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“ thy prophets are like the foxes in the “ deserts (q). 5. Ye have not gone up “ into the gaps (r), neither made up the “ hedge for the house of Israel, to stand in " the battle in the day of the LORD. “ 6. They have seen vanity, and lying “ divination, saying, “ The LORD saith ; « and the LORD hath not sent them: and “ they have made others to hope that they “ would confirm the word (s). 7. Have ye « not seen a vain vision, and have ye not “ spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, « « The LORD saith it," albeit I have not “ spoken ? 8.Therefore thus saith the Lord « GOD, Because ye have spoken vanity and “ seen lies, therefore behold, I am against
you, saith the Lord God. 9. And mine “ hand shall be upon the prophets that see “ vanity, and that divine lies; they shall not “ be in the assembly of my people, neither “ shall they be written in the writing of « the house of Israel, neither shall they “ enter (1) into the land of Israel ; and ye « shall know that I am the Lord God. “ 10. Because, even because they have “ seduced my people, saying, Peace, and " there was no peace; and one built up “ a wall, and, lo, others daubed it (u) with “ untempered mortar : 11. Say unto them « which daub it with untempered mortar, « that it shall fall : there shall be an over“ flowing shower (x); and ye, O great
« hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind cs shall rend it. 12. Lo, when the wall is « fallen, shall it not be said unto you, “ Where is the daubing wherewith Je “ have daubed it? 13. Therefore this " 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 sy “ fury to consume it. 14. So will I break “ down the wall that ye have daubed wih “ untempered mortar, and bring it down to “ the ground, so that the foundation u thereof shall be discovered, and it shall “ fall, and ye shall be consumed in the “ midst thercof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
15. Thus will I accom“ plish my wrath upon the wall, and upon " them that have daubed it with untem“ pered mortar, and will say unto you, « The wall is no more, neither they that “ daubed it; 16. To wit, the prophets of “ Israel which prophesy concerning Jeru“ salem, and which see visions of peace « for her, and there is no peace, saith the “ Lord God. 17. Likewise, thou son of
man, set thy face against the daughters “ of thy people, which prophesy out of “ their own heart; and prophesy thon “ against them, 18. And say, Thus saith “ the Lord God; « Woe to the women “ that sew pillows(y) to all (2) armholes(6),
(9) v. 4.
Foxes in the deserts,'' with more than ordinary craft and veracity: with all the subtilty and keenness the wildest state would produce in those animals : intent only upon their own gain, and pursuing it with the utmost cunning, and without regard to the misery they might bring upon others.
(r) 0.5. “Gone up into the gaps," i. e. “ exposed yourselves to danger, or endeavour. “ ed by prayers and intercessions to stop God's
vengeance." The act of Moses, Exod. xxxii. 11. 12. 13. in reasoning with God to induce him to spare the Israelites when he had signified his intention of consuming them is called, Ps.cri. 3. “ standing before God in the gap," “ he “ would have destroyed them, had not Moses “ his chosen stood before him in the gap;" and in Ezek. xxii. 30. God is represented as saying, “ I sought for a man among them that should ake
up the hedge, and stand in the gap be* fore me for the land, that I should not destroy "r'it, but I found none.”
(s) v.6. “ That they would confirm the
“ word,” i. e. “ that what they foretold would “ happen." (1) 0.9.
“ Enter," i.e. “ return." (2) v. 1o. “ Daubed it, &c.” figurative : “ lulled them with false hopes, false appearances “ of security ; giving them what had the sem. “blance indeed of strength, but not what is “ mentioned in v.5. “ a hedge to stand in the “ day of battle : the daubers are the falz prophets, and their wall pretended visions, a false hopes of security and peace. See verse 16
(*) v.11. “ An overflowing shower, &c." “ Heavy calamities instead of peace."
(y) v. 18. “ Sew pillows," and " make “ kerchiefs," i.e. (perhaps) "speak comfort
, “lull into security." Sewing pillows or cushions to the arms and making kerchiefs on the head, might be symbols of quiet and peace.
