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Ezekiel 21 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

God’s Sword of Judgment

21 [a]The word of the Lord came to me again: “Son of man, turn your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel, and say to it: This is what the Lord says: I am against you. I will draw My sword from its sheath and cut off both the righteous and the wicked from you. Since I will cut off[b] both the righteous and the wicked, My sword will therefore come out of its sheath against everyone from the south to the north. So all the people will know that I, Yahweh, have taken My sword from its sheath—it will not be sheathed again.

“But you, son of man, groan! Groan bitterly with a broken heart[c] right before their eyes. And when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ then say: Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt, and every hand will become weak. Every spirit will be discouraged, and every knee will turn to water. Yes, it is coming and it will happen.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy: This is what the Lord says! You are to proclaim:

A sword! A sword is sharpened
and also polished.
10 It is sharpened for slaughter,
polished to flash like lightning!
Should we rejoice?
The scepter of My son,
the sword despises every tree.[d]
11 The sword is given to be polished,
to be grasped in the hand.
It is sharpened, and it is polished,
to be put in the hand of the slayer.
12 Cry out and wail, son of man,
for it is against My people.
It is against all the princes of Israel!
They are given over to the sword with My people.
Therefore strike your thigh in grief.
13 Surely it will be a trial!
And what if the sword despises even the scepter?
The scepter will not continue.[e]
This is the declaration of the Lord God.

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy
and clap your hands together.
Let the sword strike two times, even three.
It is a sword for massacre,
a sword for great massacre—
it surrounds[f] them!
15 I have appointed a sword for slaughter[g]
at all their gates,
so that their hearts may melt
and many may stumble.
Yes! It is ready to flash like lightning;
it is drawn[h] for slaughter.
16 Slash to the right;
turn to the left—
wherever your blade is directed.
17 I also will clap My hands together,
and I will satisfy My wrath.
I, Yahweh, have spoken.”

18 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 19 “Now you, son of man, mark out two roads that the sword of Babylon’s king can take. Both of them should originate from the same land. And make a signpost at the fork in the road to each city. 20 Mark out a road that the sword can take to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah into fortified Jerusalem. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the split in the road, at the fork of the two roads, to practice divination: he shakes the arrows, consults the idols, and observes the liver. 22 The answer marked[i] Jerusalem appears in his right hand, indicating that he should set up battering rams, give the order to[j] slaughter, raise a battle cry, set battering rams against the gates, build a ramp, and construct a siege wall. 23 It will seem like false divination in the eyes of those who have sworn an oath to the Babylonians,[k] but it will draw attention to their guilt so that they will be captured.

24 “Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: Because you have drawn attention to your guilt, exposing your transgressions, so that your sins are revealed in all your actions, since you have done this, you will be captured by them.

25 And you, profane and wicked prince of Israel,[l]
the day has come
for your punishment.”[m]

26 This is what the Lord God says:

Remove the turban, and take off the crown.
Things will not remain as they are;[n]
exalt the lowly and bring down the exalted.
27 A ruin, a ruin,
I will make it a ruin!
Yet this will not happen
until He comes;
I have given the judgment to Him.[o]

28 “Now prophesy, son of man, and say: This is what the Lord God says concerning the Ammonites and their contempt. You are to proclaim:

A sword! A sword
is drawn for slaughter,
polished to consume, to flash like lightning.
29 While they offer false visions
and lying divinations about you,
the time has come to put you
to the necks of the profane wicked ones;
the day has come
for your punishment.[p]

