Ezekiel 5:10
Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ezekiel 5:10-11. The fathers shall eat the sons, &c. — Fathers eating their children, and children their fathers, expresses the height of misery, and the most grievous famine. We have sufficient proof that such instances happened in the Jewish nation amidst their more than common calamities. Josephus relates some instances of parents eating their children during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans; and we have further evidence of such horrid acts having been done by them in the extremity of famine, from the texts referred to in the margin. And the whole remnant of them will I scatter, &c. — This is another judgment threatened against them by Moses, and remarkably fulfilled in this their last dispersion, in which they are to be found in every part of the known world, and yet live everywhere like strangers only upon sufferance: see note on Deuteronomy 28:64. Because thou hast defiled my sanctuary — Hast profaned my temple by placing idols in it, and worshipping them. With all thy detestable things, and all thine abominations — These are expressions of the same signification, denoting idols. Therefore will I also diminish thee — Will make thee of less account, and take from thee all honours as thou hast from me, as much as lay in thy power: or, as some interpret the clause, I will cut off or destroy, by diminishing, (as the word גרעis used Numbers 27:4,) without showing any pity or compassion. See the margin.

5:5-17 The sentence passed upon Jerusalem is very dreadful, the manner of expression makes it still more so. Who is able to stand in God's sight when he is angry? Those who live and die impenitent, will perish for ever unpitied; there is a day coming when the Lord will not spare. Let not persons or churches, who change the Lord's statutes, expect to escape the doom of Jerusalem. Let us endeavour to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. Sooner or later God's word will prove itself true.Compare Matthew 24:21. The calamities of the Babylonian were surpassed by the Roman siege, and these again were but a foreshadowing of still more terrible destruction at the last day. 10. fathers … eat … sons—alluding to Moses' words (Le 26:29; De 28:53), with the additional sad feature, that "the sons should eat their fathers" (see 2Ki 6:28; Jer 19:9; La 2:20; 4:10). And this explains what is above threatened. No history I know of that does mention any thing like this; barbarous Indians sell one another, and some report (as I take it) that children among them unnaturally murder aged parents, but they eat them not.

In the midst of thee; it may intimate their doing this publicly.

The whole remnant will I scatter: this was verified when they were fetched away who were left at the departure of the besiegers, and when the very small remnant with Johanan fled into Egypt.

Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee,.... Which was long ago threatened by the Lord, and prophesied of by Moses, Leviticus 26:27; and was fulfilled at several times in the people of Israel, as at the siege of Samaria, 2 Kings 6:28; at the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Lamentations 4:10; and at the siege of the same city by Titus Vespasian, as Josephus (w) relates; for though these instances only show that mothers ate their children, yet no doubt the fathers took part with them; and if mothers, who are naturally more tender, could do this, it is much more reasonable to suppose that fathers did the same:

and the sons shall eat their fathers; this, though nowhere recorded, yet doubtless was done; it being as reasonable to think that a son might eat his father as a father his son, though both monstrously shocking:

and I will execute judgments in thee; punishments, such as pestilence, famine, and sword, after mentioned:

and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds; that is, those that remain, and are not cut off, by the above judgments, shall be carried captive into Babylon, or be dispersed in to Egypt, Ammon, Moab, and other places: this had a full accomplishment in the dispersion of the Jews into the several parts of the world, when they were destroyed by the Romans.

(w) De Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 3. sect. 4. Ed. Hudson.

Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. the fathers shall eat the sons] Neither is this, as it might be, a generality merely to suggest severe straitness. Lamentations 4:10, “The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children, they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.” See the story 2 Kings 6:24-29; cf. Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:53; Jeremiah 19:9; Lamentations 2:20.

Verse 10. - The fathers shall eat their sons, etc. An echo from Leviticus 26:29 and Deuteronomy 28:53. The words of Jeremiah 19:9 and Lamentations 4:10 imply that horrors such as these occurred during the siege of the city by the Chaldeans, as they had occurred before in the siege of Samaria (2 Kings 6:28, 29), and were to occur afterwards in that by the Romans (Josephus, 'Bell Jud.,' 6:4. § 4). The whole remnant, etc. (comp. ver. 2). Ezekiel 5:10Further Execution of this Threat

