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Book of Ezekiel
Chapter 5

In this chapter we have a further, and no less terrible, condemnation of the judgments of GOD, which were coming at great speed and force upon the Jewish nation, which would utterly ruin it; for when GOD judges He will overcome. This destruction of Judah and Jerusalem is here:
(1)  Represented by a sign, the cutting, burning and scattering of hair (1-4). (2) That sign is explained, and is applied to Jerusalem.
Sin is charged upon Jerusalem as the cause of this desolation and contempt of GOD’S law (5-7) and sacrilege of His sanctuary (11). Great wrath of GOD is threatened (8-10), along with a variety of miseries (12, 16-17), such as would be their reproach and ruin (13-15).

Theme: Sign Of The Prophet Shaving His Hair.

Chapter 5 opens with Ezekiel acting out still another sign to the rebellious people.

Ezekiel 5:1 And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. (KJV)

And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife . . . or sword, meaning any sharp instrument by which anything is cut off or cut asunder; what is here meant is explained by the following,
Take thee a barber's razor . . . this sharp knife, sword or razor means, as one interprets it, Nebuchadnezzar; and rightly, for so the king of Assyria is called in: Isaiah 7:20 In the same day shall the LORD shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard. (KJV)  
And cause it to pass upon thine head, and upon thy beard . . . the head was a symbol of the city of Jerusalem, the capital of Judea; the beard of the cities, towns and villages around it; and the hair of both, is the common people; compared to hair for their numbers, for their levity and unsteadiness, and for their being the beauty and ornament of the places where they lived. All the hair being shaven off was essential of severe and humiliating treatment (2 Sam.10:4-5). Shaving of them means their disgrace and destruction, and mourning because of it, especially in the case of a priest; for priests (Lev.21:5) were forbidden to make baldness on their head, their hair being the sign of consecration.
Then take thee balances to weigh and divide the hair . . . one version adds, into three parts; suggesting, that several distinct punishments would be inflicted on them, and these according to the righteous judgment of GOD; balances being a symbol of justice. Balances imply the just discernment with which the LORD GOD weighs out the portion of punishment. Divide the hair . . . that is, allotted to each: the hairs are the Jews: the divine scales do NOT allow even one hair to escape accurate weighing. Matthew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (KJV) . . . GOD knows ALL things about everyone! 

*****Ezekiel must shave the hair off of his head and beard, which indicated GOD’S utter rejecting and abandoning that rebellious people, as a useless, worthless generation, such as could well be spared. It would be to His honor to part with them. Jerusalem had been the head, but, had deteriorated, had become as the hair, which when it grows thick and long, is but a burden that a man wishes to get rid of, just as GOD did of the sinners in Zion. It would ease Him of His adversaries. Isaiah 1:24 Therefore saith the LORD, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: (KJV)
Ezekiel must not cut off that hair only which was surplus, but cut it ALL off, representing the full end that GOD would make of Jerusalem. The hair that would not be trimmed and kept neat and clean by the admonitions (warnings) of the prophets, must all be shaved off by complete destruction. All will be ruined that refuse to be reformed. Dear one, this is indeed a lesson for today’s times. I wonder how many will pay attention.

Ezekiel 5:2 Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. (KJV)

Thou, shall burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city . . . the city of Jerusalem, as portrayed upon the tile (4:1). The burning of the third part of the hair with fire means those who were destroyed by the pestilence and famine during the siege (Lam.5:10); or it means the burning of the city itself, when the siege was over;
When the days of the siege are fulfilled . . . for, when the city was taken, it was burnt with fire (Jer.52:13).  
And thou shall take a third part, and smite about it with a knife . . . which means those that fled out of the city when it was broken up, were pursued after and overtaken by the Chaldean army, and cut off by the sword (Jer.52:7).  
And a third part thou shall scatter in the wind . . . meaning that those that fled, ended up in  several countries such as Moab, Ammon and especially Egypt, where many went along with Johanan the son of Kareah (Jer.43:5);
And I will draw out a sword after them . . . and destroy them; which, as it was threatened (Jer.42:16); so it was accomplished when Egypt was subdued by Nebuchadnezzar.

*****The prophet is in exile, and is to do this in the midst of the city. As this is regarded as the destiny of Jerusalem, the symbols introduced here were very troubling. The sharp knife stood for the armed power of Babylon. The shaving of the head stood for humiliation, mourning, disaster, the loss of holiness and catastrophe. The balances were a symbol of the justice and righteousness of GOD and the equity of His righteous judgments. Ezekiel's head represented Jerusalem; the hair represented the population of it, the glory, honor and ability of the city. These would all disappear in the destruction.
The different uses of the three-thirds of the hair . . . only a part of the last third would be given a special treatment, indicating the many ways in which the population of Jerusalem would be killed. The burning in the midst of the city refers to their death by famine and pestilence; the smiting of a third of it with the sword round about the city represents those who would fall to the sword of Babylon; and the scattering of a third of it to the winds represented the scattering of the Israelites among all nations.
Three classes are described. The sword was to destroy one third of the people; famine and plague another third. Fire here is explained in verse12 to mean pestilence and famine. That last third which remained was to be scattered among the nations. Only a few of the last third were to escape, symbolized by the hairs bound in Ezekiel's skirts (Eze.5:3; Jer.40:6; 52:16). Even some of these were to be thrown into the fiery ordeal again (Eze.5:4; Jer.41:1-2; 44:14). The skirts being able to contain just a few, express that extreme limit to which GOD’S goodness would reach.

