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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 7



Verse 2-3

2, 3. The time for repentance is quickly passing or is already past. The end is at hand. Jehovah’s righteous anger will be followed quickly with judgment, and the sins of the people will be their rod of punishment; “I will put upon thee all thine abominations.”

Verse 4

4. Mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity — Although Jehovah is “merciful and gracious,” there comes a time when he must not spare the guilty (Exodus 34:7). The pity which will not execute a promised and deserved punishment has little regard for the majesty of the law and the possible reformation of the offenders. (See Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 7:9; Ezekiel 8:18; Ezekiel 9:10.) These judgments are redemptive. God’s wrath is the anger of love, and there is a divine compassion in his refusal to avert the just punishment of sin. I will recompense thy ways upon thee, etc. — “Sin, when it is full-grown, gendereth death” (James 1:15). Death is the legitimate child of persistent sin. The worst thing that can happen to a man or a nation is to have their evil ways fall upon them and their abominations bring forth their natural fruitage. When a nation which has sown to the wind begins to reap the whirlwind it begins also to think that there may be a God in Israel.

Verse 5

5. An only evil — Literally, one evil. The final evil (1 Samuel 26:8; Haggai 2:6).

Verse 6

6. Watcheth for thee — Literally, awaketh against thee. There is a play on words here impossible to reproduce. The “end” has ended its sleep and is awaking, and is about to leap upon the careless nation and bring upon it the sleep of death.

Verse 7

7. The morning is come — The R.V. and most modern exegetes translate “The doom is come.” This expression, however, may only mean that, notwithstanding the declarations of false prophets that things will continue just as they are or will grow better presently, a new beginning is at hand and the day of trouble has already dawned. This interpretation seems to agree best with Ezekiel 7:10. The day of trouble, etc. — Literally, the day is near, a tumult, and not a shouting on the mountains. The day in which one can hear the shouts of those who gather grapes or tread the wine press (Jeremiah 48:33; Isaiah 16:10) is passing away, and a day of tumult and disorder and war has come (Isaiah 22:5; Amos 3:9; Zechariah 14:3).

Verse 8-9

8, 9. See Ezekiel 7:3-4.

Verse 10

10. Gone forth — Rather, sprung up. (Compare Job 14:12.) On the meaning of the expression see Ezekiel 7:6.

The rod hath blossomed — The trees of their own planting have grown and borne fruit, and from these trees of abomination and pride (compare Ezekiel 7:4) shall now be cut the rod of punishment.

Verse 11

11. A rod of wickedness — Rather, a rod for wickedness. Their own violence (see Ezekiel 7:22; Jeremiah 6:7) has become the rod with which they are scourged. This refers to a little-appreciated historic fact. The history of that era shows that when Jerusalem was quiet and peaceful, Egypt and Babylon hurled their armies at each other, along the Palestinian and Syrian highways, without paying any attention to the Israelitish capital hidden in the hills; but when Jerusalem became proud and boastful and aggressive, and took sides with either party, then her own warlike spirit brought upon her speedily a scourge of punishment. This verse is so mutilated that it is impossible to do more than translate a single word here and there. The general sense points to the complete destruction of the national pride and the carrying away of the tumultuous population of the capital city.

Verse 12

12. All classes of the population are involved in one calamity. Real estate will only move at panic prices, but no buyer need rejoice and no seller need mourn at the bargain, for both buyer and seller shall be dragged away in the same captivity. (Compare Jeremiah 32:6-16; Micah 2:2; Isaiah 5:8.)

Verse 13

13. The seller shall not return to that which is sold — Any price that he can get for his property is clear gain; but he need not insist upon a lease, or his rights in the year of jubilee, for there is to be no return. He is about to leave Jerusalem never to see it again. Very few of those who left their houses and were carried into Babylon ever returned (Ezra 3:12), and those who did return found their houses in ashes and do not appear to have made any claims of private rights of property (Nehemiah 11:1).

The vision is touching… not return — This, probably, is not a part of the original text and should be omitted.

Neither shall any strengthen himself — Davidson says, “Perhaps, ‘neither shall anyone keep hold of his life’ — maintain his life — ’in his iniquity.’” The Polychrome Bible renders, “No one shall strengthen his life by iniquity.” Whether sellers or buyers they are equally corrupt and shall meet the same fate. No man shall profit by his neighbor’s misfortune or escape the penalty of his own sin. The reading adopted by Qimchi (cir. 1200 A.D.) is curious as showing the doubtfulness of the text: “For the life of each is in his iniquity; they shall not strengthen themselves.”

