Slaughter of the Idolaters. 1Then he cried loud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city! 2With that I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces the north, each with a destroying weapon in his hand. In their midst was a man dressed in linen, with a writer's case at his waist. They entered and stood beside the bronze altar. 3Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer's case at his waist, 4 o Ex 12, 7; Rv 7, 3 . saying to him:* Pass through the city [through Jerusalem] and mark an X on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it. 5To the others I heard him say: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy! 6Old men, youths and maidens, women and children—wipe them out! But do not touch any marked with the X; begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the men [the elders] who were in front of the temple. 7Defile the temple, he said to them, and fill the courts with the slain; then go out and strike in the city.
8As they began to strike, I was left alone. I fell prone, crying out, “Alas, Lord GOD! Will you destroy all that is left of Israel when you pour out your fury on Jerusalem?”9He answered me: The sins of the house of Israel are great beyond measure; the land is filled with bloodshed, the city with lawlessness. They think that the LORD has forsaken the land, that he does not see them.10I, however, will not look upon them with pity, nor show any mercy. I will bring down their conduct upon their heads.
11Then I saw the man dressed in linen with the writing case at his waist make his report: “I have done as you ordered.”
24 *Spirit lifted me up and brought me back to the exiles in Chaldea [in a vision, by God's spirit]. Then the vision I had seen left me, 25and I told the exiles everything the LORD had shown me.