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Westminster Commentaries 
Edited by Walter Lock D.D. 




40I \^\ 










First Published ui rgo7 


nnHE primary object of these Commentaries is to be 
-■- exegetical, to interpret the meaning of each book of 
the Bible in the light of modern knowledge to English 
readers. The Editors will not deal, except subordinately, 
with questions of textual criticism or philology ; but taking 
the English text in the Revised Version as their basis, they 
will aim at combining a hearty acceptance of critical principles 
with loyalty to the Catholic Faith. 

The series will be less elementary than the Cambridge 
Bible for Schools, less critical than the International Critical 
Commentary, less didactic than the Expositor's Bible ; and it 
is hoped that it may be of use both to theological students 
and to the clergy, as well as to the growing number of 
educated laymen and laywomen who wish to read the Bible 
intelligently and reverently. 

Each commentary will therefore have 

(i) An Introduction stating the bearing of modern 
criticism and research upon the historical character of the 
book, and drawing out the contribution which the book, as a 
whole, makes to the body of religious truth. 

(ii) A careful paraphrase of the text with notes on the 
more difficult passages and, if need be, excursuses on any 


points of special importance either for doctrine, or ecclesi- 
astical organization, or spiritual life. 

But the books of the Bible are so varied in character that 
considerable latitude is needed, as to the proportion which the 
various parts should hold to each other. The General Editor 
will therefore only endeavour to secure a general uniformity 
in scope and character : but the exact method adopted in 
each case and the final responsibility for the statements made 
will rest with the individual contributors. 

By permission of the Delegates of the Oxford University 
Press and of the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 
the Text used in this Series of Commentaries is the Revised 
Version of the Holy Scriptures. 



TN the compilation of this volume I have endeavoured first 
-■- of all to arrive at opinions concerning the meaning and 
purpose of the prophet independently, as far as possible, of 
those who have preceded me. It was only when this had 
been done that I have consulted previous commentators, 
in order to see if any points, which ought to be noted, had 
been overlooked ; and, in all important cases, acknowledg- 
ments of indebtedness have been duly made. 

In the study of any book of the Bible extremely valuable 
help can be obtained from a discreet use of the marginal 
references to be found in many editions of the Revised 
Version. I have constantly consulted various Dictionaries of 
the Bible as well as the new Oxford Hebrew Lexicon. No 
student can properly measure the difficulties connected with 
the Hebrew text of Ezekiel, except by a careful use of the 
Septuagint version which is invaluable for the gi-eater part 
of this book, even though the translator has failed to grasp, 
in part, the meaning of some of the later chapters. 

The description of the ideal Temple can scarcely be 
understood without the assistance of illustrations, and for 
those to be found in this volume I owe great gratitude to 
my jfriend Mr W. Hilton Nash, F.RI.B.A., whose drawings, 
carefully made to scale, will, I hope, materially assist the 
reader. Conjectures have had to be hazarded on certain 
points as, for instance, where the actual position of some of 



the chambers is not given. But no unnecessary tampering 
with the text has been attempted, nor indeed is it required. 

My work has been a labour of love spread over several 
years. It must, from the nature of its subject matter, be 
imperfect ; but I hope that it may help to make the meaning 
of this great prophet clearer. Such as it is, I pray that 
it may contribute, in its small measure, to the glory of God 
and the good of His Church. 



Introduction : 

1. The Prophet Ezekiel, his life and character 

2. The text of the Book . 

3. The Chronology of the Book . 

4. Ezekiel's style 

Illustrations of Ezekiel's style 

5. Ezekiel and the Pentateuch . 

6. Ezekiel and the Book of Jeremiah 

7. Ezekiel and the Book of Daniel . 

8. Ezekiel and the Apocalypse of St John 

9. Ezekiel and the Book of Common Prayer 

The Theology op Ezekiel: 










(a) Ezekiel's idea of God xxx 

(b) Man and man's sinfulness xxxiv 

(c) Angels xxxvi 

(d) Ezekiel's Day of the Lord xxxvi 

{e) Life after death xxxvi 

(/) Ezekiel's Messianic Ideas . . . \ . . xxxvii 

The Condition op the Jews in the Time op Ezekiel . . xxxviii 

Commentary 1 




I. Ground-Plan op the Temple and its Courts . At End 

II. Section op Chambers ,» ?, 

III. Side Elevation op the Altar op Burnt Opperings ,, „ 

Page 19, col. 2, line 4. For Zechariah read Zedekiah. 


1. The Prophet Ezekiel, his life and character. Of 

Ezekiel who is reckoned as the third of the greater Prophets, so 
called in all probability from the amount of prophecies attributed to 
them which have survived, we know but little. In i. 2, 3, an 
explanatory note inserted to make clear who it is that is speaking in 
i. 1, he is described as 'the priest, the son of Buzi.' His name, 
meaning 'God strengthens,' is not a common one, and only occurs 
besides, in R.V. under the form Jehezkel, as that of the leader 
of the twentieth of the twenty-four courses of priests whose names 
are given in 1 Chr. xxiv. 16. The name Hezekiah, 'Jehovah^ 
strengthens,' is a corresponding one with the other divine appella- 
tion as its last portion. Of Buzi nothing is known : the form 
suggests a family rather than an individuaP. Some Jewish 
authorities identify Buzi with Jeremiah, who was certainly a prophet, 
perhaps because of the acquaintance which Ezekiel shews with the 
prophecies of the elder prophet. We know nothing of his early 
years, but from his way of speaking of 'our captivity' (xxxiii. 21) 
we gather that he was one of those carried off with Jehoiachin 
(2 K. xxiv. 10, 11). As to his age at that time we cannot speak 
with certainty. Some have considered that the thirtieth year of 
i. 1 meant the thirtieth year of the prophet's life, and hold that it 
was most suitable that the prophet's call and career should have 
begun at the very time of his life at which, had he been at Jerusalem, 

1 The Divine Name is printed in this form throughout this volume, as being 
the most familiar to the reader. 

2 The only persons bearing the name of Buz in the 0. T. are (a) a son of 
Nahor (Gen. xxii. 21) ; and (6) a man belonging to the tribe of Gad (1 Chr. v. 14). 

E. h 


he would have commenced to discharge his sacerdotal office. In 
Babylonia he was planted with others of his own nation by the 
banks of one of the irrigating canals, which was called Chebar, at a 
place called Tel-abib (iii. 15), where he had his own house (viii. 1). 
The exact site of this place is unknown. He was a married man, 
and the loss of his wife, in a sudden and unexpected way, was made, 
by divine instruction, a lesson to the people (xxiv. 15-27). He 
spent twenty-two years in the discharge of his prophetical office. 
Beyond that, and as to the length of his life we know nothing. 
The only allusion to him in the rest of the scriptures is that made 
by the son of Sirach (Ecclus. xlix. 8, 9) : — 

It was Ezekiel who saw the vision of glory, 

Which God shewed him upon the chariot of the cherubim. 

His visions of God and of God's glory presented themselves to 
his mind somewhat after the fashion of the sculptures of strange 
and fantastic animals which were to be seen on the walls of the Baby- 
lonian Temples. We must take them for what they are, we cannot 
accurately define or pourtray them in black and white. We may 
sum up the intention of the prophet's description in the words of 
the Psalmist :— "In His temple everything saith, Glory" (Ps. xxix. 9). 

Ezekiel was above all else a visionary. He was one of the young 
men, to use the language of Joel, who under the influence of the 
Spirit of God saw visions, and who, as he grew older, dreamed 
dreams of a future time of glory and prosperity for his nation 
in a rebuilt Jerusalem with a new and glorious Temple, and in a 
regenerated land. Of his moral teaching we must speak later. But 
his teaching and preaching seem to have had but little eff'ect, partly, 
perhaps, because his hearers could not understand him, but also 
because they were so crushed and overwhelmed by their captivity 
that they despaired of there ever being a national resurrection such 
as he tried to stimulate them to believe in. He spoke the truth with 
constancy to his hearers, but just because of that they did not 
accept his teaching in such a way as to give it any practical effect. 

One of the most striking modes of that teaching is that in which 
he carried out in actions before the people an outline of what was 
happening to their city during the final siege. There seems no 
good reason for doubting the actual performance of these symbolic 
acts. We know how, where modern means of communication are 


not available, news travels even to-day with startling rapidity, and 
we may well imagine that such was the case with regard to the 
events that were occurring in Palestine. At any rate, in whatever 
way the tidings came to him, the prophet seems to have been weU 
aware of all that was passing, and by his acts made it knovm to 
his fellow-countrymen. 

He seems to have taken a great interest in geographical details of 
the then known world, outside those portions of it which had come 
within his own ken. His knowledge seems to have extended to 
Tarshish and the shores of the Mediterranean on one side, Sheba 
in another direction, the country between the Black Sea and the 
Caspian in another, and Egypt and Libya in yet another. The 
chapter (xxvii.) dealing with the commercial intercourse of Tyre 
with other countries shews this. Moreover his prophecies do not 
deal only with the Jewish world. One considerable section of them 
contains denunciations of the chief empires of the world, and of other 

Ezekiel was a great idealist. He looked forward to an ideal 
condition for his native land under an ideal ruler of the old reigning 
family of David ; he anticipated a reunited kingdom and an ideal 
restored temple with its services. His own connection with the 
priestly family of Zadok led him to attach great importance to the 
maintenance of the public service of God with all its rites and 
ceremonies. But with him all this was but the husk. The kernel 
of the renewed life of the people was to be spiritual, with a deep 
personal sense of sin and of responsibility. Without this all else 
would be vain and useless. 

There remains to be considered the title. Son of man, which is 
given to him throughout the book, and which occurs at the com- 
mencement of all his prophecies. It has a special interest because 
in the Old Testament Ezekiel, with the exception of Daniel (viii. 17), 
is the only individual to whom the title is applied, and that 
title, generally in the more definite form, *the Son of man,' is 
appropriated by our Lord to Himself in all the four Gospels, 
apparently with an implied reference to Dan. vii. 13 : Hhere came 
with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man ' (this idea 
is reproduced in Rev. i. 13 : xiv. 14). Outside the Gospel the title 
is only certainly used of our Lord once, without any expression 



of similitude, and that by S. Stephen : — * Behold, I see the heavens 
opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God * 
(Acts vii. 5, 6). In the Old Testament it is used generally and not 
particularly, e.g. in Ps. viii. 4. 

What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? 
And the son of man, that Thou visitest him ? 

In such a passage as this the title *son of man' implies humility 
to God-ward, but a certain sense of superiority in relation to the 
rest of the natural world. 

It is scarcely within our province here to discuss the meaning of 
the title in the New Testament, though we may say, after the 
analogy of its use just quoted, that it is an accurate designation of 
One Who was meek and lowly among the sons of men, and yet 
was spiritually exalted above all the rest of those sons of men. 
Of the prophet, also, we may say, that his designation by that 
title was intended to remind him of his humble position, whilst at 
the same time it indicated to what high privileges of communion 
with God he was to be admitted. Something of this sort must 
certainly be allowed to its constant occurrence, for the title is used 
about one hundred times. 

2. The text of the Book. The Hebrew text of this book 
is more corrupt than that of many portions of the O.T. This will 
appear in many of the notes in the Commentary. The text can 
very often be amended by means of the Septuagint. But there are 
places where the meaning of words (e.g. pannag xxvii. 17) cannot 
be ascertained ; and the architectural details of the last chapters 
seem to have puzzled and confused the transcriber of the present 
Massoretic text. Much has been done towards the elucidation of 
these difficulties, especially by Cornill in his Das Buck des Propheten 
Ezechiel^ Leipzig, 1886. Attempts have also been made in the 
JEncyclopaedia Biblica to accommodate the Hebrew text to the 
Arabian and Jerahmeelite theories which are emphasized in that 
work. Scarcely any doubt has ever been cast even by the extremest 
critics upon the unity and authenticity of the book, though a few 
glosses and interpretative words or notes may have found their way 
into the text. It does not, therefore, present such problems for 
discussion as many other books ofi'er. 



3. The Chronology of the Book. The whole of the 
prophecies of this book are arranged in sections each of which 
begins with a date. Ezekiel's own captivity and deportation is 
fixed for B.C. 597 (i. 1) — 

His prophecies are dated, as in the following table : 

i. 2-111 15. 
Hi. 16-viL 

XXlv., XXV. 

xxlx. 1-16. 
xxix. 17-21. 
XXX. 1-19. 
XXX. 20-26 

xxxii 1-16. 
xxxil. 17-xxxlll. 20. 
xxxUi. 21-xxxix. 

in certain cases the number of the 

A. B.C. 592 (5th day of the month) 

B. B.C. 592 (12th day of the month) 
G. B.C. 591 (5th day of the 6th month) 

D. B.C. 590 (10th day of the 5th month) 

E. B.C. 588 (10th day of the 10th month) 

F. B.C. 586 (1st day of the month) 
G\ B.C. 587 (12th day of the 10th month) 
H. B.C. 570 (1st day of the 1st month) 
G^. (really part of Gi) 
I. B.C. 586 (7th day of the 1st month) 
J. B.C. 586 (1st day of the 3rd month) 
K. B.C. 585 (1st day of the 12th month) 
L. B.C. 585 (15th day of the month) 
M. B.C. 585 (5th day of the 10th month) 
N. B.C. 572 (10th day of the month "In 

the beginning of the year") 

It will be noticed that 
month is not given. This is perhaps due to the faulty state of the 
text and is not an original omission. Except in A and B it can 
almost certainly be filled up. In F the month is the 1st as in I ; 
in L the month is the 12th as in K. The prophecies are for the 
most part arranged in the order of their delivery, and there is no 
reason to doubt that this is generally correct. The exceptions are : — 

(a) Section H is introduced where it is to complete the story 
about Tyre and Egypt. The insertion of this short section seems 
to involve some confusion with regard to sections F, G\ G^ and I. 
Tyre as well as Egypt had to be dealt with before H could follow, 
whilst at the same time an anxiety is manifested to introduce it, as 
soon as the first prophecy concerning Egypt is uttered. Hence the 

(b) Sections K and L are inserted before M to complete the 
set of Egyptian prophecies. In L a date seems to have disappeared 
altogether at xxxiii. 1, for xxxiii. 1-20 has obviously no connection 
whatever with the preceding prophecy. 

It is to be noted that the date of E exactly coincides with the 



date given in 2 K. xxv. 1 for the commencement of the siege of 
Jerusalem in Zedekiah's reign. 

4. Ezekiers style. The following list of phrases and 
expressions peculiar, or nearly so, to the prophet, will shew that he 
has a definite style of his own. There are also to be found certain 
notable modes of expression. He is fond of interrogative forms of 
sentence, e.g. viii. 6 " Son of man, seest thou what they do ? ", and 
an occasional use of interjectional sentences. He also, when the 
opportunity presents itself, delights in using (a) proverbial as well 
as (b) parabolic and allegorical expressions. Such are : — (a) "The 
days are prolonged, and every vision faileth" (xii. 22); "the 
fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on 
edge " (xviii. 2) ; " as is the mother, so is her daughter " (xvi. 44) ; 
and (b) "A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, full of 
feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took off 
the top of the cedar..." (xvii. 3). Ezekiel also has several dirges or 
lamentations of the form called kinahy which have various rhythmic 
constructions in Hebrew. They occur in xix. 1 : xxvi. 17 : xxvii. 
2, 32 : xxviii. 12 : xxxii. 2, and should be compared with the 
Lamentations of Jeremiah, and those in 2 Sam. i. 19 : iii. 33 : 
Am. V. 1 : Jer. ix. 19. 

To add to all this, the description of symbolic actions and sym- 
bolic visions is a special characteristic of this prophet. We have 
discussed elsewhere the question whether the actions described were 
all actually carried out : it seems most probable that they were. 
As to his visions the character of a clairvoyant has often been 
assigned to the prophet : we may declare at any rate with certainty 
that he could read indications of what was coming from what was 
going on around him : and all this is clear in his language and mode 
of expression. 



[In each case the exact form given is that of the first passage quoted.] 

by the river Chebar i. 1 : iii. 15, 23 : x. 15, 20, 22 : xliii. 3. 

visions of God i 1 : viii. 3 : xl. 2. 

t?ie hand of the Lord was there upon him i. 3 : iii. 14, 22 : viii. 1 : 

xxxiii. 22 : xxxvii. 1 : xl. 1. 
as the colour of amber i. 4, 27 : viii. 2. 
Son of man ii. 1, 3, 6, 8 : iii. 1, 3, 4, 10, 17, 25 : iv. 1, 15: v. 1 : vi. 2 : vii. 2: 

viii. 5, 6, 8, 12, 15, 17: xi. 2, 15: xii. 2, 3, 9, 17, 22, 26: xiii. 2, 17: xiv. 3, 

13: XV. 2: xvi. 2: xvii. 2: xx. 3, 4, 27, 46: xxi. 2, 6, 9, 14, 19, 28: xxii. 2, 

18, 24 : xxiii. 2, 36: xxiv. 2, 16, 25: xxv. 2: xxvi. 2: xxvii. 2 : xxviii. 2, 

12, 21 : xxix. 2, 18 : xxx. 2, 21 : xxxi. 2 ; xxxii. 2, 18 : xxxiii. 2, 7, 10, 12, 

24, 30 : xxxiv. 2: xxxv. 2 : xxxvi 1, 17 : xxxvii 3, 9, 11, 16: xxxviii. 2, 

14: xxxix. 1: xl. 4: xliii. 7, 10, 18: xliv. 5: xlvii. 6. 
whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear ii. 5, 7: iii. 11. 
rebellious house ii. 5, 6, 8 : iii. 9, 26, 27 : xii. 2, 3, 9, 25 : xvii. 12 : xxiv. 3. 
shall know that there hath been a prophet among them ii. 5 : xxxiii. 33. 
the children of thy people iii. 11 : xxxiii. 2, 12, 17, 30 : xxxvii. 18. 
the spirit lifted me up iii. 12, 14 : viii. 3 : xi. 1, 24 : xliii. 5. 
therefore hear the word at my mouth and give th&m warning from, me 

iii. 17 : xxxiii. 7. 
when I say unto the wicked iii. 18 : xxxiii. 8. 
shall die in his iniquity iii. 18 : xviii. 18 
his blood will I require iii 18, 20 : xxxiii 6, 8. 
delivered thy soul iii. 19, 21 : xiv. 14, 20 : xxxiii 5, 9. 
turn from his righteousness and commit iniquity iii. 20 : xviii. 24, 26 : 

xxxiii. 18. 
his righteous deeds which he hath done shall not be remembered iii 20 : 

xviii 24: xxxiii 13. 
Imild forts... cast up a mount iv. 2 : xvii. 17 : xxi 22 : xxvi. 8. 
set thy face toward {against) iv. 3, 7 : vi. 2 : xiii. 17 : xx. 46 : xxi. 2 : xxv. 2 : 

xxviii 21 : xxix. 2 : xxxv. 2 : xxxviii 2. 
bear... iniquity iv. 4, 5, 6 : xliv. 10, 12. 
in their sight {before their eyes) iv. 12 : xii. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 : xxi. 6 : xxxvii 20 : 

xxxviii 16 : xliii 11 ; in the sight of the nation v. 8 : xxii 16. 
Ah Lord God ! iv. 14 : ix. 8 : xi 13 : xx. 49. 
break the staff of bread iv. 16 : v. 16 : xiv. 13. 
tJi^ shall eat bread... with carefulness; and they shall drink water... with 

astonishment iv. 16 : xii. 19. 
pine away in their iniquity iv. 17 : xxiv. 23 : cp. xxxiii. 10. 
/ will draw out a sword after them v. 2, 12 : xii. 14. 
h^ve don£ after the ordinances qf the nations that are round about you 

V. 7 : xi 12. 


Behold^ I am against thee v. 8 : xiii. 8 : xxi. 3 : xxvi. 3 : xxviii. 22 : xxix. 3, 10 : 

XXX, 22 : xxxiv. 10 : xxxv. 3 : xxxviii. 3 : xxxix. 1. 
execute judgements in the midst of thee v. 8, 10 : xi. 9 : xvi. 41 : xxiii. 10. 
scatter unto all the winds v. 10 ; scatter toward every wind xii. 14 : xvii. 

21 ; scatter to the wind v. 2. 
as I live, saith the Lord God t. 11 : xiv. 16, 18, 20: xvi. 48 : xvii. 16, 

19: xviii. 3. 
defile my sanctuary v. 11 : xx. 3, 31, 33 : xxiii. 39 : xxxiii. 11, 27 : xxxiv. 8 : 

xxxv. 6, 11. 
detestable things... abominations v. 11 : vii. 20 : xi. 18, 21. 
neither shall mine eye spare, and I also will have no pity v. 11 : vii. 4, 9 : 

viii. 18 : ix. 5, 10 : cp. xx. 17. 
accomplish anger v. 13 : vi. 12 : vii. 8 : xx. 8, 21. 
satisfy my fury v. 13 : xvi. 42 : xxi. 17 : xxi v. 13. 
I have spoken in my zeal {jealousy) v. 13 : xxxvi. 6 : xxxviii. 19. 
furious rebukes v. 15 : xxv. 17. 
evil {noisome) beasts v. 17 : xiv. 15, 21 : xxxiv. 25. 
mountains of Israel vi. 2, 3 : xix. 9 : xxxiii. 28 : xxxiv. 13, 14 : xxxv. 12 : 

xxxvi. 1, 4, 8 : xxxvii. 22 : xxxviii. 8 : xxxix. 2, 4, 17. 
Thu£ saith the Lord God to the mountains and to the hills, to the water- 
courses and to the valleys vi. 3 : xxxvi. 4 : cp. xxxvi. 6. 
know that I am the Lord vi. 7, 10, 13, 14 : vii. 4, 27 : xi. 10, 12 : xii. 15, 16, 

20 : xiii. 9, 14, 21, 23 : xiv. 8 : xv. 7 : xvi. 62 : xx. 20, 26, 38, 42, 44 : 

xxii. 16 : xxiii. 49 : xxiv. 24, 27 : xxv. 5, 7, 11, 17 : xxvi. 6 : xxviii. 22, 

23, 24, 26 : xxix. 6, 9, 16, 21 : xxx. 8, 19, 25, 26 : xxxii. 15 : xxxiiL 29 : 

xxxiv. 27: xxxv. 9, 15: xxxvi. 11, 23, 38: xxxvii. 6, 13, 28: xxxviii. 23 : 

xxxix. 6, 7, 22, 28. 
they shall loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they 

have committed vi. 9 : xx. 43 : cp. xxxvi. 31. 
stretch out 'mine hand upon vi. 14 : xxv. 7, 13, 16 : xxxv. 3. 
judge... according to... ways vii. 3, 8 : xviii. 30 : xxxiii. 20. 
bring. ..way upon... vii. 4: ix. 10 : xi. 21 : xvi. 43 : xxii. 31. 
pour out... fury upon vii. 8: ix. 8 : xiv. 19: xx. 8, 13, 21: xxii. 22: 

xxxvi. 18. 
all hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water vii. 17: xxi. 7. 
stumblingblock of ..iniquity vii. 19 : xiv. 3, 4, 7 : xii v. 12. 
the elders ofJudah {Israel) sat before me viii 1 : xiv. 1 : xx. 1. 
commit abomination viii. 6, 17: xviii. 12. 
the glory of the God of Israel viii. 4 : ix. 3 : x. 19 : xi. 22 : xliii. 1 ; the 

glory of the Lord i. 28: iii. 12, 23: x. 4, 5, 18: xi. 23: xliii. 4, 5: xliv. 4. 
the things that come into your mind xi. 5 : xx. 32 : xxxviii. 10. 
make a full end xi. 13 : xx. 17. 
/ will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out 

of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh xi. 19: xxxvi. 26. 
they shall be my people and I will be their God xi. 20: xiv. 11 : xxxvi. 28 : 

xxxvii. 23. 



stuff far removing xii. 3, 4, 7. 

as I was commanded xii. 7 : xxiv. 18 : xxxvii. 7. 

My net... will I spread upon him, and he shall he taken in my snare: and 

I trill bring him to Babylon xii. 13 : xvii. 20 : cp. xix. 8 : xxxii. 3. 
see vanity... divine lies xiii. 9 : xxi. 29 : xxii. 28. 
enter into the land of Israel xiii. 9 : xx. 38. 
daub... with untempered mortar xiii. 10, 11, 14, 15 : xxii. 28. 
an overflowing shower xiii. 11, 13 : xxxviii. 22. 
set thy face against xiii. 17 : xiv. 8 : xv. 7 : xxix. 2 : xxxv. 2. 
Return ye and turn yourselves from xiv. 6 : xviii. 30. 
commit a trespass xiv. 13 : xv. 8 : xx. 27 ; trespass a trespass xvii 20 : 

xviii. 24. 
cause to know her abominations xvi. 2 : xx. 4 : xxii. 2. 
naked and bare xvi. 7, 22, 39 : xxiii. 29. 
broidered work xvi. 10, 13 : xxvii. 7, 16, 24 ; broidered garments xvi. 18 : 

xxvi. 16. 
deck with ornaments xvi. 1 1 : xxiii. 40. 
put bracelets upon... hands... and a beautiful crown upon.. .head xvi. 11 : 

xxiii. 42. 
didst set mine oil and mine incense xvi. 18 : xxiii. 41. 
cause to pass through the fire xvi. 21 : xx. 26, 31 : xxiii 37. 
multiply whoredom xvi. 26, 29 : xxiii. 19. 
women... that shed blood xvi. 38 : xxiii. 45. 

strip thee of thy clothes and take thy fair jewels xvi. 39 : xxiii 26. 
bring up an assembly against xvi. 40 : xxiii. 46. 
commit lewdness xvi. 43 : xxii. 9. 
use this proverb xvi. 44 : xviii. 2, 3. 
bear thine own sham^e xvi 52, 54 : xxxii. 24, 25, 30 : xxxiv. 29 : xxxvi. 6, 

7 : xxxix. 26 : xii v. 13 ; bear thy lewdness xvi. 58 : xxiii. 35. 
do despite unto thee xvi. 57 : xxviii. 24, 26. 
despise the oath.. .break the covenant xvi. 59 : xvii 15, 16, 18, 19. 
I the Lord have spoken it xvii 21 : xxi 17, 32: xxiv. 14: xxvi. 14: xxx. 

12: xxxiv. 24; I have spoken it xxiv. 14 : xxvi. 5 : xxviii. 10 ; xxxix. 5 ; 

/ the Lord have spoken and have done it xvii. 24 : xxii. 14 : xxxvi. 36 : 

xxxvii. 14. 
the mountain of the height of Israel xvii 23 : xx. 40 : xxxiv. 14. 
eaten upon the mountaitis xviii. 6, 11, 15 : xxii 9. 
lift up eyes to the idols xviii. 6, 12, 15 : xxxiii. 25. 
restore the pledge xviii 7, 12: xxxiii 15. 
hath taken increase xviii. 8, 13 : xxii. 12. 
shall be remembered against him xviii. 22 : xxxiii, 16. 
have pleasure in the death xviii. 23, 32 : xxxiii. 11. 
Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal xviii 25 : xxxiii. 17, 20 : 

cp. xviii 29. 
When the righteous nrian turneth away from, his righteousness, and 

committeth iniquity, he shall die therein xviii 26 : xxxiii. 18. 


When th£ wicked man turneth away from his wickedness and doeth that 

which is lawful and right xviii. 27 : xxxiii. 19 : cp. xxxiii. 14. 
for why will ye die, home of Israel? xviii. 31 : xxxiii. 11. 
take up a lamentation for xix. 1: xxvi. 17: xxvii. 2, 32: xxviii. 12: xxxii. 2. 
wilt thou judge... wilt thou judge? xx. 4 : xxii. 2 : cp. xxiii. 36. 
lifted up mine hand {unto) xx. 5, 6, 15, 23, 28, 42 : xxxvi 7 : xlvii. 14. 
know that I am the Lord that sanctify xx. 12 : xxxvii. 28. 
profane my sahhaths xx. 13, 16, 21, 24 : xxii. 8 : xxiii. 38. 
/ will he sanctified in you xx. 41 : xxviii. 22, 25 : xxxvi. 23 : xxxviii. 1( 

xxxix. 27. 

"behold, it Cometh, and it shall he done, saith the Lord God xxi. 7 : xxxix. 8. 
in the time of the iniquity of the end xxi. 25 : xxxv. 5. 
I will blow upon thee with thejire of my wrath xxL 31 : xxii. 21. 
th^ bloody city xxii. 2 : xxiv. 6, 9. 
scatter among the nations xxii. 15 : xxxvi. 19. 
difference between the holy and the com/mon... caused men to discern 

between the unclean and the clean xxii. 26 : xliv. 23. 
Aha ! XXV. 3 : xxvi. 2 : xxxvi. 2. 
despite of soul xxv. 6, 15 : xxxvi. 5. 
a place for the spreading of nets xxvi. 5, 14 : xlvii. 10. 
sfiake at the sound of his fall xxvi. 15 : xxxi. 16. 
they shall tremble {at) every moment xxvi. 16 : xxxii. 10. 
the nether parts of the earth xxvi. 20 : xxxi. 14, 16, 18 : xxxii. 18, 24. 
with them, that go down to the pit xxvi. 20 : xxxi. 14 : xxxii. 18, 24. 
in the land of the living xxvi. 20 : xxxii. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 32. 
perfect in beauty xxvii. 3 : xxviii. 12 ; have perfected thy beauty xxvii. 

4, 11. 
their kings are horribly afraid xxvii. 35 : xxxii. 10. 
thou art become a terror, and thou shalt never he any m>ore xxvii. 36 : 

xxviii. 19 : cp. xxvi. 21. 
the terrible of the nations xxviii. 7 : xxx. 11 : xxxi. 12 : xxxii. 12. 
th£ garden of God xxviii. 13 : xxxi. 8, 9. 
I will put hooks in thy jaws xxix. 4 : xxxviii 4. 
/ unll scatter the Egyptians among ths nations, and vnll disperse them 

through the countries xxix. 12 : xxx. 23, 26. 
the pride of her power xxx. 6, 18 : xxxiii. 28. 
year of our captivity xxxiii. 21 : xl. 1. 

/ vnll make with them a covenant of peace xxxiv. 25 : xxxvii. 26. 
none shall m,ake them, afraid xxxiv. 28 : xxxix. 26. 
will bring you into your own land xxxvi. 24: xxxvii. 21 : cp. xxxvii. 12. 
I will put my spirit within you xxxvi. 27 : xxxvii. 14. 
/ unll turn thee about xxxviii. 4 : xxxix. 2. 
th£ uttermost parts of the north xxxviii. 6, 15 : xxxix. 2. 
behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears xl. 4 : xliv. 5. 
the keepers of the charge of the ho'ose xl. 45 : xliv. 14. 
the separate place xll 12, 13, 14, 15 : xlii. 1, 10, 13. 


ihall enter by the way of the porch of the gate xliv. 3 : xlvi. 2. 

whmh the children of Israel went astray xliv. 15 : xlviii. 11 : cp. xliv. 10. 

KB. In some cases these expressions occur also in other books, but 
none the less they may be said to be characteristic of Ezekiel. 

5. Ezekiel and the Pentateuch. No one can doubt for 
a moment the intimate connection between Ezekiel and those parts 
of the Pentateuch which are ascribed by modern critics to P and D. 
But that there are also passages which shew a knowledge of the 
other parts of the Torah or at any rate of its history is also clear. 
The destruction of Sodom (J) is distinctly referred to (xvi. 49, 50). 
The description of Canaan as a land flowing with milk and honey 
comes originally from J (Ex. iii. 8), though it occurs also in P, and 
there seems to be a distinct allusion to Gen. xlix. 10 (J) in xxi. 27 : 
* until he come whose right it is.' The list of the peoples engaged 
in commerce with Tyre (xxvii.) uses the parts of Gen. x. which are 
assigned to J as well as those assigned to P : and this is true also 
of the countries mentioned in xxxviii. and might be used as a contri- 
butory argument towards proving that Ezekiel knew the Pentateuch 
practically in the form that it now has. There are points, and this 
perhaps is the most difficult case to deal with, common to Ezekiel's 
'Eden, the garden of God ' (xxviii. 13 ff., xxxi. 8, 9, 16, 18) and the 
Eden of J (Gen. ii., iii.), but other parts of the prophet's language 
give the idea that it has been influenced by his Babylonian sur- 
roundings. The idea of spiritual fornication, more than once 
occurring in Ezekiel, is met with first in JE, as is also the con- 
demnation of usury and withholding of pledges (Ex. xxii. 21, 26 
compared with xviii. 7, 8, 13). The smiting of the hands together 
in wrath (xxi. 14, 17) occurs first in JE (Num. xxiv. 10). 

It is not the province of a commentator upon Ezekiel to discuss 
the dates of the various documents which are supposed to underlie 
our present Pentateuch: but it does fall within his province to 
consider whether Ezekiel is dependent upon D and P, or P and D 
are dependent upon Ezekiel. As to D, though Professor Keimett 
{Journal of Tk Studies y July 1906) has argued in favour of an exilic 
date for Deuteronomy, his arguments seem inconclusive, and the great 
majority of critics would allow that D is the senior document. But 
with reference to P, between which and the prophet there is a much 


more intimate connection^, opinion is much more evenly divided. 
In discussing the question, it has to be remembered, with reference 
to chaps. xl.-xlviii., that it is equally possible for an ideal to be 
evolved from a working system, as for a working system to be evolved 
from an ideal. One of the best discussions of the subject is to be 
found in Holler's Are the Critics Bight? (Eng. tr. R. T. S. 1903), 
to which the present writer is greatly indebted. In his opinion 
the most easy way to determine between the two views is to test 
them with reference in particular to Ez. xl.-xlviii., and this will lead 
us to the conclusion that, where they meet, the indications are 
most favourable to Ezekiel's ideal being the later of the two. It is 
obvious, to begin with, that Ezekiel's ideal does not profess to give 
a complete legislation : he presupposes the knowledge of previous 
legislation of a wider character than his own. 

Otherwise we are compelled to believe that he intended to 
abrogate certain provisions of Hebrew law which are universally 
acknowledged to have been binding before the regulations of P were 
committed to writing, e.g. the observance of the feast of weeks. In 
one case, at least, he actually runs counter not to P, but to what is 
supposed to be much earlier legislation — that about the approach to 
the altar by steps (xliii. 17 compared with Ez. xx. 26). Are we 
then to say that Ezekiel is earlier than this legislation ? This would 
follow from the arguments used with reference to P. 

Again in discussing this question we have to answer another. 
Would a more systematic legislation follow a less systematic or vice 
versa ? The answer to this question is not a difficult one to make. 
The more systematic would be the later : if we look into it we shall 
find that Ezekiel is more systematic, e.g. in xlv. 24, xlvi. 5, 7 : therefore 
we may conclude that Ezekiel is the later. 

Again, if an ideal was in existence, and one put forth with all 
the authority of a recognized prophet of the Lord, what right would 
the priestly body have, who after all were only an executive body, 
to publish almost contemporaneously, a counter scheme of legislation 
to that which had been promulgated with what claimed to be divine 

1 There are perhaps about 60 passages in which a connection with P may be 
traced. The chief sections in which there is this connection with P, or with 
D, or with both, occur in chapters iv., v., xiv., xvi., xx., xxii., xxvii., xxxiv., 


sanction ? None whatever : and we are driven at once to the same 
conclusion that P was the earlier, and that not only on the basis of 
P, but with the recognition of the existence of other previous legis- 
lation of greater antiquity than most critics would be disposed to 
allow, Ezekiel framed his ideal of worship for an ideal temple reared 
in an ideal Palestine, and claimed for it divine sanction. That its 
ideal character was recognized is proved by the fact that the second 
temple was never acknowledged to be identical with Ezekiel's temple, 
and therefore no attempt was made to carry out his ideal legisla- 
tion, which was never intended to be enforced till his ideal temple 
could be erected. If any later legislation had been taken in hand, it 
must have been exactly on the lines of the revelation to the prophet. 

In the present section I have dealt only with the priority of one 
code to the other and with no other arguments about the date of P 
as, for instance, that, if it had been pre-exilic, we should have found 
it rigidly observed. 

There is, however, another question which arises and which has 
caused difficulty in connection with D — the degradation of certain 
'Levites,' from which, it is concluded, began the distinction 
between the priests and Levites, such as is certainly laid down in 
the legislation of P. It is assumed that these 'Levites' were 
priests. If they were, at any rate they were not of the sons of Zadok, 
for we are told of these (xliv. 24) that they remained faithful. They 
could only, then, be the sons of Abiathar, the Abiathar who had 
been thrust out by Solomon from being priest. But little that is 
definite can be argued about the persons mentioned by Ezekiel. 
They are not even asserted to be priests at all, and are only called 
Levites, whereas the orthodox line of priests are called ' the priests 
the Levites ' in exact agreement with the usage of Deut. (xvii. 9 : 
xviii. 1 : xxiv. 8 : xxvii. 9), or *the priests... from among the sons of 
Levi.' No express conclusion, therefore, can be drawn about these 
degraded persons from the text of Ezekiel in its present condition, 
for Ezekiel could hardly have spoken of them as ' Levites ' if there 
were no Levites other than the Zadokian priests. Further par- 
ticulars may be found in the commentary on the passaged 

1 One problem which at present seems insoluble is : — Why is there no high 
priest in Ezekiel's legislation ? Is it that in some way or other it is intended 
that ' the prince ' should be the head of the new Jewish Church as well as of 
the Jewish State? The present writer only throws this out as a suggestion. 



6. Ezekiel and the Book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah and 
Ezekiel were contemporaries, though Jeremiah was the senior of the 
two. We have no information that they had ever met or seen one 
another before the deportation of Ezekiel. But they have points of 
contact in their prophecies and the most reasonable view is to 
suppose that the younger prophet knew something of the utterances 
of the elder, whilst the elder also takes up expressions of the 
younger ^ This would be quite an easy matter, for communication 
was constant between the exiles and those left behind in Jerusalem. 
To both prophets *the north' was the source of trouble and 
misfortune (e.g. Ez. xxvi. 7 compared with Jer. i. 14). The following 
expressions may be noticed in the two prophets : — 

[The exact form of English words quoted below is that of the first 


Be not afraid of them (Jer. i. 8 : Bzek. ii. 6). 

shall die in his iniquity (Jer. xxxi. 30 : Bzek. iii. 18, 19 : xviii. 18). 

I lay a stumblinghlock htfore him (Jer. vi. 21: Ezek. iii. 20). 

I will give them, one heart (Ezek. xi. 19 : Jer. xxxii. 39). 

Behold, 1 am against you (Ezek. xiii. 8 : Jer. xxi, 13). 

saying, Peace, peace ; when there is no peace (Jer. vi. 14 : Ezek. xiii 10 : 

cp. xiii. 16). 
to play the harlot (Jer. ii. 20 : iii. 1, 6 : Ezek. xvi. 15). 
take up a lamentation (Jer. vii. 29 : Ezek. xix. 1, etc.). 
to smite upon the thigh (Jer. xxxi. 19 : Ezek. xxi. 12). 
they are brass and iron (Jer. vi 28: Ezek. xxii. 18). 
in mine anger and in my fury (Ezek. xxii. 20: Jer. xxxiii. 5). 
the wounded groan (Jer. Ii. 52: Ezek. xxvi. 15). 
wallow in ashes (Jer. vi. 26 : cp. xxv. 34 : Ezek. xxvii. 30). 
shall fall upon the open field (Jer. ix. 22 : Ezek. xxix. 5). 
all the mingled people (Jer. xxv. 20 : L 37 : Ezek. xxx. 5). 
Woe unto the shepherds (Jer. xxiii. 1 : Ezek. xxxiv. 2). 
/ will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them (Jer. xxiii. 4 : 

Ezek. xxxiv. 23). 
serve them^selves of him (Jer. xxx. 8 : Ezek. xxxiv. 27). 
heaving neither bars nor gates (Jer. xlix. 31 : Ezek. xxxviii. 11). 
/ will call for a sword (Jer. xxv. 29 : Ezek. xxxviii. 21). 

The following verses may also be compared : — vii. 15 with 
Jer. xiv. 18 ; xiii. 23 with Jer. xxiii. 14 ; xxxix. 17 with Jer. xii. 9. 
The following points are also worthy of notice. The name 

^ In the following list of phrases the prophets are named in each case in the 
chronological order of their prophecies. 



Azzur which only occurs elsewhere in Neh. x. 17 occurs in both 
prophets (Ez. xi. 1 : Jer. xxviii. 1) : and Pekod, if it is a genuine 
name, only occurs in Jer. 1. 21 : Ezek. xxiii. 23. The form of argu- 
ment of Jer. XV. 1 ' Though Moses and Samuel stood before me yet...' 
is adopted in Ezek. xiv. 14 ' though these three men, Noah, Daniel, 
and Job were in it...' Both quote the same proverb : 'The fathers 
have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge' 
(Jer. xxxi. 29 : Ezek. xviii. 2). The section about Oholah and 
Oholibah (Ezek. xxiii.) is a development of Jer. iii. 6-11. 

7. Ezekiel and the Book of Daniel. There seems no 
reason to doubt that the Daniel of Ezekiel (xiv. 14, 20 : xxviii. 3) is 
the prophet : the last passage seems to indicate this clearly. It is 
also evident that the language of the later prophecies owes some- 
thing to Ezekiel. A few coincidences may be quoted : — 

i. 16 like unto the colour of a beryl, 

op. X. 9. 
i. 26 as the appearance of a man. 
ii 1 etc. Son of man. 
11 9 an hand was put forth unto 

ix. 2 one man... clothed in linen. 

xiL 27 The vision . . .is for many days 
to come. 

the shadow of the 
thereof shall they 

xvii. 23 m 

xxvi. 7 King of Kings (of Nebu- 

xxxi. 1-9 The Assyrian compared 
to a cedar. 

xxxi. 10 his heart is Uffced up. 

X. 6 like the beryl. 

viii. 15 as the appearance of a man. 
viii. 17 O son of man. 
X. 10 a hand touched me. 

X. 5 a man clothed in linen, cp. xii 

6, 7. 
viii. 26 the vision : for it belongeth 

to many days to come, cp. x. 

iv. 12 the fowls of the heaven 

dwelt in the branches thereof. 

ii. 37 King of Kings (of the same). 

iv. 10-22 Nebuchadrezzar compared 

to a tree. 
V. 20 his heart was lifted up. 

The above quotations do not adequately represent the influence 
which the apocal)rptic portions of Ezekiel have had upon Daniel. 
To realise its whole force, they should be read together. 

8. Ezekiel and the Apocalypse of St John. No reader 
of these two books can fail to see how much the language and 
imagery of the Apocalypse has behind it that of Ezekiel. Dr Swete, 



in his edition of the Apocal)^se (1906), quotes 29 passages from the 
Revelation, comparing the language with that of the Septuagint, 
but without professing to be exhaustive. In no case are the words 
a quotation, they are an assimilation of the language of the 
prophet. The following list contains a somewhat larger number 
of coincidences. 


i. 1 the heavens were opened. 

i. 5-10 out of the midst thereof... 

four living creatures... the face 

of a man. . .of a lion. . .of an ox. . . 

of an eagle (cp. x. 14 the face of 

a man. . .of a lion . . .of an eagle). 
i. 7 the sole of their feet... like the 

colour of burnished brass (cp. xl. 

3 like the appearance of brass). 
i. 13 out of the fire went forth 

i. 18 full of eyes round about 

(cp. X. 12). 

i. 22 like the colom* of the terrible 

i. 24 like the noise of great waters 
(cp. xliii. 2 his voice was like 
the sound of many waters). 

i, 26 a likeness as the appearance 

of a man (cp. Gk of viii. 2). 
i. 28 as the appearance of the bow 

(i.e. the rainbow). 

when I saw it I fell, 
il 8 eat that I give thee (i.e. a roll 

of a book). 
ii. 9, 10 an hand... a roll of a book 

was therein... it was written 

within and without. 
iii. 1-3 eat... thy belly... .Then did 

I eat it; and it was in my 

mouth as honey for sweetness. 
vii. 2 the fom* comers of the earth. 

ix. 4 a mark upon the foreheads. 


xix. 11 I saw the heaven opened. 

iy. 6-8 in the midst... four living 
creatures... like a lion... like a 
calf... a face as of a man... like 
a flying eagle. 

i. 15 his feet like unto burnished 

brass (cp. ii. 18 his feet are like 

unto burnished brass). 
iv. 5 out of the throne proceed 

iv. 8 full of eyes round about 

(cp. iv. 6 full of eyes before and 

iv. 6 like unto crystal. 

i. 15 his voice as the voice of many 
waters; cp. xiv. 2 a voice... as 
the voice of many waters; xix. 6 
the voice. . as the voice of many 

i. 13 one like unto a son of man. 

iv. 3 a rainbow round about the 

throne; cp. x. 1 the rainbow, 
i. 17 when I saw him I fell 
X. 9 eat it up (i.e. the little book). 

V. 1 in the right hand... a book 
written within and on the back. 

X. 9, 10 eat... thy belly... I... ate it 
up; and it was in my mouth 
sweet as honey. 

vii 1 the four corners of the earth 
(so XX. 8). 

vii. 3 on their foreheads ; cp. ix. 4 




ix. 11 (Gk) clothed with his garment 
down to the foot, and girt about 
the loins with his girdle, op. 
ix. 2 (Gk). 

liv. 21 the sword and the famine 
and the noisome beasts and the 
pestilence (cp. v. 12: xxix. 5: 
xxxiv. 28). 

xxvi. 13 the sound of thy harps 
shall be no more heard (cp. Gk). 

xxvi. 21 shalt thou never be found 

xxvii. 9 the ships of the sea, 

xxvii 29-33 the mariners . . . shall 
cry... and shall cast dust upon 
their heads... and they shall 
weep... with bitter mourning. 

xxviii. 13 sardius... topaz... beryl... 
jasper. . .sapphire. . .emerald. 

xxxi. 8 any tree in the garden of 

xxxiv. 23 He shall be their shepherd. 

xxxiv. 24 I the Lord will be their 
God; cp. xxxvii. 27 My taber- 
nacle also shall be with them ; 
and I will be their God, and 
they shall be my people. 

xxxvii. 9 the four winds. 

xxxvii. 10 (cp. 5) the breath came 
into them and they lived, and 
stood up upon their feet. 

xxxviii. 2 Gog... Magog. 

xxxviii. 22 and with blood... great 
hailstones, fire and brimstone. 

xxxix. 17, 18, 20 Speak unto the 
birds of every sort... Assemble 
yourselves and come ; gather 
yourselves... a great sacrifice... 

the seal of God on their fore- 
heads, xiv. 1 : xxii. 4. 
i. 13 clothed with a garment down 
to the foot, and girt about at 
the breasts with a golden girdle. 

vi. 8 with sword, and with famine, 

and with death (R.V. rnarg. 

pestilence), and by the wild 

beasts of the earth, 
xviii. 22 the voice of harpers. . .shall 

be heard no more at all in thee, 
xviii. 21 and shall be found no more 

at all 
xviii. 19 their ships in the sea. 
xviii. 17-19 mariners... they cast 

dust on their heads, and cried, 

weeping and mourning. 

iv. 3 jasper... sardius... emerald. 

xxi. 19, 20 jasper... sapphire... 
emerald. . .sardius. . .beryl. . .topaz. 

ii. 7 the tree of life, which is in 
the Paradise (R.V. marg. gar- 
den) of God. 

vii. 17 the Lamb... shall be their 

X3d. 3 the tabernacle of God is with 
men... and they shall be his 
peoples, and God himself shall 
be with them, and be their God. 

vii. 1 the four winds of the earth. 

xi. 11 the breath of life from God 
entered into them, and they 
stood upon their feet. 

XX. 8 Gog and Magog. 

viii. 7 hail and fire mingled with 

xiv. 10 fire and brimstone (cp. xx. 
10: xxi. 8). 

xix. 17, 18 saying to all the birds 
...Come and be gathered to- 
gether unto the great supper... 
that ye may eat the flesh of 




that ye may eat flesh... Ye shall 
eat the flesh of the mighty... 
the princes of the earth. . .horses 
. . .mighty men. . .all men of war. 

xl. 2 In the visions of God brought 
he me... a very high mountain... 
a city. 

xL 3, 5 a measuring reed. 

xliii. 2 the earth shined with his 

xliii. 16 square in the four sides 

xl vii. 1 waters issued out from under 
the threshold. 

xlvii. 12 the waters thereof issue 
out of the sanctuary. 

xlvii. 12 (cp. 7) by the river upon 
the bank thereof, on this side 
and on that side, shall grow 
every tree for meat... it shall 
bring forth new fruit every 
month... and the leaf thereof 
(shall be) for healing. 

xlviii. 31-34 the gates of the city 
shall be after the names of the 
tribes of Israel; three gates 
northward... and at the east 
side... three gates... and at the 
south side... three gates... at the 
west side three gates. 

xlviii. 35 the name of the city. 

kings... and the flesh of mighty 
men... horses... all men. 

xxi. 10 he carried me away in the 

spirit... a mountain great and 

high... the holy city, 
xi. 1 a reed like unto a rod... 

measure the temple (cp. xxi. 15). 
xviii. 1 the earth was lightened 

with his glory, 
xxi. 16 lieth foursquare. 

xxii. 1 a river of water. . .proceeding 
out of the throne. 

xxii 2 on this side of the river and 
on that was the tree of life,... 
yielding its fruit every month : 
and the leaves of the tree were 
for the healing of the nations. 

xxi. 10-13 the holy city... having 
twelve gates . . . and names written 
thereon, which are the names of 
the twelve tribes of the children 
of Israel : on the east were three 
and on the north three 
and on the south three 
and on the west three 

iii. 12 the name of the city. 


In this connection it may be mentioned that very little trace of 
Ezekiel's prophecies is to be found in the rest of the books of the 
New Testament ^ 

1 The following comparisons of language may be made: — ii. 1 with Acts 
xxvi. 16 ; ix. 6 with 1 Pet. iv. 17 ; xi. 19, xxxvi. 26 with 2 Cor. iii. 3 ; xii. 2 
with Mk viii. 18 ; xvii. 23 with Mk iv. 32 ; xx. 41 with Eph. v. 2, Phil. iv. 18 ; 



It is probable but not certain that the words in 2 Cor. vi. 16 
*I will be their God, and they shall be my people/ part of a 
sentence introduced by the expression ' as God said/ are a quotation 
from Ezek. xxxvii. 27 (cp. however, Ex. vi. 7 and other passages) ; 
but there is no other actual quotation from our book. Whether this 
had any connection with the fact that in some Jewish circles the 
canonicity of the book was disputed is doubtful. 

It might have been expected that the apocalyptic portions of the 
Apocrypha, and especially 2 Esdras, would shew an acquaintance with 
Ezekiel. The nearest approaches to it are 2 Esdr. xiv. 38 compared 
with Ezek. ii. 8, and 2 Esdr. ii. 34 with Ezek. xxxiv. 23 ; and the 
'precious stones ' and gold of Ezek. xxviii. 13 and Tob. xiii. 16, 17. 

9. Ezekiel and the Book of Common Prayer. 'This book 

is read in ordinary course on two Sundays and part of another in 

the year. 

Mattins. Evensong. 

18th Sunday after Trinity ii. or xiii. to v. 17. 

19th „ „ xiv. xviii. or xxiv. v, 15. 

20th „ „ xxxiv. xxxvii. 

and portions of it are read in the daily lessons from August 27 to 
Sept. 13 (inclusive). 

In addition to this, on Whitsunday one of the alternative 
evening lessons is Ezek. xxxvi. v. 25, with its allusions to the * new 
spirit ' ; on Tuesday in Easter Week at Evensong Ezek. xxxvii. to 
V. 15 is read with its description of the resurrection in the valley of 
dry bones; on St Mark's day Ezek. i. to v. 15, part of Ezekiel's 
vision of the ' four living creatures ' often interpreted typically of 
the four Evangelists; and on St Peter's day Ezek. iii. v. 4 to v. 15, 
the mission of the prophet to the rebellious house of Israel. 

Lastly, the sentence very often heard at the commencement of 
Morning and Evening Prayer and standing first of all is taken from 
our prophet (xviii. 27): — 

'When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he 
hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall 
save his soul alive.' 

xxviii. 2 with 2 Th. ii. 4 ; xxxiv. 2, 8, 10 with Jude 12 ; xxxiv. 5 with Mt. ix. 36» 
Mk vi. 34 ; xxxiv. 16 with Lk. xix. 10 ; xxxiv. 23, xxxvii. 24 with John x. 16 ; 
xxxvii. 26 with Heb. xiii. 20. 




Ezekiel's position as a religious teacher is in some respects far in 
advance of those who preceded him. It will be well therefore to try- 
to estimate what that position was in order to realise his presen- 
tation of religion to his fellow-countrymen around him. This is 
best done by considering various aspects of that religion. 

(a) Ezekiel's idea of God. It may be useful first of all to 
consider his use of the names of God. The following are the names 
that occur in this book ; the figures after the names represent the 
number of occurrences of each : — 

El (2), Elohim (22), Elohe-Israel (7), El-Shaddai (1), Shaddai 
(1), Adonai (4), Jehovah (209), Jehovah Elohim with a possessive 
suffix attached to Elohim (8), Adonai Jehovah, Jehovah bearing in 
the Hebrew the vowel points of Elohim (217). 

These are represented in the English by the following names : — 

God, God, the God of Israel, God Almighty, the Almighty, the 
Lord, the Lord, the Lord your (their) God, the Lord God. 

It is obvious at once how very seldom Ezekiel uses the generic 
term El or Elohim by itself. Like all writers before him, he 
presupposes the existence of God, a God apart from nature, but 
exhibiting his power in and through the control of the operations of 
nature. The form Elohim is plural, and is what is called the 
plural of majesty, but, though plural in form, the Hebrew writers 
did not as a rule recognize that it was a plural, and it is followed 
most frequently by a singular verb. 

This God is defined further by the prophet as El-Shaddai, God 
Almighty^. The actual meaning of the word Shaddai is very un- 
certain. The earliest interpretation we have of it is that of the 
LXX and of Jewish writers who analyse the word and make it mean 
* He Who is sufficient,' perhaps intending thereby ' He Who is 
sufficient in Himself to do everything for all men.' In the Penta- 
teuch God is said to have revealed himself to Abram as El- 
Shaddai, and this points to the antiquity of the name, even though 
the passages in which it occurs are assigned to one of the later 
sources of the Pentateuch (P). 

A limitation of the universality of the title Elohim is also 
^ In one of the two places in which Shaddai occurs El is omitted. 


indicated in a few passages where we meet with the expression * the 
God of Israel ' (first in viii. 4). This carries us back to the name 
El-elohe-Israel (Gen. xxxiii. 20), and marks off the Elohim Whom 
Israel worshipped from the Elohim of other countries and nations. 
This God of theirs they knew as Jehovah, a name which their 
Tdrah declared to have been revealed to them immediately before 
the Exodus as the name of their covenant God. At first this name 
was used as a distinctive name. We may say that, to begin with, 
the Jewish religion was monolatrous not monotheistic, that is to say 
they worshipped Jehovah alone, but believed that the gods of the 
heathen also had a real existence. This is implied by the use of 
the name Jehovah followed by an interpretative Elohim with a 
possessive sufiix added to it, Jehovah your Elohim, their Elohim and 
so on, thus identifying Jehovah with the Elohim of their own 
people. This use of the two names is especially noticeable in 
Deuteronomy but occurs a few times in Ezekiel. The next stage of 
advance was to believe in the superiority of the Hebrew God to all 
the gods of other peoples. So Jethro is represented as saying ; — 
' Now I know that Jehovah is greater than all gods ' (Ex. xviii. 11), 
and this passage is assigned to one of the earliest sources of the 
Pentateuch. The last stage is reached when Jehovah is declared to 
be the only God, and all other gods no gods at all; we find, for 
instance, Jeremiah speaking of 'gods, which yet are no gods' (ii. 11). 
Much earlier than this we have in Ps. xviii., ascribed to David, the 
words ' Who is God, save Jehovah ? ' This idea gradually prevailed 
more and more amongst the people, till with the lessons of the exile 
behind them the whole people became strict monotheists. By the 
time that St Paul lived and wrote, he could say ' no idol is any- 
thing in this world... there is no God but one. For though there be 
that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth ; as there are 
gods many, and lords many; yet to us there is one God... the things 
which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God/ 
(1 Cor. viii. 4-6, x. 20.) 

In Ezekiel's days the turning-point for the nation had arrived, 
and no prophet is sterner in his denunciation of all idolatry and 
especially of the false worships that went on even in the temple 
courts — the image of jealousy, the idolatrous decoration of the walls, 
the women weeping for Tammuz, the worshippers of the sun 


(Ezek. viii.). The constant refrain of the whole book, repeated in 
ahnost identical form at least sixty times, is * Ye shall know that I 
am Jehovah.' 

The most frequent use of the name Jehovah by Ezekiel is in 
combination with the name Adonai, rendered Lord God. Those 
who notice minutiae in printing will have remarked that there must 
be some difference in the Hebrew between this title and that of 
*LoRD God' in the section of the Pentateuch, Gen. ii. 4-iii. 24. 
There the Hebrew is Jehovah Elohim ; here it is Adonai Jehovah. 
Literally the latter title means my Lord Jehovah, but Adonai has 
come to be used as a proper name. In many cases it would seem that, 
owing to the intense reverence paid to the name Jehovah, which 
was called the incommunicable Name\ this name Adonai has first 
of all been noted in the margin of the manuscripts in order to be 
substituted for it in public reading and then has crept into the text. 
Occasionally we find Adonai by itself (four or perhaps five times in 
this prophet, but most often in Isaiah and Lamentations). It can 
be detected in the R.V. by the printing Lord {not Lord). In the 
four certain passages (xviii. 25, 29 : xxxiii. 17, 20) it occurs in a 
popular saying, ' The way of the Lord is not equal.' Such a saying 
would certainly not include the tetragrammaton Jehovah. The idea 
conveyed by the title is that of Lord of lords : — 'Jehovah your God, 
He is God of gods, and Lord of lords ' (Deut. x. 17). 

Such being the titles given to God in this book what are the 
contents of Ezekiel's idea of God? He is a God outside the universe 
such as the prophet knew it, but yet ordering and guiding all its 
affairs. He is a God surrounded by glory and such glory that any 
analysis of the appearance of the personal God is past the power of 
human language to express with anything approaching to accuracy. 
As a rule the prophet only describes the surrounding glory, though 
once he speaks of 'a likeness as the appearance of a man' upon 
the throne, and of the loins of the figure, but that is all and is very 
indefinite. It may indeed be included under the anthropomorphic 
language of the O.T. For Ezekiel, God has a real existent person- 
ality. He is all-powerful. He can determine the fate not only of His 
own people but of all the nations of the earth. He can use as 
instruments of His wrath and justice the sword, fire, famine 
^ See Levit. xxiv. 11 and cp. Wisd. xiv. 21 for ' the incommunicable Name.' 


and pestilence. By the use of the archaic name Shaddai, Ezekiel 
indicates his belief in the omnipotence of his God, a belief which 
made it possible for him to look upon the heathen nations as used 
by God as His instruments. ' Thus saith the Lord God : Behold, I 
am against thee, Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up 
against thee' (xxvi. 3). This omnipotence of God is the one of His 
attributes upon which the prophet lays especial stress. 

Under the expression ' the name of God,' the prophet sums up 
his ideas of what God essentially is. That name must not be 
profaned (xx. 39) ; what God wrought was 'for His name's sake,' to 
prevent its profanation (xx. 9, 14, 22, 44 : xxxvi. 20) ; the pity which 
He would shew to Israel was to be exercised for the same reason 
(xxxvi. 21, 22) and not for their sakes ; in the coming time that 
name was to be known and had in honour by Israel (xxxvi. 23: 
xxxix. 7, 22) ; here we may say that 'name' is almost equivalent to 
'glory'; and in the future God will be jealous (i.e. zealous) for the 
honour of His holy name (xxxix. 25). 

The very fact that Ezekiel constantly denounces idol worship of 
aU sorts proves that his God is a spiritual God. On the one side 
he is firmly convinced that God demands of His servants a material 
worship. Ezekiel cannot conceive of a service of God without a 
Temple and worship accompanied by ritual and material offerings 
and sacrifices. This is shewn by the ideal which he sets before the 
people in the last chapters of his prophecies. That worship must 
be a purified worship far different from the degraded forms of worship 
which had found their way even into the Temple at Jerusalem 
immediately before its destruction, yet none the less it is to 
be material. But, apart fi-om that, the individual is also to be 
actuated and inspired by the Spirit of God (xxxvi. 27 : xxxvii. 14), 
which will give him a new life. In fact we may put it in this way, 
that as the Temple is to speak to him of Jehovah outside himself, 
and of His abiding presence with His people (xlviii. 35), so the 
Spirit implanted in him will speak of Jehovah abiding within him, 
and using through it His power and influence upon man's life and 
conversation, even to the extent of raising him from spiritual death 
to spiritual life (xxxvii. 1-14). It was the need of this deliverance 
and emancipation that pressed with great force upon the prophet's 
mind. The people were in a parlous state, they could not deliver 



themselves, they were full of iniquity, and so they needed a deliverer 
who should lead them into the paths of righteousness for His Name's 
sake. This was a spiritual work and could only be done by the 
Spirit of God. Till this was effected Jehovah's Name was profaned 
(xxxvi. 20) by His own peculiar people in the midst of the nations 
amongst whom they were scattered. But when that profanation 
ceased, then the sanctification of His Name by His own people, His 
recognition as 'the Holy One in Israel' (xxxix. 7), would lead to 
His being acknowledged by other nations as well, and to their 
confessing Him to be their God. 

(b) Man and manis sinfulness. Ezekiel's ideas about God may 
not be very much in advance of those who had gone before him. 
It is under the present heading that we find most progress of thought 
especially with regard to man's individual responsibility. He exposes 
the false interpretation that had been put upon the last part of the 
second commandment, as illustrated by the popular proverb ' The 
fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on 
edge ' (xviii. 2)^. * The soul that sinneth, it shall die ' — that is the 
keynote to all his teaching. And here we may note that Ezekiel 
recognises both soul and spirit as constituent elements in men. 
If we try to analyse their respective functions, it is difficult to define 
them accurately, but we may say that the soul is the mainspring of 
action, the spirit is the source of motive, and, in the case of the 
righteous man, is a new spirit, implanted by God, so that righteous 
acts and the regenerate life are inspired by Him. It becomes a new 
life, as it were, such as is described in Ezekiel's vision of the valley 
of dry bones. 

To return, then, to the subject of sin. The Hebrew word for sin, 
just like the Greek word, implies the missing of the mark aimed at, 
a divergence from what is straight, or, to use rather a different form 
of expression, a failure to come up to a standard, that standard of 
course being the revealed will of God. Sin, therefore, is something 
done against God, it may be also against one's fellow-man. It is 
this latter aspect of sin upon which great stress is laid in those two 
chapters of Ezekiel (xviii., xxxiii.) which are occupied with the 
problems of sin. At the same time the sinner places himself in oppo- 
sition to God by his sin, and therefore puts himself under the 
1 This proverb is also quoted by Jeremiah (xxxi. 29). 


sentence of death, but still there is a remedy if he will but turn 
from sin. So far as is consistent with God's perfect justice, He does 
Eot desire that one sinner should die (xviii. 30-32). But, if he 
goes on in sin, he only is responsible and must expect the due 
reward of his deeds : but in virtue of his free will he can make a 
free choice between good and evil ; he is not bound down to sin. 

Another point which we may very well notice here is that to 
Ezekiel the people, as a whole, had by their own fault lost their 
unique relation to Jehovah. They had been taken into covenant 
with Him, but they had broken that covenant, and were therefore 
outcasts. But he looks forward to a time when a new covenant 
shall be made to take the place of the old ; of this new covenant 
the leading features will be that it will indicate a reconciliation 
between God and His people ; it will be a covenant of peace ; and 
it will never be broken by either party to it; it will be an everlasting 
covenant. It will become a bond, binding them together indissolubly 
(xx. 37). 

And the opposite to sin is righteousness. Righteousness is to 
Ezekiel not an abstraction but something concrete : it is made up of 
righteous acts, done in the sight of God and in accordance with the 
covenant between God and man. Motive is taken slight account of: 
the spirit of a law is still less opposed to its letter. 

With reference to forgiveness and the new life of the redeemed 
it is interesting to notice, as is pointed out by the late Dr A. B. 
Davidson in his Theology of the Old Testament (p. 343), how exactly 
Ezekiel's doctrinal position anticipates that of St Paul. We cannot 
do better than quote his words. After citing parts of Ezek. xxxvi. 
17-38 he continues : 

* Probably no passage in the Old Testament offers so complete a 
parallel to New Testament doctrine, particularly to that of St Paul. 
Commentators complain that nobody reads Ezekiel now. It is not 
certain that St Paul read him, for he nowhere quotes him. But the 
redemptive conceptions of the two writers are the same, and appear 
in the same order : 1. Forgiveness — " I will sprinkle clean water 
upon you"; 2. Regeneration — "A new heart and spirit"; 
3. The Spirit of God as the ruling power in the new life — " I will 
put My Spirit within you " ; 4. The issue of this principle of life, 
the keeping of the requirements of God's law — "That the righteous- 



ness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesl 
but after the Spirit (Rom. viii. 4)" ; 5. The effect of living ''under 
grace" in softening the human heart and leading to obedience— 
"Ye shall remember your evil ways and loathe yourselves" — "Shall 
we sin because not under law but under grace ? " (Rom. vi., vii.}. 
And, finally, the organic connection of Israel's history with Jehovah's 
revelation of Himself to the nations (Rom. xi.).' 

(c) Angels. There is not much in this book that will help us 
as to any Jewish doctrine about angels. Their existence is assumed, 
as elsewhere in the Old Testament. The cherubim form part of 
the visions of the prophet as ministering to the Divine glory, 
especially in the Temple, in which were figures of the * cherubim of 
glory overshadowing the mercy seat.' No doubt, too, Ezekiel, 
when he mentions ' the voice of one that spake ' at the end of his 
first vision, and the ' man, whose appearance was like the appear- 
ance of brass ' who was the measurer of the ideal temple and his 
guide concerning it, wishes us to think of both these beings as angels. 
Like St John in the Apocalypse he is inclined to worship the first 
of these, but is bidden to stand upon his feet. But beyond this 
the prophet gives us little information. 

(d) EzekieVs Day of the Lord. There are in the Old Testa- 
ment many varied conceptions of what is called 'the day of the 
Lord.' To Ezekiel it was to be an end, that is, an end of the state 
of things as they were in his time. This ' end ' would be accom- 
panied by destruction and devastation not only for the Jewish people 
but also for heathen nations. It was to be an outpouring of God's 
wrath upon the world with the certainty of a better state of things 
to follow. Whether the day was to be actually the same day 
for all alike, Jew and Gentile, is not clear ; the one definite idea 
in the prophet's mind was that it was close at hand and was 
to take the form of a universal judgement. The proverbial saying 
of the day, 'The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth,' 
as well as the common Jewish notion that Ezekiel's prophecies looked 
forward to a distant future, were alike to be falsified. The perform- 
ance of what had been foretold was imminent. 

{e) Life after death. To Ezekiel there is one place, Sheol or 
Hades, whither all go, good and bad alike, at death. It is a great 
receptacle where the individual's personality is maintained, but yet 


existence there is of a very shadowy character. It is mentioned by 
the prophet especially in connection with the overthrow of the 
heathen nations (xxxi., xxxii.). Some of the inhabitants ' of the baser 
sort ' occupy a more distant position on the edge of the receptacle 
than seems to be assigned to others (xxxii. 23). The vision of the 
Valley of Dry Bones implies, if it does not actually assert, the 
belief of the prophet in a Life to come and a Resurrection, even 
though his immediate use of it is to prophesy a national resurrection. 
"We cannot imagine it otherwise if we remember what stress the 
prophet lays upon the individual, the individual's life and indi- 
vidual responsibility. 

(/) EzekieVs Messianic Ideas, These mainly take the form 
of a revival of religion and of prosperity among the Jews. The 
former is indicated by the *new heart' and the 'new spirit.' But 
of a personal Saviour or Redeemer there is very little trace. The 
main idea is of a prince, a new David (xxxiv. 23 : xxxvii. 24, 25), 
who is to be their prince for ever, unless we understand by this 
expression that a new Davidic dynasty is to be set up. Whether 
this David is identical with the first king of Judah, in the prophet's 
mind, is a little uncertain ; it seems probable that he is ; but there 
is nothing divine about him. All the work of regeneration and the 
establishment of the new King is the direct work of Jehovah. In 
one other passage there seems to be a distinct reference to what is 
generally held to be a Messianic passage in Genesis (xlix. 10) : 

'The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, 
Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet. 
Until Shiloh come ; 
And unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.' 

The words of the prophet are (xxi. 27) : ' This also shall be no 
more, until he come whose right it is ; and I will give it him.' 
For the meaning of this passage, we would refer to the notes on it. 
Beyond this there is but little to inform us of Ezekiel's views about 
a coming Messianic Deliverer. 



It is well to try to consider before reading Ezekiel's prophecies 
what exactly was the condition of the people during the twenty 
years covered by the prophecies of this book (592-570 B.C.). We 
are fortunate in possessing not only the prophecies of this book but 
also some contemporaneous parts of Jeremiah (xxi., xxxii.-xxxv., 
xxxviii.-xliv., lii. 4-34), beside the narrative of 2 Kings xxv. Daniel 
and perhaps Obadiah were also prophets of this period. 

At the date when the book of Ezekiel opens, the Captivity had 
already really begun. For many years Egypt and Babylon, each from 
its own quarter, had been pressing upon the kingdom of Judah, and 
Pharaoh-necoh had more than once invaded the land, on one 
occasion carrying his march onwards as far as to the river Euphrates 
(2 K. xxiii. 29). This was the last occasion on which the Eg3rptian 
king was able to send his troops so far. They were defeated at the 
battle of Carchemish (to-day Jerabis on the Euphrates), Jer. xlvi. 2. 
It was in the course of Pharaoh-necoh's march to Carchemish that 
Josiah was slain at the battle of Megiddo. The battle of Car- 
chemish actually took place in Jehoiakim's reign. From that time 
the Egyptian power was driven back. Jehoiakim himself was a 
vassal of Pharaoh-necoh, set up by him, but, at the end of the eleven 
years of his reign it could be said that ' the king of Babylon had 
taken, from the brook of Egjrpt unto the river Euphrates, all that 
pertained to the king of Egypt ' (2 K. xxi v. 7). In the latter part 
of his reign, Jehoiakim was for three years (2 K. xxiv. 1) tributary 
to Nebuchadrezzar, and, on his rebellion at the end of this time, the 
Captivity may be said to have begun. It is not clear whether 
Jehoiakim was actually deported ; probably he was not (2 K. xxiv. 6), 
though preparations may have been made, if we accept the 
Chronicler's statement, for such a deportation (2 Chr. xxxvi. 6). 
He was succeeded by his son Jehoiachin, known to Jeremiah as 
Jeconiah or Coniah. The great deportation from Jerusalem took 
place at the end of his short reign of three months, when the 
Temple was spoiled and all the picked men amongst the inhabitants 
of the land were carried away : ' none remained, save the poorest 


sort of the people of the land ' (2 K. xxv. 14 : cp. Jer. xxiv. 1, 
xxix. 2). It was in this deportation that Ezekiel was carried off to 
Babylon : Jeremiah remained in Jerusalem : communication was, how- 
ever, continued between the exiles and those still remaining in the 
land. Jeremiah wrote a letter and sent a message to them of the 
captivity, and Shemaiah, a false prophet, sent letters from Babylon to 
Jerusalem, claiming to have been appointed priest by Jehovah and 
to be a prophet (Jer. xxix.). To finish our outline of the history, 
Mattaniah, Jehoiakim's brother, was set up as the vassal king with 
the name of Zedekiah by Nebuchadrezzar and reigned eleven years. 
But he was a recalcitrant vassal, and seems to have been urged on 
to rebellion by Pharaoh-necoh's successor, Pharaoh-hophra. The 
approach of the Egyptian caused a temporary withdrawal of the 
Babylonian army from before Jerusalem, but that was all. The 
final destruction followed, and city and temple were alike burnt and 
sacked by the Babylonians, whilst the king was carried off to 
Babylon with some of his subjects, and this time a governor, not a 
king, was left in charge of those that still remained. After a few 
months the governor, Gedaliah, who had set up his government at 
Mizpah, was assassinated, and a great number of the remnant went 
off to Egypt, carrying away with them Jeremiali the prophet, who 
had opposed their proceedings. 

Jeremiah and Ezekiel then were contemporaries during this 
period, but exercising their prophetic office at a distance from one 
another, the one in Jerusalem, the other in Babylonia, though the 
latter describes his revelations and visions of what was going on in 
Jerusalem. We naturally, therefore, look to Jeremiah to tell us 
more particularly about the political life of the Jews of his day, for 
political life did not exist for the captives. So long as they kept 
the peace, these latter were allowed to dwell securely in the land 
and to carry on their own occupations and even to hold land. 
Ezekiel, who dwelt among them, devotes his attention, in all his 
acts and utterances which deal with the Jews, to the spiritual state 
of his fellow-countrymen, and to the facts connected with the state 
of religious life in Jerusalem which made him see that the final 
destruction of city and temple had been all along inevitable. 

Jerusalem was a city divided against itself in more ways than 
one. Politically, there were two great parties in the city. The one 


relied upon Egypt, the other looked rather to making terms witi 
Babylon. The majority in Zedekiah's reign, notwithstanding the 
curtailment that had taken place of the Egyptian power a little 
while before, still cast longing eyes towards Egypt for help. Isaiah 
(xxx., xxxi.) had already insisted upon the futility of relying upon 
Egypt in Hezekiah's reign, and Ezekiel, apparently with the 
recollection of the words attributed to Rabshakeh (2 K. xviii. 21, 
Is. xxxvi. 6 'thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even 
upon Egypt '), speaks of the inhabitants of Egypt as having been 
* a staff of reed to the house of Israel ' (xxix. 6, 7). Jeremiah, who 
was in the thick of the political strife, did all he could to persuade 
Zedekiah that opposition to the Babylonian forces was useless. His 
writings are full of efforts in this direction (e.g. xxvii.). But it was 
all in vain, even when the false prophet Hananiah, who had 
prophesied a deliverance and a restoration from Babylon within two 
years, died within a few months in accordance with Jeremiah's 
prophecy (xxviii. ). Zedekiah himself seems to have been a vacillating 
monarch, but the pro -Egyptian faction led by the princes terrorised 
him (xxxviii.), and brought about the prophet's imprisonment. So 
bitter was the feeling against the prophet that when, upon the 
withdrawal of the Babylonian army from before Jerusalem for a 
time, because of the advance of the Egyptian forces, he was starting 
for Anathoth to receive the produce of his estate there, he was 
arrested and imprisoned on the plea that he was intending to join 
the Babylonians (xxxvii.). With a weak king, and a city distracted in 
this way, it is no wonder that the siege came to such a termination 
as it did, and that, when a breach was at last made in its walls, 
Zedekiah and the leading people endeavoured to escape. 

But this was not all: the spiritual state of Jerusalem at this 
time presents a very saddening aspect. Up to king Solomon's time, 
the idea of one central place of worship, such as the tabernacle 
had been, was in the minds of most of the people dormant : they 
made use of the high places that were in existence all over the 
country for their worship of Jehovah, and this was not likely to lead 
to the retention of a very pure form of worship. But in Solomon's 
days matters grew worse. Owing to his alliances, matrimonial and 
otherwise, heathen cults were not only tolerated but recognized side 
by side with the worship of Jehovah. This toleration of other 


orships was allowed to continue all through the period of the kings, 
with very few exceptions. Hezekiah and Josiah made attempts to 
purge the land of its idolatrous worships, but their reformations had 
no lasting effect, and, even in their times, no restriction of sacrificial 
worship to the Temple at Jerusalem was attempted. In Solomon's 
time it had been the worship of Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Molech ; 
when Josiah attempted to carry out a reformation, we find 
mention of what we may call a complete pandemonium, including 
the worship of the sun, moon and stars, and, as Ezekiel tells us, 
that of Adonis (Tammuz) as well. The sacred rites attached to 
some of these worships brought with it prostitution on the part of 
both sexes as part of the service that was offered. The followers of 
all these heathen rites were gathered from the elders of the people. 
"We read of seventy of them burning incense in a highly decorated 
chamber of false worship attached to the Temple itself (Ezek. viii. 11). 
The form of decoration was derived from Babylon (Ezek. xxiii. 
14, 15). 

"With a vacillating monarch, a corrupt court, a people divided 
politically into two camps, one for Babylon, one for Egypt, a condi- 
tion as to religion hopelessly disordered, with the worship of Israel's 
Jehovah purely formal, and scarcely holding its own in the midst 
of other and degraded worships, with prophet and false prophet 
contending against one another, we cannot be surprised at what 
happened, for it was inevitable. As Ezekiel sat by the waters of 
Babylon, as he thought of the departing glory of Jehovah and of 
His house, he could not help drawing the lessons he did from the 
impending completion of the ruin of his country\ It had come 
upon them not only in consequence of the errancy of the people as 
a whole. To him it was clear that each individual separately had 
his own responsibility in the matter. As the people, in their 
entirety, were to suffer for their corporate transgressions of Divine 
Law, so each individual, who did not turn from his own evil courses, 
would in due time meet with the due reward of his deeds. And, as 
the prophet took a wider survey of affairs, he sees that it is a 
universal law of Divine Providence, and that sooner or later Tyre, 

1 For a picture of the attitude of the Exiles in Babylon, see Ps. cxxxvii. ' By 
the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered 
Zion.' etc. 


Babylon, Egypt, and other great powers in their turn will have 
suffer for their pride and arrogancy and self-sufficiency, and 
become what Jerusalem became during the prophet's ministry, an 
astonishment and a desolation. And thus we come to a truth 
which Ezekiel clearly saw and which has been well expressed in the 
statement that 'History is Jehovah operating for His Name's sake.' 
It is a little difficult to form an estimate of the numbers that 
were carried off in the various deportations to Babylon. In the 
divided state of the Jews at the time when Ezekiel's prophecies 
begin it would be interesting to know w^hat proportion of the 
Jewish inhabitants were left in Palestine, and what proportion were 
in Babylonia. The only data we have for forming any conjecture 
are (1) the number given in Ezra and Nehemiah of those who 
returned from the captivity to their own land, which amounted to 
49,897 (49,952 Neh.), and these after all seem to have formed only 
a portion of the captives, for there were many who remained as 
permanent settlers and did not accompany the return ; (2) the 
number of the captives in Jehoiachin's captivity, 11,000 or 18,000, 
according to the way in which we interpret 2 K. xxiv. 14, 16 ; (3) the 
figures of three deportations, 3023 + 832 + 745 = 4600, given in Jer. 
lii. 28-30, the first of which must have taken place in Jehoiachin's 
reign. It will, therefore, be evident that little can be gathered from 
these statements except a rough estimate of the Jewish population 
in Babylonia. If these figures are correct, their numbers must 
have increased with surprising rapidity during the years of exile. 
Those who remained in Babylonia after the Return also multiplied 
very rapidly, and centuries later one of the great centres of 
Rabbinical learning was to be found in that country and endured 
there almost into the middle ages (Abrahams, Short History of 
Jewish LiteratiM-e, p. 22). 




CHARGE, B.C. 592. Chapters I.— HI. 15. 

i. The Introduction of the Prophet, with his first Vision, i. 

In considering this and the other visions of the Prophet, it is well to 
remember that we have in them an attempt to describe in human language, 
with aU its imperfections, what to the prophet were visions of the Divine. 
That the language he used conveyed to him the impressions that were 
formed on his mind by the visions seems quite clear, for the language 
describing them is harmonious with itself, as we can see by a comparison in 
detail of the description here with that of chapter x. But we have not seen 
the visions, and therefore it is not to be wondered at if the impressions 
formed upon our minds by the language the prophet uses fail of definite 
clearness, and only give us vague ideas of the incomprehensible majesty and 
glory of God. 

For the most notable attempt of Art to reproduce this vision, we may 
refer to the picture in the Pitti Palace at Florence, entitled " The Vision of 
Ezekiel," "which if not the work of Raphael's own pencil, is certainly 
a contemporary copy of the lost original " (Lanciani, The Golden Days of 
the Renaissance in Rome, p. 261). 

I. 1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the 
fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among 

I. 1-3. In these verses there still, the second was introduced later 

seems to be a double introduction as an explanation of the first. The 

of the prophet, by himself (1) and by chronology of the two passages is 

some one else (2, 3) ; and the second differently reckoned, in v. 1 we have 

may perhaps have originally pre- 'the thirtieth year,' with no further 

ceded the first, or, more likely explanation, in v. 2 'the fifth year 

B. 1 


I. 1-4 

the ^captives by the river Chebar, that the heavens were 

2 opened, and I saw visions of God In the fifth day of the 
month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's 

3 captivity, the word of the Lord came expressly unto 
Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the 
Chaldeans by the river Chebar ; and the hand of the Lord 

4 was there upon him. And I looked, and, behold, a stormy 

1 Heb. captivity. 

of King Jehoiachin's captivity.' We 
have 'the sixth year' and 'the seventh 
year' mentioned in viii. 1, xx. 1. If the 
fifth year of King Jehoiachin's cap- 
tivity (cp. 2 K. xxiv. 12, 15) be taken 
as B.C. 592, the thirtieth year can 
scarcely be reckoned backward from 
that, for it would then fall about the 
time of Nabopolassar's accession to 
the throne of Babylon and of the 
discovery of the Book of the Law 
(2 K. xxiii.). The thirtieth year is 
much more probably that year in the 
prophet's life. He was a priest, and 
the ministrations of the priest began 
at that age (Numb. iv. 3 etc.). The 
captivity referred to was the first 
deportation of captives to Babylonia, 
four years before the Fall of Jeru- 
salem (cf. Introd. p. xxxviii). 

1. the river Chebar'] The prophet 
is at once introduced as one of the 
captives by the river Chebar in the 
land of the Chaldeans. Chebar was 
the name of one of the large irri- 
gating canals of Babylonia, and a 
place called Tel-abib (iii. 15) stood 
upon it. With the opening of the 
heavens we may compare the Bap- 
tism of our Lord when at the time 
that He 'was about thirty years 
of age' (Lk. iii. 23) 'the heavens 
were opened unto him, and he 
saw the Spirit of God' (Matt. iii. 

16), as well as the martyrdom of 
St Stephen (Acts vii. 56) and the 
Apocalypse (Rev. xix. 11). 'Visions 
of God ' (viii. 3 : xl. 2) and ' the hand 
of the Lord was there upon him 
(me) ' (iii. 22 etc.) are characteristic 
expressions of Ezekiel. The latter 
almost invariably leads up to the 
account of a vision. It implies 
directing power and the giving of 
more than human power to him upon 
whom the hand was laid. We may 
connect with this the name of 
the prophet — Yehezkel, i.e. God 

3. Ezekiel the priest'] The pro- 
phet is described as a priest, the 
son of Buzi. The name Buzi is more 
like a generic name than a personal 
one and does not occur anywhere 
else in the Bible in connection with 
the priestly tribe. 

4-28. The first vision. It is, of 
course, impossible to depict exactly 
what the vision was which the pro- 
phet saw. The vision, however, came 
forth from a cloud-storm and was 
one of brightness out of which 
emerged four mysterious living crea- 
tures with four faces and four wings, 
with their relative positions towards 
one another always remaining the 
same. Combined with them and close 
to them were the wheels which gave 




wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with a fire 

the idea of motion and that motion 
directed by the spirit of each Hving 
creature. Superimposed upon this and 
above the firmament was the throne 
with an anthropomorphic divine form 
surrounded by an appearance like 
a rainbow. This represented to the 
prophet the presence of the glory 
of the Lord Who called him to his 
work and office. The Son of Sirach 
calls it 'the vision of glory which 
God shewed him upon the chariot 
of the cherubim ' (Bcclus. xlix. 8). 
This vision occurs four times in 
Ezekiel ; see iii. 22, viii. 4, xliii. 4. 
It was a vision of the God who was 
about to remove His presence from 
His temple at Jerusalem, and was 
afterwards to fill a new Temple, 
idealized by Ezekiel in the last 
chapters of this book, with His 
glory — a glory that was to be greater 
than the former glory (cp. Hag. ii. 7, 
9). — This will explain much that is 
obscure: it shews us the God of 
judgment coming from the north in 
the storm; but at the same time 
coming with mercy in human form 
(thus an Incarnation of the divine is 
alluded to), and walking upon the 
earth in such away that His Kingdom 
spreads in every direction. He is 
pointed out as identical with Him 
Who, to the Jews, sitteth between the 
cherubim (Ps. Ixxx. 1) which are the 
living creatures of this chapter (see 
X. 1 ). In these living creatures is the 
fulness of life, represented by their 
four faces, whilst at the same time 
they are spiritual beings. They are 
dominated by the Spirit of the 
Living God Whose searching eye 
(i. 18) sees everything everywhere. 
This presence of the God-Man {v. 26) 

with His people is to endure for 
ever in the new Temple in which 
He takes up His abode. 

No doubt the form which the 
vision took was suggested to 
Ezekiel by the cherubim over- 
shadowing the mercy-seat of the 
tabernacle and the temple at Jeru- 
salem, and also by the wonderful 
winged creatures which guarded the 
temples and palaces of Babylonia. 
The wheels we may perhaps take 
as an emblem of the eternity of all 
things divine. 

It is further to be noticed how 
much of the apocalyptic imagery 
of the New Testament is due to the 
influence of these visions of Ezekiel. 
The four living creatures appear 
there (Rev. iv. 6-9). Their feet 
sparkling ' like the colour of burnished 
brass' {v. 7) have their counterpart 
in the feet of the son of man, ' like 
unto burnished brass, as if it had 
been refined in a furnace' (Rev. i. 
15 : ii. 18: cp. Ezek. xl. 3: Dan. x. 6). 
The 'rings full of eyes round about' 
{v. 18) recall the living creatures 
'full of eyes before and behind,' 
'round about and within' (Rev. iv. 
6, 8). The firmament corresponds 
with 'the glassy sea' (Rev. iv.); 
'a likeness as the appearance of 
a man' with 'one like unto a son 
of man' (Rev. i. 15). The rain- 
bow (i. 28) also appears in Rev. 
iv. 3. Between the two stand the 
apocalyptic visions of Daniel (vii. 
9-14 : x. 4-6). For a fuller account 
of the use of Ezekiel by later writers 
see Introd. pp. xxv-xxix. 

4. the north] It was from the 
north that the Israelites had 
suffered invasion, and their invaders 




^infolding itself, and a brightness round about it, and out 

of the midst thereof ^as the colour of ^ amber, out of the 

5 midst of the fire. And out of the midst thereof came the 

1 Or, flashing continually ^ Or, as amber to look upon ^ Or, electrum 

had been the instruments of the 
judgment of God. It was in the 
north, too, that the Babylonian 
placed the abode of his gods (Is. 
xiv. 13). This may have partly 
influenced the prophet in the choice 
of the north as the quarter from 
which the vision came, and may also 
be taken to imply the departure 
of God from that city in which 
visible tokens of His presence had 
been seen. The expression 'a fire 
infolding itself,' translated more cor- 
rectly in the margin ' a fire flashing 
continually' had its origin in Ex. 
ix. 24 (see R.V. margin there). 

amber] The Hebrew word re- 
presenting amber {m/irg. electrum) 
is one of doubtful meaning. Electrum 
(jfXeKTpov) may mean either amber 
or a metal compounded of gold and 
silver. The word is used also in 
V. 27 and viii. 2. In each case 
reference is made only to colour or 
outward appearance. 

5-14. The four living crea- 
tures. These creatures must be 
identical with the cherubim of cap. 
X. The details of the two chapters 
should be carefully compared. Their 
wings must therefore have covered 
their arms. V. 8 b, which some 
would omit, really attaches the 
following words to v. 7. How- 
ever diflScult we may find it to 
picture these visions to ourselves, 
the prophet is consistent in his 
descriptions. In both v. 5 b and 
V. 10 it is implied that the face of a 
man was in front of the prophet 

as he gazed upon the vision. In 
». 11, which must be compared with 
V. 23, some critics wish to leave out 
the words ' And their faces,' but it 
scarcely seems necessary to do so. 
The words imply that each face had 
a separate junction with the body. 
In V. 12 (cp. V. 9c: x. 22b) the 
spirit is not the wind of v. 4, but the 
spirit of the living creature (cp. 
vv. 20, 21 : X. 17), and it is implied 
that all the four faces looked in the 
same direction. In ??. 13 the reading 
of the Septuagint in the margin 
furnishes the better sense. The 
language of vv. 13, 14 recalls the 
appearances at the giving of the 
Law on Mount Sinai (cp. also Ps. 
xviii. 12). Some wish to omit v. 14, 
following one form of the Greek 
version. These four creatures, like 
the four streams of Eden, were after- 
wards taken as emblems of the four 
Evangelists (cp. Westcott's Introd. 
to the Study of the Gospels^ cap. iv., 
for a fuller treatment of the subject). 
The Church directs attention to this 
by appointing i. 1-14 as one of the 
lessons on St Mark's day. 

There are several ethical ideas 
conveyed by the manner of motion 
as it is described here. There is 
directness of purpose, ' they turned 
not when they went'; there is in- 
tensity of action, 'they went every 
one straightforward'; and there 
is obedience to the impulse of 
the spirit, 'the spirit of the living 
creature was in the wheels.' No 
doubt this moral aspect of the vision 



likeness of four living creatures. And this was their 

6 appearance ; they had the likeness of a man. And every 
one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings. 

