Ezekiel Part 2: Signs & Messages of Judgement (Chapters 4-7)
Ezek. 4:1 ¶ ³Now you son of man, get yourself a brick, place it before you and inscribe a city on it, Jerusalem.
Ezek. 4:2 ³Then lay siege against it, build a siege wall, raise up a ramp, pitch camps and place battering rams against it all around.
Ezek. 4:3 ³Then get yourself an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city, and set your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This is a sign to the house of Israel.
Ezek. 4:4 ¶ ³As for you, lie down on your left side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; you shall bear their iniquity for the number of days that you lie on it.
Ezek. 4:5 ³For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
Ezek. 4:6 ³When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year.
Ezek. 4:7 ³Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it.
Ezek. 4:8 ³Now behold, I will put ropes on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.
Ezek. 4:9 ¶ ³But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.
Ezek. 4:10 ³Your food which you eat shall be twenty shekels a day by weight; you shall eat it from time to time.
Ezek. 4:11 ³The water you drink shall be the sixth part of a hin by measure; you shall drink it from time to time.
Ezek. 4:12 ³You shall eat it as a barley cake, having baked it in their sight over human dung.²
Ezek. 4:13 Then the LORD said, ³Thus will the sons of Israel eat their bread unclean among the nations where I will banish them.²
Ezek. 4:14 But I said, ³Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I have never been defiled; for from my youth until now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has any unclean meat ever entered my mouth.²
Ezek. 4:15 Then He said to me, ³See, I will give you cow¹s dung in place of human dung over which you will prepare your bread.²
Ezek. 4:16 Moreover, He said to me, ³Son of man, behold, I am going to break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they will eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and drink water by measure and in horror,
Ezek. 4:17 because bread and water will be scarce; and they will be appalled with one another and waste away in their iniquity.
Ezek. 5:1 ¶ ³As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and use it as a barber¹s razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair.
Ezek. 5:2 ³One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.
Ezek. 5:3 ³Take also a few in number from them and bind them in the edges of your robes.
Ezek. 5:4 ³Take again some of them and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.
Ezek. 5:5 ¶ ³Thus says the Lord GOD, This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her.
Ezek. 5:6 But she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes.¹
Ezek. 5:7 ³Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you,¹
Ezek. 5:8 therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations.
Ezek. 5:9 And because of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again.
Ezek. 5:10 Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind.
Ezek. 5:11 So as I live,¹ declares the Lord GOD, surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare.
Ezek. 5:12 One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.
Ezek. 5:13 ¶ Thus My anger will be spent and I will satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be appeased; then they will know that I, the LORD, have spoken in My zeal when I have spent My wrath upon them.
Ezek. 5:14 Moreover, I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations which surround you, in the sight of all who pass by.
Ezek. 5:15 So it will be a reproach, a reviling, a warning and an object of horror to the nations who surround you when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath and raging rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken.
Ezek. 5:16 When I send against them the deadly arrows of famine which were for the destruction of those whom I will send to destroy you, then I will also intensify the famine upon you and break the staff of bread.
Ezek. 5:17 Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; plague and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the LORD, have spoken.¹²
Ezek. 6:1 ¶ And the word of the LORD came to me saying,
Ezek. 6:2 ³Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them
Ezek. 6:3 and say, Mountains of Israel, listen to the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains, the hills, the ravines and the valleys: ³Behold, I Myself am going to bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places.
Ezek. 6:4 ³So your altars will become desolate and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will make your slain fall in front of your idols.
Ezek. 6:5 ³I will also lay the dead bodies of the sons of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars.
Ezek. 6:6 ³In all your dwellings, cities will become waste and the high places will be desolate, that your altars may become waste and desolate, your idols may be broken and brought to an end, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be blotted out.
Ezek. 6:7 ³The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the LORD.
Ezek. 6:8 ¶ ³However, I will leave a remnant, for you will have those who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered among the countries.
Ezek. 6:9 ³Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations.
Ezek. 6:10 ³Then they will know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would inflict this disaster on them.²¹
Ezek. 6:11 ¶ ³Thus says the Lord GOD, Clap your hand, stamp your foot and say, ³Alas, because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel, which will fall by sword, famine and plague!
Ezek. 6:12 ³He who is far off will die by the plague, and he who is near will fall by the sword, and he who remains and is besieged will die by the famine. Thus will I spend My wrath on them.
Ezek. 6:13 ³Then you will know that I am the LORD, when their slain are among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, under every green tree and under every leafy oakthe places where they offered soothing aroma to all their idols.
Ezek. 6:14 ³So throughout all their habitations I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land more desolate and waste than the wilderness toward Diblah; thus they will know that I am the LORD.²¹²
Ezek. 7:1 ¶ Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me saying,
Ezek. 7:2 ³And you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel, An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land.
Ezek. 7:3 Now the end is upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways and bring all your abominations upon you.
Ezek. 7:4 For My eye will have no pity on you, nor will I spare you, but I will bring your ways upon you, and your abominations will be among you; then you will know that I am the LORD!¹
Ezek. 7:5 ¶ ³Thus says the Lord GOD, A disaster, unique disaster, behold it is coming!
Ezek. 7:6 An end is coming; the end has come! It has awakened against you; behold, it has come!
Ezek. 7:7 Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come, the day is neartumult rather than joyful shouting on the mountains.
Ezek. 7:8 Now I will shortly pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you; judge you according to your ways and bring on you all your abominations.
Ezek. 7:9 My eye will show no pity nor will I spare. I will repay you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst; then you will know that I, the LORD, do the smiting.
Ezek. 7:10 ¶ Behold, the day! Behold, it is coming! Your doom has gone forth; the rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed.
Ezek. 7:11 Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness. None of them shall remain, none of their people, none of their wealth, nor anything eminent among them.
Ezek. 7:12 The time has come, the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice nor the seller mourn; for wrath is against all their multitude.
Ezek. 7:13 Indeed, the seller will not regain what he sold as long as they both live; for the vision regarding all their multitude will not be averted, nor will any of them maintain his life by his iniquity.
Ezek. 7:14 ¶ They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but no one is going to the battle, for My wrath is against all their multitude.
Ezek. 7:15 The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city.
Ezek. 7:16 Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, each over his own iniquity.
Ezek. 7:17 All hands will hang limp and all knees will become like water.
Ezek. 7:18 They will gird themselves with sackcloth and shuddering will overwhelm them; and shame will be on all faces and baldness on all their heads.
Ezek. 7:19 They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling.
Ezek. 7:20 They transformed the beauty of His ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things with it; therefore I will make it an abhorrent thing to them.
Ezek. 7:21 I will give it into the hands of the foreigners as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they will profane it.
Ezek. 7:22 I will also turn My face from them, and they will profane My secret place; then robbers will enter and profane it.
Ezek. 7:23 ¶ Make the chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence.
