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Book of Ezekiel
Ezekiel, Chapters 21-23 = The Word of the LORD! Chapter 21: The Word of the LORD.
The Ruin of Judah under the Symbol of a Sharp Sword (21:1-17).
This Chapter further explains the parable in the last chapter (20:45-49). It is stated that the LORD was about to cut off Jerusalem and the whole land, that everyone would know that it was His decree against a wicked and rebellious people. It is quite fitting that those who condemn the rightful wrath of GOD against sinners, to show that they do NOT desire the woeful day of the LORD. Whatever ways GOD uses to execute His judgments, He will always empower and equip those that He chooses for any job. I firmly believe this. There is NO way that this worldly uneducated nobody could have written over 80 books and over 2400 Evangelical poems for prison inmates and the free world. The Spirit of Christ did it! Not me! All I did was write what HE told me to write. Period!
The Word of the LORD, is the sword of terror that glitters in the eyes of those against whom it is drawn. It is a sword to the wicked . . . but it is a rod to the people of the LORD. The Lord GOD is extremely serious when pronouncing this sentence, and the prophet must show himself to be sincere in publishing it.
The Approach of the King of Babylon Described (21:18-(27).
Ezekiel foresaw Nebuchadnezzar's march from Babylon, by the Spirit of prophecy. The LORD would overturn the government of Judah, until the Coming of Him whose right it is. This seems to foretell the overturning of the Jewish nation to the present day, and the troubles of states and kingdoms, which shall make way for establishing the Messiah's Kingdom throughout the Earth. The LORD secretly leads all to adopt His wise plans. Even in the middle of His worst warnings of wrath, we still can see His mercy, and know that He shows mercy to sinful men.
The Destruction of the Ammonites (21:28-32).
The diviners of the Ammonites made false prophecies of victory, but they would never recover their power, but instead, in time it would be completely forgotten. We all should be thankful that we can be used as instruments of mercy.
The Bible says the Lord GOD has been writing the names of faithful ones in the Book of Life since the beginning of mankind (Rev.17:8). Many different prophets have referred to this Book, including Moses, David, Malachi, the Apostle John, Paul and Jesus Himself (Ex.32:32-33; Ps.69:26; Mal.3:16; Lk.10:20; Phil.4:3; Rev.3:5). IF we choose to have a healthy fear of GOD [love, respect, reverence, worship], even if we die, we shall be alive at the time of the resurrection.
The Book of Ezekiel is often neglected and should not be, because its message is very important and can be applied in our day. Even though Ezekiel spoke the words so many years ago, it was absolutely the Word of GOD, then and now! Ezekiel becomes almost monotonous, as he repeats: The word of the LORD came unto me, saying.
Dear one, since it IS the Word of GOD, it certainly does apply to us in this day and in this nation. The hypocrites and unbelievers argue that, like the Book of Revelation, the Book of Ezekiel cannot be understood and does NOT have a message for us. That is NOT true! Ezekiel's visions are remarkable, and I would NOT even begin to say that I totally understand their interpretation. I do NOT know it all, and never will! Quite to opposite, I stand in awe and wonder of the Holy Word of Almighty GOD!
In this part of the Book, it seems to me Ezekiel is not at all hard to understand, in fact, he is very clear-cut and precise. I think Chapter 21 is one of the most important chapters in the Book of Ezekiel, because it makes it very clear that the king of Babylon is going to remove the last king of the Davidic line until the Messiah comes.
Ezekiel 21:32 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. (KJV)
Theme for Chapter 21: Babylon removes last Davidic king until Messiah comes.
The Ruin of Judah under the Symbol of a Sharp Sword (21:1-17)
Ezekiel 21:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (KJV)
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying . . .Ezekiel will repeat this three times in this chapter. There is ONLY ONE alternative for you . . . you either agree that the LORD said this, or you say that Ezekiel lies! I firmly believe that the LORD said this to him. Ezekiel is NOT simply giving his viewpoint, he is bringing the actual Words of Almighty GOD! Ezekiel's feelings rarely ever entered into his message, while Jeremiah was stunned by what he was told to speak. In the beginning of his ministry when GOD gave Ezekiel his commission, He told him that he was going to speak to a rebellious and hardheaded people. GOD also said at that time He would make Ezekiel's head harder than theirs (3:8-9). I think maybe a little of that hardness got down to his heart, and so he could really lay it on the line to these people. We must consider the man for this, for if his feelings had entered into it, he would have been crushed by the message that he had to give.
This was a command to Ezekiel to speak plainly, so NO one could say they did not understand.
*****And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying . . . Since the people did not seem to understand the parable of the devouring fire in the last part of Chapter 20, Ezekiel now explains the coming judgment, represented as a sword. The LORD is pictured as a Warrior who says, I the Lord have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath (21:5). Then the sword is sharpened to make a sore slaughter (21:10), and directed toward Judah (21:20). To close, Ammon would likewise be slain by the sword (21:28-32).
Verse 21:21 makes us aware of the Babylonian practice of divination. Three different ways for determining the will of the gods are mentioned. Casting arrows [like our drawing straws], consulting images [as supposed mediums to departed spirits], and hepatoscopy [divination by inspecting the liver of animals]. The fact is that no matter how much the Babylon king foolishly uses his divination, the will of the One and Only True GOD would be accomplished.
Ezekiel 21:2 Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel, (KJV)
Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem . . . Son of man is found 94 times in this Book of Ezekiel. Set thy face . . . put yourself in an attitude of boldness that you may show that you are going to prophesy (20:46). Toward Jerusalem, or against Jerusalem, called the forest of the south field.
And drop thy word . . . (Deut.32:2, Amos 7:16), as drops of rain follow one after another, so do words. Speak right and truth, although they forbid you to drop the words that affect them as vinegar is to an irritated conscience (Isa.30:10; Mic.2:6, 11). Drop thy word (20:46), as rain from Heaven.