(z) v. 18. “ All armholes," and "every “ture," "everyone indiscriminately that applies “ to you ; without distinguishing between those
wholook up to me,and those who disregardme." (a) v. 18. “ Armholes," or "elbows."
« for I will deliver my (d) people out of “ your hand, and ye shall know that I am " the LORD.”
I make kerchiefs upon the head of ery stature to hunt souls (6) ! Will ye nt the souls (c) of my people (d), and 11 ye save the souls alive that come to you (d)? 19. And will ye pollute . (e) among my people for handfuls of rley (f) and for pieces of bread, to y the souls that should not die, and to ve the souls alive that should not live,
your lying to my people that hear ur lies? 20. Wherefore thus saith le Lord God; “Behold, I am against pur pillows, wherewith ye there hunt le souls to make them fly (8), and I will ar them from your arms (1), and will et the souls go, even the souls that ye runt to make them fly. 21. Your kere hiefs also will I tear, and deliver my (d) people out of your hand, and they shall se no more in your hand to be hunted ; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 22. Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad ; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: 23. Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations :
of Israel unto me, and sat before me (?). 2. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 3. 66 Son of man « these men have set up their idols in their « heart (m), and put the stumbling“ block (n)of their iniquity before their face: “ should I be enquired of at all by them? “ 4. Therefore speak unto them, and say “ unto them, Thus saith the Lord God,
Every man of the house of Israel that « setteth up his idols in his heart, and
putteth the stumbling-block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the
prophet, I the LORD will answer him « that cometh, according to the multitude « of his idols; 5. That I may take the 6 house of Israel in their own heart, be“ cause they are all estranged from me “ through their idols. 6. Therefore say " unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the « Lord God, “Repent and turn yourselves “ from your idols, and turn away your
(6) v. 18. “To hunt souls," " by giving a false confidence to sinners, and thereby lessening the chance of their turning unto God, and by discouraging the good, from exposing them to the insults and outrages of the bad, and taking away the hopes they would derive from a national reform." (c) v. 18. “ Hunt the souls of my people, and save the souls alive that come unto you," e. “dishearten those who look to me only, and cheer upandencourage those who look to you:" ne same as is meant in the next verse, by “ slaying the souls that should not die, and saving the souls alive that should not live ;” and in • 22. by making the heart of “the righteous sad,” and “strengthening the hands of the wicked.” (?) v.18.21.23. “My people,” i. e. “ those who trust in me,” in opposition to the wicked, those who come to you." (e) v. 19.“ Pollute me," “ by ascribing to me what I have never said, and what will therefore never come to pass.” (s) v. 19. “ Handfuls of barley,'' i. e. “rewards."
(8) v. 20. “ To make them Ay," i. e. (pro. bably)“ to dishearten them,” referring to those whom he calls in verse 18. “ my people."
(b) v. 20. “ Tear them from your arms," i. e. (probably) “ I will bring such calamities
upon those to whom you speak comfort, I “ will so expose your prophecies of peace and « quiet, when there is no peace, that my people, “ they who trust in me, shall be free from the “ delusions you create."
(6) A solemn warning to the Jews to bring them back from idol worship; an intimation that in God's judgments one man's righteousness should save none but himself, but that still there should be a remnant left. Ezekiel was at this time in captivity in the land of Babylon. Before Christ 593
(k) 0.1. “Of the elders" " who were in captivity with Ezekiel.”
(1) v. i. “ Sat before me," " that Ezekiel "might enquire of God on their behalf.” Such enquiries
were common in the times of the prophets. See ante, note on 2 Sam. xxi, 1. and Jer. xxi. 2. and post, Ezek. XX. I.
(m) v. 3. “In their heart” and “ before their “ face" as in mind and deed : not only idolaters “ in heart, but have actually set up idols to wor
(n) v. 3. “ The stumbling-block of their “ iniquity" i. e. “ an idol."
