Ezekiel 25:12
Thus said the Lord GOD; Because that Edom has dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended, and revenged himself on them;
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(12) Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah.—The reason of Edom’s hostility to Israel is expressly said to be revenge. Descended from the elder son, they had never looked complacently on the spiritual superiority given to the descendants of the younger. They showed their hostility from the first in refusing, with a show of violence, a passage to the Israelites through their territory (Numbers 20:18-21); and although they were subdued and made tributary under David and Solomon (2Samuel 8:14; 1Kings 9:26), yet in the decline of the Jewish power they availed themselves of every opportunity for hostility (2Chronicles 28:17, &c). At this time they not only joined the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, but appear to have urged on the conqueror to greater cruelty, and to have themselves waylaid the fugitives to cut them off (Ezekiel 35:5; Psalm 137:7; Amos 1:11; Obadiah 1:11). They also, during the Captivity, took possession of many towns of Judea, including Hebron (Jos., Antt., xii. 8, § 6; B. J., 4:9, § 7), which were re-conquered in the time of the Maccabees. Other prophecies against Edom may be found in Numbers 24:18-19; Isaiah 11:14; Jeremiah 49:7-12; Joel 3:19, besides the extended prophecy of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 35.

Ezekiel 25:12-14. Because that Edom, &c. — “The Idumeans, being the posterity of Esau, bore an ancient grudge against the Jews, upon the account of their ancestor’s losing his right of primogeniture, and the subduing of Edom by David afterward, 2 Samuel 8:14. Upon both of these accounts they took hold of all opportunities of venting their spite against the Jewish nation: see particularly 2 Chronicles 28:17. For this their behaviour they were in former times reproved by Amos 1:11, and afterward by Obadiah, Ezekiel 25:10, and by Ezekiel, here and Ezekiel 35:5. The ill will that they showed toward them at the time of their captivity was very remarkable, as appears by those pathetical words of Psalm 137:7, Remember the children of Edom, O Lord, in the day of Jerusalem, when they said, Down with it, down with it, even to the ground.” I will lay my vengeance upon Edom, by Israel — My people Israel themselves, whom the Edomites have so often insulted, shall be the instruments of my vengeance upon Edom, and shall requite the wrongs they have received by subduing Idumea; this they did under the conduct of Judas Maccabæus. And afterward the high-priest Hyrcanus made an entire conquest of this country: see Prideaux, part 2. p. 307.25:8-17 Though one event seem to the righteous and wicked, it is vastly different. Those who glory in any other defence and protection than the Divine power, providence, and promise, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of their glorying. Those who will not leave it to God to take vengeance for them, may expect that he will take vengeance on them. The equity of the Lord's judgments is to be observed, when he not only avenges injuries upon those that did them, but by those against whom they were done. Those who treasure up old hatred, and watch for the opportunity of manifesting it, are treasuring up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath.Edom, so named from Esau, consisted of various tribes enumerated in Genesis 36. The Edomites became a powerful nation before the Israelites came out of Egypt. David conquered them, but in the reign of Joram they rebelled and were not again subdued 2 Kings 8:20. Under the name of Idumea the land was conquered by John Hyrcanus (compare Ezekiel 25:14), when many of the people adopted the religion of the Jews. In later times the Idumean Herod became king of Palestine, reckoning himself as a Jew. Mount Seir, deserted by its original inhabitants, was occupied by a tribe of Arabians (the Nabatheans), under whelm Petra rose and continued a flourishing city under Roman dominion, until the tide of Mahometan conquest brought it to that ruin in which Edom at last found the complete fulfillment of the prophecies uttered against it Ezekiel 35:1-15.

Taking vengeance - Referring to the wrong done by Jacob to Esau Genesis 27:36.

12. taking vengeance—literally, "revenging with revengement," that is, the most unrelenting vengeance. It was not simple hatred, but deep-brooding, implacable revenge. The grudge of Edom or Esau was originally for Jacob's robbing him of Isaac's blessing (Ge 25:23; 27:27-41). This purpose of revenge yielded to the extraordinary kindness of Jacob, through the blessing of Him with whom Jacob wrestled in prayer; but it was revived as an hereditary grudge in the posterity of Esau when they saw the younger branch rising to the pre-eminence which they thought of right belonged to themselves. More recently, for David's subjugation of Edom to Israel (2Sa 8:14). They therefore gave vent to their spite by joining the Chaldeans in destroying Jerusalem (Ps 137:7; La 4:22; Ob 10-14), and then intercepting and killing the fugitive Jews (Am 1:11) and occupying part of the Jewish land as far as Hebron. Edom; the Idumeans, children of Esau.

