Judge the bloody city 1
Princes have shed blood; Sabbaths profaned; adultery 6
Dishonest profit 13
Israel in the refining furnace 17
Israel's wicked leaders and people 23
No one to stand in the gap of the wall; punishment 30
chapter may be divided into three sections:
Verses 1-16: An outline of the sins of Jerusalem
Verses 17-22: The nation to be dealt with as the process of refining ore.
Verses 23-end: Corruption by all types of people.
¶ Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
.2 Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations.
3 Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself.
.4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself 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 heathen, and a mocking to all countries.
5 Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed.
| 2 -
This is the theme of the chapter.
3 - Sheddeth blood ... idols They knew better le1904. The sins pointed out here are all violations of what has been called the "holiness code" – Leviticus 17 - 26.
Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to
7 In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow.
.8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths.
.9 In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness.
| 7 -
and mother le0903.
8 - Holy things ... sabbaths Same verse in Leviticus. The "sabbaths" included the yearly festivals but did not exclude the weekly Sabbath.
9 - Shed blood The crime is mentioned also in verses 6 and 12.
In thee have they discovered their fathers' nakedness: in thee have they
humbled her that was set apart for pollution.
.11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter.
12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.
|10 - Discovered God had clarified the sins of adultery and more. le18, le2010ff.|
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 spoken it, and will do it.
15 And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.
16 And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
|13 - Smitten mine hand Or "Beat my fists" (NKJV), or "Strike my hands together" (RSV). It is an expression of disgust. See ez0611, ez2114,17.|
¶ And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.
19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
20 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 leave you there, and melt you.
21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.
22 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 you.
18 - Israel dross Jerusalem is tested in the fire and found to be dross (the impurities that are left after refining).
19 - Dross ... gather you This is the second of three prophecies in this chapter. This gathering is not for redemption v21.
22 - Melted ... ye shall know Compare zc1309 where some are purified.
A 19th or early 20th century blacksmith is shown in the illustration.
¶ And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the 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 have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.
- Thou art the land ... not ... The Lord had not blessed
them. Compare mal0308,9.
25 - Prophets The Septuagint (translation into Greek) reads "princes." The false prophets have already been condemned in chapter 13. Either is appropriate here. How can we be safe from those who preach error today? By testing them according to the Scriptures is0820.
|.26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.||26 - Priests ... violated my law They had been charged with supporting it le1010.|
Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to
shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.
29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.
|29 - People ... have used oppression Following the example of priests and prophets. The common people, however, were not innocent.|
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand
in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I
31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.
- Hedge From geder also meaning "wall."
30 - Stand in the gap No one was found! Would you or I have stood on the side of the Lord? Do you pray for those you know who need the Lord? Do you set a good example? Would you stand if all the world were to choose the easy way of evil?