Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.Ezekiel 7:2-4. Thus saith the Lord unto the land of Israel — Unto the inhabitants of the land. Israel is often put for Judah, after the captivity of the ten tribes; those that were left of these tribes joining themselves to the tribe of Judah. The whole country of Judea is here comprehended. An end — An end of God’s patience, of the peace and welfare of the people, and of the plenty, beauty, and desirableness of the land itself; is come — Or is near at hand; even that dreadful end threatened by Moses and the prophets, as the certain punishment of idolatry and other violations of God’s law: upon the four corners of the land — Upon all parts of it. Now is the end come upon thee — There shall be no more delays. I will judge thee according to thy ways — I will punish thee according to thy deserts. Thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee — The punishment of thy sins shall be upon thee everywhere throughout thy land.
Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.
And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.Ezekiel 7:5-7. Thus saith the Lord, An evil, an only evil — A sore affliction, a singular and uncommon one. An end is come — A destruction, which shall be fatal to a great part of those that go into captivity, as well as to those who are consumed in their own country. It is quite prepared to rush upon thee. Observe, reader, when the end is come upon the ungodly, then an only evil comes upon them. The sorest of temporal judgments have their allays; but the torments of the damned are an evil, an only evil. The morning is come upon thee — “God’s judgments shall overtake thee speedily and unexpectedly. The expression alludes to the time when magistrates use to give sentence against offenders, which was in the morning.” The time is come — The time of God’s vengeance, called elsewhere the day of the Lord. And not the sounding again of the mountains — The sound of war and slaughter, and not such a joyful sound as used to echo from the mountains, by which the treaders of grapes expressed their satisfaction at the time of the vintage: which the word הר, here used, properly signifies. Or, not a mere echo, not a fancy, but a real noise arising from the approach of the Chaldean army.
An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come.
The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains.
Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations.
And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth.
Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded.Ezekiel 7:10-11. Behold the day — Which has lingered so long! it is come at last. The morning is gone forth — The day of destruction is already begun. The rod hath blossomed — As the same word which signifies a tribe, signifies also a rod, the meaning of this sentence may be, the tribe of Judah hath flourished, or hath been prosperous. The consequence is mentioned in the following words: Pride hath budded — Her prosperity first filled her with pride, and that begat violence and all kinds of wickedness. Or the sense may be, Nebuchadnezzar, the rod of God’s anger, the rod of correction ordained for Judah, is grown in power and pride, in violence and cruelty, and is thus prepared to punish the Jews, whose pride and luxury, injustice and idolatry, have exposed them to this instrument of the divine vengeance. Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness — Some render this, Violence is risen up against the rod of wickedness, and understand it of the violent, impetuous Chaldean army rising up against the tribe of Judah, here called the rod of wickedness, to cut it down. None of them shall remain — The Hebrew only expresses none of them, the words shall remain being supplied by our translators. Some versions read, None of them shall be free from evil. Neither shall there be wailing for them — The calamity shall be so general, families will be cut off so entirely, and they will be so stunned, as it were, with the greatness of their affliction, and so taken up in providing for their own safety, that there will be no particular lamentation or wailing made for those who fall.
Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs: neither shall there be wailing for them.
The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.Ezekiel 7:12-15. Let not the buyer rejoice, &c. — The buyer will have no reason to rejoice, because he will not enjoy what he hath bought; nor the seller have cause to mourn for having been obliged to part with his possessions, of which the approaching desolation of the country and the captivity would otherwise have deprived him. For the seller shall not return to that which was sold, &c. — The year of jubilee shall be no advantage to the sellers; for though they should live till it come, yet they shall not enjoy the benefit of the law, (Leviticus 25:13,) nor be restored again to their possessions, as the Chaldeans will have seized upon their lands, who will pay no regard to the year of jubilee, with respect to restoring to every one his old inheritance. For the vision — Or the prophecy; is touching the whole multitude — Is concerning the whole people; which shall not return — Or, as Bishop Newcome reads it. It, that is, the vision or prophecy, shall not return, namely, unfulfilled; or, it shall not be void. Neither shall any strengthen himself in iniquity — Neither shall any one secure himself by acting wickedly. Or, “And though they harden themselves in sin, and shut their eyes against the judgments which hang over their heads, these will at last unavoidably overtake them.” They have blown the trumpet — The house of Israel have summoned in all fit for arms: see Jeremiah 6:1. But none goeth to the battle — There is not a man going to the war. For the people’s hearts fail them — Looking upon themselves as given up to destruction. For my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof — That displeasure which takes away their courage. The sword is without — In the countries; and the pestilence and the famine within — The besieged city. He that is in the field — Whoever is in the field; shall die with the sword — Of the Chaldean soldiers. And he that is in the city — Whither he had fled for safety; famine and pestilence shall devour him — Shall eat him up. You, O Jews, shall be food for these insatiable destroyers.
For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life.
They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.
