The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Ezechiel
At a time when some of the Israelite leaders had come to visit me, and sat closeted with me,
this message I had from the Lord:
Son of man, here be folk that have cumbered their own hearts with false gods, entangled their own feet with guilt; wouldst thou have me answer when I am consulted by such as these?
Speak to them, thou, and tell them this from the Lord God: When a man of Israel’s race comes to consult me through a prophet, his own heart yet cumbered with false gods, his own feet yet entangled with guilt, shall I, the Lord, give him answer in his idolatry?✻
Nay, the faithless heart that leaves me for the worship of false gods shall be Israel’s undoing.
This warning give them in the name of the Lord God: Come back to me, leave those idols of yours, have no eyes henceforward for sights detestable!
If a man of Israel’s race, or any of alien breed among them, forsakes me, cumbers his heart with false gods, entangles his feet with guilt, and then comes to consult me through a prophet, shall I, in my own name, answer him?
Nay, that man, under my frown, shall become a warning and a by-word, lost to his people, and you shall doubt the Lord’s power no longer.
Or, if misguided the prophet speaks, it is I, the Lord, that have guided that prophet amiss.✻ And thereupon I will exert my power, and rid my people Israel of his company;
both alike shall be held guilty, the prophet and his dupe;
till Israel learns to wander from me no more, stain itself with guilt no more. So they shall be my people, and I will be their God, says the Lord of hosts.
And word came to me from the Lord:
Son of man, if a land lies deep in guilt, sin upon sin, and I cut off every source of bread; sending famine upon it to slay man and beast,
though three such men as Noe, Daniel, and Job were counted among its citizens, innocence of theirs no life but theirs should save.
If I send beasts to make a pathless wilderness of it, none daring to pass for fear of their encounter;
as I am a living God, the Lord says, man nor maid should those three rescue by their companionship; in a desert land they alone should live.
The sword if I let loose, bid the sword pass through that land to destroy man and beast,
as I am a living God, the Lord says, their own lives those three should ransom, and neither man nor maid besides.
Or if pestilence does my errand of punishment, taking deadly toll of man and beast;
though Noe dwell there, and Daniel, and Job, as I am a living God, the Lord says, only their own lives they shall ransom, neither man nor maid besides.
And what of Jerusalem, says the Lord God, when I send all four plagues on her at once, sword and famine and wild beast and pestilence, till men nor cattle are left alive there?
A remnant only shall survive, sons and daughters of your race led out into exile. When these reach you, and you find out what manner of folk they are in thought and deed, for the sorrows of Jerusalem you shall weep no more, though I have plagued her so abundantly.
From thought and deed of theirs you shall take consolation, nor doubt it was with good reason I used her thus, says the Lord God.✻
The Holy Bible