Ezekiel 5:3 Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. (KJV)

Thou shall also take thereof a few in number . . . these are they that were left in the land of Judea by Nebuzaradan, for vinedressers and husbandmen, and such as returned out of Egypt into the land of Judah. Jer.52:16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen. (KJV)
And bind them in thy skirts . . . in the pockets of them; representing both the very small number of them, and their preservation. Some interpret these of those that were carried captive to Babylon, and lived there, and were preserved and returned again.

A small remnant of the people was still left in the land after the great captivity (2 Ki.25:22); but even some of these would perish by violence, in the disorders that arose, and from this shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel (Jer.40 & 41). The final result was the exile of all that remained in Judæa, and the entire emptying of the land of the chosen people.

*****Just what is the meaning of Ezekiel 5:1-3? Ezekiel was to shave his head and his beard, which was unheard of for a priest to do (Lev.21:5). Surely the people all gathered around to watch as Ezekiel shaved himself out there in the open. After he shaved, Ezekiel carefully divided the hair into three parts. One third of the hair he took and burned inside the city. This represented the people who were going to be besieged and burned with fire inside the city at the time of its destruction . . . and THIS is exactly what happened to them. The second third of the hair he took and smote (hit, beat) with a knife; he really worked it over good! This represented what would happen to those people who lived through the siege . . . they died by the sword. The last third of the people were scattered; this group included those who went down to Egypt taking Jeremiah with them. This small remnant of GOD’S people are those who finally returned to the city is pictured by the few hairs that were bound up in Ezekiel's skirts.

Ezekiel 5:4 Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel. (KJV)

Then take of them again . . . of that small number preserved:
And cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire . . . this was fulfilled in Gedaliah and the Jews that were with him, over whom the king of Babylon had made him governor, who were slain by Ishmael (Jer.41:1).  
For thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel . . . from this barbarous murder of Gedaliah and his men, judgment came upon all the house of Israel; a war began between Ishmael and Johanan the son of Kareah (Jer.41:11-13). It may be understood of those that were left in the land, and of such who returned from the captivity; for whose sins, and those of their posterity, the wrath of GOD came forth upon all the house of Israel, to the utter destruction of their nation, city, and temple, by Titus Vespasian.

*****Ezekiel must preserve a small amount of the third part that were to be scattered in the wind, and bind them in his skirts, as one would bind something that he is very mindful and careful of (verse 3). This possibly indicated that little handful of people which were left under the government of Gedaliah, who it was hoped, would keep possession of the land when the majority of the people were carried into captivity. Thus GOD would have done well for them IF they would have done well for themselves. But these few that were reserved must be taken and cast into the fire. When Gedaliah and his friends were slain, the people that put themselves under his protection were scattered, some gone into Egypt, others carried off by the Chaldeans, and to sum it up, the land was totally cleared of them. This was fulfilled, for out of those combustions a fire came forth into all the house of Israel, who, as fuel upon the fire, kindled and consumed one another. It is sad when those are taken away in wrath, that seemed to be marked for mercy; for then there is NO remnant, NO escaping, NONE shut up or left.

Ezekiel 5:5 Thus saith the LORD GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. (KJV)

Thus saith the LORD GOD, This is Jerusalem . . . Thus saith the LORD GOD . . .  is found 227 times in the Old Testament in the King James Version, 127 of those times here in the Book of Ezekiel. It is the city of Jerusalem that is intended by the city portrayed on the tile (verse 1); and it is the same city that is indicated by the head of the prophet that was to be shaved; that being not only the chief city of Judea, but of the whole world, as follows:
I have set it in the midst of the nations . . . the city of Jerusalem was the chief of them; and was different from the nations by unusual and special favors and blessings, both natural and spiritual. It was a land flowing with milk and honey; and had the House and worship of GOD in it; and where there were the symbols of His Presence and His Word and Ordinances . . . therefore it should have excelled in true religion, devotion and holiness, and set an example to them. I have set her in the midst of the nations refers to the central location of Palestine in the midst of the three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa; and the nations were literally in all directions from Jerusalem. As the head, heart and center of the Earth (Eze.38:12; Ps.72:10), Jerusalem was unusual in that the Law might go forth out of Zion, and the Word of the LORD, and that all nations might flow into it (Isa.2:2-3). There are some who now think that Rome today has taken its place to Christians. I CANNOT go along with that! Revelation 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (KJV)
As for Jerusalem being set in the midst of the nations, I believe that Jerusalem is considered by the LORD GOD’S point of view as center of the whole earth, intended to radiate the TRUE light over the nations in all directions.
Psalm 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (KJV)  
Jeremiah 3:17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (KJV)  
Micah 4:1-4  But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. (KJV)
And countries that are round about her . . . the picture that emerges here is that of a nation abundantly blessed with the ordinances and statutes of GOD, these repeated words being, absolutely references to the Mosaic Law. Actually, the references to the Book of Moses are quite frequent from this chapter, and on to the very end of Ezekiel. It makes sense, because Ezekiel was a priest and knew the Law.

*****Jerusalem was designed to have a good influence upon the nations and countries around her, being set in the middle of them as a candle on a candlestick to spread the light of Divine revelation, which she was blessed with, to all the dark corners of the neighboring nations.
GOD now shows the reason why He was so determined to act so severely and harshly towards that Holy City which He had selected as His Royal Residence.
For the greater the benefits with which He had adorned the city, by so much more the corrupt and immoral was their ingratitude. So, GOD describes His benefits towards Jerusalem, and that for the sake of condemning it. For IF the Jews had embraced the blessing of GOD, He no doubt would have enriched them more and more with His gifts: but when He saw how they rejected His favors, He was all the more angry with their rebellion. Dear one, contempt of GOD’S blessings, benefits and Word is actually blasphemous, irreverent and sacrilege. BEWARE!!! It will only bring down the righteous wrath of GOD on you, just like He did on the people in Ezekiel’s day.

