Ezekiel 16:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.

King James Bible
None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.

American Standard Version
No eye pitied thee, to do any of these things unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, for that thy person was abhorred, in the day that thou wast born.

Douay-Rheims Bible
No eye had pity on thee to do any of these things for thee, out of compassion to thee: but thou wast cast out upon the face of the earth in the abjection of thy soul, in the day that thou wast born.

English Revised Version
None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, for that thy person was abhorred, in the day that thou wast born.

Webster's Bible Translation
No eye pitied thee, to do any of these to thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.

Ezekiel 16:5 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The rule expounded in Ezekiel 14:13-20 is here applied to Jerusalem. - Ezekiel 14:21. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, How much more when I send my four evil judgments, sword, and famine, and evil beasts, and pestilence, against Jerusalem, to cut off from it man and beast? Ezekiel 14:22. And, behold, there remain escaped ones in her who will be brought out, sons and daughters; behold, they will go out to you, that ye may see their walk and their works; and console yourselves concerning the evil which I have brought upon Jerusalem. Ezekiel 14:23. And they will console you, when ye see their walk and their works: and ye will see that I have not done without cause all that I have done to her, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - By כּי in Ezekiel 14:21 the application of the general rule to Jerusalem is made in the form of a reason. The meaning, however, is not, that the reason why Jehovah was obliged to act in this unsparing manner was to be found in the corrupt condition of the nation, as Hvernick supposes, - a thought quite foreign to the context; but כּי indicates that the judgments upon Jerusalem will furnish a practical proof of the general truth expressed in Ezekiel 14:13-20, and so confirm it. This כּי is no more an emphatic yea than the following "אף is a forcible introduction to the antithesis formed by the coming fact, to the merely imaginary cases mentioned above" (Hitzig). אף has undoubtedly the force of a climax, but not of an asseveration, "verily" (Hv.); a meaning which this particle never has. It is used here, as in Job 4:19, in the sense of אף כּי; and the כּי which follows אף swollof hcihw in this case is a conditional particle of time, "when." Consequently כי ought properly to be written twice; but it is only used once, as in Ezekiel 15:5; Job 9:14, etc. The thought is this: how much more will this be the case, namely, that even a Noah, Daniel, and Job will not deliver either sons or daughters when I send my judgments upon Jerusalem. The perfect שׁלּחתּי is used, and not the imperfect, as in Ezekiel 14:13, because God has actually resolved upon sending it, and does not merely mention it as a possible case. The number four is significant, symbolizing the universality of the judgment, or the thought that it will fall on all sides, or upon the whole of Jerusalem; whereby it must also be borne in mind that Jerusalem as the capital represents the kingdom of Judah, or the whole of Israel, so far as it was still in Canaan. At the same time, by the fact that the Lord allows sons and daughters to escape death, and to be led away to Babylon, He forces the acknowledgment of the necessity and righteousness of His judgments among those who are in exile. This is in general terms the thought contained in Ezekiel 14:22 and Ezekiel 14:23, to which very different meanings have been assigned by the latest expositors. Hvernick, for example, imagines that, in addition to the four ordinary judgments laid down in the law, Ezekiel 14:22 announces a new and extraordinary one; whereas Hitzig and Kliefoth have found in these two verses the consolatory assurance, that in the time of the judgments a few of the younger generation will be rescued and taken to those already in exile in Babylon, there to excite pity as well as to express it, and to give a visible proof of the magnitude of the judgment which has fallen upon Israel. They differ so far from each other, however, that Hitzig regards those of the younger generation who are saved as צדּיקים, who have saved themselves through their innocence, but not their guilty parents, and who will excite the commiseration of those already in exile through their blameless conduct; whilst Kliefoth imagines that those who are rescued are simply less criminal than the rest, and when they come to Babylon will be pitied by those who have been longer in exile, and will pity them in return.

