The Sins of Jerusalem
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “As for you, son of man, are you willing to pronounce judgment, are you willing to pronounce judgment on the bloody city? Then confront her with all her abominable deeds! 3 Then say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: O city, who spills blood within herself (which brings on her doom), and who makes herself idols (which results in impurity), 4 you are guilty because of the blood you shed and defiled by the idols you made. You have hastened the day of your doom; the end of your years has come. Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations, an object to be mocked by all lands. 5 Those both near and far from you will mock you, you with your bad reputation, full of turmoil.
6 “‘See how each of the princes of Israel living within you has used his authority to shed blood. 7 They have treated father and mother with contempt within you; they have oppressed the foreigner among you; they have wronged the orphan and the widow within you. 8 You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths! 9 Slanderous men shed blood within you. Those who live within you eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains; they commit obscene acts among you. 10 They have sex with their father’s wife within you; they violate women during their menstrual period within you. 11 One commits an abominable act with his neighbour’s wife; another obscenely defiles his daughter-in-law; another violates his sister – his father’s daughter – within you. 12 They take bribes within you to shed blood. You engage in usury and charge interest; you extort money from your neighbours. You have forgotten me, declares the sovereign Lord.
13 “‘See, I strike my hands together at the dishonest profit you have made, and at the bloodshed they have done among you. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong when I deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it! 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you among various countries; I will remove your impurity from you. 16 You will be profaned within yourself in the sight of the nations; then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
17 The word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become slag to me. All of them are like bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the furnace; they are the worthless slag of silver. 19 Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: ‘Because all of you have become slag, look out! – I am about to gather you in the middle of Jerusalem. 20 As silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin are gathered in a furnace so that the fire can melt them, so I will gather you in my anger and in my rage. I will deposit you there and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my fury, and you will be melted in it. 22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted in it, and you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my anger on you.’”
23 The word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that receives no rain or showers in the day of my anger.’ 25 Her princes within her are like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they have devoured lives. They take away riches and valuable things; they have made many women widows within it. 26 Her priests abuse my law and have desecrated my holy things. They do not distinguish between the holy and the profane, or recognize any distinction between the unclean and the clean. They ignore my Sabbaths and I am profaned in their midst. 27 Her officials are like wolves in her midst rending their prey – shedding blood and destroying lives – so they can get dishonest profit. 28 Her prophets coat their messages with whitewash. They see false visions and announce lying omens for them, saying, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have practised extortion and committed robbery. They have wronged the poor and needy; they have oppressed the foreigner who lives among them and denied them justice.
30 “I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one. 31 So I have poured my anger on them, and destroyed them with the fire of my fury. I hereby repay them for what they have done, declares the sovereign Lord.”