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Ezekiel 21:1–23:49

The Lord Has Drawn His Sword

21 1 The word of the Lord came to me: t“Son of man, uset your face toward Jerusalem and vpreach against the sanctuaries.2 Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord: wBehold, I am against you and will draw xmy sword from its sheath and ywill cut off from you both righteous and wicked. Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. zAnd all flesh shall know that I am the Lord. I have drawn xmy sword from its sheath; ait shall not be sheathed again.

“As for you, son of man, bgroan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, cgroan before their eyes. dAnd when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news ethat it is coming. fEvery heart will melt, and gall hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and gall knees will be weak as water. hBehold, it is ecoming, and it will be fulfilled,’ ” declares the Lord God.

And the word of the Lord came to me: t“Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say:

i“A sword, a sword is sharpened

and also polished,

10  jsharpened for slaughter,

jpolished to flash like lightning!

(Or kshall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, lwith everything of wood.)3 11 So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished mto be given into the hand of the slayer. 12 nCry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. oStrike therefore upon your thigh. 13 For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise pthe rod?”4 declares the Lord God.

14 “As for you, qson of man, prophesy. rClap your hands and let the sword come down twice, syes, three times,5 the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many stumble.6 At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; tit is taken up7 for slaughter. 16 Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. 17 I also will rclap my hands, uand I will satisfy my fury; vI the Lord have spoken.”

18 The word of the Lord came to me again: 19 “As for you, son of man, mark two ways for wthe sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make xa signpost; make it xat the head of the way to a city. 20 Mark a way yfor the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands zat the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults athe teraphim;8 he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, bto set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, cto cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23 But to them it will seem like a false divination. dThey have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, ethat they may be taken.

24 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, fyou shall be taken in hand. 25 And you, O profane9 gwicked one, prince of Israel, hwhose day has come, ithe time of your final punishment, 26 thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. jExalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. kThis also shall not be, luntil he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.

28 “And you, mson of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God nconcerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, oA sword, a sword pis drawn for the slaughter. oIt is polished to consume and to flash like lightning— 29 while qthey see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, rwhose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30 pReturn it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, sI will judge you. 31 And tI will pour out my indignation upon you; uI will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of vbrutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. wYou shall be no more remembered, xfor I the Lord have spoken.”

Israel’s Shedding of Blood

22 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “And you, yson of man, zwill you judge, will you judge athe bloody city? bThen declare to her all her abominations. You shall say, Thus says the Lord God: A city that sheds blood in her midst, so that cher time may come, and that makes idols to defile herself! You have become guilty aby the blood that you have shed, and defiled by the idols that you have made, and you have brought cyour days near, the appointed time of1 your years has come. dTherefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all the countries. Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you; eyour name is defiled; fyou are full of tumult.

“Behold, gthe princes of Israel in you, every one according to his power, have been bent on shedding blood. Father and mother hare treated with contempt in you; the sojourner isuffers extortion in your midst; the fatherless and the widow iare wronged in you. jYou have despised my holy things and kprofaned my Sabbaths. lThere are men in you who slander to shed blood, and people in you mwho eat on the mountains; nthey commit lewdness in your midst. 10 In you omen uncover their fathers’ nakedness; in you they violate women who are unclean in their menstrual impurity. 11 pOne commits abomination with his neighbor’s wife; qanother lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; ranother in you violates his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you sthey take bribes to shed blood; tyou take interest and profit2 and make gain of your neighbors by extortion; but ume you have forgotten, declares the Lord God.

13 “Behold, vI strike my hand at wthe dishonest gain that you have made, and at xthe blood that has been in your midst. 14 yCan your courage endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? zI the Lord have spoken, and I will do it. 15 aI will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and bI will consume your uncleanness out of you. 16 And cyou shall be profaned by your own doing din the sight of the nations, eand you shall know that I am the Lord.”

17 And the word of the Lord came to me: 18 f“Son of man, the house of Israel has become gdross to me; all of them are hbronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are idross of silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, jto blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you kin my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. 22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; lI have poured out my wrath upon you.”

23 And the word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is mnot cleansed nor rained upon in the day of indignation. 25 oThe conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is plike a roaring lion qtearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 rHer priests shave done violence to my law and thave profaned my holy things. uThey have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and vthey have disregarded my Sabbaths, wso that I am profaned among them. 27 xHer princes in her midst are like wolves ytearing the prey, zshedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. 28 And aher prophets have smeared whitewash for them, bseeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land chave practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and chave extorted from the sojourner without justice. 30 dAnd I sought for a man among them ewho should build up the wall eand stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. 31 Therefore fI have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned gtheir way upon their heads, declares the Lord God.”

Oholah and Oholibah

23 The word of the Lord came to me: h“Son of man, there were itwo women, the daughters of one mother. jThey played the whore in Egypt; jthey played the whore kin their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms1 handled. Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. lThey became mine, and they mbore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is nSamaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

“Oholah played the whore owhile she was mine, and pshe lusted after her lovers qthe Assyrians, warriors clothed in purple, rgovernors and commanders, sall of them desirable young men, thorsemen riding on horses. She bestowed her whoring upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them, and she defiled herself with all the idols of everyone after whom she lusted. She did not give up

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