Toward the holy places . . . which may mean the Holy Land, Holy City and Holy Temple; OR maybe the Temple itself is only meant . . . with the courts adjoining to it; or as consisting of three parts: the porch, the Temple, and the outward court. All places for sacred worship, as their synagogues, both in city and country, were not to be spared any more than the Temple, nor were they (Ps.74:7-8).
And prophesy against the land of Israel . . . by which it seems that this is intended by the forest of the south field, even the numerous inhabitants of it in general, as well as the city of Jerusalem (20:4).
Ezekiel 21:3 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. (KJV)
And say to the land of Israel. . . the inhabitants of Israel is indicated by the forest of the south field (20:47).
Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I am against thee . . . it is so sad to have the Lord GOD against a people, a nation, a city, a family or a specific person! WHY? Because there is absolutely NO opposing Him, NO standing before Him to argue with Him. And dear one . . . there is ALWAYS a reason for GOD to be against a nation or one single person. The reason is SIN! It is sin when GOD is against a people, even His own professing people. BEWARE!
And will draw forth my sword out of his sheath . . . means that GOD will bring the Chaldean army out of Babylon; which interprets what is meant by the fire he would kindle in the land of Israel (20:47), meaning the sword of the enemy, which GOD Himself would bring upon Israel . . . it would be war, with all its terrible series of judgments.
And will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked . . . the righteous means the green and dry tree (20:47), who even though they would not perish eternally together . . . they may fall together in temporal calamities; the one may be chastised, and the other condemned; or be carried captive for their good, as Ezekiel and Daniel and others would be cut off by sword and famine. The Targum is, I will remove out of thee thy righteous ones, that I may destroy thy wicked ones.
*****Ezekiel was to publish GOD’S Words to all the people of the land, and let them know it is the Lord GOD Who speaks it. What GOD had to say was of great importance. Judgment is looming and was now inevitable. Up to this point, GOD’S mercy had been extended, but judgment is now coming and there is no way out.
And will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked . . . Who are the righteous? Is it the ones who say they are righteous? NO! It is not! In today’s world, there are many who are church members but are not saved at all. These people go through all the rites and rituals, they are very religious! They PROFESS to be CHRISTians, BUT they do not POSSESS the LORD Jesus Christ in their hearts. Many think themselves more righteous than those around them, just like those back in Ezekiel’s time, but the day is coming when GOD shall cull the sheep from the goats (Mat.25:33).
THE SONG OF THE SWORD: This Chapter is called by many The Song of the Sword, because the word sword appears 71 times in 70 verses. It is repeated over and over again, doubled and three times doubled in its importance. It is GOD's explanation of the parable of the great forest fire seen in Ezekiel Chapter 20. The stubborn sinners who heard it pretended they did NOT understand it. BUT. . . they will not be able to miss the point of this explanation. It was the sword, the sword, the sword, the sword, etc. . . . the sword sharpened, the sword polished, the sword swift as lightning, the sword of the LORD, but especially the sword of Babylon the agent of GOD in His punishment of Israel.
Ezekiel 21:4 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: (KJV)
Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked . . . the righteous and the wicked means every green tree and every dry tree (20:47). Some will be by the sword, some by famine, some by pestilence (5:12, 17; 6:11-12; 7:15; 12:16; 14:21), and others by captivity; and on the whole, none shall be spared, and the land left desolate (6:14; 12:19-20; 14:15-16; 16:8; 19:7;26:20; 29:9-10, 12; 32:15; 33:28-29; 36:34-35).
Therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh, from the south to the north . . . the Chaldean army shall go out of their own land against all the inhabitants of Judea, from Beersheba to Dan; this explains what is meant by all faces being burnt from the south to the north (20:47), meaning the general destruction of the Jews by the Chaldeans. From the south to the north . . . from one end of the holy land to the other; the one seeing is in the north, and sees the whole extent of the ruin.
Ezekiel 21:5 That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more. (KJV)
That all flesh may know that I the Lord have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath . . . this is the same as kindling a fire in Judea (20:47).
It shall not return any more . . . the sword shall not go into its sheath, until it has done all its work; meaning that the Chaldean army would not return to their own land until they had performed the complete will of GOD upon the Jews, the fire would not be quenched (20:48). This ends the clarification of the prophecy in Chapter 20.
Ezekiel 21:6 Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes. (KJV)
Sigh, therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins . . . loins being the seat of strength, as if thy loins were broke, go as if they were. Ezekiel was to let his mourning for this terrible calamity be like that of a woman in the pains of travail. Ezekiel was told to let the people see him sighing, as a sign of the sorrow and weakness that was about to come upon the people.
And with bitterness sigh before their eyes . . . in the sight and hearing of the captives at Babylon; who would take care, by some means or other, to inform their brethren at Jerusalem of it, how the prophet sighed and groaned, under an anxiety and assurance of a dreadful calamity that was about to come upon them. With bitterness . . . with the most bitter cries and tears. Before their eyes . . . who were now with him in Babylon, and who, as soon as they could, send word to them in Jerusalem and Judea.
Ezekiel 21:7 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. (KJV)
And it shall be, when they say unto thee, wherefore sighest thou? . . . this tells the prophet what answer to give them when they ask what he means by such unusual sorrow. When they ask why he sighs [laments, cries, moans] was it because of his own personal reason, or because of his family or certain friends; or was it on a public account, either because of what should befall the captives there, or their countrymen in Judea and Jerusalem. Is it any private misery that makes a person sigh this way, or is it the promise of evil to others, or to us?
That thou shalt answer, for the tidings . . . for the tidings, for the news that is told to me from Heaven, for the certainty of Nebuchadnezzar’s preparations, and march against you. The worst news you ever heard is coming, it will without a doubt come. The courage of the bravest heart shall fail, your hands shall be feeble, your spirit shall be miserable and your knees will not be able to hold you up. Unbearable terrors shall seize your heart and you shall not be able to shift away from the evils that come to your mind.
