Matthew Poole's Commentary
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,God’s vengeance upon the Ammonites, Ezekiel 25:1-7, upon Moab and Seir, Ezekiel 25:7-11, upon Edom, Ezekiel 25:12-14, and upon the Philistines, for their declared malevolence to the Jews, Ezekiel 25:15-17.
Though he had order no more yet awhile to prophesy against the Jews, he was to be dumb as to them, yet he hath commission to foretell sad tidings to other nations round about the Jews.
Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them;Set thy face against: the phrase you have Ezekiel 20:46. It includeth anger, menaces, and intention of mind.
The Ammonites; the posterity of Lot by the younger daughter, near neighbours, but bitter enemies to the Jews. Prophesy against them; leave recorded what heavy things shall befall them in after-days.
And say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity;Say unto the Ammonites; either tell Ammonite merchants or travellers, of which some might likely be in Babylon for trade or to see its state; or else, send by letter to them of their nation who may serve in Nebuchadnezzar’s camp, which was in that time a school of arms, that they may tell others; or else, so plainly declare it that in time they may know this.
Hear the word of the Lord God; it is not the ambiguous or delusive oracle of your idols, but the plain, and true, and unfailing word of the only true God, the God of Israel, as Zephaniah 2:9. Because thou saidst, Aha; when thou shouldst have pitied, and been sorry, thou didst rejoice, and proudly didst insult, magnified thyself, and reproachedst my people, wert glad that so great calamities were come upon them.
Against my sanctuary; both the temple and the worship of God: it is like, in their pride, they boasted their idols’ power to preserve their. temples, and blasphemed God as unable to preserve his sacred rites and worship.
When it was profaned; when the heathen entered into, and when they burnt it.
Against the land of Israel; they insulted on the ten tribes, the kingdom of Israel, when afflicted. When it was desolate; wasted by Pul and Tiglath-pileser, and captivated by Shalmaneser.
Against the land of Judah; the two tribes, the kingdom of Judah.
When it went into captivity; first with Jehoiakim, then with Jeconiah, and, which was worse than both these, when it was captivated with Zedekiah, and the city burnt; a most mournful sight, and at which none but inhuman, barbarous men could do less than weep, but these rejoice, and cry, Aha.
Behold, therefore I will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee: they shall eat thy fruit, and they shall drink thy milk.I, the God whom thou hast despised, whose people thou hast reproached, whose worship thou hast vilified, I will avenge myself, and deliver time up.
To the men of the East; the Medes and Persians, say some; the Babylonians, say others, but this suits not well with geography; Arabians, say others, associates of Nehuchadnezzar, who, it is likely, recompensed their labour and service with giving them this country when it was conquered, as it was five years after the desolation of Jerusalem.
For a possession; they shall settle on it, as a very convenient country for their sheep and camels, and possess it, as their inheritance.
Set their palaces in thee: the word palaces seems little to agree with Arabians, who dwelt in tents, but this manner of dwelling many of them would be ready to change, where they might to so great advantage, as in that country, which was fruitful, as this was; besides, the word signifieth, what is fenced, as Isaiah 2:15, and is paraphrased by camp, and Arabians had their munitions and fortified camps, and these they shall set here while they stay. And I add this also, that the next words explain these.
Make their dwellings in thee; they shall set up their tents, as the word properly; their tents and habitations they would fortify in some manner or other, that in their camp they might be safe, if they did not build cities in the country.
Eat thy fruit; the fruit of that land was once thine, of the trees thou plantedst.
Drink thy milk; which in so fruitful land and rich pastures they had in abundance from the multitude of their kine, and it was a drink that well suited with those hot regions.
And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couchingplace for flocks: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.Rabbah; the royal city, and seat of the kings of Ammon, called since Philadelphia, from Ptolemaeus Philadelphus, king of Egypt, who built it.
A stable; turn it from a royal palace to be a receptacle of camels, and their drivers.
Camels; wherewith not the Chaldeans and Bactrians, but the Arabians also, were well stored; all the men of the East, as appears in Job, using them for conveying merchandise, and for travels.
