warn the people and the enemy comes and kills someone, that watchman must die because of his sin. I will hold him responsible for their deaths.’

7 »Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the people of Israel. Listen to what I say and warn them for me.

8 »Suppose I say to a wicked person, ‘You wicked person, you will certainly die.’ And you say nothing to warn him to change his ways. That wicked person will die because of his sin. I will hold you responsible for his death.

9 »But if you warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.

10 »‘Son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘You people have said: »Our transgressions and our sins are upon us. We are rotting away in them. How can we survive?« ’

11 Say to them: ‘»As I am alive!« Declares the Lord Jehovah. »I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Only that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back! Turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?« ’

12 »Son of man, tell the Israelites that when someone good sins, the good he has done will not save him. If an evil person stops doing evil he will not be punished, and if a good man starts sinning, his life will not be spared.

13 »I may promise life to someone good, but if he starts thinking that his past goodness is enough and begins to sin, I will not remember any of the good he did. He will die because of his sins.

14 »‘I may warn someone evil that he is going to die, but if he stops sinning and does what is right and good,

15 and if he returns the security he took for a loan or gives back what he stole, if he stops sinning and follows the laws that give life, he will not die, but he will live.

16 »‘None of the sins that he has done will be remembered. He has done what is fair and right. He will certainly live.’

17 »But your people say: ‘Jehovah’s way is not right.’ Yet, their ways are not right.

18 »If the righteous person turns from the right things that he has done and does evil, he will die because of it.

19 »If the wicked person turns from his wickedness and does what is fair and right, he will live because of it.

20 »The people of Israel say: ‘Jehovah’s way is not right.’ I will judge each of you by your own ways, people of Israel.«

21 On the fifth day of the tenth month in the twelfth year of our captivity, a refugee from Jerusalem came to me. He said: »The city has been captured.«

22 The evening before the refugee arrived, the power of Jehovah came over me. On the morning the refugee arrived, Jehovah made me speak. So I spoke, and I was no longer quiet.

23 Jehovah spoke his word to me:

24 »Son of man, those who live in the ruined cities in Israel are saying: ‘Abraham was only one person, and he was given the land. But we are many. Certainly the land has been given to us.’

25 »‘»Tell them: ‘The Lord Jehovah says: »You eat meat with blood in it. You look to your idols for help. You murder people. Should the land be given to you?

26 »‘»You rely on your swords military power. You do disgusting things. You dishonor your neighbor's wife. Should the land be given to you?« ’

27 »Tell them: ‘This is what the Lord Jehovah says: »As I am alive, whoever is in the ruined cities will be killed in battle. Whoever is in the open field will become food for wild animals. Whoever is in fortified places and caves will die from plagues.

28 »I will turn the land into a barren wasteland. People will no longer brag about its power. The mountains of Israel will become so ruined that no one will travel through them.

29 »Then people will know that I am Jehovah, when I make the land a barren wasteland. This is because of all the disgusting things that they have done.« ’

30 »Son of man, your people are talking about you by the walls and in the doorways of their homes. They are saying to each other: ‘Let's go and hear the word that has come from Jehovah.’

31 »Then they come to you, as if they are still my people, and they sit down in front of you. They listen to what you say, but they do not do it. They say that they love me, but in their hearts they chase dishonest profits.

32 »To them you are nothing more than a singer with a beautiful voice who sings love songs or a musician who plays an instrument. They listen to your words, but they do not do them.

33 »When all your words come true, and they certainly will come true, these people will know that a prophet has been among them.«

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