And there shall be no more a pricking brier to the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)A pricking brier.—The language refers back to the threat of Numbers 33:55, of the reality of which Israel had long had such bitter experience. Nothing is said of the special sins of Zidon, and very little of the detail of her overthrow; these were already sufficiently known, or else included in what has been said of Tyre. It is noticeable that no such utter desolation is foretold as in the former case.Ezekiel 28:24-26. There shall be no more a pricking brier — There shall no more be any nation that shall injure, and be a vexation to the house of Israel; for all their troublesome neighbours, who had been as so many thorns in their sides, shall be destroyed or repressed, and in consequence thereof they shall dwell quietly and securely in their own land. This promise was in part fulfilled after their return from their captivity in Babylon; but the following verse shows that it chiefly relates to the general restoration of the Jews, when all the enemies of God’s church and truth shall be vanquished and subdued, often denoted in the prophetical writings by the name of Edom, Moab, and other neighbouring nations, who, upon all occasions, were wont to show their spite and ill-will against God’s ancient people. When I shall have gathered the house of Israel, &c. — This seems to be a plain prophecy of the restoration of the Jews to their own land, as will appear to any one who will compare the words with the parallel texts referred to in the margin; and the rules laid down concerning the division of the land among the twelve tribes (chap. 47., 48.) do very much favour this interpretation: see note on Isaiah 11:12. And shall be sanctified in them — See on Ezekiel 28:22. And they shall dwell safely therein — In comparison of what they have done formerly: they shall have peace, and freedom from the annoyance of enemies. And shall build houses, and plant vineyards — Building and planting are commonly joined together. When I shall have executed judgments — The prophets commonly conclude their threatenings against infidels with gracious promises to God’s people, implying that he will not make an utter destruction of them, as of other people, but preserve a remnant, to whom he may fulfil his promises made to their fathers. Ezekiel 28:25).
pricking—literally, "causing bitterness." The same Hebrew is translated "fretting" (Le 13:51, 52). The wicked are often called "thorns" (2Sa 23:6).No more; the time intended here is, when, after seventy years’ captivity, loathing themselves for their iniquities, and repenting, they return and settle in their own land. Pricking brier, grieving thorn: by these two metaphors the prophet points out the troublesome neighbours of the Jews.
Of all that are round about them; such as Moab, Ammon, Edom, Tyre, and this Zidon, which on all occasions did grieve, wound, and reproach the Jews, and triumph in the fall of the Jews, and were ever ready, being near.
That despised them; contemning both in word and carriage the Jews, their religion, manners, laws, and their God. They shall know that I am the Lord: see Ezekiel 28:22. Revelation 19:20,
nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them that despised them; the same thing in other words as before; wicked men, especially tyrannical princes, furious persecutors of the saints, are like thorns and briers, not only unfruitful, useless, and unprofitable, but pricking, grieving, and hurtful to good men, by their persecutions, revilings, and reproaches, and whose end is to be burned. The Targum of the whole is,
"and there shall be no more to the house of Israel a king that doth evil (or hurt), or a governor that oppresses all round about them that spoil them:''And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. “Brier” is “thorn” ch. Ezekiel 2:6 (slightly different form). The term “pricking” is used of the leprosy (Leviticus 13:51, fretting).Verse 24. - There shall be no more a pricking brier. There is a special appropriateness in Ezekiel's imagery. The words had been used in Numbers 33:55 of the Canaanites at large (comp. Joshua 22:13). Ezekiel applies them to the cities which were the most conspicuous survivors of the old Canaanite races. Israel, he implies, had been wounded with those thorns and briers, had caught (as e.g., in the case of Jezebel) the taint of evil life and evil worship from those races; but for her there is, as in Ver. 25, the future of restoration, and when that future comes, the Canaanite cities, with their idolatries and vices, should have passed away forever.
Ezekiel 27:26. Thy rowers brought thee into great waters: the east wind broke thee up in the heart of the seas. Ezekiel 27:27. Thy riches and thy sales, thy bartering wares, thy seamen and thy sailors, the repairers of thy leaks and the treaders in thy wares, and all thy fighting men in thee, together with all the multitude of people in thee, fell into the heart of the seas in the day of thy fall. Ezekiel 27:28. At the noise of the cry of thy sailors the places tremble. Ezekiel 27:29. And out of their ships come all the oarsmen, seamen, all the sailors of the sea; they come upon the land, Ezekiel 27:20. And make their voice heard over thee, and cry bitterly, and put dust upon their heads, and cover themselves with ashes; Ezekiel 27:31. And shave themselves bald on thy account, and gird on sackcloth, and weep for thee in anguish of soul a bitter wailing. Ezekiel 27:32. They raise over thee in their grief a lamentation, and lament over thee: Who is like Tyre! like the destroyed one in the midst of the sea!. Ezekiel 27:33. When thy sales came forth out of the seas, thou didst satisfy many nations; with the abundance of thy goods and thy wares thou didst enrich kings of the earth. Ezekiel 27:34. Now that thou art wrecked away from the seas in the depths of the