The LORD's Sharpened Sword
21 1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and drop your word toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy against the land of Israel; 3 and tell the land of Israel, Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. 4 Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: 5 and all flesh shall know that I, Yahweh, have drawn forth my sword out of its sheath; it shall not return any more. 6 Sigh therefore, you son of man; with the breaking of your thighs and with bitterness you will sigh before their eyes. 7 It shall be, when they tell you, Why do you sigh? that you shall say, Because of the news, for it comes; 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 comes, and it shall be done, says the Lord Yahweh.
8 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 9 Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says Yahweh: Say, A sword, a sword, it is sharpened, and also furbished; 10 it is sharpened that it may make a slaughter; it is furbished that it may be as lightning: shall we then make mirth? the rod of my son, it condemns every tree. 11 It is given to be furbished, that it may be handled: the sword, it is sharpened, yes, it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the killer. 12 Cry and wail, son of man; for it is on my people, it is on all the princes of Israel: they are delivered over to the sword with my people; strike therefore on your thigh. 13 For there is a trial; and what if even the rod that condemns shall be no more? says the Lord Yahweh. 14 You therefore, son of man, prophesy, and strike your hands together; and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the deadly wounded: it is the sword of the great one who is deadly wounded, which enters into their chambers. 15 I have set the threatening sword against all their gates, that their heart may melt, and their stumblings be multiplied: ah! it is made as lightning, it is pointed for slaughter. 16 Gather yourselves together, go to the right, set yourselves in array, go to the left, wherever your face is set. 17 I will also strike my hands together, and I will cause my wrath to rest: I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
18 The word of Yahweh came to me again, saying, 19 Also, you son of man, appoint two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come; they both shall come forth out of one land: and mark out a place, mark it out at the head of the way to the city. 20 You shall appoint a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the children of Ammon, 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 shook the arrows back and forth, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver. 22 In his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build forts. 23 It shall be to them as a false divination in their sight, who have sworn oaths to them; but he brings iniquity to memory, that they may be taken. 24 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your doings your sins appear; because you have come to memory, you shall be taken with the hand. 25 You, deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day is come, in the time of the iniquity of the end, 26 thus says the Lord Yahweh: Remove the turban, and take off the crown; this shall be no more the same; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high. 27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.
Judgment on the Ammonites
28 You, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh concerning the children of Ammon, and concerning their reproach; and say, A sword, a sword is drawn, for the slaughter it is furbished, to cause it to devour, that it may be as lightning; 29 while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies to you, to lay you on the necks of the wicked who are deadly wounded, whose day is come in the time of the iniquity of the end. 30 Cause it to return into its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your birth, will I judge you. 31 I will pour out my indignation on you; I will blow on you with the fire of my wrath; and I will deliver you into the hand of brutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be for fuel to the fire; your blood shall be in the midst of the land; you shall be remembered no more: for I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
The Sins of Jerusalem
22 1 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 2 You, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? then cause her to know all her abominations. 3 You shall say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: A city that sheds blood in the midst of her, that her time may come, and that makes idols against herself to defile her! 4 You have become guilty in your blood that you have shed, and are defiled in your idols which you have made; and you have caused your days to draw near, and are come even to your years: therefore have I made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the countries. 5 Those who are near, and those who are far from you, shall mock you, you infamous one and full of tumult. 6 Behold, the princes of Israel, everyone according to his power, have been in you to shed blood. 7 In you have they set light by father and mother; in the midst of you have they dealt by oppression with the foreigner; in you have they wronged the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised my holy things, and have profaned my Sabbaths. 9 Slanderous men have been in you to shed blood; and in you they have eaten on the mountains: in the midst of you they have committed lewdness. 10 In you have they uncovered their fathers’ nakedness; in you have they humbled her who was unclean in her impurity. 11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife; and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you have they taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and increase, and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by oppression, and have forgotten me, says the Lord Yahweh. 13 Behold, therefore, I have struck my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been in the midst of you. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I, Yahweh, have spoken it, and will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the nations, and disperse you through the countries; and I will consume your filthiness out of you. 16 You shall be profaned in yourself, in the sight of the nations; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
17 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 18 Son of man, the house of Israel is become dross to me: all of them are brass and tin and iron and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are the dross of silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As they gather silver and brass and iron and lead and tin into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire on it, to melt it; so will I gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will lay you there, and melt you. 21 Yes, I will gather you, and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst. 22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so you will be melted in its midst; and you will know that I, Yahweh, have poured out my wrath on you.
23 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 24 Son of man, tell her, You are a land that is not cleansed, nor rained on in the day of indignation. 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in its midst, like a roaring lion ravening the prey: they have devoured souls; they take treasure and precious things; they have made her widows many in its midst. 26 Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in its midst are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, that they may get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets have daubed for them with whitewash, seeing false visions, and divining lies to them, saying, Thus says the Lord Yahweh, when Yahweh has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery; yes, they have troubled the poor and needy, and have oppressed the foreigner wrongfully. 30 I sought for a man among them, who should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. 31 Therefore have I poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought on their heads, says the Lord Yahweh.
