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Ezekiel 24:1-14

The Boiling Pot

24:1 The word of the Lord came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month 1 : 24:2 “Son of man, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege 2  to Jerusalem 3  this very day. 24:3 Recite a proverb to this rebellious house 4  and say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘Set on the pot, 5  set it on,

pour water in it too;

24:4 add the pieces of meat to it,

every good piece,

the thigh and the shoulder;

fill it with choice bones.

24:5 Take the choice bone of the flock,

heap up bones under it;

boil rapidly,

and boil its bones in it.

24:6 “‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says:

Woe to the city of bloodshed,

the pot whose rot 6  is in it,

whose rot has not been removed 7  from it!

Empty it piece by piece.

No lot has fallen on it. 8 

24:7 For her blood was in it;

she poured it on an exposed rock;

she did not pour it on the ground to cover it up with dust.

24:8 To arouse anger, to take vengeance,

I have placed her blood on an exposed rock so that it cannot be covered up.

24:9 “‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says:

Woe to the city of bloodshed!

I will also make the pile high.

24:10 Pile up the bones, kindle the fire;

cook the meat well, mix in the spices,

let the bones be charred.

24:11 Set the empty pot on the coals, 9 

until it becomes hot and its copper glows,

until its uncleanness melts within it and its rot 10  is consumed.

24:12 It has tried my patience; 11 

yet its thick rot is not removed 12  from it.

Subject its rot to the fire! 13 

24:13 You mix uncleanness with obscene conduct. 14 

I tried to cleanse you, 15  but you are not clean.

You will not be cleansed from your uncleanness 16 

until I have exhausted my anger on you.

24:14 “‘I the Lord have spoken; judgment 17  is coming and I will act! I will not relent, or show pity, or be sorry! 18  I will judge you 19  according to your conduct 20  and your deeds, declares the sovereign Lord.’”

1 tn The date of this oracle was January 15, 588 b.c.

2 tn Heb “lean on, put pressure on.”

3 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

4 sn The book of Ezekiel frequently refers to the Israelites as a rebellious house (Ezek 2:5, 6, 8; 3:9, 26-27; 12:2-3, 9, 25; 17:12; 24:3).

5 sn See Ezek 11:3-12.

6 tn Or “rust.”

7 tn Heb “has not gone out.”

8 tn Here “lot” may refer to the decision made by casting lots; it is not chosen at all.

9 tn Heb “set it upon its coals, empty.”

10 tn Or “rust” (so also in v. 12).

11 tn Heb “(with) toil she has wearied.” The meaning of the statement is unclear in the Hebrew text; some follow the LXX and delete it. The first word in the statement (rendered “toil” in the literal translation above) occurs only here in the OT, and the verb “she has wearied” lacks a stated object. Elsewhere the Hiphil of the verb refers to wearying someone or trying someone’s patience. The feminine subject is apparently the symbolic pot.

12 tn Heb “does not go out.”

13 tn Heb “in fire its rust.” The meaning of the expression is unclear. The translation understands the statement as a command to burn the rust away. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:768.

14 tn Heb “in your uncleanness (is) obscene conduct.”

15 tn Heb “because I cleansed you.” In this context (see especially the very next statement), the statement must refer to divine intention and purpose. Despite God’s efforts to cleanse his people, they resisted him and remained morally impure.

16 tn The Hebrew text adds the word “again.”

17 tn Heb “it”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

18 tn Or perhaps, “change my mind.”

19 tc Some medieval Hebrew mss and the major ancient versions read a first person verb here. Most Hebrew mss read have an indefinite subject, “they will judge you,” which could be translated, “you will be judged.”

20 tn Heb “ways.”

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