Ezekiel 5:10. Therefore shall fathers devour their children in thy midst, and children shall devour their fathers: and I will exercise judgments upon thee, and disperse all thy remnant to the winds. Ezekiel 5:11. Therefore, as I live, is the declaration of the Lord Jehovah, Verily, because thou hast polluted my sanctuary with all thine abominations and all thy crimes, so shall I take away mine eye without mercy, and will not spare. Ezekiel 5:12. A third of thee shall die by the pestilence, and perish by hunger in thy midst; and the third part shall fall by the sword about thee; and the third part will I scatter to all the winds; and will draw out the sword after them. Ezekiel 5:13. And my anger shall be fulfilled, and I will cool my wrath against them, and will take vengeance. And they shall experience that I, Jehovah, have spoken in my zeal, when I accomplish my wrath upon them. Ezekiel 5:14. And I will make thee a desolation and a mockery among the nations which are round about thee, before the eyes of every passer-by. Ezekiel 5:15. And it shall be a mockery and a scorn, a warning and a terror for the nations round about thee, when I exercise my judgments upon thee in anger and wrath and in grievous visitations. I, Jehovah, have said it. Ezekiel 5:16. When I send against thee the evil arrows of hunger, which minister to destruction, which I shall send to destroy you; for hunger shall I heap upon you, and shall break to you the staff of bread. Ezekiel 5:17. And I shall send hunger upon you, and evil beasts, which shall make thee childless; and pestilence and blood shall pass over thee; and the sword will I bring upon thee. I, Jehovah, have spoken it. - As a proof of the unheard-of severity of the judgment, there is immediately mentioned in Ezekiel 5:10 a most horrible circumstance, which had been already predicted by Moses (Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:53) as that which should happen to the people when hard pressed by the enemy, viz., a famine so dreadful, during the siege of Jerusalem, that parents would eat their children, and children their parents; and after the capture of the city, the dispersion of those who remained "to all the winds, i.e., to all quarters of the world." This is described more minutely, as an appendix to the symbolical act in Ezekiel 5:1 and Ezekiel 5:2, in Ezekiel 5:11 and Ezekiel 5:12, with a solemn oath, and with repeated and prominent mention of the sins which have drawn down such chastisements. As sin, is mentioned the pollution of the temple by idolatrous abominations, which are described in detail in Ezekiel 8. The אגרע, which is variously understood by the old translators (for which some Codices offer the explanatory correction אגדע), is to be explained, after Job 36:7, of the "turning away of the eye," and the עיני following as the object; while ולא־תחוס, "that it feel no compassion," is interjected between the verb and its object with the adverbial signification of "mercilessly." For that the words ולא תחוס are adverbially subordinate to אגרע, distinctly appears from the correspondence - indicated by וגם אני - between אגרע and לא . Moreover, the thought, "Jehovah will mercilessly withdraw His care for the people," is not to be termed "feeble" in connection with what follows; nor is the contrast, which is indicated in the clause וגם־אני, lost, as Hvernick supposes. וגם־אני does not require גּרע to be understood of a positive act, which would correspond to the desecration of the sanctuary. This is shown by the last clause of the verse. The withdrawal without mercy of the divine providence is, besides, in reality, equivalent to complete devotion to destruction, as it is particularized in Ezekiel 5:12. For Ezekiel 5:12 see on Ezekiel 5:1 and Ezekiel 5:2. By carrying out the threatened division of the people into three parts, the wrath of God is to be fulfilled, i.e., the full measure of the divine wrath upon the people is to be exhausted (cf. 7, 8), and God is to appear and "cool" His anger. הניח חמה, "sedavit iram," occurs again in Ezekiel 16:42; Ezekiel 21:22; Ezekiel 24:13. הנּחמתּי, Hithpael, pausal form for הנּחמתּי, "se consolari," "to procure satisfaction by revenge;" cf. Isaiah 1:24, and for the thing, Deuteronomy 28:63. In Ezekiel 5:14. the discourse turns again from the people to the city of Jerusalem. It is to become a wilderness, as was already threatened in Leviticus 26:31 and Leviticus 26:33 to the cities of Israel, and thereby a "mockery" to all nations, in the manner described in Deuteronomy 29:23. והיתה, in Ezekiel 5:15, is not to be changed, after the lxx, Vulgate, and some MSS, into the second person; but Jerusalem is to be regarded as the subject which is to become the object of scorn and hatred, etc., when God accomplishes His judgments. מוּסר is a warning-example. Among the judgments which are to overtake it, in Ezekiel 5:16, hunger is again made specially prominent (cf. Ezekiel 4:16) and first in Ezekiel 5:17 are wild beasts, pestilence, blood, and sword added, and a quartette of judgments announced as in Ezekiel 14:21. For pestilence and blood are comprehended together as a unity by means of the predicate. Their connection is to be understood according to Ezekiel 14:19, and the number four is significant, as in Ezekiel 14:21; Jeremiah 15:3. For more minute details as to the meaning, see on Ezekiel 14:21. The evil arrows point back to Deuteronomy 32:23; the evil beasts, to Leviticus 24:22 and Deuteronomy 32:24. To produce an impression, the prophet heaps his words together. Unum ejus consilium fuit penetrare in animos populi quasi lapideos et ferreos. Haec igitur est ratio, cur hic tanta varietate utatur et exornet suam doctrnam variis figuris (Calvin).

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