For stood hath the king of Babylon at the head of the way, At the top of the two ways, to use divination, He hath moved lightly with the arrows, He hath asked at the teraphim, He hath looked on the liver.
Ezekiel 21:21 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way - He was in doubt which way he should first take; whether to humble the Ammonites by taking their metropolis, Riblath, or go at once against Jerusalem. In this case of uncertainty, he made use of divination. And this was of three kinds: 1. By arrows. 2. By images or talismans. 3. By inspecting the entrails of a sacrifice offered on the occasion.
1. He made bright his arrows. This might be after the manner in which the divination is still practiced among the Arabs. These arrows were without head or wing. They took three. On one they wrote, Command me, Lord. On the second, Forbid me, Lord. The third was blank. These were put in a bag, and the querist put in his hand and took one out. If it was Command me, he set about the business immediately; if it was Forbid me, he rested for a whole year; if it was the blank one, he drew again. On all occasions the Arabs consulted futurity by such arrows. See D'Herbelot, under the word Acdah.
2. As to the images, the Hebrew calls them תרפים teraphim. See the note on Genesis 31:19 (note).
3. And as to the liver, I believe it was only inspected to see whether the animal offered in sacrifice were sound and healthy, of which the state of the liver is the most especial indication. When the liver is sound, the animal is healthy; and it would have been a bad omen to any who offered sacrifice, to find that the animal they had offered to their gods was diseased; as, in that case, they would have taken for granted that the sacrifice was not accepted.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.
Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turns it wherever he will.
parting [heb] mother
Numbers 23:28 And Balak brought Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks toward Jeshimon.
Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination...
1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD...
Proverbs 16:10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresses not in judgment.
Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us...
he made. Or as the Vulgate, `he mingled his arrows.' They wrote on several arrows,' says Jerome, the names of the cities they intended to assault; and then putting them altogether promiscuously in a quiver, they drew then out thence as lots to be drawn; and that city whose name was written on the arrow first drawn, was the city they first made war on.'
arrows. or, knives
images [heb] teraphim
Genesis 31:19,30 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's...
Judges 17:5 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.
Judges 13:14,18,20,24 She may not eat of any thing that comes of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing...
2 Kings 23:24 Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols...
Hosea 3:4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image...
Hosea 4:12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares to them: for the spirit of prostitutions has caused them to err...
Zechariah 10:2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain...
Ezekiel 21:21 Parallel CommentariesArrows Arts Babylon Beasts Bright Cast Consult Consulted Consults Dead Divination Examine Fork Forth Fro Gods Head Household Idols Images Inner Inquireth Liver Note Omen Parting Parts Questions Road Roads Secret Seek Shakes Shaketh Shaking Shook Standeth Stands Stood Stop Teraphim Top Use Way WaysArrows Arts Babylon Beasts Bright Cast Consult Consulted Consults Dead Divination Examine Fork Forth Fro Gods Head Household Idols Images Inner Inquireth Liver Note Omen Parting Parts Questions Road Roads Secret Seek Shakes Shaketh Shaking Shook Standeth Stands Stood Stop Teraphim Top Use Way WaysTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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