Idolatrous Elders Condemned
(Romans 14:13–23; 1 Corinthians 8:1–13)
1 Then some of the elders of Israel came and sat down before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 3 “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I consult with them in any way?
4 Therefore speak to them and tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him according to his great idolatry, 5 so that I may take hold of the hearts of the people of Israel. For because of their idols, they are all estranged from Me.’
6 Therefore tell the house of Israel that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Repent and turn away from your idols; turn your faces away from all your abominations. 7 For when any Israelite or any foreigner dwelling in Israel separates himself from Me, sets up idols in his heart, and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me, I the LORD will answer him Myself. 8 I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb; I will cut him off from among My people. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
9 But if the prophet is enticed to speak a message, then it was I the LORD who enticed him, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 They will bear their punishment—the punishment of the inquirer will be the same as that of the prophet— 11 in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Then they will be My people and I will be their God, declares the Lord GOD.’ ”
Four Dire Judgments
12 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 13 “Son of man, if a land sins against Me by acting unfaithfully, and I stretch out My hand against it to cut off its supply a of food, to send famine upon it, and to cut off from it both man and beast, 14 then even if these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—were in it, their righteousness could deliver only themselves, declares the Lord GOD.
15 Or if I send wild beasts through the land to leave it childless and desolate, with no man passing through it for fear of the beasts, 16 then as surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, even if these three men were in it, they could not deliver their own sons or daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.
17 Or if I bring a sword against that land and say, ‘Let a sword pass through it,’ so that I cut off from it both man and beast, 18 then as surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, even if these three men were in it, they could not deliver their own sons or daughters. They alone would be delivered.
19 Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out My wrath upon it through bloodshed, cutting off from it both man and beast, 20 then as surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they could not deliver their own sons or daughters. Their righteousness could deliver only themselves.
21 For this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem My four dire judgments—sword, famine, wild beasts, and plague—in order to cut off from it both man and beast?
22 Yet, behold, some survivors will be left in it—sons and daughters who will be brought out. They will come out to you, and when you see their conduct and actions, you will be comforted regarding the disaster I have brought upon Jerusalem—all that I have brought upon it. 23 They will bring you consolation when you see their conduct and actions, and you will know that it was not without cause that I have done all these things within it,’ declares the Lord GOD.”
13 a Hebrew staff