Christian Churches of God


No. F026vi






Commentary on Ezekiel

Part 6


(Edition 1.0 20230102-20230102)


Commentary on Chapters 21-24.



Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA






(Copyright © 2023 Wade Cox)



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Commentary on Ezekiel Part 6

Chapter 21

1The word of the LORD came to me: 2"Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries; prophesy against the land of Israel 3and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. 4Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from south to north; 5and all flesh shall know that I the LORD have drawn my sword out of its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again. 6Sigh therefore, son of man; sigh with breaking heart and bitter grief before their eyes. 7And when they say to you, 'Why do you sigh?' you shall say, 'Because of the tidings. When it comes, every heart will melt and all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it comes and it will be fulfilled,'" says the Lord GOD. 8And the word of the LORD came to me: 9"Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, Say: A sword, a sword is sharpened and also polished, 10sharpened for slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! Or do we make mirth? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood. 11So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be handled; it is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. 12Cry and wail, son of man, for it is against my people; it is against all the princes of Israel; they are delivered over to the sword with my people. Smite therefore upon your thigh. 13For it will not be a testing--what could it do if you despise the rod?" says the Lord GOD. 14"Prophesy therefore, son of man; clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, yea thrice, the sword for those to be slain; it is the sword for the great slaughter, which encompasses them, 15that their hearts may melt, and many fall at all their gates. I have given the glittering sword; ah! it is made like lightning, it is polished for slaughter. 16Cut sharply to right and left where your edge is directed. 17I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the LORD have spoken." 18The word of the LORD came to me again: 19"Son of man, mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come; both of them shall come forth from the same land. And make a signpost, make it at the head of the way to a city; 20mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah and to Jerusalem the fortified. 21For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the teraphim, he looks at the liver. 22Into his right hand comes the lot for Jerusalem, to open the mouth with a cry, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23But to them it will seem like a false divination; they have sworn solemn oaths; but he brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be captured. 24"Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your doings your sins appear--because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in them. 25And you, O unhallowed wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, 26thus says the Lord GOD: Remove the turban, and take off the crown; things shall not remain as they are; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high. 27A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it; there shall not be even a trace of it until he comes whose right it is; and to him I will give it. 28"And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter, it is polished to glitter and to flash like lightning-- 29while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you--to be laid on the necks of the unhallowed wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. 31And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath; and I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men, skilful to destroy. 32You shall be fuel for the fire; your blood shall be in the midst of the land; you shall be no more remembered; for I the LORD have spoken."


Intent of Chapter 21

21:1-32 Oracles on the Sword

One of four usual instruments of God’s judgment (14:21; Isa. 34:5; Rev. 6:8; compare 6:11. See also Jeremiah 14:12; and Jer. 5:6.

21:1-7 Due to the perversion of doctrine in Israel that we saw condemned in chapter 20 (Part V), and it creating heterodox opinions in all santuaries, not only in Judah and Jerusalem but throughout all Israel with the Mystery and Sun Cults on an ongoing basis against the Biblical doctrines, causing the dispersion of Israel in 722 BCE and again here in the period leading to 586 BCE leading to the destruction of the Temple and the Babylonian captivity for Judah  (No. 250B); and again finally in 70 CE (see Sign of Jonah ... (No. 013), and the war with Rome and the fall of the Temple (No. 298)  until the Last Days, (and in Israel through Hillel #195, 195C) when it will fall on all mankind.  

Here all flesh refers to Judah (v. 4) which will be cut down. All men (all flesh v. 5) will see the terrifying judgments (Jer. 4:9). (See also Fire From Heaven (No. 028).)


21:8-17 See Song of the Sword (Jer. 50:35-37).

God’s Judgment is irrevocable. His flashing sword cuts a toll across the land (6:3).

v. 12 Smite upon the thigh as a sign of mourning (Jer. 31:19).


21:18-23 The Sword of Nebuchadrezzar (Nebuchadnezzar). As God’s judgment the sword of Babylon is brought to Rabbah and to Jerusalem; perhaps from Riblah (comp. 2Kgs. 25:6). The King determines which rebel to attack first by divination: Belomancy (casting arrows with the names of the victims on the heads); consulting the teraphim (Hos. 3:4). Although plural they can represent one or more small idols. In Gen. 31:19, 34-35 they are small and portable and easily concealed.  They were the household gods of Laban (Gen. 31:30). They were made of precious metals and were valuable to the heirs and may have had property values or titles as well. They were used by Israelites cultically in the period of the Judges (Judg. 17:5; 18:14,17,20).

The teraphim in 1Sam.19:13,16 in the house of David and Michal was a similar size to that of a man, or at least his head.They came from the pre-Israelite past and were condemned (1Sam. 15:23;

2Kgs. 23:24). It is not clear how they were used but they may have been a yes or no configuration like the priests used the Urim and the Thummim and were drawn by lot. Zechariah 10:2 also includes them as instruments of false prediction.

