Ezekiel 22:24
Son of man, say to her, You are the land that is not cleansed, nor rained on in the day of indignation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) That is not cleansed.—The third and last Divine communication of this chapter begins with Ezekiel 22:23, and contains a further enumeration of the sins of Israel, showing that they have been committed by all classes alike, and ending, like the others, with the prophecy of the outpouring of God’s wrath. There is much difference of opinion as to the meaning of the clause “that is not cleansed;” the most probable view is that it speaks of the land as neglected and uncared for—the stones not gathered up and the weeds allowed to grow. It has had neither human care, nor has it received the Divine blessing of rain.

Ezekiel 22:24-25. Thou art the land that is not cleansed nor rained upon, &c. — Though God’s judgments have been as violent floods, and as hottest fires, thou hast not been cleansed from thy wickedness by the punishments I have sent upon thee, nor purified by the instructions and admonitions which I have given thee by my prophets; which, if they had been duly received, would have been instrumental in cleansing thee from all thy filthiness, as the heavy rains wash away the filth that lies upon the earth: see Isaiah 4:4; John 15:3; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Peter 1:22. Or this latter clause, nor rained upon, may be taken literally, and signify that God had withheld rain from them, which was one of the judgments wherewith God punished them in the day of his wrath, Jeremiah 14:4. There is a conspiracy of her prophets — That is, of the false prophets: a contrivance to speak all alike, smooth words, and to utter promises of peace and safety: they are all agreed together to deceive the people, and to plot the ruin of the true prophets, and those that favour them. They have devoured souls — They have brought men to ruin and destruction, by deceiving them with their false predictions; and taken away their lives, by false accusations and evil practices. They have taken the treasure and precious things — As a reward of their lies. By their cunning arts they have obtained riches, power, and honours, and have drained the people of their substance; they have made her — Namely, the land; many widows — By persuading Zedekiah to persist in the war, which filled Jerusalem with dead husbands and forlorn widows.22:23-31 All orders and degrees of men had helped to fill the measure of the nation's guilt. The people that had any power abused it, and even the buyers and sellers find some way to oppress one another. It bodes ill to a people when judgments are breaking in upon them, and the spirit of prayer is restrained. Let all who fear God, unite to promote his truth and righteousness; as wicked men of every rank and profession plot together to run them down.The sixth word of judgment. The special sins of princes, priests, and people.24. land … not cleansed—not cleared or cultivated; all a scene of desolation; a fit emblem of the moral wilderness state of the people.

nor rained upon—a mark of divine "indignation"; as the early and latter rain, on which the productiveness of the land depended, was one of the great covenant blessings. Joel (Joe 2:23) promises the return of the former and latter rain, with the restoration of God's favor.

Thou; the land of Israel.

Is not cleansed, nor rained upon; though God’s judgments have been as violent storms and floods, though they have been as hottest fires, yet neither thy filth hath been carried away, nor thy dross melted out of thee by them, still thou retainest both. Therefore is

indignation kindled against thee, and thou shalt be deprived of the dews of heaven, the rain that should cool thy thirsty land shall be withholden, that rain that should make the ground fruitful shall not descend. Son of man, say unto her, thou land,.... Thou land of Israel, as the Targum:

thou art not cleansed; from filthiness, by the fire of divine judgments; or reformed from sins, by the instructions, cautions, and exhortations of the prophets; none of these things had any effect upon her to make her wiser and better. So the Targum,

"a land not cleansed it is, and good works are not done in it, to protect it in the day of cursing:''

nor rained upon in the day of indignation; no cooling shower to quench the fire of divine wrath; nothing to avert or stop the judgments of God; no refreshment and comfort from the doctrines of the prophets, which fell like rain: it is a judgment upon a people to have no rain, either in a temporal or spiritual sense; see Zechariah 14:17. In the Talmud (h), this text is brought to prove that the flood did not come upon the land of Israel.

(h) T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 113. 1.

Son of man, say to her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, {m} nor rained upon in the day of indignation.

