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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Ezekiel 7

 

 

Verse 1

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 2

Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.

An end, the end is come. The indefinite "an" expresses the general fact of God bringing His long-suffering toward the whole of Judea to an end; "the," following, marks it as more definitely fixed (Amos 8:2).


Verse 3

Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 4

And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Thine abominations - the punishment of thy abominations.

Shall be in the midst of thee - shall be manifest to all. They and thou shall recognize the fact of thine abominations by thy punishment, which shall everywhere befall thee, and that manifestly.


Verse 5

Thus saith the Lord GOD An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.

An evil, an only evil, behold, is come. A special calamity, such as was never before, unparalleled. The abruptness of the style, and the repetitions, express the agitation of the prophet's mind in foreseeing these calamities.


Verse 6

An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come.

It watcheth for thee - rather, 'waketh for thee.' It awakes up from its past slumber against thee (Psalms 78:65-66).


Verse 7

The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains.

The morning is come. So the Chaldaic and Syriac versions (cf. Joel 2:2, "A day of clouds and of thick The morning is come. So the Chaldaic and Syriac versions (cf. Joel 2:2, "A day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning (not the same Hebrew word as here) spread upon the mountains"). Ezekiel wishes to awaken them from their lethargy, whereby they were promising to themselves an uninterrupted night, as if they were never to be called to account (1 Thessalonians 5:5-7) (Calvin). The expression "morning" refers to the fact that this was the usual time for magistrates giving sentence against offenders (cf. Ezekiel 7:10, below; Psalms 101:8; Jeremiah 21:12). Gesenius, less probably, translates, 'the order of fate'-literally, the circuit [ ts


Verse 8-9

Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations.

Now ... I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations. And mine eye shall not spare ... - repetition of Ezekiel 7:3-4, sadly expressive of accumulated woes by the monotonous sameness.


Verse 10

Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded.

The rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded. The "rod" is the Chaldean Nebuchadnezzar, the instrument of God's vengeance (Isaiah 10:5; Jeremiah 51:20, "Thou art my battle-ax and weapons of war"). The double idea of the rod of punishment and the sceptre of the Babylonian king, who was to be the instrument of punishment, is included. The rod sprouting (as the word ought to be translated), etc., implies that God does not move precipitately, but in successive steps. He, as it were, has planted the ministers of His vengeance, and leaves them to grow until they are ripe for executing His purpose. "Pride" refers to the insolence of the Babylonian conqueror (Jeremiah 50:31-32, "O thou most proud;" Hebrew, 'pride'). The parallelism ("pride," answering to "rod") opposes Jerome's view, that "pride" refers to the Jews, who despised God's threats (also Calvin's, "Phough the rod grew in Chaldea the root was with the Jews'). The "rod" cannot refer, as Grotius thought, to the tribe of Judah, because it evidently refers to the "smiteth" (Ezekiel 7:9), as the instrument of smiting.


Verse 11

Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs: neither shall there be wailing for them.

Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness. Violence - i:e., the violent foe is risen up as a rod of; i:e., to punish the Jews' wickedness (Zechariah 5:8).

Nor of any or theirs - i:e., nor aught of their possessions; nothing shall remain of all that belongs to them, whether children or goods [Grotius tanslates ( meh


Verse 12

The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.

Let not the buyer rejoice - because he has bought an estate at a bargain price.

Nor the seller mourn - because he has had to sell his land at a sacrifice through poverty. The Chaldeans will be masters of the land, so that neither shell the buyer have any good of his purchase nor the seller any loss; nor shall the latter (Ezekiel 7:13), "the seller ... return to" his inheritance at the jubilee year (see Leviticus 25:13). Spiritually this holds good now, seeing that "the time is short," "They that rejoice should be as though they rejoiced not, and they that buy as though they possessed not:" Paul (1 Corinthians 7:38) seems to allude to Ezekiel here. Jeremiah 32:15; Jeremiah 32:37; Jeremiah 32:43. "Fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate," etc., seems to contradict Ezekiel here. But Ezekiel is speaking of the parents, and of the present; Jeremiah, of the children, and of the future. Jeremiah is addressing believers, that they should hope for a restoration; Ezekiel, the reprobate, who were excluded from hope of deliverance.


