Death for the Remnant in Jerusalem. 1The spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the house of the LORD facing east. There at the entrance of the gate were twenty-five men; among them I saw the public officials Jaazaniah, son of Azzur, and Pelatiah, son of Benaiah. 2The LORD said to me: Son of man, these are the men who are planning evil and giving wicked counsel in this city. 3They are saying, “No need to build houses! The city is the pot, and we are the meat.”* a 4Therefore prophesy against them, son of man, prophesy! 5Then the spirit of the LORD fell upon me and told me to say: Thus says the LORD: This is how you talk, house of Israel. I know the things that come into your mind! 6You have slain many in this city, filled its streets with the slain. 7Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: The slain whom you piled up in it, that is the meat, the pot is the city. But you I will bring out of it.b 8You fear the sword—that sword I will bring upon you—oracle of the Lord GOD.c 9I will bring you out of the city, hand you over to foreigners, and execute judgments against you. 10By the sword you shall fall. At the borders of Israel I will judge you so that you will know that I am the LORD. 11The city shall not be a pot for you, nor shall you be meat within it. At the borders of Israel I will judge you,d 12so you shall know that I am the LORD, whose statutes you did not follow, whose ordinances you did not keep. Instead, you acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you.
13While I was prophesying, Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah, dropped dead. I fell down on my face and cried out in a loud voice: “Alas, Lord GOD! You are finishing off what remains of Israel!”* e
Restoration for the Exiles. 14The word of the LORD came to me: 15* Son of man, the inhabitants of Jerusalem are saying about all your relatives, the other exiles, and all the house of Israel, “They are far away from the LORD. The land is given to us as a possession.”f 16Therefore say: Thus says the Lord GOD: I have indeed sent them far away among the nations, scattered them over the lands, and have been but little sanctuary for them in the lands to which they have gone. 17Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, I will gather you from the nations and collect you from the lands through which you were scattered, so I can give you the land of Israel.g 18They will enter it and remove all its atrocities and abominations. 19h And I will give them another heart and a new spirit I will put within them. From their bodies I will remove the hearts of stone, and give them hearts of flesh, 20so that they walk according to my statutes, taking care to keep my ordinances. Thus they will be my people, and I will be their God.i 21But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their atrocities and abominations, I will bring their conduct down upon their heads—oracle of the Lord GOD.
22Then the cherubim lifted their wings and the wheels alongside them, with the glory of the God of Israel above them.j 23* The glory of the LORD rose up from the middle of the city and came to rest on the mountain east of the city.k 24In a vision, the spirit lifted me up and brought me back to the exiles in Chaldea, by the spirit of God. The vision I had seen left me,l 25and I told the exiles everything the LORD had shown me.m
* [11:3] No need to build houses…meat: this advice is based on the conviction that invincible Jerusalem will protect its citizens from further danger just as a pot shields the meat inside from the fire. The poorer citizens of Jerusalem and the refugees from nearby villages can now appropriate the property abandoned by the city’s wealthier upper class when they were deported (v. 15). The metaphor of the pot and its contents reappears in chap. 24.
* [11:13] In Ezekiel’s vision Pelatiah represents the people left in Jerusalem, “the remnant of Israel.” His sudden death in the vision, but not in reality, is a figure for the judgment described in vv. 8–10 and prompts Ezekiel’s anguished question about the survival of the people left in the land after the deportations in 597.
* [11:15–21] Ezekiel insists that those who remained in Judah are doomed; the exiles, under a new covenant, will constitute a new Israel. Cf. chap. 36; Jer 24:7; 29.
* [11:23] The glory of the Lord departs toward the east, to the exiles in Babylon; it will return once the Temple is rebuilt (43:1–3).
d. [11:11] 2 Kgs 25:20–21.
h. [11:19] Ez 18:31; 36:26; 2 Cor 3:3.
i. [11:20] Ex 6:7; Jer 31:33; 32:38.