Ezekiel 7:24
Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled.
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(24) Worst of the heathen.Worst refers to the power and thoroughness of their work against the Israelites. (Comp. Deuteronomy 28:49-50; also Leviticus 26:19, where the word here rendered “pomp of the strong” is translated “pride of power.”) Both passages are the warnings, long ages ago, of the judgments now declared to be close at hand. “Their holy places;” no longer God’s, since He has abandoned them for the sin of the people. (See Ezekiel 11:23.)

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.The worst of the pagan - The most cruel and terrible of nations - the Chaldaeans.

The pomp of the strong - Compare Leviticus 26:19 "The strong" are those who pride themselves in imaginary strength.

Their holy places - What elsewhere is called "God's Holy place" is here "their holy places," because God disowns the profaned sanctuary. In the marginal rendering "they" must mean "the worst of the pagan."

24. worst of the heathen—literally, "wicked of the nations"; the giving up of Israel to their power will convince the Jews that this is a final overthrow.

pomp of … strong—the pride wherewith men "stiff of forehead" despise the prophet.

holy places—the sacred compartments of the temple (Ps 68:35; Jer 51:51) [Calvin]. God calls it "their holy places," because they had so defiled it that He regarded it no longer as His. However, as the defilement of the temple has already been mentioned (Eze 7:20, 22), and "their sacred places" are introduced as a new subject, it seems better to understand this of the places dedicated to their idols. As they defiled God's sanctuary, He will defile their self-constituted "sacred places."

The worst; the most violent, proud, and bloody men; such the Chaldeans showed themselves.

Possess; not only dwell in their houses, but by right of conquest account them their own, and descending to theirs after them.

The pomp; the excellency, magnificence, and glory, whatever they boasted of; either literally, the pride, or figuratively, the temple that the Jews gloried in.

Of the strong; of the Jews, who thought Jerusalem too well fortified by art and nature, and the Divine presence, it being the city of God, ever to be overthrown.

Their holy places; all that pertains to their religion, and exercise of it, persons. places, things, which now by their abuse of them are theirs, not mine, shall be polluted.

Wherefore I will bring the worst of the Heathen,.... The Chaldeans, notorious for their cruelty, savageness, and barbarity:

and they shall possess their houses; which they have built, and thought to have lived and died in, and left them to their children for an inheritance; but the Chaldeans, and not their children, became their heirs, and inherited their houses and lands:

I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; or, "the pride of the mighty ones" (n); the noble and the rich; their wealth and substance, by which their pride and grandeur were supported, being takes away from them:

and their holy places shall be defiled; the temple, in which were the holy place, and the holy of holies: or, "they that sanctify them"; the priests that offered sacrifices, which only sanctified to the purifying of the flesh; even these holy persons and things, as well as holy places, would be defiled.

(n) "superbiam fortium", Calvin; "superbiam robustorum", Starckius.

Wherefore I will bring the worst of the nations, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their {u} holy places shall be defiled.

(u) Which was the temple that was divided into three parts.

24. worst of the heathen] Cf. Ezekiel 28:7, Ezekiel 30:11 the terrible of the nations. Jeremiah 6:23; Habakkuk 1:7.

the pomp of the strong] Or, pride. In Ezekiel 24:21 the pride of their strength, and so LXX. here. Cf. Ezekiel 33:28; Leviticus 26:19. The spelling of “sanctuaries” is an Aramaism.

Verse 24. - The worst of the heathen; literally, evil ones of the nations - with the superlative implied rather than expressed. For the thought, comp. Deuteronomy 28:50; Lamentations 5:11-13; Jeremiah 6:23. The Chaldeans were probably most prominent in the prophet's thoughts, but ch. 35:5 and Psalm 137:7 suggest that there was a side glance at the Edomites. The pomp of the strong, etc. Another echo of Leviticus 26. (ver. 31). The "pomp" is that of Judah trusting in her strength. The "holy places" find their chief representative in the temple, but, as the word is used also of a non-Jehovistic worship (Ezekiel 28:18; Amos 7:9), may include whatever the people looked on as sanctuaries - the "high places" and the like. The Vulgate gives possidebuut sanctuaria; the Revised Version margin, they that sanctify them; but the Authorized Version is probably right in both cases. Luther renders ihre kirchen, which reminds us of Acts 19:37. Ezekiel 7:24Fourth Strophe

