SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Book of Ezekiel
There are three separate messages that the Lord GOD gives to Ezekiel to deliver relating to Judah and Jerusalem, and all for the same reason, to show them their sins and the judgments that were coming upon them for those sins. (1). There is a list of their sins, by which they had exposed themselves to shame and for which God would bring them to ruin (22:1-26). (2). They are compared to dross, and are condemned as dross [chaff, debris, garbage, trash] to the fire (22:17-22). (3). All orders and degrees of men among them are here found guilty of the neglect of the duty of their place and of having contributed to the national guilt, which therefore, since none appeared as intercessors, they must all expect to share in the punishment (22:25-31).
Ezekiel Chapter 22 could be called The Show and Tell Sins of Israel. Their sins are ripe for judgment, but we must be ever so careful NOT to pass judgment on these ancient people, because many of today’s professing Christians may be guilty of some of the same sins. There are many sexual sins in the church and in today’s supposed Christian homes that go on as though it is A-OK! Dear one, to the Almighty Lord GOD . . . it is NOT OK with Him! People and many churches close their eyes to these offenses. It seems they think that times have changed, so they will just go along with the flow. My friend . . . GOD has NOT changed!!! BEWARE!!!
Psalm 102:27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. (KJV)
Malachi 3:5-6 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (KJV)
Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (KJV)
Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: (KJV)
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (KJV)
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (KJV)
Consider some of the detestable sins in today’s world: Idolatry is certainly a sin . . . and it is everywhere! An idol is anything or anyone you place above the Lord GOD. Consider: ego, money, pleasure, possessions, self, sex, sports, etc., etc. 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (KJV)
Pornography is also a sin . . . in print, on TV, video, and on the Internet . . . it is common place, and it gets worse day by day! Adultery and fornication also are sins. Unmarried people living together was looked down on with disgust 50 years ago . . . today, no one seems to think there is anything wrong with it. Same sex marriage was not even considered 50 years ago . . . today, well known celebrities are marrying same sex spouses. It is utterly ridiculous! A Godly marriage is between two people of opposite sex, as in Adam and Eve . . . NOT Adam and Steve! What about swapping mates? Adultery and fornication in today’s world seems to be the ‘in’ thing! All the above and more have shown up in supposed evangelical churches, but if and when a faithful pastor tries to deal with it as being sin . . . they are either told to mind their own business, are fired or people stop going to that church. I must warn you, the Lord GOD is watching what you do, and when Judgment Day comes, IF you participate in sinful ways, you will NOT like the verdict!
Theme: Review of Jerusalem's abominations. GOD’S judgment on the sinfulness of Jerusalem.
The Sins of Jerusalem (22:1-16)
Ezekiel 22:1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (KJV)
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me..... the word of the LORD came unto me is found 46 times in the Book of Ezekiel. The Prophet is still rebuking the sad subject of the sins of Jerusalem; and the LORD'S displeasure, with threatened punishment, added.
Ezekiel 22:2 Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations. (KJV)
Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? . . . or city of bloods, the city of Jerusalem, in which was shed the blood of the prophets sent to her; doubling the word means the forcefulness with which it was expressed: wilt thou plead for and excuse such a city as this? Wilt thou judge the bloody city . . . pronounce the sentence of death against the murderers.
Yea, thou shalt show her all her abominations . . . the prophet will lay all their abominations before her; convict her of them; show her the evil of them, and the punishment they rightly deserve. She was guilty of every kind of sin, as well as for specific acts, it was impossible to number them; some sins that were the most brazen, and most often committed, and which were absolutely abominable to the LORD, and in His sight.
*****Some would wonder if the prophet would judge them, and why he would plead for such a city. Others, think that GOD forbid him to plead for it, or be kind about it. I think GOD was all for the more vigorous rebuking this sinful people, and threatening them for sin. The question is doubled to awaken the prophet more fully, and to accelerate him to his work.
Ezekiel 22:3 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. (KJV)
Then say thou, thus saith the Lord GOD . . . although the prophet was to sit as judge, it would be in the Name of the King of kings (Rev.19:16) under whose authority he acted.
The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it . . . the city is Jerusalem, openly and brazenly, in the face of all, and in great abundance; even innocent blood, as the Targum has it: murders were frequent and common, either through quarrels, or through unrighteous judgments in courts of judicature.
That her time may come . . . to fill up the measure of her iniquity, and to receive the just punishment of her sins. the Targum is, the time of her destruction.
And maketh idols against herself, to defile herself . . . she was guilty, not only of murder, but of idolatry; she was an idol maker and an idol worshipper; which was against herself, as well as against God, which would bring her to her own ruin and destruction, as well as to the Lord GOD’S dishonor. It is no wonder that she would be defiled with such dunghill gods as these idols were. Idolatry of any kind defiles the person and provokes GOD to wrath against them.
Ezekiel 22:4 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. (KJV)
Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed . . . guilty in thy blood means greatly or deeply guilty by the innocent blood she shed; her guilt was clearly evident and shameful, as well as far surpassing aggravated.
And hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made . . . she not only made the idols, in doing which she sinned; but polluted herself with them, by worshipping them. Her mind and conscience were defiled with them; which brought such a stain and pollution that could not be removed by anything that she could do. There is both pollution [contamination] and guilt in sin, and neither can be removed EXCEPT by the precious Blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19); and unless they are removed this way, punishment must follow.
And thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years . . . come to full age, are ripe for judgment . . . her sins had hurried up the time of her days of affliction and distress appointed for her, and the time had reached maturity, for her to suffer for her sins. The years of her captivity, which would soon take place; would be years in which she would have no pleasure.
Therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the Heathen, and a mocking to all countries . . . instead of the heathens praising them for their idolatry, they would ridicule and scoff at them for leaving the GOD of their fathers, and insult over them in their affliction and distress, even though they joined with them in idolatrous practices. A reproach: (Ps.44:13; 79:4; 80:6; 89:51; Jer.24:9).
Ezekiel 22:5 Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed. (KJV)
Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee . . . the neighboring nations, such as the Edomites, Philistines, Moabites and Ammonites; and far off ones, such as the Babylonians, Medes, and Persians; all that hear of or see their misery shall rejoice at it, and triumph over them. Shall mock thee, which are infamous . . . this was threatened long ago (Deut.28:37).
Which art infamous and much vexed . . . infamous, of a most notorious name and character. They defiled GOD’S Holy Name, put a blot on it, corrupted themselves by their conduct and behavior; and now worried about the afflictions and calamities that lie upon them. The Targum is; who hast been full of noise, and factions, and tumults; thou art now come to a righteous end. Infamous is what the neighbors mockingly call them. The nations far and near mocked her character and her lawlessness. What a sad contrast to the Jerusalem that was once designated the Holy City!
Ezekiel 22:6 Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood. (KJV)
Behold, the princes of Israel . . . the princes of Israel, should have protected the injured innocent ones, but instead they were the very ones to shed blood. They thirsted for it, and delighted in it, and whoever came within their power were sure to feel it; whoever lay at their mercy were sure to find none. They were a vile and murderous people, and their princes were of the same character.
Everyone were in thee to their power to shed blood . . . everyone exerted himself to the uttermost, according to his ability, to shed blood or cause it to be shed; it seemed everyone tried to out-do, or to exceed each other in this abominable sin. To shed blood . . . they murdered all that they hated, or that stood in their way.
Ezekiel 22:7 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. (KJV)
In thee have they set light by father and mother . . . in thee; in Jerusalem, have they set light . . . they were brought into the world by father and mother, and to whom they owed great honor, respect and obedience; but, quite the opposite, they showed great disrespect to their commands, and treated them with irreverence and contempt; a sin of a very wicked nature, thought among the heathens as contempt of GOD and disobedience to Him. Disrespect to father and mother is contrary to a law of God, and threatened with a curse and a severe punishment (Ex.20:12; 21:15, 17; Pro.20:20; 23:22-25; 28:24; 30:11, 17). God threatened to curse all as do so (Deut.27:16). The connection of these words with verse 6, show that the princes of Israel are intended; the children of the nobles, and the sons and daughters of the king; who, it might have been thought, by who they were, the position they were in, and the manners of their education, would have behaved in a different way, and IF this sin was rampant among them, there is no doubt it did among those of a lower class, who are always swayed by such examples.
In the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger . . . they is still the princes, by oppression meansby force and fraud, as the oppression here mentioned is made up of both; they have oppressed the stranger, clearly against GOD’S command (Ex.22:21; 23:9; Lev.19:33).
In thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow . . . the fatherless and the widow were weak and helpless, with none to protect them, because father and husband were dead . . . when, according to their rank and position as princes, they should have defended them; they instead afflicted, distressed and grieved them. They is plural, and agrees with princes, they vexed is still the same great men and rulers, who should have defended, pleaded for, relieved and comforted the fatherless and widow (Isa.1:17) . . . but just the opposite, they oppress, worry and make a prey of them.
Ezekiel 22:8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. (KJV)
Thou hast despised mine holy things . . . these words are directed to Jerusalem, the Holy City, and to the inhabitants of it, who should have been holy men . . . OR maybe it means Zedekiah, the chief of the princes; or else, having spoken of them all in the plural, he now changes the number, and so speaks to each in particular.
Thou hast despised all GOD’S ordinances, not only neglected, but treated them with contempt; and also His Sabbaths blasphemed and disrespected. There was no godliness or goodness there.
Ezekiel 22:9 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. (KJV)
In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood . . . men that carry tales are informers and persons that are corrupted with money, give false witness against the innocent; and the princes of Israel were in the middle of it.
To shed blood . . . there were those who told lies of men to the princes, to whom they knew it would be pleasing, to enrage them against them; or they betrayed what passed in private conversation, to bring trouble among their neighbors. People will do almost anything to get a dirty dollar! All those that carry tales and lies of innocent persons, and stir up others against them to wrath and revenge, to shed their blood; or that go to the courts and there accuse innocent persons, and bear false witness against them, to the taking away of their lives, will be accountable for all the mischief that follows; because he that kindles a fire will be held accountable for all the hurt it does. Men who slander: (Ex.20:16; 23:1, 3; Lev.19:16).
And in thee they eat upon the mountains . . . in Jerusalem, they sacrifice to idols, and celebrate their festivals. They eat, offer sacrifice, on the mountains, and feast there, celebrating the honor of their idols (18:6, 11, 15).
