Ezekiel 5:17
So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.
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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.Comforted - In the sense of "consoling oneself" and "feeling satisfaction in punishing;" hence, to "avenge oneself."

The fury is to "rest" upon them, abide, so as not to pass away. The "accomplishment" of the divine anger is not the "completion" in the sense of bringing it to a close, but in the sense of carrying it out to the full.

17. beasts—perhaps meaning destructive conquerors (Da 7:4). Rather, literal "beasts," which infest desolated regions such as Judea was to become (compare Eze 34:28; Ex 23:29; De 32:24; 2Ki 17:25). The same threat is repeated in manifold forms to awaken the careless.

sword—civil war.

Evil beasts; Heb. evil beast: either the king of Babylon, which, like a ravenous and insatiable beast, tore and devoured all. Or, literally, lions, bears, &c., which are one of his four sore judgments, Ezekiel 14:21.

Bereave thee, of your children, friends, and your own life; when you flee to mountains and caves, for fear of the Chaldees, where you seek your safety you shall find your death, and be torn to pieces. Thy land shall be the common road and highway for pestilence and blood, as the Hebrew denotes, and they shall lodge in thy cities, in Jerusalem, as if they were the appointed receptacles for these guests. Here are the four sore plagues which God wastes nations with, all sent out against the Jews, and their commission signed from heaven with a witness, Ourself. I have spoken it, saith the Lord.

So will I send upon you famine, and evil beasts,.... Famine is repeated for the further confirmation of it; and "evil beasts" are added, by whom are meant, not the Chaldeans, comparable to such; but literally lions, wolves, hears, &c. which are threatened the Jews, in case of disobedience, Leviticus 26:22; and which sometimes were sent, 2 Kings 17:24;

and they shall bereave thee; that is, of her children, whom the evil beasts should destroy; they not being able to defend themselves against them, as men can:

and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee, and I will bring the sword upon thee; the pestilence, famine, sword, which is meant by blood, and evil beasts, are the Lord's four sore judgments; see Ezekiel 14:21.

I the Lord have spoken it: who was able to perform it, and did, both at the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and by Titus.

So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee: and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.
17. evil beasts] The three great plagues often specified are, famine, pestilence and sword (ch. Ezekiel 14:13; Ezekiel 14:17; Ezekiel 14:19), to which a fourth is sometimes added, evil beasts (ch. Ezekiel 14:15; Ezekiel 14:21, Ezekiel 33:27, Ezekiel 34:25; Leviticus 26:22; Deuteronomy 32:24).

In the above verses the cumulative expressions are often wanting in LXX. e.g. Ezekiel 5:11 the words “and with all thine abominations.” Differences of this kind do not affect the sense, and it is unnecessary to notice them in detail.

Verse 17. - Evil beasts, etc. These appear in like connection in Ezekiel's favourite textbooks (comp. Leviticus 26:6, 22; Deuteronomy 32:24). They reappear in Ezekiel 14:15, 21. Historically, we have an example of the suffering thus caused in the lions of 2 Kings 17:25, when towns and villages were deserted, and the unburied carcases of those who had died by famine, or pestilence, or the sword, were everywhere to attract them from afar. This was, of course, the natural and inevitable result. Pestilence and blood, etc. As this is followed by the work of the sword, "blood" probably points to some special form of plague, possibly dysentery (Acts 28:8, Revised Version), or carbuncles, like Hezekiah's boil (Isaiah 38:21). The same combination appears in Ezekiel 14:19; Ezekiel 28:23.

Ezekiel 5:17Further 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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