The Ammonites; the people, for the land they dwelt in.
Ye shall know; then shall you know I was as able to have defended my own people, house, and worship, as I was able to destroy your gods, your cities, and your people.
For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel;Clapped thine hands; expressed thy joy in that insolent manner.
And stamped with the feet; and added this sign of more than ordinary joy at this.
Rejoiced in heart; it was that which affected thy heart with gladness, thy soul and mind were in this thy rejoicing.
Despite; hatred and contempt; thou wast heartily glad such vile people, as thou countedst them, were made, what thou thoughtest they best deserved, slaves. beggars, and captives.
The land, for the people. Israel; either the ten tribes, or rather the two tribes, with the small remnant of the others that kept to the house of David.
Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.Thou stretchedst out thy hand in joy,
I will stretch out mine in wrath; thou, against my people, I, against thee.
For a spoil; for a prey, or for meat, so the word will bear. The greedy, covetous soldier shall make thy wealth his prey; the hungry enemy shall eat thee up.
The heathen; Babylonians, and their confederates.
I will cut thee off; explained by that follows; Ammon, thou shalt no more be accounted among the nations, but cease from being a people. I will destroy thee; so shalt thou be destroyed.
Thou shalt know: see Ezekiel 25:5.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Moab and Seir do say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen;Moab; the children of Lot by the elder daughter, the whole nation going under the name of the first father of them, near but evil neighbours to Israel and Judah.
Seir; the seed of Esau, who are, Edom, Idumeans, or Seir, from the mountain where they first planted themselves; near of kin in blood, but bitter enemies to the Jews: though both here joined, yet Moab is first doomed, Ezekiel 25:9-11, and Seir next, Ezekiel 25:12-14.
The house of Judah; the peculiar people of God, who had his law, temple, worship of his own appointment, among them.
Is like unto all the heathen; are no more a select people than others; their religion no better, nor their god but as the gods of their neighbours, and they no more benefited by their, worshipping of him. Thus, atheist-like, they dethrone God, and debase him to an equality with their own idols. More particularly Moab’s sin is set out, Jeremiah 48.
Therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities which are on his frontiers, the glory of the country, Bethjeshimoth, Baalmeon, and Kiriathaim,I will open; when the Lord will open the gates of iron, and say, The gates shall not be shut, as Isaiah 45:1,2, every attempt shall be easy, and his soldiers shall break through the defences, that were vainly boasted impregnable.
The side of Moab; that part of his country, which was best fortified for the safeguard of the whole.
From the cities; from the cities of strength, called here his, because he gloried and trusted in them, such as Har and Aroer, seated on Arnon, very strong garrisons.
On his frontiers; or, from his frontiers, (for it is the same construction, Hebrew,) or from his outmost bounds, I will lay all open to the Chaldeans, they shall overrun it, as if it were an open country, as easily as if no fortresses to impede them.
The glory; so the great, strong, and beautiful, or regularly built and fortified cities are ever accounted the glory of the country, and these are reckoned beside Ar and Aroer.
Beth-jeshimoth; an ancient city, and formerly Reuben’s lot, Joshua 13:20: its name tells you it was a fortress toward the desert, which watched, lest any should, through those wastes, make an inroad on the country.
Baal-meon; called also Moon, and Baiith, and Beth-baal-meon, mansion-house of Baal, word for word; it was situate on the north coast of Moab, as the other on the west.
Kiriathaim; a city, which probably consisted of two cities, or principal parts; a very strong frontier town, but not able to keep out those that God would lead in.
Unto the men of the east with the Ammonites, and will give them in possession, that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations.The men of the East: see Ezekiel 25:4.
With; rather against, and so the Hebrew, and the sense is plain; or, as our translation reads it, with, i.e. as I have given Ammon, so I will with them give Moab to the Chaldeans first, who will give Moab to the Arabians.
Possession: see Ezekiel 25:4.
