Ezekiel 6:6
In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
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(6) May be abolished.—The word abolished is a strong one, meaning utterly obliterated, wiped out. This was what Israel should have done to the nations who inhabited Canaan before them; they and their works should have been so utterly blotted out that no temptations from them should have remained. But Israel had failed to observe the Divine command, and now in turn their works, done in imitation of the guilty nations they had supplanted, must be blotted out.

6:1-7. War desolates persons, places, and things esteemed most sacred. God ruins idolatries even by the hands of idolaters. It is just with God to make that a desolation, which we make an idol. The superstitions to which many trust for safety, often cause their ruin. And the day is at hand, when idols and idolatry will be as thoroughly destroyed from the professedly Christian church as they were from among the Jews.Images - See the margin and margin reference, and the Ezekiel 8:16 note.

Idols - The Phoenicians were in the habit of setting up "heaps" or "pillars" of stone in honor of their gods, which renders the use of the word more appropriate.

6. your works—not gods, as you supposed, but the mere work of men's hands (Isa 40:18-20). Mountains and hills with their altars were doomed, now the cities that were of less note than Jerusalem seem particularly to be threatened, because they were idolatrous; according to the number of cities were there gods, Jeremiah 11:13. High places and altars set up to the honour of those idols shall be laid waste, and the idols of those lesser cities shall be utterly destroyed. The images or statues that were usually fastened on some pedestal, somewhat high, shall be cut down; and all your costly works for idols, and your pompous preparation for them, shall, with your cities, be abolished for ever, as your sins and abominations deserve.

In all your dwelling places your cities shall be laid waste,.... Which denotes that the desolation should be general, wherever they had cities and places to dwell in; the idolatry being universal, as is said in Jeremiah 2:28;

and the high places shall be desolate; meaning such as were in cities; as, before, such as were built upon mountains and hills; see 2 Kings 23:5;

that your altars may be laid waste and desolate; as they must be, the cities being destroyed in which they were set up:

and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down; such as were made of gold and silver, or of wood and stone; the same words are used for them as in Ezekiel 6:4;

and your works may be abolished; not only the works of their hands, but of their brain; whatever they had devised, and was contrary to the pure word and worship of God.

In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
6. your works] the works of your hands, the idols. All the cumulative phrases in the verse are wanting in LXX. viz. “and made desolate,” “and cease,” “and your works may be abolished.” The term “abolished” is lit. “blotted out.” The rendering “made desolate” is probably right, though as spelled the word might mean “suffer” or “be punished,” R.V. marg., “bear their guilt.” The apparatus of worship in the prophet’s time comprehended (1) the high place, the general name for the sanctuary, which might be a building of various degrees of simplicity or splendour, or perhaps a mere tent; (2) the altar, an essential of course of every high place; (3) the obelisk or sun-pillar, and (4) the idol, with which probably most of the rural high places were provided, as Isaiah 2:8 says, Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands. Cf. Jeremiah 2:27-28, who complains that their gods (which he describes as “stocks” and “stones”) were as numerous as their cities. With this religious inventory may be compared that given by Hosea 3:5. Ezekiel does not mention the Ashera, except in the form of the “evergreen tree” (ch. Ezekiel 6:13).

Ezekiel 6:6The Desolation of the Land, and Destruction of the Idolaters

Ezekiel 6:1. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Ezekiel 6:2. Son of man, turn thy face towards the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them. Ezekiel 6:3. And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Jehovah: Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to the mountains, and to the hills, to the valleys, and to the low grounds, Behold, I bring the sword upon you, and destroy your high places. Ezekiel 6:4. Your altars shall be made desolate, and your sun-pillars shall be broken; and I shall make your slain fall in the presence of your idols. Ezekiel 6:5. And I will lay the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and will scatter your bones round about your altars. Ezekiel 6:6. In all your dwellings shall the cities be made desolate, and the high places waste; that your altars may be desolate and waste, and your idols broken and destroyed, and your sun-pillars hewn down, and the works of your hands exterminated. Ezekiel 6:7. And the slain will fall in your midst; that you may know that I am Jehovah. - With Ezekiel 6:1 cf. Ezekiel 3:16. The prophet is to prophesy against the mountains of Israel. That the mountains are mentioned (Ezekiel 6:2) as pars pro toto, is seen from Ezekiel 6:3, when to the mountains and hills are added also the valleys and low grounds, as the places where idolatry was specially practised; cf. Hosea 4:13; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:6; see on Hos. l.c. and Deuteronomy 12:2. אפיקים, in the older writings, denotes the "river channels," "the beds of the stream;" but Ezekiel uses the word as equivalent to valley, i.e., נחל, a valley with a brook or stream, like the Arabic wady. גּיא, properly "deepening," "the deep ground," "the deep valley;" on the form גּאיות, cf. Ewald, 186da. The juxtaposition of mountains and hills, of valleys and low grounds, occurs again in Ezekiel 36:4, Ezekiel 36:6, and Ezekiel 35:8; the opposition between mountains and valleys also, in Ezekiel 32:5-6, and Ezekiel 24:13. The valleys are to be conceived of as furnished with trees and groves, under the shadow of which the worship of Astarte especially was practised; see on v. 15. On the mountains and in the valleys were sanctuaries erected to Baal and Astarte. The announcement of their destruction is appended to the threatening in Leviticus 26:30, which Ezekiel takes up and describes at greater length. Beside the בּמות, the places of sacrifice and worship, and the חמּנים, pillars or statues of Baal, dedicated to him as the sun-god, he names also the altars, which, in Lev. l.c. and other places, are comprehended along with the בּמות eht htiw; see on Leviticus 26:30 and 1 Kings 3:3. With the destruction of the idol temples, altars, and statues, the idol-worshippers are also to be smitten, so as to fall down in the presence of their idols. The fundamental meaning of the word גּלּוּלים, "idols," borrowed from Lev. l.c., and frequently employed by Ezekiel, is uncertain; signifying either "logs of wood," from גּלל, "to roll" (Gesen.), or stercorei, from גּל, "dung;" not "monuments of stone" (Hvernick). Ezekiel 6:5 is taken quite literally from Leviticus 26:30. The ignominy of the destruction is heightened by the bones of the slain idolaters being scattered round about the idol altars. In order that the idolatry may be entirely rooted out, the cities throughout the whole land, and all the high places, are to be devastated, Ezekiel 6:6. The forms תּישׁמנה and יאשׁמוּ are probably not to be derived from שׁמם (Ewald, 138b), but to be referred back to a stem-form ישׁם, with the signification of שׁמם, the existence of which appears certain from the old name ישׁימון in Psalm 68 and elsewhere. The א in יאשׁמו is certainly only mater lectonis. In Ezekiel 6:7, the singular חלל stands as indefinitely general. The thought, "slain will fall in your midst," involves the idea that not all the people will fall, but that there will survive some who are saved, and prepares for what follows. The falling of the slain - the idolaters with their idols - leads to the recognition of Jehovah as the omnipotent God, and to conversion to Him.

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