Ezekiel 28:24
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.
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(24) 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.

28:20-26. The Zidonians were borderers upon the land of Israel, and they might have learned to glorify the Lord; but, instead of that, they seduced Israel to the worship of their idols. War and pestilence are God's messengers; but he will be glorified in the restoring his people to their former safety and prosperity. God will cure them of their sins, and ease them of their troubles. This promise will at length fully come to pass in the heavenly Canaan: when all the saints shall be gathered together, every thing that offends shall be removed, all griefs and fears for ever banished. Happy, then, is the church of God, and every living member of it, though poor, afflicted, and despised; for the Lord will display his truth, power, and mercy, in the salvation and happiness of his redeemed people.Be glorified ... be sanctified - Or, "get Me glory ... have shown Myself holy" (and in Ezekiel 28:25). 24. no more … brier … unto … Israel—as the idolatrous nations left in Canaan (among which Zidon is expressly specified in the limits of Asher, Jud 1:31) had been (Nu 33:55; Jos 23:13). "A brier," first ensnaring the Israelites in sin, and then being made the instrument of punishing them.

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.

And there shall be no more a pricking brier to the house of Israel,.... To the church of God, Jews or Gentiles, particularly to the Jews, who will now be converted; all the enemies of Christ and his people will now be destroyed, who have been very grievous and distressing to them by their furious persecutions; the pope and Turk will be no more, nor any of the antichristian powers; the beast and false prophet will be taken and cast into the lake of fire; and there will be none to hurt and destroy in all the holy mountain, 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 they shall know that I am the Lord; the house of Israel, the Jews now converted, they shall know the Lord Christ, and acknowledge him to be their Lord and King.

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.
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 28:24Prophecy Against Sidon and Promise for Israel

The threatening word against Sidon is very brief, and couched in general terms, because as a matter of fact the prophecy against Tyre involved the announcement of the fall of Sidon, which was dependent upon it; and, as we have already observed, Sidon received a special word of God simply for the purpose of making up the number of the heathen nations mentioned to the significant number seven. The word of God against Sidon brings to a close the cycle of predictions of judgment directed against those heathen nations which had given expression to malicious pleasure at the overthrow of the kingdom of Judah. There is therefore appended a promise for Israel (Ezekiel 28:25, Ezekiel 28:26), which is really closely connected with the threatening words directed against the heathen nations, and for which the way is prepared by Ezekiel 28:24. The correspondence of נקדּשׁתּי בהּ (I shall be sanctified in her) in Ezekiel 28:22 to נקדּשׁתּי בם (I shall be sanctified in them) in Ezekiel 28:25, serves to place the future fate of Israel in antithesis not merely to the future fate of Sidon, but, as Ezekiel 28:24 and Ezekiel 28:26 clearly show, to that of all the heathen nations against which the previous threats have been directed.

Ezekiel 28:20-24

And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 28:21. Son of man, direct thy face towards Sidon, and prophesy against it, Ezekiel 28:22. And say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will be against thee, O Sidon, and will glorify myself in the midst of thee; and they shall know that I am Jehovah, when I execute judgments upon it, and sanctify myself upon it. Ezekiel 28:23. I will send pestilence into it, and blood into its streets; slain will fall in the midst of it by the sword, which cometh upon it from every side; and they shall learn that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 28:24. And there shall be no more to the house of Israel a malignant thorn and smarting sting from all round about them, who despise them; but they shall learn that I am the Lord Jehovah. - Jehovah will glorify Himself as the Lord upon Sidon, as He did before upon Pharaoh (compare Exodus 14:4, Exodus 14:16-17, to which the word נכבּדתּי in Ezekiel 28:22, an unusual expression for Ezekiel, evidently points). The glorification is effected by judgments, through which He proves Himself to be holy upon the enemies of His people. He executes the judgments through pestilence and blood (vid., Ezekiel 5:17; Ezekiel 38:22), i.e., through disease and bloodshed occasioned by war, so that men fall, slain by the sword (cf. Ezekiel 6:7). Instead of נפל we have the intensive form נפלל, which is regarded by Ewald and Hitzig as a copyist's error, because it is only met with here. Through these judgments the Lord will liberate His people Israel from all round about, who increase its suffering by their contempt. These thoughts sum up in Ezekiel 28:24 the design of God's judgments upon all the neighbouring nations which are threatened in Ezekiel 25-28, and thus prepare the way for the concluding promise in Ezekiel 28:25 and Ezekiel 28:26. The figure of the sting and thorn points back to Numbers 33:55, where it is said that the Canaanites whom Israel failed to exterminate would become thorns in its eyes and stings in its sides. As Israel did not keep itself free from the Canaanitish nature of the heathen nations, God caused it to fell these stings of heathenism. Having been deeply hurt by them, it was now lying utterly prostrate with its wounds. The sins of Canaan, to which Israel had given itself up, had occasioned the destruction of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 16). But Israel is not to succumb to its wounds. On the contrary, by destroying the heathen powers, the Lord will heal His people of the wounds which its heathen neighbours have inflicted upon it. סלּון, synonymous with סלּון in Ezekiel 2:6, a word only found in Ezekiel. ממאיר, on the contrary, is taken from Leviticus 13:51 and Leviticus 14:44, where it is applied to malignant leprosy (see the comm. on the former passage). - For השּׁאטים אותם, see Ezekiel 16:57 and Ezekiel 25:6.

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