EZEKIEL CHAPTER 7.
The Final Destruction of Israel.
THE APPROACHING RUIN. — V. 1. Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, v. 2. Also, thou son of man, the direct address distinguishing this communication from those intended for the people in general, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel, the home of the covenant people, An end, that which terminates the long-suffering of God toward the whole of Judea, the end, that now definitely fixed, is come upon the four corners of the land, to its extreme boundaries, throughout its borders. V. 3. Now is the end come upon thee, the entire land of the covenant nation, and I will send Mine anger upon thee and will judge thee according to thy ways, the manner of conduct in all its forms, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations, so that they would be duly repaid upon their heads. V. 4. And Mine eye shall not spare thee, in any form of compassion, neither will I have pity, such as an indulgent father might have been tempted to show; but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee, manifest to all in their consequences, the divine punishments; and ye shall know, as the punishment struck them in strict accordance with the Lord’s prophecy, that I am the Lord, the evidence offered being sufficient and conclusive. V. 5. Thus saith the Lord God, An evil, an only evil, behold, is come, a peculiar calamity such as had never been heard of before, unparalleled in the history of the world. V. 6. An end is come, the end is come, literally, “An end cometh, there cometh the end,” its absolute certainty thus being brought out; it watcheth for thee, awaking from its slumber, as it were, to pounce upon its victim; behold, it is come. V. 7. The morning is come unto thee, the turn of events, the destiny, the fate allotted them, O thou that dwellest in the land, all its inhabitants. The time is come, the period which completes the time set by God; the day of trouble is near and not the sounding again of the mountains, literally, “tumult and not joyous shouting on the mountains,” such as was the rule when the harvest was gathered in the vineyards. The time of such untroubled happiness was past. V. 8. Now will I shortly pour out My fury upon thee, as from an overturned vessel, and accomplish Mine anger upon thee, in the fierceness of His punishment; and I will judge thee according to thy ways and will recompense thee for all thine abominations, the repetition of this statement making it the more emphatic. V. 9. And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth. The true God is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the sinners upon them with a sharp reckoning.
THE RUIN ACCOMPLISHED. — V. 10. Behold the day, that of the final reckoning, behold, it is come; the morning is gone forth, the destined calamity has arisen; the rod hath blossomed, pride bath budded, the powers of vengeance maturing for the purpose of performing the Lord’s punishment upon the covenant people. V. 11. Violence, namely, that of the conquering Chaldeans, is risen up into a rod of wickedness, namely, to carry out the punishment upon the wicked; none of them shall remain, the inhabitants being either slaughtered or carried into captivity, nor of their multitude, noisy and boisterous though they formerly were, nor of any of theirs, of their riches or possessions; neither shall there be wailing for them, literally, “neither is there anything glorious among them,” anything of which they might feel justly proud. V. 12. The time is come, the day draweth near. Let not the buyer rejoice, on account of a bargain which he made, nor the seller mourn, over the loss of property which he would gladly have retained; for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof, the Lord’s judgment striking them all in the same manner. V. 13. For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, since all laws regarding the return of property would be annulled by Israel’s removal from the land, although they were yet alive, literally, “even were their life still among the living,” at the time when, according to ancient regulations, the seller might regain possession of his property; for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return, that is, the vision vouchsafed by the Lord to his prophet is against the entire mass of the people and will not be changed, neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life, that is, possession should be withdrawn from the whole nation, because no evil person should, by committing wickedness, be strengthened in his life and thus he enabled to withstand the enemy. V. 14. They, the Jews, the people of the covenant nation, have blown the trumpet, as though preparing for battle, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle, their courage having been taken from them by the Lord’s judgment; for My wrath is upon all the multitude thereof, and their timidity is the consequence of His anger. V.15. The sword is without, in the persons of the invaders, and the pestilence and the famine within, so that the attack of the Lord comes from both sides; he that is in the field, out in the line of battle, shall die with the sword, and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him, so that no one may escape the punishment of the Lord. V. 16. But they that escape of them shall escape and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, driven from their natural habitat, far removed from their nests, all of them mourning, making known their sorrow, their feeling of pain and grief, every one for his iniquity. The mournful cry of the dove is a fitting comparison at this point, the mixing of figure and reality tending to increase the emphasis. V. 17. All hands shall be feeble, on account of the weakness brought about by terror and the feeling of disgrace, and all knees shall be weak as water, their strength being taken from them, so that they refuse to stand up and remain firm. V. 18. They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, as a sign of deep mourning, and horror shall cover them, surrounding them like a garment; and shame shall be upon all faces, as a result of their finally realizing their iniquity, and baldness upon all their heads, as they pluck out their hair in the depth of their mourning. V. 19. They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed, they themselves discarding the precious metals which they possessed as having now lost all their value, as being loathsome, in fact, in view of the abuses to which they had been put; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord; cp. 1 Pet. 1, 18. They shall not satisfy their souls, so that their lives would be spared, neither fill their bowels, in providing the necessaries of life, their money being unable to procure for them either deliverance from the sword or deliverance from a death by hunger, because it, their wealth, is the stumbling-block of their iniquity, the cause of many of their transgressions. V. 20. As for the beauty of his ornament, the riches with which Israel was endowed, with which he might adorn himself, he set it in majesty, he turned it to the service of pride; but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein, that is, out of the gold and silver given them by God the children of Israel made idols, loathsome things in the sight of Jehovah; therefore have I set it far from them, He had removed their wealth, their gold and silver, and also their Temple, from them, so that they could no longer defile it with their abominations. V. 21. And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, to the invaders, to use as they saw fit, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil, the Babylonians, of course, taking advantage of their victory to the full, and they shall pollute it, both the Temple and all the wealth captured by them. V. 22. My face will I turn also from them, from the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and they, the invaders, shall pollute My secret place, namely, the treasury of the Sanctuary, which was profaned by the Chaldeans as they took it to Babylon; for the robbers shall enter into it and defile it. V. 23. Make a chain, forging fetters for the inhabitants of the land; for the land is full of bloody crimes, of blood-guiltiness, and the city, namely, Jerusalem, is full of violence. V. 24. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, those who excelled in transgressions as they invaded the land of Israel, and they shall possess their houses, occupying them for themselves; I will also make the pomp of the strong, the might of Israel wherein they trusted, to cease, and their holy places, which the Lord will no longer accept as consecrated to Him, shall be defiled. V. 25. Destruction cometh, literally, “contraction,” to emphasize the force of the blow to be delivered; and they shall seek peace, making every attempt to find deliverance from the impending calamities, and there shall be none. V. 26. Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumor shall be upon rumor, one blow following the other; cp. Matt. 24, 6. Then, when it is really too late, shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the Law shall perish from the priest and counsel from the ancients, that is, they would seek advice in vain, their very leaders having their understanding dulled. V. 27. The king shall mourn, as the ruler of the nation, and the prince, the heads of the smaller divisions in the nation, shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land, that is, of the nation as such, shall be troubled, trembling with terror. I will do unto them after their way, according to their behavior, and according to their deserts will I judge them, as they deserved by their misdeeds; and they shall know that I am the Lord, this fact being impressed upon them with special force by the Lord’s punishment upon the whole nation. If people will not heed the Lord’s Word and will with ready obedience, His punishment will call their attention to the fact of His sovereignty.