Verse 13

For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life.

The seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive - although they should live to the year of jubilee.

The vision is touching the whole multitude thereof - namely, the whole multitude of the Jews.

Which shall not return - answering to "the seller shall not return;" not only he, but the whole multitude, shall not return. Calvin omits is and which, 'The vision touching the whole multitude shall not return' void (Isaiah 55:11).

Neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life - no hardening of one's self in iniquity will avail against God's threat of punishment. Fairbairn translates, 'no one by his iniquity shall invigorate his life,' referring to the jubilee, which was regarded as a revivification of the whole commonwealth, when, its disorders being rectified, the body politic sprang up again into renewed life. What God thus provided for by the institution of the jubilee, and which is now to cease through the nation's iniquity, let none think to bring about by his iniquity.


Verse 14

They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.

They have blown the trumpet - rather, 'Blow the trumpet,' or, 'Let them blow the trumpet,' to collect soldiers as they will, "to make all ready" for encountering the foe, it will be of no avail; none will have the courage to go to the battle (cf. Jeremiah 6:1). (Calvin.)


Verse 15

The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.

The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within - no security from death should anywhere be found (Deuteronomy 32:25). Fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (Lamentations 1:20). He that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine ... shall devour him. So Christ warns prophetically as to the Roman invasion (Matthew 24:16-18).


Verse 16

But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity.

They that escape of them shall escape - (Ezekiel 6:8). and shall be on the mountains the doves of the valleys - which, though usually frequenting the valleys, mount up to the mountains when fearing the bird-catcher (Psalms 11:1). So Israel, once dwelling in his peaceful valleys, shall flee from the foe to the mountains, which, as being the scene of his idolatries, were justly to be made the scene of his flight and shame.

All of them mourning, every one for his iniquity. The plaintive note of the dove (Isaiah 59:11, "We mourn sore like doves") represents the mournful repentance of Israel hereafter (Zechariah 12:10-12).


Verse 17

All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water.

All knees shall be weak as water - literally, shall go (as) waters; incapable of resistance (Joshua 7:5; Psalms 22:14; Isaiah 13:7).


Verse 18

They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.

Horror shall cover them - as a garment.

Baldness - a sign of mourning (Isaiah 3:24; Jeremiah 48:37; Micah 1:16).


Verse 19

They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed - just retribution: they had abused their silver and gold by converting them into idols, "the stumbling block of their iniquity" (Ezekiel 14:3-4; Ezekiel 1:1-28 :e., an occasion of sinning); so these silver and gold idols, so far from "being able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath," shall, in despair, be "cast" by them "into the streets" as a prey to the foe, by whom they shall be "remove." Compare Proverbs 11:4, "Riches profit not in the day of wrath." (Grotius translates, as margin, 'shall be despised as an unclean thing;' rather, as suits the parallelism, 'shall be put away from them' by the Jews (Calvin). Literally, 'shall be for removal,' as an unclean thing is separated or put away [ l


Verse 20

As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it far from them.

As for the beauty of his ornament - the temple of Yahweh, the especial glory of the Jews, as a bride glories in her ornaments (the very imagery used by God as to the temple, Ezekiel 16:10-11). Compare Ezekiel 24:21, "My sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes."

But they made the images of their abominations ... therein - namely, in the temple (Ezekiel 8:3-17).

Therefore have I set it far from them. God had "set" the temple (their "beauty of ornament") "for His majesty;" but they had set up "abominations therein;" therefore God, in just retribution, "set it far from them" - i:e., removed them far from it, or took it away from them (Vatablus). 'I have delivered it to them for removal' (Henderson). Margin translates, 'made it unto them an unclean thing' (cf. margin on Ezekiel 7:19, "removed"); what I designed for their glory they turned to their shame; therefore I, in retributive justice, will make it to their ignominy and ruin.


Verse 21

And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it.

I will give it into the hands of the strangers - barbarous and savage nations.


Verse 22

My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.

They shall pollute my place - just retribution for the Jews' pollution of the temple.

For the robbers shall enter into it - "Robbers shall enter and defile" the holy of holies, the place of God's manifested presence, entrance into which was denied even to the Levites and priests, and was permitted to the high priest only once a year on the great day of atonement.


