Ezekiel 22:30
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
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(30) Make up the hedge, is only another form of “stand in the gap,” added for the sake of emphasis. Both refer to intercession for the people (see Psalm 106:23). It is not meant that there was not a single godly man, but not one of such a pure, strong, and commanding character that his intercessions might avert the threatened doom.

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 land might be said to perish for the lack of such interpositions as saved their forefathers when Moses "stood in the gap." This was a proof of the general corruption, that there was not in the city sufficient righteousness to save it from utter destruction. Prince, prophet, priest, all fail. 30. the hedge—the wall (see on [1059]Eze 13:5); image for leading the people to repentance.

the gap—the breach (Ps 106:23); image for interceding between the people and God (Ge 20:7; Ex 32:11; Nu 16:48).

I found none—(Jer 5:1)—not that literally there was not a righteous man in the city. For Jeremiah, Baruch, &c., were still there; but Jeremiah had been forbidden to pray for the people (Jer 11:14), as being doomed to wrath. None now, of the godly, knowing the desperate state of the people, and God's purpose as to them, was willing longer to interpose between God's wrath and them. And none "among them," that is, among those just enumerated as guilty of such sins (Eze 22:25-29), was morally able for such an office.

I sought, very earnestly and diligently; spoken of God after the manner of man.

A man; any one.

Amongst them; among princes, prophets, priests, or people.

That should make up the hedge; to repair the breach, and prevent further mischief.

Stand in the gap; that might interpose between a sinful, suffering people and their offended God, and entreat for mercy, that the land might not be destroyed.

But I found none; all were corrupted, not one but obstinately went on to sin and provoke me. And I sought for a man among them,.... among the princes, priests, prophets, and people of the land, who acted the part as above described; for otherwise, no doubt, there were good people in the land, as Jeremiah, Baruch, and others, but not among these:

that should make up the hedge; that was broken down by the transgressions of the people, who exceeded all bounds of law and justice; one that would restrain them from sinning, and reform them, and set them a good example; one, as the Targum has it,

"whose works were good;''

a good man, that would endeavour by his influence to stop the breaking in of sin, and the consequences of it:

and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; in the gap that sin had made, at which the Lord was entering as a man of war to destroy the transgressors; one that should present himself to the Lord on the behalf of the people; seek mercy for them, as the Targum; interpose between God and them, and act the part of an intercessor; pray for them, as Moses did for the people of Israel, that he would not destroy them; see Psalm 106:23,

but I found none; no reformer of them, no repairer of the breach, nor restorer of paths, to dwell in; no intercessor for them, as Abraham for Sodom, Moses for Israel; or any, like Aaron, that stood between the living and the dead to stay the plague.

And I sought for a man among them, that should {q} make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

(q) Who would show himself zealous in my cause by resisting vice, Isa 59:16 also pray to me to withhold my plagues, Ps 106:23.

30. All classes (Ezekiel 22:25-29) are alike corrupt; a man to stand in the breach in behalf of the people is looked for in vain, cf. Jeremiah 5:1.

For “hedge” better fence, cf. on Ezekiel 13:5. A “man” here is not a man to intercede, but a man to interpose, to stem the tide of ruin and turn the fortunes of the people. The moral energies of the nation were wholly exhausted; it could no more put forth out of itself a saviour to retrieve its fortunes. Cf. Isaiah 59:16, “and he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was none to interpose” (Isaiah 63:5).Verse 30. - And I sought for a man, etc. (For the imagery that follows, see Ezekiel 13:5: Psalm 106:23.) The fact stated, as in Jeremiah 5:1, is that there was no one in all Jerusalem righteous enough to be either a defender or an intercessor, none to be a "repairer of the breach" (Isaiah 58:12). Nothing was left but the righteous punishment proclaimed in Ver. 31.

Refining of Israel in the Furnace of Besieged Jerusalem

Ezekiel 22:17. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 22:18. Son of man, the house of Israel has become to me as dross; they are all brass, and tin, and iron, and lead in the furnace; dross of silver have they become. Ezekiel 22:19. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because ye have all become dross, therefore, behold, I gather you together in Jerusalem. Ezekiel 22:20. As men gather together silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin into the furnace, to blow the fire upon it for melting, so will I gather (you) together in my anger and my wrath, and put you in and melt you. Ezekiel 22:21. And I will collect you together, and blow the fire of my wrath upon you, that ye may be melted therein. Ezekiel 22:22. As silver is melted in the furnace, so shall ye be melted therein (viz., in Jerusalem), and shall learn that I Jehovah have poured out my wrath upon you. - This second word of God rests no doubt upon the figure in Ezekiel 22:15, of the uncleanness or dirt of sin; but it is not an exposition of the removal of the dirt, as predicted there. For that was to be effected through the dispersion of Israel among the nations, whereas the word of God, from Ezekiel 22:17 onwards, represents the siege awaiting Jerusalem as a melting process, through which God will separate the silver ore contained in Israel from the baser metals mingled with it. In Ezekiel 22:18 it commences with a description of the existing condition of Israel. It has turned to dross. היוּ is clearly a perfect, and is not to be taken as a prophetical future, as Kliefoth proposes. Such a rendering is not only precluded by the clause 'יען היות in Ezekiel 22:19, cut could only be made to yield an admissible sense by taking the middle clause of the verse, "all of them brass and tin," etc., as a statement of what Israel had become, or as a preterite in opposition to all the rules of Hebrew syntax, inasmuch as this clause merely furnishes an explanation of היוּ־לסוּג. סוּג, which only occurs here, for סיג signifies dross, not smelting-ore (Kliefoth), literally, recedanea, the baser ingredients which are mixed with the silver, and separated from it by smelting. This is the meaning here, where it is directly afterwards interpreted as consisting of brass, tin, iron, and lead, and then still further defined as סגּים כּסף, dross of silver, i.e., brass, tin, iron, and lead, with a mixture of silver. Because Israel had turned into silver-dross of this kind, the Lord would gather it together in Jerusalem, to smelt it there as in a smelting furnace; just as men gather together brass, iron, lead, and tin in a furnace to smelt them, or rather to separate the silver contained thereon. קבצת כּסף, literally, a collection of silver, etc., for "like a collection." The כ simil. is probably omitted for the sake of euphony, to avoid the discord occasioned by prefixing it to קבצת. Ezekiel mentions the silver as well, because there is some silver contained in the brass, iron, etc., or the dross is silver-dross. התּוּך, nomen verbale, from נתך in the Hiphil, smelting; literally, as the smelting of silver takes place in the furnace. The smelting is treated here simply as a figurative representation of punishment, and consequently the result of the smelting, namely, the refining of the silver by the removal of the baser ingredients, is not referred to any further, as in the case in Isaiah 1:22, Isaiah 1:25; Jeremiah 6:27-30; Malachi 3:2-3. This smelting process was experienced by Israel in the last siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans.

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