7 And their feet were straight feet ; and the sole of their 
feet was like the sole of a calf s foot : and they sparkled 

8 like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the 
hands of a man under their wings on their four sides : 

9 and they four had their faces and their wings thus ; their 
wings were joined one to another ; they turned not when 

10 they went ; they went every one straight forward. As for 
the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man ; 
and they four had the face of a lion on the right side ; 
and they four had the face of an ox on the left side ; they 

11 four had also the face of an eagle. ^And their faces and 
their wings were separate above ; two wings of every one 
were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. 

12 And they went every one straight forward : whither the 
spirit was to go, they went ; they turned not when they 

13 went. ^As for the likeness of the living creatures, their 
appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appear- 
ance of torches ; it went up and down among the living 
creatures : and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went 

14 forth lightning. And the living creatures ran and returned 

15 as the appearance of a flash of lightning. Now as I beheld 

^ Or, And thus were their faces ; and their wings were dc. 
2 The Sept. has, And in the midst of the living creatures was an appearance d;c. 

helped to suggest the mystical in- 
terpretation of it as applicable to 
the four Evangelists. 

15-21. The wheels and move- 

X. 6, 9-13, 16, 17, 19 : xi. 22). The 
* beryl' {v. 16) represents a Hebrew 
word of very doubtful meaning, as 
appears from the renderings of the 
Sept. (Oapa-eis) and Vulg. {maris i.e. 
the sea) and the various alternatives 
suggested in the margin of the R.V. 

(see Ex. xxviii. 20: Cant. v. 14: 
Ezek. X. 16). The 'wheel within a 
wheel' can only imply two wheels 
at right angles to one another. 
In «?. 18 R.V. margin 'felloes' (cp. 
1 Kings vii. 33) makes the meaning 
of the passage clearer. In v. 20 a 
some words seem to have been 
written twice imintentionally. The 
verse should read: — Whithersoever 
the spirit was to go, the wheels 
went: and they were lifted beside 



I. 15- 

the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth 
beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces 

16 thereof. The appearance of the wheels and their work 
was like unto the colour of a beryl : and they four had 
one likeness : and their appearance and their work was as 

17 it were a wheel ^within a wheel. When they went, they 
went upon their four sides : they turned not when they 

18 went. As for their ^ rings, they were high and dreadful ; 
and they four had their rings full of eyes round about. 

19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went 
beside them : and when the living creatures were lifted 

20 up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whither- 
soever the spirit was to go, they went ; thither was the 
spirit to go : and the wheels were lifted up ^beside them ; 
for the spirit *of the living creature was in the wheels. 

21 When those went, these went ; and when those stood, 
these stood ; and when those were lifted up from the 
earth, the wheels were lifted up ^beside them : for the 

22 spirit *of the living creature was in the wheels. And 

* Heb. in the midst of. ^ Or, felloes ^ Or, over against 

Or, of life 

them : for the Spirit of the living 
creature (R.V. marg. 'of life' is 
certainly wrong) was in the wheels, 
22-28. The firmament and the 
THRONE. These appear again in 
chapter x. By the firmament is 
meant something hke the blue vault 
of the clear sky (Gen. i. 6) : the 
description here recalls that of Ex. 
xxiv. 10. The marginal 'ice' for 
' crystal ' has little to recommend it. 
The description of the wings in this 
passage must be taken with that in 
V. 11. They were straight like the 
feet (v. 7). Their arrangement is 
different from that of the wings in 
Isaiah's vision (vi. 2). Here it is 
implied that they appeared to hold 
up the firmament. The similes of 

V. 24 are generally applied to the 
voice of the Almighty Himself (see 
X. 5): the Sept. omits the words 
'Hke the voice... an host.' 'Al- 
mighty' is the translation of the 
word Shaddai, which occurs as a 
name of God first in Gen. xvii. 1 
(R.V. margin). The Name is one for 
which no satisfactory explanation 
has as yet been given. 'My rock' 
or 'my Lord' are two of the mean- 
ings which have been assigned to 
it. The Greek translator of Job, 
where the name occurs most fre- 
quently, evidently considered it to 
mean 'He who is suflScient' (cf. 
Driver's Genesis, Excursus I. p. 
404 and see Introd. p. xxx). The 
last clause of v. 25 is omitted by 


over the head of the living creature there was the likeness 
of a firmament, like the colour of the terrible ^crystal, 

23 stretched forth over their heads above. And under the 
firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the 
other : every one had two which covered ^on this side, 
and every one had two which covered ^on that side, their 

24 bodies. And when they went, I heard the noise of their 
wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the 
Almighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of an host : 

25 when they stood, they let down their wings. And there 
was a voice above the firmament that was over their 

26 heads : when they stood, they let down their wings. And 
above the firmament that was over their heads was the like- 
ness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone : 
and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the 

27 appearance of a man upon it above. And I saw as the 
colour of amber, as the appearance of fire within it round 
about, from the appearance of his loins and upward ; and 
from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw as it 
were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness 

28 round about ^him. As the appearance of the bow that is 
in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of 
the brightness round about. This was the appearance of 
the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw 
it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that 

1 Or, ice ^ Or, f&r them » Or, it 

many as an accidental repetition x. 4, 18, 19 : xi. 22, 23 : xliii 4, 5 : 

from V. 24. With v. 26 we must xliv. 4). 

compare x. 1. The ' sapphire stone ' It is the sense of this Divine glory 

occurs in the same connection in that causes the prophet to prostrate 

Ex. xxiv. 10. 'The glory of the himself before it, in a state of 

Lord ' {v. 28) is also seen in Ex. xxiv. expectancy and attention. At the 

16, and the expression occurs many same time the mysterious character 

times in the account of Ezekiel's of the 'one that spake' lends 

risions (cp. iii. 23 : viii. 4 : ix. 3 : solemnity to the coming call. 


II. I- 

ii. The Prophet^s Call cmd Mission, ii. 1-iii. 3. 

II. 1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy 

2 feet, and I will speak with thee. And the spirit entered 
into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet ; 

3 and I heard him that spake unto me. And he said unto 

n. l-III. 2. Following upon the 
introductory vision, the call and 
mission of the prophet with his first 
symbohc action are described. 

II. 1,2. The prophet is addressed 
here and constantly throughout the 
book as Son of Man. It is his 
distinctive title, only applied in the 
Old Testament once besides, perhaps 
in imitation of this use, to a prophet 
(Dan. viii. 17). What the title as 
applied to the prophet exactly in- 
dicates is not absolutely certain. To 
some it appears merely to imply 
the immeasurable distance there is 
between even a chosen prophet of 
God and Jehovah: whilst by others 
it is held to connote as well the 
dignity of the human agent (cp. Ps. 
viii. 5). It seems scarcely in har- 
mony with its surroundings in this 
book to look upon it simply as a 
title of depreciation. This is the 
more to be observed when we re- 
member that the title which our 
Lord uses most frequently for Him- 
self is that of ' the Son of Man,' per- 
haps looking back to Dan. vii. 13 : — 
* there came with the clouds of heaven 
one like unto a son of man.' For 
a fuller discussion of the phrase see 
the article Son of Man in Hastings' 
Dictionary of the Bible^ vol iv. and 
Introduction, p. xiii. 

The prophet is called upon to rise 
and stand upon his feet as a mark 
of God's confidence in him, just as 

Daniel is bidden to do in similar 
circumstances, though in his case 
the words 'I stood trembling' (x. 11) 
follow. It is to be noted that the 
word spoken brings with it the 
inward inspiration, and that the 
strength to stand in the presence of 
the 'one that spake' is attributed 
to the Spirit just as it is in iii. 24. 
Thus the action of the Spirit of 
God and of the word of G^d is as 
closely united as in the account of 
the Creation (Gen. i. 2, 3). Man 
cannot fulfil God's word without His 
Spirit 'preventing' him (in the old 
sense of the word). 

3-7. In the mission that is given 
to the prophet, nothing is disguised 
or kept back. The difficulties of 
his position, the qualities that he 
will need, the fact that he will 
have to speak of other nations be- 
sides his own, are all mentioned 
without reserve. The shrinking of 
Moses from the task laid upon him, 
and Jonah's attempt to escape from 
his call may illustrate the hesitancy 
that is implied here on the part of 
Ezekiel. The charge given to the 
young Ezekiel may be compared 
with that of St Paul to the young 
Timothy, who had to deal with Jews 
and Gentiles alike: — 'Be instant in 
season, out of season; reprove, re- 
buke, exhort, with all long-suffering 
and teaching' (2 Tim. iv. 2). That 
the word ' nations' implies more than 

11. 3, 4 



me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to 
nations that are rebellious, which have rebelled against 
me : they and their fathers have transgressed against me, 
4 even unto this very day. And the children are impudent 
and stiflfhearted ; ^I do send thee unto them: and thou 

1 Or, unto whom I send thee 

the tribes of Israel is surely clear 
from the prophecies of xxv.-xxxii. ; 
though the prophet's mission, so far 
as they were concerned, did not in- 
volve a verbal deliverance of the 
message (iii. 5, 6) : the prophet was 
simply to utter God's will concerning 
them. The rebellion of Israel is 
carried back (see xx. 8) not only to 
the time of the wanderings in the 
wilderness but to the bondage in 
Egypt. The impudence of v. 4 is 
the 'hard forehead' (we use the 
expression 'brazen-faced') of iii. 7. 
The prophet is empowered to say, 
as he does say afterwards (e.g. v. 5), 
that his words are the words of God. 
The actual Name of God used is 
Adonai Jehovah — the divine name if 
printed in capitals in A.V. or R.V. 
implies the use of the name Jehovah 
— a title which is especially used in 
the present Hebrew text of Ezekiel, 
though it also occurs with less fre- 
quency elsewhere. The form of 
the title may be due to the fact 
that when, in later times, the Name 
Jehovah was declared unutterable, 
the word Adonai may have at first 
been placed in the margin as its 
substitute, and then afterwards in- 
corporated into the text. When 
this was done, Elohim was read for 
Jehovah, and when the vowel points 
were added, in still later times, to 
the Hebrew text, of which the 
original form only contained the 

consonants, Jehovah received the 
vowel points of Elohim. 

The prophet's hearers were to have 
no excuse. They had a free will to 
hear or to forbear, but in any case, 
it is implied that they could not 
help knowing that they had had a 
prophet amongst them. The hearing 
and the forbearing of those to whom 
the prophet is sent is especially 
emphasized (cp. iii. 11, 27). The fall 
of JeiTisalem, which was soon to 
come, would prove the truth of his 
message (cp. xxxiii. 33). 

As against the impudence and 
stiffheartedness of his hearers, the 
prophet was to take up a fearless 
attitude, indicated later by the fore- 
head 'as an adamant harder than 
flint' (iii. 9), just as Jeremiah was 
bidden to do (i. 8). The expression 
'rebellious house' (literally, 'house 
of rebelliousness') is one character- 
istic of this book. The ' briers and 
thorns' indicate the heathen amongst 
whom the Jews were dwelling (cp. 
xxviii. 24 where Zidon and the other 
neighbours of the Jews in Palestine 
are called ' a pricking brier ' and ' a 
grieving thorn'). They at any rate 
would not help the prophet to assert 
his authority. The scorpion is dan- 
gerous from its sting. Those amongst 
whom the prophet was dwelling 
would endeavour to injure him with 
venomous acts and words. 



II. 4-in. 

6 shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God. And they, 
whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for 
they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there 

6 hath been a prophet among them. And thou, son of man, 
be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, 
though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost 
dwell among scorpions : be not afraid of their words, nor 
be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious 

7 house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, 
whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear : 

8 for they are most rebellious. But thou, son of man, hear 
what I say unto thee ; be not thou rebellious like that 
rebellious house : open thy mouth, and eat that I give 

9 thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was put forth 
10 unto me ; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein ; and he 

spread it before me ; and it was written within and 
without : and there was written therein lamentations, and 
mourning, and woe. III. 1 And he said unto me. Son 

II. 8-III. 3. The prophet is 
bidden not to follow the people in 
their rebellious ways, but, after in- 
specting a roll which is spread out 
before him, to eat it, and then 
saturated, as it were, with its contents 
to utter them to his fellow-country- 
men in their captivity. Bating 
(Rev. X. 9 'Take it' i.e. a little book, 
'and eat it up'; cp. Jer. x. 15) or 
drinking (2 Esdr. xiv. 38-41, 'Open 
thy mouth, and drink that I give 
thee to drink... and when I had 
drunk of it, my heart uttered under- 
standing, and wisdom grew in my 
breast, for my spirit retained its 
memory : and my mouth was opened, 
and shut no more') was a symbolic 
acceptance of inspiration in apoca- 
lyptic literature. The putting forth 
of the hand occui-s again in viii. 3, 
and something like it in Dan. x. 10. 
The book would be unrolled at right 

angles to the writing which would 
be in columns, and therefore a con- 
siderable length of the passage would 
be disclosed. The roll had writing 
on both sides (cp. Rev. v. 1) of a 
mournful character such as is dis- 
closed in the succeeding prophecies. 
Its message was to be first to 
the Jews, just as the Christian 
message was delivered first to them. 
Before being delivered, it was neces- 
sary that the prophet should 
thoroughly digest and assimilate it. 
This is indicated by the first clause 
of V. 3. The latter part of the verse 
indicates, that as the book was 
divine it must necessarily be good 
(sweet as honey) in itself. In the 
corresponding passage in Rev. (x. 9, 
10) bitterness follows, and, though 
bitterness is not mentioned here, it 
is implied later (iii 14). To speak 
and act with truth is good but often 

III. 1-6 



of man, eat that thou findest ; eat this roll, and go, speak 

2 unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and 

3 he caused me to eat the roll. And he said unto me. Son 
of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with 
this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it ; and it was in 
my mouth as honey for sweetness. 

iii. A Charge given to the Prophet, iii. 4-11. 

4 And he said unto me. Son of man, go, get thee unto 
the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. 

5 For thou art not sent to a people ^of a strange speech 
and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel ; 

6 not to many peoples of a strange speech and of an hard 
language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, 
if I sent thee to them, they would hearken unto thee. 

1 Heb. deep of lip and heavy of tongue. 

may compare with the last clause of 
V. 6 our Lord's words : — * if the 
mighty works had been done in Tyre 
and Sidon, which were done in you 
(i.e. Chorazin and Bethsaida), they 
would have repented long ago... if 
the mighty works had been done in 
Sodom which were done in thee 
(i.e. Capernaum), it would have re- 
mained until this day' (Matt. xi. 21, 
23 : Lk. X. 13) : and in v. 7 again : — 
'If they persecuted me, they will 
aJso persecute you' (John xv. 20: 
cp. Matt. x. 24). The idea con- 
veyed by vv. 8, 9 is expressed in 
an ampler form in Jer. i. 18, a 
chapter which bears many points 
of resemblance to this. In Isaiah 
(1. 7) the prophet speaks of himself 
as setting his face like a flint ; here 
the prophet's forehead is made still 
harder, 'as an adamant.' The 
Hebrew ^Aawi^r, translated adamant, 
is equivalent to corundum or emery, 

carries with it an element of bitter- 
ness which makes it distasteful. 

We can derive some guidance 
from this passage in forming a 
proper estimate of what is in- 
volved in Inspiration. The prophet 
is to absorb into himself what is 
given him from above, and then 
is to give it out with his own lips 
and in his own language. The in- 
dividuality of the prophet will there- 
fore have full play and be allowed 
to manifest itself 

4-11. In these verses we have a 
reiteration of the mission of the 
prophet,couched in stronger language 
than before, so far as regards the 
attitude the prophet was to take up 
towards his fellow-countrymen. The 
stern difficulties of the situation are 
not smoothed away in the slightest 
degree. It is a tremendous task 
that the prophet has to undertake, 
but God will be with him. We 



III. 7- 

7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee ; for 
they will not hearken unto me : for all the house of Israel 

8 are of an hard forehead and of a stiff heart. Behold, 
I have made thy face hard against their faces, and thy 

9 forehead hard against their foreheads. As an adamant 
harder than flint have I made thy forehead : fear them 
not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a 

10 rebellious house. Moreover he said unto me. Son of man, 
all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine 

11 heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them 
of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak 
unto them, and tell them. Thus saith the Lord God ; whether 
they will hear, or whether they will forbear. 

iv. The presence of God with the Prophet, and his 
transference to Tel-ahih. iil 12-15. 

12 Then the spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me 
the voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory 

13 of the Lord from his place. And / heard the noise of 
the wings of the living creatures as they touched one 

and was the hardest substance 
known at the time. The care the 
prophet was to exercise on his part 
in his reception of the message to be 
delivered is emphasized : no part of 
it was to be lost. 'The children 
of thy people' is a phrase that 
occurs again in chaps, xxxiii. (four 
times) and xxxvii. {v. 18). 

12-15. The prophet is taken to 
the place where he is to exercise his 
office. His removal is attributed to 
the spirit, as in the case of Philip 
the deacon (Acts viii. 39, 40). The 
removal is intended to be looked 
upon just like the eating of the roll, 
as one simply in vision (cp. viii. 3 : 
xi. 24 : Numb. xxiv. 4, 16), for the 
prophet was already by the river 

Chebar (i. 1). It was a removal 
from a state of ecstasy to a condition 
in which he could have practical 
intercourse with those to whom he 
was sent. The revulsion of feeUng 
consequent upon the change is in- 
dicated in vv. 14, 15, and some little 
time elapses before the prophet can 
go forward in his work, and then 
only after further instruction and 
inspiration. All up to this point 
had been transacted in the presence 
of the glory of the Lord and of the 
vision ; the vision now passes away, 
and the prophet is left still feeling 
the Lord's hand upon him. Who 
uttered the ejaculation («?. 12) 'Blessed 
be the glory of the Lord from His 
place,' is not stated (the word saying 

III. 13-15 



another, and the noise of the wheels ^beside them, even 

14 the noise of a great rushing. So the spirit lifted me up, 
and took me away : and I went in bitterness, in the heat 
of my spirit, and the hand of the Lord was strong upon 

15 me. Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel-abib, 
that 2 dwelt by the river Chebar, ^and to where they 
Mwelt ; and I sat there astonied among them seven 

1 Or, over against 2 Qr, sat ' Another reading is, and I sat 

where they sat. 

into existence. But it 

is not in the original), though 'the 
voice of a great rushing' must be 
attributed to the wings and the 
wheels of the vision ; and the noise 
of the wings is said (i. 24) to be 
'like the voice of the Almighty.' 
It is meant, then, for the voice 
of Him Who was behind the vision. 
The vision gone, the prophet is left 
in bitterness, a bitterness caused by 
the sense of the message he had 
to deliver (cp. Rev. x. 10) and 
accompanied by the heat of his 
spirit. This latter expression implies 
vexation at the character of the 
work imposed upon him, curbed, 
however, by the hand of the Lord, 
which was constantly laid upon him 
(cp. e.g. i. 3 : ??. 22). He now finds 
himself with his fellow-captives at 
Tel-abib. Dr Cheyne maintains that 
we should place the scene of this 
narrative in North Arabia instead of 
in Babylon (see Encycl. Bib. 4919), 
but this theory does not meet with 
any support from other critics of 
weight. The first part of the name 
points to a mound indicating the 
ruins of a previously existing town. 
The latter part, Abib (i.e. young ears 
of barley), is familiar to us as the 
name of a month (Ex. xiii 4), the 
month when the young ears of com 

came into existence. JBut it is 
doubtful whether this is really the 
meaning of the word in Tel-abib. 
The early translators certainly did 
not think so, for they did not make 
a proper name of the place to which 
the prophet came at all, but trans- 
lated it; thus the Vulgate says: — 
' to a heap of new fruits,' whilst the 
Septuagint seems to have read some- 
thing quite different: 'I came to 
the captivity in a state of exaltation, 
and went around those dwelling by 
the river Chebar.' If it be a place, 
Tel-abib has not yet been identified : 
and, if the name was Babylonian, 
its meaning would be Deluge-mound 
{Encycl Bib. 4920). The R.V. 
marg. rendering 'sat' recalls Ps. 
cxxxvii. 1 ' By the rivers of Babylon, 
there we sat down.' The sitting 
of the captives implies their dis- 
consolate state (cp. Lam. ii. 10: 
Job ii. 13 where there is the same 
period of seven days), which in- 
fected the prophet also. The word 
'astonied' implies the stupor of 
grief Such a state of intense pros- 
tration under grief is attributed 
to Ezra (ix. 3 : cp. Neh. i. 4). The 
period of seven days was a re- 
cognized time of mourning (see Gen. 
1. 10 : Job ii. 13). 



III. 16-18 

DOOM, B.C. 592. Chapters III. 16— VII. 

V. A further Charge to the Prophet, iii. 16-21. 

16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the 

17 word of the Lord came unto me, saying. Son of man, 
I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel : 
therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them 

18 warning from me. When I say unto the wicked. Thou 
shalt surely die ; and thou givest him not warning, nor 
speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save 

16-21. The seven days over, a 
fresh charge is given to the prophet 
It looks forward especially to the 
prophecies contained in chaps, 
xviii., xxxiii., and is a summary 
of them. The prophet is to be 
a watchman (xxxiii. 7 : the idea 
is worked out in xxxiii. 1-9 : 
op. Heb. xiii. 17). The warning 
he was to give was of danger 
from the guilt of sin, and it was 
to be a heaven-sent warning. All 
responsibility on the part of the 
prophet was to cease with the 
delivery of his message but not 
before. The sentence of death for 
the sinner was the one announced 
from the beginning (Gen. ii. 17). 
Definite individual responsibility for 
moral character is more plainly 
asserted than perhaps it had ever 
been before. 'His blood will I re- 
quire ' is a form of expression used 
because to the Hebrew blood was 
an equivalent for life (Gen. ix. 4). 

20. and I lay a stumUinghlock 

before him] Cp. Jer. vi. 21 and our 
Lord's use of Is. vi. 9, 10. Such a 
case can only occur in the person oi 
one who continues in a course of 
hardened sin, e.g. the Pharaoh of the 

It was a definite article of Jewish 
belief that good works had some- 
thing meritorious about them and 
went up ' for a memorial before God' 
(Acts X. 4). Thus Nehemiah says : — 
' Remember unto me, O my God, for 
good, all that I have done for this 
people' (v. 19: cp. xiii. 14, 22, 31). 
This memorial is to be blotted out in 
the case of the unrepentant sinner. 

This commission to the prophet 
brings into distinct prominence one 
side of the prophetic office, which is 
sometimes forgotten — that of the 
teller-forth of God's will for his 
people, without any definite an- 
nouncement of future events. Sin 
and its consequences, that is to be 
the leading idea of Ezekiel's pro- 

III. 18-23 EZEKIEL 15 

his life ; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity ; 

19 but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou 
warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, 
nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity ; 

20 but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, when a righteous 
man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit in- 
iquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: 
because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in 
his sin, and his righteous deeds which he hath done shall 
not be remembered : but his blood will I require at thine 

21 hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that 
the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely 
live, because he took warning ; and thou hast delivered 
thy souL 

vi. A renewal of the Prophefs Vision^ and the 
Charge repeated, iii. 22-27. 

22 And the hand of the Lord was there upon me ; and 
he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the ^ plain, and I will 

23 there talk with thee. Then I arose, and went forth into 
the ^ plain : and, behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, 

1 Or, valley 

22-27. A further manifestation gin) on which the mound Tel-abib, 

of God is disclosed to the prophet the place where the prophet abode, 

similar to what had gone before, stood. The vision is identical with 

and a further instruction is given to the previous vision ; and its effect 

him, laying upon him a command was the same. But the instruction 

of temporary silence to be followed given to the prophet was different, 

by a declaration to his rebellious He was to shut himself up in his 

fellow-countrymen, as the com- house, and not deliver any message 

mencement of his prophetic utter- until he was bidden. The subject 

ances. 'The hand of the Lord' is of the verb in the sentence Hhey 

upon him as before (i. 3). This shall lay bands upon thee ' is obscure, 

time he is called 'into the plain,' especially as it is said later (iv. 8) 

cp. the ' plain in the land of Shinar ' ' I will lay bands upon thee.' The 

(Gen. xi. 2), where Shinar is identical Hebrew word is probably wrongly 

with Babylonia. It is here the pointed in the Massoretic text and 

plain (hardly ' valley ' as in the mar- should be read as a passive, ' bands 


as the glory which I saw by the river Chebar : and I fell 

24 on my face. Then the spirit entered into me, and set me 
upon my feet ; and he spake with me, and said unto me, 

25 Go, shut thyself within thine house. But thou, son of 
man, behold, they shall lay bands upon thee, and shall 
bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among 

26 them : and I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of 
thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to 

27 them a reprover : for they are a rebellious house. But 
when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou 
shalt say unto them. Thus saith the Lord God : He that 
heareth, let him hear ; and he that forbeareth, let him 
forbear : for they are a rebellious house. 

vii. The first of a series (iv. — v. 1-4) of symbolic actions 
to illustrate the siege of Jerusalem: the tile and the 
iron pan. iv. 1-3. 

The whole of this section (iv. — v. 1-4) is intended to pourtray the prophet's 
occupation during his time of silence. Though he is shut up in his house 
and abstains from all prophetic utterance, he is accessible to those who come 
to see him and to observe his actions. 

The actions which the prophet is bidden to perform must have gone on 
within the same period. To our prosaic western minds it seems diflScult to 
imagine that the prophet would do such things as he is bidden to do here. 
But Oriental habits of thought and action are far different from ours. 
When we think of the actions of a Simeon Stylites, or of some of the ascetics 
even in these days in India, we may well hesitate to say that it was 
impossible for Ezekiel to do them— even to the constant lying upon one 
side for so many days. 

Such actions as those of Ezekiel would appeal naturally to his fellow- 
countrymen. Other prophets had acted in similar ways before. Isaiah, for 

shall be laid upon thee.' The idea 
of the tongue cleaving to the roof 
of the mouth is met with elsewhere 
(Job xxix. 10 : Ps. cxxxvii 6 : Lam. 
iv. 4: cp. also Ps. xxii. 15 'my 
tongue cleaveth to my jaws'). The 
opening of the mouth is alluded to 
again in xxiv. 27, xxix. 21. The free- 
will of the hearers is asserted, as in 

Rev. xxii. 11, though the turn of 
the sentence is not quite the same : 
' He that is unrighteous, let him do 
unrighteousness still: and he that 
is filthy, let him be made filthy still : 
and he that is righteous, let him do 
righteousness still : and he that is 
holy, let him be made holy stilL' 



instance, ' walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder 
upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia' (xx. 3). Jeremiah wore a girdle with- 
out putting it in water, and then hid it in a hole of the rock (xiii. 1-5). 
Similar actions have appealed to Oriental minds at other times. Agabus 
the prophet from Judaea taking St Paul's girdle and binding his own 
feet and hands as symbolical of what was to happen to the owner of the 
girdle is a case in point. It was this appeal to outward actions and 
surroundings that made our Lord's teaching so attractive to his hearers. 
The finding nothing but leaves on the fig-tree and its cursing in consequence 
is a notable example of this ; and it is to satisfy the natural craving of many 
minds that external symbolism has found so marked a place as it has in 
many forms of Christian worship. 

It has been questioned how long the prophet's silence is supposed to be 
maintained. It seems quite clear that it terminates at v. 4. The prophet 
had been told to prepare his message with the words, ' Thus saith the Lord 
God.' V. 5 begins with these identical words and they are followed by what 
is to all intents and purposes an explanation of the actions of the time of 
silence. Others have held that the silence lasted till the news of the fall of 
Jerusalem reached Ezekiel (xxxiii. 22), but the passage referred to, taken in 
conjunction with what goes before (xxiv. 26, 27), implies rather that the 
prophet had to pass through various periods of enforced silence. 

IV. 1 Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay 

it before thee, and pourtray upon it a city, even Jerusalem : 

2 and lay siege against it, and build forts against it, and 

rV". 1-3. The tile and the iron of battering rams is also mentioned 

PAN. The prophet is himself in sym- twice later in this book (xxi. 22 : 

bolical action to take part in the siege xxvi. 9). The prophet himself is out- 

of the city. For 'set thy face toward' side the rampart of the besiegers, 

(v. 3), cp. XX. 46 : xxi. 2 : the deter- which is represented by the ' iron 

mined character of the siege is pan.' The subjects to be pourtrayed 

implied by the expression. Over on the tile remind us of the graphic 

and over again in this book the illustrations of sieges and fightings 

prophet has to act a part as a sign to be seen on the walls of the palaces 

to his fellow-countrymen (xii. 6, 11 : or temples in Babylonia. Some of 

xxiv. 24, 27). In this way they were the tablets found in Babylonia have 

to be informed about the events on them plans of cities. Illustrations 

that were occurring in their native of some of them can be seen in Toy's 

land. The regular details of siege Ezekiel (p. 98), where also may be 

work were to be pourtrayed on found a pictorial attempt to illustrate 

the tile or tablet. Nebuchadrezzar the appearance of the wheels of 

built forts against Jerusalem (2 K. Ezekiel's vision. Pictures, derived 

XXV. 1). The casting up of mounts from the monuments, illustrating the 

is constantly alluded to in this book operations of a siege can be seen in 

(xvii. 17: xxi. 22: xxvi. 8). The use Encycl. Bib. art 'Siege.' 'A striking 


iv. «- 

cast up a mount against it ; set camps also against it, and 
3 plant battering rams against it round about. And take 
thou unto thee an iron ^pan, and set it for a wall of iron 
between thee and the city : and set thy face toward it, 
and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against 
it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel. 

Tiii. The second symbolic action : — the prophet to lie first 
on his left side and then on his right side, and to 
have limited rations for a set time. iv. 4-17. 

4 Moreover lie thou upon thy left side, and lay the 
iniquity of the house of Israel upon it : according to the 

1 Or, flat plate 

illustration of Ezek. iv. 3 is furnished 
by Doughty {Ar. Des. i. 593), who 
describes an iron-plated door in the 
castle of Hayil : " the plates (in the 
indigence of their arts) are the 
shield-like iron pans (tannur) upon 
which the town house-wives bake 
their girdle-bread"' {Encycl. Bib. 
891). Some have tried to find in 
the iron pan a symbol of the barrier 
that there was between God, as 
represented by His prophet, and 
His people, but this can scarcely be 
said to be contemplated in the 
action here described. 

4-17. The second symbolic 
ACTION. The 'son of man' is to 
bear the iniquity of his people, the 
house of Israel as well as the house 
of Judah, as he lies first upon his 
left side and then upon his right 
side. He was to be the people per- 
sonified, as it were, and to go through 
in action all the horrors of the siege, 
some of which were to cause him 
great distress of soul because of the 
un cleanness and pollution which 
they involved. A day for a year 

is the recognized proportion of 
punishment (cp. Num. xiv. 34, and 
the days and weeks of Daniel's 
prophecies, ix. 24-27 : xii. 11-13), 

There are great difficulties con- 
nected with the number of the days 
(for years) in this passage. To begin 
with, according to the Hebrew text, 
the number of days for the prophet 
to lie on his left side is 390 and on 
his right side 40, and yet when the 
time comes for him to store up 
provisions for the period of the siege 
{v. 9), the provisions are only to last 
390 days. According to Jeremiah 
(xxxix. 1 : lii. 4-7) the actual siege 
lasted from the tenth day of the 
tenth month of the ninth year of 
Zedekiah's reign until the ninth day 
of the fourth month of the eleventh 
year of the same reign. This con- 
siderably exceeds the 430 days of 
the passage in Ezekiel, which, how- 
ever, does not necessarily imply that 
the commencement of the siege and 
of the prophet's lying on his side 
were co-terminous. This is one 
difficulty, but a still greater one 

IV. 4-9 



number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it, thou shalt 

6 bear their iniquity. For I have appointed the years of 

their iniquity to be unto thee a number of days, even 

three hundred and ninety days : so shalt thou bear the 

6 iniquity of the house of Israel. And again, when thou 
hast accomplished these, thou shalt lie on thy right side, 
and shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah : forty 
days, each day for a year, have I appointed it unto thee. 

7 And thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, 
with thine arm uncovered ; and thou shalt prophesy 

8 against it. And, behold, I lay bands upon thee, and thou 
shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou 

9 hast accomplished the days of thy siege. Take thou also 

arises when we ask what periods 
of transgression of 390 years and 40 
years respectively does the prophecy 
contemplate? If we reckon 390 
years backward from the fall of 
Samaria (722 B.C.) we are carried 
to a date 40 years preceding the 
usually accepted date for the acces- 
sion of Saul. But, if (by a com- 
parison of vv. 5, 6, 9) we come to 
the conclusion that 390 in v. 4 is 
a mistake of a scribe for 350, we find 
ourselves at the actual date (1072b.c.) 
given for the accession of Saul when 
it may be said in one sense that the 
kingdom of Israel began, and also 
the period of transgression may be 
held to have commenced. The num- 
ber '40' often seems to have a sym- 
bolical sense ascribed to it in the Old 
Testament (cp. e.g. Numb. xiv. 34: 
1 K. xix. 8), and not to have been 
used always with exact numerical 
accuracy. It may be taken here 
to refer to short periods when the 
kings of Judah were dallying with 
the Assyrians and trying to seek an 
alliance on equal terms with that 
great kingdom. That they had done 

so in time past is clear from xxi. 12, 
13. In especial we may refer to 
the reign of Ahaz (2 K. xvii.), and 
the embassy early in Ze chariah 's 
reign (Jer. xxix. 3), perhaps also to 
the treatment of Merodach-Baladan's 
ambassadors (Is. xxxix.). 

The Septuagint translator either 
had a different text before him or 
felt the difiiculties that beset the 
text as it stands, and proceeded to 
emend it by inserting '150' in v. 4, 
reading '190' for '390' in v. 5 and 
making it the total of 150 + 40; and 
also reading '190' in v. 9. This 
150 years is apparently intended to 
represent the period between the 
fall of Samaria and the destruction 
of Jerusalem (722-588 B.C.), whilst 
the 40 years are, in round numbers, 
the years from the fall of Jerusalem 
to the Decree of Cyrus, though the 
Captivity was generally reckoned to 
have lasted 70 years which were 
reckoned from Jehoiakim's reign 
(606-536 B.C.). 

Others again seeing that 390 -f- 40 
= 430 have compared this 430 years 
with the 430 years of Ex. xii. 40: 





IV. 9-14 

unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and 
millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make 
thee bread thereof ; according to the number of the days 
that thou shalt lie upon thy side, even three hundred and 

10 ninety days, shalt thou eat thereof. And thy meat which 
thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day : 

11 from time to time shalt thou eat it. And thou shalt drink 
water by measure, the sixth part of an hin : from time to 

12 time shalt thou drink. And thou shalt eat it as barley 
cakes, and thou shalt bake it in their sight with dung that 

13 Cometh out of man. And the Lord said. Even thus shall 
the children of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the 

14 nations whither I will drive them. Then said I, Ah Lord 


Gal. iii. 17, but it can scarcely be 
conceived that this was the period 
the prophecy had in view. 

The uncovering of the prophet's 
arm {v. 7) indicates, by an outward 
sign, what is immediately said, that 
his prophecy was to be against 
Jerusalem (cp. Is. Iii. 10), for he 
imcovers it to set his arm free to do 
the work which has to be done; 
and, just as in the last chapter 
(iii. 25), so here restraint is laid 
upon the prophet. It was to be his 
siege as well as the siege of Jeru- 
salem. During his siege he was to 
put himself on rations of the food 
which he had stored up to begin 
with. The varieties of food in the 
one vessel indicate the impossibility 
owing to scarcity of gathering enough 
of one kind of meal. The word 
'meat' in the English Bible often 
means 'food.' That rations were 
served out during the siege of Jeru- 
salem we see in the case of Jeremiah 
who received daily in 'the court of 
the guard' 'a loaf of bread out of the 
bakers' street, until all the bread in 
the city was spent' (Jer. xxxvii. 21). 

To estimate the actual amount of 
a day's rations is difficult because 
the standards varied so much and we 
are not told whether it is the Baby- 
lonian or Hebrew shekel which is 
intended here. If we take a mean 
value, perhaps about 8 ozs. is the 
daily amount of bread which was to 
be eaten, though it was to be of a 
poor mixed character, and not of 
the quality of barley bread. The 
allowance of water would be about 
1^ pints or rather more, if we take 
the hin as about 1 1 gallons. Scarcity 
of fuel also is to cause the prophet 
great distress, in his fear of eating 
unclean food. The 'Ah Lord God ! ' 
is here as elsewhere a protest against 
God's ruling (cp. ix. 8: xi. 13: xx. 49). 
We may compare St Peter's 'Not 
so. Lord; for I have never eaten 
anything that is common or imclean ' 
(Acts X. 14). Just as to eat of meat 
from an animal that died a natural 
death or was torn of beasts involved 
ceremonial uncleanness (Lev. vii. 24), 
so the use of the fuel indicated in 
V. 5 made the prophet shrink from 
that which was baked with it, for he 


God ! behold, my soul hath not been polluted : for from 
my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which 
dieth of itself, or is torn of beasts ; neither came there 

15 abominable flesh into my mouth. Then he said unto me, 
See, I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and 

16 thou shalt prepare thy bread thereon. Moreover he said 
unto me. Son of man, behold, I will break the staff" of 
bread in Jerusalem : and they shall eat bread by weight, 
and with carefulness ; and they shall drink water by 

17 measure, and with astonishment : that they may want 
bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and 
pine away in their iniquity. 

ix. The third symbolic action with the sharp sword 
or barber s razor, and the prophet's hair. v. 1-4. 

V. 1 And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp sword, 
as a barber's razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt 
cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard : 

had always kept from 'abominable Lev. xxvi. 39) would be because of 

flesh,' though there were no doubt the siege which was caused by their 

temptations to partake of forbidden iniquity. 

food in Babylon. An alternative V. 1-4. The third symbolic 

fuel is allowed the prophet, almost action. The sword as razor, and 

as repulsive to Western ideas as the the prophet's hair. In order to shew 

first, but constantly prepared, stored that this action was symbolic the 

up, and used to-day by the Bedouin, prophet uses a sharp sword instead 

The ' staff of bread ' (the staff of life of a barber's razor. For the use of a 

upon which man supports himself) razor to imply destruction cp. Is. vii. 

occurs again in v. 16 : xiv. 13 and 20. The divine judgement is to be 

also in Lev. xxvi. 26 : Ps. cv. 16 exercised exactly, this is the in- 

(cp. Is. iii. 1). When the staff is terpretation of the 'balances to 

broken man cannot lean upon it to weigh.' ' Round about it ' in ??. 2 

support himself. In Jerusalem their signifies 'round about the city.' The 

bread and water was to be measured city referred to is the city depicted 

out like the prophet's. To drink on the clay tablet. Vv. 2, 3 indicate 

water ' with astonishment ' (cp. ' as- that, after the fire of the sacking of 

tonied,' iii. 15) implies the state of the city, and the sword of slaughter 

stupefaction into which the siege in it, as well as the sword unsheathed 

would throw the people : whilst their in pursuit of the scattered fugitives 

pining away (cp. xxiv. 23 : xxxiiL 10 : had each exacted its third of the 




then take thee balances to weigh, and ^divide the hair 

2 A third part shalt thou burn in the fire in the midst of 
the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled; and 
thou shalt take a third part, and smite with the sword 
round about it ; and a third part thou shalt scatter to the 

3 wind, and I will draw out a sword after them. And thou 
shalt take ^ thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy 

4 skirts. And of these again shalt thou take, and cast them 
into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire ; 
therefrom shall a fire come forth into all the house of 

X. The first of a series of five prophecies consequent upon 
and interpretative of the three symbolic auctions, as fore- 
telling the tripartite destruction of the people, v. 5-17. 

5 Thus saith the Lord God : This is Jerusalem : I have 
set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are 

1 Heb. divide them. ^ Heb. thence. 

whole number of victims, there was 
to bean infinitesimally small remnant 
left in the land (Jer. Hi. 16), and 
that remnant was to pass through 
the furnace of affliction (Jer. xlii. 
18 : xliv. 16). The last clause of v. 4 
is of very doubtful meaning. Is the 
fire still a destructive fire, or is it 
a fire of purification ? The former 
seems to be excluded by the state- 
ment that it is to go forth *into 
all the house of Israel.' It seems 
more natural then to say that the 
fire of devastation became the fire 
of purification for those that were 
left, just as it is so often asserted 
that the great Fire of London puri- 
fied the city from any further con- 
sequences of the plague which had 
devastated it a year before. 

5-1 7. With the completion of the 
instructions to the prophet as to his 

symbolic actions comes also the un- 
sealing of his lips that he may explain 
what he is doing or has done. This 
is implied by the opening words 
'Thus saith the Lord God,' with 
which the prophet had been twice 
ordered to deliver his message (iii. 
11, 27). They had seen the tablet 
with the sketch upon it; the 
lecture upon the illustrations now 
commences: — 'This is Jerusalem,' 
a city which had done worse than 
its neighbours, although it was 
looked upon by its own inhabitants 
as the centre of the world, and 
although it had had greater oppor- 
tunities and privileges than they, 
because of its divine institutions. 
The word translated 'ye are tur- 
bulent ' («?. 7) is a very doubtful one, 
and is most probably to be corrected 
into one meaning ' ye have rebelled,' 

V. 5-IO 


6 round about her. And she hath ^rebelled against my 
judgements in doing wickedness more than the nations, 
and against my statutes more than the countries that are 
round about her : for they have rejected my judgements, 
and as for my statutes, they have not walked in them. 

7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God : Because ye are 
turbulent more than the nations that are round about 
you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have 
kept my judgements, neither have done after the ^ordin- 

8 ances of the nations that are round about you ; therefore 
thus saith the Lord God : Behold, I, even I, am against 
thee ; and I will execute judgements in the midst of thee 

9 in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that 
which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any 

10 more the like, because of all thine abominations. There- 

^ Or, changed my judgements into wickedness ^ Heb. judgements. 

which gives a better sense. The 
twofold division into statutes and 
judgements is one which constantly 
recurs; the word 'ordinances,' as the 
marginal note indicates, represents 
the same Hebrew word as 'judge- 
ments.' The distinction between the 
two (cp. Driver on Deut. iv. 1) is 
that ' statutes' are actual enactments 
of principles in the diflf^erent 
branches of law, whilst 'judgements' 
are the applications of these prin- 
ciples by judicial sentences. In- 
stances of 'judgements' may be found 
in Lev. xxiv. 10-23: Num. xv. 
32-36. The law-abiding life is 
often spoken of as a path to walk in 
{v. 7) or a way to run along (Ps. 
cxix. 32). *I am against thee' is 
another constantly recurring phrase 
in this book (xiii. 8 : xxi. 3, etc.), as 
also is ' I will execute judgements ' 
(xi. 9 : xvi. 41 : xxiii. 10). This an- 
tagonism and judgement had been 
indicated in the first symbolical 

action by the prophet being bidden 
to lay siege against the city (iv. 3). 
The nations were to be witnesses of 
the punishment and defilement of 
the people (cp. xxii. 16), a punish- 
ment diflFerent from any other, 'for 
under the whole heaven hath not 
been done as hath been done upon 
Jerusalem,' said a later prophet 
(Dan. ix. 12: cp. Bar. ii. 2, which 
is followed by a reminiscence of 
V. 10). The prophecy of the first 
half of «?. 10 corresponds with Jer. 
xix. 9 : cp. Lev. xxvi. 29 : Deut 
xxviii. 53 : Lam. ii. 20 : iv. 10. An 
instance of such an occurrence is 
given us in the account of the siege 
of Samaria in Jehoram's reign (2 K. 
vi. 28, 29), and this scarcity of food 
had been symbolized in the prophet's 
second action. The dispersal of the 
people is a constant theme of 
prophecy (cp. xii. 14, 15 : xvii. 21), 
and in later ages the term Diaspora^ 
i.e. Dispersion, had quite a technical 



V. lo-^^^ 

fore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, 
and the sons shall eat their fathers ; and I will execute 
judgements in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will 
111 scatter unto all the winds. Wherefore, as I live, saith 
the Lord God, surely, because thou hast defiled my sanc- 
tuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine 
abominations, therefore will I also ^diminish thee ; neither 

12 shall mine eye spare, and I also will have no pity. A 
third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with 
famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee ; and 
a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee ; 
and a third part I will scatter unto all the winds, and 

13 will draw out a sword after them. Thus shall mine anger 
be accomplished, and I will ^ satisfy my fury ^upon them, 
and I will be comforted : and they shall know that I the 

1 Or, withdraw mine eye that it shall not s'pare Another reading is, 
hew thee down. ^ Heb. bring to rest. ^ Or, toward 

sense. In the New Testament we 
meet with ' the twelve tribes which 
are of the Dispersion' (James i. 1 : 
cp. 2 Mace. i. 27) and 'sojourners 
of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, 
Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia' 
(1 Pet. i. 1); and in St John's Gospel 
(vii. 35) 'the Jews' are represented 
as saying of our Lord: — 'Will He 
go unto the Dispersion among the 
Greeks, and teach the Greeks?' 
The next verses (11, 12) deal with 
the third symbolic action, and are 
introduced with a solemn assevera- 
tion (cp. xiv. 16, 18, 20 : xvi. 48, etc.). 
The way in which the sanctuary 
was defiled was exhibited to Ezekiel 
' in the visions of God ' (viii. : cp. 
vii. 20 : xi. 18, 21 : xxiii. 39). As 
the marginal note shews, there are 
difficulties about the words 'will 
I also diminish thee.' In addition 
to the meanings given there, another 
is possible, derived from xvi. 27 and 

referring to the cutting off of neces- 
sary supplies. The verse looks back 
to the cutting off of the prophet's 
beard, and the reading of the text 
accepted by R.V. has the verb which 
is iLsed of the beard in other 
passages (Is. xv. 2 : Jer. xlviii. 37). 
For the last words of the verse, 
cp. vii. 4, 9 : viii. 18 : ix. 5, 10. The 
details of the third action are 
explained, and remind us of the 
three alternatives put before David 
by God, three (in 2 Sam. seven) years 
of famine, three months of pursuit 
by the sword of the enemy, three 
days' pestilence (1 Chr. xxi. 11, 12). 
All three are now to come upon the 
land (vi. 11, 12: cp. Jer. xv. 2) 
and each is to destroy a third 
part of the population. It is only 
in this way that the divine wrath 
can be laid to rest (R.V. marg. 
cp. vi. 12 : vii. 8 : xvi. 42 : xx. 8, 21 : 
xxi. 17: xxiv. 13: Lam. iv. 11). 

V. I3-VI. 



Lord have spoken in my zeal, when I have accomplished 

14 my fury upon them. Moreover I will make thee a desola- 
tion and a reproach, among the nations that are round 

15 about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. So it shall be 
a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonish- 
ment, unto the nations that are round about thee, when 
I shall execute judgements in thee in anger and in fury, 

16 and in furious rebukes : I the Lord have spoken it : when 
I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, that are 
for destruction, which I will send to destroy you ; and 
I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your 

17 staff of bread ; and I will send upon you famine and evil 
beasts, and they shall bereave thee ; and pestilence and 
blood shall pass through thee ; and I will bring the sword 
upon thee : I the Lord have spoken it. 

xi. The second prophecy of the^ series : — an address to the 
natural characteristics of the country — the mountains, 
the hillSj the watercourses, the valleys, vi. 1-10. 

VI. 1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

The word 'zeal' used here of God, 
as can be seen from other passages 
(xxxvi. 5, 6 : xxxviii. 19) indicates 
God's jealousy for His honour, as in 
the second commandment, 'I the 
Lord thy God am a jealous God' (cp. 
the ' godly jealousy,' mar^. 'jealousy 
of God,' of St Paul, 2 Cor. xi. 2). 
The Hebrew word for ' instruction ' 
{v. 15) is better omitted as in the 
Septuagint ; if it is left in, it must 
have the meaning 'an example of 
warning.' The 'furious rebukes' 
recur in xxv. 17. ' The evil arrows 
of famine ' is a unique expression : 
but because it is one of the weapons 
of destruction which are discharged 
against the land, famine is treated 

as coming from the bow of God's 
wrath. In this verse (16) the second 
action of the prophet and the 
declaration made at the end of it 
(iv. 16, 17) is recurred to, with the 
addition of a fresh horror in v. 17. 
Evil beasts (cp. xiv. 15 : xxxiii. 27 : 
Deut. xxxii. 24) are to be sent upon 
them as a punishment for their 
desertion of God, just as is repre- 
sented to have happened to the 
immigrants into the territory of the 
Northern Kingdom after the de- 
portation of the Ten Tribes (2 K. 
xvii. 25). Pestilence and blood are 
combined xiv. 19: xxxviii. 22. 

VI. 1-7. Just as the prophet 
was to set his face toward the city 



2 Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, 

3 and prophesy ^unto them, and say. Ye mountains of Israel, 
hear the word of the Lord God : Thus saith the Lord God 
to the mountains and to the hills, to the ^ watercourses 
and to the valleys : Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword 

4 upon you, and I will destroy your high places. And your 
altars shall become desolate, and your sun-images shall be 
broken : and I will cast down your slain men before your 

6 idols. And I will lay the carcases of the children of Israel 
before their idols ; and I will scatter your bones round 

6 about your altars. In all your dwelling places the cities 
shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate ; 
that your altars may be laid waste and ^made desolate, 
and your idols may be broken and cease, and your sun- 
images may be hewn down, and your works may be 

^ Or, against ^ Or, ravines ^ Or, bear their guilt 

of Jerusalem (iv. 3 : cp. xxi. 2), so 
now he is to set his face toward 
the mountains of Israel, which are 
constantly mentioned in this book 
(xix. 9 : xxxiii. 28 : xxxiv. 13, 14 : 
XXXV. 12 : xxxvii. 22 : xxxviii. 8 : 
xxxix. 2, 4, 17). In a later chapter 
(xxxvi. 1-12) we have the mountains 
of Israel apostrophised again (cp. 
Ps. cxlviii. 9 : Song of 3 Ch. 53) and 
the same enumeration of moun- 
tains and hills, watercourses and 
valleys also occurs (xxxvi. 4, 6). 
Upon the mountains and hills stood 
the unauthorised as well as the 
idolatrous high places, and this to 
such an extent that in Ahab's time 
it could be said by the Syrians 'Their 
god is a god of the hills.... The Lord 
is a god of the hills, but he is not 
a god of the valleys' (1 K. xx. 23, 
28). It is for this reason that the 
mountains are in particular de- 
nounced. The watercourses {marg. 
ravines) were what are well known 

by the technical name of wadyt 
and correspond very much to the 
'nullahs' of India. In them too, and 
in the valleys, as, for instance, in 
the valley of the children of Hinnom 
(Gehenna), some of the worst forms 
of worship were carried on (Is. Ivii 
5, 6 : cp. also Lev. xxvi. 30). The 
sun-images (Lev. xxvi. 30 : Is. xvii. 8 : 
xxvii. 9 : 2 Ch. xiv. 5 : xxxiv. 4, 7 : 
cp. 2 K. xxiii. 5) represent a form 
of worship against which a caution 
is uttered in Deut. iv. 19, and a law 
is promulged (Deut. xvii. 3), and it 
is recognized in Job xxxi. 26. The 
older versions of the Old Testament 
do not seem to have had any very 
clear idea of what was meant by the 
hammanim or sun-images. The 
word never occurs in the singular 
in the Bible, and the ' images ' were 
most likely obelisks. At Carthage 
and in Phoenicia one of the titles of 
a Divinity was Baal-hamman, the 
lord of the sun-obelisk. The worship 

VI. 6-9 



7 ^abolished. And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, 

8 and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Yet will I leave 
a remnant, in that ye shall have some that escape the 
sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered 

9 through the countries. And they that escape of you shall 
remember me among the nations whither they shall be 
carried captives, how that ^I have been broken with their 
whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with 
their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols : and they 

1 Heb. blotted out. ^ Or, according to most of the ancient 
versions, I have broken their <&c. 

of the sun extended in all directions. 
Ezekiel describes the worship of the 
sun in Jerusalem itself, which he 
saw 'in the visions of God' (viii. 16, 
17), where also were the horses and 
chariots of the sun (2 K. xxiii. 11), 
which were destroyed by Josiah. 
The word used for 'idols' at the end 
of the verse is an opprobrious term 
and implies that they were as dung 
(cp. the name Beelzebul) or that 
they were mere logs. 

Notwithstanding Josiah's refor- 
mation the worship of the sun still 
survived when this prophecy was 
uttered. The casting of the dead 
bodies of men before the idols was 
(see Lev. xxvi. 20) an addition of 
one pollution to another. There 
seems to be a constant recollection 
of the reforms of Josiah (cp. v. 5 
with 2 K. xxiii. 14, 16), implying 
that his reforms would have to be 
done over again. The work of de- 
struction was to go on everywhere 
(cp. xii. 20). In v. 6 the word 
translated 'made desolate' probably 
means 'treated as guilty'; but a very 
small alteration of the text gives the 
other meaning. The 'works' men- 
tioned are the obelisks, images, and 
high places, especially the images 

(cp. Is. xli 29). The slain men 
referred to more than once are those 
of the second and third parts of the 
prophet's third symbolical action 
(V. 12). 

7. and ye shall know that I am. 
the Lord] This is the eflFect over 
and over again anticipated in these 
prophecies of trouble and disaster 
(vii. 4: xi. 10, 12, etc.). 

8-10. A remnant shall escape 
and be in captivity (xii. 16: xiv. 22: 
cp. vii. 16). This remnant shall 
remember the Lord, and their own 
wicked ways (xvi. 61 : xx. 43: xxxvi. 
31). The expression 'I have been 
broken with their whorish heart' 
can scarcely be right, the marginal 
rendering 'I have broken their 
whorish heart' is to be preferred. 
The whorish heart is an instance 
of the language that is often used 
in the Old Testament of Israel 
standing, in its relation to God, in 
the position of a bride false to her 
husband. The whoring takes the 
form of going after other gods instead 
of being true to God (cp. Ex. xxxiv. 
15). The revulsion is to follow in a 
state of self-loathing (xx. 43 : xxxvi. 
31), and a conviction of the truth of 
God and the reality of His promises. 



shall loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils" 
which they have committed in all their abominations. 
10 And they shall know that I am the Lord : I have not said 
in vain that I would do this evil unto them. 

xii. The third prophecy of the series : — a dervumdation of 
idolatry as the cause of the tripartite destruction of the 
people, vi. 11-14. 

11 Thus saith the Lord God : Smite with thine hand, and 
stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas ! because of all the evil 
abominations of the house of Israel : for they shall fall by 

11-14. A further oracle of the 
Lord, really a restatement of the 
previous denunciations. The smiting 
with the hand (xxi. 14, 17: xxii 
13 : cp. Num. xxiv. 10), and the 
stamping with the foot (xxv. 6) are 
signs not of sorrow but of indigna- 
tion at the wickedness of the people. 
The sword, the famine and the 
pestilence are once more (cp. v. 12) 
threatened. The pestilence will at- 
tack those of the people who dwell 
at a distance from the city, but this 
does not imply that it will not also 
have its victims within Jerusalem 
(see vii. 15). The division of the 
people into those that are far off and 
those that are near is a familiar one 
both in the Old and New Testaments 
(Is. Ivii. 19: Acts ii. 39: Eph. ii. 17), 
though in the New Testament the 
phrase applies to the distinction 
between Jew and Gentile. The 
word translated 'besieged' (marg. 
'preserved') is of very doubtful 
meaning : it is in form the same 
word which occurs in Is. i. 8 'as a 
besieged city.' If the marginal ren- 
dering is preferred, it must mean 
' he that is preserved from the pes- 

tilence and the sword.' The same 
preference for the hills and the tops 
of the mountains as the place for 
idolatrous worship is denounced by 
Hosea (iv. 13), where the 'green 
tree' (cp. Jer. ii. 20) is defined as 
the poplar and the terebinth. There 
seems, however, to be little doubt 
that the word rendered 'oak' by 
R.V. here really designates the 
'terebinth' (so marg.), Pistacia 
Terebinthits^ a shrub which lives to 
a great age, and sometimes de- 
velopes into a goodsized tree. 
The 'oak' of Hos. iv. 13 represents 
a different Hebrew word, and the 
terebinth of that passage is the oak 
of this (R.V. text). 

The worship indicated here is 
supposed to have had its origin in a 
form of nature worship which actually 
embodied tree-worship. At any rate, 
in the false worship of Canaan, the 
sacrifices were offered and the oracles 
were sought under the sacred trees. 
It may have been that, when the 
breeze stirred the leaves, the rustling 
sound was held to portend the 
presence and even perhaps the 
voice of the deity. It will be re- 


VI. II-I4 




^B 12 the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. He that 

^B is far off shall die of the pestilence ; and he that is near 

^H shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is 

^m ^besieged shall die by the famine : thus will I accomplish 

^B 13 my fury upon them. And ye shall know that I am the 

^H Lord, when their slain men shall be among their idols 

^B round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the 

^H tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and 

^K under every thick ^oak, the place where they did offer 

14 sweet savour to all their idols. And I will stretch out my 

hand upon them, and make the land desolate and waste, 

^from the wilderness toward Diblah, throughout all their 

habitations : and they shall know that I am the Lord. 

1 Or, preserved * Or, terebinth ' Or, more than 

membered, in this connection, that 
David was bidden (2 S. v. 24) to 
accept 'the sound of marching in 
the tops of the mulberry trees ' as a 
token that the Lord was going out 
before him and that he must bestir 
himself But, though the presence 
of the larger kinds of trees is asso- 
ciated with sacred places, there does 
not seem to be sufficient proof that 
they were themselves objects of 

The sweet savour of the sacrifice 
is mentioned instead of the sacrifice, 
for it was that which was pleasing 
to the deity (xvi. 19: xx. 28: cp. 
Gen. viii. 21). The form of expres- 
sion survives even in the New Testa- 
ment (Eph. V. 2: Phil. iv. 18: cp. 
2 Cor. ii. 15, 16). The stretching 
out of the hand was in chastisement 
(so XXV. 7, 13, 16: cp. Is. v. 25) in 
order to lay waste. 

The name Diblah is somewhat of 
a puzzle. Diblah or Diblath is the 

most frequently occurring form in 
the Septuagint of the name of the 
place which is called in the Hebrew 
Riblah, and a few Hebrew mss. read 
Riblah here. But we can scarcely 
imagine that Ezekiel would refer to 
Riblah here, for, though Riblah, a 
place still existing with the same 
name, was well within the borders of 
Solomon's empire, it was at least 
100 miles away from the nearest 
boundary even of the Northern 
Kingdom. Attempts have been made 
to identify the place with Almon- 
diblathaim (Numb, xxxiii. 46, 47), 
one of the camping places in the 
wilderness, and Beth-diblathaim( Jer. 
xlviii. 22), both of which were in the 
land of Moab, and near the edge of 
the Syrian desert. But all is pure 
conjecture, and we must be content 
to confess our ignorance. The mar- 
ginal rendering 'more than the 
wildeniess toward Diblah' is to be 


VII. iH5 

xiii. The fourth prophecy. A short annimncermnt 
of the coming end, vii. 1-4. 

VII. 1 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, 

2 saying, And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord GrOD unto 
the land of Israel, An end : the end is come upon the four 

3 corners of the land. Now is the end upon thee, and I 
will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee 
according to thy ways ; and I will bring upon thee all 

4 thine abominations. And mine eye shall not spare thee, 
neither will I have pity : but I will bring thy ways upon 
thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of 
thee : and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 

xiv. The fifth prophecy. A development of the last with 
all the horrors of the siege depicted, vii. 5-27. 

5 Thus saith the Lord God: An evil, an only evil ; behold, 

6 it Cometh. An end is come, the end is come, it awaketh 


LAND. In V. 2 it is equally per- 
missible to make the words 'unto 
the land of Israel' part of the oracle. 
The end is as good as present (cp. 
V. 6: Lam. iv. 18: Am. viii. 2: 
1 Thess. ii. 16). The consequence 
of all their evil-doing is to overtake 
them, and the wrath of God is to be 
imsparing and pitiless (v. 11). 'I 
will bring thy ways upon thee' is 
another phrase peculiar to this book 
(cp. ix. 10: xi. 21: xvi 43: xxii. 31). 
The burden is again taken up of 
prophecy after prophecy (see note 
on vi. 7), 'ye shall know that I am 
the Lord' ; that is the lasting result 
aimed at. There is some little con- 
fusion about the order of the verses 
at the beginning of this chapter. 

The third and fourth verses are placed 
by the Septuagint after vv. 8, 9. 


TO COME. There is just enough repeti- 
tion (and no more) in these prophecies 
to shew us that Ezekiel repeated his 
message of impending disaster to the 
people with whom he was living over 
and over again, to shew them that 
their brethren in Judah were without 
excuse and that their punishment 
was inevitable. 'An only evil' (v. 5) 
means one standing by itself, unique, 
a disaster diflferent from all others. 
V. 6 repeats the idea of v. 4, but here 
there is a play upon the words in the 
Hebrew for 'the end... it awaketh' 
(haqqec, heqic). In v. 7 we are met 
with a further diflBiculty, as to the 

VII. 6-ia EZEKIEL 31 

7 against thee; behold, it cometh. ^Thy doom is come unto 
thee, inhabitant of the land : the time is come, the day is 
near ; a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting, ^upon 

8 the mountains. Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon 
thee, and accomplish mine anger against thee, and will 
judge thee according to thy ways ; and I will bring upon 

9 thee all thine abominations. And mine eye shall not 
spare, neither will I have pity : I will bring upon thee 
according to thy ways, and thine abominations shall be in 
the midst of thee ; and ye shall know that I the Lord do 

10 smite. Behold, the day, behold, it cometh : thy doom is 
gone forth ; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded. 

11 Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness; ^none of 
them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of their 
wealth : neither shall there be *eminency among them. 

12 The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer 

1 Or, The turn Or, The crowning time ^ Or, from ' Or, not from them, 

nor from their multitude, nor from their wealth * Or, wailing for them 

meaning of the word translated be the result of what had preceded. 

* doom ' {marg. turn, or, crowning There is scarcely any need to insert 
time : A.V. the morning). It is not in v. 7 with R.V. a day of. The 
clear that it is recognized at all by * tumult ' is really ' discomfiture ' (so 
the Septuagint ; if it is, it was 1 S. xiv. 20, and other places for the 
considered to mean 'end.' The word same Hebrew expression). It was the 
occurs again in v. 10. The only other discomfiture that was to come upon 
passage in which it is found is them from their enemies as the 
Is. xxviii. 5 where it is translated instniments of the divine wrath. 

* diadem.' This meaning is just The pouring out of fury, a phrase 
possible in v. 10 (see later) but common in this book (ix. 8 : xiv. 19: 
not here. It may be that in the xx. 8, 13, 21, 33, 34: xx. 22: xxxvi. 
dislocation which the passage has 18), is connected with the idea of 
imdergone at some time or other, the cup of the wine of the fury of 
the word has crept in here from God (cp. Jer. xxv. 15). The verse 
f>. 10 instead of that meaning ' the in which it occurs corresponds with 
end': otherwise, and this is less pro- v. 3 in the previous oracle, as does 
bable, though it has some support v. 9 with v. 4. The word translated 
from the Arabic, it must be taken 'doom' (see v. 7) can in this verse 
as in R.V. 'doom,' that which comes equally well have its general meaning 
round to us in the circle of events. ' the diadem has gone forth ' ; the 
It is the end, the time, the day, clause then stands in parallelism 
ie. the end that must inevitably with the next words 'the rod hath 



VII. 1 4-1 8 

rejoice, nor the seller mourn : for wrath is upon all the 

13 multitude thereof. For the seller shall not return to that 
which is sold, ^although they be yet alive : for the vision 
is touching the whole multitude thereof, ^none shall 
return ; neither shall any strengthen himself ^in the 

14 iniquity of his life. They have blown the trumpet, and 
have made all ready ; but none goeth to the battle : for 

15 my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. The sword is 
without, and the pestilence and the famine within : he 
that is in the field shall die with the sword ; and he that is 

16 in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour hiuL But 
they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the 
mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, 

17 every one in his iniquity. All hands shall be feeble, and 

18 all knees shall be weak as water. They shall also gird 
themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them ; 

^ Heb. though their life be yet among the living. ^ Or, it shall not turn back 

^ Or, whose life is in his iniquity 

blossomed' Both clauses will then 
indicate the passing of righteous 
rule to be succeeded by a period of 
arrogancy and violence. If, however, 
the translation of the R.V. is pre- 
ferred the doom and the rod will 
indicate the chastisement and de- 
struction of Jerusalem by Babylon. 
In any case a time of lawlessness is 
to destroy all wealth and all com- 
mercial prosperity. The population 
and its wealth were alike to disappear 
(cp. xvii. 13). The last clause of 
t?. 11 reads like a note explaining 
the previous words which has found 
its way into the text: it is omitted 
in the best text of the Septuagint. 
The difficulties of interpretation in 
this chapter are partly due to the 
fact that it is cast in a more poetic 
strain than most of the rest of 
the book. In this time of trouble 

all would suffer alike, buyer and 
seller (so Is. xxiv. 2: cp. 1 Cor. vii. 
29, 30) ; all were to be aflfected ; even 
though some men's lives were pre- 
served, and though they assembled 
for the contest, they would neither 
enter into battle, nor would they 
return to the occupations of their 
life which had been involved in sin ; 
for, with the exception of an in- 
finitesimal minority, destruction in 
some form would overwhelm them 
all. This is clearly the general 
meaning of vv. 11-16, though the 
exact meaning of each clause is 
often obscure, and there is some 
confusion in the text. Vv. 11, 12 
and 13, 14 are like a strophe 
and antistrophe in a chorus of a 
Greek tragedy with the same con- 
cluding strain ' my wrath is upon all 
the multitude thereof.' The return 

VII. i8-2o 



and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all 

19 their heads. They shall cast their silver in the streets, 
and their gold shall be as an unclean thing ; their silver 
and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day 
of the wrath of the Lokd ; they shall not satisfy their 
souls, neither fill their bowels : because it hath been the 

20 stumblingblock of their iniquity. As for the beauty of his 
ornament, ^he set it in majesty : but they made the images 
of their abominations and their detestable things ^therein : 
therefore have I made it unto them as an unclean thing. 

^ Or, they turned it to pride ; and they dtc. ^ Or, thereof 

of the seller to what he had sold is 
an allusion to the return of anyone 
to his possessions in the year of 
jubilee (Lev. xxv. 10, 13). What 
the prophet saw ('the vision,' v. 13), 
and what he depicted by his symbolic 
actions was to aflfect the whole 
population. At v. 15 we come back 
to the threefold form of destruction 
which has been announced before 
(v. 2, 12: vi. 12), while the language 
used here of the sword and of the 
famine corresponds to that in Jere- 
miah (xiv. 18). The comparison of 
the mourning remnant of the people 
to mourning doves (cp. Is. xxxviii. 
14: lix. 11) does not seem to have 
occurred in all the ancient Hebrew 
copies (see the Septuagint), but it is 
a very natural comparison, and the 
dove is said to build its nest in the 
sides of the wadys. The flight to 
the mountains is recommended in 
similar circumstances by our Lord 
(Matt. xxiv. 16). The feebleness of 
the hands in times of trouble is a 
commonplace with the prophets 
(Is. xiii. 7 : Jer. vi. 24 : cp. Is. xxxv. 
3: Heb. xii. 12), and the whole of 
this verse is repeated later (xxi. 7). 
The phrase 'weak as water,' which 

has become proverbial with us, im- 
plies instability, the lack of power 
to stand firm. Accompanying this 
weakness there were to be outward 
forms of repentance, the sackcloth 
(cp. Is. XV. 2, 3: Lam. ii. 10: Jer. 
xlviii. 37 : xlix. 3, etc.), the baldness 
(cp. Deut. xiv. 1), and so on. The 
horror (Ps. Iv. 5) is the shuddering 
of dread at what was to befal them. 
There would also be no satisfaction 
for them in the possession of wealth 
(Prov. xi. 4: Zeph. i. 18): it would 
give no gratification mental or bodily : 
in the past it had led them into sin 
(cp. 1 Tim. vi. 10), and, because of 
this, it would be looked upon as an 
unclean thing and therefore to be 
rejected. 'The stumbling block of 
their iniquity' is a phrase which 
recurs in this book (xiv. 3, 4, 7 : 
xliv. 12). 

20-27. If we accept the trans- 
lation of the text, the prophet now 
turns to the temple, for that is what 
is meant by ' the beauty of his orna- 
ment,' but the expression is an 
anomalous one. On the other hand, 
if we accept the marginal renderings, 
the prophet is still speaking of the 
gold and silver of v. 19 which had 




VIL «i-i6 

21 And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a 
prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil ; and they 

22 shall profane it. My face will I turn also from them, and 
they shall profane my ^secret pl(xce : and robbers shall 

23 enter into it, and profane it. Make the chain : for the 
land is full of ^ bloody crimes, and the city is full of 

24 violence. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, 
and they shall possess their houses : I will also make the 
pride of the strong to cease ; and ^ their holy places shall 

25 be profaned. * Destruction cometh ; and they shall seek 

26 peace, and there shall be none. Mischief shall come upon 
mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour ; and they 
shall seek a vision of the prophet ; but the law shall perish 

1 Or, secret treasure ^ Heb. judgement of bhod. ^ Or, they that 

sanctify them * Or, Distress 

been used for idolatrous purposes 
(cp. xvi. 17) and therefore was now 
treated by Jehovah as unclean. The 
Temple, and not merely Jerusalem as 
a whole, seems certainly to be indica- 
ted by the word translated 'my secret 
place\mBTg. treasure). The language, 
though obscure, points to the Holy 
of HoHes in the Temple, which was 
the secret dweUing-place of Jehovah. 
The expression 'Make the chain' 
(v. 23) is a very doubtful one : the 
word for ' chain ' only occurs again, 
and there not very certainly, in 1 K. 
vi. 21. Here, if it is read rightly, it 
must mean that, just as the prophet 
was to lay siege against the city, so 
he was to prepare chains for the in- 
habitants to be led away into cap- 
tivity. Various emendations of the 
text have been suggested but none 
are convincing. The Septuagint 
translate 'and they shall cause dis- 
order.' The picture of the internal 
disorder and violence in the land 
and in Jerusalem is just such as we 

have of the state of things during 
the final siege of the city in 70 a.d. 
The ' bloody crimes ' are those which 
involved the punishment of death. 
'Their holy places' {v. 24) certainly 
represents a better reading of the 
Hebrew than 'they that sanctify 
them' {marg.). In later times the 
plural is used instead of the sin- 
gular : so we have ' the sanctuaries 
of the Lord's house' (Jer. li. 51), 
and 'the sanctuaries of God' (Ps. 
Ixxiii. 17, where R.V. has the singu- 
lar) ; by this use the various divisions 
of the sacred buildings are indicated. 
We have another unique word in that 
used to express ' destruction ' {marg. 
'distress'). Judging by the use of 
the kindred verb in the expression 
' I have rolled up like a weaver my 
life ' (Is. xxxviii. 1 2), ^/la/ destruction 
is intended by the word. ' Mischief 
{v. 26 : cp. Is. xlvii. 11) is here used in 
the sense of 'disaster.' The resort 
to the wise persons of the land — the 
prophet, the priest (cp. Mai. ii. 7), 

vn. 25-vnL « EZEKIEL 36 

27 from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. The king 
shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desola- 
tion, and the hands of the people of the land shall be 
troubled : I will do unto them after their way, and 
according to their deserts will I judge them ; and they 
shall know that I am the Lord. 

COMMENCING 591 B.C. Chapters VIIL— XIX. 

XV. The first of a series of visions (viii.-xi.) : — the vision 
of God carries the prophet off in spirit to see various 
forms of false worship in Jerusalem : — (a) the image of 
jealousy (vv, 3-6) ; (b) animal worship (vv. 10-12) ; 
(c) Tammuz worship (v, 14); {cT) sun-worship {v. 16). viii. 

It is a question how far, if the Hebrew text is right, these visions 
fell within the period during which the prophet was to lie, first upon his 
left side and afterwards upon his right side. If the Greek reckoning 
is right (see note on viii. 1), they would fall outside that period. 

VIII. 1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the 
sixth monthy in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in 
mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that 
2 the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me. Then I be- 
held, and, lo, a likeness as the appearance of fire ; firom the 

and the ancients or elders — comes word used for * prince' may perhaps 

too late. The prophecy concludes imply a dependent ruler: but it is 

with the same burden as those that noticeable that both words are also 

have gone before (see vi. 7). The used of the future David to whom 

use of the title of ' king' has been Bzekiel looks forward (cp. e.g. xxxiv. 

objected to in v. 27, because 23 with xxxvii. 24). 
elsewhere (e.g. here and in xii. 10) VIII. 1-6. A second period 

Ezekiel calls Zedekiah 'prince,' and op visions and prophecies* In 

also because the clause mentioning v. I the sixth year is the sixth 

*the king' does not occur in the year of King Jehoiachin's captivity 

Septuagint, but there seems to be (i. 2), and the date is one year and 

no particular reason why the prophet two months (or, one month, in the 

should not have used both. The Greek version) after the previous 



VIII. ^-5 

appearance of his loins and downward, fire : and from his 
loins and upward, as the appearance of brightness, ^as the 

3 colour of amber. And he put forth the form of an hand, and 
took me by a lock of mine head ; and the spirit lifted me up 
between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the 
visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the gate of the 
inner court that looketh toward the north ; where was the 
seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. 

4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, 
according to the ^appearance that I saw in the plain. 

5 Then said he unto me. Son of man, lift up thine eyes now 
the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the 
way toward the north, and behold northward of the gate 

1 Or, as amber to look upon ^ Or, vision 

date, i.e. b.c. 591. The day of the 
month is the same in both cases. 
Here the elders of Judah are 
present ; elsewhere in this book (e.g. 
XX. 1) they are called the elders of 
Israel {v. inf. p. 37). Just in the 
same way Elisha sat in his house in 
Samaria during the siege 'and the 
elders sat with him' (2 K. vi. 32). 
While there the hand of the Lord 
comes upon him as it did before 
(i. 3). The description is the same 
as in i. 4, 27. The hand is put forth 
as in ii. 9 (cp. Dan. v. 5) and it 
carries off the prophet (cp. Bel and 
Dragon 36 : Acts viii. 39) in the 
visions of God (i. 1 : cp. 2 Cor. xii. 
1-4) to Jerusalem, where, in spirit, 
the prophet was carried from place 
to place {mi. 7, 14, 16 : xi. 1, 24). 
He was first taken 'to the door 
of the gate of the inner court' 
which seems to be different from 
' the door of the court.' ' The image 
of jealousy ' is the image of some 
deity which provoked the jealousy 
of Jehovah (cp. esp. Ex. xxxiv. 14 

'for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, 
is a jealous God' and Deut. xxxii. 
16, 21). The image took the form 
of a statue of a god. What 
god this was is not at all certain. 
It has been identified with the 
'Chiun' of Amos (v. 26) and that 
with the Babylonian Kaiwan, the 
analogue to Saturn {Encycl. Bib. 
art. 'Chiun'), but this identification 
cannot be regarded as at all certain. 
Others have identified it with 
Astartd. At the door the prophet 
enters into the presence of the glory 
of God, which was manifested in the 
same way as he had seen it before in 
the plain (see iii. 22, 23 : and cp. i. 
28). As he stands at the door that 
looks towards the north he is bidden 
to look in that direction that he may 
see inside the gate or porch {v. 16), 
which admits to the altar, the image 
of jealousy standing at the entrance. 
The worship of this image is the 
first abomination that he sees in his 
visions, but he is to see others beside 
which defiled the sanctuary, and of 




6 of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. And he 
said unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do ? even 
the great abominations that the house of Israel do commit 
here, ^that I should go far off from my sanctuary ? but 

7 ^thou shalt again see yet other great abominations. And 
he brought me to the door of the court ; and when I 

8 looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me. 
Son of man, dig now in the wall : and when I had digged 

9 in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me. Go in, 
10 and see the wicked abominations that they do here. So I 

went in and saw ; and behold every form of creeping 
things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the 
house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. 

1 Or, to get them far off ^ Or, turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see 
greater abominations So also in w. 13, 15. 

which he had already been told to 
speak (v. 11). These would cause 
the withdrawal of the presence of 
God from His sanctuary. The words 
here {v. 6) perhaps suggested the 
'Let us depart hence' which was 
said to have been heard in the 
Temple during the last siege of 
Jerusalem by the Romans ( Josephus, 
B. J. VI. 5, 3: Tac. Hist. v. 13). 

7-12. In order that he may see 
all, the prophet is brought from 
*the door of the gate of the inner 
court' to 'the door of the court' 
itself. Here there was a hole in 
the wall, which was apparently 
an adobe wall, for the prophet 
was to dig in it (cp. xii. 5), till 
he found a door through which 
he was to go into a dark {v. 7) 
chamber decorated as to its walls 
with forbidden subjects (Ex. xx. 4 : 
cp. Rom. i. 23). These decorations 
had no doubt been derived from 
Babylon (cp. xxiii. 14, 15), where 
the walls were covered with such 

pictures painted in vermilion (cp. 
Jer. xxii. 14). In this chamber 
illicit worship was carried on by 
the elders in their recognized 
number, seventy (Ex. xxiv. 1 : Num. 
xi. 16). They are called 'the elders 
of the house of Israel,' perhaps to 
distinguish them from 'the elders 
of Judah' {v. 1) who were with 
Ezekiel in captivity. In this book 
the word Israel is used for the whole 
people of God generically ; Judah and 
Israel together make up this same 
people (e.g. iv. 5, 6); whilst Judah 
is limited in one place to ' Judah in 
Jerusalem' (xxi. 20) and in other 
places in the appendix to the book 
(e.g. xlviii. 7) Judah is the old tribal 
name. Though he does not use the 
name in other places (e.g. xiv. 1 the 
elders of Israel), yet in this particular 
passage 'Judah' is the name given 
to the captives with Ezekiel to 
designate that they were captives 
from the Kingdom of Judah as 
distinguished from the Kingdom of 




11 And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of 
the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood 
Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer 
in his hand ; and the odour of the cloud of incense went 

12 up. Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen 
what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, 
every man in his chambers of imagery ? for they say, The 
Lord seeth us not ; the Lord hath forsaken the ^ earth. 

1 Or. land 


Israel. The chief of these elders 
was Jaazaniah (or, Jechoniah) the 
son of Shaphan, and it is a curious 
coincidence, that the name Shaphan 
is identical with the name of one of 
the unclean animals of Lev. xi. 5 : 
Deut. xiv. 7, the coney or rockbadger 
(R.V. marg.\ which was perhaps 
figured on the walls of the chamber. 
Building upon this Robertson Smith 
(Journal of Philology^ ix. 97) saw a 
survival of the family worship of a 
totemistic character. But there is 
scarcely sufficient ground for this 
theory, especially when we remember 
that other names, not of famiUes or 
clans, existed at the same time 
which were identical with the names 
of animals, Achbor ( = 'mouse'), 
Huldah ( = * weasel '). While we re- 
member the worship that had crept 
in of the brazen serpent (2 K. xviii. 
4), we can scarcely imagine that such 
worship could have been carried on 
for any length of time, but must 
rather suppose that it was a re- 
crudescence in a time of despair 
and fanaticism, brought about by the 
parlous state of society and religion, 
and induced by a knowledge of the 
temple buildings of Babylonia. 
Cheyne, who wishes to look always, 
if possible, to North Arabia, considers 

the worship here described to be 
an importation from North Arabian 
heathenism, and would have us read 
». 10 as mentioning all the idols of 
the house of Ishmael {not Israel), 
but this idea does not seem to win 
acceptance. This Shaphan may or 
may not be the same as the Shaphan 
of 2 Kings (xxiii. 1-14) who is 
credited with a son Ahikam {v. 12) 
who was the father of Gedaliah, 
the governor of the remnant of the 
people in the land of Judah, and 
also with a son Gemariah ( Jer. xxxvL), 
and a son named Elasah (Jer. xxix. 
3). The excuse given for the intro- 
duction of this worship, and put into 
the mouth of the elders, is that 
Jehovah had ceased to pay any heed 
to them and had deserted them, 
which was made an excuse also for 
every kind of wrong-doing (ix. 9 : cp. 
Is. xxix. 15, where the expression 
may be noticed 'their works are 
in the dark '). This second abomina- 
tion is expressly stated not to have 
been practised actually so much in 
the Temple as in secret in men's 
private domestic chapels for false 
worship {v. 12), though of course the 
Temple usage {v. 7) formed the model 
upon which they based their secret 

nil. 13-17 




^^^13 He said also unto me, Thou shalt again see yet other 
^H 14 great abominations which they do. Then he brought me 
^B to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was 
^V toward the north ; and behold, there sat the women 

^B 15 weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me. Hast thou 
^H seen this, son of man ? thou shalt again see yet greater 

^H 16 abominations than these. And he brought me into the 
^H inner court of the Lord's house, and behold, at the door 

^H of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the 

^H altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs 

^V toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the 

17 east ; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then 
he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, son of man ? Is 

13, 14. But the prophet had not 
yet seen all. This time he is taken 
to the door of the gate of the 
Temple itself, where ' sat the women 
weeping for Tammuz.' Tammuz (in 
Babylonian, Dumuzi), or Adonis, 
the Greek form given to Adonai 
(i.e. my lord), was originally the 
Babylonian Sun-god, cut off in his 
prime by death, and mourned for by 
Istar who descended into the lower 
world to try and bring him back. 
In later mythology Tammuz became 
the Babylonian god of vegetation, 
who died every year at the end 
of the summer and came to life 
again in the following spring. Every 
year the date of the death and 
funeral of Tammuz was made a time 
of lamentation such as is here de- 
scribed. This woi-ship, then, is an- 
other importation from Babylon. 
(For other ideas about this annual 
mourning see Robertson Smith, 
Religion of the Semites, pp. 391,392.) 
Tammuz is not mentioned by name 
again in the Bible, but there is a 
doubtful reference to the same god 
in Isaiah (xvii 10): *thou plantest 

plantings of Adonis' (R.V. marg.). 
For a specimen of the wailing dirges 
for Tammuz, see Encyd. Bib. art 
* Tammuz.' 

15, 16. But the end is not yet. 
The further within the Temple the 
prophet is taken the greater are the 
abominations which he sees. He is 
now introduced into the inner court 
of the Lord's house, where, at the 
door of the Temple between the 
porch and the altar (cp. Joel ii. 17), 
the worship of the sun was being 
carried on by about 25 men, who are 
perhaps to be identified with the 25 
men mentioned later (xi. 1). This 
worship seems to have been one 
of the most popular forms of idolatry 
in the later days of the kingdom 
(cp. vi. 6: 2 K. xxiii. 5). Sun- 
worship may have been introduced 
either from Egypt or from Babylonia. 

17, 18. A still further form of 
idolatry is indicated by the expres- 
sion 'they put the branch to their 
nose' {v. 17), unless this is part of 
the ritual of the worship of the 
sun, or, still more probably, of 
Tammuz (Adonis); but nothing 

40 EZEKIEL viii. 17-ix. 

it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the 
abominations which they commit here? for they have filled 
the land with violence, and have turned again to provoke 
me to anger : and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. 
18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, 
neither will I have pity : and though they cry in mine ears 
with a loud voice, yet will I not hear theuL 

xvi. The second vision: one of 
destruction, ix. 1-11. 

IX. 1 Then he cried in mine ears with a loud voice, say- 
ing, ^ Cause ye them that have charge over the city to draw 
near, every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. 
2 And behold, six men came from the way of the upper 
gate, which lieth toward the north, every man with his 
^slaughter weapon in his hand ; and one man in the midst 
of them clothed in linen, with a writer's inkhom *by his 

^ Or, Draw ye near that dc. ^ Or, hattle axe ^ Heb. ttpow hu loins. 

certain can be said about it. The one of the previous rites, the con- 
same rite is probably alluded to elusion is the same. Pitiless punish- 
in Isaiah (xvii. 10), where we meet ment (v. 11, 13) is to overtake them ; 
with the expression ' strange slips ' the cry for mercy, however loud, will 
{margin^ 'vine slips of a strange be too late (cp. ^fr. i. 26-28 : Is. i. 15: 
god'). The Hebrew word for 'slips' Mi. iii. 4). 

and ' branch ' (in this passage) is the IX. 1-11. The prophet now sees 

same. The branch must have been in his vision the destruction that is 

noticeable for its acceptable scent, to come actually being wrought upon 

either as it was growing or when the people. It begins, if we accept 

burnt An illustration from Cyprus the rendering of R.V. marg.^ which 

is given by Toy {Ezekiel^ p. 112) of is to be preferred, with a loud 

worshippers of Adonis holding cry to what are evidently intended 

flowers to their noses. The Greek to be taken as a body of six 

translation, however, supports quite destroying angels. The existence of 

a different interpretation of the such destroying angels is constantly 

passage, viz. that all these idolatrous asserted in the Bible. A destroy- 

worshippers were like an ill savour ing angel destroyed the people 

going up before God, provoking Him after David's numbering of them 

to anger. But whether this be an- (2 Sam. xxiv. 16 : 1 Chr. xxi. 15 ; 

other form of idolatry, or part of cp. 'the destroyer' of Exod. xii. 23 


IX 2-6 



side. And they went in, and stood beside the brasen 

3 altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up 
from the cherub, whereupon it was, to the threshold of the 
house : and he called to the man clothed in linen, which 

4 had the writer's inkhorn ^by his side. And the Lord said 
unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the 
midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of 
the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that 

5 be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in 
mine hearing, Go ye through the city after him, and smite : 

6 let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay ^ utterly 
the old man, the young man and the maiden, and little 
children and women : but come not near any man upon 
whom is the mark ; and begin at my sanctuary. Then 
they began at the ^ancient men which were before the 

1 Heb. upon his loins. ^ Heb. to destruction. ^ Or, elders 

and 1 Cor. x. 10). A destroying 
angel smote Sennacherib's host in 
the reign of Hezekiah (2 K. xix. 35 : 
2 Chr. xxxii. 21 : Is. xxxvii. 36) : 
and such a destroying angel is said 
to have smitten Herod Agrippa I 
in the early days of the Christian 
Church (Acts xii. 23). 

The upper gate through which 
these angels entered the city must be 
the same as is called 'the upper gate 
of Benjamin' (Jer. xx. 2: cp. Jer. 
xxxvii. 13 : Zech. xiv. 10), because 
of its being situated on the side 
of the city which was close to the 
Benjamin border. The mention of 
* the north ' is perhaps an allusion to 
the constant belief that evil and mis- 
fortune came from the north (cp. i. 4: 
Jer. i. 14). The weapons carried by 
the ' six men ' are described in very 
general terms and must not be 
limited to the 'battle axe' (R.V. 
margin). The recording angel is 
distinct from the six and has his 

task to do before the work of 
destruction begins. He also takes 
part in the vision of the next chapter 
(x. 2, 6, 7), and is described in 
language like that in the latter part 
of Daniel (x. 5 : xii. 6, 7). There is 
not the slightest need to connect this 
angel with the Babylonian God Nebo, 
as some would do. In the tabernacle 
(Ex. xxxix. 38, 39) and therefore 
presumably in the Temple there was 
both a golden altar and a brasen 
altar, and it was near this latter, 
apparently, that the 'image of 
jealousy ' (viii. 5) stood. As part of 
his vision the prophet sees the glory 
of God as if on its way to leave the 
house. In ordinary times the She- 
chinah rested upon or between the 
cherubim that covered the mercy 
seat upon the ark (Ex. xxv. 18-22 : 
1 K. viii. 6, 7, 64: cp. x. 4, 18). 
Judgement was 'to begin at the 
house of God' (1 Pet. iv. 17: per- 
haps a conscious reminiscence of 



IX, 6-11 

7 house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill 
the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went 

8 forth, and smote in the city. And it came to pass, while 
they were smiting, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, 
and cried, and said. Ah Lord God 1 wilt thou destroy all 
the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon 

9 Jerusalem ? Then said he unto me. The iniquity of the 
house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the 
land is full of blood, and the city fiill of ^wresting of 
judgement : for they say. The Lord hath forsaken the 

10 2 earth, and the Lord seeth not. And as for me also, mine 
eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will 

11 bring their way upon their head. And behold, the man 
clothed in linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, 
reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast 
commanded me. 

^ Or, perverseness ^ Or, land 

the scene here), but there were a 
certain number to be marked by 
the angel and to be preserved — 
those that had remained faithful, 
and bewailed the wickedness of the 
city. The Hebrew word for the 
mark is also the name of the last 
letter of the alphabet {tdv\ and early 
Christian writers have taken pleasure 
in pointing out that one of the 
archaic forms of this letter is exactly 
like a cross, the emblem of salvation 
from Satan the Destroyer (ApoUyon : 
Rev. ix. 11). Similar marking of 
the faithful servants of God is de- 
scribed (in language doubtless based 
upon this passage) in the New Testa- 
ment Apocalypse (Rev. vii. 3 : ix. 4 : 
xiv. 1 : xxii. 4), as also of the wor- 
shippers of ' the image of the beast ' 
(Rev. xiii. 16, 17 : xiv. 9 : xx. 4). 

The destroying angels were to 
carry out the pitiless judgement of 
God, which had already been an- 

nounced more than once (cp. v. 11). 
The destruction here described is 
such as is said to have been inflicted 
by Nebuchadrezzar (2 Chr. xxxvi 17). 
The ' ancient men ' are the same as 
the elders (so R.V. marg. and cp. 
viii. 11, 12). The slaughter of those 
in the sanctuary would defile it by 
the presence of dead bodies in ite 
courts, where Ezekiel was left when 
the destroyers went forth. The 
prophet's lamentation at the de- 
struction of the people and his inter- 
cession for them are similar to his 
lamentation after the death of Pela- 
tiah (xi. 13). 

'Wresting of judgement' {v. 9), i.e. 
perverted judgement (R.V.), is much 
to be preferred as a rendering of 
the Hebrew to the marginal ren- 
dering 'perverseness.' The excuse 
given for the disorders of the country 
is the same as that given for the 
private idolatrous animal worship of 



X. 1-6 EZEKIEL 43 

xviL A further stage in the vision of the destrtiction of the 
city. It is destroyed by fire taken from the Divine 
presence, which is a second time fully described, x. 1-22. 

