Ezekiel 21
Babylon as the sword of God

Preach to Jerusalem and holy places; sword of the Lord 1
Sigh; hearts will melt 6
Sword is polished and sharpened for slayer; against princes 8
Sword slays great men; enters private places 14
Two ways for king of Babylon; he uses divination 18
Iniquity chosen; city is to be taken; crown removed; overthrow 24
Wicked prince of Israel; Overturned until the rightful King 25
Sword against Ammonites; they will not be remembered 28
Text Comments
.1 ¶ And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
 2  Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel,
.3  And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.
 4  Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north:
 5  That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more.
  3 - Sword The "fire" in the forest ez2047. The theme of this chapter. It is against Israel, then against Ammon v28.
  3 - Righteous and wicked We may expect a similar picture in the final days which, I believe, are just ahead. As our world begins to go into chaos, both righteous and wicked will suffer. then, like Ammon, the wicked will be destroyed re1616a.
  5 - Not return The destruction would not cease before the work was completed. Similar to ez2048 where the fire would not be put out. See on ez3013.

Image scanned from The Life & Epistles of St. Paul, 1871
.6  Sigh [groan] therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.
 7  And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because 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 shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.
  6 - Breaking The prophet was to illustrate the terrible scene. For the idiom see na0201,10. The word may also mean "rupture" or "a pain." Perhaps the prophet was to go through the city crying as if his lower abdomen was hurting.
.8 ¶ Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
 9  Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished:
 10  It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth [despises] the rod of my son, as every tree.
 11  And he hath given it to be furbished [sharpened], that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer.
 12  Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon thy thigh.
 13  Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD.
  10 - Contemneth the rod of my son The Hebrew is obscure. Consider: "The sword has no more respect to the trivial "rod" or scepter of Judah (Ge 49:10) than if it were any common "tree." "Tree" is the image retained from Eze 20:47; explained in Eze 21:2,3. God calls Judah "My son" (compare Ex 4:22; Ho 11:1)." (JFB).
  12 - Cry and howl A demonstration similar to that of v6.
  13 - Trial ... sword ... rod The verse is unclear. The word "sword" is in v12 but not in the original of this verse. Here are my thoughts: The slaughter was coming because the nation had despised the softer trial or punishment of the rod. Compare v10.
.14  Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thine hands together, and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain: it is the sword of the great men that are slain, which entereth into their privy chambers.
.15  I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter.
 16  Go thee one way or other, either on the right hand, or on the left, whithersoever thy face is set.
 17  I will also smite mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest: I the LORD have said it.
  14 - Smite thine hands ... doubled This may have been instructions for a sort of dance which was used to communicate the terrible fate awaiting the people of Israel. The Hebrew is not clear. The clapping could express a strong emotion of horror.
  15 - Point From 'ibchah, a word occurring only in this verse. Some consider it a misspelling. The text could read "I have appointed a sword for slaughter."
  16 - Go thee The command is directed to the sword.
.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: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city.
.20  Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced.
.21  For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.
 22  At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort.
 23  And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken.
  19 - Two ways  "The king coming from Babylon is represented in the graphic style of Ezekiel as reaching the point where the road branched off in two ways, one leading by the south, by Tadmor or Palmyra, to Rabbath of Ammon, east of Jordan; the other by the north, by Riblah in Syria, to Jerusalem--and hesitating which way to take. Ezekiel is told to 'appoint the two ways' (as in Eze 4:1); for Nebuchadnezzar, though knowing no other control but his own will and superstition, had really this path 'appointed' for him by the all-ruling God." (JFB).
  21 - Divination Appealing to the wisdom of his gods, but the God of heaven was in control. He would choose Jerusalem.
  23 - Unto them ... false The false prophets Jerusalem had chosen to listen to would have been shown by the same demonic influences that the city would be spared.
.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, I say, that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand.   Because ... iniquity Sadly God's professed people merited the fate.
.25  And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end,
 26  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high.
  25 - Wicked prince of Israel In this last part we see the overthrow of Israel with its king, Zedekiah. The real king would be the one whose right it is. When the children of Israel left Egypt, God was their king. Then they demanded a king like the other nations 1sa0805. God worked through the kings until they became corrupt. Jesus will be the next king of David's throne. Also see ez37.
.27  I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.   Overturn ... until he come When will the Lord God stop overthrowing? When He, Christ, finally comes in glory and takes over the nations re1115. That will be the final overthrowing.
  Whose right it is David himself writes about this under inspiration ps11001. Also re0505. Covenant of David ps08903.
  I will give it him In Daniel 9, the Son of Man ascends with clouds of angels where He joins the Ancient of Days on the throne of intercession re0321. Later they take him close before the Ancient of Days for judgment. At the end of that judgment, He is given the kingdom da0714. It is then that He receive us jn1403. We meet Him in the air 1th0417 when He sits on the promised throne of glory mt2531 where He assumes physical rule over the chaotic earth. Sitting on David's throne includes civil government as indicated in the overturning in the comment above.
.28 ¶ And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; even say thou, The sword, the sword is drawn: for the slaughter it is furbished, to consume because of the glittering:
 29  Whiles they see vanity unto thee, whiles they divine a lie unto thee, to bring thee upon the necks of them that are slain, of the wicked, whose day is come, when their iniquity shall have an end.
 30  Shall I cause it to return into his sheath? I will judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity.
 31  And I will pour out mine indignation upon thee, I will blow against thee in the fire of my wrath, and deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, and skilful to destroy.
 32  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.
  28 - Ammonites ... for the slaughter Although the king of Babylon had turned away from attacking them v21 their time also came. And it would be permanent destruction.
  29 - See vanity ... divine a lie " "See" is from chazah, relating to prophets as seers. 'Ammon, too, had false diviners who flattered them with assurances of safety; the only result of which will be to 'bring Ammon upon the necks,' &c., that is, to add the Ammonites to the headless trunks of the slain of Judah, whose bad example Ammon followed, and 'whose day' of visitation for their guilt 'is come.'" (JFB).
  30 - Shall I cause ... Literally "Cause it to return into it's sheath." Command directed to the Ammonites.
  31 - Brutish From bo'arim, related to be'ir, which means "beasts." See ps04910, ps092:6. See these people in ez2504,10.

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