The Lord Has Drawn His Sword

21 [a] The word of the Lord came to me: (A)“Son of man, (B)set your face toward Jerusalem and (C)preach against the sanctuaries.[b] Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord: (D)Behold, I am against you and will draw (E)my sword from its sheath and (F)will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. (G)And all flesh shall know that I am the Lord. I have drawn (H)my sword from its sheath; (I)it shall not be sheathed again.

“As for you, son of man, (J)groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, (K)groan before their eyes. (L)And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news (M)that it is coming. (N)Every heart will melt, and (O)all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and (P)all knees will be weak as water. (Q)Behold, it is (R)coming, and it will be fulfilled,’” declares the Lord God.

And the word of the Lord came to me: (S)“Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say:

(T)“A sword, a sword is sharpened
    and also polished,
10 (U)sharpened for slaughter,
    (V)polished to flash like lightning!

(Or (W)shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, (X)with everything of wood.)[c] 11 So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished (Y)to be given into the hand of the slayer. 12 (Z)Cry out 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. (AA)Strike therefore upon your thigh. 13 For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise (AB)the rod?”[d] declares the Lord God.

14 “As for you, (AC)son of man, prophesy. (AD)Clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, (AE)yes, three times,[e] the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many stumble.[f] At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; (AF)it is taken up[g] for slaughter. 16 Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. 17 I also will (AG)clap my hands, (AH)and I will satisfy my fury; (AI)I the Lord have spoken.”

18 The word of the Lord came to me again: 19 “As for you, son of man, mark two ways for (AJ)the sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make (AK)a signpost; make it (AL)at the head of the way to a city. 20 Mark a way (AM)for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands (AN)at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults (AO)the teraphim;[h] he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, (AP)to set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, (AQ)to cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23 But to them it will seem like a false divination. (AR)They have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, (AS)that they may be taken.

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 deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, (AT)you shall be taken in hand. 25 And you, O profane[i] (AU)wicked one, prince of Israel, (AV)whose day has come, (AW)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. (AX)Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. (AY)This also shall not be, (AZ)until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.

28 “And you, (BA)son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God (BB)concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, (BC)A sword, a sword (BD)is drawn for the slaughter. (BE)It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning— 29 while (BF)they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, (BG)whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30 (BH)Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, (BI)I will judge you. 31 And (BJ)I will pour out my indignation upon you; (BK)I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of (BL)brutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. (BM)You shall be no more remembered, (BN)for I the Lord have spoken.”

Israel's Shedding of Blood

22 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “And you, (BO)son of man, (BP)will you judge, will you judge (BQ)the bloody city? (BR)Then declare to her all her abominations. You shall say, Thus says the Lord God: A city that sheds blood in her midst, so that (BS)her time may come, and that makes idols to defile herself! You have become guilty (BT)by the blood that you have shed, and defiled by the idols that you have made, and you have brought (BU)your days near, the appointed time of[j] your years has come. (BV)Therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all the countries. Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you; (BW)your name is defiled; (BX)you are full of tumult.

“Behold, (BY)the princes of Israel in you, every one according to his power, have been bent on shedding blood. Father and mother (BZ)are treated with contempt in you; the sojourner (CA)suffers extortion in your midst; the fatherless and the widow (CB)are wronged in you. (CC)You have despised my holy things and (CD)profaned my Sabbaths. (CE)There are men in you who slander to shed blood, and people in you (CF)who eat on the mountains; (CG)they commit lewdness in your midst. 10 In you (CH)men uncover their fathers' nakedness; in you they violate women who are unclean in their menstrual impurity. 11 (CI)One commits abomination with his neighbor's wife; (CJ)another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; (CK)another in you violates his sister, his father's daughter. 12 In you (CL)they take bribes to shed blood; (CM)you take interest and profit[k] and make gain of your neighbors by extortion; but (CN)me you have forgotten, declares the Lord God.

13 “Behold, (CO)I strike my hand at (CP)the dishonest gain that you have made, and at (CQ)the blood that has been in your midst. 14 (CR)Can your courage endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? (CS)I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it. 15 (CT)I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and (CU)I will consume your uncleanness out of you. 16 And (CV)you shall be profaned by your own doing (CW)in the sight of the nations, (CX)and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

17 And the word of the Lord came to me: 18 (CY)“Son of man, the house of Israel has become (CZ)dross to me; all of them are (DA)bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are (DB)dross of silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, (DC)to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you (DD)in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. 22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; (DE)I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

23 And the word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is (DF)not cleansed (DG)or rained upon in the day of indignation. 25 (DH)The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is (DI)like a roaring lion (DJ)tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 (DK)Her priests (DL)have done violence to my law and (DM)have profaned my holy things. (DN)They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and (DO)they have disregarded my Sabbaths, (DP)so that I am profaned among them. 27 (DQ)Her princes in her midst are like wolves (DR)tearing the prey, (DS)shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. 28 And (DT)her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, (DU)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 (DV)have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and (DW)have extorted from the sojourner without justice. 30 (DX)And I sought for a man among them (DY)who should build up the wall (DZ)and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. 31 Therefore (EA)I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned (EB)their way upon their heads, declares the Lord God.”

