The Death of Ezekiel’s Wife, a Portent

Ezekiel 24:15–27

Biblical Period

15The word of the Lord came to me: 16O mortal, I am about to take away the delight of your eyes from you through pestilence; but you shall not lament or weep or let your tears flow. 17Moan softly; observe no mourning for the dead: Put on your turban and put your sandals on your feet; do not cover over your upper lip, and do not eat the bread of comforters.

18In the evening my wife died, and in the morning I did as I had been commanded. And when I spoke to the people that morning, 19the people asked me, “Will you not tell us what these things portend for us, that you are acting so?” 20I answered them, “The word of the Lord has come to me: 21Tell the House of Israel: Thus said the Lord God: ‘I am going to desecrate My Sanctuary, your pride and glory, the delight of your eyes and the desire of your heart; and the sons and daughters you have left behind shall fall by the sword. 24a And Ezekiel shall become a portent for you: you shall do just as he has done, when it happens; and you shall know that I am the Lord God.’ 22Accordingly, you shall do as I have done: you shall not cover over your upper lips or eat the bread of comforters; 23and your turbans shall remain on your heads, and your sandals upon your feet. You shall not lament or weep, but you shall be heartsick because of your iniquities and shall moan to one another.”a

25You, O mortal, take note: On the day that I take their stronghold from them, their pride and joy, the delight of their eyes and the longing of their hearts—their sons and daughters—26on that day a fugitive will come to you, to let you hear it with your own ears. 27On that day your mouth shall be opened to the fugitive, and you shall speak and no longer be dumb. So you shall be a portent for them, and they shall know that I am the Lord.


v. 24 moved up for clarity.


Reprinted from Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 1.

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