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Ezekiel chapter 21

New International Version

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to her: 'This is what the LORD says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 4 Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north. 5 Then all people will know that I the LORD have drawn my sword from its sheath; it will not return again.'
6 Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief. 7 And when they ask you, 'Why are you groaning?' you shall say, 'Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt with fear and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every leg will be wet with urine.' It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign LORD.'
8 The word of the LORD came to me:
9 Son of man, prophesy and say, 'This is what the Lord says: ''A sword, a sword, sharpened and polished--
10 sharpened for the slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! ''Shall we rejoice in the scepter of my royal son? The sword despises every such stick.
11 'The sword is appointed to be polished, to be grasped with the hand; it is sharpened and polished, made ready for the hand of the slayer. 12 Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people; it is against all the princes of Israel. They are thrown to the sword along with my people. Therefore beat your breast.
13 'Testing will surely come. And what if even the scepter, which the sword despises, does not continue? declares the Sovereign LORD.'
14 So then, son of man, prophesy and strike your hands together. Let the sword strike twice, even three times. It is a sword for slaughter-- a sword for great slaughter, closing in on them from every side. 15 So that hearts may melt with fear and the fallen be many, I have stationed the sword for slaughter at all their gates. Look! It is forged to strike like lightning, it is grasped for slaughter. 16 Slash to the right, you sword, then to the left, wherever your blade is turned. 17 I too will strike my hands together, and my wrath will subside. I the LORD have spoken.'
18 The word of the LORD came to me: 19 Son of man, mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to take, both starting from the same country. Make a signpost where the road branches off to the city. 20 Mark out one road for the sword to come against Rabbah of the Ammonites and another against Judah and fortified Jerusalem. 21 For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots with arrows, he will consult his idols, he will examine the liver. 22 Into his right hand will come the lot for Jerusalem, where he is to set up battering rams, to give the command to slaughter, to sound the battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to build a ramp and to erect siege works. 23 It will seem like a false omen to those who have sworn allegiance to him, but he will remind them of their guilt and take them captive.
24 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because you people have brought to mind your guilt by your open rebellion, revealing your sins in all that you do--because you have done this, you will be taken captive.
25 'You profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose time of punishment has reached its climax, 26 this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low. 27 A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! The crown will not be restored until he to whom it rightfully belongs shall come; to him I will give it.'
28 And you, son of man, prophesy and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says about the Ammonites and their insults: ''A sword, a sword, drawn for the slaughter, polished to consume and to flash like lightning!
29 Despite false visions concerning you and lying divinations about you, it will be laid on the necks of the wicked who are to be slain, whose day has come, whose time of punishment has reached its climax. 30 'Let the sword return to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your ancestry, I will judge you. 31 I will pour out my wrath on you and breathe out my fiery anger against you; I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men, men skilled in destruction. 32 You will be fuel for the fire, your blood will be shed in your land, you will be remembered no more; for I the LORD have spoken.''
English Standard Version

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. 4 Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. 5 And all flesh shall know that I am the LORD. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again.
6 “As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. 7 And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,’” declares the Lord GOD.
8 And the word of the LORD came to me: 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say: “A sword, a sword is sharpened and also polished,
10 sharpened for slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! (Or shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood.) 11 So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. 12 Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. Strike therefore upon your thigh. 13 For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise the rod?” declares the Lord GOD.
14 “As for you, son of man, prophesy. Clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, yes, three times, the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many stumble. At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; it is taken up for slaughter. 16 Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. 17 I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the LORD have spoken.”
18 The word of the LORD came to me again: 19 “As for you, son of man, mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make a signpost; make it at the head of the way to a city. 20 Mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults the teraphim; he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23 But to them it will seem like a false divination. They have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be taken.
24 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand. 25 And you, O profane wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, 26 thus says the Lord GOD: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.
28 “And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter. It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning— 29 while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30 Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. 31 And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the LORD have spoken.”
King James Version

