Ezekiel 9:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar.

New Living Translation
Six men soon appeared from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man dressed in linen, who carried a writer's case at his side. They all went into the Temple courtyard and stood beside the bronze altar.

English Standard Version
And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

New American Standard Bible
Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

King James Bible
And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And I saw six men coming from the direction of the Upper Gate, which faces north, each with a war club in his hand. There was another man among them, clothed in linen, with writing equipment at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.

International Standard Version
All of a sudden, I noticed six men approaching from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north. Each of them held a destructive weapon in his hand. Among them there was one man, clothed in linen, who was equipped with a writing set at his side. They went in and presented themselves beside the bronze altar.

NET Bible
Next, I noticed six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his war club in his hand. Among them was a man dressed in linen with a writing kit at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So six men came from the upper north gate. Each one brought a deadly weapon with him. Among them was a person dressed in linen who was carrying paper and pen. The men came in and stood by the bronze altar.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies toward the north, and each man had a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen with a writer's inkhorn by his side; and they went in and stood beside the brazen altar.

King James 2000 Bible
And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies toward the north, and every man a weapon for slaughter in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the bronze altar.

American King James Version
And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.

American Standard Version
And behold, six men came from the way of the upper gate, which lieth toward the north, every man with his slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man in the midst of them clothed in linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. And they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And behold six men came from the way of the upper gate, which looketh to the north: and each one had his weapon of destruction in his hand: and there was one man in the midst of them clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn at his reins: and they went in, and stood by the brazen altar.

Darby Bible Translation
And behold, six men came from the way of the upper gate, which is turned toward the north, and every man [with] his slaughter weapon in his hand; and in the midst of them, one man clothed with linen, with a writer's ink-horn by his side; and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.

English Revised Version
And behold, six men came from the way of the upper gate, which lieth toward the north, every man with his slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man in the midst of them clothed in linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. And they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.

Webster's Bible Translation
And behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth towards the north, and every man a slaughter-weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in and stood beside the brazen altar.

World English Bible
Behold, six men came from the way of the upper gate, which lies toward the north, every man with his slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man in the midst of them clothed in linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. They went in, and stood beside the bronze altar.

Young's Literal Translation
And lo, six men are coming from the way of the upper gate, that is facing the north, and each his slaughter-weapon in his hand, and one man in their midst is clothed with linen, and a scribe's inkhorn at his loins, and they come in, and stand near the brazen altar.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:1-4 It is a great comfort to believers, that in the midst of destroyers and destructions, there is a Mediator, a great High Priest, who has an interest in heaven, and in whom saints on earth have an interest. The representation of the Divine glory from above the ark, removed to the threshold, denoted that the Lord was about to leave his mercy-seat, and to pronounce judgment on the people. The distinguishing character of this remnant that is to be saved, is such as sigh and cry to God in prayer, because of the abominations in Jerusalem. Those who keep pure in times of general wickedness, God will keep safe in times of general trouble and distress.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - Behold, six men, etc. The man clothed with linen brings the number up to the sacred number seven, as in Zechariah 4:10; Revelation 1:16, 20; Revelation 15:6. He is over them rather than among them, and answers to the scribe who appears so frequently in Assyrian sculptures, as the secretary who counts the prisoners that have been taken in battle. They come from the north, the region from which the vision of Ezekiel 1:4 had come, in which, in the nearer vision of Ezekiel 8:4, the prophet had seen the same glorious presence. They appear, i.e., as issuing from the Divine presence to do their work of judgment. Possibly. as in Jeremiah 1, there may be an allusive reference to the fact that the Chaldeans, as the actual instruments of their judgment, came from the same region. The gate in question was built by Jotham (2 Kings 15:35). The captain of the band is arrayed in the "white linen" of the hosts of heaven and of the priests on earth (ποδήρης in the LXX.; comp. Leviticus 6:10; Leviticus 16:4; Ezekiel 44:17; Daniel 10:5; Daniel 12:6). A writer's inkhorn. Through all the changes of Eastern life this has been the outward sign of the scribe's office. Here it is obviously connected with the oft-recurring thought of the books of life and death in the chancery of heaven (Exodus 32:32; Psalm 69:28; Psalm 139:16; Isaiah 4:3; Daniel 12:1; Philippians 4:3). It was to be the work of this scribe (ver. 4) to mark such as were for death to death, such as were for life to life. The LXX., misunderstanding the Hebrew, or following a different text, gives, not "a writer's inkhorn," but "a girdle of sapphire." With all the precision of one who knew every inch of the temple courts, the priest-prophet sees the visitants take their station beside the brazen altar, probably, as they came from the north, on the north side of it.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And, behold, six men,.... Either angels the form of men; or the generals of Nebuchadnezzar's army, as Kimchi interprets it; whose names are, Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, Jeremiah 39:3; these six executioners of God's vengeance are, in the Talmud (n), called

