1Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the Lord that faces east. There at the entrance of the gate were twenty-five men, and I saw among them Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people.2The Lord said to me, ‘Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city.3They say, “Haven’t our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it.”4Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man.’5Then the Spirit of the Lord came on me, and he told me to say: ‘This is what the Lord says: that is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind.6You have killed many people in this city and filled its streets with the dead.7‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: the bodies you have thrown there are the meat and this city is the pot, but I will drive you out of it.8You fear the sword, and the sword is what I will bring against you, declares the Sovereign Lord.9I will drive you out of the city and deliver you into the hands of foreigners and inflict punishment on you.10You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.11This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat in it; I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel.12And you will know that I am the Lord, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.’13Now as I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell face down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Alas, Sovereign Lord! Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel?’
The promise of Israel’s return
14The word of the Lord came to me:15‘Son of man, the people of Jerusalem have said of your fellow exiles and all the other Israelites, “They are far away from the Lord; this land was given to us as our possession.”16‘Therefore say: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”17‘Therefore say: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.”18‘They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols.19I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.20Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.21But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.’22Then the cherubim, with the wheels beside them, spread their wings, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.23The glory of the Lord went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it.24The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God. Then the vision I had seen went up from me,25and I told the exiles everything the Lord had shown me.