Ezek. 7:24 Therefore, I will bring the worst of the nations, and they will possess their houses. I will also make the pride of the strong ones cease, and their holy places will be profaned.
Ezek. 7:25 When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none.
Ezek. 7:26 Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be added to rumor; then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law will be lost from the priest and counsel from the elders.
Ezek. 7:27 The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the LORD.¹²
;hDtwøa h¶D;tAtÎn×w hYÎnEbVl ÔKVl_jåq ÐMdDa_NRb h§D;tAa×w Ezek. 4:1
:MÊ`DlDvwr×y_tRa ryIo Dhy¢RlDo ¶Dtwø;qAj×w ÔKy¡RnDpVl
¶D;tVkApDv×w qY´y;d ÐDhyÐRlDo Dty§InDbw rw#øxDm Dhy%RlDo h°D;tAtÎn×w Ezek. 4:2
MyäîrD;k Dhy¶RlDo_MyIc×w twöønSjAm DhyªRlDo h°D;tAtÎn×w h¡DlVláOs DhyRlDo
ryâîq Ð;hDtwøa h§D;tAtÎn×w lYzrA;b tAbSjAm ÐÔKVl_jåq h§D;tAa×w Ezek. 4:3
h§Dt×yDh×w Dhy%RlEa ÔKy½nDÚp_tRa ·hDtOnyIkShÅw ry¡IoDh NyEbw äÔK×nyE;b lYzrA;b
s :l`EarVcy ty¶EbVl ayIh twñøa Dhy$RlDo D;trAx×w ÐrwøxD;mAb
NñOwSo_tRa ¢D;tVmAc×w y$IlaDmVÚcAh ÔK;dIx_lAo ÐbAkVv h§D;tAa×w Ezek. 4:4
aDÚcI;t wy$DlDo bA;kVvI;t rRvSa ÐMyImÎ¥yAh r§AÚpVsIm wy¡DlDo lEarVcy_ty`E;b
My$ImÎy rAÚpVsImVl MYÎnOwSo yEnVv_tRa ÐÔKVl y`I;t§AtÎn yGnSaÅw Ezek. 4:5
:l`EarVcy_ty`E;b NñOwSo DtaDcÎn×w Mwóøy MyIoVvIt×w twñøaEm_v ølVv
ynwøm×yAh ôÔK;dIx_lAo %D;tVbAk°Dv×w hR;l#Ea_tRa DtyI;lIk×w Ezek. 4:6
MwYøy MyIoD;brAa hódwh×y_tyE;b NâOwSo_tRa DtaDcÎn×w tyYnEv [ÐynDm×y][Ah]
:JK`Dl wy¶I;tAt×n hDnDÚvAl Mwñøy h¢DnDÚvAl Mw¬øy
h¡DpwcSj äÔKSoOr×záw ÔKyYnDÚp NyIkD;t ÐMÊÐAlDvwr×y rwôøxVm_lRa×w Ezek. 4:7
ÐÔK;dIx`Im JK§EpDhEt_aáøl×w My¡ItwøbSo ÔKyRlDo yI;t¶AtÎn h¢EnIh×w Ezek. 4:8
:ÔKá®rwxVm y¶Em×y äÔKVtwø;lA;k_dAo ÔK$®;dIx_lRa
NAjêOd×w My%IvdSoÅw lw°øpw MyîrOoVcwþ Ny&IÚfIj &ÔKVl_jåq hD;tAa×w Ezek. 4:9
äÔKVl M¢Dtwøa DtyªIcDo×w d$DjRa yIlVkI;b ÐMDtwøa h§D;tAtÎn×w My#ImV;sUk×w
#ÔK;dIx_l`Ao bEkwøv hD;tAa_rRvSa My%ImÎ¥yAh r°AÚpVsIm MRj¡DlVl
:wn`RlSkaø;t Mwäøy My¢IoVvIt×w tw¬øaEm_v ølVv
l®qRv MyñîrVcRo lwðøqVvImV;b wn$RlSkaø;t rRvSa ÐÔKVl`DkSaAmw Ezek. 4:10
:wn`RlSkaø;t tEo_dAo t¶EoEm Mwóø¥yAl
t¶EoEm Ny¡IhAh tyIÚvIv hR;tVvIt hñrwcVmI;b My¢Amw Ezek. 4:11
tAaEx ÐyElVl`RgV;b ay#Ih×w hÎn¡RlSkaáø;t MyäîrOoVc t¶AgUo×w Ezek. 4:12
s :M`Rhy´nyEoVl hÎnRgUoV;t M$dDa`Dh
l¢EarVcy_y`EnVb w¬lVkaøy hDkD;k hYÎwh×y rRmaâø¥yÅw Ezek. 4:13
:M`Dv MEjyî;dAa r¶RvSa MÁywøgA;b a¡EmDf MDmVjAl_tRa
h¡DaD;mUfVm aâøl yIvVpÅn h¶EnIh hYwh×y yDnOdSa Ð;hDhSa r#AmOaÎw Ezek. 4:14
a¶Db_aøl×w hD;t$Ao_dAo×w yâårwo×nIm ÐyI;tVlÐAkDa_aáøl h§DpérVfw h°DlEb×nw
s :lwágIÚp r¶AcV;b yIpV;b
[yEoyIpVx] yEowpVx_tRa ÐÔKVl y`I;t§AtÎn h#Ear y$AlEa rRmaâø¥yÅw Ezek. 4:15
s :M`RhyElSo äÔKVmVjAl_t`Ra Dty¶IcDo×w MódDa`Dh yElVlg tAjA;t r$qD;bAh
ÐMRjÐRl_hEÚfAm r§EbOv y½n×nIh ÐMdDa_NR;b y#AlEa rRmaâø¥yÅw Ezek. 4:16
hñrwcVmI;b MyðAmw h¡DgDadIbw läqVvImV;b MRj¶Rl_wlVkDa×w MÊ$AlDvwêryI;b
wy$IjDa×w vyIa Ðw;mÐAvÎn×w My¡DmÎw MRjRl wërVsVjÅy NAo¶AmVl Ezek. 4:17
p :M`DnOwSoA;b w;qAmÎn×w
ÐMyIbD;lÅgAh rAo§A;t h#;dAj b®rRj ÔKVl_jåq M%dDa_NRb h°D;tAa×w Ezek. 5:1
öÔKVl ¶D;tVjåqDl×w ÔK¡Rnq×z_lAo×w äÔKVvaør_lAo ¶D;trAbSoAh×w JK$D;l hÎnRj;qI;t
:M`D;tVqA;lIj×w läqVvIm y¶En×zaøm
yEm×y taäølVmI;k ry$IoDh JKwâøtV;b ÐryIoVbA;t rwôaD;b ty#IvIlVv Ezek. 5:2
Dhy$RtwøbyIbVs Ðb®rÐRjAb h§R;kA;t ty#IvIlVÚvAh_tRa D;tVjåqèDl×w rwóøxD;mAh
:M`RhyérSjAa qyñîrDa b®rRj×w Ajw$rDl hâ®r×zI;t ÐtyIvIlVÚvAh×w
:ÔKy`RpÎnVkI;b MDtwøa ¶D;trAx×w r¡DÚpVsImV;b fAoVm MDÚvIm ¶D;tVjåqDl×w Ezek. 5:3