The small size of the Teraphim was also taken over into the idols of the supposed “saints” and can be seen in Medieval churches, such as those in southern France. Also Hepatoscopy was used (reading the markings on sheep livers). The sword was about to fall on Jerusalem due to its idolatry and so idolatry was used (by God) through the king of Babylon) to destroy it, and again in 70 CE.

Rabbah was the Ammonite capital (Jer. 49:3).


21:25-27 The sword was destined to cut down Zedekiah as Judah’s king (Jer. 21:7). In verse 27 it goes forward to the end days, and the return of the Messiah to the Kingship, whose right it is.


vv 28-32 The sword against Ammon (v. 20) (comp. also the phraseology in v. 28 with v. 8).

Judah’s co-conspirators the Ammonites, will also succumb to the sword of God’s wrath (25:1-7). It is also thought that this oracle, as also in vv 18-24, may have come from the time of the assassination of Gedaliah (Jer. 40:13-41:18). 


Chapter 22

1Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2"And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then declare to her all her abominable deeds. 3You shall say, Thus says the Lord GOD: A city that sheds blood in the midst of her, that her time may come, and that makes idols to defile herself! 4You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and defiled by the idols which you have made; and you have brought your day near, the appointed time of your years has come. Therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the countries. 5Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you infamous one, full of tumult. 6"Behold, the princes of Israel in you, every one according to his power, have been bent on shedding blood. 7Father and mother are treated with contempt in you; the sojourner suffers extortion in your midst; the fatherless and the widow are wronged in you. 8You have despised my holy things, and profaned my sabbaths. 9There are men in you who slander to shed blood, and men in you who eat upon the mountains; men commit lewdness in your midst. 10In you men uncover their fathers' nakedness; in you they humble women who are unclean in their impurity. 11One commits abomination with his neighbor's wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; another in you defiles his sister, his father's daughter. 12In you men take bribes to shed blood; you take interest and increase and make gain of your neighbors by extortion; and you have forgotten me, says the Lord GOD. 13"Behold, therefore, I strike my hands together at the dishonest gain which you have made, and at the blood which has been in the midst of you. 14Can your courage endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it. 15I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will consume your filthiness out of you. 16And I shall be profaned through you in the sight of the nations; and you shall know that I am the LORD." 17And the word of the LORD came to me: 18"Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them, silver and bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace, have become dross. 19Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20As men gather silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire upon it in order to melt it; so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. 21I will gather you and blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. 22As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it; and you shall know that I the LORD have poured out my wrath upon you." 23And the word of the LORD came to me: 24"Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed, or rained upon in the day of indignation. 25Her princes in the midst of her are like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her. 26Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27Her princes in the midst of her are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. 28And her prophets have daubed for them with whitewash, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the LORD has not spoken. 29The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without redress. 30And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. 31Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath; their way have I requited upon their heads, says the Lord GOD."


Intent of Chapter 22

22:1-31 Oracles of Indictment

22:1-16 The writ of indictment here contains a catalogue of sins (18:5-18) including idolatry (6:2-14; 14:3-5), injustice (18:12), violence (7:23), defamation and slander (Jer. 6:28), adultery and fornication (18:6; Jer. 3:1-4), and extortion. The OARSV n. says that the list is reminiscent of the regulations in the Holiness Code, Lev. Chs. 17-26.

In scorn and anger (cf. strike my hands together 6:11; 21:14,17) God is to wreak punishment upon this “Bloody City” (see Nahum 3:1 referring to Nineveh).

vv. 12-16 deals with the sin of usury in Israel and this sin has never been more prolific than it is now in the Last Days and the main guilty parties (US and UK) have to be driven to the ground and punished for it. They were to be scattered for it previously (v. 15). Under Messiah it will be different. The system will revert to the Law (L1) and persistent usury will result in penalties for theft, and then death. Banks and usury were only allowed into UK under the Normans to fund their wars.


22:17-22 The judgment and correction process will be like a smelter in which base metals are removed; so also Judah must endure the rigourous refining process and be cleansed, or purified, of her baseness (Isa. 1:22-25; Jer. 6:27-30). The sins of Israel are the result of its prophets and priests who have no fear of God and profane His Laws. Prior to the destruction of Israel the sheep have to be torn from the hands of the shepherds (Ezek. 34:1-31 below), which is underway now (see Measuring the Temple (No. 137)).


22:23-31 Some scholars think that this Oracle comes after Jerusalem’s fall in 587 BCE; v. 31 and “describes Judah’s sinfulness in retrospect.” (see e.g. OARSV n.); although prophecy is not hindsight. All classes of Judean society were corrupt (Jer. 8:8-10); princes, priests (Jer. 2:8; Zeph. 3:4), nobles (Mic. 7:30, prophets (13:10-16, and people (12:19) and it is worse now than it ever was, and all must be punished over all Israel and all the Gentile associates, and finally, the whole world.


