The killing sword (Ezek 21:14-21:14)

“You!

Son of man!

Prophesy!

Clap your hands!

Let the sword fall

Twice,

Or thrice.

It is a sword

For killing.

It is a sword

For a great slaughter.

It surrounds them.”

Yahweh wanted the son of man, Ezekiel, to prophesize and clap his hands. The sword was going to fall two or three times. This would be a killing sword that would bring about a great slaughter all around them.

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The three kinds of deadly punishment (Ezek 6:11-6:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Clap your hands!

Stamp your foot!

Say!

Sadly!

Because of all

The vile abominations

Of the house of Israel!

They shall fall

By the sword,

By famine,

By pestilence.

Those far off

Shall die of pestilence.

Those nearby

Shall fall by the sword.

Anyone who is left

Or spared

Shall die of famine.

Thus I will spend

My fury

Upon them.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to clap his hands and stamp his foot. He was to speak about all the vile abominations of the house of Israel. They were going to suffer death three ways. They would either first fall by the sword. If not killed by the sword, they might die from famine or pestilence. Those far away would die from the pestilence. Those nearby would be killed by the sword. Otherwise, they would die of hunger from the famine. There was no mention of those living in captivity here. Yahweh was determined to show his fury among these Israelites.

The actions of the enemy (Sir 12:16-12:18)

“An enemy speaks sweetly

With his lips.

But in his heart,

He plans to throw you

Into a pit.

An enemy may weep

With tears in his eyes.

But if he finds an opportunity,

He will never have enough of your blood.

If evil comes upon you,

You will find him there ahead of you.

He will pretend to help.

But he will trip you up.

He will shake his head.

He will clap his hands.

He will whisper much.

He will show his true face.”

Beware of the enemy who speaks sweetly, but is actually planning to throw you into a pit. He may weep in front of you, but he is looking for an opportunity to kill you. If something evil happens to you, he will pretend to help. However, he is actually trying to trip you up. He will shake his head, clap his hands, and whisper much until he shows his true face.