Ezekiel 33:11
Say to them, As I live, said the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?
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(11) I have no pleasure.—Comp. Ezekiel 18:28; Ezekiel 18:32. Ezekiel meets the despair of the people by the assurance, long before given in another connection, that the Creator and Father of all can have no pleasure in the death of any, and adds an earnest exhortation to repentance that they may be saved. Yet it was very important that there should be no misunderstanding in regard to the basis of acceptance with God, and the prophet therefore, in the following verses (12-20). briefly reiterates the teaching of Ezekiel 18 in regard to the individual responsibility of every one for himself before God. This teaching has already been explained under Ezekiel 18.

33:10-20 Those who despaired of finding mercy with God, are answered with a solemn declaration of God's readiness to show mercy. The ruin of the city and state was determined, but that did not relate to the final state of persons. God says to the righteous, that he shall surely live. But many who have made profession, have been ruined by proud confidence in themselves. Man trusts to his own righteousness, and presuming on his own sufficiency, he is brought to commit iniquity. If those who have lived a wicked life repent and forsake their wicked ways, they shall be saved. Many such amazing and blessed changes have been wrought by the power of Divine grace. When there is a settled separation between a man and sin, there shall no longer be a separation between him and God.Again - And. For Ezekiel 33:1-20, compare Ezekiel 18 notes. 11. To meet the Jews' cry of despair in Eze 33:10, Ezekiel here cheers them by the assurance that God has no pleasure in their death, but that they should repent and live (2Pe 3:9). A yearning tenderness manifests itself here, notwithstanding all their past sins; yet with it a holiness that abates nothing of its demands for the honor of God's authority. God's righteousness is vindicated as in Eze 3:18-21 and Eze 18:1-32, by the statement that each should be treated with the closest adaptation of God's justice to his particular case. As I live, saith the Lord God: see Ezekiel 5:11 16:48 17:16.

I have no pleasure: see Ezekiel 18:23,32.

But that the wicked: here is an ellipsis; but I have pleasure in the seasonable return the sinner makes from sin to holiness, and from death to life.

Turn ye; O leave sin, cease to do evil, be persuaded to repent; it will please me to pardon your faults, and to throw away the rod, and to save your persons.

Why will ye die? death is your choice, not mine, so long as you go on in the way that is not good; whoso sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul, and love to sin is interpretatively a love and choosing of death. It is your culpable will, not my severe resolution, that you die. Say unto them, as I live, saith the Lord,.... The following is the answer returned from the Lord by the prophet to their above complaint and reasoning; to which is premised the oath of God, showing the certainty, reality, and sincerity of what is said, which might be depended on as true:

I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, &c. See Gill on Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 18:31, Ezekiel 18:32,

Say to them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, {f} I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked should turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

