Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus said the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)epent and turn.—The announcements of the previous verses form the basis for the earnest call to a true repentance. There can be no hope for Israel in any merely outward reformation; they have to do with the Searcher of hearts, and the only repentance acceptable to Him is that which has its seat in the affections of the heart.Ezekiel 14:6-8. Therefore say, Repent — Be truly sorry for your past sins, and give proof of your sorrow by forsaking them, &c.; and turn from your idols — Separate yourselves from them, that they may not finally and eternally separate you from God. And turn away your faces — Your heart and ways; from all your abominations — Not only from all your idolatries, but from all sinful practices. Turn your faces from them, abhor the very sight of them; not only forsake them, but do it with loathing and detestation. For every one of the house of Israel — Every Jew of the seed of Abraham, whom this warning first and principally concerns; or of the stranger that sojourneth, &c. — Every proselyte: or the expression may include the foreigners who lived in Judea, termed, in the fourth commandment, the stranger within their gates. For these, although they were neither circumcised nor subject to the ceremonial laws, yet were under an obligation to refrain from idolatry, or from worshipping any God but Jehovah. Which separateth himself from me — Who leaves me to worship idols. God considered them as separating themselves from him, not only if they wholly left off to worship him, but also if they worshipped as gods any other beings, real or imaginary, along with him. For he, being the only true God, could not, of course, admit of any other to be worshipped together with him, as no other being whatsoever had the least pretence to be worshipped as God. I the Lord will answer him by myself — I who am Jehovah, the only Creator, Preserver, and Lord of all things, will answer him according to my own inherent power, not by words, but by executing my judgments upon him. And he shall find by the answer, that it was not the prophet, but God that answered, so dreadful, searching, and astonishing shall my answer be. And I will set my face against that man —
I will make him a mark for my indignation; and will make him a sign and a proverb — A signal and remarkable instance of my vengeance; and will cut him off, &c. — By sudden death, attended with extraordinary circumstances.
turn yourselves—Calvin translates, "turn others" (namely, the stranger proselytes in the land). As ye have been the advisers of others (see Eze 14:7, "the stranger that sojourneth in Israel") to idolatry, so bestow at least as much pains in turning them to the truth; the surest proof of repentance. But the parallelism to Eze 14:3, 4 favors English Version. Their sin was twofold: (1) "In their heart" or inner man; (2) "Put before their face," that is, exhibited outwardly. So their repentance is generally expressed by "repent," and is then divided into: (1) "Turn yourselves (inwardly) from your idols"; (2) "Turn away your faces (outwardly) from all your abominations." It is not likely that an exhortation to convert others should come between the two affecting themselves.Unto the house of Israel; to these men the elders, whoever they are, give charge that they repent, and by them send word to the residue of the house of Jacob that they do so too.
Repent; be sorry and testify your sorrow for such sins.
And turn yourselves; renounce them for future, cease to be idolaters, let your visible carriage in reforming all be seen too. Amend heart and ways, let not your heart be towards idols in point of religion, nor your practice in point of outward deportment be vicious and immoral.
thus saith the Lord God, repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; or, "turn, and cause to be turned from your idols" (w); turn yourselves from the worship of idols, as the Targum, and do all that in you lies to turn others from the same; particularly your wives and young men, as Kimchi: and the rather they were obliged to do this, since in all probability they had been the means of drawing them into idolatry:
and turn away your faces from all your abominations; their idols, detestable to God, and ought to have been so to them; these he would have them turn their faces from, not so much as look at them, much less worship them, that they might not be ensnared by them; this is said, in opposition to their setting of them before their face, Ezekiel 14:3.Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. The prophet is not permitted to give an answer to any inquiries of such men. Jehovah will answer them through himself (Ezekiel 14:7); the message which the prophet has to deliver is, repentance or destruction!Verse 6. - Turn yourselves, etc.; literally, turn them. But there is no sufficient ground for the margin, "Turn others," the objective suffix being the "faces" of the following clause. In Ezekiel 18:30, 32 the verb is used by itself. The prophet's call is to a direct personal repentance, not to the work of preaching that repentance to others.