Because it cometh . . . the report of the Chaldean army approaching to invade Judea and besiege Jerusalem, which Ezekiel had, was directly from the Lord GOD. This terrible thing was just at hand, and would shortly and surely be. THAT was what affected Ezekiel, and caused such sorrow and sighing.
And every heart shall melt . . . like wax, for fear of the enemy; even those who refused to believe the report, and laughed at it as an idle story, a parable (20:49).
And all hands shall be feeble . . . not able to hold a sword, or strike a stroke.
And every spirit shall faint . . . even those who had the highest spirits, and were bold and unafraid, shall be quite discouraged, having no heart or courage to defend themselves or their country.
And all knees shall be weak as water . . . fear shall keep them from being able stand on their legs, and fight like men in their own defense. They will not be able to run away or escape.
Shall flow with water . . . either with sweat, or with urine, through fear of the enemy.
Behold, it cometh, and shall be brought pass, saith the Lord GOD . . . there will be NO man who shall be able to put this evil day far from him, nor will they be able to treat this report as an idle tale, or something at a distance, or which may never happen . . . for it is now on the way, and very soon it will be accomplished; for the Lord GOD has said it, and He cannot lie (Tit.1:2). Dear one, when GOD makes up His Mind, His counsel shall stand, and He will do all His pleasure (Isa.48:14).
Ezekiel 21:8 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (KJV)
Again, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying . . . some think this is a new prophecy of another sword, separate and different from that of the Chaldeans, while others think or it further explains about the former sword, and enlarges upon it.
Ezekiel 21:9 Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished: (KJV)
Son of man, prophesy and say, thus saith the LORD . . . deliver out the following prophecy in the Name of the LORD.
Say, a sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished . . . the sword is not only drawn out of its sheath, as before, but is made sharp and bright, and ready for use. This is repeated, either to show the certainty of it, or to express the terror and anguish of mind because of it; for persons in distress usually repeat that which is the
occasion of it. The Targum interprets it of two swords, the sword of the Babylonians, and the sword of the Ammonites; first the one was to be used, and then the other. The latter was fulfilled by Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slaying Gedaliah, sent for that purpose by Baalis king of the Ammonites (Jer.40:14), but IF two separate swords are meant, possibly the sword of the Chaldeans, and the sword of the Romans, are intended. Sharpened, prepared so as to wound and slay with greater speed and sureness. Furbished, polished to make it bright and shiny to terrify the weak, to dazzle the eyes of those it encounters.
Ezekiel 21:10 It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree. (KJV)
It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter . . . to cut easily, wound deeply, and slaughter men, like beasts for sacrifice, whereas this would be a sacrifice to the justice of GOD for their vile sins, and so is accepted by Him. It is indeed the Lord GOD Himself that sharpens it the sword, or prepares the instruments of His Almighty vengeance, whether it is the Chaldeans, or Romans, or both! GOD gives them power, boldness and courage to accomplish His will with great eagerness of wrath and fury. To make a sore slaughter, slaying many with no mercy, as men kill beasts; a sore slaughter indeed . . . for it seems that whole herds of wicked men are offered in sacrifice to the offended justice of GOD. Isaiah 34:6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. (KJV)
It is furbished that it may glitter . . . so it may strike terror on those against whom it is drawn, and for whom it is prepared.
Should we then make mirth? . . . should we sing and dance and feast, and indulge ourselves in all kind of joy and enjoyment? The answer is NO, not if we are in our right minds. HOW could anyone be in a spirit of happiness when such a disastrous event is prophesied? Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: (KJV)
It contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree . . . other judgments come before the sword, which, when they will not get the job done, the sword will then show contempt for the rod of my son. The sword has no more respect to the unimportant rod or scepter of Judah (Gen.49:10) than if it were any common tree. Tree is the symbol recalled from (20:47), and further explained (21:2-3). GOD calls Judah My son (Ex. 4:22; Hos.11:1).
*****Dear one, have you ever really considered just how angry the Lord GOD gets at sin? He got SO angry at the people in Ezekiel’s time that He in fact had them killed! We must be extremely careful, because GOD has NOT changed! (Mal.3:6). Our sin today angers Him as well. BEWARE! You can push Him just so far, and then judgment shall fall on you. My friend, you do NOT want GOD to sharpen His sword against you!
Ezekiel 21:11 And he hath given it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer. (KJV)
And he hath given it to be furbished, that it might be handled . . . Nebuchadnezzar, or rather GOD, or the Son of GOD, prepared and polished the sword, that it might be handled and made use of, either by the Chaldeans or Romans, to the destruction of the Jews. The Targum is, he gave their vengeance to be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.
The sword is sharpened and furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer . . . either the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar; or the Roman emperor, Titus Vespasian.
Ezekiel 21:12 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. (KJV)
Cry, howl, son of man . . . not only sigh, but cry; and not cry only, but howl; suggesting that this would be the case of the Jews when these calamities would come upon them. In order to have emotional impact on the people beforehand, the prophet is ordered to act out such a part, as well as to express his compassion with them.
For it shall be upon my people . . . meaning the sword, or the calamity indicated by it. This sword would not be upon other nations, but only upon the LORD'S own people; those who professed to be His people, and whom He had set apart from all others. This is said so it would touch the prophet all the more, they being both the LORD'S people, and his also.
And it shall be upon all the princes of Israel . . . like those who were slain in Riblah by the king of Babylon (Jer.52:10). The sword spared neither the common people nor princes. While good men are quiet, not only from evil, but from the fear of it, wicked men are disturbed not only with the sword, but with the terrors of it, arising from a consciousness of their own guilt. The sword is directed above all against the great men, for they had been the greatest sinners among them; they had altogether broken the yoke and burst the bonds (Jer.5:5), and so with them, in a special way GOD'S argument is, those who had been the ringleaders in sin.
