The parable of the exile
1 This word of Yahweh came to me, 2 “Son of man, you live in the midst of a house of rebels: they have eyes for seeing but do not see; they have ears for hearing but do not hear, for they are a house of rebels. 3 Because of this, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile’s baggage in their sight as an exile does; and go as an exile to another place in their sight. Would that they may understand, because they are a house of rebels.
4 You will gather your things, an exile’s baggage, by day to be seen by them, and you will leave in the evening as for a departure of deportees. While they look on, 5 dig a hole in the wall and leave from there. 6 As they look on, shoulder your baggage and leave in the dark. Veil your face and do not look at the land for I have made you a sign for Israel.”
7 I did as I was ordered, gathering my things by day, an exile’s bag gage, and in the evening I made a hole in the wall with my hand. I left in the dark, in their presence, shouldering my bag gage.
8 In the morning the word of Yahweh came to me: 9 “Son of man, did not the Israelites, these rebels, ask you, ‘What are you doing there?’ 10 Answer them on behalf of Yahweh: This oracle con cerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the Israelites remaining in the city.
11 Say, ‘I am a sign for you,’ for what I have done will happen to them: They will be deported, exiled. 12 The prince among them shall shoulder his baggage in the dark and depart. They will dig a hole in the wall to let him leave by it. He will cover his face because he must not see the land with his eyes. 13 I will spread my net over him and he will be caught in its mesh. I will bring him to Babylon in the country of the Chaldeans but he will not see it and it is there that he will die.
14 As for all those who form his court, his guard, his troops, I will scatter them to the winds and pursue them with the sword. 15 They will know I am Yahweh when I scatter them among the nations and disperse them in other countries. 16 I will however allow a small number of them to escape the sword, famine and pestilence so they may confess their abominations among the nations where they will go and they will know I am Yahweh.”
17 This word of Yahweh came to me, 18 “Son of man, trembling you will eat your bread and you will drink water in fear and anxiety. 19 Say to the people, ‘This is what Yahweh says regarding those who live in Jeru salem in the land of Israel: In fear they will eat their bread and in affliction they will drink their water because the land will be desolate, stripped of all it contains, due to the violence of its inhabitants. 20 Cities that were inhabited will become ruins, the country a wasteland and you will know that I am Yahweh.”
The word of God will be fulfilled
21 The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, 22 “Son of man, what do you mean by this proverb: The days pass and the visions do not come true? Why do you refer thus to what happens in Israel? 23 You shall say to them this word of Yahweh: No more of this proverb. It will not be used in Israel, for the day is at hand when every vision will be fulfilled. 24 No longer will there be false visions or misleading divinations in Israel. 25 I, Yahweh, will say what I want to say, and my words will be fulfilled. There will be no more delay, for it is in your days, rebellious people, that I will speak and it will be done – word of Yahweh.”
26 The word of Yahweh was given me in these terms, 27 “Son of man, this is what Israel says: ‘Ezekiel’s visions refer to the distant future; he prophesies for times far off.’ 28 Therefore speak to them: This is what Yahweh says: There will be no further delay concerning my words: what I say will be done – word of Yahweh.”