The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Ezekiel 22

Eze 22:1

Vv 1-16: Jerusalem is a city of guilt, a city of bloods. It is said to them as it was said to Cain: "Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground" (Gen 4:10).

"Patriot as he was, Ezekiel was not, like some sincere patriots, blind to his country's faults. His conscience and judgment were enlightened, and his emotional nature was rendered especially sensitive, so that a just and deep impression was made upon his mind by the contemplation of his countrymen's errors and iniquities. Leaders of public opinion, teachers of the time, are ever in danger of flattering those among whom their lot is cast, with whom their interests are identified. Yet Ezekiel proves himself to have the true spirit of the prophet, who rises superior to this temptation, and whose motto is, 'Be just, and fear not!'

"The catalogue of the people's sins is both a long and an awful one. It suffices to mention these as boldly charged upon them by the faithful prophet of the Lord: (1) Idolatry; (2) Violence and murder; (3) Disregard for parents; (4) Oppression of strangers, of the widows and fatherless; (5) Profaning of the sabbath; (6) Lewdness and vile indulgence of lust; (7) Bribery; and (8) Extortion.

"Was ever such an indictment brought against a community? The marvel is, not that the threatened judgment came, but that it was so long delayed.

"It certainly seems strange, all but incredible, that the highly favored Jerusalem should be famed among the very heathen for degradation in iniquity and moral debasement. But the language of Ezekiel is explicit; and he would be more likely to soften than to exaggerate the charge. Jerusalem a reproach, a mocking, infamous, defiled, full of tumult! How are the mighty fallen! The city of the great King, the seat of the temple of Jehovah, the home of the consecrated priesthood -- infamous among the surrounding idolaters for flagrant violation of those very moral laws which the city was consecrated to conserve!" (Pulpit).

Eze 22:3

Vv 3-5: "Bloody" by idol worship (ct Exo 20:3-5; Lev 19:4).

Eze 22:4

AN OBJECT OF SCORN TO THE NATIONS: "You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where the LORD will drive you" (Deu 28:37).

Eze 22:6

Vv 6-8: "Bloody" princes in oppression.

Eze 22:7

Ct Exo 20:12; Lev 19:3; 20:9. Ct Exo 22:21; Lev 19:33. Ct Exo 22:22; Deu 24:17.

THEY HAVE TREATED FATHER AND MOTHER WITH CONTEMPT: "Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or his mother" (Deu 27:16).

YOU HAVE OPPRESSED THE ALIEN: "Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt" (Exo 22:21).

AND MISTREATED THE FATHERLESS AND THE WIDOW: "Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan" (Exo 22:22).

Eze 22:8

Ct Lev 22:2. Ct Lev 19:30; Exo 31:13,14.

YOU HAVE DESPISED MY HOLY THINGS AND DESECRATED MY SABBATHS: "Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary" (Lev 19:30).

Eze 22:9

Exo 22:9.

Vv 9-11: "Bloody" men: sexual sins and slander.

Ct Deu 18:9; Deu 12:30; Lev 18:28,29.

Eze 22:10

YOU ARE THOSE WHO DISHONOR THEIR FATHERS' BED: "Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her" (Lev 18:7).

YOU ARE THOSE WHO VIOLATE WOMEN DURING THEIR PERIOD, WHEN THEY ARE CEREMONIALLY UNCLEAN: "Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period" (Lev 18:19).

Eze 22:11

Ct Lev 18:20; 20:20. Ct Lev 20:12. Ct Lev 18:9; 20:17.

ONE MAN COMMITS A DETESTABLE OFFENSE WITH HIS NEIGHBOR'S WIFE: "Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her" (Lev 18:20).

ANOTHER SHAMEFULLY DEFILES HIS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW, AND ANOTHER VIOLATES HIS SISTER, HIS OWN FATHER'S DAUGHTER: "Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness. Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living" (Lev 18:17,18).

Eze 22:12

Vv 12,13: "Bloody" men -- greed and oppression.

Ct Exo 23:8; Deu 16:19. Ct Exo 22:25; Lev 25:36. Ct Exo 22:21.

MEN ACCEPT BRIBES TO SHED BLOOD: "Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person" (Deu 27:25).

YOU TAKE USURY AND EXCESSIVE INTEREST AND MAKE UNJUST GAIN: "If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest" (Exo 22:25).

AND YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN ME: "You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth" (Deu 32:18).

Eze 22:15

I WILL DISPERSE YOU AMONG THE NATIONS AND SCATTER YOU THROUGH THE COUNTRIES: "The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven" (Deu 28:25).

Eze 22:17

Vv 17-22: Israel in furnace.

Eze 22:18

Cp Isa 1:21,22; Psa 119:119. Here, the true silver has already been tapped off, and is awaiting final purification in Babylon.

Eze 22:23

Vv 23-31: No rain on the Land. Ct lack with the promise of Eze 34:26. The covenant-blessing of rain: Lev 26:4; Deu 11:13,14.

Eze 22:25

Vv 25-29: All classes of society.

LIKE A ROARING LION TEARING ITS PREY: "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1Pe 5:8).

THEY DEVOUR PEOPLE, TAKE TREASURES AND PRECIOUS THINGS AND MAKE MANY WIDOWS WITHIN HER: " Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses" (Mat 23:14, AV).

Eze 22:29

THEY... MISTREAT THE ALIEN: "Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt" (Exo 22:21).

Eze 22:30

No man was found to build the wall and stand in the breach -- like Moses had done: "So he said he would destroy them -- had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them" (Psa 106:23)... (Jeremiah had been told no longer to pray for them: Jer 11:14.)

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