Ezekiel 21: 5?


Then all people will know that I the LORD have drawn my sword from its sheath; it will not return again.’ (KJV)

But I said, “Ah! Lord GOD, they are saying about me, ‘Is not this the one who is forever spinning parables?’” (NAB)

Why are these so different?

I hope I did not make a simple mistake; I apologize if I did!



So, it’s not just Ez. 21:5, but it’s like all of Ezekiel 21.

However, it’s quite odd (yet not surprising) that the NAB softened a passage.

My RSV, DR, and Vulgate all say basically the same thing as the KJV, but the NAB is no where near.

For this particular verse, the Latin reads

Ut sciat omnis caro quia ego Dominus eduxi gladium meum de vagina sua irrevocabilem

Which loosely translates:

So may all flesh know that I, the Lord, have led my sword out of its sheath irrevocably

The verse in the NAB has no mention of “gladium” which is a sword.

Hope this helps :smiley:


It didn’t. There are two traditions for the Book of Ezekiel: the Septuagint (Greek) and Masoretic (Hebrew) versions. They differ. If memory serves, the Greek is shorter than the Masoretic.

In the RSV-CE, you’ll find the prophecies about the north (Israel) at the end of chapter 20. There, too, you’ll find the verse about “forever spinning parables”. In the NAB, they don’t have the prophecies against the north, but they’ve got that statement about ‘allegories’ (i.e., ‘parables’) in the context of prophecies against the south.


The NAB translators may have taken their cues from the LXX. I can’t my parallel Greek - English LXX, but here is that verse in transliterated Greek:

kaí eípa M¢damœ¡s, kúrie kúrie: autoí légousin prós me Ouchí parabol¢¡ estin legomén¢ haút¢;

This version of the verse mentions parables, but does not mention swords.

Edit: This is getting curioser and curioser – a literal translation of the Hebrew is, “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! They say of me, doth he not speak parables?”


That seems to explain the problems.

I ran into the situation while reading Origen’s Song of Songs commentary.



To me it looks like the NAB has chosen to insert the chapter break between chapters 20 and 21 in a different spot, five verses earlier, than the other versions. Ezekiel 20:45-49 in the other versions are Ezekiel 21:1-5 in the NAB and the other verses in chapter 21 in the NAB have been renumbered accordingly. Ezekiel 21:5 in the other versions corresponds to Ezekiel 21:10 in the NAB:
10 and all flesh shall know that I, the Lord, have drawn my sword from its scabbard. It cannot return again. (source)
The footnote on Ezekiel 20:45 in the RSV-CE seems to support my theory:
Ezekiel 20:45 Ch 21.1 in Heb

Thus, the NAB seems to be following the Hebrew version of chapter divisions in this instance.




It gets complicated really fast!



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