v$EaDh JKwâø;t_lRa ÐMDtwøa §D;tVkAlVvIh×w j$;qI;t dwâøo ÐMRhEmw Ezek. 5:4
:l`EarVcy ty¶E;b_lD;k_lRa vEa_aExEt wn¶R;mIm v¡EaD;b MDtOa ¶D;tVpårDc×w
MIywøgAh JKwñøtV;b MÊ$AlDvwêr×y taøz£ hYwOh×y yDnOdSa ÐrAmDa hôO;k Ezek. 5:5
:twáøxrSa DhyRtwøbyIbVsw Dhy¡I;tVmAc
MYywøgAh_NIm ÐhDoVvîrVl y§AfDÚpVvIm_tRa rRm°R;tÅw Ezek. 5:6
ÐyAfDÚpVvImVb y§I;k Dhy¡RtwøbyIbVs rRvSa twäøxrSaDh_NIm y$Atwø;qUj_t°Ra×w
s :M`RhDb wñkVlDh_aøl yAtwø;qUj×w ws$DaDm
ÐMywøgAh_NIm ÐMRk×nDmSh NAo§Ay hGwh×y yDnOdSa rAmDa_háO;k NÞEkDl Ezek. 5:7
aâøl yAfDÚpVvIm_tRa×w M$R;tVkAlSh aâøl ÐyAtwø;qUjV;b M$RkyEtwáøbyIbVs rRvSa
s :M`RtyIcSo añøl MRkyEtwøbyIbVs r¶RvSa M¢IywøgAh yªEfVÚpVvImVkáw M¡RtyIcSo
yn¡Da_MÅg JKyAlDo y¶In×nIh hYwh×y yDnOdSa ÐrAmDa hôO;k N#EkDl Ezek. 5:8
:M`IywøgAh y¶EnyEoVl MyIfDÚpVvIm JK¢EkwøtVb yItyªIcDo×w
t¢Ea×w yIty$IcDo_aáøl rRvSa tEa£ JK#Db yItyIcDo×w Ezek. 5:9
s :JKy`DtObSowø;t_lD;k NAoAy dwóøo whäOmDk h¶RcToRa_aáøl_r`RvSa
wâlVkaøy MyInDbw JK$EkwøtV;b ÐMynDb wôlVkaøy twÞøbDa N#EkDl Ezek. 5:10
JKEtyîrEaVv_lD;k_tRa y¶Ityîr´z×w My$IfDpVv ÐJKDb yIty§IcDo×w M¡DtwøbSa
NAoÅyï a#øl_MIa ~hwh×y yDnOdSa ¤MUa×n yn#Da_yAj NEkDl Ezek. 5:11
JKy¡DtObSowø;t_lDkVbw JKyAxw;qIv_lDkV;b ta$E;mIf yIv;dVqIm_tRa
:lwáømVjRa añøl yInSa_MÅg×w yYnyEo swâøjDt_aøl×w Ðoår×gRa y§InSa_MÅg×w
JK$EkwøtVb wâlVky ÐbDor`Dbw wtw#mÎy rRbâ®;dA;b JKyÞEtIvIlVv Ezek. 5:12
Ajwêr_lDkVl ÐtyIvyIlVÚvAh×w JKy¡DtwøbyIbVs wâlVÚpy b®rRjA;b ty$IvIlVÚv°Ah×w
:M`RhyérSjAa qyñîrDa b®rRj×w h$®rÎzTa
wÞodÎy`Vw yI;tVm¡DjnIh×w MD;b y¢ItDmSj yªItwøjnShÅw y#IÚpAa hDlDk×w Ezek. 5:13
:M`D;b yItDmSj y¶Itwø;lAkV;b y$ItDa×nIqV;b ÐyI;trÐA;bî;d hGÎwh×y yInSa_yI;k
rRvSa MIywøgA;b h$DÚprRjVlw hD;brDjVl ÐJK´nV;tRa×w Ezek. 5:14
:r`Ebwøo_lD;k yEnyEoVl JKy¡DtwøbyIbVs
MIywøgAl h$D;mAvVmw rDswm ÐhDpwd×gw h§DÚprRj h%Dt×y°Dh`Vw Ezek. 5:15
ÐhDmEjVbw P§AaV;b My%IfDpVv JK°Db ·yItwøcSoA;b JKy¡DtwøbyIbVs rRvSa
:yI;tr`A;bî;d hDwh×y y¶InSa h$DmEj twâøjVkOtVbw
wâyDh rRvSa ÐMRhD;b My§IorDh b°DorDh ·yExIj_tRa y&IjV;lAv`V;b Ezek. 5:16
PEsOa ÐbDor×w M¡RkVtRj`AvVl MDtwøa j¶A;lAvSa_rRvSa ty$IjVvAmVl
:MRj`Dl_hEÚfAm MRkDl y¶I;trAbDv×w M$RkyElSo
rRbñ®d×w JK$UlV;kIv×w ÐhDor h§D¥yAj×w bÞDor MRkyElSoþ yI;tVjA;lIv×w Ezek. 5:17
p :yI;tr`A;bî;d hDwh×y y¶InSa JKy$AlDo ayIbDa Ðb®rÐRj×w JK¡D;b_rDbSoÅy MädÎw
:ráOmaEl y¶AlEa hDwh×y_rAbd y¶Ih×yÅw Ezek. 6:1
aEbÎnIh×w l¡EarVcy yâérDh_lRa ÔKyRnDÚp My¶Ic MðdDa_NR;b Ezek. 6:2
h¡Iwh×y yDnOdSa_rAb;d wäoVmIv l$EarVcy ÐyérDh $D;trAmDa×w Ezek. 6:3
tOyDa´gAl×w MyâîqyIpSaDl tw%øoDb×gAl×w My°îrDhRl hwh×yþ yDnOdSa rAmDa_hO;k
yI;tdA;bIa×w b®r$Rj ÐMRkyElSo ay§IbEm ynSa y½n×nIh [twGøyDa´g][Al][×w]
ÐyI;tVlAÚpIh×w M¡Rky´n`D;mAj wërV;bVvn×w M$RkyEtwâøjV;b×zIm Ðw;mÐAvÎn×w Ezek. 6:4
:M`RkyElw;lg yEnVpIl M$RkyElVlAj
M¡RhyElwá;lg yEnVpIl l$EarVcy yEnV;b Ðyér×gIÚp_tRa y#I;tAtÎn×w Ezek. 6:5
:M`RkyEtwøjV;b×zIm twäøbyIbVs M$RkyEtwâømVxAo_tRa ÐyItyîr´z×w
twäømD;bAh×w hÎnVb$årTjR;t MyâîrDoRh M$RkyEtwâøbVvwøm Ð lOkV;b Ezek. 6:6
wûrV;bVvn×w M#RkyEtwáøjV;b×zIm w%mVvVay×w w°brRjy ·NAoAmVl hÎnVm¡DvyI;t
:M`RkyEcSoAm wäjVmn×w M$Rky´nD;mAj Ðwo;d×gn×w M$RkyElwâ;lg ÐwtV;bVvn×w
:h`Dwh×y y¶InSa_y`I;k MR;tVoådy`Iw M¡RkVkwáøtV;b lDlDj l¶ApÎn×w Ezek. 6:7
M¡IywøgA;b b®rRj yEfy¶IlVÚp M¢RkDl twñøyVhI;b y#I;trAtwøh×w Ezek. 6:8
~MDv_w;bVvn rRvSa ¤MywøgA;b y#Itwøa M%RkyEfy`IlVp w°rVkÎz×w Ezek. 6:9
ÐtEa×w y$AlDo`Em ÐrDs_rRvSa hGnwøzAh MD;bIl_tRa yI;tr%A;bVvn r°RvSa
M$Rhy´nVpI;b ÐwÚfOqÎn×w M¡RhyElwá;lg yäérSjAa twÁønOzAh M$Rhy´ny`Eo
:M`RhyEtObSowø;t läOkVl w$cDo rRvSa Ðtwøor`Dh_lRa