1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel, 3 And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked. 4 Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: 5 That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more. 6 Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes. 7 And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.
8 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 9 Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished: 10 It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree. 11 And he hath given it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer. 12 Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon thy thigh. 13 Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD. 14 Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thine hands together, and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain: it is the sword of the great men that are slain, which entereth into their privy chambers. 15 I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter. 16 Go thee one way or other, either on the right hand, or on the left, whithersoever thy face is set. 17 I will also smite mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest: I the LORD have said it.
18 The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, 19 Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city. 20 Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced. 21 For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver. 22 At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort. 23 And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken. 24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because, I say, that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand. 25 And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, 26 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. 27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.
28 And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; even say thou, The sword, the sword is drawn: for the slaughter it is furbished, to consume because of the glittering: 29 Whiles they see vanity unto thee, whiles they divine a lie unto thee, to bring thee upon the necks of them that are slain, of the wicked, whose day is come, when their iniquity shall have an end. 30 Shall I cause it to return into his sheath? I will judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity. 31 And I will pour out mine indignation upon thee, I will blow against thee in the fire of my wrath, and deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, and skilful to destroy. 32 Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land; thou shalt be no more remembered: for I the LORD have spoken it.
New American Standard Bible

1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 'Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem, and speak prophetically against the sanctuaries and prophesy against the land of Israel; 3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘This is what the LORD says: 'Behold, I am against you; and I will draw My sword from its sheath and cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. 4 Because I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore My sword will go out from its sheath against humanity from south to north. 5 So humanity will know that I, the LORD, have drawn My sword from its sheath. It will not return to its sheath again.'?’ 6 As for you, son of man, groan with a breaking heart and bitter grief; you shall groan in their sight. 7 And when they say to you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news, for it is coming; and every heart will melt, all hands will go limp, every spirit will be disheartened, and all knees will drip with water. Behold, it is coming and it will happen,’ declares the Lord GOD.'
8 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
9 'Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the LORD says:’ Say, ‘A sword, a sword sharpened And also polished!
10 Sharpened to make a slaughter, Polished to flash like lightning!’ Or shall we rejoice, the rod of My son despising every tree? 11 And it is given to be polished, so that it may be handled; the sword is sharpened and polished, to hand it over to the slaughterer. 12 Cry out and wail, son of man; for it is against My people, it is against all the officials of Israel. They are turned over to the sword with My people, therefore slap your thigh. 13 For there is a testing; and what if even the rod which despises will cease to be?' declares the Lord GOD.
14 'You therefore, son of man, prophesy and clap your hands; and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword for the slain. It is the sword for the great one slain, which surrounds them, 15 so that their hearts will waver, and many fall at all their gates. I have granted the slaughter of the sword. Oh! It is made for striking like lightning, it is sharpened in readiness for slaughter. 16 Prove yourself sharp, go to the right; set yourself; go to the left, wherever your edge is ordered. 17 I will also clap My hands, and I will satisfy My wrath; I, the LORD, have spoken.'
18 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 19 'Now as for you, son of man, make two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come; both of them will go out of one land. And make a signpost; make it at the head of the way to the city. 20 You shall mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, and to Judah into fortified Jerusalem. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the household idols, he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand came the divination, ‘Jerusalem,’ to set up battering rams, to open the mouth for slaughter, to raise the voice with a battle cry, to set up battering rams against the gates, to pile up assault ramps, to build a siege wall. 23 And it will be to them like a false divination in their eyes; they have sworn solemn oaths. But he makes guilt known, so that they may be seized.
24 'Therefore, this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Because you have made your guilt known, in that your offenses are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins are seen—because you have come to mind, you will be seized by the hand. 25 And you, slain, wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day has come, in the time of the punishment of the end,’ 26 this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Remove the turban and take off the crown; this will no longer be the same. Exalt that which is low, and humble that which is high. 27 Ruins, ruins, ruins, I will make it! This also will be no longer until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.
28 'And you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Lord GOD says concerning the sons of Ammon and their taunting,’ and say: ‘A sword, a sword is drawn, sharpened for the slaughter, to make it consume, so that it may be like lightning— 29 while they see false visions for you, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the wicked who are killed, whose day has come, in the time of the punishment of the end. 30 Return it 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 indignation on you; I will blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and I will hand you over to brutal men, craftsmen of destruction. 32 You will be fuel for the fire; your blood will be in the midst of the land. You will not be remembered, for I, the LORD, have spoken.’?'
New Living Translation