Oholah and Oholibah

23 The word of the Lord came to me: (EC)“Son of man, there were (ED)two women, the daughters of one mother. (EE)They played the whore in Egypt; (EF)they played the whore (EG)in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms[l] handled. Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. (EH)They became mine, and they (EI)bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is (EJ)Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

“Oholah played the whore (EK)while she was mine, and (EL)she lusted after her lovers (EM)the Assyrians, warriors clothed in purple, (EN)governors and commanders, (EO)all of them desirable young men, (EP)horsemen riding on horses. She bestowed her whoring upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them, and she defiled herself with all the idols of everyone after whom she lusted. She did not give up her whoring (EQ)that she had begun in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their whoring lust upon her. Therefore (ER)I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the Assyrians, after whom she lusted. 10 (ES)These uncovered her nakedness; (ET)they seized her sons and her daughters; and as for her, they killed her with the sword; and she became (EU)a byword among women, (EV)when judgment had been executed on her.

11 (EW)“Her sister Oholibah saw this, and she became (EX)more corrupt than her sister[m] in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister. 12 She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, (EY)all of them desirable young men. 13 And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way. 14 But she carried her whoring further. She saw men (EZ)portrayed on the wall, the (FA)images of (FB)the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, 15 wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea. 16 When she saw them, she lusted after them and (FC)sent messengers to them (FD)in Chaldea. 17 And the Babylonians came to her (FE)into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them, (FF)she turned from them in disgust. 18 When she carried on her whoring so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned in disgust from her sister. 19 Yet she increased her whoring, (FG)remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt 20 and lusted after her lovers there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses. 21 Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed[n] your young breasts.”

22 Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I will stir up against you your lovers (FH)from whom you turned in disgust, (FI)and I will bring them against you from every side: 23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, (FJ)Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, (FK)desirable young men, (FL)governors and commanders all of them, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses. 24 And they shall come against you from the north[o] with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples. (FM)They shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet; and (FN)I will commit the judgment to them, and (FO)they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25 And I will direct my jealousy against you, (FP)that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. (FQ)They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. 26 (FR)They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels. 27 (FS)Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and (FT)your whoring begun in the land of Egypt, so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.

28 “For thus says the Lord God: (FU)Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, (FV)into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust, 29 and (FW)they shall deal with you in hatred and take away all the fruit of your labor (FX)and leave you naked and bare, and (FY)the nakedness of your whoring shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your whoring 30 have brought this upon you, because (FZ)you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. 31 You have gone the way of your sister; (GA)therefore I will give (GB)her cup into your hand. 32 Thus says the Lord God:

“You shall drink your sister's cup
    that is deep and large;
you shall be laughed at and held in derision,
    for it contains much;
33 you will be filled with (GC)drunkenness and sorrow.
(GD)A cup of horror and desolation,
    the cup of (GE)your sister Samaria;
34 (GF)you shall drink it and drain it out,
    and gnaw its shards,
    and tear your breasts;

for I have spoken, declares the Lord God. 35 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because (GG)you have forgotten me and (GH)cast me behind your back, you yourself (GI)must bear the consequences of your lewdness and whoring.”

36 The Lord said to me: (GJ)“Son of man, (GK)will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Declare to them their abominations. 37 For (GL)they have committed adultery, (GM)and blood is on their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even (GN)offered up[p] to them for food the children whom they had borne to me. 38 Moreover, this they have done to me: (GO)they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and (GP)profaned my Sabbaths. 39 For when (GQ)they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day (GR)they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And behold, (GS)this is what they did in my house. 40 They even sent for men to come from afar, (GT)to whom a messenger was sent; and behold, they came. For them you bathed yourself, (GU)painted your eyes, (GV)and adorned yourself with ornaments. 41 You sat on (GW)a stately couch, with a table spread before it (GX)on which you had placed my incense and (GY)my oil. 42 The (GZ)sound of a carefree multitude was with her; and with men of the common sort, drunkards[q] were brought from the wilderness; and they put (HA)bracelets on the hands of the women, and (HB)beautiful crowns on their heads.

43 “Then I said of her who was worn out by adultery, ‘Now they will continue to use her for a whore, even her!’[r] 44 For they have gone in to her, as men go in to a prostitute. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, lewd women! 45 But righteous men (HC)shall pass judgment on them with the sentence of adulteresses, and with the sentence of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.”