X. 1 Then I looked, and behold, in the firmament 
that was over the head of the cherubim, there appeared 
above them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance 

2 of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man 
clothed in linen, and said, Gro in between the whirling 
wheels, even under the cherub, and fiU both thine hands 
with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and ^scatter 

3 them over the city. And he went in in my sight. Now 
the cherubim stood on the right side of the house, when 
the man went in ; and the cloud filled the inner court 

4 And the glory of the Lord mounted up from the cherub, 
and stood over the threshold of the house ; and the house 
was fiUed with the cloud, and the court was full of the 

5 brightness of the Lord's glory. And the sound of the 
wings of the cherubim was heard even to the outer court, 

6 as the voice of ^God Almighty when he speaketh. And it 
came to pass, when he commanded the man clothed in 

1 Or, sprinkle 2 Heb. El Shaddai. 

the time (viii. 12). The work of (i. 16), the four with one likeness and 

destruction in the prophet's vision is the wheel within a wheel (i. 16), 

concluded by the destroying angel the motion of the wheels (i. 17), the 

making his report that the divine abundance of eyes (i. 18), the four 

command had been carried out. faces (i. 6), the likeness of each face 

X. The divine presence is mani- (i. 10), the motion of the creatures 

fested more brightly and more in and the wheels (i. 19-21) ; but the 

detailthan it had been in the previous whirling of the wheels, the name 

vision. The details of it are very cherub or cherubim, the coals of fire 

much the same as in the first vision, (except in simile i. 13), the cloud 

where we have the firmament (i. 22), (cp. 1 K. viii 10), are fresh details, 
the sapphire stone and the throne The leading angel is now bidden 

(i. 26), the glory of the Lord (i. 28), to set fire to the city, the fire to be 

the sound of the wings like the voice taken from the Divine presence, 

of the Almighty (i. 24), the form of thus signifying that the destruction 

a man's hand (i. 8), the wheels (I 15), of the city was sanctioned by God. 

the likeness of the wheels to a beryl There is a similar casting of fire 

44 EZEKIEL x. 

6-14 ■ 

linen, saying, Take fire from between the whirling wheels^ 
from between the cherubim, that he went in, and stood 

7 beside a wheel. And the cherub stretched forth his hand 
from between the cherubim unto the fire that was between 
the cherubim, and took thereof, and put it into the hands 
of him that was clothed in linen, who took it and went 

8 out. And there appeared in the cherubim the form of 

9 a man's hand under their wings. And I looked, and 
behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside 
one cherub, and another wheel beside another cherub : and 
the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a ^ beryl 

10 stone. And as for their appearance, they four had one 

11 likeness, as if a wheel had been ^ within a wheel When 
they went, they went ^upon their four sides: they turned 
not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked 

12 they followed it ; they turned not as they went. And 
their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and 
their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, 

13 even the wheels that they four had. As for the wheels, 

14 they were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels. And 
every one had four faces : the first face was the face of the 
cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and 
the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an 

1 Or, stone of Tarshish ^ Heb. in the midst of. * Or, towards 

from heaven upon earth in Revela- wind (i. 4) and the great rushing 

tion (viii. 5 : where Swete supposes (iii. 12), which accompanied the 

an ultimate reference to the doom of presence of God. This at any rate 

Sodom, Gen. xix. 24). The movement seems to be the clearest idea to be 

of the outward tokens of the glory of derived from the narrative (cp. v. 2 

the Lord {v. 4) is repeated later in with vv. 6-8), for the form of a man's 

the vision {vv. 18, 19). The angel is hand under their wings {v. 21 : cp. 

described as creeping under one of L 8) is attributed to the cherubim, 

the cherubs and then standing up The notes upon the details of the 

by one cherub and putting his hand first vision must be consulted as to 

into the space between them to take the details which correspond in this 

fire from the other cherub. The second vision. By the right side of 

word used for ' the whirling wheels ' the house {v. 3) is intended the 

between which the angel goes, in- southern side. The additional detail 

eludes in it an allusion to the stormy in the third clause of «?. 11 (cp. v. 22) 

X. 14-^1 EZEKIEL 45 

15 eagle. And the cherubim mounted up : this is the living 

16 creature that I saw by the river Chebar. And when the 
cherubim went, the wheels went beside them : and when 
the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the 
earth, the wheels also turned not from beside them. 

17 When they stood, these stood; and when they mounted 
up, these mounted up with them : for the spirit ^ of the 

18 living creature was in them. And the glory of the Lord 
went forth from over the threshold of the house, and stood 

19 over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted up their 
wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight when 
they went forth, and the wheels ^beside them : and they 
stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord's house; 
and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 

20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God 
of Israel by the river Chebar ; and I knew that they were 

21 cherubim. Every one had four faces apiece, and every 
one four wings ; and the likeness of the hands of a man 

1 Or, of life See ch. 1. 21. 2 Or, over against 

corresponds to what is said in i. 9. thought of here no one knows. The 

In V. 13 we have the introduction connection between the words cherub 

of the word explained which in- and Kirubu is very doubtful : others 

dicates the whirhng of the wheels, connect the former word with the 

A comparison of the two visions Greek 7pv>//-, i.e. a griffin. In this 

shews us what idea the word cherub second vision {v. 15) the prophet 

conveyed to the prophet, for 'the identifies the cherubim with the 

face of the cherub' {v. 14) takes the living creatures he had seen in the 

place of 'the face of an ox' (i. 10), first (i. 5) by the river Chebar (i. 1 : 

whilst at the same time human faces cp. v. 20). The movement and 

are connected with all four. It is direction of the wheels is ascribed 

pretty clear from this that the vision to the spirit of the living creature, 

of one of the four creatures which for 'in them' {v. 17) must mean 'in 

the prophet saw corresponded in the wheels.' In «?. 18 the glory of 

great measure to the colossal quad- the Lord returns to its first position 

rupeds with human faces which in {v. 4), while the movement of the 

Babylonian architecture guarded the cherubim described here {v. 19) is 

entrances of the temples and were repeated later (xi. 22). The east 

called in Babylonia Kirubu, though gate appears again in the next stage 

what the cherubs in Solomon's Tem- of these visions (xi. 1). 

pie were like which are really to be It is carefully to be noticed in 



X. 2I-XL 1 

22 was under their wings. And as for the likeness of their 
faces, they were the faces which I saw by the river Chebar, 
their appearances and themselves ; they went every one 
straight forward. 

xviii. Another stage in the judgements of God, The false 
teachers are condemned, amd one of them, Pelatiah, is 
smitten with death, xi. 1-13. 

XI. 1 Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought 
me unto the east gate of the Lord's house, which looketh 
eastward : and behold, at the door of the gate five and 
twenty men ; and I saw in the midst of them Jaazaniah 
the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes 
2 of the people. And he said unto me, Son of man, these 
are the men that devise iniquity, and that give wicked 


both visions that the prophet never 
asserts that he saw any Divine form. 
The living creature was under the 
God of Israel (x. 20), just as over it 
was the likeness of a firmament 
(i. 22), and over that again a voice 
(i. 25) and the likeness of a throne 
(i. 26). It is true that upon the 
likeness of the throne, as he says, 
there was a likeness as the appear- 
ance of a man upon it above (i 26), 
but this is very indefinite, and can 
only be taken as anthropomorphic 
language to indicate that there if 
anywhere was the Person of the 
Divine to be found. The whole of 
this vision is intended to indicate 
the determination of Jehovah to 
depart from His Temple, for at the 
end of this part of the prophet's 
vision, the cherubim have reached 
the door of the east gate. 

XI. 1-13. The prophet sees in 
his vision the false counsellors, hears 
their condemnation, and prophesies 

against them, and as he prophesies 
one of them is smitten with death. 
In this stage of his visions the pro- 
phet is close to the place where the 
cherubim had stood in his last vision 
(x. 19), viz. the door of the east gate 
of the Lord's house — the chenibim 
had been at the door of the east gate. 
There he saw five and twenty men, 
whether the same men as in viii. 16 
(where the Septuagint speaks of 
twenty men) is not clear. Among 
them there is one named Jaazaniah, 
but not apparently the same as the 
Jaazaniah already mentioned (viiL 
11), who was in the midst of seventy 
men. Both alike are called in the 
Greek Jechoniah, but the one men- 
tioned here is called the son of 
Azzur, and the name Azzur occurs 
as that of the father of Hananiah 
the prophet who died in similar 
circumstances to Pelatiah in this 
chapter (see Jer. xxviii.). It may 
be that Azzur and his sons laid 

XL 1-1 



3 counsel in this city : which say, ^The time is not near to 
build houses : this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh. 

4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, son of man. 

5 And the spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and he said unto 
me, Speak, Thus saith the Lord: Thus have ye said, 
house of Israel ; for I know the things that come into 

6 your mind. Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, 
and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain. 

7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God : Your slain whom ye 
have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this 
city is the caldron : but ^ye shall be brought forth out of 

1 Or, Is fwt the time near d;e, ? ^ Another reading is, I will bring you. 

princes of the people (v. 2). The 
idea which the simile is intended to 
convey is that as the pot was nothing 
without the flesh inside, so Jerusalem 
owed all to its chiefs or leaders. 
At the same time as the pot pro- 
tected the flesh from being consumed 
by the fire, so the walls of Jerusalem 
were to be a protection to its in- 
habitants from the Babylonian forces. 
Therefore the prophet is bidden to 
announce that God knows what is 
in their minds, but that in truth 
it is they who have caused deeds of 
violence to be done in the city (cp. 
vii. 23). Those slain are the flesh 
in the caldron, ie. in Jerusalem. 
This comparison to the caldron and 
the flesh in it is used again by the 
prophet in 'a parable' (xxiv. 3-13). 
But all were not to be as the flesh 
in the caldron; some were to be 
brought out of the city and handed 
over into captivity. They had been 
afraid of the sword (cp. Jer. xlii. 16), 
but the sword of their enemies should 
overtake them. This and captivity 
were to be the judgements of God. 
The execution of Zedekiah's sons 
and of a number of the chief people 

claim to be a family endowed with 
the gift of prophecy. Of Pelatiah 
we know nothing but what is re- 
corded in this chapter, and the 
name was a common one, as was that 
of his father Benaiah. This whole 
band of men is denounced as false 
counsellors and false prophets. Their 
pronouncement {v. 3) is very obscure ; 
it may be that it was intended to 
imitate the ambiguity of meaning 
which attached itself to very many 
heathen oracles. Thus, the first 
clause is an assertion or a question : 
two contrary meanings can be ac- 
cepted according as it is one or the 
other. If it is an assertion 'The 
time is not near to build houses,' it 
may apply to the slaughter that had 
already taken place {v. 6) which had 
reduced the population, so that there 
was no need for house building. If 
it is a question (R. V. marg.) ' Is not 
the time near to build houses?' then 
the prophecy is intended as an en- 
couragement to the people to look 
for a withdrawal of the besiegers 
and for a time of prosperity to ensue. 
The second clause asserts the import- 
ance of these leaders, who are called 



XI. 7--i9^^H 

d I will ^ 
id T will I 

8 the midst of it. Ye have feared the sword ; and I will 

9 bring the sword upon you, saith the Lord God. And I will 
bring you forth out of the midst thereof* and deliver you 
into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgements 

10 among you. Ye shall fall by the sword ; I will judge you 
in the border of Israel ; and ye shall know that I am the 

11 Lord. This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall 
ye be the flesh in the midst thereof ; I will judge you in 

12 the border of Israel ; and ye shall know that I am the 
Lord : for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither 
have ye executed my judgements, but have done after the 

of the city is described in 2 Kings 
(xxv. 7, 18-21: cp. Jer. xxxii. 4: 
xxxix. 6: lii. 10, 24-27). It actually 
took place at Riblah, which is de- 
scribed as a border town (Numb. 
xxxiv. 11). 

At the end oi v. 10 the prophet 
returns to the burden of his former 
prophecies: 'ye shall know that 
I am the Lord' (cp. vi. 7). Here, 
if the text is right, the words 
are repeated a second time {v. 12): 
but the repetition of the clause is 
probably an accidental one on the 
part of a scribe. ' The ordinances of 
the nations ' were the false worships 
which had been introduced into the 
city. In the course of this apos- 
trophe to the house of Israel which 
the prophet makes in his vision, 
Pelatiah, one of the princes, dies. 
Dismay falls upon the prophet as 
it had done while the destroying 
angels were accomplishing their 
work and his ejaculations take almost 
the same form (cp. ix. 8). 

It must be remembered, in con- 
nection with all these prophecies, 
that in Jerusalem there were two 
parties, one which advocated the 
maintenance of tributary dependence 

upon Babylon, and the other which 
looked rather to Egypt for help and 
support in its attempts to throw 
off the yoke of the Babylonian kings. 
Judah was a kind of buffer state 
between these two empires, and also 
a constant cause of war between 
them. We see, for instance, a great 
attempt made in Josiah's reign by 
the Pharaoh called Pharaoh-necoh 
to compel that king to give up 
being on the side of Assyria (2 K. 
xxiii. 29). More is told us of this 
division of opinion in Jerusalem by 
Jeremiah. That prophet always 
advocated friendship with Babylon, 
and it must have been a great blow 
to the pro-Babylonian party when 
Josiah met his death at Megiddo 
fighting against the Egyptians (2 K. 
xxiii. 30). It was after the battle of 
Carchemish in Jehoiakim's reign that 
the boundary of the Egyptian empire 
seems to have been set back from 
the Euphrates to the River of Egypt, 
i.e. the Wadi-el-'Arish. 

The princes of this chapter evi- 
dently belong to the anti-Babylonian 
faction who had a firm conviction 
that the city would be able to resist 
all Babylonian attacks. It was the 

XL 11-16 EZEKIEL 49 

13 ^ordinances of the nations that are round about you. And 
it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son 
of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and 
cried with a loud voice, and said. Ah Lord Gk)D ! wilt thou 
make a full end of the remnant of Israel ? 

xix. The final stage of the vision and the return of the 
prophet in the spirit to Chaldaea, Judgement must 
come, and the Divine presence must he withdrawn : hut 
in the future there is to he a time of restoration and 
spiritual renewal, when God will again he their God, 
xi. 14-25. 

14 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

15 Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of 
thy 2 kindred, and all the house of Israel, all of them, are 
they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, 
Get you far from the Lord ; unto us is this land given for 

16 a possession : therefore say. Thus saith the Lord God : 
Whereas I have removed them far off among the nations, 

^ Heb. judgements. ^ Heb. redemption. See Lev. 25. 25, &c. 

anti-Babylonian policy of these of restoration shall come. A refor- 

princes and rulers that was, humanly mation in their own land shall follow 

speaking, bringing disaster and with the gift of a new heart and a 

slaughter upon Jerusalem as typified new spirit, so that there will be a 

by the flesh in the caldron. The regeneration, and the old relation 

discord that existed then must have between the people and their God 

been in a measure like the discord will be re-established, 

that existed in later times during The brethren spoken of {v. 15) 

the final siege of Jerusalem by the are the prophet's fellow-exiles in 

Romans when three discordant ele- Babylonia, and so the Hebrew is 

ments in its population struggled to translated by the lxx, which reads, 

the death for the mastery. however, a diflFerent Hebrew word. 

14-21. The last stage of the The literal meaning of the Hebrew 

present vision is now reached. The is ' the men of thy redemption,' 

existing generation of evildoers is which the R. V. interprets ' the men 

to be punished. The Dispersion will of thy kindred.' Most probably the 

be guarded by Jehovah, and a time prophet gives them this title by 



XI. i6-3o 

and whereas I have scattered them among the countries, 
^yet will I be to them a sanctuary for a little while in the 

17 countries where they are come. Therefore say, Thus saith 
the Lord God : I will gather you from the peoples, and 
assemble you out of the countries where ye have been 

18 scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they 
shall come thither, and they shall take away all the 
detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof 

19 from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will 
put a new spirit within you ; and I will take the 
stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart 

20 of flesh : that they may walk in my statutes, and keep 
mine ordinances, and do them : and they shall be my 

^ Or, yet have I been Or, and have been 

anticipation, especially as he is about 
to speak of their restoration to their 
own land, implying that they were to 
be redeemed from captivity. We can 
then compare with it, ' the year of 
My redeemed is come' (Is. Ixiii. 4). 
'The inhabitants of Jerusalem' of 
this passage {v. 15) are the anti- 
Babylonian party who had bidden 
the others be gone, as having no 
right to any share in the land and 
as deserving to be banished from 
God's presence, who is treated as 
a local God, whereas it was God 
who had removed them and was 
already and would be their refuge 
and sanctuary in the countries to 
which they had gone, though they 
had no visible sanctuary (cp. Rev. 
xxi. 22). In due time would come 
their restoration to their own land 
(xx. 41: xxviii. 25: xxxiv. 13: xxxvi. 
24 : xxxvii. 21 : xxxviii. 8 : xxxix. 27). 
This restoration to their own land 
was the constant theme of the pro- 
phets (e.g. Jer. xxxii. 37). The 
return was to be accompanied by a 

purification of the land (xxxvii. 23) 
from all its abominations, and this 
was to be accompanied by a re- 
generation of the people themselves. 
How thorough this reformation was 
in post-exilic times, so far at least as 
false worships were concerned, is 
well known. Their hearts were to 
be as one (cp. Jer. xxxii. 39), and 
each heart not a stony heart that 
hardened itself against God's word 
(Zech. vii. 12), but one pulsating 
with the love of God (cp. xviii. 31 : 
xxxvi. 26), and that could be im- 
pressed by His commandments (c£ 
2 Cor. iii. 3 : ' Ye are an epistle of 
Christ, ministered by us, written not 
with ink, but with the Spirit of the 
living God ; not in tables of stone, 
but in tables that are hearts of flesh' ; 
and see Jer. xxxi. 33). In this new 
life would come the fulfilment of the 
promise given more than once: 'they 
shall be My people, and I will be their 
God' (xiv. 11: xxxvi. 28 : Lev. xxvi. 
12 : Jer. xxi v. 7 : %xx. 22 : xxxi. 1, 
33 : xxxii. 38 : Rev. xxi. 3). But all 


XI. ao-i5 



21 people, and I will be their God. But as for them whose 
heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and 
their abominations, I will bring their way upon their own 

22 heads, saith the Lord God. Then did the cherubim lift up 
their wings, and the wheels were ^beside them ; and the 

23 glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the 
glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and 
stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the 

24 city. And the spirit lifted me up, and brought me in the 
vision by the spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the 
captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. 

25 Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that 
the Lord had shewed me. 

Or, over against 

these promises do not exclude the 
punishment of the wicked: that is 
still certain {v. 21). The words ' the 
heart of {v. 21) should probably be 

22, 23. The glory of God now 
takes its departure from His House 
(cp. X. 19). The mountain to the 
east of the City must be the Mount 
of Olives. It is upon this same 
mountain that in the *day of the 
Lord ' it is said His feet shall stand 
(Zech. xiv. 4) ; and it was from the 
same Mount that the departure from 
the earth of the Son of God, in Whom 
was manifested the glory of God, 
took place after His rejection by 
His people. 

24, 25. The prophet is brought 
back in spirit from Jerusalem, as he 
had been taken thither (viiL 3). The 
name 'Chaldea' for Babylonia ap- 

pears here for the first time. The 
Chaldaeans, in Assyrian Kaldii, in 
Hebrew Chasdim, were, at first, a 
tribe to the south-east of Babylonia. 
They became the predominant tribe 
in Babylonia. The first Chaldaean 
who became king of Babylonia was 
Nabopolassar whose date was about 
625 B.C., a little while before Ezekiel's 
time. The form Chasdim connects 
them with Chesed, one of the sons 
of Abraham by Milcah, but we need 
not necessarily suppose that the 
Hebrew historian looked upon him 
as the ancestor of the Chasdim. 

The vision ended, the prophet 
narrates what he had seen to hia 
fellow-captives. But, though they 
admired the beauty of the prophet's 
words, it made no lasting impression 
upon them (cp. xxxiii. 30-33). 




XII. 1-4- 

XX. The first of two proph£4iie8, both of whwh are accom- 
panied by symbolic auctions. Transactions done with a 
view to a going into eooilCj symbolic of the exile q 
the remaining inhabitants of Jerusalem to Babylonia 
xii. 1-16. 

XII. 1 The word of the Lord also came unto me, 

2 saying, Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of the 
rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not, 
which have ears to hear, and hear not ; for they are a 

3 rebellious house. Therefore, thou son of man, prepare 
thee stuff for ^removing, and remove by day in their sight ; 
and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in 
their sight : it may be they will ^ consider, though they be 

4 a rebellious house. And thou shalt bring forth thy stuff 
by day in their sight, as stuff for ^removing : and thou 
shalt go forth thyself at even in their sight, as when men 

Or, exile ^ Or, perceive that they are 

XTT. 1-16. The prophet is once 
again (cp. ii. 3, 5) reminded of the 
rebellions character of those with 
whom he has to deal It is the 
rebellious house (vv. 2, 8) above all 
others (cp. Matt. xiii. 13-15 with its 
quotation from Is. vi. 9, 10). He is 
therefore by his actions to indicate 
the approaching exile of the inhabi- 
tants of Jerusalem and their prince. 
He is to prepare for removal into 
exile and to remove from one place 
to another with his goods, digging 
at the same time a hole in the wall 
through which to pass. This action 
is to take place in the sight of his 
companions in exile as in previous 
cases (iv. 12) and as also in later 
ones (xxi. 6: xxxvii. 20: xliii. 11). 
This would give them an opportunity 
for considering their own rebellious 

of their 

ways, as well as those 
fellow-countrymen. The 
tions for removal were to be made 
by day and the prophet's actual 
departure was to be made under 
cover of night. It makes no differ- 
ence to the symbolism whether the 
wall to be dug through was that 
of the prophet's house or of the city 
or village in which he dwelt. The 
actual flight of king Zedekiah and 
his soldiers from Jerusalem did take 
place by night after the Babylonian 
army had made a breach in the 
walls, but the escape was made 
through a gate by the king's garden 
(2 K. XXV. 4: Jer. xxxix. 4: lii. 7). 
The prophet is to cover his face as 
the king would do, partly in grief, 
partly to conceal his flight from his 
subjects. There is also a covert allu- 


4-1 « 


5 go forth into exile. Dig thou through the wall in their 

6 sight, and carry out thereby. In their sight shalt thou 
bear it upon thy shoulder, and carry it forth in the dark ; 
thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground : 
for I have set thee for a sign unto the house of Israel. 

7 And I did so as I was commanded : I brought forth my 
stuff by day, as stuff for removing, and in the even I 
digged through the wall with mine hand ; I brought it 
forth in the dark, and bare it upon my shoulder in their 

8 sight. And in the morning came the word of the Lord 

9 unto me, saying, Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, 
the rebellious house, said unto thee. What doest thou? 

10 Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: This ^burden 
coneerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of 

11 Israel ^ among whom they are. Say, I am your sign : like 
as I have done, so shall it be done unto them : they shaU 

12 go into exile, into captivity. And the prince that is among 
them shall bear upon his shoulder in the dark, and shall 
go forth : they shall dig through the wall to carry out 

^ Or, oracle ^ Or, that are among them 

sion to the fact that the king would 
not see the land to which he was to 
be carried captive. All his actions 
were to be a sign, just as the laying 
siege to Jerusalem portrayed upon 
a tablet was a sign also (iv. 3). The 
prophet carries out his instructions 
to the letter (cp. xxiv. 18: xxxvii. 7), 
and, we are led to suppose (v. 9), 
is asked the meaning of what he 
is doing (cp. xxiv. 19: xxxvii. 18). 
The next morning he is bidden to 
explain all that he has done to his 
companions. The explanation he 
gives is called a ' burden ' or ' oracle.' 
The word in the Hebrew means 
simply an utterance, from the idea 
of lifting up the voice. As the root 
from which the word is derived 
meant to lift up a burden as well as 

to lift up the voice, and, further, as 
the utterances to which the word 
is applied in prophecy (e.g. constantly 
in Isaiah) generally though not 
always conveyed the idea of punish- 
ment or affliction, the use of the 
word 'burden' can readily be under- 
stood. For the use of the word 
'prince' as appUed to the king of 
Judah, see note on vii. 27. The words 
{v. 10) 'among whom they are' {marg. 
'that are among them') do not 
convey any obvious meaning, and 
point to a probable corruption of 
the text. In i>. 11 the prophet 
describes himself as the representa- 
tive of the Israelites just as he is 
said to be later (xxiv. 24). The 
prince is Zedekiah who escaped from 
the city by night in shame and 



XIL 13-19 

thereby : he shall cover his face, because he shall not see 

13 the Aground with his eyes. My net also will I spread upon 
him, and he shall be taken in my snare : and I will bring 
him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans ; yet shall he 

14 not see it, though he shall die there. And I will scatter 
toward every wind all that are round about him to help 
him, and all his bands ; and I will draw out the sword after 

15 them. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I 
shall disperse them among the nations, and scatter them 

16 through the countries. But I will leave a few men of 
them from the sword, from the famine, and from the 
pestilence ; that they may declare all their abominations 
among the nations whither they come ; and they shall 
know that I am the Lord. 

xxi. A second symbolic action to indicate the times of 
famine and distress that would ensue upon the captivity, 
xii. 17-20. 

17 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 

18 Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy 

19 water with trembling and with carefulness ; and say unto 
the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord God concerning 


1 Or, land 

confusion of face, and whose flight 
was to end in a land which he would 
not see because of his having been 

The net is, as elsewhere, the net 
of captivity (xvii 20 : xix. 8 : xxxii. 
2). Zedekiah did not see Babylon 
because his eyes were put out at 
Riblah (2 K. xxv. 7: Jer. lii. 11), 
probably because of his attempt to 
throw off his state of vassalage. His 
army broke up in the plain of Jericho 
(2 K. xxv. 5), and no doubt was 
decimated by its pursuers (cp. i?. 14 

with V. 2). Twice again the burden 
of the prophecy is taken up : ' they 
shall know that I am the Lord' 
(w. 15, 16: cp. vi. 7). But still a 
remnant was to survive, who in their 
repentance would own to the abomi- 
nations which they had committed. 
17-20. Another symbolic action, 
similar to that in iv. 9-11, 16, 17, 
to indicate the want that should 
ensue upon the desolation of the 
land by Nebuchadrezzar's armies. 
The cause of this desolation is as- 
signed to the previous lawlessness of 

XII. i9-'23 




■[ the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the land of Israel : They 

^m. shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their 
^B water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate 
1^« from ^all that is therein, because of the violence of all 

20 them that dwell therein. And the cities that are inhabited 

shall be laid waste, and the land shall be a desolation ; and 

ye shall know that I am the Lord. 

xxii. Two popular sayings, one of them being in the form of 
a proverb, are stated and declared to be false, God's 
word is declared to be sure and immutable and no 
further delay is to be expected. The fulfihnent is at 
hand, xii. 21-28. 

21 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

22 Son of man, what is this proverb that ye have in the land 
of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision 

23 faileth? Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God: 
I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use 
it as a proverb in Israel ; but say unto them. The days are 

1 Heb. the fulness thereof. 

the inhabitants (vii. 11, 23) and it is 
not limited to Jerusalem : it is to 
spread all over the land (vi. 6), with 
the consequence so often already ex- 
pressed : ' they shall know that I am 
the Lord ' (vi. 7). The word 'careful- 
ness' {v. 18) is here used as equivalent 
to ' anxiety ' (cp. 1 Cor. vii. 32 A.V.). 
21-25. A popular saying is here 
repeated as in xviii. 2, 3. The 
word translated 'proverb' means any 
pointed saying, as in 1 Sam. x. 12 : 
xxiv. 13. This saying had evidently 
been used to discredit the prophecies 
of the prophets, just as it is an- 
nounced should be the case ' in the 
last days ' (2 Pet: iii. 3, 4). The exact 
contrary of the proverb, which is no 
more to be used, is set forth. The 

'word ' {v. 23 marg.) explaining every 
vision is to have its accomplishment. 
Vain visions and flattering divina- 
tions which had been uttered by false 
prophets (xiii. 1-7) were to be put 
an end to. A prevalent form of de- 
lusion is indicated by the recurrence 
of the subject in the succeeding pro- 
phecies, for men thought that the 
time had lengthened out without any 
fulfilment of that which had been 
uttered. Similar experiences had be- 
fallen Jeremiah (v. 13 : xvii. 15). God's 
word is to have its due effect, and 
the result of it is not to be deferred 
(cp. Isa. xiii. 22: Iv. 11). The word 
'divination' implies either idolatrous 
or false prophets. Deluding popular 
sayings have prevailed in all ages. 




24 at hand, and the ^effect of every vision. For there shall 
be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination 

25 within the house of Israel. For I am the Lord ; I will 
speak, and the word that I shall speak shall be performed ; 
it shall be no more deferred : for in your days, O rebellious 
house, will I speak the word, and will perform it, saith the 
Lord God. 

26 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 

27 Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say. The 
vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he 

28 prophesieth of times that are far ofil Therefore say unto 
them. Thus saith the Lord GrOD : There shall none of my 
words be deferred any more, but the word which I shall 
speak shall be performed, saith the Lord GrOD. 

xxiii. A demmdation of the, false prophets and prophetesses 
in three separate pronouncements ; two referring to the 
prophetSf the third to the prophetesses, xiii. 1-7 : xiiL 
8-16 : xiii. 17-23. 

XIII. 1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, 

2 saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of 

Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that 

1 Heb. word. 

*Vox populi, vox Dei,' 'Seeing is 
believing,' will furnish specimens of 
such proverbial expressions. 

26-28. Another form of delusion 
was that the prophecy was indeed 
true, though its fulfilment need not 
be looked for except in the distant 
future. This the prophet deals with 
very summarily. It is a delusion that 
often recurs (cp. Am. vi. 3 : 2 Pet. 
iii. 4). One caution must, however, 
be given. The prophecy may have 
its immediate fulfilment, but that by 
no means always exhausts the mean- 
ing it is capable of. Just as in our 
Lord's discourses His eschatological 

prophecies had a partial fulfilment 
in the final siege and fall of Jeru- 
salem, but also look forward to a 
future and greater fulfilment and 
the words referring to each cannot 
be precisely discriminated, so no 
doubt many of the prophetical utter- 
ances of the Old Testament had a ful- 
filment beyond that which the pro- 
phet himself understood, and have a 
much wider range, with lessons and 
warnings for all time. 
XIII. 1-7. The first op two 


LIARS. Their prophecies were their 

XIII. 2-6 



prophesy out of their own heart, Hear ye the word of the 

3 Lord ; Thus saith the Lord God : Woe unto the foolish 
prophets, that follow their own spirit, ^and have seen 

4 nothing ! Israel, thy prophets have been like foxes in 

5 the wast.e places. Ye have not gone up into the ^gaps, 
neither made up the fence for the house of Israel, to stand 

6 in the battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen 
vanity and lying divination, that say. The Lord saith ; and 
the Lord hath not sent them : and they ^have made men 

^ Or, and things which tfiey have not seen ^ Or, breaches 
* Or, have hoped 

own inventions ('out of their own 
heart': cp. v. 11: Jer. xxiii. 16, 26) 
and expressed their own wishes and 
desires. They professed to have had 
visions but had not really seen any- 
thing. This prophecy is in alternate 
verses addressed to the people {vv, 
4, 6) and to the prophets {w. 5, 7). 
These are compared to the foxes 
(or, perhaps, jackals, cp. Lam. v. 18) 
wandering about in the twilight 
on the ruins of a fallen city and 
by burrowing in them helping to 
increase still further the devas- 
tation. No doubt from the days of 
Jehoiakim, if not from still earlier 
times, the fortifications of Jerusalem 
had suffered serious injury, even 
though the city was still able to 
stand a siege. The prophets are also 
reproached for not sharing in the 
defence of the city against its 
enemies (cp. xxii. 30). In reality 
they had no divine mission and no 
divine revelation (cp. xxii. 28) to 
communicate. They were 'foolish' 
(». 3). The adjective is identical 
with the name Nabal (1 S. xxv. 25). 
In the later Hebrew the word may 
be taken to include lewdness (see 
new Oxf. Heb. Dict.\ and the moral 

condition of the prophets of Jeru- 
salem is described in very strong 
language by Jeremiah (xxiii. 14 : 
xxix. 23). The discussion of the false 
prophet's position and powers is one 
of no little difficulty as we have very 
few data to go upon. It seems indubi- 
table that at the time of the fall of 
Jerusalem there were numbers of false 
prophets to be found in the city. 
The following interesting extract 
from a volume on Inspiration by 
the late Dr F. Watson (S.P.C.K. 
1906) will tell us all perhaps that 
we can safely gather from the in- 
formation at our disposal. 

' There were false prophets as well 
as true in Israel, and what is almost 
of more importance, prophets of a 
lower as well as of a higher inspira- 
tion. Some prophets spake out of 
their own heart ; of some it is said 
that they were even inspired by a 
lying spirit from the Lord ; of some 
that God had not sent them. There 
are cupboard prophets, whom Micah 
describes as walking in the wind and 
falsehood, and prophesying of wine 
and strong drink. There was a large 
prophetic class or order, and, as 
Professor Sandaj says, "Where there 



XIII. 6- 

7 to hope that the word should be confirmed. Have ye not 
Been a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying 
divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith ; albeit I have 
not spoken ? 


8 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because ye have 
spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am 

9 against you, saith the Lord God. And mine hand shall be 
against the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies : 
they shall not be in the ^council of my people, neither 
shall they be written in the ^writing of the house of Israel, 
neither shall they enter into the land of Israel ; and ye 

10 shall know that I am the Lord God. Because, even 
because they have seduced my people, saying. Peace ; and 
there is no peace ; and when one buildeth up ^a wall, 

^ Or, secret ^ Or, register ' Or, a slight wall 

is a professional class there are sure 
to be professional failings.^' "There 
would be small natures among them 
as well as great. They would be apt 
to fall into conventional and unreal 
ways of speaking." It is plain that 
not all the words of the prophets 
contained in Holy Scripture have 
the same abidingness or spiritual 
power.,.. And it is plain that pro- 
phecy, like all institutions in which 
man has a substantial part, was 
liable to fall into utter corruption. 
Jeremiah had no greater or more 
dangerous enemies than the prophets 
of his time '(pp. 137, 8). 

'The day of the Lord' is an ex- 
pression constantly recurring in the 
Old Testament to indicate the time 
of Divine Punishment. From there 
it found its way into the New Testa- 
ment (e.g. 'the day of the Lord so 
cometh as a thief in the night,' 1 
Thess. V. 2): see Introd. p. xxxvi. 


Lord had declared Himself against 
Jeinisalem (v. 8) and afterwards de- 
clares Himself against the land of 
Israel (xxi. 3), against Tyre (xxvi. 3), 
against Zidon (xxviii. 22), against 
Pharaoh (xxix. 3 : xxx. 22), against 
the shepherds of Israel (xxxiv. 10), 
against Mount Seir (xxxv. 3), and 
against Gog (xxxviii. 3), so here He 
declares Himself against the false 
prophets. They are to be cast out 
altogether from the assembly, struck 
off the register (R.V. marg.), le. the 
list of those of genuine Jewish birth 
(cp. in the N.T. the mention of the 
names of those of the spiritual 
Isi'ael, which are recorded in the 
Book of Life, PhiL iv. 8, and Swete 
on Rev. iii. 5), and not to be 
allowed to return to their country 


11 behold, they daub it with untempered mortar: say unto 
them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall 
fall : there shall be an overflowing shower ; and ye, great 

12 hailstones, shall fall ; and a stormy wind shall rend it. Lo, 
when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, 
Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? 

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God ; I will even rend it 
with a stormy wind in my fury ; and there shall be an 
overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in 

14 fury to consume it. So will I break down the wall that ye 
have daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down 
to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be 
discovered : and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed 
in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I am the 

15 Lord. Thus will I accomplish my fury upon the wall, and 
upon them that have daubed it with untempered mortar ; 
and I will say unto you. The wall is no more, neither they 

16 that daubed it ; to wit, the prophets of Israel which 
prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions 
of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord God. 

17 And thou, son of man, set thy face against the 

Xcp. XX. 38). Such a punishment of mortar (or perhaps the word may 
a prophet of the captivity is foretold mean dry clay which would craxjk; 
in the case of Shemaiah by Jeremiah cp. xxii. 28). The result, in the case 
(xxix. 30-32). Here the refrain ' ye of the wall, is that in a time of stress 
shall know that I am the Lord' and storm it will fall and its foun- 
(see vi. 7) is caught up again from dations will be laid open. So all the 
xii. 20. The reason for their ex- false hopes that the false prophets 
pulsion is the deceit they have used have built up will be shattered ; and 
towards the people. The utterance people will see the feeble character 
of a message of peace when there of their work, when the unreality of 
was no peace is made a common it all shall be exposed by the storm- 
cause of complaint by the true pro- like attack of the Babylonians. The 
phets, by Jeremiah (vi. 14) and Micah final result will be the assertion of 
(iii. 5) as well as by Ezekiel. The God's power and glory : once again 
eflFect of endeavouring to encourage the refrain comes in ' ye shall know 
the people m the belief in peace and that I am the Lord.' 
prosperity is compared to the effect 17-23. Denunciation op the 
of a man trying to strengthen a slight prophetesses. In this section the 
wall (R.V. marg.) with untempered prophet is directed to turn his 


XIII. 17, 18 

daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own 

18 heart ; and prophesy thou against them, and say. Thus 

saith the Lord God : Woe to the women that sew pillowsj 

upon all ^elbows, and make kerchiefs for the head ol 

^ Heb. joints of the hands. 

attention to the false prophetesses. 
Prophetesses had been recognized 
at various times in the history of 
the people. Miriam, the sister of 
Moses and Aaron is called a pro- 
phetess (Ex. XV. 20); Deborah a 
prophetess judged Israel in the 
time of Barak; Huldah the pro- 
phetess was consulted after the 
discovery of 'the book of the law' 
in Josiah's reign, and gave a pro- 
phetic utterance concerning the 
future (2 K. xxii. 14-20 : 2 Chr. xxxiv. 
22-28). An anonymous prophetess 
was the mother of Isaiah's son Maher- 
shalal-hash-baz (Is. viii. 3), and, not 
many years after this denunciation 
of the prophetesses, a prophetess 
Noadiah vrith 'the rest of the pro- 
phets' was amongst the opponents 
of Nehemiah when a conspiracy was 
made against him by Tobiah and 
Sanballat, and would have put him 
in fear (Neh. vi. 14). We still find 
prophetesses existing in New Testa- 
ment times. Anna a prophetess was 
present when our Lord was brought 
into the Temple at the purification 
of the Blessed Virgin (Lk. ii. 36). 
Philip the evangelist 'had four 
daughters, virgins, which did pro- 
phesy ' (Acts xxi. 9 : cp. 1 Cor. xi. 5). 
One false prophetess is mentioned 
(Rev. ii. 20) as being at Thyatira, ' the 
woman Jezebel, which calleth herself 
a prophetess.' These false prophet- 
esses of Ezekiel's time did like the 
prophets. They followed their own 
imaginations and their own wishes, 

and therefore the prophet was 
oppose them. 

18. Pillows, kerchiefs] The mean- 
ing and intention of the feminim 
practices here described is very^ 
obscure. The words themselves 
are of doubtful signification. That 
rendered 'pillows' (ninp?), in ac- 
cordance with the meaning of the 
word in later Hebrew, more probably 
means 'bands' or 'fillets' sewn on 
to the robes after the fashion of the 
' phylacteries ' of the New Testament 
(Mt. xxiii. 5). In fact in the Hex- 
apla the Hebrew word is represented 
by (pvKaKTTjpia and Ephraem Syrus 
makes it equivalent to some sort of 
charm or amulet. If we take the 
Hebrew literally as it stands the 
women are represented as sewing 
these on the joints of God's hands 
(R.V. marg.), as if it were to 
prevent Him from touching them. 
But this seems scarcely reasonable, 
and a much more natural interpre- 
tation is to suppose that the women 
sewed these amulets on the wrists of 
the garments of those who con- 
sulted them to shew to whom they 
belonged. The other word (ninspD) 
translated 'kerchiefs,' seems to be of 
equally uncertain meaning and may 
perhaps indicate veils or wimples, 
which perhaps were used to shelter 
the persons who wore them from the 
influences of evil spirits or from 
the evil eye ; or, still more probably, 
the language is figurative and implies 
that they kept them from a percep- 

XIII. 18-20 



persons of e\ery stature to hunt souls ! ^Will ye hunt the 
souls of my people, and save souls alive ^for yourselves ? 

19 And ye have profaned me among my people for handfuls 
of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that 
should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not 
live, by your lying to my people that hearken unto lies. 

20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord God : Behold, I am against 
your pillows, ^wherewith ye there hunt the souls *to make 
them fly, and I will tear them from your arms ; and I will 
let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt *to make them 

1 Or, Ye hunt... and ye save dtc. ^ Or, that are yours 
' Or, where ye hunt * Or, as birds 

tion of the truth. In both cases the 
result would be the same. These 
women would capture these persons 
and make them believe in their 
pernicious doctrines, for the word 
translated 'souls' does not here 
convey exactly the same idea as 
the English word. All this was 
done ostensibly as a part of the 
worship of the true God. The last 
part of V. 18 is better taken as 
a statement and not as a question : 
Ye hunt the souls of my people, and 
ye save your own souls. 

19. In this verse a further charge 
is made against these women, the 
false prophetesses. They have pro- 
faned God, i.e. His name and there- 
fore His glory, bartering, as it were. 
His honour in return for the smallest 
offerings, such as handfuls of barley 
and pieces of bread (cp. 1 Sam. ii. 36). 
It was from barley rather than from 
wheat that the ordinary bread of the 
people was made. Their operations 
may have had licentious rites con- 
nected with them, but whether this 
was so or not the result was the 
opposite to what it ought to have 
been if they had been true prophet- 

esses. As a consequence of all this 
Jehovah declares Himself against 
them, their ' pillows ' and their ' ker- 
chiefs.' The words 'to make them 
fly ' (marg. better ' as birds ') which 
occur twice in this verse represent 
a very doubtful Hebrew word, the 
first occurrence of which is not re- 
cognised by the Septuagint, though 
Aquila had the word in the text 
before him in this place. There 
would seem to have been, as early 
as Theodotion, another reading of 
the Hebrew word (from parak in- 
stead of parah) which would give 
the meaning in both places to snatch 
them away in the sense of to rescue 
them (cp. Ps. cxxxvi. 24 : Lam. v. 8). 
The diflaculty of the word as it stands 
is obvious : the meaning given above 
agrees better with the next verse, 
for the purpose of God to rescue His 
people from these women is there 
indicated. Twice more we have the 
refrain ' ye shall know that I am the 
Lord ' (cp. vi. 7). The false prophet- 
esses were with the false prophets 
one of the curses of the time (see 
note on p. 60). Those who remained 
faithful were saddened by their lying 


XIII. 20-XIV. « 

21 fly. Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people 
out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand 
to be hunted ; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 

22 Because with lies ye have grieved the heart of the 
righteous, whom I have not made sad ; and strengthened 
the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from 

23 his wicked way, ^and be saved alive : therefore ye shall no 
more see vanity, nor divine divinations : and I will deliver 
my people out of your hand ; and ye shall know that I am 
the Lord. 

xxiv. Sundry detached utterances, xiv. 1-xv. 8. 

(a) Concerning idolaters and the prophet who is 

deceived, xiv. 1-11. 

(b) No human power can deliver th£ land: yet there 

shall be a remnant, xiv. 12-23. 

(c) Jerusalem, like the vine branches, given to the fi/re, 

XV. 1-8. 

XIV. 1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel 
2 unto me, and sat before me. And the word of the Lord 

^ Or, 6y promising him life 

utterances, whilst the wicked were 
encouraged in their wickedness by 
the example set them (cp. Jer. xxiii. 
14). These prophetesses are to be 
stopped in their career : they were 
not to be allowed to pursue their 
calling. Such prophets and pro- 
phetesses as are referred to in this 
chapter seem to have prophesied 
both in Jerusalem and to the cap- 
tivity. In V. 22 the text gives the 
meaning better than the margin. 
For the words used in v. 23 see 
w. 6, 7, and 9. 

XIV. 1-11. The elders of Israel, 
or rather some of them, are here re- 
presented as if they were awaiting an 

oracular utterance (cp. viii. 1). Their 
motive may have been curiosity or the 
wish to find some handle of objection 
against Ezekiel in favour of the false 
prophets. They are represented 
as not having any right to make any 
inquiries at all. They had accepted 
idol worship : this had become 'the 
stumblingblock of their ,iniquity' 
(the same expression occurs in w. 4, 
7 : vii. 19 : xliv. 12). The question 
asked {v. 2) implies a negative 
answer : but the answer is to corre- 
spond to their condition {vv. 4, 
7). By their idolatrous worship the 
people had put themselves at a 
distance from God. With them 

XIV. 1-9 EZEKIEL 63 

3 came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have ^ taken 
their idols into their heart, and put the stumblingblock of 
their iniquity before their face : should I be inquired of at 

4 all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto 
them, Thus saith the Lord God : Every man of the house of 
Israel that taketh his idols into his heart, and putteth the 
stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh 
to the prophet ; I the Lord will answer him ^therein accord- 

5 ing to the multitude of his idols ; that I may take the house 
of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged 

6 from me through their idols. Therefore say unto the house 
of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God : Return ye, and turn 
yourselves from your idols ; and turn away your faces from 

7 all your abominations. For every one of the house of 
Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, which 
separateth himself from me, and taketh his idols into his 
heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity 
before his face, and cometh to the prophet to inquire ^for 

8 himself of me ; I the Lord will answer him by myself : and 
I will set my face against that man, and will make him an 
astonishment, for a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him 
off from the midst of my people ; and ye shall know that I 

' 9 am the Lord. And if the prophet be ^deceived and speaketh 
a word, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will 

* Heb. caused to come up. ^ Or, according thereto Another reading is, he 
is come in the multitude dtc. * Or, of him concerning me * Or, enticed 

were involved the resident aliens 9. a word] i.e. a prophetical 

who had settled in the country and utterance. We are not to suppose 

accepted the Jewish religion. The that these false prophets had been 

prophet is to call all these to deceived from the very beginning of 

repentance. They are to turn their their career. Rather it is implied 

backs upon the idols and to return that, as time went on, they had wil- 

to God. If they are still idolaters fully deceived the people, till at last 

and go to the prophet to inquire as they had been allowed by Divine 

to God's will, an answer of con- Providence to continue their work 

demnation is to be given to them as of deceit Such seems to have been 

coming directly from God. Yet the mysterious way in which God 

again comes in the refrain ' ye shall dealt with those generations. The 

know that I am the Lord ' (see vi 7). course implied can be compared 



XIV. 9-is' 

stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from 

10 the midst of my people Israel. And they shall bear Hheir 
iniquity : the iniquity of the prophet shall be even as the 

11 iniquity of him that seeketh unto him ; that the house of 
Israel may go no more astray from me, neither defile them- 
selves any more with all their transgressions ; but that they 
may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the 
Lord God. 

12 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

13 Son of man, when a land sinneth against me by committing 
a trespass, and I stretch out mine hand upon it, and break 
the stafi" of the bread thereof, and send famine upon it, and 

14 cut ofi* from it man and beast ; though these three men, 
Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but 
their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God. 

15 If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and 

^ Or, the punishment of their iniquity 

with the Divine treatment of the 
Pharaoh of the Bxodiis. At first 
he hardens his heart, then God 
hardens his heart or allows it to 
remain hardened, and destruction 
follows, as it does also in the case of 
the prophets. Quern Deits vult 
perdere^ priiis dementat But in 
the condemnation pronounced here, 
prophet and inquirer are alike to 
receive punishment. In this way 
only will the people be warned and 
kept straight, and free from pollution 
(cp. xxxvii. 23). Then indeed they 
may still hope to be God's people, 
and that He will be their God as 
He promises (xi. 20 : xxxvi. 28 : 
xxxvii. 23 : cp. Lev. xxvi. 12). This 
was a constant desire and expecta- 
tion of the prophets of the time. 
Jeremiah frequently expresses the 

same promise (cp. Jer. xxiv. 7 : 
XXX. 22: xxxi. 1, 33: xxxii. 38), 
just as Hosea had done in slightly 
diflFerent language (ii. 23X and 
Zechariah was to do later (viii. 8 : 
xiii. 9). In the Apocalypse the same 
idea is taken up : 'they shall be His 
peoples, and God Himself shall be 
with them, and be their God... 
He that overcometh shall inherit 
these things ; and I will be his God, 
and he shall be My son ' (Rev. xxi. 
3, 7). So St Paul incorporated the 
same statement in his argument in 
2 Corinthians (vi. 16 ff.). 

12-20. In these verses we have 
the limitations expressed that are 
imposed upon the power of man for 
good with regard to his fellow men. 
That such an influence could be 
exercised is allowed in the account 

XIV. I5-20 



they ^ spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass 

16 through because of the beasts ; though these three men 
were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver 
neither sons nor daughters ; they only shall be delivered, 

17 but the land shall be desolate. Or if I bring a sword upon 
that land, and say, ^ Sword, go through the land ; so that I 

18 cut off from it man and beast; though these three men 
were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver 
neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered 

19 themselves. Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and 
pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man 

20 and beast : though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as 
I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son 
nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by 

^ Or, bereave ^ Or, Let the sword go 

of Abraham's entreaty for Sodom : 
but the present passage narrows 
down this power, while the pessi- 
mistic author of Ps. xlix, seems to 
go further still when he says 'None 
of them can by any means redeem 
his brother, Nor give to God a 
ransom for him' {v. 7). For the 
teaching of Ezekiel as to * trespass ' 
and ' sin,' see Introd. p. xxxiv. Here 
the land is spoken of instead of its 
inhabitants and is made to share in 
the punishment, quite in accordance 
with what is said in the account of 
the Fall (Gen. iii. 17, 18). The 
breaking 'the staflF of bread' had 
already been announced by Ezekiel 
in earlier prophecies (iv. 16 : v. 16 : 
cp. Lev. xxvi. 26). The introduction 
of the three men is similar to the 
introduction of other well known 
persons by Jeremiah (xv. 1) : 'Though 
Moses and Samuel stood before me, 
yet my mind could not be toward 
this people.' Of the particular three 
mentioned here little need be said. 

They have been taken as standing 
for types of strugglers against the 
world (Noah), the Jlesh (Daniel) 
and the devil (Job). They had saved 
others as well as themselves (Heb. 
xi. 7 : Job xlii. 9 : Dan. iii. 49). ' Noah 
was a righteous man ' (Gen. vi. 9 : 
cp. vii. 1 : Ecclus. xliv, 17), and *a 
preacher of righteousness' (2 Pet. 
ii. 5). Job 'was perfect and upright' 
(Job i. 1). Doubts have been ex- 
pressed, but without much basis to 
go upon, as to whether the Daniel of 
Ezekiel is the prophet Daniel. Even 
though the book of Daniel may be 
of later date, yet it would seem 
most probable that the Daniel of it 
was a historical personage of an 
earlier time. Daniel must, indeed, 
have been a young man at this time, 
or, at any rate, not more than in the 
prime of life : and the insertion of his 
name here is a striking tribute on the 
part of Ezekiel to his fellow-captive's 
character. The placing of his name 
before Job's is a mere accident : the 



XIV. 10-23 

21 their righteousness. For thus saith the Lord God: How 
much more when I send my four sore judgements upon 
Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome 
beasts, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast? 

22 Yet, behold, therein shall be left ^a remnant that shall be 
carried forth, both sons and daughters : behold, they shall 
come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their 
doings : and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil 
that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all 

23 that I have brought upon it. And they shall comfort you, 

1 Heb. they that escape. 

names did not need to be mentioned 
in chronological order. The mention 
of Daniel elsewhere by Ezekiel(xxviii. 
3: 'behold thou art wiser than 
Daniel ; there is no secret that they 
can hide from thee') seems to point 
to just such a person as is described 
in the book of Daniel (i. 17 'as for 
these four youths, God gave them 
knowledge and skill in all learning 
and wisdom : and Daniel had under- 
standing in all visions and dreams'). 
There is no need therefore to think 
of another Daniel than the well- 
known one. The word translated 
'noisome,' i.e. harmful (cp. v. 21), 
is the same as that translated ' evil ' 
elsewhere in this book (v. 17) and 
' noisome ' is a survival from the A. V. 
The idea is that the wild beasts 
were to gain the upper hand, so that 
men could not live in the country. 
The adjuration of vv. 16, 18, 20 is of 
common occurrence in this book 
(cp. V. 11). The sword {v. 17) and 
the pestilence {v. 19) have already 
been mentioned (v. 12) and occur 
also in a similar passage in Leviticus 
(xxvi. 25). The various ways in 
which the prophet plays upon the 
main string of his idea is noticeable, 

' these three men, Noah, Daniel and 
Job' {v. 14), 'these three men' 
{v. 18), 'Noah, Daniel, and Job' 
{v. 20). The pestilence was to be 
such as occuiTcd after David's sin of 
numbering the people (2 S. xxiv. 15: 
1 Chr. xxi. 14). The words 'in 
blood ' are used in connection with 
the pestilence as equivalent to 'in 
the taking of life': for the blood 
was held to be the life (cp. Gen. ix. 4). 
Pestilence and blood have already 
been connected together (v. 17). 

This fourfold idea of God's 
punishment of the world occurs 
again in Revelation (vi. 8 'there was 
given unto them authority over the 
fourth part of the earth, to kill 
with sword, and with famine, and 
with death [marg. pestilence], and 
by the wild beasts of the earth ' : 
cp. 2 Esdr. XV. 5). 

22, 23. Still there is hope for a 
remnant, that hope which constantly 
asserts itself (cp. vi. 8: xii. 16). It is 
implied that a remnant from Jeru- 
salem, who, in some mysterious way, 
would be a comfort to the earlier 
exiles, are to join those already 
in captivity. The comfort ap- 
parently was to arise from the 

XIV. 23-XV. 6 



when ye see their way and their doings : and ye shall know 
that I have not done ^without cause all that I have done 
in it, saith the Lord God. 

XV. 1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, 

2 saying, Son of man, what is the vine tree more than any 
tree, the vine branch which ^is among the trees of the 

3 forest ? Shall wood be taken thereof to make any work ? 
or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon ? 

4 Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel : the fire hath 
devoured both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned ; 

5 is it profitable for any work ? Behold, when it was whole, 
it was ^meet for no work : how much less, when the fire 
hath devoured it, and it is burned, shall it yet be ^meet 

6 for any work? Therefore thus saith the Lord God: As 

Or, in vain 

* Or, was ' Heb. made into. 

consciousness that in the captivity 
God's dealing with His people was 
justified : for these later exiles would 
include the most ignorant, most 
superstitious and most degraded of 
the people who had been left behind 
when the former deportations had 
taken place (2 K. xxiv. 14 : and cp. 
the parable of the very good and 
the very bad figs in Jer. xxiv.). 

XV. 1-8. The comparison of 
Israel or Jerusalem to a vine is one 
of constant occurrence in the Old 
Testament. It occurs again later 
in this book (xvii. 6 : xix. 10-14) and 
also in Isaiah (v. 1 : cp. the parable of 
the vineyard, Matt. xxi. 33 : Mk xii. 
1 : Lk. XX. 9), but perhaps the 
similarity to this passage is most 
striking in Ps. Ixxx. (vv. 14-16 : 'Look 
down from heaven, and behold, and 
visit this vine, And the stock which 
Thy right hand hath planted, And 
the branch that Thou madest strong 

for Thyself. It is burned with fire, 
it is cut down ') ; and we are carried 
on to our Lord's words, 'I am the 
vine, ye are the branches.... If a man 
abide not in Me, he is cast forth as 
a branch, and is withered ; and they 
gather them, and cast them into the 
fire, and they are burned ' (John xv. 
5, 6). The wood of the vine is of no 
use in itself, not even to make a peg 
of, but is only fit for fuel. Much 
less is it of use when it has been 
burned. So it will be with Jeru- 
salem and its inhabitants : it shall 
be consumed with fire and come 
to an end : this will be God's judge- 
ment upon it. The prophet may 
have in his mind here the wild 
vine or a degenerate cultivated vine 
rather than the grape-bearing culti- 
vated vine : but the wood of both 
alike is useless. For the actual 
destruction of Jerusalem by fire see 
2 K. XXV. 9 : 2 Chr. ixxvi. 19 : Jer. 




6-8-XVI. 3 

the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have 
given to the fire for fuel, so ^will I give the inhabitants of 

7 Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them ; they 
^shall go forth from the fire, but the fire shall devour 
them ; and ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I set 

8 my face against them. And I will make the land 
desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith 
the Lord God. 

XXV. A long and elaborate description of the 
history of Jerusalem, xvi. 

Its development from a poor, humble and heathen origin is described 
aA well as the sore straits and impoverished condition it was in, when God 
selected it for Himself and bound it to Him by a covenant. His love then 
adorned it with all manner of glory and beauty, both in situation and in 

XVI. 1 Again the word of the Lord came unto me, 

2 saying. Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abomina- 

3 tions, and say, Thus saith the Lord GcOD unto Jerusalem : 

^ Or, have I given ^ Qr, have gone forth 

xxxix. 8, lil 13. Jeremiah had also 
prophesied the burning of the city 
(xxL 10). The variations of the 
margin here make these verses an 
explanation of the Divine purpose in a 
destruction already past rather than 
a looking forward to the future. 
Again the refrain comes in ' ye shall 
know that I am the Lord ' (see vi. 7). 
The trespass {v. 8) here as always 
was the lapse into idolatry. 

XVL 1-9. The object of this his- 
tory is to shew the abominations of 
which Jerusalem has been guilty 
(cp. xxii. 2), and the account goes 
back to the city's very foundation 
and origin. It was Canaanite in 
genus long before it belonged to the 

Israehtes and was produced from a 
imion of Amorite and Hittite. The 
Amorite is described as descended 
from Canaan (Gen. x. 16) as well as 
Heth, i.e. the Hittite, and both 
Hivite and Hittite appear among 
the peoples of the land mentioned 
which are to be dispossessed 
(Deut. vii. 1). Some have wished 
to substitute Hivite here but the 
assertion of the text is repeated in 
V. 45 and the present reading is as 
old as the Septuagint version. It is 
to be noticed that in Gen. x. 15 Heth 
immediately precedes the Jebusite, 
who is connected inseparably with 
Jerusalem (Judg. i. 21), while the 
Amorite is the very next name in 

XVI. 3-7 



^Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of the Canaanite ; 
the Amorite was thy father, and thy mother was an Hittite. 

4 And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy 
navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to 
cleanse thee ; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at 

5 all. 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 

6 day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, 
and saw thee weltering in thy blood, I said unto thee, 
Though thou art in thy blood, live ; yea, I said unto thee, 

7 Though thou art in thy blood, live. I ^ caused thee to 
multiply as the bud of the field, and thou didst increase 
and wax great, and thou attainedst to ^excellent ornament ; 
thy breasts were fashioned, and thine hair was grown ; yet 

1 Or, Thine origin ^ Heb. made thee a myriad. 
* Heb. ornament of ornaments. 

order ; and there seems no reason to 
doubt that whilst the main body of 
the Hittites lived in the north a 
smaller body of them were amongst 
the inhabitants of Southern Canaan 
(see Prof Sayce in Expository Times, 
March, 1904, p. 280). It may be 
remembered also, as illustrating this 
passage, that from an early period 
the Babylonians described the in- 
habitants of Palestine as Amurru 
or Amorite. The earliest history of 
Jerusalem is described under the 
image of a pitiful and neglected 
infant exposed by its mother to 
death. 'To cleanse thee' (A.V. 
' To supple thee ') represents a word 
of doubtful meaning which does 
not occur elsewhere. It is omitted 
in the Septuagint, but two of 
the Greek versions read the word 
differently and translate ' for safety ' 

or ' salvation.' 
the bodies of 

The salting of 
new-born infants 

is still practised in Palestine 
and is believed to harden and 
strengthen them. Salt has always 
been looked upon as a preservative, 
and the practice may have had 
originally a spiritual meaning as 
well (cp. Lev. ii. 13 'with all thine 
oblations thou shalt offer salt '). The 
word 'weltering' {vv. 6, 22) means 
' wallowing ' or ' rolling about in ' and 
represents, it is interesting to note, 
the participle of a Hebrew verb with 
which the name Jebus (cp. Judg. xix. 
10) or Jebusite may be connected. 
The transition from the Canaanite 
Jerusalem to the Israelite Jerusalem 
is nowhere clearly defined, perhaps 
because of the mixed character of 
the population (cp. Josh. xv. 63: Judg. 
i. 21 : 2 Sam. v. 6) ; for we may re- 
call in this connection the fact that 
in David's reign Uriah the Hittite 
(cp. V. 3) had a house in Jerusalem 
(2 Sam. XL 9). The times of nakedness 



XVI. 7-ri 

8 thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, 
and looked upon thee, behold, thy tune was the time 
of love ; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy 
nakedness : yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into 
a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou 

9 becamest mine. Then washed I thee with water ; yea, 
I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I 

10 anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered 
work, and shod thee with ^sealskin, and I ^girded thee 

11 about with fine linen, and covered thee with silk. I 
decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon 

^ Or, porpoise-skin ^ Or, bound thee with a tire of fine linen 

and bareness {v. 7) may possibly be 
an allusion to the sojourn in the 

At last God took Jerusalem to be 
His own city : this is described in the 
figurative language of the spreading 
the skirt over her (cp. the story of 
Boaz and Ruth, Ruth iii. 9) and in 
the formal covenant made between 
God and the people (cp. the covenant 
made at Mount Sinai, Ex. xxiv. 7, 8, 
by which the people became God's 
people, Ex. xix. 5). The time of 
entering into the covenant had to be 
a time of purification (Ex. xix. 10, 14, 
15 : cp. also Ruth iii. 3 for another 
possible connection here), while the 
anointing with the oil signified the 
dedication or consecration of the 
people, or of Jerusalem. 

10. The beautifying of the city 
is described in elaborate language. 
The 'broidered work' {vv. 10, 13, 18) 
reminds us of the forty-fifth psalm 
{v. 14 ' She shall be led unto the king 
in broidered work '), while the ' seal- 
skins ' (marg. 'porpoise skins') carry 
us back to the furniture of the 
tabernacle (Ex. xxv. 5 : xxvi. 14). 
The exact mieaning of the word so 

translated is uncertain. The old 
versions made it simply a colour but 
it is almost certainly the name of an 
animal. The ' badgers ' of the A. V. 
are derived from the Talmud : but 
two other alternatives are set before 
us: (1) that the animal intended was 
marine, the seal, the porpoise or the 
sea-cow, all possible animals in the 
seas near the Arabian peninsula ; or 
(2) that the Hebrew word comes 
from the Egyptian and simply means 
leather {Encycl. Bib. 456, 457). On 
the whole one of the marine animals 
is the most likely, especially as we are 
told that ' the Arabs of the Sinaitic 
desert use the skin of Halicore 
Hemprichii, Ehr., a cetacean found 
in the Red Sea, for making sandals ' 
(Hastings, Diet, of the Bible, s. voc. 
Badger). The word for 'girded' 
implies a covering for the head, as 
in the margin (cp. xxiv. 17 : Ex. 
xxix. 9 : Lev. viii. 13), and fine linen 
was used for the high priest's mitre 
(Ex. xxviii. 39 : xxxix. 28 : there seems 
to be no good reason for translating 
the word 'silk' as in R.V. marg.). 
The word for 'silk' {vv. 10, 13) is 
one of very uncertain meaning and 

XVI. ii-i6 



12 thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a ring 
upon thy nose, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful 

13 crown upon thine head. Thus wast thou decked with gold 
and silver ; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and 
broidered work ; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and 
oil : and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst 

14 prosper unto royal estate. And thy renown went forth 
among the nations for thy beauty ; for it was perfect, 
through my majesty which I had put upon thee, saith the 
Lord God. 

15 But thou didst trust in thy beauty, and playedst the 
harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy 

16 whoredoms on every one that passed by ; his it was. And 
thou didst take of thy garments, and madest for thee high 
places decked with divers colours, and playedst the harlot 

indicates some delicate material. 
It occurs nowhere else and the early 
versions give us no help : the only 
place in the Bible where silk is cer- 
tainly mentioned being Rev. xviii. 

12-14. The nose-jewel which hung 
down over the upper lip seems to 
have been often looked upon as an 
amulet. We meet with it first in 
Gen. xxiv. 47, where Abraham's 
servant places one on Rebekah's 
nose. The crown expresses the 
development of Jerusalem into a 
royal city (cp. v. 13). The food 
mentioned is assigned to Israel 
elsewhere (Deut. xxxii. 13, 14: cp. 
Ps. Ixxxi. 16). The beauty of Jeru- 
salem was a constant source of 
gloiification, as being known far 
and wide: 'Beautiful in elevation, 
the joy of the whole earth, Is 
Mount Zion' (Ps. xlviii. 2); 'Zion, 
the perfection of beauty ' (Ps. L 2 ; 

these two passages are quoted in 
Lam. ii. 15). 

1 5-34. A further stage is reached 
in this paragraph. The beauty and 
favour of the city and its inhabitants 
made it false to its high calling. 
The things which should have been 
for its wealth were unto it an 
occasion of falling. United by the 
strongest spiritual ties to her divine 
Lord, the city lapsed into spiritual 
fornication. Language of the kind 
used here represents constantly in 
the Old Testament the faithlessness 
of Israel to the Lord (cp. vi. 9, xxiii 
passim : Ex. xxxiv. 15 : Lev. xvii. 7 : 
XX. 5 : Deut xxxi. 16 : Judg. ii. 17 : 
Is. i. 21 : Ivii. 8 : Jer. ii. 20 : iii. passim : 
Hos. i. 2). The high places («?. 16) 
were made for the licentious revelries 
and mysteries of the heathen worships. 
For the decking of them cp. 2 K. 
xxiii. 7. The last words of v. 16 
are obscure and have no definite 



XVI. 16-11 

upon them : the like things shall not come, neither shall it 

17 be so. Thou didst also take thy ^fair jewels of my gold 
and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest for 
thee ^images of men, and didst play the harlot with them; 

18 and thou tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst 
them, and didst set mine oil and mine incense before them. 

19 My bread also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and 
honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou didst even set it before 
them for a sweet savour, and thus it was ; saith the Lord 

20 God. Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy 
daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast 
thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Were thy 

21 whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my 
children, and delivered them up, in ^causing them to pass 

^ Or, beautiful vessels ^ Or, male images ^ Or, setting 
them apart Heb. making them pass over. 



meaning, any more than those of 
vv. 15 ('his it was'), 19 ('and thus it 
was '), though it may be ' his it was ' 
{v. 15) means 'thy beauty became 
the property of everyone that passed 
by.' In V. 19 the word 'thus' is 
inserted by the translators. The 
text, however, in all these verses is 
very uncertain. 

The work described in vv. 17, 18, 19 
corresponds with what is described 
in other passages (vii. 20 : xxiii. 14) 
but is of a grosser kind. The 
' beautiful vessels ' of R. V. marg. is 
more literal and a better rendering 
than 'fair jewels ' (v. 17 : see v. 39, 
xxiii. 26). What should have been 
God's ('my gold and my silver,' 
''mine oil and mine incense,' 'my 
bread ' : so xxiii. 41, cp. Hos. ii. 8) 
is devoted to other purposes. The 
' images of men ' seem to have been 
images of the heathen gods in human 
form (cp. Is. xliv. 13), attired in mag- 
nificent vestments. In connection 

with the mention of honey, it may be 
remembered that under the Levitical 
Law (Lev. ii. 11) honey was forbidden 
to be used in the fire offerings. For 
the sweet savour see vi. 1 3. Involved 
in the practice of these rites was the 
offering of human sacrifices {vv. 21, 
36: XX. 26, 31: xxiii. 37) to be devoured, 
not in cannibalistic fashion, but by 
the fire. These sacrifices to Moloch 
seem to have been of pretty fre- 
quent occurrence in Jerusalem and 
especially offered by the kings (2 K. 
xvi. 3 : xxi. 6), whose example was 
afterwards more generally followed. 
Traces of such sacrifices of children 
have been found in the recent ex- 
cavations at Gezer. In this passage 
God claims the children as his ('my 
children,' v. 21), just as much as the 
gold and silver and other things. 
All this idolatrous service involved 
the ignoring of what had been done 
by God for His people in their early 
years (cp. vv. 43, 60), when Jeru- 

XVI. 21-27 



22 through the fire unto them? And in all thine abominations 
and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of 
thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast 

23 weltering in thy blood. And it is come to pass after all 
thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee ! saith the Lord God,) 

24 that thou hast built unto thee ^an eminent place, and hast 

25 made thee a lofty place in every street. Thou hast built 
thy lofty place at every head of the way, and hast made 
thy beauty an abomination, and hast opened thy feet to 
every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredom. 

26 Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians, 
thy neighbours, great of flesh ; and hast multiplied thy 

27 whoredom, to provoke me to anger. Behold therefore, I 
have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished 
thine ^ ordinary /ooc?, and delivered thee unto the will of 

1 Or, a vaulted chamber ^ Or, allowance 

salem was in such a desperate state 
(for the expressions used to describe 
this see vv. 6, 7). The word trans- 
lated 'an eminent place' here and in 
«?». 31, 39 (marg. 'a vaulted chamber') 
is an ambiguous one and may simply 
mean a mound, though some of the 
early versions give it a more definite 
meaning (lxx o'lKrjixa iropviKov, nop- 
vilov). The allusion is to what is 
more plainly expressed in other 
passages (e.g. Is. Ivii. 7 : Jer. ii. 20 : 
iii. 2) with reference to the indecent 
and licentious orgies which accom- 
panied some of the forms of idolatrous 
worship that were openly and un- 
blushingly practised in the streets of 
the Holy City. 

26-29. In these verses some of 
the various forms of imported wor- 
ship are mentioned. The prophet 
begins with the Egyptians whose 
cults are also mentioned later on 
(xx. 7, 8 : xxiii. 19-21), though it is 
not clear what forms were imported 

from Egypt. The words 'great of 
flesh,' applied to the Egyptians, are 
a euphemistic expression intended 
to illustrate the gross and sensual 
character of the worship. 'To 
provoke me to anger' does not 
imply that this was the object of 
those who did such things, but only 
that it was the natural consequence 
of their acts. The punishment for 
all this has come in the famine in the 
besieged city, during which the 
allowance of food (marg. better than 
text of R.V.) was cut down, and the 
Philistines (mentioned again, v. 57) 
are represented as taking advantage 
of the situation, for even their 
daughters had felt shame for their 
neighbours' misconduct. Such an 
invasion of the Philistines is described 
as taking place in the reign of king 
Ahaz (2 Chr. xxviii. 18). 

Their misconduct also extended 
to the Assyrians, and an adoption of 
their worship which is described 



XVI. 17-34 

them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, 

28 which are ashamed of thy lewd way. Thou hast played 
the harlot also with the Assyrians, because thou wast 
unsatiable ; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, 

29 and yet thou wast not satisfied. Thou hast moreover 
multiplied thy whoredom ^in the land of Canaan, unto 

30 Chaldea ; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith. How 
weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God, seeing thou doest 
all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman ; 

31 in that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of 
every way, and makest thy lofty place in every street ; and 
hast not been as an harlot, ^in that thou scornest hire. 

32 A wife that committeth adultery ! that taketh strangers 

33 instead of her husband ! They give gifts to all harlots : 
but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and bribest 
them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy 

34 whoredoms. And the contrary is in thee from other 
women in thy whoredoms, in that none foUoweth thee to 
commit whoredom : and whereas thou givest hire, and no 
hire is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary. 

^ Or, unto the land of traffic ^ Or, that scqffeth at her hire 

later (xxiii. 5-21). It was in the 
reign of Ahaz that tribute was paid 
to Tiglath-pileser and an altar was 
built in Jerusalem like one in 
Damascus, of which place Tiglath- 
pileser was in possession at the time. 
It is also well known, that just as 
there was an Egyptian party in Jeru- 
salem, so also during its later times 
there was an Assyrian or Babylonian 
party (see Introd. pp. xxxviii ff.). 

29. In this verse there is some 
confusion. An attempt is made to 
set it right by translating ' Canaan ' 
as 'traflBic' but this does not seem 
satisfactory (cp. xvii. 4 where a similar 
question arises, as also in Zeph. i. 1 1 : 
Zech. xiv. 21: Pr. xxxi. 24: the 

R. V. is inconsistent). It is best here 
with the Septuagint to leave out the 
words ' in the land of Canaan.' This 
makes the passage more in accord 
with xxiii. 14-16 ; and these two 
chapters have much in common. 
Chaldean worship was practically the 
same as the Assyrian. 

30-34. The language grows 
stronger still as Jerusalem in her 
pride and corruption is described as 
'an imperious whorish woman '(cp. Is. 
xlvii. 7, 10) ; while her affection for 
her husband (God) is described as 
but little ('weak is thine heart'). 
The Septuagint omits 'imperious' 
and its translation points to some 
such emendation of the text as 

XVI. 35-39 



35 Wherefore, harlot, hear the word of the Lord : 

36 Thus saith the Lord God, Because thy ^filthiness was 
poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy 
whoredoms with thy lovers ; and because of all the idols 
of thy abominations, and for the blood of thy children, 

37 which thou didst give unto them ; therefore behold, I will 
gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, 
and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou 
hast hated ; I will even gather them against thee on every 
side, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they 

38 may see all thy nakedness. And I will judge thee, as 
women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged ; 
and I will bring upon thee the blood of fury and jealousy. 

39 I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw 

1 Heb. brass. 

Comill has suggested 'What have 
I to do mih thy covenant V V. 31a 
repeats v. 24, whilst the rest of the 
passage is intended to intensify the 
guilt of the city. 

35-43. In these verses is describ- 
ed the punishment that is to come 
upon Jerusalem. It will come from 
those with whom she has sought a 
guilty union, and will also be a 
judicial punishment by which the 
Divine sentence will be executed. 
In V. 36 the forms of guilt are 
recapitulated. The meaning ' filthi- 
ness' given to the word which in 
Hebrew means ' bronze ' or ' copper' 
(R.V. marg. 'brass') is \erj un- 
certain, but the reading is as old as 
the Septuagint which translates 
literally. It is scarcely possible to 
translate the word as if it meant 
* money ' here, but this is what is im- 
plied by the Greek rendering. 
Similar language to that in v. 37 a 
is used to describe the assembling 
of the spoilers of Israel by Hosea 

(viii. 10). The 'hated' ones refers 
back to the daughters of the 
Philistines of v. 27, to whom the 
Israelites were always opposed. The 
whole of this paragraph should be 
compared with xxiii. 22-35 (cp. also 
Hos. ii. 10), and similar language is 
used of the Babylon of the Apoca- 
lypse (Rev. xvii.). The fulfilment of 
this prophecy is described in similar 
language (Lam. i. 8, 9). 

38. For the first part of this 
verse cp. xxiii. 45 where the judge- 
ment is assigned to righteous men. 
The punishment enjoined for such 
transgressions was death (Lev. xx. 
10: Deut. xxii. 22; and for shedding 
of blood Gen. ix. 6 : Num. xxxv. 33). 
The last words mean, that the end 
of Jerusalem was to be the result of 
the Divine fury and jealousy (cp. 
V. 42). 

39. For the eminent and lofty 
places see vv. 24, 25, and for the 
'fair jewels' see note on v. 17, and 
compare the description of Jeru- 



XVI. 39-43 

down thine eminent place, and break down thy lofty 
places ; and they shall strip thee of thy clothes, and take 
thy fair jewels : and they shall leave thee naked and bare. 

40 They shall also bring up an assembly against thee, and 
they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through 

41 with their swords. And they shall burn thine houses with 
fire, and execute judgements upon thee in the sight of 
many women ; and I will cause thee to cease from playing 

42 the harlot, and thou shalt also give no hire any more. So 
will I ^satisfy my fury ^upon thee, and my jealousy shall 
depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more 

43 angry. Because thou hast not remembered the days of 
thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things ; therefore 

^ Heb. bring to rest. ^ Or, toward 

salem in 1 Mace. ii. 9, 11 ('her 
vessels of glory are carried away... 
her adorning is all taken away'). 
Her last state is to be as her first 
{V. 7). 

40-43. The assembly of the 
nations and what it will do is 
described again later (xxiii. 4, 6, 47). 
The sentence of death involved 
stoning with stones and the burning 
of the criminal's property (Josh. vii. 
24, 25 : cp. also Lev. xx. 2 : Deut. 
xiii. 10 : xvii. 5). If we are to look 
for a literal fulfilment of this sentence, 
in the case of Jerusalem, we shall 
find it in the use of some such 
* instruments for casting. . .stones ' as 
are mentioned in 1 Mace. vi. 51. 
The burning of Jerusalem is descri- 
bed in 2 K. XXV. 9: 2 Chr. xxxvi. 19: 
Jer. xxxix. 8 : lii. 13. The punish- 
ment is to take place 'in the sight 
of many women' (v. 41), i.e. of many 
peoples. The intention of the inser- 
tion of these words is more clearly 
expressed in the corresponding 
passage in xxiii. 48 ' that all women 

may be taught not to do after your 
lewdness.' The phrase 'I will 
satisfy my fury,' which occurs else- 
where in this book (v. 13 : xxi. 17 : 
xxiv. 13), is one of doubtful meaning: 
it may simply mean *I will bring 
my fury to rest,' i.e. to an end 
(R.V. marg.). The R.V. in the words 
' hast fretted me ' {v. 43) follows the 
generally accepted emendation of the 
Hebrew text, which as it stands 
should be translated 'wast angry 
with Me ' ; but the emended text 
gives the better sense. The mean- 
ing of the last words of this verse is 
also very obscure. The Hebrew 
text has the first person, whilst in 
the Hebrew margin the second per- 
son is read. Two renderings of this 
latter reading are given in R.V., 
though the Hebrew verb can scarcely 
be translated as a future, as it is in 
the text of R.V., and the whole 
clause scarcely admits of being trans- 
lated as a question. The Septuagint 
has another reading instead of the 
negative particle and translates 'and 

XVI. 43-47 



behold, I also will bring thy way upon thine head, saith 
the Lord God : and Hhou shalt not commit this lewdness 
above all thine abominations. 

44 Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this 
proverb against thee, saying. As is the mother, so is her 

45 daughter. Thou art thy mother's daughter, that loatheth 
her husband and her children ; and thou art the sister of 
thy sisters, which loathed their husbands and their 
children : your mother was an Hittite, and your father an 

46 Amorite. And thine elder sister is Samaria, that dwelleth 
at thy left hand, she and her daughters : and thy younger 
sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her 

47 daughters. Yet hast thou not walked in their ways, nor 

1 Or, Ifiast thou not committed <&cJ 

thus thou didst commit iniquity in 
addition to all thy acts of lawless- 
ness.' Toy omits the words alto- 

44-63. The section of the 
prophecy which we have now to 
deal with is full of difficulties of 
interpretation. That this was felt 
is shewn by the uncertain state of 
the Hebrew text in which there are 
many doubtful readings. But the 
main purpose of it is plain : — to 
point out the degradation of morals 
and religion into which Jerusalem 
had fallen, so low indeed that 
Samaria and Sodom could be 
considered better than she was. 
Yet for all this God, who is God of 
Jew and Gentile alike (cp. Rom. iii. 
29), is waiting to be gracious to all 
three and to establish a new and 
everlasting covenant. 

44-47. This is the second time 
that Ezekiel quotes a proverb and 
he quotes another later on ('the 
fathers have eaten sour grapes, and 

the children's teeth are set on edge' 
xviii. 2 : cp. xii. 22 and the expres- 
sion 'they that speak in proverbs' 
Num. xxi. 27). Starting with this 
proverb he recurs to the origin of 
Jerusalem {v. 3). The husband of 
Jerusalem is Jehovah (cp. Is. liv. 5 
' thy Maker is thine husband '), and 
the prophet implies that He stood 
originally in the same relation to 
other nations. The loathing of Him 
is the forsaking of His worship : the 
loathing of the children is the 
offering them in sacrifice. The 
sisters of Jerusalem are said to be 
Samaria and Sodom, both destroyed 
for their iniquities. Samaria might 
well be said to have forsaken Je- 
hovah's worship and to have offered 
her children in sacrifice, but a diffi- 
culty arises, as to how this could be 
said of Sodom. The most possible 
interpretation is that, in the case of 
that city, reference is made to the 
licentious condition of social life in 
that place. This relationship be- 



XVI. 47-51 

done after their abominations ; but, as if that were a very 
little thing, thou wast more corrupt than they in all thy 

48 ways. As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister 
hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, 

49 thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of 
thy sister Sodom ; pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous 
ease was in her and in her daughters ; neither did she 

50 strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they 
were haughty, and committed abomination before me : 

51 therefore I took them away ^as I saw good. Neither hath 
Samaria committed half of thy sins ; but thou hast 

1 Or, when I saw it 

tween Samaria and Jerusalem is 
again expressed in xxiii. 4, 33. 
Both Samaria and Sodom were 
Canaanite (». 3) and in this way the 
relationship asserted here is to be 
accoimted for; but in the case of 
Samaria there may possibly be an 
allusion to the kingdom of Israel, 
which had its capital there. 
Samaria was on the left hand, i.e. the 
north (Gen. xiv. 15) of Jerusalem, 
whilst Sodom was on the right hand, 
i.e. the south (cp. 1 Sam. xxiii. 19, 
24 : Ps. Ixxxix. 13). The points of 
the compass were indicated in this 
way by facing the rising sun. The 
daughters of Samaria and Sodom 
are the towns and villages depend- 
ent upon them (cp. e.g. Josh. xvi. 
45). Jerusalem is represented as 
having done worse than either of 
them; we are reminded of our 
Lord's saying, repeated more than 
once, 'it shall be more tolerable for 
the land of Sodom in the day of 
judgement' (Matt. x. 15 : xi. 24) in 
His denunciation of those places 
that would not accept Him (cp. also 
2 K. xxi. 9 : 2 Chr. xxxiii. 9). 
48-50. The asseveration 'As I 

live' {v. 48) constantly occurs in 
this form in this book (v. 11 : xiv. 16, 
18, 20 : xvii. 16, 19 : xviii 3 : xx. 3, 
33), and much more frequently than 
elsewhere. Of the iniquity attributed 
to Sodom here, pride is again 
mentioned in Ecclus. xvi. 8 ('He 
spared not those with whom Lot 
sojourned, Whom he abhorred for 
their pride'), while the prosperity 
of the Cities of the Plain is implied 
in Gen. xiii. 10. Their abominations 
{v. 50) are mentioned in Gen. xiii. 13, 
and elsewhere (cp. 2 Pet. ii. 7 for 'the 
lascivious life of the wicked ' which 
sorely distressed ' righteous Lot ' : 
Jude 7). The destruction ('taking 
away ' «?. 50) of Sodom is described in 
Gen. xix. The last words of v. 50 
are better translated as in R.V. 
marg. ' when I saw it ' and perhaps 
may refer to Gen. xviii. 21 (' I will 
go down now, and see whether they 
have done...'). 

51, 52. The prophet now turns to 
Samaria and declares that Samaria 
and Sodom were not so bad as 
Jerusalem; this is the meaning of 
the phrase 'hast justified thy sisters' 
(cp. Jer. iii. 11). 'Bear thine own 

XVI. 51-57 



multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast 
justified thy sisters by all thine abominations which thou 

52 hast done. Thou also, bear thine own shame, in that thou 
hast given judgement for thy ^sisters ; through thy sins that 
thou hast committed more abominable than they, they are 
more righteous than thou : yea, be thou also confounded, 
and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters. 

53 And I will ^turn again their captivity, the captivity of 
Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria 
and her daughters, and the captivity of thy captives in the 

54 midst of them : that thou mayest bear thine own shame, 
and mayest be ashamed because of all that thou hast done, 

55 in that thou art a comfort unto them. And thy sisters, 
Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former 
estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their 
former estate, and thou and thy daughters shall return to 

56 your former estate. For thy sister Sodom was not 

57 mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride ; before 
thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of the 
reproach of the daughters of Syria, and of all that are 

^ Or, sister ^ Or, return to 

shame' is another of the phrases 
which Ezekiel dehghts to use {v. 54 : 
xxxii. 24, 25, 30 : xxxiv. 27 : xxxvi. 6, 
7: xxxix. 26: xliv. 13). 

53-55. Sodom and Samaria are 
both promised restoration in these 
verses. The material restoration of 
Sodom cannot be thought of: it can 
only mean the restoration upon 
repentance to Divine favour of cities 
such as Sodom was. This was the 
only way in which the prophet in his 
day could express such an idea, 
unless he was imagining the site of 
Sodom to be inhabited once again 
by a prosperous people. It is 
difficult to understand what is 
meant by Jerusalem being a comfoil; 
to Sodom and Samaria. The usual 
interpretation given to it is that she 

was a comfort to them by being 
worse than they were, so that they 
felt their own guilt less (A. B. David- 
son), but this does not seem very 

56-58. Sodom was naturally ig- 
nored, as having been utterly 
destroyed, whilst her destruction 
ought to have been taken as a 
warning. The wickedness that 'was 
discovered' was in the reign of Ahaz 
when false worship was rampant 
This is closely connected in history 
(2 K. xvi. 4-6 ; cp. Is. vii. 1, 2) with 
the combined attack of Syria under 
Rezin, and Pekah of Israel upon 
Jerusalem ('the reproach of the 
daughters of Syria' v. 57). The 
Syrians also attacked Judah in 
Jehoiakim's reign (2 K. xxiv. 2: Jer. 



XVI. 57-63 

round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which 

58 do despite unto thee round about. Thou hast borne thy 

69 lewdness and thine abominations, saith the Lord. For 

thus saith the Lord God : I will even deal with thee as 

thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking 

60 the covenant. Nevertheless I will remember my covenant 
with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish 

61 unto thee an everlasting covenant. Then shalt thou 
remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt 
receive thy sisters, thine elder sisters and thy younger : 
and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by 

62 thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with 

63 thee ; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord : that 
thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never 
open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame ; when I 
have forgiven thee all that thou hast done, saith the Lord 

XXXV. 11). There is, therefore, no 
need as has been suggested to sub- 
stitute Edom for Syria. It was in 
the reign of Ahaz, as we have seen 
already {v. 27), that the Philistines 
invaded Judah. Jerusalem had to 
be punished for its wickedness 
(cp. xxiii. 35, 49). 

59-63. The time of punishment 
is to bring a time of repentance, and 
then will follow the renewal of the 
covenant. Jerusalem had despised 
the oath which Jehovah had taken. 
It had also broken the covenant with 
Jehovah by the introduction of 
false and idolatrous cults. But He 
could remember it; there is the 
same promise in Lev. xxvi. 42 to the 
rebellious people; and the covenant 
to be remembered was not only that 
at Sinai, but also that with the 
patriarchs (Ex. ii. 24: vi. 5 : cp. Ps. 
cvi. 45). The renewed covenant 
would be an everlasting covenant, as 
the old one would have been had it 

not been broken by the people. 
The idea of a new everlasting coven- 
ant is common to Isaiah (Iv. 3); 
and Jeremiah (xxxii. 40: 1. 5) with 
EzekieL Under it Jerusalem will 
receive not only Sodom and Samaria 
but other sisters (i.e. greater and 
smaller nations) as well to be treated 
as daughters. It is to be 'not by 
her covenant ' that they are received 
but by the new Divine covenant, 
which is eventually to include the 
whole world (Rom. xi. 32). 

After all this sad story of un- 
cleanness and abominations, with the 
renewal of the covenant we once 
again catch up the old refrain (vi. 7) 
'thou shalt know that I am the 

It is to be noticed that the 
prophet, in order to shew the inten- 
sity of the degradation into which 
Jerusalem has fallen, asserts that her 
restoration cannot take place till 
after that of Sodom and Samaria. 


XVII. 1-5 



xxvi. A riddle and its interpretation. Two ea^gles, the 
cedar, and the vine, i.e. Babylon, Egypt, and the king 
and princes of Jerusalem, with their destruction. The 
restoration of Jerusalem and the Davidic house will 
com£ in the future with a v/niversal OAxeptance of its 
authority, xvii. 1-24. 

XVII. 1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, 

2 saying, Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a 

3 parable unto the house of Israel ; and say. Thus saith the 
Lord God: A great eagle with great wings and long 
pinions, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came 

4 unto Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar : he cropped 
off the topmost of the young twigs thereof, and carried it 
into ^a land of traffic ; he set it in a city of merchants. 

5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in 

1 Or, the land of Canaan 

XVn. 1-10. The 'riddle 'of this 
passage, also called 'a parable,' con- 
sists in the allegory of which the inter- 
pretation has to be found. The eagle 
is the king of Babylon (so Jer. xlviii. 
40 : xlix. 22 : cp., for this use of the 
eagle as the emblem of an invading 
force, Deut. xxviii. 49 'The Lord 
shall bring a nation against thee 
from far... as the eagle flieth,' and 
2 Esd. xi. 1). The first eagle is more 
powerful than the second {v. 7): it 
has divers colours because many 
various nations were ruled over by 
Nebuchadrezzar. The cedar of 
Lebanon represents here the Jewish 
people; later when the land was 
under Babylonian rule the Assyrian 
is 'a cedar in Lebanon' (xxxi. 3). 
'The topmost of the young twigs 
thereof must be the king of Judah. 
Jehoiachin and Zedekiah the last 
two kings of Judah were both carried 

oflf to Babylon. In v. 4 there is an 
ambiguity of meaning which has 
occurred already (see note on xvi. 
29) between 'land of trafiic' and 
' land of Canaan.' Here the land of 
traffic must be Babylonia. 

