Thus said the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)An only evil.—That is, an evil so all-embracing as to be complete in itself, and need no repetition. Compare the same thought in Nahum 1:9, “affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Some MSS., and the Chaldee, by the alteration of one letter, read “evil after evil,” as in Ezekiel 7:26.Ezekiel 7:5-7. Thus saith the Lord, An evil, an only evil — A sore affliction, a singular and uncommon one. An end is come — A destruction, which shall be fatal to a great part of those that go into captivity, as well as to those who are consumed in their own country. It is quite prepared to rush upon thee. Observe, reader, when the end is come upon the ungodly, then an only evil comes upon them. The sorest of temporal judgments have their allays; but the torments of the damned are an evil, an only evil. The morning is come upon thee — “God’s judgments shall overtake thee speedily and unexpectedly. The expression alludes to the time when magistrates use to give sentence against offenders, which was in the morning.” The time is come — The time of God’s vengeance, called elsewhere the day of the Lord. And not the sounding again of the mountains — The sound of war and slaughter, and not such a joyful sound as used to echo from the mountains, by which the treaders of grapes expressed their satisfaction at the time of the vintage: which the word הר, here used, properly signifies. Or, not a mere echo, not a fancy, but a real noise arising from the approach of the Chaldean army.
an evil, an only evil, behold, it cometh; meaning the destruction of the city and temple; which, though but one, was such an one as was never known before nor was there any like it. The Targum is,
"evil after evil, lo, it cometh;''
one evil after another; when one evil is gone, another comes, as in Ezekiel 7:26. The Syriac version is, "behold, evil for evil comes"; the evil of punishment for the evil of sin.Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. an only evil] Lit. one evil, scarcely a “unique” evil, to which there is nothing like, but an evil which is “one” and final, 1 Samuel 26:8; Haggai 2:6, “Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth” (Hebrews 12:26).
5–7. The dirge takes a fresh turn, announcing in nearly the same words that the end is come upon the inhabitants of the landVerse 5. - An evil, an only evil, etc. The words imply that the evil would be unique in character, attracting men's notice, not needing repetition. Cornill, however, following Luther, gives "evil after evil," changing one letter m the Hebrew for "one," so as to get the word "after." For is come read, with the Revised Version, it cometh. It is the nearness, not the actual arrival, of the end, that is in the prophet's thoughts. He writes in B.C. 595-4. Jerusalem was not taken till s.c.588
Ezekiel 6:1. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Ezekiel 6:2. Son of man, turn thy face towards the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them. Ezekiel 6:3. And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Jehovah: Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to the mountains, and to the hills, to the valleys, and to the low grounds, Behold, I bring the sword upon you, and destroy your high places. Ezekiel 6:4. Your altars shall be made desolate, and your sun-pillars shall be broken; and I shall make your slain fall in the presence of your idols. Ezekiel 6:5. And I will lay the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and will scatter your bones round about your altars. Ezekiel 6:6. In all your dwellings shall the cities be made desolate, and the high places waste; that your altars may be desolate and waste, and your idols broken and destroyed, and your sun-pillars hewn down, and the works of your hands exterminated. Ezekiel 6:7. And the slain will fall in your midst; that you may know that I am Jehovah. - With Ezekiel 6:1 cf. Ezekiel 3:16. The prophet is to prophesy against the mountains of Israel. That the mountains are mentioned (Ezekiel 6:2) as pars pro toto, is seen from Ezekiel 6:3, when to the mountains and hills are added also the valleys and low grounds, as the places where idolatry was specially practised; cf. Hosea 4:13; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:6; see on Hos. l.c. and Deuteronomy 12:2. אפיקים, in the older writings, denotes the "river channels," "the beds of the stream;" but Ezekiel uses the word as equivalent to valley, i.e., נחל, a valley with a brook or stream, like the Arabic wady. גּיא, properly "deepening," "the deep ground," "the deep valley;" on the form גּאיות, cf. Ewald, 186da. The juxtaposition of mountains and hills, of valleys and low grounds, occurs again in Ezekiel 36:4, Ezekiel 36:6, and Ezekiel 35:8; the opposition between mountains and valleys also, in Ezekiel 32:5-6, and Ezekiel 24:13. The valleys are to be conceived of as furnished with trees and groves, under the shadow of which the worship of Astarte especially was practised; see on v. 15. On the mountains and in the valleys were sanctuaries erected to Baal and Astarte. The announcement of their destruction is appended to the threatening in Leviticus 26:30, which Ezekiel takes up and describes at greater length. Beside the בּמות, the places of sacrifice and worship, and the חמּנים, pillars or statues of Baal, dedicated to him as the sun-god, he names also the altars, which, in Lev. l.c. and other places, are comprehended along with the בּמות eht htiw; see on Leviticus 26:30 and 1 Kings 3:3. With the destruction of the idol temples, altars, and statues, the idol-worshippers are also to be smitten, so as to fall down in the presence of their idols. The fundamental meaning of the word גּלּוּלים, "idols," borrowed from Lev. l.c., and frequently employed by Ezekiel, is uncertain; signifying either "logs of wood," from גּלל, "to roll" (Gesen.), or stercorei, from גּל, "dung;" not "monuments of stone" (Hvernick). Ezekiel 6:5 is taken quite literally from Leviticus 26:30. The ignominy of the destruction is heightened by the bones of the slain idolaters being scattered round about the idol altars. In order that the idolatry may be entirely rooted out, the cities throughout the whole land, and all the high places, are to be devastated, Ezekiel 6:6. The forms תּישׁמנה and יאשׁמוּ are probably not to be derived from שׁמם (Ewald, 138b), but to be referred back to a stem-form ישׁם, with the signification of שׁמם, the existence of which appears certain from the old name ישׁימון in Psalm 68 and elsewhere. The א in יאשׁמו is certainly only mater lectonis. In Ezekiel 6:7, the singular חלל stands as indefinitely general. The thought, "slain will fall in your midst," involves the idea that not all the people will fall, but that there will survive some who are saved, and prepares for what follows. The falling of the slain - the idolaters with their idols - leads to the recognition of Jehovah as the omnipotent God, and to conversion to Him.
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