Ezekiel Dramatizes Jerusalem’s Fall

“Now you, son of man, take a sharp sword,(A) use it as you would a barber’s razor, and shave your head and beard. Then take a set of scales and divide the hair. You are to burn a third of it in the city when the days of the siege have ended;(B) you are to take a third and slash it with the sword all around the city; and you are to scatter a third to the wind, for I will draw a sword to chase after them. But you are to take a few strands from the hair and secure them in the folds of your robe.(C) Take some more of them, throw them into the fire, and burn them in it.(D) A fire will spread from it to the whole house of Israel.

“This is what the Lord God says: I have set this Jerusalem in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. She has rebelled against my ordinances with more wickedness than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries that surround her. For her people have rejected my ordinances and have not walked in my statutes.

“Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: Because you have been more insubordinate than the nations around you(E)—you have not walked in my statutes or kept my ordinances; you have not even kept the ordinances of the nations around you— therefore, this is what the Lord God says: See, I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will execute judgments within you in the sight of the nations. Because of all your detestable practices, I will do to you what I have never done before and what I will never do again.(F) 10 As a result, fathers will eat their sons(G) within Jerusalem,[a] and sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments against you and scatter all your survivors to every direction of the wind.

11 “Therefore, as I live”—this is the declaration of the Lord God—“I will withdraw and show you no pity, because you have defiled my sanctuary(H) with all your abhorrent acts and detestable practices.(I) Yes, I will not spare you. 12 A third of your people will die by plague and be consumed by famine within you;(J) a third will fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter a third to every direction of the wind, and I will draw a sword to chase after them.(K) 13 When my anger is spent and I have vented my wrath on them, I will be appeased.(L) Then after I have spent my wrath on them, they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy.(M)

14 “I will make you a ruin and a disgrace among the nations around you, in the sight of everyone who passes by. 15 So you[b] will be a disgrace and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations around you when I execute judgments against you in anger,(N) wrath, and furious rebukes. I, the Lord, have spoken. 16 When I shoot deadly arrows of famine at them, arrows for destruction that I will send to destroy you, inhabitants of Jerusalem, I will intensify the famine against you and cut off your supply of bread. 17 I will send famine and dangerous animals against you. They will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring a sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken.”(O)

Prophecy against Israel’s Idolatry

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, face the mountains of Israel(P) and prophesy against them. You are to say: Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! This is what the Lord God says to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I am about to bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places.(Q) Your altars will be desolated and your shrines[c] smashed. I will throw down your slain in front of your idols. I will lay the corpses of the Israelites in front of their idols and scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you live the cities will be in ruins and the high places will be desolate, so that your altars will lie in ruins and be desecrated,[d] your idols smashed and obliterated, your shrines cut down, and what you have made wiped out. The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the Lord.

“Yet I will leave a remnant when you are scattered among the nations, for throughout the countries there will be some of you who will escape the sword.(R) Then your survivors will remember me among the nations where they are taken captive,(S) how I was crushed by their promiscuous hearts that turned away from me and by their eyes that lusted after their idols.(T) They will loathe themselves because of the evil things they did,(U) their detestable actions of every kind. 10 And they will know that I am the Lord; I did not threaten to bring this disaster on them without a reason.

Lament over the Fall of Jerusalem

11 “This is what the Lord God says: Clap your hands, stamp your feet,(V) and cry out over all the evil and detestable practices of the house of Israel, who will fall by the sword, famine, and plague.(W) 12 The one who is far off will die by plague; the one who is near will fall by the sword; and the one who remains and is spared[e] will die of famine. In this way I will exhaust my wrath on them.(X) 13 You will all know that I am the Lord when their slain lie among their idols around their altars,(Y) on every high hill,(Z) on all the mountaintops, and under every green tree and every leafy oak—the places where they offered pleasing aromas to all their idols. 14 I will stretch out my hand against them,(AA) and wherever they live I will make the land a desolate waste, from the wilderness to Diblah.[f] Then they will know that I am the Lord.”


  1. 5:10 Lit you
  2. 5:15 DSS, LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg; MT reads she
  3. 6:4 Or incense altars, also in v. 6
  4. 6:6 Hb obscure
  5. 6:12 Or besieged
  6. 6:14 Some Hb mss, some LXX mss read Riblah; 2Kg 23:33; Jr 39:5

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