It is clear from the Apocalypse 
(Rev. xviii. 10-20) that Babylon was 
looked upon as the typical 'city of 
merchants' in old time. 

It is quite possible that the plant- 
ing of 'the seed of the land' may 
indicate the setting up of Mattaniah 
(i.e. Zedekiah) as a vassal king in 
Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar, but 
it is more likely that the expression 
refers not only to him but also to 
the princes and mighty men of 
Judah who were carried off to 
Babylon in Jehoiachin's reign (2 K. 
xxiv. 12, 14-16) and placed by the 
streams and canals of Babylon, where 
the willow was one of the most 


82 EZEKIEL xvii. 5-10 

^a fruitful soil ; he placed it beside 'many waters ; he set 

6 it as a willow tree. And it grew, and became a spreading 
vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, 
and the roots thereof were under him : so it became a vine, 

7 and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs. There 
was also another great eagle with great wings and many 
feathers : and, behold, this vine did bend its roots toward 
him, and shot forth its branches toward him, from the beds 

8 of its plantation, that he might water it. It was planted 
in a good ^soil by ^many waters, that it might bring forth 
branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a 

9 goodly vine. Say thou. Thus saith the Lord God : Shall 
it prosper ? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut 
off the fruit thereof, that it may wither ; that all its fresh 
springing leaves may wither ; even without great power or 

10 much * people to pluck it up by the roots thereof? Yea, 

1 Heb. a field of seed. ^ Or, great ^ Heb. field. 
* Or, people, plucking d;c. 

noticeabletrees(Ps. cxxxvii. 2'Upon (for the language used cp. xxxi. 4; 
the willows in the midst thereof We Pharaoh Hophra is perhaps specially 
hanged up our harps'). A corre- pointed at here), but it is not de- 
sponding use of the willow in a scribed as being as strong as the 
simile is to be found in Is. xliv. 4. first eagle. Egypt also had its great 
The tree actually meant is the waters, i.e. the Nile ; so that the vine 
Populus euphratica^ a kind of pop- is represented as endeavouring to 
l^r like a willow {Encycl. Bib. 5301). depend upon both empires at once, 
The word used here is, however, but it is not to prosper. The 
different from that used in other Egyptian was to join in the destruc- 
places in the Bible. There seems tion of the vine ('shall he not pull 
to be no doubt about its meaning up the roots thereof: for the 
though the Septuagint translators Egyptian share in the destruction 
have mistaken the word. In v. 6 of the kingdom of Judah beginning 
the vine of low stature is the with the battle at Megiddo and the 
Jewish people reduced to a low death of Josiah see 2 K. xxiii. 29, 
estate that had to look to the king 33-35 : 2 Chr. xxxv. 20-xxxvi. 4). 
of Babylon and be under his au- The ruin brought by the east wind 
thority, but yet under it developed may very well mean the invasion 
in some degree ('it... shot forth from Babylon which pushed back 
sprigs'). The other eagle is the the power of Egypt to the brook % 
Egyptian monarchy towards which of Egypt (2 K. xxiv. 7 : Jer. xlvi. 2) 
the Jews often looked for assistance as well as destroyed entirely the 

xvn. 10-16 EZEKIEL 83 

behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly 
wither, when the east wind toucheth it ? it shall wither in 
the beds where it grew. 

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

12 Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these 
things mean ? tell them. Behold, the king of Babylon 
came to Jerusalem, and took the king thereof, and the 
princes thereof, and brought them to him to Babylon ; 

13 and he took of the seed royal, and made a covenant with 
him ; he also brought him under an oath, and took away 

14 the mighty of the land : that the kingdom might be ^base, 
that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his 

15 covenant it might stand. But he rebelled against him in 
sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give 
him horses and much people. Shall he prosper ? shall he 
escape that doeth such things ? shall he break the cove- 

16 nant, and yet escape? As I live, saith the Lord God, 
surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made 
him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he 
brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall 

1 Heb. low, 

kingdom of Judah. Yet after this that Nebuchadrezzar 'had made 

the remnant of Judah still looked him swear by God' is confirmed, 

towards Egypt and some of them The only mention that we have of 

with Jeremiah, though in his case the Egyptians in Zedekiah's reign is 

against his will, actually migrated that in Jer. xxxv. 5 where the 

into that countiy (Jer. xliii.). Pharaoh comes out of Egypt duiing 

11-21. In these verses we have the siege of Jerusalem. That the 

the solution of the riddle, which has king should send his people to Egj-pt 

been already dealt with. 'The re- for horses was forbidden by the 

bellious house ' is an expression which Deuteronomic legislation (Deut. xvii. 

looks back to the prophet's original 16), though in Solomon's time such 

commission (ii. 5, 'they are a re- intercourse with Egypt seems to 

bellious house ' : cp. ii. 6, 8 : iii. 26 : have been of common occurrence 

xxiv. 3: xliv. 6). In v. 13, where (1 K. x. 28: 2 Chr. i. 16: ix. 28); 

Zedekiah is referred to, the statement Isaiah denounces such intercourse 

of the Chronicler (2 Chr. xxxvi 13) and traflSc (xxxi. 1). In this passage 



17 die. Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and 
great company make for him in the war, when they cast 

18 up mounts and build forts, to cut off many persons. For 
he hath despised the oath by breaking the covenant ; and 
behold, he had given his hand, and yet hath done all 

19 these things ; he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith 
the Lord God : As I live, surely mine oath that he hath 
despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, I will 

20 even bring it upon his own head. And I will spread my 
net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I 
will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there 

21 for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me. And 
all his fugiti^ies in all his bands shall fall by the sword, 
and they that remain shall be scattered toward every 
wind : and ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken 

Thus saith the Lord God : I will also take of the 
lofty top of the cedar, and will set it ; I will crop off from 
the topmost of his young twigs a tender one, and I will 

we seem also to have a link of con- 
nection with the prophecy in the 
last chapter (xvi. 59 'which hast 
despised the oath in breaking the 
covenant'). As to the death of 
Zedekiah we have no record in the 
Bible, which takes him to Babylon 
and leaves him there. The Pharaoh 
of V. 17 is Pharaoh Hophra (Jer. 
xliv. 30): though his army caused a 
temporary cessation of the siege by 
the Babylonians yet it was only tem- 
porary (Jer. xxxvii. 5-8). Zedekiah 
'had given his hand,' i.e. he had 
submitted to Nebuchadrezzar (cp. 
1 Chr. xxix. 24). The first half of 
tj. 20 is a repetition of xii. 13 and 
the prophecy of the scattering of the 
remnant occurs also in v. 10 and 
xii. 14. The paragraph ends with 

a new expression 'I the Lord have 
spoken it' (so xxi. 17, 32: ixvi. 5, 
14: xxviii. 10: xxx. 12: xxxiv. 24: 
xxxix. 5: see also v. 24). 

22-24. The rest of this chapter 
deals with the restoration of Jeru- 
salem and the house of David, of 
which the line is still to be kept up 
(' a tender one ' from the topmost of 
the young twigs of the cedar). The 
mountain in the prophet's mind was 
no doubt Mount Zion (cp. Ps. ii. 6). 
But the new cedar tree which is to 
grow from the tender twig is to 
embrace all nations ('all fowl of 
every wing') and all kingdoms ('all 
the trees'); in this way the univer- 
sality of the new covenant is ex- 
pressed (for the language used cp. 
xxxi. 6: Dan. iv. 12 and our Lord's 

XVII. 22-xviii. 3 EZEKIEL 85 

23 plant it upon an high mountain and eminent : in the 
mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it : and it 
shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly 
cedar : and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing ; 
in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. 

24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord 
have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low 
tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the 
dry tree to flourish : I the Lord have spoken and have 
done it. 

xxvii. A discussion of the proverb 'The fathers have eaten 
smir grapes, and the children! s teeth are set on edge' 
8in and the penrsonal responsibility of mam for it 
xviii. 1-32. 

XVIII. 1 The word of the Lord came unto me 

2 again, saying. What mean ye, that ye use this proverb 
^concerning the land of Israel, saying. The fathers have 
eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on 

3 edge ? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have 

^ Or, in 

parable of the grain of mustard seed much as the parable and the riddle 

Matt xiii. 31, 32: Mk iv. 30-32: (cp. xii. 22: xvi. 44). That quoted 

Lk. xiii. 18, 19). The green tree here seems to have been constant- 

and the dry tree both occur again ly used and occurs in Jeremiah 

in XX. 47 and are both together used (xxxi. 29, 30) who lays down in 

figuratively by our Lord (Lk. xxiii. the language of the proverb the 

31): 'if they do these things in the main thesis of this chapter: 'Every 

green tree, what shall be done in one shall die for his own iniquity : 

the di7?' The expression at the every man that eateth the sour 

end of r. 24 ' I the Lord have spoken grapes, his teeth shall be set on 

and have done it ' is more emphatic edge.' On the other hand in the 

than that at the end of r. 21 and Lamentations (v. 7) the opposite side 

occurs frequently in this book (cp. of the truth is maintained: 'Our 

xxii. 14: xxiv. 14: xxxvi. 36: xxxvii. fathers have sinned, and are not; 

14). And we have borne their iniquities.' 

XVIII. 1-3. The use of a proverb For the solemn asseveration of f>. 3 

is a familiar one with Ezekiel, just as see xvi. 48. 



XVIII. 3-7 

4 occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, 
all souls are mine ; as the soul of the father, so also the 
soul of the son is mine : the soul that sinneth, it shall die. 

5 But if a man be just, and do ^that which is lawful and 

6 right, and hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither 
hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, 
neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath 

7 come near to a woman in her separation ; and hath 
not wronged any, but hath restored to the debtor his 
pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his 
bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a 

1 Heb. judgement and righteousness. 

4. souls] The word nephesh 
which is translated 'soul' here really 
expresses personality rather than 
what we generally mean by soul. 
A discussion on the meaning of the 
word in the Old Testament can be 
found in A. B. Davidson's Theology 
of the Old Testament (p. 199). The 
main doctrine of this passage is 
summed up in the statement twice 
repeated ivv. 4, 24) 'The soul that 
sinneth, it shall die,' which lays 
down in the most absolute way a 
personal responsibility for sin. 
Ezekiel's view of sin and its punish- 
ment is to be found discussed in the 
Introd., p. xxxiv, and this passage 
should be compared with iii. 16-21. 

5-9. The Hebrew expression 
corresponding with 'that which is 
lawful and right' (m 5, 19, 21, 27) 
is 'judgement and righteousness,' 
i.e. legal and moral goodness. 
Specimens of the contraries to these 
are given : 

(a) eating upon the mountains 
(«??. 6, 11, 15 : cp. xxii. 9 : Is. Ixv. 7). 
This was the joining in the sacrificial 
feasts which took place there. Many 
slightly alter the Hebrew text in 

this and the corresponding verses 
here and also in xxii. 9 to make it 
agree with xxxiii. 25 eating with 
the blood, a practice forbidden in 
Gen. ix. 4 : Lev. iii. 17 : but this is 
scarcely necessary and the present 
text is confirmed by the Septuagint. 

(&) Hfting up the eyes to the 
idols of the house of Israel {w. 6, 
12, 15 : cp. xxxiii. 26) ; that is, in 
reverential worship. 

(c) sins against the marriage 
tie and purity (tw. 6, 11, 15: cp. 
xxii. 10, 11 : Lev. xviii. 19, 20). 

{d) wronging any {vv. 7, 12 in 
greater detail, the poor and needy 
are the object of the oppression, 16: 
cp. Ex. xxii. 21 for the wronging of 
the stranger). 

{e) lending for usury or taking 
increase {vv. 8, 13, 17 : cp. xxii. 12: 
Ex. xxii. 25 : Lev. xxv. 36 : Deut. 
xxiii. 19 laws only applying to 
Hebrews : Ps. xv. 5). A distinction 
can scarcely be drawn between 
'usury' and 'increase'; unless in- 
crease be excessive profit in trading. 
Positive good deeds of the 'just' 
or righteous men are also men- 
tioned : — 

XVIII. 7-13 



8 garment ; he that hath not given forth upon usury, 
neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his 
hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgement be- 

9 tween man and man, hath walked in my statutes, and 
hath kept my judgements, to deal truly ; he is just, he 

10 shall surely live, saith the Lord God. If he beget a son 
that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and ^that doeth any 

11 one of these things, and that doeth not any of those 
duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and 

12 defiled his neighbour's wife, hath wronged the poor and 
needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the 
pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath 

13 committed abomination, hath given forth upon usury, and 
hath taken increase : shall he then live ? he shall not 
live : he hath done all these abominations : he shall 

^ Or, that doeth to a brother any of these 

(a) the restoring of the pledge 
(». 7, cp. vv. 12, 16 in an enlarged 
form no pledge being taken at all) ; 
this is enjoined in the law (Ex. xxii. 
26 of a garment, Deut. xxiv. 12, 13 : 
cp. Job xxii. 6: xxiv. 9: Pr. xxii. 27: 
Am. ii. 8). 

(b) abstaining from robbery 
with violence {vv. 7, 12, 16, 18). 

(c) giving bread to the hungry 
{vv. 7, 16 : a virtue inculcated in 
Is. Iviii. 7, 10 : Matt. xxv. 35). 

(d) clothing the naked, another 
corporal act of mercy (see references 
imder c). 

(e) keeping the hand from 
iniquity and executing true judge- 
ment or impartiality (cp. Deut i. 16: 
Zech. viii. 16). 

(/) being an observer of God's 
laws {vv. 9, 17). 

These details are followed by the 
summing up of them all into the 
statement 'he is just' and the 
promise 'he shall surely live ' {vv. 9, 

17, 19, 21 : cp. XX. 11) which are 
combined in the statement of Hab- 
akkuk (ii. 4) often quoted in the 
New Testament (Rom. i. 17 : GaL 
iii. 11 : Heb. x. 38), 'the just shall 
live by his faith' (R.V. marg. 'in his 
faithfulness '). 

10-13. The case of a wicked son 
of such a father is now considered, 
and a catalogue of his transgressions, 
using the same expressions, is given. 
But to them is added * a robber, a 
shedder of blood.' The insertion in 
R.V. marg. of ' to a brother ' {v. 10) 
is due to a various reading in the 
Hebrew text. The words 'hath 
committed abomination' which do 
not occur previously {v. 6) may 
refer to the idolatrous abominations 
condemned earlier in the book (viii. 
6, 17). The responsibility and the 
pimishment for these will be the 
son's own : his blood will be upon 
him, i.e. upon his own head (cp. 
xxxiii. 4: Lev. xx. 9, 11). 



XVIII. 13-19 

14 surely Mie ; his blood shall be upon him. Now, lo, if he 
beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins, which he hath 

15 done, and ^feareth, and doeth not such like, that hath not 
eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes 
to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his 

16 neighbour's wife, neither hath wronged any, hath not 
taken aught to pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, 
but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath 

17 covered the naked with a garment, that hath withdrawn 
his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor 
increase, hath executed my judgements, hath walked in 
my statutes ; he shall not die for the iniquity of his 

18 father, he shall surely live. As for his father, because he 
cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did 
that which is not good among his people, behold, he shall 

19 die ^ in his iniquity. Yet say ye. Wherefore doth not the 
son bear the iniquity of the father ? When the son hath 
done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my 

1 Heb. be put to death. 2 Another reading is, seethe 
or, consider eth, ^ Or, for 

14-17. Ezekiel follows the matter 
up to the consideration of the third 
generation, imagining the case of 
the wicked son having a good son of 
his own, who lives a righteous life 
warned by and afraid because of the 
iniquities of the father. The varia- 
tion of reading in v. 14" does not 
materially alter the sense. To with- 
draw the hand from the poor is to 
keep from doing them any wrong. 
In this case no harm will come to 
the man because of his father's 

18. A return for a moment to 
the sentence upon the father for his 
wrong doing and acts of oppression. 
His sentence will come upon him, 
but in case the prophet should not 
warn him, the prophet's fate is also 

to be his according to an earlier 
prophecy (iii. 18) because he had 
not given the man warning. 

19, 20. Apparently the prover- 
bial expression which expressed a 
belief of the time had arisen from 
a false interpretation of the second 
commandment (Ex. xx. 5). The 
hearers are represented as objecting ; 
the prophet therefore repeats his 
statement that the righteous son 
will not suffer in the long run for 
the iniquities of the wicked father. 
They had lost sight in the command- 
ment of the words ' them that hate 
Me,' 'them that love Me and keep 
My commandments'; though this 
was not always so (see 2 K. xiv. 6 
where Deut. xxiv. 16 is quoted: 'The 
fathers shall not be put to death for 


XVIII. 19-24 



20 statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. The 
soul that sinneth, it shall die : the son shall not bear the 
iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the 
iniquity of the son ; the righteousness of the righteous 
shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked 

21 shall be upon him. But if the wicked turn from all his 
sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, 
and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, 

22 he shall not die. None of his transgressions that he hath 
committed shall be remembered against him : in his 

23 righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any 
pleasure in the death of the wicked ? saith the Lord God : 
and not rather that he should return from his way, and 

24 live ? But when the righteous turneth away from his 
righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth ac- 
cording to all the abominations that the wicked man 
doeth, shall he live ? None of his righteous deeds that 

the children, neither shall the 
children be put to death for the 
fathers : every man shall be put to 
death for his own sin '). Jeremiah, 
too, had said that the proverbial 
expression which embodied the 
popular belief would be no more 
used (xxxi. 29, 30). Individual re- 
sponsibility is here plainly asserted 
just as it is by St Paul (see 
Rom. ii.). 

It may be said after all that a 
son does suflFer sometimes for the 
sins of his father, and no doubt this 
is true in one sense. But the 
prophet, like St Paul, is dealing 
with the permanent and not with 
the temporary consequences of sin. 

21-23. There is a place of repen- 
tance for the wicked if he do but 
accept it, as God would have him 
do. But this must be by a volte 
face. Not only must he give up 
vices but he must practice the 

opposite virtues (cp. w. 27, 28 : 
xxxiii. 19). F. 22 is practically 
repeated in xxxiii. 16; there is to 
be a blotting out of his transgressions, 
and this because God willeth not 
the death of the sinner. This idea 
occurs again in v. 32 and xxxiii. 11 
where it is made the ground of an 
appeal to the people to repent. For 
the doctrine involved we may com- 
pare 2 Esd. viii. 59 ('the Most High 
willed not that men should come to 
nought'): Wisd. i. 13 : 1 Tim. ii. 4, 
6 (God ' willeth that all men should 
be saved') : Tit. ii. 11 : 2 Pet. iii. 9. 
24. The next two verses describe 
the fall of the righteous (cp. iii. 20 : 
xxxiii. 12, 13). All his previous 
goodness will not count: he shall 
die in his sins : cp. 2 Pet. ii. 20 ' if, 
after they have escaped the defile- 
ments of the world through the 
knowledge of the Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ, they are again 

90 EZEKIEL xviii. ^4-31 

he hath done shall be remembered : in his trespass that 
he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in 

25 them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is 
not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel : Is not my way 

26 equal ? are not your ways unequal ? When the righteous 
man tumeth away from his righteousness, and committeth 
iniquity, ^and dieth ^therein ; ^in his iniquity that he hath 

27 done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man tumeth 
away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and 
doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his 

28 soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away 
from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he 

29 shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet saith the house of 
Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of 
Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways 

30 unequal ? Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, 
every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. 
Return ye, and turn yourselves from all your trans- 

31 gressions ; *so iniquity shall not be your ^ruin. Cast 

^ Or, he shall die ^ Or, because of it ^ Or, for ^ Or, so shall they 
not be a stumblingblock of iniquity unto you ^ Heb. stumblingblock. 

entangled therein and overcome, more represented as being made, 

the last state is become worse with Punishment is threatened again but 

them than the first' the chapter concludes with an appeal 

25-28. A complaint against the to the people to repent. The 

equity of God's judgement answered, sentence passed {v. 30) is a repetition 

The same complaint which occurs of one already announced (vii. 3, 8) 

again in v. 29 is repeated and and recurs again (xxxiii. 20: cp. 

answered in much the same way xxxvi. 19). The appeal to return 

later (xxxiii. 17, 20). It is man that has been already made (xiv. 6), as it 

is to blame, not God. V. 26 is a had been by Hosea (xiv. 1 'O Israel, 

repetition of v. 24. The marginal return unto the Lord thy God ; for 

renderings are to be preferred, thou hast fallen by thine iniquity '). 

V. 27 repeats v. 21 (cp. xxxiii. 19). Of the two renderings of the last 

' He shall save his soul alive ' means clause of v. 30 that in the text is 

'he shall rescue it so that it shall the best. The casting away of 

live.' In V. 28 'he considereth' transgressions is to leave them 

implies that he realises the conse- behind, and refers most probably to 

quences of his sins. the idolatrous worship (cp. xx. 7). 

29-32. The complaint is once The new heart and new spirit had 




away from you all your transgressions, wherein ye have 
transgressed ; and make you a new heart and a new 
32 spirit : for why will ye die, house of Israel ? For I 
have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the 
Lord GrOD : wherefore turn yourselves, and live. 

xxviii. A lamentation over the royal family of 
JudaK xix. 1-14. 

XIX. 1 Moreover, take thou up a lamentation for 

2 the princes of Israel, and say. What was thy mother ? 
A lioness : she couched among lions, in the midst of the 

3 young lions she nourished her whelps. And she brought 
up one of her whelps ; he became a young lion : and he 

already been promised (xi. 19) ; and 
the appeal 'why will ye die?' is 
repeated later (xxxiii. 11). V. 32 
repeats the interrogation of v. 23 in 
another form. 

We may perhaps trace back to the 
teaching of this chapter a saying, 
sometimes attributed to our Lord, 
sometimes to one of the prophets: 
* In whatsoever state I find you, in 
that will I judge you ' {ev oXs av vfxas 
KaraXa^co, fv tovtois koi Kpiva^ Justin, 

JDial. c. Tryph. c. 47 ; olov yap evpco 
are, tolovtov koi Kpivw, Basil, JEJp. i. 42; 
cp. Resch, 'Agrapha,' Texte und 
Unters. v. 4, p. 112). 

The whole of this chapter deals 
with the same problem, the relation 
of individual responsibility to here- 
dity, which is still being discussed 
and was discussed over and over 
again in the Greek drama, e.g. we 
may compare especially the Agamem- 
non of Aeschylus, in which the 
Chorus will not allow Clytemnestra 
to escape the responsibility for her 
wicked deed by throwing the blame 

upon the evil genius of the race {Ag. 

XIX. 1-9. The lamentation in- 
cluded in these verses is parabolic in 
form but the interpretation is clear. 
Other lamentations occur in xxvi. 
17 : xxvii. 2, 32 (for Tyre): xxviii. 12 
(for Tyre's king): xxxii. 2 (for the 
Pharaoh): and also in Am. v. 1: 
Jer. vii. 29. The lion is connected 
with Judah from Jacob's blessing, 
where Judah is compared to both 
lion and lioness (Gen. xlix. 9), down 
to the Apocalypse (Rev. v. 5), where 
we read of 'the Lion that is of the 
tribe of Judah.' The young lion of 
V. 3 must be Jehoahaz whose mother 
(others take the 'mother' here as 
only meaning the 'nation') was 
Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah 
of Libnah (2 K. xxiii. 31). Pharaoh- 
necoh was the Egyptian king who 
captured him : ' he was taken in 
their pit' (cp. t?. 8: Lam. iv. 20), 
referring to the capture of wild 
animals by digging pits and covering 
the mouths of them so that they 


4 learned to catch the prey, he devoured men. The nations 
also heard of him ; he was taken in their pit : and they 

5 brought him with hooks unto the land of Egypt. Now 
when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, 
then she took another of her whelps, and made him a 

6 young lion. And he went up and down among the lions, 
he became a young lion : and he learned to catch the 

7 prey, he devoured men. And he knew their ^palaces, and 
laid waste their cities ; and the land was desolate, and the 

8 fulness thereof, because of the noise of his roaring. Then 
the nations set against him on every side from the 
provinces : and they spread their net over him ; he was 

* Or, widows 

were trapped in them. Jehoahaz 
was carried off into Egypt (2 K. 
xxiii. 34: 2 Chr. xxxvi. 4: he is 
called Shallum in Jer. xxii. 11, 12 
where his captivity is prophesied). 
Hooks or rings are represented on 
the monuments as put through the 
lips of prisoners (so v. 9:*cp. KV. 
marg. of 2 Chr. xxxiii. 11 'the 
captains of the host of the king of 
Assyria, which took Manasseh with 
hooks ' and the prophecies of xxix. 
4 : xxxviii. 4 : 2 K. xix. 28 : Is. 
xxxvii. 29), and royal prisoners are 
known to have been put in cages 
in Babylon (see Toy on this passage). 
Upon the captivity of Jehoahaz, 
after a time of waiting in the 
hope that he might return to the 
throne (Jer. xxii. 10-12), Eliakim 
(or, Jehoiakim) was set up as king 
by the Egyptian king (2 K. xxiii. 
34 : 2 Chr. xxxvi. 4). The narrative 
here implies that the queen mother 
had also something to do with 
his accession : though Jehoiakim's 
mother was Zebidah the daughter 
of Pedaiah of Rumah (2 K. xxiii. 36) 
and not Hamutal. It may be that 

the exact details of the parabolic 
language are not to be pressed or 
that Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin are 
left out and that Zedekiah, who was 
like Jehoahaz a son of Hamutal 
(2 K. xxiv. 18), is indicated here. 
In V. 7 the rendering of R.V. marg. 
is that of the Heb. text; that of 
R.V. is a conjectural emendation : 
it may refer to Zedekiah's succeeding 
his brother in the royal harem. 
Whichever king of Judah it is, he is 
represented as causing devastation 
in the land : so 2 K. xxiv. 4 says 
that 'he filled Jerusalem with 
innocent blood.' If Jehoiakim is 
the king intended then the nations 
who came against him (tJ. 8) would 
be the nations of the tributary 
provinces of the Babylonian empire, 
and might also include those men- 
tioned in 2 K. xxiv. 2. He was 
taken as in a net (cp. xii. 13 : xviL 
20). But the carrying away to 
Babylon was only eflFected in the 
case of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah. 
Nebuchadrezzar is, however, repre- 
sented in 2 Chronicles (xxxvi. 6) 
as intending to carry Jehoiakim 

XIX. 8-14 



9 taken in their pit. And they put him in a cage with 
hooks, and brought him to the king of Babylon ; they 
brought him into strong holds, that his voice should no 
more be heard upon the mountains of Israel. 

10 Thy mother was like a vine, ^in thy blood, planted by 
the waters : she was fruitful and full of branches by 

11 reason of many waters. And she had strong rods for the 
sceptres of them that bare rule, and ^ their stature was 
exalted among the ^thick boughs, and *they were seen in 

12 ^ their height with the multitude of ^ their branches. But 
she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, 
and the east wind dried up her fruit : her strong rods 
were broken off and withered ; the fire consumed them. 

13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and 

14 thirsty land. And fire is gone out of ^the rods of her 

ch. 16. 6. Or, in thy likeness ^ Heb. his. 
* Heb. he was. •* Or, a rod 

Or, clouds 

into captivity, though it is clear 
from 2 K. xxiv. 6 and Jer. xxii. 18, 
19 that he died and was buried at 
or near Jerusalem. It is therefore 
most probable that Zedekiah is 
intended throughout this passage : 
though A. B. Davidson would have 
us think of Jehoiachin in these 
verses, whilst he holds that vv. 10- 
14 refer to Zedekiah. The whole 
chapter may possibly be misplaced 
and should come later, and be in- 
serted in a diflFerent collection of 
prophecies from that dated 591 rc. 
10-14. The lioness of the former 
part of the lamentation, if by the 
lioness is intended the nation, 
becomes in this part the vine, a 
simile of constant occurrence in the 
Old Testament (see note on xv. 6). 
If 'in thy blood ' {v. 10) be right we 

must compare it with xvi. 6 (see 
R.V. marg. here) ; a conjectural 
emendation reads *in a vineyard' 
(see Toy): the rest of the verse 
should be compared for its language 
with Ps. i. 3, and the whole passage 
with Ps. Ixxx. 8 seqq. The *many 
waters' of Palestine were one of its 
glories (Deut. viii. 7). The same 
variation of meaning between 'thick 
boughs' (R.V.) and 'clouds' (R.V. 
marg. ) is to be found in xxxi. 3, 10, 
14, where the Hebrew word of 
ambiguous meaning is used of the 

The effect of the east wind upon 
the trees of the land is also described 
in xvii. 10 : Hos. xiii. 15. The dry and 
thirsty land which had to be irrigated 
by a system of canals is Babylonia. 
Deportations took place in the reigns 

94 EZEKIEL xix. 14-xx. 3 

branches, it hath devoured her fruit, so that there is in 
her no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a 
lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation. 

590 B.C. Chapters XX.— XXIIL 

xxix. Israel, in the past, in the present and in 
the future, xx. 1-44. 

Perhaps the best comment that can be made upon the spirit of this 
chapter as a whole is to be found in The Christian Year (18th Sunday 
after Trinity): — 

In the waste howling wilderness 
The Church is wandering still, 
Because we would not onward press 
When close to Sion's hill. 

Back to the world we faithless turned, 

And far along the wild, 
With labour lost and sorrow earned, 

Our steps have been beguiled. 
* * * * 

Fain would our lawless hearts escape, 

And with the heathen be. 
To worship every monstrous shape 

In fancied darkness free. 

Vain thought that shall not be at all ! 

Refuse we or obey, 
Our ears have heard the Almighty's call, 

We cannot be as they. Keble. 

XX. 1 And it came to pass in the seventh year, in 
the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain 
of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and 

2 sat before me. And the word of the Lord came unto me, 

3 saying, Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and 

of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah. V. 14 XX. 1-4. This section of Ezekiel 

describes the revolts of these two is dated almost one year and one 

kings, the result of which was the month later than the last (viii.-xix.) 

deposition of the royal house al- and nearlytwo years and a half earlier 

together. than the next section (xxiv., xxv.). It 

XX. 3-7 



say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God : Are ye come to 
inquire of me ? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be 

4 inquired of by you. Wilt thou judge them, son of man, 
wilt thou judge them ? cause them to know the abomina- 

5 tions of their fathers ; and say unto them, Thus saith the 
Lord God : In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up 
mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made 
myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I 
lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the Lord 

6 your God ; in that day I lifted up mine hand unto them, 
to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt into a land 
that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, 

7 which is the glory of all lands : and I said unto them. Cast 
ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and 
defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt ; I am the 

opens exactly as the last did with 
the elders of Israel (viii. 1 Judah : for 
the use of these two terms see note 
there) sitting before the prophet 
(as they do also in xiv. 1) to hear 
the Divine message. But the 
Almighty refuses with a solemn 
asseveration (cp. xvi. 48) to give any 
answer to their inquiries: this is 
also the case previously (xiv. 3 
* should I be inquired of at all by 
them ? '). The repetition of the 
question in «?. 4 occurs again in xxii. 
2 ' wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge 
the bloody city?' The inhabitants 
of Jerusalem were to know all the 
abominations which they like their 
forefathers had committed. 

5-26. In order to inform them the 
prophet goes back to the history of 
their making as a nation and what 
happened to them not only in Egypt 
but also in the wilderness. It was 
in Egypt that they entered upon a 
national existence and were chosen 
solemnly by God to be His people. 

He lifted up His hand (twice in this 
verse, cf. vv. 6, 15, 23, 28, 42 : xlvii. 
14) in solemn assertion of this fact, 
and at the same time revealed Him- 
self to them as their God under the 
Name now popularly pronounced 
Jehovah (Ex. iii. 14 : vi. 2). With 
the birth of the nation was to 
come national deliverance and their 
removal into a land which God had 
looked out for them (cp. Ex. iii. 8) as 
a rich and fertile one, which the 
patriotic Jew could look upon as 'the 
glory of all lands ' (so z?. 15: cp. Jer. 
iii. 19: Zech. vii. 14: Ps. xlviii. 2 'the 
joy of the whole earth': Lam. ii. 15). 
On this adoption of His people God 
gave them an injunction to reject all 
worship except of Him. 'The 
abominations of their eyes' is an 
expression explained by v, 24 ' their 
eyes went after their fathers' idols,' 
which must be read in connection 
with what Joshua is represented as 
saying (Josh. xxiv. 2) : — ' Your 
fathers... served other gods.' The 



XX. 7-12 

8 Lord your God. But they rebelled against me, and would 
not hearken unto me ; they did not every man cast away 
the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake 
the idols of Egypt : then I said I would pour out my fury 
upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the 

9 midst of the land of Egypt. But I wrought for my name's 
sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the 
nations, among whom they were, in whose sight I made 
myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of 

10 the land of Egypt. So I caused them to go forth out of 
the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. 

11 And I gave them my statutes, and ^shewed them my 
judgements, which if a man do, he shall live ^in them. 

12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign 
between me and them, that they might know that ^I am 

1 Heb. made them to know. 

2 Or, 

idols of Egypt would be different 
from these : though we are not told 
of their worshipping them when in 
Egypt, yet the Israelites looked 
back to the idols of Egypt, when 
they made the golden calf in imita- 
tion of the Egyptian God Apis. It 
was this false worship in Egypt 
which had excited God's anger 
against His people. The purpose of 
God's wrath was the vindication of 
His Name and honour, which 
otherwise would have been degraded 
among the heathen (cp. v. 22 : Ps. 
cvi. 8: Is. xlviii. 11) who had seen 
His power exercised among His 
people {v. 14). The deliverance 
from Egypt accomplished, the people 
were brought into the wilderness 
where they received their laws of 
various kinds, 'judgements' and 
'statutes' as they are called here. 
The statement about them {v. 11), 
' which if a man do, he shall live in 
{marg. by) them,' is identical with 

2 Or, 1 the Lord do sanctify them 

that in Lev. xviii. 5. It occurs again 
in vv. 13, 21, Neh. ix. 29 and is re- 
produced twice by St Paul (Rom. x. 
5 : Gal. iii. 12 : cp. Luke x. 28 'this 
do, and thou shalt Hve '). Another 
cause of complaint was the profan- 
ation of the sabbath {w. 12, 13, 16, 
21, 24)— a breach of the fourth 
Commandment. That institution 
was intended to shew them the claim 
that Jehovah had upon their service. 
But in this respect as in others they 
were disobedient; we find one case 
of sabbath-breaking in the wilder- 
ness (Numb. XV. 32-36) severely 
punished by death by stoning : and 
the manna that was given on the 
other days was withheld on the 
sabbath, when ' there went out some 
of the people for to gather' (Ex. xvi. 
27). This complaint about the 
breaking of the sabbath recurs (xxii. 
8 : xxiii. 38) ; and the profanation 
occun*ed again in post-exilic times 
(Neh. xiii. 15-22); the use of the 

XX. 12-11 EZEKIEL 97 

13 the Lord that sanctify them. But the house of Israel 
rebelled against me in the wilderness : they walked not in 
my statutes, and they rejected my judgements, which if a 
man do, he shall live ^in them ; and my sabbaths they 
greatly profaned : then I said I would pour out my fury 

14 upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. But I 
wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be 
profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight 

15 I brought them out. Moreover also I lifted up my hand 
unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them 
into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk 

16 and honey, which is the glory of all lands ; because they 
rejected my judgements, and walked not in my statutes, 
and profaned my sabbaths : for their heart went after their 

17 idols. Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying 
them, neither did I make a full end of them in the wilder- 

18 ness. And I said unto their children in the wilderness. Walk 
ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their 

19 judgements, nor defile yourselves with their idols : I am 
the Lord your God ; walk in my statutes, and keep my 

20 judgements, and do them : and hallow my sabbaths ; and 
they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may 

21 know that I am the Lord your God. But the children 

1 Or, by 

plural may hint at the neglect of the 18-26. The next generation in 
sabbatical years as well as of the the wilderness was in its turn ex- 
sabbath. Once again God's wrath horted to obedience and abstinence 
was to be poured out upon them from idolatry, the idolatry of their 
(cf. 'ov. 8, 21) for the vindication of forefathers (Josh, xxiv. 14). Jeho- 
His Name and glory {v. 14: cf. vv. 9, vah claimed all their obedience and 
22). This vindication took the form all their allegiance, as in the first 
in earlier times of excluding from the Commandment, and with regard to 
promised land all those of full age the sabbath, in the fourth {v. 20 
who came out of Egypt, except two repeats v. 12). But generation after 
(Numb. xiv. 28-30: Ps. xcv. 11), generation (all are included in ' the 
because of their disobedience and children' of v. 21) were rebellious 
idolatry. But still justice was tern- and met with the same sentence of 
pered with mercy, the nation as a judgement, and the same display of 
nation survived. mercy. There was, however, always 

98 EZEKTEL XX. ai-a; 

rebelled against me ; they walked not in my statutes, 
neither kept my judgements to do them, which if a man 
do, he shall live Hn them ; they profaned my sabbaths : 
then I said I would pour out my fury upon them, to 
accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. 

22 Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my 
name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of 

23 the nations, in whose sight I brought them forth. More- 
over I lifted up mine hand unto them in the wilderness, 
that I would scatter them among the nations, and disperse 

24 them through the countries ; because they had not 
executed my judgements, but had rejected my statutes, 
and had profaned my sabbaths, and their eyes were after 

25 their fathers' idols. Moreover also I gave them statutes 
that were not good, and judgements ^wherein they should 

26 not live ; and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that 
they ^caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the 
womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that 
they might know that I am the Lord. 

27 Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, 
and say unto them. Thus saith the Lord God : In this 
moreover have your fathers blasphemed me, in that they 

1 Or, hy 2 Or, whereby ^ Or, set apart all See Ex. 13. 12. 

hanging over them the sentence any time an inherent part of the 
of dispersion (that sentence is pro- Jewish religion : they were intrusions 
nounced in Deut. xxviii. 64) for their from without, 
disobedience and idolatry. They 27-29. This corruption of the 
were also dehvered over to and people and their superstition had 
allowed to live under evil laws (cp. never ceased. What they had done 
Ps. Ixxxi. 12: Acts vii. 42), and their was in derogation of the honour of 
offerings to false gods were a cause God (this is the meaning of the word 
of pollution to them, and brought 'blasphemed' v. 27). These false 
punishment in their train {v. 26) worships have already been men- 
that they might be brought back to tioned (vi. 13). ' The provocation of 
the acknowledgment of the true their oflFering ' is another way of ex- 
God. For the infant sacrifices cp. pressing 'their offering that pro- 
xvi. 20, 21. There is nothing to voked me.' The exact point of v. 29 
shew that these sacrifices were at is lost. The R.V. makes it little 

XX. 27-3* > EZEKIEL 99 

28 have committed a trespass against me. For when I had 
brought them into the land, which I lifted up mine hand 
to give unto them, then they ^saw every high hill, and 
every thick tree, and they offered there their sacrifices, 
and there they presented the provocation of their offering, 
there also they made their sweet savour, and they poured 

29 out there their drink offerings. Then I said unto them. 
What meaneth the high place ^whereunto ye go ? So the 

30 name thereof is called ^Bamah unto this day. Wherefore 
say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God : Do 
ye pollute yourselves after the manner of your fathers ? 

31 and go ye a whoring after their abominations ? and when 
ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through 
the fire, do ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, unto 
this day ? and shall I be inquired of by you, house of 
Israel ? As I live, saith the Lord GrOD, I will not be 

32 inquired of by you : and that which cometh into your 
mind shall not be at all ; in that ye say. We will be as the 
nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and 

^ Or, looked out for ^ Or, whereunto ye go, and the name whereof ? 
^ That is, High place. 

else than an explanation of the name the nations ') : and this was one of 

Bamah. R.V. margin implies a the causes of their idolatry. Their 

derision of the high place couched gods are simply called here, as else- 

in a jingling form (the transliteration where (e.g. Deut. iv. 28), ' wood and 

'mdhhabhdmdh...habhdt'm...hdindh stone,' just as when Hezekiah 

will indicate the kind of form of destroyed the brazen serpent, which 

syllables predominant in the verse), had become an object of idolatry, he 

In the following verses the accusa- called it Nehushtan, i.e. a piece of 

tions against the people are turned brass. Their punishment is to come, 

into questions the last of which has God with His wrath and terrors will 

occurred before (». 3: cp.xiv. 3). The plead with His people and purify 

expression ' that which cometh into them, and at the same time exercise 

your mind ' also has its counterpart His sovereign power. His scattered 

in XX. 32, xxxviii. 10. One of the people are to be gathered together 

temptations of the people was the again (Jer. xxxi. 8) ; but once more 

desire to be like their neighbours, it is to be into a wilderness — 'the 

This it was, we are told, which led wilderness of the peoples' {v. 35), i.e. 

them to ask for a king (1 Sam. viii. 5 the wilderness on whose outskirts 

' make us a king to judge us like all lived many different peoples. There 



XX. 3^-4© 

33 stone. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty 
hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured 

34 out, will I be king over you : and I will bring you out 
from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries 
wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a 

35 stretched out arm, and with fury poured out : and I will 
bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there 

36 will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with 
your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will 

37 I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause 
you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the 

38 bond of the covenant ; and I will purge out from among 
you the rebels, and them that transgress against me ; I will 
bring them forth out of the land where they sojourn, but 
they shall not enter into the land of Israel : and ye shall 

39 know that I am the Lord. As for you, house of Israel, 
thus saith the Lord God : Go ye, serve every one his idols, 
^and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me : but 
my holy name shall ye no more profane with your gifts, 

40 and with your idols. For in mine holy mountain, in the 

^ Or, but hereafter surely ye shall hearken unto me, and d;c. 

God will plead (cp. xvii. 20 : xxxviii. 
22) with His people, in the sense of 
sitting in judgement upon them, face 
to face with them as at Sinai (Deut. 
vi. 4). ' The wilderness of the land of 
Egypt' is the wilderness on the 
borders of that country. The 
passing under the rod was the re- 
dedication of the people to God, 
just as the tithe of animals passed 
under the rod, when they were 
claimed as God's (Lev. xxvii. 32) : it 
has nothing to do here with the rod 
of chastisement but is the tally rod 
on which they were counted. And 
as they pass under the rod, the 
rebellious and the wicked will be re- 
jected, as their forefathers were, 

and kept out of the land (cp. xiii. 9) 
when the rest are restored. The 
separation is a separation by a 
judicial decision (cp. Matt, xxv. 32 
'He shall separate them one fi'om 
another, as the shepherd separateth 
the sheep from the goats '). Those 
who are admitted to favour will 
enter once again into covenant 
relationship with God. The final 
result is expressed in the recurring 
formula : — ' ye shall know that I am 
the Lord ' (cp. vi. 7). The prophecy 
then breaks out into bitter sarcasm: 
the people might serve their idols 
(cp. Judg. X. 14 'go and cry unto the 
gods which ye have chosen ') if they 
chose, but they should no more do 

XX. 40-44 EZEKIEL 101 

mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord Gk)D, there 
shall all the house of Israel, all of them, serve me in the 
land : there will I accept them, and there will I require 
your offerings, and the ^firstfruits of your ^ oblations, with 

41 all your holy things. ^As a sweet savour will I accept you, 
when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you 
out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered ; and 
I will be sanctified in you in the sight of the nations. 

42 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring 
you into the land of Israel, into the country which I lifted 

43 up mine hand to give unto your fathers. And there shall 
ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye 
have polluted yourselves ; and ye shall loathe yourselves 
in your own sight for all your evils that ye have com- 

44 mitted. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when 
I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not 
according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt 
doings, ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God. 

1 Or, chief 2 Or, tribute » Or, With 

so in Jerusalem : there the offerings nified in them before us '). When 

must and shall be given to Jehovah this happy time should come the 

alone: else His Name would be pro- Jews, as a nation, would look back 

faned (cp. xxxix. 7 : xliii. 7). The with loathing upon their past history 

holy moimtain is Mount Zion, and by (so vi. 9 : xxxvi. 31), and reaUse that 

naming all the house of Israel the they had merited much more punish- 

prophecy includes a restoration of ment than they had received (cp. 

the Ten Tribes as well as of the Ps. ciii. 10 ' He hath not dealt with 

kingdom of Judah ; all alike will us after our sins, Nor rewarded us 

bring their offerings for acceptance after our iniquities ')• 

(cp. MaL iii. 4) to the restored It was one of the great glories of 

Temple. In this way God's Name the pious Jew to celebrate the past 

will be hallowed, and recognition of history of his people, and comme- 

Him hold sway among Jews and morate God's dealings with it (Ps. 

Gentilesalike(cp. xxxvi. 23: xxxviii. Ixxviii., civ., cv.: Neh. ix.: cp. Acts 

16, 23 : xxxix. 27 : Is. xl. 5 : Ecclus. vii.). In this chapter the lesson to 

xxxvi. 3, 4 ' As Thou wast sanctified be taught is self-humihation. 
in us before them. So be Thou mag- 




XXX. A short separate prophecy against the 
South. XX. 45-49. 

This prophecy according to 'the Hebrew notation forms the commence- 
ment of chapter xxi. It stands independent both of what precedes and 
of what follows. 

46 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

46 Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy 
word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of 

47 the field in the South ; and say to the forest of the South, 
Hear the word of the Lord ; Thus saith the Lord God : 
Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour 
every green tree in thee, and every dry tree : the flaming 
flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south 

48 to the north shall be burnt thereby. And all flesh shall 
see that I the Lord have kindled it : it shall not be 

49 quenched. Then said I, Ah Lord God ! they say of me. Is 
he not a speaker of parables ? 

45-49. Though this prophecy is 
quite independent of any other, the 
opening of it is constructed on the 
same model as xxi. 2, The expres- 
sion 'drop [thy word]' occurs first 
in Am. vii. 16 and Mic. ii. 6 and 
afterwards only here and in xxi. 2. 
It is always used of prophecy. ' The 
south,' as is indicated in part by the 
printing of the R.V., represents 
three Hebrew words, ddrom^ almost 
entirely limited to Ezekiel, temdn^ 
and the still more common word 
Negeb. All alike refer to the 
district to the south of Judah, and 
the first survives to the present day, 
as it is still called Daroma : it is to 
the south of Gaza. It is question- 
able how far there was anything like 
what we should call ' forest ' in this 

district at any time : we may compare 
the use of the word in Scotland, and 
it may simply refer to the scrub and 
low-growing bushes that flourish in 
the desert, which are easily consum- 
ed by fire (cp. Jer. xxi. 14). The 
green tree and the dry tree are 
contrasted as in xvii. 24 (which see). 
The devouring flame is represented 
as spreading northwards (so xxi. 4) 
to devour the land of Canaan itself, 
having been kindled by Jehovah. 
The exclamation ' Ah Lord God ! ' 
has occurred already (iv. 14: ix. 8: 
xi. 13), always in a deprecatory sense. 
Ezekiel as a speaker of parables 
wins no acceptance from the people : 
they cannot grasp the meaning of 
them. The parable is explained in 
the next section. 

XXI. 1-7 EZEKIEL 103 

xxxi Another short utterance explanatory of ths parable 
of the preceding verses, xxi. 1-7. 

XXI. 1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, 

2 saying, Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and 
drop thy word toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy 

3 against the land of Israel ; and say to the land of Israel, 
Thus saith the Lord : Behold, I am against thee, and will 
draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off 

4 from thee the righteous and the wicked. Seeing then that 
I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, 
therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against 

5 all flesh from the south to the north : and all flesh shall 
know that I the Lord have drawn forth my sword out of 

6 its sheath ; it shall not return any more. Sigh therefore, 
thou son of man ; with the breaking of thy loins and with 

7 bitterness shalt thou sigh before their eyes. And it shall 
be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? 

XXI. 1-5. Although this is a pro- rezzar to attack Egypt first and so 
phetic utterance independent of the to approach Jerusalem from the 
last(xx.45-49),itisevidentlyintended south — and all flesh were to know 
from the mode of its introduction that it was Jehovah's work (so xx. 
to recall and be explanatory of the 48). The statement 'it shall not 
former parabolic statement of the return (i.e. to its sheath) any more ' 
same fact For vv. 1, 2 cp. xx. 45, means 'it shall not return until it 
46. 'The sanctuaries' must be the has accomplished its work.' 
holy sites in Jerusalem. ' The fire ' 6, 7. As this announcement is 
and ' flaming flame ' (xx. 47) are the made the prophet is bidden to la- 
sword of Nebuchadrezzar and his ment The ' breaking ' of the loins 
host, used by Jehovah as His own is a curious expression, but intended 
instrument for the devastation of the to indicate violent bodily convulsions 
land of Israel, and so He calls it due to excessive grief. The cause 
' My sword ' (cp. Deut. xxxii. 41). All of this excessive grief is explained 
alike, good and bad, were to be cut to be the news of the certainty of 
oflF, as had been indicated in the the destruction that is coming (cp. 
parable by the green and dry tree vii. 5, 6), and the effect upon the 
(xx. 47) ; and the work was to begin people — the melting of hearts, a 
from the south and go northward phrase occurring most often in 
(so XX. 47) — this perhaps implies Joshua (ii. 11 : v. 1 : vii 5) but also 
that Bzekiel expected Nebuchad- in Ps. xxii. 14 : Is. xiii. 7. The 



XXI. 7-« 

that thou shalt say, Because of the tidings, for it cometh : 
and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, 
and every spirit shall ^ faint, and all knees shall be weak 
as water : behold, it cometh, and it shall be done, saith the 
Lord God. 

xxxii. Another prophecy of invasion, cast in a quasi- 
poetic form: ^ The song of the sword of the Lord' 
(A. B. Davidson), xxi. 8-17. 

8 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

9 Son of man, prophesy, and say. Thus saith the Lord : Say, 
10 A sword, a sword, it is sharpened, and also furbished : it 

is sharpened that it may make a slaughter; it is furbished 
that it may be as lightning : shall we then make mirth ? 

1 Or, he dim 



other effects, the feeble hands (cp. 
Is. xiii. 7 : Jer. vi 24) and weak 
knees, have occurred already to- 
gether (vii. 17 : cp. Is. xxxv. 3 
* Strengthen ye the weak hands, and 
confirm the feeble knees ' quoted in 
Heb. xii. 12). The last clause of v. 7 
occurs again in xxxix. 8. 

8-17. The style of this passage 
with its emphatic repetitions may 
well be compared with vii. 5 ff. 
*An end is come, the end is come,' 
etc. The flashing of the sword is 
compared to lightning as in Deut. 
xxxii. 41 ' If I whet the lightning of 
my sword' (cp. vv. 15, 28). Such a 
time is not one for taking pleasure 
(cp. 1 Cor. vii. 29-31). The last 
words of ??. 10 are difficult, because, 
if they are translated as in the 
text, the Hebrew word for 'rod' 
which is always masculine elsewhere 
must be taken here and in v. 13 as 
feminine, whereas the word for 

*sword' is feminine, and this explains 
the translations given in the margin 
of vv. 10, 13. Even then it is not 
clear what the expression 'the rod 
of My son' means. If we take the 
R.V. text it must mean the rod with 
which My son, i.e. My people, is 
chastised; if the margin, the rod 
with which My son has armed him- 
self against his enemies. In either 
case the ' tree ' is mentioned here, as 
being wood in contrast with the 
glittering spear of steel. The wooden 
rods of chastisement are despised 
by the chastising sword. Or, the 
wooden rods may be taken for the 
emblems of authority of weaker 
powers as compared with the sword 
of the king of Babylon. The Sep- 
tuagint had a different Hebrew text 
before them, and many attempts 
have been made to amend the 
Hebrew, though there is little satis- 
faction to be gathered from them. 




11 Hhe rod of my son, it contemneth every tree. And it is 
given to be furbished, that it may be handled : the sword, 
it is sharpened, yea, it is furbished, to give it into the hand 

12 of the slayer. Cry and howl, son of man : for it is upon 
my people, it is upon all the princes of Israel : ^they are 
delivered over to the sword with my people : smite 

13 therefore upon thy thigh. For there is a trial; and ^ what 
if even the rod that contemneth shall be no more ? saith 

14 the Lord God. Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and 
smite thine hands together ; and let the sword be doubled 
the third time, the sword of the deadly wounded : it is the 
sword of the great one that is deadly wounded, which 

^ Or, it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree ^ Or, terrors by reason 
of the sword are upon my people * Or, what if the sword contemn even the 
rod? it shall be no more^ dtc. 

The words translated 'shall we 
then make mirth?' have been also 
rendered : ' ha ! let us make mirth ' 
(Delitzsch) or 'woe o prince' (Smend) 
or 'against the prince' (Gesenius). 
Whichever meaning we give to the 
following words the idea implied, so 
far as we can arrive at any sense, is 
that the chastisement inflicted ex- 
ceeds everything that has gone before. 
But the words are hopeless in their 
present state. A. B. Davidson gives 
a summary of the guesses that have 
been made at its meaning. 

It has been held by many that 
these obscure passages {vv. 10, 13) 
look back to the passage about the 
sceptre departing from Judah in 
Jacob's blessings of his twelve sons 
(Gen. xlix. 10). This is mainly due 
to the obvious allusion to that pas- 
sage later in this chapter {v. 27) ; 
there can scarcely, however, be any 
connection with it here. 

11. The sword is furbished in 
order that it may be grasped by the 
hand to some purpose and slaughter 

may be effected by it. The thought 
of all this is to bring sorrow to the 
prophet for his people (just as in 
V. 6) : the rendering of K V. is better 
than R.V. marg. in v. 12. The 
smiting upon the thigh is a sign of 
grief (cp. Jer. xxxi. 19). A more 
reasonable rendering mv. 13 is 'the 
trial has been made,' i.e, the people 
have been put to the test and have 
failed, and the supposition is brought 
forward, 'what if the power of the 
people and of the princes (symbolised 
by the rod), or even that of Babylon, 
come to an end ? ' this at any rate 
is the ultimate meaning of both K V. 
text and margin. The Hebrew text 
here is as obscure as in v. 10. 

14-17. The smiting together of 
the prophet's hands is a sign of wrath 
(cp. xxii. 13 : Numb. xxiv. 10). The 
reading 'let the sword be doubled' is 
considered very questionable — it may 
perhaps mean 'be given a double 
edge ' — and an emendation has been 
suggested 'let the sword bereave.' 
In this verse (14) there is also an 


XXI. 14-19 

15 ^entereth into their chambers. I have set the ^point of 
the sword against all their gates, that their heart may 
melt, and their stumblings be multiplied : ah ! it is made 

16 as lightning, it is pointed for slaughter. ^Gather thee 
together, go to the right ; set thyself in array, go to the 

17 left; * whithersoever thy face is set. I will also smite mine 
hands together, and I will ^satisfy my fury : I the Lord 
have spoken it. 

xxxiii. A further prophecy of the swordy more clearly 
defined as that of the sivord of the Jcifig of Babylon ; 
with the sequel of the deposition of the king of Judah 
for an indefinite period, xxi. 18-27. 

18 The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying, 

19 Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the 
sword of the king of Babylon may come ; they twain shall 

^ Or, compasseth them about ^ Or, consternation * Heb. Make thyself 
one. ^ Or, whither is thy face set ? ^ Heb. bring to rest. 

allusion to the three invasions of 
Nebuchadrezzar in the reigns of 
(a) Jehoiakim, (b) Jehoiachin, (c) 
Zedekiah (2 K. xxiv. 1, 10 : xxv. 1). 
The rest of the verse is full of 
difficulty which seems well-nigh 
insoluble. Who is the great one 
that is deadly wounded? Nothing 
is said of Zedekiah being wounded 
during his flight from the city. All 
that is said is that his eyes were put 
out and he was earned to Babylon 
(2 K. xxv. 7) ; we are not told how 
long he lived there. It may be that 
the wound is dealt to the king's 
power. The R.V. marg. is the better 
rendering of the last words of v. 14. 
Again in v. 15 there is a difficulty. 
Although ' point ' gives a very poet- 
ical turn to the sentence, yet it is 
more likely that the rendering should 

be 'the slaughter of the sword.' In 
1?. 16 there is no clear indication to 
whom the commands are addressed : 
probably the obscurity is left to 
indicate the confusion among the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, and that 
really it made little difference in 
which direction they turned ; though 
others make the sword to be apos- 
trophised and that it is directed to 
smite on all sides. For the satisfac- 
tion of God's fury see v. 13. 

18-23. The sword is now defined 
as that of the king of Babylon which 
has two objectives, Rabbah and 
Jerusalem, though it starts from one 
place, and part of the route is the 
same to both. Rabbah had been for 
a long time the capital city of the 
Ammonites. In David's reign it had 
endured a siege and been taken 

XXL 19-22 



come forth out of one land : and mark out a ^ place, mark 

20 it out at the head of the way to the city. Thou shalt 
appoint a way, for the sword to come to Rabbah of the 
children of Ammon, and to Judah in Jerusalem the 

21 defenced. 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 to and fro, he consulted the teraphim, 

22 he looked in the liver. In his right hand was the divination 
for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth 
^in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set 
battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounts, to 

1 Heb. hand. 2 Qr, f(yr 

(2 Sam. xi., xii : 1 Chr. xx.). Later it 
was called Philadelphia by Ptolemy 
Philadelphus, and it now goes by 
the name 'Amman. We meet with 
the Ammonites and their city, one 
or both, elsewhere in prophecy 
{vv. 28-32 : xxv. 1-7 : Jer. xxv. 21 : 
xlix. 1-6 : Am. i. 13-15 : Zeph. ii. 8, 
9). For their attitude to Nebuchad- 
rezzar at this time cp. note at the end 
of this chapter. At a certain stage 
on his march where a finger-post 
(Heb. hand) points out the two 
roads, the king of Babylon is pic- 
tured very graphically as divining 
which route he shall choose at the 
parting of the ways. Three forms 
of divination are mentioned: — 
(a) the shaking of the arrows: 
this is called helovnancy. Arrows 
would be inscribed with the names 
of the two towns and they would 
be shuffled together, and the king 
would draw one ; but, according to 
the Septuagint, rhabdomancy, i.e. 
divination with wands, is intended ; 
(&) the consulting the teraphim, i.e. 
most probably household gods. The 
teraphim are mentioned several 
times in the Bible (Gen. xxxi. 19, 34 : 

Judg. xvii. 5 : 1 Sam. xv. 23 where 
their worship is denounced : xix. 13 
fi'om which some have concluded 
that their form was that of a 
mummified human head: Hos. iii. 
4 : Zech. x. 2 where speaking vanity 
is attributed to them) ; (c) the third 
form of divination is the inspection 
of the liver of a sacrifice. This was 
called hepatoscopy, and conclusion^ 
were formed from the convulsions of 
the liver of the newly sacrificed vic- 
tim, or from its colour or shape. Some 
would combine {a) and (&) and hold 
that the arrows were shaken in front 
of the teraphim. The last of the 
three was practised in Rome : the 
person who inspected the entrails or 
liver was called there extispex. 

The lot fell for the march against 
Jerusalem since that came to his right 
hand, i.e. his right hand drew the 
arrow marked with the name of that 
city, which is called 'the defenced' 
and therefore had to be besieged 
with battering rams and mounts and 
forts (so iv. 2 and in xxvi. 9 of the 
siege of Tyre by Nebuchadrezzar). 
The Hebrew word translated 'in 
(marg. for) the slaughter' is of rare 



XXI. 22-21 

23 build forts. And it shall be unto them as a vain divination 
in their sight, which have sworn oaths unto them : but he 
bringeth iniquity to remembrance, that they may be 

24 Therefore thus saith the Lord God : Because ye have 
made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your 
transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings 
your sins do appear ; because that ye are come to 

25 remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand. And thou, 
O deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose 

occurrence and somewhat doubtful 
meaning: the Greek gives 'with 
a shout' and this makes the two 
clauses parallel, referring to the 
battle cry of the Chaldaeans. All 
this would seem a useless form of 
divination to the Jews, who had in 
time past sworn oaths of allegiance 
to the Chaldaeans (this appears to 
be the meaning of the words 'which 
have sworn oaths unto them ') : but 
Jehovah reminds them of their 
iniquity by allowing them to be 
carried into captivity. They are 
overcome by the chastising hand of 
God. Others take it that it is Ne- 
buchadrezzar who calls the people's 
breaking of their oaths to remem- 

24-27. The prophecy now turns 
to the destruction of the people and 
the prince, i.e. Zedekiah. We have 
already seen (note on v. 14) that it 
is difficult to understand how Zede- 
kiah can be described as 'deadly 
wounded.' His wickedness is ac- 
knowledged (2 K. xxiv. 19: 2 Chr. 
xxxvi. 12 : Jer. lii. 2), but we know 
nothing of his end in Babylon. He 
was blinded before he was earned 
thither. The phrase 'in the time 
of the iniquity {marg. punishment) 

of the end,' is repeated in a prophecy 
against Mount Seir (xxxv, 5). It 
implies that iniquity will bring their 
end to the people. The mitre 
{mitznepheth) only occurs elsewhere 
as a priestly covering : here it belongs 
to the king, though others take it 
to imply the deportation of the 
hierarchy : but the regal office has 
always been considered to have 
a sacerdotal element in it. The 
words 'this shall be no more the 
same,' lit. ' this not this,' seem to give 
no sense. All that they can mean 
is 'there will be a change.' The 
following words graphically express 
the houleversement of the overthrow 
of Jerusalem. They also remind us 
of the song of Hannah (1 S. ii. 7) 
echoed in the Magnificat (Lk. i. 52) : 
' He hath put down princes from 
their thrones, And hath exalted 
them of low degree.' The certainty 
and thoroughness of the overthrow 
is emphasised by the threefold 
repetition of the word, perhaps re- 
ferring to Nebuchadrezzar's three 
invasions (for similar threefold re- 
petitions see Jer. vii. 4 ' the temple 
of the Lord,' xxii. 29 ' earth '). And 
this kingdom is to have an end 
'until he come whose right it is.' 

XXI. 25-28 



26 day is come, in the time of the ^iniquity of the end; thus 
saith the Lord God : ^Remove the mitre, and take oflP the 
crown : this shall he ^no more the same : exalt that which 

27 is low, and abase that which is high. *I will overturn, 
overturn, overturn it : this also shall be no more, until he 
come whose right it is ; and I will give it him. 

xxxiv. A prophecy against the Ammonites, xxi. 28-32. 

The second lot had fallen to the king for the route to Rabbah. So when 
Jerusalem is destroyed the destruction of that city and its people is to be 
taken in hand in its turn. 

28 And thou, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith 
the Lord God concerning the children of Ammon, and 
concerning their reproach ; and say thou, A sword, a 

1 Or, punishment ^ Or, I will remove d;c. ^ Heb. not this. 
* Heb. An overthrow, overthrow, overthrow, will I make it. 

There seems to be a clear reference 
here to the much-disputed words, 
as the prophet interpreted them, 
of Gen. xlix. 10 ' Until Shiloh come' 
(see R.V. marg. in that passage with 
Driver's excursus and cp. Zech. vi. 12, 
13 and the 6 epxonevos of the Gospels, 
e.g. Matth. xi. 3). It is evident that 
some person with a right to reign is 
looked forward to in the future by 
the prophecy, and thus far it is 

28-32. This prophecy begins in 
almost identical language with that 
against Jerusalem {v. 9); 'their re- 
proach' is contained in v. 29. The 
words ' to cause it to devour ' {marg. 
* to the uttermost ') are better omit- 
ted ; they have nothing to correspond 
with them in v. 10. The meaning of 
V. 29 is very obscure. It is not clear 
who is addressed. The most rea- 
sonable interpretation is that it is 

a judgement upon the Ammonites for 
their treatment of the prophet and 
his people. They had had visions of 
reducing him and them to nothing 
and had prophesied lies concerning 
them, so that the prophet might be 
involved in the general slaughter of 
king and people (cp. v. 25, from 
which the last part of v. 29 is 
derived). In the next verse the 
time of slaughter on the part of 
Ammon is described as over, and 
the Divine judgement is to be carried 
out upon Ammon in the land of 
their birth, i.e. to the South of 
Palestine. For the blowing with 
the fire of wrath we may compare 
xxii. 21. The 'brutish' (i.e. in- 
human) men are the hordes of the 
Babylonian army. The idea of all 
recollection of the Ammonites as 
a nation passing away recurs later 
(xxv. 10). 



sword is drawn, for the slaughter it is furbished, ^to cause 

29 it to devour, that it may be as lightning : whiles they see 
vanity unto thee, whiles they divine lies unto thee, to lay 
thee upon the necks of the wicked that are deadly wounded, 
whose day is come, in the time of the ^iniquity of the end. 

30 Cause it to return into its sheath. In the place where 
thou wast created, in the land of ^thy birth, will I judge 

31 thee. And I will pour out mine indignation upon thee ; I 
will blow upon thee with the fire of my wrath : and I will 
deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, skilful to 

32 destroy. Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire ; thy blood 
shall be in the midst of the land ; thou shalt be no more 
remembered : for I the Lord have spoken it. 

1 Or, to the uttermost ^ Or, punishment * Or, thine origin 

The Ammonites. 

The connection of the Ammonites 
with this period of Jewish history is 
obscure. In Jehoiakim's reign bands 
of the Ammonites combined with 
bands of Chaldaeans, Syrians and 
Moabites to invade Judah, and their 
invasion was looked upon as a Divine 
judgement (2 K, xxiv. 2). But in 
Zedekiah's reign (for Jehoiakim in 
Jer. xxvii. 1 seems to be a mistake 
for Zedekiah : see R.V. marg.) there 
seems to have been an attempt at 
Jerusalem as its headquarters to 
form a confederacy against Nebu- 
chadrezzar in which Ammon with 
Edom, Moab, Tyre and Zidon was 
to share. It was perhaps this deed 
of theirs that brought about the 
invasion of Ammon by Nebuchad- 
rezzar, a judgement which had been 
already prophesied by Jeremiah 
(xxv. 21) in Jehoiakim's fourth year. 

Later still, Jewish fugitives in Am- 
mon (as well as in Moab and Edom) 
returned to Judah after the appoint- 
ment of Gedaliah as viceroy. 
Whether all these fugitives took 
part in Ishmael's conspiracy against 
Gedaliah which was egged on by 
Baalis king of Ammon is not clear ; 
but, at any rate, when Gedahah and 
his partisans had been killed, 
Ishmael carried oflF the people that 
were left in Mizpah, the seat of 
Gedaliah's government, to join the 
children of Ammon. A kind of 
counter-revolution took place led by 
Johauan which many of those with 
Ishmael joined. Very few Jews 
were left with Ishmael; whOst 
Johanan's followers made prepara- 
tions to emigrate tx) Egypt, an 
emigration which they afterwards 
carried out (see Jer. xl.-xliii.). 


XXII. 1-7 EZEKIEL 111 

XXXV. The first of a series of three prophecies against 
Jerusalem and the landofJndah, the first being directed 
against the city with a denunciation against its 
vnchedness, xxii. 1-16. 

XXII. 1 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto 

2 me, saying, And thou, son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt 
thou judge the bloody city? Hhen cause her to know all 

3 her abominations. And thou shalt say. Thus saith the 
Lord God : A city that sheddeth blood in the midst of 
her, that her time may come, and that maketh idols 

4 against herself to defile her ! Thou art become guilty in 
thy blood that thou hast shed, and art defiled in thine 
idols which thou hast made ; and thou hast caused thy 
days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years : 
therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the nations, 

5 and a mocking to all the countries. Those that be near, 
and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, thou 

6 2 infamous one and full of tumult. Behold, the princes of 
Israel, every one according to his ^ power, have been in 

7 thee to shed blood. In thee have they set light by father 
and mother ; in the midst of thee have they dealt by 

^ Or, and ^ Heb. defiled of name. ^ Heb. arm. 

XXII. 1-5. The opening of this dren she had given occasion to other 

prophecy is in form Uke that in xx. nations to reproach and revile her 

4. Here, however, the prophecy is (v. 14), whether they were near at 

immediately directed against the city hand or far away. The expression 

which is called ' bloody ' (so xxiv. 6), ' full of tumult ' occurs also in Is. 

ie. Jerusalem, because of the vio- xxii. 2, but the context makes its 

lence that was done in it. Our meaning different. 

Lord's denunciation of Jerusalem 6, 7. The prophecy turns for the 

should be compared with this (Matth. moment to the rulers whose 

xxi. 13 : xxiii. 37). She was to character is denounced again further 

be brought to the knowledge of on {v. 27), and whose violence and 

the abominations that were com- oppression are notorious. Their law- 

mitted in her (xvi. 2: xx. 4). A lessness is expressed in words that 

declaration is made that her time allude to the Torah. They have set 

for judgement is to come (xxi. 25), light by father and mother (Deut. 

and that her idols would be her xxvii. 16) : they have oppressed or 

ruin. By her falseness to her chil- wronged the stranger, the fatherless 



XXII. 7-15' 

oppression with the stranger : in thee have they wronged 

8 the fatherless and the widow. Thou hast despised mine 

9 holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. Slanderous 
men have been in thee to shed blood : and in thee they 
have eaten upon the mountains : in the midst of thee they 

10 have committed lewdness. In thee have they discovered 
their fathers' nakedness : in thee have they humbled her 

11 that was unclean in her separation. And one hath 
committed abomination with his neighbour's wife ; and 
another hath lewdly dej&led his daughter in law ; and 
another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's 

12 daughter. In thee have they taken bribes to shed blood ; 
thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily 
gained of thy neighbours by oppression, and hast forgotten 

13 me, saith the Lord God. Behold, therefore, I have smitten 
mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, 
and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. 

14 Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in 
the days that I shall deal with thee? I the Lord have 

15 spoken it, and will do it. And I will scatter thee among 
the nations, and disperse thee through the countries ; and 


and the widow (Ex. xxii. 21, 22). 
The stranger was always an object 
of care, according to the Law. 

8-16. The denunciation returns 
to the whole population. Sabbath- 
breaking is again (cp. xx. 13) de- 
nounced. Slandering and bloodshed 
are combined as in the Law (Lev. 
xix. 16). For the eating upon the 
mountains see xviii. 6, and for the 
commission of lewdness cp. xvi. 43. 
Unlawful marriages (Lev. xviii. 7, 8 : 
XX. 11) had taken place and acts of 
impurity (Lev. xviii. 9, 15, 19, 20 : 
XX. 12, 17). Bribery (Ex. xxiii. 8 : 
Dent. xvi. 19), unlawful gain (xviii. 
8 : cp. Ex. xxii. 25) and oppression 
were all prevalent, combined with 
a forgetfulness of God (cp. xxiii. 35). 

For all these things God had mani- 
fested His wrath, as indicated by 
the smiting of the hands (xxi. 14, 
17). Their gain had been dishonest 
(so IB. 27 : cp. Jer. li. 13 R.V. marg.) 
and their violence had spread. When 
the punishment came they would not 
be able to endure it. It was sure to 
come : the actual expression assert- 
ing this, 'I the Lord have spoken 
and will do it,' occurs first in 
xvii. 24. Then follows the sentence 
of dispersion (so v. 10). The 
people are to be purified in the 
furnace of affliction (cp. vv. 21, 22) : 
once holy, they are to be profaned 
before the heathen (cp. v. 8), with 
the result that they will again ac- 
knowledge the Lord. Some critics 

XXII. 15-23 EZEKIEL 113 

16 I will consume thy filthiness out of thee. And thou shalt 
be profaned in thyself, in the sight of the nations ; and 
thou shalt know that I am the Lord. 

xxxvi. A second utterance in which the judgement of the 
people is announced in a parabolic form : they are to 
be put in the melting pot, when the siege tahes plojce, 
xxii. 17-22. 

17 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

18 Son of man, the house of Israel is become dross unto me : 
all of them are brass and tin and iron and lead, in the 
midst of the furnace ; they are the dross of silver. 

19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God : Because ye are all 
become dross, therefore behold, I will gather you into the 

20 midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver and brass and 
iron and lead and tin into the midst of the furnace, to blow 
the fire upon it, to melt it ; so will I gather you in mine 
anger and in my fury, and I will lay you there, and melt 

21 you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you with the 
fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst 

22 thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, 
so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof ; and ye shall 
know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon 

have wished to emend «>. 16 and 3. The people are compared to the 

make it read 'I shall be profaned' various metals, brass (Jer. vi. 28), 

but this is not necessary. tin (Is. i. 25), iron and lead (Jer. vi. 

18-22. There are two ideas con- 28, 29), that are melted in the 

veyed in these verses. The first is furnace, but after all they turn out 

that the people are to pass through to be only dross to be rejected, 

the furnace of aflBiction heated by Jerusalem was to form the furnace, 

the fire of the wrath of God ; the and then the fire was to be blown 

second that in that furnace they will upon them (cp. xxi. 31). The com- 

all be rejected Uke dross; the silver bination 'in mine anger and in my 

will become dross as Isaiah (i. 22) fiiry' occurs also in Jeremiah (xxxiii. 

expresses it. For the use of this 5), and the pouring out of God's 

simile we may compare Ps. cxix. fury is a favourite form of expression 

119: Is. i. 25: Jer. vi. 30: MaL iii. with Ezekiel (see vil 8). 

R. 8 



XXII. 23^ 

xxxvii. A third utterance in which the terrible corruption 
which prevailed among the various classes of the 
inhabitants — prophets j priests, prints, people — ia 
described, xxii. 23-31. 

23 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

24 Son of man, say unto her. Thou art a land that is not 
cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. 

25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, 
like a roaring lion ravening the prey : they have devoured 
souls ; they take treasure and precious things ; they have 

26 made her widows many in the midst thereof. Her priests 
have done violence to my law, and have profaned mine 
holy things : they have put no difference between the holy 
and the common, neither have they caused men to discern 
between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their 
eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 

27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening 
the prey ; to shed blood, and to destroy souls, that they 

28 may get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed 
for them with untempered mortar, seeing vanity, and 
divining lies unto them, saying. Thus saith the Lord God, 


24-31. The pollution of the land 
from which she is not cleansed had 
been described by the prophet in 
the first of the three prophecies of 
this chapter (vv, 2-4). The with- 
holding of rain was looked upon as 
one of the Divine punishments for 
sin (Deut. xi. 17: 1 K. viii. 35, 36). 
Some difiiculty has been felt about 
the word rendered 'cleansed,' and 
so long ago as when the Greek 
version was made a slightly different 
Hebrew word was read which 
should be translated ' moistened ' or 
* drenched with rain.' The con- 
spiracy among the prophets (in the 
Greek version : ' the leaders ') was to 

commit violence in various forms. 
The prophets are compared to lions 
just as the princes are compared to 
wolves; in both cases they are ac- 
cused of 'ravening (i.e. rapaciously 
tearing) the prey.' The priests have 
broken the ceremonial laws and not 
observed the sabbath (for similar ac- 
cusations cp. V. 8 : Lev. x. 10 : xi. 47 : 
XX. 25 : Mai. ii. 8 : Zeph. iii. 4). The 
princes (this would include the leading 
inhabitants) were denounced also in 
the last preceding prophecy (v. 6 : cp. 
Mic. iii. 1), and all three, princes, pro- 
phets and priests, are denounced by 
Zephaniah (iii. 3, 4). The shedding 
of blood and dishonest gain are also 

XXII. 28-XXIII. 3 



29 when the Lord hath not spoken. The people of the land 
have used oppression, and exercised robbery ; yea, they 
have vexed the poor and needy, and have oppressed the 

30 stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among 
them, that should make up the fence, and stand in the gap 
before me for the land, that I should not destroy it : but I 

31 found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indigna- 
tion upon them ; I have consumed them with the fire of 
my wrath : their own way have I brought upon their 
heads, saith the Lord God. 

xxxviii. The two adulterous sisters and their 
wickedness, xxiii. 1-49. 

This whole chapter is a very diflBcult one and must be read in connection 
with chapter xvi. It is one long utterance intended to describe the results 
of the spiritual fornication of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah. 

XXIII. 1 The word of the Lord came again unto me, 

2 saying, Son of man, there were two women, the daughters 

3 of one mother : and they committed whoredoms in 

mentioned above (v. 13). In v. 28 
the prophet recurs to a former 
utterance (xiii. 10: cp. xiii. 6). 
There was not one to be found to 
stand between the land and its 
destruction (cp. Is. li. 18: lix. 16: 
Ixiii. 5: Jer. v. 1 'seek... if ye can find 
a man '). If there had been one he 
would have made up the fence (cp. 
xiii. 5) and stood in the gap to ward 
off destruction. But as there was 
not, destruction came upon the 
people, and they brought it on their 
own heads. 

XXIII. 2-4. We have here a 
description in the most realistic lan- 
guage of the spiritual whoredoms 
of the two kingdoms of Israel and 
Judah, which are likened to two 

women (cp. xvi. 45, 48) who com- 
mitted whoredoms (cp. xvi. 15) first 
of all in Egypt (see note on xx. 7, 
and cp. OT. 8, 19, 27) in their youth, 
i.e. when they were but the begin- 
nings of a people. Their names are 
given as Oholah {marg. that is, her 
tent) and Oholibah {marg. that is, my 
tent is in her), and are attached to 
Samaria and Jerusalem respectively. 
Considerable obscurity attaches to 
the meaning and significance of these 
names. While the meaning of the 
latter given above suits Jerusalem, 
for the Temple was the final resting- 
place of the Tabernacle, that of the 
former is not at all obvious. The 
Oxford Hebrew Lexicon makes the 
words practically identical, with the 




XXIII. 3-8 

Egypt ; they committed whoredoms in their youth : there 
were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the 

4 teats of their virginity. And the names of them were 
Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister : and they 
became mine, and they bare sons and daughters. And as 
for their names, Samaria is ^Oholah, and Jerusalem 

5 2 Oholibah. And Oholah played the harlot when she was 
mine ; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her 

6 neighbours, which were clothed with blue, governors and 
^rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding 

7 upon horses. And she bestowed her whoredoms upon 
them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them : and on 
whomsoever she doted, with all their idols she defiled 

8 herself. Neither hath she left her whoredoms ^since the 

1 That is, Her tent. ^ That is, My tent is in her. ^ Or, deputies 
See Jer, 51. 23, &c. * Or, brought from Egypt 


meaning of 'a worshipper at a tent- 
shrine,' while S. A. Cook and Cheyne 
{Encycl. Bib. 3466) amend the forms 
of both words and make them mean 
' tent (or, dwelling) of Jehovah ' and 
'tent (or, dwelling) of Baal,' but 
this would be more likely if the 
names were applied to exactly the 
opposite cities. We meet with a 
kindred name in Oholibamah, one of 
Esau's wives (Gen. xxxvi. 2). All 
that can be definitely said about 
them is that they refer to some kind 
of worship in tents. They are said 
to have become the Lord's (cp. xvi. 
8), and to have had sons and 
daughters. It was necessary to 
mention these because of the sacri- 
fices of their children which they are 
said to have offered {im. 37, 39). 

5-10. First of Oholah, i.e. Sam- 
aria. Whilst she was the Lord's, 
she committed spiritual whoredom, 
i.e. she forsook Him. This began in 
Egypt {vv. 3, 8) and was afterwards 

continued with the Assyrians. 
There are three special moments 
recorded in the books of the Kings 
when the kingdom of Israel was 
brought into contact with Assyria: 
(a) when Menahem was king of 
Israel and Pul king of Assyria ; (6) 
when Pekah was king of Israel and 
Tiglath-pileser was king of Assyria ; 
and (c) when Hoshea was king of 
Israel and Shalmaneser king of 
Assyria (2 K. xv. 19: xvii. 3). On 
the first and third occasions tribute 
was paid by Israel to Assyria. But 
the allusion here seems to be to 
something earlier, and corresponds 
with what would be called in modem 
language some 'political coquetting ' 
between Israel and Assyria in the 
reign of Jeroboam II, such as 
is indicated by Hosea (viii. 9) in 
language with which Ezekiel may 
have been familiar : ' they are gone 
up to Assyria... Ephraim hath hired 
lovers.' The Hebrew word for 'doted' 

XXIII. 8-14 



days of Egypt ; for in her youth they lay with her, and 

they bruised the teats of her virginity : and they poured 

9 out their whoredom upon her. Wherefore I delivered her 

into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the 

10 Assyrians, upon whom she doted. These discovered her 
nakedness : they took her sons and her daughters, and 
her they slew with the sword : and she became a ^byword 
among women ; for they executed judgements upon her. 

11 And her sister Oholibah saw this, yet was she more 
corrupt in her doting than she, and in her whoredoms 

12 which were more than the whoredoms of her sister. She 
doted upon the Assyrians, governors and rulers, her 
neighbours, clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding 

13 upon horses, all of them desirable young men. And I 

14 saw that she was defiled ; they both took one way. And 

1 Heb. name. 

scarcely occurs again except in this 
chapter (cp. Jer. iv. 30). It was 
the Assyrian chiefs and leaders that 
Israel is represented as going after 
(cp. of Judah m. 12, 23). The word 
* neighbours' is questionable for 
Assyria could hardly be called a 
neighbour to Israel. The names of 
the two sorts of oflBcers used here, 
' governors and rulers' {marg. 'depu- 
ties'), are used together by Jeremiah 
(li. 23, 28, 57) as well as in tliis 
chapter and are both borrowed 
from the Assyrian. The 'rulers' 
were provincial authorities, much 
the same as the satraps in the Persian 
Empire. The key to all the realistic 
language of the chapter is to be 
found in the last words of ??. 7 ' with 
all their idols she defiled herself.' 
This defilement had been going on 
ever since her first defilement in 
Egypt. The consequence is the 
overthrow of her kingdom at the 
hands of the Assyrians. A first 

captivity took place in Pekah's reign 
(2 K. XV. 29) and a second in Hoshea's 
(2 K. xvii. 6, 23: xviii. 11), Tiglath- 
pileser and Shalmaneser being the 
kings of Assyria. For the language 
used in v. 10 cp. xvi. 37. Thus God's 
wrath was executed upon Israel 
and Samaria was captured (722 B.C.). 
11-21. Next of Oholibah, i.e. 
Jerusalem and the kingdom of 
Judah. Their state is described as 
worse than that of Israel, and this is 
in agreement with what Jeremiah 
says in comparing the two in a 
passage very similar to this (iii. 
8-1 1 ). The language describing the 
Assyrian rulers is almost exactly the 
same as that used already (??. 6). 
Both sisters acted alike (??. 13). The 
first contact of Judah with Assyria 
seems to have been in the reign of 
Ahaz when Tiglath-pileser was king. 
Idolatrous figures in human form 
had been portrayed upon the wall 
with vermilion in the precincts of 




she increased her whoredoms ; for she saw men pourtrayed 
upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed 

15 with vermilion, girded with girdles upon their loins, 
^exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them 
princes to look upon, after the likeness of the Babylon- 

16 ians ^in Chaldea, the land of their nativity. And ^as 
soon as she saw them she doted upon them, and sent 

17 messengers unto them into Chaldea. And the Babylon- 
ians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her 
with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and 

18 her soul was alienated from them. So she discovered her 
whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness : then my soul 
was alienated from her, like as my soul was alienated from 

19 her sister. Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, re- 
membering the days of her youth, wherein she had played 

20 the harlot in the land of Egypt. And she doted upon 
their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and 

21 whose issue is like the issue of horses. Thus thou 
calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in the 
bruising of thy teats by the Egyptians for the breasts of 
thy youth. gl 

22 Therefore, Oholibah, thus saith the Lord God : 
Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from 

^ Or, with dyed turbans ^ Or, the land of whose nativity is Chaldea M 
* Heb. at the sight of her eyes. fl 

the temple (viii. 10: xvi. 17, 28, 29). 
The human forms were like the 
Chaldaeans and the rites practised 
were licentious rites. Joining in 
these rites made Judah send to 
Babylon for the Chaldaeans them- 
selves (cp. V. 40 : Is. Ivii. 9, and the 
way in which Merodach-baladan's 
ambassadors were received in Heze- 
kiah's reign, 2 K. xx. 12). In the 
fulfilment of her desires love was 
turned to alienation, and God also 
Himself was estranged from Judah 

as He had been previously from 
Israel. Then she looked in other 
directions for objects for her illicit 
aflfection: but in what direction 
exactly is very obscurely hinted at 
in V. 20. It most probably applies to 
the turning towards Egypt for help, 
as the people of Judah did several 
times, instead of to Assyria. 

22-35. Jerusalem (Oholibah) had 
devoted herself to political coquetry 
with other nations and had become 
alienated from them : now they are 

XXIII. «-27 EZEKIEL 119 

" whom thy soul is alienated, and I will bring them against 

23 thee on every side ; the Babylonians and all the 
Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the 
Assyrians with them : desirable young men, governors and 
rulers all of them, princes and ^men of renown, all of 

24 them riding upon horses. And they shall come against 
thee with weapons, chariots, and ^ wagons, and with an 
assembly of peoples ; they shall set themselves against 
thee with buckler and shield and helmet round about : 
and I will commit the judgement unto them, and they 

25 shall judge thee according to their judgements. And I 
will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal with 
thee in fury ; they shall take away thy nose and thine 
ears ; and thy residue shall fall by the sword : they shall 
take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall 

26 be devoured by the fire. They shall also strip thee of 

27 thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels. Thus will I 
make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom 

1 Or, counsellors Heb. called. ^ Or, wheels 

to come against her (cp. xvi. 37). here of 'men of renown' {marg. 

A list is given of the invaders con- ' counsellors '). The word translated 

taining three well known names, ' wagons ' (so too in xxvi. 10) means 

Babylonians, Chaldaeans, Assyrians, literally ' wheels ' (so R.V. marg.\ 

and three obscure names, Pekod, and may just as well mean war- 

Shoa, Koa. Of Pekod nothing is chariots as wagons. The enemy are 

certainly known : the name occurs to come in full panoply and are 

again only in Jer. 1. 21, and in to be the executors of the Divine 

Hebrew means 'visitation'; but a judgement as well as their own 

people called Pukudu and a city (cp. 2 K. xxv. 6 of Zed^kiah, 'they 

called Pikudu are mentioned in the gave judgement upon him '). The 

Babylonian records. Shoa and Koa Divine jealousy indicates the claim 

seem to correspond to Sutu (or Su) of Jehovah to have the first place 

and Kutu (or Ku) which occur to- in the hearts of His people. The 

gether on the cuneiform inscriptions cutting off of ears and nose describes 

as the names of peoples on the the mutilation of captives taken by 

Tigris, but Cheyne would have us the Babylonians (cp. 2 K. xxv. 7) 

see in them corruptions of Rehoboth, rather than the mutilation of an 

Ishmael and Jerahmeel (^wcyc^. -B^&. adulteress as practised in Egypt. 

4488). The description of the chiefs There is a picture of such a mutila- 

is as in vv. 6, 12, with the addition tion from the monuments in Toy's 



XXIII. ^7-^1 

brought from the land of Egypt : so that thou shalt not lift 
up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more. 

28 For thus saith the Lord God : Behold, I will deliver thee 
into the hand of them whom thou hatest, into the hand of 

29 them from whom thy soul is alienated : and they shall 
deal with thee in hatred, and shall take away all thy 
labour, and shall leave thee naked and bare : and the 
nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy 

30 lewdness and thy whoredoms. These things shall be done 
unto thee, for that thou hast gone a whoring after the 
heathen, and because thou art polluted with their idols. 

31 Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister ; therefore will 

32 I give her cup into thine hand. Thus saith the Lord 
God : Thou shalt drink of thy sister's cup, which is deep 
and large : thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in 

33 derision ; ^it containeth much. Thou shalt be filled with 
drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment 

34 and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. Thou 
shalt even drink it and drain it out, and thou shalt gnaw 
the sherds thereof, and shalt tear thy breasts : for I have 

1 Or, too much to endure 

Ezekiel (p. 140). The nation was to 
be destroyed in detail and to lose all 
its choicest possessions {v. 27 is 
identical with part of xvi. 39). In 
this way its spiritual whoredom was 
to be brought to an end (cp. v. 48 : 
xvi. 41 : the reference to Egypt 
is repeated from v. 8). Following 
upon this the alienation of Israel 
from the peoples with whom she had 
coquetted is again asserted (cp. vv. 
17, 22). Mutual hatred is to succeed 
and Jerusalem is to be stripped of 
her treasures (xvi. 39); this will 
leave her as she is described to have 
been at the beginning (xvi. 7, 22). 
At last in v. 30 we get the spiritual 
application of all the previous lan- 
guage (cp. vi. 9) : it is idolatry and 

heathenish practices which are 
meant. Jerusalem had followed 
Israel ; therefore the cup ( Jer. xxy. 
15) of punishment and of God's 
wi*ath is to be passed on from the 
one to the other. This will cause 
the people to become ' a scorn and 
derision to them that are round 
about them ' (Ps. Ixxix. 4 : cp. v. 14, 
15). In V. 32 R.V. is to be preferred 
to R.V. marg. The magnitude of 
the cup intensifies the drunkenness 
here described (cp. Jer. xiii. 13), 
which is caused by having to 
drink to the very dregs of the 
cup of the wrath of God. So 
thorough is this drinking to be 
(Ps. Ixxv. 8), that even the sherds of 
the cup will be gnawed to extract 

XXIII. 34-41 


35 spoken it, saith the Lord God. Therefore thus saith the 
Lord God : Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me 
behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness 
and thy whoredoms. 

36 The Lord said moreover unto me : Son of man, wilt 
thou judge Oholah and Oholibah ? then declare unto them 

37 their abominations. For they have committed adultery, 
and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they 
committed adultery ; and they have also caused their sons, 
whom they bare unto me, to pass through the fire unto them 

38 to be devoured. Moreover this they have done unto me : 
they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have 

39 profaned my sabbaths. For when they had slain their 
children to their idols, then they came the same day 
into my sanctuary to profane it ; and, lo, thus have they 

40 done in the midst of mine house. And furthermore ye 
have sent for men Hhat come from far : unto whom a 
messenger was sent, and, lo, they came ; for whom thou 
didst wash thyself, paintedst thine eyes, and deckedst 

41 thyself with ornaments ; and satest upon a stately bed, 
with a table prepared before it, whereupon thou didst set 

Or, to come 

anything that can be drawn from 
them. The tearing the breasts is 
either a sign of great grief or of 
intoxication. Jerusalem had for- 
gotten God (xxii. 12): she had put 
God out of sight, that is the idea 
conveyed by the casting God behind 
her back, therefore she would have 
to bear the consequences («?. 49 : 
xvi. 58). 

