1 Some elders of Israel arrived and sat down with me. 2 A message from the Lord came to me, saying, 3 “Son of man, these men are worshiping idols in their minds even though they know this will lead them to sin. Why should I respond to their requests?
4 So tell them that this is what the Lord God says: When the people of Israel worship idols in their minds that will lead them to sin, and then come to consult the prophet, I the Lord will give them an answer appropriate to their many idols. 5 Like this I might have the people of Israel decide to recommit themselves to me. Right now, because of their idols, all of them treat me as their enemy.
6 So tell the people of Israel that this is what the Lord God says: Repent! Give up worshiping your idols Stop all your disgusting practices. 7 When the people of Israel or foreigners living with them worship idols in their minds that will lead them to sin and then come to consult the prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself. 8 I will oppose anyone who does this and make any example of them that others will talk about. I will remove them from among my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
9 But if the prophet is deceived into giving a message, it was I the Lord who deceived him to do this. I will still reach out and destroy that prophet from my people Israel. 10 They will be responsible for the punishment they receive, as will those who believe in these prophets will receive the same punishment. 11 This is so that the people of Israel won't abandon me anymore and won't make themselves unclean with all their sins. Then they will be my people and I will be their God, declares the Lord God.”
12 A message from the Lord came to me again, saying, 13 “Son of man, if a people in a country sin against me by being unfaithful to me, then I will act against them by cutting off their food supply, so they experience famine, with no food for people or animals. 14 Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job, these three men, were present their good lives would only save themselves, declares the Lord God.
15 I could send wild animals rampaging through the country, so they would leave it uninhabited and desolate, a place no one would travel through for fear of such animals. 16 As I live, declares the Lord God, even if these three men were present, they couldn't save their own sons or daughters. They would only save themselves, but the land would be left desolate.
17 I could bring war to that country and say, ‘Have a sword cut through it,’ so that I destroy both people and animals. 18 As I live, declares the Lord God, even if these three men were present, they couldn't save their own sons or daughters. They would only save themselves.
19 I could send a disease on that country and because of my anger I would kill many, both people and animals. 20 As I live, declares the Lord God, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were present, they couldn't save their sons or daughters. Their good lives would only save themselves.
21 This is what the Lord God says: It will be so much worse when I send my four severe judgments against Jerusalem—war, famine, wild animals, and disease, so that both people and animals are killed!
22 Even so a few of them will survive, some sons and daughters who will be taken captive. They will be brought to you in Babylon,* “In Babylon”: supplied for clarity. and when you realize what they did and how they acted, you will understand why I had to bring such a disaster down on Jerusalem—everything I did to it. 23 Realizing what they did and how they acted will help you to see that I had good reasons to do everything I did to Jerusalem, declares the Lord God.”
*14:22 “In Babylon”: supplied for clarity.