yI;tr$A;bî;d ÐMÎnIj_lRa aôøl h¡Dwh×y yInSa_y`I;k wäodÎy×w Ezek. 6:10
p :taáøzAh h¶DorDh MRhDl twñøcSoAl
oôåqrw %ÔKVÚpAkVb h°E;kAh hGwh×y yDnOdSa rÞAmDa_háO;k Ezek. 6:11
l¡EarVcy tyE;b twäøor twñøbSowø;t_lD;k l¢Ra j$Da_rDmTa`Rw ÐÔKVl×gårV;b
:wláOÚpy rRbä®;dAbw b¶DorD;b b®r¢RjA;b r#RvSa
lw$øÚpy b®rRjA;b Ðbwør;qAh×w tw#mÎy rRbâ®;dA;b qwÞøjrDh Ezek. 6:12
:M`D;b yItDmSj y¶ItyE;lIk×w twómÎy bDorD;b rw$xÎnAh×w ÐrDaVvnAh×w
ÐJKwøtV;b M#RhyElVlAj twâøyVh`I;b hYÎwh×y yInSa_y`I;k ÐMR;tVoådy`Iw Ezek. 6:13
lâOkV;b h%Dmr h°DoVbg_lD;k · lRa M¡RhyEtwáøjV;b×zIm twäøbyIbVs M$RhyElwâ;lg
h$D;tUbSo hDlEa_lD;k ÐtAjÐAt×w ÐNÎnSoáår X§Eo_lD;k tAj°At×w My#îrDhRh yEvar
:M`RhyElw;lg läOkVl Aj$Ojyn Ajyâér ÐMDv_wnVt`Dn r§RvSa Mw#øqVm
X®r%DaDh_tRa y°I;tAtÎn×w M$RhyElSo ÐyîdÎy_tRa yIty§IfÎn×w Ezek. 6:14
wäodÎy×w M¡RhyEtwáøbVvwøm läOkV;b hDt$DlVbî;d rA;bdI;mIm ÐhD;mAvVmw h§DmDmVv
p :h`Dwh×y y¶InSa_y`I;k
:ráOmaEl y¶AlEa hDwh×y_rAbd y¶Ih×yÅw Ezek. 7:1
t¶AmdAaVl h¢Iwh×y yªDnOdSa rÞAmDa_hO;k M#dDa_NRb hD;tAa×w Ezek. 7:2
:X®r`DaDh twñøp×nA;k [oA;brAa] tAoA;brAa_lAo X$é;qAh aD;b Xóéq lEarVcy
JKyI;tVfApVvw JK$D;b ÐyIÚpAa y§I;tVjA;lIv×w JKy$AlDo Xâé;qAh ÐhD;tAo Ezek. 7:3
:JKy`DtObSowø;t_lD;k tEa JKy$AlDo yI;tAtÎn×w JKy¡DkrdI;k
JKy%Akrd yI;k lwóømVjRa aâøl×w JKyAlDo y¢InyEo swñøjDt_aøl×w Ezek. 7:4
y¶InSa_y`I;k MR;tVoådyw Î NyYyVh`I;t JKEkwøtV;b ÐJKyÐAtwøbSowøt×w N#E;tRa JKyAlDo
:h`DaDb h¶EnIh hDor t¶AjAa h¢Dor h¡Iwh×y yDnOdSa rAmDa hñO;k Ezek. 7:5
:h`DaD;b hEnIh JKy¡DlEa XyâîqEh Xäé;qAh a¶D;b a$D;b Xâéq Ezek. 7:6
t#EoDh aD;b X®r¡DaDh bEvwøy ÔKyRlEa höryIpVxAh hDaªD;b Ezek. 7:7
:MyáîrDh d¶Eh_aøl×w hDmwhVm Mwñø¥yAh bwÿørq
ÐyIÚpAa y§ItyE;lIk×w JKy$AlDo ÐyItDmSj JKwôøÚpVvRa bw#ør;qIm hD;tAo Ezek. 7:8
:JKy`DtwøbSowø;t_lD;k tEa JKy$AlDo yI;tAtÎn×w JKy¡DkrdI;k JKyI;tVfApVvw JK$D;b
JKyAlDo JKy%AkrdI;k lwóømVjRa aâøl×w yInyEo swñøjDt_aøl×w Ezek. 7:9
hDwh×y y¶InSa y¢I;k MðR;tVoådy`Iw Î NyYyVh`I;t JKEkwøtV;b ÐJKyÐAtwøbSowøt×w N#E;tRa
h$RÚfA;mAh XDx£ h$rIpVxAh ÐhDaVx`Dy h¡DaDb hEnIh Mwäø¥yAh h¶EnIh Ezek. 7:10
M¢DnwømShEm a¬øl×w MÞRhEm_aøl oAvó®r_hEÚfAmVl Mäq s¶DmDjRh Ezek. 7:11
:M`RhD;b A;hñOn_aøl×w MRhEmThRm añøl×w
rEkwø;mAh×w j$DmVcy_lAa Ðhnwø;qAh MwYø¥yAh AoyIgIh ÐtEoDh a§D;b Ezek. 7:12
:;h`DnwømSh_lD;k_lRa NwëørDj y¶I;k l¡D;bAaVty_lAa
MyI¥yAjA;b dwñøo×w bw$vÎy aâøl ÐrD;kVmI;mAh_lRa r#Ekwø;mAh yI;k Ezek. 7:13
wöønOwSoA;b vyªIa×w bw$vÎy aâøl Ð;hÎnwømSh_lD;k_lRa NwôøzDj_y`I;k M¡DtÎ¥yAj
:wq`DzAjVty añøl wäøtÎ¥yAj
h¡DmDjVlI;mAl JKElOh Ny¶Ea×w l$O;kAh NyIkDh×w ÐAowÐøqD;tAb wôoVqD;t Ezek. 7:14
:;h`DnwømSh_lD;k_lRa yInwørSj y¶I;k
Ðh®dDÚcA;b r§RvSa ty¡D;bIm bDorDh×w rRbñ®;dAh×w Xw$jA;b b®rRjAh Ezek. 7:15
:wn`RlSkaøy rRbä®dÎw b¶Dor ry$IoD;b rRvSaÅw tw$mÎy b®rRjA;b
yªEnwøyV;k My#îrDhRh_lRa wâyDh×w M$RhyEfyIlVÚp ÐwfVl`Dpw Ezek. 7:16
:wáønOwSoA;b vyIa twóømOh MD;lU;k twöøyDa´gAh
:My`D;m hÎnVk¶AlE;t MyA;krI;b_lDk×w hÎny¡RÚprI;t MyäådÎ¥yAh_lD;k Ezek. 7:17
l§Ra×w twóxD;lAÚp MDtwøa h¶DtV;sIk×w My$I;qAc wêr×gDj×w Ezek. 7:18
:h`Djrq MRhyEvar_lDkVbw h$Dvw;b ÐMynDÚp_lD;k
~hyVh`Iy hâ;dnVl ¤MDbDh×zw wky#IlVvÅy twâøxwjA;b MÞDÚpVsA;k Ezek. 7:19
ÐMDvVpÅn hYÎwh×y tâårVbRo ÐMwøyV;b M#DlyIxAhVl lAkwy_aáøl M%DbDh×zw M°DÚpVsA;k
:h`DyDh MDnOwSo lwñøvVkIm_y`I;k wa¡E;lAm×y aâøl MRhyEoEmw wo$E;bAc×y aâøl
M¢DtObSowøt yªEmVlAx×w wh$DmDc NwâøaÎgVl ÐwøydRo y§IbVxw Ezek. 7:20
:há;dnVl MRhDl wy¶I;tAt×n N¢E;k_lAo wóøb wcDo MRhyExw;qIv
l¡DlDvVl X®rDaDh y¶EoVvîrVlw z$AbDl ÐMyîrÎzAh_d`AyV;b wy§I;tAt×nw Ezek. 7:21