“ faces from all your abominations. 7. For “ every one of the house of Israel, or of “ the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, “ which separateth himself from me, and “ setteth up his idols in his heart, and put“ teth the stumbling-block of his iniquity “ before his face, and cometh to a prophet “ 'to enquire of him concerning me; I the " Lord will answer him by myself. “ 8. And I will set my face against that
man, and will make him a sign and a “ proverb (o), and I will cut him off from “ the midst of my people, and ye shall “ know that I am the LORD. 9. And (pi “ if the prophet be deceived when he hath “ spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived " that prophet, and I will stretch out my “ hand upon him, and will destroy him " from the midst of my people Israel. “ 10. And they shall bear the punishment « of their iniquity: the punishment of the “ prophet shall be even as the punishment « of him that seeketh unto him :
11. That o the house of Israel may go no more “ astray from me, neither be polluted any “ more with all their transgressions : but " that they may be my people, and I may « be their God, saith the Lord God." 12. The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 13. “Son of man, when the “ land sinneth against me by trespassing “ grievously, then will I stretch out mine « hand upon it, and will break the staff of “ the bread thereof, and will send famine
upon it, and will cut off man and beast
“ from it. 14. Though these three men, « Noah, Daniel (9), and Job were in it “ they should deliver but their own “ souls (r) by their righteousness, saith “ the Lord God. 15. If I cause noisome “ beasts to pass through the land, and they
spoil it, so that it be desolate, that “ no man may pass through because of the “ beasts: 16. Though these three meni “ were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, “ they shall deliver neither “ daughters ; they only shall be delivered “ but the land shall be desolate. 17. O
if I bring a sword upon that land, and
say, “Sword, go through the land;" xo " that I cut off man and beast from it: “ 18. Though these three men were in it
, " as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall o deliver neither sons nor daughters
, but “ they only shall be delivered themselves. “ 19. Or if I send a pestilence into that “ land, and pour out my fury upon it in « blood, to cut off from it man and beast : “ 20. Though Noah, Daniel, and Jobszer « in it, as I live saith the Lord God, they « shall deliver neither son nor daughter “ they shall but deliver their own souls by “ their righteousness. 21. For thus suith “ the Lord God, How much more when I “ send my four sore judgments upon Jeru . “ salem, the sword, and the famine, and “ the noisome beast, and the pestilence, " to cut off from it man and beast ? “ 22. Yet behold, therein shall be left a « remnant (s) that shall be brought
(.) v. 8.“ A sign and a proverb" “ to be “ referred to as an instance of God's ven
geance:" like Is. Ixv. 15. “Ye shall leave your name for a curse."
(p) v.9 Read, “And if a prophet shall be in“ duced to speak a word,” i.e. “ if he assume to “ utter as a prophecy what he has no commission “ to utter, “ I the Lord will frustrate that pro. “phet.” 4 Hamm. 351. It is not to be supposed that God would punish a prophet for prophesying what he had himself suggested, and the offence referred to seems to be the daring to speak what God had not authorized. This presumption is made a subject of complaint in the preceding chapter, Ezek. xiii. 2. 3. and 6 to 9.
(9) v. 14. “ Daniel," who was at this time living in Babylon.
(r) v.14. “ Deliver but their own souls,” i.e. “ save only their own lives:" though God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah, had there
been 10 righteous in it, Gen.xvii. 52. and would have pardoned Jerusalem in Josiah's time could one righteous man have been found in it, Jer. v. 1. he had no longer such a disposition to forbearance.
(s) v. 22. “A remnant ;' in all his denure ciations God promised that a remnant should be left. This was calculated to keep up h in the minds of the faithful, and to satisfy elken that God had not wholly cast off the nator
, but that they might still expect out of it tk great Deliverer, the Messiah. There is no in. timation that it was for their own righteoustess that this remnant was to be saved ; and on the contrary it may be collected from this verse that their ways were evil.