Chapter 23

1The word of the LORD came to me: 2"Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; 3they played the harlot in Egypt; they played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled. 4Oho'lah was the name of the elder and Ohol'ibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oho'lah is Sama'ria, and Ohol'ibah is Jerusalem 5"Oho'lah played the harlot while she was mine; and she doted on her lovers the Assyrians, 6warriors clothed in purple, governors and commanders, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. 7She bestowed her harlotries upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them; and she defiled herself with all the idols of every one on whom she doted. 8She did not give up her harlotry which she had practiced since her days in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their lust upon her. 9Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. 10These uncovered her nakedness; they seized her sons and her daughters; and her they slew with the sword; and she became a byword among women, when judgment had been executed upon her. 11"Her sister Ohol'ibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt than she in her doting and in her harlotry, which was worse than that of her sister. 12She doted upon the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 13And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way. 14But she carried her harlotry further; she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chalde'ans portrayed in vermilion 15girded with belts on their loins, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, a picture of Babylonians whose native land was Chalde'a. 16When she saw them she doted upon them, and sent messengers to them in Chalde'a. 17And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their lust; and after she was polluted by them, she turned from them in disgust. 18When she carried on her harlotry so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned from her sister. 19Yet she increased her harlotry, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the harlot in the land of Egypt 20and doted upon her paramours there, whose members were like those of asses, and whose issue was like that of horses. 21Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts. 22Therefore, O Ohol'ibah, thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I will rouse against you your lovers from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side: 23the Babylonians and all the Chalde'ans, Pekod and Sho'a and Ko'a, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and warriors, all of them riding on horses. 24And they shall come against you from the north with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples; they shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet, and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25And I will direct my indignation against you, that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. 26They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your fine jewels. 27Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your harlotry brought from the land of Egypt; so that you shall not lift up your eyes to the Egyptians or remember them any more. 28For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust; 29and they shall deal with you in hatred, and take away all the fruit of your labor, and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your harlotry shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your harlotry 30have brought this upon you, because you played the harlot with the nations, and polluted yourself with their idols. 31You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. 32Thus says the Lord GOD: "You shall drink your sister's cup which is deep and large; you shall be laughed at and held in derision, for it contains much; 33you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow. A cup of horror and desolation, is the cup of your sister Sama'ria; 34you shall drink it and drain it out, and pluck out your hair, and tear your breasts; for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD. 35Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, therefore bear the consequences of your lewdness and harlotry." 36The LORD said to me: "Son of man, will you judge Oho'lah and Ohol'ibah? Then declare to them their abominable deeds 37For they have committed adultery, and blood is upon their hands; with their idols they have committed adultery; and they have even offered up to them for food the sons whom they had borne to me. 38Moreover this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and profaned my sabbaths 39For when they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And lo, this is what they did in my house. 40They even sent for men to come from far, to whom a messenger was sent, and lo, they came. For them you bathed yourself, painted your eyes, and decked yourself with ornaments; 41you sat upon a stately couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed my incense and my oil. 42The sound of a carefree multitude was with her; and with men of the common sort drunkards were brought from the wilderness; and they put bracelets upon the hands of the women, and beautiful crowns upon their heads. 43"Then I said, Do not men now commit adultery when they practice harlotry with her? 44For they have gone in to her, as men go in to a harlot. Thus they went in to Oho'lah and to Ohol'ibah to commit lewdness. 45But righteous men shall pass judgment on them with the sentence of adulteresses, and with the sentence of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is upon their hands." 46For thus says the Lord GOD: "Bring up a host against them, and make them an object of terror and a spoil. 47And the host shall stone them and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses. 48Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done. 49And your lewdness shall be requited upon you, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry; and you shall know that I am the Lord GOD."


Intent of Chapter 23

23:1-49   Allegory of the sisters, Oholah and Oholibah (Comp. ch 16).

23:1-4 We see that Israel’s apostasy began in Egypt (20:5-9). This text is a play on words regarding the sins of Israel. Oholah “she who has a tent” (i.e. Samaria) and Oholibah “my tent is in her” (i.e. Jerusalem). The word play suggests that although Samaria had a sanctuary (tent) the santuary was in Jerusalem and hence emphasising the enormity of Judah’s apostasy, especially considering that Israel had itself been sent into captivity, in three phases. Firstly the tribes east of the Jordan, Reuben, Gad and half Menasseh by Pul or Tiglath Pileser III and then the tribes west of the Jordan by Shalmaneser V in 722 BCE and which were now North of the Araxes mixed among the Hittite Celts and the Scythians. The third phase was Judah here. The texts refer to the pagan santuaries in both lands that have corrupted both elements (16:16) not only in Palestine but everywhere they are domiciled. Regarding the marrying of sisters: see Gen. 31:41; Lev. 18:18.


