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Ezekiel 33:21-33

The Fall of Jerusalem

33:21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth of the month, 1  a refugee came to me from Jerusalem 2  saying, “The city has been defeated!” 3  33:22 Now the hand of the Lord had been on me 4  the evening before the refugee reached me, but the Lord 5  opened my mouth by the time the refugee arrived 6  in the morning; he opened my mouth and I was no longer unable to speak. 7  33:23 The word of the Lord came to me: 33:24 “Son of man, the ones living in these ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land, but we are many; surely the land has been given to us for a possession.’ 8  33:25 Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: You eat the meat with the blood still in it, 9  pray to 10  your idols, and shed blood. Do you really think you will possess 11  the land? 33:26 You rely 12  on your swords and commit abominable deeds; each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Will you possess the land?’

33:27 “This is what you must say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die 13  by the sword, those in the open field I will give to the wild beasts for food, and those who are in the strongholds and caves will die of disease. 33:28 I will turn the land into a desolate ruin; her confident pride will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate no one will pass through them. 33:29 Then they will know that I am the Lord when I turn the land into a desolate ruin because of all the abominable deeds they have committed.’ 14 

33:30 “But as for you, son of man, your people 15  (who are talking about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses) say to one another, 16  ‘Come hear the word that comes 17  from the Lord.’ 33:31 They come to you in crowds, 18  and they sit in front of you as 19  my people. They hear your words, but do not obey 20  them. For they talk lustfully, 21  and their heart is set on 22  their own advantage. 23  33:32 Realize 24  that to them you are like a sensual song, a beautiful voice and skilled musician. 25  They hear your words, but they do not obey them. 26  33:33 When all this comes true – and it certainly will 27  – then they will know that a prophet was among them.”

1 tn January 19, 585 b.c.

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

3 tn Heb “smitten.”

4 tn The other occurrences of the phrase “the hand of the Lord” in Ezekiel are in the context of prophetic visions.

5 tn Heb “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “by the time of the arrival to me.” For clarity the translation specifies the refugee as the one who arrived.

7 sn Ezekiel’s God-imposed muteness was lifted (see 3:26).

8 sn Outside of its seven occurrences in Ezekiel the term translated “possession” appears only in Exod 6:8 and Deut 33:4.

9 sn This practice was a violation of Levitical law (see Lev 19:26).

10 tn Heb “lift up your eyes.”

11 tn Heb “Will you possess?”

12 tn Heb “stand.”

13 tn Heb “fall.”

14 sn The judgments of vv. 27-29 echo the judgments of Lev 26:22, 25.

15 tn Heb “sons of your people.”

16 tn Heb “one to one, a man to his brother.”

17 tn Heb “comes out.”

18 tn Heb “as people come.” Apparently this is an idiom indicating that they come in crowds. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:264.

19 tn The word “as” is supplied in the translation.

20 tn Heb “do.”

21 tn Heb “They do lust with their mouths.”

22 tn Heb “goes after.”

23 tn The present translation understands the term often used for “unjust gain” in a wider sense, following M. Greenberg, who also notes that the LXX uses a term which can describe either sexual or ritual pollution. See M. Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB), 2:687.

24 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

25 tn Heb “one who makes playing music well.”

26 sn Similar responses are found in Isa 29:13; Matt 21:28-32; James 1:22-25.

27 tn Heb “behold it is coming.”

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