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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 9

Verses 1-11

Ezekiel 9. The Pitiless Slaughter of the Sinners.— The doom has been abundantly justified; now it comes, and in bloody form. In obedience to a ringing summons, seven angels come forth to execute it— six armed with deadly weapons, the seventh arrayed in priestly linen and with an inkhorn hanging at his side, ready to put the sign of the cross (the “ mark” in Ezekiel 9:4 is the letter taw, which in the old alphabet was a cross) upon the brows of the few who were to be spared in the coming destruction, because they sighed and cried over the sin of Jerusalem. At this point comes the ominous reminder that Yahweh is gradually departing from the guilty city: already His glory has left the holy place where the cherubim were and moved to the threshold of the Temple. Then there rings out the awful command to the destroying angels, uttered by Yahweh Himself, to slay without mercy all— old and young, man and maid— who had not the mark upon their brow; and the deadly work was to begin at the holy Temple itself, the scene of their sin ( Ezekiel 9:8)— the Temple in which they trusted ( Jeremiah 7:4), and which, since Isaiah’ s time, they had deemed inviolable.

The veil is mercifully drawn over the horrible carnage. Ezekiel, alone and appalled, gives vent to his tumultuous feelings in a passionate prayer that the remnant may be spared, but the inexorable answer comes that for the moral guilt of the land, the pitiless punishment must go on: and the awful threat is confirmed by the return of the angel with the inkhorn, who reports with terrible simplicity, “ I have done as thou hast bidden.” The ghastly details are left to the imagination.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Ezekiel 9". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.