In the midst of thee they commit lewdness . . . lewdness is a common word for all manner of uncleanness, as adultery, fornication, incest, etc., of which some details follow.
Ezekiel 22:10 In thee have they discovered their fathers' nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. (KJV)
In thee have they discovered their father's nakedness . . . or uncovered it, they had carnally known their father’s wives or concubines, like Reuben (Gen.35:22; 49:4; Lev.18:8; 20:11; Deut.22:30; 27:20. 1 Cor.5:1).
In thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution . . . ravished and deflowered such women who had their menstrual period; to lie with such was prohibited by the law of God (Lev.15:19-25; 18:19; 20:18; Eze..18:6), so that here was a double sin committed; a rape of a woman, whether married or unmarried, at the time of her purgation or sickness. Humbled, seems to imply force and violence to the persons, whether virgins or married.
Ezekiel 22:11 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. (KJV)
And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife . . . the sin of adultery is an abominable sin; it is so to God, and it should be so to man. It seems that this sin prevailed among the princes and nobles, but was also a universal vice, which was committed among all ranks, high and low, rich and poor.
And another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law . . . his wife's daughter, or his son's wife, which was contrary to GOD’S law (Lev.18:15).
And another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter. . . his own sister, having the same father, even though she may be not born of the same mother; yet the relation is too near for marriage; and besides, it is a rape that is here intended; and the uncovering of the nakedness of a sister, whether by father or mother's side, whether born at home or abroad, it was prohibited (Lev.18:9). Some have thought that all these acts of uncleanness were committed in honor of their idols, and when they worshipped them on the mountains (22:9).
Ezekiel 22:12 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. (KJV)
In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood . . . judges upon the bench, whose job it was to be on the side of the innocent person, clear him from unjust charges, and protect him from the violence of wicked and perverse men that brought the charge against him . . . yet these judges took bribes to make the innocent guilty, and pass sentence of death on him. It happens often in today’s courts. Shocking sin indeed.
Thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion . . . these men were not content with moderate interest charges and increase, and even that was forbidden the Jews among themselves (18:8). They were so greedy of gain that they squeezed it out of their neighbors, in the most violent and oppressive manner. They greedily gained of their neighbors, with an insatiable thirst of gain. They tore to pieces and devoured their neighbor . . . when they should have had mercy, thus they forgot the Lord GOD!
And hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD . . . they forgot to seek for help from Him; they forgot His law which forbids the above sins. They forgot the instructions, cautions and directions GOD had given them. The Targum is, and hast forsook my worship. Forgetting GOD is the cause of ALL sin.
*****Judges, who should have saved lives, instead sold the lives of innocents because of greed. They who sat to judge, acted on behalf of the devil, murdering innocents, as they opposed GOD’S law. Exodus 23:8 And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous. (KJV)
Ezekiel 22:13 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. (KJV)
Behold, therefore, I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made . . . smiting the hands here was a sign of anger and contempt, as one amazed at it; or as filled with outrage against it; or as grieved and distressed at it; in token of highest anger (21:14, 17; 22:13; Num.24:10). I have smitten my hands at thy dishonest gain . . . this symbolically describes GOD'S wrath at the abominable, wicked dealings of Israel.
At thy dishonest gain which thou hast made . . . the Jewish doctors say that there were twenty-four different abominations that are here counted up, the destruction of the city is credited mainly to covetousness, greed. One foretold that filthy lucre would be the overthrow of their city, and it indeed proved so. Jews observe from their Rabbis, that four and twenty sins are recited by Ezekiel; but the final sentence of punishment is for rapine [the violent seizure of someone's property] or dishonest gain, which is the greatest sin of all (1 Tim.6:10).
And at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee . . . the innocent blood shed in the midst of Jerusalem; not so much by thieves and cutthroats . . . but instead as under a pretense of justice which was indeed exceedingly abominable . . . and against which the LORD expresses just, right and strong resentment.
Ezekiel 22:14 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. (KJV)
Can thine heart endure? . . . this question is a violent denial that NO heart can endure, withstand or repel the evils that are coming. No one would be able to bear them when come. Will their courage hold out and conquer? NO! It will be with them as in (21:7), their hearts shall melt.
Or can thine hands be strong in the days that I shall deal with thee? . . . they shall become weak and drop, not able to hold a weapon for defense. It would be the case, when God would deal with the Jews for their sins, by sending the Chaldean army to besiege their city, and take it . . . and it shall also be how it will it be with sinners on Judgment Day, when the awful sentence shall be pronounced for eternity . . . go ye cursed; when the wrath of GOD shall be poured out upon them; when they shall be cast into Hell, where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched (Isa.66:24; Mk.9:44, 46, 48). This will not be tolerable by the most stout hearted sinner; no heart will be strong enough to stand up under it, or hands strong enough to keep it off.
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)
I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it . . . He Who is the Almighty God, the eternal and unchangeable Jehovah (Ex.6:3; Ps.83:18; Isa.12:2; 26:4); He has said it, that He will deal with impenitent sinners in a way of wrath, and He will be as good as His Word; He will certainly accomplish it; it is in vain for men to flatter themselves to the contrary; or to put away the evil day far from them; for it shall surely be. The Targum is,
I have decreed by my word, and I will establish it.
