And when they ask you, 'Why are you groaning?1' you shall say, 'Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt2 and every hand go limp;3 every spirit will become faint4 and every knee become as weak as water.'5 It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign LORD."
The word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, prophesy and say, 'This is what the Lord says: " 'A sword, a sword, sharpened and polished--
sharpened for the slaughter,6 polished to flash like lightning! " 'Shall we rejoice in the scepter of my son [ Judah ]? The sword despises every such stick.711
" 'The sword is appointed to be polished,8 to be grasped with the hand; it is sharpened and polished, made ready for the hand of the slayer.
Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people; it is against all the princes of Israel. They are thrown to the sword along with my people. Therefore beat your breast.913
" 'Testing will surely come. And what if the scepter [of Judah], which the sword despises, does not continue? declares the Sovereign LORD.'
"So then, son of man, prophesy and strike your hands10 together. Let the sword strike twice, even three times. It is a sword for slaughter-- a sword for great slaughter, closing in on them from every side.1115
So that hearts may melt12 and the fallen be many, I have stationed the sword for slaughtera at all their gates. Oh! It is made to flash like lightning, it is grasped for slaughter.1316
O sword, slash to the right, then to the left, wherever your blade is turned.
I too will strike my hands14 together, and my wrath15 will subside. I the LORD have spoken.16"