|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-7. War desolates persons, places, and things esteemed most sacred. God ruins idolatries even by the hands of idolaters. It is just with God to make that a desolation, which we make an idol. The superstitions to which many trust for safety, often cause their ruin. And the day is at hand, when idols and idolatry will be as thoroughly destroyed from the professedly Christian church as they were from among the Jews.
Verse 4. - Your images, etc. The "sun images" of the Revised Version shows why these are mentioned as distinct from the "idols." The chammanim were pillars or obelisks identified with the worship of Baal as the sun god, standing on his altars (2 Chronicles 34:4), coupled with the "groves," or Asherim (Isaiah 17:8; Isaiah 27:9), and with the "high places" in 2 Chronicles 14:5. I will cast down your slain men before your idols. As in the prophecy against Bethel (1 Kings 13:2), and in Josiah's action (2 Kings 33:16), this was the ne plus ultra of desecration. Where throe had been the sweet savour of incense there should be the sickening odour of the carcases of the slain. The word for "idols" (gillulim), though found elsewhere, notably in Ezekiel's favourite textbooks (Leviticus 26:30; Deuteronomy 29:17), is more prominent in his writings (where it occurs thirty-six times) then in any other book of the Old Testament, and means, primarily, a cairn or heap of stones, which, like the "sun images," came to be associated with Baal. Ezekiel repeats both words in ver. 6, with all the emphasis of scorn. He predicts the coming of a time when the work of destruction should be done more thoroughly than even Josiah lind done it. When that time came, the familiar formula, "Ye shall know that I am the Lord," should receive yet another fulfilment.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And your altars shall be desolate,.... Being pulled down; or because the priests and worshippers would now be slain, and there would be none to attend them:
and your images shall be broken; the "images of the sun" (b). The word for images has its derivation from heat; and were so called, either from the heat of the sun, to whose worship they were devoted, or from the heat of the love and affections of their worshippers:
and I will cast down your slain men before your idols; before your dung, or your "dunghill gods" (c); for the word used has the signification of dung, Ezekiel 4:12. The Targum renders it,
"before the carcass of your idols;''
where they committed idolatry, there they should be slain; which points at the cause of their punishment.
(b) "simulacra vestra solis", Pagninus; "solaria vestra", Vatablus; "subdiales statuae vestrae", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Polanus. (c) "coram stercoreis diis vestris", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Polanus; "coram stercoribus vestris", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. images—called so from a Hebrew root, "to wax hot," implying the mad ardor of Israel after idolatry [Calvin]. Others translate it, "sun images"; and so in Eze 6:6 (see 2Ki 23:11; 2Ch 34:4; Isa 17:8, Margin).
cast your slain men before your idols—The foolish objects of their trust in the day of evil should witness their ruin.
Ezekiel 6:4 Parallel Commentaries
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