Ezekiel 22:15 And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. (KJV)
And I will scatter thee among the Heathen, and disperse thee in the countries . . . I will scatter thee (Deut.4:27; 28:25, 64). I will scatter thee, as the wind scatters chaff, among the heathen. GOD would not only cause them to be carried captive to some place, as Babylon; but to be scattered throughout the various provinces of it, and in other nations, as chaff is blown by the winds . . . thus suggesting the great power by which it would be done.
And will consume thy filthiness out of thee . . . by destroying some of the filthy persons, and reforming others by bringing them by means of those afflictions, to make them see their sins, and have them forsake them; and so they would be refined as silver from its dross in a furnace. This seems to have a specific reference to their idolatry, that filthy sin, which they were cured of, and purged from, by their captivity, and to which they returned no more. Praise the LORD for that!
And I will consume thy filthiness out of thee . . . (Zec.13:9). This will be accomplished by the total destruction of all of the wicked sinners in Jerusalem, who were themselves, the filthiness of the city. By their captivity and misery GOD would refine and reform them.
Ezekiel 22:16 And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD. (KJV)
And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the Heathen . . . they would no longer be the inheritance of GOD, they would not have GOD to be their portion and inheritance, but themselves which was a poor portion and inheritance indeed . . . they being in captivity, poverty and distress; having no civil or religious liberties. It would be clear to the heathens that they were forsaken by God, and left on their own. They would be belittledin themselves, in the sight of the nations . . . meaning that they would be inwardly conscious of their polluted condition, and would hate themselves because of their sins. One thing we should remember here, is that although the Lord GOD did allow His people to be belittled and disrespected for a time, and allowed the nations to mock them, seeming that GOD was powerless to save them; on the other hand, the scattering of His people was a corrective measure in GOD'S judgment on them, and in GOD'S own time, the holiness of GOD'S Name would yet be vindicated (36:23).
And thou shalt know that I am the LORD . . . they would then be willing to do what He says; and always be faithful to His Word; for He is all-knowing, ever-present and all-powerful; and this they shall not only know, but will recognize and admit, when these disasters take place, and have had their destructive result.
*****While the Lord GOD was their Inheritance, they enjoyed great delight, joy, honor, riches, safety and peace in Him . . . as long as they were holy and obedient to Him. When people are polluted by sin, they sink into a deep hole of filthiness in GOD’S eyes. Sin took these people into captivity, there to be what they could be, for GOD would NO longer be their Inheritance. Their forlorn, hopeless and helpless state was so visible, that even the heathen shall recognize, and know that they were rejected by their GOD, and that He was very just and right in doing what He did.
So too it is in today’s world, because GOD has NOT changed His Mind on SIN! IF people willingly continue in it, the Lord GOD shall chastise them in some way: be it in this life or eternally in the pits of Hell. Even the most ungodly person knows there IS a GOD and that it is wrong to sin! Romans 1:18-21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (KJV) . . . Most people do things they KNOW to be wrong, and omit doing what they KNOW to be right. None of us can plead ignorance. We know better! Our Creator’s invisible power and Godhead are so clearly shown in the works He has made, that even the most hard-hearted unbeliever is left without excuse. http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_romans_ch.1.htm
Inheritance of born again Christians: (1 Pet.1:4) . . . . . . . . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/1_peter_ch.1.htm
Doom of those who reject Christ: (Mat.25:31-46) . . . . . . . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/matthew_ch25.htm
Israel Is Condemned As Dross (22:17-22)
Ezekiel 22:17 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (KJV)
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying . . . (17:1; 18:1)
Ezekiel 22:18 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. (KJV)
Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross . . . Son of man is found 94 times in Ezekiel. The house of Israel is to me become dross . . . they are vile, despicable, useless and unprofitable, and to which the wicked of the Earth are compared (Ps.119:119), and here the LORD'S professing people, are the same as them, they are so badly deteriorated . . . before they were as silver, and so they might then consider themselves; but to GOD, who is all-knowing, the searcher of the hearts and reins (Rev.2:23), He saw all their actions, and He knew the fountain of them, and in His sight they were as dross [rubbish, scum, trash].
All they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace . . . they are all like base metal: brass, tin, iron and lead. They must be put in the furnace, and subjected to the most intense fire, until their impurities are taken away (Isa.1:22, 25; Jer.6:30). No ordinary means will be of an advantage, so the most intense must be used. All they, from the king to the peasant, the priests, the prophets and people, are brass; bold and brazen in sin. And tin, hypocrites, as being mixed as tin; and iron; hard, cruel, and oppressive as iron; and lead; stupid and senseless as lead. It seems that the prophet is charging them with a continuous and persistent degeneracy . . . from bad to worse, by the gradation of these metals. In the midst of the furnace . . . the afflictions GOD had laid upon them did NOT better them. They kept all their corruptions and vices. As long as they had kept the Covenant, adhered to GOD’S law, kept worship of Him pure, loved mercy, did justly, walked humbly with their GOD, they were as silver, precious and valuable to GOD . . . but they had now sunk so deep into a sinkhole of filth and wickedness, and were nothing but the dross of silver, and of no use.
