November 14, 2007

Ezekiel 7-9 - An End! A Day of Tumult

From today's Bible reading:

Ezekiel 7:

The word of the LORD came to me:

And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel:

An end!

The end has come upon the four corners of the land.

Now the end is upon you, and I will send my anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations.

And my eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity, but I will punish you for your ways, while your abominations are in your midst.

Then you will know that I am the LORD.

Thus says the Lord GOD:

Disaster after disaster!

Behold, it comes.

An end has come; the end has come; it has awakened against you.

Behold, it comes.

Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land.

The time has come; the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting on the mountains.

(Shouts that are not of joy.)

Now I will soon pour out my wrath upon you, and spend my anger against you, and judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations.

And my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst.

Then you will know that I am the LORD, who strikes.

Behold, the day! Behold, it comes!

Your doom has come; the rod has blossomed; pride has budded. Violence has grown up into a rod of wickedness.

None of them shall remain, nor their abundance, nor their wealth; neither shall there be preeminence among them. The time has come; the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for wrath is upon all their multitude. For the seller shall not return to what he has sold, while they live.

For the vision concerns all their multitude; it shall not turn back; and because of his iniquity, none can maintain his life.

Forge a chain! For the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence.

I will bring the worst of the nations to take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the pride of the strong, and their holy places shall be profaned.

When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there shall be none. Disaster comes upon disaster; rumor follows rumor.

They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders.

The king mourns, the prince is wrapped in despair, and the hands of the people of the land are paralyzed by terror.

According to their way I will do to them, and according to their judgments I will judge them, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 8:

In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there.

Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man. Below what appeared to be his waist was fire, and above his waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal.

He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy.

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the valley.

Then he said to me, Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north.

So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy.

And he said to me, Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see still greater abominations.

Behold, they put the branch to their nose.

(Is this a reference to smoking?)

Therefore I will act in wrath.

My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.

Ezekiel 9:

Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.

And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist.

And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house.

And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the LORD said to him, Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.

And to the others he said in my hearing, Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.

(This is opposite the mark of the beast.)

So they began with the elders who were before the house.

Then he said to them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out.

So they went out and struck in the city.

And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, Ah, Lord GOD! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?

Then he said to me, The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see. As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.

And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his waist, brought back word, saying, I have done as you commanded me.

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