91Then I heard God shout, “Come here, you men who are going to punish the city. Bring your weapons with you.” 2At once six men came from the outer north gate of the Temple, each one carrying a weapon. With them was a man dressed in linen clothes, carrying something to write with. They all came and stood by the bronze altar.
3Then the dazzling light of the presence of the God of Israel rose up from the winged creatures,9.3 winged creatures: See 1.5–12. where it had been, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. The LORD called to the man dressed in linen, 4
“Go through the whole city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the forehead of everyone who is distressed and troubled because of all the disgusting things being done in the city.”
5And I heard God say to the other men, “Follow him through the city, and kill. Spare no one; have mercy on no one. 6Kill the old men, young men, young women, mothers, and children. But don't touch anyone who has the mark on his forehead. Start here at my Temple.” So they began with the leaders who were standing there at the Temple.
7God said to them, “Defile the Temple. Fill its courtyards with corpses. Get to work!” So they began to kill the people in the city.9.7 work!” So they… city.; or work! Go on and start killing the people in the city!”
8While the killing was going on, I was there alone. I threw myself face downwards on the ground and shouted, “Sovereign LORD, are you so angry with Jerusalem that you are going to kill everyone left in Israel?”
9God answered, “The people of Israel and Judah are guilty of terrible sins. They have committed murder all over the land and have filled Jerusalem with crime. They say that I, the LORD, have abandoned their country and that I don't see them. 10But I will not have pity on them; I will do to them what they have done to others.”
11Then the man wearing linen clothes returned and reported to the LORD, “I have carried out your orders.”
I looked at the dome over the heads of the living creatures10.1 living creatures: See 1.5–12. and above them was something that seemed to be a throne made of sapphire. 2
God said to the man wearing linen clothes, “Go between the wheels under the creatures and fill your hands with burning coals. Then scatter the coals over the city.”
I watched him go. 3The creatures were standing to the south of the Temple when he went in, and a cloud filled the inner courtyard. 4The dazzling light of the LORD's presence rose up from the creatures and moved to the entrance of the Temple. Then the cloud filled the Temple, and the courtyard was blazing with the light. 5The noise made by the creatures' wings was heard even in the outer courtyard. It sounded like the voice of Almighty God.
6When the LORD commanded the man wearing linen clothes to take some fire from between the wheels that were under the creatures, the man went in and stood by one of the wheels. 7One of the creatures put his hand into the fire that was there among them, picked up some coals, and put them in the hands of the man in linen. The man took the coals and left.
8I saw that each creature had what looked like a human hand under each of its wings. 9-10
I also saw that there were four wheels, all alike, one beside each creature. The wheels shone like precious stones, and each one had another wheel which intersected it at right angles. 11When the creatures moved, they could go in any direction without turning. They all moved together in the direction they wanted to go, without having to turn round. 12
Their bodies, backs, hands, wings, and wheels were covered with eyes. 13I heard a voice calling out, “Whirling wheels”.
Each creature had four faces. The first was the face of a bull, the second a human face, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. 15(They were the same creatures that I had seen by the River Chebar.) When the creatures rose in the air 16and moved, the wheels went with them. Whenever they spread their wings to fly, the wheels still went with them. 17When the creatures stopped, the wheels stopped; and when the creatures flew, the wheels went with them, because the creatures controlled them.
18Then the dazzling light of the LORD's presence left the entrance of the Temple and moved to a place above the creatures. 19They spread their wings and flew up from the earth while I was watching, and the wheels went with them. They paused at the east gate of the Temple, and the dazzling light was over them. 20I recognized them as the same creatures which I had seen beneath the God of Israel at the River Chebar.
21Each of them had four faces, four wings, and what looked like a human hand under each wing. 22Their faces looked exactly like the faces10.22 Probable text the faces; Hebrew the faces and them. I had seen by the River Chebar. Each creature moved straight ahead.
111God's Spirit lifted me up and took me to the east gate of the Temple. There near the gate I saw 25 men, including Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, two leaders of the nation.
2God said to me, “Mortal man, these men make evil plans and give bad advice in this city. 3They say, ‘We will soon be building houses again.11.3 We will… again; or We won't be building houses for a while. The city is like a cooking pot, and we are like the meat in it, but at least it protects us from the fire.’ 4Now then, denounce them, mortal man.”
5The Spirit of the LORD took control of me, and the LORD told me to give the people this message: “People of Israel, I know what you are saying and what you are planning. 6You have murdered so many people here in the city that the streets are full of corpses.
7“So this is what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to you. This city is indeed a cooking pot, but what is the meat? The corpses of those you have killed! You will not be here — I will throw you out of the city! 8Are you afraid of swords? I will bring men with swords to attack you. 9I will take you out of the city and hand you over to foreigners. I have sentenced you to death, 10and you will be killed in battle in your own country. Then everyone will know that I am the LORD. 11This city will not protect you as a pot protects the meat in it. I will punish you wherever you may be in the land of Israel. 12You will know that I am the LORD and that while you were keeping the laws of the neighbouring nations, you were breaking my laws and disobeying my commands.”
13While I was prophesying, Pelatiah dropped dead. I threw myself face downwards on the ground and shouted, “No, Sovereign LORD! Are you going to kill everyone left in Israel?”
14The LORD spoke to me. 15“Mortal man,” he said, “the people who live in Jerusalem are talking about you and your fellow-Israelites who are in exile. They say, ‘The exiles are too far away to worship the LORD. He has given us possession of the land.’
16“Now tell your fellow-exiles what I am saying. I am the one who sent them to live in far-off nations and scattered them in other countries. Yet, for the time being I will be present with them in the lands where they have gone.
17“So tell them what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying. I will gather them out of the countries where I scattered them, and will give the land of Israel back to them. 18When they return, they are to get rid of all the filthy, disgusting idols they find. 19
I will give them a new heart and a new mind. I will take away their stubborn heart of stone and will give them an obedient heart. 20Then they will keep my laws and faithfully obey all my commands. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21But I will punish the people who love to worship filthy, disgusting idols. I will punish them for what they have done.” The Sovereign LORD has spoken.
The living creatures began to fly, and the wheels went with them. The dazzling light of the presence of the God of Israel was over them. 23Then the dazzling light left the city and moved to the mountain east of it. 24In the vision the Spirit of God lifted me up and brought me back to the exiles in Babylonia. Then the vision faded, 25and I told the exiles everything that the LORD had shown me.