36-49. The wickedness and pun- 
ishment of both Samaria and 
Jerusalem are again reiterated. This 
fresh portion of the prophecy begins 
in an interrogative form such as 

Ezekiel constantly uses (xx. 4 : xxiL 
2). The old accusations of adultery 
and violence and spiritual whoredom 
are again repeated (xvi. 38 : xxii. 2) ; 
as well as actual human sacrifices 
(xvi. 20, 21), the defiling of the 
sanctuary (v. 11 : viii.), and the pro- 
fiination of the sabbath (xx. 13, 21, 
24 : xxii. 8). The offering of their 
children to the idols was followed by 
entrance into the sanctuary of God, 
a treating of both woi-ships as on a 
par, and this was looked upon as 
profanation. There seems to have 
been included in this entrance the 




XXIII. 41-46 ■ 

42 mine incense and mine oil. And the voice of a multitude 
being at ease was with her : and with men of the common 
sort were brought drunkards from the wilderness ; and 
they put bracelets upon the hands of them twain, and 

43 beautiful crowns upon their heads. Then said I ^of her 
that was old in adulteries, Now will they commit 

44 ^whoredoms with her, ^and she with them. And they 
went in unto her, as they go in unto an harlot : so went 
they in unto Oholah and unto Oholibah, the lewd women. 

45 And righteous men, they shall judge them with the 
judgement of adulteresses, and with the judgement of 
women that shed blood ; because they are adulteresses, 

46 and blood is in their hands. For thus saith the Lord 
God : I will bring up an assembly against them, and will 

1 Or, She tJiat is old ivill commit adulteries 2 jjeb jigj. 
whoredoms. ^ Or, even with her 

actual rearing of idolatrous altars 
within the temple and its precincts 
(2 K. xxi. 4, 5 of Manasseh's reign, 
but these were destroyed under 
Hezekiah's reformation ; cp. Jer. 
vii. 30: xxxii. 34). All manner of 
importations of sources of wickedness 
even from distant places took place 
(cp. V. 16) in Jerusalem. She made 
herself attractive to capture these 
foreign immigrants. The painting 
of the eyes was just what Jezebel 
did (2 K. ix. 30) : they were painted 
with kohl or antimony to make them 
look larger and more beautiful 
(Jer. iv. 30 'though thou enlargest 
thine eyes with paint '). All manner 
of ornaments such as are described 
in xvi. 11, 12 are put on; and then 
she places herself on a stately couch 
or bed of a character such as those 
described in Esther (i. 6 : cp. Prov. 
vii. 16, 17). In front of her is a 
table with incense and oil upon it 
described as Jehovah's (so xvi. 18 

'mine oil and mine incense': cp. 
Hos. ii. 8), because they were rightly 
His. There she sits and receives 
her guests with a tumultuous noise 
of revelry around her (the Greek 
has: 'with a voice of harmony'): 
included in the crowd are Sabaeans 
(this is certainly the right reading, 
not ' drunkards ' : the variation 
occurs in the Hebrew), a people 
mentioned by Isaiah (xlv. 14) in 
connection with Ethiopia and there- 
fore well described here as 'from 
the wilderness.' Cheyne, however, 
wishes to omit the word {Encycl. 
Bib. s. voc). Those who were sent 
for and came were adorned with 
bracelets and crowns (xvi. 11, 12). 
The insertion of the word twain by 
R.V. (v. 42) shews that the revisers 
thought of the bracelets being put 
upon the heads of Oholah and Oholi- 
bah ; butthey really seem to have been 
put upon those of their lovers. The 
Almighty is represented as saying 

XXIII. 4^xxiv. 1 EZEKIEL 123 

47 give them to be tossed to and fro and spoiled. And the 
assembly shall stone them with stones, and despatch 
them with their swords ; they shall slay their sons and 
their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire. 

48 Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that 
all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. 

49 And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and 
ye shall bear the sins of your idols : and ye shall know 
that I am the Lord God. 

op. Jer. XXXIX. 1). Chapters XXIV., XXV. 

xxxix. The parable of the caldron and its 
interpretation, xxiv. 1-14. 

XXIV. 1 Again, in the ninth year, in the tenth 

month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the 

2 Lord came unto me, saying. Son of man, write thee the 

name of the day, even of this selfsame day : the king of 

that they would commit again their (xxiv. 21 : cp. 2 Chr. xxxvi. 17, and 

old sins, and so they did. The for a specific case 2 K. xxv. 7, 

consequence is that they will be Zedekiah's sons), and the burning of 

judged by righteous men and will their property, like that of Achan 

receive the legal punishment for (Josh. vii. 24, 25 : cp. xvi. 40, 41). It 

their misdeeds (cp. v. 24 : xvi. 38). An was only by these extreme measures 

assembly is to be brought against that the pollution of the land would 

them (see xvi. 40), and they are to be done away (cp. v. 27: xvi. 41), the 

receive violent treatment (Deut. women would be taught a lesson, 

xxviii. 25 'thou shalt be tossed to and the people would realize the 

and fro among all the kingdoms of power of Jehovah (cp. vi. 7) and 

the earth ') and to be spoiled (cp. bear the consequences of their sins 

vii. 21). Their punishment was to (so v. 35). 

be stoning, which was the punish- XXIV. 1, 2. The dating of the 

ment of adulteresses (cp. Deut. xxii. utterance of the parable. On the 

24), slaughter of their children day itself it is revealed to the prophet 



XXIV. 2-7 

Babylon ^drew close unto Jerusalem this selfsame day. 

3 And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say 
unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Set on the caldron, 

4 set it on, and also pour water into it : gather the 
pieces thereof into it, even every good piece, the thigh, 

5 and the shoulder ; fill it with the choice bones. Take the 
choice of the flock, and pile also the bones under it : make 
it boil well ; yea, let the bones thereof be seethed in the 
midst of it. 

6 Wherefore thus saith the Lord God : Woe to the 
bloody city, to the caldron whose ^rust is therein, and 
whose ^rust is not gone out of it ! bring it out piece by 

7 piece ; no lot is fallen upon it. For her blood is in the 
midst of her ; she set it upon the bare rock ; she poured it 

^ Heb. leaned upon. ^ Or, scum 

that a close siege of Jerusalem is 

3-5. The parable follows. A 
parabolic utterance had preceded 
(xvii. 2) and the prophet was known 
as 'a speaker of parables' (xx. 49). 
Once again we have the title of 
' rebellious house ' (see ii. 5) given to 
Jerusalem. The simile of the caldron 
seems to have been a familiar one at 
the time and to have been used by 
others besides Ezekiel (see xi. 3, 7, 
11). The thigh and the shoulder, 
especially the right one (Ex. xxix. 
22, 27 : Lev. vii. 32, 33), were looked 
upon as the choicest parts (cp. 1 Sam. 
ix. 24). The whole of the best of 
the best animals was to be seethed 
or stewed in the caldron. 

6-14. The interpretation of the 
parable. The caldron is the city, 
called 'bloody' because of the scenes 
of violence that had been witnessed 
in it ; scenes which were re-enacted 
in the same city centuries later 
during the siege by the Romans. 

It had already received this title 
(xxii. 2), which is also given to 
Nineveh (Nah. iii. 1). The word 
'rust' better represents the Hebrew 
than 'scum' here and in w, 11, 12 : 
it describes the inherent pollution 
of the city. The last words of v. 6 
are very, if not hopelessly, obscure. 
They imply dispersion, and also 
universality. It will not be a case 
of one taken by lot and another left, 
but all alike will suffer. V. 7 implies 
that the violence of Jemsalem was 
always obvious, for the blood, which 
the law ordered, in the killing 
of animals, to be poured out upon 
the ground and covered with dust 
(Lev. xvii. 13 : cp. Deut. xii. 16, 24), 
was left exposed and uncovered on 
the bare rock, and this made the 
city more than ever incur the wrath 
of Jehovah. The woe of v. 6 is 
reiterated in v. 9. The pile for the 
burning and for the heating of the 
caldron is to be a great one (cp. Is. 
XXX. 33 'the pile thereof is fire and 

XXIV. 7-14 EZEKIEL 125 

8 not upon the ground, to cover it with dust ; that it might 
cause fury to come up to take vengeance, I have set her 
blood upon the bare rock, that it should not be covered. 

9 Therefore thus saith the Lord Gob : Woe to the bloody 

10 city ! I also will make the pile great. Heap on the wood, 
make the fire hot, boil well the flesh, and make thick the 

11 broth, and let the bones be burned. Then set it empty 
upon the coals thereof, that it may be hot, and the brass 
thereof may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be 

12 molten in it, that the rust of it may be consumed. She 
hath wearied ^herself with toil: yet her great rust goeth 

13 not forth out of her ; her rust ^goeth not forth by fire. ^In 
thy filthiness is lewdness : because I have purged thee and 
thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy 
filthiness any more, till I have ^satisfied my fury ^upon 

14 thee. I the Lord have spoken it : it shall come to pass, 
and I will do it ; I will not go back, neither will I spare, 
neither will I repent ; according to thy ways, and according 
to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord God. 

1 Or, me ^ Or, is in the fire ^ Or, For thy filthy lewdness 
* Heb. brought to rest. ^ Or, toward 

much wood ')• After the seething is that in Jer. ii. 1^ : * though thou 

over, the empty caldron itself is also wash thee with lye, and take thee 

to be destroyed with all its filthiness much soap, yet thine iniquity is 

(so xxii. 15 'I will consume thy marked before me, saith the Lord 

filthiness out of thee ')• But the God ' : and also in Is. xxii. 14 : 'this 

i-ustof the caldron is indestructible: iniquity shall not be purged from 

so the i>ollution of the people is well you till ye die.' God's decision is 

nigh irremediable. The insertions immutable: He will not repent 

in italics in R.V. of ??. 12 are rather ('God is not a man that He should 

doubtful ; the margin is more correct. lie ; neither the son of man, that He 

The filthiness of the people was so should repent,' Numb, xxiii. 19 : cp. 

ingrained in them that purification 1 Sam. xv. 29), but His judgements 

was impossible without further will be commensurate with their evil 

punishment. The idea is similar to acts. 



xxrv. 15-17 

xl. Death of the prophet's wife, and the lessons 
to be clediiced from it xxiv. 15-27. 


The problems of this short section are considerable. The prophet 
is told of his wife's approaching death. He speaks to the people: 
is it to announce the calamity that is coming upon him to them ? the 
narrative leaves that unsolved. Then he is to make no lamentation for the 
dead. Would this strike him in his day as a pitiless command ? We must 
remember that Bzekiel was a priest and that the law limited very much, and 
in the case of the high-priest practically prohibited, anything like ceremonial 
mourning for the dead (see Lev. xxi. and cp. Lev. x. 6). This may have 
arisen as a protest against ancestor worship or kindred beliefs prevalent in 
old times and still surviving among Eastern nations. Moreover Ezekiel 
looked upon himself no doubt as under special divine influences, and was 
ready to endure all and suffer all, if only he could bring God's people back 
to Him. 

15 Also the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

16 Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of 
thine eyes with a stroke : yet neither shalt thou mourn 

17 nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Sigh, ^but not 
aloud ; make no mourning for the dead, bind thy headtire 
upon thee, and put thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not 

1 Heb. be silent. 

16, 17. Bzekiel is to lose his wife, 
who is called the desire of his eyes 
(cp. 1 K. XX. 6), but he is to utter 
none of those lamentations by which 
the emotions of the Oriental give 
expression to their grief. His grief 
is to be a silent inward sorrow 
unaccompanied by external signs of 
woe. He is to put on his head-tire 
or turban, which kept the hair from 
hanging loose as it would in one 
distraught with grief (cp. Lev. x. 
6). He is to wear shoes or sandals 
upon his feet, whilst to go barefoot 
was a sign of sorrow (cp. 2 Sam. xv. 
30 : Is. XX. 2). He is not to cover 
his lips (so V. 22) : this was another 
outward manifestation of mourning 

(cp. Mic. iii. 7), enjoined also upon 
the leper (Lev. xiii. 45). Neither 
was he to eat the bread of men 
(cp. V. 22). This expression in its 
English form sounds obscure : but it 
is to be explained by other passages, 
e.g. Deut. xxvi. 14 : Hos. ix. 7 ('the 
bread of mourners'): Jer. xvi. 7 
(' neither shall men break bread for 
them in mourning, to comfort them 
for the dead '). For an injunction to 
do such a thing we may compare 
Tob. iv. 17 : ' Pour out thy bread on 
the burial (R. V. marg. tomb) of the 
just.' These customs seem to have 
been, some of them at any rate, a 
survival from or introduction of 
heathen customs at funerals like the 

XXIV. 17-25 EZEKIEL 127 

18 thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. So I spake unto 
the people in the morning ; and at even my wife died : and 

19 I did in the morning as I was commanded. And the 
people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these 

20 things are to us, that thou doest so ? Then I said unto 

21 them, The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Speak 
unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God : Behold, 
I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the 
desire of your eyes, and ^that which your soul pitieth; and 
your sons and your daughters whom ye have left behind 

22 shall fall by the sword. And ye shall do as I have done : 
ye shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men. 

23 And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes 
upon your feet : ye shall not mourn nor weep ; but ye 
shall pine away in your iniquities, and moan one toward 

24 another. Thus shall Ezekiel be unto you a sign ; according 
to all that he hath done shall ye do : when this cometh, 
then shall ye know that I am the Lord God. 

25 And thou, son of man, shall it not be in the day when 
I take from them their ^strength, the joy of their ^glory, 

1 Heb. the pity of your soul, ^ Or, strong hold ^ Or, beauty 

burying of provisions with a dead to be destroyed. When this took 

body such as prevailed in Egypt. place, they would feel it as a 

18-24. His loss came upon shock, but they would do just 

Ezekiel very rapidly and he carried as Ezekiel had done (cp. xii. 11). 

out exactly the commands which Their prostration would be so great 

had been given him (cp. xii. 7 : that they would not be able to 

xxxvii. 7). Seeing what they must express their grief in any outward 

have held to be very strange conduct demonstration at all. In this way 

on his part, as they had noticed Ezekiel was to be a sign to them 

before (xii. 9) and were to notice (cp. xii. 6, 11: «. 27), and they would 

again (xxxvii. 18), the people ask realize the power of Jehovah, 

him the meaning of it. It is 25-27. When all these troubles 

explained to them. They were to came upon Jerusalem, including the 

lose all that they loved and all that capture of the stronghold of Mount 

they were proud of. Even their Zion ('their strength'), news of them 

temple was to be profaned, and will be brought to the captivity: 

those who had been left in their we hear of the news being brought 

own land, when Ezekiel's hearers later in the book (xxxiii. 21). Dumb- 

were carried into captivity, were ness is more than once spoken of as 

128 EZEKIEL xxiv. 15-xxv. 2 

the desire of their eyes, and ^that whereupon they set 

26 their heart, their sons and their daughters, that in that 
day he that escapeth shall come unto thee, to cause thee to 

27 hear it with thine ears ? In that day shall thy mouth be 
opened ^to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, 
and be no more dumb : so shalt thou be a sign unto them ; 
and they shall know that I am the Lord. 

xli. SJwrt prophecies against Ammon^ Moab^ Edom 
and the Philistines, xxv. 

Although this chapter is, in the present arrangement of the book, which 
is chronological, assigned to the same period as chapter xxiv., yet it really 
forms the first of a series of chapters denouncing God's judgements upon 
various heathen nations, which are intended to clear the way for and lead 
up to the prophecies of the Restoration of the people. Chapter xxv. there- 
fore really belongs, strictly speaking, to the following section, xxvi.-xxxii. 

It is interesting to notice that in this series of prophecies Babylon is 
not included, though in order to reach the number seven, Zidon has some- 
what artificially to be counted separately from Tyre. This may be due 
partly to the fact that these prophecies were delivered in Babylon, where 
the Jews for the most part met with a very kindly reception, and partly 
to the view which the prophet took of them as God's instruments in 
carrying out His plans, and therefore " righteous men " (cp. xxiii. 45). 

If this prophecy comes under the last chronological heading (xxiv. 1), 
the captivity of v. 3 cannot be the final captivity under Zedekiah, but 
perhaps that under Jehoiachin (2 K. xxiv. 11-16). 

XXV. 1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, 
2 saying, Son of man, set thy face toward the children of 

1 Heb. the lifting up of their soul. ^ Or, together with 

imposed upon the prophet, that is probably misplaced in the present 

to say, silence from any divine arrangement of the book. But when 

message to the people. The dumb- the time of dumbness was over, 

ness here mentioned is regarded as Ezekiel would be free to speak again 

lasting till the news of the fall of with more confidence that, after 

Jerusalem arrived (xxxii. 21, 22: such a practical demonstration of 

'my mouth was opened and I was his divine inspiration, he would be 

no more dumb'). This dumbness listened to. 

would not extend to utterances XXV. 1-5. Against Ammon. The 

about foreign nations which occupy children of Ammon, descendants as 

xxv.-xxxii. ; and xxxiii. 1-20 is they were believed to be from an 

XXV. 2-4 



3 Ammon, and prophesy ^against them : and say unto the 
children of Ammon, 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 made desolate ; and against the house 

4 of Judah, when they went into captivity : therefore behold, 
I will deliver thee to the children of the east for a posses- 
sion, and they shall set their encampments in thee, and 

1 Or, concerning 

incestuous marriage of Lot, and 
therefore kinsfolk of the Jews, had 
been for more than two years the 
subject of one of Ezekiel's prophecies 
(xxi. 20, 28-32), just as Jeremiah 
also had prophesied about them 
(xlix. 1-6). Here the prophecy is 
directed to be spoken actually to 
that people. The denunciation 
against them is evoked by the 
exultation with which they had 
witnessed the desolation of both the 
kingdom of Israel and the kingdom 
of Judah each in its turn, just as the 
Tyrians (xxvi. 2) and Edom (Obad. 
11) had exulted over the destruction 
of Jerusalem (xxvi. 2) and its Temple. 
They are in their turn to be ravaged 
and plundered by " the children of 
the east." This expression constantly 
occui-s in the Old Testament, and is 
a somewhat ambiguous one. In 
Gen. xxix. 1 it refers to the inhabit- 
ants of Aram : elsewhere it is used 
as here of nomad tribes further east 
than those that were in contact with 
or bordering upon Palestine. Their 
wealth in camels and cattle, and 
their abundance of tents is described 
in Judg. vi. 5. The capital of 
Ammon was Kabbah, famous for its 
prolonged siege in David's time. In 
it was preserved the basalt sarco- 
phagus of Og. The city's destruction 

by fire had been prophesied both by 
Amos (i. 14) and Jeremiah (xlix. 2) ; 
and the feeling against Ammon 
affected other prophets also (Zeph. 
ii. 8-10). Here the prophet carries 
its desolation still further : what had 
been a flourishing city was to be 
simply a resting-place for the herds 
and flocks of wandering tribes. In 
post-exilic times the Ammonites 
seem to have still had, at first, a 
separate tribal existence (cp. Neh. 
ii. 19 : iv. 7), but to have been 
gradually merged in the Arabians 
of the desert : though they are still 
recognized as a separate people in 
I Mace. V. 6 : 2 Mace. iv. 26 : v. 7. 
The capital Rabbah, of which many 
ruins remain, had a later history and 
much prosperity in Roman times. 
A description of the place and the 
Roman remains still existing there 
is to be found in Baedeker's Palestine 
and Syria, ed. 3, p. 170. 

It seems a little difiicult to make 
out exactly the political relation 
between the Ammonites and Judah 
during the last years of that king- 
dom (see note on the Ammonites 
at the end of chapter xxi.). They 
seem to have taken possession of 
Gad after Israel was carried away 
captive (Jer, xlix. 1). From this 
vantage ground ' bands of the chil- 




XXV. 4-8 

make their dwellings in thee ; they shall eat thy fruit, and 

6 they shall drink thy milk. And I will make Rabbah a 

stable for camels, and the children of Ammon a couching 

place for flocks : and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 

6 For thus saith the Lord God : Because thou hast clapped 
thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced with 
all the despite of thy soul against the land of Israel ; 

7 therefore behold, I have stretched out mine hand upon 
thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the nations ; and 
I will cut thee ofi" from the peoples, and I will cause thee 
to perish out of the countries : I will destroy thee ; and 
thou shalt know that I am the Lord. 

8 Thus saith the Lord God : Because that Moab and Seir 
do say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the 

dren of Ammon' joined in the 
attack of Nebuchadrezzar upon Je- 
hoiakim (2 K. xxiv. 2 : cp. xxi. 29 
of Ezekiel). In the early part of 
Zedekiah's reign they seem to have 
met in conference with representa- 
tives of other states at Jerusalem 
with the idea of forming a league 
against Nebuchadrezzar (Jer. xxvii. 
3), a policy opposed by Jeremiah; 
but apparently the proposal came to 
nothing or the Ammonites would 
have nothing to do with it, and 
looked on with satisfaction at the 
destruction of Jerusalem. In the 
dispersion that followed we hear of 
some Jews 'among the children of 
Ammon' under Baalis their king, 
among whom was Ishmael the son 
of Nethaniah who was sent by 
Baalis to kill Gedaliah the governor 
appointed by Nebuchadrezzar over 
the remnant of the people that 
remained in the land and who 
actually carried out his commission. 
6, 7. These verses are a reitera- 
tion of the previous ones. ' Despite,' 
i.e. contempt, ' of soul ' is a phrase 

peculiar to this prophet (cp. «>, 15 : 
xxxvi. 5). For the clapping of 
hands cp. Lam. ii. 15. The stamp- 
ing of the feet, here used of ex- 
ultation, is elsewhere used as a 
figure of disappointment (vi. 11). 
Twice in these verses (vv. 5, 7) 
the refrain is repeated 'ye shall 
(thou shalt) know that I am the 
Lord' ; it occurs again in vv. 11, 17 
(cp. V. 14) : XX vi. 6 : xxviii. 22, 24, 
26 : xxix. 6, 9, 16, 21 : xxx. 8, 19, 
25, 26: xxxii. 15. This constant 
repetition throughout this section of 
the prophecies is to lay emphasis 
upon the super-eminent fact that 
Jehovah is the only God and supreme 
over all nations of the earth, as they 
will realize when these judgements 
come upon them. 

8-11. Against Moab and Seir. 
Seir, i.e. Edom, is treated separately 
in the next paragraph, and its in- 
sertion here may be accidental for 
the best text of the lxx omits it. 
With this prophecy against Moab 
cp. Is. XV. : Jer. xlviii. : Am. ii. 1-3: 
Zeph. ii. 8-10. The reproach against 




XXV. 8-12 



9 nations ; 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, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and 

10 Kiriathaim, ^unto the children of the east, to go against 
the children of Ammon, and I will give them for a posses- 
sion, that the children of Ammon may not be remembered 

11 among the nations : and I will execute judgements upon 
Moab ; and they shall know that I am the Lord. 

12 Thus saith the Lord God : Because that Edom hath 
dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and 

1 Or, in every quarter * Or, together with the children of Ammon, 
unto the children of the east 

the house of Judah is that in time 
of stress it had no advantage over 
its neighbours. The meaning of 
vv. 9, 10 is clear : the flank of Moab 
with its frontier cities, which are 
the glory of the land, is to be open 
to attack when Ammon is attacked 
{vv. 2, 4). Of these cities we know 
but little : they were all East of the 
Dead Sea. Beth-jeshimoth was 
across the Jordan opposite to Jericho 
and theoretically in the territory of 
Reuben (Numb, xxxiii. 49 : Josh, 
xii. 3 : xiii. 20). Baal-meon, also in 
the tribe of Reuben (Num. xxxii. 38 : 
1 Chr. V. 8), was known as Beth-baal- 
meon (Josh. xiii. 17), Beth-meon 
(Jer. xlviii. 23) and Beon (Numb. 
xxxii. 2), and is mentioned twice on 
the Moabite stone of Mesha's reign, 
on which is also to be found the 
name of Kiriathaim. Kiriathaim 
(the Septuagint makes two words of 
this name, and interprets it 'the 
city by the sea,' i.e. of course the 
Dead Sea ; though the place itself is 
some distance from the Sea) is also 
mentioned in the prophecy of 
Jeremiah (xlviii. 1, 23) concerning 
Moab : it was in the territory as- 

signed to Reuben (Numb, xxxii. 37 : 
Josh. xiii. 19). It had already 
been prophesied of Ammon that the 
memory of it was to die out (xxi. 32). 
Once again by these judgements the 
knowledge of the Lord was to be 
brought home to the heathen (cp. 
vi. 7) as well as to His own people. 

This prophecy like that about 
Ammon had its first fulfilment in 
the subjugation of these peoples 
soon after the overthrow of Jerusa- 
lem by Nebuchadrezzar. In early 
post-exilic times great trouble arose 
because of the intermarriage between 
Jews and Moabites and Ammonites 
that had crept in contrary to Jewish 
law (Ezra ix. 1: Neh. xiii.). Moab 
seems to have disappeared much 
earlier than Ammon, for the latter 
seem to have been still a numerous 
people in Justin Martyr's days {Dial, 
c. Tryph. 272). 

12-14. Against Edom. There 
always appears to have been a bitter 
feeling between Jews and Edomites. 
It shews itself in many of the pro- 
phets in their denunciations of Edom 
(cp. xxxii. 29 : xxxv. : Ps. cxxxvii. 7 : 
Is. xxxiv. 5 : Jer. xlix. 7-22 : Am. i. 




XXV. 1 2- 1 6 

hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them ; 

13 therefore thus saith the Lord God, I will stretch out mine 
hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it : 
and I will make it desolate from Teman ; even unto Dedan 

14 shall they fall by the sword. 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 fiiry : and they shall know my vengeance, saith the 
Lord God. 

15 Thus saith the Lord God: Because the Philistines have 
dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with despite 

16 of soul to destroy it with perpetual enmity; therefore thus 

11, 12: Obadiah: 1 Bsdr. iv. 45). 
That people are said to have taken 
an active part in the Babylonian 
destruction of Jerusalem, though 
closely akin to the Israelites by 
descent. For this above all else 
they deserved punishment, and 
it was to come upon them. 
Their country lay to the south of 
Moab — we know it as Idumaea in 
the New Testament — and its ex- 
tremities are indicated here by 
Teman and Dedan. Teman was the 
name of one of Esau's grandsons 
(Gen. xxxvi. 11) and Temanites are 
mentioned several times in the Old 
Testament (1 Chr. i. 45 : Job ii. 11 : 
Jer. xlix. 20). As Dedan was in the 
South, Teman must have been in 
the North, but it cannot be definitely 
localized and the use of the name 
is vague: sometimes it is a place, 
sometimes a district, sometimes it is 
identical with the whole of Edom. 
Dedan seems to have been a great 
commercial centre (xxvii. 15, 20: 
xxxviii. 13), and its trade extended 
over Arabia (Is. xxi. 13 : cp. Jer. 
XXV. 23 : xlix. 8). Dedan is repre- 
sented as a grandson of Abraham by 

Keturah (Gen. xxv. 3 : 1 Chr. i. 32). 
The Septuagint does not recognize 
Dedan here at all and had another 
text The 'vengeance upon Edom 
by the hand of Israel ' was, in part 
at any rate, taken under Judas 
Maccabaeus (1 Mace. v. 3 : 2 Mace, 
x. 15) and it was to be recognized as 
the Lord's ('Maccabaeus and his 
men... besought God to fight on their 
side' 2 Mace. x. 16). They were 
finally subdued under Judas Hyrca- 
nus (125 B.C.) : but it is interesting 
to note that, a century later, Herod 
the king was of Edomite extraction. 
15-17. Against the Philistines. 
These people, the perpetual enemies 
of Israel, from whom the land ob- 
tained its name of Palestine, were 
originally a non-Semitic part of the 
population (as is indicated by the 
fact that they are called in the lxx 
aXXo0vXot), and were immigrants 
from Crete. They are constantly 
denounced by the prophets (see Is. 
xiv. 29-32 : Jer. xxv. 20 : xlvii. : Joel 
iii. 4-8 : Am. i. 6-8 : Zeph. ii. 4) and 
psalmists (Ps. Ix. 8 : cviii. 9). 'Despite 
of soul' is attributed also to the 
Ammonites (v. 6) and to other 

XXV. i6, 17 EZEKIEL 133 

saith the Lord God, Behold, I will stretch out mine hand 
upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites, 
17 and destroy the remnant of the sea coast. 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. 

Chapters XXVI— XXVIII. 

In subject matter chapter xxv. connects itself with these chapters, though 
apparently the prophecies in it preceded these by some months. But 
whilst chapter xxv. has to do with peoples these three chapters contain 
a series of five prophecies dealing with two of the richest cities on the 
borders of Israel, prosperous from their position on the sea-coast — Tyre and 
Zidon (cp. xxxii. 30). 

If the chronological headings are correct, then this section should 
certainly come later. The number of the month is not stated, so that it 
is not clear at first sight whether it should precede or follow xxx. 20-26 : 
xxxi. But as the date of the final breach in the wall of Jerusalem is fixed 
(Jer. xxxix. 2) as the ninth day of the fourth month of the eleventh year of 
Zedekiah, and the laying waste of Jerusalem took place in the fifth month 
(Jer. Hi. 12), and in this prophecy (xxvi. 2) Jerusalem is spoken of as 
' broken ' and ' laid waste,' it is quite clear that the place for these chapters, 
in chronological order, is after chap. xxxi. 

Tyre and Zidon were the subject of prophecy by other prophet>s 
(Is. xxiil : Jer. xxv. 22 : xxvii. 3 : Joel iii. 4 : Am. i. 9, 10 : Zech. ix. 2-4). 
The language of this chapter, as may be seen in the notes, had considerable 
influence upon the writer of the Apocalypse. 

nations (xxxvi. 5). The Cherethites the Pelethites being the other (2 

(«?. 16) are identical with the Sam. viiL 18 : xv. 18 : xx. 7, 23 : 

Philistines, and the lxx in the pro- 1 K. i. 38, 44 : 1 Chr. xviii, 17). 

phetical books calls them Cretans. For ' furious rebukes ' see v. 15 and 

They are also mentioned, as a people, for the refrain at the completion 

in two other places (1 Sam. xxx. 14: of the prophecy see vi. 7. The 

Zeph. ii. 5); elsewhere they form Philistines, as a people, lost their 

one of the two constituent elements separate existence in later times, 
of David's bodyguard of mercenaries. 



XXVI. x-6 

xlii. First prophecy against Tyre, xxvL 

XXVI. 1 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, 
in the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord 

2 came unto me, saying, Son of man, because that Tyre hath 
said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the 
gate of the peoples ; she is turned unto me : I shall be 

3 replenished, now that she is laid waste : therefore thus 
saith the Lord God : Behold, I am against thee, Tyre, and 
will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the 

4 sea causeth his waves to come up. And they shall destroy 
the walls of Tyre, and break down her 'towers : I will also 

5 scrape her dust from her, and make her a bare rock. She 
shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of 
the sea ; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God : and she 

6 shall become a spoil to the nations. And her daughters 

XXVI. 1-14. Against Tyre. 
The ejaculation used by Tyre a- 
gainst Jerusalem occurs also in xxv. 
3 (' Aha, against My sanctuary ') and 
xxxvi. 2 ('the enemy hath said 
against you, Aha ! '). Jerusalem is 
called the gate of the peoples as 
being the place through which the 
intercourse of Assyria and Babylonia 
with Egypt was carried on. The 
phrase 'she is turned unto me' 
implies that Tyre claimed to have 
taken her place upon her fall as 
the centre for commercial inter- 
course. But Tyre, too, was to have 
her punishment. It came, but it 
was only after a long struggle under 
Ethbaal (Ithobaal) II and a siege 
of thirteen years (585-573 B.C.) by 
Nebuchadrezzar that Tyre was taken. 
This prolonged siege is alluded to in 
a prophecy sixteen years later than 
the present one (xxix. 18). The 
* bare rock ' and the ' dust ' {xv. 4, 12) 

are perhaps a recollection of the 
language used by the prophet of 
Jerusalem (xxiv. 7). Here the dust 
refers to the ruins of the city, which 
was planted, so far as its mercantile 
quarters were concerned, 'on two 
bare rocky islands' (Baedeker's 
Palestine and Syria^ ed. 3, p. 307). 
Since the time of the siege by 
Nebuchadrezzar the place has passed 
through many vicissitudes and is 
now an insignificant town of about 
6000 inhabitants. The daughters of 
Tyre are the surrounding towns or 
villages dependent upon it (cp. Josh. 
XV. 45, R.V. marg.) with their in- 
habitants. The title ' king of kings ' 
is ascribed to Nebuchadrezzar by 
Daniel (ii. 37) and Artaxerxes is also 
described as such in the Bible (Ezra 
vii. 12). Jeremiah had prophesied 
of 'evil out of the north ' (iv. 6 : vi. 1, 
22 : X. 22), meaning thereby invasion 
of a hostile people: and though 

XXVI. 6-11 



which are in the field shall be slain with the sword : and 

7 they shall know that I am the Lord. For thus saith the 
Lord God : Behold, I will bring upon Tyre Nebuchadrezzar 
king of Babylon, king of kings, from the north, with horses, 
and with chariots, and with horsemen, and a company, 

8 and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy 
daughters in the field : and he shall make forts against 
thee, and cast up a mount against thee, and raise up the 

9 buckler against thee. And he shall set his battering 
engines against thy walls, and with his ^axes he shall 

10 break down thy towers. By reason of the abundance of 
his horses their dust shall cover thee : thy walls shall 
shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the ^ wagons, 
and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as 

11 men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. With 
the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets : 
he shall slay thy people with the sword, and the ^pillars of 

12 thy strength shall go down to the ground. And they shall 

1 Heb. swords. ^ Or, wheels 

Or, obelisks 

Babylon was almost on the same 
latitude as Tyre, its invading armies 
did, as a matter of fact, enter 
Palestine from the north. The siege 
is prophesied of {v. 8) in very much 
the same terms as are used of Jeru- 
salem (iv. 2 : xxi. 22). The buckler 
is the shield carried by the soldiers 
of the invading host and sometimes 
a number of them were combined to 
form a shelter from the missiles of 
those who were being besieged. The 
Hebrew word for ' axes ' is a doubt- 
ful one, cp. the R.V. marg. of 2 Chr. 
xxxiv. 6. It is quite clear from 
some of the expressions used that 
Ezekiel expected at first that the 
city would fall much more quickly 
than it did, for he speaks once of 
the entrance of the invaders into 
the city even without a breach having 

been actually made in its walls. The 
Babylonian wagons (or, ' war-chariots': 
see note on xxiii. 24) as well as their 
whole array had been already de- 
scribed (xxiii. 24, 'they shall come 
against thee with weapons, chariots, 
and wagons'; said of Jerusalem). 
' The pillars of thy strength,' i.e. thy 
strong pillars, were the massebahs or 
obelisks which formed an important 
element of the Tyrian worship (cp. 
Hdt ii. 44), as the outward and 
visible sign of the presence of the 
deity. Such pillars or obelisks were 
constantly denounced among the 
Jews (Ex. xxiii. 24 'break in pieces 
their pillars,' cp. Lev. xxvi. 1 : Dt 
xii. 3 : xvi. 22 : Hos. x. 2 : Mic. v. 13). 
The exact nature and object of the 
worship connected with them is still 
a matter of doubt, but they might 



XXVI. n- 

make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy 
merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and 
destroy thy pleasant houses : and they shall lay thy stones 
and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the waters. 

13 And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease ; and the 

14 sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. And I will 
make thee a bare rock : thou shalt be a place for the 
spreading of nets ; thou shalt be built no more : for I the 
Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord God. 

15 Thus saith the Lord God to Tyre : Shall not the isles 
shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded groan, 

16 when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee ? Then 
all the princes of the sea shall come down from their 
thrones, and lay aside their robes, and strip off their 
broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with 
^trembling; they shaU sit upon the ground, and shall 

17 tremble every moment, and be astonished at thee. And 

1 Heb. tremblings. 

as the actual islands in it, would feel 
the terror of its fall ' The princes 
of the sea,' as we may interpret the 

stand for a god or goddess : probably 
those mentioned here stood for 

The consideration of the wealth of 
Tyre will be more fitly discussed in 
the notes on the next chapter. In 
V. 13 we seem to have a recollection 
of Is. xxiv. 8, 9 (* the joy of the harp 
ceaseth. They shall not drink wine 
with a song'), a passage which follows 
immediately upon 'the burden of 
Tyre' (Is. xxiii.). F^ 14 repeats the 
sentence passed upon Tyre in vv. 4, 
5. The words in it 'thou shalt be 
built no more' need only signify 
that Tyre should never regain its 
former position, which, as a matter 
of fact, it never did. 

15-21. In these verses the con- 
sequences of the fall of Tyre are 
enlarged upon. 'The isles' (cp. 
xivii. 35), i.e. the places on the 
coasts of the Mediterranean as well 

expression from what Isaiah says of 
Tyre ' whose merchants are princes ' 
(xxiii. 8), are her merchant princes 
who have made their wealth by 
maritime commerce, rather than the 
princes of the neighbouring sea-coasts. 
They are to humble themselves. 
Sitting upon the ground is one of 
the outward signs of sorrow (cp. 
Job ii. 13: Is. iii. 26: Lam. ii. 10), 
and the trembling 'every moment' 
is also part of the terror of Egypt 
(xxxii. 10). Their lamentation was 
to be taken up (cp. xix. 1 : xxvii. 2, 
32) in a way that is re-echoed in the 
lamentation in the Apocalypse (Rev. 
xviii. especially v. 19) over Babylon. 
Between the two alternative ren- 
derings 'of seafaring men ' and ' won 
from the seas ' (R. V. marg.) there is 

XXVI. I7-20 


they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, 
How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited ^of seafaring 
men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she 
and her inhabitants, which caused their terror to be on all 

18 that ^haunt it ! Now shall the isles tremble in the day of 
thy fall ; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be 

19 dismayed at thy departure. For thus saith the Lord GrOD: 
When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that 
are not inhabited ; when I shall bring up the deep upon 

20 thee, and the great waters shall cover thee ; then will 

1 Or, being won from the seas 2 Or, inhabited her 

very little to choose and both are 
applicable, the second being justified 
by the geographical position of the 
city. A difiiculty was however felt 
long ago about the Hebrew con- 
struction, and the lxx leaves out 
the word represented by ' that wast 
inhabited' and either did not read 
it at all or treated it as a gloss upon 
the preceding word. The meaning 
would then be : ' How art thou 
destroyed from the seas ' (i.e. from 
being a maritime power). The last 
expression of ». 17 'which caused 
their terror to be' is asserted of 
others beside Tyre (xxxii. 23-27, 32). 
The trembling of the isles is again 
emphasized (cp. v. 15), and the de- 
parture of Tyre is her departure 
from her preeminent position. In 
connection with v. 19 it may be 
mentioned that there are still 'ruins 
visible in the sea' though they are 
said to be 'merely the remains of 
overthrown mediaeval walls' (Bae- 
deker Pal. and Syria, ed. 3, p. 308). 
The language of v. 20 should be 
compared with xxxi. 14, 16 : xxxii. 
18, 23, 24, 27, 32. 

The pit is simply the grave, below 
the ground, into which previous 

generations had gone down. Other 
places had been destroyed before : 
Tyre was not to be looked upon as 
the only example of a city that 
ceased to be inhabited. The last 
clause of v. 20 is variously read: 
the reading of R.V. marg., which 
is the better, is supported by the 
Septuagint. The ' land of the living ' 
is a frequent Biblical expression (see 
e.g. xxxii. 23, 27, 32 : Ps. xxvii. 13). 
The R. V. 'a terror' (z?. 21) must mean 
a source of terror to others who may 
feel the danger of being brought to 
a similar condition (cp. xxvii. 36 : 
xxviii. 19, both of Tyre). 

It has been objected, with refer- 
ence to this prophecy, that it never 
was completely fulfilled. But we 
have to remember in this connection 
{a) the constant hyperbole that forms 
an essential part of the character of 
Oriental languages ; and {h) the fact 
that Divine purpose in its revelation 
to man has to be clothed in language 
adapted to human capacity and 
suitable as a vehicle to bring man to 
a sense of sin and to a change of his 
purposes. It is not God who changes, 
but human conduct, when it is 
changed, averts what would other- 



XXVI. ao-XXVII. 3 

I bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, 
to the people of old time, and will make thee to dwell in 
the nether parts of the earth, ^in the places that are 
desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that 
thou be not inhabited ; ^and I will set glory in the land of 
21 the living : I will make thee ^a terror, and thou shalt be 
no more : though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never 
be found again, saith the Lord God. 

xliii. A description of Tyre, its wealth, commerce, and 
magnificence at the time of its siege by Nebuchad- 
rezzar, xxvii. 

This chapter should be compared with the description of Babylon in 
Rev. xviii. which evidently looks back to this as its model. Special 
resemblances will be noted in the commentary. 

The text is, in some verses of this chapter, rather doubtful, for they are 
much abbreviated in the Septuagint. 

Ezekiel's geographical knowledge is very extensive, but he would easily 
acquire such knowledge in Babylonia, A map of the world is still in 
existence dating from about the time of Hammurabi, i.e. somewhere about 
the days of Abraham. 

XXVII. 1 The word of the Lord came again unto 

2 me, saying, And thou, son of man, take up a lamentation 

3 for Tyre ; and say unto Tyre, thou that dwellest at 

1 Another reading is, like. 2 Qr, as otherwise read, nor set thy glory (&e. 
3 Or, a destruction Heb. terrors. 

wise have been the judgement of 
God. Moreover the Tyre of to-day 
is not the Tyre of Ezekiel's days. 
After its subjugation by Nebuchad- 
rezzar, Alexander the Great de- 
stroyed a considerable portion of 
that part of the city which was on 
the mainland: and the city was 
also destroyed by the Muslims in 
1291 A.D. (see a short sketch of 
its history in Baedeker loc. cit.). 
Moreover the prophet does not con- 
template absolute extinction but 

only relative : for, where there are 
fishing nets, there there must be 
fishers, and fishermen must have 
homes: they cannot always be upon 
the waters. Ezekiel tells us himself 
in a later prophecy (xxix. 18) that 
Nebuchadrezzar did not get satisfac- 
tion from the siege of Tyre : but 
this does not make him retract any 
of the words of his prophecy. ' The 
mills of God grind slowly.' 

XXVII. 1-4. The lamentation for 
Tyre begins with a description of the 

XXVII. 3-5 



the ^ entry of the sea, which art the merchant of the peoples 
unto many isles, thus saith the Lord God : Thou, Tyre, 

4 hast said, I am perfect in beauty. Thy borders are 
in the heart of the seas, thy builders have perfected 

5 thy beauty. They have ^made all thy planks of fir trees 
from Senir : they have taken cedars from Lebanon to 

Heb. entrances. 

2 Heb. built. 

city itself for which the prophet is 
bidden to take up a lamentation as he 
was ordered to do for the princes of 
Israel (xix. 1 : cp. v. 32 : xxvi. 17 : 
xxviii. 12 : xxxii. 2 : Am. v. 1). F. 3 
should be compared with Is. xxiii. 1, 
3. We still, it may be remembered, 
speak of our commercial harbours as 
ports of entry, i.e. from or to the sea. 
Tyre claims for herself that she is 
'perfect in beauty,' and this the 
prophet, speaking for the Lord God, 
recognizes in a later prophecy 
(xxviii. 12: cp. xxviii. 7, 17). Her 
geographical position, partly on two 
islands, enabled her to be spoken of 
as in the heart of the seas (vv. 25, 
27), i.e. in deep waters, while her 
beauty was due to her builders. 


It should be remarked that many 
takevv. 4-9a and '25b-S6siS allegorical 
and referring to Tyre itself with its 
tributary peoples under figure of a 
ship ; but this seems scarcely neces- 
sary : the idea is as old as Jerome. 
It is adopted by Driver who ^mtes 
(Lit of the O.T. p. 270) :— "Tyre is 
here represented as a ship^ to the 
equipment of which every quarter 
of the world has contributed its 
best, which is manned by skilful 
mariners and defended by brave 
warriors {vv. 1-11), but which, never- 
theless {vv. 26-36), to the astonish- 

ment and horror of all beholders, is 
wrecked, and founders on the high 
seas." He is, nevertheless, compelled 
to add : — "The figure is not, however, 
consistently maintained throughout." 
Such a comparison of a state to a 
ship in difiiculties from a severe 
storm is to be found in Hor. Od. i. 14 
(O navis, referent in mare te novi 
Fluctus !), the idea of which is taken 
from an ode of Alcaeus (18 Bergk). 
Other similar illustrations are to be 
found in Wickham's note on Horace's 
ode. One objection to it is that the 
figurative language must be broken 
up by the insertion of 9&-25a. 

Another point to be noticed is the 
number of names that are common 
to this chapter and Gen. x. They 
are Kittim, Egypt (i.q. Mizraim), 
Elishah, Zidon, Arvad, Lud, Put, 
Tarshish, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, 
Togarmah, Dedan, Syria (?i.q. Aram), 
Uzal, Sheba, Raamah, Canneh (?Cal- 
neh), Asshur (?), and perhaps Madai 
{v. 23), Gomer {v. U), Gush (???. 10), 
Pathnisim or Pathros (?see note on 
V. 10), the Zemarite (?^. 11). 

5. The fir trees (others translate 
'cypresses' which is less probable) 
of Senir furnish building timber. 
Senir is said in Dt. iii. 9 to be the 
Amorite name for Hermon, though 
it is apparently distinguished from 
it in 1 Chr. v. 23 (' Senir and Mount 
Hermon ') and Cant. iv. 8 (' the top 


xxvn. 5-« 

6 make a mast for thee. Of the oaks of Bashan have they 
made thine oars ; they have made thy ^benches of ivory 

7 inlaid in boxwood, from the isles of Kittim. Of fine linen 
with broidered work from Egypt was thy sail, that it 
might be to thee for an ensign ; blue and purple from the 

8 isles of Elishah was thine awning. The inhabitants of 

^ Or, deck 

of Senir and Hermon).' Shalmaneser 
(see Delitzsch iu Encycl. Bib. 4362) 
speaks in an inscription of Saniru as 
'the mountain summit at the en- 
trance to Lebanon.' 

6. ' The oaks of Bashan ' (cp. Is. 
ii. 13: Zech. xi. 2) like the 'cedars 
from Lebanon' are almost as pro- 
verbial as 'the bulls of Bashan.' 
They were a kind of evergreen oak 
which formed large forests in the 
district to the East of Jordan known 
in New Testament times as Tra- 
chonitis (Luke iii. 1). The word 
translated 'benches' {marg. 'deck') 
is only used here in connection with 
shipping: elsewhere it is used of 
the 'boards' of the tabernacle. 
Whichever meaning it has, the 
prodigality is the same, that they 
should be made of ivory inlaid in 
box (or cedar) wood (A.V. with its 
'company of Ashurites' is due to 
a misapprehension). The same tree 
is mentioned in Is. xli. 19 (R.V. marg. 
cypress): Ix. 13: and there seems no 
reason to doubt that the box is the 
wood used for this purpose. Comp. 
Verg. Aen. x. 137 : 

"quale per artem 
Inclusum buxo aut Oricia terebintbo, 
Lucet ebur." 

This boxwood is represented as 
coming from the isles of Kittim (cp. 
Gen. X. 4), that is, from Cyprus and 
the islands adj acent to it. The name 
Kittim is by many supposed to 

survive in the name Kition — ^the 
Lamaka of to-day. In 1 Mace. i. 1 : 
viii. 5 the word has a wider applica- 

7. It is a little diflBcult to imagine 
what embroidery there could be 
about sails : but pictures of em- 
broidered sails from Egypt are to be 
found in Wilkinson, Manners and 
Ctistoms of Egypt, III. ^l2d>e 16. The 
word for sail means something spread 
out, as we say of ships ' a spread of 
canvas.' The Septuagint translator 
seems to have felt the difficulty and 
translated the word 'couch': 'thy 
couch was linen with embroidery 
from Egypt to put on thee glory.' 
There is a further difficulty that 
ancient ships did not carry pennons 
or ensigns : what is implied then must 
be that the broidered work on the 
sails enabled one vessel to be dis- 
tinguished from another, in the way 
that a standard was used as a signal 
in war: but the meaning is by no 
means clear. The 'awning' was 
a covering over, or tent upon, the 
deck of blue and purple and came 
from 'the isles of Elishah.' The 
name Elishah only occurs elsewhere 
in Gen. x. 4 as that of a son of 
Javan. It is therefore concluded 
that this expression would refer to 
the Greek colonies on the coasts of 
Southern Italy and Sicily. The Tar- 
gum identifies Elishah with Italy. 

8. Zidon is of course the other 

xxni. 8-IO 


Zidon and Arvad were thy rowers : thy wise men, O Tyre, 
9 were in thee, they were thy pilots. The ^ancients of Gebal 
and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers : all the 
ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to 
10 ^occupy thy merchandise. Persia and Lud and Put were 
in thine army, thy men of war : they hanged the shield 

1 Or, elders ^ Or, exchange 
great Phoenician city, coupled with 10. There is a similar mention of 

Tyre in Is. xxiii. and about 40 miles 
north of it. Arvad still further to the 
north only occurs again in v. 15 and 
1 Mace. XV. 23 (Aradus), whilst the 
Arvadite is mentioned as descended 
from Canaan (Gen. x. 18) like Zidon 
(Gen. X. 15). The 'pilots' are men- 
tioned again in vv. 27, 29. 

9. Gebal, called by the Greeks 
Byblos and in the present day Jebeil, 
is now a small village. It lies on the 
Phoenician coast between Tripoli 
and Beirut, and is one of the most 
ancient inhabited places in the world. 
The Gebal of Ps. Ixxxiii. 7 referred 
to in R.V. (see marginal references) 
has nothing to do with this place. 
The Gebalites of Josh. xiii. 5, es- 
pecially as they are mentioned in 
connection with Lebanon, maybe its 
people ; but whether they are the 
same as the Gebalite stone-masons 
of Solomon's days (1 K. v. 18) is 
doubtful. The ' calkers ' recur in v. 
27 ; their business was to tread 
(calcare) or press in some such 
substance as oakum into the seams 
of a ship (see Hastings, Diet. s. voc. 
Calker). The word ' occupy ' of R. V. 
is also used in an archaic sense as 
an equivalent for Ho trade with': 
cp. Luke xix. 13 A.V. Occupy (R.V. 
Trade ye herewith) till I come, but 
the rendering of R.V. marg. 'to 
exchange thy merchandise' is to 
be preferred to that of R.V. 

Persia and Put in xxxviii. 5 where 
Gush takes the place of Lud. Many 
critics, however, deny the possibility 
of Persia being named by Ezekiel, 
as contributing troops to the Tyrian 
army (see also note on xxxviii. 5), 
and various suggestions have been 
made, e.g. by Prof. Tiele {Encycl. 
Bib. 3662), that Pathros is the place 
originally mentioned. But we may 
be content to let the mention of 
Persia stand, supported as it is in 
both passages by the Septuagint. 
Lud, mentioned again in xxx. 5 and 
Is. Ixvi. 19, is generally identified 
with the Lydians, but others make 
it the name of a people in North 
Africa [Ludim in Gen. x. 13 (de- 
scended from Mizraim : so 1 Chr. i. 1 1) : 
Jer. xlvi. 9]; and, following upon 
this, some critics alter the names to 
Lub and Lubim (i.q. Libya); there 
is, however, no sufficient reason for 
the change. Lud and Put are both 
mentioned in Judith ii. 23 where the 
Greek transliterates instead of trans- 
lating the names. Put is a very 
doubtful name and occurs also in 
xxx. 5 : xxxviii. 5 : Gen. x. 6 (|| 1 Chr. 
i. 8): Jer. xlvi. 9: Nah. iii. 9, and 
perhaps also Is. Ixvi. 19 (instead of 
Pul, if we follow the Septuagint). 
In Ezekiel and Jeremiah Put is 
identified with the Libyans : in 
Nahum the Greek had a different 
text, and there Lubim are the 




11 and helmet in thee ; they set forth thy comeliness. The 
men of Arvad with thine army were upon thy walls round 
about, and ^the Gammadim were in thy towers : they hanged 
their shields upon thy walls round about ; they have 

12 perfected thy beauty. Tarshish was thy merchant by 

^ Or, valorous men 

Libyans. We may reasonably assign 
Put to North Africa, perhaps to the 
'parts of Libya about Cyrene' (cp. 
Acts ii. 10). Others place Put to 
the south-east of Egypt on the shore 
of the Red Sea. These three peoples, 
whoever they were, are represented 
as adding to the glory of Tyre ('they 
set forth thy comeliness '). 

11. Arvad has been mentioned 
already as furnishing rowers (v. 8). 
Gammadim (R.V. marg. 'valorous 
men ') is another difficult word : the 
Septuagint and Peshitto had a dif- 
ferent text and read 'they were 
watchmen,' making the whole verse 
refer to the men of Arvad. Another 
Greek rendering looks as if the 
reading it followed was ' the Medians.' 
Aquila, the Jewish literal translator 
of the Hebrew into Greek, in his first 
edition translated the word 'pygmies' 
connecting the word with a Hebrew 
noun meaning ' a cubit ' and making 
them men of a cubit's stature, and he 
is followed by the Vulgate. The 
pygmies known to the Greeks were 
a race of dwarfs on the Upper Nile. 
Aquila afterwards, apparently, read 
the passage differently and translated 
the word 'completed in number.' 
This reading, if it were the right one, 
would naturally connect the word 
with Gomer (Gen. x. 2), a name which 
is identified here and elsewhere with 
Cappadocia (the rendering in the 
Septuagint of Caphtor). Others still 
emend the passage and read Zemarite 

because of the close connection be- 
tween the Arvadite and the Zemarite 
in Gen. x. 18 (Ii 1 Chr. i. 16). A 
trace of the Zemarites is supposed to 
exist still in the village Sumra to 
the north of Tripoli. If, as is most 
natural, we revert to the present 
Hebrew text, we may look for 
Gammad in the modem Kamid el- 
Loz, situated about half-way between 
Beirut and Damascus : and it is 
curious in this connection to find 
two places, Kumidi (? Gammad) and 
Sumura (? Zemarite), mentioned in 
the Amarna tablets (see Cheyne, 
Encycl Bib. 1639). The custom of 
hanging up shields is referred to in 
Cant. iv. 4: 1 Mace. iv. 57. The 
same expression 'they have perfected 
thy beauty ' is used of the Gammadim 
and of the builders of Tyre {v. 4). 

12. Tarshish is mentioned again 
V. 25 ('the ships of Tarshish') and 
xxxviii. 13 (' merchants of Tarshish '). 
The expression 'the ships of Tarshish' 
which occurs several times in the 
Bible (1 K. X. 22 : xxii. 48 : Ps. xlviii. 
7 : Is. ii. 16 : xxiii. 1, 14 [in connec- 
tion with Tyre]) is generally taken 
as an expression to represent a large 
merchant vessel, just as we speak of 
East Indiamen in the same way. 
But it is much questioned where 
Tarshish was. It has been identi- 
fied with Tartessus in Spain, with 
Carthage (so the Septuagint in Ezekiel 
and in Is. xxiii. in a passage which 
refers to Tyre), with Tarsus (so 




XXVII. H-15 



reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches ; with silver, 

13 iron, tin, and lead, they traded for thy wares. Javan, 
Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy traffickers : they 
traded the persons of men and vessels of brass for thy 

14 merchandise. They of the house of Togarmah traded for 

15 thy wares with horses and war-horses and mules. The 
men of Dedan were thy traffickers : many isles were the 
mart of thine hand: they brought thee ^in exchange horns 

^ Or, for a present 

Bunsen and Sayce), or with the Tyr- 
seni or Etruscans, whilst Cheyne, by 
emending this passage, connects the 
expression 'ships of Tarshish' and 
the place with North Arabia. On 
the whole Carthage seems the most 
likely. The silver of Tarshish is 
mentioned in Jer. x. 9. Other places 
and countries — Edom {v. 1 6 and note), 
Damascus, Arabia, Kedar — shared 
the distinction of beingthe merchants 
of Tyre. 

13. Javan (Gen. x. 2 : ii 1 Chr. i. 5 : 
Zech. ix. 13 [R.V. Greece]) is the same 
name as Ionia, and is generally looked 
upon as representing Greece. Tubal 
occurs with Javan in Gen. x. 2 : Is. 
Ixvi. 19. The name is usually re- 
garded as representing the Tibareni 
who lived to the north-east of Cilicia. 
Cheyne imagines it to be a North 
Arabian district. Tubal and Meshech 
occur together here and in xxxii. 26 : 
xxxviii. 2, 3 : xxxix. 1, and both 
names seem to have puzzled the 
Septuagint translator, who gives in 
this passage etymological renderings 
for both names. Meshech also occurs 
in Ps. cxx. 5 : 1 Chr. i. 17 (a son of 
Shem, but in || Gen. x. 4 Mash a 
grandson of Shem, his father being 
Aram). The name is identified with 
the Moschi, who are mentioned 
together with the Tibareni by Hero- 

dotus (iii. 94 : vii. 7) and who lived 
to the east of that people. The 
slave trade carried on by loniais men- 
tioned in Joel iii. 6 and is like that 
of Babylon in the Apocalypse, where 
' souls of men ' (the same expression 
is used here) are reckoned among 
the merchandise of the place. The 
'vessels of brass' (or rather 'bronze') 
mentioned here in connection with 
the name of Tubal may recall to us 
that Tubal-cain was 'the forger of 
every cutting instrument of brass' 
(Gen. iv. 22). 

14. The house of Togarmah is 
mentioned again in xxxviii. 6, and 
Togarmah in Gen. x. 3 (|| 1 Chr. i. 6). 
Nothing is really known of this 
place, but it was most probably 
Armenia. I am inclined to think 
that the ' war-horses ' of R.V. should 
be 'horsemen' (cp. Joel ii. 4; Jer. 
xlvi. 4 : 1 K. iv. 26 : xx. 20 : 2 Chr. 
ix. 25 : Hos. i. 7, etc.), for there 
seems to be no good reason for ever 
making the Hebrew word mean 
a particular kind of horse : and the 
Septuagint agrees with this inter- 
pretation. They might very well 
have been mercenaries. 

15. Dedan we have had already 
(xxv. 13). Here, perhaps rightly, 
the Septuagint took the word as 
' Rhodians'(so in Gen. x. 4 Dodanim 



XXVII. i«i- 

16 of ivory and ebony. Syria was thy merchant by reason of 
the multitude of thy handyworks : they traded for thy 
wares with ^emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine 

17 linen, and coral, and rubies. Judah, and the land of Israel, 
they were thy traffickers : they traded for thy merchandise 
wheat of Minnith, and ^pannag, and honey, and oil, and 

1 Or, carbuncles 

Perhaps, a kind of confection. 

corresponds to Rhodaiiim in 1 Chr. 
i. 7). In this verse a regular tribute 
is regarded as being paid to Tyre. 
Ebony is not recognized by the 
Septuagint and only occurs here in 
our present text, but there is no 
doubt as to the word. ' Every vessel 
of ivory ' is part of the merchandise 
of Babylon in Rev. xviii. 12. 

16. The imports into Tyre from 
Aram or Syria are next dealt with : 
the Greek, however, read 'Edom' 
for * Aram.' The confusion between 
the two names is one easily made, 
and, perhaps, Edom is the right 
word here. Of the imports, emeralds 
{marg. carbuncles) are mentioned 
elsewhere in xxviii. 13: Bx.xxviii. 18: 
xxxix. 1 1 and correspond to a different 
Hebrew word from that translated 
carbuncle {marg. emerald) in xxviii. 
13 : Ex. xxviii. 17 : xxxix. 10. It is 
difficult to distinguish the words : 
some consider that the word in the 
present passage means 'malachite.' 
It seems like 'carrying coals to 
Newcastle' to speak of importing 
purple into Tyre from Edom and 
' the isles of Elishah ' {v. 7) ; it may 
be there was some special excellence 
about their goods, or that foreign 
purple was looked upon as an ex- 
travagant luxury (cp. Aesch. Ag. 
883-909). Purple was amongst the 
merchandise of the Apocalyptic 
Babylon (Rev. xviii. 12). ' Broidered 

work' on fine linen came from 
Egypt as well as {v. 7) fine linen 
itself. The Hebrew word for 'coral* 
used here occurs besides only in 
Job xxviii. 18 and perhaps in Prov. 
xxiv. 7 (but R.V. 'Wisdom is too 
high') and is of very uncertain 
meaning. Toy translates it ' pearls.* 
The word for ' rubies ' is also a rare 
one, only occurring again in Is. liv. 12. 
A. V. has ' agate ' in both places, with 
' chrysoprase ' (cp. Rev. xxi. 20) in 
the margin here. The Septuagint 
did not know what the word meant, 
so reproduced the Hebrew. Toy 
translates 'jasper.' 

17. Judah and Israel are here 
distinguished and the agricultural 
character of the comitry is accentu- 
ated. An export of wheat and oil 
to Tyre in Solomon's reign is recorded 
in 1 K. V. 11 (II 2 Chr. ii. 10), and 
much the same trade went on in 
post-exilic days (Ezra iii. 7) and in 
the Apostles' time (Tyre and Sidon 
were fed from Herod's country, 
Acts xii. 20). There seems no need 
to alter, with Comill, ' Minnith ' into 
'and spices.' Minnith is a place 
mentioned in Judg. xi. 33 and, 
though the exact site is not known, 
it must have stood in a very fertile 
district, and its wheat seems from 
the present passage to have obtained 
a great reputation. It was in Am- 
monite territory, and that land paid 

XXVII. 17-19 



18 balm. Damascus was thy merchant for the multitude of 
thy handy works, by reason of the multitude of all kinds of 

19 riches ; with the wine of Helbon, and white wool. Vedan 
and Javan traded ^with yam for thy wares : ^bright iron, 

According to some ancient versions, from Uzal. 

Or, wrought 

a tribute of grain to Jotham (2 Chr. 
xxvii. 5). No one has yet ascertained 
what 'pannag' means. R.V. marg. 
following the Targum says 'Perhaps, 
a kind of confection' and various 
conjectural emendations have been 
made, the most commonly accepted 
being a word meaning ' wax.' A. V. 
thought of Pannag as the name of 
a place to go with Minnith. It is, 
perhaps, just worth mentioning that 

* panicum,' one of the Latin names 
for ' millet,' goes back at any rate to 
the time of Julius Caesar {B. G. ii. 
22). A kind of grain would suit the 
context here. Balm and honey were 
carried into Egypt from Palestine 
in Jacob's days (Gen. xxxvii. 25 : 
xliii. 11): the former was one of 
the products of Gilead (Jer. viii. 22 

* Is there no balm in Gilead ? '). 

18, 19. Damascus was one of the 
oldest and wealthiest cities of early 
times : it was the capital of Syria, 
and the mention of it here strengthens 
the argument in favour of 'Edom' 
being the right reading in t?. 16. 
Helbon is the modern Helbun, a 
few miles to the north-west of 
Damascus. It is supposed that the 
Chalybonian wine of the Persian 
Court (Strabo xv. 735) came from the 
vineyards here. These still exist 
'but the grapes are now all dried to 
form raisins,' the village being a 
Mahommedan one (Baedeker, Pal. 
and Syria^ p. 369). At the end of 
this verse and the beginning of the 

next, there is considerable difficulty 
about the text; for 'white wool. 
Vedan and Javan' becomes in the 
Septuagint 'wool from Miletus, and 
wine,' whilst a word translated 
'yam' a little later becomes 'from 
Asel' (R. V. marg. ' from Uzal '). The 
wool of Miletus was of most notice- 
able quality. Vergil speaks of 'Milesia 
vellera' {G. iii. 306: iv. 335), but 
the insertion of this name here is 
pure guesswork. The Hebrew might 
mean 'wool from Zachar.' The 
curious name Vedan, elsewhere 
unknown, seems to shew that the 
Hebrew is corrupt, though names 
beginning with the letter V do 
actually occur, e.g. Vaheb in Numb, 
xxi. 14. Glaser identifies Vedan 
with Waddan near Medina in Arabia, 
but this does not agree with its 
combination with Javan. The Sep- 
tuagint omits the word. Javan has 
occurred already (i?. 13). The various 
suggested emendations of the text 
need scarcely be recorded : but if 
Uzal (R.V. ruarg.) is right rather 
than 'yam,' this points like Vedan 
to an Arabian source for the products 
of this verse. Azal is said {Encycl. 
Bib. 5239) to have been the ancient 
name of the capital of Yemen and 
the name would then naturally 
connect itself with Uzal the son of 
Joktan (Gen. x. 27 : ll 1 Chr. i 21). 
'Wrought iron' (R.V. marg.) is a 
better rendering than 'bright iron': 
but the word used is a doubtful one. 




XXVII. 19 

20 cassia, and calamus, were among thy merchandise. Dedan 

21 was thy traflficker in precious cloths for riding. Arabia, 
and all the princes of Kedar, they were the merchants of 
thy hand ; in lambs, and rams, and goats, in these were 

22 they thy merchants. The traffickers of Sheba and Raamah, 
they were thy traffickers : they traded for thy wares with 
chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold 

23 Haran and Canneh and Eden, the traffickers of Sheba, 

The word for 'cassia' only occurs 
once besides (Ex. xxx. 24 R.V. marg. 
'costus'); it is a preparation from 
the bark of a shrub of the Cinnamon 
order. Calamus (cp. Ex. xxx. 23) is 
a fragrant reed of some sort, which 
came 'from a far country' (Jer. 
vi. 20). 

20. Dedan, about which there 
was some doubt in v. 15, is here 
represented as producing precious 
saddle cloths, with which we may 
compare the ' rich carpets ' of Judg. 
V. 10. Owing, however, to the fact 
that the word used here does not 
occur elsewhere, the meaning is ex- 
tremely doubtful. Some refer the 
word to animals not to saddle cloths. 

21. Kedar, in the north of Arabia, 
and east of Palestine, was a country 
famous for small cattle (Is. Ix. 7 'All 
the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered 
together unto thee'). Its princes 
were tributary to Tyre ; that is the 
meaning of ' merchants of thy hand.' 

22. Sheba occurs again later 
{v. 23: xxxviii. 13), and also, with 
Raamah, in Gen. x. 7 (|! 1 Chr. i. 9 
' Raama '). The names are connected 
with Arabia ; Sheba produces spices 
and gold according to Is. Ix. 20 
(' they all shall come from Sheba : 
they shall bring gold and frank- 
incense') and Jer. vi. 20 ('To 
what purpose cometh there to me 

frankincense from Sheba?'); cp. also 
xxxviii. 13. The exact position of 
Raamah is uncertain : it was near 
the Persian gulf 'The chief of all 
spices' include 'flowing myrrh,' 
'sweet cinnamon,' 'sweet calamus' 
and cassia, for these are called ' the 
chief spices ' (Ex. xxx. 23) : to these 
must be added aloes (Cant. iv. 14), 
cp. Milton, P. L. IV. 161 (quoted by 

Off at sea north-east winds blow 
Sabean odours from the spicy shore 
Of Araby the blest. 

It is dijfficult to say what precious 
stones are meant in v. 22. Malachite, 
turquoise, and rubies are perhaps 
indicated, as well as pearls, onyx and 
camelian (see Encycl. Britannica 
s. voc. Arabia). 

23. Haran (Gen. xi. 31 : 2 K. xix. 
12 : 11 Is. xxxvii. 12) is the place 
which was the intermediate stage 
between Ur and Canaan in the 
migrations of Abraham (cp. Acts vii. 
4). It was about 500 miles N.W. of 
Ur and not far from Edessa: it is 
on the east side of the Euphrates. 
Canneh is perhaps Calneh, for this is 
the reading of one Heb. ms., and is 
a place of uncertain identification. 
There were two places of the name, 
one in Nimrod's kingdom (Gen. x. 10), 
the other in North Syria (Am. vi. 2 : 
in Is. x. 9 Calno) ; the latter is the 

XXVII. 2S-26 



24 Asshur and Chilmad, were thy traffickers. These were 
thy traffickers in choice wares, in ^wrappings of blue and 
broidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with 

25 cords and made of cedar, among thy merchandise. The 
ships of Tarshish were thy caravans for thy merchandise : 
and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the 

26 heart of the seas. Thy rowers have brought thee into 

1 Or, bales 

more likely. Eden like Haran is 
mentioned in 2 K. xix. 12 (|| Is. xxxvii. 
12: cp. Amos i. 5). No certain 
identification of it has yet been 
made : R. V. marg. has Beth-eden in 
Am. i. 5. For Sheba see v. 22. 
Asshur is counted among the sons of 
Shem (Gen. x. 22 : || 1 Chr. i. 17). The 
name cannot mean Assyria here, and 
it must be connected with the 
Telassar of 2 K. xix. 12 (||Is. xxxvii. 
12) in which the children of Eden, a 
place also mentioned in this verse, 
are said to dwell. The last name 
Chilmad does not occur elsewhere. 
It will be noticed that it has no 
conjunction before it. So early as 
the Targum conjecture was at work 
and for Chilmad 'and Media' was 
taken to be the right reading. This 
has been generally accepted. 

24. The imports from the places 
and districts of the last verse are 
given. The text of this verse is very 
uncertain. The word for 'choice 
wares' (perhaps rather 'materials' 
or 'robes ') does not occur anywhere 
else but is akin to a word which 
occurs in xxiii. 18 : xxxviii. 4 and is 
translated by R.V. in the first place 
*most gorgeously,' in the second 'in 
full armour.' 'Wrappings' {marg. 
'bales') represents another unique 
word, and may be better translated, 

with Toy, 'mantles.' A 'blue' ma- 
terial has been already mentioned 
iv. 7) and 'broidered work' has 
occurred twice {vv. 7, 16). ' Chests' 
is another very doubtful word: it 
may mean 'carpets.' 'Of rich ap- 
parel ' once more represents a word 
that does not occur elsewhere; it 
may be Assyrian in its origin and 
mean cloth with two strands of colour 
in it (see Oxf. Heh. Lex. s. voc. 
D*pi3). The same authority makes 
the word for 'made of cedar,' not 
occurring elsewhere, simply mean 
' strong.' 

25. For the ships of Tarshish see 
V. 12. The use of the word 'caravans' 
as applied to ships is rather strange, 
and the Hebrew construction is 
unusual: there is probably some 
corruption of the text. A.V. has, 
quite differently, ' The ships of Tar- 
shish did sing of thee in thy market,' 
but this does not seem any more 
satisfactory. More probable still is 
Aquila's reading of the Hebrew, 
'ministered to thee.' For 'in the 
heart of the seas,' cp. vv. 4, 26, 

26. 'Great waters' should be 
rather, as R.V. translates, e.g. in 
Numb. xxiv. 7 ' many waters,' implying 
thatthe knowledge of Tyre hadspread 
far and wide. The destruction to 



XXVII. «6-5i 

great waters : the east wind hath broken thee in the heart 

27 of the seas. Thy riches, and thy wares, thy merchandise, 
thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the ^occupiers 
of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in 
thee, 2 with all thy company which is in the midst of thee, 
shall fall into the heart of the seas in the day of thy ruin. 

28 At the sound of the cry of thy pilots the ^suburbs shall 

29 shake. And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all 
the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, 

30 they shall stand upon the land, and shall cause their voice 
to be heard over thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall 
cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow them- 

31 selves in the ashes : and they shall make themselves bald 
for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall 
weep for thee in bitterness of soul with bitter mourning. 

32 And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for 

1 Or, exchangers ^ Or, and in ' Or, waves 

shipping due to the east wind is 
alluded to in Ps. xlviii. 7, 
With the east wind 
Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish. 
27-31. Utter destruction and the 
lamentation that was to follow is 
prophesied in these verses. The 
'pilots' (op. vv. 28, 29) of Tyre were 
mentioned in v. 8, the 'calkers' in 
V. 9. For the 'occupiers' of mer- 
chandise see note v. 9. The word 
'company' means the multitude 
assembled in Tyre. 'Suburbs' (cp. 
xlv. 2 : xlviii. 15, 17) were really the 
pasture lands round a city. The 
Septuagint read a different word 
and translated ' they shall be afraid 
with terror.' The translation of R. V. 
fifiarg. is not tenable. The corre- 
spondence between mi. 29-31 and 
Rev. xviii. 17-19 should be noticed : 
'And every shipmaster, and every 
one that saileth any whither, and 

mariners, and as many as gain their 
living by sea, stood afar off, and cried 
out... And they cast dust on their 
heads, and cried, weeping and 
mourning.' The casting up of dust 
upon the heads as a sign of woe is 
mentioned in Lam. ii. 10 (cp. Josh, 
vii. 6) ; and for the wallowing or 
rolling in ashes cp. Jer. vi. 26 
('wallow thyself in ashes'): xxv. 34. 
The latter implies more drastic 
self-humiliation than the casting of 
ashes on the head. The making 
oneself bald in gi'ief (Mic. i. 16) 
is frequently mentioned in the 
prophets. Certain kinds of such 
operations were forbidden by the 
Law (Lev. xix. 27 : Deut. xiv. 1 : cp. 
Lev. xxi. 5), probably because of 
their religious significance amongst 
neighbouring peoples. 

32-36. The form of lamentation 
is given here just as it is over 


xxvii. 32-xxviii. 1 EZEKIEL 149 

thee, and lament over thee, saying^ Who is there like 
Tyre, like her that is brought to silence in the midst of 

33 the sea ? When thy wares went forth out of the seas, 
thou fiUedst many peoples ; thou didst enrich the kings of 
the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy 

34 merchandise. ^In the time that thou wast broken by the 
seas in the depths of the waters, thy merchandise and all 

35 thy company did fall in the midst of thee. All the 
inhabitants of the isles are astonished at thee, and their 
kings are horribly afraid, they are troubled in their 

36 countenance. The merchants among the peoples hiss at 
thee ; thou art become ^a terror, and thou shalt never be 
any more. 

xliv. The judgement 0/ the prince of Tyre, xxviii. 1-10. 

XXVIII. 1 The word of the Lord came again unto 

2 me, saying. Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre, Thus 

saith the Lord God : Because thine heart is lifted up, and 

thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the 

1 According to some ancient versions, Now thou art broken,.. are fallen d;c. 
2 Or, a destruction Heb. terrors. 

Babylon in Rev. xviii. ' Who is there become a terror ' {rnarg. destruction) 

like Tyre ?' (??. 32) corresponds with see xxvi. 21. 

'What city is like the great city?' The actual fate of Tyre is the 

(Rev. xviii. 18). So with v. 33 cp. subject of xxix. 17-20. 

' The merchants of these things, who XXVIII. 1-10. The prophet now 

were made rich by her' (Rev. xviii. 15) turns to the ruler of Tyre called 

and 'wherein were made rich all 'prince 'in v. 1 and 'king' in v. 12. 

that had their ships in the sea by This was Ithobaal II (the name is 

reason of her costliness' (Rev. xviii. identical in form with that of Eth- 

19). The elegy takes almost a poetic baal, the father of Jezebel, Ahab's 

form. The breaking of Tyre by the queen, and king of Zidon). The 

seas is to be explained by xxvi. 19. language of vv. 2, 18, 19 is again 

' All thy company ' recurs from v. 27 the model for that of Rev. xviii. 7, 8 : 

(see note). The hissing is not a ' She (i.e. Babylon) saith in her heart, 

hissing of contempt, but of startled I sit a queen, and shall in no wise 

surprise. For the words ' thou art see mourning. Therefore in one day 





^ midst of the seas ; yet thou art man, and not God, though 

3 thou didst set thine heart as the heart of God : behold, 
thou art wiser than Daniel ; there is no secret that they 

4 can hide from thee : by thy wisdom and by thine under- 
standing thou hast gotten thee ^riches, and hast gotten 

6 gold and silver into thy treasures : by thy great wisdom 
and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy ^riches, and 

6 thine heart is lifted up because of thy ^ riches : therefore 
thus saith the Lord God : Because thou hast set thine 

7 heart as the heart of God ; therefore behold, I will bring 
strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations : and they 
shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, 

8 and they shall ^defile thy brightness. They shall bring 
thee down to the pit ; and thou shalt die the deaths of them 

9 that are slain, in the heart of the seas. Wilt thou yet say 
before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou art man, 
and not God, in the hand of him that ^woundeth thee. 

^ Heb. heart. * Or, power 

shall her plagues come, death, and 
mourning, and famine.' The king 
like his city sits in the midst of the 
seas and is * as a god.' We may 
compare the end of Herod in Acts 
xii. 21-23 who was saluted with the 
shout ' The voice of a god, and not 
of a man.' So the king here claims 
divinity (cp. Is. xiv. 13, 14). Vv. 3-5 
are sarcastic. Of late it has been 
argued that the Daniel of this 
passage could not be the prophet 
Daniel, notwithstanding that we are 
told that to him with the three 
children God gave 'knowledge and 
skill in all learning and wisdom ' 
and that ' Daniel had understanding 
in all visions and dreams' (Dan. i. 17). 
The reason given for this is that 
the third person mentioned, where 
Daniel occurs in a previous passage 
(xiv. 14, 20, see note there), ought 
to be an ancient hero and not a 

* Or, 'profane * Or, profaneth 

modem one. It has been suggested 
that Enoch should take his place 
(see Cheyne in Encycl. Bib. s. voc. 
Enoch), especially as the Hebrew 
of Ecclus. xliv. 16 (lately discovered) 
makes Enoch ' an example of know- 
ledge' instead of 'of repentance' 
(the Greek version). But this 
hardly seems a suflBcient reason for 
wantonly altering the Massoretic 
text. It would scarcely have been 
deemed necessary, but for the late 
date ascribed by modern critics to 
the Book of Daniel, which however 
in any case may be considered to 
have a historical basis. 'Riches' 
or 'power' (R.V. marg.) are equal- 
ly admissible translations. 'Thine 
heart is lifted up ' {v. 5) looks back 
to V. 1, just as ». 6 looks back 
to V. 2. The strangers were the 
hosts of Nebuchadrezzar drawn from 
many nations (cp. xxx. 11 'He and 




10 Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the 
hand of strangers : for I have spoken it, saith the Lord 

xlv. The lamentation over the king of Tyre, as the repre- 
sentative of the nrmgnificence of Tyre itself xxviii. 11-19. 

It should be remembered that in this passage the language is founded 
upon {a) the account of the Garden of Eden ; {b) the descriptions in Exodus 
of (i) the giving of the law ; (ii) the breastplate of the high-priest ; and 
(iii) the cherubim overshadowing the mercy-seat. 

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, 
and say unto him. Thus saith the Lord God : Thou sealest 

13 up the ^sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou 
wast in Eden the garden of God ; every precious stone was 

^ Or, measure Or, pattern 

his people with him, the terrible of 
the nations,' xxxi. 12 'Strangers, 
the terrible of the nations, have cut 
him off' : and so xxxii. 12). The 
rest of the verse should be compared 
with V. 17 for its phraseology. 
' Brightness ' is equivalent to ' splen- 
dour.' ' In the heart of the seas ' is 
used of Tyre's position in the previous 
prophecy (xxvii. 4, 25). 'The death 
of the uncircumcised ' implies that it 
is the death of an outcast. For the 
words with which this prophecy 
closes cp. xvii. 21. 

11-19. These verses form the 
elegy over the king of Tyre, as its 
representative. In xxvii. 32-36 there 
was a lamentation over Tyre itself. 
The king is called prince in the 
previous prophecy {v. 2). Here his 
former human excellences and wealth 
are described. The meaning of the 

word translated ' sum' (marg. ' mea- 
sure,' or 'pattern') is vague, but is 
intended to convey the idea of ' per- 
fection' (A. B. Davidson): it only 
occurs again in xlviii 10. 

The king's wisdom has been 
already {v. 3) described as greater 
than that of Daniel : and perfection 
of beauty is assigned to Tyre in 
xxvii. 3, 4. The whole passage of 
course is biting sarcasm. 

13. There is considerable diffi- 
culty in understanding what the 
prophet means when he speaks both 
of the king of Tyre and of the king 
of Assyria (xxxi. 8, 9) as having to 
do with Eden the garden of God 
(mentioned also in xxxvi. 35 : Is. li. 
3 : Joel ii. 3). It is evident, at any 
rate, that the reference must be to 
the garden of Eden in which our 
first parents are said to have been 




thy covering, the ^sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the 
beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the ^emerald, 
and the 'carbuncle, and gold : the workmanship of thy 
tabrets and of thy pipes was in thee ; in the day that thou 

1 Or, ruby " Or, carbuncle ^ Or, emerald 

placed. It has been held that 
Ezekiel is drawing here from other 
traditions about Eden than those 
contained in the Bible which were 
current in Babylonia, but the exist- 
ence of such traditions has not yet 
been proved. From the context of 
these passages we can only gather 
that the words imply that the kings 
mentioned were in the wealthiest 
and most fertile places that could 
be imagined. The wealth here is 
accentuated by the catalogue of 
precious stones that the king of 
Tyre was covered with ; in the other 
passage the fertility is emphasized 
by the description of the trees of the 
garden. The precious stones brought 
to Tyre are mentioned in xxvii. 16, 
22. The list of precious stones given 
here should be compared with that 
of those in the high-priest's breast- 
plate (Ex. xxviii. 17 : xxxix. 10) : 
where the names occur in a 
somewhat different order, and the 
third row of three is left out 
altogether. Such a list recurs in 
the list of the twelve precious 
stones which formed the foundations 
of the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. xxi. 
19, 20). If we follow the renderings 
of R.V. there are six stones of that 
passage identical with six in the list 
here. Because of the etymology of 
the Hebrew name of the first stone, 
meaning 'redness,' RV. marg. 
identifies it with the ' ruby.' Others 
identify it with 'carnelian' which 

is red, while the sardius is brown. 
The 'topaz' of the Greeks is in all 
probability not the same stone as 
the topaz of to-day and corresponds 
rather with the chrysoUte or peridot. 
It is mentioned in Job (xxviii. 18) 
as coming from Ethiopia, and the 
Hebrew name is perhaps an exotic 
word connected with a Sanskrit 
one meaning 'yellow.' The 'diamond' 
here is another doubtful rendering. 
The Oxf. Heb. Lex. suggests jasper 
or onyx, deriving the name from 
a root signifying 'hardness.' The 
'beryl,' too, is doubtful, the stone 
mentioned being named Tarshish 
from the locality from which it 
came. It is mentioned also in 
i. 16 : X. 9 ('stone of Tarehish' 
R.V. marg.\ Cant. v. 14 (R.V. marg. 
'topaz'). For the 'onyx' the R.V. 
marg. gives in some places (e.g. Ex. 
xxviii. 9) 'beryl' This illustrates 
the great difficulty that critics have 
in identifying the various stones, 
and the older versions do not help 
us very much. The jasper and the 
sapphire are generally recognized, 
though the latter name includes 
lapis lazuli (Rev. xxi. 19 R.V. marg.). 
The emerald and the carbuncle 
(order reversed in R.V. m,arg.) are 
also doubtful names. The former is 
by some held to stand for malachite, 
the latter, following the Greek 
version, is generally taken to mean 
the emerald. There is much ob- 
scurity about all these names, and 



XXVIII. 13-15 



14 wast created they were prepared. Thou wast the anointed 
cherub that covereth : and I set thee, so that thou wast 
upon the holy mountain of God ; thou hast walked up and 

15 down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect 
in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till 

the difficulty about some of them 
is enhanced by the unknown lingu- 
istic source from which they came. 
The Greek version gives twelve 
names here instead of nine, beside 
adding gold and silver in the middle 
of the list. Once again the tabrets 
and pipes of «?. 13 seem a little out 
of place and the settings of the 
precious stones would come in here 
more naturally. The Hebrew word 
for ' pipes ' does not occur elsewhere : 
but what the two words mean ex- 
actly is not clear. Perhaps ' settings 
and sockets' {Oxf. Heb. Lex. 666a) 
is as near as we can get. The day 
of the king's creation (cp. w. 13, 15) 
was the day of his birth. From 
that day forward his magnificence 
was assured. 

14. The prophet now goes on to 
call him by another title full of ob- 
scurity, 'the anointed cherub that 
covereth.' The idea is evidently led 
on to from the mention of Eden. 
The translation may equally well run, 
with the Greek, ' thou wast with the 
cherub.' The thought to be grasped 
is that, as Tyre claimed to be equal 
with God {v. 2), so here the king 
looks upon himself as entitled to be 
in Paradise with the attendant 
satellites of God and to be one of 
their number, and is treated as being 
there till he falls like Adam into 
sin. But the words translated 
* anointed ' and ' that covereth ' are 
difficult, especially the former. The 
word 'anointed' is more probably 

'extended' and then there may be 
an allusion to the cherubim and the 
mercy-seat where the outward token 
of God's presence was to be seen. 
Cp. Ex. XXV. 20 'And the cherubim 
shall spread out their wings on 
high, covering the mercy-seat with 
their wings ' (so 1 K. viii. 7). If the 
king was with God then he would 
be 'upon the holy mountain of 
God ' : for the constant idea in the 
O.T. is of the presence of God upon 
a mountain (cp. xx. 40 : Ex. xxir. 
9 : Is. xiv. 13). The stones of fire 
describe the fire on the mountain 
top in the presence of God ; ' mount 
Sinai was altogether on smoke, 
because the Lord descended upon it 
in fire ' (Ex. xix. 18) : and when we 
read of the king here walking up 
and down in the midst of the stones 
of fire during his time of perfection, 
we are reminded of the question 
and answer, 'Who among us shall 
dwell with the devouring fire ? who 
among us shall dwell with ever- 
lasting burnings ? He that walketh 
righteously... he shall dwell on high' 
(Is. xxxiii. 14-16). 

15-19. But the king's fall was 
to come when his unrighteousness 
appeared. The wealth of Tyre 
brought with it oppression and 
violence and so the king and the 
covering cherub, whether they are 
one or two, are to be destroyed and 
cast out from the mountain of God 
and from the midst of the stones of 
fire where nothing profane could 



XXVIII. 15-12 

16 unrighteousness was found in thee. By the multitude of 
thy traffic they filled the midst of thee with violence, and 
thou hast sinned: therefore have I cast thee as profane 
out of the mountain of God ; and I have destroyed thee, 

covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 

17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou 
hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness : I 
have cast thee to the ground, I have laid thee before kings, 

18 that they may behold thee. By the multitude of thine 
iniquities, in the unrighteousness of thy traffic, thou hast 
profaned thy sanctuaries ; therefore have I brought forth 
a fire from the midst of thee, it hath devoured thee, and 

1 have turned thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight 

19 of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee 
among the peoples shall be astonished at thee : thou art 
become ^a terror, and thou shalt never be any more. 

xlvi. A short prophecy against Zidon, followed by an 
intimation of the return of Israel to its own land, 
xxviii. 20-26. 

20 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

21 Son of man, set thy face toward Zidon, and prophesy 

22 against it, and say. Thus saith the Lord God : Behold, I 

1 Or, a destruction Heb. terrors. 


exist. Pride and corruption of 
intellect are the causes of the 
king's fall, as well as immoral trading 
and sacrilege, and other kings are 
to see his degradation. He is to be 
entirely destroyed by fire from within 
(cp. XXX. 8, 14, 16, and Rev. xviii. 8 
'she [i.e. Babylon] shall be utterly 
burned with fire')- Bach prophecy 
against Tyre concludes in similar 
language (cp. v. 19 with xxvi. 21, 
xxvii. 36). 

20-24. Against Zidon. A sepa- 
rate prophecy deals with Zidon, the 

great rival of Tyre, believed by some 
to have been in early times the greater 
of the two cities. At any rate Zidon 
is mentioned in Genesis (x. 15, 19), 
while Tyre does not appear there. 
In Isaiah (xxiii.) 'the burden of 
Tyre' includes a denunciation of 
Zidon {w. 4, 12). It was a strong 
place (Josh. xix. 28) ; its kings are 
mentioned by Jeremiah (xxv. 22: 
xxvii. 3) ; and Bzekiel (xxxii. 30) 
also mentions the slaughter of its 
inhabitants. Its people are men- 
tioned with those of Tyre in the 

XXVIII. 22-25 



am against thee, Zidon ; and I will be glorified in the 
midst of thee : and they shall know that I am the Lord, 
when I shall have executed judgements in her, and shall 

23 be sanctified in her. For I will send into her pestilence 
and blood in her streets ; and the wounded shall ^fall in 
the midst of her, with the sword upon her on every side ; 

24 and they shall know that I am the Lord. And there 
shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, 
nor a grieving thorn of any that are round about them, 
that did despite unto them ; and they shall know that I 
am the Lord God. 

25 Thus saith the Lord God : When I shall have gathered 
the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they 
are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight 
of the nations, then shall they dwell in their own land 

1 Or, le judged 

Acts (xii. 20) and the Syro-phoe- 
nician woman, a Greek or Gentile, 
who entreated our Lord for her 
daughter came out of the borders 
of Tyre and Sidon (Mark vii. 24, 
26). The judgement of Zidon is, 
in the prophet's declaration, made 
to redound to the glory of God 
(cp. xxxix. 13), just as the destruc- 
tion of the Egyptians at the Red 
Sea is said to bring Him honour 
(Ex. xiv. 4, 17, 18, cp. Rom. iv. 17). 
The expressions used here are those 
we have met with in other prophecies 
(e.g. cp. w. 21, 22 with vi. 2, 7, xiii. 
8, XX. 41). Zidon is threatened with 
pestilence as well as with slaughter. 
We know nothing from history of 
what happened to it, after the 
fall of Jerusalem, but about 230 
years later (351 B.C.) the city was 
destroyed by Alexander Ochus. 
The translation of the text is to be 
preferred to that of the margin in 
V. 23. Zidon had been from its 

contiguity to Israel a pricking brier 
and a grieving thorn: cp. Numb, 
xxxiii. 55 'then shall those which 
ye let remain of them be as pricks 
in your eyes, and as thorns in your 
sides ' (so Josh, xxiii. 13). We are 
reminded by the second simile of 
St Paul's Hhorn in the flesh' (2 Cor. 
xii. 7). The Greek word for 'thorn' 
used in this last passage is used for 
the Hebrew word translated ' brier ' 
in the present verse. For the 
expression ' did despite unto them,' 
cp. xvi. 57, and for the final words of 
both V. 23 and v. 24 cp. vi. 7. 

