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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Ezekiel 9

 

 

Verses 1-11

Ezekiel 9:2. Behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate. These were the high and mighty angels of God, who as guardians had charge of the city. The Chaldean army were but the secondary executioners of the divine commission.—One man among them was clothed with linen, like a priest of God. The Chaldaic reads, clothed with a vesture, or full robe. Revelation 1:13. A robe that reached down to his feet, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, who seals the saints of God.

Ezekiel 9:3. The glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, or mighty angel, to the threshold of the temple, about to depart finally from that polluted place. This is Christ, the Word, the glory of the only-begotten of the Father.

Ezekiel 9:4. Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh. The Greek bibles read, set a sign. Tacitus says that the ancient Germans acknowledge one supreme God under the name of Thau; and then Thautes, and Theutates. Why seek for other illustrations? Here, as in Revelation 14:1, the servants of God had their Father’s name on their foreheads. There is a striking correspondence between the Gothic, the Persic, and the Hebrew languages. The inscriptions on the obelisk at Heliopolis, as translated by Thomas Young, M. D. F. R. S. in his Egyptian Antiquities, published in 1823, reads as follows. “This Apollonean trophy is consecrated to the honour of king Rameses, crowned with an asp, bearing a diadem. It is consecrated to the honour of the son of Heron, the ornament of his country, beloved by PHTHAH, living ever. It is consecrated to the honour of the revered and beneficent deity RAMESES, great in glory, superior to his enemies; by the decree of an assembly, to the powerful and the flourishing, whose life shall be without end.”

Modern travel has relieved many passages in the sacred writings. Tau, Thau, and Thah are evidently the same, and demonstrate that the name of God, and not the name of an idol, was in vision written on the foreheads of the pious Hebrews.

Ezekiel 9:7. Defile the house. The Chaldeans executed this command to the letter, as is noted in 2 Chronicles 36:17. As Jehu did in the temple of Samaria, so they did in the temple of Jerusalem, they spared neither virgin, nor age, nor sucking child.

Ezekiel 9:8. Ah, Lord God, wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel? This prayer was extorted from the prophet when he saw the seventy elders fall in the holy place; when the twenty five Sabian idolaters found no pity from the sun, and the weeping women, weeping for themselves, and crying in vain for mercy.

REFLECTIONS.

The Lord having viewed the apostasy of his people, arrayed himself with flames of vengeance, and could no longer refrain from blood. He cried with a loud voice to the guardian angels, and in them to the general of Nebuchadnezzar, that they should approach his presence. And who would not tremble at his voice, seeing he is rich in resources to make his enemies fall at his feet?

Before the Lord destroys the incorrigible he seals his saints. The Lord’s eyes are over the righteous, and he numbers the hairs of their head. He will not destroy the righteous with the wicked, unless in some special cases, that all may watch; for a Josiah may err, and a Jonathan may fall in battle. The general rule is however true, that the Lord preserves good men. Before the Romans burnt Jerusalem, the jews by extremity of persecution had repeatedly scattered the saints, and the rest fled beyond Jordan. Now also Jeremiah, Baruch, and Ebedmelech, who had risked their lives for the truth, wonderfully escaped. Let us learn to confide in the divine care, for the wicked cannot harm without permission, and then no matter by what dart we die, for our work is done.

When God destroys the wicked he begins at his sanctuary, because sins committed by rulers and priests are the most aggravated; and if God were to strike sinners more distant from the sanctuary first, they would reproach the divine justice. Hence he defiled the house with blood, because it was incurably defiled with crimes. Thus when the jews dispersed the christian flock to distant provinces, St. Peter assures them that judgment had first begun at the house of God. Thus in the French revolution, the calamity fell severely on the clergy, and it soon followed on the ruling factions, in alternate massacre, and in the various forms of war.

To weep and mourn for the wickedness of the city and nation where we live is a striking mark of grace, and highly pleasing to God, as is illustrated in Psalms 119:136. Our Lord himself, who wept for sinners, reads the heart of his weeping saints, and watches over their safety that they may rejoice for ever.

When God has houses for his wheat, he will burn up the chaff. Slay utterly, said he, both old and young, as is exemplified in the last chapter of the second book of Chronicles; but come not near the man on whom is the mark. The righteous were hid in their chambers, for they believed the word of the Lord, and they ascribed their safety to his wisdom and mercy. See on Acts 8:4.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 9:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/ezekiel-9.html. 1835.

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