Eze 5: In contrast to the opening chapters of the glorious
visions of cherubim, the prophecy is immediately plunged into the dismal picture
of divine judgment, as severe as any man might experience. As if receiving the
message were not enough, the prophet Ezekiel had to demonstrate Yahweh's grief
at the apostasy of His people in his very person and actions. Being made dumb,
it remained for him to demonstrate the judgment in a pictorial form. He had to
remove hair and beard, and present a symbol of mourning (Lev 21:5).
In so doing it depicted the broken vow of the Nazarite, for if
he had defiled his consecration, he was required to shave his head, and commence
anew his vow of separation (Num 6:9).
The hair was placed on balances, divided into three, and let
fly in the wind. But a few strands remained in his "skirts" (v 3), indicative of
the remnant that would be permitted to remain in the Land under Gedaliah. Yet
even that remnant would be consumed, as they argued among themselves, and defied
Yahweh by going into Egypt (Jer 44:28).
So the prophecy of Ezekiel developed into a very absolute
judgment (vv 5-11). Israel was worse than the nations, because they had a
greater responsibility; they had received divine grace, and therefore their
punishment was to fit the crime.
SHAVE YOUR HEAD: Poss sig a breaking of a Nazarite vow:
Ezekiel repr God. Sword, or knife, repr Babylon (cp Isa 7:20;
10:5). Thus Babylon separates the nation from God.
FIRE INSIDE THE CITY: Pestilence, famine (v 12; Deu
STRIKE IT WITH THE SWORD ALL AROUND THE CITY: Violent
death (vv 12,17).
SCATTER A THIRD TO THE WIND: Dispersion (v 12: "all
The few saved ones come from the scattered third, the exiles
(cp Eze 6:8-10). This enacted parable marks the ways in which Israel are to be
scattered. But, as Jesus says, "the very hairs of your head are all numbered"
(Luke 12:7); this reminds us that the children of Israel were also individuals
whom God knew. The scattering of the Jews was not just a punishment; it was --
for some at least -- a measured period of chastening, designed by God to provide
opportunity for testing, and repentance and renewal.
IN THE FOLDS OF YOUR GARMENT: Poss the wings of the
cherubim (Eze 1); sig protection, covering (Psa 57:1).
SHE HAS REJECTED MY LAWS...: // Lev 26:15,43; Deu
Cannibalism: Lev 26:29; Deu 28:53.
AS SURELY AS I LIVE: Here is the guarantee of divine
existence, although the people were acting as though Yahweh was not alive in
their experiences. Now at the end of the Davidic kingdom, the people who refused
to offer a purity of worship and a singleminded devotion would be committed to
death. Refusing to believe God was living, the people were destined to die
themselves, and return to the earth.
DEFILED MY SANCTUARY: Cp Eze 8; Lev 26:2; Deu
I WILL NOT LOOK ON YOU WITH PITY OR SPARE YOU: Cp Eze
7:4,9; 8:18; 9:5,10.
Ezekiel uses similar language a number of times: Eze 6:8,12;
12:14; 14:22; 17:21. The same message was used by the contemporary prophet
Jeremiah perhaps even more often (Jer 14:12; 21:7,9; 24:10; 27:8,13; 29:17,18;
32:24,36; 34:17; 38:2; 42:17,22; 44:4).