ContextJerusalems Desolation Foretold
1As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and use it as a barbers razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair. 2One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them. 3Take also a few in number from them and bind them in the edges of your robes. 4Take again some of them and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.
5Thus says the Lord GOD, This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her. 6But she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes. 7Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you, 8therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations. 9And because of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again. 10Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind. 11So as I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare. 12One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.
13Thus My anger will be spent and I will satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be appeased; then they will know that I, the LORD, have spoken in My zeal when I have spent My wrath upon them. 14Moreover, I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations which surround you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15So it will be a reproach, a reviling, a warning and an object of horror to the nations who surround you when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath and raging rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken. 16When I send against them the deadly arrows of famine which were for the destruction of those whom I will send to destroy you, then I will also intensify the famine upon you and break the staff of bread. 17Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; plague and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the LORD, have spoken.
Parallel VersesAmerican Standard Version
And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp sword; as a barber's razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife that shaveth the hair: and cause it to pass over thy head, and over thy beard: and take thee a balance to weigh in, and divide the hair.
Darby Bible Translation
And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife; a barber's razor shalt thou take; and cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard: and thou shalt take balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
English Revised Version
And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp sword, as a barber's razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
Webster's Bible Translation
And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard: then take to thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
World English Bible
You, son of man, take a sharp sword; You shall take it as a barber's razor to you, and shall cause it to pass on your head and on your beard: then take balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
Young's Literal Translation
And thou, son of man, take to thee a sharp weapon, the barber's razor thou dost take to thee, and thou hast caused it to pass over thy head, and over thy beard, and thou hast taken to thee weighing scales, and apportioned them.
To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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