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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

Ezekiel 16:1-63

16  And Jehovah’s word came to me 2  “Man, let Jerusalem know her abominable ways, 3  and say ‘Says the Lord Jehovah to Jerusalem, Your origin and birth were out of the Canaanite country, your father was the Amorite, and your mother was Hittite. 4*  And as for your birth, on the day of your being born your navel-string was not cut and you were not bathed with water for lustration; you were unsalted and unwrapped. 5  No eye had mercy on you to do any of these things for you in a humane feeling for you; and you were thrown out on the open range in aversion to your existence on the day of your being born. 6  And I passed by you and saw you kicking in your blood, and said to you in your blood “Live and increase!” 7*  I made you like the growths of the range, and you increased and grew large and came to the time of periods; your breasts took shape and your hair sprouted, you being naked and bare. 8  And I passed by you and saw you and found your age was the age for lovemaking; and I spread the flap of my garment over you and covered your nudity, and swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, quoth the Lord Jehovah, and you became mine. 9  And I bathed you with water and washed your blood off you and rubbed you with oil, 10*  and dressed you in embroidery and shod you with sea-cow skin and swathed you in lawn and enveloped you in silk 11  and bejeweled you with jewels, and put bracelets on your arms and a necklace round your throat, 12  and put a ring in your nose and earrings in your ears and a magnificent coronet on your head. 13*  “‘And you were bejeweled with gold and silver, and your dress was lawn and silk and embroidery, and you ate farina and honey and oil, and you grew very, very lovely and fit for queenhood, 14  and your reputation for loveliness went out among the nations, because your loveliness was perfect by my beautifying which I had applied to you, quoth the Lord Jehovah; 15*  and you trusted to your loveliness and went into prostitution on the basis of your reputation and poured your prostitution out toward every passerby—his it was to be. 16*  And you took some of your garments and made yourself many-colored heights and prostituted yourself at them. 17  And you took your magnificent outfit, gold and silver of mine that I had given you, and made yourself male images and committed unchaste acts with them; 18  and you took your embroidered garments and covered them, and my oil and incense you put before them; 19  and my viands that I had given you, farina and oil and honey, you fed to them and put before them for a genial odor. And, quoth the Lord Jehovah, 20  you took your sons and daughters that you had borne to me and sacrificed them to them for their eating. Was your prostitution not enough? 21  you slaughtered my children and gave them, by sending them over, to them. 22  And with all your abominations and prostitutions you did not remember your girlhood days when you were naked and bare; kicking in your blood you were. 23*  And after all your wickedness—shame on you, shame on you, quoth the Lord Jehovah— 24  you built yourself a kiosk and made yourself a pagoda in every square; 25  at every head of a road you built your pagoda and debased your beauty and spread your legs apart to every passerby and prostituted yourself by wholesale. 26  And you prostituted yourself to the Egyptians your big-organed neighbors, and carried on the prostitution by wholesale, to provoke me. 27*  “‘And there I stretched out my hand against you and cut down your allowance and gave you up to the will of your haters the daughters of the Philistines, who were humiliated at your course (lewdness). 28  “‘And you prostituted yourself to the Assyrians because you had not had all you wanted, and even prostituting yourself with them you did not have all you wanted. 29*  And you prostituted yourself by wholesale to the country of Canaan, to the Chaldeans; and you did not have all you wanted with this either. 30*  What a moping heart was yours, quoth the Lord Jehovah, when you did all these things, the actions of an audacious unchaste woman, 31  when you built your kiosk at the head of every road and made your pagoda in every square! and you were not like a prostitute, gibing at a tip. 32*  A woman that commits adultery during wedlock takes tips; 33  they give a fee to all prostitutes; but you gave your fees to all your lovers and bribed them to come to you from all sides in your prostitution. 34**  And there was in you a contrast to women in general; in your prostituting yourself when you were not solicited, and in your giving tips when none were given to you, you became a contrast. 35  “‘So, prostitute, hear Jehovah’s word. 36**  Says the Lord Jehovah, Since your slime was emitted and your nudity bared in your prostituting yourself to your lovers and to all your abominations of fetishes, and in view of your children’s blood that you have given to them, 37  therefore here I am gathering all your lovers who have found you sweet, and all whom you love as well as all whom you hate; I will gather them against you from all sides, and bare your nakedness to them, and they shall see all your nakedness; 38*  and I will pass on you the sentences of adulteresses and bloodshedders, and will make you a bloody victim of ire and jealousy. 39*  And I will give you into their hands, and they will demolish your kiosk and pull down your pagoda and strip you of your clothes and take your magnificent array and leave you naked and bare, 40  and raise an assembly against you and stone you, and mutilate you with their swords, 41  and burn your houses and do justice on you before the eyes of many women; and I will make you leave off as prostitute, neither shall you give tips anymore, 42  and I will slake my ire on you, and my jealousy will turn away from you, and I will be quiet and no longer resentful. 43*  Since you did not remember your girlhood days but stirred me with all these things, here I on my part have brought your course down on your own head, quoth the Lord Jehovah, and you have not carried out your lewd design on top of all your abominations. 44  “‘Here will every proverb-fancier bring out a proverb over you, “Like mother her daughter.” 45  You are the daughter of your mother that held her husband and children in aversion, and the sister of your sisters that held their husbands and children in aversion: your mother was Hittite and your father Amorite. 46**  Your big sister was Samaria and her daughters, that lived at your left, and your little sister, that lived at your right, was Sodom and her daughters. 47*  And you did not walk in their paths and do the like of their abominations, within a tiny little bit, but were more vicious than they in all your courses. 48  By my life, quoth the Lord Jehovah, your sister Sodom and her daughters did not do the like of what you and your daughters have done. 49**  Here, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had the pride of eating their fill of bread and of undisturbed success, and did not strengthen the hands of needy and downtrodden men, 50  and were high-handed and did an abominable thing before me; and I removed them when I saw it. 51  Neither did Samaria sin like half your sinning. And you have outdone them in abominations, and vindicated your sisters by all your abominations that you committed. 52  Bear your disgrace yourself, as you have pleaded your sisters’ cause; by your sins in which you have become more abominable than they, they have become more honest than you; be ashamed yourself and bear your disgrace for having vindicated your sisters. 53*  And I will come back to them, to Sodom and her daughters and to Samaria and her daughters, and to you in the middle between them, 54  in order that you may bear your disgrace and be humiliated at all you have done, inasmuch as you cheered them up. 55  And your sister Sodom and her daughters shall come back to their old-time condition, and your sister Samaria and her daughters to theirs, and you and your daughters to yours. 56*  And had not your sister Sodom become a story in your mouth in the day of your pride, 57*  before your wickedness had been uncovered at the time of the taunting of the daughters of Edom and all the daughters of the Philistines who vented their spite on you on all sides? 58  Your lewdness and abominations you have borne the weight of, quoth Jehovah. 59*  “‘For the Lord Jehovah says, And I will do by you as you did; whereas you despised an adjuration, to break a covenant, 60  I on my part will remember my covenant with you in your girlhood days, and will set up for you a perpetual covenant, 61  and you will remember your courses and be humiliated when you receive your sisters, the ones bigger than you along with the ones smaller than you, and I give them to you for daughters, but not out of your covenant. 62  And I myself will set up my covenant with you, and you will know that I am Jehovah, 63  in order that you may remember and be ashamed and may no longer have a disposition to open your mouth because of your humiliation, when I purge you for all that you have done, quoth the Lord Jehovah.”’


