[The LORD said,] "Son of man, take a sharp blade, and use it as a barber's razor to shave your head and beard. Take scales to weigh your hair and divide it [into three even parts].
When the blockade is over, burn one-third of your hair in a fire in the middle of the city. Take another third, and cut it up with a blade around the city. Then scatter the remaining third to the wind, and I will draw a sword and go after it.
Take a few strands of hair, and wrap them in the hem of your clothes.
Later, take some of them, and throw them in a fire and burn them up. From there a fire will spread throughout the whole nation of Israel.
"This is what the Almighty LORD says: This is Jerusalem! I have placed it in the center of the nations with countries all around it.
The people of Jerusalem have rebelled against my rules and my laws more than the surrounding nations. They have rejected my rules, and they don't live by my laws.
"So this is what the Almighty LORD says: [People of Jerusalem,] you have caused more trouble than the nations around you. You haven't lived by my laws or obeyed my rules. You haven't even lived up to the standards of the nations around you.
"So this is what the Almighty LORD says: I, too, am against you, and I will punish you in front of the nations.
Because of all the detestable things that you do, I will do things to you that I have never done before and will never do again.
That is why parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. I will punish you and scatter whoever is left to the wind.
"As I live, declares the Almighty LORD, because you have dishonored my holy worship place with all your disgusting and detestable things, I will have you killed. I will not have compassion for you or feel sorry for you.
One-third of you will die in plagues and be devoured in famines. Another third will die in battles against those around you. I will scatter the remaining third to the wind, and I will pursue them with a sword.
"I will unleash my anger. I will use my fury against you, and I will get revenge. When my fury is unleashed against you, you will know that I, the LORD, spoke to you while I was angry.
I will turn you into a wasteland and an object of ridicule among the nations around you and in the presence of everyone who passes by you.
The nations that are around you will ridicule you and laugh at you. When I punish you because of my anger, fury, and fierce revenge, you will become something ridiculed and something horrible. I, the LORD, have spoken.
When I shoot my destructive arrows of famine at you, I will shoot to kill you. I will bring more and more famines into your land, and I will cut off your food supply.
I will send famines and wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children. I will send plagues, violence, and wars to kill you. I, the LORD, have spoken."