Ezekiel 5:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.

New Living Translation
"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This is an illustration of what will happen to Jerusalem. I placed her at the center of the nations,

English Standard Version
“Thus says the Lord GOD: This is Jerusalem. I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.

New American Standard Bible
"Thus says the Lord GOD, 'This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her.

King James Bible
Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This is what the Lord GOD says: I have set this Jerusalem in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.

International Standard Version
"This is what the Lord GOD says, 'This is Jerusalem. I placed her in the center of nations, with many nations surrounding her.

NET Bible
"This is what the sovereign LORD says: This is Jerusalem; I placed her in the center of the nations with countries all around her.

New Heart English Bible
"Thus says the Lord GOD: 'This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are around her.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"This is what the Almighty LORD says: This is Jerusalem! I have placed it in the center of the nations with countries all around it.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Thus saith the Lord GOD: This is Jerusalem! I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are round about her.

New American Standard 1977
“Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Thus hath the Lord GOD said: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the Gentiles and of the lands that are round about her.

King James 2000 Bible
Thus says the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.

American King James Version
Thus said the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the middle of the nations and countries that are round about her.

American Standard Version
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are round about her.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thus saith the Lord God: This is Jerusalem, I have set her in the midst of the nations, and the countries round about her.

Darby Bible Translation
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: This is Jerusalem: I have set her in the midst of the nations, and the countries are round about her.

English Revised Version
Thus saith the Lord GOD: This is Jerusalem: I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are round about her.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are around her.

World English Bible
Thus says the Lord Yahweh: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are around her.

Young's Literal Translation
Thus said the Lord Jehovah: this is Jerusalem, In the midst of the nations I have set her, And round about her are the lands.
Study Bible
Judgment against Jerusalem
4"Take again some of them and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel. 5"Thus says the Lord GOD, 'This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her. 6'But she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes.'…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 4:6
"So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'

Deuteronomy 8:20
"Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God.

Jeremiah 6:6
For thus says the LORD of hosts, "Cut down her trees And cast up a siege against Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, In whose midst there is only oppression.

Lamentations 1:1
How lonely sits the city That was full of people! She has become like a widow Who was once great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces Has become a forced laborer!

Ezekiel 4:1
"Now you son of man, get yourself a brick, place it before you and inscribe a city on it, Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 5:4
"Take again some of them and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.

Ezekiel 16:14
"Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you," declares the Lord GOD.
Treasury of Scripture

Thus said the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the middle of the nations and countries that are round about her.

This

Ezekiel 4:1 You also, son of man, take you a tile, and lay it before you, and …

Jeremiah 6:6 For thus has the LORD of hosts said, Hew you down trees, and cast …

Luke 22:19,20 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, …

1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that …

I have

Ezekiel 16:14 And your renown went forth among the heathen for your beauty: for …

Deuteronomy 4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding …

Micah 5:7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the middle of many people as …

Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

(5) I have set it in the midst of the nations.--This was eminently true of Jerusalem, and of Israel as represented by Jerusalem, in all the ages of its history. It constituted one of the great opportunities of Israel had they been faithful to their calling, while it became a chief source of their disasters when they went astray from God. On the south were Egypt and Ethiopia; on the north, at first the great nation of the Hittites, and later the Syrians, and also Assyrians (who must reach Palestine from the north); on the coast were the Philistines, at the southern end, and on the northern the Phnicians, the great maritime nation having intercourse with all "the isles of the sea;" while on the deserts of the east and immediate south were the Ishmaelites, the chief inland traders, who kept up an intercourse by land with all these nations. Even with the great but little-known nations of India, commerce was established by Solomon. Thus centrally situated among the chief kingdoms of antiquity, Israel had the opportunity of presenting to the world the spectacle of a people strong and prosperous in the worship, and under the guardianship, of the one true God, and of becoming the great missionary of monotheism in the ancient world. At the same time they were separated from most of these nations by natural barriers, the deserts on the east and south, the sea on the west, the mountains on the north, which were sufficient to isolate them as a nation, and allow of their free development, without interference, as a God-fearing people. But when, by the unfaithfulness of the Israelites to their religion, the one bond of national unity was weakened, they became a ready prey to the nations around them. During the period of the Judges they fell under the power of one and another of the petty tribes on their confines; and later, when the great empire of Solomon was broken up in consequence of their sins, they were easily overcome by the powerful nations on either side. In all their later history the Israelites were a football between Egypt and Chalda, alternately spoiled by tribute as friends or devastated as enemies by each of them. So, in the Divine ordering of the world, responsibility must always be proportioned to privilege; and the failure to fulfil the responsibility leads, as in this case, not only to a withdrawal of the privilege, but to corresponding condemnation.

