New Century Version
Ezekiel Cuts His Hair
5 “Now, human, take a sharp sword, and use it like a barber’s razor to shave your head and beard. Then take scales and weigh and divide the hair. 2 Burn one-third with fire in the middle of the city when the days of the attack on Jerusalem are over. Then take one-third and cut it up with the knife all around the city. And scatter one-third to the wind. This is how I will chase them with a sword. 3 Also take a few of these hairs and tie them in the folds of your clothes. 4 Take a few more and throw them into the fire and burn them up. From there a fire will spread to all the people of Israel.
5 “This is what the Lord God says: This is Jerusalem. I have put her at the center of the nations with countries all around her. 6 But she has refused to obey my laws and has been more evil than the nations. She has refused to obey my rules, even more than nations around her. The people of Jerusalem have rejected my laws and have not lived by my rules.
7 “So this is what the Lord God says: You have caused more trouble than the nations around you. You have not followed my rules or obeyed my laws. You have not even obeyed the laws of the nations around you.
8 “So this is what the Lord God says: I myself am against you, and I will punish you as the nations watch. 9 I will do things among you that I have not done before and that I will never do anything like again, because you do the things I hate. 10 So parents among you will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. I will punish you and will scatter to the winds all who are left alive. 11 So the Lord God says: You have made my Temple unclean with all your evil idols and the hateful things you do. Because of this, as surely as I live, I will cut you off. I will have no pity, and I will show no mercy. 12 A third of you will die by disease or be destroyed by hunger inside your walls. A third will fall dead by the sword outside your walls. And a third I will scatter in every direction as I chase them with a sword. 13 Then my anger will come to an end. I will use it up against them, and then I will be satisfied. Then they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken. After I have carried out my anger against them, they will know how strongly I felt.
14 “I will make you a ruin and a shame among the nations around you, to be seen by all who pass by. 15 Then the nations around you will shame you and make fun of you. You will be a warning and a terror to them. This will happen when I punish you in my great anger. I, the Lord, have spoken. 16 I will send a time of hunger to destroy you, and then I will make your hunger get even worse, and I will cut off your supply of food. 17 I will send a time of hunger and wild animals against you, and they will kill your children. Disease and death will sweep through your people, and I will bring the sword against you to kill you. I, the Lord, have spoken.”