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22. Jerusalem's Sins

1Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 2And thou, son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? then cause her to know all her abominations. 3And thou shalt say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: A city that sheddeth blood in the midst of her, that her time may come, and that maketh idols against herself to defile her! 4Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed, and art defiled in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the nations, and a mocking to all the countries. 5Those that are near, and those that are far from thee, shall mock thee, thou infamous one and full of tumult. 6Behold, the princes of Israel, every one according to his power, have been in thee to shed blood. 7In thee have they set light by father and mother; in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the sojourner; in thee have they wronged the fatherless and the widow. 8Thou hast despised my holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. 9Slanderous men have been in thee to shed blood; and in thee they have eaten upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they have committed lewdness. 10In thee have they uncovered their fathers' nakedness; in thee have they humbled her that was unclean in her impurity. 11And one hath committed abomination with his neighbor's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter. 12In thee have they taken bribes to shed blood; thou hast taken interest and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by oppression, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord Jehovah. 13Behold, therefore, I have smitten my hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. 14Can thy heart endure, or can thy hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I, Jehovah, have spoken it, and will do it. 15And I will scatter thee among the nations, and disperse thee through the countries; and I will consume thy filthiness out of thee. 16And thou shalt be profaned in thyself, in the sight of the nations; and thou shalt know that I am Jehovah. 17And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 18Son of man, the house of Israel is become dross unto me: all of them are brass and tin and iron and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are the dross of silver. 19Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because ye are all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20As they gather silver and brass and iron and lead and tin into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my wrath, and I will lay you there, and melt you. 21Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. 22As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I, Jehovah, have poured out my wrath upon you. 23And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 24Son of man, say unto her, Thou art a land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. 25There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey: they have devoured souls; they take treasure and precious things; they have made her widows many in the midst thereof. 26Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, that they may get dishonest gain. 28And her prophets have daubed for them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, when Jehovah hath not spoken. 29The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery; yea, they have vexed the poor and needy, and have oppressed the sojourner wrongfully. 30And I sought for a man among them, that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. 31Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought upon their heads, saith the Lord Jehovah.

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Eze 22:1-31. God's Judgment on the Sinfulness of Jerusalem.

Repetition of the charges in the twentieth chapter; only that there they were stated in an historical review of the past and present; here the present sins of the nation exclusively are brought forward.

2. See Eze 20:4; that is, "Wilt thou not judge?" &c. (compare Eze 23:36).

the bloody city—literally, "the city of bloods"; so called on account of murders perpetrated in her, and sacrifices of children to Molech (Eze 22:3, 4, 6, 9; 24:6, 9).

3. sheddeth blood … that her time may come—Instead of deriving advantage from her bloody sacrifices to idols, she only thereby brought on herself "the time" of her punishment.

against herself—(Pr 8:36).

4. thy days—the shorter period, namely, that of the siege.

thy years—the longer period of the captivity. The "days" and "years" express that she is ripe for punishment.

5. infamous—They mockingly call thee, "Thou polluted one in name (Margin), and full of confusion" [Fairbairn], (referring to the tumultuous violence prevalent in it). Thus the nations "far and near" mocked her as at once sullied in character and in actual fact lawless. What a sad contrast to the Jerusalem once designated "the holy city!"

6. Rather, "The princes … each according to his power, were in thee, to shed blood" (as if this was the only object of their existence). "Power," literally, "arm"; they, who ought to have been patterns of justice, made their own arm of might their only law.

7. set light by—Children have made light of, disrespected, father … (De 27:16). At Eze 22:7-12 are enumerated the sins committed in violation of Moses' law.

9. men that carry talesinformers, who by misrepresentations cause innocent blood to be shed (Le 19:16). Literally, "one who goes to and fro as a merchant."

10. set apart for pollution—that is, set apart as unclean (Le 18:19).

12. forgotten me—(De 32:18; Jer 2:32; 3:21).

13. smitten mine hand—in token of the indignant vengeance which I will execute on thee (see on Eze 21:17).

