Ezekiel 7 - Outline of Ezekiel (MENU page)
In ch.6, the LORD spoke through Ezekiel to identify idolatry as a root cause of the desolation that was about to overtake the people and land of Israel, as His just reward for their sin. In ch.7, He brings another message to preview the severity of the impending calamity.
 
1. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel;
An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.
3 Now [is] the end [come] upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee,
and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.
4 And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity:
but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee:
and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.
...the word of the LORD came unto me... thus saith the Lord GOD...
The messages, which Ezekiel delivered to his people, were not an invention of his imagination. He was simply proclaiming God's Word.
The Lord expects His servants to do the same, today. cp. Joh 7:18; 2Cor 4:5,6; 5:19-21
...an end, the end is come...
Then, as now, 'religious' people doubted the Word of God which declares that He will judge sin. Though troubles were increasing for the nation, they were discounted, as caused by natural or political factors, rather than by the hand of God. The people refused to see that the Lord had been mercifully withholding the judgment which they deserved. But the extended period of mercy was about to end. cp. Jer 17:15; Eze 12:22-28; 1Pet 4:7; 2Pet 3:3-10
     The word 'end' {HB=qets} has many connotations, including...
  • the termination of a period of time. eg., Gen 4:3, 'in process' {HB=qets) of time.
  • the destruction due to total judgment. eg., Gen 6:13 'the end' of all flesh.
  • the extermination or purging of that which is hidden or evil, eg., Job 28:3 'an end' to darkness.
The judgment was about to come, complete with all the death, destruction and desolation of which the Lord had forewarned (eg., Eze 6:11-14).
Yet, while He waited (being mercifully slow to anger), they used the time to multiply their sins, rather than repenting and turning to Him.
...upon the four corners of the land.-
ie., upon the entire land (6:2-4)
...I will send... and recompense upon thee...
His hand would no longer withhold, but rather would send upon them His anger and their recompense {deserved reward} for their sins (6:14).
...and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
When would they know? Not until they were confronted with the end of His patience.
5 Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.
6 An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth
{ie., waketh} for thee; behold, it is come.
7 The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land:
the time is come, the day of trouble [is] near, and not the sounding again of the mountains.
8 Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee:
and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations.
9 And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity:
I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations [that] are in the midst of thee;
and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD that smiteth.
...an evil, an only evil... is come...
Most modern translations read "is coming..." However, the Hebrew tense is literally "has come," in all occurrences (v.2,5-12). Though the fall of Jerusalem was then about 6 years in the future, it was already as sure as historic fact, for the LORD had spoken it.
The word 'evil' {HB=ra'} refers to something 'bad.' The connotation is determined by the context. It can refer to...
  1. moral wickedness, worthy of judgment; eg., 6:11
  2. hurtful effects of judgment, 5:16; 14:21 (where 'sore' is HB=ra')
...an 'only' evil {singular, uniquely terrible, one of a kind in severity}...-
By their blatant iniquity, the people had earned a terrible reward, which was about to be paid.
...it is come... an end, the end... (cp. v.2,3)
Whereas, the people had disregarded the prophetic warnings, thinking that the day of judgment would never come, now that day was 'waking' upon them. The imminent reality of that judgment is intensified by each repetition (6x in v.5-7, 10x in this chapter) of the phrase '...is come.'
'Is come...'
  • ...an evil, an only evil... (v.5)
  • ...an end... the end... behold, it... (v.6, 3x)
  • ...the morning {HB= tsephiyrah, diadem, crown, reward}... (v.7a; v.10)
    This word is not translated 'morning' elsewhere. Here, it refers to the breaking of the day of judgment, in which the nation would be 'crowned' with the doom they deserved.
  • ...the time {ie., appointed time, season}... (v.7b; v.12)
...the day of trouble is near (HB=qarob, at hand, having approached)...
This word for 'near' is a measure of spacial distance. Not only was the time 'now,' but the trouble was upon them.
The sound of the approaching Babylonian army would not be mistaken for a 'shout of joy' echoing from the mountains.
...my fury will I pour out... accomplish my anger... 'shortly' (HB=qarob}...
Here is the Hand from which their troubles have gone forth.
...I will judge... recompense {HB=nathan, give}... according to all thy ways and abominations {ie., disgusting practices}...
Twice (v.8,9), the LORD says that His judgment is 'according to thy ways and abominations.'
The LORD, the righteous judge, gives men what they deserve. cp. Gal 6:7; Rev 20:13
...ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth.
Although He had lightly smitten them previously, to get their attention, they had not recognized that it was His hand.
But they would know it was He, when they received their just reward, at His hand. Isa 9:13-15; Mic 6:9
10 Behold the day, behold, it is come:
the morning 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 any of theirs:
neither [shall there be] wailing for them.
12 The time is come, the day draweth near:
let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn:
for wrath [is] upon all the multitude thereof.
13 For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive:
for the vision [is] touching the whole multitude thereof, [which] shall not return;
neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life.
...the day... is come... the morning {ie., crown, reward (as in v.7)} is gone forth...
The coming of the day of judgment is further intensified by the verbs, in v.10-11.
The 'reward' had already 'issued forth' from the hand of the Judge, against recipients, who were ripe for judgment, for their wickedness had been growing.
...the rod has blossomed...
