9 1[THE SPIRIT] cried in my ears [in the vision] with a loud voice, saying, Cause those to draw near who have charge over the city [as executioners], every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. 2And behold, six men came from the direction of the Upper Gate, which faces north, every man with his battle-ax in his hand; and one man among them was clothed in linen, with a writer’s ink bottle at his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3And the glory of the God of Israel [the Shekinah, cloud] had gone up from the cherubim upon which it had rested to [stand above] the threshold of the [Lord’s] house. And [the Lord] called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s ink bottle at his side. 4And the Lord said to him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in the midst of it. 5And to the others He said in my hearing, Follow [the man with the ink bottle] through the city and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have any pity. 6Slay outright the elderly, the young man and the virgin, the infant and the women; but do not touch or go near anyone on whom is the mark. Begin at My sanctuary. So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple [who did not have the Lord’s mark on their foreheads]. 7And He said to [the executioners], Defile the temple and fill its courts with the slain. Go forth! And they went forth and slew in the city. 8And while they were slaying them and I was left, I fell upon my face and cried, Ah, Lord God! Will You destroy all that is left of Israel in Your pouring out of Your wrath and indignation upon Jerusalem? 9Then said He to me, The iniquity and guilt of the house of Israel and Judah are exceedingly great; the land is full of blood and the city full of injustice and perverseness; for they say, The Lord has forsaken the land; the Lord does not see [what we are doing]. 10And as for Me, My eye will not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their wicked doings upon their own heads. 11And behold, the man clothed in linen, who had the ink bottle at his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as You have commanded me.
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