Ezekiel 21:7
And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.
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21:1-17 Here is an explanation of the parable in the last chapter. It is declared that the Lord was about to cut off Jerusalem and the whole land, that all might know it was his decree against a wicked and rebellious people. It behoves those who denounce the awful wrath of God against sinners, to show that they do not desire the woful day. The example of Christ teaches us to lament over those whose ruin we declare. Whatever instruments God uses in executing his judgments, he will strengthen them according to the service they are employed in. The sword glitters to the terror of those against whom it is drawn. It is a sword to others, a rod to the people of the Lord. God is in earnest in pronouncing this sentence, and the prophet must show himself in earnest in publishing it.The prophet was directed to let the people see him sighing and prostrate, as a sign of the sorrow and weakness about to come upon the people.

The breaking of thy loins - The prostration of strength; the loins being the seat of strength.

7. The abrupt sentences and mournful repetitions imply violent emotions. This directs the prophet what account to give them, when they shall, as they certainly will, inquire what he meaneth by such unusual sorrows. Is it any private misery that makes thee sigh thus, or does it bode evil to others, or to us?

For the tidings; the news that is told me from Heaven, for the certain rumour of Nebuchadnezzar’s preparations, and march against you. The saddest news you ever heard is coming, it will most assuredly come. The courage of the stoutest heart shall fail. which shall appear in the feebleness of their hands, dejectedness of their spirit, and their knees not able to support the body; such terrors shall seize them as shall make them unable to shift from, or to make head against, the evils that come against them.

It cometh; none can prevent it.

Shall be brought to pass; it shall have its full effect, nothing shall be wanting to your complete undoing, and then, as I do for a sign to you, so you and yours shall do under the sorrows signified, sigh, and weep, to the breaking your very heart.

And it shall be, when they say unto thee, wherefore sighest thou?.... Which he was to do that purpose, that they might be put upon asking him the reason of it; whether it was on his own personal amount, or on account of his family or particular friends; or whether on a public account, either because of what should befall the captives there, or their countrymen in Judea and Jerusalem:

that thou shalt answer, for the tidings, or, the "report" (p),

because it cometh; the report of the Chaldean army approaching and invading Judea, and besieging Jerusalem, which he had from the Lord; and the thing itself was just at hand, and would shortly and certainly be; and that was the thing that affected him, and caused such sorrow and sighing:

and every heart shall melt; like wax, for fear of the enemy; even such who then disbelieved the report, and laughed at it as an idle story:

and all hands shall be feeble; and not able to hold a sword, or strike a stroke:

and every spirit shall faint; yea, such who had the greatest spirits, and were the most bold and undaunted, shall be quite dispirited, no heart nor courage to defend themselves or their country:

and all knees shall be weak as water; they shall not be able to stand upon their legs, and fight like men in their own defence; nor even be able to flee away, and make their escape: or,

shall flow with water (q); either with sweat, or with urine, through fear of the enemy:

behold, it cometh, and shall be brought pass, saith the Lord God; let no man therefore put this evil day far from him, or treat this report as an idle tale, or a thing at a distance, and which may never come to pass; for it is now a coming, and in a very little time will be accomplished; for the Lord has said it, who cannot lie, whose counsel shall stand, and will do all his pleasure.

(p) , , Sept.; "propter rumorem", Vatablus, Cocceius; "propter vel ad auditum", Paginus, Montanus. (q) "fluent aquis", Munster, Tigurine version, so Ben Melech; "manabunt ut aqua" Cocceius.

And it shall be, when they say to thee, Why sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, {e} For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.

(e) Because of the great noise of the army of the Chaldeans.

7. it cometh] i.e. the overwhelming disaster. The words, “and … to pass” are wanting in LXX.

Ezekiel 21:7The Sword of the Lord and Its Disastrous Effects

Ezekiel 21:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 21:2. Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and trickle over the holy places, and prophesy over the land of Israel, Ezekiel 21:3. And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will deal with thee, and will draw my sword out of its scabbard, and cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked. Ezekiel 21:4. Because I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword to go forth from its scabbard against all flesh from south to north. Ezekiel 21:5. And all flesh shall know that I, Jehovah, have drawn my sword out of its scabbard: it shall not return again. Ezekiel 21:6. And thou, son of man, sigh! so that the hips break; and with bitter pain sigh before their eyes! Ezekiel 21:7. And when they say to thee, Wherefore dost thou sigh? say, Because of a report that it is coming; and every heart will sink, and all hands become powerless, and every spirit will become dull, and all knees turn into water: Behold, it cometh, and will happen, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - In the preceding parable, the expression "forest of the field in the south," or "forest of the south-land," was enigmatical. This is explained to signify Jerusalem with its holy places (מקדּשׁים, see comm. on Ezekiel 7:24), and the land of Israel, i.e., the kingdom of Judah. In accordance with this, the fire kindled by the Lord is interpreted as being the sword of the Lord. It is true that this is a figurative expression; but it is commonly used for war, which brings with it devastation and death, and would be generally intelligible. The sword will cut off both righteous and wicked. This applies to the outer side of the judgment, inasmuch as both good and bad fall in war. This is the only aspect brought into prominence here, since the great purpose was to alarm the sinners, who were boasting of their security; but the distinction between the two, as described in Ezekiel 9:4., is not therefore to be regarded as no longer existing. This sword will not return, sc. into the scabbard, till it has accomplished the result predicted in Ezekiel 21:3 (cf. 2 Samuel 1:22; Isaiah 55:11). As Tremellius has aptly observed upon this passage, "the last slaughter is contrasted with the former ones, in which, after the people had been chastened fore a time, the sword was returned to its scabbard again." In order to depict the terrors of this judgment before the eyes of the people, the prophet is commanded to groan before their eyes in the most painful way possible (Ezekiel 21:6.). בּשׁברון מתנים, with breaking of the hips, i.e., with pain sufficient to break the hips, the seat of strength in man (compare Nahum 2:11; Isaiah 21:3). מרירוּת, bitterness, i.e., bitter anguish. The reason which he is to assign to the questioners for this sighing is "on account of the report that is coming," - an antiptosis for "on account of the coming report" (cf. Genesis 1:4, etc.). the report comes when the substance of it is realized. The reference is to the report of the sword of the Lord, - that is to say, of the approach of the Chaldeans to destroy Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah. The impression which this disclosure will make upon the hearers will be perfectly paralyzing (Ezekiel 21:7). All courage and strength for offering resistance will be crippled and broken. נמס כּל־לב (cf. Nahum 2:11) is strengthened by כּהתה, every spirit will become dull, so that no one will know what counsel to give. 'כּל־בּרכּים תּלכנה וגו corresponds to רפוּ כּל־ידים (cf. Ezekiel 7:17). The threat is strengthened by the words, "behold, it cometh, and will take place." The subject is שׁמוּעה, the report, i.e., the substance of the report. - This threat is more fully expanded in Ezekiel 21:8-17; Ezekiel 21:8-13 corresponding to Ezekiel 21:1-5, and Ezekiel 21:14-17 to Ezekiel 21:6, Ezekiel 21:7.

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