25, 26. The last two verses of 
this chapter are connected with the 
previous ones by the mention of the 
house of Israel in v. 24. There is to be 
a re-collection of the Israelites into 
their own land (see passages quoted 
on xi. 17). God is sanctified alike in 
His judgement upon Zidon and in 
mercy toward Israel (cp. v. 25 with 
V. 22). The promise that Israel 




26 which I gave to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell 
securely therein ; yea, they shall build houses, and plant 
vineyards, and shall dwell securely ; when I have exe- 
cuted judgements upon all those that do them despite 
round about them ; and they shall know that I am the 
Lord their God. 

xxviii. 19, 587 B.C. G^ Chapter XXIX. 1-16. 

These prophecies are dated earlier than xxvi.-xxviii, and are attributed 
to a time seven months anterior to the fall of Jerusalem. 

xlviL A prophecy against Egypt and its king, xxix. 1-16. 

XXIX. 1 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in 
the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came 

2 unto me, saying. Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh 
king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against 

3 all Egypt : speak, and say. Thus saith the Lord God : 

should again dwell in his own land 
is repeated twice (xxxvi. 28 : xxxvii. 
25). The mention of Jacob instead 
of A.braham here and in xxxvii. 25 
is unusual. Jeremiah speaks of 
Jacob's tents (xxx. 18) in one place 
in much the same way. 

XXIX. 2-7. Against Egypt. 
The Pharaoh of this prophecy is 
Pharaoh Hophra mentioned under 
that name by Jeremiah (xliv. 30), 
but elsewhere simply called Pharaoh. 
He was the grandson of Pharaoh 
Necho (2 K. xxiii. 29) and reigned, 
according to the best authorities, 
nineteen years (588-569 B.C.). It 
has been questioned whether Egypt 
ever was conquered by Nebuchad- 

rezzar, as both Jeremiah (xlvi. 13-26) 
and Ezekiel foretold ; there does not 
exist any definite record of what is 
in itself inherently probable. The 
' burden of Egypt ' (Is. xix.) should 
be compared with these later pro- 
phecies. The desolation of Egypt is 
also announced by Joel (iii. 19). 
Here and in xxxii. 2 the king of 
Egypt is compared to the great 
dragon, a mythological monster, 
perhaps identical with the Baby- 
lonian Tiamat, but conceived of in 
the language of these two prophecies 
as something like a huge crocodile 
(cp. Ps. Ixxiv. 13 : Is. xxvii. 1: h. 9). 
The declaration of v. 3 is made a 
charge against Pharaoh in v. 9. 

XXIX. 3-6 



Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the 
great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which 
hath said. My river is mine own, and I have made it for 

4 myself. And I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will 
cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales ; and 
I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, with 
all the fish of thy rivers which stick unto thy scales. 

5 And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee 
and all the fish of thy rivers : thou shalt fall upon the 
^open field ; thou shalt not be brought together, nor 
gathered : I have given thee for meat to the beasts of 

6 the earth and to the fowls of the heaven. And all the 
inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord, 

1 Heb. face of the field. 

The 'rivers' may be the different 
streams of the delta of the 'river,' 
i.e. the Nile. For the 'hooks' we 
may compare xxxviii. 4: 2 K. xix. 
28 : 2 Chr. xxxiii. 11 (R.V. marg.)-. so 
too Job xli. 1 ' Canst thou draw out 
leviathan {mtiarg. 'that is, the croco- 
dile') with a hook V Why the fish of 
the river are described as sticking to 
the scales of the dragon is not clear, 
unless it means that all the king's 
retinue and hangers-on of the court 
were to share in the king's fall. As 
a matter of fact the end of Hophra's 
reign was caused by the occurrence 
of a revolt of mercenaries in the far 
South of Egypt which might well be 
called 'the wilderness' and 'the 
open field' (for this latter expression 
cp. Jer. ix. 22). The prophet also 
implies that he would not have the 
rites of royal burial accorded to 
him : 'thou shalt not be... gathered' 
has its parallel in Jer. viii. 2 and 
perhaps Job xxvii. 19. The folly of 
the kings of Judah in having looked 
to Egypt for help is asserted by 

Egypt being called ' a staff of reed ' 
(cp. 2 K. xviii. 21 : ' thou trustest 
upon the staff of this bruised reed, 
even upon Egypt ; whereon if a man 
lean, it will go into his hand and 
pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of 
Egypt unto all that trust in him' 
II Is. xxxvi. 6 : and so Is. xxx. 2, 3, 7). 
But not only so, the effect upon 
Egypt had also been disastrous. 
The union between the two and 
their support of one another only 
brought further trouble to Israel : 
cp. Is. xxx. 3 'Therefore shall the 
strength of Pharaoh be your shame, 
and the trust in the shadow of 
Egypt your confusion.' The R.V. 
marg. {v. 7) 'by the handle' gives 
no good sense. ' Thou didst break ' 
should rather be 'thou wast broken,' 
the word used is the same as in the 
expression 'this bruised reed' which 
is used of Egypt (2 K. xviii. 21 : see 
above). If the Hebrew reading is 
right, the jagged edge of the broken 
staff is represented as tearing open 
the shoulder of Israel with a grievous 



XXIX. 6-IO ■ 

because they have been a staff of reed to the house of 

7 Israel. When they took hold of thee ^by thy hand, thou 
didst break, and didst rend all their shoulders : and when 
they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their 

8 loins to ^be at a stand. Therefore thus saith the Lord 
God : Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and will cut 

9 off from thee man and beast. And the land of Egypt 
shall be a desolation and a waste ; and they shall know 
that I am the Lord : because he hath said. The river is 

10 mine, and I have made it. Therefore behold, I 


1 Or, by the handle Another reading is, with the hand. 
^ Or, as some read, shake See Ps. 69. 23. 

wound: but the Greek version 
encourages us to read 'hand' for 
* shoulder' and the language then 
corresponds with that of 2 K. xviii. 
21. The sense of the last expression 
in V. 7 is improved if two of the 
letters in the word representing 
'madest... to be at a stand' are 
reversed : the meaning is then that 
given in R.V. marg. 'madest... to 
shake ' : so Ps. Ixix. 33 ' make their 
loins continually to shake.' 

8-12. The declaration against 
Pharaoh and Egypt is reiterated, 
and its desolation prophesied, in 
order that it might know the power 
of Jehovah (cp. v. 7). Pharaoh had 
boasted that the Nile was his and 
of his making (cp. v. 3). Jehovah 
would shew his power over the 
rivers: the plural is used for the 
various streams of the delta of the 
Nile (cp. XXX. 12): and He would 
make the land a desolation. Its deso- 
lation was to reach from Migdol to 
Syene (R.V. margin is the better 
translation), and even to the border 
of Cush. Migdol and Syene occur in 
the same way in xxx. 6. Migdol is 
the northern limit of desolation : it 

is questionable whether it is the 
same Migdol as that in Ex. xiv. 2 : 
Numb, xxxiii. 7: the word simply 
means a tower : hence the rendering 
of R.V. which comes from the 
Vulgate. There is a Bir Maktal in 
the desert to the north-east of the 
Bitter Lakes at the present day : 
but no doubt there was more than 
one frontier tower and settlement 
bearing this name. There seems to 
have been a place so called twelve 
Roman miles south of Pelusium 
{Itinerarium Antonini quoted in 
Encycl. Bib. 3083) and this may 
have been the place. Migdol was 
one of the places in which the Jews 
settled (Jer. xliv. 1 : xlvi. 14). Syene 
(xxx. 6, perhaps also in xxx. 16 but 
Heb. Sin as in xxx. 15, and in Is. 
xliii. 3 Heb. Seba) is the modem 
Assoua,n opposite the city and 
Island of Elephantine seven degrees 
south of Pelusium, and was in 
ancient days a border city. Some 
would identify the Sinim of Is. xlix. 
12 with this place. Aramaic papyri 
of about a century later than this 
prophecy have lately been discovered 
there; they have been edited by 




against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the 
land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, ^from the 
tower of Seveneh even unto the border of Ethiopia. 

11 No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast 
shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty 

12 years. And I will make the land of Egypt a desolation 
in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her 
cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be a 
desolation forty years : and I will scatter the Egyptians 
among the nations, and will disperse them through the 

13 countries. For thus saith the Lord GcOD : At the end of 
forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the peoples 

14 whither they were scattered : and I will bring again the 
captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into 
the land of Pathros, into the land of their ^ birth ; and 

15 they shall be there a ^base kingdom. It shall be the 

1 Or, from Migdol to Syene and even <&c. ^ Or, origin * Heb. low. 

Sayce and Cowley (A. Moring, 1906). 
Cush began to the south of Philae, a 
little to the south of Syene. In ». 11 
a very sweeping statement is made : 
the words mean that for that period 
Egypt would lose its importance. 
It may be that we are not to define 
the 'forty years' exactly, but it is 
noticeable that the first occupation 
by the Persians which began under 
Cambyses lasted close upon forty 
years (525-487 B.C.); and many 
cruelties, from which the Egyptians 
suflfered, are attributed to him by 
Herodotus. With v. 12 cp. xxx. 
7, 23, 26. History does not reveal 
to us any such dispersion as is here 
threatened. It is to be noticed that 
neither the name of the conqueror 
of Egypt nor that of his nation is 
mentioned in the prophecy. 

13-16. A restoration from cap- 
tivity is promised to Egypt (cp. Is. 
xix. 22, 23 : Jer. xlvi. 26). In v. 14 

Egypt is called 'the land of Pathros' 
(cp. xxx. 14: Jer. xliv. 1, 14: Is. xi. 
1 1 : in this last passage the Greek has 
Babylonia). The common interpre- 
tation of Pathros is that it means 
Upper, i.e. southern Egypt : cp. 
Pathrusim (Gen. xi. 14) begotten 
from Mizraim, i.e. Egypt. Upper 
Egypt was held by ancient histor- 
ians (Hdt. ii. 4, 15 : Diod. Sic. i. 50) 
to be the original home of the 
Egyptians, and Menes the first king 
of the first dynasty is said to have 
come from This near Abydos in 
Upper Egypt. Hence the land of 
Pathros, i.e. Upper Egypt, is called 
'the land of their origin' (R.V. 
marg. v. 14). Cheyne looks to N. 
Arabia and Jerahmeel for a solu- 
tion of the diflSculties of the names 
involved. The word ' base ' used of 
a kingdom occurs in reference to 
Jerusalem in xvii. 14. As a matter 
of fact though the Egyptians held 



XXIX. 15 

basest of the kingdoms ; neither shall it any more lift 
itself up above the nations : and I will diminish them, 
16 that they shall no more rule over the nations. And it 
shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, 
bringing iniquity to remembrance, when they turn to 
look after them : and they shall know that I am the 
Lord God. 


lift. ^ 

KINGDOM. Chapter XXIX. 17-21. 

xlviii. A prophecy in which is indicated how little profit 
Nehiichadrezzar had from his long siege of Tyre : hut 
it is annmmced that Egypt shall fall to him as a 
compensation, xxix. 17-21. 

17 And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, 
in the first month, in the first day of the month, the 

18 word of the Lord came unto me, saying. Son of man. 


out for a short time after 487 B.C., 
Egypt never again regained its 
power and independence, and so 
the prophecy of v. 15 (cp. xxx. 13: 
Zech. X. 11) was fulfilled. One 
consequence of this was that the 
Jewish people could no more, how- 
ever much some of their statesmen 
might have done so in time past 
(cp. Is. xxx. 2, 3 : xxxvi. 6), look to 
Egypt to support them in their 
resistance to Babylon. The usual 
refrain concludes this prophecy 
(see vi. 7) : it may refer here either 
to Israel or to the Egyptians. 

17-20. Prophecies concerning 
Tyre were uttered by the prophet 
sixteen years before the present one 

(xxvi. 1 — xxviii. 19) and this is the 
sequel to those. The siege of Tyre 
is said to have lasted thirteen years, 
and no definite result came of it. 
It caused much hardship among the 
besiegers. The Hebrew words trans- 
lated ' made bald ' and ' peeled,' i.e. 
laid bare (cp. Is, xviii. 2, R.V. mar^.), 
are vague: the new Oxf. Heh. Lex. 
interprets them as describing the 
result of much carrying of burdens. 
Keil holds that the burdens referred 
to were those that had to be borne 
in order to fill up the space between 
the island Tyre and the mainland. 
Nebuchadrezzar was to have his 
consolation in Egypt which was to 
be given to him (so xxx. 10-12, 24, 

XXIX. 18-21 



Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to 
serve a great service against Tyre : every head was made 
bald, and every shoulder was peeled : yet had he no 
wages, nor his army, from Tyre, for the service that he 

19 had served against it : therefore thus saith the Lord 
God: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto 
Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon ; and he shall carry off 
her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey ; and 

20 it shall be the wages for his army. I have given him the 
land of Egypt ^as his recompence for which he served, 
because they wrought for me, saith the Lord God. 

21 In that day will I cause an horn to bud forth unto the 
house of Israel, and I will give thee the opening of the 
mouth in the midst of them ; and they shall know that I 
am the Lord. 

^ Or, for his labour toheretoith he served 

25: xxxii. 11). Jeremiah pro- 
phesied in a similar way against 
Egypt (xlvi. 13-28). There was to 
be a deportation of some of her 
inhabitants (cp. xxx. 4 : but the 
Greek version omits the deportation) 
and she was to be spoiled (cp. xxxii. 
12). In this way would the long 
military services of the Babylonian 
army be rewarded. Their work had 
been for God, and God would reward 

21. In the concluding verse the 
prophet seems to have looked 
forward to some advantage accruing 
to Israel as the result of this 
subjugation of Egypt : but his 
words are very indefinite. The horn 
is of course an emblem of power. 
With that advantage, whatever it 
might be, was to come a further op- 
portunity for the prophet (cp. xxiv. 
27 : xxxiii. 22). The usual refrain 
concludes the prophecy (vi. 7). 





XXX. 1-5 H 

REZZAR BY NAME. Chapter XXX. 1-19. 

xlix. An utterance shewing that the devastation was 
to extend far and wide, xxx. 1-5. 

XXX. 1 The word of the Lord came again unto me, 

2 saying, Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the 

3 Lord God : Howl ye. Woe worth the day ! For the day is 
near, even the day of the Lord is near, a day of clouds ; 

4 it shall be the time of the heathen. And a sword shall 
come upon Egypt, and anguish shall be in ^Ethiopia, 
when the slain shall fall in Egypt ; and they shall take 
away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken 

5 down. ^Ethiopia, and Put, and Lud, and all the mingled 

1 Heb. Gush. 

XXX. 1-5. The expression ' Woe 
worth the day' of both A.V. and 
R.V. is an archaic one, the word 
'worth' coming from the Anglo- 
Saxon and meaning ' be ' or ' become.' 
So it means Woe be to the day. We 
may recall the words 

Woe worth the chase, woe worth the 

That costs thy life, my gallant grey. 
Scott, Lady of the Lake, i. 9. 

We here meet with the expression 
'the day of the Lord,' always 
implying judgement, and sometimes 
spoken of simply as ' tfce day ' (vii. 7, 
12 : cp. Joel i. 15 : ii. 1 : Ob. 15 : 
Zeph. i. 7 : cp. Introd. p. xxxvi.). 
The day of clouds recurs later 
(xxxiv. 12). The invasion is to be 

widespread and to extend beyond 
the Egyptian borders into Ethiopia, 
Put and Lud (see xxviL 10 for these 
two names). ' The mingled people ' 
occur here and in Jeremiah (xxv. 
20) in rather a diflTerent sense from 
that in which the expression is 
used elsewhere, unless it represents 
mercenary Egyptian forces. The 
rendering is as old as the lxx 
but it is tempting to think that the 
Massoretic pointing is wrong, and 
that the real meaning is 'all the 
Arabians.' ' Cub ' must be taken as a 
corrupt reading for Lub, i.e. Libya : 
the LXX has Libyans. ' The children 
of the land of the covenant' is 
another obscure expression like 'the 
mingled people.' Some have held 


XXX. 5-9 



people, and Cub, and the children of ^the land that is in 
league, shall fall with them by the sword. 

1. A 

declaration against Egypt and Tier 
helpers, xxx. 6-9. 

6 Thus saith the Lord : They also that uphold Egypt 
shall fall, and the pride of her power shall come down : 
^from the tower of Seveneh shall they fall in it by the 

7 sword, saith the Lord GrOD. And they shall be desolate in 
the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her 
cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. 

8 And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have set 

9 a fire in Egypt, and all her helpers are ^destroyed. In 
that day shall messengers go forth from before me in 
ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid ; and there 
shall be anguish upon them, as in the day of Egypt ; for, 
lo, it Cometh. 

1 Or, the land of the covenant ^ Or, from Migdol to Syene 

^ Heb. broken. 

that it refers to Israelite refugees 
in Egypt: Jerome takes it of the 
Jewish people. It must, however, 
mean some allied African nation. 

&-9. The declaration of these 
verses forms a kind of antistrophe 
to the previous announcement 
Very little fresh information is 
given : in great part what is said is 
a repetition of xxix. 8-12. The 
upholders of Egypt must be her 
allies and tributaries. 'The pride 
of her power' is an expression which 
occurs again in v. 28 and xxxiii. 28, 
in the latter case referring to Israel. 
For 'the tower of Seveneh' see 

note on xxix. 10. Ambassadors in 
ships {v. 9) in connection with 
Ethiopia occur in Isaiah (xviii. 1, 2) 
where they are said to be sent from 
' the land of the rustling of wings, 
which is beyond the rivers of 
Ethiopia,' and they are said to 
travel 'in vessels of papyrus upon 
the waters.' The messengers are 
generally supposed to mean refugees 
from Egypt used by Jehovah as 
His ambassadors. 'The day of 
Egypt' may either mean the present 
judgement of Egypt, or may refer to 
the judgement upon that country at 
the time of the Exodus. 


164 EZEKIEL xxx. lo-ij 

li. A further Divine declaration. At this point the prophet 
introduces for the first time the name of the instrument 
used by Jehovah to ca/rry out His punishment of Egypt, 
It is to he Nebuchadrezzar, xxx. 10-12. 

10 Thus saith the Lord God : I will also make the 
multitude of Egypt to cease, by the hand of Nebuchad- 

11 rezzar king of Babylon. He and his people with him, 
the terrible of the nations, shall be brought in to 
destroy the land ; and they shall draw their swords 

12 against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain. And I will 
make the rivers dry, and will sell the land into the hand 
of evil men ; and I will make the land desolate, and ^all 
that is therein, by the hand of strangers : I the Lord have 
spoken it 

lii. Another declaration of Jehovah, entering into details 
as to the judgements of particular places, xxx. 13-19. 

13 Thus saith the Lord God : I will also destroy the idols, 
and I will cause the ^images to cease from Noph ; and 
there shall be no more a prince out of the land of Egypt : 

1 Heb. the fulness thereof . * Or, things of nought SeePs. 96. 5. 

10-12. This prophecy is earlier 13-19. The Septuagint omits all 

than xxix. 17-21 (see heading to mention of the 'idols' or 'images' 

that prophecy) but here as there (marg. 'things of nought') of the 

we have the * multitude' of Egypt Hebrew. The gods of Egypt and 

spoken of (cp. v. 4). ' The terrible their temples are also doomed to 

of the nations,' as applied to the destruction by Jeremiah (xliii. 12 

Babylonians, occurs first in xxviii. 7 * I will kindle a fire in the house of 

in a prophecy against the prince of the gods of Egypt,' xlvi. 25). Isaiah 

Tyre. Isaiah (xix. 5, 6) also speaks had already said ' the idols of Egypt 

of the drying up of the Rivers of shall be moved at' Jehovah's 

Egypt. The 'evil men' of Ezekiel 'presence' (xix. 1): and we may 

correspond to the ' cruel lord ' and compare the declaration of Ex. xii. 

* fierce king' of Isaiah (xix. 4). The 12 'against all the gods of Egypt I 

solemn declaration at the end of will execute judgements' (cp. Numb, 

this prophecy occurs first in xvii. 21. xxxiii. 4). The word translated 

XXX. T3-i6 



14 and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt. And I will 
make Pathros desolate, and will set a fire in Zoan, and will 

15 execute judgements in No. And I will pour my fury 
upon Sin, the strong hold of Egypt ; and I will cut off 

16 the multitude of No. And I will set a fire in Egypt ; Sin 

'images' etymologically signifies 
what is worthless. So in Ps. xcvi. 5 
(R.V. marg.) we have * all the gods 
of the peoples are idols,' i.e. worthless 
gods. Noph {vv. 13, 16 : cp. Is. xix. 
13 : Jer. ii. 16 : xliv. 1 [a colony of 
Jews there]: xlvi. 14, 19) was the 
famous ancient city more commonly 
known as Memphis (cp. Hos. ix. 6 
where the Hebrew form is Moph) 
about 10 miles south of the Cairo of 
to-day which is partly built of stone 
quarried from its ruins. It claimed 
to have been founded by Menes and 
was the seat of the worship of the 
god Ptah with whose name the 
name Egypt is generally connected. 
The three great pyramids and the 
famous sphinx are close to the site 
of this city. The panic in the land 
described in v. 13 is in a similar 
passage in Isaiah (xix. 16) ascribed 
to 'the shaking of the hand of the 
Lord of hosts, which he shaketh 
over it.' The previous words imply 
not so much that there was to be no 
prince in Egypt, as that his power 
was not to extend outside that 
country. For Pathros see xxix. 14. 
Zoan {v. 15) or Tanis (one of the 
branches of the Nile was called Tani- 
tic) was another very ancient city 
which certainly existed during the 
sixth dynasty of Egyptian kings. 
It is said of Hebron (Numb. xiii. 22), 
in order to vouch for its antiquity, 
that it 'was built seven years before 
Zoan in Egypt' The writer of 

Ps. Ixxviii. 12,43 records the wonders 
that were worked 'in the field of 
Zoan' : and Isaiah (xix. 11, 13: xxx. 
4) speaks of 'the princes of Zoan' 
as if it were a royal residence. 
Almost exactly one hundred years 
before Ezekiel's prophecy Zoan had 
been sacked by the Assyrians as a 
punishment for having joined Tirha- 
kah king of Ethiopia who was the 
third king belonging to the Ethio- 
pian dynasty which ruled over Egypt 
and is generally called the twenty- 
fifth dynasty. No {vv. 14, 15, 16) or 
No-amon (Nah. iii. 8), or Anion of 
No (Jer. xlvi. 25), is called DiospoHs 
by the Septuagint in Ezekiel and 
thus identified with the Thebes of 
Upper Egypt which was the seat of 
the worship of Amon or Ammon. 
It began to be an important place 
during the eleventh dynasty, and the 
ruinous temples and palaces of Luxor 
and Karnak on its site are notable 
to-day. It will be remembered that 
Homer speaks of Thebes with its 
hundred gates (//. ix. 383). Sin {vv. 
15, 16) is a doubtful name ; it is called 
'the strong hold of Egypt.' Following 
the Vulgate the margin of the A.V. 
identified the place with Pelusium 
to the east of the seventh or 
Pelusiac mouth of the Nile. If this 
identification were true, this would 
make Sin one of the border fortresses 
of Egypt on the east and therefore 
a 'strong hold.' The various texts of 
the Septuagint are not in agreement. 



XXX. 16-19 

shall be in great anguish, and No shall be broken up : and 

17 Noph shall have adversaries Mn the day-time. The young 
men of Aven and of Pi-beseth shall fall by the sword : 

18 and these cities shall go into captivity. At Tehaphnehes 
also the day shall ^ withdraw itself, when I shall break 
there the yokes of Egypt, and the pride of her power 
shall cease in her : as for her, a cloud shall cover her, 

19 and her daughters shall go into captivity. Thus will I 
execute judgements in Egypt: and they shall know that 
I am the Lord. 

* Or, all the day ^ Another reading is, he dark. 

In «J. 15 they vary between Sais and 
Tanis, i.e. Zoan ; in v. 16 they 
mostly read Syene, but one impor- 
tant MS. has Sais. If Sais is right 
the town was one to the west : the 
name survives in the Port Said of 
to-day. If Syene is right then we 
have met with the place in xxix. 10 
as a border garrison tovra in the 
extreme south. The old identifica- 
tion with Pelusium or with some 
site in that neighbourhood seems 
however the best one. The expression 
* adversaries in the day-time {marg. 
all the day)' reads feebly: the 
Septuagint has a different reading : 
^waters shall be dispersed': probably 
the text is corrupt: and we have no 
means of knowing exactly what the 
prophet said or wrote. 

The name Aven {v. 17) is due to 
a mistake in the Hebrew vocaliza- 
tion : it should be On, which is identi- 
cal with Heliopolis, the great seat of 
the worship of the sun-god, a few 
miles to the north-east of Cairo. It 
was the home of Poti-phera, Joseph's 
father-in-law (Gen. xli. 45) and is 
almost certainly alluded to under 
the name Beth-shemesh (i.e. house 

of the sun) in Jer. xliii. 13 (see RV. 
marg.) and also in Is. xix. 18 (see 
R.V. marg.). Pi-beseth or Bubastis 
{v. 17), still called Tel Basta, was 
another very ancient city devoted 
to the worship of the cat: it had 
near it a large cemetery for cats : it 
was the capital of a nome or district 
of Egypt. Finally, Tehaphnehes 
{v. 18) or Tahpanhes (Jer. ii. 16 : 
xliii. 7-9 [the temporary residence 
of Jeremiah, with a royal palace] : 
xliv. 1 : xlvi. 14 : Judith i. 9) is by 
some identified with the Hanes of 
Is. XXX. 4. It must have been the 
chief town of a district, for the 
expression 'her daughters' means 
the neighbouring villages (cp. Josh. 
XV. 45 R.V. marg.). It was one of 
the places in which the Jewish 
exiles settled. It is called Taphnas 
in the Septuagint, and is identified 
with the Daphnae near Pelusium in 
the N.E. of Egypt of Herodotus 
(II. 30). S.W. of the remains of 
Pelusium is to be found another 
site still called Tel Defenneh, which 
may reasonably be identified with 
Tahpanhes. Yet again 'they shall 
know that I am the Lord' (see vi. 7). 

XXX. io^i6 EZEKIEL 167 

LAST SERIES. Chapter XXX. 20-26. 

liii This prophecy y in point of date, stands alone, and 
exhibits Nebuchadrezzar as JehovaKs agent in the 
humiliation of Egypt, and the carrying out of the 
Divine punishment, xxx. 20-26. 

The year of this prophecy is 586 B.C. 

20 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first 
month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word 

21 of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have 
broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt ; and, lo, it 
hath not been bound up to apply healing medicines, to 
put a roller to bind it, that it be strong to hold the sword. 

22 Therefore thus saith the Lord God : Behold, I am against 
Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the 
strong, and that which was broken ; and I will cause the 

23 sword to fall out of his hand. And I will scatter the 
Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them 

24 through the countries. And I will strengthen the arms 
of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand : 
but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he shall groan 
before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded 

25 man. And I will hold up the arms of the king of Babylon, 
and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down ; and they shall 
know that I am the Lord, when I shall put my sword into 
the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it 

26 out upon the land of Egypt. And I will scatter the 

20-26. The word translated of war. Driver considers that this 

* roller' is a surgical one: the is an allusion to " the recent failure 

Septuagint thinks rather of a poul- of the Egyptian army to relieve 

tice. The roller of modem use is a Jerusalem" (O. T. Lit. p. 271). The 

long broad bandage. By the break- dispersion of the Egyptians {m. 23, 

ing of his arms the Pharaoh was 26) is again prophesied (cp. xxix. 12), 

prevented from wielding any weapon as well as the display of Babylon's 




Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them througl 
the countries ; and they shall know that I am the Lord. 

JERUSALEM. Chapter XXXL 1-18. 

liv. This prophecy thcmgh divided by the R.V. into 
paragraphs really forms only one prophecy and 
describes the magnificence of Egypt and its correspond- 
ingly deep fall. xxxi. 1-18. 

The date of this prophecy is 586 B.C. 

XXXI. 1 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, 
in the third month, in the first day of the month, that 

2 the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, 
say unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude ; 

3 Whom art thou like in thy greatness ? Behold, the 
Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and 
with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature ; and 

4 his top was among the ^ thick boughs. The waters 
nourished him, the deep made him to grow : her rivers 
ran round about her plantation ; and she sent out her 

^ Or, clouds 

power. The Pharaoh alluded to 
here is Pharaoh Hophra (cp. Jer. 
xxxvii. 5, 7). 

XXXI. 1-9. The abundant popula- 
tion of the Egyptian empire seems to 
have struck the prophet's imagina- 
tion (cp. V. 2 with xxix. 19 : xxx. 4 : 
xxxii. 12, 16, 20, 31, 32). The 
question of v. 2 recurs in «?. 18 in a 
fuller form (cp. xxxii. 19). The 
mention of the Assyrian comes in 
rather strangely : by the addition of 
a letter to the Hebrew text we 

have the name of a tree {teashshUr) 
already mentioned in xxvii. 6 (R.V. 
'boxwood': so Is. xli. 19: Ix. 13) 
which is thought by many to be a kind 
of cedar called sherhin. This seems 
extremely probable as the sherbin 
grew in Lebanon : and the whole 
language then becomes parabolical 
The two names given to one tree 
are used to intensify its grandeur : 
'Behold there was a magnificent 
cedar in Lebanon.' The 'shroud' 
of a tree is its foliage, that which 


5 channels unto all the trees of the field. Therefore his 
stature was exalted above all the trees of the field ; and 
his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became 
long by reason of ^many waters, when he shot them forth. 

6 All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and 
under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring 
forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great 

7 nations. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length 

8 of his branches : for his root was by ^many waters. The 
cedars in the garden of God could not hide him : the fir 
trees were not like his boughs, and the plane trees were 
not as his branches ; nor was any tree in the garden of 

9 God like unto him in his beauty. I made him fair by the 
multitude of his branches : so that all the trees of Eden, 
that were in the garden of God, envied him. 

10 Therefore thus ^said the Lord God : Because thou art 
exalted in stature, and he hath set his top among the 

11 ^ thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height ; I 
will even deliver him into the hand of the mighty one of 
the nations ; he shall surely deal with him : I have driven 

1 Or, great ^ Or, saith ^ Or, clouds 

covers it. The rendering of R.V. simile and indicates the punish- 

' among the thick boughs ' is chosen ment which is to come as one for 

to agree with the ' thick tree ' of xx. pride. The language becomes more 

28 (cp. vi. 13), but here and in vv. mixed between the simile and the 

10, 14 the rendering of R.V. margin thing signified. ' His heart is lifted 

* among the clouds ' is to be pre- up ' must refer to Pharaoh not to the 

ferred and has the support of the tree : the expression is used in the 

Septuagint. For the comparison of same way of Nebuchadrezzar (Dan. 

a king to a great tree cp. Dan. iv. v. 20) who had previously been com- 

10-16: 20-23, and for many of the pared to a tree. Nebuchadrezzar and 

expressions used here cp. c. xvii. In the Chaldaean hosts are indicated in 

vv. 8, 16, 18 the prophet draws no obscure language : they had been 

comparisons with the garden of spoken of as 'strangers,' 'the terrible 

Eden about which he had already of the nations' in the prophecy 

spoken in xxviii. 13, if that prophecy against the prince of Tyre (xxviii. 

precedes this in point of time. 7 : cp. xxx. 11, 12 : xxxii 12). The 

10-14. After making his com- interpretation of the second clause 

parison the prophet continues the oi v. 12 is to be found in xxxii. 5, 6 

170 EZEKIEL xxxi. i 

12 him out for his wickedness. And strangers, the terrible 
of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him : upon 
the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are 
fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the watercourses 
of the land ; and all the peoples of the earth are gone 

13 down from his shadow, and have left him. Upon his ruin 
all the fowls of the heaven shall dwell, and all the beasts 

14 of the field shall be upon his branches : to the end that 
none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves in 
their stature, neither set their top among the thick 
boughs, nor that their mighty ones stand up in their 
height, even all that drink water : for they are all 
delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in 
the midst of the children of men, with them that go 
down to the pit. 

16 Thus saith the Lord God : In the day when he went 
down to ^hell I caused a mourning : I covered the deep for 
him, and I restrained the rivers thereof, and the great 
waters were stayed : and I caused Lebanon ^to mourn for 

16 him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. I made 
the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast 
him down to ^hell with them that descend into the pit : 
and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, 
all that drink water, were comforted in the nether parts 

17 of the earth. They also went down into ^hell with him 

1 Heb. Sheol. ^ Heb. to he black. 

*I will lay thy flesh upon the mentioned as well as those 'that go 

mountains, and fill the valleys with down to the pit' (xxvi. 20). 
thy height,.. and the watercourses 15-17. In these verses the prophet 

shall be full of thee '(see note there), uses language as if the destruction 

With the third clause cp. Dan. iv. 14: was already over, reverting to the 

'let the beasts get away from under threat of future doom in v. 18. In 

it, and the fowls from his branches.' v.\5 the word for 'I covered' is by 

This destruction is set forth as a many held to be superfluous — it 

warning to other trees, i.e. to other gives no very good sense and is 

nations, as to what was sure to omitted by the Septuagint The 

come upon them. The 'nether sense of the passage then is 'I 

parts of the earth' haye been already caused the deep to mourn for him,' 

xxxL 17-XXXII. 1 EZEKIEL 171 

unto them that be slain by the sword ; yea, they that 
were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of 
the nations. 
18 To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness 
among the trees of Eden ? yet shalt thou be brought down 
with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth : 
thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with 
them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all 
his multitude, saith the Lord GrOD. 


The date of this prophecy is 585 B.C. The prophecies against Egypt 
cover parts of three years. In consequence of the length of the interval 
separating this prophecy from the preceding one Toy alters the date from 
the twelfth year to the eleventh. 

Iv. The desolation and spoiling of Egypt and its 
king hy Nehtiehadrezzar is distinctly foretold in 
this prophecy which forms one utterance hy itself 
xxxii. 1-16. 

XXXII . 1 And it came to pass in the twelfth year, 

in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month, that 

2 the word of the Lord came unto me, saying. Son of man, 

and is exactly parallel with the later 18. The question of v. 2 is taken 

words 'I caused Lebanon to mourn up again. His condemnation is that 

for him.' The comforting of the he is to be reckoned amongst the 

trees is explained in xxxii. 31 as uncircumcised, that is, as an outcast 

the comforting of Pharaoh and, we (cp. xxxii. 19, 28). 

must suppose, his officers, but it is XXXII. 2. The following prophecy 

not at all clear in what the com- like some of the previous ones (see 

forting consists. It may be in the xix. 1) is called a lamentation. The 

fact that one so great is associated Pharaoh is Hophra. The comparison 

with others in their fall. There is with lions is a favourite one with 

a connection in ^. 17 also with what Ezekiel (xix. 3, 5, 6: xxxviii. 13) ; that 

was said about Pharaoh's arm being with a dragon is limited to Egypt 

broken in xxx. 21. (see xxix. 3) and implies a lower 





take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and 
say unto him, Thou wast likened unto a young lion of the 
nations : yet art thou as a dragon in the seas ; and thou 
brakest forth ^with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters 

3 with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers. Thus saith the 
Lord God : I will spread out my net over thee with a 
company of many peoples ; and they shall bring thee up 

4 in my net. And I will leave thee upon the land, I will 
cast thee forth upon the open field, and will cause all the 
fowls of the heaven to settle upon thee, and I will satisfy 

6 the beasts of the whole earth with thee. And I will lay 
thy flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with thy 

6 ^height. I will also water with thy blood the land wherein 
thou swimmest, even to the mountains ; and the water- 

7 courses shall be full of thee. And when I shall extinguish 
thee, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof 
^dark ; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon 

8 shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven 
will I make ^dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy 

1 Or, in 2 Or, as otherwise read, worms ^ Or, to mourn 

estimate of Pharaoh. The breaking 
foi-th of the rivers must refer to the 
inmidation of the Nile, and the 
trampling with the feet to one of 
the processes of agriculture in the 
flood-sodden lands as well as to the 
effect produced by the crocodile in 
the waters. 

3-10. A further stage in the 
prophecy. The mixed character of 
the invading army is announced 
as in the case of Tyre (xxvi. 3). The 
Egyptians are compared to animals 
in a snare, or, it may be, to the fish 
of their rivers caught in a net (cp. 
xxix. 5), and spread out upon the 
land. In our own day and land a 
superabundance of fish is often 
treated in this way. The beasts to 
be satisfied are the ravaging Baby- 

lonian armies. The ordinary im- 
pression of Egypt as a level plain 
is true of the Delta, but above 
Cairo the valley of the Nile is 
bounded by cliflfs and hills if not by 
'mountains' and it should be re- 
membered that the Egyptian world 
includes the mountainous Arabian 
peninsula. The question in v. 5 
between 'height' (R.V.) and 'worms' 
(R.V. marg.) is one of Hebrew 
vocalization. The Greek reads 
differently 'with thy blood': and 
this seems the simplest meaning for 
the passage : the main difiiculty 
about it is that then the beginning 
of the next verse is a repetition of 
the same idea. The words 'wherein 
thou swimmest' (both A.V. and R.V.) 
strike a rather discordant note : the 


XXXII. 8-15 EZEKIEL 173 

9 land, saith the Lord God. I will also vex the hearts of 
many peoples, when I shall bring thy destruction among 
the nations, into the countries which thou hast not known. 

10 Yea, I will make many peoples amazed at thee, and their 
kings shall be horribly afraid for thee, when I shall 
brandish my sword before them ; and they shall tremble 
at every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of 

11 thy fall. For thus saith the Lord God : The sword of the 

12 king of Babylon shall come upon thee. By the swords 
of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall ; the 
terrible of the nations are they all : and they shall spoil 
the pride of Egypt, and all the multitude thereof shall be 

13 destroyed. I will destroy also all the beasts thereof from 
beside ^many waters ; neither shall the foot of man 
trouble them any more, nor the hoofs of beasts trouble 

14 them. Then will I ^make their waters clear, and cause 

15 their rivers to run like oil, saith the Lord God. When I 
shall make the land of Egypt desolate and waste, a land 

' Or, great ^ Heb. cause their waters to settle. 

interpretation usually adopted now 11-16. The climax arrives in the 
is the land of 'thine overflow,' i.e. announcement of the coming of 
of blood, but this is also rather Nebuchadrezzar (cp. xxix. 19 : xxx. 
awkward. In v. 7 the metaphor 10 : Jer. xlvi. 26). For the 'multi- 
changes. Egypt is to be extin- tude' of Egypt see xxx. 4; for 'the 
guished and left in darkness (cp. Is. terrible of the nations' xxviii. 7. 
xiii. 10: Joel ii. 31: and Matt. xxiv. There is a trace of Oriental hyperbole 
29: Mk xiii. 24, 25 where the here in ». 13 as in xxix. 11: the 
language seems a recollection of devastation of the land never 
that used here). Her destruction actually became so great as is 
will make other nations alarmed depicted here, where it is repre- 
and dismayed lest a similar or even sented as causing the river to 
worse judgement should be in store run clear and bright instead of 
for them. The effect is like that being fouled by the agricultural 
produced by the judgement of Tyre operations in the country (see on 
(xxvii. 35 : cp. xxvi. 16). The last v. 2). The lamentation concludes 
words of V. 10 recall Deut. xxviii. with the usual refrain (see vi. 7), per- 
66 'thy life shall hang in doubt haps here a recollection of what was 
before thee ; and thou shalt fear said in preparation for the coming 
night and day, and shalt have none of the plagues upon Egypt (Ex. vii. 
assurance of thy life.' 5 'the Egyptians shall know that I 

174 EZEKIEL xxxiL 15 

destitute of Hhat whereof it was full, when I shall smite 
all them that dwell therein, then shall they know that I 
16 am the Lord. This is the lamentation wherewith they 
shall lament ; the daughters of the nations shall lament 
therewith : for Egypt, and for all her multitude, shall 
they lament therewith, saith the Lord God. 

Chapters XXXIL 17-XXXIIL 20. 

The date (585 B.C.) is apparently a fortnight later than the last prophecy, 
though the number of the month is not given. 

IvL A further lamentation over Egypt, with a description 
of the companions which the Egyptians will find in 
Sheol, xxxii. 17-32. 

17 It came to pass also in the twelfth year, in the 
fifteenth day of the month, that the word of the Lord 

18 came unto me, saying, Son of man, wail for the multitude 
of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the 
daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts 
of the earth, with them that go down into the pit. 

1 Heb. the fulness thereof. 

am the Lord ')• ' The daughters of link with the previous prophecy 

the nations' are to lament for Egypt's (see xxxii. 16 and cp. xxxi. 2), and, 

fall, just as it is indicated later though the number of the month is 

{v, 18) that they will share in it. notmentioned here, it is evident that 

The lamentation is to be an unusual the twelfth month is intended (cp. 

one, for mourners were a professional v. I), and that this prophecy was 

class (cp. Jer. ix. 17). uttered a fortnight after the last. 

17-21. The mention of ' the mul- It is noticeable that the casting 

titude of Egypt ' forms a connecting down of Egypt into the nether parts 


XXXII. 19-24 



19 Whom dost thou pass in beauty ? go down, and be thou 

20 laid with the uncircumcised They shall fall in the midst 
of them that are slain by the sword : ^she is delivered to 

21 the sword : draw her away and all her multitudes. The 
strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the 
midst of ^hell with them that help him : they are gone 
down, they lie still, even the uncircumcised, slain by the 

22 sword. Asshur is there and all her company ; his graves 
are round about him : all of them slain, fallen by the 

23 sword : whose graves are set in the uttermost parts of the 
pit, and her company is round about her grave : all of 
them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the 

24 land of the living. There is Elam and all her multitude 
round about her grave : all of them slain, fallen by the 
sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether 
parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land 

^ Or, the sword is appointed ^ Heb. Sheol. 

of the earth (cp. xxxi. 14) is assigned 
to the prophet as the carrier out of 
God's vengeance. 'The pit' and 
'hell' or Sheol in these verses 
represent respectively the grave 
and the dwelling-place of the 
departed. The word 'pass' in the 
phrase 'pass in beauty ' is an archaic 
use of the word instead of ' surpass ' 
(cp. 2 Sam. i. 26). By 'the daughters 
of the famous nations' are meant the 
peoples tributary to the great world- 
power. The question asked in tr. 19 
corresponds to those in xxxi. 2, 18. 
' The uncircumcised ' who constantly 
occur in this prophecy are the out- 
casts and uncivilised. V. 20 reads 
like a series of hysterical ejaculations 
about Egypt. This is indicated by 
the frequent change of persons and 
genders in this and the following 
verse. The person addressed by 
the strong ones {v. 21) must be the 
king of Egypt who has been preceded 

thither by his allies who have been 
already mentioned (xxx. 6, 8). 

22, 23. Individual nations inhabi- 
ting Hades are now mentioned. 
Asshur has the first place : the 
Assyrian Empire practically came to 
an end about the end of the seventh 
century b.c. Asshur is located in 
'the uttermost parts of the pit' 
just as it is said of the king of 
Babylon by Isaiah (xiv. 15): 'thou 
shalt be brought down to hell, to 
the uttermost parts of the pit.' 

24, 25. Elam follows, whose fall 
was prophesied by Jeremiah at the 
beginning of Zedekiah's reign (xHx. 
34-39). Elam was a constant 
source of trouble to one empire 
after another, especially to the 
Assyrians. We meet with a king of 
Elam amongst the kings of Gen. 
xiv. 1. Some forty years before 
Zedekiah's reign Elam had been 
subdued by the Assyrians under 




XXXII. 24-28 ■ 

bh them that ™ 

of the living, and have borne their shame with them that 

25 go down to the pit They have set her a bed in the 
midst of the slain with all her multitude ; her graves are 
round about her : all of them uncircumcised, slain by the 
sword; for their terror was caused in the land of the 
living, and they have borne their shame with them that go 
down to the pit : he is put in the midst of them that be 

26 slain. There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude ; 
her graves are round about her : all of them uncircum- 
cised, slain by the sword ; for they caused their terror in 

27 the land of the living. ^And they shall not lie with the 
mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are 
gone down to ^hell with their weapons of war, and have 
laid their swords under their heads, and their iniquities 
are upon their bones ; for they were the terror of the 

28 mighty in the land of the living. But thou shalt be 
broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie 

1 Or, ATxd shall they not lie dtc. ? ^ Heb. Sheol. 

Assur-bani-paJ, but the subjugation 
was not complete : it may have been 
this, however, that is alluded to 
here. Assur-bani-pal's account of it 
is quoted in Encycl. Bib. 374 : ' I cut 
off the head of Teumman, their 
king, the rebel who had plotted 
evil. Beyond number I slew his 
warriors ; alive in my hands I took 
his fighting men ; with their corpses 
as with thorns and thistles I filled 
the vicinity of Susa; their blood 
I caused to flow in the Eulaeus, and 
I stained its waters like wool ' (i.e. 
red wool). The bed is set for Blam 
in Hades by its inhabitants. 

26-28. The next peoples in the 
list are Meshech and Tubal. These 
names have already occurred in this 
book (xxvii. 13). The date and 
particulars of the disaster which is 
alluded to here cannot be deter- 

mined for lack of historical informa- 
tion. The interrogative form given 
to V. 27 in R.V. rnarg. suits the 
context best: the only meaning R.V. 
could convey would be that they 
would not meet with honourable 
burial. The language here as in 
v. 23 seems to breathe the spirit of 
Isaiah (xiv. 18, 19). The mention of 
the 'weapons of war' may refer to 
their armour being set up over 
their graves or depicted on their 
monuments. In later days the 
pillars of the Maccabaean monu- 
ment at Modin had fashioned upon 
them 'all manner of arms for a 
perpetual memory' (1 Mace. xiii. 
47) and the custom survives in 
military and naval monuments to 
the present day. 'Their iniquities 
are upon their bones' is a hyper- 
bolical expression signifying that 

XXXII. 28-32 



29 with them that are slain by the sword. There is Edom, 
her kings and all her princes, which ^in their might are 
laid with them that are slain by the sword : they shall lie 
with the uncircumcised, and with them that go down to 

30 the pit. There be the princes of the north, all of them, 
and all the Zidonians, which are gone down with the 
slain ; ^in the terror which they caused by their might 
they are ashamed ; and they lie uncircumcised with them 
that are slain by the sword, and bear their shame with 

31 them that go down to the pit. Pharaoh shall see them, 
and shall be comforted over all his multitude : ^even 
Pharaoh and all his army, slain by the sword, saith the 

32 Lord God. For I have put *his terror in the land of the 
living : and he shall be laid in the midst of the un- 
circumcised, with them that are slain by the sword, even 
Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord God. 

^ Or, for all their might ^ Or, for all the terror ' Or, Pharaoh and 
all his army are slain dc. ■* Another reading is, my. 

the remembrance of their wicked- 
ness abides even in the grave with 
them. Others have seen, by a slight 
emendation of the text, a reference 
in this passage to the NephiHm, the 
mighty men of antediluvian times 
(Gen. vi. 4). In v. 28 the prophecy 
returns to its chief subject, the 
people of Egypt. 

29. Edom follows. Her judge- 
ment had been pronounced more 
than three years before (xxv. 12-14). 
There is no definite record of any 
great disaster having happened to 
the Bdomites, between whom and the 
Jews there was always a mutual 
antagonism. No doubt they were 
tributary to Assyria, as the inscrip- 
tions tell us. The Septuagint 
translator read Asshur for Edom, 
but this seems an improbable 
reading owing to the previous 


occurrence of Asshur in the prophecy. 
It is much more likely, if the text 
needs emendation at all, that Aram 
(i.e. Syria) should be read here. 

30. Last of all come the princes 
of the north (i.e. Gomer and 
Togarmah: see xxxviii. 6) and the 
Zidonians. Zidon had been prophe- 
sied against previously (see xxviii. 
20-24). The marginal rendering 
'for all the terror' gives the best 
sense. Zidon was at this time 
treated as the leading Northern 

31, 32. The king of Egypt is to 
see all this : and it is to be a cause 
of comfort to him to find that others 
have had to undergo like troubles. 
In V. 32 the Hebrew text followed 
by R.V. margin is to be preferred, 
as no meaning can be given to R.V. 
except by a very forced exegetical 





Ivii. At this point, though there is no new chronological 
statement, an entirely different departure is made 
which culminates in the prophecies of the restoration of 
Israel, and its ideal settlement in an idealised Canaan, 
with which the hook concludes. The transitional 
prophecies are two in number, one declaring the 
ministerial responsibility of the prophet (xxxiii. 1-9), 
the other the moral responsibility of each individual 
member of the house of Israel (xxxiii. 10-20). xxxiiL 
1-9 deals then with the prophet's responsibility, 

XXXIII. 1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, 

2 saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and 
say unto them. When I bring the sword upon a land, if the 
people of the land take a man from among them, and set 

3 him for their watchman : if, when he seeth the sword 
come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the 

4 people ; then whosoever heareth the sound of the 
trumpet, and taketh not warning, if the sword come, and 
take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 

5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not 
warning ; his blood shall be upon him : whereas if he had 

6 taken warning he should have delivered his soul. But if 
the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the 
trumpet, and the people be not warned, and the sword 
come, and take any person from among them ; he is 
taken away ^in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at 

7 the watchman's hand. So thou, son of man, I have set 

1 Oi, for 

method. The late Prof. A. B. 
Davidson suggested an alteration of 
the previous verb, and would read 
'he caused his terror.' 

XXXIII. 1-9. No date is given 
to this prophecy and the next. We 
are, therefore, left to conclude that 

they belong to the same date as the 
previous ones. It will be noticed, 
however, that the date in «?. 21 is 
a somewhat earlier one. The ex- 
pression 'the children of thy people' 
(so vv. 12, 17, 30) has not occurred 
since iii. 11 and occurs once more 

XXXIII. 7-1 1 EZEKIEL 179 

thee a watchman unto the house of Israel ; therefore hear 
the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 

8 When I say unto the wicked, wicked man, thou shalt 
surely die, and thou dost not speak to warn the wicked 
from his way; that wicked man shall die ^in his iniquity, 

9 but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, 
if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and 
he turn not from his way ; he shall die in his iniquity, but 
thou hast delivered thy soul. 

Iviii. The definite assertion of individual responsibility for 
sin. This is made in a way in which it had never 
he/ore been made to the Jewish peophf and therefore 
marks a distinct step forward towards the enunciation 
of evangelical truth in the Gospel dispensation. Im- 
plicitly the duties of repentance and faith are also 
inculcated in these verses, xxxiii. 10-20. 

10 And thou, son of man, say unto the house of Israel : 
Thus ye speak, saying, ^Our transgressions and our sins are 
upon us, and we pine away ^in them ; how then should we 

11 live? Say unto them. As I live, saith the Lord God, I 
have no pleasure in the death of the wicked ; but that the 

1 Or, for 2 Or, Truly our transgressions drc. 

later (xxxvii. 18). 'The daughters 'thou hast saved thy life,' though a 

of thy people ' are mentioned in fuller force has been read into the 

xiii. 17. expression in later times. 

The prophet is compared here, as 10-20. Having stated his own 
to his responsibility, to a watchman responsibility as a watchman, the 
on guard against hostile invasion, prophet is now bidden to enforce 
That of the watchman and that of their absolute personal responsibility 
the individuals over whom he upon his individual hearers. They 
watches is accurately defined. The are represented as being in despair 
whole prophecy is almost identical because of the burden of their sins, 
in substance with iii. 16-21 (see and as having no hope of life — they 
note there, and cp. Is. Hi. 8 : Ivi. 10 : are pining away and see nothing but 
Ixii. 6: Jer. vi. 17). 'Thou hast death in front of them. This con- 
delivered thy soul ' {v. 9) means only dition is pourtrayed most strikingly 




XXXIII. ii-i< 

wicked turn from his way and live : turn ye, turn ye from 
your evil ways ; for why will ye die, house of Israel ? 

12 And thou, son of man, say unto the children of thy people, 
The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him 
in the day of his transgression ; and as for the wickedness 
of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he 
tumeth from his wickedness : neither shall he that is 
righteous be able to live thereby in the day that he 

13 sinneth. When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely 
live ; if he trust to his righteousness, and commit iniquity, 
none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered ; but 4n 
his iniquity that he hath committed, ^therein shall he die. 

14 Again, when I say unto the wicked. Thou shalt surely die ; 
if he turn from his sin, and do ^that which is lawful and 

15 right ; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that 
he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, 
committing no iniquity ; he shall surely live, he shall not 

16 die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be 
remembered against him : he hath done that which is lawful 

^ Or, /or 2 Or, for it * Heb. judgement and righteousness. 

just at the time of the final fall of 
the city. The same unhappy state 
is described in xxxvii. 11. The 
answer comes at once. It is not 
God's pleasure that death should be 
their portion ; they have but to turn 
and Kve. The adjuration of t?. 1 1 is a 
common one in Bzekiel (see v. 11). 
What follows must be read side by 
side with and illustrated by the 
prophecy already uttered (xviii 
1-32), some of the verses being 
identical in language. For the 
view taken by the prophet of man's 
individual responsibility see Introd. 
p. xxxiv. In «?. 14 we have not only 
a recollection of xviii. 27 but also 
a reproduction of the language of 
iii. 18, both passages looking back 
perhaps to the declaration of Gen. 

ii. 17 : 'in the day that thou eatest 
thereof thou shalt surely die.' V. 
15 looks back to xviii. 7. 'Statutes 
of life ' are statutes to live by (cp. 
XX. 11). With v.W cp. xviii. 23, 31 ; 
and with vv. 12, 13 cp. xviii. 24. 
F, 16 corresponds to xviii. 22 \m>.\*l^ 
20 to xviii. 25, 29 ; v. 18 to xviii. 
24, 26 ; ??. 19 to xviii. 21, 27 ; and 
the last part of v. 20 to xviii. 30. 
In the depth of their despair the 
prophet, as God's mouthpiece, holds 
out to them one great source of 
comfort. Because their past has 
been what it has been, it does not 
follow that their future must be 
like it. The individual can rise 
from the depths of despair and 
return to a merciful God who has 
no pleasure in the wicked remaining 

XXXIII. 17-21 EZEKIEL 181 

17 and right ; he shall surely live. Yet the children of thy 
people say, The way of the Lord is not equal : but as for 

18 them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turneth 
from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall 

19 even die ^therein. And when the wicked turneth from 
his wickedness, and doeth that which is lawful and right, 

20 he shall live thereby. Yet ye say. The way of the Lord 
is not equal. house of Israel, I will judge you every 
one after his ways. 

585 B.C. Chapters XXXIH. 21-XXXIX. 

There is a diflBculty here about the length of time which is supposed to 
elapse between the fall of the city and the announcement of that fall. The 
fall took place 18 months previously. In consequence some would read 
here, and probably rightly, eleventh for twelfth, which is the reading of 
the Syriac version. The years ' of our captivity' are dated from Jehoiachin's 
captivity (i. 2). 

lix. The news arrives: the prophet is no more dumb: 
the judgement is to he thorough: and then men will 
begin to seek to hear the prophet's words, though at first 
they may not carry them out. xxxiii. 21-33. 

21 And it came to pass in Ine twelfth year of our 
captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the 

1 Ot, for them 

as he is. Such a truth as this is their position. It is true the past 

needed and requires to be reasserted can never be undone or lived over 

in all generations to any who are again : but amendment can be made 

inclined to despair and say that it for it. 

is no good attempting to retrieve 21, 22. Ezekiel is represented as 



XXXin. ir-2' 

month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came 

22 unto me, saying, The city is smitten. Now the hand of the 
Lord had been upon me in the evening, afore he that was 
escaped came ; and he had opened my mouth, until he 
came to me in the morning ; and my mouth was opened, 

23 and I was no more dumb. And the word of the Lord 

24 came unto me, saying. Son of man, they that inhabit 
those waste places in the land of Israel speak, saying, 
Abraham was one, and he inherited the land : but we are 

26 many ; the land is given us for inheritance. Wherefore 
say unto them. Thus saith the Lord God : Ye eat with the 
blood, and lift up your eyes unto your idols, and shed 

26 blood : and shall ye possess the land ? Ye stand upon your 
sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his 

27 neighbour's wife : and shall ye possess the land ? Thus 

havlngprophesiedthis almost exactly 
three years before (xxiv. 26, 27), when 
the approach of Nebuchadrezzar to 
Jerusalem was announced to him 
(xxiv. 2). 'In that day he that 
escapeth shall come unto thee, to 
cause thee to hear it with thine ears. 
In that day shall thy mouth be 
opened to him which is escaped, 
and thou shalt speak and be no 
more dumb.' For a description of 
the last days of Jerusalem see 
2 K. XXV. 2-11 : 2 Chr. xxxvi. 
17-20: Jer. xxxix. 1-14: lii. 4-16. 
For the prophet's use of the ex- 
pression * the hand of the Lord' see 
i. 3. 

23, 24. In these verses the people 
who are still in Palestine are 
represented as protesting against 
being dispossessed of the land 
which has been laid waste. Surely 
if Abraham, a mere individual, was 
allowed to possess it (cp. Is. li. 2), 
they might claim it as theirs. One 
of the great boasts of the Jewish 
people was 'We have Abraham to 

our father' (Matth. iii. 9: Luke 
iii. 8), 'Our father is Abraham' 
(John viii. 39). There seems to 
have been a popular belief that, the 
God of the nation having once 
given the land, it was inalienable 
from His people (Judg. xi. 24). 

25, 26. The prophet at once dis- 
poses of their claim : through their 
wickedness they have forfeited it. 
They have broken the Noachic 
precepts (Gen. vi. 4 'Flesh with 
the life thereof, which is the blood 
thereof, shall ye not eat ') as well as 
their own laws (Lev. iii. 17 ' ye shall 
eat neither fat nor blood ') : they have 
committed idolatry (cp. xviii. 6) : 
they have done deeds of violence 
(xxii. 3, 4) : they have trusted to 
might rather than to right : all 
sorts of abomination have been 
committed (see xxii. 10, 11 for 
instances). No wonder then that 
they are losing their land. 

27-29. Once more the punish- 
ment is announced which is to bring 
them to a knowledge of the Lord, 


XXXIII. 27-31 EZEKIEL 183 

shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GrOD : As I 
live, surely they that are in the waste places shall fall by 
the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to 
the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the strong 

28 holds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. And I 
will make the land a desolation and an astonishment, and 
the pride of her power shall cease ; and the mountains of 
Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. 

29 Then shall they know that I am the Lokd, when I have 
made the land a desolation and an astonishment, because 
of all their abominations which they have committed. 

30 And as for thee, son of man, the children of thy people 
talk of thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, 
and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, 
Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh 

31 forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the 
people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and 
they hear thy words, but do them not : for with their 
mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth 

and it is accompanied by a solemn 30-33. In these last verses of 
adjuration: 'as I live' (cp. v. 11). this section we have a personal 
The devastation would lead to an touch, in which the relations be- 
increase of the beasts of prey, tween the prophet and his fellow 
whilst pestilence would invade the countrymen in captivity are de- 
habitations and caves in which they scribed. They invite one another to 
would take refuge. It may be go and listen to the prophet. The 
interesting in this connection to rendering of R.V. marg. 'a love 
mention that there are said to have song ' is to be preferred (cp. Is. v. I). 
been lions in Palestine down to the His words have a delightful sound to 
12th century a.d. Jeremiah from them, but it is sound merely ; they 
his dwelling in Egypt could describe do not practice what he preaches, 
Palestine in words corresponding to though they had resorted to him for 
those in v. 28 (Jer. xliv. 2, 6, 22). years past (see viii. 1), and though 
The moimtains of Israel had been they called themselves the Lord's 
the seat of much of the surviving people {my people v. 31). This 
heathen worship, and they were to spirit was one which others had 
become desolate. The resulting denounced (Ps. Ixxviii. 36, 37 : Is. 
knowledge of the Lord is one of xxix. 13 quoted by our Lord and 
the distinctive notes of the whole applied to the Jews of his day: 
book (see vi. 7). Matth. xv. 8, 9 : Mk vii. 6, 7 : Jer. xii. 

184 EZEKIEL xxxiii. sr-xxxiv. 

32 after their gain. And, lo, thou art unto them as ^a very 
lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play 
well on an instrument : for they hear thy words, but they 

33 do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (behold, it 
Cometh,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been 
among them. 

Ix. Hie Lord throvgh His prophet condemns the rvlers 
and guides of His people, and pronounces judgement 
upon them, A separation is to take place between the 
good and the had, and Jehovah will he the Good 
Shepherd of His people, while David shall he their ruler. 
xxxiv. 1-31. 

The break indicated by a new paragraph at v. 20 is not needed. 

XXXIV. 1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, 
2 saying. Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of 
Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, even to the shep- 
herds. Thus saith the Lord GrOD : Woe unto the shepherds 

^ Or, a love song 

2). Gain was their main thought (Jer. after it. The prophecy is actually 
xxii. 17) as it is with so many of to- addressed to these shepherds. The 
day, who can sit in the comfortable whole ofit is closely connected in sub- 
reserved pew in church or chapel ject-matter and language with Jer. 
and think that they have fulfilled xxiii. 1-8 which should be careftdly 
the weightiest matter of God's law. compared with it (cp. also Zech. xi. 
Hearing is not doing : our Lord 15-17 which echoes the older 
emphasises this in the closing words prophecies). ' Shepherds ' is the 
of the Sermon on the Mount (Matth. name given here to the rulers of 
vii. 26, 27 : cp. Lk. vi. 49). But the state, king and princes. We 
when the trouble comes in all its have the same idea in the Greek 
fulness, to each generation alike, expression Troifi^v \aav. In the New 
then the force of the words of the Testament this metaphorical ex- 
true and loyal preacher of righteous- pression is taken over from the Old 
ness will be recognized. Testament and applied to religious 
XXXIV. 1-6. Denunciation of teachers and rulers. Some of these 
the shepherds for their self-indul- are selfish and careless (see Jude 12 
gence, while the flock is not tended quoted later), like the rulers of 
but scattered abroad with none to look this passage. The prophecy of 

XXXIV. 2-6 



of Israel that do feed themselves ! should not the shep- 

3 herds feed the sheep ? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you 
with the wool, ye kill the fatlings ; but ye feed not the 

4 sheep. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither 
have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound 
up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again 
that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that 
which was lost ; but with force and with rigour have ye 

5 ruled over them. And they were scattered, because there 
was no shepherd : and they became meat to all the beasts 

6 of the field, and were scattered. My sheep wandered 
through all the mountains, and upon every high hill : yea, 
my sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth ; 

Jeremiah is the earlier by almost 
twenty years and was delivered in 
Jerusalem while this was published 
in Babylonia. We do not read of 
any intercourse as having taken 
place between the two prophets, 
though we can gather, e.g. from 
xxxiii. 21, that communications 
were kept up between Jerusalem 
and those of the captivity. The 
shepherds are represented as 
caring only for themselves just 
as in the New Testament we read 
of 'shepherds that without fear 
feed themselves ' (Jude 12), whereas 
it was their duty to feed the flock. 
They eat the fat, i.e. the fatted part 
of the flock : the Septuagint by a 
different vocalization of the Hebrew 
read 'the milk.' The sin of the 
rulers had been denounced in 
equally scathing language at an 
earlier date by Micah (iii. 2, 3). 
Here the various ways in which 
they should have cared for the flock 
are described in v. 4. The word 
used for 'rigour' is an unusual one, 
and only used elsewhere of the 
treatment by the Egyptians of the 

Israelites when in bondage (Ex. i 
13, 14) and in Leviticus (xxv. 43, 53) 
of the treatment of the poor 
Israelite (' thou shalt not rule over 
him with rigour'). The ordinary 
IsraeUte was constantly being re- 
duced to this condition. Micaiah 
300 years before this prophecy was 
delivered 'saw all Israel scattered 
upon the mountains, as sheep that 
have no shepherd.' Later, in Zecha- 
riah (x. 2), we read of the people 
' they go their way like sheep, they 
are afflicted, because there is no 
shepherd.' And when our Lord 
came, and saw a great multitude, 
'He had compassion on them, 
because they were as sheep not 
having a shepherd ' (Mk vi. 34 : cp. 
Matth. ix. 36). The consequence was, 
in Ezekiel's time, that they became 
an easy prey to any who attacked 
them. ' Israel is a scattered sheep ; 
the lions have driven him away: 
first the king of Assyria hath 
devoured him ; and last this Nebu- 
chadrezzar king of Babylon hath 
broken his bones ' (Jer. 1. 17). The 
people were absolutely neglected by 



xxxrv. 6- 

and there was none that did search or seek after them. 

7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord : 

8 As I live, saith the Lord God, surely forasmuch as my 
sheep became a prey, and my sheep became meat to all 
the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd, 
neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the 

9 shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my sheep ; there- 

10 fore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord ; Thus saith 
the Lord God : Behold, I am against the shepherds ; and 
I will require my sheep at their hand, and cause them to 
cease from feeding the sheep ; neither shall the shepherds 
feed themselves any more ; and I will deliver my sheep 
from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. 

11 For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I myself, even I, 

12 will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As a 
shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among 
his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my 
sheep ; and I will deliver them out of all places whither 
they have been scattered in ^the cloudy and dark day. 

13 And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather 

^ Heb. the day of clouds and thick darkness. 

those who ought to have cared for 

7-10. The address turns directly 
to the shepherds. They are to be 
made responsible and their sheep 
rescued from their neglect and 
oppression. The adjuration 'As I 
live, saith the Lord God' (cp. xvi. 
48) recurs and corresponds to the 
'Verily, verily' of the New Testa- 
ment. The sheep and the shepherds 
were alike God's; because the 
shepherds had not acted -as if they 
were God's oflBcers, God's sheep 
should no longer be entrusted to 
them. ' I will require my sheep at 
their hand' means that they will 
have to give account for their 

neglect. For the future they would 
neither tend the flock nor be able 
to indulge themselves. 

11-16. The Lord God Himself 
will act the part of a good shepherd 
to the flock. We have here an 
anticipation of New Testament 
language : ' the Son of man came to 
seek and to save that which was lost ' 
(Lk. xix. 10) : 'I am the good shep- 
herd' (John X. 11). The language 
of this chapter is recalled to us 
more than once by our Lord's words 
(Matth. ix. 36 : xxv. 32 : John x. 8, 
11 : cp. Heb. xiii. 20 : 1 Pet. ii. 25 : 
V. 4), and shews how much it had 
impressed itself upon His mind. The 
representation of our Lord as the 


them from the countries, and will bring them into their 
own land ; and I will feed them upon the mountains of 
Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places 

14 of the country. I wiU feed them with good pasture, and 
upon the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold 
be : there shall they lie down in a good fold, and on fat 

15 pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I 
myself will feed my sheep, and I will cause them to lie 

16 down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, 
and will bring again that which was driven away, and will 
bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that 
which was sick : and the fat and the strong I will destroy ; 

171 will feed them in judgement. And as for you, O my flock, 
thus saith the Lord God : Behold, I judge between cattle 

18 and cattle, as well the rams as the he-goats. Seemeth it a 
small thing unto you to have fed upon the good pasture, 
but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your 
pasture? and to have drunk of the clear waters, but ye must 

good Shepherd is one of the earliest prince (cp. Ps. ex. 1), but we may 

in the Catacombs at Rome. ' The feel certain that such an idea could 

cloudy and dark day ' is the same as scarcely have entered into the 

that which is called elsewhere ' the prophet's mind. The idea to him 

day of the Lord' (e.g. Joel i. 15 : would be of David as the vicegerent 

ii. 1,2 where ' the cloudy and dark of the Lord God. 
day' appears again: Zeph. i. 7). 17-19. At this point the address 

There is to be a restoration of the is directed to the flock and not to 

scattered people, who are to be the shepherds. In the flock there 

gathered together again (see xi. 17). is to be a discrimination between 

The simile of the flock is kept up the great and powerful and the rest 

throughout. With the first words of the flock. We cannot fail to be 

of v. 15 cp. Is. xl. 11 'He shall feed reminded of our Lord's words in 

his flock like a shepherd ' and with reference to the final judgement : — 

n 16 cp. Mic. iv. 6. At the same 'He shall separate them one from 

time judgement is to come upon the another, as the shepherd separateth 

oppressors, described as 'the fat the sheep from the goats' (Matth. 

and the strong.' xxv. 32), though the likeness is one 

It is possible for us to read into of language rather than of matter, 

this passage by a comparison of m ' Cattle and cattle,' as they are 

14, 15 and v. 23 an identification in called here and in v. 22, are defined 

some way or other between the as 'the fat cattle and the lean 

Lord God and David the servant cattle' in v. 20. Whether the 



XXXIV. i8-'2 

19 foul the residue with your feet? And as for my sheep, they 
eat that which ye have trodden with your feet, and they 
drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. 

20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GrOD unto them : Behold, 
I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and the lean 

21 cattle. Because ye thrust with side and with shoulder, 
and push all the diseased with your horns, till ye have 

22 scattered them abroad; therefore will I save my flock, and 
they shall no more be a prey ; and I will judge between 

23 cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over 
them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David ; he 

24 shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I 
the Lord will be their God, and my servant David prince 

25 among them ; I the Lord have spoken it. And I will 
make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause evil 

prophet had in his own mind any 
distinction between the rams and 
the he-goats, as representative of 
the ruling classes here, is not clear. 
The ' he-goats ' are marked out for 
punishment by a later prophet 
(Zech. X. 3), while the ram and the 
he-goat are used as emblems of 
great power in Daniel (viii. 3-8). 
The indictment against the powerful 
in the present passage is that they 
not only took the best but spoilt for 
others what they did not use for 
themselves, so that they have 
trampled down the pasture and 
fouled the waters for the weak. 

20-31. The judgement and dis- 
crimination is to be followed by 
a restoration. The violence of the 
rulers is here pourtrayed : if one has 
ever watched a flock of sheep one 
can see how observant the prophet 
has been of the world of nature : 
the weak ones 'go to the wall' in 
the flock. But they were to have 
a deliverer : the certainty of the 

judgement is indicated by its three- 
fold announcement {m>. 17, 20, 22). 
Following upon the judgement there 
is to be one ruler set over them 
(cp. xxxvii. 22, 24: Jer. xxiii 5: 
Mic. V. 4: so too 2 Esdr. ii. 34) 
identified with David (xxxvii. 24, 25) 
who had been the shepherd of 
Israel. V. 24 makes David the 
viceroy of the Lord, with the Lord 
as their God (cp. xxxvii. 27 following 
upon xxxvii. 25) : for its last words 
see xvii. 24. A lasting covenant 
of peace was to follow (so xxxvii 
26) : such a covenant had existed 
before but had been broken by the 
people's defection (cp. Nuul xxv. 
12 : Is. liv. 10 : Ecclus. xlv. 24). 
As a consequence there would be 
peace without any fear of invasion 
(cp. Lev. xxvi. 6 : Is. xi. 6-8, where 
the figurative comparison is worked 
out : XXXV. 9 : Ixv. 25 : Hos. ii. 18). 
The security of the people is insisted 
upon several times in the present 
series of prophecies (xxxviii. 8, 14 : 

XXXIV. 35-29 



beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell 

26 securely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I 
will make them and the places round about my hill a 
blessing ; and I will cause the shower to come down in its 

27 season ; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree 
of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield 
her increase, and they shall be secure in their land ; and 
they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken 
the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the 

28 hand of those that ^served themselves of them. And they 
shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the 
beast of the earth devour them ; but they shall dwell 

29 securely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will 
raise up unto them a ^plantation for renown, and they 
shall be no more ^consumed with famine in the land, 

1 Or, made bondmen ^ Or, plant ^ Heb. taken away. 

xxxix. 26). It should be remem- 
bered that the term 'wilderness' 
here means 'untilled land' not 
necessarily a bairen desert : a great 
deal of it was pasture land. The 
people would then be a source of 
blessing to the world around them 
(cp. Gen. xii. 2, 3 : Is. xix. 24 : Zech. 
viii. 13), so that blessing would come 
down like the seasonable shower 
upon the thirsty land (cp. Mai. iii. 
10). Material prosperity would ac- 
company the security of the 
inhabitants (so xxxvi. 30). The idea 
of breaking the bars of the yoke is 
common to this passage with Jer. 
xxx. 8 : Nah. i. 13. 'Those that served 
themselves of them' is a quaint 
expression for 'those that made 
them their slaves.' V. 28 sums up 
what had been already said in 
previous verses. In the future they 
were to be like a tree or plant, 
planted by the Lord Himself and 
therefore famous (cp. Is. Ix. 21 'the 

branch of my planting ' : Ixi. 3 ' that 
they might be called trees of 
righteousness, the planting of the 
Lord': Numb. xxiv. 6 'as lign-aloes 
which the Lord hath planted'). 
They were no more to suffer famine 
(so xxxvi. 29) or to be scorned by 
the heathen : but instead they were 
to acknowledge their dutiful relation 
to the Lord their God and reahse 
that after all they were but human, 
men and not God (cp. xxviii. 12 
'thou art man and not God'). 

It is very likely that, so far as 
Ezekiel himself was concerned, he 
would expect a speedy restoration 
of the Jewish monarchy, in much 
the same way as St Paul seems at first 
to have anticipated a speedy return 
of the Lord. This would be ex- 
pressed by him in the form of the 
setting up of a David upon the 
throne, David being the ideal king 
that was looked back to, and also 
because of the promises that had 




30 neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. And 
they shall know that I the Lord their God am with them, 
and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, saith the 

31 Lord God. And ye my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are 
men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God. 

Ixi. Edom because of its perpetual hostility to Israel is to 
have severe punishment meted out to it, and thus to 
realise the power of the Lord, xxxv. 1-15. 

XXXV. 1 Moreover the word of the Lord came 

2 unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against mount 

3 Seir, and prophesy against it, and say unto it. Thus saith 
the Lord God : Behold, I am against thee, mount Seir, 
and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will 

4 make thee a desolation and an astonishment. I will lay 
thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate ; and thou 

5 shalt know that I am the Lord. Because thou hast had a 
perpetual enmity, and hast given over the children of 
Israel to the power of the sword in the time of their 

been made concerning David's line. 
Later ages can see in all this its true 
Messianic meaning though it is not 
clear that Ezekiel identified the 
David of his prophecy with the 
Messiah that was to come. 

XXXV. 1-12. The prophets 
with one consent denounced Edom 
for its unbrotherly relations and 
hostility (cp. xxv. 12). Isaiah (xxxiv. 
5: cp. xxi. 11, 22), Jeremiah (xxv. 
21: xlix. 7-22), Amos (i. 11, 12), 
Obadiah (throughout), Malachi (i. 4), 
all alike testify to the strong ani- 
mosity there was on the part of the 
Jews against the Edomites. 'Mount 
Seir ' is used here as an equivalent 
for Edom. It was the name for the 
range of mountains which ran from 

the southern end of the Dead Sea to 
the head of the Gulf of Akabah, the 
eastern of the two northern forks of 
the Red Sea. The country about 
it was occupied by those whose 
descent was traced from Esau the 
brother of Jacob the father of the 
twelve patriarchs. The chief towns 
(' cities ' V. 4) of Edom were Bozrah, 
Sela (i.q. Petra), Elath, Ezion-geber, 
and, perhaps, Teman, if Teman was 
the name of a town as well as a 
district. The expression of Edom's 
hostility at the time of the fall of 
Jerusalem seems to have been very 
bitter. 'Remember, O Lord, 
against the children of Edom the 
day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase 
it, rase it, even to the foundation 

XXXV. 5-12 EZEKIEL 191 

6 calamity, in the time of the ^iniquity of the end: therefore, 
as I live, saith the Lord GrOD, I will prepare thee unto 
blood, and blood shall pursue thee : sith thou hast not 

7 hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue thee. Thus will 
I make mount Seir an astonishment and a desolation ; and 
I will cut off from it him that passeth through and him 

8 that returneth. And I will fill his mountains with his 
slain : in thy hills and in thy valleys and in all thy water- 

9 courses shall they fall that are slain with the sword. I 
will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall 
not ^be inhabited : and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 

10 Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two 
countries shall be mine, and we will possess it ; ^whereas the 

11 Lord was there : therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, 
I will do according to thine anger, and according to thine 
envy which thou hast shewed out of thy hatred against 
them ; and I will make myself known among them, *when 

12 1 shall judge thee. And thou shalt know ^that I the Lord 
have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken 
against the mountains of Israel, saying, ^They are laid 

^ Or, punishment ^ Another reading is, return. ^ Or, though * Or, 
according as ^ Or, that I am the Lord ; I have heard <&e. * Or, It is 

thereof (Ps. cxxxvii. 7: cp. Am. i. divided into two kingdoms any more 

11: Chad. 10-14). For the phrase 'in at all'). Edom is one of a number 

the time of the iniquity of the end ' of nations who are said to have 

seexxi.25. The word 'sith' ( = since), made a covenant against God's 

which occurs several times in A.V. people (Ps. Ixxxiii. 5, 6), amongst 

as originally printed, only survives whom, as the prophet says, God 

here in R.V. The punishment of dwelt (cp. Joel iii. 21). Here, too, 

Edom is to come in full measure, they claim Palestine as their own aa 

Passage through its wasted country in the following prophecy: — 'all 

will be dangerous, as it was to be in Edom, which have appointed my 

Egypt (xxix. 11). There was to be land unto themselves for a pos- 

a great slaughter : the language session ' (xxxvi. 5). It is not clear, 

throughout is like that which is used however, whether they actually took 

about Egypt (xxxi., xxxii.). The possession, though they claimed it, 

two nations and two countries are of any part of the Jewish territory 

the kingdoms of Israel and Judah upon the fall of Jerusalem. Later, 

(so xxxvii. 22 ' they shall be no more in the time of 1 Maccabees (v. 65) 

two nations, neither shall they be Hebron and the neighbourhood had 




13 desolate, they are given us to devour. And ye have 
magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and 
have multiplied your words against me : I have heard it. 

14 Thus saith the Lord Gk)D : When the whole earth rejoiceth, 

15 I will make thee desolate. As thou didst rejoice over the 
inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, 
so will I do unto thee : thou shalt be desolate, mount 
Seir, and all Edom, even all of it : and they shall know 
that I am the Lord. 

Ixii. A further prophecy looking back to the last. As the 
last was addressed to Mount Seir, so this on^e, in due 
symmetry, is addressed to the mountains of Israel. It 
continues the promise of restoration to Gods people, 
xxxvi. 1-15. 

XXXVI. 1 And thou, son of man, prophesy unto the 

mountains of Israel, and say. Ye mountains of Israel, hear 

2 the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God : Because 

the enemy hath said against you. Aha ! and. The ancient 

become Edomite. The name Idu- 
maea (i.e. land of Edom) goes back 
to 312 B.C. {Encycl. Bib. 1186). They 
were to receive according to the 
measure they had meted out of 
anger and hatred. Blasphemies {v. 
12) are the calumnious statements 
which Edom had made in derision of 
their fallen foe. For this they are 
treated, in accordance with the be- 
lief of the time that the enemies of 
God's people must be God's enemies, 
as hostile to Him. Moreover, they 
had never been employed like the 
Babylonians as the instruments of 
Divine wrath. In consequence they 
should be laid waste, and their 
desolation was to be a cause of 
general rejoicing. 

XXXVI. 1-7. An apostrophic 
address to the mountains of Israel. 
These are constantly mentioned by 
Ezekiel; perhaps the level country 
round the Tigris and Euphrates, by 
its contrast with their own hills and 
mountains, brought back to the 
captives the constant remembrance 
of their own fatherland. 'The 
enemy ' includes all those that had 
conspired against Israel : * the tents 
of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, 
and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and 
Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia 
with the inhabitants of Tyre: 
Assyria also is joined with them; 
they have holpen the children of 
Lot' (Ps. Ixxxiii. 6-8). The inter- 
jection * Aha ! ' is ascribed to Ammon 


3 high places are ours in possession : therefore prophesy, and 
say, Thus saith the Lord God : Because, even because they 
have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every 
side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the 
nations, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and the 

4 evil report of the people : therefore, ye mountains of 
Israel, hear the word of the Lord God ; Thus saith the 
Lord God to the mountains and to the hills, to the water- 
courses and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to 
the cities that are forsaken, which are become a prey and 
derision to the residue of the nations that are round about: 

5 therefore thus saith the Lord God : Surely in the fire of 
my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the 
nations, and against all Edom, which have appointed my 
land unto themselves for a possession with the joy of all 
their heart, with despite of soul, to cast it out for a prey : 

6 therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say 
unto the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses 
and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I 
have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye 

(xxv. 3) and to Tyre (xxvi. 2). 'The fire, a jealous God' (Deut. iv. 24). 

ancient high places ' would include God claims an undivided allegiance 

not only the temple but also the from His people: the expression 

various sacred sites of the different occurs again in Zeph. i. 18 'the whole 

inhabitants of Canaan. Thedestruc- land shall be devoured by the fire 

tion of God's people had become a of His jealousy.' In the New Tes- 

topic of conversation amongst all the tament (Heb. x. 27) we find the 

nations and they had lost the repute expression reversed, 'a jealousy of 

which they had. It had come upon fire which shall devour the adver- 

them and their land (cp. vi. 2, 3 saries ' : the words there seem to be 

where the language of description a recollection of Is. xxvi. 11. The 

resembles that of the present j)assage) mention of Edom in especial looks 

in accordance with prophecy. 'The back to the previous prophecy 

residue of the nations ' {w). 3, 4, 5) (xxxv. 1-15), where Edom also 

must be the population that re- claims possession of Canaan (xxxv. 

mained after the Babylonian depor- 10). The same feelings that 

tations. The idea intended to be actuated Edom are ascribed to the 

conveyed by the expression 'the children of Ammon: 'thou hast 

fireof my jealousy' is best explained clapped thine hands, and stamped 

by 'The Lord thy God is a devouring with the feet, and rejoiced with all 

R. 13 


XXXVI. 6-13 

7 have borne the shame of the heathen: therefore thus saith 
the Lord God : I have lifted up mine hand, saying^ Surely 
the heathen that are round about you, they shall bear 

8 their shame. But ye, mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot 
forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people 

9 Israel ; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am 
for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled 

10 and sown : and I will multiply men upon you, all the house 
of Israel, even all of it : and the cities shall be inhabited, 

1 1 and the waste places shall be builded : and I will multiply 
upon you man and beast ; and they shall increase and be 
fruitful : and I will cause you to be inhabited after your 
former estate, and will do better unto you than at your 

12 beginnings : and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Yea, 
I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel ; 
and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their 
inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave 

13 them of children. Thus saith the Lord God: Because they 

the despite of thy soul against the 
land of Israel' (xxv. 6, where see 
note on the expression 'despite 
of soul'). The words 'to cast it 
out for a prey' do not give much 
sense : it is difficult to see how 
the land could be cast out. Toy 
emends the Hebrew so as to make 
it mean 'to take possession of 
it for a prey.' 'The shame of the 
heathen' is the shame or disgrace 
which the heathen have brought 
upon you. The lifting up of the 
hand is the mark of solemn asseve- 
ration (cp. Gen. xiv. 22) and is used 
by many witnesses in the law courts 
ojf to-day as a preliminary to 
giving evidence. The heathen in 
their turn are to be brought to 
shame, and then will come the 
restoration of Israel. The com- 
parison of the people to a tree is a 

constant one (cp. c. xvii.), and it must 
be the branches and fruit that are 
referred to in the last clause of v. 8 
' they are at hand to come.' 

8-12. God who had been against 
them (v. 8) will now be for them, and 
the desolate places shall be culti- 
vated, whilst the forsaken and 
ruinous cities shall be inhabited 
again with an abundant population, 
as had also been promised by Jere- 
miah (xxx. 18, 19 : xxxi. 27). These 
promises are repeated in w. 33, 
35: xxxvii. 26. The land is repre- 
sented as bereaving the people of 
children by what it suffered in the 
way of devastation and punishment 
for its sins. 

13-15. The idea of the last words 
of «?. 12 is carried on in this fresh 
declaration. It is the land that has 
caused all the trouble : it had eaten 


XXXVI. 13-19 EZEKIEL 196 

say unto you, Thou land art a devourer of men, and hast 

14 been a bereaver of thy ^nation ; therefore thou shalt 
devour men no more, neither ^bereave thy ^nation any 

15 more, saith the Lord God; neither will I ^let thee hear any 
more the shame of the heathen, neither shalt thou bear 
the reproach of the peoples any more, neither shalt thou 
cause thy ^nation to stumble any more, saith the Lord 

Ixiii. A further prophecy of cleansing and restoration 
for Israel, xxxvi. 16-38. 

The main idea conveyed in this prophecy is that it is clearly necessary 
that by the restoration of the people Jehovah's position should be asserted 
and His omnipotence declared to the world. He who had power to punish 
had power also to restore to favour and in that power to guide His people 
for the future. The heathen nations were to be disabused of the idea 
that Jehovah was not strong enough to guard Israel. 

16 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 

17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own 
land, they defiled it by their way and by their doings : 
their way before me was as the uncleanness of a woman 

18 in her separation. Wherefore I poured out my fury upon 
them for the blood which they had poured out upon the 
land, and because they had defiled it with their idols : 

19 and I scattered them among the nations, and they were 
dispersed through the countries : according to their way 

1 Another reading is, nations. * Another reading is, cause to stumble. 
^ Or, proclaim against thee 

up the inhabitants (cp. Num. xiii. 16-21. The state of the people and 

32) by causing them to perish of their punishment is described. Im- 

want. If we read with R.V. marg. purity, violence, and idolatry were 

in w. 13-15 'nations' for 'nation' their ruin. It was these that brought 

the prophet must be supposed to about their dispersion, and in their 

refer to Israel and Judah. In v. 14 dispersion they brought discredit 

the reading of R.V. ' bereave ' is to upon Jehovah, in whose land they 

be preferred to that of the margin had dwelt. We have here an 

' cause to stumble.' allusion to the popular belief that 


196 EZBKIEL xxxvi. 19-26 

20 and according to their doings I judged them. And when 
they came unto the nations, whither they went, they 
profaned my holy name ; in that men said of them, These 
are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his 

21 land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house 
of Israel had profaned among the nations, whither they 

22 went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith 
the Lord God : ^I do not this for your sake, house of 
Israel, but for mine holy name, which ye have profaned 

23 among the nations, whither ye went. And I will sanctify 
my great name, which hath been profaned among the 
nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them ; and 
the nations shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord 
God, when I shall be sanctified in you before ^ their eyes. 

24 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather 
you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your 

25 own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and 
ye shall be clean : from all your filthiness, and from all 

26 your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I 
give you, and a new spirit will I put within you : and I 
will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will 

^ Or, / work not for <£;c. ^ Or, according to another reading, your 

the god of a land had no authority people gathered together again in 

outside that land. The pity that their own land (see xi. 17 : xxxvii. 

Jehovah shewed, He shewed for the 12, 21). The advance in spiritual 

sake of His Name, that its profana- teaching conveyed in m). 25-27 will 

tion might go no further. be found treated of in the Intro- 

22-32. The thought oi v. 21 is duction, pp. xxxiii. ff. The idea of 

enlarged in these verses (cp.Ps.cxv.). sprinkling to cleanse is common to 

The purification and the restoration this passage with Is. lii. 15 'So shall 

that are to come are to be, in the first He sprinkle many nations ' (so R.V., 

place, for God's honour and glory, but see R.V. marg. ; cp. Is. iv. 4 : 

These verses begin and end with Jer. xxxiii. 8) and occurs in the New 

this idea (cp. v. 22 with v. 32). Testament in Heb. x. 22 'having our 

God's Name is to be hallowed before hearts sprinkled from an evil 

the heathen nations (cp. xx. 41) : conscience.' It is distinct from 

and this will bring the knowledge ' the blood of sprinkling ' (Heb. xii. 

of Jehovah to them (so xxxviii. 23 : 24) and the ' sprinkling of the blood 

xxxix, 7, 21), when they see His of Jesus Christ,' which looks back 

XXXVI. 26-33 EZEKIEL 197 

27 give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit 
within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye 

28 shall keep my judgements, and do them. And ye shall 
dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers ; and ye shall 

29 be my people, and I will be your God. And I will save 
you from all your uncleannesses : and I will call for the 
com, and will multiply it, and lay no famine upon you. 

