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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 12


Thus the word of the LORD came to me:


Son of man, you live in the midst of a rebellious house; they have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious house.


Now, son of man, during the day while they are looking on, prepare your baggage as though for exile, and again while they are looking on, migrate from where you live to another place; perhaps they will see that they are a rebellious house.


You shall bring out your baggage like an exile in the daytime while they are looking on; in the evening, again while they are looking on, you shall go out like one of those driven into exile;


1 while they look on, dig a hole in the wall and pass through it;


while they look on, shoulder the burden and set out in the darkness; cover your face that you may not see the land, for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel.


I did as I was told. During the day I brought out my baggage as though it were that of an exile, and at evening I dug a hole through the wall with my hand and, while they looked on, set out in the darkness, shouldering my burden.


Then, in the morning, the word of the LORD came to me:


Son of man, did not the house of Israel, that rebellious house, ask you what you were doing?


Tell them: Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concerns Jerusalem and the whole house of Israel within it.


I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them; as captives they shall go into exile.


The prince who is among them shall shoulder his burden and set out in darkness, going through a hole that he has dug in the wall, and covering his face lest he be seen by anyone.


2 But I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon, into the land of the Chaldeans - but he shall not see it - and there he shall die.


All his retinue, his aides, and his troops I will scatter in every direction, and pursue them with the sword.


Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them over foreign lands.


Yet I will leave a few of them to escape the sword, famine and pestilence, so that they may tell of all their abominations among the nations to which they will come; thus they shall know that I am the LORD.


Thus the word of the LORD came to me:


Son of man, eat your bread trembling, and drink your water shaking with anxiety.


Then say to the people of the land: Thus says the Lord GOD of the inhabitants of Jerusalem (to the land of Israel): They shall eat their bread in anxiety and drink their water in horror, that their land may be emptied of the violence of all its inhabitants that now fills it.


Inhabited cities shall be in ruins, and the land shall be a waste; thus you shall know that I am the LORD.


Thus the word of the LORD came to me:


3 Son of man, what is this proverb that you have in the land of Israel: "The days drag on, and no vision ever comes to anything"?


Say to them therefore: Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to this proverb; they shall never quote it again in Israel. Rather, say to them: The days are at hand, and also the fulfillment of every vision.


Whatever I speak is final, and it shall be done without further delay. In your days, rebellious house, whatever I speak I will bring about, says the Lord GOD.


There shall no longer be any false visions or deceitful divinations within the house of Israel, because it is I, the LORD, who will speak.


Thus the word of the LORD came to me:


Son of man, listen to the house of Israel saying, "The vision he sees is a long way off; he prophesies of the distant future!"


Say to them therefore: Thus says the Lord GOD: None of my words shall be delayed any longer; whatever I speak is final, and it shall be done, says the Lord GOD.



1 [5] Dig a hole in the wall: the exiles are to leave Jerusalem through the broken walls of the ruined city.

2 [13] But he shall not see it: Zedekiah was blinded by Nebuchadnezzar before being deported to Babylonia; cf 2 Kings 25:7.

3 [22,27] These words were used against Ezekiel because of the apparent failure of his prophecies; cf Jeremiah 20:7-9.

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