Ezequiel 21

1 Jehovah continued to speak his word to me:

2 »Son of man, turn to Jerusalem and preach against the holy places. Prophesy against the land of Israel.

3 »Tell the land of Israel: ‘This is what Jehovah says: »I am against you. I will take my sword out of its sheath and kill the righteous people and the wicked people among you.

4 ‘»I am going to kill the righteous people and the wicked people among you. That is why my sword will come out of its sheath to be used against everyone from the south to the north.

5 ‘»Then everyone will know that I, Jehovah, have taken my sword from its sheath, and I will not put it back again.« ’

6 »So, son of man, groan with a breaking heart and with bitter crying while the people watch you.

7 »When they ask why you are groaning tell this: ‘News has come that will discourage everyone. People's hands will hang limp, their hearts will lose courage, and their knees will become as weak as water. It is coming! It will surely take place!’ Declares the Lord Jehovah.«

8 Jehovah continued to speak to Ezekiel:

9 »Son of man, prophecy and say, ‘this is what Jehovah says: »A sword, a sword is sharpened and also polished!

10 ‘»‘It is sharpened to make a slaughter and polished to flash like lightning! Shall we rejoice in the rod of my son despising every tree?’« ’«

11 ‘»The sword was given to be polished, that it might be handled. The sword is sharpened and polished, to give it into the hand of the slayer.

12 ‘»Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people; it is against all the officials of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. Therefore strike your thigh.

13 ‘»For there is testing. And what if even the rod that despises will be no more?« Declares the Lord Jehovah.

14 »You therefore, son of man, prophesy and clap your hands together. Let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword for the slain. It is the sword for the great one slain, which surrounds them,

15 that their hearts may melt lose their courage, and many fall at all their gates. I have given the glittering sword. Ah! It is made for striking like lightning. It is wrapped up in readiness for slaughter.

16 »Show yourself sharp, go to the right, set yourself, go to the left, wherever your edge is appointed.

17 »Clap your hands and I will bring my anger to rest. Jehovah has spoken.«

18 Jehovah’s word came to me:

19 »Son of man, mark two roads that the king of Babylon and his sword can take. Both of these roads should start from the same country. Make a signpost and put it at the fork of the roads that go toward the cities.

20 »Mark the road that the king and his sword can take to the Ammonite city of Rabbah. Then mark the road that leads to Judah and the fortified city of Jerusalem.

21 »The king of Babylon will stand where the roads branch off, at the fork in the road. Then he will look for omens. The king will stand at the branch of the roads where he will use divination. He will shake the arrows and ask the teraphim and look into the liver.

22 »The divination omens will indicate that he should go to the right, to Jerusalem. So he will set up his battering rams there, and give the order to kill. He will raise a battle cry and aim the battering rams against the city gates. He will put up ramps and set up blockades siege walls.

23 »The people will think it is false divination and not believe this because they have made treaties with other nations. But the king of Babylon will remind them of their sins, and they will be captured.

24 »This is what the Lord Jehovah says: ‘People remember how sinful you are because you openly do wrong. You show your sins in everything you do. Because of this you will be taken captive.

25 »You dishonest and wicked prince of Israel, the time for your final punishment has come.

26 »I, the Lord Jehovah, have spoken. Take off your crown and your turban. Nothing will be the same again. Raise the poor to power! Bring down those who are ruling! Bring low the high one.

27 »A ruin, a ruin, a ruin! Yes, I will make the city a ruin. But this will not happen until the one comes whom I have chosen and who has the legal right to punish the city. To him I will give it.

28 »O son of man, prophesy. Announce what I, the Lord Jehovah, am saying to the Ammonites, who are insulting Israel. Say to them: A sword is ready to destroy. It is polished to kill and to flash like lightning.

29 »The visions that you see are false. The predictions you make are lies. You are wicked and evil. Your day is coming, the day of your final punishment. The sword is going to fall on your necks.

30 »Put up the sword return it to its sheath! I will judge you in the place where you were created, in the land where you were born.

31 »You will feel my anger when I turn it loose on you like a blazing fire. And I will hand you over to brutal men, experts at destruction.

32 »You will be destroyed by fire. Your blood will be shed in your own country. No one will remember you any more. Jehovah has spoken!’«