They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Cast their silver in the streets.—As in the rout of an army the soldier throws away everything, even his most valuable things, as impediments to his flight and temptations to the pursuing enemy, so the Israelites in their terror should abandon everything. Their riches will be utterly unavailing. The expression in the original is even stronger: their gold shall be to them “an unclean thing,” “filth,” because they shall perceive that it has been to them an occasion of sin.Leviticus 20:21; their gold shall be unclean and abominable in their eyes.
The stumblingblock of their iniquity - See Ezekiel 3:20. Their gold and silver used in making images was the occasion of their sin.They shall cast their silver; either,
1. The Jews themselves, that they be the lighter to flee, and might stop the pursuer, whom they hope silver may stop a while, and give them some space to get away; or, might occasion quarrels among soldiers of fortune, which might set them one against another till the distressed Jews could get away from them all. Or,
2. The Chaldeans, who in this day of their own rage and God’s wrath against the Jews did (as the Medes and Persians shall, Isaiah 13:17) not regard silver or gold, Proverbs 11:4. Or, 3. Because Nebuchadnezzar might possibly reserve it all to himself, having those vast thoughts of enlarging his empire by arms; which could not be done without great treasures.
Removed; carried away into Babylon, to the royal treasury; or laid aside as despised, when offered a ransom of their life; or hid by the Jews in polluted places, which perhaps the Jew might think would be securest from searching, forasmuch as the Chaldean knew their law forbade them to touch any unclean tiring.
Silver and gold shall not be able to deliver them: this is the sum of it, these treasures shall stand them in no stead. If the self-flattering Jews should think much silver and gold might ransom their life when the city is taken, the prophet removes this confidence, and tells them they should not have enough to buy bread to fill their own bellies.
It is the stumbling-block of their iniquity; this silver and gold they valued too much, coveted immeasurably, abused to pride, luxury, idolatry, and oppression; this that they stumbled at and fell into sin, this now they stumble at and fall into deepest misery and danger. Isaiah 2:20;
their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord; these can neither deliver from temporal judgments nor from wrath to come; see Proverbs 10:2; nor idols made of them:
they shall not satisfy their souls, nor fill their bowels; gold and silver cannot be eaten; these will not satisfy the craving appetite, nor fill the hungry belly: the words show that the famine would be so great, that bread could not be got for any money; and therefore gold and silver would be of no avail; since they could not be fed upon, or give any satisfaction to a famishing soul; nor could idols of gold and silver neither:They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. Amidst the famine they cast their silver and gold away in the streets, it cannot procure them food. On the horrors of famine during the siege of Jerusalem, comp. Lamentations 4:4; Lamentations 4:8-10; Lamentations 2:11-12; Lamentations 2:19-20; Lamentations 1:11.
gold shall be removed] Rather: shall be a thing unclean, lit. uncleanness. The term refers properly to female impurity, and is the strongest expression for “object of abhorrence;” cf. ch. Ezekiel 36:17, where the people’s idolatries are in Jehovah’s eyes as a woman’s impurity. Leviticus 20:21.
