The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Ezekiel 5

Eze 5:1

Eze 5:1.

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: Num 6:7,9.

Eze 5:2

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 32:22,24).


SCATTER A THIRD TO THE WIND: Dispersion (v 12: "all winds").

Eze 5:3

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).

Eze 5:6

SHE HAS REJECTED MY LAWS...: // Lev 26:15,43; Deu 4:1.

Eze 5:10

Cannibalism: Lev 26:29; Deu 28:53.

Eze 5:11

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 32:16.

I WILL NOT LOOK ON YOU WITH PITY OR SPARE YOU: Cp Eze 7:4,9; 8:18; 9:5,10.

Eze 5:12

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).

Eze 5:14

NATIONS AROUND YOU: See Lesson, Nations "round about".

IN THE SIGHT OF ALL WHO PASS BY: The phrase is used in the same context in Psa 89:41; Lam 2:15. It is the ultimate degradation; yet they still did not repent.

Eze 5:15

THE NATIONS AROUND YOU: See Lesson, Nations "round about".

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