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The Drawn Sword of God

21 [a] The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries; prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord: I am coming against you, and will draw my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. 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; and all flesh shall know that I the Lord have drawn my sword out of its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again. Moan therefore, mortal; moan with breaking heart and bitter grief before their eyes. And when they say to you, “Why do you moan?” you shall say, “Because of the news that has come. Every heart will melt and all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint and all knees will turn to water. See, it comes and it will be fulfilled,” says the Lord God.

And the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, prophesy and say: Thus says the Lord; Say:

A sword, a sword is sharpened,
    it is also polished;
10 it is sharpened for slaughter,
    honed to flash like lightning!
How can we make merry?
    You have despised the rod,
    and all discipline.[b]
11 The sword[c] is given to be polished,
    to be grasped in the hand;
it is sharpened, the sword is polished,
    to be placed in the slayer’s hand.
12 Cry and wail, O mortal,
    for it is against my people;
it is against all Israel’s princes;
    they are thrown to the sword,
    together with my people.
    Ah! Strike the thigh!

13 For consider: What! If you despise the rod, will it not happen?[d] says the Lord God.

14 And you, mortal, prophesy;
    strike hand to hand.
Let the sword fall twice, thrice;
    it is a sword for killing.
A sword for great slaughter—
    it surrounds them;
15 therefore hearts melt
    and many stumble.
At all their gates I have set
    the point[e] of the sword.
Ah! It is made for flashing,
    it is polished[f] for slaughter.
16 Attack to the right!
    Engage to the left!
    —wherever your edge is directed.
17 I too will strike hand to hand,
    I will satisfy my fury;
    I the Lord have spoken.

18 The word of the Lord came to me: 19 Mortal, mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to come; both of them shall issue from the same land. And make a signpost, make it for a fork in the road leading to a city; 20 mark out the road for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites or to Judah and to[g] Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the fork in the two roads, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the teraphim,[h] he inspects the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the lot for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to call out for slaughter, for raising the battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up ramps, 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, bringing about their capture.

24 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have brought your guilt to remembrance, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand.[i]

25 As for you, vile, wicked prince of Israel,
    you whose day has come,
    the time of final punishment,
26 thus says the Lord God:
Remove the turban, take off the crown;
    things shall not remain as they are.
Exalt that which is low,
    abase that which is high.
27 A ruin, a ruin, a ruin—
    I will make it!
    (Such has never occurred.)
Until he comes whose right it is;
    to him I will give it.

28 As for you, mortal, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; say:

A sword, a sword! Drawn for slaughter,
    polished to consume,[j] to flash like lightning.
29 Offering false visions for you,
    divining lies for you,
they place you over the necks
    of the vile, wicked ones—
those whose day has come,
    the time of 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 I will pour out my indignation upon you,
    with the fire of my wrath
    I will blow upon you.
I will deliver you into brutish hands,
    those skillful to destroy.
32 You shall be fuel for the fire,
    your blood shall enter the earth;
you shall be remembered no more,
    for I the Lord have spoken.

The Bloody City

22 The word of the Lord came to me: You, mortal, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then declare to it all its abominable deeds. You shall say, Thus says the Lord God: A city! Shedding blood within itself; its time has come; making its idols, defiling itself. You have become guilty by the blood that you have shed, and defiled by the idols that you have made; you have brought your day near, the appointed time of your years has come. Therefore I have made you a disgrace before the nations, and a mockery to all the countries. Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you infamous one, full of tumult.

The princes of Israel in you, everyone according to his power, have been bent on shedding blood. Father and mother are treated with contempt in you; the alien residing within you suffers extortion; the orphan and the widow are wronged in you. You have despised my holy things, and profaned my sabbaths. In you are those who slander to shed blood, those in you who eat upon the mountains, who commit lewdness in your midst. 10 In you they uncover their fathers’ nakedness; in you they violate women in their menstrual periods. 11 One commits abomination with his neighbor’s wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; another in you defiles his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you, they take bribes to shed blood; you take both advance interest and accrued interest, and make gain of your neighbors by extortion; and you have forgotten me, says the Lord God.

