Ezekiel 9

1Then ˻God˼ shouted to the leaders ˻in charge of punishing˼ the city. Each leader had his own destructive weapon in his hand. 2Then I saw six men walking on the road from the upper gate. This gate is on the north side. Each man had his own deadly weapon in his hand. One of the men wore linen clothes. He wore a scribe’s pen and ink set at his waist. Those men went to the bronze altar ˻in the temple˼ and stood there. 3Then the Glory of the God of Israel rose from above the Cherub angels where he had been. Then the Glory went to the door of the temple. He stopped when he was over the threshold. Then the Glory called to the man wearing the linen clothes and the scribe’s pen and ink set. 4Then the Lord ˻(Glory)˼ said to him, “Go through the city of Jerusalem. Put a mark on the forehead of every person that feels sad and upset about all the terrible things people are doing in this city.” 5- 6Then I heard ˻God˼ say to the other men, “I want you to follow the first man. You must kill every person that does not have the mark on his forehead. It does not matter if they are elders ˻(leaders)˼, young men or young women, children or mothers—you must use your weapon and kill every person that does not have the mark on his forehead. Don’t show any mercy. Don’t feel sorry for any person! Start here at my temple.” So they started with the elders ˻(leaders)˼ in front of the temple. 7God said to them, “Make this temple unclean—fill this courtyard with dead bodies! Now go!” So they went and killed the people in the city. 8I stayed there while those men went to kill the people. I bowed with my face to the ground and said, “Oh Lord my Master, in showing your anger against Jerusalem, are you killing all the survivors in Israel?” 9˻God˼ said, “The family of Israel and Judah have done many, many very bad sins! People are being murdered everywhere in this country. And this city is filled with crime. Why? Because the people say to themselves, 'The Lord left this country. He can’t see the things we are doing.’ 10And I won’t show any mercy. I won’t feel sorry for these people. They brought it on themselves—I am only giving these people the punishment they deserve!” 11Then the man wearing linen clothes and a scribe’s pen and ink set spoke up. He said, “I have done what you commanded.”

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