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Then he thundered, “Call those to whom I have given the city! Tell them to bring their weapons with them!”

Six men appeared at his call, coming from the upper north gate, each one with his sword. One of them wore linen clothing and carried a writer’s case strapped to his side. They all went into the Temple and stood beside the bronze altar. And the glory of the God of Israel rose from between the Guardian Angels where it had rested and stood above the entrance to[a] the Temple.

And the Lord called to the man with the writer’s case and said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who weep and sigh because of all the sins they see around them.”

Then I heard the Lord tell the other men: “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead isn’t marked. Spare not nor pity them— kill them all—old and young, girls, women, and little children; but don’t touch anyone with the mark. And begin right here at the Temple.” And so they began by killing the seventy elders.

And he said, “Defile the Temple! Fill its courts with the bodies of those you kill! Go!” And they went out through the city and did as they were told.

While they were fulfilling their orders, I was alone. I fell to the ground on my face and cried out: “O Lord God! Will your fury against Jerusalem wipe out everyone left in Israel?”

But he said to me, “The sins of the people of Israel and Judah are very great and all the land is full of murder and injustice, for they say, ‘The Lord doesn’t see it! He has gone away!’ 10 And so I will not spare them nor have any pity on them, and I will fully repay them for all that they have done.”

11 Just then the man in linen clothing, carrying the writer’s case, reported back and said, “I have finished the work you gave me to do.”


  1. Ezekiel 9:3 above the entrance to, literally, “above the threshold of.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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