;h¶Db_waDbw y¡InwpVx_tRa wälV;lIj×w M$RhEm ÐyÅnDp y§Itwø;bIsShÅw Ezek. 7:22
p :DhwálV;lIj×w MyIxyîrDÚp
My$Im;d fAÚpVvIm ÐhDaVl`Dm X®r#DaDh yI;k qwóø;tår`Dh hEcSo Ezek. 7:23
:s`DmDj h¶DaVlDm ryIoDh×w
ÐyI;tA;bVvIh×w M¡RhyE;t`D;b_tRa wävrÎy×w MYywøg yEor ÐyItaEb`Eh×w Ezek. 7:24
:M`RhyEvdáåqVm wälSjn×w MyYzAo Nwâøa×g
:Ny`DaÎw MwäølDv wñvVqIbw a¡Db_hdDpVq Ezek. 7:25
h¡RyVh`I;t hDowmVv_lRa h¶DoUmVvw aw$øbD;t ÐhÎwøh_lAo h§Dwøh Ezek. 7:26
:My`Inéq×zIm hDxEo×w N$EhO;kIm dAbaø;t Ðhrwøt×w ay$IbÎnIm ÐNwøzDj wôvVqIbw
yñédyw h$DmDmVv vA;bVly ÐayIcÎn×w l#D;bAaVty JKRlR;mAh Ezek. 7:27
MRhyEfVÚpVvImVbw ÐMDtwøa h§RcToRa MÞD;krå;dIm hÎnVl¡AhD;bI;t X®rDaDh_MAo
p :h`Dwh×y y¶InSa_y`I;k wäodÎy×w M$EfVÚpVvRa
Ch 4-7: Specific Prophecies of Judgment on Judah: Through
varied and various means the Lord had Ezekiel
communicate to the nation of Judah that catastrophic
destruction was coming upon them because of their
sinful idolatry and the protective presence of the Lord
was gone so that this might occur
1. Prophecies Predicting the Fall of Jerusalem:
Through particular images and messages Jeremiah
proclaimed to the Israel that Jerusalem would
undergo catastrophic destruction because of the
a. Four Signs Concerning the Judgment on
1) The Sign of the Brick--Israel under Siege: 4:1-3
2) The Sign of Laying on His Left and Right Sides--390 years of Iniquity/ 40 Years of Punishment: 4:4-8
3) The Sign of Unclean Food--Scarce, Unclean Bread in Captivity (40 Yearsabove): 4:9-17
4) The Sign of the Shaved Head and Divided HairCatastrophic Destruction on Jerusalem: 5:1-17
b. Two Messages Concerning Judgment on the Land of Israel: 6:1--7:27
1) Message One--Judgment because of Idolatry in Israel: 6:1-14
2) Message Two--Judgment against the People (Land) of Israel Will Be Comprehensive: 7:1-27
Ezekiel Chapter 4-7: Signs & Messages of Judgment
Instead of written prophecies or preached sermons, Ezekiel was directed by God to put on a physical symbolic display of what He intended to do against Israel; the first ³drama ministry.²
4:1-3 The first ³dramatization² is that of the upcoming siege of Jerusalem. Sieges in the ANE were a common way of fighting an enemy that has retreated behind nearly impenetrable walls simply cut them off from any source of resupply and starve them into submission.
The ³clay tablet² used by Ezekiel was a variation of a common ANE pagan form of worship known as ³imitative magic.² Building a model or writing on a soft clay tablet a representation of a person or an object, then doing to the representation whatever you wanted to happen to the person or object in real life would presumably move the pagan gods to do whatever you desired. Ezekiel here is doing precisely the opposite of such ³black magic,² he is moved by God to build such a model and perform actions against the model that are a representation of what God intends to do to Jerusalem. In such, it is a warning to the Israelites, not an attempt to influence God.
4:4-8: Lying on his side, Ezekiel is visually taking in the sins of the Israelites, being ³brought down² by their inequities. The symbolism of the precise number of days he spent lying on his left then his right side is not clear, but it is doubtful he lay as such for the full 24 hours of each day; instead, think of it in terms of, ³Our pastor preached on the Sermon on the Mount for two solid months.² He did not preach night and day for those two months, just the time he spent in the pulpit.
