21:3 and say to them, 1 ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, 2 I am against you. 3 I will draw my sword 4 from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 5 21:4 Because I will cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked, my sword will go out from its sheath against everyone 6 from the south 7 to the north.
1 tn Heb “the land of Israel.”
2 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) draws attention to something and has been translated here as a verb.
3 tn Or “I challenge you.” The phrase “I am against you” may be a formula for challenging someone to combat or a duel. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:201-2, and P. Humbert, “Die Herausforderungsformel ‘h!nn#n' ?l?K>,’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8.
5 sn Ezekiel elsewhere pictures the Lord’s judgment as discriminating between the righteous and the wicked (9:4-6; 18:1-20; see as well Pss 1 and 11) and speaks of the preservation of a remnant (3:21; 6:8; 12:16). Perhaps here he exaggerates for rhetorical effect in an effort to subdue any false optimism. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:25-26; D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:669-70; and W. Zimmerli, Ezekiel (Hermeneia), 1:424-25.
6 tn Heb “all flesh” (also in the following verse).
7 tn Heb “Negev.” The Negev is the south country.