Ezekiel 21
International Standard Version

A Prophecy against Jerusalem

1a This message came to me from the LORD: 2“Son of Man, look toward Jerusalem, preachb against its sanctuaries, and prophesy against Israel’s land. 3Declare to Israel, ‘This is what the LORD says: “Watch out! I’m against you! I’m going to unsheathe my sword to kill both the righteous and the wicked among you. 4Since I’m going to kill both the righteous and the wicked among you, I’ll be unsheathing my sword against everyone from south to north. 5Then everyone will know that I am the LORD, who unsheathed my sword, and who won’t have to unsheathe it again.”’

6“And now, Son of Man, you are to start groaning until you’re sick to your stomach.c You are to groan bitterly right in front of them.d 7When they’ll ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you are to say, ‘Because of the news that just arrived. Every heart will melt with fear, every hand will grow limp, every spirit will grow faint, and every knee will glisten with sweat.’ Look! It has come and it will be fulfilled,” declares the Lord GOD.

God’s Sword and Scepter

8This message came to me from the LORD: 9“Son of Man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Lord GOD says:

‘A sword!

A sword is being sharpened.

It’s also being polished.

10It’s being sharpened for slaughter,

and being polished to gleam like lightning.’

“We shouldn’t be rejoicing, should we,

while my Son’s scepter, the sword,

is despisinge every tree?f

11It’s intended to be polished

so it can be grasped in the hand.

The sword is sharpened.

It’s polished for placement

into the hand of the executioner.”

12‘Cry and wail, you Son of Man!

It’s headed against my people.

It’s also against all the princes of Israel,

who have been tossed to the sword,

along with my people.

So it’s time to grieve like you mean it,g

13because testing is sure to come.

‘In putting the sword to the test along with the scepter, it won’t keep on rejecting, will it?’ declares the Lord GOD.”

A Double and Triple Judgment

14“Now, Son of Man, prophesy

as you strike your hands together.

Let the sword that fatally wounds be doubled and tripled.

That great, slaughtering sword closes in on them.

I’ve set in place a slaughtering sword

at the entrance to all their gates,

15so that their hearts melt

and the number of those who stumble increase.

I’ve set in place a slaughtering sword

at the entrance to all their gates.

Oh, no! It’s made like lightning.

It’s drawn to slaughter.

16Be sharp!

Attack on the right,

or parry to your left,

wherever you point your sword.h

17I will also clap my hands;

then my anger will subside.i

I, the LORD have spoken it.”

Two Pathways to Invasion

18This message came to me from the LORD: 19“Now, Son of Man, demarcate two pathways by which the sword of Babylon’s king will arrive in the land. Both pathways will lead from a single land.

“Make a sign,j carving it out and installing it at the junction on the way to the city. 20Set it to point one way for bringing the sword against Rabbah, the descendants of Ammon, and the other way against Judah and fortified Jerusalem.

21“Meanwhile, Babylon’s king is standing at the fork of the road,k where he can head in either of two directions, and that’s where he is practicing divination. Shaking his arrows, he’s asking questions of his teraphim while he examines livers. 22On his right hand he is divining against Jerusalem, preparing to set up battering rams, preparingl for the slaughter, getting ready to sound the alarm for battle,m setting the battering rams in place at the gates, building siege mounds, and erecting a siege wall. 23In their view, it will seem to be a false prophecy, but because they swore allegiance, he’ll make them remember their guilt as he takes them captive.”

Imminent Invasion

24Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: “Because you remembered your sins when your transgressions were uncovered, your sins are visibly evident in everything you’ve done. And since you’ve remembered them, you’ll be taken captive.

25“So now, you dishonored and wicked prince of Israel,

whose day has come

in this time of final punishment,

26This is what the Lord GOD says:

‘Remove your turban!

Take off your crown!

Things aren’t going to remain

as they used to be.

What is lowly will be exalted,

and what is lofty will be brought low.

27A ruin! A ruin!

I’m bringing about ruin!’

But this also will not happen

until he who has authority over it arrives,

because I’ll give it to him.”

A Rebuke to Ammon

28And now Son of Man, prophesy to the Ammonites that this is what the Lord GOD says to the Ammonites about their approaching humiliation:

“A sword! A sword is being drawn for slaughter.

It’s polished to flash like lightning.

29When they see empty visions about you

while they’re divining lies for you,

to lay you on the necks of the wicked,

who are fatally wounded,

whose days have come,

their time for punishment.

30Return it to its scabbard.

“At the place where you were formed,

in the land of your origin,

there is where I’ll judge you.

31I’m going to pour out my indignation all over you.

I’ll blow my fierce wrath against you

and deliver you into the control of brutal men

who are skilled at destruction.

32You’ll be fueln for the conflagration.

Your blood will be spilledo throughout the land.

You won’t be remembered anymore,

now that I, the LORD, have spoken.”


Footnotes:
a 21:1 This v. is 21:6 in MT
b 21:2 Lit. Drop a word
c 21:6 Lit. until your loins break
d 21:6 Lit. bitterly before their eyes
e 21:10 The verb despising requires the Heb. antecedent the sword, which The Heb. lacks
f 21:10 i.e. every living human being in Israel
g 21:12 Lit. So strike your thigh
h 21:16 Lit. face
i 21:17 Lit. rest
j 21:19 Lit. hand
k 21:21 Lit. at the point of departure
l 21:22 Lit. rams, to open the mouth
m 21:22 Lit. to shout
n 21:32 Lit. food
o 21:32 The Heb. lacks spilled



The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
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