4:7 Ezekiel baring his arm was symbolic of an aggressive action, not lying quietly with his hand folded, but in indication God was going to strike out harshly against the nation of Israel for its sins.
4:9-13 The unusual mix of grains was symbolic of starvation times to come, when food will be short and the people will eat whatever they can get. The small ration of water is also symbolic of this time. The use of dung for fuel was not unusual at all during sieges, as wood was much too precious in that desert clime to burn up for cooking fires.
Alden points out that this situation is a reversal of God¹s promise in Deut 8:3 (³Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord²). God provided manna for his people¹s substance during their trek through the wilderness, but neglect of His word leaves to starvation, either spiritual or in this case, literal.
4:14-15 Meant as a symbolic example of how the Israelites were more concerned about their adherence to their own created rules and regulations than they were to their broken relationship with God. Ezekiel does not see this (he had been trained as a a priest, and ³knee-jerked² reacted in this manner), and God mercifully allows him to maintain his own imagined cleanliness.
4:16 An interesting passage , in the midst of such symbolic gestures, God sees the need to blatantly state what this symbolized, so that it would not be misinterpreted.
4:17 God again clearly states what will happen, as the people will become so guant and horrible in their appearance as a result of starvation that they will be ³appalled² with each other.
5 (all) Shaving the head was a very serious matter for a priest, as this was a sign of their consecration to God (remember Samson?). Again in this chapter, God has Ezekiel perform symbolic actions that he spell out in absolute detail, so the people will know precisely what is to come and why it is coming.
6 (all) The ³high places² refers to the Canaanite pagan alters the Israelites keep returning to, abandoning their relationship with God when they think the going gets too rough or too slow. Every time ³high places² is mentioned in such a context in the OT, it refers to such pagan worship, specifically to the worship of a Baal (not a specific pagan god, but a generic term in the ANE).
Note that the Temple of God (the Tabernacle) is never set on the highest point, but on a flat area higher than the surrounding plain but lower than the peaks.
Ch 7 has six parts:
- 1-4 Judgment announced
- 5-9 Calls for judgment: this is a sort of ³sing-song² staccato style in the Hebrew that is hard to translate into English, using the word ³come² nine times in this short passage
- 10-13 Certainty of judgment
- 14-18 Destruction announced: sackcloth and shaved heads are traditional signs of mourning, but in this case the people will be mourning not their loss of communion with God, but over the destruction and death brought to them as a result of their own actions; like many criminals in court today, they do not grow emotional (cry or rage) because of their own actions, but because they were caught doing them)
- 19-22 Uselessness of physical resources: gold and silver will be useless against the rage of God, and will simply be plundered by the invading armies He is sending. This was a horrible thought to the materialistic culture the Israelites had become. Can you imagine today if all credit cards, bank accounts and such were literally worth nothing overnight?
- 23-27 Fall of Jerusalem announced: Chains are a symbol of the captivity and enslavement awaiting the Israelites.
4:1. clay tablets used for maps. While it is rare to find a clay tablet that contains a map image, there is a Kassite period (fifteenth century B.C.) map of the city of Nippur. It shows canals radiating from the Euphrates River and suggests that these water channels into neighborhoods divided the city. The map shows two parallel lines and indicates three gates and the city walls. Temples and storehouses also are marked on the drawing. A world map was found near the site of Sippar dating to the seventh century B.C. A river surrounds the circular disk of the world, and mountains are drawn at the top of the image. Babylon, Assyria and other cities, regions and nations are identified on the map.
4:2. siege strategies. All of the strategies described here are typical of Assyrian and Babylonian siege engines and techniques. They are often depicted on palace walls in Nineveh and Babylon. See the comments on Jeremiah 6:6 and Isaiah 29:2 for siege works and ramps. Battering rams are sometimes attached to portable towers that are wheeled up to city walls or gates. The glacis, a slope built diagonally against the wall, was constructed to prevent effective use of the ram. Camps were erected all around a city to prevent the escape of the inhabitants. One of the most graphic examples of this still in existence is the remains of the Roman camps built all around the fortress of Masada during the revolt of A.D. 70.
4:3. function of iron pans. The Israelites baked their bread and prepared grain offerings on griddles laid over an open fire or placed into an earthen oven. The rich would have been able to afford copper or iron griddles, while the poor would have used ceramic disks.
4:3. symbolism of iron wall. Iron in earlier periods was counted among the precious metals. Although more commonly used in the sixth century B.C., it still would have been considered a prized object because of its strength and durability. Since Ezekiel is directing the symbolic siege, he must represent God. The iron wall is then understood to be the barrier between God and the people of Jerusalem. It signals that they may expect no help in the coming siege from the Divine Warrior Yahweh.
4:9. ingredients of bread. The items listed here from which Ezekiel is to make his loaf of bread include some common grains (durum wheat, barley and emmer wheat). These grains were part of the diet of all the peoples of the ancient Near East, and there are cognate words in Akkadian and Ugaritic for each of them. Millet is a summer grain. The unusual items in this recipe are beans and lentils. While these vegetables were used for soups and occasionally ground up and mixed with wheat to make a crude bread, that would have been unusual. D. Block suggests plausibly that Ezekiel¹s mixture is symbolic of a siege bread made from whatever could be scraped from the bottom of all of the food bins.
4:10. amount of food. The fact that Ezekiel¹s food has to be weighed out and eaten at a particular time signals that this is the hard rationing that would have been necessary during a siege. Twenty shekels would be equivalent to eight ounces of food. That amount of calories would keep him alive, but it would also significantly weaken him. The weakness of a starvation diet mirrors conditions in Jerusalem.
4:11. amount of water. Water rationing would also be necessary during the siege, since the people would be dependent on the supply in cisterns (see the comment on Jer 38:6) and the pool deriving from the Siloam tunnel. Ezekiel¹s ration is one-sixth of a hin or two-thirds of a quart per day. The extremely hot conditions during the summer and fall of 588 would have severely taxed the besieged people of Jerusalem. Such a small water ration would have further contributed to their misery.
4:12, 15. . fuel for fire. The typical fuel in areas like Mesopotamia and Palestine was dried animal dung or cakes made from the waste pulp of crushed olives. Trees were too precious to be cut for cooking and warming. Ezekiel, however, is horrified when God commands him to cook using human dung, an unclean substance that must be buried away from human habitation (Deut 23:1214). He was a priest and this act would defile him; he simply cannot bring himself to obey. Thus God compromises by allowing him to cook over animal dung.
5:1. sword as razor. A sword would have been an awkward instrument to shave the beard and head. Though ³sword² is the usual translation of this Hebrew word, it can be used for other sharp implements, including axes, daggers and chisels (cf. 26:9 and Josh 5:2). In Ugaritic, an implement described by this word is used to carve roast meat. A general-purpose translation like ³blade² would be preferable. The choice of this word may have been dictated by the desired reference to the use of the sword by the Babylonians to shame and conquer Jerusalem.
