1 "Son of man, get a sharp sword. Use it as a barber's razor. Shave your head and beard with it. Then get a set of scales and weigh the hair. Separate it into three piles.
2 "Burn up a third of the hair inside the city. Do it when you stop attacking the model of Jerusalem. Next, get another third of the hair. Strike it with a sword all around the city. Then scatter the last third to the winds. That is because I will chase the people with a sword that is ready to strike them down. 3 But save a few of the hairs. Tuck them away in the clothes you are wearing.
4 "Next, get a few more hairs. Throw them into the fire. Burn them up. The fire will spread to all of the people of Israel."
5 The Lord and King says, "This little model stands for Jerusalem. I have placed that city in the center of the nations. Countries are all around it. 6 But its people are sinful. They have refused to obey my laws and rules. They have turned their backs on my laws. They have not followed my rules. Those people are worse than the nations and countries around them."
7 The Lord and King continues, "You people have been worse than the nations around you. You have not lived by my rules or kept my laws. You have not even lived up to the standards of the nations around you."
8 The Lord and King continues, "Jerusalem, I myself am against you. I will punish you in the sight of the nations. 9 I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again. That is because you worship statues of gods. I hate them. 10 So parents will eat their own children inside the city. And children will eat their parents. I will punish you. And I will scatter to the winds anyone who is left alive.
11 "You have made my temple 'unclean.' You have set up statues of all of your evil gods. You have done other things I hate. So I will not show you my favor anymore. I will not spare you or feel sorry for you. And that is just as sure as I am alive," announces the Lord and King.
12 "A third of your people will die of the plague inside your walls. Or they will die of hunger there. Another third will be killed with swords outside your walls. And I will scatter the last third of your people to the winds. I will chase them with a sword that is ready to strike them down.
13 "Then I will not be angry anymore. My burning anger against them will die down. And I will be satisfied. Then they will know that I have spoken with strong feelings. And my burning anger toward them will come to an end. I am the Lord.
14 "I will destroy you. I will bring shame on you in the sight of the nations that are around you. All those who pass by will see it. 15 You will be put to shame. The nations will make fun of you. You will serve as a warning to others. They will be shocked when they see you. So I will punish you because my anger burns against you. You will feel the sting of my warning. I have spoken. I am the Lord.
16 "I will shoot at you with my deadly, destroying arrows of hunger. I will shoot to kill. I will bring more and more hunger on you. I will cut off your food supply. 17 I will send hunger and wild animals against you. They will destroy all of your children. Plague and murder will sweep over you. And I will send swords to kill you. I have spoken. I am the Lord."