Ezekiel 33:1-9

Ezekiel Israel’s Watchman

33:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 33:2 “Son of man, speak to your people, and say to them, ‘Suppose I bring a sword against the land, and the people of the land take one man from their borders and make him their watchman. 33:3 He sees the sword coming against the land, blows the trumpet, and warns the people, 33:4 but there is one who hears the sound of the trumpet yet does not heed the warning. Then the sword comes and sweeps him away. He will be responsible for his own death. 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, so he is responsible for himself. If he had heeded the warning, he would have saved his life. 33:6 But suppose the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people. Then the sword comes and takes one of their lives. He is swept away for his iniquity, but I will hold the watchman accountable for that person’s death.’

33:7 “As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must warn them on my behalf. 33:8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you must certainly die,’ and you do not warn 10  the wicked about his behavior, 11  the wicked man will die for his iniquity, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 12  33:9 But if you warn the wicked man to change his behavior, 13  and he refuses to change, 14  he will die for his iniquity, but you have saved your own life.

tn Heb “sons of your people.”

tn Heb “shofar,” a ram’s horn rather than a brass instrument (so throughout the chapter).

tn Sounding the trumpet was a warning of imminent danger (Neh 4:18-20; Jer 4:19; Amos 3:6).

tn Heb “his blood will be on his own head.”

tn Heb “his blood will be on him.”

tn Or “in his punishment.” The phrase “in/for [a person’s] iniquity/punishment” occurs fourteen times in Ezekiel: here and in vv. 8 and 9; 3:18, 19; 4:17; 7:13, 16; 18: 17, 18, 19, 20; 24:23; 39:23. The Hebrew word for “iniquity” may also mean the “punishment” for iniquity or “guilt” of iniquity.

tn Heb “his blood from the hand of the watchman I will seek.”

sn Jeremiah (Jer 6:17) and Habakkuk (Hab 2:1) also served in the role of a watchman.

tn The same expression occurs in Gen 2:17.

10 tn Heb “and you do not speak to warn.”

11 tn Heb “way.”

12 tn Heb “and his blood from your hand I will seek.”

13 tn Heb “from his way to turn from it.”

14 tn Heb “and he does not turn from his way.”