God's vengeance upon the Ammonites, upon Moab and Seir, upon Edom, and upon the Philistines, for their insolence against the Jews.
Before Christ 590.
Ezekiel 25:3. Because, &c.— See ch. Ezekiel 21:28. The Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites, though nearly related to the Jews, bore them a constant hatred, and took all opportunities to shew it when they were under any distress; particularly, at the time of the general captivity, and the destruction of their city and temple. We have no distinct account of the accomplishment of these prophesies: the sacred writers content themselves with predicting, without declaring the event. But we learn from profane history, that Nebuchadrezzar subjected to his empire all Syria, Phoenicia, Arabia, and Egypt, and, consequently, the people spoken of in this chapter. See Calmet.
Ezekiel 25:4. I will deliver thee to the men of the east— That is, "To the Chaldeans, whose country lay east of the Ammonites." See the preceding note. Some suppose that the Arabians are meant. See Nehemiah 4:7-8 and the Observations, p. 51.
Ezekiel 25:6. Clapped thine hands— This was a sign of joy, which the other expression of stamping with the feet implies likewise.
Ezekiel 25:8. Behold, the house of Judah is like, &c.— It hence appears, that the Jews had boasted, and the Gentiles till then acknowledged, that the Jews were under an extra-ordinary providence. See Div. Leg. vol. iv
Ezekiel 25:9. I will open the side, &c.— I will open the side of Moab, laying bare the cities in his borders, the beautiful country of Beth-jeshimoth, &c. Houbigant.
Ezekiel 25:12. Because that Edom, &c.— See Psalms 137:7. Houbigant renders the passage, Because Edom hath burned with rage against the house of Judah, and hath revenged himself upon them by wickedness, &c.
Ver.15. Because the Philistines hath dealt, &c.— Because the Philistines have burned with hatred, and have revenged themselves through contempt, and their ancient malice, in order to destroy; Houbigant. See Jeremiah 25:20; Jeremiah 48:1; Jeremiah 48:47. Amos 1:6. 2 Chronicles 28:18.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, The Ammonites, the implacable enemies of the Jewish people, are the first of the Gentile nations to be reckoned with. The Lord Jehovah, the God of Israel, declares their provocations, and denounces their doom.
1. Their crime was, the malicious pleasure they took in seeing God's Israel ruined. They beheld with delight the profanations of the sanctuary, and exulted in the desolations and captivity of the people; expressing the rancour and despite of their hearts by their outward gestures, clapping their hands, leaping, for those miseries, which the least humanity would have taught them to pity. Note; (1.) The enmity of the natural heart against the professors of religion, is sure to express itself on their falls or misfortunes. (2.) God observes and will severely visit the malice and rancour shewn by the enemies of his believing people.
2. Their punishment for this insolent carriage will be their utter destruction. The men of the east, the Chaldeans, or the Arabians who were in Nebuchadrezzar's army, and afterwards possessed the country; they shall seize their land for a possession, set up their palaces therein, and dwell there, feasting on their spoil, their fruits, and their milk. Rabbah, the metropolis, shall be turned into a stable for camels, and the country feed the flocks of their conquerors. God's stretched-out arm shall make an end of them, cut them off from being any longer a people, and cause them to perish from the earth; and in this terrible destruction make his own great name known as the avenger of his people's wrongs.
2nd, Three other guilty nations are called to God's bar to hear their doom. Their crimes and their punishments are nearly similar.
1. The Moabites.
[1.] Their crime was, delight in the sins and sufferings of the Jews. They say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen; perfect apostates from their God, and wholly given to idolatry, and, as the consequence thereof, fallen into the hands of the Babylonians; and no distinction subsisting between them and others, of which they used to boast. Note; (1.) Apostates from God's worship give the adversaries great occasion to blaspheme. (2.) Though the same event happen to the righteous and the wicked, yet God knows how to put a vast difference between them.
[2.] The punishment of Moab would be, to become a prey to the same invaders as had destroyed the country of Ammon: their defences ruined; their country laid open; and their capital cities, their glory, demolished. Thus should they fall as the Ammonites their neighbours, whose names would be lost among the nations; and by these judgments which God executes, his power, his wrath, and the truth of his threatenings, would be known unto them.
2. The Edomites.
[1.] They not only, as their neighbours of Moab and Ammon, beheld and rejoiced in the fall of Judaea; but they remembered the old grudge between Jacob and Esau, their subjection by David, and their chastisement by Amaziah; and now embraced the favourable moment to execute their cruel revenge upon the poor afflicted people; at which God is highly and justly offended. Note; Whatever provocations we have received, it is highly criminal to entertain malice, or to revenge ourselves: this is God's prerogative; Vengeance is mine.
[2.] God will punish them severely: from north to south the ravages of the Chaldeans shall spread, and man and beast be cut off by the out-stretched arm of the Lord: and when afterwards they returned from their captivity, and began to recover themselves, God will lay vengeance upon them by the hand of his people Israel; which was fulfilled under the Maccabees, 1 Maccabees 5:3, and Hircanus, as Josephus relates, subdued and made them tributaries. Thus will the Lord pour out his anger and fury upon them, and make them know by what they feel, against what a God of omnipotence and justice they have offended.
3. The Philistines. Their sin and punishment are nearly similar. With a despiteful heart they seized this opportunity of taking vengeance for the old grudge that they bore the Jews: but they shall suffer for it: God's arm of vengeance shall espouse his people's quarrel; their mighty men shall perish, their maritime cities be destroyed, and with furious rebukes they shall be made to know, that Israel's God is above all gods; and be made to confess his righteous judgments.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Ezekiel 25". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany