Also, you son of man, thus said the Lord GOD to the land of Israel; An end, the end is come on the four corners of the land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The four corners.—A frequent Scriptural phrase for every part. (Comp. Isaiah 11:12; Revelation 7:1.) The origin of the expression is to be sought, not in any supposed popular belief that the earth was square, but in the fact that so many common things had just four sides or four corners (see Exodus 25:12; Exodus 27:2; Job 1:19; Acts 10:11, &c), that the phrase came naturally to be a common expression of universality. “An end, the end,” is a repetition for the sake of emphasis. It occurs again in Ezekiel 7:6, and, in varied words, also in Ezekiel 7:10; Ezekiel 7:12; Ezekiel 7:26.
Ezekiel 7:3-4 are repeated almost exactly in Ezekiel 7:8-9. The frequent repetitions of this chapter are designed, and give great force to the denunciation of woe. “Thine abominations are in the midst of thee,” in the sense of calling down punishment upon them, as appears from the parallel in Ezekiel 7:9.Ezekiel 7:2-4. Thus saith the Lord unto the land of Israel — Unto the inhabitants of the land. Israel is often put for Judah, after the captivity of the ten tribes; those that were left of these tribes joining themselves to the tribe of Judah. The whole country of Judea is here comprehended. An end — An end of God’s patience, of the peace and welfare of the people, and of the plenty, beauty, and desirableness of the land itself; is come — Or is near at hand; even that dreadful end threatened by Moses and the prophets, as the certain punishment of idolatry and other violations of God’s law: upon the four corners of the land — Upon all parts of it. Now is the end come upon thee — There shall be no more delays. I will judge thee according to thy ways — I will punish thee according to thy deserts. Thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee — The punishment of thy sins shall be upon thee everywhere throughout thy land.Unto the land; the inhabitants who had sinned, and also to the land wherein they sinned.
An end, end of God’s patience, of the peace and welfare of the people, and of the plenty, beauty, and desirableness of the land itself, is come, or is near at hand.
The end; that dreadful end I threatened against you, and which you will find in the execution of the menaces pronounced against you by the former and latter prophets.
Upon the four corners; it is an overflowing misery, that spreads over all the land.
an end: for here a colon is to be placed; that is, the end of God's patience and forbearance; he would bear with them no longer, at least but a very little while; the time of vengeance was coming upon them, and an utter consumption should be made of them; see Lamentations 4:18;
the end is come upon the four corners of the earth, or "land"; for not the whole world, and the end of that, as in Matthew 24:3, are meant; but the land of Judea and the destruction of it, which should be general; upon the four wings of it, as in the Hebrew text; that is, in all parts of it, east, west, north, and south. The Targum is,
"the punishment of the end, or the punishment determined to come upon the four winds of the earth;''
see Revelation 7:1; and this punishment was just going to be inflicted on them; for this prophecy was in the sixth year of King Zedekiah; and in the ninth year of his reign Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem; and in the eleventh year took it, 2 Kings 25:1.Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. Ezekiel 7:2 might read: unto the land of Israel an end! the end is come upon, &c. Cf. Amos 8:2.Verse 2. - An end, etc. The iteration of the word once more gives emphasis. The words read like an echo of Amos 8:2. The four corners (Hebrew, "wings") were probably, as with us, the north, east, south, and west. The phrase had been used before in Isaiah 11:12, and the thought meets us again, in the form of the "four winds," in Daniel 11:4; Zechariah 2:6; Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27. The "end" in this case is either that of the siege of Jerusalem, or that of the existence of Israel as a nation. It was now drawing nigh - was, as we say, within measurable distance.
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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