9:1 Then he shouted in my ears, “Approach, 1 you who are to visit destruction on the city, each with his destructive weapon in his hand!” 9:2 Next, I noticed 2 six men 3 coming from the direction of the upper gate 4 which faces north, each with his war club in his hand. Among them was a man dressed in linen with a writing kit 5 at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.
9:3 Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub where it had rested to the threshold of the temple. 6 He called to the man dressed in linen who had the writing kit at his side. 9:4 The Lord said to him, “Go through the city of Jerusalem 7 and put a mark 8 on the foreheads of the people who moan and groan over all the abominations practiced in it.”
9:5 While I listened, he said to the others, 9 “Go through the city after him and strike people down; do no let your eye pity nor spare 10 anyone! 9:6 Old men, young men, young women, little children, and women – wipe them out! But do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary!” So they began with the elders who were at the front of the temple.
9:7 He said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courtyards with corpses. Go!” So they went out and struck people down throughout the city.
1 tc Heb “they approached.” Reading the imperative assumes the same consonantal text but different vowels.
2 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.
3 sn The six men plus the scribe would equal seven, which was believed by the Babylonians to be the number of planetary deities.
6 tn Heb “house.”
7 tn Heb “through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem.”
8 tn The word translated “mark” is in Hebrew the letter ת (tav). Outside this context the only other occurrence of the word is in Job 31:35. In ancient Hebrew script this letter was written like the letter X.
sn For a similar concept in the Bible, see Rev 7:2-4; 13:16; 14:9, 11; 20:4; 22:4.
9 tn Heb “to these he said in my ears.”
10 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term is primarily emotional: “to pity,” which in context implies an action, as in being moved by pity in order to spare them from the horror of their punishment.