"wrath, anger, fury, destruction, breach, and consumption:''

came from the way of the higher gate, Kimchi observes, from the Rabbins, that this is the eastern gate called the higher or upper gate, because it was above the court of the Israelites. Maimonides (o) says, the upper gate is the gate Nicanor; and why is it called the upper gate? because it was above the court of the women; see 2 Kings 15:35;

which lieth toward the north: where were the image of jealousy, and the women weeping for Tammuz, and other idolatrous practices were committed; which were the cause of the coming of these destroyers: moreover, the Chaldean army with its generals came out of the north; for Babylon lay north or northeast of Jerusalem; and so this gate, as Kimchi says, was northeast; and he adds, and Babylon was northeast of the land of Israel; see Jeremiah 1:13;

and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; as ordered, Ezekiel 9:1, a different word is here used; it signifies a hammer, with which rocks are broken in pieces, as the above mentioned Jewish writer observes. The Septuagint render it an axe or hatchet:

and one man among them; not one of the six, but who made a seventh. The Jews say this was Gabriel (p); but this was not a created angel, as they; nor the Holy Spirit as Cocceius; but the Son of God, in a human form; he was among the six, at the head of them, as their leader and commander; he was but one, they six; one Saviour, and six destroyers:

was clothed with linen; not in the habit of a warrior, but of a priest; who, as such, had made atonement for the sins of his people, and intercession for them; and this may also denote the purity of his human nature, and his unspotted righteousness, the fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints: and

with a writer's inkhorn by his side; or "at his loins" (q); nor a slaughter weapon, as the rest; but a writer's inkhorn; hence Kimchi takes him to be the king of Babylon's scribe; but a greater is here meant; even he who took down the names of God's elect in the book of life; and who takes an account, and keeps a book of the words, and even thoughts, of his people and also of their sighs, groans, and tears; see Malachi 3:16; but now his business was to mark his people, and distinguish them from others, in a providential way; and keep and preserve them from the general ruin and destruction that was coming upon Jerusalem: or, "a girdle on his lions", as the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions render it; and so was prepared and fit for business; which sense of the word is approved of by Castel (r); and he asks, what has an inkhorn to do at a man's loins? but it should be observed, that it was the custom of the eastern people to carry inkhorns at their sides, and particularly in their girdles, as the Turks do now; who not only fix their knives and poniards in them, as Dr. Shaw (s) relates; but the "hojias", that is, the writers and secretaries, hang their inkhorns in them; and by whom it is observed, that that part of these inkhorns which passes between the girdle and the tunic, and holds their pens, is long and flat; but the vessel for the ink, which rests upon the girdle, is square, with a lid to clasp over it:

and they went in; to the temple, all seven:

and stood beside the brasen altar; the altar of burnt offering, so called to distinguish it from the altar of incense, which was of gold; here they stood not to offer sacrifice, but waiting for their orders, to take vengeance for the sins committed in the temple, and at this altar; near to which stood the image of jealousy, Ezekiel 8:5.