(f) See Geneva Eze 18:23

11. Jehovah’s answer to the people’s despondency and despair of “life.” These verses must be estimated from the point of view of the people’s despair of life, to which they are an answer. The passage is not directly an affirmation of the rectitude of God, although this is indirectly affirmed in answer to the people’s objection, founded on traditional ways of thinking, that the Lord’s ways are not equal. The divine rectitude is not the point of view from which the prophet looks; he speaks in answer to the people’s despondency. And his answer is twofold: first, God’s desire is that men should live; and secondly, the past is not irrevocable. Not according to what men have been but according to what they shall be or become, will God judge them.Verse 11. - Say unto them, etc. To meet that despair the prophet has to fall back on the truth which he had proclaimed once before (Ezekiel 18:32). He must appear as uttering a message of pardon resting on the unchanging character of the great Absolver. Now, as ever, it is true that he willeth not the death of the wicked, that all punishment (in this world, at least) is meant to lead to repentance, and that for those who repent there is the hope of restoration and of life. No righteousness in the past avails against the transgression of the present (Ver. 12); but then also no wickedness of the past prevails to shut out the penitent's claim to pardon. As a man is at any given moment, when the judgment comes on him, so is he dealt with. In some sense, as in Ver. 13, the righteousness of the post may become a stumbling-block. The man may trust in it, and be off his guard, ceasing to watch and pray, and so the temptation may prevail. His overthrow fills the whole world with mourning and terror. - Ezekiel 32:7. When I extinguish thee, I will cover the sky and darken its stars; I will cover the sun with cloud, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. Ezekiel 32:8. All the shining lights in the sky do I darken because of thee, and I bring darkness over thy land, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 32:9. And I will trouble the heart of many nations when I bring out thine overthrow among the nations into lands which thou knowest not, Ezekiel 32:10. And I will make many nations amazed at thee, and their kings shall shudder at thee when I brandish my sword before their face; and they shall tremble every moment, every one for his life on the day of his fall. - The thought of Ezekiel 32:7 and Ezekiel 32:8 is not exhausted by the paraphrase, "when thou art extinguished, all light will be extinguished, so far as Egypt is concerned," accompanied with the remark, that the darkness consequent thereupon is a figurative representation of utterly hopeless circumstances (Schmieder). The thought on which the figure rests is that of the day of the Lord, the day of God's judgment, on which the lights of heaven lose their brightness (cf. Ezekiel 30:3 and Joel 2:10, etc.). This day bursts upon Egypt with the fall of Pharaoh, and on it the shining stars of heaven are darkened, so that the land of Pharaoh becomes dark. Egypt is a world-power represented by Pharaoh, which collapses with his fall. But the overthrow of this world-power is an omen and prelude of the overthrow of every ungodly world-power on the day of the last judgment, when the present heaven and the present earth will perish in the judgment-fire. Compare the remarks to be found in the commentary on Joel 3:4 upon the connection between the phenomena of the heavens and great catastrophes on earth. The contents of both verses may be fully explained from the biblical idea of the day of the Lord and the accompanying phenomena; and for the explanation of בּכבּותך, there is no necessity to assume, as Dereser and Hitzig have done, that the sea-dragon of Egypt is presented here under the constellation of a dragon; for there is no connection between the comparison of Egypt to a tannim or sea-dragon, in Ezekiel 32:2 and Ezekiel 29:3 ( equals רהב, Isaiah 51:9), and the constellation of the dragon (see the comm. on Isaiah 51:9 and Isaiah 30:7). In בּכבּותך Pharaoh is no doubt regarded as a star of the first magnitude in the sky; but in this conception Ezekiel rests upon Isaiah 14:12, where the king of Babylon is designated as a bright morning-star. That this passage was in the prophet's mind, is evident at once from the fact that Ezekiel 32:7 coincides almost verbatim with Isaiah 13:10. - The extinction and obscuration of the stars are not merely a figurative representation of the mourning occasioned by the fall of Pharaoh; still less can Ezekiel 32:9 and Ezekiel 32:10 be taken as an interpretation in literal phraseology of the figurative words in Ezekiel 32:7 and Ezekiel 32:8. For Ezekiel 32:9 and Ezekiel 32:10 do not relate to the mourning of the nations, but to anxiety and terror into which they are plunged by God through the fall of Pharaoh and his might. הכעיס , to afflict the heart, does not mean to make it sorrowful, but to fill it with anxiety, to deprive it of its peace and cheerfulness. "When I bring thy fall among the nations" is equivalent to "spread the report of thy fall." Consequently there is no need for either the arbitrary alteration of שׁברך into שׂברך, which Ewald proposes, with the imaginary rendering announcement or report; nor for the marvellous assumption of Hvernick, that שׁברך describes the prisoners scattered among the heathen as the ruins of the ancient glory of Egypt, in support of which he adduces the rendering of the lxx αἰχμαλωσίαν σου, which is founded upon the change of שׁברך into שׁביך. For Ezekiel 32:10 compare Ezekiel 27:35. עופף, to cause to fly, to brandish. The sword is brandished before their face when it falls time after time upon their brother the king of Egypt, whereby they are thrown into alarm for their own lives. לרגעים, by moments equals every moment (see the comm. on Isaiah 27:3).
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