30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase 
of the field, that ye shall receive no more the reproach of 

31 famine among the nations. Then shall ye remember your 
evil ways, and your doings that were not good ; and ye 
shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities 

32 and for your abominations. Not for your sake Mo I this, 
saith the Lord God, be it known unto you : be ashamed 

33 and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel. Thus 
saith the Lord God : In the day that I cleanse you from 
all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, 

1 Or, do I work 

to the Levitical ordinances and the (so xxxiv. 27, 29). The reproach of 
sprinkling of the blood of the sin famine is the reproach that they 
offering before the Lord (Lev. iv. 6, incurred amongst the heathen 
17). The idols were a source of because of the disasters that came 
uncleanness not only because of the upon them : cp. Joel ii. 19 'I will 
idolatrous worship but also because no more make you a reproach 
of the impure rites which accom- among the nations.' The thought 
panied that worship. The new of their past transgi-essions will 
heart, instead of the stony heart, bring with it a sense of shame and 
and the new spirit have already humihation (see vi. 9). V. 32 
been spoken of (xi. 19, 20). The repeats the idea of v. 22. It was 
new spirit is to be God's Spirit good for the people of Israel to be 
{v. 27 : cp. xxxvii. 14) and by it they ashamed of the past when the 
will become docile and obedient glory of God's holy Name was once 
(so also xi. 20 : xxxvii. 24). Their again vindicated, 
old land shall be theirs again 33-36. A renewal of the promise 
(xxviii. 25 : xxxvii. 25), and the old of restoration follows (cp. vv. 9, 10, 
relation between Jehovah and His 25). The comparison of the re- 
people shall be re-established (xi. stored land to the garden of Eden 
20 : xxxvii. 23 : Ex. vi. 7 : Lev. xxvi. is made in Isaiah (li. 3) and ' Eden, 
12). Deliverance and rescue will the garden of God' has been men- 
bring with it material abundance tioned more than once already by 



XXXVI. 33-38 

34 and the waste places shall be builded. And the land that 
was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in 

35 the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This 
land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden ; 
and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fenced 

36 and inhabited. Then the nations that are left round 
about you shall know that I the Lord have builded the 
ruined places, and planted that which was desolate : I the 
Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. 

37 Thus saith the Lord God : For this moreover will I be 
inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them ; I will 

38 increase them with men like a flock. As the ^ flock for 
sacrifice, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed feasts ; 
so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men : and 
they shall know that I am the Lord. 

^ Heb. fiock of holy things. 

Ezekiel (xxviii. 13: xxxi. 8, 9). The 
restoration of Israel was to be an 
object-lesson to the neighbouring 
peoples. 'Then said they among 
the nations, The Lord hath done 
great things for them' (Ps. cxxvi. 2). 
For the last words of v. 36 op. 
ivii. 24. 

37, 38. In answer to their peti- 
tions the population of the land 
was to be greatly increased. This 
would naturally be only a gradual 
process. In Nehemiah's time, in 
Jerusalem itself, he tells us *the 
people were few therein, and the 

houses were not builded ' (Neh. vii. 
4). Jehovah would allow Himself to 
be approached, and, in consequence, 
the people would recognize His 
power (see vi. 7). The 'flock of 
Jerusalem' was the abundance of 
animals for sacrifice that were taken 
up to Jerusalem, especially at the 
time of the great feasts. At such 
a time as the Passover the sacrifices 
were almost innimierable. Accord- 
ing to Josephus there were about 
120,000 priests in all attached to the 
Temple worship, in the early days of 
the Christian era. 

xxxviL 1, « EZEKIEL 199 

Ixiv. The vision of the valley of dry hones, and the 
Divine interpretation, of that vision, xxxvii. 1-14. 

The language descriptive of this vision is of a unique and magnificent 
kind. There is a weirdness about the first part, and a realism about the 
whole that enthrals us. We seem to see the entire scene enacted, stage by 
stage, as the loose dry bones of each human frame collect together, and 
each takes its natural place in the building up of a skeleton. Then in due 
order sinews, flesh and skin come upon each to cover its framework. But 
the principle of life is still lacking. So a new development in the scene is 
required. The prophet is directed to invoke the spirit or breath from all 
quarters to enter into and take possession of the lifeless forms ; the breath 
from the four winds arrives and immediately an immense host springs into 
existence, full of life and vigour. 

It is clearly obvious that the primary signification of this vision, both 
to the prophet and to those to whom the prophet spoke, had nothing what- 
ever to do with the resurrection of the individual from the dead. We may 
justly see in it language which expresses for us the idea of that 'Resurrec- 
tion of the body,' or 'of the flesh' as it is called in our Baptismal Service, 
in which our simplest form of Creed calls upon us to declare our belief. 
But for the prophet and his audience the vision was intended to convey a 
promise not to the individual, but to the body politic, ' the whole house of 
Israel,' and to speak to them of a renewal, imder Divine inspiration, of the 
national life, and of a restoration to their own land. 

XXXVII. 1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, 

and he carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set 

me down in the midst of the valley ; and it was full of 

2 bones ; and he caused me to pass by them round about : 

and behold, there were very many ^in the open valley; 

^ Heb. upon the face of the valley. 

XXXVII. 1-3. The vision of was the same, somewhere near the 

the valley full of bones. 'The Chebar channel. This valley became 

hand of the Lord ' is frequently for the time a charnel-house : the 

mentioned by Ezekiel (see i. 3). In bones of the dead lying exposed on 

other passages it is ' the spirit ' that the face of the ground (R. V. marg. 

' lifts up 'Ezekiel (see iii. 12). 'The 'the face of the valley' is better 

valley' of this passage represents than R.V. ' the open valley '). They 

the same Hebrew word as ' the had been lying there for some time 

plain ' of iii. 22 : viii. 4. No doubt and had become bare bones. The 

the locality of the various visions question insoluble to the prophet is 



XXXVII. i-\o^ 

3 and lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of 
man, can these bones live ? And I answered, O Lord GrOD, 

4 thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy over 
these bones, and say unto them, ye dry bones, hear the 

5 word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these 
bones : Behold, I will cause ^breath to enter into you, and 

6 ye shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will 
bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put 
breath in you, and ye shall live ; and ye shall know that 

7 I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded : 
and as I prophesied, there was a ^ noise, and behold an 
earthquake, and the bones came together, bone to his 

8 bone. And I beheld, and lo, there were sinews upon 
them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above : 

9 but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me. 
Prophesy unto the ^wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to 
the ^wind, Thus saith the Lord God: Come from the four 
winds, * breath, and breathe upon these slain, that 

10 they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, 
and the breath came into them, and they lived, and 

1 Or, spirit ^ Or, thundering ' Or, breath * Or, wind Or, spirit 

18) and his prophecy is fulfilled. 
The Hebrew word for 'noise' is a 
perfectly general one and means 
literally 'a voice' or 'sound.' The 
language becomes very realistic ; we 
seem to see the bones of each 
individual body creeping together 
and being clothed with muscles and 
flesh and skin, but still lifeless. 

9, 10. A further stage is reached. 
The prophet summons breath into 
the inert bodies. In Rev. xi. 1 1 we 
have a clear reflection of the words 
oi V. 10 : ' the breath of life from 
God entered into them, and they 
stood upon their feet.' By this 
passage we are led to the recollec- 
tion of another: — 'the Lord God... 
breathed into his nostrils the breath 

put to him ' Can these bones live ? ' 
The answer he gives may be com- 
pared with the 'My Lord, thou 
knowest' of Rev. vii. 14, which 
however is addressed to an elder. 

4-6. As he meditates upon this 
question he is bidden to address 
the bones themselves, and to 
announce the renewal of life to 
them. Ps. civ. 29, 30 seems to look 
back to this vision, 'Thou takest 
away their breath, they die, And 
return to their dust. Thou sendest 
forth Thy spirit, they are created.' 
The bones like all else with which 
the prophet is concerned are to know 
the Lord (see vi. 7). 

7, 8. The prophet carries out 
his instructions (cp. xii. 7: xxiv. 


stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 

11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are 
the whole house of Israel: behold, they say. Our bones 
are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut oflF. 

12 Therefore prophesy, and say unto them. Thus saith the 
Lord God : Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you 
to come up out of your graves, my people ; and I will 

13 bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know 
that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, and 
caused you to come up out of your graves, my people. 

14 And I will put my ^spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I 
will place you in your own land : and ye shall know that 
I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the 

Ixv. By a symbolical action is pourtrayed the reunion as 
well as the restoration of Ephraim and Judah under 
David as their head, with an everlasting covenant 
between God and His people, xxxvii. 15-28. 

15 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, 

16 And thou, son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon 

^ Or, breath 

of life' (Gen. ii. 7). The breath you' repeats that of the previous 

of God is the source of life. The prophecy (xxxvi. 24), and for the 

Holy Ghost is the " Giver of Life." last words of the verse see xvii. 

11-14. The explanation of the 24. 

vision. The bones stand for the It is to be noted that ' the whole 

people now, as it were, dead, but house of Israel' includes both the 

hereafter to be resuscitated from the destroyed kingdoms of Israel and 

desperate state in which they ima- Judah ; it is this thought which 

gine themselves to be. A confession leads up to the next prophecy, 

of a somewhat similar character is 15-20. According to the second 

put into the mouth of the people in book of the Chronicles, after the 

xxxiii. 10. Similar comparisons to disruption of the kingdom, in the 

a resurrection are to be found in reigns of Rehoboam and Asa, there 

Is. XX vi. 19 : Hos. xiii. 14. The was a migration of a certain number 

promise 'I will put My spirit in ofpeople, besides priests and Levites, 



XXXVII. 16-20 

it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his com- 
panions : then take another stick, and write upon it. For 
Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and yor all the house of 

17 Israel his companions : and join them for thee one to 
another into one stick, that they may become one in thine 

18 hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak 
unto thee, saying. Wilt thou not shew us what thou mean- 

19 est by these ? say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God : 
Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the 
hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions ; 
and I will put them ^with it, even with the stick of Judah, 
and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine 

20 hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in 

1 Or, of 

Or, together with him unto (or to be) the stick of Judah 

from the Northern kingdom to the 
Bouth. Benjamin threw in its for- 
tunes with Judah (2 Chr. xi. 12, 13, 
16) and besides we have mention of 
'them that sojourned with them 
(i.e. with Judah and Benjamin) out 
of Ephi*aim and Manasseh, and out 
of Simeon : for they fell to him (i.e. 
to Asa) out of Israel in abundance ' 
(2 Chr. XV. 9). These are all included 
in 'Judah, and the children of 
Israel his companions' {v. 16). It 
is also to be remembered that later 
during the reformation carried out 
by Hezekiah persons from the still 
surviving remnant of Israel, divers 
of Asher and Manasseh and of 
Zebulun, went up to the supple- 
mentary passover in the second 
month (2 Chr. xxx. 11), so that 
there seems to have been a constant 
coming and going from the north 
of Palestine, even after the de- 
struction of the Northern kingdom. 
Of the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim 
always took the lead. It was the 
most powerful and the richest of 

the ten tribes. The reunion of the 
people is symbolized by the joining 
of the two sticks into one (cp. 
V. 22). According to the Hebrew 
text the united stick is to be in 
Jehovah's (Mine) hand {v. 19) : the 
versions point to another reading 
which would place it in Judah's hand, 
Judah being the central tribe of 
the undivided monarchy. Such a 
union is also looked forward to by 
Isaiah (xi. 13) when ' Ephraim shall 
not envy Judah, and Judah shall 
not vex Ephraim.' Exactly the 
opposite action is gone through in 
Zech. xi. 14 where the prophet cuts 
asimder his staflF, Bands, to 'break 
the brotherhood between Judah and 
Israel.' For the expression 'the 
children of thy people' {v. 18) see 
xxxiii. 2. More than once in this 
book the people are represented as 
asking the meaning of the prophet's 
actions (see especially xxiv. 19). Here 
the imion of the sticks is at once 
explained : and it is clear that the 
action described was actually per- 


XXXVII. 20-25 EZEKIEL 203 

21 thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus 
saith the Lord GoD : Behold, I will take the children of 
Israel from among the nations, whither they be gone, and 
will gather them on every side, and bring them into their 

22 own land : and I will make them one nation in the land, 
upon the mountains of Israel ; and one king shall be king 
to them all : and they shall be no more two nations, 
neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more 

23 at all : neither shall they defile themselves any more with 
their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any 
of their transgressions: but I will save them ^out of all 
their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will 
cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be 

24 their God. And my servant David shall be king over 
them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall 
also walk in my judgements, and observe my statutes, and 

25 do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have 
given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers dwelt ; 

1 Or, according to some ancient versions, from all their backsUdings 

formed, as was done on other oc- mise of xxxvi. 28 that the people 

casions (see xii. 3). shall be brought into close relation 

21-28. The process of reunion with God is repeated. For the 

and restoration is described more way in which David is mentioned 

fully. The promise, first made in here see the note on xxxiv. 23 and 

xi. 17 and repeated many times, is cp. Jer. xxiii. 5 'I will raise unto 

here made once more. The union David a righteous Branch, and he 

of the two kingdoms is the first shall reign as king.' Under him 

announcement of this prophecy: the people were to be obedient to 

it was announced more vaguely by God's laws (so xxxvi 27). Their 

Jeremiah (1. 4). For the mountains land was to be restored to them 

of Israel see vi. 2. The one king (xxviii. 25 as well as xxxvi. 28), 

is the one shepherd, David, of that land which had been given 

xxxiv. 23, who is to be a prince to Jacob as well as to his fore- 

(xxxiv. 24). In this reunited king- fathers : for in the vision of Jacob's 

dom there is to be no renewal ladder we have the Lord saying 

of the old pollutions (xiv. 11). The to Jacob, 'the land whereon thou 

people are to be cleansed and liest, to thee will I give it' (Gen. 

saved (so xxxvi. 25-29). In v. 23 xxviii. 13 : so again xxxv. 12). It 

the reading of the Septuagint * from is to be a perpetual habitation (cp. 

all their backslidings ' (R.V. marg.) Is. Ix. 21 : Am. ix. 15), and the line 

gives the better sense. The pro- of David is also to endure for 

204 EZEKIEL xxxvii. 25-xxxviii. 

and they shall dwell therein, they, and their children, and 
their children's children, for ever: and David my servant 

26 shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a 
covenant of peace with them: it shall be an everlasting 
covenant with them : and I will ^ place them, and multiply 
them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for 

27 evermore. My tabernacle also shall be ^with them; and 

28 I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And 
the nations shall know that ^I am the Lord that sanctify 
Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them 
for evermore. 

Ixvi. The world-powers are to he permitted to make a final 
struggle against God's people, xxxviii. 1-13. 

The whole idea intended to be conveyed by this chapter and the greater 
part of the next is of countless hordes of barbarians coming from various 
quarters and sweeping down upon the lands which they were to invade 
with relentless force and violence. Other countries were to suffer as well 
as Israel. But this invasion was to be followed by a judgement of God 
upon the invaders, involving their entire destruction, which is described as 
taking place in the land of Israel, and being so universal that seven months 
would elapse before it would be entirely cleansed from the pollution caused 
by the multitude of dead which would have to be buried. 

XXXVIII. 1 And the word of the Lord came unto 
2 me, saying. Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the 

1 Or, give it them ^ Qr, over ^ Or, I the Lord do sanctify Israel 

ever, for this is what Ezekiel must is the prelude to their erection in 

have meant by saying ' David my the ideal Holy Land (xliii. 7). The 

servant shall be their prince for same idea occurs in the account of 

ever.' The covenant of peace has the new Jerusalem in the Apoca- 

been mentioned already (xxxiv. 25) lypse (xxi. 3) where the language is 

and the 'everlasting covenant' of very similar to that here : 'thetaber- 

the future is spoken of also by nacle of God is with men, and He 

Isaiah (Iv. 3, where it is explained shall dwell with them, and they 

as the sure mercies of David : Ixi. shall be His peoples, and God Him- 

8 : Jer. xxxii. 40). The increase of self shall be with them, and be their 

the population has also been fore- God.' V. 28 repeats the idea of 

told already (xxxvi. 10, 25). The xxxvi. 23 (cp. also xx. 12). 

setting up of the sanctuary and XXXVIII. 1-9. Gog and Magog 

tabernacle mentioned in w. 26-28 are peculiar to these two prophecies 





land of Magog, the ^prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, 

3 and prophesy against him, and say. Thus saith the Lord 
God: Behold, I am against thee, Gog, ^prince of Rosh, 

4 Meshech, and Tubal : and I will turn thee about, and put 
hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all 
thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in 
full armour, a great company with buckler and shield, all 

5 of them handling swords : Persia, Cush, and Put with 

6 them ; all of them with shield and helmet : Gomer, and all 
his hordes ; the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts 
of the north, and all his hordes : even many peoples with 

^ Or, chief prince of Meshech 

in the Old Testament, but they 
reappear in the Revelation (xx. 8) : 
*the nations which are in the four 
comers of the earth, Gog and 
Magog.' The name Magog appears 
amongst the sons of Japheth in 
Gen. X. 2 and that of Gog amongst 
the descendants of Reuben (1 Chr. 
V. 4). Gog has generally been identi- 
fied with the Scythians. This 
identification is as old as Josephus 
{Ant i. 6, 1) and in the Telel-Amaraa 
tablets we have mention of a country 
called Gag or Gog. The Septuagint 
connects the Scythians with Pales- 
tine, for it calls Beth-shean Scytho- 
polis, i.e. the city of the Scythians, 
and Herodotus (i. 103) speaks of an 
invasion of Palestine by the Scyth- 
ians. Others see a name of a king 
in that of Gog, and Prof. Schmidt 
{Encycl. Bib. 4332) identifies him 
with Mithridates VI Eupator Dio- 
nysus of Pontus. (The whole of the 
article 'Scythians' in the Encycl. 
Bib. will repay careful study.) In 
late Jewish writings Gog is identified 
with Antichrist. For Magog Cheyne 
proposes to read Migdon, here and 
elsewhere, a name which he connects 

with a Babylonian deity of the lower 
world, and also with the Har-Mage- 
don of Rev. xvi. 16, which is distinctly 
called a Hebrew word. It will be 
seen from a comparison between 
R.V. and R.V. marg. that it is very 
doubtful whether Rosh is a proper 
name or not. If it is, then it is pro- 
bably to be identified with Rasses 
(Judith ii. 23), a name which occurs 
in connection with Put and Lud as 
Rosh does here (see ti. 5). In that 
case it is to be remembered that 
Rasses is identified by the Vulgate 
with Tarshish, whilst in the old Latin 
we have 'Thiras et Rasis,' and in 
Gen. X. 2: 1 Chr. i. 5 Tiras is in 
close juxtaposition with Magog and 
Meshech. This may point to Rosh 
being identical with Tiras, but the 
whole subject is full of difficulty and 
obscurity. For Meshech and Tubal 
see xxvii. 13. The words 'I will 
turn thee about' begin the prophecy 
in xxxix. 2, as well as here. The idea 
of subjugation and control is sug- 
gested by the hooks in the jaws (cp. 
xxix. 4) or in the nose (2 K. xix. 28). 
The whole display of heathen power 
and magnificence is represented as 


XXXVIII. 6-1 r 

7 thee. Be thou prepared, yea, prepare thyself, thou, and 
all thy companies that are assembled unto thee, and be 

8 thou a ^ guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be 
visited : in the latter years thou shalt come into the land 
that is 2 brought back from the sword, that is gathered out 
of many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, which have 
been a continual waste : but it is brought forth out of the 

9 peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them. And 
thou shalt ascend, thou shalt come like a storm, thou shalt 
be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy hordes, 

10 and many peoples with thee. Thus saith the Lord God: 
It shall come to pass in that day, that things shall come 

11 into thy mind, and thou shalt devise an evil device: and 
thou shalt say, I will go up to ^the land of un walled 
villages ; I will go to them that are at quiet, that dwell 
securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having 

1 Or, commander ^ Or, restored ^ Or, an open country 

being allowed by God. Persia and 
Put are to be found in xxvii. 10. 
The Gush here mentioned must be 
the Babylonian Kassi (cp. Gen. x. 8, 
where Gush is said to be the ancestor 
of Nimrod). Gomer, another name 
from Genesis (x. 2), from which 
Ezekiel seems to have drawn what 
we may call his ethnology, corre- 
sponds to Gappadocia while the name 
itself is the same as that of the 
Cimmerians. The 'hordes' are men- 
tioned again v. 22: the Hebrew 
word is one peculiar to Ezekiel and 
is Assyrian in origin. For Togarmah 
see xxvii. 14. The invasion of these 
hordes is all to come from the north 
(cp. xxxii. 30 : xxxix. 2), just as in 
Jeremiah (i. 15) : 'I will call all the 
families of the kingdoms of the 
north.' Gog is bidden to prepare 
himself for all this so that he may 
take the lead (R.V. marg. 'com- 
mander' better than R.V. 'guard'). 

The command to go forward was 
in the distant future (cp. Is. xxiv. 
22 'after many days shall they be 
visited ') : when that time came they 
would invade the land which had 
been previously wasted and then 
restored to Israel, its inhabitants 
being collected from their various 
places of exile (cp. xi. 17), in which 
they would be dwelling securely 
(xxxiv. 25, 27, 28). The invasion 
was to come upon the land like a 
tornado (cp. Jer. iv. 13). 

10-13. The design of the in- 
vasion by Gog is described. He 
looks upon the country as an easy 
one to invade because of its un- 
fortified villages, and because its 
inhabitants are not expecting in- 
vasion (cp. Jer. iv. 31). The idea of 
Jerusalem as the centre of the 
world has occurred already (v. 5). 
For Sheba see xxvii. 22 ; for Dedan 
XXV. 13 (cp. xxvii. 15, 20). The 


12 neither bars nor gates: to take the spoil and to take the 
prey ; to turn thine hand against the waste places that are 
now inhabited, and against the people that are gathered 
out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, 

13 that dwell in the ^middle of the earth. Sheba, and Dedan, 
and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions 
thereof, shall say unto thee. Art thou come to take the 
spoil ? hast thou assembled thy company to take the prey? 
to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and 
goods, to take great spoil ? 

Ixvii. The utter destruction of the world-powers still further 
prophesied in a continuation of the last prophecy. 
xxxviii. 14-23. 

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say unto Gog, 
Thus saith the Lord God: In that day when my people 

15 Israel dwelleth securely, shalt thou not know it? And 
thou shalt come from thy place out of the uttermost parts 
of the north, thou, and many peoples with thee, all of them 
riding upon horses, a great company and a mighty army : 

16 and thou shalt come up against my people Israel, as a 
cloud to cover the land; it shall come to pass in the 
latter days, that I will bring thee against my land, that 
the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in 

1 Heb. navel. See Judg. 9. 37. 

* young lions' are the princes of confidence of Israel in its security 

these places, who are represented as would be a stimulus to Gog to 

asking Gog whether he has come for come from a great distance (cp. 

booty, implying that they see that v. 6 : xxxix. 2) to attack the people, 

this is his intention, and that they The way they are described makes 

will be ready to buy the spoil from us think of them as being like 

him. great bands of Cossacks, covering 

14-16. In this prophecy Gog is the land after the fashion of a cloud 

mentioned without the titles given (so also v. 9). The issue of the 

to him in the previous and following invasion would be that the Lord 

prophecies. The knowledge of the would be held in honour more than 



XXXVIII. i6-«3 

17 thee, Gog, before their eyes. Thus saith the Lord God: 
Art thou he of whom I spake in old time by my servants 
the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days for 

18 many years that I would bring thee against them? And 
it shall come to pass in that day, when Gog shall come 
against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my 

19 fury shall come up into my nostrils. For in my jealousy 
and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken. Surely in that 
day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel ; 

20 so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, 
and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that 
creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the 
face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the 
mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places 

21 shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I 
will call for a sword against him unto all my mountains, 
saith the Lord God: every man's sword shall be against 

22 his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence 
and with blood ; and I will rain upon him, and upon his 
hordes, and upon the many peoples that are with him, an 

ever by His people {vv. 16, 23 : 
xxxix. 13). 

17-23. Gog is spoken of as 
having been prophesied of long be- 
fore. Just such an incursion had been 
foretold by Jeremiah (i. 15: vi. 22, 
23 : 1. 41-43) as impending over both 
Zion and Babylon; there may be a 
reference also to Deut. xxviii. 49-51 
'The Lord shall bring a nation 
against thee from far, from the end 
of the earth.' God's fury and wrath 
were to be excited against Gog, and 
the prophet evidently expected that 
great terrestrial commotions would 
accompany the manifestation of 
God's anger, just as in the Apoca- 
lypse (Rev. xvi. 17-21) the fall 
of Babylon is accompanied by a 
great earthquake (cp. also Hag. ii. 6). 

Land, air, and water were all to be 
involved (cp. Hos. iv. 3), and to 
tremble before Jehovah (Ps. cxiv. 7). 
The prophet also seems to anticipate 
(». 21) that internecine strife would 
break out amongst the invaders, 
just such as took place amongst the 
Midianites when Gideon's little host 
made their night attack (Judg. vii. 
22) or in Jerusalem during the final 
siege by the Romans. To add to the 
horrors of the time pestilence was to 
overwhelm them, and such a de- 
struction as came upon Sodom and 
Gomorrah, or the Canaanite hosts at 
Beth-horon (Is. x. 11: cp. Ps. xi. 6). 
For the expression 'I will plead 
with him' see xvii. 20. The lan- 
guage of V. 23 seems to have been 
in the mind of the son of Sirach 

XXXVIII. 22-xxxix, 5 EZEKIEL 209 

overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and brim- 
23 stone. And I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, 
and I will make myseK known in the eyes of many nations ; 
and they shall know that I am the Lord. 

Ixviii. A fresh and independent prophecy takes vp once 
a^ain from its beginning the burden against Gog. It 
describes the utter destruction of his people^ and the 
burial of the hosts of dead which is to go on fcvr seven 
months, xxxix. 1-16. 

XXXIX. 1 And thou, son of man, prophesy against 
Gog, and say. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am 
against thee, Gog, ^prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal : 

2 and I will turn thee about, and will lead thee on, and will 
cause thee to come up from the uttermost parts of the 
north ; and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel : 

3 and I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will 

4 cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou 
shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy 
hordes, and the peoples that are with thee: I will give 
thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the 

5 beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon 

^ Or, chief prince of Meshech 

when he says 'As Thou wast pression which includes the coast- 
sanctified in us before them, so be lands of the Eastern Mediterranean, 
Thou magnified in them before us ' especially of Syria and Asia Minor. 
(Ecclus. xxxvi. 4). Knowledge of the name of the Lord 
XXXIX. 1-10. This prophecy is to be revived in Israel, and from 
begins in much the same way as them He is to become known to the 
xxxviii. 2-4, and many of the nations (cp. xxxvi. 23). For the 
expressions used are common to the profanation of the holy name by 
two prophecies. All the strength Israel see xx. 39: xliii. 7. 'The 
and power of Gog was to be de- Lord, the Holy One in Israel' is 
stroyed. Magog, the land of Gog almost identical with ' the Lord, the 
(». 6), has only occurred before in Holy One of Israel' of Isaiah (xlv. 
xxxviii. 2: 'the isles' is an ex- 11). K 8a is identical with xxi. 7. 



XXXIX. 5- 

the open field : for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. 

6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and on them that dwell 
securely in the ^ isles : and they shall know that I am the 

7 Lord. And my holy name will I make known in the 
midst of my people Israel ; neither will I suffer my holy 
name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall 
know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. 

8 Behold, it cometh, and it shall be done, saith the Lord 

9 GrOD ; this is the day whereof I have spoken. And they 
that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall 
make fires of the weapons and burn them, both the shields 
and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the hand- 
staves, and the spears, and they shall make fires of them 

10 seven years : so that they shall take no wood out of the 
field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they 
shall make fires of the weapons : and they shall spoil those 
that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith 
the Lord God. 

11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give 
unto Gog a place for burial in Israel, the valley of them 
that pass through ^on the east of the sea : and it shall 
stop them that pass through: and there shall they bury 
Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The 


^ Or, coastlands 

All the armour of the invading 
army was to become fuel for the 
fire (cp. Is. ix. 5 ' all the armour of 
the armed men in the tumult... shall 
even be for burning, for fuel of fire'). 
The meaning of the word translated 
' handstaves ' both by A. V. and R. V. 
is doubtful. It is either the staff 
with a clubbed end used by shep- 
herds to protect their flocks from 
the wild beasts, or a riding stick: 
the latter sense is more suitable to 
the context here. The fuel thus 
acquired was to last for seven years, 
and in this way spoil was to be 

2 Or, in front of 

gathered from those who had spoiled 

1 1-16. The burial of Gog's people 
is now described: it is located in 
'the valley of them that pass through 
on {marg. in front of) the east of the 
sea.' Such a valley is unknown, but, 
if we disregard the pointing of the 
Hebrew word, which is of less 
value than the consonants, we can 
translate ' in the valley (or ravine) of 
Abarim,' and Abarim was a well- 
known mountain (Numb, xxvii. 12: 
Deut xxxii. 49) or range of moun- 
tains (Numb, xxxiii. 47) to the east 

XXXIX. ii-i6 



12 valley of ^Hamon-gog. And seven months shall the house 
of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the 

13 land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them ; 
and it shall be to them a renown, in the day that I shall 

14 be glorified, saith the Lord God. And they shall sever 
out men of continual employment, that shall pass through 
the land to bury ^them ^that pass through, that remain 
upon the face of the land, to cleanse it : after the end of 

15 seven months shall they search. And they that pass 
through the land shall pass through ; and when any seeth 
a man's bone, then shall he *set up a sign by it, till the 

16 buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog. And 

1 That is, the multitude of Gog. ^ Or, with them that pass through 

those that remain (&c. ^ Some ancient versions omit the word rendered 

that pass through. * Heb. build. 

of the Dead Sea. For a somewhat 
similar confusion between two 
meanings of a word op. Jer. xxii. 20 
where A.V. has 'cry from the 
passages,' R.V. 'cry from Abarim.' 
Such a district as that to the east 
of the Dead Sea would be a suitable 
one for the burial of such a host. 
The further idea in the next words 
of the passage is that the burial- 
ground would be so large that it 
would block the way for travellers : 
others by a slight alteration of the 
text read ' they shall stop them that 
pass through,' to prevent them 
becoming defiled, but the change 
seems scarcely necessary. The name 
of the valley Hamon-gog simply 
means 'multitude of Gog.' The 
land would not be clean till this 
great time of burial was over; and 
the people would obtain glory and 
reputation from it, and God also 
would be glorified (cp. xxviii. 22 ' I 
will be glorified in the midst of 

thee '). The obscurity of the mean- 
ing in r. 14 points to some corrup- 
tion of the text: but the general 
drift of the words is obvious that the 
work of burial would be a constant 
one : there was probably another 
mention of Mount Abarim in this 
verse, or the word for 'that pass 
through' should be omitted as an 
accidental repetition of a previous 
word. Every precaution was to be 
taken that not a single bone should 
be left unburied. The existence of a 
city Hamonah is also problematical. 
Some see an allusion to Scythopolis 
(i.e. the city of the Scythians), the 
ancient Beth-shean, but this appears 
far-fetched. Others emend the 
Hebrew and make it mean ' and it 
was all over with the multitude' (see 
Hastings' Diet. s. voc. Hamonah). 

The number seven used more 
than once in this passage — 'seven 
years,' ' seven months ' — is employed 
as a round number, to imply com- 



XXXIX. 16-11 

^Hamonah shall also be the name of a city. Thus shall 
they cleanse the land. 

Ixix. GodJs great sacrifice upon the mmintains of Israel, 
together with the punishment of His people and their 
restoration and spiritual regeneration, xxxix. 17-29. 

17 And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord God : Speak 
unto the birds of every sort, and to every beast of the 
field. Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves 
on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, 
even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that 

18 ye may eat flesh and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh 
of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the 
earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of 

19 them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be 
full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice 

20 which I have sacrificed for you. And ye shall be filled at 
my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and 

21 with all men of war, saith the Lord God. And I will set 
my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see 
my judgement that I have executed, and my hand that 

22 I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know 

1 That is, Multitude. 

pleteness or thoroughness, as often 
in the Revelation of St John. 

17-24. The birds of prey and 
ravenous beasts are summoned to 
the slaughter of the nations and 
their flocks. The idea recurs again 
in Rev. xix. 17, 18 'I saw an angel 
standing in the sun; and he cried 
with a loud voice, saying to all the 
birds that fly in mid heaven, Come 
and be gathered together imto the 
great supper of God ; that ye may 
eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh 
of captains, and the flesh of mighty 

men, and the flesh of horses and of 
them that sit thereon, and the flesh 
of all men, both free and bond, and 
small and great.' The fatlings or 
bulls of Bashan (cp. Ps. xxii. 12: 
Am. iv. 1) were a famous breed of 
oxen. Bashan, well known also for 
its oaks (xxvii. 6), was a fertile dis- 
trict on the east of Jordan in the 
north, corresponding very much with 
the trans-Jordanic territory of half 
the tribe of Manasseh. The sacrifice 
is said to be God's because it was 
allowed by Him in His Providential 


XXXIX. 22-^9 EZEKIEL 213 

that I am the Lord their God, from that day and forward. 

23 And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went 
into captivity for their iniquity ; because they trespassed 
against me, and I hid my face from them : so I gave them 
into the hand of their adversaries, and they fell all of them 

24 by the sword. According to their uncleanness and accord- 
ing to their transgressions did I unto them ; and I hid my 
face from them. 

25 Therefore thus saith the Lord God : Now will I bring 
again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the 
whole house of Israel ; and I will be jealous for my holy 

26 name. And they shall bear their shame, and all their 
trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when 
they shall dwell securely in their land, and none shall 

27 make them afraid ; when I have brought them again from 
the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, 
and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations. 

28 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, in 
that I caused them to go into captivity among the nations, 
and have gathered them unto their own land ; and I will 

29 leave none of them any more there ; neither will I hide 
my face any more from them : for I have poured out my 
spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God. 

ordering of the world. It was to be was to include all the descendants 
a very abundant one, so much so as of Jacob (cp. xx. 40 : xxxvii. 19). 
to surfeit the birds and beasts. But Although Israel was restored, they 
its intent was to shew the power and were still to bear the remembrance 
glory of God alike to the heathen of their previous disgrace and trans- 
and to Israel, as had been already gression. This use of the word 'bear' 
declared {vv. 7, 13: xxxvii. 28: is somewhat harsh: and it can be 
xxxviii. 23). The heathen were to avoided by a change of position of 
realise that both the captivity and one Hebrew point ; the sentence will 
the restoration of Israel were God's then read: 'they shall forget their 
doing. In their captivity God with- shame.' Security is the keynote of 
drew or hid his face from them (cp. all the chapters dealing \\1th the 
Deut. xxxi. 17). restoration (xxxiv. 25, 27, 28 : xxxviii. 
25-29. But now there is to be 8). V. 27 is a practical repetition of 
a restoration such as more than one xxviii. 25 (cp. xi. 17). The complete- 
prophet had bidden the people look ness of the restoration is indicated 
forward to (cp. Jer. xxx. 3), and it by the statement that there was to 


XL. I 


This forms the last collection of the prophet's utterances, with the 
exception of xxix. 17-21 which is dated fifteen years later. The dating 
throughout is from Jehoiachin's captivity. The year intended here is 
672 B.C. 

This section may be looked upon as an appendix to the rest of the book 
and as giving an idealised description of restored Israel, her country, her 
city and her Temple. 

" The Temple is Jehovah's earthly residence : in the restored community, 
which Ezekiel imagines to be so transformed as to be truly worthy of Him 
(xxxvi. 22-36), He will manifest His presence more fully than He had done 
before (xxxvii. 25-28); His re-entry into the Temple, and His abiding 
presence there, are the two thoughts in which c. xL-xlviii. culminate 
(xliii. 1-9 : xlviii. 35) ; to maintain, on the one hand the sanctity of the 
Temple, and on the other the holiness of the people, is the aim of the entire 
system of regulations " (Driver, O. T. Lit. p. 274). 

A connection has been constantly traced between these chapters and 
those parts of the Pentateuch, which are commonly ascribed to a source P. 
It does not come within the purview of a commentator on this book to 
discuss the composition of the Pentateuch or the sources from which it is 

For a discussion of the two questions as to the relation of these chapters 
to any particular part of the Pentateuch, and as to the relative dates of the 
two, see Introd. pp. xxi. ff. 

The ideal is, in some respects, imperfectly worked out. No mention is 
made of a high priest, and the second of the great yearly Jewish feasts, the 
Feast of Weeks, is ignored. No satisfactory explanation for the omission 
of these, important as they are from a Jewish point of view, can be given. 

In the ground-plan at the end of this volume, A is the Holy of Holies, 
B the Holy Place, C the " separate " place and its building, D the position, 
as conjectured, of the chambers of the Temple. 

Ixx. The preface. The prophet is taJcen in vision to the 
land of Israel J and given a guide, and hidden to observe 
and hear all that is shewn and told to him. xl. 1-4. 

XL. 1 In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, 
in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the 

be no residue left behind, and no 
more hiding of God's face, but an 
abundant outpouring of God's Spirit 
(cp. Joel ii. 28). 
XL. 1-4. The first date here is 

calculated in the same way as the 
other dates throughout the book 
from Jehoiachin's captivity (i. 2). 
The statement made practically 
agrees with that of xxxiii. 21, which 

XL. 1-4 



month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was 
smitten, in the selfsame day, the hand of the Lord was 

2 upon me, and he brought me thither. In the visions of God 
brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me down 
upon a very high mountain, whereon was as it were the 

3 frame of a city on the south. And he brought me thither, 
and behold, there was a man, whose appearance was 
like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his 
hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate. 

4 And the man said unto me. Son of man, behold with thine 
eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon 
all that I shall shew thee ; for to the intent that I might 
shew them unto thee art thou brought hither : declare all 
that thou seest to the house of Israel. 

dates the arrival of the news of the 
fall of Jerusalem in 'the twelfth year 
of our captivity.' The opening words 
should be compared with i. 1-3 where 
the ' visions of God ' and ' the hand 
of the Lord' are also mentioned. 
The city of God is on a very high 
mountain, and this idea recurs in 
Rev. xxi. 10 'he carried me away in 
the Spirit to a mountain great and 
high, and shewed me the holy city 
Jerusalem.' Here what the prophet 
sees is 'as it were the frame' or, 
rather, the structure of a city, and 
by the city is meant the new Temple 
with its surroundings. The guide is 
mentioned again (xliii. 6: xlvii. 3): 
here the brilliance of his appearance 
is described as being like brass; and 
he has two instruments of measure- 
ment with him, as he stands by the 
gate of the structure. A line of flax 
would be a measuring line made of 

linen, such as we call now-a-days 
a 'tape'; and the measuring reed 
would be a rod. Its use is described 
xlii. 16-19 and we may also compare 
Rev. xi. 1 ' there was given unto me 
a reed like unto a rod: and one 
said. Rise, and measure the temple 
of God, and the altar, and them that 
worship therein' (cp. Rev. xxi. 15, 
16). A similar appeal for attention 
is made to the prophet later (xliv. 5), 
in order that his account to the 
people might be accurately com- 

An attempt at a ground-plan and 
an elevation of the new Temple from 
Chipiez can be found in Toy's Ezekiel 
pp. 70, 72. At the end of this volume 
is to be found a ground-plan drawn 
to scale, together with two sectional 
drawings of the chambers and the 



XL. 5- 

Ixxi. The outside wall of the Temple^ the gate 
and lodges are described, xl. 5-16. 

5 And behold, a wall on the outside of the house round 
about, and in the man's hand a measuring reed of six 
cubits long, of a cubit and a handbreadth each: so he 
measured the thickness of the building, one reed ; and the 

6 height, one reed. Then came he unto the gate which 
looketh toward the east, and went up the steps thereof; 
and he measured the threshold of the gate, one reed 

7 broad: ^and the other threshold, one reed broad. And 
every ^ lodge was one reed long, and one reed broad ; and 
the space between the lodges was five cubits; and the 
threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate toward the 

8 house was one reed. ^He measured also the porch of the 

9 gate toward the house, one reed. Then measured he the 
porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the ^posts thereof, 

^ Or, even one threshold ^ Or, guard chamber ' This verse is omitted 
in several ancient versions and Hebrew MSS. ^ Or, jambs and so throughout 
this chapter, and in ch. 41. 1, 3. 

5. This verse describes the outer 
wall of the Temple enclosure. The 
same wall is probably described in 
xlii. 20. The dimensions of the 
measuring reed are given : the cubit 
here is larger than the ordinary 
cubit by an handbreadth : it is clear 
from xliii. 13 'the cubit is a cubit 
and an handbreadth' that this is 
the meaning of the words in this 
verse. This longer cubit is assumed 
to be the same as the cubit of 
Solomon's temple, and its length is 
given {Encycl. Bib. 5293) as 20*67 

6. The gate toward the east. 
This was a great feature in the old 
temple (cp. x. 19 : xi. 1) and is em- 
phasised in the new one (xlii. 15 : 

xliii. 1, 4 : xliv. 1). The last clause 
of r). 6 does not seem to be required 
and is due to a misreading of the 
MS. The steps of approach seem 
to have been seven in number {^cv. 
22, 26). 

7. At the gate were lodges or 
guard-rooms, which flanked the 

Somewhat similar guard-rooms 
are mentioned in connection with 
Solomon's temple (1 K. xiv. 28 : 2 
Chr. xii. 11). The last part of v. 7 
gives the measurement of the thres- 
hold of the gate on the inner side 
('toward the house'). V. 8 is 
another accidental repetition and 
should be omitted : see R.V. marg. 

9. This verse gives the measure- 

XL. 9-15 



two cubits; and the porch of the gate was toward the 

10 house. And the lodges of the gate eastward were three 
on this side, and three on that side; they three were of 
one measure : and the posts had one measure on this side 

11 and on that side. And he measured the breadth of the 
opening of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the 

12 gate, thirteen cubits; and a border before the lodges, one 
cubit on this side, and a border, one cubit on that side; 
and the lodges, six cubits on this side, and six cubits on 

13 that side. And he measured the gate from the roof of the 
one lodge to the roof of the other, a breadth of five and 

14 twenty cubits; door against door. He made also posts, 
threescore cubits; and the court reciched unto the post, 

15 the gate heirig round about. And from the forefront of 
the gate at the entrance unto the forefront of the ^ inner 

1 Or, porch of the inner gate 

ment of the porch with its posts or 
jambs (R.V. marg.) : this porch was 
also on the inner side of the entrance 

10. The number of the lodges 
(v. 7) is now given : three on each 
side of the entrance : and all of the 
same dimensions. 

11-16. These verses contain other 
details about the gate, the posts or 
jambs, and the lodges. Each of the 
lodges or guard chambers had a 
border (or 'sill,' Toy) in front of it. 
The last clause of t?. 11 is corrupt 
and does not agree with ??. 15 where 
the length is said to be 50 cubits : it 
is best omitted, the ten cubits of the 
earlier part of this verse are the 
width at the top of the entrance 
steps. F. 14 seems to be in con- 
fusion : the fact being, that, as the 
scribes did not understand the 
details which they were copying, 
they were particularly liable to error. 
Scholars seem pretty well agreed 

that the verse should run 'He 
measured the porch twenty cubits 
and adjoining the porch was the 
court round about the gateway.' In 
^J. 15 'the inner porch of the gate' 
must mean the porch on the inner 
side of the gate. To these guard- 
rooms there were latticed windows, 
just as there were in Solomon's 
temple (1 K. vi. 4 'for the house he 
made windows of fixed lattice work'). 
There were latticed windows also 
to the arches, probably of an interior 
colonnade, or, it may be, simply to the 
porch. By the jambs stood palm 
trees (cp. xli. 18), either actually 
growing, or carved work, as in 
Solomon's temple (1 K. vi. 29). 

Can we form any idea of this 
outer-gateway and its buildings! 
On climbing the seven steps we are 
in a line with the outside edge of the 
wall, at this the threshold begins, 
which is of the same breadth as the 
thickness of the outside wall. This 



XL. 15-1 

16 porch of the gate were fifty cubits. And there were closed 
windows to the lodges, and to their posts within the gate 
round about, and likewise to the ^arches: and windows 
were round about inward : and upon each post were palm 

Ixxii. After passing through the outer gateway^ the outer 
court is reojched. This is now described with its three 
gates, guard-rooms, and pavement, and the three gates 
opposite them leading into the inner court, xl. 17-27. 

17 Then brought he me into the outer court, and, lo, there 
were chambers and a pavement, made for the court round 

18 about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement. And 
the pavement was by the ^side of the gates, answerable 
unto the length of the gates, even the lower pavement. 

19 Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the 
lower gate unto the forefront of the inner court without, 

^ Or, colonnade 

The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain. 
2 Heb. shoulder. 

forms the entrance to a passage 
between three pairs of guard-rooms 
fronting one another and with a 
space between each pair. Past these 
there was another threshold which 
led to the gate on the side of the 
court of the temple. The posts or 
jambs of the doors were on the out- 
side edges of the dividing partitions 
which came forward towards the 
main passage of the gateway. 

17-22. The details of the outer 
court (mentioned again xlii. 1). It 
should be noticed that there is an 
outer court, which is left unmeasured, 
to the temple of God in Rev. xi. 2. 
The court here is surrounded on 
three of its sides, the northern, 
eastern and southern, by chambers 

(cp. 1 Chr. xxviii. 12) and is itself 
paved (cp. 2 Chr. vii. 3 'they bowed 
themselves with their faces to the 
ground upon the pavement'). The 
pavement imagined by Ezekiel was 
such as is described in Esth. i. 6 'a 
pavement of porphyry, and white 
marble, and alabaster, and stone of 
blue colour' (R.V. marg.). The thirty 
chambers include in their number 
the six lodges. Three tiers of thirty 
chambers are described later (xli. 6). 
Toy thinks of these chambers as 
halls for various religious purposes. 
The words 'answerable unto the 
length of the gates' mean that the 
width of the pavement was the same 
as the length of the gates, that is, 
25 cubits; and the pavement is 

XL. 19-26 EZEKIEL 219 

an hundred cubits, both on the east and on the north. 

20 And the gate of the outer court whose prospect is toward 
the north, he measured the length thereof and the breadth 

21 thereof. And the lodges thereof were three on this side 
and three on that side; and the posts thereof and the 
arches thereof were after the measure of the first gate: 
the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth five 

22 and twenty cubits. And the windows thereof, and the 
arches thereof, and the palm trees thereof, were after the 
measure of the gate whose prospect is toward the east; 
and they went up unto it by seven steps ; and the arches 

23 thereof were before them. And there was a gate to the 
inner court over against the other gate, both on the north 
and on the east ; and he measured from gate to gate an 

24 hundred cubits. And he led me toward the south, and 
behold a gate toward the south: and he measured the 
posts thereof and the arches thereof according to these 

25 measures. And there were windows in it and in the 
arches thereof round about, like those windows: the 
length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty 

26 cubits. And there were seven steps to go up to it, and the 
arches thereof were before them : and it had palm trees, 
one on this side, and another on that side, upon the posts 

called the lower pavement, as com- sides. That on the north side is first 

pared with that of the ' inner court,' mentioned, though its dimensions 

which stood higher. The measure- are not given but its guard cham- 

ment of ». 19 is that of the inner bers (KV. 'lodges') are described, 

court from the side of the outer These corresponded exactly with 

gateway which abutted upon it to those in the outer eastern gate {vo. 

the side of the inner court which 13, 15), as did also the windows, 

also abutted upon it. The words arches, and palm trees (??. 16). There 

* on the east and on the north ' are was a similar set of steps in v. 6, 

added to imply that the breadth and but the number was not given. The 

length of the court were the same, last words of v. 22 mean that the 

though of course part of the whole arches (or, colonnade) were beyond 

square area was occupied by the the steps. 

temple and the inner court. Into 23-27. Opposite each of the three 

this outer court there were three en- gates of the outer court were corre- 

trances on the north, east, and south spending gates to the inner court of 



XL. 26- 

27 thereof. And there was a gate to the inner court toward 
the south : and he measured from gate to gate toward the 
south an hundred cubits. 

Ixxiii. The prophet now enters the inner court which is 
described in its turn with its guard-rooms^ arches, gates 
and jambs, xl. 28-37. 

28 Then he brought me to the inner court by the south 
gate : and he measured the south gate according to these 

29 measures ; and the lodges thereof, and the posts thereof, 
and the arches thereof, according to these measures : and 
there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round 
about : it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits 

30 broad. And there were arches round about, five and 

31 twenty cubits long, and ^ye cubits broad. And the 
arches thereof were toward the outer court ; and palm 
trees were upon the posts thereof : and the going up to it 

32 had eight steps. And he brought me into the inner court 
toward the east : and he measured the gate according to 

33 these measures ; and the lodges thereof, and the posts 
thereof, and the arches thereof, according to these 
measures: and there were windows therein and in the 
arches thereof round about : it was fifty cubits long, and 

34 ^ve and twenty cubits broad. And the arches thereof 
were toward the outer court ; and palm trees were upon 

identical measurement; the northern 
(cp. viii. 3) and eastern are mentioned 
in V. 23, the southern in v. 27 to 
bring it into connection with the 
mention of it in v. 28 ; and the space 
between each of these pairs of gates 
was 100 cubits (vv. 23, 27). 

28-31. The prophet is now 
brought to the entrance into the 
inner court on the south side, where 
the measurements were the same as 

those of the northern and eastern 
gates (w. 7, 24, 25). The measure- 
ment of the arches is here given for 
the first time: they were on the 
outer side of the entrance, and had 
palm trees on the jambs of the door- 
ways (cp. V. 22). These inner gates 
had eight steps instead of seven {v. 
22). V. 30 is out of place and is in 
part a repetition from ??. 21 or v. 25. 
32-34. From the south gate the 

XL. 34-39 EZEKIEL 221 

the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side : and the 

35 going up to it had eight steps. And he brought me to 
the north gate: and he measured it according to these 

36 measures ; the lodges thereof, the posts thereof, and the 
arches thereof; and there were windows therein round 
about : the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five 

37 and twenty cubits. And the posts thereof were toward 
the outer court; and palm trees were upon the posts 
thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up 
to it had eight steps. 

Ixxiv. A description ofvari(ms chamber s, with the arrange- 
ments/or the offering of sacrifices^ the measurement of 
the court, and a mention of the altar in the court 
xl. 38-47. 

38 And a chamber with the door thereof was by the posts at 

39 the gates ; there they washed the burnt ofibring. And ^in 
the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and 

1 Or, hy 

prophet is taken round to the east only one ; but it is impossible to 

gate of the inner court: its descrip- represent it in the ground-plan. In 

tion exactly tallies with the last. it would stand lavers corresponding 

35-37. Lastly he is taken to the to those mentioned in 1 K. vii. 38 : 

north gate : the dimensions are the 2 Chr. iv. 6 : in the latter passage 

same : the Hebrew word for 'posts' only it is said 'such things as be- 

(«?. 37) should be corrected to 'arches' longed to the burnt offering they 

to correspond with vv. 31, 34. washed in them.' From the Levitical 

38. The present Hebrew text, laws about the burnt offering 

represented in R.V., does not make (i. 3-17) we gather that the washing 

it at all clear where this chamber was of 'the inwards and the legs' 

stood. The Greek version must of the victim, and only when it was 

have had a different text altogether, taken from the herd or the flock. 
Its position relative to the entrance 39-43. The tables for the kilhng 

is quite uncertain, and it is not of the sacrifices. There were two 

stated clearly whether there were tables on each side of the porch of 

corresponding chambers at each of the gateway, four tables in all 

the gates, or whether there was (cp. v. 42). On these tables were 

only one; presumably there was slain not only the burnt offering, 




two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering 

40 and the sin offering and the guilt offering. And on the 
one side without, ^as one goeth up to the entry of the 
gate toward the north, were two tables ; and on the other 
side, which belonged to the porch of the gate, were two 

41 tables. Four tables were on this side, and four tables on 
that side, by the side of the gate ; eight tables, whereupon 

42 they slew the sacrifices. And there were four tables for 
the burnt offering, of hewn stone, a cubit and an half long, 
and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high : where- 
upon they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the 

43 burnt offering and the sacrifice. And the ^ hooks, an 
handbreadth long, were fastened ^within round about: and 

44 upon the tables was the flesh of the oblation. ^And with- 
out the inner gate were chambers for the singers in the 
inner court, which was at the side of the north gate ; and 

^ Or, at the stairs of the entry ^ According to some ancient versions, 

ledges. ^ Or, in the building ^ The Sept. has, And he led me into the 

inner court, and, behold, two chambers in the inner court, one at the side of the 
gate that looketh toward the north, having its prospect toward the south, and one 
at the side of the gate toward the south, but looking toward the north. 

but also the sin oflFering (Lev. iv. : 
there is no mention of washing any 
part of the victim, as in the case of 
the burnt oflFering) and the guilt 
oflfering (Lev. v. 1-6, 14-19 : again 
there is no mention of washing). 
In V. 40 a second set of tables are 
described as being outside the north 
gate, but the language, as it stands, 
is confused. These make the eight 
tables of v. 41 ; four apparently 
inside and four outside the gateway ; 
and besides these, four tables of 
hewn stone, on which to lay the 
instruments of slaughter. It should 
be remembered that actual altars 
of hewn stone are forbidden in 
Ex. XX. 25 ; but the tables here 
specified are not altars. The di- 
mensions of these tables are given. 

We should expect {v. 42) ' sacrifices ' 
rather than 'sacrifice': but the 
term here is probably synonymous 
with 'burnt offering,' just as the 
burnt oflfering is mentioned by itself 
in V. 38. In v. 43 the reading 
' ledges ' is to be preferred : hooks 
could scarcely have a place. The 
word ' oblation ' is a generic one for 
the various kinds of sacrifices (cp. 
Lev. i. 2). 

44-46. A description of some 
other chambers. R.V. marg. gives 
a translation of the Septuagint 
which had a diflferent text and 
does not mention the singers. Toy 
practically adopts this. 'Without 
the inner gate' means on the side 
of the gate which opened into the 
inner court. The appointment of 

XL. 44-48 



their prospect was toward the south : one at the side of 

45 the east gate having the prospect toward the north. And 
he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward 
the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of 

46 the house. And the chamber whose prospect is toward 
the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of 
the altar : these are the sons of Zadok, which from among 
the sons of Levi come near to the Lord to minister unto 

47 him. And he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, 
and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare; and the altar 
was before the house. 

Ixxv. Description of the porch of the Temple itself 
xl. 48, 49. 

48 Then he brought me to the porch of the house, and 
measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, 

singers for the Temple worship is 
ascribed in the Chronicles to David 
(1 Chr. vi. 31, 32) and certainly no 
ideal temple would be complete 
without such a body : we need not 
therefore omit this word. It seems 
quite clear, however, that the middle 
of the verse should read ' one at the 
side of the north gate, having the 
prospect toward the south, and the 
other....' In the former was {v. 45) 
a chamber for the priests who 
were caretakers of the house (cp. 
xliv. 8, 14-16). In the latter was 
the chamber for those who had 
charge of the altar (cp. Numb. iii. 31 : 
xviii. 5), who were descendants of 
Zadok who had a lower oflBice because 
of their former lapse into idolatry 
(cp. xliii. 19 : xliv. 15). The Zadok 
here mentioned is to be identified 
with the Zadok of David and 
Solomon's time (1 K. i. 26: iii. 25: 
1 Chr. xxiv. 3, 6). These north and 
south chambers are mentioned in 

the same connection in xlii. 13; 
whether they are the same as the 
singers' chambers or different from 
them is not clear. 

Where so much is conjectural, it 
is diflScult to locate these chambers, 
but perhaps some of them occupied 
the spaces marked D in the plan. 

47. This verse gives us the 
measurement of the inner court, 
with the altar in the centre of it in 
front of the actual temple. For the 
measurements cp. xli. 13-15 and 
see the note there. The altar 
corresponded to ' the altar of burnt 
offering at the door of the taber- 
nacle of the tent of meeting' 
(Ex. xl. 29) ; and at the dedication 
of Solomon's temple, we are told 
that he hallowed ' the middle of the 
court that was before the house of 
the Lord' (1 K. viii. 64 : 2 Chr. vii. 7). 

48, 49. Here follows a description 
of the porch of the temple of which 
fui-ther details are given in xli. 25, 



XL. 48-XLI. 2 

and five cubits on that side : and the breadth of the gate 
was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side. 
49 The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth 
eleven cubits; ^even by the steps whereby they went up 
to it : and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, 
and another on that side. 

Ixxvi. A descripticm of the Temple with its side-chambers, 
basement, and ' the building that was before the separate 
place,'' xli. 1-14. 

XLI. 1 And he brought me to the temple, and 
measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and 
six cubits broad on the other side, which was the 
2 breadth of the ^tabernacle. And the breadth of the 
entrance was ten cubits ; and the ^ sides of the entrance 
were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the 

1 The Sept. has, and by ten steps they went dtc. 
2 Heb. tent. See Ex. 26. 22-25. » Heb. shoulders. 

26. Its length was the same as 
that of the porch in Solomon's 
temple, but its breadth was one 
cubit more (cp. 1 K. vi. 3), or two 
if we follow the Greek, which here 
has the clearer text. The posts 
were the jambs of the door, and in 
front of them stood two pillars like 
the Jachin and Boaz of Solomon's tem- 
ple (1 K. vii. 21 : 2 Chr. iii. 17). The 
measure of five cubits is that of the 
thickness of the j ambs. The ' length ' 
of the porch is the length along 
which one would go on the way into 
the Temple. The middle clause of 
V. 49 must be read, following the 
Septuagint (see KV. marg.): 'by 
ten steps they went up to it.' The 
measurements of the gate are 
different in the Greek and give the 
breadth of the entrance as fourteen 

cubits. Some excellent illustrations 
to the whole of these chapters are 
to be found in Toy's Ezekiel. 

XLI. 1-4. The measurements on 
the inner side of the entrance and 
of the wall of the Temple now follow. 
The posts were the jambs on this 
side of the entrance. As the Hebrew 
text stands, the thickness of the 
jambs corresponds with the breadth 
of the old tabernacle, of which a 
description is given in Ex. xxvi. 1- 
30 : xxxvi. 8-34, though the six 
cubit measurement does not occur 
in either of those places. In conse- 
quence, many omit with the Sep- 
tuagint the words 'which was the 
breadth of the tabernacle,' which 
certainly seem out of place here. 
In V. 2 the thickness of the side 
walls of the entrance is given in 

XLi. 2-7 EZEKIEL 225 

other side: and he measured the length thereof, forty 

3 cubits, and the breadth, twenty cubits. Then went he 
inward, and measured each post of the entrance, two 
cubits : and the entrance, six cubits ; and the breadth of 

4 the entrance, seven cubits. And he measured the length 
thereof, twenty cubits, and the breadth, twenty cubits, 
before the temple : and he said unto me. This is the most 

5 holy place. Then he measured the wall of the house, six 
cubits ; and the breadth of every side-chamber, four cubits, 

6 round about the house on every side. And the side- 
chambers were in three stories, one over another, and 
thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which 
belonged to the house for the side-chambers round about, 
that they might have hold therein, and not have hold in 

7 the wall of the house. And ^the side-chambers were 
broader as they encompassed the house higher and higher ; 
for the encompassing of the house went higher and higher 
round about the house: therefore the breadth of the 

1 Or, there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the 
side-chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round 
about the house 

the second clause, followed by the oracle.' Further details of both the 

interior dimensions of the outer Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies 

chamber. The forty cubits of length are given in vv. 21, 23. Ezekiel's 

correspond with the same measure in guide does not take him into the 

1 K. vi. 17 and the twenty cubits of Holy of Holies, for no ordinary 

breadth with that in 1 K. vi. 2: 2 Chr. priest could enter there but only the 

iii. 4. In m^. 3, 4 we are taken on high priest (cp. Heb. ix. 7 ' but into 

through this outer chamber to the the second tabernacle the high priest 

entrance of and then into the Holy alone '). 

of Holies. The jambs of this 5-12. Details about the side- 
entrance were two cubits thick, the chambers. Six cubits is the thick- 
'six cubits' is the length of the ness of the Temple wall, and the 
entrance to be passed through. The breadth of the side-chamber is its 
Holy of Holies here is of the same internal breadth. There were such 
length and breadth as in Solomon's chambers in Solomon's temple 
temple (1 K. vi. 16, 20: 2 Chr. (1 K. vi. 5, 6, 8, 10). They were 
iii. 8); this part of the Temple is thirty in number as in the outer 
called in 1 K., following one ety- court (xl. 17), and there were 
mology of the Hebrew word, 'the apparently ledges in the wall to 

B. 15 


7-13 ■ 

226 EZEKIEL xli. 7 

house continued upward ; and so one went up from the 
lowest chamber to the highest by the middle chamber. 

8 I saw also ^that the house had ^a raised basement round 
about: the foundations of the side-chambers were a fiill 

9 reed ^of six great cubits. The thickness of the wall, which 
was for the side-chambers, on the outside, was five cubits : 
*and that which was left was the place of the side-chambers 

10 that belonged to the house. And between the chambers 1 
was a breadth of twenty cubits round about the house on ^m 

11 every side. And the doors of the side-chambers were ™ 
toward the place that was left, one door toward the north, 
and another door toward the south: and the breadth of 

12 the place that was left was five cubits round about. And 
the building that was before the separate place at the side j 
toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall 
of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the 

13 length thereof ninety cubits. So he measured the house, 
an hundred cubits long ; and the separate place, and the 

1 Or, that the house was high round about ^ Heb. heifjht. * Or, of six 
cubits to the joining ^ The Sept. has, and that which was left between the 

side-chambers that belonged to the house and between the chambers was dc. 

which they were attached, so as not wall of the side-chambers: and 'that 

to break into the wall of the Temple which was left ' was the remainder 

{v. 6: cp. 1 K. vi. 6 where these of the platform outside the chambers, 

ledges are called ' rebatements '). The twenty cubits {v. 10) was the 

There were three stories of them, part of the inner court which was 

and each story above the first was not built upon (cp. xlii. 3). The 

wider than the one below it : there chambers had doors opening upon 

seems also to have been a circular ine platform, and this was five 

staircase to ascend to the higher cubits wide as in v. 9. At the back 

floors (see R.V. m^r^'.). This extra of the Temple was a 'building before 

width was gained by the further the separate place ' — a place appar- 

projectiou of each ledge or ' rebate- ently used as a receptacle for ashes 

ment.' See the section of the and as a storehouse. Between the 

chambers at the end of this volume. Temple and this building was part 

Round the Temple was a raised of the court which went all round 

platform (R.V. 'basement': cp.xl.l7). the Temple. See C in the ground- 

The great cubit was that ' of a cubit plan. 

andanhandbreadtheach'(xl. 5: xliii. 13, 14. The measurement of the 

13). The wall of v. 9 is the outer Temple externally. The hundred 

XLI. i3-r8 EZEKIEL 227 

building, with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long ; 

14 also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the 
separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits. 

Ixxvii. Sundry measurements; an acG(mnt of the decorations 
of the Temple, of the altar, and of the doors, xli. 15-26. 

15 And he measured the length of the building before the 
separate place which was at the back thereof, and the 
galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side, an 
hundred cubits ; and the inner temple, and the porches of 

16 the court; the thresholds, and the closed windows, and the 
galleries round about on their three stories, over against 
the threshold, cieled with wood round about, and from 
the ground up to the windows; now the windows were 

17 covered; to the space above the door, even unto the 
inner house, and without, and by all the wall round about 

18 within and without, ^by measure. And it was made with 
cherubim and palm trees ; and a palm tree was between 

• ^ Heb. measures. 

cubits of length and breadth agree plural ' thresholds ' (cp. Is. vi. 4 : 
with the measurement of the inner Zech. ix. 1) indicates a space divided 
court in xl. 47. by columns : the threshold of the 
15-17. 'The building before the Temple was always looked upon as 
separate place' has already been specially sacred. The 'closed' or 
mentioned in ??. 12 (cp. xlii. 1). What 'covered' windows were of lattice- 
is meant by ' the galleries ' is not at work (cp. ». 26 : xl. 16 : 1 K. vi. 4). 
all clear : they occur again in xlii. 3, 5. The ' three stories ' come over again 
The Greek translator could not make in xlii. 3, 6. These galleries were 
them out : he renders the corre- panelled, sides and ceilings alike, 
spending Hebrew word diflerently in with wood in sections (for this is the 
each of the three places in which it meaning of the Hebrew ' by mea- 
occurs. If we try to picture them sures'). 

to ourselves, they must have been a 18-20. The panelling was not 

kind of open arcade on each story of plain but decorated with cherubim 

the building : the hundred cubits and palm trees (cp. v. 25 : xl. 16, 22, 

corresponds to the length of this 26, 31, 34, 37) which were a feature 

house in v. 13. The ' inner temple ' of Solomon's temple (1 K. vi. 29, 32, 

must be identical with ' the most 35 : vii. 36 : 2 Chr. iii. 5, 7). The 

holy place ' {v. 4). The use of the cherubim had two of the four faces 



cherub and cherub, and every cherub had two faces; 

19 so that there was the face of a man toward the palm tree 
on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the 
palm tree on the other side : thus was it made through all 

20 the house round about. From the ground unto above the 
door were cherubim and palm trees made: ^thus was the 

21 wall of the temple. As for the temple, the door posts 
were squared; and as for the face of the sanctuary, the 
appearance thereof was ^as the appearance of the temple. 

22 The altar was of wood, three cubits high, and the length 
thereof two cubits; and ^the corners thereof, and the 
* length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood : and 
he said unto me. This is the table that is before the 

23 Lord. And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors. 

24 And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves ; 
two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other. 

25 And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, 
cherubim and palm trees, like as were made upon the 

1 Another reading is, And as for the wall of the temple, the door posts were 
squared. ^ Or, as the former appearance ^ Or, it had its corners ; and (&c. 
* The Sept. has, base. 

assigned to the living creatures or 
cherubim of Ezekiel's visions (i. 10 : 
X. 14). The pattern was a constantly 
recurring one, cherub and palm tree 
alternating. Toy in his Ezekiel 
gives (p. 189) an illustration from 
a Cyprian scarab shewing two 
creatures facing towards a sacred 
tree. R.V. marg. gives the better 
sense by connecting the last clause 
of V. 20 with the following verse and 
omitting one occurrence of the word 
* temple.' 

21. In this verse the posts of the 
doors were described and also the 
external surface of the walls of the 
most holy place, but the text, as it 
stands, does not give us any sense, 
as some word must have dropped 

out. A. B. Davidson's suggestion to 
connect the last words of this verse 
with the next does not seem probable : 
and both R.V. and R.V. marg. are 
only makeshifts. 

22. This altar of wood may be 
such an altar as the altar of incense 
described in Ex. xxx. 1, or it may be 
intended to represent the table for 
the shewbread (Ex. xxv. 23-30). It 
is mentioned again (xliv. 16), and 
such a table is mentioned in Malachi 
(i. 7, 12). The reading of R.V. marg. 
' base ' is to be preferred. 

23-26. The doors and the porch 
of both buildings, the holy place, 
and the holy of holies, are now 
described. They correspond with the 
doors in Solomon's temple (1 K. vi. 

XLI. 25-XLII. 4 



walls ; and there were thick beams of wood ^upon the face 
26 of the porch without. And there were closed windows 
and palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on 
the sides of the porch : thus were the side-chambers of the 
house, and the thick beams. 

Ixxviii. A description of the chambers and the uses 
to which they were to he put xlii. 1-14. 

XIiII. 1 Then he brought me forth into the outer 
court, the way toward the north : and he brought me into 
the chamber that was over against the separate place, and 
which was over against the building toward the north. 

2 Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door, 

3 and the breadth was fifty cubits. Over against the twenty 
cubits which belonged to the inner court, and over against 
the pavement which belonged to the outer court, was 

4 gallery against gallery ^in the third story. And before 

1 Or, before the porch 

31-33) which also had two folding 
leaves for each door (1 K. vi. 34). 
The doors were carved like the 
inside of the walls, apparently only 
on the inner side. The outer side 
was more massive with thick beams 
(so 1 K. vii. 6), miless these words 
indicate a separate framework in 
fi'ont of the carved work. For the 
side-chambers see vv. 5-9. 

XLII. 1-3. The prophet is now 
made to retrace his steps into the 
outer court (xl. 17) in the direction 
of the gate that faced the north 
(xl. 20). In this court there were 
chambers and he is taken into one 
of these that was opposite the se- 
parate place with its building that 
stood in front of the separate place 
(cp. vv. 10, 13 : xli. 12, 13). Facing 
the long side of the inner court, 
100 cubits long (cp. xli. 15), was 

^ Or, in three stories 

the north door, whereas the length 
of the chambers, here called the 
breadth of the court, was 50 
cubits (cp. ??. 8). The 20 cubits 
{v. 3) is explained by the statement 
made earlier : 'between the chambers 
was a breadth of twenty cubits 
round about the house on every 
side' (xli. 10). The pavement of 
the court has also been mentioned 
already (xl. 17) as 'made for the 
court round about.' These galleries 
or similar ones have also been 
already mentioned (xli. 15, 16). 
Whether we translate 'in the third 
story' (R.V.) or 'in three stories' 
(R.V. marg.) it is clear that we are 
to assume that there was a gallery 
on each story (cp. xli. 16). 

4-12. We now reach the de- 
scription of the chambers, after 
having been told first that whilst 


XLn. 4-14 

the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a 

way of ^one cubit; and their doors were toward the north. 

6 Now the upper chambers were shorter : for the galleries 

took away from these, more than from the lower and the 

6 middlemost, in the building. For they were in three 
stories, and they had not pillars as the pillars of the 
courts : therefore the v/ppermost was straitened more than 

7 the lowest and the middlemost from the ground. And 
the ^wall that was without by the side of the chambers, 
toward the outer court before the chambers, the length 

8 thereof was fifty cubits. For the length of the chambers 
that were in the outer court was fifty cubits: and, lo, 

9 before the temple were an hundred cubits. And from 
under these chambers was the entry on the east side, as 

10 one goeth into them from the outer court. In the thick- 
ness of the 2 wall of the court toward the east, before the 
separate place, and before the building, there were 

11 chambers. And the way before them was like the appear- 
ance of the way of the chambers which were toward the 
north; ^according to their length so was their breadth: 
and all their goings out were both according to their 

12 fashions, and according to their doors. And according to 
the doors of the chambers that were toward the south was 
a door in the head of the way, even the way directly 
before the ^wall toward the east, as one entereth into 

^ According to some ancient versions, a hundred cubits. ^ Or, fence 

^ Or, they were as long as they, and as broad as they 

their doors faced the north there 
was a passage way in front of the 
building to the west (cp. xlvi. 19) 
ten cubits wide. It seems quite 
clear that the Septuagint is right 
in reading a hundred cubits instead 
of one cubit, thus indicating the 
length of the passage. The third 
row of chambers was shorter than 
the ones below it, owing to the 
galleries : and the chambers had no 
pillars like those pillars in the outer 

court. Vv. 7, 8 indicate that these 
chambers occupied two sides, as it 
were, of a quadrangle 100 x 50 cubits. 
Under these chambers was the 
eastern entry into the outer court 
(cp. xlvi. 19): and on the eastern 
side, as on the northern, there were 
chambers similarly built in the 
thickness of the wall. These fronted 
the separate place and the building 
by it (cp. V. 1 : xl. 17) and were ex- 
actly like the others (p. 234). They 

XLii. ia-15 EZEKIEL 231 

13 them. Then said he unto me, The north chambers and 
the south chambers, which are before the separate place, 
they be the holy chambers, where the priests that are 
near unto the Lord shall eat the most holy things : there 
shall they lay the most holy things, and the meal offering, 
and the sin offering, and the guilt offering ; for the place 

14 is holy. When the priests enter in, then shall they not go 
out of the holy place into the outer court, but there they 
shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they 
are holy : and they shall put on other garments, and shall 
approach to that which pertaineth to the people. 

Ixxix. The external measurements of the whole 
Temple enclosure, xlii. 15-20. 

15 Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner 
house, he brought me forth by the way of the gate whose 
prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about. 

also had a door at the top of the of the gate ' which are specified 

passage fronting toward the east. eariier (xl. 39). A further regulation 

13, 14. The use of the chambers is that the use of the ministerial 

that have been described. The garments shall be limited to these 

sacrificial meals are to be eaten chambers and not extended to what 

in them by 'the priests that are went on in the outer court in the 

near unto the Lord,' that is, as sight of the people (cp. xliv. 19). 

would appear from xl. 46, the sons This corresponds with the regula- 

of Zadok. The sacrifices to be eaten tion in Leviticus about the carrying 

there follow the Levitical ordinances ; forth by the priest of the ashes of 

the meal offering (Lev. vi. 16 : x. 12, the burnt offering. He is to do 

13), the sin offering (Lev. vi. 26), this in 'other garments' (Lev. vi. 

and the guilt offering (Lev. vii. 7). 11). It is to be noted that in the 

The shewbread was also by the case of the meal offering, the meal 

Levitical regulations eaten 'in a would be 'laid' in the chambers 

holy place ' (Lev. xxiv. 9), but it is till it could be baked for the priests 

not mentioned here. The reservation to eat it. 

for the priests of the three offerings 15-20. The measurements given 

mentioned here is also enjoined in in these verses are the external 

Numbers (xviii. 9), According to measurements of the whole enclos- 

Ezekiel they would be brought into ure. The east gate by which the 

the chambers after having been laid prophet came out is always treated 

upon the four tables 'in the porch as the most important both in the 


XLII. i6-XLIIiral 

16 He measured on the east ^side with the measuring reed, 
five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. 

17 He measured on the north ^side, five hundred reeds, with 

18 the measuring reed round about. He measured on the 
south ^side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed. 

19 He turned about to the west ^side, and measured five 

20 hundred reeds with the measuring reed. He measured it 
2 on the four sides: it had a wall round about, the length 
five hundred, and the breadth five hundred, to make a 
separation between that which was holy and that which 
was common. 

Ixxx. The Divine Being takes possession of His Temple, 
and gives directions to His people, upon the fulfilment of 
which He promises to he with them for ever, xliii. 1-9. 

XIiIII. 1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even 

2 the gate that looketh toward the east : and behold, the 

glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east : 

and his voice was like the sound of many waters : and the 

1 Heb. loind. ^ Heb. toward the four winds. 

actual temple at Jerusalem (x. 19: 
xi. 1) and in Ezekiel's ideal Temple 
(xl, 6 : xliv. 1, 4). For the measuring 
reed see xl. 3. The enclosure was 
exactly square, and it had a con- 
taining wall (cp. xl. 5). The same 
measurement is repeated later (xlv. 
2) ; in both passages it is clear that 
* cubits' is the right reading, not 
'reeds' (the reed was six cubits, 
xL 5), and so the Septuagint in- 
terprets in xl. 17. In the Revelation 
(xxi. 16) the Heavenly Jerusalem, 
the City of God, is represented as 
foursquare and surrounded by a 
wall, but the dimensions are much 
larger— 12,000 furlongs. The inten- 
tion of the wall is to mark off the 
enclosure as a dedicated holy place 

(cp. xliii. 12). For the symbolism of 
the foursquare, as denoting perfec- 
tion, and of the measurements, see 
Swete on Rev. xxi. 16. 

If we retain the word 'reeds,' 
then we have in these verses the 
measurements of a clear space be- 
tween the actual Temple enclosure 
and an external wall of which each 
side would then be 3,000 cubits ; 
outside of which again there would 
be another space 50 cubits wide 
(xlv. 2 : see that passage for the 
meaning of ' the suburbs thereof) ; 
but this is not so probable. 

XLIII. 1-5. The entrance of the 
glory of the God of Israel into His 
house. This is witnessed by Bzekiel 
at the east gate (cp. xlii. 15). The 

XLHL 2-7 



3 earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the 
appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to 
the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city; 
and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the 

4 river Chebar : and I fell upon my face. And the glory of 
the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate 

5 whose prospect is toward the east. And the spirit took 
me up, and brought me into the inner court ; and behold, 

6 the glory of the Lord filled the house. And I heard one 
speaking unto me out of the house ; and a man stood by 

7 me. And he said unto me. Son of man, this is the place 
of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where 

interchange of expression between 
Hhe glory of the God of Israel' 
(cp. xi. 22) and 'the glory of the 
Lord' occurs also in x. 18, 19. The 
new Jerusalem of the Apocalypse 
possesses and is lightened by 'the 
glory of God,' no longer limited as 
the God of Israel (xxi. 11, 23). The 
description of the Divine voice as 
'the sound of many waters' takes 
us back to Ezekiel's first vision : 
'the noise of their wings like the 
noise of great waters, like the voice 
of the Almighty' (i. 24), and is 
reproduced in the Apocalypse (i. 15 
'his voice as the voice of many 
waters'). The earth reflects God's 
glory, just as in Rev. xviii. 1 we are 
told that 'the earth was lightened 
with his (i.e. an angel's) glory.' In 
V. 3 the reference in the first clause 
is to the slaughter indicated in 
ix. 1, 25, though there is scarcely 
any description of the prophet's 
vision in that chapter (see, however, 
ix. 3) ; but there is a further refer- 
ence to the prophet's first vision 
(i. 4-28) by the river Chebar (i. 1), 
which is connected elsewhere by 
him with his later visions (iil 23: 

x. 15, 20, 22). The result here 
'fl fell upon my face ' is the same as 
before (i. 28 : iii. 23). The result of 
the entry by this eastern gate is 
described later (xliv. 1, 2). After 
the entry of the glory the prophet 
is brought by the spirit (cp. iii. 12 : 
viii. 3 : xi. 1, 24: xxxvii. 1) into the 
inner court, just as he had been 
brought into the inner court at 
Jerusalem (viii. 16) which was filled 
at another time with the cloud of 
the Divine presence (x. 3). The 
glory itself filled the house as well 
as the inner court (cp. x. 4, and 
again xliv. 4). A similar taking 
possession of the house by the Lord 
is described in the case of Solomon's 
Temple (1 K. viii. 10, 11 : 2 Chr. v. 
13, 14 : vii. 1-3) as in that of the 
Tabernacle (Ex. xl. 34, 35 : cp. 
Rev. XV. 8 'the temple was filled 
with smoke from the glory of God, 
and from his power ; and none was 
able to enter into the temple '). 

6-9. The message to the prophet. 
The messenger who gives the 
Divine message is called a man 
(cp. xl. 3), and is generally accounted 
to have been an angel in human 




I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever : 
and the house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, 
neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, and by 

8 the carcases of their kings ^in their high places ; in their 
setting of their threshold by my threshold, and their door 
post beside my door post, and there was hut the wall 
between me and them ; and they have defiled my holy 
name by their abominations which they have conmiitted : 

9 wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. Now let 
them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their 
kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them 
for ever. 

^ Or, according to another reading, in their death 

form (cp. Rev. xxi. 17 'the measure 
of a man, that is, of an angel ')• He 
acts as the mouthpiece of God. 
The leading idea of the message 
is God's acceptance of the Temple 
as a dwelling-place in which He 
promises to abide for ever, if it is 
kept unpolluted. The description 
of this Temple as God's footstool 
corresponds to words ascribed to 
David (1 Chr. xxviii. 2 'to build an 
house... for the footstool of our God': 
cp. Ps. xcix. 5 : cxxxii. 7) and to 
Isaiah (Ix. 13 'to beautify the place 
of my sanctuary, and I will make 
the place of my feet glorious '). 

Henceforth God's Holy Name is 
not to be defiled or profaned (cp. 
XX. 39 : xxxix. 7) by spiritual whore- 
dom — the forsaking of God is often 
described in Biblical language as a 
breaking of a marriage tie — and 
other abominations. The two render- 

ings 'in their high places' (R.V.) 
and 'in their death' (R.V. marg.) 
represent two different pointings 
of the Hebrew consonants. The 
Septuagint has still another reading 
'in the midst of them.' The R.V. 
marg. gives the best sense : and 
the whole idea of the passage is the 
intrusion by the later kings upon 
the Temple enclosure with buildings 
for their own depraved purposes : 
even in their deaths burial was 
sought for them in unlawful places. 
Only a wall separated the regal 
from Jehovah's buildings. It will 
be remembered how Joash was 
rescued from Athaliah and actually 
lived in the Temple six years (2 K. 
xi. 3), and that the sepulchres of 
the kings were in the City of David, 
and therefore could not have been 
far from the Temple (cp. 1 K. 
xi. 43). 

Addendum to p. 230. 

The last clause of verse 11 means: 'there were the same exits and 
arrangements corresponding with their doors.' 

XLiii. 10-I2 EZEKIEL 235 

Ixxxi. The people are to have made Tmown to them the 
details of the hoiise and all the regulations con- 
nected with it and with its rites and ceremonies, 
xliii. 10-12. 

10 Thou, son of man, shew the house to the house of 
Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities : and 

11 let them measure the ^pattern. And if they be ashamed 
of all that they have done, make known unto them the 
fonn of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings 
out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms 
thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms 
thereof, and all the laws thereof, and write it in their 
sight : that they may keep the whole form thereof^ and all 

12 the ordinances thereof, and do them. This is the law of 
the house : upon the top of the mountain the whole limit 
thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is 
the law of the house. 

^ Or, sum 

10-12. The whole design of the tion or delineation ; the * fashion ' is 

new house is to be exhibited with its arrangement. The entrances and 

the injunction that it is to be kept exits occur again (xliv. 5). The 

most holy : the idea being that the double repetition of * and all the 

thought of this will make the people forms thereof is not needed. The 

' ashamed of their iniquities ' {v. 10) ordinances and laws (or, law) of the 

in their profanation of the pre-exilic house are all the regulations that 

house. So at the very beginning of are to control its administration and 

these visions the command had been service. The whole of what the 

given to the prophet : ' declare all prophet was to shew them was to be 

that thou seest to the house of written down in their presence (cp. 

Israel ' (xl. 4). The word ' pattern ' xii. 3). The mountain upon which 

(R.V. marg. 'sum') represents a the Temple was to be placed was 

Hebrew word expressing the ideas of mentioned at the beginning of these 

shape, measurement and symmetry: visions (xl. 2). All the included area 

and the whole catalogue of terms in was to be holy (cp. xlii. 15-20) : 

». 11 is intended to be exhaustive, no royal palace was to have place 

The 'form ' of the house is its descrip- there. 



XLIII. 13-it 

Ixxxii. Description of the Altar, xliii. 13-17. 

13 And these are the measures of the altar by cubits : (the 
cubit is a cubit and an handbreadth :) the ^bottom shall be 
a cubit, and the breadth a cubit, and the border thereof by 
the edge thereof round about a span : and this shall be the 

14 2 base of the altar. And from the bottom ^upon the gi'ound 
to the lower ^settle shall be two cubits, and the breadth 
one cubit ; and from the lesser settle to the greater settle 

15 shall be four cubits, and the breadth a cubit. And the 
^ upper altar shall be four cubits; and from the ^ altar 

16 hearth and upward there shall be four horns. And the altar 
hearth shall be twelve cubits long by twelve broad, square 

17 in the four sides thereof. And the settle shall be fourteen 

1 Or, hollow Heb. bosom. 
5 Heb. Harel. 

2 Heb. back. 
6 Heb. Ariel. 

» Or, at 
See Is. 29. 1. 

4 Or, ledge 

13-17. This altar has already been 
described as being 'before the house' 
(xl. 47 : cp. xlvii. 1), just as the altar of 
burnt offering was 'at the door of 
the tabernacle of the tent of meeting' 
(Ex. xl. 29). The measurements are 
not identical with those of the 
tabernacle altar (Ex. xxvii. 1-8 : 
xxxviii. 1-7) : the cubit of measure- 
ment is defined here as before (xl. 
5) : it is the great cubit of xli. 8. 
When the details are examined, it 
is very dijfficult to understand them. 
The 'bottom' (R.V. marg. 'hollow, 
Heb. bosom ') seems to be a hollow 
space at the bottom of the altar, 
used as a drain to carry off the 
blood, of which the breadth is one 
cubit, but what the second cubit in 
the dimensions given refers to is not 
clear unless it be the projecting part 
of the ' bottom ' not covered by the 
superimposed altar. What is called 
' the border thereof would then be 
a kind of moulding. A span is 

equivalent to half a cubit. Each 
stage of the altar is of less dimen- 
sions than the one immediately 
below. The vertical section of the 
altar at the end of the volume shews 
the relative proportions of each. 

The greater settle of the altar is 
mentioned again in xlv. 19. Both 
that and the lesser settle have higher 
structures resting upon them. It 
will be noticed that R.V. marg. 
gives two Hebrew words 'Harel' 
and 'Ariel' which are translated by 
R.V. 'upper altar' and 'altar hearth' 
respectively. But it seems certain 
that the former word is a scribal 
corruption of the latter, and that we 
ought to read 'altar hearth ' in both 
clauses. The name Ariel is used as 
a name of Jerusalem in Is. xxix. 1, 
2, 7, but its significance is questioned. 
It may mean 'lion of God' or 'altar 
hearth of God.' With the present 
passage before us it is better to give 
it the latter signification, a meaning 

XLIII. 17-21 



cubits long by fourteen broad in the four sides thereof; 
and the border about it shall be half a cubit ; and the 
bottom thereof shall be a cubit about ; and the steps 
thereof shall look toward the east. 

Ixxxiii. The Dedication of the Altar, xliii. 18-27. 

18 And he said unto me, Son of man, thus saith the Lord 
God : These are the ordinances of the altar in the day 
when they shall make it, to oiFer burnt offerings thereon, 

19 and to sprinkle blood thereon. Thou shalt give to the 
priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which are 
near unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord God, a 

20 young bullock for a sin offering. And thou shalt take of 
the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and 
on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border 
round about : thus shalt thou cleanse it and make 

21 atonement for it. Thou shalt also take the bullock of the 

which it also has in the inscription 
of Mesha king of Moab (1. 12). The 
four horns of the altar correspond 
with those of the altar in the taber- 
nacle (Ex. xxvii. 2 : xxix. 12 : xxx. 
2 : Lev. iv. 7, 30 : cp. Ps. cxviii. 27 
*Bind the sacrifice with cords, even 
unto the horns of the altar'). To 
take hold of the horns of the altar 
was to claim sanctuary (1 K. i. 50), 
just as the gi'asping of the knocker 
at the door of Durham Cathedral 
gave a right to sanctuary. Like the 
tabernacle altar the hearth was a 
perfect square, as was the settle. 
Unlike the altar in the code of Ex. 
XX. 26 this altar had steps. 

18-27. Seven days are to be oc- 
cupied with the dedication of the 
altar, beginning with the day of its 
completion (' when they shall make 
it,' V. 18). In the offering of the 
burnt offering there were two stages 

— the actual shedding of the blood, 
and the sprinkling of the blood (so 
Lev. i. 5 : iii. 8 : 2 Chr. xxx v. 11). 
Both are alluded to in the New 
Testament, the actual shedding of 
blood at the death of Christ, and 
' the blood of sprinkling ' (Heb. xii. 
24 : cp. 1 Pet. i. 2 ' sprinkling of the 
blood of Jesus Christ'). A special 
use of this sprinkling occurred on 
the day of the atonement (Lev. xvi. 
14-16) : the idea intended to be con- 
veyed was the application of the virtue 
of the sacrifice. Here and in one other 
place (xliv. 15) we find the Deutero- 
nomic expression 'the priests the 
Levites ' (Deut. xvii. 9 : xviii. 1 * the 
priests the Levites, all the tribe of 
Levi ' : xxi. 5 ' the priests the sons of 
Levi ' : xxiv. 8 : xxvii. 9). It does 
not follow necessarily that the terms 
'priests' and 'Levites' each repre- 
sented an identical body or that all 



XLIII. 2) 

sin offering, and he shall bum it in the appointed place 

22 of the house, without the sanctuary. And on the second 
day thou shalt offer a he-goat without blemish for a sin 
offering ; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they did 

23 cleanse it with the bullock. When thou hast made an end 
of cleansing it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without 

24 blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish. And 
thou shalt bring them near before the Lord, and the priests 
shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for 

25 a burnt offering unto the Lord. Seven days shalt thou 
prepare every day a goat for a sin offering: they shall also 
prepare a young bullock, and a ram out of the flock, with- 

26 out blemish. Seven days shall they make atonement for 

Levites were priests : Deut. xxi. 5 
shews us that the only safe con- 
clusion we can draw from the 
combination is that the priests are 
specially designated as belonging to 
the tribe of Levi. Here the body of 
priests indicated are further limited 
as being descended from Zadok (see 
note on xl. 46), the high-priest who 
anointed Solomon and displaced the 
line of Eli. It was no doubt because 
of the views of Ezekiel as to the 
restoration of 'David,' that, in his 
ideal Temple, the chief place is 
reserved for the Zadokites. For the 
' young bullock ' cp. xlv. 18 : Ex. 
xxix. 1, 10. Similar directions to those 
of V. 20 are to be found in xlv. 19 : 
Ex. xxix. 12 : Lev. viii. 15 : though 
the directions about the ' settle ' and 
the ' border ' are peculiar to Ezekiel. 
These sacrifices constitute the mode 
of cleansing and purifying the altar 
(so Ex. xxix. 36 ' thou shalt cleanse 
the altar, when thou makest atone- 
ment for it'). The actual burning 
of the victim took place elsewhere, 
as in the tabernacle worship (Ex. 
xxix. 14 'the flesh of the bullock... 

shalt thou bum with fire without 
the camp': cp. Lev. iv. 11, 12, 21 : 
Numb. xix. 3, and the use made of 
this in Heb. xiii. 11, 12 'Jesus also, 
that he might sanctify the people 
through his own blood, suffered 
without the gate '). ' He ' in ». 21 is 
indefinite and means one appointed 
to discharge that duty. The second 
and following days the offering of a 
he-goat without blemish is directed 
to precede that of the bullock, and 
a third offering of a ram without 
blemish was to follow. It would 
seem from v. 25 that it is only by 
some accident that these offerings 
are not mentioned as having been 
made on the first day. An offering 
of rams followed the offering of a 
bullock at the consecration of priests 
(Ex. xxix.), but no exactly similar 
sacrifice of a he-goat occui-s in the 
Pentateuch : though the offering of 
a he-goat for a sin offering follows 
that of a young bullock in Numb. 
XV. 24 (cp. Deut xxviii. 22). Salt 
was a concomitant of all oblations : 
it was ' the salt of the covenant of 
thy God' (Lev. ii. 13 : cp. Mk ix. 49, 

XLIII. 26-XLIV. 3 



27 the altar and purify it ; so shall they ^consecrate it. And 
when they have accomplished the days, it shall be that 
upon the eighth day, and forward, the priests shall make 
your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offer- 
ings ; and I will accept you, saith the Lord Gk)D. 

