51The LORD said, “Mortal man, take a sharp sword and use it to shave off your beard and all your hair. Then weigh the hair on scales and divide it into three parts. 2Burn a third of it in the city when the siege is over. Take another third and chop it up with your sword as you move about outside the city. Scatter the remaining third to the winds, and I will pursue it with my sword. 3Keep back a few hairs and wrap them in the hem of your clothes. 4Then take a few of them out again, throw them in the fire, and let them burn up. From them fire will spread to the whole nation of Israel.”
5The Sovereign LORD said, “Look at Jerusalem. I put her at the centre of the world, with other countries all round her. 6But Jerusalem rebelled against my commands and showed that she was more wicked than the other nations, more disobedient than the countries around her. Jerusalem rejected my commands and refused to keep my laws. 7Now listen, Jerusalem, to what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying. By not obeying my laws or keeping my commands, you have caused more trouble than the nations around you. You have followed the customs of other nations. 8And so I, the Sovereign LORD, am telling you that I am your enemy. I will pass judgement on you where all the nations can see it. 9Because of all the things you do that I hate, I will punish Jerusalem as I have never done before and will never do again. 10
As a result, parents in Jerusalem will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. I will punish you and scatter in every direction any who are left alive.
11“Therefore, as I am the living God — this is the word of the Sovereign LORD — because you defiled my Temple with all the evil, disgusting things you did, I will cut you down without mercy. 12A third of your people will die from sickness and hunger in the city; a third will be cut down by swords outside the city; and I will scatter the last third to the winds and pursue them with a sword.
13“You will feel all the force of my anger and rage until I am satisfied. When all this happens, you will be convinced that I, the LORD, have spoken to you because I am outraged at your unfaithfulness. 14All those from the nations around you who pass by will sneer at you and keep their distance.
15“When I am angry and furious with you and punish you, all the nations around you will be terrified. They will look at you with disgust and will mock you. 16I will cut off your supply of food and let you starve. You5.16 Probable text You; Hebrew They. will feel the pains of hunger like sharp arrows sent to destroy you. 17
I will send hunger and wild animals to kill your children, and will send sickness, violence, and war to kill you. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
61The LORD spoke to me. 2“Mortal man,” he said, “look towards the mountains of Israel and give them my message. 3Tell the mountains of Israel to hear the word of the LORD — to hear what I, the Sovereign LORD, am telling the mountains, the hills, the gorges, and the valleys: I will send a sword to destroy the places where people worship idols. 4The altars will be torn down and the incense altars broken. All the people there will be killed in front of their idols. 5I will scatter the corpses of the people of Israel; I will scatter their bones all round the altars. 6All the cities of Israel will be destroyed, so that all their altars and their idols will be smashed to pieces, their incense altars will be shattered, and everything they made will disappear. 7People will be killed everywhere, and those who survive will acknowledge that I am the LORD.
8“I will let some escape the slaughter and be scattered among the nations, 9where they will live in exile. There they will remember me and know that I have punished them and disgraced them,6.9 Some ancient translations disgraced them; Hebrew I am disgraced. because their faithless hearts deserted me and they preferred idols to me. And they will be disgusted with themselves because of the evil and degrading things they have done. 10They will know that I am the LORD and that my warnings were not empty threats.”
11The Sovereign LORD said, “Wring your hands! Stamp your feet! Cry in sorrow because of all the evil, disgusting things the Israelites have done. They are going to die in war, by famine, and by disease. 12Those far away will fall ill and die; those near by will be killed in war; those who survive will starve to death. They will feel all the force of my anger. 13Corpses will be scattered among the idols and round the altars, scattered on every high hill, on the top of every mountain, under every green tree and every large oak, in every place where they burnt sacrifices to their idols. Then everyone will know that I am the LORD. 14Yes, I will stretch out my hand and destroy their country. I will make it a waste from the southern desert to the city of Riblah in the north, not sparing any place where the Israelites live. Then everyone will know that I am the LORD.”
71The LORD spoke to me. 2“Mortal man,” he said, “this is what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to the land of Israel: this is the end for the whole land!
3“Israel, the end has come. You will feel my anger, because I am judging you for what you have done. I will pay you back for all your disgusting conduct. 4I will not spare you or show you any mercy. I am going to punish you for the disgusting things you have done, so that you will know that I am the LORD.”
5This is what the Sovereign LORD is saying, “One disaster after another is coming on you. 6It's all over. This is the end. You are finished. 7The end is coming for you people who live in the land. The time is near when there will be no more celebrations at the mountain shrines, only confusion.7.7 Probable text celebrations… confusion; Hebrew unclear.
8“Very soon now you will feel all the force of my anger. I am judging you for what you have done, and I will pay you back for all your disgusting conduct. 9I will not spare you or show you any mercy. I am going to punish you for the disgusting things you have done, so that you will know that I am the LORD, and that I am the one who punishes you.”
10The day of disaster is coming for Israel. Violence is flourishing. Pride is at its height.7.10 Probable text Pride is at its height; Hebrew unclear. 11Violence produces more wickedness. Nothing of theirs will remain, nothing of their wealth, their splendour, or their glory.
12The time is coming. The day is near when buying and selling will have no more meaning, because God's punishment will fall on everyone alike. 13No merchant will live long enough to get back what he has lost, because God's anger is on everyone. Those who are evil cannot survive.7.13 Verse 13 in Hebrew is unclear. 14The trumpet sounds, and everyone gets ready. But no one goes off to war, for God's anger will fall on everyone alike.
15There is fighting in the streets, and sickness and hunger in the houses. Anyone who is out in the country will die in the fighting, and anyone in the city will be a victim of sickness and hunger. 16Some will escape to the mountains like doves frightened from the valleys. All of them will moan over their sins.7.16 Verse 16 in Hebrew is unclear. 17Everyone's hands will be weak, and their knees will shake. 18They will put on sackcloth and they will tremble all over. Their heads will be shaved, and they will all be disgraced. 19They will throw their gold and silver away in the streets like refuse, because neither silver nor gold can save them when the LORD pours out his fury. They cannot use it to satisfy their desires or fill their stomachs. Gold and silver led them into sin. 20Once they were proud of their beautiful jewels, but they used them to make disgusting idols. That is why the LORD has made their wealth repulsive to them.
21“I will let foreigners rob them,” says the LORD, “and lawbreakers will take all their wealth and defile it. 22I will not interfere when my treasured Temple is profaned, when robbers break into it and defile it.
23“Everything is in confusion7.23 One ancient translation Everything is in confusion; Hebrew unclear. — the land is full of murders and the cities are full of violence. 24I will bring the most evil nations here and let them have your homes. Your strongest men will lose their confidence when I let the nations profane the places where you worship. 25Despair is coming. You will look for peace and never find it. 26One disaster will follow another, and a steady stream of bad news will pour in. You will beg the prophets to reveal what they foresee. The priests will have nothing to teach the people, and the elders will have no advice to give. 27The king will mourn, the prince will give up hope, and the people will shake with fear. I will punish you for all you have done, and will judge you in the same way as you have judged others. This will show you that I am the LORD.”