21 Then the ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to me, saying: 2 “·Human [T Son of man; 2:1], ·look [L set your face] toward Jerusalem and speak against the ·holy place [sanctuary]. Prophesy against the land of Israel. 3 Say to Israel: ‘This is what the Lord says: [L Look; T Behold] I am against you. I will pull my sword out of its ·holder [sheath], and I will cut off from you both the wicked and ·those who do right [the righteous]. 4 Because I am going to cut off the wicked and ·those who do right [the righteous], my sword will ·come out from its holder [be unsheathed] and attack all ·people [L flesh] from south to north. 5 Then all people will know that I, the Lord, have pulled my sword out from its ·holder [sheath]. My sword will not go back in again.’
6 “So, ·human [T son of man; 2:1], groan with breaking heart and ·great sadness [bitter grief]. Groan ·in front of the people [L before their eyes]. 7 When they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you will say, ‘Because of what I have heard is going to happen. When it happens, every heart will melt with fear, and all hands will become ·weak [limp; feeble]. ·Everyone [L Every spirit] will ·be afraid [faint]; all knees will ·become weak as water [or be wet with urine]. ·Look [T Behold], it is coming, and it will happen, says the Lord God.’”
8 The ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to me, saying: 9 “·Human [T Son of man; 2:1], prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Lord says:
A sword, a sword,
sharpened and polished.
10 It is sharpened for the ·killing [slaughter].
It is polished to flash like lightning.
“‘·You are not happy [or Should you rejoice…?] ·about this horrible punishment by the sword [L in the scepter of my son]. ·But my son Judah, you did not change when you were only beaten with a rod [L The sword despises every stick].
11 The sword ·should [L is appointed to] be polished.
It is meant to be ·held [grasped] in the hand.
It is sharpened and polished,
ready for the hand of a ·killer [slayer].
12 Shout and ·yell [wail], ·human [T son of man; 2:1],
because the sword is meant for my people,
for all the ·rulers [princes] of Israel.
They ·will be killed by [L are thrown to] the sword,
along with my people.
So beat your chest [C a sign of grief or sadness].
13 “‘The test will come. ·And [L What if…?] the scepter [C symbolizing Judah; Gen. 49:10], who is hated by the sword [C representing the armies of Babylon], will not last, says the Lord God.’
14 “So, ·human [T son of man; 2:1], prophesy
and ·clap [strike together] your hands [C a sign of scorn].
Let the sword strike
two or three times.
It is a sword meant for ·killing [slaughter],
a sword meant for ·much killing [great slaughter].
This sword ·surrounds [or closes in on] ·the people to be killed [L them].
15 Their hearts will ·melt with fear [L melt],
and many people will ·die [stumble; fall].
I have placed the ·killing sword [sword for slaughter]
at all their city gates.
Oh! The sword is made to flash like lightning.
It is ·held [drawn], ready for killing.
16 Sword, ·cut [slash; cut sharp] on the right side;
then ·cut on [swing; L put to] the left side.
Cut anywhere your ·blade [or face] is turned.
17 I will also clap my hands [v. 14; C a sign of scorn]
and ·use up [satisfy; exhaust] my ·anger [wrath].
I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Jerusalem to Be Destroyed
18 The ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to me, saying: 19 “·Human [T Son of man; 2:1], mark two roads that the king of Babylon and his sword can follow. Both of these roads will start from the same country. And make signs where the road divides and one way goes toward the city. 20 Mark one sign to show the road ·he can take with his sword [L for the sword to come] to Rabbah in the land of the Ammonites. Mark the other sign to show the road to Judah and Jerusalem, which is protected with strong walls [C moving south from Syria, the roads branch east and west of the Jordan River]. 21 The king of Babylon has come to where the road divides, and he is using ·magic [divination]. He ·throws lots with [L shakes] arrows and ·asks questions of his family idols [L consults the teraphim]. He looks at the ·liver of a sacrificed animal [L liver; C methods of divination, used here to determine which road to take]. 22 The lot in his right hand tells him to go to Jerusalem. It tells him to use ·logs to break down the city gates [battering rams], to shout the battle cry and give the ·order to kill [command for slaughter], and to build ·a dirt road to the top of the walls [siege ramps] and ·devices to attack the walls [siege walls]. 23 The people of Jerusalem will think this ·prediction is wrong [is a false omen/divination] because of their ·agreement with Babylon [or treaty with other nations; or covenant with God; L sworn oaths/allegiance] But ·the king of Babylon will remind them of their rebellion [or the siege will remind them of their guilt] and they will be captured.
24 “So this is what the Lord God says: ‘You have ·shown how sinful you are [L caused your guilt to be remembered] by ·turning against the Lord [L uncovering your trangressions]. Your sins are ·seen [revealed] in all the things you do. Because of this proof against you, you will be taken captive by the enemy.
25 “‘You ·unclean [profane; C ritually] and evil ·leader [prince] of Israel, ·you will be killed [L whose day has come]! The time of your final punishment has come. 26 This is what the Lord God says: Take off the royal turban, and remove the crown. Things will change. ·Those who are unimportant now will be made important [The lowly will be exalted], and ·those who are important now will be made unimportant [the exalted will be made lowly]. 27 A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! ·This place will not be rebuilt [or The kingdom will not be restored] until the one comes ·who has a right to be king [to whom judgment belongs; Gen. 49:10]. Then I will give ·him that right [it to him].’
The Punishment of Ammon
28 “And you, ·human [T son of man; 2:1], prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Lord God says about the people of Ammon and their ·insults [mockery; or humiliation]:
A sword, a sword
is ·pulled out of its holder [drawn] ·to kill [for slaughter].
It is polished to ·destroy [consume],
to flash like lightning!
29 ·Prophets [L They] see false visions about you
and ·prophesy lies [false divinations] about you.
The sword will be put on the necks
of these ·unclean [profane; C ritually] and ·evil [wicked] people.
Their ·day of judging [L day] has come;
the time of final punishment has come.
30 Put the sword back in its ·holder [sheath].
I will judge you
in the place where you were created,
in the land where you were born.
31 I will pour out my anger against you
and ·blast you with [breathe/blow out] the fire of my anger.
I will hand you over to ·cruel [brutal] men,
experts in destruction.
32 You will be fuel for the fire;
·you will die in [L your blood will be in the midst of] the land.
You will not be remembered,
because I, the Lord, have spoken.’”