Ezekiel 22:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, because ye are all become dross . . . king, princes, nobles, prophets, priests, as well as the common people; the apostasy was everywhere, in the city and in the country; rarely were any exceptions to be made. . . . . . . . . . http://judgmentcoming.org/j_c_apostasy.htm
Therefore will I gather you into the midst of Jerusalem . . . the people were scattered in different parts of the country, thinking they would be safe there . . . but they would be gathered. The plan of God was the destruction of them in Jerusalem, so He would will gather them all into the midst of Jerusalem, as into a red hot furnace, or fiery pot (24:9-12).
*****Jerusalem is here represented as the refining pot . . . all the people, who had become dross, are to be gathered together in it; and the fire of the Chaldeans, blown by the wrath of God, shall melt the whole of it. No ordinary means will be able to purge their impurities; so the most forceful method, must for that reason be used (Eze.11:7; 24:3-6; Mic.4:12; Mat.13:30, 40-42).
Ezekiel 22:20 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. (KJV)
As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace . . . (22:18) they is who melt down metals to refine them. Silver is here mentioned, to mean that those who were truly good would suffer in this calamity, and be tried and purified by it. They gather silver and brass . . . refiners of metal do not mix them together, but do each metal separately. If the fire is set to the stubbornness of the metal, then it may speak of the future affliction that shall be such as shall melt down the hardest of the degenerate idolaters and sinners.
To blow the fire upon it, and to melt it . . . to raise the fierceness of the fire. To melt it, raise the heat until the metal is melted. This expresses the wrath of God, as follows:
So will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury . . . (22:19), from the several parts of the land unto the city of Jerusalem. This they thought was for their good and safety, but it was instead in GOD’S wrath against their sin. In mine anger . . . in His great but just displeasure, anger also called fury here, and 25 other times in Ezekiel.
And I will leave you there, and melt you . . . meaning, I will leave you in the city of Jerusalem, to the sword, famine, and pestilence, to be destroyed by them; or with fire at the burning of the city. I will leave you there . . . an awful threat. God will bring His enemies into the briers and there leave them (29:5). His own He will not leave nor forsake (Heb.13:5). He will be with them in the fire and water (Isa.43:2).
Ezekiel 22:21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. (KJV)
Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath . . . not only would He gather them in His wrath, as before; but now He says He shall blow upon them in His wrath, which is often compared to fire in Scripture. The city and Temple of Jerusalem were to be burnt, and were burnt with material fire, as a result of GOD'S anger and fury against His people (22:20).
And ye shall be melted in the midst thereof . . . the city of Jerusalem shall be destroyed by one judgment or another in it (5:2, 12, 17); or perish in the fire of it.
And ye shall be melted in the midst thereof . . . as in a fiery furnace (Dan.3). Such was anciently Egypt (Deut.4:20), and afterwards Babylon; and in 1453, Constantinople fell, where there a great multitude of Christians brutally perished by the hand of the Turks.
Ezekiel 22:22 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. (KJV)
As silver is melted in the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof. . . this is again repeated to greater confirm it; and that the people might know without a doubt that it would really happen, just as was threatened.
And ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you . . . they would feel the LORD’S fury upon them, and acknowledge that it is indeed the LORD Who is doing it, and that He had a just and rightful reason to do so. These are the ones who are meant by the silver, who although cast into the furnace, were not destroyed, only purified, and made the better and brighter for their afflictions. Have poured out my fury upon you, along with others which have suffered the same outward troubles, although the end would be different, which suggests the escape of a remnant (Isa.10:20-22; 11:11, 16; 28:5; Jer.23:3; Eze.34:12-14; Mic.2:12).
*****These verses are repeated over and over again, echoing the same menaces, to have an emotional impact on the Jews . . . with fear and anxiety of the coming danger, and make them consider returning to the Lord GOD whom they had forsaken.
As the Corruption Is General, so Shall Be the Punishment (22:23-31)
Ezekiel 22:23 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (KJV)
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying . . . (18:1; 22:1; 17). Ezekiel always obeyed!
Ezekiel 22:24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. (KJV)
Son of man, say unto her, thou land . . . her, is the land of Israel.
Thou art not cleansed . . . you have not been purified from your filthiness by the fire of divine judgments. You have not reformed from your sins. You have not paid attention to the instructions, cautions and urgings of the prophets. None of the things the prophets said had any effect on you, to make you wiser and better. So the Targum, a land not cleansed it is, and good works are not done in it, to protect it in the day of cursing.
