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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 35

Whedon's Commentary on the BibleWhedon's Commentary

Verses 1-15


The most conspicuous mountain chain is here taken to represent the entire land of Edom, just as it is so used, seemingly (1400 B.C.), in the “land of Shiri” of the Tel-el-Amarna tablets. For Edom see notes Ezekiel 25:12-14. As the lower classes of the Israelites who had been left in the holy land should not retain it for themselves (Ezekiel 33:24, etc.), so these nearby and hereditary enemies (Ezekiel 35:5) who had just assisted Nebuchadnezzar (Obadiah 1:10-15) to “give over the children of Israel to the power of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time of the iniquity of the end” (Ezekiel 35:5, R.V.), would not be able, for all their boasting (Ezekiel 35:10; Ezekiel 35:12), to capture the country even in the absence of the best portion of the population. Judah had sinned, and her iniquity had reached its climax at the destruction of Jerusalem, which was the end of one national era; but there was to come a new era of national prosperity for the people of Jehovah (chap. 36, etc.), while those who now rejoiced in her ruin, and thought themselves more powerful than the God of Mount Zion (Ezekiel 35:12), should be destroyed and their land left desolate. They should be given to the sword “prepared unto” (or, “appointed to”) blood. (Compare Ezekiel 16:38.)

Sith (Ezekiel 35:6) That is, since. They did not hate blood, but delighted in violence, “therefore blood shall pursue” them. Thus Mount Seir shall be made “an astonishment and a desolation” (Ezekiel 35:7), without even a passing traveler” (compare Ezekiel 33:28; Zechariah 7:14). [Compare Adam Clarke’s apt illustration of the ancient queen who, having killed a bloody tyrant, cast his head into a basin of blood, saying, “Thy thirst was blood, now drink thy fill.”] This desolation shall be perpetual, and the “cities shall not be inhabited” (Ezekiel 35:9, R.V.), because of her attempt to possess the good heritage of Israel and Judah, and to devour it “as a feast” (Ezekiel 35:12, Kautzsch), thinking that the God of the land as well as the people had been defeated or carried off into captivity (Ezekiel 35:10). Therefore Jehovah would lay upon the Edomites the very afflictions which they thought to impose upon Israel.

And thus saith Jehovah: “I will make myself known among them [LXX., ‘in thee’], when [or, ‘according as’] I shall judge thee” (Ezekiel 35:11, R.V.). Compare Ezekiel 33:29, and the end of each threatening prophecy. The time was soon coming when the new Israel and the redeemed earth should rejoice (Ezekiel 35:14, compare Ezekiel 34:11-30, Isaiah lv, etc.), but “Mount Seir and all Edom” (R.V.) should be desolate (Ezekiel 35:15; compare Isaiah 24:0; Isaiah 63:1-6). Only thus could they be made to know the omnipotence of the one God and his tender love toward those who trusted him. This is not, as the Polychrome Bible thinks, a picture of Jehovah as a “non-moral” or revengeful autocrat, but it is the picture of a just Judge who inflicts legal penalties upon guilty nations for worthy ends. The literal fulfillment of this prophecy has often startled the modern traveler. “Idumea, once so rich in flocks, so strong in its fortresses and rock-hewn cities, so extensive in its commercial relations, so renowned for the architectural splendor of its palaces, is now a deserted and desolate wilderness.… No merchant would now dare to enter its borders; its highways are untrodden, its cities are all in ruins.” J.L. Porter, quoted in the Pulpit Commentary.

Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ezekiel 35". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/ezekiel-35.html. 1874-1909.
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