16:4 (lustration) Unc.
16:7 Codd. came with (or into) a jewel of jewels
16:10, 13 (silk) Unc.
16:13 Var. lovely, and your reputation
16:15 Var. passerby. And you took
16:16 Codd. add at end Things not coming in, and it is not to be (var. you did not come in, and it is not to be)
16:23 Var. wickedness, quoth the Lord Jehovah, you
16:27 Conj. that verse 27 does not belong here
16:29 (Canaan) Susp.
16:30 (first words) Unc.; susp.
16:32 Lit. commits adultery under (or instead of) her husband
16:34 Lit. to women; in your
16:34 Var. omits last four words (then use comma instead of semicolon)
16:36 (slime) Unc.; perhaps the Hebrew word means the secretion of certain glands
16:36 Lit. fetishes of abominations
16:38 Lit. a bloodshedding of ire Susp.
16:39 Lit. take your articles of magnificence and
16:43 (last part) Unc.; susp.
16:46 (twice) Or that sat at
16:46 Lit. your sister littler than you
16:47 Or abominations; as if that were a tiny little bit, you were
16:49 Codd.* had pride, their fill of bread, and undisturbed
16:49 Or were pretentious, and did Lit. acted high and did
16:53 Or will restore them, Sodom . . . and Samaria . . . and you
16:56 Unc.
16:57 Conj. your nakedness
16:59 Conj. “I will not do . . . did, that you . . . covenant; I