23:5-10 Oholah  Like Hosea (8:9-10); Isa. (7:1-9); and Jeremiah 4:30 we see the same word for lovers in Ezek. 23:9). Ezekiel in prophecy treated  foreign alliances as disloyalty to God, though alternatives were not always politically available. The texts are full of them. Jehu (842-815 BCE) surrendered to Shalmaneser III of Assyria; Jehoahaz (815-801 BCE) paid tribute to Adad-Nirari III; Menahem (745-738 BCE) paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III (2Kgs. 15:19-29); and Hoshea (732-724 BCE) paid tribute to Shalmaneser V (2Kgs. 17:1-14) (cf. OARSV n. also).  They went into captivity in 722 BCE north of the Araxes and the Assyrians replaced them with Cutheans and Medes as well as some remnants and some of Judah and Benjamin in Galilee.   


23:11-21 Oholibah - Judah like Samaria was tributary to Assyria: Ahaz (735-715 BCE) to Tiglath Pileser III (2Kgs. 16:7-9); Hezekiah (715-687 BCE) to Sennacharib (2Kgs. 18:1-36); and Manasseh (687-642) to Esarhaddon. Judah made alliances with Babylon; Hezekiah with Merodach-Baladan (2Kgs. 20:12-21) Jehoiakin and Zedekiah with Nebuchadrezzar (2Kgs. 24:1; comp. Jer. 22:18-23; 2Kgs. 24:17; comp. Jer. 27:1-22) as well as with Egypt (Jer. 2:18,36). OARSV n. considers that in both instances there may be other cases not known to us (Hos. 7:11). There is no doubt that the prophet is directed by God to teach against the dangers of syncretism and apostasy (2Kgs. 16:7-19).


23:22-35 The faithlessness of Israel and Judah both religious and political was to be punished.

The Babylonians – and their Aramean mercenaries (Pekod Jer. 50:21; Shoa and Koa) and Assyrian Auxiliaries were to devastate the land (strip you and leave you naked).

From the north – The usual invasion route from Mesopotamia into Palestine (Jer. 4:6; 6:1; 25:9). The oracle of the cup of wrath (vv. 32-34) we see here assigns Samaria’s fate to Jersualem (Jer 25:15-29; Hab. 2:16) as it is now in the hands of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Simeon and a few of the remnant and the Cutheans and Medes in Samaria.


23:36-49 The punishment for adultery is stoning and so Judah is to be punished for her adultery (in human sacrifice, pagan worship, profanation of the Sabbath) as is Samaria both in the remnant and the immigrants there (Jer. 4:30).  It has been, and will be, right to the end, and the Return of Messiah, punished with death (cf. 282E).


Chapter 24

1In the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 2"Son of man, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. 3And utter an allegory to the rebellious house and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Set on the pot, set it on, pour in water also; 4put in it the pieces of flesh, all the good pieces, the thigh and the shoulder; fill it with choice bones. 5Take the choicest one of the flock, pile the logs under it; boil its pieces, seethe also its bones in it. 6"Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose rust is in it, and whose rust has not gone out of it! Take out of it piece after piece, without making any choice. 7For the blood she has shed is still in the midst of her; she put it on the bare rock, she did not pour it upon the ground to cover it with dust. 8To rouse my wrath, to take vengeance, I have set on the bare rock the blood she has shed, that it may not be covered. 9Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the bloody city! I also will make the pile great. 10Heap on the logs, kindle the fire, boil well the flesh, and empty out the broth, and let the bones be burned up. 11Then set it empty upon the coals, that it may become hot, and its copper may burn, that its filthiness may be melted in it, its rust consumed. 12In vain I have wearied myself; its thick rust does not go out of it by fire. 13Its rust is your filthy lewdness. Because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your filthiness, you shall not be cleansed any more till I have satisfied my fury upon you. 14I the LORD have spoken; it shall come to pass, I will do it; I will not go back, I will not spare, I will not repent; according to your ways and your doings I will judge you, says the Lord GOD." 15Also the word of the LORD came to me: 16"Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep nor shall your tears run down. 17Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of mourners." 18So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded. 19And the people said to me, "Will you not tell us what these things mean for us, that you are acting thus?" 20Then I said to them, "The word of the LORD came to me: 21'Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and the desire of your soul; and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword. 22And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of mourners. 23Your turbans shall be on your heads and your shoes on your feet; you shall not mourn or weep, but you shall pine away in your iniquities and groan to one another. 24Thus shall Ezekiel be to you a sign; according to all that he has done you shall do. When this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord GOD.' 25"And you, son of man, on the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes and their heart's desire, and also their sons and daughters, 26on that day a fugitive will come to you to report to you the news. 27On that day your mouth will be opened to the fugitive, and you shall speak and be no longer dumb. So you will be a sign to them; and they will know that I am the LORD."


