International Standard Version
The Vision of the Executioners
2 All of a sudden, I noticed six men approaching from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north. Each of them held a destructive weapon in his hand. Among them there was one man, clothed in linen, who was equipped with a writing set[c] at his side. They went in and presented themselves beside the bronze altar. 3 Then the glory that is Israel’s God arose from the cherubim on which he had been seated and settled on the threshold of the Temple. He called out to the man dressed in linen who wore the writing case at his side.
4 The Lord told him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of everyone who sighs and moans over all of the loathsome things that are happening in it.”
5 As I continued to listen, he also told the others, “Follow him through the city and start killing. Don’t spare anyone you see, and don’t show pity of any kind. 6 You are to execute old men, young men, young women, little children, and women. But don’t touch anyone who has been marked. Begin at my Holy Place!” And so they started with the elders who were in standing in front of the Temple.
7 “Desecrate my Temple,” he told them, “and fill its courtyard with the dead!” So they went out and began striking down people throughout the city.
Ezekiel Intercedes for Israel
8 While they were out carrying out the executions, I was left alone. So I fell on my face and cried out, “O Lord God, are you going to destroy all of the survivors of Israel when you pour out your anger on Jerusalem?”
9 “The house of Israel and Judah is guilty—and theirs is a stubborn guilt, at that!” he replied to me. “The land is filled with blood, and the city overflows with injustice, because they keep saying, ‘The Lord has abandoned the land,’ and ‘The Lord isn’t watching.’ 10 So as for me, I’m not going to show pity, and I won’t look in their direction with mercy. I’m repaying them for what they have done.”
11 Then I noticed the man dressed in linen who wore the writing case by his side as he brought back this message: “I’ve done as you have commanded me.”