The forbearance as to them therefore would be wholly an act of favour. God afterwards signified dis inctly by Jeremiah by what means they should escape - He that • abideth in this city (Jerusalem) shall die by " the sword, and by the famine, and by the
h (t), both sons and daughters : bed, they shall come forth unto you,
ye shall see their way, and their ags : and ye shall be comforted (u) cerning the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, even concerning all that ave brought upon it. 23. And they Il comfort you when ye see their ways | their doings: and ye shall know that ave not done without cause, all that ave done in it, saith the Lord God.”
CHAP. XVIII. (x) IE word of the LORD came unto me (y) again, saying, 2. “ What an ye, that ye use this proverb conrning the land of Israel, saying, The faers(z) have eaten sour grapes, and the ildren's teeth are set on edge? 3. live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not ive occasion any more to use this proerb in Israel. 4. Behold, all souls are ine, as the soul of the father, so also he soul of the son is mine: the soul aat sinneth, it shall die. 5. But if a nan be just, and do that which is lawul and right, 6. And hath not eaten upon the mountains (a), neither hath
“ lifted up his eyes (5) to the idols of the “ house of Israel, neither hath defiled his “ neighbour's wife, neither hath come
near to a menstruous woman, 7. And “ hath not oppressed any, but hath re“ stored (c) to the debtor his pledge, hath “ spoiled none by violence, hath given his “ bread to the hungry, and hath covered “ the naked with a garment, 8. He that “ hath not given forth upon usury (d), “ neither hath taken any increase, that " hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity; “ hath executed true judgment between
man and man, 9. Hath walked in my v statutes, and hath kept my judgments “ to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely “ live, saith the Lord God. 10. If he “ beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of o blood, and that doeth the like to any one “ of these things, 11. And that doeth not
any of those duties, but even hath eaten “ upon the mountains, and defiled his “ neighbour's wife, 12. Hath oppressed " the poor and needy, hath spoiled by « violence, hath not restored the pledge, « and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, “ hath committed abomination, 13. Hath “ given forth upon usury, and hath taken
estilence : but he that goeth out, and alleth unto the Chaldeans that besiege you, e shall live. Jer, xxi. 9." 1) v.22. Brought forth,” viz. “ in capivity to Babylon” and accordingly in about
years, in the nith of Zedekiah's reign, lekiah and the rest of the people that were in Jerusalem, and the fugitives that fell y to the king of Babylon, excepting only e of the poor of the land, who were left to husbandmen and vine-dressers, were carried Babylon. 2 Kings xxv. 11.12.- Jer, xxxix. 0.-Jer. lii. 15. 16. and 2 Chron. xxxvi. 17 u) v.32. “ Comforted,” i.e. (perhaps)" by eing convinced of its justice, from seeing the vil ways of those who were spared, and by onsidering it a proof of God's kind disposiion towards the nation, that they also were lot destroyed." *) An intimation that every man should r the consequences of his own acts ; that a should not suffer for his father's sins, nor protected by a father's righteousness; that a nge from sin to righteousness or from righte. ness to sin should produce the consequences that change. A justification of God's ways, lan exhortation to repentance and obedience.
The date is about 13 years after the commencement of the Babylonish captivity ; 593 years before Christ.
G) v. I. “Me,"i.e.“ Ezekiel," who was then captive in the land of Babylon.
(2) v. 2." The fathers, &c." Implying that the sons were punished not for their own sins, but for their fathers. The same proverb is noticed, Jer. xxxi. 29. 30. “ In those days
they shall say no more, the fathers have " eaten a sour grape, and the childrens' teeth
are set on edge: but every one shall die for “ his own iniquity : every man that eateth the
sour grape,” (i. e. that sinneth) “ his teeth
shall be set on edge,” i. e. shall bear the punishment. The passage in Jeremiah is ascribed to the first year of the Babylonish captivity, 12 years before Ezekiel's.