Intent of Chapter 24

24:1-27 The Beginning of the End

24:1-14 The allegory of the cauldron (Jer. 1:13-19) combines two themes (some think perhaps from two oracles OARSV n).  In the cauldron (Jerusalem (11:3-12), everyone (both good and bad: 21:4; Mic. 2:2-3), will be boiled as the beseigers heap wood from seige equipment around the city. The contents will be throughly boiled and the pot emptied after the seige, and the bones burned (from the sacking of the city). The text introduces the theme of corrosion in vv. 6 and 11, referring to Jerualem’s bloody past (22:2-12; Gen. 4:10-11). Here God places the responsibility for Jerusalem’s sin back to the murder of Abel by Cain and Ezekiel takes the future of the Holy Land on to the return of Messiah and the entire Millennium based on Jerusalem as its Holy Place, and the blood cries out against it. It must all be refined (22:17-22) and its corrosion burned out.

v. 1 The date of the oracle is the tenth day of the tenth month in the Ninth Year of Jehoiakin’s captivity (590 BCE). The date can be determined from the text and note in ch 1. (And not as per the n. in the OARSV here.)


24:15-27 Oracle at the death of Ezekiel’s Wife Ezekiel was instructed here that God was about to take his wife (the delight of his eyes) away from him, but he was to forego mouning and not weep. So he spoke in the morning and in the evening his wife died and then next day he continued to speak to them.

This was to be a sound witness to the people that the loss of cherished persons was to be faced and that it would bring a numbing inexpressible grief (comp. Jer. 16:1-4).


24:25-27 When word of the fall of Jerusalem reached Ezekiel (33:21-22) he was to be relieved of the burden of his speech impediment and his tongue would be loosed and he could speak again (3:24-27) and he would proclaim a new message (see F026 (Part I explanation re the Second Part).  See also Bullinger’s notes to vv. 26, 27 below where these following chapters 25-32 were concerning other nations and other prophecies until he received notice of the fall in the twelfth year and began to speak more encouragingly of the future of his people.


Our next task is to deal with the interim prophecies of chapters 25-32 in Parts VII and VIII.


Bullinger’s Notes on Ezekiel Chs 21-24 (for KJV)


Chapter 21

Verse 1

the LORD . Hebrew. Jehovah . App-4 .


Verse 2

Son of man. See note on Ezekiel 2:1 .

holy. See note on Exodus 3:5 .

the land of Israel = the soil of Israel, Hebrew. 'admath Israel . See note on Ezekiel 11:17 .


Verse 3

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

draw forth My sword , See note on Ezekiel 5:2 , Ezekiel 5:17 , and Ezekiel 12:14 .

the righteous , &c. Therefore Ezekiel 18:2 , Ezekiel 18:3 , is not yet ful filled, but corresponds with the green tree and the dry of Ezekiel 20:47 .

the righteous = a righteous one.

the wicked = a lawless one. Heb, rasha'. App-44 .


Verse 5

it shall not return , &c.: i.e. until it has executed its mission.


Verse 7

spirit. Hebrew. ruach, App-9 .

saith the Lord GOD = [is] Adonai Jehovah's oracle. See note on Ezekiel 2:4 .


Verse 9

the LORD = Jehovah. App-4 . Some codices, with three early printed editions (one Rabbinic in margin), read Adonai. App-4 .

A sword , a sword. Figure of speech Epizeuxis ( App-6 ), for emphasis = a great or sharp sword.


Verse 10

make a sore slaughter. Figure of speech Polyptbton ( App-6 ), for emphasis. Hebrew to slay a slaughter.

glitter = flash as lightning.

should we then make mirth? or, "should we flourish [the sceptre of My son (i.e. of Judah? "

it, &c. i.e. "Jehovah's sword despiseth the [wooden] sceptre of My son (i.e. Judah), as [it despiseth] every tree". The Ellipsis is to be thus supplied.

rod = sceptre.


Verse 11

the slayer : i.e. the king of Babylon.


Verse 12

it : i.e. the sword of Jehovah, the king of Babylon.

princes = leaders.

be = come.

terrors by , &c. = who shall be delivered to the sword with My People.

smite therefore , &c. This was the symbol of grief in man, as beating the breast was in woman.

 See also Bullingers n ote to the verses

Verse 13

it is a trial = sit (Jehovah's sword) has been tried (or proved).

and what , &c. = and what [will happen or be the result] if [Jehovah's sword shall not despise] the [wooden] sceptre?

it shall be no more = it will not [despise it.

saith the Lord GOD = [is] Adonai Jehovah's oracle.


Verse 14

smite thine hands together , &c. A sign of disappointment or grief in men. Reference to Pentateuch (Numbers 24:10).


Verse 15

their ruins = the overthrown. So the Septuagint and Syriac. Compare Jeremiah 18:23 .

bright = bright as lightning.

wrapped up keen, or sharp.


Verse 16

Go thee . Figure of speech Apostrophe. App-6 . Addressedto the sword.

thee : i.e. the sword. Not Ezekiel. It is feminine, not masculine: = Go to the right, turn to the left: or, One stroke to the right, another to the left, &c.

thy face = thine edge.


