Prophecies Against the Leaders
1 Then the Spirit carried me to the East Gate of the LORD’S Temple. This gate faces the east, where the sun comes up. I saw 25 men there at the entrance of this gate. Some of the leaders were among them, including Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah.
2 Then God spoke to me and said, “Son of man, these are the men who make evil plans for this city. They always tell the people to do evil things.
3 These men say, ‘We will be building our houses again very soon. We are as safe in this city as meat in a pot!’
4 So you must speak to the people for me. Son of man, prophesy against the people.”
5 Then the Spirit of the LORD came on me. He said to me, “Tell them that this is what the LORD said: House of Israel, you are planning big things. But I know what you are thinking.
6 You have killed many people in this city. You have filled the streets with dead bodies.
7 Now, the Lord GOD says this: ‘The dead bodies are the meat, and the city is the pot. But someone will come and take you out of this safe pot.
8 You are afraid of the sword, but I am bringing the sword against you!’ ” This is what the Lord GOD said.
9 He also said, “I will take you out of this city and give you to strangers. I will punish you.
10 You will die by the sword. I will punish you here in Israel, so you will know that I am the LORD.
11 Yes, this place will be the cooking pot, and you will be the meat cooking in it. I will punish you here in Israel.
12 Then you will know that I am the LORD. It was my law that you broke. You did not obey my commands. You decided to live like the nations around you.”
13 As soon as I finished speaking for God, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died! I fell to the ground. I bowed with my face touching the ground and said, “Oh, Lord GOD, you are going to completely destroy all the survivors of Israel!”
Survivors in Jerusalem
14 But then the word of the LORD came to me. He said,
15 “Son of man, remember your brothers, the family of Israel. They were forced to leave their country, but I will bring them back. But now, the people living in Jerusalem are saying, ‘Stay far away from the LORD. This land was given to us—it is ours!’
16 “So tell them this: The Lord GOD says, ‘It is true, I forced my people to go far away to other nations. I did scatter them among many countries. But I will be their temple for a short time while they are in those other countries.
17 But you must tell those people that the Lord GOD will bring them back. I have scattered you among many nations, but I will gather you together and bring you back from those nations. I will give the land of Israel back to you.
18 When my people come back, they will destroy all the terrible, filthy idols that are here now.
19 I will bring them together and make them like one person. I will put a new spirit in them. I will take away that heart of stone, and I will put a real heart in its place.
20 Then they will obey my laws and my commands. They will do the things I tell them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.’ ”
The Glory of the Lord Leaves Jerusalem
21 Then God said, “But now, their hearts belong to those terrible, filthy idols, and I must punish those people for the bad things they have done.” This is what the Lord GOD said.
22 Then the Cherub angels raised their wings and flew into the air. The wheels went with them. The Glory of the God of Israel was above them.
23 The Glory of the LORD rose into the air and left the city and stopped on the hill east of Jerusalem.
24 Then the Spirit lifted me into the air and brought me back to Babylonia. It brought me back to the people who were forced to leave Israel. I saw all this in the vision from God. Then the one I saw in the vision rose into the air and left me.
25 Then I spoke to the people in exile. I told them about everything the LORD showed me.