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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Ezekiel 6

 

 

Verses 1-7

Ezekiel 6. The Doom of the Sinful Mountains.

Ezekiel 6:1-7. Not only, however, was Jerusalem steeped in sin, but the whole land; therefore the whole land is here addressed and denounced, or rather the mountains, partly because the mountains were the conspicuous and characteristic feature of Canaan: but more especially because from time immemorial the "high places" upon them had been the seat of idolatry. The Hebrews had taken them over from the Canaanites, and with them many elements of the idolatrous worship practised within them. Thirty years before a desperate effort, based upon the newly-discovered book of Deuteronomy, had been made by Josiah to abolish these sanctuaries; but such a passage as this shows us that they still persisted. The words "high places," which primarily denoted sanctuaries on heights (e.g. of hills), came to denote sanctuaries in general, and so are applied here also to the sanctuaries in the valleys (such as the Valley of the son of Hinnom, S.W. of Jerusalem, where a cruel worship was practised, Jeremiah 7:31) and the watercourses, or rather gorges, wadys. The worship was often licentious as well as cruel (Hosea 4:13 f.), and other deities besides Yahweh were worshipped here, e.g., the sun (2 Kings 23:11). whose images or obelisks (2 Chronicles 14:5*) are referred to. This idolatry, like the idolatry on Zion Hill in the Temple (Ezekiel 5:11), must be avenged, and the chapter describes the relentlessness of the Divine vengeance. The enemy will invade the land, demolish the sanctuaries, and slay the worshippers who have taken refuge there, but whom the idols (Ezekiel uses a contemptuous word) are impotent to defend: and the scattered bones of the slain will defile the altars (2 Kings 23:16). So thorough will the devastation be that silence will reign throughout the mountain villages and mountain shrines alike.


Verses 8-10

Ezekiel 6:8-10. The object of all this devastation is the vindication of God's insulted honour: "ye shall know that I am Yahweh" (a very common phrase in Ezekiel), the just and mighty Yahweh, in comparison with the impotent idols. But that honour will be more completely vindicated by the penitence and conversion of sinners than by their destruction: and Ezekiel anticipates that a remnant in exile, smitten with self-loathing as they contemplate the fearful consequences of their immorality and idolatry, will remember the God whom they had forsaken, repent, and acknowledge Him. (In Ezekiel 6:9 read, "and I will break their whorish heart," i.e. with calamity.)


Verses 11-14

Ezekiel 6:11-14. The prospect of the awful destruction of the idolaters by sword, famine, and pestilence, moves Ezekiel to give vent to his feelings in gestures of triumphant scorn; far from pitying his sinful fellow-countrymen in the hour of their sore distress, rather does he rejoice in Yahweh's victory over them. (For alas, Ezekiel 6:11, read ha!) And again comes the scornful reference to the impotent idols who could save neither the worshippers nor the sanctuaries nor the land from destruction, but desolation would reign across it all from the wilderness in the south to Riblah (as we should read for Diblah) on the Orontes in the far north, where, after the sack of Jerusalem, king Zedekiah was taken and blinded (2 Kings 25:7).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Ezekiel 6:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/ezekiel-6.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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