They seek me day after day; they want to know my requirements, 1 like a nation that does what is right and does not reject the law of their God. They ask me for just decrees; they want to be near God.
He said to me, “Do you see, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in the chamber of his idolatrous images? 1 For they think, ‘The Lord does not see us! The Lord has abandoned the land!’”
But they rebelled against me, and refused to listen to me; no one got rid of their detestable idols, 1 nor did they abandon the idols of Egypt. Then I decided to pour out 2 my rage on them and fully vent my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, my sheep have become prey and have become food for all the wild beasts. There was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my flock, but fed themselves and did not feed my sheep,
therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the sovereign Lord: This is what the sovereign Lord says to the mountains and hills, the ravines and valleys, and to the desolate ruins and the abandoned cities that have become prey and an object of derision to the rest of the nations round about –
“‘But the Levitical priests, the descendants of Zadok 1 who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me, will approach me to minister to me; they will stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood, declares the sovereign Lord.
The ships of Kittim 1 will come against him, leaving him disheartened. 2 He will turn back and direct his indignation against the holy covenant. He will return and honor 3 those who forsake the holy covenant.
Let the priests, those who serve the Lord, weep from the vestibule all the way back to the altar. 1 Let them say, “Have pity, O Lord, on your people; please do not turn over your inheritance to be mocked, to become a proverb 2 among the nations. Why should it be said 3 among the peoples, “Where is their God?”
Indeed, I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not take heed to the sheep headed to slaughter, will not seek the scattered, and will not heal the injured. 1 Moreover, he will not nourish the one that is healthy but instead will eat the meat of the fat sheep 2 and tear off their hooves.
But Martha was distracted 1 with all the preparations she had to make, 2 so 3 she came up to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care 4 that my sister has left me to do all the work 5 alone? Tell 6 her to help me.”
“Men, why are you doing these things? We too are men, with human natures 1 just like you! We are proclaiming the good news to you, so that you should turn 2 from these worthless 3 things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, 4 the sea, and everything that is in them.
But when I saw that they were not behaving consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas 1 in front of them all, “If you, although you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to force 2 the Gentiles to live like Jews?”