Ezekiel 14:21
For thus said the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?
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(21) My four sore judgments.—The teaching of the preceding eight verses is here gathered up into its climax. In the case of any one of the four punishments mentioned in succession, the presence of the holiest of men should be of no avail to avert it; how much more then, when all these are combined in the judgment upon Jerusalem, will it be impossible to stay its doom.

14:12-23 National sins bring national judgments. Though sinners escape one judgment, another is waiting for them. When God's professing people rebel against him, they may justly expect all his judgments. The faith, obedience, and prayers of Noah prevailed to the saving of his house, but not of the old world. Job's sacrifice and prayer in behalf of his friends were accepted, and Daniel had prevailed for the saving his companions and the wise men of Babylon. But a people that had filled the measure of their sins, was not to expect to escape for the sake of any righteous men living among them; not even of the most eminent saints, who could be accepted in their own case only through the sufferings and righteousness of Christ. Yet even when God makes the greatest desolations by his judgments, he saves some to be monuments of his mercy. In firm belief that we shall approve the whole of God's dealings with ourselves, and with all mankind, let us silence all rebellious murmurs and objections.Noah, Daniel, and Job - Three striking instances of men who, for their integrity, were delivered from the ruin which fell upon others. Some have thought it strange that Daniel, a contemporary, and still young, should have been classed with the two ancient worthies. But the account of him Daniel 2 shows, that by this time Daniel was a very remarkable man (compare Ezekiel 28:3), and the introduction of the name of a contemporary gives force and life to the illustration. There is in the order in which the names occur a kind of climax. Noah did not rescue the guilty world, but did carry forth with him his wife, sons, and sons' wives. Daniel raised only a few, but he did raise three of his countrymen with him to honor. To Job was spared neither son nor daughter.21. How much more—literally, "Surely shall it be so now, when I send," &c. If none could avert the one only judgment incurred, surely now, when all four are incurred by sin, much more impossible it will be to deliver the land. Those three men, with their best interest, should not be able to keep off one of the four, much less able to keep off all four when I commission them all to go at once, as I will, nay, have done, against Jerusalem, to cut off the obstinate, incorrigible ones amidst it. For thus saith the Lord God, how much more,.... If the Lord would not be entreated by such good men as those mentioned, for a land that had sinned against him, to whom he only sends some one of the above judgments, either famine, or noisome beasts, or the sword, or the pestilence, how much more inexorable and deaf to all entreaties must he be; or if anyone of those judgments makes so great a desolation in the land, then how much greater must that detraction be,

when I send my four sore judgments on Jerusalem: or "evil" (a) ones; as they are to men, though righteously inflicted by the Lord; when all these four are sent together, what a devastation must they make! namely,

the sword, and the famine, and the, noisome beast, and the pestilence,

to cut off from it man and beast; three of them, it is evident, were sent upon Jerusalem at the time of its siege by Nebuchadnezzar, the sword, famine, and pestilence; and no doubt the other, even the noisome beasts; and if not literally, yet figuratively, for Nebuchadnezzar himself is compared to a lion, Jeremiah 4:7.

(a) "mala", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Starckius; "pessima", Junius & Tremellius, Vatablus.