But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity.Ezekiel 7:16-19. They that escape of them shall escape — This might be more intelligibly rendered, There are of them who shall escape; that is, “Some few shall have the favour of escaping the common calamity, called elsewhere the escaped, or the remnant, from whence is derived the phrase οι Σωζομενοι, in the New Testament, such as are, or should be, saved.” And shall be on the mountains like doves — Fearful and trembling, and bemoaning themselves on account of the calamities their sins have brought on them. All hands shall be feeble, &c. — Feebleness in the hands and knees is the consequence of the weakness and failing of the spirit. They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth — A general custom in the eastern countries in deep sorrows and distresses. Horror shall cover them — Or, has overwhelmed them, as the same phrase is translated Psalm 55:5. Shame shall be upon all faces — The marks of confusion and misery shall be seen on all faces; and baldness upon all their heads — Either by their pulling off their hair amidst their sorrows, or cutting it off in token of mourning: see note on Jeremiah 48:37. They shall cast their silver in the streets — Either that they may be lighter to flee, or to engage the enemy’s attention, and so to give themselves time to escape out of the city. And their gold shall be removed — Carried away to Babylon. Their silver and their gold shall not deliver — Shall not remove the distresses of the famine, or prevent their being carried into captivity. They shall not satisfy their souls — Shall not procure them food to satisfy their hunger, nor afford them any comfort. Because it is the stumbling-block of their iniquity — This silver and gold, which they valued too much, coveted immeasurably, abused to the purposes of pride, luxury, oppression, and idolatry; this that they stumbled at, and fell into sin, now they stumble at, and fall into the deepest misery.
All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water.
They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.
They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it far from them.Ezekiel 7:20-22. As for the beauty of his ornament — The temple and all that pertained to it, which was the beauty and glory of the Jewish nation, and accounted so by them; he set it in majesty — God commanded that it should be a stately, beautiful, and magnificent structure; but they made the images of their abominations therein — Set up their idols in his temple, and provoked him, their Maker and their husband, with their spiritual adulteries committed before his face; therefore have I set it far from them — I have parted between it and them, have removed them far from the temple: or, I have given it into the hands of the Gentiles to profane and pollute it: see the marginal reading, and Ezekiel 7:21. My face will I turn from them — Either from the Jews or from the Chaldeans, neither relieving the former nor restraining the latter. And they (the Chaldeans) shall pollute my secret place — My temple, and even the holy of holies. For the robbers shall enter into it — The Chaldean soldiers shall break open all doors, and rush forward, and enter there, where neither the people, nor the Levites, nor the priests, except only the high-priest, were allowed to enter.
And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it.
My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.
Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.Ezekiel 7:23-24. Make a chain — To foreshow the approaching captivity, when both king and people should be carried in chains to Babylon. For the land is full of bloody crimes — The innocent blood that has been shed in it cries aloud for vengeance. See the margin. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen — The most violent, proud, and bloody men, namely, the Chaldeans, who were at that time the great oppressors of the world, and a terror to all the countries round about them; and they shall possess their houses — Not only dwell in them, but by right of conquest account them their own, and as descending to their heirs after them. I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease — The excellence, magnificence, and glory of the mighty men shall be brought to nothing: Jerusalem itself, which they trust in, and think too well fortified by nature and art, and the divine presence, to be ever overthrown, shall be levelled with the ground. And their holy places — The temple and all its courts, shall be defiled. God calls them their holy places, because, having been polluted by their idolatries, he no longer considered them as his.
Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled.
Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.Ezekiel 7:25-27. Destruction cometh — Such as a provoked power makes when it cuts off all, root and branch. And they shall seek peace — By inquiring of the prophets; or rather, by suing to Nebuchadnezzar, whom, after so many affronts, they will attempt to pacify. And there shall be none — No such thing can be obtained. Mischief shall come upon mischief — One calamity shall follow upon the neck of another. And rumour upon rumour — One piece of mournful intelligence after another, namely, of the enemies’ preparations, marches, successes, and cruelties, causing the hearts of the stoutest to sink within them. Then shall they seek a vision of the prophet — In this multiplied perplexity they will inquire of the prophets, true or false, concerning the event of things; or will seek to them for some word of direction or comfort from God, as Zedekiah did, Jeremiah 34:18, &c. But the law shall perish from the priest, &c. — He shall have no words, either of advice or comfort, to speak to them. And counsel from the ancients — Nor shall their senators know what to advise. So great will be the confusion, trouble, and terror, that neither the pious nor the wise, whom they were wont to consult, and who used to give them counsel in all difficult cases, shall be able to advise any thing to the purpose in this great perplexity and distress. The king shall mourn — Zedekiah shall droop and despair. And the prince shall be clothed with desolation — Every magistrate shall be seized with trouble and astonishment. And the hands of the people shall be troubled — Hang down and melt away. There shall be a general consternation of all ranks and degrees of men. They that are in authority shall want presence of mind to give counsel and directions, and the inferiors shall have no heart to put any advice in execution. What can men contrive, or do for themselves, when God is departed from them? All must needs be in tears, all in trouble, when God comes to judge them according to their deserts, and so make them know, to their cost, that he is the Lord to whom vengeance belongeth.
Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.
The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.