Ezekiel 13:8. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because ye speak vanity and prophesy lying, therefore, behold, I will deal with you, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 13:9. And my hand shall be against the prophets who see vanity and divine lies: in the council of my people they shall not be, and in the register of the house of Israel they shall not be registered, and into the land of Israel shall they not come; and ye shall learn that I am the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 13:10. Because, yea because they lead my people astray, and say, "Peace," though there is no peace; and when it (my people) build a wall, behold, they plaster it with cement: Ezekiel 13:11. Say to the plasterers, that it will fall: there cometh a pouring rain; and ye hailstones fall, and thou stormy wind break loose! Ezekiel 13:12. And, behold, the wall falleth; will men not say to you, Where is the plaster with which ye have plastered it? Ezekiel 13:13. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, I cause a stormy wind to break forth in my wrath, and a pouring rain will come in my anger, and hailstones in wrath, for destruction. Ezekiel 13:14. And I demolish the wall which ye have plastered, and cast it to the ground, that its foundation may be exposed, and it shall fall, and ye shall perish in the midst of it; and shall learn that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 13:15. And I will exhaust my wrath upon the wall, and upon those who plaster it; and will say to you, It is all over with the wall, and all over with those who plastered it; Ezekiel 13:16. With the prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem, and saw visions of peace for her, though there is no peace, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - In Ezekiel 13:8 the punishment which is to fall upon the false prophets is threatened in general terms; and in Ezekiel 13:9 it is more specifically described in the form of a climax, rising higher and higher in the severity of its announcements. (1) They are no longer to form part of the council of the people of God; that is to say, they will lose their influential position among the people. (סוד is the sphere of counsellors, not the social sphere.) (2) Their names shall not be registered in the book of the house of Israel. The book of the house of Israel is the register in which the citizens of the kingdom of God are entered. Any one whose name was not admitted into this book, or was struck out of it, was separated thereby from the citizenship of Israel, and lost all the privileges which citizenship conferred. The figure of the book of life is a similar one (cf. Exodus 32:32). For Israel is not referred to here with regard to its outward nationality, but as the people of God; so that exclusion from Israel was also exclusion from fellowship with God. The circumstance that it is not the erasure of their names from the book that is mentioned here, but their not being entered in the book at all, may be accounted for from the reference contained in the words to the founding of the new kingdom of God. The old theocracy was abolished, although Jerusalem was not yet destroyed. The covenant nation had fallen under the judgment; but out of that portion of Israel which was dispersed among the heathen, a remnant would be gathered together again, and having been brought back to its own land, would be made anew into a holy people of God (cf. Ezekiel 11:17.). But the false prophets are not to be received into the citizenship of the new kingdom. (3) They are not even to come into the land of Israel; i.e., they are not merely to remain in exile, but to lose all share in the privileges and blessings of the kingdom of God. This judgment will come upon them because they lead astray the people of God, by proclaiming peace where there is no peace; i.e., by raising and cherishing false hopes of prosperity and peace, by which they encourage the people in their sinful lives, and lead them to imagine that all is well, and there is no judgment to be feared (cf. Jeremiah 23:17 and Micah 3:5). The exposure of this offence is introduced by the solemn יען וּביען, because and because (cf. Leviticus 26:43); and the offence itself is exhibited by means of a figure.
When the people build a wall, the false prophets plaster the wall with lime. והוּא (Ezekiel 13:10) refers to עמּי, and the clause is a circumstantial one. תּפל signifies the plaster coating or cement of a wall, probably from the primary meaning of תּפל, to stick or plaster over ( equals טפל, conglutinare, to glue, or fasten together), from which the secondary meaning of weak, insipid, has sprung. The proper word for plaster or cement is טיח (Ezekiel 13:12), and תּפל is probably chosen with an allusion to the tropical signification of that which is silly or absurd (Jeremiah 23:13; Lamentations 2:14). The meaning of the figure is intelligible enough. The people build up foolish hopes, and the prophets not only paint these hopes for them in splendid colours, but even predict their fulfilment, instead of denouncing their folly, pointing out to the people the perversity of their ways, and showing them that such sinful conduct must inevitably be followed by punishment and ruin. The plastering is therefore a figurative description of deceitful flattery or hypocrisy, i.e., the covering up of inward corruption by means of outward appearance (as in Matthew 23:27 and Acts 23:3). This figure leads the prophet to describe the judgment which they are bringing upon the nation and themselves, as a tempest accompanied with hail and pouring rain, which throws down the wall that has been erected and plastered over; and in connection with this figure he opens out this double thought: (1) the conduct of the people, which is encouraged by the false prophets, cannot last (Ezekiel 13:11 and Ezekiel 13:12); and (2) when this work of theirs is overthrown, the false prophets themselves will also meet with the fate they deserve (Ezekiel 13:13-16). The threat of judgment commences with the short, energetic ויפּל, let it (the wall) fall, or it shall fall, with Vav to indicate the train of thought (Ewald, 347a). The subject is תּפל, to which יפּל suggests a resemblance in sound. In Ezekiel 13:12 this is predicted as the fate awaiting the plastered wall. In the description of the bursting storm the account passes with ואתּנה (and ye) into a direct address; in other words, the description assumes the form of an appeal to the destructive forces of nature to burst forth with all their violence against the work plastered over by the prophets, and to destroy it. גּשׁם שׁוטף ., pouring rain; cf. Ezekiel 38:22. אבני אלגּבישׁ here and Ezekiel 38:22 are hailstones. The word אלגּבישׁ, which is peculiar to Ezekiel, is probably גּבישׁ (Job 28:18), with the Arabic article אל; ice, then crystal. רוּח , wind of storms, a hurricane or tempest. תּבקּע (Ezekiel 13:11) is used intransitively, to break loose; but in Ezekiel 13:13 it is transitive, to cause to break loose. The active rendering adopted by Kliefoth, "the storm will rend," sc. the plaster of the wall, is inappropriate in Ezekiel 13:11; for a tempest does not rend either the plaster or the wall, but throws the wall down. The translation which Kliefoth gives in Ezekiel 13:13, "I will rend by tempest," is at variance with both the language and the sense. Jehovah will cause this tempest to burst forth in His wrath and destroy the wall, and lay it level with the ground. The suffix in בּתוכהּ refers (ad sensum) to Jerusalem not to קיר (the wall), which is masculine, and has no תּוך (midst). The words pass from the figure to the reality here; for the plastered wall is a symbol of Jerusalem, as the centre of the theocracy, which is to be destroyed, and to bury the lying prophets in its ruins. וכלּיתי (Ezekiel 13:15) contains a play upon the word לכלה in Ezekiel 13:13. By a new turn given to klh כלה, Ezekiel repeats the thought that the wrath of God is to destroy the wall and its plasterers; and through this repetition he rounds off the threat with the express declaration, that the false prophets who are ever preaching peace are the plasterers to whom he refers.
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