Lamentation over the Coming Ruin of Israel; the
Penitent Reformation of a Remnant; the Chain Symbolizing the
2. An end, the end—The indefinite "an"
expresses the general fact of God bringing His long-suffering towards
the whole of Judea to an end; "the," following, marks it as more
definitely fixed (Am 8:2).
4. thine abominations—the punishment of
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
5. An evil, an only evil—a peculiar
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.
6. watcheth for thee—rather, "waketh for
thee." It awakes up from its past slumber against thee (Ps 78:65, 66).
7. The morning—so Chaldean and
Syriac versions (compare Joe 2:2). Ezekiel wishes to awaken them from
their lethargy, whereby they were promising to themselves an
uninterrupted night (1Th 5:5-7),
as if they were never to be called to account [Calvin]. The expression, "morning," refers to the
fact that this was the usual time for magistrates giving sentence
against offenders (compare Eze 7:10,
below; Ps 101:8; Jer 21:12). Gesenius, less probably, translates, "the
order of fate"; thy turn to be punished.
not the sounding again—not an empty
echo, such as is produced by the reverberation of sounds
in "the mountains," but a real cry of tumult is coming [Calvin]. Perhaps it alludes to the joyous cries of
the grape-gatherers at vintage on the hills [Grotius], or of the idolaters in their dances on
their festivals in honor of their false gods [Tirinus]. Havernick
translates, "no brightness."
8, 9. Repetition of Eze 7:3, 4; sadly expressive of accumulated woes by
the monotonous sameness.
10. rod … blossomed, pride …
budded—The "rod" is the Chaldean Nebuchadnezzar, the
instrument of God's vengeance (Isa 10:5; Jer 51:20). The rod sprouting (as the word
ought to be translated), &c., 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 till all is ripe
for executing His purpose. "Pride" refers to the insolence of the
Babylonian conqueror (Jer 50:31, 32). The parallelism ("pride" answering to
"rod") opposes Jerome's view, that
"pride" refers to the Jews who despised God's threats; (also
Calvin's, "though the rod grew in
Chaldea, the root was with the Jews"). The "rod" cannot refer,
as Grotius thought, to the tribe
of Judah, for it evidently refers to the "smiteth" (Eze 7:9) as the instrument of smiting.
11. Violence (that is, the violent foe)
is risen up as a rod of (that is, to punish the Jews')
wickedness (Zec 5:8).
theirs—their possessions, or all that
belongs to them, whether children or goods. Grotius translates from a different Hebrew
root, "their nobles," literally, "their tumultuous trains"
(Margin) which usually escorted the nobles. Thus "nobles" will
form a contrast to the general "multitude."
neither … wailing—(Jer 16:4-7;
25:33). Gesenius translates, "nor shall there be left any
beauty among them." English Version is supported by the
old Jewish interpreters. So general shall be the slaughter, none shall
be left to mourn the dead.
12. let not … buyer
rejoice—because he has bought an estate at a bargain
nor … 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 shall the buyer have any
good of his purchase, nor the seller any loss; nor shall the latter
7:13) return to his
inheritance at the jubilee year (see Le 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":
7:30) seems to allude to
Ezekiel here. Jer 32:15, 37, 43, 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.
13. although they were yet
alive—although they should live to the year of jubilee.
multitude thereof—namely, of the
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 (Isa 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. That for
which God thus provided 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.
14. 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 (compare
Jer 6:1), [Calvin].
15. No security should anywhere be found
32:25). Fulfilled (La 1:20); also at the Roman invasion
16. (Eze 6:6).
like doves—which, though usually
frequenting the valleys, mount up to the mountains when fearing the
bird-catcher (Ps 11:1). So
Israel, once dwelling in its peaceful valleys, shall flee from the foe
to the mountains, which, as being the scene of its idolatries, were
justly to be made the scene of its flight and shame. The plaintive note
of the dove (Isa 59:11)
represents the mournful repentance of Israel hereafter (Zec 12:10-12).
17. shall be weak as water—literally,
"shall go (as) waters"; incapable of resistance (Jos
7:5; Ps 22:14; Isa 13:7).
18. cover them—as a garment.
baldness—a sign of mourning (Isa 3:24; Jer 48:37; Mic 1:16).
19. cast … silver in …
streets—just retribution; they had abused their silver and
gold by converting them into idols, "the stumbling-block of their
iniquity" (Eze 14:3, 4, that is, 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" (see Pr 11:4), shall, in despair, be cast by them
into the streets as a prey to the foe, by whom they shall be "removed"
(Grotius translates as the
Margin, "shall be despised as an unclean thing"); or
rather, as suits the parallelism, "shall be put away from them" by
the Jews [Calvin]. "They (the silver
and gold) shall not satisfy their souls," that is, their cravings of
appetite and other needs.
20. beauty of his ornament—the temple of
Jehovah, the especial glory of the Jews, as a bride glories in her
ornaments (the very imagery used by God as to the temple, Eze 16:10, 11). Compare Eze 24:21: "My sanctuary, the excellency of your
strength, the desire of your eyes."
images … therein—namely, in the
temple (Eze 8:3-17).
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," (that is, removed them far from it, or took it away
from them [Vatablus]). The Margin
translates, "Made it unto them an unclean thing" (compare
Margin on Eze 7:19,
"removed"); what I designed for their glory they turned to their shame,
therefore I will make it turn to their ignominy and ruin.
21. strangers—barbarous and savage
22. pollute my secret place—just
retribution for the Jews' pollution of the temple. "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.
23. chain—symbol of the captivity
(compare Jer 27:2). As
they enchained the land with violence, so shall they be chained
themselves. It was customary to lead away captives in a row with a
chain passed from the neck of 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
favor this: "bloody crimes," rather, "judgment of bloods," that
is, with blood sheddings deserving the extreme judicial penalty.
51:9: "Her judgment
reacheth unto heaven."
24. worst of the heathen—literally,
"wicked of the nations"; the giving up of Israel to their power will
convince the Jews that this is a final overthrow.
pomp of … strong—the
pride wherewith men "stiff of forehead" despise the prophet.
holy places—the sacred compartments of
the temple (Ps 68:35; Jer 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 (Eze 7:20, 22), and "their sacred places" are
introduced as a new subject, it seems better to understand this of
the places dedicated to their idols. As they defiled God's
sanctuary, He will defile their self-constituted "sacred places."
25. peace, and … none—(1Th 5:3).
26. Mischief … upon …
mischief—(De 32:23; Jer 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—of the advance of the foe, and
of his cruelty (Mt 24:6).
seek a vision—to find some way of
escape from their difficulties (Isa 26:9). So Zedekiah consulted Jeremiah (Jer 37:17;
law shall perish—fulfilled (Eze 20:1, 3; Ps 74:9; La 2:9; compare Am 8:11); God will thus set aside the idle
boast, "The law shall not perish from the priest" (Jer 18:18).
ancients—the ecclesiastical rulers of
27. people of the land—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.
clothed with desolation—Clothing is
designed to keep off shame; but in this case shame shall be the
after their way—because of their
deserts—literally, "judgments," that
is, 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.