Terrors, by reason of the sword, shall be upon my people . . . terror when they heard the rumor of the invasion, terror when the city was besieged, and terror when trying to escape.
Smite therefore upon thy thigh . . . as one grieved in spirit, in great distress and anguish would smite the thigh (21:12; Jer.31:19). Smite upon thy thigh, was a sign they would express when something was too great for words.
Ezekiel 21:13 Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
Because it is a trial . . . all afflictions and calamities are trials, especially to the people of GOD. Trials try their faith, patience and every other grace of the righteous; and trials also try to wicked men, to see if they will repent or not.
And what if the sword contemn even the rod? . . . the sword had contempt even for the rod or scepter of the king of Judah, and his family. Not only did it come down on and cut off the people and the princes, but also the royal family. The sword would even overturn the tribe of Judah, and overthrow its government.
It shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD . . . the rod or sceptre shall be no more in one of David's line, of the tribe Judah, until the Messiah comes (21:27).
If also the sceptre despises . . . if the king despises the trial, the affliction, the calamity, and is not brought to repentance by it.
It shall be no more . . . the sceptre of Judah shall be no more. The state must certainly then come to an end. This was fulfilled in part at the overthrow of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, but fully at the time of Shiloh's (Messiah's) Coming (Gen.49:10), when Judea became a Roman province.
Saith the Lord GOD . . . the sceptre, shall be taken away, and NOT restored to the house of David, until the Messiah comes (Zec.14:1-5; Rev.19:11-21).
Ezekiel 21:14 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. (KJV)
Thou, therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thine hands together . . . (Num.24:10), smiting hands together is another sign, like smiting thy thigh (21:12), of expressing something that was too great for words. Smite thine hands together is either a token of amazement and sorrow, or clap thy hands, to awaken and encourage the enemy with his drawn, sharp, and glittering sword, to make use of it, and do execution with it (21:17).
And let the sword be doubled the third time . . . some think this has reference to the three captivities of Jehoiakim (Jer.1:3), Jeconiah (Jer.24:1) and Zedekiah (Jer.52:8). Others think it is the threefold calamity in Zedekiah's time; the first, the taking of him; the second, the taking of the city; the third, the carrying captive the residue along with Gedaliah (Jer.40); or to the three times the Chaldeans came against Jerusalem, after this prophecy; (1) with Nebuchadnezzar in the eleventh year of Zedekiah (Jer.52:5), and took him and the city; (2) then with Nebuzaradan, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer.52:12), and burnt the city and Temple; and (3) again in the twenty third of Nebuchadnezzar, and carried away the remnant of the people (Jer.52:30). Doubled the third time . . . refers to the threefold calamity. Doubled means multiplied or repeated. The stroke of the sword shall be doubled and even tripled.
The sword of the slain . . . where many shall be slain.
It is the sword of the great men that are slain . . . the sons of the kings, and the princes and nobles of the land.
Which entereth into their privy chambers . . . where they would try to hide themselves from the sword, but in vain. None would escape; their private chambers could not hide nor secure them (Jer.9:21). This indicates the enraged fury with which GOD will smite the people. Many people think of GOD only as a GOD of love, but dear one, GOD is also a GOD of wrath, righteous wrath!
Ezekiel 21:15 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. (KJV)
I have set the point of the sword against all their gates . . . the word point can be translated: by some the fear of the sword, or by the cry of the sword or the slaughter of the sword. The Targum paraphrases it, those that slay with the sword. It seems to mean that the enemy, with their swords drawn, would be placed at every gate of the city of Jerusalem, or at their houses, pointed towards them; which would be the terrible, and sore destruction to them. All their gates, of their cities, of their palaces and private houses.
That their hearts may faint . . . or they see nothing but death before them, and no way to escape. Not even the stoutest heart would be able to retain its courage, when plagued with death by the enemy’s sword, which kills all that come out, and enters in to kill all that stay within. No one was safe from the sword.
And their ruins be multiplied . . . their families and their houses would all be ruined.
Ah! it is made bright . . . polished, so it would glitter, to terrify all the more (21:10), appearing as a flaming sword (Gen.3:24), and causing great fear. Ezekiel expresses his sorrow and concern for it. The Targum is, woe! the sword is drawn out to kill.
It is wrapped up for slaughter . . . the sword is in its sheath or scabbard, that it might not rust or become dull, it being furbished and brightened. This seems contrary to its being drawn out of its sheath (21:3), One renders it, sharpened, as in (21:10), as does the Targum, it is sharpened to destroy; the more easily and speedily.
*****The LORD has gathered them together around Jerusalem, with their swords sharpened and drawn at every gate to slay whosoever tries to come out, or to slay all they meet when they take the city.
Ezekiel 21:16 Go thee one way or other, either on the right hand, or on the left, whithersoever thy face is set. (KJV)
Go thee one way or another . . . the sword is commanded to take the quickest route to Jerusalem, where their face was set, whether south or north [right hand or left], according to where the different parts of the Chaldean army was. United with other swords, or joined other soldiers holding swords . . . the speech is to the sword, to steer its course one way, and slay as it goes, sparing none.
Either on the right, or on the left; or south, or north . . . the Targum is, unsheathe, and slay on the south, and destroy on the north.
Whithersoever thy face is set . . . prepared or appointed for destruction. To go alone or single, either to the right or left, south or north, as his face was set (21:2), sighing and crying, smiting his hands together, trying to affect the minds of the people with the sense of their calamities coming upon them.
Ezekiel 21:17 I will also smite mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest: I the LORD have said it. (KJV)
I will also smite my hands together . . . as the prophet was told to do (21:14), either expressing a concern for the calamity of the people, or anger at their sins: or possibly encouraging their enemies to make use of the sword pointed at them (21:15), and rejoicing at their destruction for the honor of His justice. The Targum is, and even I will bring vengeance upon vengeance.