The house of Judah; the kingdom of David after the division of the tribes, when but two remained constant to the house of David.

By taking vengeance for the old quarrel, because Jacob got the blessing from Esau, or rather in revenging a later quarrel, which they had against Judah for the slaughter, spoil, and captivity they suffered by David’s conquering sword.

Hath greatly offended; both in the thing itself, for vengeance belongs to God; and in the manner and measures of executing it, as appears both from Psalm 137:7, and the prophecy of Obadiah 1:10-15, which see, and consider. Thus saith the Lord God,.... Concerning Seir or the Edomites, the prophecy concerning the Moabites being finished:

because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance: or, "revenging a revenge" (w); the Edomites bore an old grudge against the Jews, not only because their father Jacob had got the birthright and blessing from their father Esau; but because they were made tributaries to them in David's time, and afterwards severely chastised by Amaziah; these things they laid up in their minds, and vowed revenge whenever they had an opportunity; and now one offered at the destruction of Jerusalem, which they took:

and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them: not only by rejoicing at the destruction of the Jews, but by encouraging the Babylonians in it; assisting them therein, joining with them in plundering the city, and in cutting off those with the sword who endeavoured to make their escape; see Psalm 137:7.

(w) "in ulciscendo ultionem", Montanus, Starckius.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;
12. hath greatly offended] Israel as the people of the true God was inviolable (Jeremiah 2:3), except when Jehovah employed the nations to chastise it. Too often the nations exceeded their commission, cherishing purposes of their own (Isaiah 10:6 seq.), and themselves incurred guilt by their excess (Isaiah 47:6; Zechariah 1:15).

12–14. Prophecy against Edom

The relations of Edom to Israel were changeful. Subdued by David it shook off the yoke under Jehoram (2 Kings 8:20). Reconquered by Amaziah and Uzziah (2 Kings 14:7; 2 Kings 14:22), it rebelled under Ahaz (2 Kings 16:6; 2 Chronicles 28:17), and from this time was probably independent. Edomites seem to have taken part in the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, or at least to have been active in cutting off the fugitives (Ob. Ezekiel 25:10-14), and for their part in this they incurred the lasting hatred of Israel (Obad., Lamentations 4:21; Isaiah 34:5 seq., Isaiah 63:1-6; Joel 3:19; Psalm 137:7; Malachi 1:2. Cf. Jeremiah 49:7 seq.). During the exile the Edomites took possession of part of the land of Israel (Ezekiel 35:10); and in the time of the Maccabean war of independence, like the Ammonites, they shewed their hereditary enmity to Israel (1Ma 5:3; 1Ma 5:35). John Hyrcanus finally subdued them and incorporated them in the state of Israel. Ultimately, like Moab and Ammon, the name of Edom disappears from history, all the three peoples being known by the general name of Arabs,—Children of the East—as Ezek. had prophesied.Verses 12, 13. - Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah, etc. The statement receives many illustrations, notably in Psalm 137:7, and at an earlier date in Amos 1:11; Obadiah 1:11. What had been malicious exultation (the ἐπιχαιρεκακία, which Aristotle describes as the extremest type of evil) passed in the case of Edom into overt acts of hostility. The moment of Judah's weakness was seized on as an opportunity for gratifying what Ezekiel elsewhere (Ezekiel 35:5) calls the "perpetual hatred" of the people against Israel, for taking vengeance for the primal wrong which Esau had suffered at the hand of Jacob (Genesis 27:36). (For other prophecies against Edom, see Numbers 24:18, 19; Isaiah 11:14; Jeremiah 49:7-12; Joel 3:19.) Teman. The name, which signifies "South," was probably applied to a district - twice, here and in Jeremiah 49:7, 8, coupled with Dedan. In Jeremiah 49:20, 21 the cry of the inhabitants of Teman is said to have been "heard in the Red Sea," and this determines its geographical position, as being, in accordance with its name, the southern region of Edom. In Job 2:11 we have Eliphaz the Temanite as one of the patriarch's friends, and the same name appears as that of a son of Esau (Genesis 36:11). In Jeremiah (loc. cit.) Teman is named as famous for its wisdom. Dedan is named as a grandson of Cash in Genesis 10:7, and of Abraham by Keturah in Genesis 25:3. It has been inferred from this that there were two branches of the nation, one on the shores of the Persian Gulf, nomadic and trading, as in the "travelling companies" of Dedanim (Isaiah 21:13; Ezekiel 27:15, 20); the other settled in the territory of the Edomites ('Dict. Bible'). The latter is that to which Ezekiel refers. A various punctuation gives, with a better sense, "From Teman even unto Dedan they shall fall by the sword." Sequel of the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Prophet Himself

