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21
A Vision of the Avenging Sword of Yahweh
1And the word of Yahweh came#Literally “was” to me, saying,#Literally “to say” 2“Son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” set your face toward Jerusalem, and preach to the sanctuaries, and prophesy to the land of Israel. 3And you must say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus says Yahweh: “Look! I am against you, and I will draw out my sword from its sheath, and I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. 4Because#Hebrew “Because that” I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword will go out from its sheath to#Or “against” all creatures#Hebrew “creature” from south to north. 5And they will know, all creatures, that I, Yahweh, I will bring out my sword from its sheath; it will not return again!” ’ 6And you, son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” groan with shaking hips,#Literally “with destruction of loins” and you must groan with bitterness before their eyes. 7And then#Literally “and it will be” when they say to you, ‘On account of what are you groaning?’ then you must say, ‘On account of the report, for it is coming, and every heart will be weak and all hands will hang limp and every spirit will be disheartened, and all knees will go like water.’ Look! It is coming, and it will happen!” declares#Literally “declaration of” the Lord Yahweh.
8And the word of Yahweh came#Literally “was” to me, saying,#Literally “to say” 9“Son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” prophesy, and you must say, ‘Thus says the Lord,’ say, ‘A sword, a sword is sharpened and is also polished. 10It is sharpened to slaughter a slaughter, polished to flash like lightning!#Literally “so that there be for her lightning” Or will we rejoice?#Or “be pleased” A rod, my son, is despising every tree.#Or “stick” of correction; Hebrew is uncertain in meaning here 11And he gives it to be polished, to be seized by the hand.#Literally “to take hold of in the palm of the hand” It is sharpened—a sword—and it is polished to give it into the hand of the killer. 12Cry and wail, son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” for it is against my people; it is against all of the princes of Israel. They are thrown to the sword with my people; therefore strike your thigh.#Literally “strike on the thigh” 13For examine!#Literally “it was tested” And what if also the rod will not be despising?’ declares#Literally “declaration of” the Lord Yahweh. 14And you, son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” prophesy and clap your hands.#Literally “strike hand to hand” And the sword will strike twice;#Literally “be doubled” let it happen a third time. It is a sword of the dead, the sword of the great dead that is surrounding them, 15so that a heart melts, and the fallen multiply#Literally “be made many” at all of their gates. I gave a sword for slaughter, and alas! It is made for flashing, it is grasped#Or “polished” for slaughtering. 16Gather together, strike to the right; cause to go to the left, where your edge#Literally “face” is directed. 17And also I myself#Literally “I, I” will clap my hands,#Literally “strike my hand to my hand” and I will satisfy my rage! I, Yahweh, I have spoken.”
18And the word of Yahweh came#Literally “was” to me, saying,#Literally “to say” 19“And you, son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” mark out for yourself#Hebrew “you” two roads for the coming of the sword of the king of Babylon; they must both#Literally “the two of them” go out from the same land. And hew out a signpost;#Literally “hand” hew it at the head of the road of the city. 20You must mark a road for the coming of the sword to Rabbah of the Ammonites#Literally “sons of Ammon” and to Judah, in Jerusalem the fortified. 21For the king of Babylon stands at the fork of the road at the head of the two roads to practice divination. He shakes the arrows,#Literally “he casts the lot with the arrows” (cf. NASB, NRSV) he inquires with the teraphim, he examines#Literally “sees with” the liver. 22In his right hand is the divination for Jerusalem, to put up battering rams, to open a mouth for slaughter,#Or “open the mouth of Sheol”; or “give the command to slaughter” (cf. NRSV, NASB) to raise the battle cry,#Literally “to raise a voice in shouting” to put up battering rams against gates, to build a siege ramp, to build siege works.#Hebrew “siege work” 23And it will be to them like practicing divination falsely#Or “in vain” in their eyes; they have sworn oaths for themselves.#Literally “swearers of oaths will be for them” But#Or “And” he will bring their guilt to remembrance so as to seize them.
24“Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Because you have brought to remembrance your guilt by the uncovering of your transgressions, so that your sins in all of your deeds appear—because of your being remembered, you will be captured in the hand.’ 25And as for you, profane one, wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come with the time of the punishment of the end, 26thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Remove the turban and lift off the crown; things are no longer the same. Exalt the low and bring low the high. 27A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I will make it! Also#Or “indeed” this has not ever happened;#Or “will not happen until” (cf. NASB and NRSV) it will remain until the coming of the one to whom the judgment belongs and I have given it to him.’ 28And you, son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” prophesy, and you must say, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh to the Ammonites#Literally “sons of Ammon” and concerning their disgrace,’ and you must say, ‘A sword, a sword is drawn for slaughtering; it is polished for holding, for flashing like lightning,#Literally “for the sake of lightening” 29when seeing a false vision for you in vain, when practicing divination for you falsely, to give#Or “place” you on the neck of the profane ones of the wicked, whose day has come,#Literally “who has come their day” the time of final punishment.#Literally “in the time of the punishment of the end” 30Return it to its sheath in the place where you were created. In the land of your origin I will judge you! 31And I will pour out my anger on you; I will blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and I will give you into the hand of brutal men, skilled craftsmen of destruction. 32You will be as fuel for the fire; your blood will be in the midst of the earth. You will not be remembered, for I, Yahweh, I have spoken.’ ”