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A Sword against Jerusalem

“And you, O mortal, take a sharp sword; use it as a barber’s razor and run it over your head and your beard; then take balances for weighing, and divide the hair.(A) One third of the hair you shall burn in the fire inside the city when the days of the siege are completed; one third you shall take and strike with the sword all around the city;[a] and one third you shall scatter to the wind, and I will unsheathe the sword after them.(B) Then you shall take from these a small number and bind them in the hem of your robe.(C) From these, again, you shall take some, throw them into the fire and burn them up; from there a fire will come out against all the house of Israel.(D)

“Thus says the Lord God: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.(E) But she has rebelled against my ordinances and my statutes, becoming more wicked than the nations and the countries all around her, rejecting my ordinances and not following my statutes.(F) Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you and have not followed my statutes or kept my ordinances and have not even acted according to the ordinances of the nations that are all around you,(G) therefore thus says the Lord God: I, I myself, am coming against you; I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations.(H) And because of all your abominations, I will do to you what I have never yet done and the like of which I will never do again.(I) 10 Surely, parents shall eat their children in your midst, and children shall eat their parents; I will execute judgments on you, and any of you who survive I will scatter to every wind.(J) 11 Therefore, as I live, says the Lord God, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will withdraw; my eye will not spare, and I will have no pity.(K) 12 One third of you shall die of pestilence or be consumed by famine among you; one third shall fall by the sword around you; and one third I will scatter to every wind and will unsheathe the sword after them.(L)

13 “My anger shall spend itself, and I will vent my fury on them and satisfy myself, and they shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy when I spend my fury on them.(M) 14 Moreover, I will make you a desolation and an object of mocking among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by.(N) 15 You shall be[b] a mockery and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations around you when I execute judgments on you in anger and fury and with furious punishments—I, the Lord, have spoken(O) 16 when I loose against you[c] my deadly arrows of famine, arrows for destruction, which I will let loose to destroy you, and when I bring more and more famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread.[d](P) 17 I will send famine and wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children; pestilence and bloodshed shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword upon you. I, the Lord, have spoken.”(Q)

Judgment on Idolatrous Israel

The word of the Lord came to me: O mortal, set your face toward the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them and say: You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I, I myself, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.(R) Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense stands shall be broken, and I will throw down your slain in front of your idols.(S) I will lay the corpses of the people of Israel in front of their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you live, your towns shall be waste and your high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined,[e] your idols broken and destroyed, your incense stands cut down, and your works wiped out.(T) The slain shall fall in your midst; then you shall know that I am the Lord.(U)

But I will spare some. Some of you shall escape the sword among the nations and be scattered through the countries.(V) Your survivors shall remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I was crushed by their wanton heart that turned away from me and their wanton eyes that turned after their idols. Then they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations.(W) 10 And they shall know that I am the Lord; I did not threaten in vain to bring this disaster upon them.

11 Thus says the Lord God: Strike your hands together and stamp your foot and say Alas! for all the vile abominations of the house of Israel. For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.(X) 12 Those far off shall die of pestilence, those nearby shall fall by the sword, and any who are left and are spared shall die of famine. Thus I will spend my fury upon them.(Y) 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak, wherever they offered pleasing odor to all their idols.(Z) 14 I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land desolate and waste, throughout all their settlements, from the wilderness to Riblah.[f] Then they shall know that I am the Lord.(AA)

Impending Disaster

The word of the Lord came to me: You, O mortal, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel:

An end! The end has come
    upon the four corners of the land.(AB)
Now the end is upon you;
    I will let loose my anger upon you;
I will judge you according to your ways;
    I will punish you for all your abominations.
My eye will not spare you; I will have no pity.
    I will punish you for your ways
    while your abominations are among you.

Then you shall know that I am the Lord.(AC)

Thus says the Lord God:

Disaster after disaster! See, it comes.(AD)
    An end has come; the end has come.
It has awakened against you; see, it comes!
Your doom[g] has come to you,
    O inhabitant of the land.
The time has come; the day is near—
    of tumult, not of reveling on the mountains.(AE)
Soon now I will pour out my wrath upon you;
    I will spend my anger against you.
I will judge you according to your ways
    and punish you for all your abominations.(AF)
My eye will not spare; I will have no pity.
    I will punish you according to your ways
    while your abominations are among you.

