The Drawn Sword of God
1 The word of the Lord came to me:2Mortal, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries; prophesy against the land of Israel3and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord: I am coming against you, and will draw my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked.4Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from south to north;5and all flesh shall know that I the Lord have drawn my sword out of its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again.6Moan therefore, mortal; moan with breaking heart and bitter grief before their eyes.7And when they say to you, “Why do you moan?” you shall say, “Because of the news that has come. Every heart will melt and all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint and all knees will turn to water. See, it comes and it will be fulfilled,” says the Lord GOD.8And the word of the Lord came to me:9Mortal, prophesy and say: Thus says the Lord; Say:
A sword, a sword is sharpened,
it is also polished;10It is sharpened for slaughter,
honed to flash like lightning!
How can we make merry?
You have despised the rod,
and all discipline.11The sword is given to be polished,
to be grasped in the hand;
It is sharpened, the sword is polished,
to be placed in the slayer's hand.12Cry and wail, O mortal,
for it is against my people;
it is against all Israel's princes;
they are thrown to the sword,
together with my people.
Ah! Strike the thigh!13For consider: What! If you despise the rod, will it not happen? says the Lord GOD.14And you, mortal, prophesy;
Strike hand to hand.
Let the sword fall twice, thrice;
it is a sword for killing.
A sword for great slaughter—
it surrounds them;15therefore hearts melt
and many stumble.
At all their gates I have set
the point of the sword.
Ah! It is made for flashing,
it is polished for slaughter.16Attack to the right!
Engage to the left!
Wherever your edge is directed.17I too will strike hand to hand,
I will satisfy my fury;
I the Lord have spoken.18The word of the Lord came to me:19Mortal, mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to come; both of them shall issue from the same land. And make a signpost, make it for a fork in the road leading to a city;20mark out the road for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites or to Judah and to Jerusalem the fortified.21For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the fork in the two roads, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the teraphim, he inspects the liver.22Into his right hand comes the lot for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to call out for slaughter, for raising the battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up ramps, to build siege towers.23But to them it will seem like a false divination; they have sworn solemn oaths; but he brings their guilt to remembrance, bringing about their capture.24Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have brought your guilt to remembrance, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand.25As for you, vile, wicked prince of Israel,
you whose day has come,
the time of final punishment,26thus says the Lord GOD:
Remove the turban, take off the crown;
things shall not remain as they are.
Exalt that which is low,
abase that which is high.27A ruin, a ruin, a ruin—
I will make it!
(Such has never occurred.)
Until he comes whose right it is;
to him I will give it.28As for you, mortal, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; say:
A sword, a sword! Drawn for slaughter
Polished to consume, to flash like lightning.29Offering false visions for you,
divining lies for you,
they place you over the necks
of the vile, wicked ones—
those whose day has come,
the time of final punishment.30Return it to its sheath!
In the place where you were created,
in the land of your origin,
I will judge you.31I will pour out my indignation upon you,
with the fire of my wrath
I will blow upon you.
I will deliver you into brutish hands,
those skillful to destroy.32You shall be fuel for the fire,
your blood shall enter the earth;
You shall be remembered no more,
for I the Lord have spoken.Chapter 22The Bloody City
1The word of the Lord came to me:2You, mortal, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then declare to it all its abominable deeds.3You shall say, Thus says the Lord GOD: A city! Shedding blood within itself; its time has come; making its idols, defiling itself.4You have become guilty by the blood that you have shed, and defiled by the idols that you have made; you have brought your day near, the appointed time of your years has come. Therefore I have made you a disgrace before the nations, and a mockery to all the countries.5Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you infamous one, full of tumult.6The princes of Israel in you, everyone according to his power, have been bent on shedding blood.7Father and mother are treated with contempt in you; the alien residing within you suffers extortion; the orphan and the widow are wronged in you.8You have despised my holy things, and profaned my sabbaths.9In you are those who slander to shed blood, those in you who eat upon the mountains, who commit lewdness in your midst.10In you they uncover their fathers' nakedness; in you they violate women in their menstrual periods.11One commits abomination with his neighbor's wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; another in you defiles his sister, his father's daughter.12In you, they take bribes to shed blood; you take both advance interest and accrued interest, and make gain of your neighbors by extortion; and you have forgotten me, says the Lord GOD.13See, I strike my hands together at the dishonest gain you have made, and at the blood that has been shed within you.14Can your courage endure, or can your hands remain strong in the days when I shall deal with you? I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.15I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will purge your filthiness out of you.16And I shall be profaned through you in the sight of the nations; and you shall know that I am the Lord.17The word of the Lord came to me:18Mortal, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them, silver, bronze, tin, iron, and lead. In the smelter they have become dross.19Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.20As one gathers silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into a smelter, to blow the fire upon them in order to melt them; so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you.21I will gather you and blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted within it.22As silver is melted in a smelter, so you shall be melted in it; and you shall know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath upon you.23The word of the Lord came to me:24Mortal, say to it: You are a land that is not cleansed, not rained upon in the day of indignation.25Its princes within it are like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows within it.26Its priests have done violence to my teaching and have profaned my holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.27Its officials within it are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain.28Its prophets have smeared whitewash on their behalf, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, “Thus says the Lord GOD,” when the Lord has not spoken.29The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the alien without redress.30And I sought for anyone among them who would repair the wall and stand in the breach before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.31Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath; I have returned their conduct upon their heads, says the Lord GOD.Chapter 23Oholah and Oholibah
