New International Version
For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots with arrows, he will consult his idols, he will examine the liver.
King James Bible
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.
Darby Bible Translation
For the king of Babylon standeth at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shaketh [his] arrows, he inquireth of the teraphim, he looketh in the liver.
World English Bible
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows back and forth, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver.
Young's Literal Translation
For stood hath the king of Babylon at the head of the way, At the top of the two ways, to use divination, He hath moved lightly with the arrows, He hath asked at the teraphim, He hath looked on the liver.
Ezekiel 21:21 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way - He was in doubt which way he should first take; whether to humble the Ammonites by taking their metropolis, Riblath, or go at once against Jerusalem. In this case of uncertainty, he made use of divination. And this was of three kinds: 1. By arrows. 2. By images or talismans. 3. By inspecting the entrails of a sacrifice offered on the occasion.
1. He made bright his arrows. This might be after the manner in which the divination is still practiced among the Arabs. These arrows were without head or wing. They took three. On one they wrote, Command me, Lord. On the second, Forbid me, Lord. The third was blank. These were put in a bag, and the querist put in his hand and took one out. If it was Command me, he set about the business immediately; if it was Forbid me, he rested for a whole year; if it was the blank one, he drew again. On all occasions the Arabs consulted futurity by such arrows. See D'Herbelot, under the word Acdah.
2. As to the images, the Hebrew calls them תרפים teraphim. See the note on Genesis 31:19 (note).
3. And as to the liver, I believe it was only inspected to see whether the animal offered in sacrifice were sound and healthy, of which the state of the liver is the most especial indication. When the liver is sound, the animal is healthy; and it would have been a bad omen to any who offered sacrifice, to find that the animal they had offered to their gods was diseased; as, in that case, they would have taken for granted that the sacrifice was not accepted.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
parting [heb] mother
he made. Or as the Vulgate, `he mingled his arrows.' They wrote on several arrows,' says Jerome, the names of the cities they intended to assault; and then putting them altogether promiscuously in a quiver, they drew then out thence as lots to be drawn; and that city whose name was written on the arrow first drawn, was the city they first made war on.'
arrows. or, knives
LibraryCarried Captive into Babylon
In the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem," to besiege the city. 2 Kings 25:1. The outlook for Judah was hopeless. "Behold, I am against thee," the Lord Himself declared through Ezekiel. "I the Lord have drawn forth My sword out of his sheath" it shall not return any more. . . . Every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water." "I will pour out Mine indignation …
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings
Sundry Sharp Reproofs
So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.'
When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father's household gods.
Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father's household. But why did you steal my gods?"
The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.
There is no divination against Jacob, no evil omens against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, 'See what God has done!'
Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest.
The five men who had spied out the land went inside and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods while the priest and the six hundred armed men stood at the entrance of the gate.
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