Ezekiel 9

God kills the people who worship idols

1 I heard God's Spirit speak in a loud voice. ‘Bring here the men who keep the city safe. Tell them that they must bring their weapons with them.’ 2 And I saw (6) six men. They came out of the higher gate. People can look towards the north from that gate. Each man carried his powerful arms. A man who was wearing white linen clothes came with them. He was carrying tools with which to write. They came in and they stood next to the altar of yellow metal.

9:2These men went and they stood by the altar of yellow metal. This is the altar where the priests burned sacrifices to God.

3 The bright light that was the glory of Israel's God moved away from the cherub where it had been. It went to the door of the temple. Then the Lord called out to the man with the writing tools. 4 ‘Go through all the city (Jerusalem),’ he said. ‘Some people are very sad. They are sad because of the evil things that men are doing there. Put a mark on those people who are so sad. Put it on their faces.’

5 While I listened, the Lord spoke to the other men. ‘Follow that man through the city. And kill anyone who does not have the mark. 6 Kill the old men, young men and women. Kill the women and the children. Do not be kind or save any of them. But do not touch anyone that has the mark on their face.’ So they started to kill. The leaders were in front of the temple. They began with them.

7 ‘Fill the yard of the temple with dead bodies. Then the people cannot use the temple for worship,’ he said. ‘Go now!’ So they went out and they started to kill people all over the city. 8 They left me alone while they were doing this. I fell down on my face. ‘Lord God,’ I cried. ‘Jerusalem has made you very angry. Will you kill all Israel's people who remain?’

9 This was his answer. ‘Both Israel and Judah are very, very bad. They have hurt and killed each other. And they have not been fair to each other. They say, “The Lord has forgotten his country. The Lord does not see us.” 10 So I will not be sorry for them. I will punish them because of what they have done.’

11 Then the man with the writing tools came back. ‘I have done what you asked me to do,’ he said.