New International Version - UK
33 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will reign over you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. 34 I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered – with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. 35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. 36 As I judged your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord. 37 I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
39 ‘“As for you, people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: go and serve your idols, every one of you! But afterwards you will surely listen to me and no longer profane my holy name with your gifts and idols. 40 For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord, there in the land all the people of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them. There I will require your offerings and your choice gifts,[a] along with all your holy sacrifices. 41 I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations. 42 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors. 43 There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, you people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.”’
Prophecy against the south
45 The word of the Lord came to me: 46 ‘Son of man, set your face towards the south; preach against the south and prophesy against the forest of the southland. 47 Say to the southern forest: “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched, and every face from south to north will be scorched by it. 48 Everyone will see that I the Lord have kindled it; it will not be quenched.”’
49 Then I said, ‘Sovereign Lord, they are saying of me, “Isn’t he just telling parables?”’[b]
Babylon as God’s sword of judgment
21 [c]The word of the Lord came to me: 2 ‘Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to her: “This is what the Lord says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 4 Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north. 5 Then all people will know that I the Lord have drawn my sword from its sheath; it will not return again.”
6 ‘Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief. 7 And when they ask you, “Why are you groaning?” you shall say, “Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt with fear and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every leg will be wet with urine.” It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord.’
8 The word of the Lord came to me: 9 ‘Son of man, prophesy and say, “This is what the Lord says:
‘“A sword, a sword,
sharpened and polished –
10 sharpened for the slaughter,
polished to flash like lightning!
‘“Shall we rejoice in the sceptre of my royal son? The sword despises every such stick.
11 ‘“The sword is appointed to be polished,
to be grasped with the hand;
it is sharpened and polished,
made ready for the hand of the slayer.
12 Cry out and wail, son of man,
for it is against my people;
it is against all the princes of Israel.
They are thrown to the sword
along with my people.
Therefore beat your breast.
13 ‘“Testing will surely come. And what if even the sceptre, which the sword despises, does not continue? declares the Sovereign Lord.”
14 ‘So then, son of man, prophesy
and strike your hands together.
Let the sword strike twice,
even three times.
It is a sword for slaughter –
a sword for great slaughter,
closing in on them from every side.
15 So that hearts may melt with fear
and the fallen be many,
I have stationed the sword for slaughter[d]
at all their gates.
Look! It is forged to strike like lightning,
it is grasped for slaughter.
16 Slash to the right, you sword,
then to the left,
wherever your blade is turned.
17 I too will strike my hands together,
and my wrath will subside.
I the Lord have spoken.’