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Ezekiel Chapter 20 | Parsha:

1In the seventh year, on the tenth day of the fifth month, certain elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and sat down before me. 2And the word of the Lord came to me:

3O mortal, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them: Thus said the Lord God: Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live, I will not respond to your inquiry—declares the Lord God.

4Arraign, arraign them, O mortal! Declare to them the abhorrent deeds of their fathers. 5Say to them: Thus said the Lord God:
On the day that I chose Israel, I gave My oath to the stock of the House of Jacob; when I made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I gave my oath to them. When I said, “I the Lord am your God,”
6that same day I swore to them to take them out of the land of Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey, a land which I had sought out for them, the fairest of all lands.

7I also said to them: Cast away, every one of you, the detestable things that you are drawn to, and do not defile yourselves with the fetishes of Egypt—I the Lord am your God. 8But they defied Me and refused to listen to Me. They did not cast away the detestable things they were drawn to, nor did they give up the fetishes of Egypt. Then I resolved to pour out My fury upon them, to vent all My anger upon them there, in the land of Egypt. 9But I acted for the sake of My name, that it might not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they were. For it was before their eyes that I had made Myself known to Israel to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

10I brought them out of the land of Egypt and I led them into the wilderness. 11I gave them My laws and taught them My rules, by the pursuit of which a man shall live. 12Moreover, I gave them My sabbaths to serve as a sign between Me and them, that they might know that it is I the Lord who sanctify them. 13But the House of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not follow My laws and they rejected My rules—by the pursuit of which a man shall live—and they grossly desecrated My sabbaths. Then I thought to pour out My fury upon them in the wilderness and to make an end of them; 14but I acted for the sake of My name, that it might not be profaned in the sight of the nations before whose eyes I had led them out. 15However, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the fairest of all lands, which I had assigned [to them], 16for they had rejected My rules, disobeyed My laws, and desecrated My sabbaths; their hearts followed after their fetishes. 17But I had pity on them and did not destroy them; I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.

18I warned their children in the wilderness: Do not follow the practices of your fathers, do not keep their ways, and do not defile yourselves with their fetishes. 19I the Lord am your God: Follow My laws and be careful to observe My rules. 20And hallow My sabbaths, that they may be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I the Lord am your God.

21But the children rebelled against Me: they did not follow My laws and did not faithfully observe My rules, by the pursuit of which man shall live; they profaned My sabbaths. Then I resolved to pour out My fury upon them, to vent all My anger upon them, in the wilderness. 22But I held back My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it might not be profaned in the sight of the nations before whose eyes I had led them out. 23However, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the lands, 24because they did not obey My rules, but rejected My laws, profaned My sabbaths, and looked with longing to the fetishes of their fathers. 25Moreover, I gave them laws that were not good and rules by which they could not live: 26When they set aside every first issue of the womb, I defiled them by their very gifts—that I might render them desolate, that they might know that I am the Lord.

27Now, O mortal, speak to the House of Israel and say to them: Thus said the Lord God: By this too your fathers affronted Me and committed trespass against Me: 28When I brought them to the land that I had sworn to give them, and they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, they slaughtered their sacrifices there and presented their offensive offerings there; there they produced their pleasing odors and poured out their libations. 29Then I said to them, “What is this shrine which you visit?” (Therefore such [a shrine] is called bamah to this day.)

30Now say to the House of Israel: Thus said the Lord God: If you defile yourselves as your fathers did and go astray after their detestable things, 31and if to this very day you defile yourselves in the presentation of your gifts by making your children pass through the fire to all your fetishes, shall I respond to your inquiry, O House of Israel? As I live—declares the Lord God—I will not respond to you. 32And what you have in mind shall never come to pass—when you say, “We will be like the nations, like the families of the lands, worshiping wood and stone.” 33As I live—declares the Lord God—I will reign over you with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with overflowing fury. 34With a strong hand and an outstretched arm and overflowing fury I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, 35and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples; and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you—declares the Lord God. 37I will make you pass under the shepherd’s staff, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38I will remove from you those who rebel and transgress against Me; I will take them out of the countries where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

39As for you, O House of Israel, thus said the Lord God: Go, every one of you, and worship his fetishes and continue, if you will not obey Me; but do not profane My holy name any more with your idolatrous gifts. 40For only on My holy mountain, on the lofty mount of Israel—declares the Lord God—there, in the land, the entire House of Israel, all of it, must worship Me. There I will accept them, and there I will take note of your contributions and the choicest offerings of all your sacred things. 41When I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands in which you are scattered, I will accept you as a pleasing odor; and I will be sanctified through you in the sight of the nations. 42Then, when I have brought you to the land of Israel, to the country that I swore to give to your fathers, you shall know that I am the Lord. 43There you will recall your ways and all the acts by which you defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves for all the evils that you committed. 44Then, O House of Israel, you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for My name’s sake—not in accordance with your evil ways and corrupt acts—declares the Lord God.

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