In this chapter we have the description of the last of the four signs. The prophet was commanded to take a sword, sharpened as a barber's razor, and therewith to cut off his hair and his beard. The hair thus taken was to be weighed, and divided into three parts. The first was to be burned in the midst of the city at the expiration of the siege; the second was to be smitten with the sword round about the city; and the third to be scattered to the wind. Finally, a few hairs were to be gathered and bound in his skirt, and of them some were to be cast into the fire.
The explanation of the sign was then given at length to Ezekiel. Jerusalem, set in the midst of the nations, had rebelled against Jehovah, and for this He was against her. A third part of the people was to die by pestilence in the midst of the city, another third would die in battle round about her; the remaining third would be scattered to the winds.
the Third Sunday after Epiphany