13 See, I strike my hands together at the dishonest gain you have made, and at the blood that has been shed within you. 14 Can your courage endure, or can your hands remain strong in the days when I shall deal with you? I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will purge your filthiness out of you. 16 And I[k] shall be profaned through you in the sight of the nations; and you shall know that I am the Lord.

17 The word of the Lord came to me: 18 Mortal, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them, silver,[l] bronze, tin, iron, and lead. In the smelter they have become dross. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As one gathers silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into a smelter, to blow the fire upon them in order to melt them; so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted within it. 22 As silver is melted in a smelter, so you shall be melted in it; and you shall know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath upon you.

23 The word of the Lord came to me: 24 Mortal, say to it: You are a land that is not cleansed, not rained upon in the day of indignation. 25 Its princes[m] within it are like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows within it. 26 Its priests have done violence to my teaching and have profaned my holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Its officials within it are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. 28 Its prophets have smeared whitewash on their behalf, seeing 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 have practiced extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the alien without redress. 30 And I sought for anyone among them who would repair the wall and stand in the breach before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath; I have returned their conduct upon their heads, says the Lord God.


  1. Ezekiel 21:1 Ch 21.6 in Heb
  2. Ezekiel 21:10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Ezekiel 21:11 Heb It
  4. Ezekiel 21:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Ezekiel 21:15 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Ezekiel 21:15 Tg: Heb wrapped up
  7. Ezekiel 21:20 Gk Syr: Heb Judah in
  8. Ezekiel 21:21 Or the household gods
  9. Ezekiel 21:24 Or be taken captive
  10. Ezekiel 21:28 Cn: Heb to contain
  11. Ezekiel 22:16 Gk Syr Vg: Heb you
  12. Ezekiel 22:18 Transposed from the end of the verse; compare verse 20
  13. Ezekiel 22:25 Gk: Heb indignation. 25 A conspiracy of its prophets

Right Attitude toward Riches

31 Wakefulness over wealth wastes away one’s flesh,
    and anxiety about it drives away sleep.
Wakeful anxiety prevents slumber,
    and a severe illness carries off sleep.[a]
The rich person toils to amass a fortune,
    and when he rests he fills himself with his dainties.
The poor person toils to make a meager living,
    and if ever he rests he becomes needy.

One who loves gold will not be justified;
    one who pursues money will be led astray[b] by it.
Many have come to ruin because of gold,
    and their destruction has met them face to face.
It is a stumbling block to those who are avid for it,
    and every fool will be taken captive by it.
Blessed is the rich person who is found blameless,
    and who does not go after gold.
Who is he, that we may praise him?
    For he has done wonders among his people.
10 Who has been tested by it and been found perfect?
    Let it be for him a ground for boasting.
Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress,
    and to do evil and did not do it?
11 His prosperity will be established,[c]
    and the assembly will proclaim his acts of charity.

Table Etiquette

12 Are you seated at the table of the great?[d]
    Do not be greedy at it,
    and do not say, “How much food there is here!”
13 Remember that a greedy eye is a bad thing.
    What has been created more greedy than the eye?
    Therefore it sheds tears for any reason.
14 Do not reach out your hand for everything you see,
    and do not crowd your neighbor[e] at the dish.
15 Judge your neighbor’s feelings by your own,
    and in every matter be thoughtful.

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  1. Sirach 31:2 Other ancient authorities read sleep carries off a severe illness
  2. Sirach 31:5 Heb Syr: Gk pursues destruction will be filled
  3. Sirach 31:11 Other ancient authorities add because of this
  4. Sirach 31:12 Heb Syr: Gk at a great table
  5. Sirach 31:14 Gk him

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he[a] is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God’s seed abides in them;[b] they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. 10 The children of God and the children of the devil are revealed in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those who do not love their brothers and sisters.[c]

Love One Another

11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be astonished, brothers and sisters,[d] that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 All who hate a brother or sister[e] are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. 16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister[f] in need and yet refuses help?

18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.


  1. 1 John 3:2 Or it
  2. 1 John 3:9 Or because the children of God abide in him
  3. 1 John 3:10 Gk his brother
  4. 1 John 3:13 Gk brothers
  5. 1 John 3:15 Gk his brother
  6. 1 John 3:17 Gk brother

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