And I will cause my fury to rest . . . when the sword has done its job, and righteous vengeance is taken, the fury of the LORD shall cease; it shall go no further, it shall be kept within due bounds, with no further rage. My fury: (5:13; 7:8).
I the LORD have said it . . . the LORD is omnipotent, and can do all things, and will do everything that He has said, whether it be a Promise or a threat.
Smite mine hands together. . . in token of GOD’s approval and being well-pleased in the executions which the Chaldeans shall finish against you. Those same Hands, that were used to restrain and check, shall excite and encourage your enemies.
The Approach of the King of Babylon Described (21:18-27)
Ezekiel 21:18 The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, (KJV)
The word of the LORD came unto me again . . . this phrase is found 14 times in the Book of Ezekiel.
Saying; as follows:
Ezekiel 21:19 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. (KJV)
Also thou, son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come . . . draw out on a table or tile (4:1), or on the ground, two roads, as described in maps; which it may be supposed the king of Babylon would take, in order to make war against one king or another. Appoint thee two ways . . . these ways seem to be GOD'S explaining to Ezekiel of the meaning of that divination [prediction] sought by King Nebuchadnezzar, at the joint of the two ways. Set off from Babylon, lay down two ways, the one to the right leads to Jerusalem; or the one to the left which leads to Rabbath of the Ammonites (21:20). But WHY against the Ammonites? Because both they and the Moabites were united with Zedekiah against the Chaldeans (Jer.27:3), although they afterwards fought against Judea.
Both twain shall come forth out of one land . . . both ways must be drawn as coming from one country, that of Babylon.
And choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city . . . make some spacious place, where Nebuchadnezzar may be thought to bring his army, as a proper meeting for them to gather them in; and let that be where two ways meet . . . one to one city, and another to another city. It seems that on the desert of Arabia, through which the king of Babylon came, there was such a place, where two ways met, and one led to Jerusalem, and the other to Rabbath; and this is the place the prophet was to describe, and was where in fact Nebuchadnezzar did come.
Ezekiel 21:20 Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced. (KJV)
Appoint a way . . . mark out a way, describe a road, draw one out upon the ground, or point out one upon a table, or tile (4:1).
That the sword may come . . . in which the sword will come; or those that kill with the sword, as the Targum, even the Chaldean army under Nebuchadnezzar. Both ways come out of the same land; but when they come to the place where one road leads to Rabbath, the head city of the Ammonites, and the other to Jerusalem, he pauses; for although he is determined to ruin both, he had not decided which to attack first. The sword must go either to Rabbath or to Judah in Jerusalem.
To Rabbath of the Ammonites . . . which was the city of the Ammonites, and is now called Philadelphia, as one writes; it is so called, to distinguish it from others of the same name (2 Sam.12:26).
And to Judah in Jerusalem, the defenced city . . . which was defended both by nature and skill; there were mountains around it, and it had been fortified by several kings from the time of David, such as Solomon, Hezekiah and Manasseh. Judah is said to be in Jerusalem; although it would seem more accurate that Jerusalem was in Judah, because the people from all parts of Judah, upon hearing of the king of Babylon's intention and near approach to invade their land, fled to Jerusalem, being a fortified place, for security.
*****It seems this royal city of the Ammonites, the king of Babylon had a quarrel with, as well as with Jerusalem, and he was determined, when he came out of Babylon, to go to one of them. There were two or three cities of this name Rabba, or Rabbath; one in the tribe of Judah, one in Issachar, one in Moab; but this in the text is distinguished by Rabbath of the Ammonites. The Ammonites were the children of Lot’s daughter by incestuous mixture (Gen.31:31-38).
Ezekiel 21:21 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. (KJV)
For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways . . . the prophet knew that it was certain it should be, and therefore represents it as if it was. He had by a spirit of prophecy, seen that when the king of Babylon was come to such a place, on the borders of the desert of Arabia, where the road from Babylon parted, where two ways met, the one leading to Jerusalem on the right, and the other to Rabbath on the left . . . he would make a full stop with his army, and consider which way he should take . . . the road to Jerusalem, or the one leading to Rabbath. It is possible, when he came out of Babylon, his plan was to make an attempt on both places, and take them . . . but be had not decided which to attack first, and was still doubtful. And now being at joint of the two roads, it was necessary to stop, consider and decide which way to take; and he thought to use divination.
To use divination: he made his arrows bright . . . he made his arrows bright, being made of iron or steel; in the brightness of which diviners looked, and made their opinions, and accordingly directed what was to be done. Some are of the opinion that casting of arrows, causing them to fly in the air; and supposes that Nebuchadnezzar cast up arrows into the air, and watched on which side they fell, and so judged which way to take; to this agrees the Targum, with a bow he cast out arrows.
He consulted with images . . . he consulted with images; or teraphim (Judg.18:14); images in which some say they see things future. Heathen prophecies, from where responses were made; these were images for private use, such as were the images Laban had in his house in which Rachel stole from him (Gen.31:34); and are supposed to be such as are made under certain constellations, and their effects capable of speaking (Zec.10:2).
It was with such images as these the king of Babylon consulted, that he might know which way he should take.
He looked in the liver . . . of a beast slain, and made comments on that to direct him; as used to be done by the Aruspices among the Romans. This is that sort of divination which is called hepatoscopy, or inspection into the liver; for though the Aruspices or Extispices, so called from their looking into the entrails of a beast, and making their observations on them, used to view several inward parts, mainly the liver, which they called the head of the intestines. The king of Babylon here had two groups of people to deal with, the Ammonites and the Jews, he inspects the liver of a creature slain for sacrifice, that he might judge which was best and safest for him to attack; which was less threatening, and easier to be overcome. This divination used to be made with calves, kids, and lambs offered for sacrifice.
