The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Ezechiel
Son of man, he told me, eat thou must what eat thou canst; here is this scroll for thy eating. After that, go and give my message to the sons of Israel.
Thereupon I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat,
promising me safe digestion and a full belly with the gift; and indeed, it was sweet as honey when I ate it.
Now, son of man, said he, to the men of Israel betake thee, and give them my message.
Are they strange folk that lisp and stammer,✻ these men of Israel? Ah, no;
nations there are a many that lisp and stammer, past thy understanding, but I am sending thee to Israel instead. These might have listened to thee;✻
hearing from Israel thou shalt have none; my word goes ever unheeded, so stubborn of forehead they are and so hard-hearted, all the brood of them.
But see, I have given thee strength of brow, hardness of forehead, that shall outmatch theirs;
unyielding as flint or adamant thou shalt face them. Fear them not, never let their frown daunt thee, this brood of rebels.
Then he said to me, Son of man, all the words I tell thee heed and hear;
then to captive Israel betake thee, and give them thy message in the name of the Lord God, hear they or deny thee hearing.
And with that, a sudden transport seized me, and as I went, I heard the noise of a great stir behind me. … Blessed be the glory of the Lord … from the place where he was.✻
Beat of wing against wing as the living figures moved onwards, and whirr of the wheels that followed them, great stirring there was all about me;
and I, in a transport borne up and on, set out on my journey, unwillingly enough, and vexed at heart, but the Lord’s hand was there to hold me to my purpose.
So I made my way to the settlement of exiles at Tel-Abib,✻ near the river Chobar; and when I had found them, I sat there for seven days in their company, dumb all the while with grief.
Then, when seven days had passed, the Lord’s word came to me.
Son of man, he told me, I am posting thee here as a sentry, to give the sons of Israel warning; no message I send thee but thou must pass it on in my name.
When I threaten I the sinner with doom of death, it is for thee to give him word, and warn him, as he loves his life, to have done with sinning. If not, he shall die as he deserves, but for his undoing thyself shalt be called to account.
If thou warn him, and leave his rebellious sinning he will not, die he shall as he deserves, and thou go free.
Or if the upright man leaves his innocence, and I take him unawares in his wrong-doing, dies he for want of warning? Die he shall, his good deeds all forgotten, but thou for his undoing shalt be called to account.
Thine to warn the upright man against the marring of his innocence; and he, sin avoiding, shall owe his life to thy remonstrance; thy duty is done.✻
Then the power of the Lord came over me, bidding me rise up and keep tryst with him, out in the open plain.
Rise up I did, and when I reached the open plain, there was the glory of the Lord rising above it, such as I had seen it by the banks of Chobar; and I fell face to earth.
But a divine force mastered me and raised me to my feet again. Now go within doors, he said, and shut thyself in there …
And thou, son of man … here are bonds confining thee; closely thy fellow-countrymen shall keep thee imprisoned, so that thou canst not escape from them.
And I, meanwhile, will keep tongue of thine fast fixed in thy mouth; dumb thou shalt be, when thou wouldst fain expostulate with a rebellious brood.
Then, when my message I give thee, I will unseal thy lips, and thou shalt speak to that rebellious brood in the name of the Lord God, hear they or deny thee hearing.✻
The Holy Bible