Ezekiel 7:23
Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.
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(23) Make a chain.—In the midst of this plain prophecy the strong tendency of the prophet’s mind still runs to the symbolic act; but this can be thought of here only as done in word. The chain is to bind captive the guilty people.

Ezekiel 7:23-24. Make a chain — To foreshow the approaching captivity, when both king and people should be carried in chains to Babylon. For the land is full of bloody crimes — The innocent blood that has been shed in it cries aloud for vengeance. See the margin. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen — The most violent, proud, and bloody men, namely, the Chaldeans, who were at that time the great oppressors of the world, and a terror to all the countries round about them; and they shall possess their houses — Not only dwell in them, but by right of conquest account them their own, and as descending to their heirs after them. I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease — The excellence, magnificence, and glory of the mighty men shall be brought to nothing: Jerusalem itself, which they trust in, and think too well fortified by nature and art, and the divine presence, to be ever overthrown, shall be levelled with the ground. And their holy places — The temple and all its courts, shall be defiled. God calls them their holy places, because, having been polluted by their idolatries, he no longer considered them as his.7:23-27 Whoever break the bands of God's law, will find themselves bound and held by the chains of his judgments. Since they encouraged one another to sin, God would dishearten them. All must needs be in trouble, when God comes to judge them according to their deserts. May the Lord enable us to seek that good part which shall not be taken away.Make a chain - Forge the chain, the chain of imprisonment determined for them. 23. chain—symbol of the captivity (compare Jer 27:2). As they enchained the land with violence, so shall they be chained themselves. It was customary to lead away captives in a row with a chain passed from the neck of one to the other. Therefore translate as the Hebrew requires, "the chain," namely, that usually employed on such occasions. Calvin explains it, that the Jews should be dragged, whether they would or no, before God's tribunal to be tried as culprits in chains. The next words favor this: "bloody crimes," rather, "judgment of bloods," that is, with blood sheddings deserving the extreme judicial penalty. Compare Jer 51:9: "Her judgment reacheth unto heaven." A chain; either to signify that like criminals they should be brought in chains before God their Judge; or, as guilty and condemned, should be led away in chains; or else, as captives in chains, carried away in triumph, because murders and oppressions abounded in them, or because the

crimes which deserved death abounded among them. Make a chain,.... To bind them; not the robbers, the Chaldeans, but the Jews; in order either to bring them to the bar to be tried for capital crimes hereafter mentioned, or to be led bound in chains into captivity; see Nehemiah 3:10;

for the land is full of bloody crimes; or, "judgment of bloods" (m); capital crimes, such as are deserving of death, particularly murder, or shedding of innocent blood; so the Targum interprets it of sins of murder:

and the city is full of violence; rapine, oppression, and injury done to the poor, the widow, and the fatherless; meaning the city of Jerusalem, where was the great court of judicature, and where justice ought to have been administered.

(m) "judicio sanguiuum", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin, Polanus, Starckius; "criminibus capitalibus", Piscator; "sanguianariis judiciis", Castalio.

Make a {s} chain: for the land is full of {t} bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.

(s) Signifying that they would be bound and led away captives.

(t) That is, of sins that deserve death.

23. Make a chain] the chain. The chain could only be for binding the captives to carry them into exile. In Isaiah 40:19 a similar word is used for the silver chains with which the idols were fastened to the wall lest they should totter or fall; and in Nahum 3:10 the verb is rendered “were bound” with chains (another word, Jeremiah 40:1). If the reading be correct the sense is not doubtful. It must be confessed, however, that nothing in the text suggests any reference to chains. LXX. connects with the preceding (so Syr.) and reads: and they shall work disorder (defilement). Corn. suggests two inf. abs. (after Ezekiel 23:46), viz. raze and empty out! (cf. Psalm 137:7; Isaiah 24:1). Curiously neither of the words is used by Ezekiel. The present reading is scarcely original.Verse 23. - Make a chain; better, the chain. The word is not found elsewhere, but a kindred form is thus translated in 1 Kings 6:21. Looking to the force of the verbs from which it is formed, its special meaning is that of a coupling chain, such as would be used in the case of captives marched off to their place of exile (Nahum 3:10). All previous sufferings were to culminate in this. The φυρμόν of the LXX. and the fac conclusionem of the Vulgate show that the word perplexed them. Full of bloody crimes. The only passage in the Authorized Version of the Old Testament in which the English noun occurs. Literally, judgments of blood. The words may be equivalent either

(1) to "blood guiltiness" (compare the "judgment" in Jeremiah 51:9), or

(2) to judgment perverted into judicial murder. The latter finds support in Ezekiel 9:9. In either case it is noticeable that Ezekiel points not only to idolatry, but to violence and wrong, as the sins that had cried for punishment (comp. Jeremiah 22:17 as a contemporary witness). Second Strophe

