1 A message from the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “So, son of man, are you ready to judge them? Are you ready to judge the people of this city that have caused so much bloodshed? Make them face all the disgusting things they've done, 3 and tell them that this is what the Lord God says: You are a city who has caused your own doom by murdering people within your walls, and by making idols to worship that made you unclean. 4 You are guilty of murder, and you have made yourself unclean by the idols you've made. You have shortened your lives—your time is up! That's why other people taunt you—everyone mocks you. 5 People far and near will laugh at you, you corrupt city full of confusion!
6 Look at how all of your leaders in Israel use their power to murder. 7 You despise your parents. You exploit the foreigners who live with you, and you mistreat orphans and widows.
8 You detest my holy things and violate my Sabbaths. 9 Living among you are people who falsely accuse others in order to put them to death. You also have those who eat religious meals at pagan shrines in the mountains, and commit immoral acts within the city.
10 Some of those living in the city have sex with their father's wives or with women during their period. 11 You're home to evil men. One does disgusting things with someone else's wife. Another seduces his daughter-in-law, while another rapes his sister, the daughter of his own father.
12 Your people take money to murder others. You charge interest and make a profit on loans, and use extortion to get money from your neighbors. You have forgotten all about me, declares the Lord God.
13 So watch out! I clap my hands in condemnation at your dishonest profiteering and at all your murders. 14 Are you going to be so brave, and will you be strong enough to defend yourselves when it comes time for me to deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken, and I'm going to act. 15 I'm going to scatter you among the nations and the different countries. I will put a stop to your unclean acts. 16 For when everyone else sees how you've made yourselves unclean, then you will acknowledge that I am the Lord.”
17 A message from the Lord came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, the people of Israel have ended up like the impurities left over from refining metal. They're all like copper, tin, iron, and lead in the furnace—they are just the impurities left from refining silver.
19 So this is what the Lord God says: Because all of you have ended up like impurities, watch as I collect you together in Jerusalem. 20 In the same way a refiner collects silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin and puts them in the blast furnace to melt them with fire, I'm going to collect you in my burning anger, and keep you there until I melt you.
21 I'm going to collect you all together and blast you with the fire of my anger, and you'll be melted there in the city. 22 Just as silver is melted in a furnace, so you'll be melted in the city. Then you will realize that I, the Lord, have made you experience my anger.”
23 Another message from the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, tell the city of Jerusalem, at the time of punishment, you are a country that has not been made clean, a place where no rain has fallen,
25 Her leaders* “Leaders”: the Hebrew reads “prophets.” conspire together and it's like watching a roaring lion ripping up its prey. They destroy the people, grab everything that's valuable, and make many more widows in the city.
26 Her priests pervert my law and make my holy things unclean. They don't distinguish between what is holy and what is ordinary, and they don't separate the clean from the unclean. They forget about my Sabbaths, and they lead people to treat me with no respect.
27 Her city officials are like wolves ripping up their prey, killing people, destroying lives so they can profit through fraud.
28 Her prophets cover up what they do, using false visions as whitewash and prophecies that are lies, saying, ‘This is what the Lord God says,’ when the Lord hasn't said anything.
29 The people of this country are extortioners and robbers. They mistreat the poor and those in need and exploit the foreigners, treating them totally unfairly.
30 I tried to find one of them repair the wall and defend the gap so when I came I wouldn't destroy it—but I couldn't find anyone. 31 So I have let them experience my hostility, burning them up with the fire of my anger. I have made sure they suffer the consequences of what they've done, declares the Lord God.”
*22:25 “Leaders”: the Hebrew reads “prophets.”