1Then the Spirit picked me up and took me to the eastern entrance of the Lord's Temple. Twenty-five men were gathered there at the entrance. I recognized among them Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people.
2The Lord told me, “Son of man, it's these men who are making evil plans and giving bad advice to the people in this city.
3They're saying, ‘Is this the time for us to be building houses? The city is the cooking pot, and we are the meat inside it.’
4So prophesy against them. Prophesy, son of man!”
5The Spirit of the Lord came upon me and told me to say: This is what the Lord says: “People of Israel, that's what you're saying! I know what you're thinking inside!
6You murder more and more people in this city. You've filled its streets with the dead!
7So this is what the Lord God says: Those you've killed in this city are the meat, and the city is the pot; but I'm going to take you out of it.
8You're afraid of being killed by the sword, so I will bring invaders with swords to attack you, declares the Lord God.
9I'm going to take you out of the city and hand you over to foreigners, and I'm going to carry out my sentence against you.
10You will be killed by the sword, and I will punish you right up to the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
11The city won't be like a pot for you, and you won't be the meat inside it either. I will punish you right up to the borders of Israel.
12Then you will know that I am the Lord. For you didn't follow my rules and you didn't keep my laws. Instead you kept the laws of the nations around you.”
13While I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. I fell facedown on the ground and shouted loudly, “Lord God, are you going to completely destroy what's left of the people of Israel?”
14A message from Lord came to me, saying,
15“Son of man, your brothers, including your relatives, your fellow exiles, and all the other Israelites, are those the people of Jerusalem were referring to when they said, ‘They are far away from the Lord. This country was given to us and we are to own it.’
16So tell them that this is what the Lord God says: Even though I sent them far away to live among the foreign nations, scattering them among the different countries, I have been taking care of them for a while in the countries where they went.
17Tell them that this is what the Lord God says: I'm going to gather you from the other nations and bring you back from the countries where you've been scattered, and I will return the country of Israel to you.
18When they come back, they are going to get rid of all its offensive idols and disgusting practices from the country.
19I will give them single-minded commitment and a whole new spirit. I will take away their hard-hearted attitude and replace it with one that is loving.
20This way they can follow my rules, keep my regulations, and do what I say. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
21But for those who still choose to worship offensive idols and engage in disgusting practices, I will let them experience the consequences of their own actions, declares the Lord God.”
22Then the cherubim opened their wings and took off, with the wheels alongside them, and with the glory of the God of Israel above them.
23The glory of the Lord rose from inside the city and went over to the mountain to the east of the city.
24In the vision given to me by the Spirit of God, the Spirit picked me up and carried me back to Babylonia to where the exiles were. After the vision left me,
25I explained to the exiles everything the Lord had shown me.