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EZEKIEL XXII–JERUSALEM CONDEMNED

10 In thee have they discovered their fathers' nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution.

11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife: and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter.

12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God.

13 | Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.

14 Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it.

15 And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.

16 And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.

17 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.

19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.

20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.

21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. 22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall

ye

be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.

23 | And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained

upon

in the day of indignation. 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.

26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned

among them.

The Vision in the Whirlwind

BY PAUL F. POOLE, R. A., AN ENGLISH HISTORICAL

PAINTER, DIED 1879.

E

- “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.Ezekiel, 1, 4.

ZEKIEL seems to have been from the first a man of note among the exiles, but his summons from God to

guide them as His prophet did not come until the fifth year of the captivity. The priest was then dwelling at Tel-abib in Babylonia, “among the captives by the river of Chebar.” Doubtless he was meditating much as to the meaning and the probable duration of the Divine chastisement of Israel, when suddenly he found himself selected as God's mouthpiece for teaching these solemn truths. As he himself tells us, “the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.”

A black storm cloud swept over the sky; a whirlwind rushed toward him “out of the north;” the lightning flashed. The companions of Ezekiel may, as the artist Poole conceives them, have seen only the thunder storm and have crouched before it. But Ezekiel saw more. The heavens were indeed opened to his gaze. He saw the majesty of God Himself, and had revealed to him the first of those mystic visions which form the chief material of his book. He was summoned by God to warn the exiles of the fate in store both for them and for Jerusalem. Evil and laxity of worship had already crept among the captives. Ezekiel was to be their spiritual guide, to save them from becoming as worthless and wicked

as their brethren in Jerusalem.

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