Then He called to me directly with a loud voice, "Come near, executioners of the city, each [of you] with a destructive weapon in his hand."
And I saw six men coming from the direction of the Upper Gate,a which faces north, each with a war club in his hand. There was another man among them, clothed in linen, with writing equipment at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.b3
Then the glory of the God of Israel rose from above the cherubim where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. He called to the man clothed in linen with the writing equipment at his side.
"Pass throughout the city of Jerusalem," the Lord said to him, "and put a mark on the foreheadsc of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations committed in it."
To the others He said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him and start killing; do not show pity or spare [them]!
Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, as well as the [older] women and little children, but do not come near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple.
Then He said to them, "Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!" So they went out killing [people] in the city.
While they were killing, I was left alone. And I fell facedown and cried out, "Ah, Lord God ! Are You going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel when You pour out Your wrath on Jerusalem?"
He answered me: "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is extremely great; the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity. For they say: The Lord has abandoned the land; He does not see.
But as for Me, I will not show pity or spare [them]. I will bring their actions down on their own heads."
Then the man clothed in linen with the writing equipment at his side reported back, "I have done as You commanded me."