|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-17 Here is an explanation of the parable in the last chapter. It is declared that the Lord was about to cut off Jerusalem and the whole land, that all might know it was his decree against a wicked and rebellious people. It behoves those who denounce the awful wrath of God against sinners, to show that they do not desire the woful day. The example of Christ teaches us to lament over those whose ruin we declare. Whatever instruments God uses in executing his judgments, he will strengthen them according to the service they are employed in. The sword glitters to the terror of those against whom it is drawn. It is a sword to others, a rod to the people of the Lord. God is in earnest in pronouncing this sentence, and the prophet must show himself in earnest in publishing it.
Verse 16. - Go thee one way or another, etc.; i.e. as in the following, to the right hand or the left - to the north or the south. Whichever way the prophet turned (Ezekiel 20:47), he would see nothing but the sword and its work of slaughter. Jehovah had given that command with the gesture of supreme authority. He would not rest till he had appeased his wrath by letting it work itself out even to the end. With these words the "Lay of the Sword of Jehovah" ends, and there is again an interval of silence.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Go thee one way or another,.... Go to some one place: or "unite thyself" (a); to other swords, or join other soldiers holding swords; the address is to the sword, to steer its course some one way, and slay as it goes along, sparing none:
either on the right, or on the left; or south, or north; so the Targum,
"unsheathe, and slay on the south, and destroy on the north:''
whithersoever thy face is set; or prepared, as the Targum, or appointed for destruction; this is the usual interpretation: but why may not the words be an apostrophe to the prophet, to go alone or single, either to the right or left, south or north, as his face was set, Ezekiel 21:2, sighing and crying, smiting his hands together, in order to affect the minds of the people with the sense of their calamities coming upon them?
(a) "unito Montanus", Piscator, Polanus; "unitor te", Starckius; "in unum dirigitor", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. Apostrophe to the sword.
Go … one way—or, "Concentrate thyself"; "Unite thy forces on the right hand" [Grotius]. The sword is commanded to take the nearest route for Jerusalem, "whither their face was set," whether south or north ("right hand or left"), according to where the several parts of the Chaldean host may be.
or other, … on the left—rather "set thyself on the left." The verbs are well-chosen. The main "concentration" of forces was to be on "the right hand," or south, the part of Judea in which Jerusalem was, and which lay south in marching from Babylon, whereas the Chaldean forces advancing on Jerusalem from Egypt, of which Jerusalem was north, were fewer, and therefore "set thyself" is the verb used.
Ezekiel 21:16 Parallel Commentaries
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