God tells Ezekiel to gather ‘those appointed over the city,’ which I take to mean the leaders or guardians of Jerusalem. Each one brings a weapon with him, and they’re also accompanied by a scribe. God speaks to the scribe first. “And the Lord said to him, ‘Pass through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and you shall mark a sign upon the foreheads of the men who are sighing and moaning over all the abominations that were done in its midst (Ezekiel 9:4).” This seems like a throwback to the Exodus and the angel of death passing over the houses of the Israelites that were marked. I find it interesting that these physical markers are needed to determine the fates of the people. Couldn’t God, or His emissaries, tell which people were good and which were evil without the marks? Does it say something about the physical marks that we as people need to determine who’s in our tribe, or club, or family?
Anyway, the leaders of the city are encouraged to be ruthless in their slaughter of the people. They smite the majority of the city, causing Ezekiel to cry out to God. But God is unyielding, and the destruction continues.