Ixxxiv. The prince's entry to the Temple, and a specificatimi 
as to who else is to have the right of entrance, 
xliv. 1-14. 

XLIV. 1 Then he brought me back the way of the 
outer gate of the sanctuary, which looketh toward the east ; 

2 and it was shut. And the Lord said unto me. This gate 
shall be shut, it shall not be opened, neither shall any man 
enter in by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered 

3 in by it ; therefore it shall be shut. As for the prince, he 

1 neh.fill the hands thereof. See Ex. 29. 24. 

according to many authorities ' every 
sacrifice shall be salted with salt'). 
Salt was the accompaniment of every 
meal, and therefore of the sacrificial 
meal, and, in consequence, was 
looked upon as the symbol of a 
perpetual union or covenant between 
God and man. The period of seven 
days follows the use at the dedica- 
tion of the altar in Ex. xxix. 35, 36. 
The Hebrew expression for consecra- 
tion ' fill the hands ' has its origin in 
the placing of the sacrifice upon the 
hands of the offerer (Ex. xxix. 24). 
The eighth day is often specified in 
the Jewish ritual (cp. e.g. Lev. ix. 1 : 
1 K. viii. 66). The peace offerings 
were first mentioned in v. 27, but 
they come as in Leviticus (iii. 1) 
after the burnt offerings and the 
regulation as to the salting of the 
sacrifices. With this dedication the 
people were to become once again 
God's accepted people (cp. xx. 40: 

Is. Ix. 7 : Mai. iii. 4 : cp. 1 Pet. ii. 5 
'to offer up spiritual sacrifices, 
acceptable to God through Jesus 

XLIV. 1-3. These verses deal 
with the prince's relation to the 
Temple and its rites. The prophet 
is brought back from the inner 
court (xliii. 5) to the eastern gate 
where he was before (xliii. 1). This 
gate was for the future to be baiTed 
because through it the glory of the 
Lord had passed (xliii. 4). The 
prince is the David of whom the 
prophet has already spoken (xxxiv. 
23, 24: xxxvii. 24, 25) and who is 
mentioned again later (xlv. 7 : xlvi. 2). 
He is to take part in the eating of 
the sacrificial meals, that is the 
meaning of his eating bread before 
the Lord ; cp. Ex. xviii. 12 ' Jethro, 
Moses' father in law, took a burnt 
offering and sacrifices for God : and 
Aaron came, and all the elders of 




shall sit therein as prince to eat bread before the Lord ; he 
shall enter by the way of the porch of the gate, and shall go 

4 out by the way of the same. Then he brought me the 
way of the north gate before the house ; and I looked, and 
behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord : 

6 and I fell upon my face. And the Lord said unto me, 
Son of man, ^mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and 
hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all 
the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws 
thereof ; and ^mark well the entering in of the house, with 

6 every going forth of the sanctuary. And thou shalt say to 
the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the 
Lord GrOD : O ye house of Israel, let it sufiice you of all 

1 Heb. set thine heart upon. 

4). The ordinances, the laws, and 
the entrances into and goings out 
from the Temple have also been 
already mentioned (xliii. 11). In 
their new and restored condition 
the people are reminded that they 
must have done with all their 
previous transgressions which are 
specified (cp. xlv. 9 and 1 Pet. iv. 3 
'the time past may suflSce to have 
wrought the desire of the Gentiles '). 
Chief of all was the importation of 
aliens into the sanctuary (cp. Neh. 
vii. 64, 65 and the strong measures 
adopted by Nehemiah in the case 
of Tobiah, Neh. xiii. 4, and the 
grandson of Eliashib the high priest 
who was of mixed blood, Neh. xiii. 
28, 29). We may remember in this 
connection the excitement raised 
against St Paul in Jerusalem because 
he was supposed to have introduced 
Greeks into the Temple (Acts xxi. 
38). These aliens are looked upon 
as not only uncircumcised in their 
bodies, but also spiritually uncir- 
cumcised (cp. Jer. vi. 10: ix. 26: 

Israel, to eat bread with 
father in law before God.' It is his 
act of communion with God, and 
the expression reminds us who have 
become a kingdom and priests unto 
God (cp. Rev. i. 6: v. 10) of our 
communions with Him. If we com- 
pare this passage with xlvi. 2, 12, it 
seems that the prince sat in the 
porch of the gate, and an exception 
was made in his case for the gate to 
be opened, though he did not pass 
through it. 

4-9. The exclusion of the alien. 
The prophet is again moved to the 
north gate which has been described 
earlier (xl. 20), if it be here as there 
the gate of the outer court. From 
it he sees the glory of the Lord 
filling the house (xliii. 5), and it fills 
him with reverence so that he 
prostrates himself (i. 28), and in 
that position receives instruction 
from the Lord Himself, impressed 
upon him with emphatic words, 
almost identical with those at the 
commencement of these visions (xl. 

XLIV. 6-1 1 



7 your abominations, in that ye have brought in aliens, 
uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in 
my sanctuary, to profane it, even my house, when ye ofier 
my bread, the fat and the blood, and ^they have broken 

8 my covenant, ^to add unto all your abominations. And 
ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things : but ye 
have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for your- 

9 selves. Thus saith the Lord God, No alien, uncircumcised 
in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my 
sanctuary, of any alien that is among the children of 

10 Israel. But the Levites that went far from me, when 
Israel went astray, which went astray from me after their 

11 idols ; they shall bear their iniquity. Yet they shall be 
ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of 
the house, and ministering in the house : they shall slay 
the burnt oflering and the sacrifice for the people, and 
they shall stand before them to minister unto them. 

1 Most ancient versions have, 

2 Or, in all 

Acts vii. 51, and St Paul's dictum 
Rom. ii. 29 'circumcision is that of 
the heart, in the spirit, not in the 
letter'). Their presence at the 
sacrifices was a profanation. The 
word 'bread' here must be given a 
wide interpretation as in Lev. iii. 1 1 
* it is the bread (R.V. marg.) of the 
offering made by fire unto the Lord.' 
The marginal reading from the 
ancient versions 'ye have broken 
my covenant' in v. 7 is certainly 
right. This could not be attributed 
to the aliens. So too we should 
translate with R.V. marg. 'in all 
your abominations.' These aliens 
seem from «. 8 to have been em- 
ployed as deputies by those who 
ought to have done the work them- 
selves. The consequence is laid 
down that the alien is absolutely 
excluded from the sanctuary, so 


long, we may suppose, as he is 
uncircumcised in heart and flesh. 
An inscription on a tablet from 
Herod's Temple warning off the 
alien from the court of the Temple 
is still in existence. It was found 
by M. Clermont-Ganneau in 1870; 
its purport is : 'No stranger to enter 
within the balustrade round the 
Temple and the enclosure : and who- 
ever is caught shall be responsible 
for his death following.' A repre- 
sentation of this inscription may be 
seen in Toy's Ezekiel (p. 193). 

10-14. The duties of the Levites 
circumscribed because of their pre- 
vious transgressions. This limita- 
tion seems to include all the tribe 
of Levi except the sons of Zadok 
{v. 15: cp. xlviii. 11): they had to 
endure the penal consequences of 
their sins and only hold inferior 




XLIV. i«-i4 


12 Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and 
became a stumblingblock of iniquity unto the house of 
Israel ; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, 
saith the Lord Gk)D, and they shall bear their iniquity. 

13 And they shall not come near unto me, to execute the 
office of priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my 
holy things, unto the things that are most holy : but they 
shall bear their shame, and their abominations which 

14 they have committed. Yet will I make them keepers of 
the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for 
all that shall be done therein. 

offices about the Temple, such as 
that described in xlvi. 24. They 
were some of them to be porters 
or doorkeepers : it will be remem- 
bered that in the regulations 
ascribed to David (1 Chr. xxix. 1) 
the Korahites or descendants of 
Korah (Numb. xvi. 1) appear among 
the courses of doorkeepers. There 
is a recollection in the present 
verse of what Moses said to Korah : 
— ' Hear now, ye sons of Levi : 
seemeth it but a small thing unto 
you, that the God of Israel hath 
separated you from the congregation 
of Israel, to bring you near to 
himself; to do the service of the 
tabernacle of the Lord, and to 
stand be/ore the congregation to 
minister unto them ' (Numb. xvi. 9). 
By ministering before idols they 
had led the people wrong (cp. xiv. 
3, 4, 7). None of them, therefore, 
were to be priests, though no doubt 
some of them wished to have that 

rank, as in the days of Korah. We 
read of idolatrous priests, such as 
are indicated here, in the last days 
of the kingdom of Judah (2 K. xxiii. 
8, 9). They were to be disgraced 
but still to be given a share in the 
ministry. That they were in origin 
priests is clear from the fact that we 
have mention of a chamber for * the 
priests, the keepers of the charge of 
the house ' (xl. 45). In I Chr. xxiii. 
28, 32 the service of the house is 
assigned to the sons of Levi to wait 
upon the sons of Aaron. Here 
certain Aaronic houses are degraded 
and counted with the rest of the 
tribe of Levi. Nothing said here or 
elsewhere compels us to maintain 
that every Levite was a priest; 
though every priest certainly was a 
Levite; there is much that looks 
the other way. The degraded priests 
mentioned in these verses had ful- 
filled their office at the high places 
outside of Jerusalem (2 K. xxiii. 9). 


XLiv. 15-19 EZEKIEL 243 

Ixxxv. The duties of the priests^ the sons of Zadok, in 
detail, and their privileges and emolwrnents. xliv. 15-31. 

15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that 
kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of 
Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me 
to minister unto me ; and they shall stand before me to 
offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God : 

16 they shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near 
to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my 

17 charge. And it shall be that when they enter in at the 
gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen 
garments ; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they 

18 minister in the gates of the inner court, and ^within. They 
shall have linen tires upon their heads, and shall have linen 
breeches upon their loins ; they shall not gird themselves 

19 with any thing that causeth sweat. And when they go forth 
into the outer court, even into the outer court to the people, 
they shall put off their garments wherein they minister, 
and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on 

^ Or, in the house 

15, 16. General introduction to sweat was a form of uncleanness : 

what follows. On the designation there may also be a reference here 

of these priests see xliii. 19, and on to the legislation against mixed 

the reason of their selection v. \0: fabrics (Lev. xix. 19 'neither shall 

xlviii. 11. They were permitted a there come upon thee a garment of 

nearer approach to God. The two kinds of stuff mingled together': 

offering of the fat and the blood has cp. Deut. xxii. 11 'Thou shalt not 

been already mentioned in v. 7. The wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen 

Lord's table has been described together'). 'Within' {v. 17) is 

earher (xli. 22). equivalent to R.V. marg. ' in the 

17-19. Special sanctuary gar- house.' Tires were head-dresses, 

ments not to be worn elsewhere, something in the nature of a turban. 

The linen garments correspond to All these linen garments were to be 

those of Aaron and his sons (Ex. laid aside and kept in the priests' 

xxviii. 39, 42 : xxxix. 27-29 : cp. chambers, as had been directed 

Lev. vi. 10: xvi. 4). They were not already (xlii. 14: cp. Lev. vi. 11). 

to wear wool at the same time; a The idea was that, if the people 

reason for this is given in «?. 18 : touched these sacred garments, they 




XLIV. 19-25 

other garments, that they sanctify not the people with 

20 their garments. Neither shall they shave their heads, nor 
suffer their locks to grow long ; they shall only poll their 

21 heads. Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they 

22 enter into the inner court. Neither shall they take for 
their wives a widow, nor her that is put away : but they 
shall take virgins of the seed of the house of Israel, or 

23 a widow that is the widow of a priest. And they shall 
teach my people the difference between the holy and the 
common, and cause them to discern between the unclean 

24 and the clean. And in a controversy they shall stand to 
judge ; according to my judgements shall they judge it : 
and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my 
appointed feasts ; and they shall hallow my sabbaths. 

25 And they shall come at no dead person to defile them- 
selves : but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for 

would thereby become dedicated to 
the service of God : the same idea is 
connected with the sacrifices (xlvi. 
20 'that they bring them not forth 
into the outer court, to sanctify the 
people '). 

20-22. Various personal regu- 
lations with reference to the priests. 
The regulations about the hair 
correspond to the Levitical regu- 
lations (Lev. xxi. 5). Constant 
shaving of the body was a distinctive 
mark of the Egyptian ministry : it 
was because of this, perhaps, that 
the opposite law was enforced. The 
regulation of wine follows that of 
Leviticus (x. 9), where some have 
held that Nadab and Abihu's trans- 
gression (». l)was due to indulgence 
in wine. The choice of a wife is 
limited as in Lev. xxi. 7, 13, 14, the 
only difference being that most of 
the regulations, except that of 
marriage with a divorced woman, 
refer there only to the high-priest 

and that here marriage with a 
priest's widow is allowed. 

23. This regulation in Leviticus 
(x. 10) comes after that as regards 
wine (cp. «?. 21) and is followed there 
by words corresponding with the 
central clause of v. 24. Neglect of 
these things had already been 
attributed to the priests by Ezekiel 
(xxii. 26). 

24. The judicial power here 
given to the priests corresponds with 
that assigned to them in Deutero- 
nomy (xvii. 8, 9) and is recognised 
as being put in motion in the days of 
Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. xix. 8-10). The 
breaking of the sabbath is noted as 
one of the sins of the priests (xxii. 
26) and was common among the 
people ( Jer. xvii. 22, 24, 27 : cp. 
Neh. xiii. 15-22, where Nehemiah 
lays the duty of sanctifying the 
sabbath upon the Levites). 

25-27. Regulations about ap- 
proaching a dead body, and the 

XLIV. 25-30 



daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, 

26 they may defile themselves. And after he is cleansed, they 

27 shall reckon unto him seven days. And in the day that 
he goeth into the sanctuary, into the inner court, to 
minister in the sanctuary, he shall oflPer his sin ofiering, 

28 saith the Lord God. And they shall have an inheritance ; 
I am their inheritance : and ye shall give them no posses- 

29 sion in Israel ; I am their possession. They shall eat the 
meal offering, and the sin ofiering, and the guilt ofiering ; 

30 and every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs. And 
the first of all the firstfruits of every thing, and every 
^oblation of every thing, of all your oblations, shall be for 
the priests : ye shall also give unto the priest the first of 
your 2 dough, to cause a blessing to rest on thine house. 

1 Or, heave offering 

purification necessary afterwards. 
The exceptions of v. 25 correspond 
exactly with those of Lev. xxi. 1-3. 
The purification is regulated as in 
Numb. xix. 11-14. On his return to 
his duties, at the end of fourteen 
days, the priest is to oflfer a sin 

28. The priest's inheritance is 
not of land or property but a 
spiritual inheritance (so Numb, xviii. 
20, 24 : Deut. x. 9 : xviii. 1, 2 : Josh, 
xiii. 33). This idea is kept up with 
regard to our own ministry : the 
word clergy being derived from a 
Greek word Kkfipos meaning allot- 
ment. They are God's portion : He 
is their inheritance. Thus in the 
Response ' Bless Thine inheritance ' 
a prayer may be said to be sx)ecially 
offered for the Clergy by the people, 
just as the Priest has immediately 
before prayed for the people *0 Lord, 
save Thy people.' The priests were 
to have just room enough to dwell 
in (xlv. 4, 5). 

2 Or, coarse meal 

29, 30. The priests' share of the 
offerings. These regulations answer 
to those of the Levitical law. For 
the meal offering see Lev. vi. 16, 
18 ; for the sin offering Lev. vi. 26, 
29 ; for the guilt offering Lev. vii. 6, 
7, 9. The assignment of every de- 
voted thing, i.e. every consecrated 
thing, in Israel is only definitely made 
in Numb, xviii. 14. The firstfruits 
are plainly set apart for the priests in 
Lev. xxiii. 20 : Numb, xviii. 12, 13 : 
Deut. xviii. 4. The rendering of 
R.V. marg, 'heave offering' rather 
than ' oblation ' is to be preferred ; 
cp. Deut. xii. 6, 11 'the heave offer- 
ing of your hand.' The offering of 
the dough is enjoined Numb. xv. 20, 
21 (cp. Neh. x. 38). The exact 
meaning of the word translated 
' dough ' (R.V.) is very uncertain ; 
other translations are ' coarse meal ' 
and 'kneading troughs.' By offer- 
ing the first of the firstfruits to God, 
the offerer expressed a hope that a 
blessing might rest upon his house. 



XLIV. 31-XLV. 4 

31 The priests shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself, 
or is torn, whether it be fowl or beast. 

Ixxxvi. The apportionment of the land for the Temple^ the 
priests, the Levites, the city and the prince, xlv. 1-8. 

XLV. 1 Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the 
land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the 
Lord, ^an holy portion of the land : the length shall be 
the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the 
breadth shall be ^ten thousand : it shall be holy in all the 

2 border thereof round about. Of this there shall be for the 
holy place five hundred in length by five hundred in 
breadth, square round about ; and fifty cubits for the 

3 ^suburbs thereof round about. And of this measure shalt 
thou measure, a length of five and twenty thousand, and a 
breadth of ten thousand : and in it shall be the sanctuary, 

4 which is most holy. It is an holy portion of the land ; it 
shall be for the priests, the ministers of the sanctuary, 
which come near to minister unto the Lord ; and it shall 

1 Heb. holiness. 2 Tjie Sept. has, twenty. * Or, open space 

31. What the priests may not 
eat. In the eariier legislation (Ex. 
xxii. 31) such a rule was made for 
all alike : ' Ye shall be holy men 
unto me : therefore ye shall not eat 
any flesh that is torn of beasts in the 
field' (cp. Lev. vii. 24 : xvii. 15 : xxii. 
8, where ' that which dieth of itself 
is added). Ezekiel claims that he 
has abstained from these things in 
iv. 14. The regulation is part of the 
whole idea of the Jewish legislation 
that there is to be a distinct separa- 
tion between holy and profane, 
between clean and unclean. 

XLV. 1-8. A part of the land 
is to be consecrated for various 
purposes. Chapters xlvii. 13-23 ; 
xlviii. are also concerned with the 

division of the land. The oblation 
portion is regulated as to its 
situation and measurement in xlviii. 
8-10. The Septuagint in the best 
text has 20,000 for the breadth hero 
but 25,000 in xlviii. 9 : numbers or 
their symbols were easily confused 
with one another in the mss. 20,000 
seems to be the correct measurement. 
What these 25,000 and 20,000 were 
the Hebrew and Greek fail to tell 
us. R.V. follows A.V. in supplying 
' reeds ' not ' cubits ' ; ' cubits ' seems 
certainly right (see on xlii. 16): 
the reed was six cubits (xL 5). 
The space 500 cubits square has 
been already definitely described 
(xlii. 16-20). The fifty cubits space 
was a clearing round the 500 cubits 

XLV. 4-8 



be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the 

5 sanctuary. And five and twenty thousand in length, and 
ten thousand in breadth, shall be unto the Levites, the 
ministers of the house, for a possession unto themselves, 

6 for ^twenty chambers. And ye shall appoint the possession 
of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty 
thousand long, side by side with the oblation of the holy 

7 portion : it shall be for the whole house of Israel. And 
wTuitsoever is for the prince shall he on the one side and 
on the other side of the holy oblation and of the posses- 
sion of the city, in front of the holy oblation and in front of 
the possession of the city, on the west side westward, and 
on the east side eastward : and in length answerable unto 
one of the portions, from the west border unto the east 

8 border. ^In the land it shall be to him for a possession 
in Israel : and my princes shall no more oppress my 
people ; but they shall give the land to the house of Israel 
according to their tribes. 

1 The Sept. has, cities to dwell in. ^ Or, A$ touching 

square : this is what is meant by the 
word 'suburbs' here, and it would 
be better to follow R. V. marg. ' open 
space.' V. 3 repeats the statements 
of V. 1 with the addition that the 
sanctuary was to be included in it 
(so xlviii. 10), meaning thereby 
especially the Holy of Holies, of 
which the measurements have been 
already given (see xli. 4). All is to 
be included in the largest area. V. 4 
must be read with xlviii. 11, 12 and 
V. 5 with xlviii. 13. The last words 
of this last verse should be read 
with the Septuagint ' cities to dwell 

in' (R.V. marg. : cp. Josh. xxi. 2) : we 
can scarcely imagine the number of 
Levites that were supposed to be in 
attendance being accommodated in 
twenty chambers. The city portion 
is more fully described in xlviii. 
15-19. Lastly we have the two 
sections assigned to the prince as in 
xlviii. 21, 22, and on the part of 
this prince there was to be no 
oppression as there had been in 
former days (cp. xxii. 27 : xlvi. 18) : 
the land was to be divided tribally, 
as it is later on (xlvii. 13, 21 : xlviii. 
1-7, 23-29). 



XLV. 9-n 

Ixxxvii. Enactments as to weights and measures, and as 
to offerings from the people for the prince to make. 
xlv. 9-17. 

9 Thus saith the Lord GrOD : Let it suffice you, princes 
of Israel : remove violence and spoil, and execute 
judgement and justice; take away your ^exactions from my 

10 people, saith the Lord God. Ye shall have just balances, 

11 and a just ephah, and a just bath. The ephah and the 
bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain 
the tenth part of an homer, and the ephah the tenth part 
of an homer : the measure thereof shall be after the 

12 homer. And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs : twenty 

^ Heb. expulsions. 

9-12. Enactments as to weights 
and measures to prevent wrong 
and exaction. From vv. 8, 9 it is 
clear that the prophet anticipated 
not merely one prince to come, but 
a line of princes, and upon one after 
another of these the following in- 
junctions are laid. There seems no 
doubt from the literal meaning of 
the Hebrew word translated 'ex- 
actions' (R.V. marg. 'Heb. expul- 
sions') that what is denounced is 
the forcible taking possession by the 
ruler of any particular land he might 
fancy (cp. xlvi. 18). Samuel is re- 
presented as warning the people 
that this is what their king would 
do (1 Sam. viii. 14), and the story of 
Naboth's vineyard (1 K. xxi.) illus- 
trates the practice. V. 10 corre- 
sponds to Lev. xix. 35, 36 (cp. Deut. 
xxv. 13-15: Prov. xi. 1: xvi. 11: 
XX. 10 : Am. viii. 5 : Mic. vi. 11) but 
here just weights are omitted and 
the bath takes the place of the hin. 
There seem at various times to have 
been variations of standard : even in 
these chapters we have two cubits 

of different length specified (xl. 5), 
but here it is ordered that there 
shall be only one standard (cp. 
Deut. xxv. 14, 15) and the propor- 
tions between the measures are 
specified. That between the bath 
and the homer is not defined else- 
where: it should be remembered 
that in Ex. xvi. 36 we are told that 
'an omer is the tenth part of an 
ephah' (cp. ». 16), but the Hebrew 
word there is different and only 
occurs in that chapter. The shekel 
mentioned here is called ' the shekel 
of the sanctuary ' (Ex. xxx. 13 : 
xxxviii. 24 : Lev. v. 15 : xxvii. 3, 25). 
The last part of the verse as it 
stands in R.V., representing the 
Hebrew, is meaningless : the sense 
probably is : five shekels shall go for 
five shekels (i.e. neither more nor 
less), ten shekels for ten, and your 
maneh shall be fifty shekels. This 
follows the Alexandrine ms. of the 
Septuagint. The value of the homer 
may be estimated at 80 gallons, and 
of the ephah or bath at 8 gallons. 
It is more diflScult to determine 


XLV. 12-17 EZEKIEL 249 

shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be 

13 your maneh. This is the oblation that ye shall ofibr ; the 
sixth part of an ephah from an homer of wheat, and ye 
shall give the sixth part of an ephah from an homer of 

14 barley : and the set portion of oil, of the bath of oil, shall 
be the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is ten 

15 baths, even an homer ; for ten baths are an homer : and 
one lamb of the flock, out of two hundred, from the ^fat 
pastures of Israel ; for a meal ofiering, and for a burnt 
offering, and for peace offerings, to make atonement for 

16 them, saith the Lord God. All the people of the land 
^ shall give unto this oblation for the prince in Israel. 

17 And it shall be the prince's part to give the burnt offerings, 
and the meal offerings, and the drink offerings, in the 
feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all 
the appointed feasts of the house of Israel : he shall 
prepare the sin offering, and the meal offering, and the 
burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make atonement 
for the house of Israel. 

1 Heb. well watered. ^ Heb. shall be for. 

the value of the gerah, shekel and Testament in the hundred baths of 

maneh respectively, as the standard oil and the hundred cors of wheat 

varied. A long discussion of the of our Lord's parable of the Unjust 

whole question is to be found in Steward (Lk. xvi. 6, 7 : cp. 1 K. iv. 

Encycl. Bib. s. mc. Shekel : see also 22 : Ezra vii. 22 with R.V. marg.). 

the article Maneh. The maneh Ivl v. 15 the marginal rendering of 

corresponds to the Greek mina of the Hebrew 'well watered' might 

which sixty went to a talent. just as well have found its place in 

13-17. These verses define the the text. The meal offering is dealt 

dues which are to be paid by the with in Lev. ii., the burnt offering in 

people in order that the prince Lev. i., the peace offerings in Lev. 

may make the proper offerings in iii. The idea of atonement was 

their name. The proportion of the chiefly connected with the sin 

offering to the whole is different in offering and the burnt offering in 

the various kinds of offerings, ^^ in the Levitical code (cp. Lev. ix. 7). 

the case of grain, yj^ in that of oil, While the people provided these 

^}^ of the flocks. In the case of the offerings, it was the duty of the 

liquid measure the cor and the priest to present their offerings 

homer are identical. The bath and himself. In 2 Chronicles (xxx. 24 : 

the cor both occur in the New xxxv. 7) we find the two good kings 



XLV. 1 8-2 1 fl 

Ixxxviii. Of the two half-yearly fasts and festivals, which 
are apparently intended, one being still the passover, to 
take the place of the Day of Atonement, and the three 
great feasts of the Tor ah legislation, xlv. 18-26. 

18 Thus saith the Lord God : In the first month, in the 
first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock 
without blemish ; and thou shalt cleanse the sanctuary. 

19 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin ofiering, 
and put it upon the door posts of the house, and upon the 
four corners of the ^settle of the altar, and upon the posts 

20 of the gate of the inner court. And so thou shalt do ^on 
the seventh day of the month for every one that erreth, 
and for him that is simple : so shall ye make atonement 

21 for the house. In the first month, in the fourteenth day of 
the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven 

1 Or, ledge 
2 The Sept. reads, in the seventh month, on the first day of the month. 

Hezekiah and Josiah providing 
animals for sacrifice, but this 
is not contemplated here. The 
drink oflFerings are constantly men- 
tioned in the Pentateuch (e.g. Ex. 
xxix. 40 : Lev. xxiii. 13 : Numb. vi. 
15 : cp. Gen. xxxv. 14). 

18-20. The two days of atone- 
ment, one every six months, to 
take the place of the one on the 
tenth day of the seventh month 
(Lev. xvi. 29). The sanctuary was 
to be cleansed, just as the holy 
place and the tent of meeting were 
to be made atonement for (Lev. 
xvi. 16: cp. Heb. ix. 23 'it was 
necessary therefore that the copies 
of things in the heavens should be 
cleansed with these'). The ritual 
of V. 19 is like that for the altar 
(xliii. 26) with the addition that 
here the door posts of the house, 
as in the offering of the passover 

was the case with the posts of the 
dwelling houses (Ex. xii. 7), and 
the posts of the gate of the inner 
court (xlvi. 1) were to be sprinkled 
with blood. For the settle of the 
altar see xliii. 14. In v. 20, which 
provides for the second day of atone- 
ment, the reading of the Septuagint 
(see R.V. marg.) should be pre- 
ferred. By 'the simple' is meant 
those that are easily led astray and 
so commit sin unwittingly (see Lev. 

21-25. The passover and one 
other feast six months later. The 
Pentateuchal legislation concerning 
the Passover is evidently presup- 
posed in these verses: but the 
actual offerings are different in 
Numb, xxviii. 16, 25, the only place 
in the Pentateuch where the sacri- 
fices are specified. There the daily 
burnt offering is to be two young 



22 days ; unleavened bread shall be eaten. And upon that 
day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the 

23 people of the land a bullock for a sin offering. And the 
seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to 
the Lord, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish 
daily the seven days ; and a he-goat daily for a sin offering. 

24 And he shall prepare a meal offering, an ephah for a 
bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil to an 

25 ephah. In the seventh months in the fifteenth day of the 
month, in the feast, shall he do the like the seven days ; 
according to the sin offering, according to the burnt 
offering, and according to the meal offering, and according 
to the oil. 

Ixxxix. Regulations about the entry of the priest and 
various festivals, xlvi. 1-15. 

XL VI. 1 Thus saith the Lord God : The gate of the 
inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the 
six working days ; but on the sabbath day it shall be 
opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 

bullocks, one ram and seven he- 
lambs : here it is to be seven bul- 
locks and seven rams : the sin offering 
is the same. The meal offerings are 
like those for the sabbath and the 
new moon (xlvi. 5, 7). The chief 
legislation about the meal offering 
is to be found in Lev. ii. : the pro- 
portions between the oil and the 
flour seem to have varied (cp. 
Numb. XV. 4, 6, 9). The second 
feast ordained here is the same 
as the Feast of Tabernacles (cp. Lev. 
xxiii. 34 : Numb. xxix. 12), a very 
popular feast in post-exilic times 
(Ezra iii. 4 : Neh. viii. 14 : cp. Hos. 
xii. 9 : Zech. xiv. 16) and one kept 
by our Lord (John vii. 2, 10, 14, 37). 
Here the offerings are made to 

correspond with those of the pass- 
over: in Numbers vii. each day's 
offerings are different, and an eighth 
day is added to the feast. It is to 
be noticed that Ezekiel omits any 
reference to the Feast of Weeks, 
or Pentecost, as also to the Feast of 
Trumpets which was held a fort- 
night before the Feast of Taber- 

XLVI. 1, 2. The time for opening 
the gate and the entrance of the 
prince. The gate of the inner court 
(here and in xlv. 19) is the same as 
'the outer gate of the sanctuary' 
(xliv. 1 : cp. xliii. 1) which was never 
to be passed by man because the God 
of Israel had entered that way (xliv. 
1-3). By saying that it was to be 




2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of the 
gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and 
the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace 
offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate ; 
then he shall go forth : but the gate shall not be shut 

3 until the evening. And the people of the land shall 
worship at the door of that gate before the Lord in the 

4 sabbaths and in the new moons. And the burnt offering 
that the prince shall offer unto the Lord shall be in the 
sabbath day six lambs without blemish and a ram without 

5 blemish ; and the meal offering shall be an ephah for the 
ram, and the meal offering for the lambs as he is able to 

6 give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. And in the day of the 
new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish ; 
and six lambs, and a ram ; they shall be without blemish : 

7 and he shall prepare a meal offering, an ephah for the 

shut is meant that none were to 
pass through it: at the same time 
on the sabbath day and the new 
moon it was to be set open. In this 
entrance the prince was to take his 
place, as had been already laid 
down (xKv. 3). He was to stand by 
the post of the gate, one of the posts 
already mentioned (xlv. 19). Close 
to these posts was the place where 
the burnt offering was washed, and 
the tables stood for the sin oflfering 
and the guilt offering (xl. 38, 39). 
Whilst the offerings were being 
prepared the prince was to stand 
close by and worship and then to go 
out again, without passing through 
the gate, which was to remain open 
till the evening. Near the doorway 
of the gate in which the prince stood 
the people were to worship on 
sabbaths and new moons ; these two 
feasts are combined by Isaiah (i. 13) 
and have already been mentioned 
here when the prince's part in the 

sacrifices and offerings was assigned 
to him (xlv. 17). It will be noticed 
that to the prince is assigned a 
much humbler position in the 
Temple, than that which Solomon 
is represented as having assumed. 
The position to be taken up by the 
prince here reminds us of what 
happened when Joash the son of 
Ahaziah was presented to the 
people, upon the deposition of 
Athaliah : see 2 K. xi. 14 : 2 Chr. 
xxiii. 13 'the king stood by his 
pillar at the entrance.' 

4, 5. The sabbath offering of the 
prince in the name of the people. 
The burnt offering for the sabbath 
in the law was two he-lambs of the 
first year (Numb, xxviii. 9, 10) : the 
offering here is much more magni- 
ficent. As for the proportions of 
the meal offering see xlv. 24. 

6, 7. The new moon offerings are 
greater than those of the sabbath by 
a young bullock. The new moon 

XLVL ^-l^ EZEKIEL 253 

bullock, and an ephah for the ram, and for the lambs 
according as %e is able, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 

8 And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the 
way of the porch of the gate, and he shall go forth by the 

9 way thereof. But when the people of the land shall come 
before the Lord in the appointed feasts, he that entereth 
by the way of the north gate to worship shall go forth by 
the way of the south gate ; and he that entereth by the 
way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the 
north gate : he shall not return by the way of the gate 
whereby he came in, but shall go forth straight before him. 

10 And the prince, when they go in, shall go in in the midst 
of them ; and when they go forth, ^they shall go forth 

11 together. And in the feasts and in the ^solemnities the 
meal offering shall be an ephah for a bullock, and an 
ephah for a ram, and for the lambs as he is able to give, 

12 and an hin of oil to an ephah. And when the prince shall 
prepare a freewill offering, a burnt offering or peace 
offerings as a freewill offering unto the Lord, one shall 
open for him the gate that looketh toward the east, and 

1 Heb. his hand shall attain unto. ^ Some ancient authorities have, 

he shall go forth. ^ Or, appointed feasts 

feast in the law (Numb. x. 10 : The feasts are those specified in 

xxviii. 11) had greater offerings xlv. 21-25, the solemnities or ap- 

than those mentioned here :— two pointed feasts (R.V. marg.) are the 

young bullocks, one ram, with their sabbaths and new moons, 
meal offerings and drink offerings, 12-15. Regulations about various 

and a he-goat for a sin offering. offerings. The ritual for the prince 

8-10. The entrances of prince and is to be the same as on the sabbath 
people. The prince was to go out or new moon {w. 1, 2), if he offers a 
by the same gate at which he entered freewill offering, whether it be a 
in; but, in order to avoid confu- burnt offering or peace offerings, 
sion, the people who went in by one Under the law the freewill offerings 
gate were to go out by the opposite seem to have seldom taken the form 
one. In this way they all appeared of burnt offerings. The only differ- 
before the Lord (Ex. xxiii. 17), prince ence in the ceremonial was that the 
and people alike, and he was to mix gate did not remain open till the 
with the people. evening but was shut as soon as the 

11. The regulations about the prince went away. In «?». 13-15 we 

meal offering are recapitulated, have the regulations for the daily 

254 EZEKIEL xLvi. 12-17 

he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, 
as he doth on the sabbath day : then he shall go forth ; 

13 and after his going forth one shall shut the gate. And 
thou shalt prepare a lamb of the first year without 
blemish for a burnt offering unto the Lord daily : 

14 morning by morning shalt thou prepare it. And thou 
shalt prepare a meal offering with it morning by morning, 
the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of 
oil, to ^moisten the fine flour ; a meal offering unto the 

15 Lord continually by a perpetual ordinance. Thus shall 
they prepare the lamb, and the meal offering, and the oil, 
morning by morning, for a continual burnt offering. 

xc. Regulations as to the inheritance of land. 
xlvi. 16-18. 

16 Thus saith the Lord Gk)D : If the prince give a gift 
unto any of his sons, it is his inheritance, it shall belong 

17 to his sons ; it is their possession by inheritance. But if 
he give of his inheritance a gift to one of his servants, it 
shall be his to the year of liberty ; then it shall return to 
the prince ; but as for his inheritance, it shall be for his 

1 Or, mix with 

morning burnt offering : no pro- (a) A gift made by the prince to 
vision is made for an evening one, any of his sons is irrevocable. (6) One 
such as was ordered by the law (Ex. made to any of his servants comes 
xxix. 38-42 : Numb, xxviii. 3-8 : back to him. The prince's allotted 
cp. 1 K. xviii. 29, where the evening share has been described already 
oblation is referred to, and 2 K. (xlv. 7, 8). The year of liberty is 
xvi. 15, where 'the morning burnt the fiftieth year, the year of jubile, 
offering, and the evening meal when every one's possession returned 
offering ' are mentioned). The pro- to him. The land was God's : there- 
portions of the meal offering are fore it could not be sold in perpetuity 
different here from those in Exodus (Lev. xxiii.). The seventh year was 
(xxix. 40), where we find ^ of an the year of liberty for persons but 
ephah of fine flour and ^ of an hin not for land (Ex. xxi. 2). (c) A 
of beaten oil, with an addition of ^ of further provision that no one should 
an hin of wine for a drink offering. be forcibly deprived of his inheri- 
16-18. Regulations about land, tance (cp. xlv. 8). It is clear from 

XLVI. 17-23 EZEKIEL 255 

18 sons. Moreover the prince shall not take of the people's 
inheritance, to ^thrust them out of their possession ; he 
shall give inheritance to his sons out of his own posses- 
sion : that my people be not scattered every man from his 

xci. Provision of places for cooking the sacrifices, 
xlvi. 19-24. 

19 Then he brought me through the entry, which was at 
the side of the gate, into the holy chambers for the priests, 
which looked toward the north : and behold, there was a 

20 place on the hinder part westward. And he said unto me, 
This is the place where the priests shall boil the guilt 
offering and the sin offering, where they shaU bake the 
meal offering; that they bring them not, forth into the 

21 outer court, to sanctify the people. Then he brought me 
forth into the outer court, and caused me to pass by the 
four corners of the court ; and behold, in every corner of 

22 the court there was a court. In the four corners of the 
court there were courts ^inclosed, forty cubits long, and 
thirty broad : these four in the comers were of one 

23 measure. And there was a row of building round about 

1 Heb. oppress, ^ Or, joined on 

2>. 18 that the kings had deprived or by baking in the case of the meal 

their subjects of their possessions to oflFering (cp. Lev. ii. 4, 5). The 

provide for their sons. We may same reason is given for this use of 

compare also the story of Naboth's these chambers as for the keeping 

vineyard in 1 K. xxi. the priestly garments in the holy 

19-24. These verses connect them- chambers (xliv. 19). The places for 

selves naturally with the account of cooking by the priests and by the 

the priests' * holy chambers ' in xlii. Levites of the people's part of the 

12, 13. They describe the places sacrifices seem, so far as can be 

set apart for the cooking of the gathered from the present passage, 

sacrifices, whether it was by seething to have been distinct. F. 21 means 

or boiling (both words represent the that in the four comers of the outer 

same Hebrew ; cp. 1 Sam. ii. 13-15 : court there were entrances to other 

2 Chr. XXXV. 13), in the case of the courts where the people's sacrifices 

guilt oflfering and the sin offering, were cooked, round the sides of 

256 EZEKIEL XLVi. 23-XLVii. i 

in them, round about the four, and it was made with 
24 boiling places under the rows round about. Then said he 
unto me, These are the boiling houses, where the ministers 
of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people. 

xcii. The vision of the waters that came out of the house to 
make the land productive. xlviL 1-12. 

"East the forefront of habitations holy 
Gleamed to Engedi, shone to Eneglaim: 
Softly thereout and from thereunder slowly 
Wandered the waters, and delayed, and came. 

Then the gi'eat stream, which having seen he showeth, 

Hid from the wise but manifest to him, 
Flowed and arose, as when Euphrates floweth. 

Rose from the ankles till a man might swim. 

Even with so soft a surge and an increasing. 
Drunk of the sand and thwarted of the clod. 

Stilled and astir and checked and never ceasing — 
Spreadeth the great wave of the grace of God ; 

Bears to the marishes and bitter places 

Healing for hurt and for their poisons balm. 
Isle after isle in infinite embraces 
Floods and enfolds and fringes with the palm." 
♦ **♦*♦ 

Myers, Saint Paul, p. 22. 

XL VII. 1 And he brought me back unto the door of 
the house ; and behold, waters issued out from under the 
threshold of the house eastward, for the forefront of the 

which were colonnades with boiling fertility of all the land in its new 

places underneath ; this is the mean- condition and under its new leader 

ing of the 'row of building^ {v. 23 is to come from God. Perhaps the 

R.V.). ' The ministers of the house ' germ of the idea, which is more 

were all the members of the tribe fully developed here, is to be found 

of Levi except the Zadokites. The in the words of the Psalmist : 

cooking of the offerings of the . ^^^^^^ .^ ^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ 

people is specially referred to m make glad the city of God, 

2 Chr. XXXV. 13. rphe holy place of the tabernacles of 

XLVIL 1-6. The source of the the Most High.' 

waters is under the house. The (Ps. xlvi. 4.) 


XLVII. 1-6 



house was toward the east : and the waters came down 
from under, from the right side of the house, on the south 

2 of the altar. Then brought he me out by the way of the 
gate northward, and led me round by the way without 
unto the outer gate, by the way of the gate that looketh 
toward the east ; and behold, there ^ran out waters on the 

3 right side. When the man went forth eastward with the 
line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he 
caused me to pass through the waters, waters that were 

4 to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and caused 
me to pass through the waters, waters that were to the 
knees. Again he measured a thousand, and caused me to 
pass through the waters, waters that were to the loins. 

5 Afterward he measured a thousand ; and it was a river that 
I could not pass through : for the waters were risen, waters 

6 to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And 
he said unto me. Son of man, hast thou seen this ? Then 

1 Or, trickled forth 

A similar idea is to be found in 
Joel (iii. 18) : 'a fountain shall come 
forth of the house of the Lord, and 
shall water the valley of Shittim ' : 
and in Zech. xiv. 8 'hving waters 
shall go out from Jerusalem.' Again, 
in St John's Gospel (vii. 38) we 
have ' rivers of living water ' flowing 
forth from the believer to be a 
source of blessing to others. In 
the real Jerusalem there were the 
waters of Shiloah that go softly 
(Is. viii. 6: cp. John ix. 7, 11), and 
in the ideal City of God, the new 
Jerusalem, of the Apocalypse there 
is ' a river of water of life, bright as 
crystal, proceeding out of the throne 
of God and of the Lamb ' (Rev. xxii. 
1). Mystical interpreters of the Old 
Testament have seen in these verses 
a prophecy of the spread of the 
Gospel just as the four rivers into 


which the river of Eden parted 
(Gen. ii. 10) were held to be typical 
of the Four Gospels. The waters 
came to light under the threshold of 
the Temple and went away to the 
east on the south side of the altar ; 
this would be in the direction of the 
Jordan. The prophet is taken out 
of the enclosure by the north gate 
and led round to the east gate, — 
he could not go through that gate 
because it was kept shut (xliv. 1, 2 : 
xlvi. 1) — where the waters ran out. 
He is accompanied by the angel 
with the line who is introduced at the 
beginning of these chapters. When 
they have passed along the side of 
the stream for a thousand cubits, 
the prophet fords the stream and 
finds it comes up to his ankles. At 
another thousand, he fords the 
stream again where it comes up to 




XLVIL 6-9 

he brought me, and caused me to return to the bank of 

7 the river. Now when I had returned, behold, upon the 
bank of the river were very many trees on the one side 

8 and on the other. Then said he unto me. These waters 
issue forth toward the eastern region, and shall go down 
into the Arabah : and they shall go toward the sea ; into 
the sea shall the waters go which were made to issue 

9 forth ; and the waters shall be healed. And it shall come 
to pass, that every living creature which swarmeth, in 
every place whither the ^rivers come, shall live; and there 
shall be a very great multitude of fish : for these waters 
are come thither, ^and the waters of the sea shall be 

1 Heb. two rivers. ^ Or, tliat all things may he healed aiid live 


his knees. At the third thousand 
he passes through again and the 
waters come to his loins. At the 
fourth thousand the river is unford- 
able. The prophet's attention is 
directed to this constant deepening 
of the waters as not being in 
accordance with the ordinary course 
of nature, because there had been no 
tributary streams to increase them. 

7-12. Up to this point the pro- 
phet's attention has been entirely 
occupied with the bulk of the 
waters. Now he pays regard to the 
banks which are covered with trees. 
The language of these verses is 
taken up again in Revelation (xxii, 
2) : 'On this side of the river and 
on that was the tree of life, bearing 
twelve manner (R.V. marg. crops) 
of fruits, yielding its fruit every 
month : and the leaves of the tree 
were for the healing of the nations.' 
The waters were to go down into 
the Arabah, the depression of the 
valley of the Jordan north of the 
Dead Sea and also south of it 
(Deut. i. 1). The Dead Sea is called 
the sea of the Arabah (Deut. iii. 17 : 

Josh. iii. 16), and into it the waters 
were to find their way and by them 
the waters of the sea were to be 
healed, i.e. sweetened. The word 
used is the same as that in 2 K. ii. 
21 'I have healed these waters.' 
The result would be seen in the 
abundance of fish and other forms 
of water life that would be produced- 
The plural ' rivers ' is an error of the 
Hebrew scribe for ' river ' (so Septua- 
gint). En-gedi was half way down 
the western shore of the Dead Sea. 
It was a strong place in the portion 
of Judah (Josh. xv. 62) resorted to 
by David in his wanderings (1 Sam. 
xxiii. 29 : xxiv. 1) and identified with 
Hazazon-tamar (2 Chr. xx. 2). The 
vineyards of En-gedi are mentioned 
in the Song of Songs (i. 14), and the 
place is hke an oasis in the desert. 
The meaning of the name is 'fountain 
of the kid.' There is probably an 
allusion to the place in the Apocry- 
pha (Ecclus. xxiv. 14) where for the 
more common reading 'on the sea 
shore ' there is read ' I was exalted 
like a palm tree in Engaddi.' For 
En-eglaim the R.V. references send 

XLVII. 9-12 



healed, and every thing shall live whithersoever the river 

10 Cometh. And it shall come to pass, that fishers shall stand 
by it : from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim shall be a place 
for the spreading of nets ; their fish shall be after their 

11 kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But 
the miry places thereof, and the marishes thereof, shall 

12 not be healed ; they shall be ^ given up to salt. And by 
the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that 
side, shall grow every tree for meat, whose leaf shall not 
wither, neither shall the fruit thereof fail : it shall bring 
forth 2 new fruit every month, because the waters thereof 
issue out of the sanctuary : and the fruit thereof shall be 
for meat, and the leaf thereof for healing. 

1 Or, given for salt 

us to Is. XV. 8 but the name Eglaim 
there is spelt differently in the 
Hebrew. The site is unknown unless 
it be identified with Ain Hajleh 
near the northern end of the Dead 
Sea (see Tristram, Bible Places p. 93 
quoted in Encycl. Bib. 1292). The 
prophet had prophesied (xxvi. 14), in 
a very diflferent way from that in 
which the words are used here, that 
Tyre was to become ' a place for the 
spreading of nets.' The ' great sea ' 
is the Mediterranean (Numb, xxxiv. 
6). Though the waters of the sea 
were to be made fresh, the saline 
marshes were to remain to pro- 
vide salt for the people, salt being 
an indispensable article. The tri- 
bute of salt and the salt-pits of 
Judaea are mentioned in 1 Mace. x. 
29 : xi. 35 ; and salt is reckoned 
among 'the chief of all things 
necessary for the Ufe of man ' by the 
son of Sirach (Ecclus. xxxix. 26 : cp. 
Job vi. 6 : ML ix. 50). The ' miry 
places ' and the ' marishes' — marishes 
being an old form for marshes — are 

2 Heb. firstfruits. 

those parts of the shores of the 
Dead Sea from which the waters 
retreat after the spring floods (cp. 
Josh. iii. 15) have subsided. On 
them is left a deposit of salt. F. 12 
is connected with v. 7 and looks 
back to Gen. ii. 9 (' every tree that 
is... good for food') and is practically 
reproduced in Rev. xxii. 2. The 
words of Ps. i. 3 resemble those 
here : — ' he shall be like a tree 
planted by the streams of water, 
That bringeth forth its fruit in its 
season, Whose leaf also doth not 
wither' (cp. Jer. xvii. 8). The 
abundance of the fruit is attributed 
to the source from which it is 
nourished — the springs from under 
the sanctuary. The fruit is for food, 
the leaf for heaUng (' the leaves of 
the tree were for the healing of the 
nations ' Rev. xxii. 2 : cp. 2 Esdr. 
vii. 53 [123] ' a paradise, whose fruit 
endureth without decay, wherein is 
abundance and healing '). The heal- 
ing here would be that from the 
preceding curse. 




XLVII. 13-16 

xciii. The borders of the land which is to he divided by 
lot. xlvii. 13-23. 

13 Thus saith the Lord God : This shall be the border, 
whereby ye shall divide the land for inheritance accord- 
ing to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have 

14 ^portions. And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another; 
2 concerning the which I lifted up mine hand to give 
it unto your fathers : and this land shall fall unto you for 

15 inheritance. And this shall be the border of the land : on 
the north side, from the great sea, by the way of Hethlon, 

16 unto the entering in of Zedad ; Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, 
which is between the border of Damascus and the border 

1 Some ancient versions have, two portions. 2 Qj.^ y^ ^jj^f j lifted up 

13, 14. The division of the land 
among the tribes had already (xlv. 8) 
been prescribed : it is carried out in 
xlviii. 1-7, 23-28, but first the 
boundaries of the whole land have 
to be described, and an express 
injunction is made that more than 
one portion is to go to Joseph, i.e. to 
Ephraim and Manasseh (cp. xlviii. 
4-6, and Gen. xlviii. 22 * I have given 
to thee one portion above thy 
brethren': Josh. xvii. 14-18). The 
meaning of R.V. 'portions,' i.e. more 
than one portion, is practically identi- 
cal with R.V. marg. ' two portions.' 
The persons addressed in ». 13 are 
not definitely named : in v. 14, at 
any rate, the whole people are in- 
cluded. The words 'one as well as 
another ' imply an equal distribution. 
The lifting up the hand was the token 
of solemn promise : the phrase occurs 
in the same connection in Exodus 
(vi. 8 'the land concerning which I 
lifted up my hand to give it to 
Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob ; 
and I will give it you for an heri- 

tage') and the promises to the 
three patriarchs are to be found in 
Genesis (Abraham xii. 7 : xiii. 15 : 
XV. 18 : xvii. 8 : Isaac xxvi. 3 : 
Jacob xxviii. 13 : xxxv. 12). 

15-20. The borders of the land 
are definitely described : they should 
be compared with those in Numb, 
xxxiv. The extreme northern border 
is described from west to east ; the 
details do not exactly agree either 
with those in xlviii. 1 or those in 
Numb, xxxiv. 7-9. It stai-ts from ' the 
great sea,' i.e. the Mediterranean, 
and goes by Hethlon (cp. xlviii. 1 : not 
in Numb.), a place not known except 
here. The name is not recognized 
by the Septuagint, which seems to 
have thought of the word as in- 
dicating the descent from a cleft or 
pass in the mountains (of Lebanon ?). 
If Hethlon is a real name it may 
be that a village north of Tripoli, 
called Heitela, should be identified 
with it. Others would amend the 
text both here and in Numb, and 
bring in Hadrach, the name of 

XLVII. 16-18 



of Hamath ; ^Hazer-hatticon, which is by the border of 

17 Hauran. And the border from the sea shall be Hazar-enon 
at the border of Damascus, and on the north northward is 

18 the border of Hamath. This is the north side. And the 
east side, between Hauran and Damascus and Gilead, and 
the land of Israel, shall be Jordan ; from the north border 
unto the east sea shall ye measure. This is the east side. 

1 Or, the middle Hazer 

a district in Syria (Zech. ix. 1). 
Zedad and Hamath are in the wrong 
order here (cp.xlviii. 1 : Numb, xxxiv. 
8) : ' the entering in of Hamath ' is 
a recognized expression elsewhere 
(Numb. xiii. 21 : Josh. xiii. 5 : 1 K. 
viii. 65 : 2 K. xiv. 25) and is an 
indefinite point on the border of the 
Hamathite kingdom. Hamath, a 
still existing city of 50,000 inhabi- 
tants, is on the river Orontes. In 
Amos' time it was called 'Hamath 
the great' (Am. vi. 2). The next 
point on the boundary line is 
Zedad (Numb, xxxiv. 8), perhaps to 
be identified with Sadad on the road 
between Riblah — which was on the 
outskirts of Hamath — and Tadmor 
or Palmyra. Berothah or Berothai 
(2 Sam. viii. 8) was in the kingdom 
of Syria, and is of micertain situation. 
*Bereitan' between Damascus and 
Baalbec (Baedeker's Palestine and 
Syria, p. 369) seems hardly in 
the right direction. Sibraim is 
another unknown place : it seems to 
correspond with Ziphron (Numb, 
xxxiv, 9) which has been identified 
with Zafera,neh, which lies some miles 
to the south of Hamath. But the 
identification of all these three places 
is very uncertain ; the prophet uses 
names well known at the time that fit 
in with his ideal. Hazer-hatticon (i.e. 
the middle village) is another very 

uncertain name : the Septuagint read 
Hazar-enan. It is placed by the 
border of Hauran. The Hauran of 
to-day, called Auranitis by the 
Romans, is considerably to the south 
of Damascus. Finally the north 
border ends at Hazar-enon or -enan 
(xlviii. 1 : Numb, xxxiv. 9, 10), another 
unidentified spot. The last words of 
V. n imply that across the border 
were the nearest districts of Hamath. 
The language in t?. 18 is a little 
confused but the sense is obvious : 
the Jordan is the east boundary ; 
on one side of it is the land of 
Israel, on the other Damascus, the 
Hauran, and Gilead : no part of the 
land is to be east of Jordan. The 
east border is differently defined in 
Numbers (xxxiv. 10-12). The east 
sea is another name for the Dead 
Sea (cp. Joel ii. 20 : Zech. xiv. 8). 
The southern border is reckoned 
from east to west, and begins at 
Tamar (xlviii. 28). This may be 
identical with Hazazon-tamar (Gen. 
xiv. 7 : 2 Chr. xx. 2), which is the 
same as En-gedi a place half way 
down the west side of the Dead 
Sea, but we should have expected to 
look for the boundary line still 
more to the south. The waters 
of Meriboth(-bath, xlviii. 28)-ka- 
desh, identified with the waters of 
Meribah (i.e. strife) (Numb. xx. 13), 




19 And the south side southward shall be from Tamar as far 
as the waters of Meriboth-kadesh, to the brook of Egypt, 
unto the great sea. This is the south side southward. 

20 And the west side shall be the great sea, from the south 
border as far as over against the entering in of Hamath. 

21 This is the west side. So shall ye divide this land unto 

22 you according to the tribes of Israel. And it shall come 
to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance 
unto you and to the strangers that sojourn among you, 
which shall beget children among you ; and they shall be 
unto you as the homeborn among the children of Israel ; 
they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of 

23 Israel. And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the 
stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, 
saith the Lord God. 

were at Kadesh or Kadesh-bamea 
(cp. Numb, xxxiv. 4): this place is 
identified with the modem Ain- 
kades to the south-west of the 
southern end of the Dead Sea, and 
it fits in with the description here 
and in Numbers (xxxiv. 4). The 
brook of Egypt was the Wady el- 
Arish which discharges into the 
Mediterranean (cp. Numb, xxxiv. 5). 
The words 'of Egypt' are suppUed 
by KV. to make the sentence clear 
(cp. Is. xxvii. 12). It was called 
Rhinocorura in Greek. About the 
west border there could be no 
question. It was the Mediterra- 
nean. The division as had been 
already enjoined (xlv. 1 : cp. xlviii. 
29) was to be by lot, just as had 
been the case in the original division 
of the land (Numb, xxxiii. 5 : xxxiv. 

13 : cp. Josh, xiv.-xix.). Here, how- 
ever, the resident stranger is to have 
his share (cp. Lev. xix. 34 : Is. xiv. 1 
' the stranger shall join himself with 
them [i.e. Jacob and Israel], and 
they shall cleave to the house of 
Jacob ' : Zech. viii. 22, 23 : and under 
the New Testament dispensation 
Eph. ii. 11-19: iii. 6 'the Gentiles 
are fellow-heirs, and fellow-members 
of the body,' cp. Rom. x. 12 : Gal. iii. 
28 : Col. iii. 11 'there cannot be Greek 
and Jew'), and is to stand on an 
equal footing with the Jew : just as 
the stranger under the Law, upon 
expressing his wish to do so, was, 
after being circumcised, to be allowed 
to keep the passover (Ex. xii. 48, 49). 
Here he is to have his inheritance 
in the tribe in whose territory he 
takes up his abode. 

XLViii. 1-7 EZEKIEL 263 

xciv. The portions of seven tribes to the north of the 
consecrated portion, xlviii. 1-7. 

It is impossible to delineate on any map of Palestine these ideal sections 
of territory assigned to each tribe in the ideal land. They could only be 
represented by horizontal lines drawn across the country, and would not fit 
in with the natural features of the land. All is plainly ideal. 

XLVIII. 1 Now these are the names of the tribes : 
from the north end, beside the way of Hethlon to the 
entering in of Hamath, Hazar-enan at the border of 
Damascus, northward beside Hamath ; and they shall 

2 have their sides east and west ; Dan, one portion. And by 
the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side ; 

3 Asher, one portion. And by the border of Asher, from the 
east side even unto the west side ; Naphtali, one portion. 

4 And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto 

5 the west side ; Manasseh, one portimi. And by the border 
of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side ; 

6 Ephraim, one portion. And by the border of Ephraim, 
from the east side even unto the west side ; Reuben, one 

7 portion. And by the border of Reuben, from the east 
side unto the west side ; Judah, one portion. 

XLVIII. 1-7. V. 1 repeats very (ii. 25-31) the northern side of the 
much what has been said about the host was led by the standard of the 
border of the land in xlvii. 15-17. camp of Dan, with whom were 
Hazar-enan is only another form of ranged Asher and Naphtali, just as 
Hazar-enon (xlvii. 17). The relative they follow here. Further, a north- 
position of the tribes is somewhat ward migration of Ban is described 
altered. To begin with, as EzekieFs in Judges xviii. and ' from Dan to 
ideal division places all the tribes Beersheba' was one way in which 
on the west of Jordan, room has to the limits of the land were defined 
be found, to say nothing of half the (Judg. xx. 1). Manasseh and Eph- 
tribe of Manasseh, for Reuben and raim, the two portions of Joseph, 
Gad. Taking the tribes in the order come next, displacing Zebulun and 
in which they stand here, Dan is Issachar, who are placed in the 
removed from the south, where its south, Issachar being north of 
territory lay to the west of Ephraim Zebulun. South of Ephraim comes 
and Benjamin and made the most Reuben, brought over from the 
northern of the tribes. This may north-eastern side of the Dead Sea ; 
be due to the fact that in Numbers to the south of Reuben is placed 

264 EZEKIEL xlviii. 8-13 

xcv. The consecrated portion with its various divisions. 
xlviii. 8-22. 

8 And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto 
the west side, shall be the oblation which ye shall offer, 
five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth, and in length 
as one of the portions, from the east side unto the west 

9 side ; and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it. The 
oblation that ye shall offer unto the Lord shall be five and 
twenty thousand reeds in length, and ten thousand in 

10 breadth. And for these, even for the priests, shall be the 
holy oblation ; toward the north five and twenty thousand 
in length, and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, 
and toward the east ten thousand in breadth, and toward 
the south five and twenty thousand in length : and the 

11 sanctuary of the Lord shall be in the midst thereof ^It 
shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of 
Zadok, which have kept my charge ; which went not astray 
when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites 

12 went astray. And it shall be unto them an oblation from 
the oblation of the land, a thing most holy, by the border 

13 of the Levites. And answerable unto the border of the 

^ Or, The sanctified portion shall be for the priests of the sons dc. 

Judah, while Benjamin is removed portion of the priests (cp. xlv. 4) 

from the north side of Jerusalem to with the actual sanctuary in the 

the south of the consecrated portion middle. V. 9 however in the Septua- 

of the land. gint is made to give the same sum 

8. The consecrated portion is of the measurements as in v. 20, for 

described as a whole. It was situ- the breadth is stated to be 25,000. 

ated to the south of the portion of The rendering and reading in ??. 11 

the tribe of Judah. Instructions of R.V. marg. is to be preferred, 

about the oblation of land had been Here as before the priests are 

already given (xlv. 1-8). For the limited to the sons of Zadok (cp. xl. 

insertion of the word 'reeds' which 46: xliii. 19: xliv. 15). All the rest 

is not in the Hebrew see xlv. 1. It are classed with the Levites (cp. 

should be remembered that the xliv. 10). 

breadth measurements given here 13. The portion of the Levites 

are throughout from north to south, (cp. xlv. 5). The difference of read- 

9-12. These verses describe the ing between the Greek and Hebrew 

XLViii. 13-18 EZEKIEL 265 

priests, the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in 
length, and ten thousand in breadth : all the length shall 
be five and twenty thousand, and the breadth ^ten thousand 

14 And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange it, nor shall 
the firstfruits of the land be alienated : for it is holy unto 

15 the Lord. And the five thousand that are left in the 
breadth, in front of the five and twenty thousand, shall be 
for common use, for the city, for dwelling and for suburbs: 

16 and the city shall be in the midst thereof. And these 
shall be the measures thereof; the north side four 
thousand and five hundred, and the south side four 
thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four 
thousand and five hundred, and the west side four 

17 thousand and five hundred. And the city shall have 
suburbs ; toward the north two hundred and fifty, and 
toward the south two hundred and fifty, and toward the 
east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two 

18 hundred and fifty. And the residue in the length, 
answerable unto the holy oblation, shall be ten thousand 
eastward, and ten thousand westward : and it shall be 
answerable unto the holy oblation ; and the increase 

1 The Sept. has, twenty. 

is caused by the Greek treating the The suburbs were simply open spaces 

last words as summarising all that not built over which could be culti- 

has gone before, while the Hebrew vated (cp. xlv. 2). In t?. 16 we have 

is simply a repetition of the pre- the measurements of the city: it 

ceding clause. will be remembered that in Revela- 

14. SeUing or even exchange or tion (xxi. 16) measurements of the 

alienation of the crops of the conse- new Jerusalem are given. In v. 17 

crated land is not permitted. This the measurements of the open spaces 

regulation follows the spirit of the follow. The remainder of the land 

Levitical law (Lev. xxvii. 10, 28, 33). is apportioned for cultivation to 

15-20. The portion for the city provide food for the inhabitants of 

and its suburbs: the produce of it the city, who are to be representatives 

is to feed the inhabitants of the of all the tribes (cp. xlv. 6 ' it shall 

city (cp. xlv. 6). The expression be for the whole house of Israel') 

* common use ' means that this part and are to till the land for them- 

was not to count as directly con- selves. The words 'and it shall be 

secrated to the service of God. answerable unto the holy oblation* 




XLVIII. 18-2 

thereof shall be for food unto them that labour in the city. 

19 And they that labour in the city, out of all the tribes of 

20 Israel, shall till it. All the oblation shall be five and 
twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand : ye shall 
offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of 
the city. 

21 And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one 
side and on the other of the holy oblation and of the 
possession of the city, in front of the five and twenty 
thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and 
westward in front of the five and twenty thousand toward 
the west border, answerable unto the portions, it shall be 
for the prince : and the holy oblation and the sanctuary of 

22 the house shall be in the midst thereof. Moreover from 
the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of 
the city, being in the midst of that which is the prince's, 
between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, 
shall be for the prince. 

xcvi. The portion of the remaining tribes to the south 
of the sacred enclosure, xlviii. 23-29. 

23 And as for the rest of the tribes : from the east side 

24 unto the west side ; Benjamin, one portion. And by the 
border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side ; 

25 Simeon, one portion. And by the border of Simeon, from 

probably mean that the inner 
border of these city lands was to 
march with the border of the dedi- 
cated lands. V. 20 gives the area 
included altogether which is to be 
foursquare (cp. Rev. xxi. 16 'the 
city lieth foursquare'). 

21, 22. The prince's portion forms 
two blocks on the east and west of 
the whole dedicated land (cp. xlv. 
7, 8). It occupies the outside 
spaces between Judah and Benja- 
min. For the words 'answerable 

unto the portions' see the explana- 
tion of a similar phrase in ». 18. 

23-29. In the relative positions 
of these five tribes, as compared 
with the actual distribution accord- 
ing to the allotment in Joshua's time, 
Benjamin takes the place of Judah 
to the south of the Holy City : 
Simeon follows : Issachar is brought 
from the north of Manasseh to lie 
next : Zebulun comes next, formerly 
in the north wedged in between 
Asher and Naphtali; and Gad 

XLVIII. 25-3] 



the east side unto the west side ; Issachar, one portion, 

26 And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the 

27 west side ; Zebulun, one portion. And by the border of 
Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side ; Gad, one 

2^ portion. And by the border of Gad, at the south side 
southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the 
waters of Meribath-kadesh, to the brook of Egypt, unto 

29 the great sea. This is the land which ye shall divide by 
lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are 
their several portions, saith the Lord God. 

xcvii. The gates of the city cmd its name, xlviii. 30-35. 

30 And these are the goings out of the city ; on the north 
side four thousand and five hundred reeds by measure : 

31 and the gates of the city shall be after the names of the 
tribes of Israel ; three gates northward : the gate of 

follows last, formerly on the east of 
Jordan between Reuben and the 
half tribe of Manasseh. The 
southern boundary of Gad is des- 
cribed almost exactly as the southern 
boundary of the whole land was 
described (xlvii. 19), Meriboth-kadesh 
becoming here Meribath-kadesh. 
The origin of the name is related in 
Numb. XX. 13 : xxvii. 14 : Deut. 
xxxii. 51. r. 29 corresponds with 
xlvii. 21, 22. 

30-35. The goings out of the 
city are its outside boundaries : 
their measurements have been 
already given {v. 16). The names 
and positions of the gates are 
identical with those in the Apo- 
calypse (Rev. xxi. 12, 13): 'twelve 
gates, and at the gates twelve angels ; 
and names written thereon (i.e. on 
the gates), which are the names of 
the twelve tribes of the children of 
Israel : on the east were three 

gates ; and on the north three gates ; 
and on the south three gates ; and 
on the west three gates.' It is 
curious that here, notwithstanding 
the way in which the land has been 
divided, Levi is assigned a gate 
among the first three, and in conse- 
quence Bphraim and Manasseh have 
only one gate between them which 
is called the gate of Joseph. This 
is clearly to shew that Levi was not 
to lose its share in the national life 
because of its not having a portion 
assigned it with the other tribes. 
Reuben, Judah, Levi the three who 
are mentioned first here come first 
in the blessing of the twelve tribes 
ascribed to Moses (Deut. xxxiii. 6-8). 
The name of the City concludes the 
book : it indicates the Real Presence 
of God with His restored people. So 
Isaiah (Ix. 14) : — ' they shall call thee 
The city of the Lord, The Zion of 
the Holy One of Israel' We are 



XLVIII. 31-35 

Reuben, one ; the gate of Judah, one ; the gate of Levi, 

32 one : and at the east side four thousand and five hundred 
reeds ; and three gates : even the gate of Joseph, one ; the 

33 gate of Benjamin, one ; the gate of Dan, one : and at the 
south side four thousand and five hundred reeds by 
measure ; and three gates : the gate of Simeon, one ; the 

34 gate of Issachar, one ; the gate of Zebulun, one : at the 
west side four thousand and five hundred reeds, with their 
three gates : the gate of Gad, one ; the gate of Asher, one ; 

35 the gate of Naphtali, one. It shall be eighteen thousand 
reeds round about : and the name of the city from that day 
shall be, ^The Lord is there. 

^ Heb. Jehovah-shammah. See Ex. 17. 15. 

reminded by the form of the name 
of the Jehovah tsidhkenu (' the Lord 
our righteousness') of Jeremiah 
(xxiii. 6: xxxiii. 16). In pre-exilic 
times 'the Lord was there' (xxxv. 
10) : His presence had only been 
temporarily withdrawn : the restored 
Jerusalem is to have Him dwelling 
and abiding in it; just as in the 
Apocalypse it is said of 'the holy 
city, new Jerusalem,' ' the tabernacle 
of God is with men and He shall 
dwell with them ' (Rev. xxi. 3). It is 

to this abiding presence of God that 
the whole of Bzekiel's description of 
the ideal city has led up, and in it 
it finds its consummation. So in 
the Gospel, specially intended for 
Jews, the narrative begins with a 
revelation of Inmianuel, God with 
us, and ends with a promise of a per- 
petual presence with the redeemed 
race : ' lo, I am with you alway, even 
unto the end of the world' (Matth. i. 
21-23: xxviii. 20). 



Abarim, 210 

Abib, 13 

Abominations of their eyes, 95 

Abrahams, Prof., xlii 

Achbor, 38 

Adamant, 11 

Adonai, xxxii, 9 

Adonis, xli, 39 

Aeschylus, 91 

Agabus, 17 

Agate, 144 

Ahaz, 19, 73, 79, 117 

Alienation of crops, 265 

Aliens, exclusion of, 240 

Allegory, 81 

Altar, the, 236 

Amber, 4 

*Amman, 107 

Ammonites, 107, 109, 110, 128 

Amorite, 68 

Amurru, 69 

Anathoth, xl 

Angels, xxxvi 

Animal worship, 35 

Anthropomorphic language, xxxii, 

Antimony, 122 
Apis, 96 

Apocrypha and Ezekiel, xxiz 
Apollyon, 42 
Arabah, 258 
Arabia, 146 
Aram, 177 
Ariel, 236 

Arvad, 141, 142 
Asel, 145 
Asher, 263, 268 
Ashtoreth, xli 
Asshur, 147, 176, 177 
Assouan, 158 
Assyria, 116 
Assyrians, 73 
Astonishment, 21 
Aven, 166 
Awning, 140 
Axes, 135 
Azal, 145 
Azzur, 46 

Baal-hamman, 26 

Baalis, 130 

Baal-meon, 131 

Babylon, 81 

Badgers, 70 

Baedeker, 129, 134, 138, 145, 261 

Balm, 145 

Bamah, 99 

Bashan, 140, 212 

Basil, St, 91 

Bath, 248 

Beel-zebul, 27 

Belomancy, 107 

Benaiah, 46 

Benches, 140 

Benjamin, 266, 268 

Bereitan, 261 

Berothah, 260 

Beryl, 5, 43, 152 



Beth-jeshimoth, 131 
Blaspheme, meaning of, 98 
Boxwood, 140 
Branch to the nose, 39 
'Bread,' meaning of, 241 
Breaking of loins, 103 
Briers and thorns, 9 
Brook of Egypt, 262, 267 
Brutish, 109 
Bubastis, 166 
Burden, 53 
Buzi, xi, 2 

Coral, 144 

Cornill, Prof., xiv 

Costus, 146 

Covenant, an everlasting, 80 

Cover the lips, 126 

Cretans, 133 

Crystal, 6 

Cub, 162 

Cubit, 216, 232 

Cush, 206 

Cypress, 139 

Cyrus, decree of, 19 

Calamus, 146 

Caldron, 47, 123 

Calkers, 141 

Call of Ezekiel, 8 

Canaan, 68, 74, 81 

Canneh, 146 

Cappadocia, 206 

Carbuncle, 144, 152 

Carchemish, xxxviii 

Carefulness, 55 

Carnelian, 152 

Carpets, 147 

Cassia, 146 

Cedar, 81 

Chain, 34 

Chambers of the Temple, 221 

Chasdim, 51 

Chebar, xii, 2, 13, 16, 45 

Chemosh, xli 

Cherethites, 133 

Cherub, cherubim, 3, 45, 153 

Chesed, 51 

Chests, 147 

Cheyne, Prof. T. K., 13, 38, 

Chief of spices, 146 
Children of the east, 129 
Chilmad, 147 
Chipiez, 215 
Chiun, 36 
Chrysoprase, 144 
Cimmerians, 206 
Colonnade, 218 
Coniah, xxxviii 
Cor, 249 


Damascus, 145, 260, 263 

Dan, 263, 268 

Daniel, xxxviii, 64; and Ezekiel, xxv 

Daphnae, 166 

D&rom, 102 

David, xxxvii, 188, 203 

Davidson, the late A. B., xxxv, 79, 

93, 105, 151, 178, 228 
Day of the Lord, xxxvi, 58, 162 
Dedan, 132, 143, 146, 207 
Dedication of the Altar, 237 
Deputies, 117 
Despite of soul, 130 
Destroying angels, 40 
Diamond, 152 
Diaspora, 23 
Diblah, 29 
Diospolis, 165 
Dispersion, 23 
Divination, 55 
Divinity of kings, 160 
Doom, 31 
Doughty, 18 
Dragon, 157 

Driver, Prof., 6, 23, 139, 167, 214 
Dross, 113 

Dry bones, valley of, 199 
Dumuzi, 39 

Eagle, 81 

East sea, the, 261 

Ebony, 144 

Eden, 146, 147 ; garden of, 151, 197 

Edom, 131, 145, 177, 190, 193 



Egypt, 156, 162 ff.; idols of, 96; 
intercourse with, 83 

El, XXX 

Elam, 175 

Elders of Judah (Israel), 36, 37 

Electrum, 4 

Eliakim, 92 

Elishah, 140 

Elohim, XXX, 9 

El-Shaddai, xxx 

Embroidered sails, 140 

Emeralds, 144, 152 

Eminent place, 73 

Encyclopaedia Biblica, xiv, 13, 17, 
18, 36, 39, 70, 119, 122, 141, 
142, 150, 176, 192, 205, 216, 
249, 259 

En-eglaim, 258 

En-gedi, 258 

Ephah, 248 

Ephraim, 263 

Eschatological discourses of our Lord, 

Ethbaal, 134 

Exactions, 248 

Exiles, life of, xxxix, xli 

Extispex, 170 

Ezekiel, and Apocrypha, xxix ; and 
Book of Common Prayer, xxix ; 
and Daniel, xxv ; and Jeremiah, 
xxiv ; and St Paul, xxv ; and the 
Apocalypse of St John, xxv ; and 
the New Testament, xxviii ; and 
the Pentateuch, xxi; an idealist, 
xiii; charge given to, 9, 11, 14; 
chronology of, xv ; de Civitate Dei, 
214 ; his call, 8 ; his character, xi ; 
his Day of the Lord, xxxvi; his 
doctrine of sin, xxxiv ; his geo- 
graphical knowledge, xiii; his idea 
of God, xxx ; his idealism, xxiii ; his 
life, xi ; his Messianic ideas, xxxvii ; 
his style, xvi; specimens of, xvii; 
his symbolic acts, xii ; his theology, 
xxx ; his title, son of man, xiii ; 
his visions, xii ; his wife's death, 
126 ; meaning of name, xi ; text of, 

False prophets, 56, 58 

Felloes, 5 

FiDets, 60 

Filthiness, 75 

Fir, 139 

Fire of jealousy, 193 

Firmament, 6 

Foolish, 57 

Forest, 102 

Fornication, spiritual, 71, 115 

Free will, 9 

Fulfilment of prophecy, 56 

Furnace of affliction, 113 

Gad, 266, 268 

Galleries, 227 

Gammadim, 142 

Gates of city, 267 

Gebal, 141 

Gedaliah, xxxix 

Gehenna, 26 

Gerah, 248 

Gezer, 72 

Gilead, 261 

Girded, 70 

Glaser, 145 

Gog, 204, 209 

Gomer, 142, 177, 205 

Great of flesh, 73 

Great sea, the, 259, 262, 267 

Green and dry tree, 85, 102 

Griffin, 45 

Guard rooms, 216 

Halicore Hemprichii, 70 

Hamath, 260, 263 

Hammanim, 26 

Hamonah, 211 

Hamon-gog, 211 

Hamutal, 91 

Hananiah, xl 

Handstaves, 210 

Hannah, song of, 108 

Haran, 146 

Harel, 236 

Har-Magedon, 205 

Hastings, Dr, 8, 70, 141, 211 

Hauran, 261 



Hazar-enan, 263 

Hazar-enon, 261 

Hazer-hatticon, 261 

He-goat, 188 

Helbon, 145 

Heliopolis, 166 

HepatoBcopy, 107 

Hermon, 139 

Hethlon, 260, 263 

Hezekiah, zli 

Hin, 20 

Hinnom, 26 

Hittite, 68 

Hivite, 68 

Homer, 248 

Honey, 145 

Hooks, 92 

Horace, 139 

Hordes, barbarian, 204, 206 

Hosea, 116 

Hoshea, 116 

Huldah, 38 

Ice, 6 

Idolatry, xxxi 

Image of jealousy, 35 

Images, 165 ; of men, 72 

Incommunicable Name, xxxii 

Increase, 86 

Individual responsibility, xxxiv, 178 

Infant sacrifices, 72, 98 

Inheritance, of land, 254 ; of priests, 

Inner court, 220 
Inspiration, 11, 57 
Iron pan, 16 
Isaiah, xl, 16, 83 
Ishmael, 119 
Isles, 209 
Israel, 94 
Issachar, 266, 268 
Ithobaal, 149 
Ivory, 144 

Jaazaniah, 38, 46 
Jambs of porch, 216 
Jasper, 144, 152 
Javan, 143, 145 

Jebusite, 68 

Jeconiah, xxxviii, 38, 46 

Jehezkel, xi 

Jehoahaz, 91 

Jehoiachin, xxxviii, 2, 81, 106 

Jehoiakim, xxxviii, 92, 106 

Jehovah, xi, xxxi, 9 ; -shammah, 268 

Jerahmeel, 119 

Jeremiah, xxxviii, xxxix, 17, 18 ; and 

Ezekiel, xxiv 
Jeroboam II., 116 
Jerusalem, 111, 117 ; history of, 68 ; 

fall of, 181 
Jews in Babylon, xxxix; in Ezekiel's 

time, xxxviii 
Job, 64 
Jonah, 8 

Joseph, gate of, 268 
Josephus, 37, 205 
Josiah, xxxviii, xli 
Judah, 37, 263, 268 
Judgements, 23 
Justin Martyr, 91, 131 

Eaiwan, 36 

Kaldu, 51 

Kassi, 206 

Keble, Christian Year, 94 

Kedar, 146 

Kennett, xxi 

Kerchiefs, 60 

Kinah, in Ezekiel, xvi 

King, 35 ; of kings, 134 

Kiriatbaim, 131 

Koa, 119 

Lanciani, Dr, 1 

Lapis lazuli, 152 

Latticed windows, 217 

Lebanon, 81 

Levi, 268 

Levites, xxiii ; portion of, 264 

Life after death, xxxvi 

Lifting up of the hand, 194 

Line measuring, 215 

Lion, 91, 183, 207 

Living creatures, Four, 4 

Lodges, 216 



Love song, 183 
Lud, 141, 205 

Magnificat, 108 

Magog, 204, 209 

Malachite, 144, 146, 152 

Man, xxxiv; his responsibility, xxxiv, 

178; his sinfulness, xxxiv 
Manasseh, 263 
Maneh, 249 
Mantles, 147 
Massebah, 135 
Mattaniah, xxxix 
Meat, 20 
Media, 147 
Medians, 142 
Memphis, 165 
Menahem, 116 
Meribath-kadesh, 267 
Meriboth-kadesh, 261 
Meshech, 143, 176, 205, 209 
Messianic Ideas, xxxvi, 109 
Micah, 57 
Migdol, 158 
Migdon, 205 
Miletus, 145 
MiUet, 145 
Mingled people, 162 
Minnith, 144 
Mischief, 34 
Mitre, 108 
Mitznepheth, 108 
Mizpah, xxxix 
Moab, 130 
Molech, xli 

Moller, Are the Critics Right f^ xxii 
Moschi, 143 
Mount of Olives, 5 
Myers' Saint Paul, 256 

Nabal, 57 

Nabopolassar, 2, 51 
Names of God, xxx, xxxiii 
Naphtali, 263, 268 
Nebuchadrezzar, xxviii, 81, 164, 173 
Negeb, 102 
Nehushtan, 99 
New heart, 91 

New moon offerings, 252 

New Testament and Ezekiel, xxviii 

No, 165 

Noah, 64 

Non-fulfilment of prophecy, 137 

Noph, 164 

North, the, 3 

Nose-jewel, 71 

Number of exiles, xlii 

Numbers, difficulty as to, 18 

Oak, 28; oaks of Bashan, 140 

Obadiah, xxxviii 

Obelisks, 135 

Occupy, 141 

Oholah, 115 

OhoHbah, 115 

On, 166 

Onyx, 152 

Oracle, the, 225 

Ordinances, 23 

Outer court, 218 

Pannag, 144, 145 

Parable, 81 

Passover, 250 

Pathros, 141, 159, 165 

Pattern, 235 

Pavement, 218 

Pearls, 144 

Peeled, 160 

Pekah, 116 

Pekod, 119 

Pelatiah, 46, 49 

Pelusium, 165 

Pentateuch and Ezekiel, xxi 

Persia, 141, 205 

Pharaoh Hophra, xxxix, 82, 84, 156, 

168, 171; Necoh, xxxviii, 91; of 

Exodus, 14, 64 
Philadelphia, 107 
Philistines, 132 
Pi-beseth, 166 
Pillars, 135 
Pillows, 60 

Pistacia terebinthus, 28 
Pit, 175; pits for wild animals, 91 
Plain, the, 15 



Play upon words, 30 

Pledges, 87 

Political parties in Jerusalem, xxxix, 

Populus euphratica, 82 
Porch of the gate, 216; of the 

Temple, 223 
Porpoise-skin, 70 
Posts of porch, 216 
Prayer Book and Ezekiel, xxix 
Priests, portion of, 264 
Prince, 35; his entry to Temple, 239; 

his portion, 264 
Prophecy, non-fulfilment of, 137 
Prophetesses, 59 
Prophetic office, 14 
Proverb, 55, 85 
Provocation, 98 
Ptolemy Philadelphus, 107 
Pul, 116 
Purple, 144 
Put, 141, 205 
Pygmies, 142 

Eaamah, 146 

Babbah, 106, 129 

Eabshakeh, xl 

Raphael, 1 

Basis, 205 

Basses, 205 

Bavening, 114 

Bebellious house, 9, 52, 83, 124 

Bedemption, men of thy, 49 

Beed, measuring, 215, 232 

Begeneration, xxxv 

Behoboth, 119 

Besch, Agrapha, 91 

Besponsibility of man, xxxiv, 85, 

Bestoration of Israel, 195, 212 
Besurrection of the nation, 199 
Beuben, 263, 268 
Bhabdomancy, 107 
Bhodians, 143 
Biblah, 29, 54 
Biddle, 81 
Bighteousness, xxxv 
Bivers of water, 257 

Bod, 104 

Boll of a book, 10 
Boiler, 167 
Bosh, 205, 209 
Buby, 144, 152 
Bust, 124 

Sabaeans, 122 

Sabbath breaking, 96, 112; offerii^ 

on, 252 
Saddle cloths, 146 
St Paul, 8; and Ezekiel, xxxv 
Sais, 166 
Salt, 69, 238 

Salting of infants' bodies, 69 
Samaria, 77, 116 
Sanctuaries, 103 
Sanday, Prof., 57 
Sapphire, 7, 43, 152 
Sardius, 152 
Sayce, Prof., 69 
Scorpion, 9, 10 
Scum, 124 
Scythians, 205 
Scythopolis, 205 
Sealskin, 70 
Seir, 180; Mount, 190 
Senir (Hermon), 139 
Separate place, 227 
Settings of stones, 153 
Settle, 236 
Seven, 211 
Seveneh, 163 
Shaddai, xxx, xxxiii, 6 
Shallum, 92 
Shalmaneser, 116 
Shamir, 11 
Shaphan, 38 
Sheba, 146, 207 
Shechinah, 41 
Shekel, 20, 248 
Shemaiah, xxxix, 59 
Sheol, 175 

Shepherd, the good, 186 
Shepherds of the people, 184 
Sherbtn, 168 
ShUoh, 109 
Ship of the state, figure of, 139 



Shoa, 119 

Shroud, 168 

Sibraim, 260 

Side-chambers, 225 

Silence of the prophet, 17 

Silk, 70 

Simeon, 266, 268 

Simeon Stylites, 16 

Sin, xxxiv, 85 

Sin (place), 165 

Sith, 191 

Sitting npon the ground, 136 

Slave trade, 143 

Smith, W. Eobertson (the late), 38, 

Smiting with the hand, 28 
Sodom, 77 
Solomon, xl 

Son of man, meaning of title, xiii, 8 
Souls, 61, 86 
Sour grapes, 85 
South, the, 102 
Spirit, new, 197 
Spiritual whoredom, 115 
Sprinkhng, 196 
Staff of bread, 21 
Stamping with the foot, 28, 130 
Statutes, 23 
Sticks, symbolical, 202 
Stones of fire, 153 
Suburbs, 148, 246 
Sum, 235 
Sun images, 26; worship, xxxi, 35, 

Supple, to, 69 

Sweet savour of sacrifice, 29 
Swete, Prof., xxv, 44 
Syene, 158 
Symbolic actions, xii, xvi, 16, 18, 21 ; 

visions, xii, xvi 
Syria, 79 

Tables for killing sacrifices, 221 
Tacitus, 37 
Tahpanhes, 166 
Tamar, 261, 267 
Tammuz, xxxi, xii, 35, 39 
Tanis, 165 

Taphas, 166 

Tarshish, 142, 147, 205, 207 

Tarsus, 142 

Tartessus, 142 

Tehaphnehes, 166 

Tel-abib, xu, 2, 12, 18, 15 

Teman, 132 

T^mdn, 102 

Temple, the ideal, 216, 224 

Teraphim, 107 

Terebinth, 28 

Terror, a, 137 

Thebes, 165 

Thiras, 205 

Tibareni, 143 

Tiele, Prof., 141 

Tiglath-pileser, 74, 116, 117 

Tile, 16 

Tiras, 243 

Togarmah, 143, 177, 206 

Topaz, 152 

Toy's Ezekiel, 17, 40, 77, 92, 93, 119, 

215, 224, 228, 241 
Traffic, 74 
Tree-worship, 28 
Tristram, Bible Places^ 259 
Tubal, 143, 176, 205, 209 
Tumult, 31 

Tyre, 133, 134, 138, 149, 160 
Tyrseni, 142 

Uncircumcised, 175 
Untempered mortar, 59 
Usury, 86 
Uzal, 145 

Vedan, 145 
Vergil, 145 
Vermilion, 118 
Vine, 67, 93 

Wadys, 26 
Wagons, 119, 135 
Wallow in ashes, 148 
War-horses, 143 
Watercourses, 26 
Watson, the late Dr F., 57 
Weak as water, 33 



Weights and measures, 20, 248 

Weltering, 69 

Wheels, 5, 44 

Whoredoms, spiritual, 115 

Whoring, to go a, 27 

Willow, 82 

" Woe worth," 162 

Word, 63 

World powers, final struggle of, 204 

Wresting of judgement, 42 

Wrought iron, 145 

Yarn, 145 

Zachar, 145 

Zadok, zxiii, 223 ; duties of sons of, 

Zeal, 25 
Zebidah, 92 
Zebulun, 266, 268 
Zedad, 260 
Zedekiah, xxxix, 19, 52, 53, 54, 81, 

83, 84, 92, 106, 108 
Zemarite, 142 
Zidon, 133, 140, 154, 177 
Zidonia>ns, 177 
Zoan, 165 






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Baring-Gould (S.). FURZE BLOOM 







A BOOK OF FAIRY TALES. Illustrated. 







Methuen and Company Limited 



Barr (Robert). JENNIE BAXTER. 

Benson (E. F.). DODO. 

Bronte (Charlotte). SHIRLEY. 

Bpownell (C. L.). THE HEART OF 

Burton (J. Bloundelle). ACROSS THE 

Caffyn (Mrs.). ANNE MAULEVERER. 


Capes (Bernard). 



Clifford (Mrs. 


Corbett (Julian)- A 

Croker (Mrs. B. M.). ANGEL. 

Dante (Alighierl). THE DIVINE 
COMEDY (Gary). 

Doyle (A. Conan). ROUND THE RED 

Duncan (Sara Jeannette). A VOYAGE 


Eliot (George). THE MILL ON THE 

Findlater (Jane H.). THE GREEN 

Gallon (Tom). RICKERBY'S FOLLY. 

Gaskell (Mrs.). CRANFORD. 

Gerard (Dorothea). HOLY MATRI- 


Glanville (Ernest). 



Glelg (Charles). BUNTER'S CRUISE. 

Grimm (The Brothers). GRIMM'S 

Hope (Anthony). A MAN OF MARK. 




Hornung (E. W.). DEAD MEN TELL 

NO T^ 

Ingraham U. 



Levett-Teats (S. K.). 



Linton (E. Lynn). THE TRUE HIS- 


Malet (Lucas). THE CARISSIMA. 

Mann (Mrs. M. B.). MRS. PETER 


Marehmont (A. W.). MISER HOAD 


Marryat (Captain). PETER SIMPLE. 

March (Richard). A METAMORPHOSIS. 

Mason (A. E. W.). CLEMENTINA 

Mathers (Helen). HONEY. 




Meade (Mrs. L. T.). DRIFT. 

Miller (Esther). LIVING LIES. 

Mltford (Bertram). THE SIGN OF THE 

Montresor (F. F.). 




Morrison (Arthur). 


Nesbit (E.), THE RED HOUSE 

Norris (W. E.). HIS GRACE. 

Ollphant (Mrs.). THE LADVS WALK. 

Oppenhelm (E. P.). MASTER OF MP.N. 

Parker (Gilbert). THE POMP OF THE 


Pemberton (Max). THE FOOTSTEPS 


Phlllpotts (Eden). THE HUMAN BOY- 


(A. T. QuiUer 

Couch), THE 





Russell (W. Clark). ABANDONED. 

Sergeant (Adeline), THE MASTER OF 




(Mrs. Alfred), THE KINS- 

Surtees (R. S.). HANDLEY CROSS. 

Walford (Mrs. L. B.). MR, SMITH. 




Wallace (General Lew). 


Watson (H. B. Marriott). 


Wells (H. G,). THE SEA LADY. 

White (Percy). A PASSIONATE PIL- 




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University of Toronto 








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