The Sign of Sighing
Ezekiel 21:6, 7
Sigh therefore, you son of man, with the breaking of your loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.…

In the case of Ezekiel, perhaps more than in any other of the prophets, actions were adopted as prophetic signs, more effective than words. The tidings conveyed to the prophet, and through him to his fellow countrymen, were of so mournful an import that such indications of mental distress as sighing and weeping were natural expressions of the feelings which he could not but experience. It was appointed for him in this way to excite the curiosity of his people, and, in response to their inquiries, to inform them of coming evils.


1. The trouble which was about to come upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the whole land of Israel, in the invasion of the country, the siege of the metropolis, and the violent death of many of the inhabitants.

2. The sinful rebelliousness of the people, by which they were bringing upon themselves these calamities and disasters.

3. Ezekiel's deep and sincere sympathy with sufferers, and his sorrow for their evil ways, so that he felt for his fellow countrymen as he would have felt for himself.

II. THE SEVERITY OF THE PROPHET'S SIGHING. It was "with bitterness," "with the breaking of the loins," i.e. sighing shaking the whole bodily frame, and evincing the pungent distress afflicting his spirit.


1. It was an evidence of patriotism; for Ezekiel himself was far from the scene of approaching retribution, and it did not affect him personally, but through his patriotic identification of himself with all that concerned his people.

2. It was an evidence of his faith in Divine assurances. There is no reason to suppose that mere political foresight enabled the prophet to anticipate the coming, evil; yet he realized its certain approach with such intensity as to call forth the manifestation of feeling here described.

3. It was a warning to the careless and insensible. There were many for whom Ezekiel sighed who sighed not for themselves; yet theirs was the sin, and theirs the punishment now imminent.

4. It was a summons to repentance. If the prophet cried and sighed for the abominations wrought among the people, how much more did it become those who by their sins had provoked the anger of the righteous God to consider their ways, to weep because of their guilty ingratitude and persistent disobedience, and to flee from the wrath to come! how much more did it behove them to call upon the Lord that he might have mercy upon them, and upon their God who could abundantly pardon! - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.

WEB: Sigh therefore, you son of man; with the breaking of your thighs and with bitterness you will sigh before their eyes.

Sighing Because of Sorrowful Tidings
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