December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Then he cried loud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city!
- With that I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces the north, each with a destroying weapon in his hand. In their midst was a man dressed in linen, with a writer's case at his waist. They entered and stood beside the bronze altar.
- Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer's case at his waist,
- 1 saying to him: Pass through the city (through Jerusalem) and mark an X on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it.
- To the others I heard him say: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy!
- Old men, youths and maidens, women and children--wipe them out! But do not touch any marked with the X; begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the men (the elders) who were in front of the temple.
- Defile the temple, he said to them, and fill the courts with the slain; then go out and strike in the city.
- As they began to strike, I was left alone. I fell prone, crying out, Alas, Lord GOD! Will you destroy all that is left of Israel when you pour out your fury on Jerusalem?"
- He answered me: The sins of the house of Israel are great beyond measure; the land is filled with bloodshed, the city with lawlessness. They think that the LORD has forsaken the land, that he does not see them.
- I, however, will not look upon them with pity, nor show any mercy. I will bring down their conduct upon their heads.
- Then I saw the man dressed in linen with the writing case at his waist make his report: "I have done as you ordered."
- 2 Spirit lifted me up and brought me back to the exiles in Chaldea (in a vision, by God's spirit). Then the vision I had seen left me,
- and I told the exiles everything the LORD had shown me.
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1  Ezekiel is pre-eminently the prophet of personal retribution; the innocent inhabitants of Jerusalem are to be spared when the idolatrous are punished. An X: literally, the Hebrew letter taw, which had the form of a cross.
2  (11:24, 25) These verses have been transposed from chapter 11 and placed after Ezekiel 9:11.
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