You, human one, take a sharp sword. Use it like a razor and shave your head and beard. Then use scales to divide the hair. At the end of the siege, burn one-third of it in the city. Strike another third with the sword left and right. Then scatter one-third to the wind and let loose[a] the sword after it. From that third, take a few strands and hide them in your garment. From that hair, take yet another batch and throw it into the fire and burn it up. From there, fire will spread to the whole house of Israel.

The Lord God proclaims: This is Jerusalem! I have set her in the middle of the nations and surrounding countries. But she rebelled against my case laws and my regulations with greater treachery than these nations and surrounding countries, who also rejected my case laws and didn’t follow my regulations. Therefore, the Lord God proclaims: You have become more turbulent than these nations around you because you haven’t obeyed my regulations or followed my case laws. You haven’t even followed the case laws of the nations around you! So now the Lord God proclaims: I myself am now against you! I will impose the case law penalties on you in the sight of the nations. Because of you, I will do what I’ve never done before and will never do again—all because of your detestable practices. 10 Therefore, parents among you will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. I will impose penalties from case laws on you and scatter all that is left of you to the winds. 11 Therefore, as surely as I live, this is what the Lord God says: Because you made my sanctuary unclean with all your disgusting practices and detestable things, I myself will shave you. I will not shed a tear. You will have no compassion, even from me. 12 One-third of you will die of plague and waste away by famine among you. One-third will fall by the sword all around you. And one-third I will scatter to all the winds, letting loose a sword to pursue them. 13 My anger will be complete. I will exhaust my wrath against them and take my revenge. Then they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken against them in my zeal and consumed them in my wrath. 14 I will turn you into a desolation to the ridicule of the nations all around you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15 You will become an object of ridicule, a mockery, and a horrifying lesson to the nations all around you, when I impose penalties from case laws against you in anger, wrath, and overflowing fury. I, the Lord, have spoken. 16 When I launch my deadly arrows of famine against you, I have released them for your destruction! I will add to your famine and completely cut off your food supply. 17 I will send famine and wild animals against you, and they will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed will come to you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken.


  1. Ezekiel 5:2 Or I will let loose