The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Ezechiel
Word came to me from the Lord:
Wilt thou not arraign them, citizens of this murderous place, wilt thou not arraign them?
Confront them with their foul misdeeds, and give them this message from the Lord God: Here is a city that hastens her own end with open bloodshed, soils herself with idols to her own undoing.
Blood-spilth and idol-filth have brought thy time nearer, shortened thy years; what marvel if I let the heathen reproach thee, a whole world mock thee?
What marvel if men exult over thee, far and near, great only in thy misfortune, as thou art renowned only for thy shame?
No better title now to Israel’s nobility, than to fill those streets with blood!
Home of wrong, where father and mother are despised, the stranger oppressed, widow and orphan ill-used!
My sanctuary, how it is despised, my sabbath how profaned!
Innocent lives sworn away, feasting at the hill-shrines, and foul deeds done besides;
see where a father’s bed is dishonoured, a woman pleads her defilement in vain;
neighbour comes lecherously between his neighbour’s sheets, father beds incestuously with his son’s wife, brother mates with sister sprung of the same blood!
The murderer’s hire, usury and extortion, gains won by violence; and of me, the Lord God says, never a thought!
Well may I smite hands together, indignant at thy ill-gotten gains, thy murderous doings;
will thy courage be so high, thy arm so powerful, when it is I that reckon with thee? What the Lord threatens, the Lord fulfils.
Far will I banish thee, widely scatter thee, and bring the tale of thy shame to an end;
so I will claim my rights over thee for all the world to see, and thou shalt learn at last my power.
And word came to me from the Lord:
Son of man, where the race of Israel shews in the heart of the furnace, nothing I find but dross; all is copper, and tin, and iron, and lead; dross of silver where silver should be.
This warning, then, the Lord God has for them: I mean to shut you up in Jerusalem, dross as you are;
this shall be your furnace, silver and copper and tin and iron and lead, all together; and I will light a fire to smelt you. There my angry vengeance shall imprison you, and I will give you respite for a little, and then melt you down.
Beleaguered there, with the fire of my anger to smelt you
like silver in the furnace, you shall feel the force of the Lord’s vengeance at last.
Then word came to me from the Lord:
Son of man, tell the land of Juda that it is unclean, and, when my vengeance falls on it, rain it shall have none.
What of the prophets?✻ A sworn conspiracy; lions roaring for their prey, the lives of men; wealth and treasure they must have; there be widows everywhere.
What of the priests? Priests, that despise my law, violate my sanctuary, cannot tell sacred from profane, count all one, clean or unclean; priests, that leave my own sabbath unregarded; am I not defiled by their company?
What of the nobles? Ravening wolves, all blood and murder, greedy for gain;
and here are the prophets with their untempered mortar, their vain dreams and false auguries, crying a message from the Lord when message from the Lord they have none.
Great wrong the citizens themselves do, robbing where they will, harrying the helpless poor, oppressing the stranger and denying him redress.
Who would close the breach, intercede with me to spare the land from ruin? Never a man was found!
What wonder if I have poured out my vengeance, burnt them up in my anger? It was but their deserts I gave them, says the Lord God.
The Holy Bible