Ezekiel 24:25. And thou, son of man, behold, in the day when I take from them their might, their glorious joy, the delight of their eyes and the desire of their soul, their sons and their daughters, Ezekiel 24:26. In that day will a fugitive come to thee, to tell it to thine ears. Ezekiel 24:27. In that day will thy mouth be opened with the fugitive, and thou wilt speak, and no longer be mute; and thus shalt thou be a sign to them that they may know that I am Jehovah. - As the destruction of Jerusalem would exert a powerful influence upon the future history of the exiles on the Chaboras, and be followed by most important results, so was it also to be a turning-point for the prophet himself in the execution of his calling. Hvernick has thus correctly explained the connection between these closing verses and what precedes, as indicated by ואתּה in Ezekiel 24:25. As Ezekiel up to this time was to speak to the people only when the Lord gave him a word for them, and at other times was to remain silent and dumb (Ezekiel 3:26 and Ezekiel 3:27); from the day on which a messenger should come to bring him the tidings of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, he was to open his mouth, and not continue dumb any longer. The execution of this word of God is related in Ezekiel 33:21-22. The words, "when I take from them their strength," etc., are to be understood in accordance with Ezekiel 24:21. Consequently מעזּם is the sanctuary, which was taken from the Israelites through the destruction of Jerusalem. The predicates which follow down to משּׂא refer to the temple (cf. Ezekiel 24:21). משּׂא נפשׁ, an object toward which the soul lifts itself up (נשׂא), i.e., for which it cherishes a desire or longing; hence synonymous with מחמל נפשׁ htiw suomynon in Ezekiel 24:21. The sons and daughters are attached ἀσυνδετῶς. בּיּום (in that day), in Ezekiel 24:26, which resumes the words 'בּיום ק (in the day when I take, etc.) in Ezekiel 24:25, is not the day of the destruction of the temple, but generally the time of this event, or more precisely, the day on which the tidings would reach the prophet. הפּליט, with the generic article, a fugitive (vid., Genesis 14:13). להשׁמעוּת אזנים, to cause the ears to hear (it), i.e., to relate it, namely to the bodily ears of the prophet, whereas he had already heard it in spirit from God. השׁמעוּת, a verbal noun, used instead of the infinitive Hiphil. את־הפּליט, with the escaped one, i.e., at the same time "with the mouth of the fugitive" (Hitzig). את expresses association, or so far as the fact is concerned, simultaneousness. The words,"then wilt thou speak, and no longer be dumb," do not imply that it was only from that time forward that Ezekiel was to keep silence, but point back to Ezekiel 3:26 and Ezekiel 3:27, where silence is imposed upon him, with the exceptions mentioned there, from the very commencement of his ministry; and in comparison with that passage, simply involve implicite the thought that the silence imposed upon him then was to be observed in the strictest manner from the present time until the reception of the intelligence of the fall of Jerusalem, when his mouth would be opened once more. Through the "words of God" that were given to His prophet (Ezekiel 4-24), the Lord had now said to the people of Israel all that He had to say concerning the approaching catastrophe for them to consider and lay to heart, that they might be brought to acknowledge their sin, and turn with sorrow and repentance to their God. Therefore was Ezekiel from this time forward to keep perfect silence toward Israel, and to let God the Lord speak by His acts and the execution of His threatening words. It was not till after the judgment had commenced that his mouth was to be opened again for still further announcements (vid., Ezekiel 33:22). - Ezekiel was thereby to become a sign to the Israelites. These words have a somewhat different meaning in Ezekiel 24:27 from that which they have in Ezekiel 24:24. There, Ezekiel, by the way in which he behaved at the death of his wife, was to be a sign to the people of the manner in which they were to act when the judgment should fall upon Jerusalem; whereas here (Ezekiel 24:27), למופת refers to the whole of the ministry of the prophet, his silence hitherto, and that which he was still to observe, as well as his future words. Through both of these he was to exhibit himself to his countrymen as a man whose silence, speech, and action were alike marvellous and full of meaning to them, and all designed to lead them to the knowledge of the Lord, the God of their salvation.

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