Then you shall know that it is I the Lord who strike.

10 See, the day! See, it comes!
    Your doom[h] has gone out.
The rod has blossomed; pride has budded.
11     Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness.
None of them shall remain,
    not their abundance, not their wealth;
    no preeminence among them.[i](AG)
12 The time has come; the day draws near;
    let not the buyer rejoice nor the seller mourn,
    for wrath is upon all their multitude.

13 For the sellers shall not return to what has been sold as long as they remain alive. For the vision concerns all their multitude; it shall not be revoked. Because of their iniquity, they cannot maintain their lives.[j]

14 They have blown the horn and made everything ready,
    but no one goes to battle,
    for my wrath is upon all their multitude.
15 The sword is outside; pestilence and famine are inside;
    those in the field die by the sword;
    those in the city—famine and pestilence devour them.(AH)
16 If any survivors escape,
    they shall be found on the mountains
    like doves of the valleys,
all of them moaning over their iniquity.(AI)
17 All hands shall grow feeble,
    all knees turn to water.(AJ)
18 They shall put on sackcloth;
    horror shall cover them.
Shame shall be on all faces,
    baldness on all their heads.(AK)
19 They shall fling their silver into the streets;
    their gold shall be treated as unclean.

Their silver and gold cannot save them on the day of the wrath of the Lord. They shall not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity.(AL) 20 From their[k] beautiful ornament, in which they took pride, they made their abominable images, their detestable things; therefore I will make of it an unclean thing to them.(AM)

21 I will hand it over to strangers as plunder,
    to the wicked of the earth as spoil;
    they shall profane it.(AN)
22 I will avert my face from them
    so that they may profane my treasured[l] place;
the violent shall enter it;
    they shall profane it.(AO)
23 Make a chain![m]
For the land is full of bloody crimes;
    the city is full of violence.(AP)
24 I will bring the worst of the nations
    to take possession of their houses.
I will put an end to the arrogance of the strong,
    and their holy places shall be profaned.(AQ)
25 When anguish comes, they will seek peace,
    but there shall be none.(AR)
26 Disaster comes upon disaster;
    rumor follows rumor;
they shall keep seeking a vision from the prophet;
    instruction shall perish from the priest
    and counsel from the elders.(AS)
27 The king shall mourn,
    the prince shall be wrapped in despair,
    and the hands of the people of the land shall tremble.
According to their way I will deal with them;
    according to their own judgments I will judge them.

And they shall know that I am the Lord.(AT)


  1. 5.2 Heb it
  2. 5.15 Q ms Gk Syr Vg Tg: MT It shall be
  3. 5.16 Heb them
  4. 5.16 Heb staff of bread
  5. 6.6 Syr Vg Tg: Heb and will bear their punishment
  6. 6.14 Cn: Heb Diblah
  7. 7.7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. 7.10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  9. 7.11 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. 7.13 Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  11. 7.20 Syr Symmachus: Heb its
  12. 7.22 Or secret
  13. 7.23 Meaning of Heb uncertain

The Example of Jesus

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,(A) looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith, who for the sake of[b] the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.(B)

Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners,[c] so that you may not grow weary in your souls or lose heart.(C) In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children—

“My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord
    or lose heart when you are punished by him,(D)
for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves
    and chastises every child whom he accepts.”(E)

Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children, for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?(F) If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children.(G) Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness.(H) 11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.(I)

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees(J) 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.(K)

Warnings against Rejecting God’s Grace

14 Pursue peace with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and through it many become defiled.(L) 16 See to it that no one becomes an immoral and godless person, as Esau was, who sold his birthright for a single meal.(M) 17 You know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing[d] with tears.(N)

18 You have not come to something[e] that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest,(O) 19 and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them.(P) 20 (For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.”(Q) 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”)(R) 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,(S) 23 and to the assembly[f] of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,(T) 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.(U)

25 See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking, for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven!(V) 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”(W) 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.(X) 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe, 29 for indeed our God is a consuming fire.(Y)


  1. 12.1 Other ancient authorities read sin that easily distracts
  2. 12.2 Or who instead of
  3. 12.3 Other ancient authorities read such hostility from sinners against themselves
  4. 12.17 Gk it
  5. 12.18 Other ancient authorities read a mountain
  6. 12.23 Or angels, and to the festal gathering and assembly