Old Testament

Ezekiel 24
A Parable About the Siege of Jerusalem
241The word of the Lord came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month.[]
2Son of man, record this date, this very day. The king of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem on this very day. 3Tell a parable to the rebellious house. Tell them that this is what the Lord God says.
Put the pot on. Put it on. Then pour water in it. 4Put the pieces of meat into it, every good piece, thigh and shoulder. Fill it with the best cuts.[] 5Take the best of the flock. Pile up the wood[] under it. Boil it thoroughly, so that the pieces[] in it are well cooked.
6Therefore, this is what the Lord God says. Woe to the bloody city, a pot whose residue is inside it, whose residue[] has not gone out of it!
Take out its cuts of meat piece by piece, without choosing one piece in preference to another.[] 7Do this because the blood she shed remains within her. She spilled it on a bare rock. She did not pour it on the ground, where the soil would cover it. 8To rouse wrath and to exact repayment, I have spilled her blood on a bare rock so that it would not be covered.
9Therefore, this is what the Lord God says. Woe to the bloody city! I myself will keep piling up the wood. 10Add more wood. Stoke the fire. Overcook the meat. Pour out the broth.[] Let the bones be charred. 11Leave the empty pot on the coals so that it becomes hot and its bronze glows, till the filth inside it is melted, and its residue is burned away. 12The city has wearied me with its wickedness. Its filthy residue has not been removed from it. Into the fire with its filthy residue!
13Your impurity is lewdness. I tried to cleanse you, but you did not become clean, and as a result you will not be clean again from your impurity until I have exhausted my wrath against you. 14I, the Lord, have spoken. This is coming, and I will do it. I will not neglect it. I will not spare you, and I will not relent. According to your behavior and your misdeeds, you will be judged, declares the Lord God.
The Death of Ezekiel's Wife
15The word of the Lord came to me.
16Son of man, be forewarned! With one blow I am taking away from you what your eyes desire. You must not mourn or cry. Your tears must not flow. 17Groan silently. Perform no mourning rites for the dead. Bind your turban on your head. Put your sandals on your feet. Do not cover your upper lip. Do not eat the food people bring to mourners.
18So I spoke to the people that morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded. 19Then the people asked me, “Won't you tell us what these things that you are doing mean for us?”
20I answered them, “This is the word of the Lord that came to me.”
21Say to the house of Israel that this is what the Lord God says.
Be forewarned! I am about to desecrate my sanctuary, the stronghold of which you are so proud, the sight your eyes desire, the place your soul yearns for. Your sons and your daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword. 22So you will do as I have done. You will not cover your upper lip. You will not eat the food people bring to mourners. 23Your turbans will remain on your heads and your sandals on your feet. You will not mourn or cry, but you will waste away in your guilt, and you will groan to one another. 24In this way, Ezekiel will be a sign to you. You will do everything the same way as he has done it. When it happens, you will know that I am the Lord God.
25But you, son of man, be aware that on that day when I take away from them their stronghold, their joy and glory, what their eyes desire, and that on which they set their hearts—their sons and their daughters as well— 26on that day a survivor will come to you to let you hear it with your own ears. 27On that day, your mouth will be opened when the survivor comes. Then you will speak and be speechless no longer. You will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the Lord.


  • 24:1 In the winter of 588 BC
  • 24:4 Literally the best bones
  • 24:5 The Hebrew reads bones. Removing one letter from this word leaves the reading wood, which is followed by nearly all English translations. See verse 10.
  • 24:5 The Hebrew reads bones.
  • 24:6 The meaning of this word is uncertain. It refers to some sort of uncleanness, perhaps the carbonized waste that remains in an overheated pot.
  • 24:6 The Hebrew reads no lot has fallen on it for the words without choosing one piece in preference to another.
  • 24:10 The translation follows the Greek text. The Hebrew seems to read mix in the spices. It is not clear how this reading would fit a context about the final stages of destroying the meat.