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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Ezekiel 25

 

 

Verse 1-2

Ezekiel 25:1-2. The word of the Lord came again unto me — Though Ezekiel had finished his testimony with respect to the destruction of Jerusalem, he must not be silent; there were divers nations bordering upon the land of Israel which he must prophesy against, as Isaiah and Jeremiah had done before him; and must proclaim God’s controversy with them, chiefly because of the injuries and indignities which they had done to the people of God in the day of their calamity. God’s resenting thus the injurious conduct of these nations toward his Israel, was an encouragement to Israel to believe, that though he had dealt thus severely with them, yet he had not cast them finally off, but would hereafter own them and plead their cause. The chronological order of these prophecies is after Ezekiel 33:21, &c., at a time when, not only the taking of Jerusalem was known, but also the conduct which the surrounding nations pursued, in consequence of that event. Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites — “Look thou toward the coast of the Ammonites, and in this posture prophesy against them.” — Bishop Hall. Ezekiel was now a captive in Chaldea, and had been so many years, and knew little, except by supernatural revelation, even of the state of his own nation, and much less of the nations around it; but God tells him both what they were doing, and what he was about to do with them. And thus, by the spirit of prophecy, he is enabled to speak as pertinently to their case as if he had been among them.


Verse 3

Ezekiel 25:3. Say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord God — Not the word of your god Chemosh, for, indeed, he is dumb, and utters no word; but the word of Jehovah, the God of Israel, who is also the God of the whole earth; because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary — Because, when thou shouldst have pitied, thou didst proudly insult over my people, and show thyself glad at the calamities that had befallen them; rejoicing that the temple was profaned and burned by the victorious Chaldeans, the cities destroyed, the country wasted and depopulated, and the nation ruined. “The Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites, though related in blood to the Jews, yet bore a constant hatred toward them, which they took all opportunities of showing, when the Jews were under any distress, and particularly at the time of their general captivity, and the destruction of their city and temple. For this they are often reproved by the prophets, and threatened with the like or severer judgments, and particularly the Ammonites.” See Lowth, and note on Ezekiel 21:28. This hostile spirit and conduct of these neighbouring nations toward God’s ancient people, seem to have arisen partly from their envy at the wealth, and the good land which they enjoyed; partly from their fear of the growing power of the Jews, and partly from their hatred to the religion and the divine oracles with which they were favoured.


Verses 4-7

Ezekiel 25:4-7. Behold, I will deliver thee to the men of the east — That is, to the Chaldeans, whose country lay east of the Ammonites. This people was accordingly conquered and subdued by the Chaldeans, about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem. And they shall drink thy milk — Milk was the principal sustenance of those people, whose riches consisted chiefly in their stocks of cattle. The Hebrew word חלב, however, here rendered milk, signifies also the fattest or choicest parts of any flesh or fruits. So it is used Genesis 45:18, Ye shall eat the fat of the land; and Psalms 81:16, where our translation reads, The finest of the wheat, in the Hebrew it is, The fat of the wheat. And this clause is rendered by the LXX., και αυτοι πιονται τον πιοτητα σου, And they shall drink, or swallow down, thy fatness. And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels — Rabbah was the chief city of the Ammonites. What is said of it here, that it should be made a stable for camels, implies, that instead of being a city inhabited by men, it should be a place for cattle, and particularly for camels, to feed and lie down in, of which that and the neighbouring countries had great store. It is a proverbial expression for utter destruction, to say that grass grows where a town stood. Because thou hast clapped thy hands, &c. — Showed expressions of joy and satisfaction in the most insolent manner, with all thy despite against the land of Israel — With the utmost hatred and contempt of my people; I will stretch out my hand upon thee — Namely, my hand of wrath. And will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen — Or, for meat, as the word in the Hebrew text, לבג, properly means, though the marginal reading of the Masorites is, לבז, for a prey. The greedy, covetous soldiers shall make thy wealth their prey; the hungry enemies shall eat thee up. And I will cut thee off from the people — Thou shalt no more be reckoned among the nations, but shalt cease from being a people. And thou shalt know that I am the Lord — In these words the threatenings, both in Ezekiel 25:5 and in this verse, conclude. For thus, 1st, God would maintain his own honour, and make it appear that he was the God of Israel, though he suffered them for a time to be captives in Babylon. And, 2d, He would bring those that were strangers to him into an acquaintance with him, and it would be a blessed effect of their calamities. How much better is it to be poor and know God, than to be rich and ignorant of him!


Verses 8-10

Ezekiel 25:8-10. Because that Moab and Seir, &c. — By Seir the Idumeans are intended. The prophet joins them together as guilty of the same crime, and then denounces particular judgments against each of them. Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen — Hebrew ככל הגוים, like all the nations; subdued by Nebuchadnezzar indiscriminately with them; they are not distinguished from their neighbours by the protection of the God whom they worship, and they find no advantage in worshipping of him, over those who worship other gods. It appears from hence, that the Jews had boasted, and the Gentiles till then acknowledged, that the Jews were under an extraordinary providence. The LXX. here read, the house of Israel and Judah. Therefore will I open the side of Moab from the cities — I will expose Moab to be invaded, and open a passage for his enemies to enter his frontier cities, and from thence to possess themselves of the best part of his country. Unto the men of the east — See Ezekiel 25:4 . That the Ammonites may not be remembered, &c. — May make no figure among their neighbours, their strength being entirely broken.


Verses 12-14

Ezekiel 25:12-14. Because that Edom, &c. — “The Idumeans, being the posterity of Esau, bore an ancient grudge against the Jews, upon the account of their ancestor’s losing his right of primogeniture, and the subduing of Edom by David afterward, 2 Samuel 8:14. Upon both of these accounts they took hold of all opportunities of venting their spite against the Jewish nation: see particularly 2 Chronicles 28:17. For this their behaviour they were in former times reproved by Amos 1:11, and afterward by Obadiah, Ezekiel 25:10, and by Ezekiel, here and Ezekiel 35:5. The ill will that they showed toward them at the time of their captivity was very remarkable, as appears by those pathetical words of Psalms 137:7, Remember the children of Edom, O Lord, in the day of Jerusalem, when they said, Down with it, down with it, even to the ground.” I will lay my vengeance upon Edom, by Israel — My people Israel themselves, whom the Edomites have so often insulted, shall be the instruments of my vengeance upon Edom, and shall requite the wrongs they have received by subduing Idumea; this they did under the conduct of Judas Maccabæus. And afterward the high-priest Hyrcanus made an entire conquest of this country: see Prideaux, part 2. p. 307.


Verses 15-17

Ezekiel 25:15-17. Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge — The Philistines being borderers upon the Jews, were their ancient enemies, from the very time of the judges downward, more particularly in the time of Ahaz: see 2 Chronicles 28:18. Therefore I will stretch out my hand upon the Philistines — I will bring calamities upon them, and enemies who shall subdue them. They were accordingly subdued by Nebuchadnezzar: see Jeremiah 25:20; Jeremiah 47:1. The Cherethims, or Cherethites, are the same with the Philistines, or a tribe of that people: see the margin. And destroy the remnant of the sea-coast — The same who are called the remnant of the Philistines, Amos 1:8; the remnant of Ashdod, Jeremiah 25:20; and the remnant of the country of Caphthor, chap. Ezekiel 47:4 : on which two places see the notes. It is called the remnant, or remains, because the sea-coast of the Philistines, namely, about Ashdod, had been before much wasted and spoiled by the invasion of Psammetichus, king of Egypt.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 25:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/ezekiel-25.html. 1857.

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