Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 1 We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 2 just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 3
The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘You women 1 have confirmed by your actions what you vowed with your lips! You said, “We will certainly carry out our vows to sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.” Well, then fulfill your vows! Carry them out!’ 2
Then you will know that I am the Lord – when their dead lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and all the mountaintops, under every green tree and every leafy oak, 1 the places where they have offered fragrant incense to all their idols.
Therefore speak to them and say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: When any one from the house of Israel erects his idols in his heart and sets the obstacle leading to his iniquity before his face, and then consults a prophet, I the Lord am determined to answer him personally according to the enormity of his idolatry. 1
For when anyone from the house of Israel, or the foreigner who lives in Israel, separates himself from me and erects his idols in his heart and sets the obstacle leading to his iniquity before his face, and then consults a prophet to seek something from me, I the Lord am determined to answer him personally.
I brought them to the land which I swore 1 to give them, but whenever they saw any high hill or leafy tree, they offered their sacrifices there and presented the offerings that provoke me to anger. They offered their soothing aroma there and poured out their drink offerings.
For this reason no watered trees will grow so tall; their tops will not reach into the clouds, nor will the well-watered ones grow that high. 1 For all of them have been appointed to die in the lower parts of the earth; 2 they will be among mere mortals, 3 with those who descend to the pit.
“As for you, son of man, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Tell every kind of bird and every wild beast: ‘Assemble and come! Gather from all around to my slaughter 1 which I am going to make for you, a great slaughter on the mountains of Israel! You will eat flesh and drink blood.
He said to me: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne 1 and the place for the soles of my feet, 2 where I will live among the people of Israel forever. The house of Israel will no longer profane my holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their spiritual prostitution or by the pillars of their kings set up when they die. 3
When they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its pattern, its exits and entrances, and its whole design – all its statutes, its entire design, and all its laws; write it all down in their sight, so that they may observe its entire design and all its statutes and do them.
“‘When the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed feasts, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship will go out by way of the south gate; whoever enters by way of the south gate will go out by way of the north gate. No one will return by way of the gate they entered but will go out straight ahead.
I asked, “What are these going to do?” He answered, “These horns are the ones that have scattered Judah so that there is no one to be seen. 1 But the blacksmiths have come to terrify Judah’s enemies 2 and cut off the horns of the nations that have thrust themselves against the land of Judah in order to scatter its people.” 3