Ezekiel 6:11
Thus said the Lord GOD; Smite with your hand, and stamp with your foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.
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(11) Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot.—The prophecy returns again to its heavy tidings of woe. To clap the hands and stamp the feet, either singly (Numbers 24:10; Ezekiel 21:14; Ezekiel 21:17; Ezekiel 22:13) or together (Ezekiel 25:6), is a gesture of strong emotion or earnestness of purpose. The prophet is here directed to use it as indicating God’s unchangeable determination united to a sense of grievous wrong.

Ezekiel 6:11-14. Smite with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot — Join to thy words the gestures which are proper to express grief and concern at the wickedness of thy people, and for their calamities that will ensue. For they shall fall by the sword, &c. — See note on Ezekiel 5:12. He that is far off — And thinks himself out of danger, because he is out of the reach of the enemy; shall die of the pestilence — The arrow that I will shoot at him. And he that is near — Who stays in his own country, or who is near a place of strength, which he hopes will be to him a place of safety, yet shall fall by the sword before he can retreat to it. And he that remaineth — Who is so cautious as not to venture out, but remains in the city; shall die by the famine — The most miserable death of all: thus will I accomplish my fury — I will satisfy my just displeasure, and give them full measure of punishment: I will do all that against them which I had purposed to do. Then shall ye know — See note on Ezekiel 6:10. When their slain men shall be among their idols — As was threatened before, Ezekiel 6:5-7. Upon every high hill, &c. — There, where they had prostrated themselves in honour of their idols, God will lay them dead to their own reproach, and the reproach of their idols: they lived among them, and shall die among them: they had offered sweet odours to their idols, but there shall their dead carcasses send forth an offensive smell, as it were, to atone for that misplaced incense. So will I stretch out my hand — Put forth my almighty power; and make the land desolate — שׁממה, a desolation, a Hebraism, for most desolate: that fruitful, pleasant, populous country, which has been as the garden of Eden, the glory of all lands; shall be more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath — Or Diblathaim, as it is called Numbers 33:46; the desert in the borders of Moab, part of that great and terrible wilderness, described Deuteronomy 8:15. 6:11-14 It is our duty to be affected, not only with our own sins and sufferings, but to look with compassion upon the miseries wicked people bring upon themselves. Sin is a desolating thing; therefore, stand in awe, and sin not. If we know the worth of souls, and the danger to which unbelievers are exposed, we shall deem every sinner who takes refuge in Jesus from the wrath to come, an abundant recompence for all contempt or opposition we may meet with.The gleam of hope is but transitory. Darkness again gathers round, for as yet the prophet is predicting judgment.

Ezekiel 6:11

Smite ... stamp - Well-known modes of expressing grief.

11. Gesticulations vividly setting before the hearers the greatness of the calamity about to be inflicted. In indignation at the abominations of Israel extend thine hand towards Judea, as if about to "strike," and "stamp," shaking off the dust with thy foot, in token of how God shall "stretch out His hand upon them," and tread them down (Eze 6:14; Eze 21:14). Here are two actions commanded, and both signify a mixture of affection in the person, as wonder and amazement, indignation and displeasure, grief and sorrow, pity and commiseration, all which are required in the prophet, to show both the evil of sin he did see, and the evil of sufferings which he did foresee, on Israel.

Say, Alas; tell them what thou meanest by such unusual gestures, speak with grief; Alas!

Evil abominations; sins in full growth, ripe to the harvest, make him cry out.

By the sword, & c.; grievous miseries coming on his people and on his kindred. The house of Israel must fall, be ruined, laid desolate, and carried captive. Thus saith the Lord God, smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot,.... These are gestures of persons in distress and agony, who, to show their trouble and grief, smite one hand against the other; or smite with the hand upon the thigh, as in Jeremiah 31:19; and "stretch out", or "make a distension with the foot" (d); as it is in the Hebrew text; extend their thighs; throw out their feet; stamp with them; beat the earth, and make it shake, as the Syriac version; all expressive of anguish and sorrow:

and say, alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! the word "alas", or "woe", as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, an interjection of mourning and lamentation, explains the above gestures; and what follows shows the cause of all; namely, the sins and abominations committed by the house of Israel; which they being insensible of, and unconcerned about, the prophet is ordered to take such a method to awaken them out of their stupidity and lethargy; and the rather, since the heaviest of judgments were coming upon them:

for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; which are threatened in Ezekiel 5:12; and the persons on whom they should be separately executed are mentioned in Ezekiel 6:12.

(d) "extende pede tuo", Pagninus, Montanus, Polanus; "fac distensionem cum pede tuo", Munster; "divarica pedes tuos": Calvin.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; {f} Smite with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.

(f) By these signs he would that the prophet would signify the great destruction to come.

11. Smite with thine hand] Ch. Ezekiel 25:6, “Because thou (Ammon) hast clapped thine hands and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced with all the despite of thy soul against the land of Israel.” The gestures are those of scorn and ill-will, and of rejoicing over another’s misfortune; ch. Ezekiel 22:13; Job 27:23. In ch. Ezekiel 21:17 the same gesture is attributed to Jehovah.

Alas for all] Rather: Ha! for all. The interjection seems a shorter form of that used elsewhere, as ch. Ezekiel 25:3, “Because thou (Ammon) saidst, Aha! for my sanctuary, when it was destroyed, and for the land of Israel, when it was desolate.” The prophet hates and scorns the evil practices of Israel so deeply, that he rejoices at the vengeance about to overtake them. The grammatical anomaly in “evil abominations of” is obviated in LXX. by omission of “evil.”

11–14. Renewal of the threat of destruction because of idolatryVerse 11. - Smite with thine hand, etc. The outward gestures were to give a dramatic emphasis to the mingled indignation and sorrow with which the prophet was to utter his woe. A like action meets us in Ezekiel 21:12. Instances of its use for other feelings meet us in Ezekiel 22:13; Numbers 24:10 (anger); Jeremiah 31:19 (shame). Further 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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