Destruction comes; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Destruction cometh.—This is another of the peculiar words occurring only in this chapter. It is generally explained of the dismay and horror accompanying great judgments, and vividly described by our Lord as “men’s hearts failing them for fear” (Luke 21:26).Ezekiel 7:25-27. Destruction cometh — Such as a provoked power makes when it cuts off all, root and branch. And they shall seek peace — By inquiring of the prophets; or rather, by suing to Nebuchadnezzar, whom, after so many affronts, they will attempt to pacify. And there shall be none — No such thing can be obtained. Mischief shall come upon mischief — One calamity shall follow upon the neck of another. And rumour upon rumour — One piece of mournful intelligence after another, namely, of the enemies’ preparations, marches, successes, and cruelties, causing the hearts of the stoutest to sink within them. Then shall they seek a vision of the prophet — In this multiplied perplexity they will inquire of the prophets, true or false, concerning the event of things; or will seek to them for some word of direction or comfort from God, as Zedekiah did, Jeremiah 34:18, &c. But the law shall perish from the priest, &c. — He shall have no words, either of advice or comfort, to speak to them. And counsel from the ancients — Nor shall their senators know what to advise. So great will be the confusion, trouble, and terror, that neither the pious nor the wise, whom they were wont to consult, and who used to give them counsel in all difficult cases, shall be able to advise any thing to the purpose in this great perplexity and distress. The king shall mourn — Zedekiah shall droop and despair. And the prince shall be clothed with desolation — Every magistrate shall be seized with trouble and astonishment. And the hands of the people shall be troubled — Hang down and melt away. There shall be a general consternation of all ranks and degrees of men. They that are in authority shall want presence of mind to give counsel and directions, and the inferiors shall have no heart to put any advice in execution. What can men contrive, or do for themselves, when God is departed from them? All must needs be in tears, all in trouble, when God comes to judge them according to their deserts, and so make them know, to their cost, that he is the Lord to whom vengeance belongeth.
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."Destruction; such as an angry, provoked power makes when it cuts off all root and branch.
They shall seek peace; either by inquiring of prophets; or rather, suing to Nebuchadnezzar, whom, after so many affronts, they will attempt to pacify.
There shall be none; no such thing can be had: they should seek it elsewhere, and appease their God, who could give them peace; as for the Chaldean, he will not, because God doth not. Jeremiah 4:7;
and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none; that is, the Jews will seek to make peace with the Chaldeans; but the latter will not hearken to them, but go on with the siege, till they have taken the city, put part to the sword, and carried the other captive.Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. Destruction cometh] Or, anguish.Verse 25. - They shall seek peace, etc. The noun is probably to be taken in its wider sense as including safety and prosperity, but may also include specific overtures for peace made to the Chaldean generals.
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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