Ezekiel 25:1
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ezekiel 25:1-2. The word of the Lord came again unto me — Though Ezekiel had finished his testimony with respect to the destruction of Jerusalem, he must not be silent; there were divers nations bordering upon the land of Israel which he must prophesy against, as Isaiah and Jeremiah had done before him; and must proclaim God’s controversy with them, chiefly because of the injuries and indignities which they had done to the people of God in the day of their calamity. God’s resenting thus the injurious conduct of these nations toward his Israel, was an encouragement to Israel to believe, that though he had dealt thus severely with them, yet he had not cast them finally off, but would hereafter own them and plead their cause. The chronological order of these prophecies is after Ezekiel 33:21, &c., at a time when, not only the taking of Jerusalem was known, but also the conduct which the surrounding nations pursued, in consequence of that event. Song of Solomon of man, set thy face against the Ammonites — “Look thou toward the coast of the Ammonites, and in this posture prophesy against them.” — Bishop Hall. Ezekiel was now a captive in Chaldea, and had been so many years, and knew little, except by supernatural revelation, even of the state of his own nation, and much less of the nations around it; but God tells him both what they were doing, and what he was about to do with them. And thus, by the spirit of prophecy, he is enabled to speak as pertinently to their case as if he had been among them.

25:1-7. It is wicked to be glad at the calamities of any, especially of God's people; it is a sin for which he will surely reckon. God will make it appear that he is the God of Israel, though he suffers them for a time to be captives in Babylon. It is better to know Him, and to be poor, than to be rich and ignorant of him.It was a distinct part of scriptural prophecy to address pagan nations. In Isaiah Isa. 13-19, Jeremiah Jer. 46-51, and here Ezekiel 25-32, one section is specially devoted to a collection of such prophecies. Every such prediction had the general purpose of exhibiting the conflict ever waging between the servants of God and the powers of the world, the struggle in which the Church of Christ has still to wrestle against her foes Ephesians 6:12, but in which she will surely prevail.

It was a distinct part of scriptural prophecy to address pagan nations. In Isaiah Isa. 13-19, Jeremiah Jer. 46-51, and here Ezekiel 25-32, one section is specially devoted to a collection of such prophecies. Every such prediction had the general purpose of exhibiting the conflict ever waging between the servants of God and the powers of the world, the struggle in which the Church of Christ has still to wrestle against her foes Ephesians 6:12, but in which she will surely prevail.

This series of prophecies, with one exception, was delivered at the time of the fall of Jerusalem; some shortly before, and some shortly after, the capture of the city. They were collected together to illustrate their original purpose of warning the nations not to exult in their neighbor's fall. Seven nations are addressed, which have had most contact with the children of Israel - on their eastern borders Moab and Ammon, to the south, Edom, on the south-west Philistia, northward Tyre (the merchant city) and the more ancient Sidon, and lastly Egypt, alternately the scourge and the false stay of the chosen people. The number "seven" is symbolic of completeness. "Seven" prophecies against Egypt the chief of "seven" nations, denote the completeness of the overthrow of the pagan power, the antagonist of the kingdom of God. While other prophets hold out to these pagan nations some prospect of future mercy (e. g., Isaiah 16:14; Jeremiah 49:6, Jeremiah 49:11), Ezekiel speaks of their complete ruin. He was contemplating "national" ruin. In the case of Jerusalem there would be national restoration, but in the case of the pagan no such recovery. The "national" ruin was irretrievable; the remnant to whom the other prophets hold out hopes of mercy were to find it as individuals gathered into God's Church, not as nations to be again set up. Ezekiel does not, like other prophets, prophesy against Babylon; it was his mission to show that for the moment, Babylon was the righteous instrument of the divine wrath, doing God's work in punishing His foes. In prophesying against foreign nations, Ezekiel often adopts the language of those who preceded him.

In Ezekiel 25, the four nations most closely connected with one another by geographical position and by contact, are addressed in a few brief sentences concluding with the same refrain - "Ye shall know that I am the Lord" (e. g. Ezekiel 25:5). This prophecy was delivered immediately after the capture of the city by Nebuchadnezzar, and so is later, in point of time, than some of the prophecies that follow it.

The Ammonites were inveterate foes of the descendants of Abraham.

CHAPTER 25

Eze 25:1-17. Appropriately in the Interval of Silence as to the Jews in the Eight Chapters, (Twenty-fifth through Thirty-second) Ezekiel Denounces Judgments on the Heathen World Kingdoms.

