English Revised Version
Ezekiel as Israel's Watchman
1And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman: 3if, when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning, if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him: whereas if he had taken warning he should have delivered his soul. 6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned, and the sword come, and take any person from among them; he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
7So thou, son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 8When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die, and thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way; that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and he turn not from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul.
The Message of the Watchman
10And thou, son of man, say unto the house of Israel: Thus ye speak, saying, Our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we pine away in them; how then should we live? 11Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 12And thou, son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness: neither shall he that is righteous be able to live thereby in the day that he sinneth. 13When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his righteousness, and commit iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in his iniquity that he hath committed, therein shall he die. 14Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; 15if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. 16None of his sins that he hath committed shall be remembered against him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
17Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. 18When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die therein. 19And when the wicked turneth from his wickedness, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. 20Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
Explanation of Jerusalem's Fall
21And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten. 22Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and he had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.
23And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 24Son of man, they that inhabit those waste places in the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance. 25Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD: Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes unto your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? 26Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife: and shall ye possess the land? 27Thus shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD: As I live, surely they that are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the strong holds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. 28And I will make the land a desolation and an astonishment, and the pride of her power shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. 29Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolation and an astonishment, because of all their abominations which they have committed.
30And as for thee, son of man, the children of thy people talk of thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. 31And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but do them not: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their gain. 32And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. 33And when this cometh to pass, (behold, it cometh,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.