Ezekiel 25:5
And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couching place for flocks: and you shall know that I am the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Rabbah was the only important town belonging to the Ammonites. It has become literally a stable for the camels of the wandering Bedouins. In the parallel clause the “Ammonites” are put for the land which they inhabit.

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.Men of the east - The wild wandering Arabs who should come in afterward upon the ruined land. The name was a common term for the nomadic tribes of the desert. Compare Isaiah 13:20.

Palaces - encampments. The tents and folds of nomadic tribes. After subjugation by Nebuchadnezzar Ezekiel 21:28, the land was subjected to various masters. The Graeco-Egyptian kings founded a city on the site of Rabbah Ezekiel 25:5, called Philadelphia, from Ptolemy Philadelphus. In later times, Arabs from the east have completed the doom pronounced against Rabbah.

5. Rabbah—meaning "the Great," Ammon's metropolis. Under the Ptolemies it was rebuilt under the name Philadelphia; the ruins are called Amman now, but there is no dwelling inhabited.

Ammonites—that is, the Ammonite region is to be a "couching place for flocks," namely of the Arabs. The "camels," being the chief beast of burden of the Chaldeans, are put first, as their invasion was to prepare the Ammonite land for the Arab "flocks." Instead of busy men, there shall be "still and couching flocks."

Rabbah; the royal city, and seat of the kings of Ammon, called since Philadelphia, from Ptolemaeus Philadelphus, king of Egypt, who built it.

A stable; turn it from a royal palace to be a receptacle of camels, and their drivers.

Camels; wherewith not the Chaldeans and Bactrians, but the Arabians also, were well stored; all the men of the East, as appears in Job, using them for conveying merchandise, and for travels.

The Ammonites; the people, for the land they dwelt in.

Ye shall know; then shall you know I was as able to have defended my own people, house, and worship, as I was able to destroy your gods, your cities, and your people. And I will make Rabbath a stable for camels,.... Creatures much used by the eastern nations, especially the Arabians; who pitching their tents about Rabbath, the royal city, the metropolis of the children of Ammon, would convert the houses, and even palaces in it, into stables for their camels. This city, in Jerom's time, as he says, was called Philadelphia, from Ptolemy Philadelphus, who rebuilt it.

And the Ammonites a couching place for flocks; that is, the land of the Ammonites should be made a place for flocks of sheep to lie down in, which the Arabians would bring and feed upon it:

and ye shall know that I am the Lord; omniscient, and sees and observes all your insults upon the children of Israel and Judah; and omnipotent, able to perform all that is threatened; and immutable, bringing about all that is here prophesied of.

And I will make {d} Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couchingplace for flocks: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

(d) Called also Philadelphin, which was the chief city of the Ammonites and full of conveniences, 2Sa 12:27.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. Rabbah a stable] Rabbah, “great city,” was the capital (Amos 1:14); in later times it bore the name of Philadelphia, and its site is probably marked by the ruins called Ammân. The word “stable” is usually rendered habitation, but sheepcote, 2 Samuel 7:8. It may mean a place where animals are housed or where they pasture, cf. Isaiah 5:17; Isaiah 32:14; Jeremiah 33:12; Zephaniah 2:14-15.The Sign of Silent Sorrow Concerning the Destruction of Jerusalem