Ezekiel 5:6 And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. (KJV)

And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations . . . she had wickedly resisted GOD’S judgments, they changed their glory for that which did not profit; and changed the glory of the uncorruptible GOD (Rom.1:23) into an image made like to corruptible man; and changed the Truth of GOD into a lie (Jer.2:11; Zep.3:1-5), changed the good judgments and laws of GOD to those that were NOT good, which was/is wickedness. The word rendered changed means to rebel against or to transgress . . . and that may well be, for she (Jerusalem), had/has rebelled against GOD’S judgments, and transgressed them in a wicked manner . . . to a much greater degree than the nations of the world, because they were GOD’S chosen people (Deut.7:6; 14:2). This was a filthy change; this was to do evil as much as she could (Jer.3:5), this was ingratitude of the worst kind (Jer.2:11; Rom.1:23, 25). Cults today are still changing GOD’S judgments (the Holy Word of GOD). Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (KJV) BEWARE!!! Check out your church’s teaching with the BIBLE! The largest cults today are guilty of teaching that which OPPOSES the Bible! Commandments of men will put you in Hell!
And my statutes more than the countries that are round about her . . . judgments and statutes are the laws and ordinances of worship, being just and righteous, and they are firm, final and unchangeable. Some think judgments belong to the moral law, being given forth by the LORD as a judge, and founded upon judgment and righteousness; and statutes to the ceremonial law, being of positive institution and appointment, and to last as long as it was the pleasure of the lawgiver.
For they have refused my judgments and my statutes . . .  the people refused to comply with GOD’S judgments and statutes, nor would they obey them . . . they had nothing but contempt, loathing and scorn for the Word and Law of GOD. Dear one, this is SO true of the rebellious ones in todays’ world! Again, I warn you, be very careful of who and what you believe! Your eternal soul depends on it!
They have not walked in them . . . they did not make GOD’S statutes the important part of their walk and lifestyle; they showed NO regard to them; they went out of their way to avoid them, walking dark, crooked paths, with the workers of iniquity. They remodeled religion to their own liking, built altars, adopted new gods, and appointed new worship which was more joyful and easy, as was their character. What about today’s world? The rebellious people today have also remodeled ‘religion’ to suit themselves.
Dear one, just because everyone is doing it, does NOT mean it is right in GOD’S Eyes! Millions live together without being married; millions have NO objection to abortion because they agree that a woman has the right to do as she pleases with her body; homosexuality has sky-rocketed, and a large part of the people think it is OK, including many churches that ordain homosexual preachers; same sex marriage has become commonplace; mind-altering drugs shall soon become law because there are so many wealthy high-ups in government that are addicted; alcohol consumption is rampant, starting at a very young age because kids see it in abundance in their homes. BUT . . . WHAT does our Almighty Creator GOD think about all this? I can tell you exactly what He thinks . . . ALL the above is WRONG!!! ALL who do such things shall one day stand at the Great White Throne, before Judge Jesus, and hear the verdict . . . and it will NOT be what you want to hear!
http://www.judgmentcoming.org/judgment_day_the_great_white_throne.htm
http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_coming_GOD_does_NOT_lie.htm
http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_day_are_you_ready.htm
http://www.judgmentcoming.org/judgment_day_the_wicked_punished.htm

*****Because the Jews rebelled against the judgments of GOD, He increases upon their wickedness because His statutes have been despised, because they were so addicted to sin. When they cast themselves into gross wickedness, and despised GOD’S commandments, that was inexcusable. We would be wise indeed IF we would learn from this Passage, that unless we use GOD’S Blessings with purity, the charge of ingratitude will be against us . . . for whatever GOD gives us, He also sanctifies to our salvation as to the glory of His Name. We are then irreverent and disrespectful when we corrupt those things which were intended for His glory.

We must consider the ingratitude of Jerusalem as brazen, because they rejected the commandments of GOD. When GOD deposits among us the Treasure of Holy doctrine, we must carefully take care that we do not turn aside to sin, because there is NO excuse for error when once we have been taught what is right, and that from the Mouth of Almighty GOD Himself. Since the teaching of the Law was clear among the Jews, the prophet rightly says, that they were impious beyond all nations and countries. GOD shows the reason why He deals with Jerusalem in greater severity than with the surrounding nations; because she was more wicked than they were. As bad and idolatrous as the nations were, they had a greater degree of morality among them than the Jews had. Having fallen from the TRUE GOD, the Jews became much more abominable than others in proportion to the eminence and glory from which they had fallen. This is common in backsliders; they often in their fall, become ten times worse the children of wrath (Eph.2:3) than they were before.

Ezekiel 5:7 Therefore thus saith the LORD GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; (KJV)

Therefore thus saith the LORD GOD . . . having seen their sins, and which are still being enlarged upon, the LORD proceeds to bring His judgments against them.
Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you . . . not in numbers, not in wealth and riches, not in blessings and privileges . . . but in sins and wickedness, which did abound among them, and in which they surpassed the nations around them; the Targum says because that ye have sinned more than the people that are round about you.
And have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments . . . this is repeated to show the certainty of the fact, and how much the LORD GOD resented it.
Neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you . . . one version leaves out neither and renders it; but ye have done the judgments of the nations which are round about you, and it may be observed, that it is omitted in parallel text: Ezekiel 11:12 And ye shall know that I am the LORD: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you. (KJV) . . . This is what the Jews are often rebuked for, that they followed the laws and customs of the Gentiles, and worshipped their gods; and the meaning is, either that they did not walk according to the law and light of nature, which the Gentiles had, and attended to (Rom.2:14-15); or that they did not follow the Laws in their conduct and behavior; they were not as ardent and zealous for the TRUE GOD as the Heathens were for their idols; they were not as firm in the laws and worship of the TRUE GOD of Israel as the Gentiles were of their superstitious rites and ceremonies of their idols. The Gentiles did NOT change (verse 5) their gods, and manner of worship, but retained what they received from their ancient ancestors . . . BUT the Jews changed their glory for something which did not profit them (Jer.2:11). Not only had they failed to live up to the rules of RIGHT which the LORD GOD had approved and ordained, but they had even fallen far below the heathen standard of righteousness (Eze.16:47-48).

