1 He also cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Cause those who have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand." 2 And behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies toward the north, and each with a slaughter-weapon in his hand. And one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. And they went in and stood beside the brazen altar.
3 And the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which he was to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen who had the writer's inkhorn by his side, 4 And the LORD said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and who cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst of it." 5 And to the others he said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city, and smite. Do not let your eye spare, neither have pity. 6 Utterly slay old and young, maids, little children, and women, but do not come near any man upon whom the mark is. And begin at my sanctuary." Then they began at the elderly men who were before the house. 7 And he said to them, "Defile the house and fill the courts with the slain. Go forth." And they went forth and slew in the city. 8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face and cried, and said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Will you destroy all the residue of Israel in your pouring out of your fury upon Jerusalem?"
9 Then he said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood and the city is full of perverseness. For they say, 'The LORD has forsaken the earth, and the LORD does not see.' 10 And therefore, my eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head."
11 And behold, the man clothed with linen who had the inkhorn by his side reported the matter, saying, "I have done as you have commanded me."
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
In this chapter is contained a vision, representing the destruction of the idolatrous Jews and the preservation of the godly that were among them, in which different persons were employed; those who were concerned in the destruction of the idolaters are described by their office; they had charge over the city; by their form and appearance, men; by their number, six; by the quarter from where they came, the way of the higher gate northward; and by the weapons they had in their hands, slaughter ones; and by their place and posture, standing beside the brasen altar (Ezekiel 9:1-2); among these were one clothed in linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side, to whom the glorious God of Israel, who was removed from the cherub to the threshold of the house, gave orders to go through the city of Jerusalem and mark those who mourned over the abominations of it (Ezekiel 9:3-4); and the rest he ordered to go through the city and slay all of every age, gender, and state, except those who had the mark, beginning at the sanctuary, and filling the courts with the slain, which orders were obeyed (Ezekiel 9:5-7); upon which the prophet expostulates with the Lord and intercedes for the people, but is not heard because of the abounding of iniquity among them, their frequent shedding of blood, their perversion of justice, and their abominable infidelity and atheism, for which reasons he was determined to show them no mercy (Ezekiel 9:8-10); and the chapter is closed with a report made by the man clothed with linen, that he had done as was commanded him (Ezekiel 9:11).