Her princes in the middle thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Her princes.—These are not only the kings, but also the nobles and those in authority at court—in other words, the ruling class. Their injustice and violence is a constant theme for prophetic rebuke.Ezekiel 22:27-28. Her princes are like wolves — The chief officers of state stick at no method of injustice and oppression whereby they may increase their substance, though it be by taking away the lives and estates of the innocent: see the margin. And her prophets have daubed them, &c. — Have daubed over the evil practices of the great men, by palliating devices: or, have flattered them in their ways of sin and violence, and encouraged them to proceed therein with promises, which, like ill-tempered mortar, will deceive them, though all seems at present smooth and safe.Leviticus 10:10.
wolves—notorious for fierce and ravening cruelty (Mic 3:2, 3, 9-11; Joh 10:12).Her princes, as before, Ezekiel 22:25,26. Princes; rulers of all sorts, who should have crushed oppressors and defended the oppressed. Wolves; creatures greedy, bloody, and crafty, resembling dogs that men make use of to defend their folds; so the authority which God had given to defend is by these hypocrites perverted to satisfy the bloody and greedy appetite of tyrannical governors among the Jews: possibly the prophet may tax the degeneracy and baseness of these rulers hereby. Shed blood; innocent blood; a crying sin in princes, who have God’s power committed to them to preserve the innocent.
Destroy souls; undo and ruin families, cutting off the fathers, and impoverishing the widow and fatherless.
Get dishonest gain; confiscating estates not forfeited.
to shed blood; innocent blood, as the Targum:
and to destroy souls; take away lives, under a pretence of treasonable practices, and all with a view to get dishonest gain; that their estates may be forfeited, their goods confiscated, and got into their hands.Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. Her princes] The “princes” here are the chiefs or leaders of the people, cf. Jeremiah 26:10; Jeremiah 36:12.
get dishonest gain] Cf. Jeremiah 6:13; Jeremiah 8:10. The term is used pretty generally, of selfish advantage.Verse 27. - Wolves (comp. Habakkuk 1:8; Zephaniah 3:3; Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29). Ezekiel 22:13. And, behold, I smite my hand because of thy gain which thou hast made, and over thy bloodguiltiness which is in the midst of thee. Ezekiel 22:14. Will thy heart indeed stand firm, or will thy hands be strong for the day when I shall deal with thee? I Jehovah have spoken it, and also do it. Ezekiel 22:15. I will scatter thee among the nations, and disperse thee in the lands, and will utterly remove thine uncleanness from thee. Ezekiel 22:16. And thou wilt be desecrated through thyself before the eyes of the nations, and know that I am Jehovah. - Ezekiel 22:13 is closely connected with the preceding verse. This serves to explain the fact that the only sins mentioned as exciting the wrath of God are covetousness and blood-guiltiness. הכּה , as 2 Kings 11:12 clearly shows, is a contracted expression for הכּה כּף אל (Ezekiel 21:19), and the smiting of the hands together is a gesture indicative of wrathful indignation. For the form דּמך, contracted from דּמיך, see the comm. on Ezekiel 16:45. - As Ezekiel 22:13 leads on to the threatening of judgment, so does Ezekiel 22:14 point in anticipation to the terrible nature of the judgment itself. The question, "will thy heart stand firm?" involves a warning against security. עמד is the opposite of נמס (cf. Ezekiel 21:12), as standing forms the antithesis to passing away (cf. Psalm 102:27). עשׂה אותך, as in Ezekiel 16:59 and Ezekiel 7:27. The Lord will scatter them (cf. Ezekiel 12:15; Ezekiel 20:23), and remove the uncleanness of sin, namely, by purifying the people in exile (cf. Isaiah 4:4). התם, from תּמם, to cause to cease, with מן, to take completely away. נחלתּ, Niphal of חלל fo lahpiN ,נחלתּ ., connected with לעיני גּוים, as in Ezekiel 20:9, not from נחל, as many of the commentators who follow the Septuagint and Vulgate suppose. בּך, not in te, in thyself, but through thee, i.e., through thy sinful conduct and its consequences.
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