The Two Sisters
23 1 The word of Yahweh came again to me, saying, 2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: 3 and they played the prostitute in Egypt; they played the prostitute in their youth; there were their breasts pressed, and there was handled the bosom of their virginity. 4 The names of them were Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister: and they became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem Oholibah. 5 Oholah played the prostitute when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors, 6 who were clothed with blue, governors and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. 7 She bestowed her prostitution on them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them; and on whoever she doted, with all their idols she defiled herself. 8 Neither has she left her prostitution since the days of Egypt; for in her youth they lay with her, and they handled the bosom of her virginity; and they poured out their prostitution on her. 9 Therefore I delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, on whom she doted. 10 These uncovered her nakedness; they took her sons and her daughters; and her they killed with the sword: and she became a byword among women; for they executed judgments on her.
11 Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet was she more corrupt in her doting than she, and in her prostitution which were more than the prostitution of her sister. 12 She doted on the Assyrians, governors and rulers, her neighbors, clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 13 I saw that she was defiled; they both took one way. 14 She increased her prostitution; for she saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, 15 girded with girdles on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them princes to look on, after the likeness of the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their birth. 16 As soon as she saw them she doted on them, and sent messengers to them into Chaldea. 17 The Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their prostitution, and she was polluted with them, and her soul was alienated from them. 18 So she uncovered her prostitution, and uncovered her nakedness: then my soul was alienated from her, like as my soul was alienated from her sister. 19 Yet she multiplied her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth, in which she had played the prostitute in the land of Egypt. 20 She doted on their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of donkeys, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. 21 Thus you called to memory the lewdness of your youth, in the handling of your bosom by the Egyptians for the breasts of your youth.
22 Therefore, Oholibah, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will raise up your lovers against you, from whom your soul is alienated, and I will bring them against you on every side: 23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them; desirable young men, governors and rulers all of them, princes and men of renown, all of them riding on horses. 24 They shall come against you with weapons, chariots, and wagons, and with a company of peoples; they shall set themselves against you with buckler and shield and helmet all around; and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25 I will set my jealousy against you, and they shall deal with you in fury; they shall take away your nose and your ears; and your residue shall fall by the sword: they shall take your sons and your daughters; and your residue shall be devoured by the fire. 26 They shall also strip you of your clothes, and take away your beautiful jewels. 27 Thus will I make your lewdness to cease from you, and your prostitution brought from the land of Egypt; so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them, nor remember Egypt any more. 28 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will deliver you into the hand of them whom you hate, into the hand of them from whom your soul is alienated; 29 and they shall deal with you in hatred, and shall take away all your labor, and shall leave you naked and bare; and the nakedness of your prostitution shall be uncovered, both your lewdness and your prostitution. 30 These things shall be done to you, because you have played the prostitute after the nations, and because you are polluted with their idols. 31 You have walked in the way of your sister; therefore will I give her cup into your hand. 32 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: You will drink of your sister’s cup, which is deep and large; you will be ridiculed and held in derision; it contains much. 33 You shall be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of your sister Samaria. 34 You shall even drink it and drain it out, and you shall gnaw the broken pieces of it, and shall tear your breasts; for I have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh. 35 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have forgotten me, and cast me behind your back, therefore you also bear your lewdness and your prostitution.
36 Yahweh said moreover to me: Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? then declare to them their abominations. 37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands; and with their idols have they committed adultery; and they have also caused their sons, whom they bore to me, to pass through the fire to them to be devoured. 38 Moreover this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my Sabbaths. 39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and behold, thus have they done in the midst of my house. 40 Furthermore you have sent for men who come from far, to whom a messenger was sent, and behold, they came; for whom you did wash yourself, paint your eyes, and decorate yourself with ornaments, 41 and sit on a stately bed, with a table prepared before it, whereupon you set my incense and my oil. 42 The voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with men of the common sort were brought drunkards from the wilderness; and they put bracelets on the hands of them twain, and beautiful crowns on their heads. 43 Then said I of her who was old in adulteries, Now will they play the prostitute with her, and she with them. 44 They went in to her, as they go in to a prostitute: so went they in to Oholah and to Oholibah, the lewd women. 45 Righteous men, they shall judge them with the judgment of adulteresses, and with the judgment of women who shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands. 46 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will bring up a company against them, and will give them to be tossed back and forth and robbed. 47 The company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall kill their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire. 48 Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. 49 They shall recompense your lewdness on you, and you shall bear the sins of your idols; and you shall know that I am the Lord Yahweh.