Verse 17

I will also smite , &c. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. App-6 .


Verse 19

that the sword . . . may come = for the sword to come.

both twain = the two ways.

choose thou a place = grave a hand: i.e. set up a

sign = post.


Verse 21

stood = bath come to a stand.

to use divination = to divine a divination.

made his arrows bright = hath shaken his arrows. This was one of the modes of divination by which the arrow (marked like a lot), gave the decision.

images = teraphim.

looked in , &c. = inspected the liver; another mode of divination. It healthy or double and the lobes inclined inward, the omen was favourable; but if diseased or too dry, or without a lobe or a band between the parts, the omen was unfavourable.


Verse 22

appoint captains = set up battering-rams. Compare Ezekiel 4:2 .

the mouth in the slaughter = a hole by a breach.

shouting = a war shout.

and. Some codices, with four early printed editions (one Rabbinic in margin), Aramaean, Septuagint, and Syriac, read this "and" in the text.

a fort = a siege wall.


Verse 23

them : i.e. Zedekiah and the rulers in Jerusalem. sworn oaths. Referring to Zedekiah's reacherous breach of faith with the king of Babylon. See Ezekiel 17:11-21 .

iniquity = treachery. Hebrew. 'avdh . App-44 .


Verse 24

transgressions = rebellion (plural of Majesty) = great rebellion. Hebrew. pasha'. App-44 .

sins . Hebrew. chata '. App-44 . plural of Majesty = great sin.

with the hand = captured, or made captives.


Verse 25

profane = pierced through: i.e. deadly wounded

one . Zedekiah a type of the future Antichrist. Compare Revelation 13:3 .

wicked = lawless. Hebrew. rasha . App-44 . x,

iniquity . . . an end. Figure of speech Hypallage . App-8 , Hebrew "iniquity of the end" = an end

of the iniquity. Hebrew. 'avah , as in Ezekiel 21:23 .


Verse 26

be the same: or, endure. They might exalt and abase. but Jehovah would not recognise it.


Verse 27

overturn, &c. Figure of speech Epizeuxis ( App-6 ), for great emphasis.

until He come: i.e. the promised Messiah Reference to Pentateuch (Genesis 49:10 ). App-92 . See Isaiah 9:6 , Isaiah 9:7 ; Isaiah 42:1 .Jeremiah 23:5 ; Jeremiah 33:17 . Zechariah 6:12 , Zechariah 6:13 , &c.


Verse 28

their reproach. Brought against Jerusalem. See Jeremiah 49:1 .Zephaniah 2:8 .

to consume = that when it beginneth it may flash like lightning.


Verse 29

the wicked = wicked ones (plural) their. Refers to "them" (Ezekiel 21:23 ).


Verse 31

men. Hebrew, plural of 'enosh. App-14 .


Chapter 22

Verse 1

the LORD Hebrew. Jehovah . App-4 . Ih


Verse 2

son of man. See note on Ezekiel 2:1 .

judge = pronounce judgment on. See Ezekiel 20:4 ; Ezekiel 23:36 .

bloody city = city of bloods: bloods (plural of Majesty) much blood. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Sebjeet), App-6 , for great bloodshed: referring to those put to death for the truth's sake by the wicked rulers. So in Cr Ezekiel 3:4 , Ezekiel 6:12 , Eze 6:27 .

abominations = idolatries.


Verse 3

the Lord GOD. Hebrew. Adonai Jehovah . See note on Ezekiel 2:4 .

idols = manufactured gods.


Verse 4

days. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6 , for the judgment inflicted in them.

come even unto. Some codices, with Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "hast entered the time of".

have I made thee a reproach . . . mocking . Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:37 ). These words occur nowhere else. App-92 .

heathen = nations.


Verse 5

those : i.e. those cities,

much vexed = full of confusion.


Verse 6

Behold . Figure of speech Asteriemes. App-6 .

princes = leaders.

to their = according to their.


Verse 7

set light by, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 27:16 ).

dealt by oppression . . . vexed , &c. Ref to Pentateuch (Exodus 22:21 , Exodus 22:22 ). App-92 .


Verse 8

holy . See note on Exodus 3:6 .

profaned My sabbaths , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 19:30 ).


Verse 9

men . Hebrew, plural of 'enesh. App-14 . Hebrew men of slander.

carry tales, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 19:16 ). App-92 .

eat upon the mountains : i.e. the idolatries practised on the mountains. Compare Ezekiel 18:6 ,


Verse 10

discovered , &c. Ref to Pent, (Leviticus 18:7 , Leviticus 18:8 , Leviticus 18:9 ; Leviticus 20:11 , Leviticus 20:17 ), App-92 .

set apart , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 18:13 ). App-92 .