Verse 23

Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.

Make a chain - symbol of the captivity (cf. Jeremiah 27:2, "Make thee bonds"). As they enchained the land with violence, so they shall be chained themselves. It was customary to lead away captives in a row, with a chain passed from the neck one to the other. Therefore translate, as the Hebrew requires, 'the chain'-namely, that usually employed on such occasions. Calvin explains it that the Jews should be dragged, whether they would or no, before God's tribunal, to be tried as culprits in chains. The next words favour this, "the land is full of bloody crimes."

Bloody crimes - rather, 'judgment of bloods;' i:e., with blood-sheddings, deserving the extreme judicial penalty. Compare Jeremiah 51:9, "Her judgment reacheth unto heaven."


Verse 24

Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled.

Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen - literally, the wicked of the nations: the giving up of Israel to their power will convince the Jews that this is a final overthrow. I will ... make the pomp of the strong to cease - the pride wherewith men "stiff of forehead" despise the prophets.

Their holy places shall be defiled - the sacred compartments of the temple (Psalms 68:35; Jeremiah 51:51). (Calvin.) God calls it "their holy places," because they had so defiled it that He regarded it no longer as His. However, as the defilement of the temple has already been, mentioned (Ezekiel 7:20; Ezekiel 7:22), and 'their sacred places' are introduced as a new subject, it seems better to understand this of the places dedicated to their idols. Since they defiled God's sanctuary, He will defile their self-constituted 'sacred places.'


Verse 25

Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.

They shall seek peace, and there shall be none - (1 Thessalonians 5:3).


Verse 26

Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.

Mischief shall come upon mischief - (Deuteronomy 32:23; Jeremiah 4:20). This is said because the Jews were apt to fancy at every abatement of suffering that their calamities were about to cease; but God will accumulate woe on woe.

Rumour shall be upon rumour - "rumour" of the advance of the foe, and of his cruelty (Matthew 24:6).

Then shall they seek a vision of the prophet - to find some way of escape from their difficulties (Isaiah 26:9). So Zedekiah consulted Jeremiah (Jeremiah 37:17; Jeremiah 38:14).

The law shall perish from the priest - fulfilled (Ezekiel 20:1; Ezekiel 20:3; Psalms 74:9; Lamentations 2:9; cf. Amos 8:11). God will thus set aside the idle boast, "The law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet" (Jeremiah 18:18).

And counsel from the ancients - the ecclesiastical rulers of the people.


Verse 27

The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

The hands of the people of the land shall be troubled - the general multitude, as distinguished from the "king" and the "prince." The consternation shall pervade all ranks. The king, whose duty it was to animate others, and find a remedy for existing evils, shall himself be in the utmost anxiety-a mark of the desperate state of affairs.

The prince shall be clothed with desolation. Clothing is designed to keep off shame; but in this case shame shall be the clothing.

I will do unto them after their way - because of their wicked ways.

According to their deserts - literally judgments, i:e., what just judgment awards to them; used to imply the exact correspondence of God's judgment with the judicial penalties they had incurred: they oppressed the poor and deprived them of liberty, therefore they shall be oppressed and lose their own liberty.

Remarks:

(1) Ezekiel indicates, by the abruptness of his prophetic exclamations, and by his frequent repetitions, how deeply his soul was moved at the incurable sin of his people, and the inevitable ruin which was imminent. The long-suffering of God toward sinners, great as it is, must at last come to "an end" (Ezekiel 7:2). How soon "the end" my be, which of us can say? It cannot be far distant now, because more than 1,800 years ago Peter declared, "The end of all things is at hand (1 Peter 4:7). It is nearer us now by 18 centuries. When the end actually comes, God will judge sinners according to their ways, and He who Has shown such long-continued and wonderful pity will no longer pity nor spare the reprobates (Ezekiel 7:4). Then shall unmixed "evil," without a parallel (Ezekiel 7:5), overtake them - "an evil, an only evil." Justice. "waking" as it were from the slumber of ages (Ezekiel 7:5, note), wherein sinners were spared, shall cause never-ceasing vengeance to fall upon the impenitent.

