The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Ezechiel
And next, son of man, to the sharp sword betake thee! A razor thou must take, and pass it over head and beard both; then weigh thy hair in the scales and make equal portions of it.
A third of it thou shalt set alight and burn up within this city of thine, when the days of its besieging are over; a third thou shalt cut to pieces with the blade thou carriest, round about it; and a third thou shalt scatter to the winds, for my unsheathed sword to go in pursuit.
Of this last third, gather some few hairs and secure them in the fold of thy cloak;
yet even of these take some away and throw them into the heart of the fire, to burn there; fire enough to kindle the whole race of Israel!✻
Look you, says the Lord God, here is Jerusalem, that I have set down at earth’s very midst, the nations all about her,
and she has defied my will, than the very heathen more rebellious, defied my commandments, as neighbouring peoples never did. My bidding they have cast to the winds, followed never where my commandments led.
All your neighbours, the Lord God says, outdone in wickedness, my paths untrodden, my bidding unheeded! False even to the heathen traditions of yonder country-side!
Have at thee, says the Lord God; in thy very heart I will execute judgement for all the world to see;
such punishment I will inflict as never was before, never shall be again, for thy detestable doings.
Men’s flesh men shall eat, father of son and son of father; then, when my sentence is executed, I will scatter all that is left of thee to the four winds.
As I am a living God, the Lord says, since thou hast not scrupled to profane my sanctuary with vile things and detestable things a many, I will make havoc of thee, and my eye shall not melt with pity; I will not scruple in my turn.
A third of thy sons shall die of pestilence, or with famine pine away; a third shall fall in thy defence; a third I will scatter to the four winds, and my sword unsheathed in pursuit.
And at last, my anger spent, my vengeance glutted, my grief healed, doubt they shall not that the God whom they slighted has decreed it; my sentence shall take full toll of them.
Desolate, and the scorn of thy neighbours, so every passer-by shall see thee.
A name of scorn and reproach, a by-word thou shalt be and a thing of horror, to all the nations about thee, when thy punishment is done, so fierce the anger, so shrewd the blow;
I, the Lord, have decreed it. Hungry arrows✻ of mine shall fly abroad, dolorous and deadly, for your minishing; famine that grows worse and worse as the stocks of bread fail,
and with the famine wild beasts to bereave you, visitations of plague and violent death; and the sword too, I will let loose upon you; I, the Lord, have decreed it.
The Holy Bible