Ezekiel 21-23 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Parable of the Sword of the Lord
21 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and direct your [prophetic] word against the sanctuaries; prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am against you and will draw My sword out of its sheath and I will cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 4 Because I will cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked, therefore My sword will go from its sheath against all flesh from south to north, 5 and all living will know [without any doubt] that I the Lord have drawn My sword out of its sheath; it will not be sheathed again.”’ 6 As for you, son of man, groan with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan in their sight. 7 And when they say to you, ‘Why do you sigh and groan?’ you shall answer, ‘Because of the news that is coming; and every heart will melt and all hands will be frail, and every spirit will faint and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it comes and it will happen,’ says the Lord God.”
8 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord.’ Say,
‘A sword, a sword [from Babylon] is sharpened
Shall we then rejoice [when such a disaster approaches]? But it rejects and views with contempt the scepter of My son [Judah]. 11 The sword [of Babylon] is ready to be polished so that it may be handled and put to use; the sword is sharpened and polished to be put in the hand of the slayer (Nebuchadnezzar). 12 Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against My people; it is against all the princes of Israel. They are thrown to the sword along with My [terrified] people. Therefore strike your thigh and strike your chest [in grief]. 13 For this sword has been tested [on others]; and what if it views with contempt the scepter [of Judah]? The scepter shall be no more [but shall be swept away],” says the Lord God.
14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and strike your hands together; and let the sword be doubled the third time [in intensity], the sword for the slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter which surrounds them [so that no one can escape, even by hiding in their inner rooms], 15 so that hearts may melt, and many will fall at their gates. I have given the glittering sword. Ah! It is made [to flash] like lightning; it is pointed and sharpened for slaughter. 16 Turn O sword and cut right or cut left, whichever way your thirst for blood and your edge direct you. 17 I will also strike My hands together, and I will cause My wrath to rest. I the Lord have spoken.”
The Instrument of God’s Judgment
18 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 19 “As for you, son of man, mark out two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come, both starting from the same land. And make a signpost; place it at the head of the way to the city. 20 You shall point out a way for the [Babylonian] sword to come to Rabbah [the capital] of the sons of Ammon, and to Judah into fortified Jerusalem. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the fork of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows, he consults the teraphim (household idols), he looks at the liver [of an animal for an omen]. 22 In his right hand is the lot marked for Jerusalem: to set battering rams, to open the mouth calling for destruction, to lift up the voice with a war cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to put up assault ramps, and to build siege walls. 23 It will seem like a false divination in their eyes, those who have sworn solemn oaths [of allegiance to Nebuchadnezzar]. But he will remind them of their guilt [by rebelling and violating their oath], that they may be caught.
24 “Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have caused your guilt to be remembered, in that your rebellion is uncovered, so that your sins appear in everything that you do—because you have come to mind, you will be seized with the hand [of the enemy]. 25 And you, O dishonored and wicked one [Zedekiah], the prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose time of final punishment is here,’ 26 thus says the Lord God, ‘Remove the turban and take off the crown; things shall not remain as they have been. Exalt that which is low and abase the high. 27 A ruin, a ruin, I will make it a ruin! It shall no longer exist until He comes whose right it is [to reign], and I will give it to Him.’
28 “And you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God concerning the sons of Ammon and concerning their reproach (disgrace),’ and say: ‘A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter; it is sharpened and polished to put an end [to everything], and to flash like lightning, 29 while they (Ammonite prophets) see false visions [of peace] for you, while they divine lies [of escape] for you—to place you [of Ammon] on the headless bodies of the wicked who are slain, whose day has come, whose time of the final punishment is here. 30 Return the sword to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin (birth), I will judge you. 31 I will pour out My indignation on you [sons of Ammon]; I will blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and I will place you in the hand of brutal men, skilled in destruction. 32 You will be fuel for the fire; your blood will be in the midst of the land. You will not be remembered, for I the Lord have spoken.’”
