33 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , I will rule over you with an iron fist in great anger and with awesome power. 34 And in anger I will reach out with my strong hand and powerful arm, and I will bring you back 1 from the lands where you are scattered. 35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will judge you face to face. 36 I will judge you there just as I did your ancestors in the wilderness after bringing them out of Egypt, says the Sovereign Lord . 37 I will examine you carefully and hold you to the terms of the covenant. 38 I will purge you of all those who rebel and revolt against me. I will bring them out of the countries where they are in exile, but they will never enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord .
39 “As for you, O people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go right ahead and worship your idols, but sooner or later you will obey me and will stop bringing shame on my holy name by worshiping idols.
40 For on my holy mountain, the great mountain of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord , the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them. There I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices. 41 When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch. 42 Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord . 43 You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the Lord , O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken!”
2 Then this message came to me from the Lord :
“Son of man, turn and face the south 3 and speak out against it; prophesy against the brushlands of the Negev.
Tell the southern wilderness, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Hear the word of the Lord ! I will set you on fire, and every tree, both green and dry, will be burned. The terrible flames will not be quenched and will scorch everything from south to north.
And everyone in the world will see that I, the Lord , have set this fire. It will not be put out.’”
Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord , they are saying of me, ‘He only talks in riddles!’”