The fact that Ezekiel, in the land of Babylon, is still
warning of impending punishment upon the land of Israel implies that there was
communication between Israel and Babylon. Also, that those who were in Babylon
were still being warned that the captivity which they were experiencing was only
part of the story. The rest of the nation -- who had remained behind in the Land
-- were going to be punished also.
Vv 3-5: "The evils foretold in previous chapters have been
attributed to the general iniquities of the people, not to any specific breaches
of particular commandments. Israel had changed God's judgments and defiled His
sanctuary. The charges have been more or less general. Now charges of a specific
character are to be brought forward, and one particular charge is in this
"That is the basis of the judgments to be denounced against
the people in this section -- high places, altars, incense altars, and idols.
All these were associated with the religious customs of the people..." (BEz
MOUNTAINS AND HILLS: High places of idolatry (Jer
RAVINES AND VALLEYS: Also sites of idolatry (2Ki
HIGH PLACES: Heb "bamah" = lofty, high places, nearer
to heaven. Sometimes the sites of true worship (1Sa 9:9-14), but often of
idolatry (Num 33:52; 2Ki 18:4; 2Ch 34:3).
INCENSE ALTARS: These seem to have been devoted to the
burning of incense to pagan deities, the abominations of the heathen.
I WILL LAY THE DEAD BODIES OF THE ISRAELITES IN FRONT OF
THEIR IDOLS: Thus demonstrating, in the most graphic way possible, that such
idols cannot save!
IDOLS: Not the common word for "idols"; this is
"gillul", from "galal": to roll, ie in the dust. A term of derision, as though
the idols so described could not move themselves, but could only be passively
rolled about by others -- like logs or columns of stone.
THEY WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD: God is the Lord even
when things go wrong in our lives too. God chastens those He loves in an effort
to encourage them to greater faith and patience and humility -- to bring to the
fore those characteristics of which He approves. Let us be sure to recognise His
chastening hand and to respond by being exercised by it (Heb 12:11).
FROM THE DESERT TO DIBLAH: All the Land, from the south
to the north. Cp the four corners of Land in Eze 7:2.
DIBLAH: Or "Riblah" (AV). "A Syrian city in the land of
Hamath, near Lebo-hamath and Kadesh-on-the-Orontes. Now known as Ribleh, it is
situated in the Bekaa, the broad plain between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon
Mountains, c 65 miles north of Damascus. Located in a wide and fertile valley,
Riblah was an ideal spot for the headquarters of an army. Here Pharaoh-Necho,
after the death of Josiah, deposed Josiah's son Jehoahaz, who had been chosen
king of Judah. He made him a captive and appointed his brother Jehoiakim king
(2Ki 23:31-34). Here also Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon brought Zedekiah and his
sons, first killing the sons and then blinding the king (2Ki 25:6-7). Later
numerous prominent men of Judah were killed there (2Ki 25:18-21)"