Slaughter and death in Jerusalem
1 Son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor on your head and beard. Then take scales and divide the hair you have cut off. 2 Burn a third of it in the middle of the city at the end of the siege, then take a third that you will strike with the sword all around the city; finally scatter a third in the wind and un sheathe a sword and pursue them. 3 Take a few strands of hair and tuck them away in the folds of your clothes; 4 then throw some of them to burn in the fire. Then speak against all Israel:
5 This is what Yahweh said: That is Jerusalem! I placed her in the midst of the nations surrounded by other countries; 6 she rebelled against my laws and my pre cepts more than neighboring nations. In fact she rejected my laws and did not keep my decrees.
7 That is why Yahweh speaks thus: Your rebellion is greater than that of the nations around you – you have not kept my laws, respected my decrees or observed my ordinances but instead have conformed to the laws of neigh boring nations – 8 because of that Yahweh speaks thus: I too have set myself against you. I will pass judgment on you in the sight of the nations. 9 And because of your abominations I will punish you in a way I have never before done and never will do in the future. 10 That is why parents among you will eat their children and children their parents. I will pass judgment on you and scatter your remnant to every wind.
11 Therefore as surely as I live, de clares Yahweh, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your horrors and abominations, I will strike you without pity! I too will show no mercy!
12 A third of your people will die of the plague or starve within your walls, a third will fall by the sword outside the city, a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with sword unsheathed. 13 My anger will spend itself, my fury against them be satisfied. I will have my revenge and they will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken in my jealousy when I have exhausted my fury against them. 14 I will make you a heap of ruins, a reproach among the neigh boring nations in the eyes of all who pass by. 15 You will be a reproach, a taunt, a lesson, a warning and an ob ject of horror for the nations near you when, with anger, wrath and stinging reproach, I pun ish you. I, Yahweh, have spoken.
16 When I send against you the deadly arrows of starvation to do away with you and blot you out, I will make you lack all food. 17 Hunger and wild beasts will destroy your children, while sword and plague will visit you. It is I, Yahweh, who have spoken.”