Chapter 9

1Then He called loudly in my hearing, saying, “Approach, you men in charge of the city, each bearing his weapons of destruction!”

אוַיִּקְרָא בְאָזְנַי קוֹל גָּדוֹל לֵאמֹר קָרְבוּ פְּקֻדּוֹת הָעִיר וְאִישׁ כְּלִי מַשְׁחֵתוֹ בְּיָדוֹ׃

2And six men entered by way of the upper gate that faces north, each with his club in his hand; and among them was another, clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. They came forward and stopped at the bronze mizbayach.

בוְהִנֵּה שִׁשָּׁה אֲנָשִׁים בָּאִים מִדֶּרֶךְ־שַׁעַר הָעֶלְיוֹן אֲשֶׁר מָפְנֶה צָפוֹנָה וְאִישׁ כְּלִי מַפָּצוֹ בְּיָדוֹ וְאִישׁ־אֶחָד בְּתוֹכָם לָבֻשׁ בַּדִּים וְקֶסֶת הַסֹּפֵר בְּמָתְנָיו וַיָּבֹאוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ אֵצֶל מִזְבַּח הַנְּחֹשֶׁת׃

3Now the Presence of the God of Yisrael had moved from the cherub on which it had rested to the platform of the House. He called to the man clothed in linen with the writing case at his waist;

גוּכְבוֹד אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל נַעֲלָה מֵעַל הַכְּרוּב אֲשֶׁר הָיָה עָלָיו אֶל מִפְתַּן הַבָּיִת וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־הָאִישׁ הַלָּבֻשׁ הַבַּדִּים אֲשֶׁר קֶסֶת הַסֹּפֵר בְּמָתְנָיו׃

4and Hashem said to him, “Pass through the city, through Yerushalayim, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who moan and groan because of all the abominations that are committed in it.”

va-YO-mer a-do-NAI ay-LAV a-VOR b'-TOKH ha-EER b'-TOKH y'-ru-sha-LA-im v'-hit-VEE-ta TAV al mitz-KHOT ha-a-na-SHEEM ha-ne-e-na-KHEEM v'-ha-ne-e-na-KEEM AL kol ha-TO-ay-VOT ha-na-a-SOT b'-to-KHAH

דוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אלו [אֵלָיו] עֲבֹר בְּתוֹךְ הָעִיר בְּתוֹךְ יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם וְהִתְוִיתָ תָּו עַל־מִצְחוֹת הָאֲנָשִׁים הַנֶּאֱנָחִים וְהַנֶּאֱנָקִים עַל כָּל־הַתּוֹעֵבוֹת הַנַּעֲשׂוֹת בְּתוֹכָהּ׃

 9:4   And put a mark on the foreheads of the men who moan and groan

Yechezkel is shown a vision of the death of the guilty in Yerushalayim. Before the executions commence, he sees a messenger in white linen mark the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over the destruction, ensuring that a righteous remnant remains. ‘To set a mark’ in Hebrew is vihitveeta tav (והתוית תו), based on which the sages explain that the mark that was made was the Hebrew letter tav (ת). Like the mark of Cain, which, according to Rashi was also a Hebrew letter, this mark is intended to save its bearers from harm.

5To the others He said in my hearing, “Follow him through the city and strike; show no pity or compassion.

הוּלְאֵלֶּה אָמַר בְּאָזְנַי עִבְרוּ בָעִיר אַחֲרָיו וְהַכּוּ על־[אַל־] תָּחֹס עיניכם [עֵינְכֶם] וְאַל־תַּחְמֹלוּ׃

6Kill off graybeard, youth and maiden, women and children; but do not touch any person who bears the mark. Begin here at My Sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the House.

וזָקֵן בָּחוּר וּבְתוּלָה וְטַף וְנָשִׁים תַּהַרְגוּ לְמַשְׁחִית וְעַל־כָּל־אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־עָלָיו הַתָּו אַל־תִּגַּשׁוּ וּמִמִּקְדָּשִׁי תָּחֵלּוּ וַיָּחֵלּוּ בָּאֲנָשִׁים הַזְּקֵנִים אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי הַבָּיִת׃

7And He said to them, “Defile the House and fill the courts with the slain. Then go forth.” So they went forth and began to kill in the city.

זוַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם טַמְּאוּ אֶת־הַבַּיִת וּמַלְאוּ אֶת־הַחֲצֵרוֹת חֲלָלִים צֵאוּ וְיָצְאוּ וְהִכּוּ בָעִיר׃

8When they were out killing, and I remained alone, I flung myself on my face and cried out, “Ah, Hashem! Are you going to annihilate all that is left of Yisrael, pouring out Your fury upon Yerushalayim?”

חוַיְהִי כְּהַכּוֹתָם וְנֵאשֲׁאַר אָנִי וָאֶפְּלָה עַל־פָּנַי וָאֶזְעַק וָאֹמַר אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הֲמַשְׁחִית אַתָּה אֵת כָּל־שְׁאֵרִית יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּשָׁפְכְּךָ אֶת־חֲמָתְךָ עַל־יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

9He answered me, “The iniquity of the Houses of Yehuda and Yisrael is very very great, the land is full of crime and the city is full of corruption. For they say, ‘Hashem has forsaken the land, and Hashem does not see.'

טוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי עֲוׂן בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל וִיהוּדָה גָּדוֹל בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ דָּמִים וְהָעִיר מָלְאָה מֻטֶּה כִּי אָמְרוּ עָזַב יְהֹוָה אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְאֵין יְהֹוָה רֹאֶה׃

10I, in turn, will show no pity or compassion; I will give them their deserts.”

יוְגַם־אֲנִי לֹא־תָחוֹס עֵינִי וְלֹא אֶחְמֹל דַּרְכָּם בְּרֹאשָׁם נָתָתִּי׃

11And then the man clothed in linen with the writing case at his waist brought back word, saying, “I have done as You commanded me.”

יאוְהִנֵּה הָאִישׁ לְבֻשׁ הַבַּדִּים אֲשֶׁר הַקֶּסֶת בְּמָתְנָיו מֵשִׁיב דָּבָר לֵאמֹר עָשִׂיתִי כאשר [כְּכֹל] [אֲשֶׁר] צִוִּיתָנִי׃