5:2. use of hair in offerings. Cutting or shaving the hair is most often associated with rituals of mourning (see comment on Is 15:2). However, when a Nazirite vow has been completed, the law commands that the hair that has been dedicated during the period of the vow is to be cut and placed as a sacrifice in the fire (Num 6:18). In ancient thinking, hair (along with blood) was one of the main representatives of a person¹s life essence. As such it was often an ingredient in sympathetic magic. This is evident, for instance, in the practice of sending along a lock of the presumed prophet¹s hair when the prophecies were sent to the king of Mari. The hair would be used in divination to determine whether the prophet¹s message would be accepted as valid.
5:10. cannibalism. One of the terrible results of a long siege of a walled city was food shortage. It sometimes became so severe that the inhabitants of the city restored to cannibalism (see comment on 2 Kings 6:29). For instance, the Assyrian annals of Ashurbanipal describe his siege of Babylon 650648 B.C. and the desperation of the starving people who were reduced to cannibalism. There are also a number of Mesopotamian treaties that contain a curse that calls for the violator of the treaty to feed on his own family or his own people (as in the Ashurnirari V¹s treaty with Mati¹ilu of Arpad). Biblical versions of this type of curse can be found in Leviticus 26:29 and Deuteronomy 28:5357.
5:17. famine and wild beasts. These two punishments are related only as part of a typical group of punishments that deity is inclined to send (two more, plague and bloodshed, occur in the second half of the verse). As early as the Gilgamesh Epic in Mesopotamia, the god Ea had reprimanded Enlil for not sending lions to ravage the people rather than using something as dramatic as a flood. The gods used wild beasts along with disease, drought and famine to reduce the human population. A common threat connected to negative omens in the Assyrian period was that lions and wolves would rage through the land. In like manner, devastation by wild animals was one of the curses invoked for treaty violation (see also Deut 32:24).
Prophecies of Judgment Against Israel
6:3. high places. See the comment on 1 Samuel 9:12 for these local places of worship often associated with Canaanite or false religious practices.
6:5. bones scattered around altars. There are three significances that combine to give this action meaning. The first concerns the exposure of the corpses of the dead. For the importance of proper burial, see the comments on Joshua 8:29 and 1 Kings 16:4. The second concerns desecration of the holy sites. In Israelite thinking, contact with the dead rendered someone or something unclean. Sacred sites could therefore be permanently contaminated if they were made repositories for that which was unclean (see comment on 2 Kings 10:27). The third significance concerns assigning responsibility for the fate of the Israelites who have perished. Their death is on the heads of these idols and altars that did nothing to save them. For yet one more significance, see the comment on verse 13.
6:11. body language. Gestures and body language take on different meanings in different cultures. In current Western society, clapping hands can be used to show appreciation, to summon subordinates or children, to get someone¹s attention, to accompany music or to express frustration (one clap). There were also several functions in the ancient world. Clapping could be used in praise (Ps 47:1) or applause (2 Kings 11:12), or as a gesture of anger or derision (Num 24:10; Job 27:23). Variations may exist in the precise movement involved: compare the different significations in western culture of (1) striking the palms together parallel to the body on a horizontal plain (applause); (2) slapping the palms together in a roughly vertical movement (frustration); and (3) striking the palms together perpendicular to the body while alternating which hand is on top and which is on bottom (as if knocking the dust off). Ezekiel is instructed by God to perform a series of symbolic gestures (clapping, stomping his foot and uttering an exclamation) that display God¹s wrath. Stomping one¹s foot is often a sign of frustration or anger, as in the Ugaritic Epic of Aqhat. In that tale the hero refuses to give his bow to the goddess Anat, telling her hunting weapons are for men. She is so angry that she violently stamps her foot and goes off in a rush to seek revenge from the gods. The exclamation (NIV: ³Alas²) that is used indicates that someone will get what¹s coming to them (³you¹ll be sorry!²), reinforcing this scene of impending divine punishment.
6:13. slain around altars (provided no sanctuary). False altars can offer no right of sanctuary. Just as God scoffs at those who put their trust in other gods as if in a rock of ³refuge,² (Deut 32:37), now Yahweh denies them the safety ordinarily extended to those who approach or grab hold of the altar (compare 1 Kings 1:5051).
6:13. spreading tree and leafy oak. The degree to which idolatry has spread is emphasized in this reference to cultic shrines beneath the branches of every spreading oak (see the comment on Deut 12:23 on Canaanite ³outdoor shrines²). Hosea 4:13 also uses this image of hilltop and leafy glade as places of idol worship.
6:14. desert to Diblah. The geographic range here, like the more familiar ³from Dan to Beersheba,² expresses God¹s ability to punish the Israelites from one end to the other of their territory. The desert refers to the wilderness around Beersheba. Diblah appears in the Septuagint and is a variant of Riblah, which was in the land of Syro-Hamath just south of Kadesh (2 Kings 23:33). Its mention here may refer to the city¹s use by Nebuchadnezzar. It was the headquarters for his army¹s campaign during his siege of Jerusalem in 588586 B.C.
7:2. four corners. The idea of the whole earth is implied by this reference to the ³four corners² of the land. A similar expression is found in Malachi 1:11 and the royal Phoenician inscription of Azitiwadda (730710 B.C.) from Karatepe. These texts express universal rule and power by referring to the land ³from sunrise to sunset.² The Assyrian annals of Shalmaneser III state that the ³totality of the countries² have been placed in his hands. The phrase used here and elsewhere in Assyrian texts, as in Ezekiel, refers to the four corners of the earth as the king¹s domain.
7:13. seller will not recover land. The extent of the doom pronounced upon the nation is such that even the Jubilee year will not be celebrated (see the comment on Lev 25:855). Ordinarily, property that had been sold to satisfy debts could be redeemed during the Jubilee, thereby restoring the grants of lands that were first made after the conquest (the Code of Hammurabi contain similar clauses regarding redemption of land). Now the ³divine lease² has been revoked, and there will be no economic advantage for buyer or seller in the age of destruction to come.
7:18. sackcloth. Sackcloth, one of the traditional signs of mourning and repentance, was made of goat or camel hair and was coarse and uncomfortable. In many cases the sackcloth was only a loin covering. This custom not only set a person aside with a mark of separation from normal life, but as the sackcloth chaffed the skin, it also served as a continual reminder of the pain of loss.
7:18. shaved heads. Although this practice is condemned in Deuteronomy 14:1 (perhaps as part of the ancestor cultsee the comment on Deut 14:12), shaving the head as a sign of mourning was very common (see Job 1:20 and Jer 48:37). It also occurs as part of the purification ritual for the diseased (Lev 14:89) and in the law of the Nazirite (Num 6:9). In Mesopotamia shaving off half the hair was used as a punishment intended to bring public humiliation.
