The useless pot

In the ninth year, on the tenth day of the tenth month, the Lord’s word came to me: Human one, write down today’s date, because today the king of Babylon has set up camp at Jerusalem—today! Compose a parable for the rebels’ household and say to them, The Lord God proclaims:
Put on the pot, set it on,
and fill it with water.
Add meat to it,
every good piece.
With shoulder and thigh,
the meatiest bones, fill it up.
Take the flock’s best animal;
arrange the wood[a] beneath it.
Bring it to a rolling boil,
and cook its bones in it.

The Lord God proclaims: Horror! You bloody city, you corroded pot; pot whose corrosion can’t be removed! Empty it piece by piece. She is rejected[b] because her blood is still with her. She didn’t pour it out on the ground so that it could be covered with dirt, but she spread it out on a bare rock. In order to arouse wrath, to guarantee vengeance, I will spread her blood on a bare rock, never to be covered.

So now the Lord God proclaims:

Horror! You bloody city!
I myself will add fuel to the fire!
10 Pile on the wood, light the fire, and cook the meat.
Season it well and let the bones be charred.
11 Let the pot stand empty on its coals
until it’s so hot that its copper glows,
its impurities melt in it,
and its corrosion is consumed.
12 It’s a worthless task.
Even by fire its great corrosion isn’t removed.

13 How your betrayals defile you! I cleansed you, but you didn’t come clean from your impurities. You won’t be clean again until I have exhausted my anger against you. 14 I, the Lord, have spoken! It’s coming, and I’ll do it. I won’t relent or have any pity or compassion. Your punishments will fit your ways and your deeds! This is what the Lord God says.

Ezekiel’s wife dies

15 The Lord’s word came to me: 16 Human one, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you in a single stroke. Don’t mourn or weep. Don’t even let your tears well up. 17 Sigh inwardly; be deathly still. Don’t perform mourning rites, but bind on your turban and put your shoes on your feet. And don’t cover your upper lip or eat in human company.

18 I spoke with the people in the morning, and by evening my wife was dead. The next morning I did as I was commanded. 19 The people asked, “Won’t you tell us what your actions mean for us?”

20 So I said to them, The Lord’s word came to me: 21 Say to the house of Israel, the Lord God proclaims: I’m about to make my sanctuary impure, the pride of your strength, the delight of your eyes. Your heart’s desire, the sons and daughters you left behind, will fall by the sword. 22 You will do as I have done. You will neither cover your upper lip nor eat in human company. 23 Your turbans will be on your heads, your sandals on your feet. You won’t mourn or weep. You will waste away in your guilt, all of you groaning to each other. 24 Ezekiel is your sign. You will do everything that he has done. When this happens, you will know that I am the Lord God.

25 And you, human one: On the day that I take from them their proud stronghold—their crowning joy, the delight of their eyes—and their sons and daughters, whose fate weighs on them, 26 on that day, a refugee will come to you so that you yourself will hear the news. 27 On that day your mouth will be opened to the refugee, and you will speak and no longer be silent. You will be their sign, and they will know that I am the Lord.


  1. Ezekiel 24:5 Or bones
  2. Ezekiel 24:6 Or the lot did not fall to her