Ezekiel 6:9
And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.
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(9) Because I am broken.—The verb in the Hebrew is passive in form, but it is better to take it, with most modern commentators, as a middle, in a transitive sense, “Because I have broken their whorish heart . . . and their eyes,” the eyes being mentioned as the means by which their hearts had been enticed to evil. Here, as constantly in all parts of Scripture, apostacy from God is described under the figure of unfaithfulness in the marriage relation. “They shall loathe themselves” indicates a true repentance; they shall loathe the sin and themselves for having committed it. Thus their sin has drawn down punishment; punishment has destroyed many, but brought a “remnant” to repentance; and repentance leads to a true knowledge of God, and communion with Him. The Divine word and act has not been “in vain.”

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.I am broken ... - Translate: "because" I have broken "their whorish heart, which hath departed from me," and their eyes etc. Since Ezekiel is addressing the Church of God through Israel, we are to note here that the general principle of the divine administration is laid down. Sin leads to judgment, judgment to repentance, repentance to forgiveness, forgiveness to reconciliation, reconciliation to a knowledge of communion with God. 9. they that escape of you shall remember me—The object of God's chastisements shall at last be effected by working in them true contrition. This partially took place in the complete eradication of idolatry from the Jews ever since the Babylonian captivity. But they have yet to repent of their crowning sin, the crucifixion of Messiah; their full repentance is therefore future, after the ordeal of trials for many centuries, ending with that foretold in Zec 10:9; 13:8, 9; 14:1-4, 11. "They shall remember me in far countries" (Eze 7:16; De 30:1-8).

I am broken with their whorish heart—Fairbairn translates, actively, "I will break" their whorish heart; English Version is better. In their exile they shall remember how long I bore with them, but was at last compelled to punish, after I was "broken" (My long-suffering wearied out) by their desperate (Nu 15:39) spiritual whorishness [Calvin], (Ps 78:40; Isa 7:13; 43:24; 63:10).

loathe themselves—(Le 26:39-45; Job 42:6). They shall not wait for men to condemn them but shall condemn themselves (Eze 20:43; 36:31; Job 42:6; 1Co 11:31).

They that escape; some of them, not every one of them, for several of the escaped did not bethink themselves, as appears, Jeremiah 47 48 49.

Shall remember me; my precepts which they violated, my mercies which they abused, my threats which they despised, my promises which they refused, my prophets whom they persecuted, my judgments which have executed; and shall consider and return, and seek me in their affliction.

Among the nations: in their own land they forgot and sinned, in a strange land they shall remember and weep; so the remnant is bettered by afflictions. At liberty they were captives to sin and idols; when in captivity they shall shake off that bondage, and become my servants.

Because I am broken, & c. Here we meet very different reading. The Chaldee paraphrase and Syriac version read it actively, so does the Latin Vulgate, because, or when, I have broken, &c.; and if this vary from the grammatical construction, yet it carrieth very good sense, and agreeable to the foregoing words. Their whorish hearts would still have forgotten God, if he had not broken their hearts with judgments; but they remembered when broken, and this breaking was the occasion or cause of their remembering God. Others read this passively, as our version, and as the Hebrew form most usually beareth, I am broken. It is an allusion to a misused husband whom a treacherous wife hath broken; either,

1. His peace and content.

2. His love and tenderness.

3. His patience and forbearance.

4. His purposes.

5. His offers and promises. So that, as overcome with grief and anger, he doth, contrary to his natural disposition, lay aside his courting her love, and in his jealousy takes revenge, and then she bethinks herself. So here.

Their whorish heart; their heart of whoredom, i.e. idolatrous heart, which was full of that sin, addicted to it, delighted in it, and wedded to it.

Hath departed from me: idolatrous hearts do actually depart from God, as an adulterous wife actually departs from her husband.

With their eyes: as it vexeth a husband to see his wife fixing her eyes with delight on the adulterer, and turning them with scorn from him, as this breaks the husband’s patience; so in this case, Israel’s eyes were to idols, and delighted in them, expected help from them, were ready to serve them; all which broke their Husband’s, i.e. God’s, patience, and provoked his severe revenges.

Loathe themselves; with a mixture of grief towards God offended, of indignation against themselves offending, of abhorrence of the offence, and shame before all for it, shall they show their repentance.

For the evils; wickednesses, or, as Psalm 32:5,

iniquities of sin; the deepest and darkest part of sin, the complicated evils that were in each act.

In all their abominations: it is a hypocrite’s repentance which is but for some; this of the reserved remnant shall be sound, it is for all abominations, for all kinds of their abominations.

And they that escape of you shall remember me,.... Either my grace and mercy to them, as Jarchi; or the fear of me, as the Targum; and so return by repentance, and worship the Lord their God, being influenced by his kindness and goodness to them: even when

among the nations, whither they shall be carried captive; so that their afflictions should be sanctified and made useful to them: in prosperity men are apt to forget God; in adversity they are brought to a sense of themselves and duty; and happy it is when chastening dispensations are teaching ones, and bring to God, and not drive from him:

because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me: by committing spiritual adultery, which is idolatry. The sense is, either that he was grieved at heart with their idolatry, which was the reason of their being carried captive, which, when they were sensible of, wrought repentance in them; or that he was full of compassion towards them; his heart was tender and pitiful towards them, though they departed from him in such a dreadful manner, justly to be resented by him. The Targum is,

"I have broken their foolish heart;''

and so the Syriac and Vulgate Latin versions, "I have broken their whorish heart"; by afflictive providences humbled them, and brought them to repentance:

and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols; they committed fornication with their heart and eyes in a spiritual sense, as wicked men do in a natural sense; see 2 Peter 2:14;

and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations; abominable idolatry, 1 Peter 4:3; when men remember God, against whom they have sinned, and consider how grieving sin is to him; and when they are broken for it themselves, they then loathe their sins, and themselves for it; and where all this is there is true repentance.

