Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 7

Layman's Bible CommentaryLayman's Bible Commentary

Verses 1-27

Punishment for National Sin (7:1-27)

The Day of the Lord, when God will enter victoriously into history, is viewed in the perspective which Amos had earlier given to it. God’s day for Judah was not to be a day of redemption but a time of judgment upon national sin. There was doubtless still a widespread popular misconception that God’s day of victory would be a joyous time for Judah, But since Judah had not accepted the Covenant love of God, God’s coming was necessarily to be a visitation of judgment (vss. 1-4). God will come as an enemy because his people have turned against him. Divine judgment will come in the destruction of this rebellious people.

The section includes a poetic announcement that the Day of the Lord has come. The proclamation is made in staccato tones (vs. 10). The ultimate consequences of national character have come to full bloom. Violent strength and the power of wealth are useless. Among people in siege or captivity, there is no pre-eminence (vs. 11). There is no normal trade among captives, because "none can maintain his life." The only real support for life is God’s blessing; this Judah has lost.

When the attack came there was no resistance, no determination to defend homeland or heritage. "None goes to battle" (vs. 14). Famine, sword, and pestilence together do a thorough job of destruction. For clothes men have sackcloth, and their heads are shaved by their captors (vs. 18). Money is useless because there is nothing to buy; since it cannot deliver the city from doom, it is cast out as an "unclean thing" (vs. 19). All the precious things which Judah proudly possesses will prove under these circumstances to be worthless. Desolation will be complete. The land will be prey to foreigners and the wicked will possess it. The Temple will be sacked and profaned, because it has been misused for idolatry and other false religious practices (vs. 22).

Bloody crimes of violence give God cause to "bring the worst of the nations" to take possession of the land. Thus the Almighty "will put an end to their proud might, and their holy places shall be profaned" (vs. 24) . Notice that it is not God’s holy place but their "holy places." The prophet understands that God has removed himself, or will remove himself, from the Temple environs.

Ordinary sources of strength in any society break down under pressure in Judah, and there is no reason for hope. Prophetic vision, priestly interpretation, elders’ advice, and royal leadership all fail. The king mourns and the people of the land tremble as if with palsy. Judgment is sure, but through it God will make them know who he is and what his purpose is.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Ezekiel 7". "Layman's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lbc/ezekiel-7.html.
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