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The Sword of Judgment

21:1 (21:6) The word of the LORD came to me: 21:2 “Son of man, turn toward Jerusalem and speak out against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel 21:3 and say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: Look, I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 21:4 Because I will cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked, my sword will go out from its sheath against everyone from the south to the north. 21:5 Then everyone will know that I am the LORD, who drew my sword from its sheath – it will not be sheathed again!’

21:6 “And you, son of man, groan with an aching heart and bitterness; groan before their eyes. 21:7 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; everyone will faint and every knee will be wet with urine.’ Pay attention – it is coming and it will happen, declares the sovereign LORD.”

21:8 The word of the LORD came to me: 21:9 “Son of man, prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘A sword, a sword is sharpened,
and also polished.
21:10 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!

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21:11 “‘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.
21:12 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.

21:13 “‘For testing will come, and what will happen when the scepter, which the sword despises, is no more? declares the sovereign LORD.’

21:14 “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.
21:15 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!
21:16 Cut sharply on the right!
Swing to the left,
wherever your edge is appointed to strike.
21:17 I too will clap my hands together,
I will exhaust my rage;
I the LORD have spoken.”

21:18 The word of the LORD came to me: 21:19 “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. 21:20 Mark out the routes for the sword to take: “Rabbah of the Ammonites” and “Judah with Jerusalem in it.” 21:21 For the king of Babylon stands at the fork in the road at the head of the two routes. He looks for omens: He shakes arrows, he consults idols, he examines animal livers. 21:22 Into his right hand comes the portent for Jerusalem – to set up battering rams, to give the signal for slaughter, to shout out the battle cry, to set up battering rams against the gates, to erect a siege ramp, to build a siege wall. 21:23 But those in Jerusalem will view it as a false omen. They have sworn solemn oaths, but the king of Babylon will accuse them of violations in order to seize them.

21:24 “Therefore this is what the sovereign LORD says: ‘Because you have brought up your own guilt by uncovering your transgressions and revealing your sins through all your actions, for this reason you will be taken by force.
21:25 “‘As for you, profane and wicked prince of Israel,
whose day has come, the time of final punishment,
21:26 this is what the sovereign LORD says:
Tear off the turban,
take off the crown!
Things must change!
Exalt the lowly,
bring down the proud!
21:27 A total ruin I will make it!
It will come to an end
when the one arrives to whom I have assigned judgment.’

21:28 “As for you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the sovereign LORD says concerning the Ammonites and their coming humiliation; say:
“‘A sword, a sword drawn for slaughter,
polished to consume, to flash like lightning –
21:29 while seeing false visions for you
and reading lying omens for you –
to place that sword on the necks of the profane wicked,
whose day has come,
the time of final punishment.
21:30 Return it to its sheath!
In the place where you were created,
in your native land, I will judge you.
21:31 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.
21:32 You will become fuel for the fire –
your blood will stain the middle of the land;
you will no longer be remembered,
for I, the LORD, have spoken.’”

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