For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?
21. How much more] If when a single judgment is sent upon a land the wicked shall not be spared for the sake of the righteous, how much more shall this not happen when the wickedness of the land is so great that God’s four sore judgments together fall upon it, as they shall fall upon Jerusalem? Ch. Ezekiel 5:17, Ezekiel 33:27; Ezekiel 33:22. Yet the history of Jerusalem may seem an exception. It is an exception for a wider purpose.In these verses the divine threat, and the summons to repent, are repeated, expanded, and uttered in the clearest words. - Ezekiel 14:6. Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Repent, and turn away from your idols; and turn away your face from all your abominations. V.7. For every one of the house of Israel, and of the foreigners who sojourn in Israel, if he estrange himself from me, and let his idols rise up in his heart, and set the stumbling-block to his sin before his face, and come to the prophet to seek me for himself; I will show myself to him, answering in my own way. Ezekiel 14:8. I will direct my face against that man, and will destroy him, for a sign and for proverbs, and will cut him off out of my people; and ye shall learn that I am Jehovah. - לכן in Ezekiel 14:6 is co-ordinate with the לכן in Ezekiel 14:4, so far as the thought is concerned, but it is directly attached to Ezekiel 14:5: because they have estranged themselves from God, therefore God requires them to repent and turn. For God will answer with severe judgments every one who would seek God with idols in his heart, whether he be an Israelite, or a foreigner living in the midst of Israel. שׁוּבוּ, turn, be converted, is rendered still more emphatic by the addition of פניכם... השׁיבוּ. This double call to repentance corresponds to the double reproof of their idolatry in Ezekiel 14:3, viz., שׁוּבוּ, to על לב 'העלה גל; and השׁיבוּ פניכם, to their setting the idols נכח פּניהם. השׁיבוּ is not used intransitively, as it apparently is in Ezekiel 18:30, but is to be taken in connection with the object פניכם, which follows at the end of the verse; and it is simply repeated before פניכם for the sake of clearness and emphasis. The reason for the summons to repent and give up idolatry is explained in Ezekiel 14:7, in the threat that God will destroy every Israelite, and every foreigner in Israel, who draws away from God and attaches himself to idols. The phraseology of Ezekiel 14:7 is adopted almost verbatim from Leviticus 17:8, Leviticus 17:10,Leviticus 17:13. On the obligation of foreigners to avoid idolatry and all moral abominations, vid., Leviticus 20:2; Leviticus 18:26; Leviticus 17:10; Exodus 12:19, etc. The ו before ינּזר and יעל does not stand for the Vav relat., but simply supposes a case: "should he separate himself from my followers, and let his idols rise up, etc." לדרשׁ־לו בּי does not mean, "to seek counsel of him (the prophet) from me," for לו cannot be taken as referring to the prophet, although דּרשׁ with ל does sometimes mean to seek any one, and ל may therefore indicate the person to whom one goes to make inquiry (cf. 2 Chronicles 15:13; 2 Chronicles 17:4; 2 Chronicles 31:21), because it is Jehovah who is sought in this case; and Hvernick's remark, that "דּרשׁ with ל merely indicates the external object sought by a man, and therefore in this instance the medium or organ through whom God speaks," is proved to be erroneous by the passages just cited. לו is reflective, or to be taken as a dat. commodi, denoting the inquirer or seeker. The person approached for the purpose of inquiring or seeking, i.e., God, is indicated by the preposition בּ, as in 1 Chronicles 10:14 (דּרשׁ ); and also frequently, in the case of idols, when either an oracle or help is sought from them (1 Samuel 28:7; 2 Kings 1:2.). It is only in this way that לו and בּי can be made to correspond to the same words in the apodosis: Whosoever seeks counsel of God, to him will God show Himself answering בּי, in Him, i.e., in accordance with His nature, in His own way, - namely, in the manner described in Ezekiel 14:8. The threat is composed of passages in the law: 'נתתּי and 'הכרתּי וגו, after Leviticus 20:3, Leviticus 20:5-6; and 'וחשׁמותיהוּ וגו, though somewhat freely, after Deuteronomy 28:37 ('היה לשׁמּה למשׁל). There is no doubt, therefore, that השׁמותי is to be derived from שׁמם, and stands for השׁמּותי, in accordance with the custom in later writings of resolving the Dagesh forte into a long vowel. The allusion to Deuteronomy 28:37, compared with היה in v. 46 of the same chapter, is sufficient to set aside the assumption that השׁמותי is to be derived from שׂים, and pointed accordingly; although the lxx, Targ., Syr., and Vulg. have all renderings of שׂים (cf. Psalm 44:16). Moreover, שׂים in the perfect never takes the Hiphil form; and in Ezekiel 20:26 we have אשׁמּם in a similar connection. The expression is a pregnant one: I make him desolate, so that he becomes a sign and proverbs.
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