Ezekiel 24:14. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 24:16. Son of man, behold, I take from thee thine eyes' delight by a stroke, and thou shalt not mourn nor weep, and no tear shall come from thee. Ezekiel 24:17. Sigh in silence; lamentation for the dead thou shalt not make; bind thy head-attire upon thee, and put thy shoes upon thy feet, and do not cover thy beard, and eat not the bread of men. Ezekiel 24:18. And I spake to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died, and I did in the morning as I was commanded. Ezekiel 24:19. Then the people said to me, Wilt thou not show us what this signifies to us that thou doest so? Ezekiel 24:20. And I said to them, The word of Jehovah has come to me, saying, Ezekiel 24:21. Say to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your strength, the delight of your eyes, and the desire of your soul; and your sons and your daughters, whom ye have left, will fall by the sword. Ezekiel 24:22. Then will ye do as I have done, ye will not cover the beard, nor eat the bread of men; Ezekiel 24:23. And ye will have your head-attired upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet; ye will not mourn nor weep, but will pine away in your iniquity, and sigh one towards another. Ezekiel 24:24. Thus will Ezekiel be a sign to you; as he hath done will ye do; when it cometh, ye will know that I the Lord am Jehovah. - From the statements in Ezekiel 24:18, to the effect that the prophet spoke to the people in the morning, and then in the evening his wife died, and then again in the (following) morning, according to the command of God, he manifested no grief, and in answer to the inquiry of the people explained to them the meaning of what he did, it is evident that the word of God contained in this section came to him on the same day as the preceding one, namely, on the day of the blockade of Jerusalem; for what he said to the people on the morning of this day (Ezekiel 24:18) is the prophecy contained in Ezekiel 24:3-14. Immediately after He had made this revelation to him, God also announced to him the approaching death of his wife, together with the significance which this event would have to the people generally. The delight of the eyes (Ezekiel 24:16) is his wife (Ezekiel 24:18) בּמגּפה by a stroke, i.e., by a sudden death inflicted by God (vid., Numbers 14:37; Numbers 17:13). On the occurrence of her death, he is neither to allow of any loud lamentings, nor to manifest any sign of grief, but simply to sigh in silence. מתים אבל does not stand for אבל מתים, but the words are both accusatives. The literal rendering would be: the dead shalt thou not make an object of mourning, i.e., thou shalt not have any mourning for the dead, as Storr (observv. p. 19) has correctly explained the words. On occasions of mourning it was customary to uncover the head and strew ashes upon it (Isaiah 61:3), to go barefoot (2 Samuel 15:30; Isaiah 20:2), and to cover the beard, that is to say, the lower part of the face as far as the nose (Micah 3:7). Ezekiel is not to do any of these things, but to arrange his head-attire (פּאר, the head-attire generally, or turban, vid., Ezekiel 24:23 and Isaiah 61:3, and not specially that of the priests, which is called פּארי in Exodus 39:28), and to put on his shoes, and also to eat no mourning bread. לחם אנשׁים does not mean panis miseroroum, cibus lugentium, in which case אנשׁים would be equivalent to אנשׁים, but bread of men, i.e., of the people, that is to say, according to the context, bread which the people were accustomed to send to the house of mourning in cases of death, to manifest their sympathy and to console and refresh the mourners - a custom which gave rise in the course of time to that of formal funeral meals. These are not mentioned in the Old Testament; but the sending of bread or food to the house of mourning is clearly referred to in Deuteronomy 26:14; Hosea 9:4, and Jeremiah 16:7 (see also 2 Samuel 3:35). - When Ezekiel thus abstained from all lamentation and outward sign of mourning on the death of his dearest one, the people conjectured that such striking conduct must have some significance, and asked him what it was that he intended to show thereby. He then announced to them the word of God (Ezekiel 24:20-24). As his dearest one, his wife, had been taken from him, so should it dearest object, the holy temple, be taken from the nation by destruction, and their children by the sword. When this occurred, then would they act as he was doing now; they would not mourn and weep, but simply in their gloomy sorrow sigh in silence on account of their sins, and groan one toward another.

The profanation (חלּל) of the sanctuary is effected through its destruction (cf. Ezekiel 7:24). To show the magnitude of the loss, the worth of the temple in the eyes of the nation is dwelt upon in the following clauses. גּאון עזּכם is taken from Leviticus 26:19. The temple is called the pride of your strength, because Israel based its might and strength upon it as the scene of the gracious presence of God, living in the hope that the Lord would not give up His sanctuary to the heathen to be destroyed, but would defend the temple, and therewith Jerusalem and its inhabitants also (cf. Jeremiah 7:4). מהמל נפשׁכם , the desire or longing of the soul (from המל, in Arabic, desiderio ferri ad aliquam rem). The sons and daughters of the people are the relatives and countrymen whom the exiles had been obliged to leave behind in Canaan. - The explanation of this lamentation and mourning on account of the destruction of the sanctuary and death of their relations, is to be found in the antithesis: 'וּנמקּתם בעו, ye will pine or languish away in your iniquities (compare Ezekiel 4:17 and Leviticus 26:39). Consequently we have not to imagine either "stolid indifference" (Eichhorn and Hitzig), or "stolid impenitence" (Ewald), but overwhelming grief, for which there were no tears, no lamentation, but only deep inward sighing on account of the sins which had occasioned so terrible a calamity. נהם, lit., to utter a deep growl, like the bears (Isaiah 59:11); here to sigh or utter a deep groan. "One toward another," i.e., manifesting the grief to one another by deep sighs; not "full of murmuring and seeking the sin which occasioned the calamity in others rather than in themselves," as Hitzig supposes. The latter exposition is entirely at variance with the context. This grief, which consumes the bodily strength, leads to a clear perception of the sin, and also to true repentance, and through penitence and atonement to regeneration and newness of life. And thus will they attain to a knowledge of the Lord through the catastrophe which bursts upon them (cf. Leviticus 26:40.). For מופת, a sign, see the comm. on Exodus 4:21.

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