1 Then this message came to me from the LORD: 2 'Son of man, turn and face Jerusalem and prophesy against Israel and her sanctuaries. 3 Tell her, 'This is what the LORD says: I am your enemy, O Israel, and I am about to unsheath my sword to destroy your people--the righteous and the wicked alike. 4 Yes, I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked! I will draw my sword against everyone in the land from south to north. 5 Everyone in the world will know that I am the LORD. My sword is in my hand, and it will not return to its sheath until its work is finished.'
6 'Son of man, groan before the people! Groan before them with bitter anguish and a broken heart. 7 When they ask why you are groaning, tell them, 'I groan because of the terrifying news I have heard. When it comes true, the boldest heart will melt with fear; all strength will disappear. Every spirit will faint; strong knees will become as weak as water. And the Sovereign LORD says: It is coming! It's on its way!''
8 Then the LORD said to me,
9 'Son of man, give the people this message from the LORD: 'A sword, a sword is being sharpened and polished. 10 It is sharpened for terrible slaughter and polished to flash like lightning! Now will you laugh? Those far stronger than you have fallen beneath its power! 11 Yes, the sword is now being sharpened and polished; it is being prepared for the executioner.
12 'Son of man, cry out and wail; pound your thighs in anguish, for that sword will slaughter my people and their leaders--everyone will die! 13 It will put them all to the test. What chance do they have? says the Sovereign LORD.
14 'Son of man, prophesy to them and clap your hands. Then take the sword and brandish it twice, even three times, to symbolize the great massacre, the great massacre facing them on every side. 15 Let their hearts melt with terror, for the sword glitters at every gate. It flashes like lightning and is polished for slaughter! 16 O sword, slash to the right, then slash to the left, wherever you will, wherever you want. 17 I, too, will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury. I, the LORD, have spoken!'
18 Then this message came to me from the LORD: 19 'Son of man, make a map and trace two routes on it for the sword of Babylon's king to follow. Put a signpost on the road that comes out of Babylon where the road forks into two-- 20 one road going to Ammon and its capital, Rabbah, and the other to Judah and fortified Jerusalem. 21 The king of Babylon now stands at the fork, uncertain whether to attack Jerusalem or Rabbah. He calls his magicians to look for omens. They cast lots by shaking arrows from the quiver. They inspect the livers of animal sacrifices. 22 The omen in his right hand says, 'Jerusalem!' With battering rams his soldiers will go against the gates, shouting for the kill. They will put up siege towers and build ramps against the walls. 23 The people of Jerusalem will think it is a false omen, because of their treaty with the Babylonians. But the king of Babylon will remind the people of their rebellion. Then he will attack and capture them.
24 'Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Again and again you remind me of your sin and your guilt. You don't even try to hide it! In everything you do, your sins are obvious for all to see. So now the time of your punishment has come!
25 'O you corrupt and wicked prince of Israel, your final day of reckoning is here!
26 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Take off your jeweled crown, for the old order changes. Now the lowly will be exalted, and the mighty will be brought down. 27 Destruction! Destruction! I will surely destroy the kingdom. And it will not be restored until the one appears who has the right to judge it. Then I will hand it over to him.
28 'And now, son of man, prophesy concerning the Ammonites and their mockery. Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: 'A sword, a sword is drawn for your slaughter. It is polished to destroy, flashing like lightning! 29 Your prophets have given false visions, and your fortune-tellers have told lies. The sword will fall on the necks of the wicked for whom the day of final reckoning has come.
30 'Now return the sword to its sheath, for in your own country, the land of your birth, I will pass judgment upon you. 31 I will pour out my fury on you and blow on you with the fire of my anger. I will hand you over to cruel men who are skilled in destruction. 32 You will be fuel for the fire, and your blood will be spilled in your own land. You will be utterly wiped out, your memory lost to history, for I, the LORD, have spoken!'
Christian Standard Bible

