Ezekiel 6:8
Yet will I leave a remnant, that you may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Yet will I leave a remnant.—In Ezekiel 6:8-10 the general gloom of this prophecy of judgment is lightened for a moment by the mention of the remnant who shall be brought by their afflictions “to know that I am the Lord” in a far higher and better sense than those mentioned in Ezekiel 6:7. This Divine plan pursued from the beginning, as is shown by St. Paul in Romans 9:6-13, of purifying the people by setting aside the mass, and showing mercy to a remnant, looks far beyond the Babylonish captivity, as is shown by the parallel prophecy of Zechariah, uttered after the return from that captivity, “They shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again” (Zechariah 10:9). Beyond this brief glimpse at the remnant, however, the cloud settles down again upon the prophecy; for the period until the destruction of Jerusalem, now but a few years off, must be almost exclusively a period of the denunciation of judgment.

Ezekiel 6:8-10. Yet will I leave a remnant — “A gracious exception that often occurs in the prophets when they denounce general judgments against the Jews; implying that God will still preserve a remnant of that people; to whom he will fulfil the promises made to their fathers.” And they that escape of you shall remember me, &c. — Your afflictions shall bring you to the knowledge of yourselves, and a sense of your duty to me. Because I am broken with their whorish hearts — I am much grieved, and my patience is tired out with this people’s idolatries, called in Scripture spiritual whoredom. God is here introduced as speaking after the manner of men, whose patience is tired out by the repeated provocations of others, especially when they see no hopes of amendment. And with their eyes go a whoring after their idols — The eyes are the seat of lascivious inclinations: see 2 Peter 2:14. So, in pursuit of the same metaphor, the eyes are said to go a whoring after idols, the people being often tempted to idolatrous worship by the costliness of the images, and the fine show they made. And they shall loathe themselves, &c. — With a mixture of grief toward God, of indignation against themselves, and abhorrence of the offence. And they shall know I have not said in vain, &c. — Without cause, as the word חנם is more significantly translated Ezekiel 14:22; the sufferers had given him just cause to pronounce that evil. Or, without effect: their sins were the cause, and their destruction is the effect of their sufferings.6:8-10 A remnant of Israel should be left; at length they should remember the Lord, their obligations to him, and rebellion against him. True penitents see sin to be that abominable thing which the Lord hates. Those who truly loathe sin, loathe themselves because of sin. They give glory to God by their repentance. Whatever brings men to remember Him, and their sins against him, should be regarded as a blessing.The force of the words is, "When the slain shall fall in the midst of you, then at last ye shall know that I am the Lord." So in Ezekiel 6:10 where the knowledge implies a recognition of the merciful intent of Yahweh's dispensations, and therefore, a hope of restoration. 8. Mitigation of the extreme severity of their punishment; still their life shall be a wretched one, and linked with exile (Eze 5:2, 12; 12:16; 14:22; Jer 44:28). It is the Lord that preserves a remnant, the enemies’ rage would destroy all; and it is an act of deliberate and voluntary resolution, not by chance, but by choice.

A remnant; some few in comparison with the great multitudes that are cut off. Though he promiseth a handful shall remain, yet it shall be in that condition that they are little more than escaped, a poor and small remnant left, as Zephaniah 3:12.

Ye shall be scattered; either by your own choice, shifting from country to country; or else, dissipated by the order of the proud oppressing conqueror, who will scatter families, lest they should be a little comfort to one another, and great jealousy to him; he will scatter to prevent conspiracies. Yet will I leave a remnant,.... Not in Judea, but in Babylon, and in the countries where they should be dispersed, as follows:

that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations; which was threatened to be drawn, and sent after them, Ezekiel 5:2; but all should not perish by if; some should escape; for this was not the time to make a full end of them:

when ye shall be scattered through the countries; that is, of Egypt, Ammon, Moab, and Assyria; for this respects their dispersion at the time of the Babylonish captivity, and not their present dispersion.

Yet will I leave a remnant, {d} that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.

(d) He shows that in all dangers God will preserve a few, which will be as the seed of his Church and call on his Name.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. that ye may have] R.V. in that ye shall have some is better. The original reads very awkwardly, and in LXX. the words: “yet will I leave a remnant” are wanting. Ezekiel 6:9 seems the apodosis of Ezekiel 6:8, and when ye shall have them that escape the sword … 9 then shall they that escape of you remember.

8–10. A remnant shall be preserved, and shall remember the Lord among the nations whither they are scatteredVerse 8. - Yet will I leave a remnant, ere. The thought, though not the word, is that of Isaiah 1:9; Isaiah 10:20; Zephaniah 2:7; Zephaniah 3:13; Jeremiah 43:5. For these, at least, the punishment would, in greater or less measure, do its work; and, in remembering Jehovah, they would find the beginning of conversion. 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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