Ezekiel 21:22 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. (KJV)
At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem . . . all his divinations, whether by arrows, or by images, or by liver, all directed him to his right hand, to turn to that which led to Jerusalem; and so what appeared to him to be the effect of divination was overruled by the providence of GOD, to direct him to go and do what he intended he should do.
To appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter . . . he appointed captains and officers their separate bodies of men they were to lead on to the siege of Jerusalem; and give them the command as to when to attack, scale the walls, and/or make openings in it, and make a slaughter of them. The Targum is, to appoint generals to open the gates that the slayer may enter by them.
To lift up the voice with shouting . . . which is usually done in sieges, when a shout is made, and a place is stormed; both to energize the besiegers, and to terrify the besieged.
To appoint battering rams against the gates . . . to break the gates down or break through them, to make way for the army to enter in. Battering rams were used in sieges, to beat down walls, and make openings so the enemy might enter. Battering rams were so called because of the iron heads of them, which resembled rams. A ram is a huge beam, similar to the mast of a ship; the top of it is capped with a thick piece of iron, in the form of a ram's head, from where it gets its name. The Targum interprets it of officers set at the gates, as before.
To cast a mount . . . a mound of earth, were in a siege of some length, was built to injure the besieged by shooting from the tops of them into the city, and to defend the besiegers.
To build a fort . . . wooden towers, to cast out their arrows from there, and protect the besiegers (4:1-3; 26:8).
Ezekiel 21:23 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. (KJV)
And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight . . . unto them, the Jews who will not believe that Nebuchadnezzar consulted lying divination, or else that it is false and in vain, and which will deceive him that believes it, but never hurt them who ridicule it. The Jews shall simply laugh at this divination as a vain thing and Heathen practice, and of which nothing would come of it, not even Ezekiel’s account of it, and his prophecy about the king of Babylon coming to invade them. They looked at it all as of a piece of falsehood, trusting their false prophets (Isa.30:10; Jer.14:14; Lam.2:14), who assured them they would not be delivered into his hands.
To them that have sworn oaths . . . a description of the Jews, who had with their king Zedekiah sworn allegiance to the king of Babylon; which oaths they had violated (16:59; 17:13, 16, 18-19). The Targum takes the words as if they signified seven times seven; and gives this strange paraphrase of them, accounting for the vain confidence of the Jews; and their divinations were lies in their eyes, and the enchantments with which he enchanted them; for they knew not that he had observed forty nine times (i.e. his arrows, images, and liver), and an answer was returned upon the word, till the time came to him in which they should be delivered into his hands: http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14248-targum
But he will call to remembrance the iniquity . . . meaning that Nebuchadnezzar would call to mind the treachery and falsehood of the king of Judah, in breaking covenant with him and violating his oath. Some think that the Chaldeans that were with Nebuchadnezzar were not satisfied at first that it was a true divination that was made, for they had been set on the taking of Rabbath first . . . but Nebuchadnezzar put them in mind of the treachery of Zedekiah, they submitted and agreed in the mission against the Jews.
That they may be taken . . . as birds in a snare or beasts in a net, and be carried captive.
Ezekiel 21:24 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. (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD . . . this phrase is found 39 times in this marvelous Book. Because of their vain confidence, in additional to their perjury and disloyalty, GOD is angry.
Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered . . . their old sins continued, while committing new ones, both against the LORD, and against the king of Babylon.
In that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear . . . both in their religious and civil actions; in the worship of GOD, and in their covenants and agreements with men. Their sins were exposed and clear to all, not only to GOD, who was utterly provoked, but to men in the nations around them, especially to Nebuchadnezzar, who was furious by them. They were as scandalous and shameless as Sodom (Isa.3:9; Jer.6:15; 8:12).
Because, I say, that they are come to remembrance . . . remembered by GOD and the king of Babylon.
Ye shall be taken with the hand . . . as easily as a bird is taken in the snare. They shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and be carried into Babylon, which is no doubt the meaning of the Passage.
Ezekiel 21:25 And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, (KJV)
And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel . . . meaning Zedekiah, the then reigning prince; who is so called profane because he had wickedly violated the oath and covenant he made with the king of Babylon, and too, because of other sins he was guilty of, and since he was a prince of Israel, it worsened his crimes because of his leadership (Isa.5:14; 14:9). Although it is not fitting for common persons to say to a king, you are wicked, and to princes, you are ungodly (Job 34:17-24) . . . a prophet from the LORD, coming in His Holy Name, may rightfully say so; and in fact . . . he should say it when he has a command from God for it. Profane = blasphemous, disrespectful, irreverent, sacrilegious . . . or in GOD’S Eyes, worthy of death. Wicked prince is Zedekiah, who now has been told plainly he was wicked by a prophet. See similar about others: (1 Sam.13:13; 2 Sam. 12:1-31; 1 Ki.18:17-18, 2 Kings 3:13-14; 2 Ki.12:1-14).
Whose day is come . . . the time of his downfall and ruin is come; and so the Targum, whose day of destruction is come:
When iniquity shall have an end . . . or, in the time of the iniquity’s punishment. Zedekiah shall be captured and the state overthrown in the time of the end (21:25, 29; 35:5). The end with Ezekiel was the now in which wickedness had reached its climax. It is a truth that every generation lives in the end of time, because each generation dies off. When iniquity shall have an end, means stopping the torrent of it, and this shall happen only when Messiah returns (Zec.14:1-5; Rev.19:11-21), and sets up His Kingdom! Kingdom of God, Heaven: (Mat.5:3, 10; 6:10, 19-21, 33; 7:21; 10:7; 13:13; 25:31-34; Mk.1:15; 10:15; Lk.11:20; 17:20-21; Jn.3:3, 5; 6:50-71; 18:36; Acts 14:22; Rom.14:17; Rev.21:1-27).
