My head's so hard, must be made of stone
I pay in blood, but not my own

from Bob Dylan – Pay in Blood Lyrics on Rap Genius


Bob said he wanted to write an album of “religious” music but didn’t have enough material (Rollingstone interview).

Yeah right. This particular line is from the book of Ezekiel chapter 3 verse 9. Ezekiel is told by the Lord to go to the house of Israel, a very stubborn and hard-headed people. The Lord promises to make Ezekiel as hard-headed as they are. If you continue to read this passage it goes on to say that Ezekiel is made a watchman by God. The watchman’s responsibility is to warn the people about impending disaster. If they don’t listen then the blood is on their own heads. If the watchman fails to warn the people their blood is on his head.

Since becoming a Christian, Christ’s blood covers Bob (I pay in blood but not my own) but Bob is still trying to warn people about impending disaster. The religious imagery and allusion to Jesus are all over this phenomenal work of art.

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