water, thy wares and all thy company are fallen in thee. Ezekiel 27:35. All the inhabitants of the islands are amazed at thee, and their kings shudder greatly; their faces quiver. Ezekiel 27:36. The traders among the nations hiss over thee; thou hast become a terror, and art gone for ever. - The allusion to the ships of Tarshish, to which Tyre was indebted for its glory, serves as an introduction to a renewal in Ezekiel 27:26 of the allegory of Ezekiel 27:5-9; Tyre is a ship, which is wrecked by the east wind (cf. Psalm 48:8). In Palestine (Arabia and Syria) the east wind is characterized by continued gusts; and if it rises into a tempest, it generally causes great damage on account of the violence of the gusts (see Wetzstein in Delitzsch's commentary on Job 27:1). Like a ship broken in pieces by the storm, Tyre with all its glory sinks into the depths of the sea. The repetition of בּלב in Ezekiel 27:26 and Ezekiel 27:27 forms an effective contrast to Ezekiel 27:25; just as the enumeration of all the possessions of Tyre, which fall with the ship into the heart of the sea, does to the wealth and glory in Ezekiel 27:25. They who manned the ship also perish with the cargo, - "the seamen," i.e., sailors, rowers, repairers of leaks (calkers), also the merchants on board, and the fighting men who defended the ship and its goods against pirates, - the whole qâhâl, or gathering of people, in the ship. The difficult expression בּכל־קהלך can only be taken as an explanatory apposition to אשׁר בּך: all the men who are in thee, namely, in the multitude of people in thee. Ezekiel 27:28. When the vessel is wrecked, the managers of the ship raise such a cry that the migreshōth tremble. מגרשׁ is used in Numbers 35:2 for the precincts around the Levitical cities, which were set apart as pasture ground for the flocks; and in Ezekiel 45:2; Ezekiel 48:17, for the ground surrounding the holy city. Consequently מגרשׁות cannot mean the suburbs of Tyre in the passage before us, but must signify the open places on the mainland belonging to Tyre, i.e., the whole of its territory, with the fields and villages contained therein. The rendering "fleet," which Ewald follows the Vulgate in adopting, has nothing to support it.
Ezekiel 27:29. The ruin of this wealthy and powerful metropolis of the commerce of the world produces the greatest consternation among all who sail upon the sea, so that they forsake their ships, as if they were no longer safe in them, and leaving them for the land, bewail the fall of Tyre with deepest lamentation. השׁמיע with בּקול, as in Psalm 26:7; 1 Chronicles 15:19, etc. For the purpose of depicting the lamentation as great and bitter in the extreme, Ezekiel groups together all the things that were generally done under such circumstances, viz., covering the head with dust (cf. Joshua 7:6; 1 Samuel 4:12; and Job 2:12) and ashes (התפּלּשׁ, to strew, or cover oneself, not to roll oneself: see the comm. on Micah 1:10); shaving a bald place (see Ezekiel 7:18 and the comm. on Micah 1:16); putting on sackcloth; loud, bitter weeping (בּמר, as in Job 7:11 and Job 10:1); and singing an mournful dirge (Ezekiel 27:32.). בּניהם, in lamento eorum; ני contracted from נהי (Jeremiah 9:17-18; cf. הי, Ezekiel 2:10). The reading adopted by the lxx, Theodot., Syr., and eleven Codd. (בּניהם) is unsuitable, as there is no allusion to sons, but the seamen themselves raise the lamentation. The correction proposed by Hitzig, בּפיהם, is altogether inappropriate. The exclamation, Who is like Tyre! is more precisely defined by כּדמּה, like the destroyed one in the midst of the sea. דּמּה, participle Pual, with the מ dropt, as in 2 Kings 2:10, etc. (vid., Ges. 52. 2, Anm. 6). It is quite superfluous to assume that there was a noun דּמּה signifying destruction. 'בּצאת עזב has been aptly explained by Hitzig; "inasmuch as thy wares sprang out of the sea, like the plants and field-fruits out of the soil" (the selection of the word השׂבּעתּ also suggested this simile); "not as being manufactured at Tyre, and therefore in the sea, but because the sea floated the goods to land for the people in the ships, and they satisfied the desire of the purchasers." Tyre satisfied peoples and enriched kings with its wares, not only by purchasing from them and paying for their productions with money or barter, but also by the fact that the Tyrians gave a still higher value to the raw material by the labour which they bestowed upon them. הוניך in the plural is only met with here. - Ezekiel 27:34. But now Tyre with its treasures and its inhabitants has sunk in the depths of the sea. The antithesis in which Ezekiel 27:34 really stands to Ezekiel 27:33 does not warrant our altering עת into עתּ נשׁבּרתּ, as Ewald and Hitzig propose, or adopting a different division of the second hemistich. עת is an adverbial accusative, as in Ezekiel 16:57 : "at the time of the broken one away from the seas into the depth of the waters, thy wares and thy people have fallen, i.e., perished." עת נשׁבּרת, tempore quo fracta es. נשׁבּרת מימּים is intentionally selected as an antithesis to נושׁבת מימּים in Ezekiel 26:17. - Ezekiel 27:35. All the inhabitants of the islands and their kings, i.e., the inhabitants of the (coast of the) Mediterranean and its islands, will be thrown into consternation at the fall of Tyre; and (Ezekiel 27:36) the merchants among the nations, i.e., the foreign nations, the rivals of Tyre in trade, will hiss thereat; in other words, give utterance to malicious joy. שׁמם, to be laid waste, or thrown into perturbation with terror and amazement. רעם פנים .tnemezama dna, to tremble or quiver in the face, i.e., to tremble so much that the terror shows itself in the countenance. - In Ezekiel 27:36 Ezekiel brings the lamentation to a close in a similar manner to the threat contained in Ezekiel 26 (vid., Ezekiel 26:21).
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