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¶ AND it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came in to inquire of the LORD and sat down before me.
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Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, Thus says the LORD God: Are you come to inquire of me?
As I live, says the LORD God, I will not give you an answer.
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You judge them, you judge them, O Son of man!
and declare to them the abominations of their fathers;
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¶ And say to them, Thus says the LORD God: In the day when I chose Israel and swore by lifting up my hand to the descendants of the house of Jacob and revealed myself to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them and said to them, I am the LORD your God;
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On that day I swore to them to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had given to them, a land flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
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And I said to them, Cast away every man his image from before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt;
I am the LORD your God.
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But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me;
they did not every man cast away the images from before their sight, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them and accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
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But I pitied them for my name’s sake, that it should not be defiled among the Gentiles, in whose sight I revealed myself to them to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt.
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Wherefore I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.
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And I gave them my commandments and showed them my judgments, which if a man do he shall live by them.
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Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths to be a sign between me and them, so that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
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But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness;
they did not walk in my commandments, and they despised my judgments, which if a man would do, he would live by them;
and my sabbaths they greatly polluted;
then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness and destroy them.
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But I pitied them for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the Gentiles, in whose presence I brought them out.
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So I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
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Because they despised my judgments and polluted my sabbaths exceedingly;
for their hearts went after their idols.
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Nevertheless my eve spared them and I did not destroy them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
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But I said to their children in the wilderness, Walk not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments nor defile yourselves with their idols;
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I am the LORD your God;
walk in my statutes and keep my judgments and do them:
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And hallow my sabbaths: and they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.
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Notwithstanding the children of Israel rebelled against me;
they did not walk in my commandments, neither did they keep my judgments to do them, which if a man shall do, he shall live by them;
they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them and accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
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But I pitied them for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the Gentiles, in whose presence I brought them out.
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But I swore to them in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the Gentiles and disperse them through the countries;
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Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my commandments and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.
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Wherefore I gave them statutes that were not good and judgments whereby they could not live;
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And I let them defile themselves through their own gifts, when they offered their first-born as sacrifices: that I might destroy them and that they might know that I am the LORD.
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Therefore, Son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them.
Thus says the LORD God: Yet in this very manner your fathers have blasphemed before me in their iniquity which they dealt treacherously against me.
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For when I had brought them into the land that I had sworn to give them, then they saw every high hill and every shady tree, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented their offerings;
there they also made their sweet savor and poured out there their drink offerings.
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Then I said to them, What is the shrine to which you go?
And its name is called Shrine of Idols to this day.
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Wherefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the LORD God: You have defiled yourselves after the manner of your fathers and you go astray after their idols;
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And you offer your gift offerings and make your sons to pass through the fire;
you have polluted yourselves with your idols, even to this day;
and yet you wish to inquire of me, O house of Israel?
As I live, says the LORD God, I will not give you an answer.
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And that which is in your mind shall not come to pass at all, for you say, We will be like the Gentiles and like the families of the earth, to serve wood and stones.
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¶ As I live, says the LORD God, surely with a strong hand and with a stretched out arm and with fury poured out will I rule over you.
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And I will bring you out from the Gentiles, and will gather you out of the countries wherein you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm and with a fury poured out.
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And I will bring you into the wilderness of the Gentiles, and there will I judge you face to face.
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Just as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, says the LORD God.
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And I will cause you to be subject to my scepter, and will bring you into the discipline of the covenant;
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And I will purge out from among you the rebels and those who transgress against me;
I will bring them forth out of the land where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel;
and you shall know that I am the LORD.
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As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the LORD God: If you will not hearken to me, go then and serve every one his own idols, but pollute not my holy name any more with your gift offerings and with your idols.
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For on my holy mountain, even in the mountain height of Israel, says the LORD God, there shall all the house of Israel serve me perfectly;
there will I be pleased with them, and there will I require their offerings and the first fruits of their harvest and the choicest of their gift offerings with all their holy things.
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I will accept you with a sweet savor, when I bring you out from among the Gentiles and gather you out of the cities wherein you have been scattered;
and I will be sanctified in you in the sight of the Gentiles.
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And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country which I swore to give to your fathers.
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And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings by which you have been defiled;
and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evils that you have committed.
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And you shall know that I am the LORD who had pity upon you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel, says the LORD God,
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Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
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Son of man, set your face toward the south, and look southward and prophesy against the forest which is in the south;
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And say to the forest which is in the south, Hear the word of the LORD;
Thus says the LORD God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree;
the flaming fire shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned in it.
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And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it;
it shall not be quenched.
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Then said I, Ah LORD God!
Behold, they will say to me, You speak in parables.