Verse 5. - This is Jerusalem, etc. The strange acted parables cease, and we have the unfigurative interpretation. The words that follow point to the central position of Jerusalem in the geography, and therefore in the history, of the ancient East: Egypt to the south, Assyria and Babylon to the north, and in the nearer distance Moabites and Ammonites, and Edomites, and Phoenicians, and Philistines; to all of these Jerusalem might have been as a city set on a hill, as the light of the Gentiles. That had been her ideal position from the first, as in the visions of Micah 4:1 and Isaiah 2:1 it was to be in its ideal future. The words are not without interest, as probably having suggested the thought, prominent in mediaeval geography (Dante, 'Inf.,' 34:115, and the Hereford 'Mappa Mundi'), that Jerusalem was physically the central point of the earth's surface. So Moslems believe Mecca to be the earth's centre, and the Greek word omphalos was applied to Delphi as implying the same belief Thus saith the Lord God, this is Jerusalem,.... A type or sign of it; it may refer to both the former and latter type. It is the city of Jerusalem that is designed by the city portrayed upon the tile; and the same is signified by the head of the prophet that was to be shaved; that being not only the chief city of Judea, but of the whole world, as follows:

I have set it in the midst of the nations; as the chief of them; and distinguished it from them by peculiar favours and blessings, natural and spiritual; being seated in a land flowing with milk and honey; and having the house and worship of God in it; and where were the symbols of his presence, and his word and ordinances; and therefore should have excelled them in true religion, devotion, and holiness, and set an example to them. The Jews generally understand this of the natural situation of Jerusalem. Jarchi interprets it of the middle of the world; as if it was mathematically placed in the centre of the earth. Kimchi says it was in the midst of the continent; and so its air was better than others; and these sort of writers (n) often speak of the land of Israel being in the navel or centre of the earth; they say (o) that the sanhedrim sat in the middle of the world; and therefore is compared to the navel, Sol 7:2; because it sat in the temple, which was in the middle of the world; but the former sense is best; though Jerom gives in to the latter:

and countries that are round about her: this is a proposition of itself; fire former clause being distinguished from it by the accent "athnach"; and should be rendered thus, "and the countries are", or "were, round about her" (p); on the east was Asia, on the west Europe on the south Africa and Libya, and on the north Babylon, Scythia, Armenia, Persia, and Pontus; and was mere conspicuous, eminent, and honourable than them all, having greater privileges, prerogatives, and excellencies; and therefore should have exceeded them in its regard to the laws and statutes of God, which she did not; hence this is said, in order to upbraid her for her ingratitude, as appears by the following words.

(n) Kimchi in Ezekiel 38.12. (o) T. Bab. Sanhedrin. fol. 37. 1. & Gloss. in ib. (p) "et circa eam erant terrae", Cocceius. 5, 6. Explanation of the symbols:

Jerusalem—not the mere city, but the people of Israel generally, of which it was the center and representative.

in … midst—Jerusalem is regarded in God's point of view as center of the whole earth, designed to radiate the true light over the nations in all directions. Compare Margin ("navel"), Eze 38:12; Ps 48:2; Jer 3:17. No center in the ancient heathen world could have been selected more fitted than Canaan to be a vantage ground, whence the people of God might have acted with success upon the heathenism of the world. It lay midway between the oldest and most civilized states, Egypt and Ethiopia on one side, and Babylon, Nineveh, and India on the other, and afterwards Persia, Greece, and Rome. The Phoenician mariners were close by, through whom they might have transmitted the true religion to the remotest lands; and all around the Ishmaelites, the great inland traders in South Asia and North Africa. Israel was thus placed, not for its own selfish good, but to be the spiritual benefactor of the whole world. Compare Ps 67:1-7 throughout. Failing in this, and falling into idolatry, its guilt was far worse than that of the heathen; not that Israel literally went beyond the heathen in abominable idolatries. But "corruptio optimi pessima"; the perversion of that which in itself is the best is worse than the perversion of that which is less perfect: is in fact the worst of all kinds of perversion. Therefore their punishment was the severest. So the position of the Christian professing Church now, if it be not a light to the heathen world, its condemnation will be sorer than theirs (Mt 5:13; 11:21-24; Heb 10:28, 29).5:5-17 The sentence passed upon Jerusalem is very dreadful, the manner of expression makes it still more so. Who is able to stand in God's sight when he is angry? Those who live and die impenitent, will perish for ever unpitied; there is a day coming when the Lord will not spare. Let not persons or churches, who change the Lord's statutes, expect to escape the doom of Jerusalem. Let us endeavour to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. Sooner or later God's word will prove itself true.
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