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Six men came down the road from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying his lethal weapon.
With them was a man dressed in linen with a writing case slung from his shoulder.
They entered and stood by the bronze altar.
called to the man with the writing case who was dressed in linen: "Go through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the forehead of everyone who is in anguish over the outrageous obscenities being done in the city."
I listened as he went on to address the executioners: "Follow him through the city and kill. Feel sorry for no one. Show no compassion. Kill old men and women, young men and women, mothers and children. But don't lay a hand on anyone with the mark.
Start at my Temple."
He told the executioners, "Desecrate the Temple. Fill it with corpses. Then go out and continue the killing." So they went out and struck the city.
Just then, the man dressed in linen and carrying the writing case came back and reported, "I've done what you told me."