(2) The ungodly chil dren of the darkness of this world promise to themselves a perpetual night, as though their works of darkness were never to be brought to light. But the fact is, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand" (Romans 13:12); "the morning" of the general resurrection and judgment, "the day of trouble" to the careless ones, is near (Ezekiel 7:7). The blast of the last trumpet, which shall summon all to the bar of the great God, shall be no empty "echo," or cry of hilarity, such as reverberates through the mountains (Ezekiel 7:7), but a solemn call, which all must obey. The "rod" of God's anger at men's "wickedness," long upheld in threat, shall then fall with destructive violence, nor shall there be any to pity and "wail for" their eternal ruin (Ezekiel 7:11).

(3) Seeing, then, that the time is short to us, as it was to the Jews on the eve of their overthrow by Nebuchadnezzar how loosely we should sit to earthly things! Of what profit at the judgment will earthly purchases, bought at a bargain, be to "the buyer" who has not bought the pearl of great price? (Ezekiel 7:12.) And what cause for mourning shall the seller of earthly possessions have then, if only he has not, like profane Esau, sold his heavenly birthright for the pleasures of sense? Let us not therefore be overtaken unawares by the day of the Lord, through the same earthly-mindedness as characterized the men of Sodom, who "did eat and drink, bought and sold," as if these were the chief end of man's being, until "it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:28-29). Rather, as Paul teaches us. (1 Corinthians 7:30-31), when we "rejoice," let us be "as though we rejoiced not," when we "buy, as though we possessed not," "using this world, and not abusing it, for the fashion of this world passeth away."

(4) When once judgment and eternity are come, there can be no "return" to earthly possessions (Ezekiel 7:13), because the former things shall have passed away forever (Revelation 21:4). No "strengthening of one's self in iniquity" will avail against the strength of Yahweh, which is arrayed against the sinner (Ezekiel 7:13). Men may make what preparations they will against coming trouble; so long as they are not reconciled to God in His only appointed way through Christ, all shall be of no use, (Ezekiel 7:14). Wherever they may be, "in the field" or "in the city," justice shall arrest them suddenly (Ezekiel 7:15); "all hands shall be feeble, all knees weak as water (Ezekiel 7:17), and "horror shall be their covering, and shame shall be upon their faces" ( Ezekiel 7:18).

(5) Silver and gold are the idols of many now, but "their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord" (5: 19); nor can riches even now "satisfy their souls," though riches can procure for them many carnal gratifications. Nay, to most men the love of money proves a serious "stumblingblock" in the way of their heartily giving themselves up to God. Let us use whatever means God has given us, to the glory of the gracious Giver, knowing that whereas "riches profit not in the day of wrath, righteousness delivereth from death" (Proverbs 11:4).

(6) Self-deceiving professors, like the Jews who prided themselves on the temple and its beauty (Ezekiel 7:20), fancy that the spiritual privileges which they are favoured with will exempt them from condemnation. But these cannot avail the carnal, the worldly, and the unrenewed. Nay, God will for ever remove these privileges from those who have long neglected and abused them (Ezekiel 7:21-22).

(7) All who enchain the earth with oppression shall themselves be enchained. God will bind with His "chain" of judgment those who burst the bands of His holy law (Ezekiel 7:23). They who loved "violence" and war shall then "seek peace, and there shall be none" (Ezekiel 7:25). When they are promising to themselves "peace," sudden destruction shall come upon them (Ezekiel 7:25). They who once despised the prophets of God, and trampled on His law, shall then "seek a vision of the prophet, but the law shall perish, from the priest, and counsel from the ancients" (Ezekiel 7:26); so exactly doth God judge transgressors, alike the monarch and the peasant, "after their way, and according to their deserts" (Ezekiel 7:27).

(8) Blessed be God, as in the case of literal Israel, so in the case of spiritual Israel, an elect remnant shall "escape" when all others shall perish (Ezekiel 7:16). Let us see that we have the characteristic traits of this little flock that shall be saved-the true repentance wherewith they "mourn every one for his iniquity," the faith whereby they look on Him whom they pierced through their iniquities, and the obedience which flows from sincere faith and repentance.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ezekiel 7:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ezekiel-7.html. 1871-8.

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Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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