Ezek 22.1-31 gives us the sins of Jerusalem and the people, and since there is no intercessor for them, they face captivity and destruction. Ezekiel must judge them and reveal their iniquities, sins and transgressions.
v 1…Then the word of the Lord (Yehovah) to me saying,
v 2…”And you, son of man (when this is used Ezekiel represents the people), will you judge, will you judge the bloody city (will you do the work judging the “city of bloods?”)? Then cause her to to know all her abominations.
v 3…And you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord God (Adonia Yehovah), “A city shedding blood in her midst (openly), so that her time will come (to fill up the measure), and makes idols contrary to her for defilement!
v 4…You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed and defiled by your idols which you have made. Thus you have brought your day near and have come to your years (when judgment shall come to you); therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the lands (for leaving Yehovah).
v 5…Those who are near (Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistines) and those who are far (Babylon, Medo-Persia, etc) from you shall mock you, you of ill-repute (infamous in character), full of turmoil (confusion, factions).
v 6…Behold (take note), the rulers (Hebrew “nasi” or princes) of Israel each according to his power (or ability) have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood.
v 7…They have treated father and mother lightly within you (the ungodly disrespected their parents and treated them with contempt). The alien (Hebrew “ger” or stranger) they have oppressed in your midst (mistreated by various means in the courts, or in commerce); the fatherless and the widow they have wronged in you (the weak and the helpless were not defended).
v 8…You have defiled my holy things (the Temple, the priests, the korbanot, the Torah, etc.) and profaned my sabbaths (by working, disregarding it).
v 9…Slanderous men (who told false tales) have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood (innocent blood), and in you they have eaten at the mountain (shrines, idol worship). In your midst they have committed acts of lewdness (a general uncleanness, adultery, fornication, incest).
v 10…In you they have uncovered their father’s nakedness (slept with their father’s wife); in you they have humbled her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity (had sexual relations during their monthly cycle-Lev 18.19, making them unfit to enter the sanctuary).
v 11…And one has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife, and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law (Lev 18.15). And another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter (Lev 18.9).
v 12…In you they have taken bribes to shed blood (judges took innocent lives for money); you have taken interest (usury) and profits (increase), and you have injured your neighbor’s for gain by oppression (extortion), and you have forgotten me,” declares the Lord God.
v 13…Behold (take note of), then, I smite my hand (clenched in wrathful indignation) at your dishonest gain which you have acquired and at the bloodshed which is among you.
v 14…Can your heart endure (the anticipation of the judgment that is coming), or can your hands be strong (be secure), in the days that I shall deal with you (No)? I, the Lord (Yehovah), have spoken and shall act.
v 15…And I shall scatter you among the nations, and I shall disperse you through the lands (in captivity and exile), and I shall consume your uncleanness from you (by destroying the guilty, purging and afflicting the people to bring them to their senses).
v 16…And you will profane yourselves in the sight of the nations, and you will know that I am the Lord (all of them will be witnesses as proof that what Yehovah said was going to happen, indeed did happen).”
v 17…And the word of the Lord came to me saying,
v 18…”Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me (inferior, corrupted); all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace (baser metals mixed in with the precious metals and a separation is needed); they are dross of silver (inferior and impure).
v 19…Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because all of you have become dross, therefore, behold (see), I am going to gather you into the midst of Jerusalem (the furnace).
v 20…As they gather silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into the furnace to blow fire on it in order to melt it, so I shall gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I shall lay you there and melt you (the smelting does not refine, it is God’s wrath).
v 21…And I shall gather you and blow on you (intensifying his wrath) with the fire of my wrath, and you will be melted in the midst of it (this was literally done when Jerusalem and the Temple were burned and the people perished).
v 22…As silver is melted in the furnace, so you will be melted in the furnace (repeated for the certainty of it), so you will be melted in the midst of it; and you will know that I the Lord, have poured out my wrath on you (proof that he is able to do what he says he is going to do).”
v 23…And the word of the Lord came to me saying,
v 24…”Son of man, say to her (Jerusalem), ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation (no cooling shower to stop God’s fiery wrath; the term “indignation” is also a term for the birth-pains-Isa 26.20).
v 25…There is a conspiracy of her prophets (the false ones) in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing her prey. They have devoured lives (persecuted people to death, destroyed others by their false prophecies and doctrines; they went after those who believed the true prophets of Yehovah); they have taken treasure and precious things (for prophesying things the people wanted to hear for money); they have made many widows in the midst of her (by persecuting their husbands because they resisted their false prophesies, etc.).
v 26…Her priests have done violence to my law (the Torah by misinterpretation-Matt 5.17) and have profaned my holy things (korbanot, wine offerings, the things in the Temple with a kedusha by making them available to the unclean, etc.); they have made no distinction between the holy (the things with a kedusha) and the profane (the common things that did not have a kedusha-Job 14.4; Lev 20.25; Ezek 44.23-this was the main job of a priest), and they have not taught the difference between the unclean (which made it impossible to enter the Temple) and the clean (possible to enter the Temple); and they hide their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them (because the Torah that taught these things was profaned).
v 27…Her princes (“nasim” or kings, nobles) within her are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding innocent blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain (didn’t protect the people in order to confiscate their goods, lands, money).
v 28…And her prophets (“nevi’im”-the false ones) have smeared (covered over) whitewash for them (by satisfying their consciences with flattering words), seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ where the Lord has not spoken (imitating the true prophets)
v 29…The people of the land (“am ha eretz” or common people) have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner (those non-Jews just living in the land) without justice.
v 30…And I have searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it (an intercessor, a go-between to fill the gap and positioning themselves in prayer like Abraham-Gen 18.1-33; Moses-Num 21.7; Esther-Est 4.15-16; Paul-Eph 6.19-20; Yeshua-John 17); but I found none (in the above mentioned groups in v 26-29).
v 31…Thus I have poured out my indignation on them (like a torrent); I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath, their way I have brought upon their heads,” declares the Lord God.