1 The word of the Lord came to me again: 2 "Son of man, face Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel, 3 and say to it, 'This is what the Lord says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 4 Since I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked, my sword will therefore come out of its sheath against all humanity from the south to the north. 5 So all humanity will know that I, the Lord, have taken my sword from its sheath--it will not be sheathed again.'
6 "But you, son of man, groan! Groan bitterly with a broken heart right before their eyes. 7 And when they ask you, 'Why are you groaning? ' then say, 'Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt, and every hand will become weak. Every spirit will be discouraged, and all knees will run with urine. Yes, it is coming and it will happen. This is the declaration of the Lord God.' "
8 The word of the Lord came to me:
9 "Son of man, prophesy, 'This is what the Lord says! ' You are to proclaim, 'A sword! A sword is sharpened and also polished. 10 It is sharpened for slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! Should we rejoice? The scepter of my son, the sword despises every tree. 11 The sword is given to be polished, to be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened, and it is polished, to be put in the hand of the slayer.'
12 "Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel! They are given over to the sword with my people. Therefore strike your thigh in grief. 13 Surely it will be a trial! And what if the sword despises even the scepter? The scepter will not continue." This is the declaration of the Lord God.
14 "So you, son of man, prophesy and clap your hands together: Let the sword strike two times, even three. It is a sword for massacre, a sword for great massacre -- it surrounds them! 15 I have appointed a sword for slaughter at all their gates, so that their hearts may melt and many may stumble. Yes! It is ready to flash like lightning; it is drawn for slaughter. 16 Slash to the right; turn to the left -- wherever your blade is directed.
17 I also will clap my hands together, and I will satisfy my wrath. I, the Lord, have spoken."
18 The word of the Lord came to me: 19 "Now you, son of man, mark out two roads that the sword of Babylon's king can take. Both of them should originate from the same land. And make a signpost at the fork in the road to each city. 20 Mark out a road that the sword can take to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah into fortified Jerusalem. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the split in the road, at the fork of the two roads, to practice divination: he shakes the arrows, consults the idols, and observes the liver. 22 The answer marked Jerusalem appears in his right hand, indicating that he should set up battering rams, give the order to slaughter, raise a battle cry, set battering rams against the gates, build a ramp, and construct a siege wall. 23 It will seem like false divination to those who have sworn an oath to the Babylonians, but it will draw attention to their guilt so that they will be captured.
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 actions--since you have done this, you will be captured by them. 25 And you, profane and wicked prince of Israel, the day has come for your 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 down the exalted. 27 A ruin, a ruin, I will make it a ruin! Yet this will not happen until he comes; I have given the judgment to him.
28 "Now you, son of man, prophesy, and say, 'This is what the Lord God says concerning the Ammonites and their contempt.' You are to proclaim, 'A sword! A sword is drawn for slaughter, polished to consume, to flash like lightning.
29 While they offer false visions and lying divinations about you, the time has come to put you to the necks of the profane wicked ones; the day has come for final punishment. 30 " 'Return it to its sheath! " 'I will judge you in the place where you were created, in the land of your origin. 31 I will pour out my indignation on you; I will blow the fire of my fury on you. I will hand you over to brutal men, skilled at destruction. 32 You will be fuel for the fire. Your blood will be spilled within the land. You will not be remembered, for I, the Lord, have spoken.' "

What does Ezekiel chapter 21 mean?

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