1. Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
2. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
3. Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their faces: should I be inquired of at all by them?
4. Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus says the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that comes according to the multitude of his idols;
5. That I may seize the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
6. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
7. For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourns in Israel, who separates himself from me, and sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
8. And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and you shall know that I am the LORD.
9. And if the prophet is deceived when he has spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
10. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that inquired of him;
11. That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be defiled any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, says the Lord GOD.
12. The word of the LORD came again to me, saying,
13. Son of man, when the land sins against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out my hand upon it, and will break its supply of bread, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:
14. Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver only their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord GOD.
15. If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, so that it is desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:
16. Though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.
17. Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it:
18. Though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves.
19. Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast:
20. Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall only deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
21. For thus says the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four severe judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the wild beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?
22. Yet, behold, in it shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and you shall see their way and their doings: and you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it.
23. And they shall comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings: and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, says the Lord GOD.