30 Return it to its sheath!

I will judge you[q]
in the place where you were created,
in the land of your origin.
31 I will pour out My indignation on you;
I will blow the fire of My fury on you.
I will hand you over to brutal men,
skilled at destruction.
32 You will be fuel for the fire.
Your blood will be spilled in the land.
You will not be remembered,
for I, Yahweh, have spoken.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 21:1 Ezk 21:6 in Hb
  2. Ezekiel 21:4 Lit off from you
  3. Ezekiel 21:6 Lit with broken loins
  4. Ezekiel 21:10 Hb obscure
  5. Ezekiel 21:13 Hb obscure
  6. Ezekiel 21:14 Or penetrates
  7. Ezekiel 21:15 Hb obscure
  8. Ezekiel 21:15 Hb obscure
  9. Ezekiel 21:22 Lit The divination for
  10. Ezekiel 21:22 Lit rams, open the mouth in
  11. Ezekiel 21:23 Lit them
  12. Ezekiel 21:25 = King Zedekiah
  13. Ezekiel 21:25 Lit come in the time of the punishment of the end
  14. Ezekiel 21:26 Lit This not this
  15. Ezekiel 21:27 Or comes to whom it rightfully belongs, and I will give it to Him
  16. Ezekiel 21:29 Lit come in the time of the punishment of the end
  17. Ezekiel 21:30 = the Ammonites

Ezekiel 21 New International Version (NIV)

Babylon as God’s Sword of Judgment

21 [a]The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to her: ‘This is what the Lord says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north. Then all people will know that I the Lord have drawn my sword from its sheath; it will not return again.’

“Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief. And when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt with fear and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every leg will be wet with urine.’ It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘A sword, a sword,
    sharpened and polished—
10 sharpened for the slaughter,
    polished to flash like lightning!

“‘Shall we rejoice in the scepter of my royal son? The sword despises every such stick.

11 “‘The sword is appointed to be polished,
    to be grasped with the hand;
it is sharpened and polished,
    made ready for the hand of the slayer.
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 people.
Therefore beat your breast.

13 “‘Testing will surely come. And what if even the scepter, which the sword despises, does not continue? declares the Sovereign Lord.’

14 “So then, son of man, prophesy
    and strike your hands together.
Let the sword strike twice,
    even three times.
It is a sword for slaughter—
    a sword for great slaughter,
    closing in on them from every side.
15 So that hearts may melt with fear
    and the fallen be many,
I have stationed the sword for slaughter[b]
    at all their gates.
Look! It is forged to strike like lightning,
    it is grasped for slaughter.
16 Slash to the right, you sword,
    then to the left,
    wherever your blade is turned.
17 I too will strike my hands together,
    and my wrath will subside.
I the Lord have spoken.

18 The word of the Lord came to me: 19 “Son of man, mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to take, both starting from the same country. Make a signpost where the road branches off to the city. 20 Mark out one road for the sword to come against Rabbah of the Ammonites and another against Judah and fortified Jerusalem. 21 For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots with arrows, he will consult his idols, he will examine the liver. 22 Into his right hand will come the lot for Jerusalem, where he is to set up battering rams, to give the command to slaughter, to sound the battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to build a ramp and to erect siege works. 23 It will seem like a false omen to those who have sworn allegiance to him, but he will remind them of their guilt and take them captive.

24 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you people have brought to mind your guilt by your open rebellion, revealing your sins in all that you do—because you have done this, you will be taken captive.

25 “‘You profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose time of punishment has reached its climax, 26 this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low. 27 A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! The crown will not be restored until he to whom it rightfully belongs shall come; to him I will give it.’

28 “And you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says about the Ammonites and their insults:

“‘A sword, a sword,
    drawn for the slaughter,
polished to consume
    and to flash like lightning!
29 Despite false visions concerning you
    and lying divinations about you,
it will be laid on the necks
    of the wicked who are to be slain,
whose day has come,
    whose time of punishment has reached its climax.

30 “‘Let the sword return to its sheath.
    In the place where you were created,
in the land of your ancestry,
    I will judge you.
31 I will pour out my wrath on you
    and breathe out my fiery anger against you;
I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men,
    men skilled in destruction.
32 You will be fuel for the fire,
    your blood will be shed in your land,
you will be remembered no more;
    for I the Lord have spoken.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 21:1 In Hebrew texts 21:1-32 is numbered 21:6-37.
  2. Ezekiel 21:15 Septuagint; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

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