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Ezekiel Chapter 33 | Parsha:

1The word of the Lord came to me: 2O mortal, speak to your fellow countrymen and say to them: When I bring the sword against a country, the citizens of that country take one of their number and appoint him their watchman. 3Suppose he sees the sword advancing against the country, and he blows the horn and warns the people. 4If anybody hears the sound of the horn but ignores the warning, and the sword comes and dispatches him, his blood shall be on his own head. 5Since he heard the sound of the horn but ignored the warning, his bloodguilt shall be upon himself; had he taken the warning, he would have saved his life. 6But if the watchman sees the sword advancing and does not blow the horn, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and destroys one of them, that person was destroyed for his own sins; however, I will demand a reckoning for his blood from the watchman.

7Now, O mortal, I have appointed you a watchman for the House of Israel; and whenever you hear a message from My mouth, you must transmit My warning to them. 8When I say to the wicked, “Wicked man, you shall die,” but you have not spoken to warn the wicked man against his way, he, that wicked man, shall die for his sins, but I will demand a reckoning for his blood from you. 9But if you have warned the wicked man to turn back from his way, and he has not turned from his way, he shall die for his own sins, but you will have saved your life.

10Now, O mortal, say to the House of Israel: This is what you have been saying: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh heavily upon us; we are sick at heart about them. How can we survive?” 11Say to them: As I live—declares the Lord God—it is not My desire that the wicked shall die, but that the wicked turn from his [evil] ways and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways, that you may not die, O House of Israel!

12Now, O mortal, say to your fellow countrymen: The righteousness of the righteous shall not save him when he transgresses, nor shall the wickedness of the wicked cause him to stumble when he turns back from his wickedness. The righteous shall not survive through his righteousness when he sins. 13When I say of the righteous “He shall surely live,” and, relying on his righteousness, he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but for the iniquity that he has committed he shall die. 14So, too, when I say to the wicked, “You shall die,” and he turns back from his sinfulness and does what is just and right— 15if the wicked man restores a pledge, makes good what he has taken by robbery, follows the laws of life, and does not commit iniquity—he shall live, he shall not die. 16None of the sins that he committed shall be remembered against him; since he does what is just and right, he shall live.

17Your fellow countrymen say, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” But it is their way that is unfair! 18When a righteous man turns away from his righteous deeds and commits iniquity, he shall die for it. 19And when a wicked man turns back from his wickedness and does what is just and right, it is he who shall live by virtue of these things. 20And will you say, “The way of the Lord is unfair”? I will judge each one of you according to his ways, O House of Israel!

21In the twelfth year of our exile, on the fifth day of the tenth month, a fugitive came to me from Jerusalem and reported, “The city has fallen.” 22Now the hand of the Lord had come upon me the evening before the fugitive arrived, and He opened my mouth before he came to me in the morning; thus my mouth was opened and I was no longer speechless.

23The word of the Lord came to me: 24O mortal, those who live in these ruins in the land of Israel argue, “Abraham was but one man, yet he was granted possession of the land. We are many; surely, the land has been given as a possession to us.” 25Therefore say to them: Thus said the Lord God: You eat with the blood, you raise your eyes to your fetishes, and you shed blood—yet you expect to possess the land! 26You have relied on your sword, you have committed abominations, you have all defiled other men’s wives—yet you expect to possess the land!

27Thus shall you speak to them: Thus said the Lord God: As I live, those who are in the ruins shall fall by the sword, and those who are in the open I have allotted as food to the beasts, and those who are in the strongholds and caves shall die by pestilence. 28I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud glory shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, with none passing through. 29And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I make the land a desolate waste on account of all the abominations which they have committed.

30Note well, O mortal: your fellow countrymen who converse about you by the walls and in the doorways of their houses and say to each other and propose to one another, “Come and hear what word has issued from the Lord.” 31They will come to you in crowds and sit before you in throngs and will hear your words, but they will not obey them. For they produce nothing but lust with their mouths; and their hearts pursue nothing but gain. 32To them you are just a singer of bawdy songs, who has a sweet voice and plays skillfully; they hear your words, but will not obey them. 33But when it comes—and come it will—they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

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