If Israel was not spared, much less the heathen utterly corrupt, and having no mixture of truth, such as Israel in its worst state possessed (1Pe 4:17, 18). Their ruin was to be utter: Israel's but temporary (Jer 46:28). The nations denounced are seven, the perfect number; implying that God's judgments would visit, not merely these, but the whole round of the heathen foes of God. Babylon is excepted, because she is now for the present viewed as the rod of God's retributive justice, a view too much then lost sight of by those who fretted against her universal supremacy.God’s vengeance upon the Ammonites, Ezekiel 25:1-7, upon Moab and Seir, Ezekiel 25:7-11, upon Edom, Ezekiel 25:12-14, and upon the Philistines, for their declared malevolence to the Jews, Ezekiel 25:15-17.

Though he had order no more yet awhile to prophesy against the Jews, he was to be dumb as to them, yet he hath commission to foretell sad tidings to other nations round about the Jews.

The word of the Lord came unto me,.... After he had done prophesying to the Jews, he is bid to prophesy against the Gentiles, the nations that lay nearest the Jews:

saying; as follows:

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1–7. Prophecy against Ammon

The name of this people is usually the children of Ammon (Beni Ammon). This is the name both of the people and the country (in the latter case construed as fem. Ezekiel 25:3; Ezekiel 25:10). Ammon was recognised by Israel as a distant member of the same family with themselves (Genesis 19:38). At an early period the people was settled on the E. of the Jordan, between the Arnon and the Jabbok (Jdg 11:13), but before the Exodus they had been dispossessed of this territory by Amorites from the W. of the Jordan, and pushed eastward towards the desert (Numbers 21:21), though they could not forget their ancient claims to their former seat, even when Israel had wrested it from the Amorites (Jdg 11:19; cf. Joshua 13:25). The relations of Ammon to Israel were for the most part unfriendly. In the times of the Judges they harassed the tribes E. of the Jordan, and were crushed by Jephthah (Judges 10-11). Saul signalised his early reign by defeating their king, who had laid siege to Jabesh in Gilead (1 Samuel 11). Owing to the affront offered to his ambassadors David invaded the country and took cruel vengeance on the inhabitants (2 Samuel 10:1; 2 Samuel 11:14; 2 Samuel 12:26). The Ammonites continued when opportunity offered to carry on a savage warfare with the tribes across the Jordan (Amos 1:13); and when these were carried away by the Assyrians they naturally in company with Moab seized the depopulated country (Jeremiah 49:1; Zephaniah 2:8). During the struggle of Judah with Babylon they shewed the old mischievous animosity (2 Kings 24:2), and after the fall of the city the treacherous murder of Gedaliah the Babylonian governor by Ishmael was instigated by their king (Jeremiah 40:14). After the Return Ammonites are again found obstructing the pious aspirations of the restored community (Nehemiah 4:3; cf. Nehemiah 2:10; cf. Nehemiah 2:19), and true to their old instincts they appear on the side of the Syrians in the Maccabean war of independence (1Ma 5:6).