1The word of the Lord came to me:2Mortal, there were two women, the daughters of one mother;3they played the whore in Egypt; they played the whore in their youth; their breasts were caressed there, and their virgin bosoms were fondled.4Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.5Oholah played the whore while she was mine; she lusted after her lovers the Assyrians, warriors6clothed in blue, governors and commanders, all of them handsome young men, mounted horsemen.7She bestowed her favors upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them; and she defiled herself with all the idols of everyone for whom she lusted.8She did not give up her whorings that she had practiced since Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and fondled her virgin bosom and poured out their lust upon her.9Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the Assyrians, for whom she lusted.10These uncovered her nakedness; they seized her sons and her daughters; and they killed her with the sword. Judgment was executed upon her, and she became a byword among women.11Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt than she in her lusting and in her whorings, which were worse than those of her sister.12She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, mounted horsemen, all of them handsome young men.13And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way.14But she carried her whorings further; she saw male figures carved on the wall, images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion,15with belts around their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers—a picture of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea.16When she saw them she lusted after them, and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.17And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their lust; and after she defiled herself with them, she turned from them in disgust.18When she carried on her whorings so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned from her sister.19Yet she increased her whorings, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt20and lusted after her paramours there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose emission was like that of stallions.21Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians fondled your bosom and caressed your young breasts.22Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD: I will rouse against you your lovers from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side:23the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, handsome young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and warriors, all of them riding on horses.24They shall come against you from the north with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples; they shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet, and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their ordinances.25I will direct my indignation against you, in order that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire.26They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your fine jewels.27So I will put an end to your lewdness and your whoring brought from the land of Egypt; you shall not long for them, or remember Egypt any more.28For thus says the Lord GOD: I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust;29and they shall deal with you in hatred, and take away all the fruit of your labor, and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your whorings shall be exposed. Your lewdness and your whorings30have brought this upon you, because you played the whore with the nations, and polluted yourself with their idols.31You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand.32Thus says the Lord GOD:
You shall drink your sister's cup,
deep and wide;
you shall be scorned and derided,
it holds so much.33You shall be filled with drunkenness and sorrow.
A cup of horror and desolation
is the cup of your sister Samaria;34you shall drink it and drain it out,
and gnaw its sherds,
and tear out your breasts;
for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.35Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, therefore bear the consequences of your lewdness and whorings.36The Lord said to me: Mortal, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominable deeds.37For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands; with their idols they have committed adultery; and they have even offered up to them for food the children whom they had borne to me.38Moreover this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and profaned my sabbaths.39For when they had slaughtered their children for their idols, on the same day they came into my sanctuary to profane it. This is what they did in my house.40They even sent for men to come from far away, to whom a messenger was sent, and they came. For them you bathed yourself, painted your eyes, and decked yourself with ornaments;41you sat on a stately couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed my incense and my oil.42The sound of a raucous multitude was around her, with many of the rabble brought in drunken from the wilderness; and they put bracelets on the arms of the women, and beautiful crowns upon their heads.43Then I said, Ah, she is worn out with adulteries, but they carry on their sexual acts with her.44For they have gone in to her, as one goes in to a whore. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, wanton women.45But righteous judges shall declare them guilty of adultery and of bloodshed; because they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands.46For thus says the Lord GOD: Bring up an assembly against them, and make them an object of terror and of plunder.47The assembly shall stone them and with their swords they shall cut them down; they shall kill their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses.48Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, so that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done.49They shall repay you for your lewdness, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry; and you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.