is the stumblingblock] hath been. Their gold and silver has been to them something on which they have stumbled and fallen, i.e. a cause of their sinning; cf. ch. Ezekiel 14:3, Ezekiel 44:12.Verse 19. - They shall cast their silver, etc. The words remind us of Isaiah 2:20 and Isaiah 30:22, with the difference that here it is the silver and gold as such, and not the idols made of them, that are to be flung away. They had made the actual metal their idol, and their confidence in it should be powerless to deliver them (Zephaniah 1:18). Their gold shall be removed; better, with the Revised Version, as an unclean thing. The word implies the kind of impurity of Ezekiel 18:6; Ezekiel 22:10; Ezekiel 36:17; Isaiah 30:22. Instead of gloating, as they had done, over their money, men should shrink from it, as though its very touch brought pollution. The Vulgate gives in sterquilinium, "to the dunghill." They shall not satisfy their souls. In the horrors of the siege, with everything at famine prices (2 Kings 6:25), and little or nothing to be had for them, their money would not stop the cravings of hunger. It is characteristic that he applies to riches as such the very same epithet, stumbling block of their iniquity, as he had applied before (Ezekiel 3:20) to actual idolatry (comp. Colossians 3:5). Ezekiel 7:2-4, arranged in four strophes: Ezekiel 7:5-9, Ezekiel 7:10-14, Ezekiel 7:15-22, Ezekiel 7:23-27. - The first strophe depicts the end as a terrible calamity, and as near at hand. Ezekiel 7:3 and Ezekiel 7:4 are repeated as a refrain in Ezekiel 7:8 and Ezekiel 7:9, with slight modifications. Ezekiel 7:5. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Misfortune, a singular misfortune, behold, it cometh. Ezekiel 7:6. End cometh: there cometh the end; it waketh upon thee; behold, it cometh. Ezekiel 7:7. The fate cometh upon thee, inhabitants of the land: the time cometh, the day is near; tumult and not joy upon the mountains. Ezekiel 7:8. Now speedily will I pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger on thee; and judge thee according to thy ways, and bring upon thee all thine abominations. Ezekiel 7:9. My eye shall not look with pity upon thee, and I shall not spare; according to thy ways will I bring it upon thee, and thy abominations shall be in the midst of thee, that ye may know that I, Jehovah, am smiting. - Misfortune of a singular kind shall come. רעה is made more emphatic by אחת רעה, in which אחת is placed first for the sake of emphasis, in the sense of unicus, singularis; a calamity singular (unique) of its kind, such as never had occurred before (cf. Ezekiel 5:9). In Ezekiel 7:6 the poetical הקיץ, it (the end) waketh upon thee, is suggested by the paronomasia with הקּץ. The force of the words is weakened by supplying Jehovah as the subject to הקיץ, in opposition to the context. And it will not do to supply רעה (evil) from Ezekiel 7:5 as the subject to הנּה באה (behold, it cometh). באה is construed impersonally: It cometh, namely, every dreadful thing which the end brings with it. The meaning of tzephirâh is doubtful. The only other passage in which it occurs is Isaiah 28:5, where it is used in the sense of diadem or crown, which is altogether unsuitable here. Raschi has therefore had recourse to the Syriac and Chaldee צפרא, aurora, tempus matutinum, and Hvernick has explained it accordingly, "the dawn of an evil day." But the dawn is never used as a symbol or omen of misfortune, not even in Joel 2:2, but solely as the sign of the bursting forth of light or of salvation. Abarbanel was on the right track when he started from the radical meaning of צפר, to twist, and taking tzephirâh in the sense of orbis, ordo, or periodical return, understood it as probably denoting rerum fatique vicissitudinem in orbem redeuntem (Ges. Thes. p. 1188). But it has been justly observed, that the rendering succession, or periodical return, can only give a forced sense in Ezekiel 7:10. Winer has given a better rendering, viz., fatum, malum fatale, fate or destiny, for which he refers to the Arabic tsabramun, intortum, then fatum haud mutandum inevitabile. Different explanations have also been given of הד הרים. But the opinion that it is synonymous with הידד, the joyous vintage cry (Jeremiah 25:30; Isaiah 16:10), is a more probable one than that it is an unusual form of הוד, splendor, gloria. So much at any rate is obvious from the context, that the hapax legomenon dh̀ is the antithesis of מהוּמה, tumult, or the noise of war. The shouting of the mountains, is shouting, a rejoicing upon the mountains. מקּרוב, from the immediate vicinity, in a temporal not a local sense, as in Deuteronomy 32:17 ( equals immediately). For כּלּה , see Ezekiel 6:1-14;12. The remainder of the strophe (Ezekiel 7:8 and Ezekiel 7:9) is a repetition of Ezekiel 7:3 and Ezekiel 7:4; but מכּה is added in the last clause. They shall learn that it is Jehovah who smites. This thought is expanded in the following strophe.
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