Jerusalem’s Desolation Foretold
1“And you [Ezekiel], son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor and shave your head and your beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair [into three parts]. 2You shall burn one third with fire in the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them. 3Also take some of them and bind them in the edges of your robes. 4Again take some hair and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.
5“Thus says the Lord God, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the center of the nations, and countries are around her. 6And she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the [pagan] nations and against My statutes more than the countries that are around her; for Israel has rejected My ordinances and has not walked in My statutes.’ 7Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor kept My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you,’ 8therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I, I Myself, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations. 9And because of all your abominations, I will do among you that which I have not done, and the like of which I will not do again. 10Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on you and I will scatter to all the winds the remnant of you. 11So, as I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you and withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare [you]. 12One third of you will die of virulent disease or be consumed by famine among you; one third will fall by the sword around you; and one third I will scatter to all the winds, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.
13‘Thus My anger will come to an end and I will satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be appeased; then they will know [without any doubt] that I the Lord have spoken in My zeal when I have spent My wrath on them. 14Moreover, I will make you a desolation and a disgrace among the nations which surround you and in the sight of all who pass by. 15So it will be a disgrace, a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the [pagan] nations who surround you when I execute judgments against you in anger and in wrath and in raging reprimands—I, the Lord, have spoken. 16When I send against them the deadly arrows of hunger which were for the destruction of those whom I will send to destroy you, then I will increase the famine upon you and break your staff of bread. 17Further, I will send against you hunger and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; virulent disease and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the Lord, have spoken.’ ”