1 The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, 2 “Son of man, look towards the south; direct your words to the south and prophesy against Forest of the south. 3 Say to the forest: ‘O forest, hear the word of Yahweh: I am kindling a fire that will burn every tree, both green and dry; its flame will not be quenched but from the south to the north every face will be scorched. 4 Everyone will see that it was I, Yahweh, who kindled it and that it will not be put out.” 5 This time I said, “Lord Yahweh, they say that I am always talking in parables.”
My sword is unsheathed
6 But the word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, 7 “Son of man, look towards Jerusalem; address your words to the sanctuary and prophesy against Israel. 8 Say to Israel: I come against you; I will unsheathe my sword and cut off from you both the good and the wicked. 9 Yes: against both the good and the wicked. My sword is unsheathed against all mortals from north to south. 10 And all will know that I, Yahweh, have un sheathed my sword, and unsheathed it will remain.”
11 And you, son of man, groan in the bitterness of a broken heart, groan in their presence. 12 When they say to you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you will answer: ‘Because of what will hap pen; when you hear of it, every heart will melt, every hand become limp, every spirit will be faint and knees shall be as weak as water.’ It is to happen; it has come, word of the Lord Yahweh.”
13 The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, 14 “Son of man; prophesy and say on my behalf: The sword has been polished and sharpened. 15 It has been sharpened for a massacre. 16 Yah weh gave it to be polished and seized by the hand. He has had the sword sharpened and polished to hand to the executioner.
17 Cry out and wail, son of man, for this sword is intended for my people and for the princes of Israel. They shall be given over to the sword with my people; beat your breast, word of Yahweh.
18 - 19 And you, son of man, prophesy and clap your hands! The sword will strike and strike again for the slaughter, for the massacre. 20 Hearts languish and people fall for I have placed at every gate the sword for slaughter. 21 It has been sharpened and shines. O sword! slash to the right, slash to the left, wherever you turn. 22 For my part I clap my hands and release my fury; I, Yahweh, have spoken.”
23 The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, 24 “Son of man, mark two roads for the coming of the king of Baby lon’s sword. The two should leave from the same point. 25 At the head of each road place a sign, the first directing the sword to Rammah of the Ammonites and the second to Judah and the fortified city of Jeru salem. 26 The king of Babylon, in fact, is now standing at the parting of the ways, at the head of both roads looking for an omen. He is shaking arrows, questioning the idols, looking at the liver of the victims.
27 The lot falls upon Jerusalem. Then he raises a warcry, ‘Set a battering ram at the gates, construct a ramp and erect siegeworks.’ 28 Those who have sworn allegiance to him in Jerusalem do not dare believe it; but he remembers their guilt and they are captured. 29 That is why Yah weh has spoken: Your evil deeds have brought to mind your wickedness and made known your sins. And when I remembered you, sin appeared in all your deeds. Because of this you will be taken captive.
30 As for you, dishonored criminal, prince of Israel, the day and moment of your punishment has come. 31 They will remove your turban, take away your crown. All will be changed: what is lowly will be lifted high and what is lofty will be brought low. 32 I will make it a ruins, a ruins such as never has been, until the one comes whose right it is to rule, the one I shall send.
33 And you, son of man, prophesy and say: This is Yahweh’s word concerning the Ammonites and their insults. This is what you are to say: The sword is unsheathed for the slaughter, polished and flashing for the work of de struc tion. 34 Beware of your false visions and lying omens, when your sword is laid to the necks of the wicked for their time has come and their punishment is near. 35 People of Ammon, put back the sword in its shealth. In your own place, in the land of your birth you will be judged. 36 I will pour out my wrath on you, against you I will breathe the fire of my fury and hand you over to brutal men, experts in destruction. 37 You will be fuel for the fire; your blood will be spilled throught the land and you shall be remembered no more for I, Yahweh, have spoken.”