Ezekiel 13:5
You have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.
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(5) Ye have not gone up into the gaps.—The change of person is frequent enough in prophecy, and especially common in Ezekiel. It is changed back in Ezekiel 13:6, and changed again in Ezekiel 13:7. The gaps refer to the breaches in the wall made by the enemy, which became the rallying point of every brave leader (see Ezekiel 22:30), and the following words express essentially the same thought. The word hedge” should rather be translated wall—“neither have ye built up the wall.” The false prophets, like the hireling shepherds of John 10:12, were only selfish, and had no care for the flock. The whole language is figurative, the breaches in the material walls representing the moral decay of the people.

Ezekiel 13:5. Ye have not gone up into the gaps — Or stood in the gap, or breach, as it is expressed Ezekiel 22:30; Psalm 106:23. Ye have not exercised your prophetical office, and framed your own conduct, so as to stop the wrath of Jehovah, by admonitions and exhortations to the people, and by personal piety and prayer to God. The place alludes to the intercession which Moses made for the Israelites, whereby he withheld God’s hand, as it were, when it was just stretched out to take vengeance upon the people for their heinous sin in making the golden calf, Exodus 32:10-11. The phrase is taken from those who put a stop to the enemy, when he is just entering in at a breach. In like manner it was the office and duty of those prophets, if they had truly been what they pretended to be, by their endeavours to reform the people, and their intercessions with God, to avert his displeasure, and prevent the vengeance which was just ready to be poured out on a sinful people. Neither made up the hedge — The Vulgate renders it, neque opposuistis murum pro domo Israel, nor made up a wall for the house of Israel; another expression taken from people besieged in a city, who, if a breach be made in the wall, presently make it up, or build up a new one within it, to prevent the enemy from entering and becoming masters of the place. To stand in the battle in the day of the Lord — When God shall come, like a general at the head of his army, to execute his judgment upon his enemies.13:1-9 Where God gives a warrant to do any thing, he gives wisdom. What they delivered was not what they had seen or heard, as that is which the ministers of Christ deliver. They were not praying prophets, had no intercourse with Heaven; they contrived how to please people, not how to do them good; they stood not against sin. They flattered people into vain hopes. Such widen the breach, by causing men to think themselves deserving of eternal life, when the wrath of God abides upon them.For - Or, before. In a time of siege when there are gaps or breaches in the walls, it is the part of the leaders to go up to defend them, and to throw up works to stop the in-road of the enemy. Yahweh is now assailing His people as an enemy (compare Isaiah 63:10; Job 16:11-13), and where are those who claim to be prophets, leaders of the people? 5. not gone up into … gaps—metaphor from breaches made in a wall, to which the defenders ought to betake themselves in order to repel the entrance of the foe. The breach is that made in the theocracy through the nation's sin; and, unless it be made up, the vengeance of God will break in through it. Those who would advise the people to repentance are the restorers of the breach (Eze 22:30; Ps 106:23, 30).

hedge—the law of God (Ps 80:12; Isa 5:2, 5); by violating it, the people stripped themselves of the fence of God's protection and lay exposed to the foe. The false prophets did not try to repair the evil by bringing back the people to the law with good counsels, or by checking the bad with reproofs. These two duties answer to the double office of defenders in case of a breach made in a wall: (1) To repair the breach from within; (2) To oppose the foe from without.

to stand—that is, that the city may "stand."

in … day of … Lord—In the day of the battle which God wages against Israel for their sins, ye do not try to stay God's vengeance by prayers, and by leading the nation to repentance.

Ye, vulpine prophets. As in a besieged city whose wall is broken down and the enemy ready to enter, a valiant, faithful, and vigilant soldier would run up into the breach to repel the enemy; so true prophets do partly by prayer, and partly by doctrine, and partly by personal reformation, labour to preserve God’s people. But, fox-like, they have shifted out of harm’s way.

Neither made up the hedge: the house of Israel is the Lord’s vineyard, through the hedge whereof many breaches are made, through which wild and wasting beasts come in and devour the grapes, and spoil the vines; but you have not stopped those breaches, but, fox-like, come in and pulled off the tender grapes, and done the most mischief; you have increased sin and danger thereby. And when the Lord’s wrath shall give up the city, you will not stand to oppose the enemy breaking in; so useless will these be at last.