Still worse is coming, namely, the captivity of the people, and overthrow of the kingdom. - Ezekiel 7:23. Make the chain, for the land is full of capital crime, and the city full of outrage. Ezekiel 7:24. I shall bring evil ones of the nations, that they may take possession of their houses; and I shall put an end to the pride of the strong, that their sanctuaries may be defiled. Ezekiel 7:25. Ruin has come; they seek salvation, but there is none. Ezekiel 7:26. Destruction upon destruction cometh, and report upon report ariseth; they seek visions from prophets, but the law will vanish away from the priest, and counsel from the elders. Ezekiel 7:27. The king will mourn, and the prince will clothe himself in horror, and the hands of the common people will tremble. I will deal with them according to their way, and according to their judgments will I judge them, that they may learn that I am Jehovah. - Those who have escaped death by sword or famine at the conquest of Jerusalem have captivity and exile awaiting them. This is the meaning of the command to make the chain, i.e., the fetters needed to lead the people into exile. This punishment is necessary, because the land is full of mishpat dâmim, judgment of blood. This cannot mean, there is a judgment upon the shedding of blood, i.e., upon murder, which is conducted by Jehovah, as Hvernick supposes. Such a thought is irreconcilable with מלאה, and with the parallel מלאה חמס. משׁפּט דּמים is to be explained after the same manner as משׁפּט מות (a matter for sentence of death, a capital crime) in Deuteronomy 19:6, Deuteronomy 19:21 -22, as signifying a matter for sentence of bloodshed, i.e., a crime of blood, or capital crime, as the Chaldee has already rendered it. Because the land is filled with capital crime, the city (Jerusalem) with violence, the Lord will bring רעי, evil ones of the heathen, i.e., the worst of the heathen, to put an end to the pride of the Israelites. גּאון עזּים is not "pride of the insolents;" for עזּים does not stand for עזּי פנים (Deuteronomy 28:50, etc.). The expression is rather to be explained from גּאון עז, pride of strength, in Ezekiel 24:21; Ezekiel 30:6, Ezekiel 30:18 (cf. Leviticus 26:19), and embraces everything on which a man (or a nation) bases his power and rests his confidence. The Israelites are called עזּים, because they thought themselves strong, or, according to Ezekiel 24:21, based their strength upon the possession of the temple and the holy land. This is indicated by ונחלוּ which follows. נחל, Niphal of חלל and מקדשׁיהם, not a participle Piel, from מקדּשׁ, with the Dagesh dropped, but an unusual form, from מקדּשׁ for מקדּשׁיהם (vid., Ew. 215a). - The ἁπ λεγ. חהצנצט;, with the tone drawn back on account of the tone-syllable which follows (cf. Ges. 29, 3. 6), signifies excidium, destruction (according to the Rabbins), from קפד, to shrink or roll up (Isaiah 38:12). בּא is a prophetic perfect. In Ezekiel 7:25 the ruin of the kingdom is declared to be certain, and in Ezekiel 7:26 and Ezekiel 7:27 the occurrence of it is more minutely depicted. Stroke upon stroke does the ruin come; and it is intensified by reports, alarming accounts, which crowd together and increase the terror, and also by the desperation of the spiritual and temporal leaders of the nation - the prophets, priests, and elders - whom God deprives of revelation, knowledge, and counsel; so that all ranks (king and princes and the common people) sink into mourning, alarm, and horror. That it is to no purpose that visions or prophecies are sought from the prophets (Ezekiel 7:26), is evident from the antithetical statement concerning the priests and elders which immediately follows. The three statements serve as complements of one another. They seek for predictions from prophets, but the prophets receive no vision, no revelation. They seek instruction from priests, but instruction is withdrawn from the priests; and so forth. T̄ōrâh signifies instruction out of the law, which the priests were to give to the people (Malachi 2:7). In Ezekiel 7:27, the three classes into which the people were divided are mentioned - viz. king, prince (i.e., tribe-princes and heads of families), and, in contradistinction to both, עם הארץ, the common people, the people of the land, in distinction from the civil rulers, as in 2 Kings 21:24; 2 Kings 23:30. מדּרכּם, literally from their way, their mode of action, will I do to them: i.e., my action will be derived from theirs, and regulated accordingly. אותם for אתּם, as in Ezekiel 3:22, etc. (See the comm. on Ezekiel 16:59.)

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