Verse 14

14. Even to make — Literally, and made.

None goeth to the battle — Here is pictured the “collapse of Judah’s military preparations in the hour of danger.” The soldiers are struck with fear before they have struck a blow. God has deserted them, and his wrath makes cowards of brave men. (Compare Leviticus 26:6; Deuteronomy 28:25; Deuteronomy 32:30.)

Verse 15

15. Compare Ezekiel 5:12; Ezekiel 6:12; Leviticus 26:25.

Verse 16

16. They that escape of them shall escape, and shall be — Rather, they that escape of them, if they escape, shall be. The sentence is conditional. If there are any who seem to escape from the threefold destruction (Ezekiel 7:15), they shall escape only to mourn with an anguish worse titan death (Ezekiel 7:17).

Like doves… mourning — The plaintive mourning (literally, moaning) of the dove has been noticed in all ages. The Babylonians as well as the Hebrews use this comparison. (Compare Isaiah 38:14; Isaiah 59:11.)

For his iniquity — Literally, in his iniquity.

Verse 17

17. This verse shows the utter prostration of those who are escaping: “their knees melt into water.” (Compare Ezekiel 21:7; Isaiah 13:7; Jeremiah 6:24.)

Verse 18

18. In funeral garb, covered with “trembling,” with shamed faces and dishonored heads (Ezekiel 44:20; Isaiah 15:2; Deuteronomy 14:1; Amos 8:10), the rich men flee from the city and seek to escape the universal doom. (See notes Ezekiel 27:30-31.)

Verse 19

19. Their gold shall be removed — Literally, shall be an impurity.

Is the stumbling-block — Literally, was. The meaning seems to be that it is the rich men of the city who are now seeking most anxiously to escape. But the rich men, who have previously depended upon their wealth to help them out of every difficulty, will find their money now an impediment; they will drop it in the streets, as they fly from the city and count it an abhorrence (Ezekiel 36:17). It is of no value in obtaining the luxuries of life, or even food (see 2 Kings 6:25), and probably is a hindrance in obtaining help in the flight. Brotherhood, not money, is the only thing that wins assistance in such hours.

Because it is the stumbling-block — The love of money led to the oppression of the poor, and the possession of it led them away from the simplicity of Jehovah worship into the luxurious manners and worship of the heathen. They stumbled then over a golden idol into guilt; they will now stumble over the same golden idol into punishment.

Verse 20

20. This is a difficult verse which should probably read, “And the beauty of their ornament, they turned it to pride, and they made the images of their abominations, of their detestable things, therefrom; therefore have I made it an impurity unto them.” The gold which they cast into the form of an idol (Ezekiel 16:17; Hosea 2:8; Hosea 8:4), and worshiper as divine, is now to them like the most polluting uncleanness. They cannot purchase provisions with it while in the city, and if they seek to carry it with them it will increase the eagerness of pursuit (Ezekiel 7:21).

Verse 21

21. These golden gods, upon which they have depended for help, will be captured by the enemy and the vessels of sacrifice will be turned to base uses (Micah 1:7; Hosea 10:6).

Verse 22

22. Jehovah will not turn the wrath of his face upon these enemies of the “holy people” and “holy city,” even when they enter and pillage the temple. He who has always heretofore protected his own sanctuary will do it no more, for it is now a sanctuary of idolatry (chap. 8).

Verse 23

23. Make a chain — Various pictures on the monuments show the long string of captives chained together, making a weary march from their native land to Babylon. It is time that the crime of the land be punished, let the captives’ chain be forged (Nahum 3:10).

Verse 24

24. The worst of the heathen — Compare Ezekiel 28:7; Ezekiel 30:11. Jeremiah had said (Jeremiah 6:23) the Chaldeans “are cruel, and have no mercy,” and Habakkuk (Habakkuk 1:7), “they are terrible and dreadful.” These Chaldeans shall take possession of the palaces and holy places of the Israelitish nobles, and “the pride of their strength shall cease.”

Verse 26

26. But the law shall perish — Literally, and instruction shall perish. Calamity follows calamity until at last even this idol-worshiping people are driven to seek a vision from Jehovah’s prophet, and when no vision comes they seek instruction from the priests and advice from the elders — but it is too late! Prophet, priest, and elder are all alike powerless to help (Jeremiah 18:18; Lamentations 2:9; Psalms 74:9; Micah 3:6).

Verse 27

27. The royal house and the nobles and the people shall all be judged according to their deserts (literally, judgments), and the nature of the punishment shall bring to them the conviction that Jehovah is the punisher.



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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ezekiel 7:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

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