(m) You are like a barren land which the Lord plagues with drought.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. the land … not cleansed] A land. The words “not cleansed” are parallel to “not rained upon.” In the east, however, raining upon is not a figure for cleansing, but for removing the curse and judgment, and blessing with fertility (Jeremiah 3:3). LXX. has “not wetted by rain” here, which most moderns accept, cf. ch. Ezekiel 34:26; Leviticus 26:4; Deuteronomy 11:14; 1 Kings 8:35-36.Blood-guiltiness of Jerusalem and the burden of its sins. Ezekiel 22:1-5 contain the principal accusation relating to bloodshed and idolatry; and Ezekiel 22:6-16 a further account of the sins of the people and their rulers, with a brief threatening of punishment. - Ezekiel 22:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 22:2. And thou, son of man, wilt thou judge? wilt thou judge the city of blood-guiltiness? then show it all its abominations, Ezekiel 22:3. And say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, City, which sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols within itself for defilement. Ezekiel 22:4. Through thy blood which thou hast shed hast thou made thyself guilty, and through thine idols which thou hast made hast thou defiled thyself, and hast drawn thy days near, and hast come to thy years; therefore I make thee a scorn to the nations, and ridicule to all lands. Ezekiel 22:5. Those near and those far off from thee shall ridicule thee as defiled in name, rich in confusion. - The expression 'התשׁפּט וגו proves this address to be a continuation of the reproof of Israel's sins, which commenced in Ezekiel 20:4. The epithet city of blood-guiltiness, as in Ezekiel EZechariah 24:6, Ezekiel 24:9 (compare Nahum 3:1), is explained in Ezekiel 22:3. The apodosis commences with והודעתּהּ, and is continued in Ezekiel 22:3 (ואמרתּ). לבוא עתּהּ, that her time, i.e., her time of punishment, may come: עתּהּ, like יומו in Ezekiel 21:30. ועשׂתּה is not a continuation of the infinitive לבוא, but of the participle שׁפכת. עליה, of which different renderings have been given, does not mean "over itself," i.e., as a burden with which it has laden itself (Hvernick); still less "for itself" (Hitzig), a meaning which על never has, but literally "upon," i.e., in itself, covering the city with it, as it were. ותּקריבי, thou hast brought near, brought on thy days, that is to say, the days of judgment, and hast come to, arrived at thy years, sc. the years of visitation and punishment (cf. Jeremiah 11:23). This meaning is readily supplied by the context. טמאת ה, defiled, unclean with regard to the name, i.e., having forfeited the name of a holy city through capital crimes and other sinful abominations. מהוּמה is internal confusion, both moral and religious, as in Amos 3:9 (cf. Psalm 55:10-12).

In Ezekiel 22:6-12 there follows an enumeration of a multitude of sins which had been committed in Jerusalem. - Ezekiel 22:6. Behold, the princes of Israel are every one, according to his arm, in thee to shed blood. Ezekiel 22:7. Father and mother they despise in thee; toward the foreigner they act violently in the midst of thee; orphans and widows they oppress in thee. Ezekiel 22:8. Thou despisest my holy things, and desecratest my Sabbaths. Ezekiel 22:9. Slanderers are in thee to shed blood, and they eat upon the mountains in thee; they practise lewdness in thee. Ezekiel 22:10. They uncover the father's nakedness in thee; they ravish the defiled in her uncleanness in thee. Ezekiel 22:11. They take gifts in thee to shed blood; interest and usury thou takest, and overreachest thy neighbours with violence, and thou forgettest me, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - By the repetition of the refrain, to shed blood (Ezekiel 22:6, Ezekiel 22:9, and Ezekiel 22:12), the enumeration is divided into three groups of sins, which are placed in the category of blood-guiltiness by the fact that they are preceded by this sentence and the repetition of it after the form of a refrain. the first group (Ezekiel 22:6-8) embraces sins which are committed in daring opposition to all the laws of morality. By the princes of Israel we are to understand primarily the profligate kings, who caused innocent persons to be put to death, such, for example, as Jehoiakim (2 Kings 24:4), Manasseh (2 Kings 21:16), and others. The words אישׁ are rendered by Hitzig and Kliefoth, they were ready to help one another; and in support of the rendering they appeal to Psalm 83:9. But in that case אישׁ לזרעו would stand for לזרע אישׁ rof dnat, or rather for אישׁ זרוע לאישׁ, - a substitution which cannot be sustained. Nor can they be taken in the sense proposed by Hvernick, every one relying upon his arm, i.e., looking to physical force alone, but simply every one according to his arm, i.e., according to his strength or violence, are they in thee. In this case היוּ does not require anything to be supplied, any more than in the similar combination in Ezekiel 22:9. Followed by למען with an infinitive, it means to be there with the intention of doing anything, or making an attempt, i.e., to direct his efforts to a certain end. In Ezekiel 22:7 it is not the princes who are the subject, but the ungodly in general. הקלּוּ is the opposite of כּבּד (Exodus 20:12). In the reproofs which follow, compare Exodus 22:20.; Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14. With insolence and violence toward men there is associated contempt of all that is holy. For Ezekiel 22:8, see Ezekiel 20:13. - In the second group, Ezekiel 22:9-11, in addition to slander and idolatry, the crimes of lewdness and incest are the principal sins for which the people are reproved; and here the allusion to Leviticus 18 and 19 is very obvious. The reproof of slander also points back to the prohibition in Leviticus 19:16. Slander to shed blood, refers to malicious charges and false testimony in a court of justice (vid., 1 Kings 21:10-11). For eating upon the mountains, see Ezekiel 18:6. The practice of zimmâh is more specifically described in Ezekiel 22:10 and Ezekiel 22:11. For the thing itself, compare Leviticus 18:7-8; Leviticus 19:15 and Leviticus 19:9. The threefold אישׁ in Ezekiel 22:11 does not mean every one, but one, another, and the third, as the correlative רעהוּ shows. - The third group, Ezekiel 22:12, is composed of sins of covetousness. For the first clause, compare the prohibition in Exodus 23:2; for the second, Ezekiel 18:8, Ezekiel 18:13. The reproof finishes with forgetfulness of God, which is closely allied to covetousness.

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