The word 'rod' often refers to a shepherd's rod, or to the staff upon which a leader leans. From the latter, it can also refer to 'a tribe' (ie., those who follow the head of the clan). This seems to be the sense here. ie., The sinful nation is in full bloom, and revealed for what it is.
...pride {ie., arrogance} hath budded {ie., flourished, grown, spread itself}...
...violence {ie., maliciousness} is risen up {ie., has strengthened itself} into a rod {ie., a tribe} of wickedness...
Therefore, the verdict is that "none of them shall remain" and no one will mourn their destruction.
...let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn... for the seller shall not return... although they were yet alive...
In light of the impending judgment, a buyer should not boast about getting a good deal, and a seller should not sorrow over his loss. Both buyer and seller will be swept away, by death or in captivity (cp. Isa 5:13-16). Neither party will return to their property... nor will the property return to the seller in the year of Jubilee (Lev 25:24-28).
     The exiles, to whom Ezekiel spoke, mistakenly thought they would soon return to their possessions in Judah. But in reality, those, who were still in Judah, would soon be dispossessed. (Around the time of Ezekiel's message, Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles, telling them to settle into the land of their captivity, for they would not be returning any time soon. Jer 29:4-10)
     Yet, at the Lord's instruction, Jeremiah bought land from a relative during the siege of Jerusalem. Recognizing that he would never occupy that land, he asked the Lord why he was told to buy it. The Lord told him that his purchase provided a foreview of the far future, when Israel would be restored to their land (Jer 32:7-9,24-25,36-38). Later, Ezekiel will also speak of that restoration. But in the chapters before us, there is nothing but doom and loss.
14 They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle:
for my wrath [is] upon all the multitude thereof.
15 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] in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.
16. But they that escape of them shall escape,
and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys,
all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity.
17 All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak [as] water.
18 They shall also gird [themselves] with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them;
and shame [shall be] upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed
{ie., regarded as unclean}:
their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD:
they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels:
because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
...the trumpet... but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
Though the alarm would be sounded, no one will stand to defend the city, for its residents are smitten under God's wrath.
...sword... pestilence {ie., disease}... famine within...
Due to the effects of the siege, those, who would fight the enemy, are emaciated, and soon to be devoured by the enemy's sword. Their countrymen outside the walled city are also defenseless. Those, who manage to escape, flee to the mountainous wilderness...
...weeping {with the sound of 'mourning' doves}... feeble... horror... shame...
Wearing sackcloth and shaving one's head were external signs of grief and/or shame.
...silver... gold... not... able to deliver... because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
Their confidence in money and material possessions (aspects of their idolatry), had caused them to fall away from the Lord and into ruin. Soon, they would see that those things were of no value to them. Isa 2:20; 31:7 (where the literal reading is "the idols of his gold"); Zeph 1:18; Mat 16:26; Col 3:5,6
20 As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty:
but they made the images of their abominations [and] of their detestable things therein:
therefore have I set it far from them.
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 shall pollute it.
22 My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret [place]:
for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.
23. Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.
24 Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses:
I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease;
and their holy places shall be defiled.
25 Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and [there shall be] none.
26 Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour;
then shall they seek a vision of the prophet;
but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.
27 The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation,
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.
...the beauty of his ornament... I will give it into the hands of strangers for a prey... for a spoil... they shall pollute it.
The beautiful 'ornament' refers to the LORD's Temple in Jerusalem. Many people thought the city could never fall, because the LORD would preserve His Temple (Jer 7:4). But Israel had already defiled God's house with idols and the disgusting filthiness associated with the worship of false gods. Therefore, the LORD would allow the heathen nations to loot and destroy, even within the Most Holy secret place of His House.
...they shall possess their houses... their holy places shall be defiled...
The judgment which overtook the LORD's house would also swallow up the houses of the rich and powerful. The things and places, which they regarded as 'holy' {HB=qadesh, set aside} or 'set aside' for themselves, would be polluted and possessed by foreigners.
...make a chain... they shall seek peace,and... none... then shall they seek a vision... but the law shall perish...
By their own longstanding rebellion, the nation and its leaders had forged the chain by which they were bound to their fate. When the crisis came upon them, the LORD would refuse their cries for help and counsel, as they had refused His Word of warning. Lam 3:7,8; Jer 8:15,16; Lam 4:17,18
...the king... the prince... clothed with desolation... the people...troubled... according to their deserts will I judge them...
Jehoiachin, as the son of Jehoiakim, was in the line of the Davidic kings. When Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive, he appointed Zedekiah, Jehoiachin's uncle, to the throne. Because Zedekiah was not descended from either of the two preceding kings, Ezekiel may have regarded him as 'the prince' (something less than the rightful king), though he was the final ruler, prior to the fall of Jerusalem. 2Kin 24:15-17; Eze 1:1,2
     The judgment, suffered by king, prince and people, was what they deserved. The phrase "according to their deserts {HB=mishpat}" is literally "according to their judgments." They would be judged "after their way" in which they had judged others. cp. Mat 7:2; Jam 2:13
...and they shall know that I am the LORD.-
When? Not until the execution of their judgment.
The LORD's just and severe judgment, of His rebellious people, would show them who He is.
The LORD is known through His judgments. Psa 9:16
Yet, in His time, when the LORD causes Israel to know Him, He will also be known through His grace and faithfulness to His promises (eg., Jer 31:35-37).

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