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This chapter is but a continuation of the former. The burden of it is still Egypt, for whom the Prophet is commanded to take up a lamentation.
I cannot but believe, though the thing is not plainly revealed, that the Lord hath in this place a spiritual meaning, and which is principally intended by these scriptures. Surely Ezekiel ministry would not be directed, in so large a part of it, to the relation of other nations in their sins, and judgment, and punishment, but with an eye to the people of God for their improvement from them. And what can open an higher improvement than spiritually to contemplate the destruction of all those monarchies for the rejection of God's covenant in Christ? Indeed, from what is said in the book of the Revelation by St. John, we have some authority to look at the subject at least under this view, though not perhaps enough to draw positive conclusions therefrom. There we read that the court which is without the temple is given to the Gentiles, and the holy city they were to tread under feet forty and two months. And as the same scripture proceeds to tell us, that this great city is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, we cannot but be led to conclude, that somewhat of this nature is intended from these scriptures. Revelation 11:2-8 . And still more from what is said to be the general intention of the Lord in those chastisements of Egypt, namely, that when the Lord hath made Egypt desolate, and smitten all them that dwell therein, then (he saith) shall they know that I am the Lord. It should seem to be the ultimate object of all visitations, that when Israel is gathered, the Gentile Church also shall be called. So speaks the Lord by the Prophet Isaiah: The Gentiles shall come to thy (Church's) light, (in Jesus,) and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Isaiah 60:3 . Indeed the whole purport of prophecy is to this effect. Isaiah 2:2-4 ; Isaiah 4:1 etc. Haggai 2:6-7 etc.
The Prophet seems here to be closing the subject of the humiliation of men and princes, with all the great ones of the earth; and therefore includes in one and the same view the Egyptian, the Assyrian, and the Persian monarchies. Edom and the children of Zidon, all alike must fall before Christ and his people, and all go down into the grave of hell together, unless grace saves in the hour of visitation, by turning the heart to seek salvation in Jesus. The Psalmist long before had it in commission to admonish them to behold and bend the knee to Jehovah's King, whom the Lord had set upon his holy hill of Zion. Be wise now therefore, (said the Psalmist), O ye kings; be instructed ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. Psalms 2:0 throughout.
READER! let us pause, as the Prophet himself hath done, in closing this Chapter. He here finisheth his judgments upon the several nations around, and in the next Chapter, we find him returning to the instruction of Israel. Before we follow him to that service, let us look back, and in a short collected point of view, ponder over those solemn judgments of the Lord determined upon the heathen.
Sin hath entered into the world, and death by sin. This is the unalterable declaration of scripture. So that whenever sin be found, death must follow: temporal death, spiritual death, eternal death, Death, (saith the same authority) passeth upon all men, because all have sinned. Hence, where-ever sin is found, unless done away in Christ, there must be indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile. Pause over the subject; and with these solemn scriptures in view, read over the whole that the Prophet hath said in this, and the many preceding Chapters, concerning the condemnation of the ungodly. Reader, may God the Holy Ghost accompany by his Almighty teaching, both your perusal, and mine, of these solemn events. And from the uniform correspondence of scripture on those momentous things may both learn awfully to reverence the striking decrees of God. Here we find the Lord speaking in the same, or similar language, by his servant the Prophet Ezekiel, as in another scripture he doth by his servant the Apostle John. Here the Lord declares, that he will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; that many people shall be amazed, and their kings shall be horribly afraid. And there the Lord saith, that the sun shall become black as sackcloth, the moon shall be as blood, and the stars of heaven shall fall upon the earth. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men; and every bond man, and every free man, shall call to the mountains and rocks to fall on them, and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. Precious, precious Lord Jesus! grant to him that reads, and to him that writes, grace to know thee in thy love, and in thy great salvation, that when the Lord shall arise to shake terribly the earth, we may be found everlastingly safe in thee, as the Lord Our Righteousness! Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ezekiel 32". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany