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Barnes' Notes on the Bible
1Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
A dirge. Supposing the date of the prophecy to be the same as that of the preceding, there were now but four, or perhaps three, years to the final overthrow of the kingdom of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar.
2Also, 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.
3Now 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.
A kind of refrain, repeated in Ezekiel 7:8-9, as the close of another stanza.
4And 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.
5Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.
An only evil - An evil singular and remarkable above all others.
6An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come.
The end is come: it watcheth for thee - The end (personified) so long slumbering now awakes and comes upon thee.
7The 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.
The morning - Rather, "The conclusion:" a whole series (literally circle) of events is being brought to a close. Others render it: Fate.
The day of trouble ... - Or, The day is near; a tumult Zechariah 14:13, and not the echo of (or, shouting on) the mountains. The contrast is between the wild tumult of war and the joyous shouts of such as keep holiday.
8Now 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.
9And 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.
10Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded.
Rod - Used here for tribe Exodus 31:2. The people of Judah have blossomed into proud luxuriance. In Ezekiel 7:11 it means the rod to punish wickedness. The meaning of the passage is obscure, owing to the brief and enigmatic form of the utterance. We may adopt the following explanation. The Jews had ever exulted in their national privileges - everything great and noble was to be from them and from theirs; but now Yahweh raises up the rod of the oppressor to confound and punish the rod of His people. The furious Chaldaean has become an instrument of God's wrath, endued with power emanating not from the Jews or from the multitude of the Jews, or from any of their children or people; nay, the destruction shall be so complete that none shall be left to make lamentation over them.
11Violence 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.
12The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
The day - Either of temporal or final judgment.
It was grievous for an Israelite to part with his land. But now the seller need not mourn his loss, nor the buyer exult in him gain. All should live the pitiful lives of strangers in another country.
13For 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.
Although they were yet alive - Though they be yet among the living.
Which shall not return ... - He (i. e. the seller) shall not return; and, every man living in his iniquity, they shall gather no strength. Exile being the punishment of iniquity, the exiles were said to "live in their iniquity."
14They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
15The 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.
16But 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.
As doves whose natural abode is the valleys moan lamentably when driven by fear into the mountains, so shall the remnant, who have escaped actual death, moan in the land of their exile.
17All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water.
18They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.
Various signs of mourning common in eastern countries. Baldness was forbidden to the Israelites Deuteronomy 14:1. They seem, however, in later times to have adopted the custom of foreign nations in this matter, not without permission. Compare Isaiah 22:12.
19They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: 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.
Shall be removed - literally, "shall be an unclean thing" Leviticus 20:21; their gold shall be unclean and abominable in their eyes.
The stumblingblock of their iniquity - See Ezekiel 3:20. Their gold and silver used in making images was the occasion of their sin.
20As 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.
Or, And "the beauty of his ornament, he" (the people) turned "it" to pride.
Have I set it far from them - Rather, as in the margin - therefore have I made it their defilement and their disgrace.
21And 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.
22My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.
My secret place - The inner sanctuary, hidden from the multitude, protected by the most high.
23Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.
Make a chain - Forge the chain, the chain of imprisonment determined for them.
24Wherefore 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.
The worst of the pagan - The most cruel and terrible of nations - the Chaldaeans.
The pomp of the strong - Compare Leviticus 26:19 "The strong" are those who pride themselves in imaginary strength.
Their holy places - What elsewhere is called "God's Holy place" is here "their holy places," because God disowns the profaned sanctuary. In the marginal rendering "they" must mean "the worst of the pagan."
25Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.
26Mischief 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.
27The 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.