*****The people's rebellious wickedness was so great that they could not even be compared favorably with the heathen nations around them, not to mention how they appeared with respect to GOD’S Laws. She had not walked in GOD’S statutes, nor kept His judgments (v. 7); and also, the inhabitants of Jerusalem had refused His judgments and His statutes (v. 6). They did NOT do their duty, they would NOT and they said that they would NOT obey. The statutes and judgments that their neighbors respected, they despised, and what they should have set before their face . . . they cast behind their back. Contempt of the Word and Law of GOD opens wide the door to all kind of sin and wickedness. GOD’S statutes are the terms with which He deals with mankind; and dear one, those that REFUSE His terms must NOT expect any favors from Him! 

Ezekiel 5:8 Therefore thus saith the LORD GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. (KJV)

Therefore thus saith the LORD GOD, behold, even I, am against thee . . . whether they believe it or not . . . the LORD GOD is against them. They dared to think it unlikely, but shall find it true, and that GOD was very serious, not just saying these things in terror only. The LORD GOD is omnipotent, the Great King, and a Dreadful One; and a terrible thing it is for this people to have the Mighty GOD against them; or for anyone to fall into the hands of the living GOD (Heb.10:31).  This is repeated to show that it certainly was so; and that the LORD was set on it; and determined to go against them in the way of His judgments.          
And will execute judgments . . . the LORD GOD will act in harshness that would convince them that it is His Mighty Hand that wields the sword. Because they despised GOD’S Holy Law and His judgments as a rule of life, they shall now feel His judgments that they shall die under. The Chaldeans would kill them, but it is the LORD GOD who condemned them. The Chaldeans will be cruel, but GOD would be righteous and just in the execution . . . for WHO can be for them, when the HOLY GOD is against them? Again, a lesson for us.
And will execute judgments in the midst of thee, in the sight of the nations . . . meaning to inflict punishments upon them for their total disregard to His righteous judgments, which would take place in the midst of them, and would consume them all around; and would be so clear as to be seen by all the nations around them. In the sight of the nations . . . as shameful as their sins were, so shall their punishment be. The very heathens shall see GOD’S Hand in it, and agree with His justice.

Ezekiel 5:9 And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. (KJV)

I will do in thee that which I have not done . . . worse than in any other nation, or to any other people; worse than in the old world, when the flood was brought upon the world of the ungodly (Gen.6-8); worse than in Sodom and Gomorrah, when they were destroyed by fire from heaven (Gen.19:1-29); not in Egypt, when He inflicted His plagues on Pharaoh and His people (Ex..7-11); worse than among the Canaanites, when they were driven out of their land for their abominations (Deut.2:34; 3:6; 20:16-18). The destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar was one of the greatest calamities that ever fell on any nation or place before; and that when the Romans under Titus surpassed all that had taken place since. These two sieges of that city have no parallel in the history of mankind. That which I have not done . . . GOD’S judgment on Jerusalem was worse than any former judgments (Lam.4:6; Dan.9:12). The prophecy includes the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and the final one by Antichrist (Zec.13:8-9; 14:2), as well as that by Nebuchadnezzar. Their doom of evil was not ended by the Chaldean conquest. The higher the privileges . . . the greater the punishment in the case of abuse of them. Think of all the wealthy, high-ups in the government around the world that are so bogged down with their abominations and total disrespect of GOD’S Word and GOD’S Law. Judgment Day is coming and they will NOT like the verdict!!!
http://www.judgmentcoming.org/judgment_day_the_great_white_throne.htm
http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_coming_GOD_does_NOT_lie.htm
http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_day_are_you_ready.htm
http://www.judgmentcoming.org/judgment_day_the_wicked_punished.htm
And whereunto I will not do any more the like . . . there is absolutely NO doubt that GOD ALWAYS keeps His Word, even though we are not be able to know or show how He does it. And although the siege of Jerusalem under Vespasian was grievous, yet not in everything, was equal with this, the Romans were not as cruel to the Jews.
Because of all thine abominations . . . their sins were abominations, and GOD delivers them into the hands of men that hated, loathed and abhorred the Jews so much that they thought they could not be cruel enough against them.

*****And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like . . . Our LORD uses similar language in foretelling the final destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (KJV)  
What the prophet means here is not a comparison between different judgments upon the Jews, but between GOD’S treatment of them and of others. As they had received at His Hand higher opportunities and privileges than He had before given or would afterwards give to any other nation, so must the punishment for their sin be more severe and more obvious than He had inflicted or would inflict on any other people. All the Divine judgments upon the Jews throughout all time may therefore be considered as here coming into view. The present captivity and the impending and looming destruction of the Temple were just single parts of a long series of judgments, in the course of which the terrible facts mentioned in verse 10 would take place, ending with what is the present condition of the people before our eyes, scattered in the wind (verse 2). Such evils had been foretold by their prophets all through their history as the result of disobedience (Lev.26:29; Deut.28:53); the sons eating their fathers is a fearful addition (Jer.19:9), and from time to time had in some degree come to pass (2 Ki. 6:28-29; Lam.2:20), although the conclusion of the punishment, like the conclusion of the sin, was still future.

