Ezekiel 11:23
And the glory of the LORD went up from the middle of the city, and stood on the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
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(23) Stood upon the mountain.—This mountain, on the east of the city, is that which was afterwards known as the Mount of Olives. It is considerably higher than the city, and commands a view over its entire extent. Here the Divine glory rested after taking its departure from the Temple and the city in the vision of the prophet. Here, in the vision of a later prophet (Zechariah 14:4), the Lord is represented as standing in the day of final judgment. Here, not in vision, the incarnate Son of God proclaimed the second destruction of the obdurate city (Matthew 24; Luke 21:20); and from the same mountain He made His visible ascension into heaven (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:11-12). The vision is now closed, and the prophet is transported in spirit back into Chaldæa, to declare what he had seen to his fellow-captives, and show them the vanity of their trust in the preservation of the guilty city.

Ezekiel 11:23. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city — The symbol of God’s presence, which had before departed from the temple, (Ezekiel 10:18,) now quite left the city, to signify that he would acknowledge no longer his relation to either, but deliver them up to be profaned by the heathen. It deserves to be observed here, that God did not quit the temple and city all at once, but by little and little. The cloud of his presence was first withdrawn from the mercy-seat in the holy of holies, the usual place of its residence, and removed to the threshold of the house, (Ezekiel 9:1,) where it remained some time waiting for their repentance. Its second remove was from this threshold, leaving the house altogether, to settle upon the cherubim, which were hovering over the court, and upon the wing to depart, Ezekiel 10:18. It then, with these angelic ministers of the divine will, and the accompanying wheels of providence, withdrew to the east gate of the inner court, Ezekiel 10:19. And now at last it quits Jerusalem altogether, and fixes itself upon the mountain on the east side of the city. By withdrawing himself from his people by slow degrees, God gave them time for consideration and repentance, to which each remove of the Shechinah was a fresh and solemn call, and he thus also manifested with what reluctance he entirely abandoned the seed of Abraham his friend. And even his causing the symbol of his presence, before his final departure, to take its station on the mount of Olives, where it was, as it were, within call, and ready to return, if now at length in this their day they would have understood the things that made for their peace, was a further manifestation of grace as well as of justice; for while the cloud of glory lingered there, it gave fresh encouragement to them to repent, and a final warning so to do, at the same time that it was emblematical of the judgment which, if their repentance did not prevent, should begin to be executed upon them from that mount, from whence the city would be annoyed by the darts of the Chaldeans. Nor was this only a figure of the calamities which were to be brought on the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar, but it was also an emblem of the evils which were to befall them in consequence of their rejecting and crucifying their own Messiah, the Lord of glory. This Divine Saviour, after exhausting his patience in instructing, correcting, and threatening Jerusalem, at length forsook it, and ascended to heaven from this same mount of Olives, in the presence of his apostles and disciples, that he might exercise his kingly office, and inflict a just and exemplary vengeance on this obstinately wicked and irreclaimable people.11:22-25 Here is the departure of God's presence from the city and temple. It was from the Mount of Olives that the vision went up, typifying the ascension of Christ to heaven from that very mountain. Though the Lord will not forsake his people, yet he may be driven away from any part of his visible church by their sins, and woe will be upon them when He withdraws his presence, glory, and protection.The mountain which is on the east side of the city - The Mount of Olives. The rabbis commenting on this passage said the Shechinah retired to this Mount, and there for three years called in vain to the people with human voice that they should repent. On that mountain, Christ stood, when He wept over the fair city so soon to be utterly destroyed. From that mountain he descended, amid loud Hosannas, to enter the city and temple as a Judge. 23. The Shekinah glory now moves from the east gate (Eze 10:4, 19) to the Mount of Olives, altogether abandoning the temple. The mount was chosen as being the height whence the missiles of the foe were about to descend on the city. So it was from it that Jesus ascended to heaven when about to send His judgments on the Jews; and from it He predicted its overthrow before His crucifixion (Mt 24:3). It is also to be the scene of His return in person to deliver His people (Zec 14:4), when He shall come by the same way as He went, "the way of the east" (Eze 43:2). See Ezekiel 3:23 8:4 9:3 10:18,19. The glory of the Lord removes now out of the city, over which it had stood some space of time waiting for their repentance; but no fruits of this, and God now departed from them.