That the Ammonites; I suppose here is either an ellipsis, thus, that as the Ammonites should so perish, as not to be remembered, so should Moab also; or else Ammon is appellative here, and speaks the numerousness of Moab, which yet should so cease as to be forgotten.
And I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I am the LORD.I will execute; though the Chaldeans do it, it is by God’s direction, and he is principal therein. Judgments; the judgment passed by my prophet. They, those brutish nations, shall know this is my hand.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;Edom; the Idumeans, children of Esau.
The house of Judah; the kingdom of David after the division of the tribes, when but two remained constant to the house of David.
By taking vengeance for the old quarrel, because Jacob got the blessing from Esau, or rather in revenging a later quarrel, which they had against Judah for the slaughter, spoil, and captivity they suffered by David’s conquering sword.
Hath greatly offended; both in the thing itself, for vengeance belongs to God; and in the manner and measures of executing it, as appears both from Psalm 137:7, and the prophecy of Obadiah 1:10-15, which see, and consider.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword.Stretch out mine hand: see Ezekiel 25:7, and Ezekiel 16:27.
Cut off man, by the sword of the Chaldeans, and by other wasting evils which accompany wars, as famine, pestilence, and other diseases.
And beast; either their cattle should be driven away by the plundering soldier, or devoured by the mighty numerous army of Nebuchadnezzar, or wasted with murrain, or all should concur to unstock their pastures.
Desolate; a desolation, i.e. most desolate.
From Teman; from the south, so the Chaldee paraphrase; but it is rather the name of the region, called by the name of Esau’s grandson Teman, who also gave name to the metropolis of Idumea, and probably it was in the southern coast of Edom’s country.
Dedan; the Dedanites, who were of Abraham by Keturah, Genesis 25:3; and these were neighbours to Edom, on the side of Arabia, or else intermixed with the Edomites in habitation and commerce, so that it might be a city reckoned either to Edom or Arabia. From Teman to Dedan the Chaldean sword should waste all.
And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord GOD.I will lay my vengeance upon Edom; which as it is great, so just, sure, and opportune, their foot slideth in due time, Deu 32:35.
By the hand of my people Israel; no history mentions the fulfilling of this, as it sounds in the letter of it, unless /APC 1Ma 5:3,2Ma 10:16,17; some therefore interpret, by the hand, by the same hand, that I used in punishing my people Israel; others refer it to a spiritual meaning, as Isaiah 11:14 Jeremiah 49:2 Ob 21.
They; the instruments God used, whether Maccabees in after-times, or the Chaldeans in that present age.
Shall do in Edom according to my anger; my just displeasure, as it set them on work, shall give them their strength and measures; they shall do as much as I intended against Edom.
And according to my fury; redoubled to affect the more, and confirm the prediction.
They shall know my vengeance; both Edom, my people, and those I employ, shall see this was my quarrel, which I threatened to revenge, and now have done it, and Edom shall know I am not like their gods, though they said so, Ezekiel 25:8.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred;The Philistines; next neighbours to the Jews, between whom many quarrels, wars, and mutual spoil, slaughter, and injuries happened, as ever among borderers, who make all their own they can catch.
Have dealt by revenge; took the opportunity to revenge themselves when the Jews were weak and low.
With a despiteful heart; with hatred to them, and contempt of them.
To destroy it for the old hatred: this tells us what their hatred appeared in, it was a hatred to the name and being of Israel, they would cut them off, as Psalm 83:7, with a perpetuated, endless enmity pursuing them.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.The Cherethims; either a name for all the Philistines, 1 Samuel 30:14, or else the principal soldiers, expert bowmen, the strength of Philistia.
The remnant, which had escaped the sword of Samuel, David, Hezekiah, and of Psammeticus king of Egypt.
Of the sea-coast; the Mediterranean about Azotus.
And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.This verse is a confirmation of all spoken against the Philistines, and is in all the particulars explained in what went before.
Vengeance; great for measure, and many for number, vengeances, as the Hebrew.
With furious rebukes; in fierceness of anger, and without pity. They, as other stupid nations, will not see till they feel, and then they shall confess it is the hand of an angry, but just, and mighty God.