Ezekiel 5:10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds. (KJV)

Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee . . . this was threatened long ago by the all-knowing and wise LORD GOD, and prophesied (foretold, predicted) by Moses; Isaiah and Jeremiah:
Leviticus 26:29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. (KJV)
Deut. 28:53-57 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy GOD hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee: 54  So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: 55  So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. 56  The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 57  And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates. (KJV)
2 Kings 6:28-29 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. 29  So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son. (KJV)
Isaiah 9:20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: (KJV)
Jeremiah 19:9 And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them. (KJV)  
Cannibalism DID take place during that dreadful famine, and was fulfilled in other, different times in the people of Israel. Although some instances show only that mothers ate their children, there is no doubt the fathers did too.
And the sons shall eat their fathers . . . this, even though nowhere recorded, yet there is no doubt was done; for it being as reasonable to think that a son might eat his father, just as a father his son, even though both are extremely shocking.  
And I will execute judgments in thee . . . the LORD would carry out punishments on the people because of His Holy and righteous wrath against the rebellious sins of the Jews, such as pestilence, famine and sword which are after stated.  
And the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds . . . meaning, those that remain, and are not cut off by the above judgments, shall be carried captive into Babylon, or be dispersed in to Egypt, Ammon, Moab and other places. This was fully accomplished in the dispersion of the Jews into the several parts of the world, when they were destroyed by the Romans.

*****GOD had defended Jerusalem and her people, but utterly miserable was the case when He turned to be her Enemy because of the non-stop rebellious iniquity of the people, and now He fights against it. Dear one, IF GOD is against us, ALL Creation is at war with us, because the LORD GOD is the Creator and HE is in complete control of all He has created. NOTHING can be for us if GOD is against us! BEWARE!!!
Not only was the Chaldean army against them, but they are the staff in GOD’S Hand, meaning that GOD Himself was against them, and He not only spoke against them by prophets, but that He would act against them by Providence. He would execute judgments in them (verse 10), and in the midst of thee (verse 8), not only in the outskirts, but in the very heart of the city.
All those who refuse to pay attention to the judgments of GOD, refusing to obey them . . . shall NOT escape the judgments of His Hand. GOD’S judgments are good, and they are meant to penetrate into the midst of a person and enter into the soul. When GOD’S judgments are despised, loathed and rejected, He shall take action, and execute sentences which shall bring disaster! And it is the LORD GOD Himself Who undertakes to perform His own judgments, according to the true and full intent of them . . . whatever the instruments He uses are . . . HE is the One in control!

Ezekiel 5:11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the LORD GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. (KJV)

Wherefore, as I live, saith the LORD GOD . . . this is a form of an oath, and shows us that what is after said would absolutely be done; GOD would NOT change His Mind, NOT revoke it:
Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary . . . this was the highpoint of Jewish guilt: they defiled the Temple of the LORD GOD by bringing in heathen idols.
With all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations . . . meaning their idols and idolatrous worship, which was abominable and repulsive to the LORD. Manasseh did some terrible things: 2 Kings 21:2-6 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 4  And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. 5  And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 6  And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. (KJV) 
Therefore will I also diminish thee . . . the LORD GOD would lessen them as they had lessened His Glory by such abominable and repulsive actions. The LORD threatens to lessen their blessings and privileges; as they took away from Him the worship and honor that were due to Him, so too He would take away from them their civil and church state, His sanctuary, His Word and His ordinances, and deprive them of everything that was good and of any real value.
Neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity . . . the LORD would have NO pity on them in their greatest misery and distress. For our loving GOD not to have pity on them . . . He was extremely angry at what they had done!

***** The specific sin charged upon Jerusalem is profaning the Holy things, which she had been both entrusted and honored with. They had defiled GOD’S Temple with all their detestable things, with their idols and idol worships. The images of their invented deities, and the altars erected in honor of them, were brought into the Temple of Almighty GOD . . . and the rites and rituals used by idolaters were brought into the worship of GOD. As a result everything that was sacred, was now polluted. Idols are detestable things anywhere, at any time to the LORD GOD, but especially so in His Holy Temple.
For more on GOD’S Divine oath, see Special Comments at the end of this chapter.

Ezekiel 5:12 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. (KJV)

Ezekiel now explains what he had before spoken symbolically. He had been commanded to shave the hair of his head and his beard with a razor, and to divide the hair, so that pestilence should take one part, the sword another and the famine a third. Now he repeats the same thing in another way.
A third part of them shall die with the pestilence . . . this, and what follows, explains the dividing of the hair into the three parts, and what was done with them; showing that the burning of one third part means their being destroyed by the pestilence, mentioned along with burning coals (Hab.3:5), and by famine, as follows:
And with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee . . . there is no doubt that the pestilence (plague) raged, as well as the famine, at the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar: pestilence . . . and famine is indicated by the symbol fire in verse 2. Isaiah 13:8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. (KJV)  
Lam. 5:10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine. (KJV) . . . Plague and famine burns and withers body features, just as fire does.
And a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee . . . means the third part of the hair, smitten with a knife; would perish by the sword of the Chaldeans at the siege of the city, and when they fled out of it; and so is properly said to fall round about it:
And I will scatter a third part into all the winds . . . the greatest part of the hair (people) was carried into Babylon and others into other parts; scatter in the wind (verse 2).  
And I will draw out a sword after them . . . especially after them that went into Egypt; draw out a sword after them (Lev.26:33). Many object and say no such thing happened under Zedekiah, as is here foretold; that is, that a third part of the nation should die by pestilence, a third part by the sword, and a third be scattered unto all winds, and a sword sent after them. But the prophecy is NOT restricted to Zedekiah’s time. It includes ALL that Israel suffered, and/or was still to suffer, for their sins, especially those committed at that period (Eze.17:21). It only received its primary fulfillment under Zedekiah: numbers then died by the pestilence and by the sword; and numbers were scattered in all quarters and not carried to Babylon alone, as the objectors state. Compare Ezra 1:4; Esther 3:8; Obadiah 1:14.