Nor rained upon in the day of indignation . . . there was no cooling shower to quench the fire of GOD’S wrath; there was nothing to prevent or stop the judgments of GOD. There was no refreshment nor comfort from the teaching of the prophets, which fell like rain upon them. It is a judgment upon a people to have no rain, either in a temporal or spiritual sense (Zec.14:17). Something that people should carefully consider: Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: (KJV)
Ezekiel 22:25 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. (KJV)
There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof . . . NOT the prophets of the LORD, but of Israel’s prophets; those who agreed with her, the false prophets (Isa.30:10:Jer.23:25-27, 20-32; Lam.2:14). The Targum renders it, a company of scribes. The scribes and Pharisees (Mat.23), interpreted the Law; and entered into an alliance together against the TRUE prophets of GOD. They agreed to prophesy wrong things, and to sweet-talk the people with peace and prosperity, when sudden destruction was at the door! A conspiracy is a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful. The false prophets spoke smooth words, gave out promises of peace and safety, when there was absolutely NO possibility of peace. They wanted the Jews to believe that soon the vessels of the LORD’S house, and the LORD’S people in Babylon, would be brought back (Jer.28:1-4), when Jeremiah accurately told them that NO such thing would happen! Jeremiah told them that the rest of the vessels, and Zedekiah, and the people would be carried away into Babylon, they conspire against him, and such as he was (Jer.20:2; 26:8; 28:1-2; 29:25-26), and would persecute them with one consent and mind.
Like a roaring lion ravening the prey . . . these false ones were like a roaring, hungry beast when they hunt their prey, and when they have seized and are tearing it . . . so these false prophets pursued the true prophets in a cruel and fierce way, and pursued all those that believed their word, feared the judgments, and mourned for the sins of GOD rejecting people.
They have devoured souls . . . these false prophets persecuted men to death, all those that would not pay attention to their fictional prophecies; and they destroyed the eternal souls of those that did believe their false doctrines and prophecies . . . like SO many in today’s world. BEWARE!
They have taken the treasure and precious things . . . of those they destroyed; or of others, for prophesying smooth things to them; filthy lucre being the principal thing they had in view.
They have made her many widows in the midst thereof . . . by killing their husbands because they did not believe their prophecies; or by urging them to hold out against the siege, under a idea of deliverance . . . but instead the lives of many were lost by the sword, famine and pestilence (5:12), to whose death it might be said they were the cause.
Ezekiel 22:26 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. (KJV)
Her priests have violated my law . . . violated my law, they gave a wrong explanation of it, made it say what it did NOT say. Her priests (Mal.2:7), not only transgressed but did violence to the law, by twisting it and putting wrong ideas as to what it meant.
And have profaned my holy things . . . sacrifices and gifts, which were only to be offered and eaten by holy persons; they made them common to others who should not have partaken of them.
They have put no difference between the holy and profane . . . this and the following clause may be to clarify the above, or possibly the priests’ teaching did not inform the people the difference between holy and profane things; what was clean or unclean for sacrifice; what was clean and allowed to be eaten, and what was unclean and forbid to be eaten.
And have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths . . . the priests were not careful to observe the Sabbaths themselves, but looked the other way, or and when they did see wrongs in the people, they were silent, and would not rebuke them. From my Sabbaths . . . the priests were originally clearly commanded to keep the Sabbaths holy with great care and exactness (Lev.23; Isa.58:13; Jer.17:21-22), although through time, they rudely disobeyed the rules.
And I am profaned among them . . . for the Law of God was profaned, His sacrifices profaned, His Sabbaths profaned and He Himself was profaned, because He was not sanctified (set apart as holy) by them, through the just observing of those things. The Targum is, my will is profaned among them. I am profaned, GOD was looked on with contempt, He was dishonored, disobeyed and all His Laws to them were petty and paltry things.
History repeats itself! The same things are happening in today’s world. BEWARE!!!
Ezekiel 22:27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. (KJV)
Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey . . . her princes (22:25-25). Princes = rulers of all kinds, who should have crushed oppressors and defended the oppressed . . . but did the opposite! They were hungry wolves; greedy beasts, bloodthirsty, crafty and shrewd, resembling dogs that men make use of to defend their property. The authority which GOD had given these princes to defend the poor and helpless is by these hateful hypocrites perverted to satisfy the bloody, greedy appetite of oppressive governors of the Jews.
To shed blood . . . shed innocent blood; a dreadful sin in princes, who have GOD’S power committed to them to preserve the innocent.
And to destroy souls . . . take away lives, under a pretense of treacherous practices, and all with the idea to get dishonest gain; that their estates may be forfeited, their goods confiscated, and gotten into their hands.
Get dishonest gain . . . seizing estates not surrendered.
Ezekiel 22:28 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. (KJV)
And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar . . . her prophets are the false prophets who have daubed them with untempered mortar (13:10). Have daubed them, sweet-talked their oppressing bloody princes in their ways of sin and violence. With untempered mortar, with promises and encouragements that like mortar that is ill tempered, will deceive them, even though all seems for the present smooth and safe.
Seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them . . . pretend to have visions from GOD, when what they see, or pretend to see, is nothing but vanity and emptiness, mere delusions; and prophesying good things, peace and prosperity, when they are all lies; giving out they have messages supposedly from GOD, and are ordered to foretell that happy times will be, when it is all false and LIES! So much of this goes on in today’s world! BEWARE! It is the work of the devil! Do NOT let anyone lead you astray!
Saying, thus saith the Lord God, when the LORD hath not spoken . . . these satanic false prophets mimic the words of GOD’S true prophets . . . when the LORD said absolutely NOTHING to them, and gave them NO command to speak in His Name, or say the things they said.
Ezekiel 22:29 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. (KJV)
The people of the land have used oppression . . . the more powerful among the common people oppressed those weaker than them. The rich oppressed the poor, and those that were under them, the servants of them, and tenants of them, and those who were not able to defend themselves against their power.