The Sins of Israel
22 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “And you, son of man [Ezekiel], will you judge, will you judge the city of bloodshed? Then make her recognize all her repulsive acts. 3 You shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “A city that sheds blood in her midst, so that her time [of doom] will come, and makes idols to defile her, contrary to her interest! 4 You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and you are defiled by the idols which you have made. Thus you have caused your day [of judgment and punishment] to approach and have arrived at [the completion of] your years; therefore, I have made you an object of scorn to the [pagan] nations and a thing to be mocked by all countries. 5 Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you [infamous one] of ill repute, full of turmoil.
6 “Behold, the princes of Israel, every one according to his power, have been intending to shed blood in you. 7 In you they have treated father and mother lightly. They have oppressed the stranger among you; and in your presence they have wronged the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised and scorned My sacred things and have profaned My Sabbaths. 9 In you are men who slander for the purpose of shedding blood, and in your presence they have eaten [food offered to idols] at the mountain shrines; in your midst they have committed acts of lewdness. 10 In you men have uncovered their fathers’ nakedness [the nakedness of mother or stepmother]; in you they have violated women who are [set apart as ceremonially] unclean during their menstrual impurity [or after childbirth]. 11 In you one has committed a shameful act with his neighbor’s wife, another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law, and another has violated his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you they have accepted bribes to shed blood; you have taken [forbidden] interest and [a percentage of] profits, and you have injured your neighbors for gain by oppression and extortion, and you have forgotten Me,” says the Lord God.
13 “Behold, therefore, I strike My hands [together] at your dishonest gain which you have acquired and at the bloodshed which is among you. 14 Can your heart (courage) endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I will deal with you? I the Lord have spoken, and will act. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will destroy your filthiness. 16 You will defile yourself in the sight of the [Gentile] nations, and you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.”’”
17 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross (metallic waste) to Me. All of them are (useless) bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the furnace; they are the dross of silver. 19 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you [O Israel] into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As they gather silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into the furnace to blow fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in My anger and in My wrath, and I will put you there and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you will be melted in the midst of it. 22 As silver is melted in the furnace, so will you be melted in the midst of it; and you will know [without any doubt] that I the Lord have poured out My wrath on you [O Israel].’”
23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her, ‘You [Israel] are a land that is not pronounced clean or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 There is a conspiracy of her [false] prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured [human] life; they have taken [in their greed] treasure and precious things; they have made many widows among her. 26 Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy (sacred) and the profane (secular), they have not taught [people] the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes within her are like wolves tearing and devouring the prey, shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, 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 have practiced oppression and extortion and have committed robbery; they have wronged the poor and needy and they have oppressed the stranger without justice. 30 I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for [the sake of] the land, that I would not destroy it, but I found no one [not even one]. 31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; I have repaid their way [by bringing it] upon their own heads,” says the Lord God.
Oholah and Oholibah’s Sin and Its Consequences
23 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “Son of man, there were two women (Israel and Judah), the daughters of one mother (the united kingdom); 3 and they prostituted themselves in Egypt. From their youth they were grossly immoral; in that place their breasts were embraced and their virgin bosom was grasped. 4 Their names were Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister, and they became Mine and they gave birth to sons and daughters. And as for [the identity of] their names, Oholah is Samaria (capital city of [a]Israel) and Oholibah is Jerusalem (capital city of [b]Judah).
5 “Oholah played the prostitute while she was Mine; and she adored and lusted after her lovers (allies), the Assyrians, her neighbors, 6 who were clothed in purple, governors and officials, all of them attractive young men, horsemen riding on horses. 7 She bestowed [freely] her immoralities on them, the choicest men of Assyria, all of them; and with all whom she adored and lusted after, she defiled herself with their idols. 8 She did not [c]give up the acts of prostitution that originated during her time in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her, and they handled her virgin bosom and poured out their depravity on her. 9 Therefore, I placed her in the hand of her lovers (allies), into the hand of the Assyrians whom she adored. 10 They uncovered her nakedness; they took her sons and her daughters and they killed her with the sword. So she became [d]notorious among women, and they executed judgments on her.
