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“Son of dust, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor to shave your head and beard; use balances to weigh the hair into three equal parts. Place a third of it at the center of your map of Jerusalem. After your siege, burn it there. Scatter another third across your map and slash at it with a knife. Scatter the last third to the wind, for I will chase my people with the sword. Keep just a bit of the hair and tie it up in your robe; then take a few hairs out and throw them into the fire, for a fire shall come from this remnant and destroy all Israel.”

5-7 The Lord God says, “This illustrates what will happen to Jerusalem, for she has turned away from my laws and has been even more wicked than the nations surrounding her.” Therefore the Lord God says: “I, even I, am against you and will punish you publicly while all the nations watch. Because of the terrible sins you have committed, I will punish you more terribly than I have ever done before or ever will again. 10 Fathers will eat their own sons, and sons will eat their fathers; and those who survive will be scattered into all the world.

11 “For I promise you: Because you have defiled my Temple with idols and evil sacrifices, therefore I will not spare you nor pity you at all. 12 One-third of you will die from famine and disease; one-third will be slaughtered by the enemy; and one-third I will scatter to the winds, sending the sword of the enemy chasing after you. 13 Then at last my anger will be appeased. And all Israel will know that what I threaten I do.

14 “So I will make a public example of you before all the surrounding nations and before everyone traveling past the ruins of your land. 15 You will become a laughingstock to the world and an awesome example to everyone, for all to see what happens when the Lord turns against an entire nation in furious rebuke. I, the Lord, have spoken it!

16 “I will shower you with deadly arrows of famine to destroy you. The famine will become more and more serious until every bit of bread is gone. 17 And not only famine will come, but wild animals will attack and kill you and your families; disease and war will stalk your land, and the sword of the enemy will slay you; I, the Lord, have spoken it!”

God’s Razor of Judgment

“Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor(A) to shave(B) your head and your beard.(C) Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair. When the days of your siege come to an end, burn(D) a third(E) of the hair inside the city. Take a third and strike it with the sword all around the city. And scatter a third to the wind.(F) For I will pursue them with drawn sword.(G) But take a few hairs and tuck them away in the folds of your garment.(H) Again, take a few of these and throw them into the fire(I) and burn them up. A fire will spread from there to all Israel.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.(J) Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees.(K)

“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have been more unruly than the nations around you and have not followed my decrees or kept my laws. You have not even[a] conformed to the standards of the nations around you.(L)

“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations.(M) Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again.(N) 10 Therefore in your midst parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents.(O) I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds.(P) 11 Therefore as surely as I live,(Q) declares the Sovereign(R) Lord, because you have defiled my sanctuary(S) with all your vile images(T) and detestable practices,(U) I myself will shave you; I will not look on you with pity or spare you.(V) 12 A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds(W) and pursue with drawn sword.(X)

13 “Then my anger will cease and my wrath(Y) against them will subside, and I will be avenged.(Z) And when I have spent my wrath on them, they will know that I the Lord have spoken in my zeal.(AA)

14 “I will make you a ruin and a reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by.(AB) 15 You will be a reproach(AC) and a taunt, a warning(AD) and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke.(AE) I the Lord have spoken.(AF) 16 When I shoot at you with my deadly and destructive arrows of famine, I will shoot to destroy you. I will bring more and more famine upon you and cut off your supply of food.(AG) 17 I will send famine and wild beasts(AH) against you, and they will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed(AI) will sweep through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I the Lord have spoken.(AJ)


  1. Ezekiel 5:7 Most Hebrew manuscripts; some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac You have