1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man from their territory, and set him for their watchman: 3 If when he sees the sword come upon the land, he blows the trumpet, and warns the people; 4 Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword comes, and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword come, and blows not the trumpet, and the people are not warned; if the sword comes, and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
7 So you, O son of man, I have set you a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die; if you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. 9 Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
10 Therefore, O you son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus you speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we waste away in them, how should we then live? 11 Say unto them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?
12 Therefore, you son of man, say unto the children of your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins. 13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trusts in his own righteousness, and commits iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he has committed, he shall die for it.
14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turns from his sin, and does that which is lawful and right; 15 If the wicked restores the pledge, gives back that which he has stolen, walks in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. 16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned unto him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
17 Yet the children of your people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die for it. 19 But if the wicked turns from his wickedness, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall live by it. 20 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O you house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten. 22 Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, before he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.
23 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 24 Son of man, they that inhabit those waste places of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for an inheritance. 25 Therefore say unto them, Thus says the Lord GOD; You eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall you possess the land? 26 You stand upon your sword, you work abomination, and you defile every one his neighbor's wife: and shall you possess the land?
27 Say you thus unto them, Thus says the Lord GOD; As I live, surely they that are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that are in the strongholds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. 28 For I will make the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. 29 Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.
30 Also, you son of man, the children of your people still are talking against you by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that comes forth from the LORD. 31 And they come unto you as the people comes, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness. 32 And, lo, you are unto them as a very lovely song of one that has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear your words, but they do them not. 33 And when this comes to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet has been among them.