I will lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ezekiel 35-36 we see the devastation of Edom, and the restoration of Israel. Edom was included among the nations against which Ezekiel prophesied Ezekiel 25:12-14. But its fuller doom was reserved for this place, because Edom was one of the surrounding nations that profited at first by Judah's fall, and because it helps by way of contrast to bring out in a marked way the better future designed for Israel. Edom is the God-hating, God-opposing power, ever distinguished for its bitter hatred against Israel; and so the ruin of Edom is the triumph of Israel in the power of God. Jeremiah 27:6 28:14.
Thy cities, in the plural; there were many and strong cities in Edom, yet all should be wasted, as Ezekiel 25:12-14, where lie in like manner is threatened. Revelation 16:19,
and thou shalt be desolate; thoroughly and entirely, and remain so:
and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; that has done all this; that the hand of God was in it; and that this is a punishment inflicted by him, for their sins after mentioned; but not that they should know the Lord spiritually and savingly, and so as to yield obedience to him, and own and acknowledge him to be their God; though this may be the case of a remnant among them; see Revelation 11:13.I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 4. - They shall know that I am Jehovah. By this expressive formula Ezekiel intimates the moral effect which should be produced upon the nations of the earth, whether by beholding or by experiencing the Divine judgments (Ezekiel 6:7, 13; Ezekiel 7:4, 9; Ezekiel 11:10, 12; Ezekiel 13:9, 14, 21, 23; Ezekiel 14:8; Ezekiel 15:7, et passim; cf. Exodus 6:7; Exodus 7:50 17; 29:46; 31:13; all of which passages belong to Wellhausen's grundschrift, which it is supposed had no existence in the time of Ezekiel).
Ezekiel 33:30. And thou, son of man, the sons of thy people converse about thee by the walls and in the house-doors; one talketh to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come and let us hear what kind of word goeth out from Jehovah. Ezekiel 33:31. And they will come to thee, like an assembly of the people, and sit before thee as my people, and will hear thy words, but not do them; but that which is pleasant in their mouth they do; their heart goeth after their gain. Ezekiel 33:32. And, behold, thou art unto them like a pleasant singer, beautiful in voice and playing well; they will hear thy words, but they will not do them. Ezekiel 33:33. But when it cometh - behold, it cometh - they will know that a prophet was in the midst of them. - This addition to the preceding word of God, which is addressed to Ezekiel personally, applies to the whole of the second half of his ministry, and stands in obvious connection with the instructions given to the prophet on the occasion of his first call (Ezekiel 3:16.), and repeated, so far as their substance is concerned, in Ezekiel 33:7-9, as Kliefoth himself acknowledges, in opposition to his assumption that vv. 1-20 of this chapter belong to the prophecies directed against the foreign nations. As God had directed the prophet's attention, on the occasion of his call, to the difficulties connected with the discharge of the duties of a watchman with which he was entrusted, by setting before him the object and the responsibility of his vocation, and had warned him not to allow himself to be turned aside by the opposition of the people; so here in Ezekiel 33:30-33, at the commencement of the second section of his ministry, another word is addressed to him personally, in order that he may not be influenced in the further prosecution of his calling by either the pleasure or displeasure of men.
His former utterances had already induced the elders of the people to come to him to hear the word of God (cf. Ezekiel 14:1 and Ezekiel 20:1). But now that his prophecies concerning Jerusalem had been fulfilled, the exiles could not fail to be still more attentive to his words, so that they talked of him both secretly and openly, and encouraged one another to come and listen to his discourses. God foretells this to him, but announces to him at the same time that this disposition on the part of his countrymen to listen to him is even now no sign of genuine conversion to the word of God, in order that he may not be mistaken in his expectations concerning the people. Kliefoth has thus correctly explained the contents, design, and connection of these verses as a whole. In Ezekiel 33:30 the article before the participle נדבּרים takes the place of the relative אשׁר, and the words are in apposition to בּני עמך, the sons of thy people who converse about thee. נדבּר is reciprocal, as in Malachi 3:13, Malachi 3:16, and Psalm 119:12. But ב is to be understood, not in a hostile sense, as in the passage cited from the Psalms, but in the sense of concerning, like דּבּר ב in 1 Samuel 19:3 as contrasted with דּבּר ב in Numbers 21:7, to speak against a person. The participle is continued by the finite ודּבּר, and the verb belonging to בּני follows, in the ויבאוּ of Ezekiel 33:31, in the form of an apodosis. There is something monstrous in Hitzig's assumption, that the whole passage from Ezekiel 33:30 to Ezekiel 33:33 forms but one clause, and that the predicate to בּני עמך does not occur till the וידעוּ of Ezekiel 33:33. - אצל , by the side of the walls, i.e., sitting against the walls, equivalent to secretly; and in the doors of the houses, in other words publicly, one neighbour conversing with another. חד, Aramean for אחד, and אישׁ by the side of אחד, every one; not merely one here or there, but every man to his neighbour. כּמבוא־עם, lit., as the coming of a people, i.e., as when a crowd of men flock together in crowds or troops. עמּי is a predicate, as my people, i.e., as if they wished, like my people, to hear my word from thee. But they do not think of doing thy words, i.e., what thou dost announce to them as my word. עגבים are things for which one cherishes an eager desire, pleasant things in their mouth, i.e., according to their taste (cf. Genesis 25:28). Hvernick is wrong in taking עגבים to mean illicit love. The word בּפיהם is quite inapplicable to such a meaning. The rendering, they do it with their mouth, is opposed both to the construction and the sense. בּצעם .esnes , their gain, the source from which they promise themselves advantage or gain. In Ezekiel 33:32 a clearer explanation is given of the reason why they come to the prophet, notwithstanding the fact that they do not wish to do his words. "Thou art to them כּשיּר עגבים;" this cannot mean like a pleasant song, but, as מטב נגּן (one who can play well) clearly shows, like a singer of pleasant songs. The abstract שׁיּר stands for the concrete שׁר, a singer, a man of song (Hitzig). In Ezekiel 33:32, "they hear thy words, but do them not," is repeated with emphasis, for the purpose of attaching the threat in Ezekiel 33:33. But when it cometh - namely, what thou sayest, or prophesiest - behold, it cometh, i.e., it will come as surely as thy prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem; then will they know that a prophet was among them (cf. Ezekiel 2:5), that is to say, that he proclaimed God's word to them. Therefore Ezekiel is not to be prevented, by the misuse which will be made of his words, from preaching the truth. - This conclusion of the word of God, which points back to Ezekiel 2:5, also shows that it forms the introduction to the prophecies which follow.
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