46 For thus says the Lord God: (HD)“Bring up a vast host against them, and make them (HE)an object of terror and (HF)a plunder. 47 (HG)And the host shall stone them and cut them down with their swords. (HH)They shall kill their sons and their daughters, and (HI)burn up their houses. 48 (HJ)Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done. 49 And they shall return your lewdness upon you, and (HK)you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry, and (HL)you shall know that I am the Lord God.”

The Siege of Jerusalem

24 (HM)In the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: (HN)“Son of man, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. And (HO)utter a parable to (HP)the rebellious house and say to them, Thus says the Lord God:

“Set on (HQ)the pot, set it on;
    pour in water also;
put in it the pieces of meat,
    all the good pieces, (HR)the thigh and the shoulder;
    fill it with choice bones.
Take the choicest one of the flock;
    pile the logs[s] under it;
boil it well;
    seethe also its bones in it.

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: (HS)Woe to the bloody city, to (HT)the pot whose corrosion is in it, and whose corrosion has not gone out of it! Take out of it piece after piece, without making any choice.[t] For the blood she has shed is in her midst; she put it on (HU)the bare rock; (HV)she did not pour it out on the ground to cover it with dust. To rouse my wrath, to take vengeance, I have set on the bare rock the blood she has shed, that it may not be covered. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Woe to the bloody city! (HW)I also will make the pile great. 10 Heap on the logs, kindle the fire, boil the meat well, mix in the spices,[u] and let the bones be burned up. 11 Then set it empty upon the coals, that it may become hot, and its copper may burn, (HX)that its uncleanness may be melted in it, its corrosion consumed. 12 (HY)She has wearied herself with toil;[v] its abundant corrosion does not go out of it. Into the fire with its corrosion! 13 On account of your unclean lewdness, because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your uncleanness, (HZ)you shall not be cleansed anymore till (IA)I have satisfied my fury upon you. 14 (IB)I am the Lord. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; (IC)I will not spare; (ID)I will not relent; (IE)according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord God.”

Ezekiel's Wife Dies

15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 (IF)“Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. 17 Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. (IG)Bind on your turban, and (IH)put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, (II)nor eat the bread of men.” 18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and (IJ)at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did (IK)as I was commanded.

19 And (IL)the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things mean for us, that you are acting thus?” 20 Then I said to them, “The word of the Lord came to me: 21 ‘Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: (IM)Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and the yearning of your soul, and (IN)your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword. 22 And (IO)you shall do as I have done; (IP)you shall not cover your lips, (IQ)nor eat the bread of men. 23 (IR)Your turbans shall be on your heads and your shoes on your feet; you shall not mourn or weep, but (IS)you shall rot away in your iniquities and groan to one another. 24 Thus shall Ezekiel be to you (IT)a sign; (IU)according to all that he has done you shall do. When this comes, then (IV)you will know that I am the Lord God.’

25 “As for you, (IW)son of man, surely on the day when I take from them (IX)their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes and their soul's desire, and also their sons and daughters, 26 (IY)on that day a fugitive will come to you to report to you the news. 27 On that day your mouth (IZ)will be opened to the fugitive, and you shall speak and be no longer mute. (JA)So you will be a sign to them, and (JB)they will know that I am the Lord.”


  1. Ezekiel 21:1 Ch 21:6 in Hebrew
  2. Ezekiel 21:2 Some Hebrew manuscripts, compare Septuagint, Syriac against their sanctuary
  3. Ezekiel 21:10 Probable reading; Hebrew The rod of my son despises everything of wood
  4. Ezekiel 21:13 Or For it is a testing; and what if even the rod despises? It shall not be!
  5. Ezekiel 21:14 Hebrew its third
  6. Ezekiel 21:15 Hebrew many stumbling blocks
  7. Ezekiel 21:15 The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered taken up is uncertain
  8. Ezekiel 21:21 Or household idols
  9. Ezekiel 21:25 Or slain; also verse 29
  10. Ezekiel 22:4 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts until
  11. Ezekiel 22:12 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor (compare Leviticus 25:36)
  12. Ezekiel 23:3 Hebrew nipples; also verses 8, 21
  13. Ezekiel 23:11 Hebrew than she
  14. Ezekiel 23:21 Vulgate, Syriac; Hebrew bosom for the sake of
  15. Ezekiel 23:24 Septuagint; the meaning of the Hebrew word is unknown
  16. Ezekiel 23:37 Or have even made pass through the fire
  17. Ezekiel 23:42 Or Sabeans
  18. Ezekiel 23:43 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
  19. Ezekiel 24:5 Compare verse 10; Hebrew the bones
  20. Ezekiel 24:6 Hebrew no lot has fallen upon it
  21. Ezekiel 24:10 Or empty out the broth
  22. Ezekiel 24:12 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

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