World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
Judgment on Idolatrous Israel
The word of the Lord came to me: 2O mortal, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, 3and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I, I myself will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. 4Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense stands shall be broken; and I will throw down your slain in front of your idols. 5I will lay the corpses of the people of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6Wherever you live, your towns shall be waste and your high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined, your idols broken and destroyed, your incense stands cut down, and your works wiped out. 7The slain shall fall in your midst; then you shall know that I am the Lord.
8 But I will spare some. Some of you shall escape the sword among the nations and be scattered through the countries. 9Those of you who escape shall remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I was crushed by their wanton heart that turned away from me, and their wanton eyes that turned after their idols. Then they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations. 10And they shall know that I am the Lord; I did not threaten in vain to bring this disaster upon them.
11 Thus says the Lord God: Clap your hands and stamp your foot, and say, Alas for all the vile abominations of the house of Israel! For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. 12Those far off shall die of pestilence; those nearby shall fall by the sword; and any who are left and are spared shall die of famine. Thus I will spend my fury upon them. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountain tops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak, wherever they offered pleasing odor to all their idols. 14I will stretch out my hand against them, and make the land desolate and waste, throughout all their settlements, from the wilderness to Riblah. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.
Eze 6:1-14. Continuation of the Same Subject.
2. mountains of Israel—that is, of Palestine in general. The mountains are addressed by personification; implying that the Israelites themselves are incurable and unworthy of any more appeals; so the prophet sent to Jeroboam did not deign to address the king, but addressed the altar (1Ki 13:2). The mountains are specified as being the scene of Jewish idolatries on "the high places" (Eze 6:3; Le 26:30).
3. rivers—literally, the "channels" of torrents. Rivers were often the scene and objects of idolatrous worship.
4. images—called so from a Hebrew root, "to wax hot," implying the mad ardor of Israel after idolatry [Calvin]. Others translate it, "sun images"; and so in Eze 6:6 (see 2Ki 23:11; 2Ch 34:4; Isa 17:8, Margin).
cast your slain men before your idols—The foolish objects of their trust in the day of evil should witness their ruin.
5. carcasses … before … idols—polluting thus with the dead bones of you, the worshippers, the idols which seemed to you so sacrosanct.
6. your works—not gods, as you supposed, but the mere work of men's hands (Isa 40:18-20).
7. ye shall know that I am the Lord—and not your idols, lords. Ye shall know Me as the all-powerful Punisher of sin.
9. they that escape of you shall remember me—The object of God's chastisements shall at last be effected by working in them true contrition. This partially took place in the complete eradication of idolatry from the Jews ever since the Babylonian captivity. But they have yet to repent of their crowning sin, the crucifixion of Messiah; their full repentance is therefore future, after the ordeal of trials for many centuries, ending with that foretold in Zec 10:9; 13:8, 9; 14:1-4, 11. "They shall remember me in far countries" (Eze 7:16; De 30:1-8).
I am broken with their whorish heart—Fairbairn translates, actively, "I will break" their whorish heart; English Version is better. In their exile they shall remember how long I bore with them, but was at last compelled to punish, after I was "broken" (My long-suffering wearied out) by their desperate (Nu 15:39) spiritual whorishness [Calvin], (Ps 78:40; Isa 7:13; 43:24; 63:10).
11. Gesticulations vividly setting before the hearers the greatness of the calamity about to be inflicted. In indignation at the abominations of Israel extend thine hand towards Judea, as if about to "strike," and "stamp," shaking off the dust with thy foot, in token of how God shall "stretch out His hand upon them," and tread them down (Eze 6:14; Eze 21:14).
12. He that is far off—namely, from the foe; those who in a distant exile fear no evil.
he that remaineth—he that is left in the city; not carried away into captivity, nor having escaped into the country. Distinct from "he that is near," namely, those outside the city who are within reach of "the sword" of the foe, and so fall by it; not by "famine," as those left in the city.