Ezekiel 21:21
New International Version
For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots with arrows, he will consult his idols, he will examine the liver.

New Living Translation
The king of Babylon now stands at the fork, uncertain whether to attack Jerusalem or Rabbah. He calls his magicians to look for omens. They cast lots by shaking arrows from the quiver. They inspect the livers of animal sacrifices.

English Standard Version
For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults the teraphim; he looks at the liver.

Berean Study Bible
For the king of Babylon stands at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He shakes the arrows, he consults the idols, he examines the liver.

King James Bible
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.

New King James Version
For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the road, at the fork of the two roads, to use divination: he shakes the arrows, he consults the images, he looks at the liver.

New American Standard Bible
For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the household idols, he looks at the liver.

NASB 1995
“For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the household idols, he looks at the liver.

NASB 1977
“For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the household idols, he looks at the liver.

Amplified Bible
For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the fork of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows, he consults the teraphim (household idols), he looks at the liver [of an animal for an omen].

Christian Standard Bible
For the king of Babylon stands at the split in the road, at the fork of the two roads, to practice divination: he shakes the arrows, consults the idols, and observes the liver.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the king of Babylon stands at the split in the road, at the fork of the two roads, to practice divination: he shakes the arrows, consults the idols, and observes the liver.

American Standard Version
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows to and fro, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because the King of Babel stands at the beginning of the road that divides the roads. To divine an oracle, he shoots an arrow and he inquires of the idol. He looks at his glory

Brenton Septuagint Translation
For the king of Babylon shall stand on the old way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination, to make bright the arrow, and to enquire of the graven images, and to examine the victims.

Contemporary English Version
When the Babylonian king stands at that signpost, he will decide which way to go by shaking his arrows, by asking his idols, and by carefully looking at the liver of a sacrificed animal.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the king of Babylon stood in the highway, at the head of two ways, seeking divination, shuffling arrows: he inquired of the idols, and consulted entrails.

English Revised Version
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows to and fro, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver.

Good News Translation
The king of Babylonia stands by the signpost at the fork of the road. To discover which way to go, he shakes the arrows; he consults his idols; he examines the liver of a sacrificed animal.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The king of Babylon will stop where the roads branch off, where there is a fork in the road. Then he will look for omens. He will shake some arrows, ask his household gods for help, and examine animal livers.

International Standard Version
"Meanwhile, Babylon's king is standing at the fork of the road, where he can head in either of two directions, and that's where he is practicing divination. Shaking his arrows, he's asking questions of his teraphim while he examines livers.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For the king of Babylon standeth at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shaketh the arrows to and fro, he inquireth of the teraphim, he looketh in the liver.

Literal Standard Version
For the king of Babylon has stood at the head of the way, At the top of the two ways, to use divination, He has moved lightly with the arrows, He has inquired of the teraphim, He has looked on the liver.

NET Bible
For the king of Babylon stands at the fork in the road at the head of the two routes. He looks for omens: He shakes arrows, he consults idols, he examines animal livers.

New Heart English Bible
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows back and forth, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver.

World English Bible
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows back and forth, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver.

Young's Literal Translation
For stood hath the king of Babylon at the head of the way, At the top of the two ways, to use divination, He hath moved lightly with the arrows, He hath asked at the teraphim, He hath looked on the liver.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The LORD's Sword of Judgment
20Mark out one road for the sword to come against Rabbah of the Ammonites, and another against Judah into fortified Jerusalem. 21For the king of Babylon stands at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He shakes the arrows, he consults the idols, he examines the liver. 22In his right hand appears the portent for Jerusalem, where he is to set up battering rams, to call for the slaughter, to lift a battle cry, to direct the battering rams against the gates, to build a ramp, and to erect a siege wall.…

Cross References
Matthew 22:9
Go therefore to the crossroads and invite to the banquet as many as you can find.'

Genesis 31:19
Now while Laban was out shearing his sheep, Rachel stole her father's household idols.

Genesis 31:30
Now you have gone off because you long for your father's house. But why have you stolen my gods?"