11 “Now her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt in her lust than she, and her acts of prostitution were more [wanton] than the immoralities of her sister. 12 She lusted after the Assyrians—governors and officials, her neighbors, magnificently clothed, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 13 I saw that she had defiled herself; they both behaved the same way. 14 But Oholibah carried her depravity further, for she saw men pictured on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans (Babylonians) sketched and portrayed in vermilion (bright red pigment), 15 girded with belts on their [e]loins, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, like the Babylonian men whose native land was Chaldea. 16 When she saw [the sketches of] them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17 The Babylonians came to her to the bed of love and they defiled her with their evil desire; and when she had been defiled by them, she (Jerusalem) broke the relationship and pushed them away from her in disgust. 18 So she flaunted her acts of prostitution and exposed her nakedness; then I became disgusted with her [and turned away], as I had become disgusted with her sister [and turned away]. 19 Yet she multiplied her depravities, remembering the days of her youth, when she was actively immoral in the land of Egypt. 20 For she lusted after her lovers [there], whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys and whose issue is like the issue of horses. 21 Thus you longed for the lewdness and vulgarity of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom on account of the breasts of your youth.
22 “Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I will stir up your lovers (allies) against you, from whom you turned away in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side: 23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and officials all of them, princes, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses. 24 They will come against you with weapons, chariots, and wagons, and with a company of people (infantry) who will array themselves against you on every side with large shield and small, and helmet; and I will commit the judgment and the punishment to them, and they will judge and punish you in accordance with their [pagan] customs. 25 I will set My jealous indignation against you [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely mine], and they will deal with you in fury. They will remove your nose and your ears, and your survivors will fall by the sword. They will take your sons and your daughters; and the survivors will be devoured by the fire. 26 They will also strip you (Judah) of your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels. 27 Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your prostitution brought from the land of Egypt, so that you will not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt [with longing] anymore.’ 28 For thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I will place you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned away in disgust. 29 They will deal with you in hatred, take all your property, and leave you naked and bare. And the nakedness of your depravity will be uncovered, both your lewdness and your obscene practices. 30 These things will be done to you because you have prostituted yourself with the [Gentile] nations, because you have defiled yourself with their idols. 31 You have walked in the way of your sister (Samaria); therefore I will give her cup [of judgment] into your hand.’ 32 Thus says the Lord God,
‘You will drink your sister’s cup,
for I have spoken,’ says the Lord God. 35 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, therefore bear now [the consequences of] your lewdness and prostitution.’”
36 Moreover, the Lord said to me, “Son of man, will you judge Oholah (Samaria, capital of Israel) and Oholibah (Jerusalem, capital of Judah)? Then inform them of their atrocities [the detestable and vile things they do]. 37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery [against Me] with their idols and have even forced their sons, whom they bore to Me, to pass through the fire as [an offering of] food to them (idols). 38 Moreover, they have done this to Me: they have defiled My sanctuary on the same day [of their idolatries] and have profaned My Sabbaths. 39 For when they had killed their children [as offerings] to their idols, then they came the same day to My sanctuary to profane it [by daring to offer a sacrifice there also]. And behold, this they did within My house.
40 “Furthermore, you have even sent a messenger for men to come from far away; and behold, they came—those for whom you bathed, painted your eyes, and decorated yourself with ornaments; 41 and you sat on a splendid couch with a table arranged before it on which you had set My incense and My oil. 42 The sound of a carefree crowd was with her; and drunkards were brought from the wilderness with men of a common sort, who put bracelets on the hands of the women (both sisters) and beautiful crowns on their heads.
43 “Then I said concerning the one (Oholah) worn out by adulteries, ‘Will they now commit adultery with her when she is like this?’ 44 But they committed adultery with her as they would with a prostitute. So they went in to Oholah (Israel) and to Oholibah (Judah), the lewd women. 45 And they, righteous men, will judge and condemn them with the judgment (punishment) of adulteresses and with the judgment of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands.
46 “For thus says the Lord God, ‘Bring up a horde (mob) against them and hand them over to terror and plunder. 47 And the horde will stone them with stones and cut them down with their swords; they will kill their sons and their daughters and burn down their houses with fire. 48 Thus I will make lewdness cease from the land, that all women may be admonished and taught not to commit immoral acts as you have done. 49 Thus your lewdness will be repaid to you, and you will suffer the penalty for your [sinful] idolatry; and you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord God.’”
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