Ezekiel 21 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Drawn Sword of God
21 [a] The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries; prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. 4 Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from south to north; 5 and all flesh shall know that I the Lord have drawn my sword out of its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again. 6 Sigh therefore, son of man; sigh with breaking heart and bitter grief before their eyes. 7 And when they say to you, ‘Why do you sigh?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the tidings. When it comes, every heart will melt and all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it comes and it will be fulfilled,’” says the Lord God.
8 And the word of the Lord came to me: 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, Say:
A sword, a sword is sharpened
Or do we make mirth? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood. 11 So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be handled; it is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. 12 Cry 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. Smite therefore upon your thigh. 13 For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise the rod?” says the Lord God.
14 “Prophesy therefore, son of man; clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, yea thrice, the sword for those to be slain; it is the sword for the great slaughter, which encompasses them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many fall at all their gates. I have given the glittering sword; ah! it is made like lightning, it is polished[b] for slaughter. 16 Cut sharply to right[c] and left where your edge is directed. 17 I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the Lord have spoken.”
18 The word of the Lord came to me again: 19 “Son of man, mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come; both of them shall come forth from the same land. And make a signpost, make it at the head of the way to a city; 20 mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah and to[d] Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the teraphim, he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the lot for Jerusalem,[e] to open the mouth with a cry,[f] to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23 But to them it will seem like a false divination; they have sworn solemn oaths; but he brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be captured.
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 doings your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in them.[g] 25 And you, O unhallowed wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the 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; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it; there shall not be even a trace[h] of it until he comes whose right it is; and to him I will give it.
28 “And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter, it is polished to glitter[i] and to flash like lightning— 29 while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to be laid on the necks of the unhallowed wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30 Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. 31 And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath; and I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men, skilful to destroy. 32 You shall be fuel for the fire; your blood shall be in the midst of the land; you shall be no more remembered; for I the Lord have spoken.”