Ezekiel 7:10. Behold the day, behold, it cometh; the fate springeth up; the rod sprouteth; the pride blossometh. Ezekiel 7:11. The violence riseth up as the rod of evil: nothing of them, nothing of their multitude, nothing of their crowd, and nothing glorious upon them. Ezekiel 7:12. The time cometh, the day approacheth: let not the buyer rejoice, and let not the seller trouble himself; for wrath cometh upon the whole multitude thereof. Ezekiel 7:13. For the seller will not return to that which was sold, even though his life were still among the living: for the prophecy against its whole multitude will not turn back; and no one will strengthen himself as to his life through his iniquity. Ezekiel 7:14. They blow the trumpet and make everything ready; but no one goeth into the battle: for my wrath cometh upon all their multitude. - The rod is already prepared; nothing will be left of the ungodly. This is the leading thought of the strophe. The three clauses of Ezekiel 7:10 are synonymous; but there is a gradation in the thought. The approaching fate springs up out of the earth (יצא, applied to the springing up of plants, as in 1 Kings 5:13; Isaiah 11:1, etc.); it sprouts as a rod, and flowers as pride. Matteh, the rod as an instrument of chastisement (Isaiah 10:5). This rod is then called za equals dho4n, pride, inasmuch as God makes use of a proud and violent people, namely the Chaldeans (Habakkuk 1:6.; Jeremiah 50:31 seq.), to inflict the punishment. Sprouting and blossoming, which are generally used as figurative representations of fresh and joyous prosperity, denote here the vigorous growth of that power which is destined to inflict the punishment. Both châmâs (violence) and zâdhōn (pride) refer to the enemy who is to chastise Israel. The violence which he employs rises up into the chastening rod of "evil," i.e., of ungodly Israel. In Ezekiel 7:11 the effect of the blow is described in short, broken sentences. The emotion apparent in the frequent repetition of לא is intensified by the omission of the verb, which gives to the several clauses the character of exclamations. So far as the meaning is concerned, we have to insert יהיה in thought, and to take מן ekat o in a partitive sense: there will not be anything of them, i.e., nothing will be left of them (the Israelites, or the inhabitants of the land). מהם (of them) is explained by the nouns which follow. המון and the ἁπ. λεγ. לחולםÅ¡, plural of הם or המה, both derivatives of המה, are so combined that המון signifies the tumultuous multitude of people, המה the multitude of possessions (like המון, Isaiah 60:2; Psalm 37:16, etc.). The meaning which Hvernick assigns to hâmeh, viz., anxiety or trouble, is unsupported and inappropriate. The ἁπ λεγ. נהּ is not to be derived from נהה, to lament, as the Rabbins affirm; or interpreted, as Kimchi - who adopts this derivation - maintains, on the ground of Jeremiah 16:4., as signifying that, on account of the multitude of the dying, there will be no more lamentation for the dead. This leaves the Mappik in ה unexplained. נהּ is a derivative of a root נוהּ; in Arabic, na equals ha, elata fuit res, eminuit, magnificus fuit; hence ,נהּres magnifica. When everything disappears in such a way as this, the joy occasioned by the acquisition of property, and the sorrow caused by its loss, will also pass away (Ezekiel 7:12). The buyer will not rejoice in the property he has bought, for he will not be able to enjoy it; and the seller will not mourn that he has been obliged to part with his possession, for he would have lost it in any case.

(Note: "It is a natural thing to rejoice in the purchase of property, and to mourn over its sale. But when slavery and captivity stare you in the face, rejoicing and mourning are equally absurd." - Jerome.)

The wrath of God is kindled against their whole multitude; that is to say, the judgment falls equally upon them all. The suffix in המונהּ refers, as Jerome has correctly shown, to the "land of Israel" (admath, Yisrâeel) in Ezekiel 7:2, i.e., to the inhabitants of the land. The words, "the seller will not return to what he has sold," are to be explained from the legal regulations concerning the year of Jubilee in Leviticus 25, according to which all landed property that had been sold was to revert to its original owner (or his heir), without compensation, in the year of jubilee; so that he would then return to his mimkâr (Leviticus 25:14, Leviticus 25:27-28). Henceforth, however, this will take place no more, even if היּתם, their (the sellers') life, should be still alive (sc., at the time when the return to his property would take place, according to the regulations of the year of jubilee), because Israel will be banished from the land. The clause 'ועוד בּחיּים ה is a conditional circumstantial clause. The seller will not return (לא ישׁוּב) to his possession, because the prophecy concerning the whole multitude of the people will not return (לא), i.e., will not turn back (for this meaning of שׁוּב, compare Isaiah 45:23; Isaiah 55:11). As לא ישׁוּב corresponds to the previous לא ישׁוּב, so does חזון את־כּל המונהּ to חרון אל־כּל־המונהּ in Ezekiel 7:12. In the last clause of Ezekiel 7:13, חיּתו is not to be taken with בּעונו in the sense of "in the iniquity of his life," which makes the suffix in בּעונו superfluous, but with יתחזּקוּ, the Hithpael being construed with the accusative, "strengthen himself in his life." Whether these words also refer to the year of jubilee, as Hvernick supposes, inasmuch as the regulation that every one was to recover his property was founded upon the idea of the restitution and re-creation of the theocracy, we may leave undecided; since the thought is evidently simply this: ungodly Israel shall be deprived of its possession, because the wicked shall not obtain the strengthening of his life through his sin. This thought leads on to Ezekiel 7:14, in which we have a description of the utter inability to offer any successful resistance to the enemy employed in executing the judgment. There is some difficulty connected with the word בּתּקוע, since the infin. absolute, which the form תּקוע seems to indicate, cannot be construed with either a preposition or the article. Even if the expression ּבתּקוע תּקעוּ in Jeremiah 6:1 was floating before the mind of Ezekiel, and led to his employing the bold phrase ּבתּקוע, this would not justify the use of the infinitive absolute with a preposition and the article. תּקוע must be a substantive form, and denote not clangour, but the instrument used to sound an alarm, viz., the shōphâr (Ezekiel 33:3). הכין, an unusual form of the inf. abs. (see Joshua 7:7), used in the place of the finite tense, and signifying to equip for war, as in Nahum 2:4. הכּל, everything requisite for waging war. And no one goes into the battle, because the wrath of God turns against them (Leviticus 26:17), and smites them with despair (Deuteronomy 32:30).

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