Ezekiel 25:1Against the Ammonites

Ezekiel 25:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 25:2. Son of man, direct thy face towards the sons of Ammon, and prophesy against them, Ezekiel 25:3. And say to the sons of Ammon, Hear ye the word of the Lord Jehovah! Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because thou sayest, Aha! concerning my sanctuary, that it is profaned; and concerning the land of Israel, that it is laid waste; and concerning the house of Judah, that they have gone into captivity; Ezekiel 25:4. Therefore, behold, I will give thee to the sons of the east for a possession, that they may pitch their tent-villages in thee, and erect their dwellings in thee; they shall eat thy fruits, and they shall drink thy milk. Ezekiel 25:5. And Rabbah will I make a camel-ground, and the sons of Ammon a resting-place for flocks; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 25:6. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because thou hast clapped thy hand, and stamped with thy foot, and hast rejoiced in soul with all thy contempt concerning the house of Israel, Ezekiel 25:7. Therefore, behold, I will stretch out my hand against thee, and give thee to the nations for booty, and cut thee off from the peoples, and exterminate thee from the lands; I will destroy thee, that thou mayst learn that I am Jehovah. - In Ezekiel 21:28., when predicting the expedition of Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, Ezekiel had already foretold the destruction of the Ammonites, so that these verses are simply a resumption and confirmation of the earlier prophecy. In the passage referred to, Ezekiel, like Zephaniah before him (Zephaniah 2:8, Zephaniah 2:10), mentions their reviling of the people of God as the sin for which they are to be punished with destruction. This reviling, in which their hatred of the divine calling of Israel found vent, was the radical sin of Ammon. On the occasion of Judah's fall, it rose even to contemptuous and malicious joy at the profanation of the sanctuary of Jehovah by the destruction of the temple (a comparison with Ezekiel 24:21 will show that this is the sense in which נחל is to be understood), at the devastation of the land of Israel, and at the captivity of Judah, - in other words, at the destruction of the religious and political existence of Israel as the people of God. The profanation of the sanctuary is mentioned first, to intimate that the hostility to Israel, manifested by the Ammonites on every occasion that presented itself (for proofs, see the comm. on Zephaniah 2:8), had its roots not so much in national antipathies, as in antagonism to the sacred calling of Israel. As a punishment for this, they are not only to lose their land (Ezekiel 25:4 and Ezekiel 25:5), but to be cut off from the number of the nations (Ezekiel 25:6 and Ezekiel 25:7). The Lord will give up their land, with its productions, for a possession to the sons of the east, i.e., according to Genesis 25:13-18, to the Arabs, the Bedouins (for בּני קדם, see the comm. on Judges 6:3 and Job 1:3). The Piel ישּׁבוּ, although only occurring here, is not to be rejected as critically suspicious, and to be changed into Kal, as Hitzig proposes. The Kal would be unsuitable, because the subject of the sentence can only be בּני קדם, and not טירותיהם; and ישׁב in the Kal has an intransitive sense. For טירות, tent-villages of nomads, see the comm. on Genesis 25:16. משׁכּנים, dwellings, are the separate tents of the shepherds. In the last clauses of Ezekiel 25:4, המּה is repeated for the sake of emphasis; and Hitzig's opinion, that the first המּה corresponds to the subject in the clause 'וישּׁבוּ וגו, the second to that in ונתנוּ, is to be rejected as a marvellous flight of imagination, which approaches absurdity in the assertion that פּרי הארץ signifies the folds, i.e., the animals, of the land. Along with the fruit of the land, i.e., the produce of the soil, milk is also mentioned as a production of pastoral life, and the principal food of nomads. On the wealth of the Ammonites in flocks and herds, see Judges 6:5. The words are addressed to Ammon, as a land or kingdom, and hence the feminine suffix. The capital will also share the fate of the land. Rabbah (see the comm. on Deuteronomy 3:11) will become a camel-ground, a waste spot where camels lie down and feed. This has been almost literally fulfilled. The ruins of Ammn are deserted by men, and Seetzen found Arabs with their camels not far off (vid., von Raumer, Palestine, p. 268). In the parallel clause, the sons of Ammon, i.e., the Ammonites, are mentioned instead of their land.

In Ezekiel 25:6 and Ezekiel 25:7, the Lord announces to the nation of the Ammonites the destruction that awaits them, and reiterates with still stronger emphasis the sin which occasioned it, namely, the malicious delight they had manifested at Israel's fall. בּכל־שׁאטך is strengthened by בּנפשׁ: with all thy contempt in the soul, i.e., with all the contempt which thy soul could cherish. In Ezekiel 25:7 the ἁπ λεγ.. לבג occasions some difficulty. The Keri has substituted לבז, for booty for the nations (cf. Ezekiel 26:5); and all the ancient versions have adopted this. Consequently בּג might be a copyist's error for בּז; and in support of this the circumstance might be adduced, that in Ezekiel 47:13, where גּה stands for זה, we have unquestionably a substitution of ג for ז. But if the Chetib בז be correct, the word is to be explained - as it has been by Benfey (Die Montasnamen, p. 194) and Gildemeister (in Lassen's Zeitschrift fr die Kunde des Morgenlandes, iv. 1, p. 213ff.) - from the Sanscrit bha equals ga, pars, portio, and has passed into the Semitic languages from the Aryan, like the Syriac bagaa', esca, which P. Boetticher (Horae aram. p. 21) has correctly traced to the Sanscrit bhaj, conquere. - The executors of the judgment are not named; for the threat that God will give up the land of the Ammonites to the Bedouins for their possession, does not imply that they are to exterminate the Ammonites. On the contrary, a comparison of this passage with Amos 1:13-15 and Jeremiah 49:1-5, where the Ammonites are threatened not only with the devastation of their land, but also with transportation into exile, will show that the Chaldeans are to be thought of as executing the judgment. (See the comm. on Ezekiel 25:11.)

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