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Ezekiel 21 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

21 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel;

and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth My sword out of his sheath and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.

Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall My sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north,

that all flesh may know that I, the Lord, have drawn forth My sword out of his sheath. It shall not return any more.’

Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins, and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.

And it shall be, when they say unto thee, ‘Why sighest thou?’ that thou shalt answer, ‘For the tidings, because it cometh; and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water.’ Behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord God.”

Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord. Say: “‘A sword, a sword is sharpened and also furbished!

10 It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter. Should we then make mirth? It contemneth the rod of My son, as every tree.

11 “‘And he hath given it to be furbished, that it may be handled; this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished to give it into the hand of the slayer.

12 Cry and howl, son of man! For it shall be upon My people; it shall be upon all the princes of Israel. Terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon My people; smite therefore upon thy thigh.

13 Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? It shall be no more, saith the Lord God.’

14 “Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thine hands together; and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain. It is the sword of the great men that are slain, which entereth into their secret chambers.

15 I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint and their ruins be multiplied. Ah! It is made bright; it is sharpened for the slaughter.

16 Go thee one way or other, either on the right hand or on the left, whithersoever thy face is set.

17 I will also smite Mine hands together, and I will cause My fury to rest. I, the Lord, have said it.”

18 The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying,

19 “Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways that the sword of the king of Babylon may come; both shall come forth out of one land. And choose thou a place; choose it at the head of the way to the city.

20 Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah in Jerusalem, the fortified.

21 For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked at the liver.

22 At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem: to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a siege mound, and to build a fort.

23 And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths; but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken.

24 “Therefore thus saith the Lord God: ‘Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear — because, I say, that ye have come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand.

25 And thou, profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come when iniquity shall have an end,

26 thus saith the Lord God: “‘Remove the diadem and take off the crown; this shall not be the same. Exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high;

27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn it. And it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it to Him.’

28 “And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord God concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; even say thou: “‘The sword, the sword is drawn; for the slaughter it is furbished to consume because of the glittering”

29 while they see vanity unto thee, while they divine a lie unto thee, to bring thee upon the necks of them that are slain, of the wicked whose day is come when their iniquity shall have an end.

30 Shall I cause it to return into his sheath? I will judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity.

31 And I will pour out Mine indignation upon thee; I will blow against thee in the fire of My wrath, and deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, and skillful to destroy.

32 Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land. Thou shalt be no more remembered; for I the Lord have spoken it.’”

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)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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