1The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
2“Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and tell them: When I bring the sword on a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them and set him for their watchman,
3if, when he sees the sword coming against the land, he blows the shofar and warns the people,
4then if anyone hears the sound of the shofar but does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be upon his own head.
5He heard the sound of the shofar and did not take warning; his blood will be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul.
6But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the shofar, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.
7So you, son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel; so you will hear a word from my mouth and give them warning from me.
8When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man will die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
9But if you warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.
10As for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, “This is what you have been speaking, saying, ‘Our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we live?’
11Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says Lord Yahweh, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desire that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?’
12And you, son of man, say to the children of your people: The righteousness of the righteous person will not deliver him in the day when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked person, he will not fall by it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor will the one who is righteous be able to live by it in the day when he sins.
13When I say to a righteous person that he will live, yes live, if he trusts in his righteousness and commits injustice, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but because of his injustice that he has committed, because of it, he will die.
14But when I say to a wicked person, ‘You will die, yes, die,’ if he turns from his sins and does what is just and righteous,
15if that wicked person returns the pledge, gives back what he had taken by robbery, walks in the statutes that give life, and does not commit injustice, he will live, yes live, he will not die!
16None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has done what is just and righteous; he will live, yes, live!
17Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But as for them, it is their way that is not fair.
18When a righteous person turns from his righteousness, and commits injustice, then he will die because of it.
19But when a wicked person turns from his wickedness and does what is just and righteous, he will live because of it.
20Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O House of Israel, I will judge each one of you according to his ways.”
21It came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that a fugitive from Jerusalem came to me, saying, “The city has been defeated.”
22Now the hand of Yahweh had been on me in the evening, before the fugitive arrived; and he had opened my mouth by the time he came to me in the morning. So my mouth was opened and I was no longer mute.
23The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
24“Son of man, they who 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.’
25Therefore tell them: This is what the Lord Yahweh says: You eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes to your idols, and shed blood; and should you possess the land?
26You stand on your sword, you work abomination, and every one of you defiles his neighbor’s wife: and should you possess the land?
27You are to tell them: This is what the Lord Yahweh says: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places will fall by the sword, and the one who is in the open field I will give to the animals to be devoured; and those who are in the strongholds and in the caves will die of the pestilence.
28I will make the land a desolation and an astonishment, and the pride of her power will cease; and the mountains of Israel will be desolate so that none will pass through.
29Then they will know that I am Yahweh, when I have made the land a desolation and an astonishment because of all their abominations that they have committed.
30As for you, son of man, the children of your people talk of you by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, ‘Please come and hear what is the word that comes forth from Yahweh.’
31They come to you as the people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their gain.
32Behold, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.
33When this comes to pass (behold, it comes), then they will know that a prophet has been among them.