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Ezekiel 21 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

21 (20:45) The word of Adonai came to me: (20:46) “Human being, turn your face southward, preach to the south and prophesy to the scrublands of the Negev; (20:47) say to the Negev forest: ‘Hear the word of Adonai. Adonai Elohim says, “I will light a fire in you; it will devour every tree in you, green and dry alike; a blazing, unquenchable flame that will scorch every face from the Negev to the north. (20:48) All humanity will see that I, Adonai, lit it; it will not be put out.”’” (20:49) I said, “Oh, Adonai Elohim! They complain that I speak only in parables.”

(1) Then the word of Adonai came to me: (2) “Human being, turn your face toward Yerushalayim, preach to the sanctuaries and prophesy to the land of Isra’el; (3) tell the land of Isra’el that Adonai Elohim says, ‘I am against you. I will draw my sword from its scabbard and cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. (4) Since I am going to rid you of both righteous and evildoers, my sword will also go out of its scabbard against everyone, from the Negev to the north. 10 (5) Everyone alive will know that I, Adonai, drew my sword from its scabbard; it will not be sheathed again.’

11 (6) “Therefore, human being, groan! Groan bitterly, as if your heart would break, as they watch. 12 (7) Then, when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you will answer, ‘Because of the news, because it’s coming. All hearts will melt, all hands hang limp, all spirits faint and all knees turn to water; here, it’s coming, it will happen,’ says Adonai Elohim.”

13 (8) The word of Adonai came to me: 14 (9) “Human being, prophesy. Say that Adonai Elohim says to say this:

‘A sword, a sword has been sharpened and polished,
15 (10) sharpened in order to slaughter and slaughter,
polished to flash like lightning.
But how can we rejoice?
My son rejects the rod
and every other stick.
16 (11) The sword was given to be polished,
so that it could be wielded;
it was sharpened and polished
to be placed in the slaughterer’s hand.’

17 (12) “Shout and wail, human being, because it’s coming upon my people, upon all the leaders of Isra’el — they will be victims of the sword along with my people. Strike your thigh in remorse! 18 (13) For a test is coming, and what if he rejects the rod again then? He will cease to exist,” says Adonai Elohim.

19 (14) “Therefore, human being, prophesy and clap your hands together. Then the sword will strike twice, three times, the sword for victims, the sword for a great slaughter, coming from every direction. 20 (15) So that their hearts will melt, and many will stumble and fall, I have posted the point of the sword at every one of their gates. See how it flashes, sharpened for the kill!

21 (16) “Sword!
Slash to the right; destroy to the left,
whichever way your edge is aimed!
22 (17) I too will clap my hands together
and satisfy my fury.

I, Adonai, have spoken.”

23 (18) The word of Adonai came to me: 24 (19) “Now, human being, designate two roads for the sword of the king of Bavel to follow, both coming out of one country. Put up a signpost at the start of the road leading to the city. 25 (20) Make a road, so that the sword can come to Rabbah of the people of ‘Amon and to Y’hudah in fortified Yerushalayim. 26 (21) For the king of Bavel is standing at the fork in the road, where the two roads separate, about to use divination — he is shaking the arrows, consulting the household gods, examining the liver. 27 (22) Into his right hand comes the lot for Yerushalayim, to set up battering rams, give the order for slaughter, raise a shout, set battering rams against the gates, build siege ramps and erect watchtowers. 28 (23) The inhabitants will believe this is a false divination because of the oaths upon oaths [that their false prophets have sworn to the contrary]. But it will cause [God] to remember their guilt and thus insure their capture.

29 (24) “Therefore this is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘Because you have caused your guilt to be remembered, with your misdeeds revealed and the sins in all your actions evident — since you have been remembered, you will be captured.’ 30 (25) As for you, you wicked prince of Isra’el, due to be killed, whose day has come, at the time of final punishment, 31 (26) here is what Adonai Elohim says:

‘Remove the turban, take off the crown!
Everything is being changed.
What was low will be raised up,
and what was high will be brought down.
32 (27) Ruin! Ruin!
I will leave it a ruin
such as there has never been,
and it will stay that way
until the rightful ruler comes,
and I give it to him.’

33 (28) “You, human being, prophesy! Say that Adonai Elohim says this about the people of ‘Amon and their insults:

‘A sword, a sword, is drawn for slaughter,
polished to the utmost, to flash like lightning —
34 (29) while [your prophets] produce false visions for you,
while they divine lies for you —
to lay you out upon the necks
of the wicked who are to be killed,
whose day has come,
at the time of final punishment.
35 (30) Cause it to return to its scabbard!
I will judge you in the place
where you were created,
in the land of your origin.
36 (31) I will pour my fury out on you,
breathe on you with the fire of my rage,
and hand you over to barbarous men
highly skilled in destruction.
37 (32) You will be fuel for the fire,
your blood will flow through the land,
you will be remembered no more;
for I, Adonai, have spoken.’”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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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