December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- As for you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel: Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD!
- Thus says the Lord GOD: Because the enemy has said of you, "Ha! the everlasting heights have become our possession"
- (therefore prophesy in these words: Thus says the Lord GOD:); because you have been ridiculed and despised on all sides for having become a possession for the rest of the nations, and have become a byword and a popular jeer;
- therefore, mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD: (Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains and hills, the ravines and valleys, the desolate ruins and abandoned cities, which have been given over to the pillage and mockery of the remaining nations round about;
- therefore thus says the Lord GOD:) Truly, with burning jealousy I speak against the rest of the nations (and against all of Edom) who with wholehearted joy and utter contempt have considered my land their possession to be delivered over to plunder.
- (Therefore, prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, the ravines and valleys: Thus says the Lord GOD:) With jealous fury I speak, because you have borne the reproach of the nations.
- Therefore do I solemnly swear that your neighboring nations shall bear their own reproach.
- As for you, mountains of Israel, you shall grow branches and bear fruit for my people Israel, for they shall soon return.
- See, I come to you, it is to you that I turn; you will be tilled and sown,
- and I will settle crowds of men upon you, the whole house of Israel; cities shall be repeopled, and ruins rebuilt.
- I will settle crowds of men and beasts upon you, to multiply and be fruitful. I will repeople you as in the past, and be more generous to you than in the beginning; thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
- (My people Israel are the ones whom I will have walk upon you; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their heritage. Never again shall you rob them of their children.)
- 1 Thus says the Lord GOD: Because they have said of you, "You are a land that devours men, and you rob your people of their children";
- therefore, never again shall you devour men or rob your people of their children, says the Lord GOD.
- No more will I permit you to hear the reproach of nations, or bear insults from peoples, or rob your people of their children, says the Lord GOD.
- Thus the word of the LORD came to me:
- Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their land, they defiled it by their conduct and deeds. In my sight their conduct was like the defilement of a menstruous woman.
- Therefore I poured out my fury upon them (because of the blood which they poured out on the ground, and because they defiled it with idols).
- I scattered them among the nations, dispersing them over foreign lands; according to their conduct and deeds I judged them.
- But when they came among the nations (wherever they came), they served to profane my holy name, because it was said of them: "These are the people of the LORD, yet they had to leave their land."
- So I have relented because of my holy name which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they came.
- Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord GOD: Not for your sakes do I act, house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you profaned among the nations to which you came.
- I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations, in whose midst you have profaned it. Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
- For I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands, and bring you back to your own land.
- I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
- I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.
- I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees.
- You shall live in the land I gave your fathers; you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
- I will save you from all your impurities; I will order the grain to be abundant, and I will not send famine against you.
- I will increase the fruit on your trees and the crops in your fields; thus you shall no longer bear among the nations the reproach of famine.
- Then you shall remember your evil conduct, and that your deeds were not good; you shall loathe yourselves for your sins and your abominations.
- Not for your sakes do I act, says the Lord GOD--let this be known to you! Be ashamed and abashed because of your conduct, O house of Israel.
- Thus says the Lord GOD: When I purify you from all your crimes, I will repeople the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt;
- the desolate land shall be tilled, which was formerly a wasteland exposed to the gaze of every passer-by.
- "This desolate land has been made into a garden of Eden," they shall say. "The cities that were in ruins, laid waste, and destroyed are now repeopled and fortified."
- Thus the neighboring nations that remain shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt what was destroyed and replanted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have promised, and I will do it.
- Thus says the Lord GOD: This also I will be persuaded to do for the house of Israel: to multiply them like sheep.
- As with sacrificial sheep, the sheep of Jerusalem on its feast days, the cities which were in ruins shall be filled with flocks of men; thus they shall know that I am the LORD.
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1  A land that devours men: destroys its own population, as could be seen in its disastrous political history.
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