To stand; not with arms, but with fasting, prayers, repentance, laying hold on the arm of the Lord, and interceding for his people.

In the battle, which God will by the Chaldeans fight against the house of Israel. In that day of the Lord the weapons of war will not prevail against the Chaldeans, unless prayers, tears, and amendment prevail with the Lord to withdraw the battle, and be at peace with Israel. Ye have not gone up into the gaps,.... Or "breaches" (d); so the Targum. The allusion is to breaches made in the walls of a city when besieged; at which time those within gather together in great numbers to meet the enemy, and prevent his entrance by the breaches. These words are either spoken to the princes of Israel, the civil magistrates; or to the prophets, who seeing the sins of the people, like a mighty torrent, opening a breach for the wrath and judgments of God to pour in upon them, should have called them, and importunately pressed them to repentance and reformation, and to have put up their prayers, and made intercession to God for them; neither of which they did, and therefore are here blamed; see Ezekiel 22:30;

neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel; or a "fence", a fortification. The Vulgate Latin renders it, "a wall"; a new wall, which is generally made by the besieged within, when a breach is made upon them: it signifies the same as before. Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of repentance and good works; and so the Targum, which paraphrases the words thus,

"neither have ye done for yourselves good works, to deprecate for the house of Israel, to stand to pray for them:''

to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord: when he came forth in battle array against them, with great wrath and indignation, in the way of his righteous judgments. The Targum is,

"when warriors come up against them in the day of the wrath of the Lord;''

when the Chaldeans came against them by the will of God, he being angry with them.

(d) "in fracturas", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version; "rupturas", Calvin, Piscator, Starckius.

{c} Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.

(c) He speaks to the governor and true ministers that would have resisted them.

5. gone up into the gaps] Or, breaches. Ezekiel turning to the prophets themselves uses “ye”—a frequent change of person in animated speech.

made up the hedge] Or, fence, R.V. If they had been true prophets they would have done two things: stood in the breach, and made a wall of defence for Israel. Without figure: these prophets knew neither what measures to adopt to stop the way of the invading dangers, nor what protective methods to recommend that the state might be successfully defended. They are hardly charged with want of personal courage when it is said they go not up into the breach; rather they wanted wisdom and insight, they had no measures to suggest which would repair or protect the fortunes of the people. Another prophet with more pathos describes the incompetence of Israel’s leaders in the day of her distress: “there was none to guide her among all the sons which she had brought forth; neither was there any to take her by the hand of all the sons that she had brought up” (Isaiah 51:18). No doubt the one measure to adopt was repentance and trust in the Lord; Amos 5:14, “Seek good, and not evil … and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye say.”Verse 5. - The verse contains two distinct images. There were breaches in the walls of Jerusalem, literally and spiritually, and the false prophets had not been as "repairers of the breach" (Isaiah 58:12; Psalm 106:23). The hedge of the vineyard of Israel had been broken through (Isaiah 5:5), and they had done nothing to restore it (Ezekiel 22:30). The day of battle, the day of the Lord, had come, and they were betraying the people instead of helping. Sign Depicting the Terrors and Consequences of the Conquest of Jerusalem

Ezekiel 12:17. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 12:18. Son of man, thou shalt eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and trouble; Ezekiel 12:19. And say to the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, in the land of Israel, They will eat their bread in trouble, and drink their water in amazement, because her land is laid waste of all its fulness for the wickedness of all who dwell therein. Ezekiel 12:20. And the inhabited cities become desolate, and the land will be laid waste; that ye may learn that I am Jehovah. - The carrying out of this sign is not mentioned; not that there is any doubt as to its having been done, but that it is simply taken for granted. The trouble and trembling could only be expressed by means of gesture. רעשׁ, generally an earthquake or violent convulsion; here, simply shaking, synonymous with רגזה, trembling. "Bread and water" is the standing expression for food; so that even here the idea of scanty provisions is not to be sought therein. This idea is found merely in the signs of anxiety and trouble with which Ezekiel was to eat his food. אל־אדמת equals 'על־אד, "upon the land," equivalent to "in the land." This is appended to show that the prophecy does not refer to those who had already been carried into exile, but to the inhabitants of Jerusalem who were still in the land. For the subject-matter, compare Ezekiel 4:16-17. למען indicates not the intention, "in order that," but the motive, "because."

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