Verse 11

committed abomination, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 18:20 ; Leviticus 18:20 , Leviticus 18:10 . Deuteronomy 22:22 ). App-92 . Compare Ezekiel 18:11 .

lewdly defiled , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 18:15 ; Leviticus 20:12 ).

humbled his sister . Ref, to Pentateuch (Leviticus 18:9 ; Leviticus 20:17 ).


Verse 12

taken gifts , &c. Ref to Pentateuch (Exodus 23:8 . Deuteronomy 16:19 ; Deuteronomy 27:25 ).

taken usury, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 22:25 .Leviticus 26:0 . Deuteronomy 23:19 ). App-92 . Compare Ezekiel 18:8 .

hast forgotten Me. Reference to Pentateuch (Ezekiel 32:18 ),

saith the Lord GOD = [is] Adonai Jehovah's oracle.


Verse 13

I have smitten Mine hand . See note on Ezekiel 21:17 .


Verse 14

have spoken it . Compare Ezekiel 21:17 ; and Numbers 23:19 .


Verse 15

I will scatter , &c. Reference to Pentateuch, (Deuteronomy 4:27 ; Deuteronomy 28:25 , Deuteronomy 28:64 ). App-92 . Compare Ezekiel 12:14 , Ezekiel 12:15 .


Verse 16

shalt take thine inheritance = shalt be profaned in thyself (or on thine own account).


Verse 18

brass = copper, or bronze,

furnace : or crucible.

dross. Lead put into the crucible with gold or silver causes the baser metals to retire, or form scoriae or dross at the sides of the crucible, leaving the pure gold or silver in the middle. But here the silver itself becomes the dross. Compare Ezekiel 22:12 .


Verse 20

I will leave you there. The letter? (Pe-P) in ve hippihti, in being transferred from the ancient Hebrew into the modern square character, was probably mistaken for the? (Nun = N), being much alike. If so, "I will blow" became "I will leave"; and the words "you there" had to be necessarily supplied. By this change the correspondence of the two verses (20, 21) is restored: - Ezekiel 22:20 . Gather . . . blow . . . melt: Ezekiel 22:21 . Gather . ., blow . . . melt.


Verse 24

not cleansed = not to be rained upon.

nor rained upon = nor to receive fruitful showers.


Verse 25

prophets. Note the four classes here enumerated. See the Structure above; and verses: Ezekiel 22:26 , Ezekiel 22:28 , Ezekiel 22:28 .

souls . Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .


Verse 26

put no difference , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 10:10 ; Leviticus 11:47 ; Leviticus 22:22 ). App-92 .


Verse 29

have vexed . . . have oppressed , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 22:21 ; Exodus 23:9 . Leviticus 19:33 , etc.) App-92 .

poor. Heb: ani. See note on Proverbs 6:11 .


Verse 30

man. Hebrew. 'ish. App-14 .

I found none . Compare Ezekiel 13:5 , and Jeremiah 5:1 .


Chapter 23

Verse 1

the LORD . Hebrew. Jehovah . App-4 .


Verse 2

Son of man . See note on Ezekiel 2:1 .

two women. Two sisters, representing respectively Samaria and Jerusalem.


Verse 3

whoredoms = idolatries.

Egypt. Compare Ezekiel 20:7 , Ezekiel 20:8 . pressed = handled, as in verses: Ezekiel 23:8 , Ezekiel 23:21 .

bruised = squeezed (in natural use).


Verse 4

Aholah. Hebrew. 'ahalah = [She has] her own tent. So named probably because Israel set up her own worship as distinct from Jehovah's.

elder. Refers not to age, but to extent.

Aholibah . Hebrew. 'ahalibah = My tent [is] in her.


Verse 7

the chosen , &c. = the choice of Asshur's sons. So. verses: Ezekiel 23:9 , Ezekiel 23:12 .


Verse 10

famous = a name: i.e. infamous.


Verse 14

men . Hebrew, plural 'enosh . App-14 .


Verse 17

mind = Hebrew. nephesh. App-18 ,


Verse 18

My mind. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. App-6 .

like as = according as.


Verse 19

calling to remembrance. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of the Cause), App-6 , for the desiring of her former idolatries.

harlot. Put for idolatress.

in. Some codices read "from", as in Ezekiel 23:8 and Ezekiel 23:27 .


Verse 21

bruising . Aram, and Syriac read "handling", as in Ezekiel 23:3 .


Verse 22

the Lord GOD. Hebrew. Adonai Jehovah . See note on Ezekiel 2:4 .

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .


Verse 23

Pekod . . . Shea . . . Roo. These Eastern peoples are all named in the inscriptions,


Verse 24

wagons = chariots.

an assembly = a gathered host.

people = peoples.


Verse 29

labour. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of the Cause), App-6 , for the product of the labour.


Verse 30

heathen = nations,

idols = manufactured gods.


Verse 31

cup. Compare Isaiah 51:17 . Revelation 14:9 , Revelation 14:10 .


Verse 34

break : or, gnaw, lest a drop should be lost.

pluck off = tear out: i.e. destroy the occasions of their idolatry.

saith the Lord GOD = [is] Adonai Jehovah's oracle.