Upon the mountain; above it. It was Mount Olivet, as the description of it in this place and elsewhere doth clearly show. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city,.... Of Jerusalem, whither it was removed from the door of the east gate of the temple, Ezekiel 10:19; though no mention is made of such removal; and now, having left the temple, it leaves the city:

and stood upon the mountain, which is on the east side of the city; either waiting for the repentance of the inhabitants of it, leaving them with reluctance; or in order to bring down his judgments upon it, and behold its destruction and ruin: this mountain was the mountain of Olives, as the Targum interprets it: and so Jarchi and Kimchi; see Zechariah 14:5. Christ stood on this mountain and wept over Jerusalem, and from hence he ascended to heaven. This Jarchi calls the third remove of the Shechinah or glory of the God of Israel. The Rabbins say (q) it removed ten times, and reckon them thus,

"from the mercy seat to the cherub; from the cherub to the cherub; from the cherub to the threshold; from the threshold to the court; from the court to the altar; from the altar to the roof; from the roof to the wall; from the wall to the city; from the city to the mountain; from the mountain to the wilderness; and from the wilderness it ascended and sat in its own place, according to Hosea 5:15.''

(q) T. Bab. Roshhashana, fol. 31. 1.

And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
And the Spirit of Jehovah fell upon me, and said to me: Say, Thus saith Jehovah, So ye say, O house of Israel, and what riseth up in your spirit, that I know. Ezekiel 11:6. Ye have increased your slain in this city, and filled its streets with slain. Ezekiel 11:7. Therefore, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Your slain, whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and it is the pot; but men will lead you out of it. Ezekiel 11:8. The sword you fear; but the sword shall I bring upon you, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 11:9. I shall lead you out of it and give you into the hand of foreigners, and shall execute judgments upon you. Ezekiel 11:10. By the sword shall ye fall: on the frontier of Israel shall I judge you; and ye shall learn that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 11:11. It shall not be as a pot to you, so that you should be flesh therein: on the frontier of Israel shall I judge. Ezekiel 11:12. And ye shall learn that I am Jehovah, in whose statutes ye have not walked, and my judgments ye have not done, but have acted according to the judgments of the heathen who are round about you. - For תּפּל עלי , compare Ezekiel 8:1. Instead of the "hand" (Ezekiel 8:1), the Spirit of Jehovah is mentioned here; because what follows is simply a divine inspiration, and there is no action connected with it. The words of God are directed against the "house of Israel,' whose words and thoughts are discerned by God, because the twenty-five men are the leaders and counsellors of the nation. מעלות, thoughts, suggestions of the mind, may be explained from the phrase עלה על לב, to come into the mind. Their actions furnish the proof of the evil suggestions of their heart. They have filled the city with slain; not "turned the streets of the city into a battle-field," however, by bringing about the capture of Jerusalem in the time of Jeconiah, as Hitzig would explain it. The words are to be understood in a much more general sense, as signifying murder, in both the coarser and the more refined signification of the word.

(Note: Calvin has given the correct explanation, thus: "He does not mean that men had been openly assassinated in the streets of Jerusalem; but under this form of speech he embraces all kinds of injustice. For we know that all who oppressed the poor, deprived men of their possessions, or shed innocent blood, were regarded as murderers in the sight of God.")

מלּאתים is a copyist's error for מלּאתם. Those who have been murdered by you are the flesh in the caldron (Ezekiel 11:7). Ezekiel gives them back their own words, as words which contain an undoubted truth, but in a different sense from that in which they have used them. By their bloodshed they have made the city into a pot in which the flesh of the slain is pickled. Only in this sense is Jerusalem a pot for them; not a pot to protect the flesh from burning while cooking, but a pot into which the flesh of the slaughtered is thrown. Yet even in this sense will Jerusalem not serve as a pot to these worthless counsellors (Ezekiel 11:11). They will lead you out of the city (הוציא, in Ezekiel 11:7, is the 3rd pers. sing. with an indefinite subject). The sword which ye fear, and from which this city is to protect you, will come upon you, and cut you down - not in Jerusalem, but on the frontier of Israel. על־גּבוּל, in Ezekiel 11:10, cannot be taken in the sense of "away over the frontier," as Kliefoth proposes; if only because of the synonym אל־גּבוּל in Ezekiel 11:11. This threat was literally fulfilled in the bloody scenes at Riblah (Jeremiah 52:24-27). It is not therefore a vaticinium ex eventu, but contains the general thought, that the wicked who boasted of security in Jerusalem or in the land of Israel as a whole, but were to be led out of the land, and judged outside. This threat intensifies the punishment, as Calvin has already shown.

(Note: "He threatens a double punishment; first, that God will cast them out of Jerusalem, in which they delight, and where they say that they will still make their abode for a long time to come, so that exile may be the first punishment. He then adds, secondly, that He will not be content with exile, but will send a severer punishment, after they have been cast out, and both home and land have spued them out as a stench which they could not bear. I will judge you at the frontier of Israel, i.e., outside the holy land, so that when one curse shall have become manifest in exile, a severer and more formidable punishment shall still await you.")

In Ezekiel 11:11 the negation (לא) of the first clause is to be supplied in the second, as, for example, in Deuteronomy 33:6. For Ezekiel 11:12, compare the remarks on Ezekiel 5:7. The truth and the power of this word are demonstrated at once by what is related in the following verse.

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