Bloody city

The Lord’s word came to me: You, human one, will you judge? Will you judge the bloody city? Then explain all her detestable practices to her. Say, The Lord God proclaims: City, self-destructive blood-letter, self-defiling idol maker: All the blood that you’ve shed is your punishment, and all the idols that you’ve made are your defilement. This is how you’ve shortened your days and hastened the end[a] of your years! For this reason I’ve given you over to the ridicule of nations and the derision of every land. Those from near and far will mock your infamous name and great chaos. Look, Israel’s princes, every one of them, have joined forces to shed blood in you. In you they treat father and mother with contempt. In you they oppress immigrants and deny the rights of orphans and widows. You despise my holy things and degrade my sabbaths. In you slanderers show up to shed blood. In you they eat on the mountains. In you they do obscene things. 10 In you a father’s nakedness is uncovered. In you menstruating women are violated. 11 Every man engages in detestable practices with his neighbor’s wife, every man defiles his daughter-in-law with obscene acts, and every man violates his sister, his own father’s daughter. 12 In you they take bribes to shed blood. You collect interest and fees, you profit by extorting your neighbor, and you neglect even me! This is what the Lord God says.

13 I now strike my hands over your ill-gotten gain and blood that’s been shed in you. 14 Will your strength and courage endure when I deal with you? I am the Lord: I speak, and I act! 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you throughout the lands, and so I will remove your uncleanness from you. 16 When you are degraded[b] like this in the sight of the nations, then you will know that I am the Lord.

17 The Lord’s word came to me: 18 Human one, the house of Israel has become a waste product for me. They are all copper, tin, iron, and lead. In the furnace, they’ve become the waste product of silver. 19 So this is what the Lord God says: Because you’ve all become a waste product, I’m now gathering you into the middle of Jerusalem. 20 Just as silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin are collected and placed in a furnace to fan the flames under them and melt them down, so in my anger and rage I will collect you, put you in, and melt you down. 21 I will gather you, fan the flames of my wrath under you, and melt you down in the middle of it. 22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted in it. You will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my rage on you.

23 The Lord’s word came to me: 24 Human one, say to her, You are an unclean land without rain on the day of reckoning. 25 The conspiracy of princes[c] in her is like a roaring lion ripping up prey. They’ve piled up wealth and precious goods and made many widows in her. 26 Her priests have done violence to my instructions and made my holy things impure. They have not clearly separated the holy from the ordinary, and they have not taught the difference between unclean and clean things. They’ve disregarded my sabbaths. So I’ve been degraded among them. 27 The officials in her are like wolves ripping up prey. They shed blood and destroy lives for unjust riches. 28 Her prophets have whitewashed everything for them, seeing false visions and making wrong predictions for them, saying, “This is what the Lord God says,” when the Lord hasn’t spoken. 29 The important people of the land have practiced extortion and have committed robbery. They’ve oppressed the poor and mistreated the immigrant. They’ve oppressed and denied justice. 30 I looked for anyone to repair the wall and stand in the gap for me on behalf of the land, so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. But I couldn’t find anyone. 31 So I’ve poured out my anger on them. With my furious fire I’ve finished them off. I’ve held them accountable. This is what the Lord God proclaims.


  1. Ezekiel 22:4 LXX, Syr; Vulg time; MT until
  2. Ezekiel 22:16 MT adds in you.
  3. Ezekiel 22:25 LXX; MT prophets