Neither of these views does justice to the words themselves or to the context. The meaning of. Ezekiel 14:22 is clear enough; and in the main there has been no difference of opinion concerning it. When man and beast are cut off out of Jerusalem by the four judgments, all will not perish; but פּליטה, i.e., persons who have escaped destruction, will be left, and will be led out of the city. These are called sons and daughters, with an allusion to Ezekiel 14:16, Ezekiel 14:18, and Ezekiel 14:20; and consequently we must not take these words as referring to the younger generation in contrast to the older. They will be led out of Jerusalem, not to remain in the land, but to come to "you," i.e., those already in exile, that is to say, to go into exile to Babylon. This does not imply either a modification or a sharpening of the punishment; for the cutting off of man and beast from a town may be effected not only by slaying, but by leading away. The design of God in leaving some to escape, and carrying them to Babylon, is explained in the clauses which follow from וּראיתם onwards, the meaning of which depends partly upon the more precise definition of דּרכּם and עלילותם, and partly upon the explanation to be given of נחמתּם and ונחמוּ אתכם. The ways and works are not to be taken without reserve as good and righteous works, as Kliefoth has correctly shown in his reply to Hitzig. Still less can ways and works denote their experience or fate, which is the explanation given by Kliefoth of the words, when expounding the meaning and connection of Ezekiel 14:21-23. The context certainly points to wicked ways and evil works. And it is only the sight of such works that could lead to the conviction that it was not חנּם, in vain, i.e., without cause, that God had inflicted such severe judgments upon Jerusalem. And in addition to this effect, which is mentioned in Ezekiel 14:23 as produced upon those who were already in exile, by the sight of the conduct of the פּליטה that came to Babylon, the immediate design of God is described in Ezekiel 14:22 as 'ונחמתּם על־הרעה וגו. The verb נחם with על cannot be used here in the sense of to repent of, or be sorry for, a judgment which God has inflicted upon him, but only of evil which he himself has done; and נחם does not mean to pity a person, either when construed in the Piel with an accusative of the person, or in the Niphal c. על, rei. נחמתּם is Niphal, and signifies here to console oneself, as in Genesis 38:12 with על, concerning anything, as in 2 Samuel 13:39; Jeremiah 31:15, etc.; and נחמוּ (Ezekiel 14:23), with the accusative of the person, to comfort any one, as in Genesis 51:21; Job 2:11, etc. But the works and doings of those who came to Babylon could only produce this effect upon those who were already there, from the fact that they were of such a character as to demonstrate the necessity for the judgments which had fallen upon Jerusalem. A conviction of the necessity for the divine judgments would cause them to comfort themselves with regard to the evil inflicted by God; inasmuch as they would see, not only that the punishment endured was a chastisement well deserved, but that God in His righteousness would stay the punishment when it had fulfilled His purpose, and restore the penitent sinner to favour once more. But the consolation which those who were in exile would derive from a sight of the works of the sons and daughters who had escaped from death and come to Babylon, is attributed in Ezekiel 14:23 (נחמוּ אתכם) to the persons themselves. It is in this sense that it is stated that "they will comfort you;" not by expressions of pity, but by the sight of their conduct. This is directly affirmed in the words, "when ye shall see their conduct and their works." Consequently Ezekiel 14:23 does not contain a new thought, but simply the thought already expressed in Ezekiel 14:22, which is repeated in a new form to make it the more emphatic. And the expression את כּל־אשׁר , in Ezekiel 14:22, serves to increase the force; whilst את, in the sense of quoad, serves to place the thought to be repeated in subordination to the whole clause (cf. Ewald, 277a, p. 683).

Ezekiel 16:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

eye

Ezekiel 2:6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with you...

Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes, they may forget...

Lamentations 2:11,19 My eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured on the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people...

Lamentations 4:3,10 Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel...

but thou

Genesis 21:10 Why she said to Abraham, Cast out this female slave and her son: for the son of this female slave shall not be heir with my son...

Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born you shall cast into the river...

Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born you shall cast into the river...

Numbers 19:16 And whoever touches one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave...

Jeremiah 9:21,22 For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without...

Jeremiah 22:19 He shall be buried with the burial of an donkey, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

Cross References
Deuteronomy 32:10
"He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

Ezekiel 16:6
"And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' I said to you in your blood, 'Live!'

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