Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, "Bring near those who are appointed to execute judgment on the city, each with weapon in hand."
And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen1 who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Now the glory2 of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim,3 where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the LORD called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side
and said to him, "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem4 and put a mark5 on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament6 over all the detestable things that are done in it.7"
As I listened, he said to the others, "Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity8 or compassion.96
Slaughter10 the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children,11 but do not touch anyone who has the mark.12 Begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the old men13 who were in front of the temple.147
Then he said to them, "Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain.15 Go!" So they went out and began killing throughout the city.
While they were killing and I was left alone, I fell facedown,16 crying out, "Ah, Sovereign LORD!17 Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath18 on Jerusalem?19"
He answered me, "The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice.20 They say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.'2110
So I will not look on them with pity22 or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done.23"
Then the man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word, saying, "I have done as you commanded."