Ezekiel 22:7
In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow.
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(7) By father and mother.—Filial respect was one of the most frequently enjoined precepts of the law (see Leviticus 19:32; Leviticus 20:9, &c.). So the other sins mentioned in this and the following verses are transgressions of special Divine commands. “Dealt by oppression” is “dealt oppressively” (see Leviticus 19:10; Exodus 22:21; Deuteronomy 24:14, &c.); for “the father less and widow” (Exodus 22:22-24, &c.). The despising of holy things and the profanation of the sabbaths were the constant subject of the warnings of the law; tale-bearers are forbidden in Leviticus 19:16; the “eating upon the mountains” (which means joining in the idol sacrifices) is often reproved by this and the other prophets; and the sins of lewdness enumerated are all specifically forbidden in Leviticus 18, 20, as well as elsewhere; while the various sins arising from covetousness, mentioned in Ezekiel 22:12, had been constantly denounced both by the law and in the warnings of the prophets. The expression “hast forgotten me” is at once the root of all these sins, and in itself the climax of all.

22:1-16 The prophet is to judge the bloody city; the city of bloods. Jerusalem is so called, because of her crimes. The sins which Jerusalem stands charged with, are exceeding sinful. Murder, idolatry, disobedience to parents, oppression and extortion, profanation of the sabbath and holy things, seventh commandment sins, lewdness and adultery. Unmindfulness of God was at the bottom of all this wickedness. Sinners provoke God because they forget him. Jerusalem has filled the measure of her sins. Those who give up themselves to be ruled by their lusts, will justly be given up to be portioned by them. Those who resolve to be their own masters, let them expect no other happiness than their own hands can furnish; and a miserable portion it will prove.Render it: Behold the princes of Israel, each according to his might (literally "arm") have been in thee in order to shed blood. They looked to might not right. 7. set light by—Children have made light of, disrespected, father … (De 27:16). At Eze 22:7-12 are enumerated the sins committed in violation of Moses' law. In thee; in Jerusalem.

Have they: it is plural, and agrees with princes, they whose better disposition, whose education and greatness, (beside the command of God,) should have advanced their venerable thoughts and deportment towards parents.

Set light by, have contemned, father and mother, though God threatens to curse such as do so, Deu 27:16.

They; the princes still, as the construction in the original carrieth it.

By oppression; by force and fraud, for the oppression here mentioned is made up of both; where either the fox or lion could apart, or else both joined, they have oppressed the stranger, expressly against God’s command, Exodus 22:21.

They; still the same great men, and rulers, who should, as Isaiah 1:17, have defended, plead. ed for, relieved, and comforted the fatherless and widow, but contrariwise they oppress, disquiet, and make a prey of them.

In thee have they set light by father and mother,.... Through whom they received their being from God; by whom they were brought into the world, brought up and educated; and to whom they owed great respect, honour, and obedience; but, on the contrary, they wanted affection to their persons, showed great disrespect to their commands, and treated them with irreverence and contempt; a sin of a very heinous nature, of the first magnitude; reckoned among the very Heathens as next to contempt of God, and disobedience to him; is directly contrary to a law of God, and threatened with a curse, and a severe punishment, Exodus 20:12 by the connection of the words with the preceding, the princes of Israel seem intended; the children of the nobles, and the sons and daughters of the king; who, it might have been thought, by the character they bore, the station they were in, and the politeness of their education, would have behaved in another manner; and if this sin prevailed among them, no doubt it did among those of a lower class, who are always influenced by such examples:

in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger; the proselyte, as the Septuagint; him that was converted to me, as the Syriac version; which is an aggravation of the sin, that it was not merely a stranger that came about civil business, but one who came from foreign parts to worship the Lord at Jerusalem, as the Ethiopian eunuch did: now, to oppress such an one, either by private frauds, or by injustice in a court of judicature; to exact upon him for food or lodging; or circumvent and overreach him in trade and commerce; or distress him by vexatious lawsuits, when ignorant of the laws and customs of the country; at a distance from his friends, and in want of money, must be a very great evil; and yet even the princes themselves in Jerusalem were guilty of it:

in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow; that were weak and helpless, and had none to protect them, father and husband being dead; when, according to their first rank and station as princes, they ought to have been the defenders of them; but, instead of that, distressed, afflicted, and grieved them.

In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee {e} have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they oppressed the fatherless and the widow.

(e) He means by this that there was no kind of wickedness which was not committed in Jerusalem and therefore the plagues of God would speedily come on her.

7. “They” no more refers to the princes, but is said generally. On “father and mother” Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Deuteronomy 27:16. On “stranger” ch. Ezekiel 18:18; Exodus 22:21. On “fatherless,” Exodus 22:22.

Verse 7. - We pass to sins of another kind. The fifth commandment was trampled underfoot as well as the sixth, and the blessing of continued national existence (Exodus 20:12) was thereby forfeited. The widow and the orphan and the stranger (we note in that last word the width of Ezekiel's sympathies) were oppressed (compare the same grouping in Deuteronomy 27:16, 19). Ezekiel 22:7Blood-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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