Ezekiel 7:26
Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.
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(26) Then shall they seek a vision.—Comp. Ezekiel 20:1-3. The three chief sources of counsel, the prophets, the priests, and the elders, are all represented as applied to in vain. God had forsaken the people who had rejected Him. (Comp. Proverbs 1:28, and the story of Saul’s despair at his abandonment by God, 1Samuel 28:15.) In the following verse the trouble is described as affecting all classes alike, the king, the prince, and the people of the land, and, further, as being the fitting consequence and retribution of their own chosen way.

Here closes the first series of Ezekiel’s prophecies, extending from the beginning of the fourth to the end of the seventh chapter. They were all uttered within the period of a year and two months. Like the following series (Ezekiel 8-19), they begin with a remarkable series of symbolic acts, or rather of descriptions of such acts, and are continued by plain prophecies. Ezekiel and his fellow-captives had now been between five and six years in exile, and they still looked to Jerusalem and the Temple as their pride and the strength of their nation, and doubtless many of them hoped to be able to return there to lead again their former lives. There could be no hope of affecting a thorough and lasting reformation among the people except by utterly dashing these hopes to the ground, and showing that the people must be led to repentance through a thorough humiliation and heavy punishment. Such is the purpose of these prophecies, and it is carried out with extraordinary vigour and power of language.

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."

26. Mischief … upon … mischief—(De 32:23; Jer 4:20). This is said because the Jews were apt to fancy, at every abatement of suffering, that their calamities were about to cease; but God will accumulate woe on woe.

rumour—of the advance of the foe, and of his cruelty (Mt 24:6).

seek a vision—to find some way of escape from their difficulties (Isa 26:9). So Zedekiah consulted Jeremiah (Jer 37:17; 38:14).

law shall perish—fulfilled (Eze 20:1, 3; Ps 74:9; La 2:9; compare Am 8:11); God will thus set aside the idle boast, "The law shall not perish from the priest" (Jer 18:18).

ancients—the ecclesiastical rulers of the people.

Mischief upon mischief; loss upon loss, one sorrow on the neck of another.

Rumour upon rumour; dreadful news one post after another of the enemies’ threats, preparations, marches, successes, and cruelties, wounding the heart of the stoutest. In this multiplied perplexity they will inquire, it is likely, of their false prophets, hating the true, whom if they consult, they will not like their answer. Or rather, there shall be no prophet, as Psalm 74:9; no revelation from heaven for them.

But the law shall perish; Heb.

and, rather than

but. When they consult the priest, their ordinary director by the law, alas! if any remain, they are ignorant of the law, nor have they sacrifices to bring to them to offer unto God. Religious men can afford them no comfort, nor shall their senators know what to advise.

Mischief shall come upon mischief,.... One misfortune or calamity after another; first one unhappy event, and then another, as was Job's case. The Targum is,

"breach upon breach shall come (o):''

and rumour shall be upon rumour; that the Chaldean army is in such a place; and then that it is in another place still nearer; and then that it is but a few miles off, and, will be here immediately: rumours of wars, as well as wars, themselves, are very distressing; see Matthew 24:6;

then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; apply to him for a prophecy, to know the event of things, whether and when they might expect a deliverance:

but the law shall perish from the priest; whose lips should keep knowledge, and from whose mouth the law, the doctrine and interpretation of it, might be expected; but now either there would be no priests at all; or such as were would be ignorant and unlearned, and incapable of instructing the people:

and counsel from the ancients; with whom it usually is; and which is of great service in a time of distress: this therefore adds greatly to the calamity, that there would be no prophet to tell them what should come to pass; no priest to instruct them; nor senator or wise man to give them counsel.

(o) So R. Sol. Urhin. Ohel Moed, fol. 96. 1.

Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.
26. Mischief … upon mischief] i.e. calamity upon calamity; and “rumour” of misfortune upon rumour. Jeremiah 4:20; Isaiah 28:19.

but the law] and the law. It is implied in seeking a vision from the prophet that no vision is granted; and the law, i.e. decision or judgment, sought from the priest, ceases; neither can the elders give any counsel. The same three classes of advisers, viz. prophets, priests, and elders or wise men are spoken of Jeremiah 18:18. All sources of revelation are dumb. Cf. Lamentations 2:9, The law is no more, her prophets also find no vision from the Lord. Psalm 74:9; Micah 3:6.

Verse 26. - Mischief... turnout. The combination reminds us of the "wars and rumours of wars" of Matthew 24:6. The floating uncertain reports of a time of invasion aggravate the actual misery (comp. Isaiah 37:7; Jeremiah 51:46; Obadiah 1:1). They shall seek a vision of the prophet, etc. The words paint a picture of political chaos and confusion. The people turn in their distress to the three representativtes of wisdom - the prophet as the bearer of an immediate message from Jehovah, the priest as the interpreter of his Law (Malachi 2:7), the "ancients" or "elders" as those who had learnt the lessons of experience, - and all alike in vain. (For illustrative facts, see Jeremiah 5:31; Jeremiah 6:13; Jeremiah 21:2; Jeremiah 23:21-40; Jeremiah 27:9-18; Jeremiah 28:1-9, and generally Micah 3:6; Amos 8:11; 1 Samuel 28:6; Lamentations 2:9.) Ezekiel 7:26Fourth 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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