Jerome) to the sword of Nabuchodonosor: which was about to remove the sceptre of Israel, whom God here calls his son.
21:11. And I have given it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, that it may be in the hand of the slayer.
21:12. Cry, and howl, O son of man, for this sword is upon my people, it is upon all the princes of Israel, that are fled: they are delivered up to the sword with my people, strike therefore upon thy thigh,
21:13. Because it is tried: and that when it shall overthrow the sceptre, and it shall not be, saith the Lord God.
21:14. Thou therefore, O son of man, prophesy, and strike thy hands together, and let the sword be doubled, and let the sword of the slain be tripled: this is the sword of a great slaughter, that maketh them stand amazed,
21:15. And languish in heart, and that multiplieth ruins. In all their gates I have set the dread of the sharp sword, the sword that is furbished to glitter, that is made ready for slaughter.
21:16. Be thou sharpened, go to the right hand, or to the left, which way soever thou hast a mind to set thy face.
21:17. And I will clap my hands together, and will satisfy my indignation: I the Lord have spoken.
21:18. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
21:19. And thou son of man, set thee two ways, for the sword of the king of Babylon to come: both shall come forth out of one land: and with his hand he shall draw lots, he shall consult at the head of the way of the city.
21:20. Thou shalt make a way that the sword may come to Rabbath of the children of Ammon, and to Juda unto Jerusalem the strong city.
21:21. For the king of Babylon stood in the highway, at the head of two ways, seeking divination, shuffling arrows: he inquired of the idols, and consulted entrails.
21:22. On his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth in slaughter, to lift up the voice in howling, to set engines against the gates, to cast up a mount, to build forts.
21:23. And he shall be in their eyes as one consulting the oracle in vain, and imitating the leisure of sabbaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity that they may be taken.
21:24. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because you have remembered your iniquity, and have discovered your prevarications, and your sins have appeared in all your devices: because, I say, You have remembered, you shall be taken with the hand.
21:25. But thou profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come that hath been appointed in the time of iniquity:
Thou profane, etc... He speaks to king Sedecias, who had broken his oath, and was otherwise a wicked prince.
21:26. Thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, take off the crown: is it not this that hath exalted the low one, and brought down him that was high?
Is it not this that hath exalted the low one... The royal crown of Juda had exalted Sedecias from a private state and condition to the sovereign power, as the loss of it had brought down Jechonias, etc.
21:27. I will shew it to be iniquity, iniquity, iniquity: but this was not done till he came to whom judgment belongeth, and I will give it him.
I will shew it to be iniquity, etc... Or, I will overturn it, viz., the crown of Juda for the manifold iniquities of the kings: but it shall not be utterly removed, till Christ come whose right it is: and who shall reign in the spiritual house of Jacob, that is, in his church, for evermore.
21:28. And thou son of man, prophesy, and say: Thus saith the Lord God concerning the children of Ammon, and concerning their reproach, and thou shalt say: O sword, O sword, come out of the scabbard to kill, be furbished to destroy, and to glitter,
Concerning their reproach... By which they had reproached and insulted over the Jews, at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem.
21:29. Whilst they see vain things in thy regard, and they divine lies: to bring thee upon the necks of the wicked that are wounded, whose appointed day is come in the time of iniquity.
21:30. Return into thy sheath. I will judge thee in the place wherein thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity.
Return into thy sheath, etc... The sword of Babylon, after raging against many nations, was shortly to be judged and destroyed at home by the Medes and Persians.
21:31. And I will pour out upon thee my indignation: in the fire of my rage will I blow upon thee, and will give thee into the hands of men that are brutish and contrive thy destruction.
21:32. Thou shalt be fuel for the fire, thy blood shall be in the midst of the land, thou shalt be forgotten: for I the Lord have spoken it.
Ezechiel Chapter 22
The general corruption of the inhabitants of Jerusalem: for which God will consume them as dross in his furnace.
22:1. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
22:2. And thou son of man, dost thou not judge, dost thou not judge the city of blood?
22:3. And thou shalt shew her all her abominations, and shalt say: Thus saith the Lord God: This is the city that sheddeth blood in the midst of her, that her time may come: and that hath made idols against herself, to defile herself.
22:4. Thou art become guilty in thy blood which thou hast shed: and thou art defiled in thy idols which thou hast made: and thou hast made thy days to draw near, and hast brought on the time of thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach to the Gentiles, and a mockery to all countries.
22:5. Those that are near, and those that are far from thee, shall triumph over thee: thou filthy one, infamous, great in destruction.
22:6. Behold the princes of Israel, every one hath employed his arm in thee to shed blood.
22:7. They have abused father and mother in thee, they have oppressed the stranger in the midst of thee, they have grieved the fatherless and widow in thee.
22:8. Thou hast despised my sanctuaries, and profaned my sabbaths.
22:9. Slanderers have been in thee to shed blood, and they have eaten upon the mountains in thee, they have committed wickedness in the midst of thee.
22:10. They have discovered the nakedness of their father in thee, they have humbled the uncleanness of the menstruous woman in thee.
22:11. And every one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife, and the father in law hath wickedly defiled his daughter in law, the brother hath oppressed his sister the daughter of his father in thee.
22:12. They have taken gifts in thee to shed blood: thou hast taken usury and increase, and hast covetously oppressed thy neighbours: and thou hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God.
22:13. Behold, I have clapped my hands at thy covetousness, which thou hast exercised: and at the blood that hath been shed in the midst of thee.
22:14. Shall thy heart endure, or shall thy hands prevail in the days which I will bring upon thee: I the Lord have spoken, and will do it.
22:15. And I will disperse thee in the nations, and will scatter thee among the countries, and I will put an end to thy uncleanness in thee.
22:16. And I will possess thee in the sight of the Gentiles, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.
22:17. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
22:18. Son of man, the house of Israel is become dross to me: all these are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace: they are become the dross of silver.
22:19. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because you are all turned into dross, therefore behold I will gather you together in the midst of Jerusalem.
22:20. As they gather silver, and brass, and tin, and iron, and lead in the midst of the furnace: that I may kindle a fire in it to melt it: so will I gather you together in my fury and in my wrath, and will take my rest, and I will melt you down.