Numbers 22:7
The elders of Moab and Midian departed with the fees for divination in hand. They came to Balaam and relayed to him the words of Balak.

Numbers 23:23
For there is no spell against Jacob and no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and Israel, 'What great things God has done!'

Judges 17:5
Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household idols, and ordained one of his sons as his priest.

Judges 18:17
And the five men who had gone to spy out the land went inside and took the graven image, the ephod, the household idols, and the molten idol, while the priest stood at the entrance of the gate with the six hundred armed men.


Treasury of Scripture

For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.

the king

Proverbs 16:33
The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

Proverbs 21:1
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

parting [heb] mother

Numbers 23:28
And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon.

Deuteronomy 18:10
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

1 Samuel 15:23
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

he made.

arrows.

Genesis 31:19,30
And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's…

Judges 17:5
And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.

Judges 13:14,18,20,24
She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe…









(21) To use divination.--Various particular forms of divination are mentioned just afterwards. This is a general term to include them all. Divination was always resorted to by the heathen on occasions of important questions. In this case, while Nebuchadnezzar thought in this way to determine his action, it was already fixed for him by a higher Power.

Made his arrows bright.--Rather, shook his arrows. This was a mode of divination in use among the ancient Arabs, as well as in Mesopotamia, and something very similar is mentioned by Homer as practised among the ancient Greeks (II., iii. 316). It continued to be used among the Arabs until the time of Mohammed, who strictly torbade it in the Koran (3:39, 5:4, 94). Several arrows, properly marked, were shaken together in a quiver or other vessel, and one drawn out. The mark upon the one drawn was supposed to indicate the will of the gods. It was thus simply one form of casting lots.

Consulted with images.--The particular images here mentioned were "teraphim," small idols, which are often spoken of in Scripture as used in divination by the Israelites themselves, and common also among the heathen. (See 1Samuel 15:23, where the word "idolatry" is in the original "teraphim.") Nothing is known of the way in which these were used in divination.

Looked in the liver.--The inspection of the entrails of sacrificial victims, and especially of the liver, as a means of ascertaining the will of the gods, is familiar to every reader of classical literature. There is evidence that the same custom prevailed also in Babylonia. The king is represented as employing all these different kinds of divination to make sure of the proper path.



Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
For
כִּֽי־ (kî-)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

the king
מֶלֶךְ־ (me·leḵ-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 4428: A king

of Babylon
בָּבֶ֜ל (bā·ḇel)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 894: Babylon -- an eastern Mediterranean empire and its capital city

stands
עָמַ֨ד (‘ā·maḏ)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5975: To stand, in various relations

at
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

the fork
אֵ֣ם (’êm)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 517: A mother, )

in the road,
הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ (had·de·reḵ)
Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

at the junction
בְּרֹ֛אשׁ (bə·rōš)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 7218: The head

of the two
שְׁנֵ֥י (šə·nê)
Number - mdc
Strong's 8147: Two (a cardinal number)

roads,
הַדְּרָכִ֖ים (had·də·rā·ḵîm)
Article | Noun - common plural
Strong's 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

to seek
לִקְסָם־ (liq·sām-)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 7080: To distribute, determine by lot, magical scroll, to divine

an omen:
קָ֑סֶם (qā·sem)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 7081: A lot, divination, oracle

He shakes
קִלְקַ֤ל (qil·qal)
Verb - Piel - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7043: To be slight, swift or trifling

the arrows,
בַּֽחִצִּים֙ (ba·ḥiṣ·ṣîm)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 2671: A piercer, an arrow, a wound, thunderbolt, the shaft of a, spear

he consults
שָׁאַ֣ל (šā·’al)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7592: To inquire, to request, to demand

the idols,
בַּתְּרָפִ֔ים (bat·tə·rā·p̄îm)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 8655: (a kind of idol) perhaps household idol

he examines
רָאָ֖ה (rā·’āh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7200: To see

the liver.
בַּכָּבֵֽד׃ (bak·kā·ḇêḏ)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 3516: The liver


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OT Prophets: Ezekiel 21:21 For the king of Babylon stood at (Ezek. Eze Ezk)
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