New International Reader's Version
The Lord Judges Those Who Worship Other Gods
9 Then I heard the Lord call out in a loud voice. He said, “Bring here those who are appointed to bring my judgment on the city. Make sure each of them has a weapon in his hand.” 2 I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate. It faces north. Each of them had a deadly weapon in his hand. A man wearing linen clothes came along with them. He was carrying a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 The glory of the God of Israel had been above the cherubim. It moved from there to the doorway of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man who was dressed in linen clothes. He had the writing kit. 4 The Lord said to him, “Go all through Jerusalem. Look for those who are sad and sorry about all the things being done there. I hate those things. Put a mark on the foreheads of those people.”
5 I heard him speak to the six men. He said, “Follow him through the city. Do not show any pity or concern. 6 Kill the old men and women, the young men and women, and the children. But do not touch anyone who has the mark. Start at my temple.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple.
7 Then he said to the men, “Make the temple ‘unclean.’ Fill the courtyards with dead bodies. Go!” So they went out and started killing people all through the city. 8 While they were doing it, I was left alone. I fell with my face toward the ground. I cried out, “Lord and King, are you going to destroy all the Israelites who are still left alive? Will you pour out your great anger on all those who remain in Jerusalem?”
9 He answered me, “The sin of Israel and Judah is very great. The land is full of murderers. Its people are not being fair to one another anywhere in Jerusalem. They say, ‘The Lord has deserted the land. He doesn’t see us.’ 10 So I will not spare them or feel sorry for them. Anything that happens to them will be their own fault.”
11 Then the man wearing linen clothes returned. He had the writing kit. He reported, “I’ve done what you commanded.”