I will not allow them to consult me
1 Some of the elders of Israel came and sat in front of me. 2 Then the word of Yahweh came to me, 3 “Son of man, these men are keeping in their heart and remain attached to what makes them sin. Am I to allow them to con sult me? 4 Speak to them on my behalf: To every Israelite who goes to a prophet while he keeps filthy idols in his heart and is attached to what makes him sin, I, Yahweh, will give the answer his many idols deserve.
5 For I want to take hold of Is rael’s heart, the heart of all those who have strayed from me because of their filthy idols.
6 So then say to the people of Israel: Thus says Yahweh: come back, turn away from your filthy idols; turn your face away from all your abominations. 7 If a man of the people of Israel or a guest staying in Israel strays away from following me and goes to a pro phet to consult me while he keeps idols in his heart and remains attached to what makes him sin, I, Yahweh, will answer him myself. 8 I will turn my face against this man, I will make of him a pro verbial example, I will strike him from the midst of my people and you will know that I am Yahweh.
9 If the prophet lets himself be seduced and gives an answer, it will be I, Yahweh, who will have let him be seduced. I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel.
10 They will be responsible for their sin. The prophet will be as guilty as the one who consulted him, 11 that the peo ple of Israel may no longer stray from me. Instead of defiling themselves with all their transgressions, they will be for me a people and I will be their God – word of Yahweh.”
12 The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, 13 “Son of man, when a nation sins against me by being unfaithful, I will stretch out my hand against it, deprive it of bread, and famine will destroy people and animals. 14 But if there were found in the land these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, they would save their lives because of their righ teousness – word of Yahweh.
15 If I also let wild beasts roam the land to deprive it of children so that it be comes a desolation without a passerby because of the beasts, 16 if these three men were in the land, as I live, word of Yahweh, they would not save their sons or daughters but only they themselves would be spared while the land would be made desolate.
17 The same would happen if I brought the sword against this land and ordered the sword to go through the land destroying people and ani mals. 18 If these three men were in the land, as I live, word of Yah weh, they would not save sons and daughters but they themselves would be spared. 19 Or if I sent pestilence to the land and poured out my fury against it in bloodshed in order to destroy people and animals, 20 if Noah, Daniel and Job were in the land, as I live, word of Yahweh, they would not save sons or daughters, but their own lives would be spared because of their righteousness.”
21 Now this is what Yahweh says, “Although I have sent my four great punishments, sword, famine, wild beasts and plague against Jerusalem to destroy people and animals, 22 there are survivors, sons and daughters who will be brought out. They will come to you here, and when you see their way of life and their deeds, you will no longer be shocked at the disaster I brought on Jerusalem and at everything that happened to her. 23 They will set your mind at rest when you see their conduct and you will realize that not in vain was all that I did in the city – word of Yahweh.”