1 Again, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 "Thou son of man, Speak to the children of thy people, and tell them, 'When I send a sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their country, and set him to be their watchman: 3 The same man, when he seeth the sword come upon the land, shall blow the trumpet, and warn the people. 4 If a man now hear the noise of the trumpet and will not be warned, and the sword come and take him away: his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 For he heard the sound of the trumpet, and would not take heed, therefore his blood be upon him. But if he will receive warning, he shall save his life. 6 Again, if the watchman see the sword come, and show it not with the trumpet, so that the people is not warned: if the sword come then, and take any man from among them: the same shall be taken away in his own sin, but his blood will I require of the watchman's hand.'
7 And now, O thou son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: that whereas thou hearest anything out of my mouth, thou mayest warn them on my behalf. 8 If I say unto the wicked: thou wicked, thou shalt surely die: and thou givest him not warning, that he may beware of his ungodly way: then shall the wicked die in his own sin, but his blood will I require of thy hand. 9 Nevertheless if thou warn the wicked of his way, to turn from it, whereas he yet will not be turned from it, then shall he die because of his sin, but thou hast delivered thy soul.'
10 "Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel. Yea, say thus, 'Our offenses and sins lie upon us, and we be corrupt in them: how should we then be restored unto life?' 11 Tell them, 'As truly as I live, sayeth the LORD God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but much rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn you, turn you from your ungodly ways, O ye of the house of Israel. Oh, wherefore will ye die?'
12 Thou son of man, tell the children of thy people, 'The righteousness of the righteous shall not save him, whensoever he turneth away unfaithfully. Again, the wickedness of the wicked shall not hurt him, whensoever he converteth from his ungodliness. And the righteousness of the righteous, shall not save his life, whensoever he sinneth. 13 If I say unto the righteous, that he shall surely live, and so he trust to his own righteousness, and do sin: then shall his righteousnesses be no more thought upon, but in the wickedness that he hath done he shall die.
14 Again; If I say unto the wicked, 'Thou shalt surely die,' and so he turn from his sins, and do the thing that is lawful and right: 15 Insomuch that the same wicked man giveth the pledge again, restoreth that he had taken away by robbery, walketh in the commandments of life, and doth no wrong: Then shall he surely live, and not die. 16 Yea the sins that he hath done, shall never be thought upon: For insomuch as he doth now the thing that is lawful and right, he shall live.
17 And yet the children of thy people say, 'Tush, the way of the LORD is not right,' whereas their own way is rather unright. 18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and doeth the thing that is wicked, he shall die therefore. 19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, doing the thing that is lawful and right, he shall live therefore. 20 Yet ye say, 'The way of the LORD is not equal.' O ye house of Israel, I will judge every one of you after his ways!'"
21 In the twelfth year, the fifth day of the tenth Month of our captivity, it happened, that one which was fled out of Jerusalem, came unto me, and said, "The city is destroyed." 22 Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me the evening before this man, which was escaped, came unto me, and had opened my mouth, until the morning that he came to me: yea he opened my mouth, so that I was no more dumb.
23 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, and said, 24 "Thou son of man, these that dwell in the wasted land of Israel say, 'Abraham was but one man, and he had the land in possession: now are we many, and the land is given us to possess also.' 25 And therefore tell them, 'Thus sayeth the LORD: In the blood have ye eaten, your eyes have ye lift up to Idols, and have shed blood: shall ye then have the land in possession? 26 Ye lean upon your swords, ye work abominations, every one defileth his neighbour's wife: and shall ye then possess the land?'
27 Say thou these words unto them, 'Thus sayeth the LORD God: As truly as I live, all ye that dwell in this wilderness, shall be slain with the sword. Whatsoever is upon the field, will I give unto the beasts to be devoured: those that be in strongholds and dens, shall die of the pestilence. 28 For I will make the land desolate and waste, and the pomp of her strength shall come to an end. The mountains in Israel shall be so waste that no man shall travel thereby. 29 Then shall they learn to know, that I am the LORD, when I make the land waste and desolate, because of all their abominations, that they have wrought.'
30 "And thou, son of man, the children of thy people that talk of thee by the walls and in the doors of their houses, saying one to another, 'Come, let us hear, what word is gone forth from the LORD' - 31 These come unto thee, after the manner of a great people: yea, my people sit down before thee, and hear thy words, but they do not thereafter: for in their mouths they show themselves, as though they were fervent, but their heart goeth after their own covetous lucre. 32 And as a ballad that hath a sweet tune, and is pleasant to sing, so shalt thou be unto them: thy words shall they hear, but they will not do thereafter. 33 When this cometh to pass - for lo, it cometh indeed - then shall they know that there hath been a prophet among them."