***** This is the message that Ezekiel brought, and he made its meaning very clear. Dispersion is by itself miserable, but when GOD pronounces that He would not be content with that moderate punishment until He utterly consumed them, that is dreadful. The wrath of GOD will follow them even to the land of their exile (Lev.26:25; Jer.42:19-22), and that the horrors of the Babylonian siege are just the beginning of the sorrows of the nation.

Ezekiel 5:13 Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them. (KJV)

Thus shall mine anger be accomplished . . . finished, perfected, completed, by bringing all the above judgments upon them, pestilence, famine and sword, and by scattering them around with every wind. What had been threatened for so long, with only some parts of it falling on them in times past, was NOW being poured out to the uttermost.  
And I will cause my fury to rest upon them . . . to continue, to abide upon them, not moving at least for the time of threescore and ten years (Zec.1:12).  
And I will be comforted . . . by taking vengeance on them; so satisfying His justice, and easing Him of His enemies (Isa.1:24). This is expressed in arrogance to man’s ideas; indicating the LORD GOD’S satisfaction in the vindication of His justice by His righteous judgments.
And they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal . . . in the anger against their sins which the love of GOD’S own glory stirred up within Him. In His incited jealousy He spoke, and will act against a persisting, disloyal and adulterous wife, and it shall be known when He has finished His work. They shall find by experience that what the LORD GOD had spoken by His prophets, and had threatened to bring upon them, was said in earnest, and came from His being covetous of His own glory.
When I have accomplished my fury in them . . . by the utter destruction of them; as follows in verse 14:

*****The LORD GOD will accomplish His fury upon them. The day of GOD’S patience is over, and their ruin cannot be remedied! Outwardly all the results were natural results, and came about through rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar. It was not GOD Who starved them. It was not GOD Who slew them. It was not GOD Who turned them to cannibalism. Yet He WAS the cause for He had withdrawn His protecting Hand from them, because by their sins they had rejected His covenant and removed themselves from His protection. As always in Scripture, GOD’S anger was not bad temper and not vengeance because He was slighted, but the result of His Holy response to what was detestable. He could NOT allow what they did to exist, in those whom He had chosen, and He had to take every opportunity to get rid of it by judgment and purifying.
He would satisfy (appease) His fury. He would call to account and give a just and right verdict so that He could satisfy His moral demands. His hatred at sin would be soothed by a just reward for sin, for the Almighty LORD GOD is the Moral Governor of the Universe.
And they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them . . . I think this final statement in Ezekiel 5:13 is the key, not only to this Chapter, but to Ezekiel’s total prophetic ministry.

Ezekiel 5:14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. (KJV)

Moreover I will make thee waste . . . meaning their land; which being without inhabitants, lay unplanted, and became barren and unfruitful.
And a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by  . . . when the nations see this desolate condition, they shall taunt and jeer at it. Lam. 2:15 All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? (KJV)
Israel and Jerusalem will be a reproach: (Lev. 26:31-33; Deut.28:37; 2 Chron. 7:20-21; Ps.79:1-4; Jer.19:8; 24:9-10, 18-22; Lam.1:4, 8; Lam.2:15-17; 5:18; Mic.3:12).
Deut.28:37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee. (KJV) . . . Still that way today!
Psalm 44:13-14 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. 14  Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people. (KJV) . . . Still that way today!

*****The LORD GOD would make them waste, and a reproach among the nations that are around them, in the sight of all that pass by. He would make them a reproach among the nations. The nations whose idolatries Israel had adopted, instead of comforting them, would only rejoice in their calamities brought on by those idolatries. When the prodigal joined his friends, he received similar treatment in his misery from the so-called friends for whom he had forsaken his loving father for (Lk.15:15).

Ezekiel 5:15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it. (KJV)

So it shall be a reproach and a taunt . . . (verse 14) the subject of the reproaches and taunts of the enemy (Jer.24:9), is repeated for greater confirmation of it.  
An instruction . . .  or discipline or correction; sinners like them shall learn only by the miseries they go through. What they may get from GOD, they will have to admit is Divine justice. The meaning is, that the Gentiles, seeing the judgments of GOD upon the Jews, would from it learn righteousness, forsake their sins, amend their ways, and fear the LORD.
And an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee . . . the nations would be amazed that such judgments should fall upon a people that had been so highly favored by GOD, and amazed at their folly, rebellion and persistent stubbornness.  
When I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury, and in furious rebukes . . . many words, not only meaning the certainty of divine judgments, but the greatness and fierceness of GOD’S Holy and Divine wrath in executing them. These were NOT Fatherly chastisements (Heb.12:6-7), NOT rebukes in love (Heb.12:5), but the effects were of GOD’S Holy and righteous wrath and justice.
I the LORD have spoken it . . . the LORD Who spoke it, can also DO it! Because He was provoked at their sin, He WILL do it, because they would NOT repent. Jeremiah 25:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. (KJV) . . . In Ezekiel 5:13, it is added: and I will confirm or accomplish. GOD always means what He says!

