God’s Sword of Judgment
1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and tell her that this is what the LORD says: ‘I am against you, and I will draw My sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 4 Because I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked, My sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north. 5 Then all flesh will know that I, the LORD, have taken My sword from its sheath, not to return it again.’
6 But you, son of man, groan! Groan before their eyes with a broken heart and bitter grief. 7 And when they ask, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you are to say, ‘Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt, and every hand will go limp. Every spirit will faint, and every knee will turn to water.’ Yes, it is coming and it will surely happen, declares the Lord GOD.”
‘A sword, a sword,
sharpened and polished—
10 it is sharpened for the slaughter,
polished to flash like lightning!
Should we rejoice in the scepter of My son?
The sword despises every such stick.
11 The sword is appointed to be polished,
to be grasped in the hand.
It is sharpened and polished,
to be placed in the hand of the slayer.
12 Cry out and wail,
O son of man,
for the sword is wielded against My people;
it is against all the princes of Israel!
They are tossed to the sword with My people;
therefore strike your thigh. a
13 Surely testing will come!
And what if even the scepter,
which the sword despises,
does not continue?’
declares the Lord GOD.
14 ‘So then, son of man,
prophesy and strike your hands together.
Let the sword strike two times,
It is a sword that slays,
a sword of great slaughter
closing in on every side!
15 So that their hearts may melt
and many may stumble,
I have appointed at all their gates
a sword for slaughter.
Yes, it is ready to flash like lightning;
it is drawn for slaughter.
16 Slash to the right;
set your blade to the left—
wherever your blade is directed.
17 I too will strike My hands together,
and I will satisfy My wrath.’
I, the LORD, have spoken.”
18 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 19 “Now you, son of man, mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to take, both starting from the same land. And make a signpost where the road branches off to each city. 20 Mark out one road for the sword to come against Rabbah of the Ammonites, and another against Judah into fortified Jerusalem.
21 For the king of Babylon stands at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He shakes the arrows, he consults the idols, he examines the liver.
22 In his right hand appears the portent for Jerusalem, where he is to set up battering rams, to call for the slaughter, to lift a battle cry, to direct the battering rams against the gates, to build a ramp, and to erect a siege wall. 23 It will seem like a false omen to the eyes of those who have sworn allegiance to him, but it will draw attention to their guilt and take them captive.
24 Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Because you have drawn attention to your guilt, exposing your transgressions, so that your sins are revealed in all your deeds—because you have come to remembrance—you shall be taken in hand.
25 And you, O profane and wicked prince of Israel,
the day has come for your final punishment.’
26 This is what the Lord GOD says:
‘Remove the turban,
and take off the crown.
Things will not remain as they are:
Exalt the lowly
and bring low the exalted.
27 A ruin, a ruin,
I will make it a ruin!
And it will not be restored
until the arrival of Him to whom it belongs,
to whom I have assigned the right of judgment. b’
28 Now prophesy, son of man, and declare that this is what the Lord GOD says concerning the Ammonites and their contempt:
‘A sword! A sword
is drawn for slaughter,
polished to consume,
to flash like lightning—
29 while they offer false visions for you
and lying divinations about you—
to be placed on the necks
of the wicked who are slain,
whose day has come,
the time of their final punishment.
30 Return the sword to its sheath!
In the place where you were created,
in the land of your origin,
I will judge you.
31 I will pour out My anger upon you;
I will breathe the fire of My fury against you;
I will hand you over to brutal men,
skilled in destruction.
32 You will be fuel for the fire.
Your blood will stain your own land.
You will not be remembered,
for I, the LORD, have spoken.’ ”
12 a Or beat your breast
27 b Or of Him to whom it rightfully belongs, to whom I have given it.