Ezekiel 21:26 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. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord GOD, remove the diadem, and take off the crown . . . meaning from Zedekiah; and as these things are the symbols of office and badges of royal dignity. Taking them off indicates the removal of him as a king, the stripping him of his kingly power and authority. Diadem is the miter of the holy priest (Ex.28:4; Zec. 3:5). Both the diadem and the crown are symbols of the kingdom. They were to be removed, and would not be restored until the Mediator, the Messiah comes (Ps.2:6-9; 110:2, 4; Zec.6:12-13).
This shall not be the same . . . this royal dignity would not continue the same; the Coming Kingdom shall be a greater luster and glory, and in Right Hands. Nothing will be what it was. The same; the kingdom and crown shall never be what it had been; for it shall be one greatly improved.
Exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high . . . this specifically refers to Messiah and Zedekiah contrasted together. The tender plant … out of the dry ground (Isa.53:2) shall be exalted in the end (21:27); The high represents Him (Messiah) on David’s throne, the low is Zedekiah, who shall be abased. The outward affairs of things shall be made to change places in just retaliation on the people for having so perverted the moral relationships of things.
*****An earthly crown is corruptible and fading, and at most it continues just in this life, which often is not very long. Sometimes earthly crowns totter and shake, and sometimes fall to the ground. Earthly crowns are taken from the head of one, and put upon the head of another, by Him who has the sovereign removal of crowns and kingdoms . . . it is the Lord GOD alone who sets up one, and puts down another. GOD would take away the crown from Zedekiah the king, and the conqueror would take pride in exalting him that is low and abasing him that is high, preferring some and degrading others, at His pleasure, without any regard either to right or merit. Attempts to re-establish the government shall come to nothing, Gedaliah's in particular (2 Ki.25:22-23), and Ishmael's (2 Ki.25:23-25), who was of royal seed. Neither of them shall be able to make anything of it. The Lord GOD will overturn, overturn and overturn first one and then another . . . for WHO is it that can build up what God will throw down?
This monarchy shall NEVER be restored until it is eternally permanent in the Holy Hands of the One and Only Messiah. There shall be NO more kings of the house of David after Zedekiah, until Christ Jesus comes, whose absolute right the Kingdom is, and Who is that seed of David (Jn.7:42; Rom.1:3; 2 Tim.2:8), and in Whom the Promise was to be fulfilled. Christ shall have the throne of His father David (Lk.1:32-33). Right before the First Coming of Christ, there was a long concealment of the royal dignity, and too, there was also a decline of the spirit of prophecy, that His shining forth in the fullness of time (Gal.4:4), might appear more recognized both as King (Rev.17:14; 19:16) and Prophet (Deut.18:15, 18; Mat.11:9; Lk.7:16, 26; 24:19; Jn.4:44; 6:14; 7:40; 9:17; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37).
Christ has an indisputable title to the dominion and sovereignty both in the church and in the world; the Coming Kingdom is His perfect right. And since He does have the right, He shall when the time is accurate, He shall indeed have possession! I believe that this is mentioned, for the comfort of those who were afraid that the Promise made to David would fail. No, says the Lord GOD, that Promise is certain, the Messiah's Kingdom shall last for ever.
Ezekiel 21:27 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. (KJV)
I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it . . . this triple threat speaks the sureness of the event, and possibly also the gradual, following troubles and overthrows that this kingdom would always be afflicted with. It would be no more; never recover its former glory and strength, until the scepter be quite taken away from Judah, and way be made for the Messiah. He is certain to come, certain to rule, for the Almighty Father will give it to Him. So here the final desolation of the temporal kingdom of the seed of David, brings most heavy news to the carnal Jews, and the eternal Kingdom of the Messiah, and most joyful news to the believing Jews.
And it shall be no more . . . a kingdom governed by one of the seed of the then present family, or of the seed of David. There shall be NO more a king of David’s race, as there was NOT until Shiloh come (Gen.49:10).
Until he come whose right it is . . . the right of the crown and kingdom of Israel; which belongs to Christ Jesus the Messiah, being descended from a race of kings of the house of Judah, and of the seed of David.
To whom the judgment is . . . to Whom the Father hath committed all judgment (Jn.5:22). ALL power of judging both His church and His people, and the whole world shall be in His Holy Hands!
And I will give it him . . . the crown and kingdom, which is His perfect right. GOD the Father will put Him (the only begotten Son, Jesus) in the possession of the Kingdom . . . as He was at His resurrection and ascension. Christ is at GOD’S right Hand: (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69; Acts 2:33-34; 5:31; Rom.8:34; Eph.1:20; Col.3:1; Heb.8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:22).
*****This is an exceptional prophecy. Until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him, that is, the LORD Jesus. From Zedekiah down to the LORD Jesus there has been no one in the line of David who ever sat on that throne. Ezekiel is saying that no one would ever be able to do so. The LORD Jesus is the only One who will. Right now He is sitting at GOD's right hand, waiting until His enemies are made His footstool when He comes back to this earth to rule.
This remarkable prophecy began back in Genesis, when Jacob was giving the prophecies concerning his twelve sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel. He said: Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. (KJV) . . . The sceptre means the king. The Hebrew word for until He come is very similar to the word, Shiloh. It speaks of the LORD Jesus Christ . . . this is the way Christ was introduced in Scripture. This is the reason that John the Baptist said: Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (KJV) . . . The Kingdom was at hand in the Person of the Glorious One Who had come, the One of whom all the prophets had spoken about.
The Destruction of the Ammonites (28-32)
Ezekiel 21:28 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: (KJV)
And thou, son of man, prophesy, and say . . . this begins a new prophecy, or perhaps an increase on part of the former one. Two ways being marked out for the sword of the Chaldeans to come in; the one leading to Jerusalem, the other to Rabbath and the Ammonites . . . the prophecy is finished concerning Jerusalem . . . here an account is given of Ammonites, and how the sword would move that way, and what it would do.
Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach . . . Nebuchadnezzar, according to the above prophecy, took his route to Jerusalem, as his divination directed him, and after he destroyed Jerusalem, returned to Babylon, without making any effort upon the Ammonites. They insulted the Jews, laughing at their destruction, as if their God whom they served could not save them; attributing their safety and prosperity to the idols which they worshipped (25:2).
Even say thou, the sword, the sword is drawn for the slaughter . . . the same sword of the Chaldeans, which was drawn for the slaughter of the Jews, is now drawn for the slaughter of the Ammonites; and which is repeated for the sureness of it, and to inject terror on them. Josephus, Antiqu. Jud. l. 10. c. 9. sect. 7., says, was accomplished five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, in the twenty third year of Nebuchadnezzar: The sword . . . is the sword which falls upon the Ammonites is like that which fell upon Jerusalem (21:8-11). It is the same sword; it is the sword of the LORD! (21:15.)
It is furbished, to consume because of the glittering; being brightened and made sharp. . . it not only terrified with its bright glittering, but was fully fit and prepared to cut and destroy (21:9).
*****The Ammonites were a stout, proud, injurious and insulting people. When they reproached Israel in the day of Israel’s afflictions (Jer.49:1-6; Eze.25:3-7), they also blasphemed the GOD of Israel. The sword was all warlike preparations that are made against you. The sword of the LORD is drawn; war is declared, and your enemy hath drawn the sword (21:9-11), for the slaughter; to make waste, by avenging former quarrels and affronts. The Babylon king comes out with blood on his mind against you, O Ammonites!
Ezekiel 21:29 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. (KJV)
Whiles they see vanity unto thee, whiles they divine a lie unto thee . . . the Ammonites also had their seers, soothsayers, diviners and false prophets, which they are bid to be aware of, and are cautioned against listening to (Jer.27:3-10), these told them they were in the utmost safety, and that the king of Babylon would not come against them; or, if he did, he would not succeed when his sword was drawn and furbished for the destruction of them.
To bring thee upon the necks of the slain, of the wicked . . . meaning the Jews who were slain by the sword of the Chaldeans for their wickedness . . . these diviners by their vain divination and lies would bring the Ammonites to the same condition, to be slain as they were; and as it were to fall upon their necks, as one slain person upon another; and so the Targum, to deliver thy neck as the necks of the slain, of the wicked.
Whose day is come, when their iniquity shall have an end . . . along with Zedekiah their king; a description of the Jews (21:27).
Ezekiel 21:30 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. (KJV)
Shall I cause it to return into his sheath? . . . the drawn and furbished sword of the Chaldeans? NO, I will not; it shall never return or be put up until the Ammonites are utterly consumed. This may be considered as a direction to the Ammonites to put up their swords, and not stand in their own defense, since it would be of no purpose, since the drawn sword of the Chaldeans, having done its work upon the Jews and Ammonites.
I will judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity . . . not in the place where their father Ammon was born, which was at Zoar; but where they first became a kingdom and state, a body politic; or where the present generation of them were born; they should not be carried out of their own land, but destroyed in it.
Ezekiel 21:31 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. (KJV)
And I will pour out mine indignation upon thee . . . like a mighty flood, which should sweep them away because of their sins and transgressions; and especially for their criticisms of GOD and His people, which caused the Lord GOD’S anger to rise, and Him to pour it out upon them in such a manner.
I will blow against thee in the fire of my wrath . . . as men put metal into a furnace, and then blow upon it to melt it, and consume the dross; and which fire, when blown, is exceeding fierce and very consuming; who is it that can stand against such a blast as that of the wrath of God, not only kindled, but blown with His breath like a stream of brimstone?
And deliver thee into the hand of brutish men . . . that burn with fierce anger, barbarous and inhuman, that show no mercy nor compassion . . . such were the Chaldeans (Hab.1:6-8).
And skilful to destroy . . . although like brutes or beasts of prey for their cruelty; yet, like men, rational, cunning, and artful to dream up ways and means to destroy men; well versed in the art of war; and meticulously learned in all the lessons and methods of violence and destruction.
Ezekiel 21:32 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. (KJV)
Thou shalt be for fuel for the fire . . . thou; Rabbath, and the people there. They shall be as fuel for the fire, which is soon easily consumed, as briers and thorns cast into a furnace; such are wicked men to the fire of GOD'S wrath.
Thy blood shall be in the midst of the land . . . such large numbers shall be slain everywhere, that the land shall flow with the blood of them (Ps.79:3; Rev.14:20); who shall lie unburied, and rot, and putrefy upon the ground. Bodies not buried: (1 Ki.14:10-11; 21:23; 2 Ki.9:10, 36-37; Ps.79:3; 83:10; Jer.7:22; 8:2, 22; 9:21-22; 16:4-7; 22:19; 25:33; 36:30; Eze.39:4-20; Rev.11:9).
Thou shalt be no more remembered . . . but lie in everlasting obscurity, as they do to this day; the name of an Ammonite being nowhere mentioned, nor heard of.
For I the LORD have spoken it . . . the LORD never alters anything that is gone from His Lips; His counsel shall stand, and EVERY purpose and resolution of His shall be accomplished. The Targum is, for I the LORD have decreed by my word. Dear one, when GOD makes a Promise OR a threat, you can rest assured it shall happen, exactly as He has spoken!
THE SONG OF THE SWORD: This Chapter is called by many The Song of the Sword, because the word sword appears 71 times in 70 verses. It is repeated over and over again, doubled and three times doubled in its importance. It is GOD's explanation of the parable of the great forest fire seen in Ezekiel Chapter 20. The stubborn sinners who heard it pretended they did NOT understand it. BUT. . . they will not be able to miss the point of this explanation. It was the sword, the sword, the sword, the sword, etc. the sword sharpened, the sword polished, the sword swift as lightning, the sword of the LORD, but especially the sword of Babylon the agent of GOD in His punishment of Israel.
Book of Ezekiel
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