Behold, therefore I will stretch out my hand on you, and will deliver you for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut you off from the people, and I will cause you to perish out of the countries: I will destroy you; and you shall know that I am the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For a spoil.—This is the sense of the margin of the Hebrew; its text is represented by our margin, meat or food. The word in the text occurs only here, but a compound of it is found in Daniel 1:5, Dan_11:26. The figure seems to be the same as that which speaks of devouring the people.
Shalt know that I am the Lord.—This frequent close of the denunciatory prophecies against Israel in the former chapters is here also used at the close of each message in this chapter, and of many of the other prophecies against foreign nations. It refers not to a penitent recognition of the Lord, but to an experience of His wrath so plain that they can no longer refuse to acknowledge His power (see Ezekiel 25:14).
I will stretch out mine in wrath; thou, against my people, I, against thee.
For a spoil; for a prey, or for meat, so the word will bear. The greedy, covetous soldier shall make thy wealth his prey; the hungry enemy shall eat thee up.
The heathen; Babylonians, and their confederates.
I will cut thee off; explained by that follows; Ammon, thou shalt no more be accounted among the nations, but cease from being a people. I will destroy thee; so shalt thou be destroyed.
Thou shalt know: see Ezekiel 25:5.
"I will lift up the stroke of my power upon thee:''
and will deliver thee for a spoil to the Heathen; to the Chaldeans first, and then to the Arabians, to be spoiled and plundered by them of their wealth and substance: some render it, "for meat" (s) unto them; to be devoured and consumed by them:
and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries; so as to be no more a people and a country; or be reckoned among the people and countries; or have any alliance with them, or help from them:
I will destroy thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; who has said and done all this; See Gill on Ezekiel 25:5.
(s) "in cibum", Montanus, Gussetius. This is the Cetib or textual writing; but the Keri or marginal reading is "in direptionem", Pagninus, Cocceius; "in praedam", Junius & Tremeilius, Piscator. Both come to much one and the same sense, as Ben Melech observes, for food was of the spoil; and one word answers to another by "athbash", which is a certain form of placing the alphabet; See Gill onBehold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. a spoil to the heathen] the nations (the reading baz to be adopted), cf. Ezekiel 26:5, Ezekiel 7:21, Ezekiel 23:46. For people peoples.
know that I am the Lord] The statement is hardly to the effect that the Ammonites shall be converted to the worship of the true God. They shall recognise that there is one Most high, ruling in the kingdom of men (Daniel 4:17), and that it is he who is shaping their history; possibly also that this God is Jehovah, God of Israel. The prophet does not pursue the destinies of the nations beyond this recognition, nor state what it implies. It is to be observed, however, that Israel restored, though occupying only the land west of the Jordan, enjoys profound peace on all sides. The nations that swell the army of Gog (ch. 38) are not Israel’s historical neighbours, but peoples from the uttermost parts of the earth.Verse 7. - A spoil to the heathen. The noun for "spoil" is not found elsewhere, but probably means "food." The Hebrew Keri, i.e. its marginal reading, gives the same word as that rendered "spoil" in Ezekiel 27:5. The meaning is substantially the same whichever word we choose. Ezekiel, it will be noticed, says nothing about the return of the Ammonites, but contemplates, as in Ezekiel 21:32, entire destruction. The moaning of Rabbah ("great" or "populous"), the mother-city of Ammon, gives greater force to the prophecy of desolation.
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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