(a) v. 6. “ Eaten upon the mountains," i. e. “ in honour of any idol.”.
(6) v. 6. “ Lift up his eyes," i. e. “ in “
(c) v. 7. " Restored." According to the injunctions, Exod. xxii. 26. and Deut. xxiv. 10 to 13
(d) v. 8. “Upon usury." Contrary to Exod. xxii. 25. and Levit. xxv. 35 to 37.
" increase : shall he then live? he shall « not live: he hath done all these abomi« nations, he shall surely die; his blood “ shall be upon him. 14. Now lo, if he « beget a son that seeth all his father's “sins which he hath done, and considereth « and doeth not such like, 15. 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 “ neighbour's wife, 16. Neither hath op
pressed any, hath not withholden the o pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, “ but hath given his bread to the hungry, « and hath covered the naked with a gar« ment, 17. That hath taken off his hand “ from the poor, that hath not received « usury nor increase, hath executed my “ judgments, hath walked in my statutes ; « he shall not die for the iniquity of his « father, he shall surely live. 18. As for « his father, because he cruelly oppressed, “ spoiled his brother by violence, and did 6 that which is not good among his people, « lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. “ 19. Yet say ye, Why? doth not the « son bear the iniquity of the father ? 6 when the son hath done that which is “ lawful and right, and hath kept all my « statutes, and hath done them, he shall “ surely live. 20. 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 shall be upon him. 21. But if « the wicked will turn from all his sins « that he hath committed, and keep all
my statutes, and do that which is law“ ful and right, he shall surely live, he « shall not die. 22. All his transgres« sions that he hath committed; they 6 shall not be mentioned unto him; in “ his righteousness that he hath done, he « shall live. 23. Have I any pleasure at " all that the wicked should die ? saith o the Lord God; and not that he should of return from his ways and live? 24.
« when the righteous turneth awar s his righteousness, and committed « quity, and doeth according to a
abominations that the wicked man “ shall he live? all his righteousne “ he hath done shall not be mentione “ his trespass that he hath trespa " and in his sin that he hath sinne « them shall he die. 25. Yet ye say, “ way of the LORD is not equal.” “ now, O house of Israel, Is not my “ equal ? are not your ways unegu “ 26. When a righteous man tur “ away from his righteousness, and d “ mitteth iniquity, and dieth in them; “ his iniquity that he hath done, shall “ die. 27. Again ; when the wicked “ turneth away from his wickedness the “ hath committed, and doeth that wbk “ lawful and right, he shall save his 16 alive.
28. Because he considereth, “ turneth away from all his transgressi « that he hath committed, he shall sur “ live, he shall not die. 29.
Yet sa “ the house of Israel, « The way of th “ Lord is not equal.” O house of Israel “ are not my ways equal? are not you “ ways unequal? 30. Therefore I « judge you, O house of Israel, every « according to his ways, saith the « God. Repent and turn yourselves “ all your transgressions, so iniquity « not be
your transgressions, wherebyy “ have transgressed, and make you at “ heart, and a new spirit; for why wil “ die, house of Israel?' 32. For Ibis “ no pleasure in the death of him to “ dieth, saith the Lord God: whereksa “ turn yourselves, and live ye.”
CHAP. XX. (c)
year (S), in the fifth month, the te day of the month, that certain of the elder of Israel, came to enquire of the LORD, sat before me (8). 2. Then came the water of the LORD unto me, saying, 3; “ of man, speak unto the elders of Israel “ kiah's reign,” about 14 years from the mencement of the Babylonish captivity, 592 before Christ.
(8) v. I. “ Me,” i. e. “ Ezekiel," who then a captive in Babylon.
(e) God refuses to be inquired of by the Jews, refers to many instances of their idolatries and his forbearance, threatens a strict visitation, and promises their ultimate acceptance.
V) v. I. “ Seventh year," i. e. “ of Zede