And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations to which they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their adulterous heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which play the harlot with their idols: and they {e} shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.

(e) They will be ashamed to see that their hope in idols was in vain, and so will repent.

9. because I am broken] R.V. how that I have been broken with their whorish heart. Such a sense as “been broken with” is altogether impossible; and the middle sense “break for myself” is equally to be rejected. The natural sense is: they shall remember (think of) me … when I have broken. Their idolatrous heart shall be broken with their calamities, and then shall they return unto the Lord; Hosea 2:7, “I will return unto my first husband, for then was it better with me than now.” The present reading has probably arisen from the similar word “carried captive” being in the copyist’s mind.

and with their eyes] Read: when I have broken their whorish heart … and their eyes. The harshness of the zeugma, “and their eyes,” is relieved by the distance from “break” and the metaphorical nature of the expression. Cf. the phrase “lifted up his eyes towards the idols,” ch. Ezekiel 18:6; Ezekiel 18:12; Ezekiel 18:15, Ezekiel 20:24, Ezekiel 33:25.

lothe themselves] Lit. their faces; a use of “face” for self, not uncommon in the later language, ch. Ezekiel 20:43, Ezekiel 36:31; Job 23:17.

Verse 9. - Because I am broken with their whorish heart. The words have been very differently rendered.

(1) The Revised Version mainly follows the Authorized Version, but gives, they shall remember... how I have been broken, etc. So taken, the words are boldly anthropomorphic, and ascribe to Jehovah the word which implies the strongest form of human distress. The "whorish heart" of the people has made Jehovah himself "broken-hearted."

(2) Most recent critics, however, follow the rendering of the Vulgate (contrivi), and take the verb, which is passive in form, as being like a Greek verb in the middle voice, transitive in form, with an implied reflex force. So we get, as in the margin of the Revised Version, "I have broken their whorish heart." So taken, thought and words are both connected with Psalm 51:17, and the self-loathing that follows has its counterpart in Job 42:6. The thought is eminently characteristic of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 20:43; Ezekiel 36:31), and, we may add also, of Leviticus (Leviticus 26:39-42). Ezekiel 6:9The survivors shall go away into banishment amongst the heathen, and shall remember the word of the Lord that will have been fulfilled. - Ezekiel 6:8. But I shall preserve a remnant, in that there shall be to you some who have escaped the sword among the nations, when he shall be dispersed among the lands. Ezekiel 6:9. And those of you who have escaped, will make mention of me among the nations whither they are led captive, when I have broken to me their whorish heart, which had departed from me, and their eyes, which went a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves because of the evil which they have done in reference to all their abominations. Ezekiel 6:10. And ye shall know that I am Jehovah. Not in vain have I spoken this evil to you. - הותיר, superstites facere, "to make or preserve survivors." The connection with 'בּהיות וגו is analogous to the construction of הותיר, in the sense of "giving a superabundance," with בּ rei, Deuteronomy 28:11 and Deuteronomy 30:9, and is not to be rejected, with Ewald and Hitzig, as inadmissible. For בּהיות is supported by the old versions, and the change of והותרתּי into ודבּרתּי, which would have to be referred to Ezekiel 6:7, is in opposition to the twofold repetition of the וידאתּם כּי אן (וידעוּ), Ezekiel 6:10 and Ezekiel 6:14, as this repetition shows that the thought in Ezekiel 6:7 is different from that in 17, 21, not "they shall know that Jehovah has spoken," but "they shall know that He who has done this is Jehovah, the God of Israel." The preservation of a remnant will be shown in this, that they shall have some who have escaped the sword. הזּרותיכם is infin. Niph. with a plural form of the suffix, as occurs elsewhere only with the plural ending ות of nouns, while Ezekiel has extended it to the ות of the infinitive of ה''ל verbs; cf. Ezekiel 16:31, and Ewald, 259b. The remembrance of Jehovah (Ezekiel 6:9) is the commencement of conversion to Him. אשׁר before נשׁבּרתּי is not to be connected as relative pronoun with לבּם, but is a conjunction, though not used conditionally, "if," as in Leviticus 4:22; Deuteronomy 11:27, and elsewhere, but of time, ὅτε, "when," as Deuteronomy 11:6 and 2 Chronicles 35:20, and נשׁבּרתּי in the signification of the futur. exact. The Niphal נשׁבּר here is not to be taken as passive, but middle, sibi frangere, i.e., לבּם, poenitenti conterere animum eorum ut ad ipsum (Deum) redeant (Maurer, Hvernick). Besides the heart, the eyes also are mentioned, which God is to smite, as the external senses which allure the heart to whoredom. ונקטוּ corresponds to וזכרוּ at the beginning of the verse. קוּט, "the later form for קוּץ, "to feel a loathing," Hiphil, "to be filled with loathing;" cf. Job 10:1 with ב object., "in (on) their פנים, faces," i.e., their persons or themselves: so also in Ezekiel 20:43; Ezekiel 36:31. אל הרעות, in allusion to the evil things; 'לכל־תועב, in reference to all their abominations. This fruit, which is produced by chastisement, namely, that he idolaters are inspired with loathing for themselves, and led to the knowledge of Jehovah, will furnish the proof that God has not spoken in vain.
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