Jerusalem’s Desolation Foretold
5 “As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and use it as a barber’s razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair. 2 One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them. 3 Take also a few in number from them and bind them in the edges of your robes.4 Take again some of them and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.
5 “Thus says the Lord God, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her. 6 But she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes.’ 7 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you,’ 8 therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations. 9 And because of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again. 10 Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind. 11 So as I live,’ declares the Lord God, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare. 12 One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.
13 ‘Thus My anger will be spent and I will satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be appeased; then they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken in My zeal when I have spent My wrath upon them.14 Moreover, I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations which surround you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15 So it will be a reproach, a reviling, a warning and an object of horror to the nations who surround you when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath and raging rebukes. I, the Lord, have spoken. 16 When I send against them the deadly arrows of famine which were for the destruction of those whom I will send to destroy you, then I will also intensify the famine upon you and break the staff of bread. 17 Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; plague and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the Lord, have spoken.’”
Idolatrous Worship Denounced
6 And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them 3 and say, ‘Mountains of Israel, listen to the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, the hills, the ravines and the valleys: “Behold, I Myself am going to bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places. 4 So your altars will become desolate and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will make your slain fall in front of your idols. 5 I will also lay the dead bodies of the sons of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6 In all your dwellings, cities will become waste and the high places will be desolate, that your altars may become waste and desolate, your idols may be broken and brought to an end, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be blotted out. 7 The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the Lord.
8 “However, I will leave a remnant, for you will have those who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered among the countries. 9 Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations. 10 Then they will know that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain that I would inflict this disaster on them.”’
11 “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Clap your hand, stamp your foot and say, “Alas, because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel, which will fall by sword, famine and plague! 12 He who is far off will die by the plague, and he who is near will fall by the sword, and he who remains and is besieged will die by the famine. Thus will I spend My wrath on them. 13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when their slain are among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, under every green tree and under every leafy oak—the places where they offered soothing aroma to all their idols. 14 So throughout all their habitations I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land more desolate and waste than the wilderness toward Diblah; thus they will know that I am the Lord.”’”
Punishment for Wickedness Foretold
7 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel, ‘An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land. 3 Now the end is upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways and bring all your abominations upon you. 4 For My eye will have no pity on you, nor will I spare you, but I will bring your ways upon you, and your abominations will be among you; then you will know that I am the Lord!’
5 “Thus says the Lord God, ‘A disaster, unique disaster, behold it is coming! 6 An end is coming; the end has come! It has awakened against you; behold, it has come! 7 Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come, the day is near—tumult rather than joyful shouting on the mountains. 8 Now I will shortly pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you; judge you according to your ways and bring on you all your abominations. 9 My eye will show no pity nor will I spare. I will repay you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst; then you will know that I, the Lord, do the smiting.
10 ‘Behold, the day! Behold, it is coming! Your doom has gone forth; the rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed. 11 Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness. None of them shall remain, none of their people, none of their wealth, nor anything eminent among them. 12 The time has come, the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice nor the seller mourn; for wrath is against all their multitude. 13 Indeed, the seller will not regain what he sold as long as they both live; for the vision regarding all their multitude will not be averted, nor will any of them maintain his life by his iniquity.
14 ‘They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but no one is going to the battle, for My wrath is against all their multitude. 15 The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city. 16 Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, each over his own iniquity. 17 All hands will hang limp and all knees will become like water. 18 They will gird themselves with sackcloth and shuddering will overwhelm them; and shame will be on all faces and baldness on all their heads. 19 They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling.
The Temple Profaned
20 They transformed the beauty of His ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things with it; therefore I will make it an abhorrent thing to them. 21 I will give it into the hands of the foreigners as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they will profane it. 22 I will also turn My face from them, and they will profane My secret place; then robbers will enter and profane it.
23 ‘Make the chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence. 24 Therefore, I will bring the worst of the nations, and they will possess their houses. I will also make the pride of the strong ones cease, and their holy places will be profaned. 25 When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none. 26 Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be added to rumor; then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law will be lost from the priest and counsel from the elders. 27 The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the Lord.’”
Vision of Abominations in Jerusalem
8 It came about in the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month, as I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell on me there. 2 Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man; from His loins and downward there was the appearance of fire, and from His loins and upward the appearance of brightness, like the appearance of glowing metal. 3 He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located. 4 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the appearance which I saw in the plain.
5 Then He said to me, “Son of man, raise your eyes now toward the north.” So I raised my eyes toward the north, and behold, to the north of the altar gate was this idol of jealousy at the entrance. 6 And He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from My sanctuary? But yet you will see still greater abominations.”
7 Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. 8 He said to me, “Son of man, now dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance. 9 And He said to me, “Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here.” 10 So I entered and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around.11 Standing in front of them were seventy elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them, each man with his censer in his hand and the fragrance of the cloud of incense rising. 12 Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’” 13 And He said to me, “Yet you will see still greater abominations which they are committing.”
14 Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these.”
16 Then He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun. 17 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they have committed here, that they have filled the land with violence and provoked Me repeatedly? For behold, they are putting the twig to their nose. 18 Therefore, I indeed will deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor will I spare; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I will not listen to them.”
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)