The Sword of Judgment
1 1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, turn toward2 Jerusalem3 and speak out against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to them,4 ‘This is what the Lord says: Look,5 I am against you.6 I will draw my sword7 from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked.8 4 Because I will cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked, my sword will go out from its sheath against everyone9 from the south10 to the north. 5 Then everyone will know that I am the Lord, who drew my sword from its sheath – it will not be sheathed again!’
6 “And you, son of man, groan with an aching heart11 and bitterness; groan before their eyes. 7 When they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you will reply, ‘Because of the report that has come. Every heart will melt with fear and every hand will be limp; everyone12 will faint and every knee will be wet with urine.’13 Pay attention – it is coming and it will happen, declares the sovereign Lord.”
8 The word of the Lord came to me: 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘A sword, a sword is sharpened,
and also polished.
10 It is sharpened for slaughter,
it is polished to flash like lightning!
“‘Should we rejoice in the scepter of my son? No! The sword despises every tree!14
11 “‘He gave it to be polished,
to be grasped in the hand –
the sword is sharpened, it is polished –
giving it into the hand of the executioner.
12 Cry out and moan, son of man,
for it is wielded against my people;
against all the princes of Israel.
They are delivered up to the sword, along with my people.
Therefore, strike your thigh.15
13 “‘For testing will come, and what will happen when the scepter, which the sword despises, is no more?16 declares the sovereign Lord.’
14 “And you, son of man, prophesy,
and clap your hands together.
Let the sword strike twice, even three times!
It is a sword for slaughter,
a sword for the great slaughter surrounding them.
15 So hearts melt with fear and many stumble.
At all their gates I have stationed the sword for slaughter.
Ah! It is made to flash, it is drawn for slaughter!
16 Cut sharply on the right!
wherever your edge18 is appointed to strike.
17 I too will clap my hands together,
I will exhaust my rage;
I the Lord have spoken.”
18 The word of the Lord came to me: 19 “You, son of man, mark out two routes for the king of Babylon’s sword to take; both of them will originate in a single land. Make a signpost and put it at the beginning of the road leading to the city. 20 Mark out the routes for the sword to take: “Rabbah of the Ammonites” and “Judah with Jerusalem in it.”19 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the fork20 in the road at the head of the two routes. He looks for omens:21 He shakes arrows, he consults idols,22 he examines23 animal livers.24 22 Into his right hand25 comes the portent for Jerusalem – to set up battering rams, to give the signal26 for slaughter, to shout out the battle cry,27 to set up battering rams against the gates, to erect a siege ramp, to build a siege wall. 23 But those in Jerusalem28 will view it as a false omen. They have sworn solemn oaths,29 but the king of Babylon30 will accuse them of violations31 in order to seize them.32
24 “Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have brought up33 your own guilt by uncovering your transgressions and revealing your sins through all your actions, for this reason you will be taken by force.34
25 “‘As for you, profane and wicked prince of Israel,35
whose day has come, the time of final punishment,
26 this is what the sovereign Lord says:
take off the crown!
Exalt the lowly,
27 A total ruin I will make it!39
It will come to an end
when the one arrives to whom I have assigned judgment.’40
28 “As for you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says concerning the Ammonites and their coming humiliation;41 say:
“‘A sword, a sword drawn for slaughter,
polished to consume,42 to flash like lightning –
29 while seeing false visions for you
and reading lying omens for you43 – to place that sword44 on the necks of the profane wicked,45
whose day has come,
the time of final punishment.
30 Return it to its sheath!46 In the place where you were created,47
in your native land, I will judge you.
31 I will pour out my anger on you;
the fire of my fury I will blow on you.
I will hand you over to brutal men,
who are skilled in destruction.
32 You will become fuel for the fire –
your blood will stain the middle of the land;48
you will no longer be remembered,
for I, the Lord, have spoken.’”