(n) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 55. 1.((o) Hilchot Cele Hamikdash, c. 7. sect. 6. (p) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 77. 1. & Gloss. in ib. (q) "in lumbis suis", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (r) Lexic. Polyglott. col. 3393. (s) Travels, p. 227. Ed. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. clothed with linen—(Da 10:5; 12:6, 7). His clothing marked his office as distinct from that of the six officers of vengeance; "linen" characterized the high priest (Le 16:4); emblematic of purity. The same garment is assigned to the angel of the Lord (for whom Michael is but another name) by the contemporary prophet Daniel (Da 10:5; 12:6, 7). Therefore the intercessory High Priest in heaven must be meant (Zec 1:12). The six with Him are His subordinates; therefore He is said to be "among them," literally, "in the midst of them," as their recognized Lord (Heb 1:6). He appears as a "man," implying His incarnation; as "one" (compare 1Ti 2:5). Salvation is peculiarly assigned to Him, and so He bears the "inkhorn" in order to "mark" His elect (Eze 9:4; compare Ex 12:7; Re 7:3; 9:4; 13:16, 17; 20:4), and to write their names in His book of life (Re 13:8). As Oriental scribes suspend their inkhorn at their side in the present day, and as a "scribe of the host is found in Assyrian inscriptions accompanying the host" to number the heads of the slain, so He stands ready for the work before Him. "The higher gate" was probably where now the gate of Damascus is. The six with Him make up the sacred and perfect number, seven (Zec 3:9; Re 5:6). The executors of judgment on the wicked, in Scripture teaching, are good, not bad, angels; the bad have permitted to them the trial of the pious (Job 1:12; 2Co 12:7). The judgment is executed by Him (Eze 10:2, 7; Joh 5:22, 27) through the six (Mt 13:41; 25:31); so beautifully does the Old Testament harmonize with the New Testament. The seven come "from the way of the north"; for it was there the idolatries were seen, and from the same quarter must proceed the judgment (Babylon lying northeast of Judea). So Mt 24:28.

stood—the attitude of waiting reverently for Jehovah's commands.

brazen altar—the altar of burnt offerings, not the altar of incense, which was of gold. They "stood" there to imply reverent obedience; for there God gave His answers to prayer [Calvin]; also as being about to slay victims to God's justice, they stand where sacrifices are usually slain [Grotius], (Eze 39:17; Isa 34:6; Jer 12:3; 46:10).

Ezekiel 9:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Slaughter of the Idolaters
1Then He cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying, "Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand." 2Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case.…
Cross References
Leviticus 16:4
He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on.

Ezekiel 9:3
Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the LORD called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side

Ezekiel 9:11
Then the man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word, saying, "I have done as you commanded."

Daniel 10:5
I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist.

Daniel 12:6
One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?"
Treasury of Scripture

And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.

six

Jeremiah 1:15 For, see, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, …

Jeremiah 5:15-17 See, I will bring a nation on you from far, O house of Israel, said …

Jeremiah 8:16,17 The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled …

Jeremiah 25:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, said …

the higher

2 Kings 15:35 However, the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed …

2 Chronicles 27:3 He built the high gate of the house of the LORD, and on the wall …

Jeremiah 26:10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from …

lieth [heb] is turned
slaughter weapon [heb] weapon of his breaking in pieces
and one

Ezekiel 10:2,6,7 And he spoke to the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between …

Leviticus 16:4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen …

Revelation 15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, …

ink-horn. Keseth, (in Chaldee, kista, Syriac, kesto, Ethiopic, kasut,) denotes a bottle or vessel to hold any fluid; and being here united to sophair, a writer, is not improperly rendered as an ink-horn: so one of the editions of Aquila, [], and Vulgate, atramentarium. Dr. Shaw informs us, that among the Moors, ' the Hojas, i. e. writers or secretaries, suspend their ink-horns in their girdles.'

by his side [heb] upon his loins
beside

Exodus 27:1-7 And you shall make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and …

Exodus 40:29 And he put the altar of burnt offering by the door of the tabernacle …

2 Chronicles 4:1 Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, …

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Alphabetical: a altar among And at Behold beside bronze came case certain clothed coming deadly direction each faces from gate had hand his I in kit linen loins man men north of saw shattering side six stood the them They upper was weapon went which who with writing

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