7:23. chains. Captives are usually depicted in Egyptian and Mesopotamian art bound in chains. This is the case in a relief found in the Ramesseum at Thebes picturing Asiatic, Ethiopian and central African captives being paraded before Rameses II. A similar scene of captive Canaanite and Philistine prisoners is carved into the wall of the mortuary temple of Rameses III at Medinet Habu.
7:24. sanctuaries desecrated. Mention of the desecration of the temple in Jerusalem (Ps 74:7) and of Josiah¹s systematic destruction of the high places throughout his domain and at Bethel (2 Kings 24:815) indicates that sanctuaries were not safe from the hand of avenging or crusading rulers. Ancient texts from Old Babylonian Mari and the Persian period Cyrus Cylinder describe the destruction of temples and the taking of sacred images as ³hostages.² In Ezekiel¹s vision the false altars and shrines erected by the Israelites will now be swept away and destroyed by an avenging God.
7:26. vision, law, counsel as means of deliverance. The prophetic vision offered a message from God that might at times bring encouragement or hope of deliverance. The priest¹s instruction here is possibly ritual instruction intended to point the way toward appeasing divine wrath. The counsel of the elders was believed to be a channel for divine wisdom leading to proper decisions. In a time of upheaval and destruction, the land is left without direction from God or regarding God. All of the traditional means of providing guidance are lost or ineffective (see these groups of counselors in Jer 26:717). Just as the Visions of Neferti, a twentieth-century B.C. Egyptian seer, describe how ³officials no longer administer the land² and ³those who could speak have been expelled,² now Judah faces a future without the counsel needed to plan and make decisions (compare Saul¹s dilemma in 1 Sam 28:6).
4:1-8 He is told to make a small model which would represent Jerusalem under siege. He is to lie, bound up, on his left side for 390 days. During this time he is to bear the sins of Israel. He then has to lie on his right side for 40 days, bearing the sins of Judah. Each day represents a year.
4:9-17 During the 390 days he is to subsist on meagre rations, thus indicating the food scarcity which would hit Jerusalem. He avoids having to defile the food, yet similar defilement would occur when the people of Israel were exiled to foreign nations.
5:1-4 He is told to shave his head and face. When he has finished depicting the siege, he is to burn a third of his hair inside the city. Another third is to be struck by the sword all around the city. The remaining third is to be scattered to the wind. A few strands are to be tucked away in his cloak; a few others are to be burnt.
5:5-17 Jerusalem has rebelled against God¹s laws. Therefore his proclamation is: I am against you, Jerusalem, and will punish you. Because of your idolatry and detestable practices, a third of your people will die of plague or famine inside you. Another third will die by the sword outside your walls. The last third will be dispersed and harried. Then my anger shall cease and they will know that I am the Lord. You will be a warning to other nations when your punishment arrives.¹
Notes. 3:23 The glory of the LORD¹as Ezekiel had seen in 1:28.
25 You will be bound¹cf. 4:8. Ezekiel was tied with ropes during the time he enacted this prophecy.
4:1 Clay tablets¹ or later a brick¹, soft clay tablets were used as writing paper¹.
3 Iron pan¹it could represent the strong grip of the siege.
5 390 days¹attempts have been made to explain them in terms of the length of the exiles: Judah¹s for a generation (about 40 years) 586536 BC, Israel¹s for about 150 years 734580 BC (the LXX reads 190 years, which is taken as the total for both exiles). This is not a satisfying explanation. Perhaps it is better to see the years as representing depth rather than length: Israel¹s unfaithfulness is about ten times worse than Judah¹s.
10-11 Ezekiel¹s rations came to about 200 grams (8 oz) of cereals and 0.6 litres (1 pint) of water. These were meagre amounts, symbolizing the scarcity of food (v 17).
5:1 Shaving the head was a sign of mourning.
17 The four scourges mentioned hereplague, famine, wild beasts and bloodshed (war)recur several times throughout the book.
6:1-14 Prophecy against idolatry in Israel
Although this prophecy is directed against the mountains of Israel the real targets for condemnation are the sanctuaries or high places¹ which were to be found in the mountains. A high place was an openworship site of Canaanite origin. Some of the people used these sites to worship the Lord, but many of the pagan idolatrous practices were retained. The warning is that the impending doom that awaited the city would also hit the surrounding regions. The practitioners of high place worship would not be saved by their idols. Yet the coming events were not just a form of punishment. The expression they will know that I am the LORD¹ is repeated throughout the oracle (vs 7, 10, 13, 14). The worshippers at the high places would come to know which gods were false and which one was real.
Idol worship at the high places was a perennial problem for Israel (cf. 1 Ki. 12:28-33; 2 Ki. 17:9-11). Although Ezekiel would later attack the newer¹ sins acquired by Israel from their neighbours, some of the oracles deal with these older problems. Wrongful practices, even if institutionalized by centuries of tradition in a society, still remain wrong.
1-7 Proclaim to the mountains of Israel: I am about to bring a sword against you. Your high places and other places of worship will be wrecked. Your inhabitants will be slain before their idols. You will then know that I am the LORD.¹
8-10 But some will be spared. In the nations to which they are dispersed, they will remember me and despise themselves for what they have done. They will know that I am the LORD.¹
11-14 Bemoan and lament the wicked practices of Israel, for sword, famine and plague shall overtake them. When the people lie fallen around their idols and shrines, and their land lies waste, then they will know that I am the LORD.¹
Notes. 11 Alas!¹many commentators suggest that there are overtones of scorn or taunting here.
14 From the desert to Diblah¹i.e. throughout the whole of the land.
7:1-27 Warning of imminent disaster for Israel
The sense of urgency in this prophecy is acute. [p. 721] The calamity that was forecast for the land of Israel is about to take place. There is no longer any time to change one¹s mind. War is imminent; Jerusalem will be besieged and its land laid waste.
1-9 Proclaim to the land of Israel: The end is now upon you! There will be no pity. When you have been repaid for your practices you will then know I am the Lord.¹
10-14 The time has come.¹
15-22 Sword, plague and famine await you. Those who survive will be filled with shame and despair. Their wealth will be of no use to themit will be plundered.¹
23-27 The most evil of nations will seize their property. There will be no respite. Even the king will mourn. They will be judged according to their own standards. Then they will know that I am the Lord.¹
Notes. 10 The rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed¹violence and pride will now bring their own reward.
12 Let not the buyer rejoice¹the oncoming crisis will render it foolish to conduct normal business activity.
15 Outside is the sword, inside are plague and famine¹those who are left outside the city will be cut down by the enemy troops. Those inside the city will suffer a siege. Starvation and disease will ensue.
19 Silver and gold¹as the siege intensifies money will be of no help in getting food.
23 Prepare chains¹chains of captivity.
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