14. (Eze 21:7).

15. consume thy filthiness out of thee—the object of God in scattering the Jews.

16. take thine inheritance in thyself—Formerly thou wast Mine inheritance; but now, full of guilt, thou art no longer Mine, but thine own inheritance to thyself; "in the sight of the heathen," that is, even they shall see that, now that thou hast become a captive, thou art no longer owned as Mine [Vatablus]. Fairbairn and others needlessly take the Hebrew from a different root, "thou shalt be polluted by ('in,' [Henderson]) thyself," &c.; the heathen shall regard thee as a polluted thing, who hast brought thine own reproach on thyself.

18. dross … brass—Israel has become a worthless compound of the dross of silver (implying not merely corruption, but degeneracy from good to bad, Isa 1:22, especially offensive) and of the baser metals. Hence the people must be thrown into the furnace of judgment, that the bad may be consumed, and the good separated (Jer 6:29, 30).

23. From this verse to the end he shows the general corruption of all ranks.

24. land … not cleansed—not cleared or cultivated; all a scene of desolation; a fit emblem of the moral wilderness state of the people.

nor rained upon—a mark of divine "indignation"; as the early and latter rain, on which the productiveness of the land depended, was one of the great covenant blessings. Joel (Joe 2:23) promises the return of the former and latter rain, with the restoration of God's favor.

25. conspiracy—The false prophets have conspired both to propagate error and to oppose the messages of God's servants. They are mentioned first, as their bad influence extended the widest.

prey—Their aim was greed of gain, "treasure, and precious things" (Ho 6:9; Zep 3:3, 4; Mt 23:14).

made … many widows—by occasioning, through false prophecies, the war with the Chaldeans in which the husbands fell.

26. Her priests—whose "lips should have kept knowledge" (Mal 2:7).

violated—not simply transgressed; but, have done violence to the law, by wresting it to wrong ends, and putting wrong constructions on it.

put no difference between the holy and profane, &c.—made no distinction between the clean and unclean (Le 10:10), the Sabbath and other days, sanctioning violations of that holy day. "Holy" means, what is dedicated to God; "profane," what is in common use; "unclean," what is forbidden to be eaten; "clean," what is lawful to be eaten.

I am profaned among them—They abuse My name to false or unjust purposes.

27. princes—who should have employed the influence of their position for the people's welfare, made "gain" their sole aim.

wolves—notorious for fierce and ravening cruelty (Mic 3:2, 3, 9-11; Joh 10:12).

28. Referring to the false assurances of peace with which the prophets flattered the people, that they should not submit to the king of Babylon (see on Eze 13:10; Eze 21:29; Jer 6:14; 23:16, 17; 27:9, 10).

29. The people—put last, after the mention of those in office. Corruption had spread downwards through the whole community.

wrongfully—that is, "without cause," gratuitously, without the stranger proselyte giving any just provocation; nay, he of all others being one who ought to have been won to the worship of Jehovah by kindness, instead of being alienated by oppression; especially as the Israelites were commanded to remember that they themselves had been "strangers in Egypt" (Ex 22:21; 23:9).

30. the hedge—the wall (see on Eze 13:5); image for leading the people to repentance.

the gap—the breach (Ps 106:23); image for interceding between the people and God (Ge 20:7; Ex 32:11; Nu 16:48).

I found none—(Jer 5:1)—not that literally there was not a righteous man in the city. For Jeremiah, Baruch, &c., were still there; but Jeremiah had been forbidden to pray for the people (Jer 11:14), as being doomed to wrath. None now, of the godly, knowing the desperate state of the people, and God's purpose as to them, was willing longer to interpose between God's wrath and them. And none "among them," that is, among those just enumerated as guilty of such sins (Eze 22:25-29), was morally able for such an office.

31. their own way … recompensed upon their heads—(Eze 9:10; 11:21; 16:43; Pr 1:31; Isa 3:11; Jer 6:19).




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