*****Instruction . . .  discipline or correction; sinners like the Jews seem to learn only by the miseries they go through. What they may get from GOD, they will have to admit is Divine justice. The meaning is, that the Gentiles, seeing the judgments of GOD upon the Jews, would from it learn righteousness, forsake their sins, amend their ways, and fear the LORD.
In today’s world, people are moving farther and farther away from GOD and His goodness. In most homes, I am sure there are copies of the Holy Bible . . . but how many of those Bibles are ever opened? Most are covered with dust! Unless a person picks up a Bible and opens it and READS it, there is little hope for them to ever know what GOD expects of them. Most people today NEVER even think of eternity! Dear one, there IS eternity . . . and YOU are heading for it! NOTHING can change that! Your soul is eternal and it shall live in ONE of two places . . . Heaven OR Hell. There are two roads into eternity . . . the narrow road with Jesus, leading to Heaven . . . OR . . . the broad road of the devil, leading to Hell. The choice lies in YOUR hands! Be very careful!
 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)
http://www.GODcannotlie.org/booklet_living_with_eternity_in_mind.htm

Ezekiel 5:16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread: (KJV)

When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famines . . . either famine itself, which is as an arrow; it is taken out of the quiver of the LORD of hosts, and is shot by Him; and moves swiftly when it has an assignment; and is very successful at its destruction . . . or it could be arrows which bring on a famine, such as drought, excessive rains, mildew, locusts . . . or arrows that the famine brings, such as hunger, leanness, weakness, gloom and death; and in either sense, arrows are evil and are sent by GOD for the end result (Deut.32:23-24).
Which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you . . . I send upon them the evil arrows of famine, that are for their destruction, GOD’S plan for them was to destroy them, and a very destroying famine it is, and therefore called evil.
And I will increase the famine upon you . . . famine after famine will come until the food is no more. Jeremiah reports of droughts during the period leading up to the fall of Jerusalem (Jer.14:1-6) which may be connected to the rituals condemned in (Eze.8:14).
And will break your staff of bread . . . take away the virtue from the little they had that would not nourish and satisfy (4:16). Break your staff of bread . . . withdraw the strengthening property of their bread.

*****Ezekiel compares GOD to an archer, who points His arrows against them; but he speaks symbolically concerning the arrows of GOD; calling them arrows of famine and evil, meaning deadly and death-bearing. GOD pronounces the arrows of which He speaks as deadly, so whoever is struck by them has no hope left. Arrows of famine seemto mean such barrenness of soil as flies, locusts and other scourges of GOD . . . at one time scorching, at another mildew dries up the corn-field, then rains make the wheat rot, or heat burns it up, as many sources of corruption and pestilence as these are to the crops, so too are the many arrows of GOD which pierce men’s hearts, and that too by a deadly wound. GOD sends His arrows, as many and as often as He desires to causes famine, or to deprive men of sustenance.

Ezekiel 5:17 So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it. (KJV)

So will I send upon you famine, and evil beasts . . . famine is repeated to further confirm it; evil beasts . . . could refer to conquerors (Dan.7:4), but more likely means that beasts would infest the desolate regions that Judea would become (2 Ki.17:25), a curse of the covenant (Ex.23:29; Deut.32:24). Evil beasts is added, not meaning the Chaldeans, although comparable to such; but most likely lions, wolves, bears, etc., which threatened the Jews, in case of disobedience (Lev. 26:22); and which they were sometimes sent (2 Ki.17:24).
And they shall bereave thee . . . that is, of her children, whom the evil beasts would destroy; they not being able to defend themselves against them.
And pestilence and blood shall pass through thee, and I will bring the sword upon thee . . . the pestilence, famine, sword, which is meant by blood, and evil beasts, are the LORD'S four sore judgments (Eze.14:21).
I the LORD have spoken it. . . and the LORD was able to perform it, and did perform it, both at the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and by Titus.
Wild beasts always multiply in abandoned countries. In England, wolves abounded when the country had few people, but now that it is full of inhabitants, there is not one wolf in the land. Nebuchadnezzar and his Chaldeans may be called here evil beasts. He is often compared to a lion (Jer.4:7; Dan.7:14); because of the damages made by him and his Chaldean armies.

***** Ezekiel's warning to the people went unheeded. The destruction of Jerusalem and the suffering endured by those people should be a warning to us of the REALITY of GOD’S Divine and righteous judgment. But people today are so far removed from it, and very few people are really acquainted with the Word of GOD today. I think the greatest sin in TRUE Christians today is ignorance of the Word of GOD. GOD gave this warning to the people of Jerusalem, but it also has a message for us, as does ALL Scripture. Dear one, when the judgment of GOD begins, it will be too late to make your decision. Today, if you will hear His Voice . . . LISTEN to what He says! Open that Bible and see what He expects from you. IF you really want to know, He will tell you!

