Ezekiel 9:3 NIV

3 Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side 4 and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it

Ezekiel 9:7 NIV

7 Then he said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!” So they went out and began killing throughout the city.”

An order is given that the man in linen go throughout the city and put a mark on those who are faithful and then six men must follow throughout Jerusalem killing all who didn't have a mark on their foreheads

At what point in the history of Israel was the above prophecy fulfilled?.

  • I guess you haven't exactly taken in my answer. One of these two answers given, tells you exactly when the above prophecy was fulfilled, which speaks specifically to the last line of your question, the other merely tells you what instrument God used to carry out the destruction, i.e. the pagan Babylonians. The other is even incorrectly referring to the future tribulation as the "second fulfillment" and doesn't even mention 70 AD and yet you still prefer the first answer. I'm confused. Can you help me out here? Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 5:21
  • @OldeEnglish,i upvoted your answer,its helpful.thank you Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 8:32

2 Answers 2


At what point in the history of Israel was the above prophecy fulfilled?.

The First Fulfilment.

The prophecy has dual fulfillment; The first fulfillment was the destruction of Jerusalem by the pagan Babylonians, They were used by God to be his executioners, to punish the apostate Jerusalem and the cities of Judah.

Jeremiah 25:9, 15-18 (NASB)

9 behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these surrounding nations; and I will [a]completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and [b]hissing, and an everlasting place of ruins.

15 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to me: “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and give it to all the nations to whom I send you, to drink from it. 16 Then they will drink and loudly vomit and act insanely because of the sword that I am going to send among them.” 17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and gave it to all the nations to whom the Lord sent me, to drink from it: 18 To Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, and its kings and its officials, to make them places of ruins, objects of horror, [a]hissing, and a curse, as it is this day;

Some things to observe.

The killing was not indiscriminate, for we read verse 4 that the man clothed in linen was to mark the foreheads of those that did not agree with the detestable things that were done in the city.Also, there was no literal markings at the time, so the mark on the foreheads was symbolic, and that the man dressed in linen, and the execution of Judgement was done by angels, no humans were involved.

The Second Fulfillment

Signs of Christ's return

From Matthew 25:31-33, we read that Jesus is the one who judges people. He makes his final judgment during the time of the great tribulation, separating the sheeplike ones, who will survive, from the goatlike ones, who will be destroyed.

Read the tribulation :



Read the Judgement:


Some things to observe.

The killing again is not indiscriminate, the man doing the separation and the symbolic marking as "sheeplike ones" the ones who will survive is Jesus and again the execution will be done by angels, no humans will be involved.(Read also Rev. 19:11-21)

  • Excellent answer. +1. See also Rev 9:4.
    – Dottard
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 20:12
  • I wonder if you're confusing judgement with condemnation. We see in the last verse the quip about eternal punishment, This is obviously not literal - they are still physical and cannot suffer eternally. There are many verses describing the end times - this is but one and they all need to form an answer together. These goats were obviously deceived - God does not make them bear the devils punishment without providing good opportunity to become undeceived and make a final choice for life.
    – Steve
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 23:59

When was Ezekiel 9:3-7 fulfilled

617 BC**

10/11 years before the destruction of Jerusalem and the 1st temple, king Jehoiachin, king of Judah, surrendered Jerusalem to king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Among those, now exiled Israelites, was Ezekiel, who early in the fifth year (613 BC), of the Jewish king's exile, found himself commissioned by God - Ez, 1:1-3, in no uncertain terms, to act as God's spokesman to the rebellious sons of Israel, to warn them as to the consequences of their rebellious and idolatrous ways.

612 BC - 607 BC

After Ezekiel was told by God, to enact the coming siege of Jerusalem, which was to foresee death by famine, pestilence and the sword, with the remaining inhabitants scattered among the nations, we are told of the appearance (most probably angelic) prior to the actual events, of six men with smashing weapons and of a seventh person, clothed with linen, with a secretary's inkhorn - Ez, 9:2. This seventh man, is told to mark on the forehead, whether symbolically or no, all those detesting the abominations that had come about in their midst, with a view to sparing those so marked, come the death and destruction. The other six men were to slay (also by divine commission, as in the case of Ezekiel), without any pity, all those not so marked, that is to say, man, woman, child, of every ilk within the city and even defile the temple and courts with their bodies - Ez, 9:3-7.

Consequently, to answer the OP's follow up query: It was in 607 BC when this prophecy, against Israel, was fulfilled. It could even be said that this was to foreshadow the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple. It was to be a "type" in other words.

** We know from the historical record that king Jehoiachin was in exile for just shy of 11 years before Jerusalem's destruction. Although, most all historical records place the destruction of Jerusalem and it's first temple, by Nebuchadnezzar, as being in 587/6 BC, this does not jive with the ABSOLUTE date of 539 BC, for the subsequent overthrow of Babylon by the Medes and Persians, and the 70 year captivity of Daniel and his fellow Israelites, which we know ended in 538 BC, which although adding up to 69 literal years, was actually, seemingly to all intents and purposes (the time period being part of further prophecy) 70 x 360 day ...prophetic... years - Dan, 9:1,2. I feel therefore that fulfilled prophecy should trump the apparent inaccuracy of the historical record.

NB - One can be forgiven here when trying to equate a third possible fulfilment of prophecy, to involve Israel, with the coming tribulation as born out in the 24th chapter of Matthew, which incidentally is not only referencing the future tribulation but also the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple, but UNLIKE 607 BC and 70 AD, that will not just involve Israel but will involve the whole world. YES this will involve the marking of foreheads (and even hands) here too, but these will be marks for destruction NOT saving...Rev, 13:15-18. Not withstanding Rev, 9:4, which does indeed involve saving, but there again as in Ez, 9:4, we are talking about the seal of God on the forehead, NOT the mark of the beast.....

  • To all those anonymous "hit & run" down-voters out there, do check out the BH "code of conduct". We can all take a well explained and reasoned down-vote, it's the cowardly enacted down-votes that don't "jive" with anyone. Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 23:38

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