Ezekiel 7:24
Why 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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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. 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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