And exercised robbery . . . those who did not have the power as others had, became thieves and robbers, took people's money from them; broke up houses, plundered them and stole their goods. Sounds much like today.
And have vexed the poor and needy . . . have vexed (18:7) the poor by their oppressions, rapines and robberies, when they instead should have relieved them (Pro.6:11).
Yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully . . . without right or judgment, in an unjust way, opposing the due course of law, against all equity and justice; which the Israelites were warned and ordered NOT to do, in many passages of Scripture (Ex.22:21; 23:9; Lev.19:33; 25:35; Deut.10:19; Jer.7:6; 22:3; Zec.7:10; Mal.3:5).
Ezekiel 22:30 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 found none. (KJV)
And I sought for a man among them . . . the Lord GOD searched among the princes, priests, prophets and people of the land, for no doubt, there were good people in the land, as Jeremiah, Baruch, and others, but not among the ones above described.
That should make up the hedge . . . the hedge, the wall (13:5), is a symbol for leading the people to repentance . . . that hedge was broken down by the transgressions of the people, who exceeded all the boundaries of law and justice. The hedge was one that would restrain them from sinning, and reform them, and set them a good example. A good man that would strive by his influence to stop the breaking in of sin, and the consequences of it, is a good example of a hedge. Noah, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc., etc. are good examples of hedges. A pastor who lovingly preaches the WHOLE Truth of GOD’S Word is an example of a hedge.
And stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it . . . in the gap that sin had made, at which the a person was entering as a man of war to destroy the transgressors; one that would present himself to the LORD on the behalf of the people; seek mercy for them, as the Targum; interpose between God and them, and act the part of an intercessor; pray for them, as Moses did for the people of Israel, that he would not destroy them. (Gen.20:7; Ex.32:11; Num.16:48; Ps.106:23).
But I found none . . . no one could be found to reform them, no one to repair the breach, no one to restore paths, no intercessor for them, such as Abraham for Sodom, Moses for Israel; or any, like Aaron, that stood between the living and the dead to stay the plague (Num.16:47-48). I found none (Jer.5:1) . . . not that there was not a righteous man in the city, because Jeremiah, Baruch, etc., were still there; but Jeremiah had been forbidden to pray for the people (Jer.11:14), who were doomed to GOD’S wrath. Now, none of the godly, knowing the desperate state of the people, and GOD’S purpose as to them, was willing longer to interpose between GOD’S wrath and them. And none among those just numbered as guilty of such sins (22:25-29), was morally able for such an office.
Ezekiel 22:31 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. (KJV)
Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them . . . therefore, because I was provoked by them all have I poured out mine indignation . . . GOD’Swrath was like a flood, to sweep them away; like a mighty river, carrying away all before it. May we all wisely consider just how powerful His fury really is at our sin, and do all we can to avoid it!
I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath . . . since they refused to be cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation (22:24), by the sword, famine, pestilence and captivity, His wrath has consumed them; kindled a fire against them, that will destroy them.
Their own way have I recompensed on their heads, saith the Lord GOD . . . GOD has rewarded them with just punishment, giving them exactly what their ways and works deserved. Again I say: May we all wisely consider just how powerful His fury really is at our sin, and do all we can to avoid it!
There is something very elusive and obscure that happens so often in today’s world, which I think should be brought out in the open. There are many famous and well known people who are honored and praised today . . . even before they die, but especially at their funerals . . . even though they were godless blasphemers in life. There will always be some preacher who seemingly tries to push them right through Heaven’s Gate with his words of admiration.
And when a person dies, preachers tell the family that the person is now in Heaven, which supposedly is to bring comfort to the bereaved ones left behind. Dear one . . . NOT everyone will go to Heaven. The chances of MOST going to the other place, is FAR greater! Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV)
The damnable heresy (2 Pet.2:1) of Universalism is NOT true! NOT everyone will go to Heaven as these heretics teach! . . . . . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_what_is_universalism.htm
NONE of us have GOD'S Mind on this matter, so I think we should be very careful what we say about anyone, for the simple reason that an unbeliever could measure the goodness he has done in his life by someone who is praised . . . for he knows just how terrible a sinner that praised man really was . . . and he may think that he does not need the Saviour, since that sinner is now in Heaven.
It is sad that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is often given to a crowd of saints, but NOT given at a time and place where the worldly and unsaved are present . . . such as at a funeral! It is indeed RARE today to hear the Gospel preached at funerals! Far too often, the preacher aims his words only to please the crowd . . . that is exactly what the false prophets of Ezekiel's day did.
Ezekiel has really been laying it on the line in these final prophecies. In chapter 20 he gave a prophecy concerning the Negeb, the southern part of Israel around Beersheba. In that prophecy God said, I'll kindle a fire in thee (20:47). There is no vegetation of any size now, there once was a forest there, but after GOD’S judgment, it is gone. Then in chapter 21, there was the remarkable prophecy that there would be no one to sit on David's throne until the LORD Jesus came. That is what the angel meant when told Mary: Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: (KJV) . . . What the prophets tell us is so needed in today’s world. We would be very wise IF we would pay attention to them!