Verse 35

lewdness . . . whoredoms. Put here by Figure of speech Metonymy (of the Cause), App-8 , for the punishment due to

the idolatry.


Verse 37

adultery. Put (like whoredom) for all idolatry, as being unfaithfulness to Jehovah. See note on Ezekiel 16:15 .

caused = set apart.

to pass, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 18:21 ; Leviticus 20:2-4 ),

them . "Them" is masculine, and refers to the idols, in the first clause; and so, many codices, with six earlypriated editions (one Rabbinic). But some codices read feminine = themselves.


Verse 38

defiled . . . profaned. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 19:31 ). App-92 . Compare Ezekiel 22:8 .


Verse 39

children = sons.

lo . Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .


Verse 40

men. Plural of 'mush. App-14 .

wash thyself. Compare Ruth 3:3 .

paintedst, he. Compare 2 Kings 9:30 . Jeremiah 4:30 .


Verse 41

a stately bed. Compare Proverbs 7:16-18 . Isa 67:8 , Isa 67:9 ,


Verse 42

multitude , &c. = a careless throng.

with her : or, in her: i.e. in Jerusalem.

men of the common sort = men out of the mass of mankind.

men . Hebrew, plural of 'enosh, App-14 .

the common sort. Hebrew. 'adam. App-14 .

Sabeans . Hebrew text reads "drunkards", But margin, and some codices, with three early printed editions, read "Sebeans".


Verse 43

and she = even hers. Ginsburg thinks it should read so it was". Compare Ezekiel 16:15 , Ezekiel 16:19 .


Verse 44

they went. Hebrew text reads "came he". A special various reading called Sevir ( App-34 ), with some codices, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "came they".


Verse 45

the righteous . . . shall judge. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 20:10 ). App-92 .


Verse 46

company = a gathered host.


Verse 49

sins. Hebrew. chata. App-44 .

ye shall know, &c. Occurs only here, Ezekiel 13:9 ; and Ezekiel 24:24 . Compare note on Ezekiel 6:7 .


Chapter 24

Verse 1

the ninth year. Of Jehoiachin's captivity. See the table, p. 1105. Compare Ezekiel 1:2 .

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah . App-4 .


Verse 2

Son of man. See note on Ezekiel 2:1 .

this same day. Compare 2Ki 26:1 .Jeremiah 39:1 ; Jeremiah 52:4 . The captives of Israel thus knew what was going on in Jerusalem.


Verse 3

the Lord GOD. Hebrew. Adonai Jehovah . See note on Ezekiel 2:4 .

pot : or, caldron, using the words of the scoffers in Ezekiel 11:3 , and compare Jeremiah 1:13 .


Verse 5

burn = pile up.

bones. Ginsburg thinks we should read "wood". them. The 1611 edition of the Authorized Version reads "him".


Verse 6

the bloody city . See note on Ezekiel 22:2 .

scum = verdigris. Occurs only in this chapter.

let no lot fall, &c. Signifying that the city was to be destroyed, not lotted out to or by the conquerors.


Verse 7

not. The 1611 edition of the Authorized Version omitted this "not". to cover it with duet. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 17:13 ).

10 spice it well , &c.: or, boil it down till only the bones are left.


Verse 11

brass = copper.

hot = scorched.


Verse 12

shall be in the fire. Ginsburg thinks it should read "with a stench".


Verse 14

saith the Lord GOD = [is] Adonai Jehovah's oracle.


Verse 16

the desire of thine eyes. Put by the Figure of speech Periphrasis ( App-6 ): for Ezekiel's wife. A symbol of Jerusalem, See Ezekiel 24:21 .

stroke : or plague.


Verse 17

bind, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 10:6 ; Leviticus 13:45 ; Leviticus 21:10 ). cover not thy lips. Compare Micah 3:7 .

the bread of men : i.e. the bread or food brought to the house of mourners. Compare Jeremiah 16:5-7 . Hosea 9:4 ,

men. Hebrew, plural of 'enosh . App-14 .


Verse 18

as = according as.


Verse 21

desire . . . pitieth . Note the Figure of speech Paronomaeia ( App-6 ), to call attention to the emphasis. Hebrew. mahmad. . . mahmal.

soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .

left = left behind.


Verse 23

ye shall not. Some codices read "yet shall ye neither". mourn moan. iniquities. Hebrew. 'avah . App-44 ,


Verse 25

in the day See App-18 .

desire = delight.

minds = souls. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .


Verse 26

he that escapeth. This we find exactly fulfilled in eh. Ezekiel 33:21 , by the flight, on the fifth day of the tenth month, in the twelfth year.


Verse 27

no more dumb : i.e. as regards his nation and his testimony to it. In the interval his prophecies are concerning other nations (Ezekiel chapters 25-32).

they shall know , &c. See note on Ezekiel 6:10 .