SPECIAL COMMENTS

JERUSALEM, THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.
I have set it in the midst of the nations . . . the city of Jerusalem was the chief of them; and was different from the nations by unusual and special favors and blessings, both natural and spiritual. It was a land flowing with milk and honey; and had the House and worship of GOD in it; and where there were the symbols of His Presence and His Word and Ordinances . . . therefore it SHOULD have excelled in true religion, devotion and holiness, and set an example to them. I have set her in the midst of the nations refers to the central location of Palestine in the midst of the three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa; and the nations were literally in all directions from Jerusalem. As the head, heart and center of the Earth (Eze.38:12; Ps.72:10), Jerusalem was unusual in that the Law might go forth out of Zion, and the Word of the LORD and that all nations might flow into it (Isa.2:2-3). There are some who now think that Rome today has taken its place to Christians. . . . I CANNOT go along with that! Revelation 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (KJV)
As for Jerusalem being set in the midst of the nations, I believe that Jerusalem is considered, from the LORD GOD’S point of view as center of the whole earth, intended to radiate the TRUE light over the nations in all directions.
Psalm 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (KJV)  
Jeremiah 3:17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (KJV)  
Micah 4:1-4  But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. (KJV)
And countries that are round about her . . . the picture that emerges here is that of a nation abundantly blessed with the ordinances and statutes of GOD, these repeated words being, absolutely references to the Mosaic Law. Actually, the references to the Book of Moses are quite frequent from this chapter on to the very end of Ezekiel. It makes sense, because Ezekiel was a priest and knew the Law.

GOD’S ANGER AGAINST SINNERS. . . Thus shall Mine anger be accomplished.

<><><>GOD works by degrees in His wrath against a people. He had in times past corrected them like a Father, but now He would act like a Judge; the past parts of His wrath had done no good, so now things would come full force.
<><><>When GOD’S Holy wrath is let out against a sinful people, it often remains a long time on them. “I will cause My fury to rest upon them” (5:13; 21:17). They were 70 years under GOD’S displeasure in Babylon (Jer.25:11-12; Dan.9:2), just as Jeremiah told them.
<><><>GOD takes pleasure in executing judgment on sinners, and in completing His wrath, and causing His fury to rest on persistent and unrepentant sinners, He will be comforted in it (Ps.2:4; Pro.1:26).
<><><>When the Word of GOD is preached among a people, and they, through hatred and malice, refuse to hear and obey it, they excite the Holy wrath of GOD.
<><><>Wicked men shall be left without excuse. “They shall know that I the LORD have spoken” (5:13); they listened to men and not GOD, they thought it man’s voice, not Heaven’s; but they shall find that it was the Voice of GOD among them.
<><><>GOD will justify His servants in their passionate labors for Him. “They shall know that I have spoken it in My zeal” (5:13). It is GOD that speaks in the prophets; it is His zeal they express. Let men be passionate against sin, for sin rightfully brings GOD’S wrath.
<><><>The LORD is passionate and powerful, and will not recall His anger when He deals with unfaithful, covenant-breaking persons. Just as in GOD’S zeal there is intense love towards His faithful people; “The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do it” (2 Ki.19:31), so too, as here, His zeal is intense hatred and wrath against His enemies.

Although Ezekiel's visions and prophecies were clear and vivid, very little is known about the prophet's personal life. He was among the thousands of young men deported from Judah to Babylon when King Jehoiachin surrendered. Until those tragic days, Ezekiel was being trained to be a priest. But during the exile in Babylon, GOD called Ezekiel to be His prophet during one of Israel's darkest times in their history.
Ezekiel felt the same kind of shocking encounter with the LORD GOD that Isaiah felt 150 years earlier; and like Isaiah, Ezekiel was never the same after his personal encounter with GOD. Even though GOD’S messages through both these prophets had many points in common, the conditions under which they lived were very different. Isaiah warned of the coming storm; while Ezekiel spoke in the midst of the storm that overwhelmed his people. He told the people that even Jerusalem would not escape destruction. It was during this time that Ezekiel endured the pain of his wife's death.
GOD’S description of Ezekiel as a watchman really is the background of his personal ministry. A watchman's job was dangerous, for if he failed at his job, he and the entire city might be destroyed. Ezekiel’s own safety, as well as the people, depended on his doing his job. The importance of each person's accountability before GOD was the central part of Ezekiel's message. He taught the exiles that GOD expected PERSONAL obedience and worship from each and every one of them. From this . . . we all had better learn the same lesson!

The Divine oath of GOD . . . Wherefore, as I live, saith the LORD GOD . . . This saying is found 16 times in Ezekiel, once in Zep.2:9 and once in Rom.14:11. 

<><><>The form of the Divine oath. When men swear, they do it by something greater than they: Hebrews 6:13 For when GOD made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, (KJV) Hebrews 6:16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. (KJV)  The LORD GOD cannot do this . . . so He swears by Himself.
<><><>The use of the Divine oath. GOD utters His Word clear and plain, calling on, and expecting people to believe it. When they will not, He tries backing it up with an oath. Was God's Grace ever more clear and patient? Was God's Grace ever more amazing?

Examples of GOD’S Divine oath.
<><><> The oath used in connection with the Priesthood of Christ. Psalm 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (KJV)  Hebrews 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (KJV)  Hebrews 6:13 For when GOD made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, (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)  
<><><>The oath used in connection with the believer’s safety. Hebrews 7:17-20 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18  For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19  For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto GOD. 20  And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (KJV) . . . What a blessed comfort!
<><><>The oath used in connection with the sincerity of the Gospel call. Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the LORD GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (KJV) 2 Peter 3:9 The LORD is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (KJV) . . . Our LORD GOD is very earnest and serious.
<><><>The oath used in connection with the ultimate triumph of the Christian cause. Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (KJV) . . .
THIS shall happen. You either willingly bow to Jesus today and swear that He is GOD . . . or you will do it later! NO purpose of GOD can be defeated!
<><><>The oath used in connection with the doom of the unbelievers.
Job 22:21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. (KJV)  
Psalm 95:11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest. (KJV)  
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: (KJV)  
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)  
John 3:15-18 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(KJV)
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of GOD abideth on him. (KJV)  
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (KJV)  
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV)

Book of Ezekiel

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