The Bible – Old Testament
Then he cried loud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city!
With 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.
Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer’s case at his waist,
1 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.
To 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!
Old 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.
Defile the temple, he said to them, and fill the courts with the slain; then go out and strike in the city.
As 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?”
He 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.
I, however, will not look upon them with pity, nor show any mercy. I will bring down their conduct upon their heads.
Then I saw the man dressed in linen with the writing case at his waist make his report: “I have done as you ordered.”
1  Ezekiel is pre-eminently the prophet of personal retribution; the innocent inhabitants of Jerusalem are to be spared when the idolatrous are punished. An X: literally, the Hebrew letter taw, which had the form of a cross.
2  (11:24, 25) These verses have been transposed from chapter 11 and placed after ⇒ Ezekiel 9:11.