CONSIDER: What a sad list of sins and transgressions the Prophet Ezekiel here charged Jerusalem with. What a terrible pit of filth and wickedness the heart of man is capable of falling into! Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (KJV) . . . What a still more awful thing is, that this is ISRAEL of whom these things are written!
Precious LORD Jesus! It is indeed a great relief to the souls of Your TRUE people, be they Jews or Gentiles (Gal.3:26-29), to consider of Your Holiness and Your precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19) that give us eternal life in Heaven one day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/saving_faith.htm
Dear Jesus, You knew when You undertook the redemption of our nature, just how polluted, our sinful nature really was, and would always be. Your love for us had to be extremely great, as You looked on such vileness, and still went to the cross for us! Precious LORD, You will always have compassion on the poor, wretched, lost and undone creatures because of Your amazing grace and marvelous mercy; and will save any sinner from all their filthiness, and from all their idols, if they only turn to You! Holy LORD, You will give them a new heart, and a right spirit within any who turn to You. You will be their God and they shall be Your people. Thank You, Jesus!
CONSIDER: Jerusalem, the bloody city, is here brought to the bar, to be convicted and condemned: and the prophet is set by GOD, as both her accuser and her judge. Her abominations are many, great, and aggravated.
<><><> (1.) Murder: The blood of innocents was shed in the midst of her, from assassinations, tyrannical abuse of power, or perversion of justice; the guilt of which cried aloud. The princes and magistrates, who should have punished such crimes, were themselves the first to commit them to the utmost of their power.
<><><> (2.) Idolatry: The sad effects of which were their pollution, and as a result, their destruction.
<><><> (3.) Disobedience to parents: They set light by father and mother, despised their authority, disobeyed their commands, or mocked their infirmities; which is among the most atrocious of crimes.
<><><> (4.) Oppression and deceit: They took advantage of the ignorance or needs of the stranger; vexed with excessive demands, the fatherless and widow, who were unable to defend themselves; extorted usury from their brethren; and with greediness increased their gain to their neighbor’s disadvantage.
<><><> (5.) They profaned holy things, particularly the Sabbaths. They hated God's laws; either totally neglected the ceremonial rites and worship of the Temple, or performed them in a careless way. The Sabbaths were no more observed than common days; and that usually a door wide open to all ungodliness.
<><><> (6.) Lewd immorality of all kinds; the most criminal and odious, open and bare-faced, that human nature could be supposed to commit; all of which called loudly for GOD’S vengeance.
<><><> (7.) At the root of all their sin was forgetting all about the Lord GOD. They left him far, far out of their sight. There was NO wickedness which they feared to commit. ALL these sins are so much like today.
All ranks and orders of men among them were advanced to the summit of wickedness.
<><><> (1). The false prophets, were like ravening lions they devoured souls, taking away the lives of the innocent, or by their false doctrines murdered immortal souls. Lying prophets who have deceived sinners to their ruin shall receive the heaviest strokes of vengeance.
<><><> (2). The priests warmly joined with the false prophets in their wickedness. They violated God's law, perverting it in their explications, and contradicting it in their practice; so that, instead of teaching others, their examples were the greatest encouragement to the wicked. They made no difference between holy and profane, paid no regard to GOD’S Law, but lived observing neither distinction of meats nor days; the Sabbath to them was but as a common day; they admitted anyone into the courts of the Temple, and out of it kept company with the ceremonially unclean, or the abandoned, without a word of rebuke. Because of this, GOD was profaned among them, His Word abused, His ordinances slighted, His authority scorned. GOD shall punish them!
<><><> (3). The princes, who as ministers of justice should have vindicated the oppressed, and exerted their power in the protection of injured innocence, were themselves like wolves ravening the prey; deceptive, lawless, cruel; not only plundering the weak, and with dishonest gain grinding the faces of the poor, but destroying the lives of those who offended them. The shameful prophets, to find favor with wealthy patrons, flattered the princes in their wickedness, and daubed them with untempered mortar; probably persuading them that they did GOD service in persecuting the troublesome prophets, and the pious who objected against their sins; and vindicating their cruel deeds to others. These shall shortly meet an avenging GOD.
<><><> (4). The people as you would expect, followed the examples of the wicked; the system of corruption descended, from the top down to the bottom. They also used what power they had to oppress those beneath them, and exercised robbery, vexing the poor by extortion, and treating the stranger wrongfully, whose ignorance laid him the more easily open to deceit and imposition. All sin shall be punished by GOD!
So common and widespread was the apostasy, that not one man was found among ALL these prophets, princes, priests or people, who tried to intervene to make up the hedge, or stand in the gap to avert by his prayers, his warnings, or his labors, the looming wrath of GOD, and try to reform the land. GOD looked for one, but all in vain. Sin makes a big hole in the hedge which is between us and the LORD . . . and ruin enters, and when none are found to pray or plead with God for the person, the case is desperate indeed.
Because of sin, GOD'S righteous anger is poured out; the fire burns, sinners are consumed together, and their own ways are rewarded as to the severity of the sin. One thing we all must consider is, no matter how terrible the end of the ungodly may be, their sufferings shall be no more than they deserve. Our Awesome Triune GOD is fair, just and never prejudiced against anyone. What He does is always right! http://www.hisservants.org/books_our_awesome_triune_god.html
Book of Ezekiel
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